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About Melinoe

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  1. Mine said something similar! That he respected women and didn't see them as sexual objects and all that. But then he'd also make comments about how you should never hit a woman because "the police and the courts always side with the woman". Not because it's wrong or anything, but because you'd get in trouble for it and it wasn't fair. Also that if he had sex with someone else, it was just sex, just an animal function, so there was no emotional betrayal there so what was I really losing if he did that? I think he was also a woman hater and user too, despite all his statements to the contrary. Gives me the shivers thinking about it now.
  2. Say "no" to him and challenge him on things. Does he accept your responses and decisions, or does he subtly (or not so subtly) try to change your mind, or try to convince you that you are being unreasonable? For example, you could call him out on how he looked you over. Tell him you noticed it, you've been thinking about it since the date, and didn't like it (if that's how it made you feel). His reaction could tell you a lot. If he gets mad at you, that's a red flag. If he starts making excuses about how he "can't help it" because he's a man and that's just how men work, that would be a red flag to me too. Any guy who tries to give me the "I'm a man and I can't help it" story is an immediate dealbreaker for me now. Men are not mindless animals. If he tries to put it back on you - saying for example "Oh, so a woman never checks out a guy? You've never ogled someone? Where do you get off, judging me? You have double standards!" etc, that's a red flag too. He's refusing to accept the consequences of his actions (which was that they made you uncomfortable), and he's trying to get you to defend yourself so you forget about HIS behaviour. One of the huge red flags I missed with my ex was that he lacked accountability, and consistently disregarded me when I said "no" to him. He was a helpless victim to everything in life, it was all very personal against him but nothing was ever his fault. His mom "abandoned" him by dying, his father's new wife was a psycho who hated him, his new boss disliked him for no good reason, his ex girlfriends all just suddenly decided to dump him or were "crazy and obsessive", he said he had an "animal-like" sex drive that just "took over sometimes", stuff like that. And when I said no to him, or brought up things that he did that I thought were inappropriate or hurtful, he'd jack up the Victim-o-meter. He presented himself as this decent, sensitive guy who was just being torn apart by everyone, including me, when I dared to call him on his actions. At first all his sob stories aroused my sympathy, because he really did appear to be a sweet guy. But I missed the subtle theme running through his words and actions, which were "I am not responsible for anything". Of course, if you challenge a guy or tell him no and he flies into a rage, that's a clear red flag. But puppy dog eyes, begging, pleading for sympathy and understanding, and turning it around to focus on your reaction is just as abusive.
  3. Thanks guys. I mean....I know I am still kind of in the "angry phase" and find it healing to identify all the unacceptable things my ex did and to let myself feel justified anger. But I hope I will not be harsh or unfair to people forever. I think my trust and openness will gradually return. I won't become a perpetually bitter, jaded person. I keep telling myself that, at any rate. And I recognize now that this guy's reaction was related to the fact that I didn't return his feelings and he wants to twist things to make me feel guilty and hopefully change my mind. I am going to block him. He's already starting in on the hoovering, as you predicted Quaddie. Ugh
  4. This one has a bit of a story that goes with it. A few months ago, I made a new acquaintance in an online spiritual group, a guy quite a bit younger than me. He was looking for a native English speaker to help him with his language skills. So the basis of our "friendship" is basically vocabulary and translations and stuff. He was always very respectful and didn't pressure me to do voice or video chats. I got the feeling that he wasn't attracted to me, and I was relieved by that - it could just be a nice mental distraction and nothing more. Slowly over the months we did share our personal lives a bit. I never got any vibe that he wanted to scam me or anything like that, we never flirt with each other, we really are just friends. But, in the past few weeks, the intensity of our "friendship" began to shift. He starts talking about how incredible I am, how stupid my ex is for mistreating me, how he's never met anyone like me before. It's all very flattering. Then he says I'm changing his life, I am a source of hope and inspiration. I am his most important friend, that he might die if he can't talk to me. Then he starts hinting that he wants a partner like me and wonders if he could fall in love with me. Then a few days later, he declares he does love me. At every stage I tell him firmly that I just want to be friends and I start pulling away. After the big "love reveal" I had a very strong emotional reaction, shaking and crying with sudden cold and fear. The things he said were SO reminiscent of what my ex abuser used to say in the beginning, like almost word-for-word. And back then I totally fell for it. It brought up all kinds of feelings - I liked being told these lovely things, but I was angry at myself for falling for it with my