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whitebutterfly11

Underhanded Attacks in Public?

18 posts in this topic

Once again, after two years of being here on Our Place, I still find myself scratching my head. The kind of abuse (if we can call it abuse) that I experience flies waaaaaay under the radar, to the point where I have no idea. Just no idea, if it's me or it's him or what.

Today H spoke behind a podium, in public. The topic? Being kind. (I know.)

He stood up there, smiling ear-to-ear, the perfect image of a good man. I fully believe he thinks himself to be the image he projects. Absolutely. I also fully believe that others see him through the good man lens as well, because I hear it all the time. And because my community . . . well, let's just say that they are satisfied with what they see on the surface. If you "come out" as a deep thinker who *gasp* doesn't take anything at face value, you are looked at as rebellious, emotional, and troublesome. No one takes the truth seriously here. The truth must be stuffed down and pacified with smiles and fake holograms of who you really are. People in my community can't handle deep truth.

Anyway, H is up there speaking about kindness. He brings up examples of how people should stop picking other people apart for useless things. How people should stop being impatient toward others, especially yelling and losing their temper. (Keep in mind this is a few days after he accused me of being too angry and snappy at the kids). He then spoke about how people should stop being so stressed out that they aren't being kind anymore, or forgiving. How people who let stress take over often take out that stress on other people nearest to them. Then he talked about how great it is do good things, help others who are in need of help, reach out to the comfortless, control our tempers, etc.

I can guarantee, if I confronted H on his words, telling him that I felt like he was using the podium to put me in my place, he would act bewildered and say that the speech was directed toward him and not me. But . . . I don't know. I feel weird about this. I couldn't even look at him as he spoke. I shouldn't have even been there in the first place because it made me feel like my community was even more likely to see him as a good guy and me as a crazy, rebellious, ungrateful spouse.

It's not even worth bringing it up with him, because he'll tell me that he was speaking to himself and his "weaknesses". Yet I feel attacked. Because he's done this kind of thing before, in so many different ways, where he'll indirectly humiliate me or try and teach me a lesson by mirroring what he feels is "righteous" behavior back at me. Almost always in public, where I can't call him out.

This all, of course, messes with my self perception, makes me feel like the bad guy, or the one who needs to be repentant and humble. It weighs me down with guilt for not being calm enough, or for the moments I do lose my cool.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

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Another thought, even he he were speaking to himself, as in, using the podium to admit to his own weaknesses in his behavior, it still isn't enough to make up for all the damage years and years of his abuse caused. Even if he were referring to himself in some act of humility, it's not going to magically change anything. In fact, it feels like it places more pressure on me to forgive him because he's admitting to it in public, with all of these witnesses there to hear that he understands how to properly act now.

I can't explain it well, but either way, it hurts.

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He was totally doing that. Women and children have been controlled in this way for centuries. It is disgusting.

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"Fake holograms" - what a good way to put it.

He wasn't speaking of himself. Or if he was, it was to be fake-humble.

The technical term for all this in the business world is "Impression management."

I think the abusers who abuse covertly within the framework of a religious community are among the worst, because it messes with a person in so many dimensions.

I think that no matter what, there was some element of agenda within his speech - even if we can't put our fingers on it. I get that sense, too.

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Don't doubt yourself,you are right on.

"Fake holograms" - what a good way to put it.

He wasn't speaking of himself. Or if he was, it was to be fake-humble.

The technical term for all this in the business world is "Impression management."

I think the abusers who abuse covertly within the framework of a religious community are among the worst, because it messes with a person in so many dimensions.

I think that no matter what, there was some element of agenda within his speech - even if we can't put our fingers on it. I get that sense, too.

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I think his talk also serves to set himself up as Mr Wonderful who couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong. I think his speech is also a way of ensuring you will not be believed or receive the support of your community. Keeping you without a support base keeps you right where he wants under his control.

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White Butterfly.............have you ever looked at the site "Crying out for Justice"?? He sounds like he is using the podium/pulpit to advance his own insidious agenda of submission and abuse.........and garnering support for minimizing marital difficulties or arguments..........

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I appreciate your replies. Thanks for validating--it's the only contrasting opinion that I have to what the people around me are telling me.

He's tried to "practice what he preaches" this week so far by keeping that humble grin on his face at all times, and trying to be painstakingly kind, especially when I'm losing patience and not being kind myself.

I think he's on a high from the feedback he received from the people who heard his "sermon". A lot of people really loved his speech. In fact, a neighbor came over today with homemade treats and a card telling him that his speech changed the way they looked at things, and what a wonderful example he was. He's got a really humble/kind/personable presence in the community. People can see no wrong in him.

