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whitebutterfly11

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  1. I would pay attention to the little nuances... - How does he treat complete strangers, young children, animals? - Does he show genuine empathy and understanding? (Hurts when others hurt, seems interested more in how you feel than what you are saying) - Can he "shut off" his emotions easily? Switch from one emotion to the next in an eerie way, as if he were a robot programmed to flip a switch? - Does he take up most of the conversations? Seem bored when you talk about your life? Shows little interest in your inner world? Rushes you into affection? - Does he have expressionless eyes? - When he's polite, friendly, nice . . . does it feel contrived? Like a big stretch to who he really is? Do you sense you don't really know who this person is deep down? - Does his phone take priority over his conversations with you? These are just some of a few of the less obvious things. Percolate mentioned the important red flags at the beginning of the relationship. We try and look out for love-bombing, rushing into a relationship, declaring his undying love within a few dates, making serious plans for the future right off the bat, telling you that you are his everything when he doesn't really even know you yet. If it feels off, forced, or insincere, then it is! About the checking you out thing: It depends. Does it creep you out? Make you feel objectified? Or do you sense that he's genuinely appreciative of the way you look? Sometimes it's hard to gage the intention until you know a person better. If you feel icky about it in anyway, or something is telling you it's off, then listen to that. Your gut feeling is telling you the truth.
  2. It takes an incredibly entitled person to treat you in such a demeaning way and then expect you to turn around and offer him affection. Gross. He's gross.
  3. He is terrorizing you, goading you, placing you in a corner until you react. ANYONE in this situation would eventually react somehow, out of fear, defense, or frustration. He is physically abusive. He is a threat to you, not the other way around. From what you've written, it sounds like he wants you to react physically to him, and he's deliberately provoking you so that you will. He gets a rise from this, as if it's entertainment, or "fun" for him. This is giving him a sense of supply. You aren't a terrible person for fighting back. From what it sounds like, he's physically abused you before, therefore, to protect yourself you are on high alert, or hyper-vigilant around him because you probably expect him to hurt you. When he gets angry and starts yelling at you, egging you on, there's a defense mechanism that goes off telling you that you are in danger, and eventually you fight back to protect yourself. It's a normal response to being terrorized physically and mentally by another person. With physical abuse, an abuser will go to great lengths to justify their violence toward you. In this case, he's egging you on, pushing you to your limit so that you'll react first. Then you do (because he will keep terrorizing you until you eventually react), and then he feels 100% justified to hurt you because you hit him. Even though, in your case, you were cornered into this and reacting to his manipulation and abuse, he now feels that he has every right to engage in domestic violence that is bad enough that he is endangering your life. He is not threatened by you. Your hitting him is just a game, a harmless game, to him. He wants you to feel guilty about it. He wants you to feel like you deserve his violence toward you, even though your reaction toward him is completely different, it's defensive, it's NOT threatening him, it's a NORMAL defense mechanism in the fight-or-flight response, and it can in NO WAY be compared to the psychological and physical damage he is inflicting on you. It's all a game, and he wants you to feel like you deserve it, when you do not. No human being deserves to be terrorized in this way. He is physically abusive, violent, and threatening. This is his issue, not yours. Protect yourself and leave this man. He is NOT safe for you. There are domestic violence centers that can offer you a place to stay and some help until you get on your feet. There are options for you, so that you do not have to continue to live with someone who is dangerous. ((((Help me)))) There is hope!
  4. Ugh, his paradoxes and shallow attempts to get you back are pretty pathetic, aren't they? Validation that he's really that sort of person, fluffyflea. He's really that bad. And apparently he thinks you'll fall for his poorly-executed, half-baked attempts at an apology. Gross. And insulting. I'd be mad too.