ex, so now I felt fear and suspicion when I heard similar compliments. I felt guilt about my past mistakes and also shame that I had walked into another nearly identical situation! I started to fear I would never feel good about receiving love and compliments. What if I never trusted in love ever again? Later I try to explain these things to him. He said something to me that made me immediately angry: "Do you notice that now I and the next guys in your life have become the victims of [my ex's] past rudeness? That now you can't believe or trust me because of what he did?" He talked about how I had "changed" since my heart was broken and that I mustn't "let myself become hard", otherwise not all men would be as understanding as he is, and find my attitude unattractive. He asked me if my Therapist agreed that I had become "more hard on people" since my breakup. I was getting SO many flashbacks to my ex abuser through all this, because I felt this was a similar thing that he used to do - debate the validity and wisdom of my emotional reactions, insist I had misinterpreted things and was jumping into irrational anger, encourage me to question myself and check with other sources on how to act, think or feel, and insinuate that I should be careful to appreciate his love and understanding, or else I might end up alone. The thing that was getting me stuck was that I felt very self-righteous during this exchange, something my ex abuser would accuse me of often, and shame me for. I honestly did think my "friend" was wrong to make such judgments about me when he didn't really know me, I was indeed self-righteous about that. But that doubt was still there. Was I taking offense over nothing? Was I over-sensitive about simple misunderstandings? Was I punishing innocent people just because I had been hurt in the past? Could they be right and I am wrong? I should also say that I found an online copy of "Why Does He Do That?" and I am reading it, so maybe I am extra-reactionary because I'm feeling so much validation and yet also having flashbacks from reading the book? Am I perhaps just in a state of heightened sensitivity?
  5. So True Quaddie, you make such a good point. Even if they WERE nice and decent, it wasn't the real deal. I remember being taken aback when my ex, who I thought was so caring, generous and helpful because he would offer to assist others and declared how important it was to be kind, would spend hours complaining about it after he helped someone. He pretended to love helping others because I guess it made him feel better about himself: like look at him, what a guy. He would send me screenshots of people's adoring emails fawning over how wonderful he was, even made me listen to phone messages where people thanked him. Like he was proving something. But he actually hated it, hated every minute of it. His "nice guy" routine was all fake. I read an article the other day about gaslighting in abusive relationships and how sometimes even when the abuser is "nice" - putting you on a pedestal, showering you with love and attention - it's common to have a fake, hollow feeling about it. And then of course to doubt yourself and ask what's wrong with you for feeling that way. But the hollow feeling comes from the fact that the abuser doesn't really see YOU, they aren't worshiping YOU. They are worshiping their image of you, not the actual you. That made so much sense to me. I remember that hollow feeling, like I was playing house but nothing was real. He bought me presents, he wanted to marry me, he called me his queen. Why wasn't I satisfied? Because I knew in my gut that he didn't really love ME, the actual me. I knew he considered me to be this irrational, pathetic, mean, confused, clueless, damaged, ugly charity case that he was working on "helping".
  6. Good for you, I wish I could give you a big hug and a high-five!!
  7. I think it is important to listen to your instincts. And your instincts are saying "Nah". And that is ok! It doesn't mean there is something wrong with him, or you - that you're too damaged from bad relationships to appreciate nice, decent men. Sometimes, that attraction is just not there, despite all the good intentions. This might make me sound very promiscuous, but when I first started online dating, I kissed a lot of guys. And like you, I often did not trust my own physical reactions (or lack thereof) because I was "damaged goods". I had experienced sexual abuse, so I thought maybe I just didn't know what attraction even felt like. So if a guy was nice, surely that should be enough and it was ME that needed to change and give people a fair chance. But I quickly realized that no matter how cool a guy might be on paper, how he checked off all the boxes in terms of "what I was looking for", if I couldn't get into kissing him, it wasn't fair to keep at it hoping my body and heart would suddenly react. At times I'd be sitting there kissing someone, acutely aware of every sound, not having a good time at all because I was trying so hard to ignore myself and give the connection a fair shot. And I felt awful about it. It wasn't fair for me, or for them! I remember suddenly realizing - imagine if I was with someone who was thinking this way about me....that I was "ok", but it just wasn't happening for them and they were forcing themselves to keep trying me out to see if their feelings would change. How awful that would feel! You deserve sparks, someone you are excited about, and so does he. I understand how hard it is to trust your own reactions though After 4 months I'd say your intuition is telling you something. This isn't just a knee-jerk reaction.