But me? I'm looked at as fragile, sensitive, overreactive. And not just in a church setting but no matter where I go, around my own parents and siblings, everyone. About the only person who sees strength and goodness in me is my therapist. I wish I could lean on her words and believe them more than I do, and it's not that I don't, but it's that she's one person whom I see once a week, and in order to shift my perception of self, I'd have to have daily reminders. On the days I see therapist, I'm feeling like I can conquer the word, but by the next day I'm already in doubt. It takes so little to start believing the negative stuff and to push out any good that might propel me out.

Then I have H, who is fake nice. Whom I can't really point fingers at because most of the time he's not doing things that merit the abuse label. That and I'm too dismissive about stuff. I'm somehow deluded into believing that I must put up with fake nice for the rest of my life, because at least he's being nice. At least he's going to church (unlike me, most of the time). At least he's giving speeches about kindness that everyone loves. At least, at least. Count your blessings, WB. Stop being so negative. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're too sensitive.

These tape recordings in my mind play on constant repeat.

My MIL sent me an email a few days ago saying her own father was abusive, not just to her but to her mother. And how she had just found her mother's old journals and read about how much pain she was in, how badly she was treated. For a moment I thought: "she gets it! She understands what I'm going through!" But then she said she had a dream about her mom and dad in heaven and they were happy, so it was worth her mom going through all of that because in the end, they were happy in heaven. Then she related that to my own marriage and how whatever problems I was facing with H would be resolved in heaven, if they couldn't be resolved in my lifetime.

Sadly, she's not the first to tell me exactly that. I can think of at least two others, both in positions of authority in my life.

It's all messing with my mind and making me feel absolutely crazy. I want out of this. I want freedom. I don't want to live with fake nice for the rest of my life, but that's what is expected of me. That's what I have to do unless I want to be ostracized, or shamed, or made to feel so guilty that it seems like it might not be worth it to live with that guilt forever.

I have been to Crying out for Justice, and found some validation there. Still so much in denial that I don't feel like I have a strong enough case to be among those who are being abused. I just can't see it clearly, and I feel either really crazy for not seeing that I'm being abused, or (more likely) prone to believe it's just me, and I'm overreacting and being sensitive when there's no abuse going on.

Thanks again for your supportive words.

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I'm so sorry Whitebutterfly11. It sounds so hard. Can you make some friends outside of your church community? Can you join a knitting circle or book club with people who don't belong to your church? That might help.

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I read, like, the first few sentences and had to run down here to say this:

Omg. How do you keep from puking???

It would be a really good idea to get some social contacts from outside that pressure.

Your MIL's words....wow. Forgive me, I might be a little ...I hope I don't offend. But there is just so much wrong with what she said. For one thing, from the spiritual perspective(maybe?), she is a human person (she is not God, whatever your religion may be) and she cannot know with any kind of certainty what allegedly happened to her parents after they died, or how they (if they have feeling spirits) actually feel in their afterlife. There is no conceivable way for her to really know that. Any "knowledge" she may have is just...projection or fantasy, or spouting "what people say" and then assuming that's what her parents "feel" now that they are dead. She can't possibly know.

So by her logic, anything that happens in life is all worth it because once you're dead, you're happy?

I was going to try to get into this more, but I'm running really late and I have to go. But I know I don't have the religious aspect of all this ingrained, but her perspective seems sort of.... crazy?...to me? Because it's like a bunch of fantasy based on other fantasy and.... I still can't wrap my brain around the assumption that her parents are happy now that they're dead which makes all the horrible abuse worthwhile.

Yeah, that's crazymaking...

WB, you're never going to get not that the pressure and guilt and shame from that community. It's what they're programmed to do. So trying to get logic and reason and empathy and understanding and validation from those who are so programmed to do the opposite is like going to the toxic well to get clean water.

The answer is outside your community. Unfortunately, you're never going to get the validation you need from within those who are programmed to give you the opposite.

:(

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Yes, it is all puketastic. Just awful, creepy stuff that used to be all I knew.

Thankfully I'm not giving into now. It's becoming more and more obvious that it's not okay, even if people are "just trying to help".

Telling someone that they have to live the rest of their lives in pain, because everything will magically resolve after death seems absurd. This concept of sacrificing personal happiness and wellbeing in order to have a blissful afterlife is one of the many cookie-cut answers I've heard spew out like fortune cookie messages when you ask someone in my community to give you an honest opinion.