  5. (((Starshine))) I'm so glad you posted an update here. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We all hope for the best in others, want to believe it when they tell us they've changed, or they've got it. You're not weak or a fool or an idiot for giving him a chance to be a man of his word and a decent human being capable of change. You offered him an opportunity to prove himself to be someone you could trust, and he blew it. Sometimes we need to run this procedure of testing a person's good intentions over and over as many times as it takes to really be sure of who they are. It's not weak to believe in a person's best capabilities. It's not weak to put his words to the test. And it's definitely okay to make sure that what you suspected of him was really true. Many of us here have put our abusers to the same sort of test. I certainly have, numerous times, with my H. It's important that we know for ourselves what we're dealing with and have evidence of their abusive/dysfunctional behavior so that we can move on knowing we made an informed decision. I'm glad you are looking into a lawyer. Now you're working towards your goals as a successful student and you're on you're way to new things. It sounds like a great opportunity to start anew, away from his cyclical habits and behaviors. You're pushing through all of this like a rockstar, Starshine!
  6. Appletree, Despite how much your eldest is criticizing you, I am struggling to see anything grave you are doing to justify it. From an outsider perspective, it sounds as if your eldest is going through their own anger issues and projecting it out on your because you are safe. Your abusive H, on the other hand, is not. Despite whatever changes he has undergone in the last while to prove himself competent, he has a history of abuse. It wouldn't necessarily be safe for your eldest to lash out at him. Agree with him? Yes. Align with his desires? Yes. But lashing out usually happens to the safe parent. In fact, sometimes teenagers will mimic some of the abuser's tactics to prevent themselves from being the target. There could be so many reasons why your eldest is acting this way, and I only know a hundredth of it, but those are just a few thoughts I kept having as I read your post. Therapy for your eldest might be something to consider. There are some great CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) counselors out there for adolescents who can help in a structured way with the drinking issue, and there are also therapists out there who specialize specifically with adolescents who are undergoing certain behavioral issues. I know of many teenagers who have benefitted from counseling and really made a turn-around. It might not be the right path for you, but an option. Also, your H's good behavior where he seems to be stepping up to the plate in terms of responsibility towards the children might look noble from a distance, but I've found that there's usually some sort of agenda or secondary gain they get from the good behavior, and that is why it continues. An example, my H has been on good behavior for a long while now, and this is without any physical or emotional connection with him for years. It baffled me why he stayed with me if he wasn't gaining anything from it, but then I took a closer look. His good behavior was garnishing attention from our religious community, in which he is considered to be as good of a guy as they come, and his staying with me despite my "mental struggles" (which he caused) and my lack of attendance in church (again, because I can't be around him there without getting triggered) has made him nothing short of a hero to our little community and our extended family. I'm just mentioning this to say that he might be getting some sort of gain from being responsible, accountable and compliant right now, even if it's from your children or from others around him. I'm glad you have distance from him and I hope that you continue to have that space from him. (Hope I didn't say too much!) (((Appletree)))
  7. Hello littlebear, Yes, he is abusive. Yes, this is physical abuse. No, it won't get better. It won't be the last time. Abuse can happen in so many different ways--physically, mentally, verbally, financially--and they all hurt. They are all unacceptable forms of treatment towards another human being. Physical abuse is the one that requires quicker decisions and actions because when someone has treated you this way, they become a threat to you. When you are with them, they put you in physical danger. There is no telling when they will hurt or attack you again. I'm not trying to induce any sort of fear, but physical abuse needs to be taken seriously because it most likely will happen again--possibly worse the next time. Please consider contacting your local domestic violence shelter. If you have a friend or family member who can take you in--please do it. Put yourself in a safe place away from this man, who cannot be trusted. Finding a job is a wonderful way for you to find your sense of independence and free yourself from any of his ties. It can be scary to consider making these changes, but by leaving him you are protecting yourself and moving towards a place of freedom from fear and oppression. (((HUGS)))
  8. Lost, By leaving this abusive person you are giving your son, your baby, and yourself a gift. The gift of freedom from domestic violence, fear, and oppression. There are many programs through the government (if you're in the US . . . if not similar programs exist in other countries too) that can help you with your baby, including medical care and food. All you need to do is go to your city building and find the WIC program, Medicaid, and to the program that helps with prenatal care (they are usually bunched together). You can even go to the front help desk and ask what programs are available for you. There are possibilities for you. A quick internet search will lead you to your nearest domestic violence center, where you can go for shelter and help while you're trying to figure things out. These programs are there to help women and children who have been abused. You have a place to go, and you can go there as soon as today. You can slip out the door once he isn't home and head over there. You don't have to live this way anymore. You don't have to feel terrorized. You don't have to worry about what he'll do. You can leave. This man is abusive. He is not going to change. The fact that he is smoking pot means that he's not going to be stable, helpful, or present for you. He's showing so many of the red flags of physical abuse. I would not spend one more day with him. I know it can feel scary to think about leaving, and it is especially traumatic when you're in an abusive situation, but freedom from abuse is what will free you from fear, and it will offer you and your children (when that baby is born) a fresh start, free from abuse. That is perhaps the greatest gift you can give to your children. Please consider, and please write it out here, if it will help. We will support you!