  8. Bennu, I know just what you mean. It is really quite tragic, isn't it, that the elusive "cure" for abuse that an abuser will never be able to reach is just...being nice. Something that they are capable of because most of them are functional human beings outside of the relationship! I once told the ex literally ALL he had to do was treat me with respect. Treat me like a friend, or even a co-worker. Like, use the same rules of conduct. Don't call people names, don't yell, don't use suicide threats, don't make others responsible for your reactions - like he is perfectly able to do with seemingly anybody else. THAT WAS IT, that was the big secret to "making me happy" that he was close to killing himself over because he couldn't figure it out. What a stupid waste. Fluffyflea, yes, the abuser drove fast. It made me very nervous driving at night with him - where he lived, the roads were rural, unlit at night, and twisted and turned sharply. He said he knew them really well and we would just barrel down them at top speed at night, sometimes in dangerous conditions - thick fog or slick with rain. Sometimes he was drunk, too. I'd express my concern but then he'd say he did it all the time, no big deal. It's that sense of entitlement. They think they know better than speed limits, speedometers, safety rules, laws, etc. They are special. Ah Hoping, I messed up the quoting function here, sorry for the mess! You are NOT being unfair by asking for someone who supposedly loves you to treat you nicely. That whole "I'm not perfect!!" response is a classic way of shifting the issue. Like, of course none of us are perfect, that's not the point. The proper response would require him admitting that you are feeling hurt and it is his fault and that he needs to change his behaviour - and this is like a death-threat to an abusive person. God forbid they have to examine their own actions!
  9. Wow, Over and Out, you do an amazing job thoroughly dissecting this issue and revealing the important truth behind it! Thank you so much for the time and effort you spent writing such great posts! You are absolutely right, I was getting mixed up on the logic of each statement because they used the same format - but the two things are not on par. I was not using fear as a tool to control - I was sharing my reaction and looking for understanding for a mutually beneficial solution. The abuser uses their reaction to manipulate and gain power over another person - NOT to reach a mutually beneficial solution. Even when I used nonthreatening phrasing (the classic "I feel _____ when ______") the abuser responded as though attacked. The difference is INTENT, you are absolutely right. At times he would try to martyr himself on my fear. If I spoke up about feeling threatened, he would start projecting judgement on himself, calling himself names, or claiming I was trying to censor him, or talking about doing something extreme in an effort to "solve" the problem (ie; sleeping on the street or killing himself). These were not genuine cries for help OR attempts at a solution. He was not interested in actually addressing the issue - only in regaining power and control of the situation. It is also possible now, as I am thinking about it, that he honestly saw my responses (such as crying and communicating my fear) as just as manipulative as his own, because that is how his mind ultimately works. It's a paranoid mess of manipulations and power struggles - every interaction is a battle of wills. My communication was translated as an attempt to gain power over him. Somebody always has to be the bad guy or the loser, and it wasn't gonna be him, so he had to use any method necessary to come out on top. Perhaps in his mind I really was an abusive manipulator, and anything I would have done would have been seen as abusively manipulative.... because he can't imagine how people could approach interactions any other way. And thank you for also responding Bennu, Vickeee and Blueskye, your words mean a lot to me. Once again this place has helped me see the truth of the matter, through the confusing fog of abuse I am so grateful!
  10. Hello everyone, it has been a while since I was last here! I have been focusing on healing since I ended my unhealthy relationship 3 months ago. 3 months no contact! One of the things I am doing is writing a book about it. The story of how I met my ex partner is actually a pretty interesting tale, and I thought writing about it might help me better understand myself, and what happened. Today I was writing about one of our arguments where the ex called me a hypocrite, and I was wondering if anyone had some insight about it. At the time, I was not able to defend myself against his accusation, and even now I am struggling to understand if I really WAS a hypocrite. As I'm sure might be familiar to a lot of you, at one point my then-partner told me: "You should think about what you are doing that makes me yell at you" - basically, making his anger my responsibility. If he was raging and lashing out, it is because of something I did, and so I was causing my own suffering by "making him" abusive. I remember trying to defend myself by saying "I am not responsible for your reactions". His reply was: "Then why am I responsible for causing your fear? You want to be a victim. Melinoe, you are a hypocrite". I never had a good answer for that. I remember feeling trapped by that logic. If nothing I did warranted his rage, then surely, nothing he did warranted my fear. I was choosing to be afraid. That old quote "Nobody makes you feel inferior without your consent" came hauntingly to mind. I could never figure out how to be unafraid in the face of his anger. Still, I feel there is some difference, I just cannot articulate it. It IS different somehow, blaming anger vs blaming fear. But how? Can anybody help me work through this so I can better understand it??
  11. omg, the ex said something eerily similar to me too...one minute he thought my therapist was putting ideas in my head, the next he was sure she would be on his side. I remember he wanted me to show her our text messages, because he thought she would tell me I was the issue, or that I was being unreasonable, and I thought "oh boy, I know exactly what she'd say if she saw these...and it would not go well for you".
  12. I haven't read this book myself, but my therapist mentioned the "dream woman" part to me, about how it explained that at the beginning of the relationship I was wonderful and flawless in his eyes: because I fit into his "dream woman" fantasy, and he barely knew me so it was easy to adore me. But once he saw I was a normal human with thoughts and feelings that challenged him, I slipped out of the "dream woman" box so he had to control, criticize and bully me back into the fantasy. I wonder if I had read that book, and tried to write up an agreement, if it would have worked? Probably not, since he thought I was the abusive one, and we couldn't even have conversations about feelings. I can imagine a lot of people would see such an agreement as a threat. I didn't realize Evans wasn't a licensed therapist.... that is kind of disappointing. I did read her book "Victory Over Verbal Abuse" and found it helpful, and of course her "Verbally Abusive Relationship" book was the one that clued me in to the fact that I was in an escalating verbally abusive situation! Edit: oh whoops I didn't see the original date on this thread! Haha
  13. Thank you for this post! I struggle with this a lot because I do beleive that we have the power to change ourselves, but I know that most abusers choose not to change. I got a weird little blip from my ex, via triangulation, where our former landlady called me to tell me he was in therapy because he realized he had "commitment issues". It made me wonder if he was actually not abusive at all, if he was really seeking out help. Maybe I was wrong about him, and he would heal all that anger and self-hatred he put on other people. I've often wondered if I'll ever hear from him again (after 12 years of no contact, it freaks me out to think that really any amount of time can pass and they'll still sneak up into your life like that), and if I should do the "right thing" (as you thought) by being civil and responding. But I realize that even if he does become one of the rare few who truly changes for the better, the fact is it won't do any good with me. And getting back in contact would only cause more pain and confusion, because they really don't change - they just change tactics. Let them go off and be healed, changed beings with someone else, that's fine, whatever. It's ok to take care of ourselves, that's the right thing to do! I gotta remember that. Thank you again for sharing this!
  14. Good one Darci! This was something that started happening for me near the end! He actually asked me a couple times if my friends, my therapist, or someone else was influencing me. He didn't seem to believe that I could be having these thoughts of my own accord. I was misunderstanding, making assumptions, being influenced by someone else, it "wasn't the real Melinoe" speaking, I didn't know what normal was, etc etc etc. It was so diminishing and alienating. Huge red flag.
  15. Ugh! This really resonates with me. The betrayal is everywhere because not only are you betrayed by the abuser, but they are so good at manipulating you into believing that you have betrayed yourself. That it was all you, even when they admit that they did something wrong - it was still you who trusted and forgave them, you who believed in them and doubted yourself, and wasted your efforts. I remember that feeling of realization, knowing that things were irreparably broken, and he blamed me for it, and I blamed me for it too, even as I knew it truly was because of his choices and actions. Because he had been so good at encouraging that inner sense of betrayal, that weird ouroboros of powerful powerlessness - he didn't DO anything, but if he did I had LET IT happen, so the fact that it was his fault was actually my fault. Total brain meltdown. Don't beat yourself up or think the expression of your good qualities were wasted! Yeah he doesn't/didn't deserve them, but that is nothing on you. He chooses to be undeserving. Being a good decent person who sees the best in others is never a waste. You are expressing the most beautiful aspects of your heart, that is what they are there for. He will try to poison those parts of you so that you feel bad about it, regret that you have such qualities, maybe even stop using them. Celebrate the fact that despite all the blame, abuse, and negativity he is trying to sling at you, those good parts of you can not be destroyed. It is a sign of your strength and brilliance, not a sign of waste and weakness!