  9. Quaddie, This makes perfect sense. You peeked into my soul, somehow, and said it all--all the unspoken things I couldn't get out. All the injustice I couldn't bring myself to say. Thank you. I am struggling right now to find the right words to say, but everything you wrote means so much. It made me cry in the best, soul-exfoliating way. And that song . . . the lyrics . . . wow. It is all on point. The need to break free. The need to have myself--not just little pieces of it but ALL of myself. The injustice of my suffering being whitewashed as if I were some sort of picket fence. The exhausting ever-going upward push on that humungous giant ball of inertia, which you described so well. It's being one person up against so much. It's just wanting to be free, over and over again, every day, every second. (((Thank you)))
  10. My parents are now siding with H, since he is the good guy who remains married to me despite the fact that I've left my religion (a reason--above abuse--they would agree to for divorce). I guess, in their minds, I was the problem all along, not him. It's given them even more ammo than ever against me because they were the first to tell me that I must be overly sensitive when I told them I was being abused. It could never actually be that I was telling the truth. They have rarely wanted to know or hear about the abuse, especially since H is such a funny, charming, nice guy when they visit. And hey, he's even that 99% of the time anyway now, so it's made me all the more confused. I think they see my religious deviance as the underlying problem, not the abuse, when in fact, the traumatic response from the abuse was the reason why I was getting triggered sitting with H on a pew every week. I was getting huge flashbacks while there. My parents, though, would never understand that. The rejection and the disregard are taking a huge toll physically and mentally. My body has shut down over the last couple of weeks and mentally I've been in a dark place. I'm trying so hard to get through this but I'm blazing a trail I don't want to blaze, trying to will myself out of a situation that doesn't feel like it's bad anymore, even if it might be. And I'm trying, trying, to build my life, my career, move forward . . . but I'm not a superhero and I'm doing this alone. I know this is a despairing post but I'm keeping it real, and putting it out there because I know you get it.
  11. (((Thank you))). This sounds relevant and worth the read! I will look into it.
  12. I'm not sure if the religious/spiritual section is visited very often, but something significant happened in my life that I posted in that section because it pertains to religion. It was a big change, and there has been some hurtful fallout from it. My entire support system made up of family, friends, neighbors essentially disappeared within a few hours/days. It's been a lonely road for me, but I'm on another path in my education and spirituality that have helped give me some purpose, even if I'm blazing this trail by myself. So yeah, you're welcome to read about it in that section, if you're comfortable. I'm sending love out to all of you! You are brave, compassionate, lovely souls.
  13. I've been thinking . . . it's kind of like she's put you into a double bind, of sorts. Maybe even a triple. On the one hand, you need to keep this job for all of the reasons you previously stated. So, Choice A, going to management to file a complaint against this person (and if I remember right, she is in management, right? Or maybe is buddy-buddy with someone in management? [I'm sorry if I'm not remembering correctly]) would be a threat to your job in ways, or at least make things more uncomfortable and intolerable within the work environment. Choice A then becomes impossible because of the risk of changing the work environment, which is already not okay as it is. Then there's Choice B, which is to not accept her "gift" that is a crying shame to gifts. Tell her she's being totally inconsiderate and demeaning. Like Choice A, this might create some tension that could make the work environment unbearable. Yes, you'd be able to tell her how you feel, get the truth out, and for a moment that might feel awesome, until the fallout. She doesn't seem like the kind of person who would be able to take a rejection easily. I'm sensing she fully expects you to love this offering she has handed to you, as if it were the be-all and end-all of all gifts. Choice B, then, becomes a huge risk too because then you'd have her punctured dignity to work around. It would be entirely different if she were a distant friend you didn't see very often, but she's right there in your work environment. That's a lot of intense energy to deal with in a workplace day-to-day. I wouldn't want to deal with it. Then let's say, Choice C, accept the "gift". But accepting is also hurtful, demeaning because her "gift" is a total cop-out for real, genuine appreciation for your work experience and skills. It's a write-off and, IMHO, an underhanded attack on you and your value. It's kind of a forced silence sort of situation where you take it to prevent conflict, but then you have to absorb the ick of it inside of yourself. And that's not fair at all. I don't know if any of that made sense (it's late and I've been studying all day, so my brain is mush), but I see the very real bind you are placed in because of this. I wish I could offer you a way to say what you want to say to this person that wouldn't create any fallout for you. Keep writing it out, if it helps.
  14. "This makes me feel like a whore. It makes me feel disrespected. I'd rather be treated with respect and not put-down or made assumptions about or treated condescendingly as if I'm not a full-fledged person. Accepting this makes me feel complicit, like tacit acceptance...like bribery. None of you has treated me like the person I am or deserve to be treated as. This turns my stomach. I don't want your envelope of whore money. I'm not your whore." Yes. I'm glad you wrote this out. There is so much value to your feelings, your truth. What you feel matters. The difference between a person who gives because they are genuine, loving, without any sort of underlying motive other than pure and simple generosity . . . and a person who does the exact opposite, is palpable. My guess is that her treatment of you has probably built up over a thousand different subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors on her part, like tiny accumulated drops of torture. I hear everything you are saying about this "gift" she's given to you. Money that's given as a "quick fix" to glaze over issues, silence, or demean another human being is violating boundaries. It's not okay. My mother sends me a wad of cash for my birthday every year. We have virtually no relationship other than the occasional small talk over holidays. So, when she sends me money, it feels like a cop-out for a real, genuine relationship. Or something she gets to check off of her do-diligence list. It's incredibly demeaning to me to receive these letters, and I find I don't want to spend the money at all because I don't want it period. (((Quaddie)))
  15. I've heard many times from Mr. BS that "I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at myself." It's a bunch of BS. Because, they are essentially telling you that their abuse toward you is okay because they have all of this out-of-control anger inside toward themselves. They are saying: "Pity me! I'm a poor troubled soul who only abuses because I HAVE to, seeing as I hate myself so much." But, when is it EVER okay to abuse another human being? You are not a punch bag--you are a human being with feelings. He has no right to EVER dump his anger on you. For any reason. Whether he is angry at himself or not. He can choose NOT to abuse any time he wants. But he doesn't. My guess is that this is just a ploy to tug on your empathy so you'll feel sorry for him and accept the abuse. If he were truly angry with himself, he'd be disgusted at himself for abusing you. Which means, he would not abuse you anymore. Instead, he feels even more entitled to abuse you because he's supposedly angry at himself. Abuse isn't an uncontrollable reflex that shows up whenever he gets upset. If that were so, we'd all be abusive every day. It's a deliberate choice, and at any time, he (being an adult capable of controlling his emotions) could choose not to abuse anymore. But he's not. How dare he! I wouldn't believe him for a second. Or feel any kind of compassion on his proclaimed self-anger. It's a bunch of BS.