It doesn't work. I'm not buying it, but it still hurts to not be able to have the support system.

I feel like I'm blazing a trail, and that trail is somehow bad, or will punish me, or something . . . because I've been conditioned to believe it.

It's unraveling decades of mind control and guilt.

It's even learning to say: "Hey, they can believe whatever they want, and that's okay, but it's not what I believe anymore."

Funny how it's easy to see the spiritual abuse as ridiculous, but seeing H as ridiculous is so hard.

I hope I can get there with him, too, hopefully soon.

I do have a support group and the people in that group are not affiliated with my community, so they offer validation and clarity. They've been amazing. I just don't get to see them very often anymore, so I might need to look for other groups. Hard to do when H is around, wondering where I go, seeing me veer off the religious path. He doesn't condemn me for it directly, but again, his speeches speak otherwise.

((Thank you))

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What if you ended up in heaven with him and he was still being abusive?

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whitebutterfly11

There is a counselor named Patrick Doyle that I had listened to before and had liked. I tried to find that video and found another one by him that is titled "Unsafe Relationships". I watched it and I really felt good about what he said. I hope you will consider watching this. The show is Focus Today. I went to you tube and put in Patrick Doyle and found the title "Unsafe Relationships".

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Gosh, this topic hits home for me.

I know all wives a supposed to be happy that their husband has enough courage to speak in public. I really am sorry you had to endure that embarrassing act of Bull Shift. You see if he truly had humility when he spoke he would have used feelings at how he hurt his wife. How everytime he does that action he cause her to not want to be a vibrant woman. There was no humility and truth to his true nature. He is not connected with it and this is why when he actually speaks in public. He believes himself. He gets the pats on the back and clears himself more. He is preaching through his ego and false self. He is not connected to how he treats you or who he really is.

You have PTSD and you know what you are not resolved. To experience him with forward moving motion like that is painful. If he was aware of this disorder and the pain you have he would be caring to wait till your more healed. This was one of the problems I had. The comprehension was never going to come for me. I am talking to another lady and she is having the same issue.She had to divorce and she was struggling with forward moving actions because she has so much to heal from. They do not believe they are the cause and do not connect to what happened. The healing has to happen externally without the original people (narc involved)

The only area he had going for him is that when you preach you do not have to be a perfect person. You are delivering a perfect message from god but you yourself are imperfect. This would not be a problem if it was a standard relationship. You have had so many controlling areas over you that it is not a good idea for him to preach till you're healed. Just saying it would definitely bring up some conversation if you presented it that way. Show the lack of connection and what it does to you because he has not allowed you to heal before you move forward. Healing takes time. He will not like the idea one bit.

It was not the sermon it was his lack of connection to who he is and how he make you feel.

My EX could do the same but he did this thing where he would pretend to confess and represent sorrow or remorseful. Then say but she did this and pull out a very bad image that was never in my heart. He was trying to change the way people saw me. I was ever part of the equation. Even when I told him the truth it was not recognised. It was a social control and it affected my relationships.

I will not forget that they wanted to honour the people that were in the church as unpaid staff and asked them to stand up so the congregation could applaud. He stood up to take the recognition. We both worked and we were not leading anything. I stayed in my chair and tugged on his hand to sit and he refused. I was embarrassed and he did nothing to hear who he was. People congratulated him later and he even admitted he wanted to be staff. This EGO JOKE was actually taken seriously. People were thinking because he lied and was arrogant he would be perfect. This is why these guys get so far. They do not come back and say hey who do you think you are? This is why they go far in the church structure. You know when my EX got a church job I ended up doing the work why they would clap for him. He never stood up and celebrated me.

The Governer even sat on the toilet for an hour every night and read a book called the lion never sleeps. It was a book with all the sins listed and what they do. He became really manipulative after reading that book. I believe he was reverse engineering it to win. Whatever he did in his faith just made him more clever. The humility never touched the zones. The kindness did not flow. He still had a big ego and he would be really harsh with me while kind and calm in front of everyone else.

This subtle abuse is worse because it makes you feel shame and guilt all the time. When you have not done anything wrong. The anger spews and your heart feels like it is dying. Those type of wounds takes longer to heal because it attacks your faith core! This is your closest area to god and you. The intimacy is just not there.

​Have to stop writting panic attack.

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whitebutterfly11

There is a counselor named Patrick Doyle that I had listened to before and had liked. I tried to find that video and found another one by him that is titled "Unsafe Relationships". I watched it and I really felt good about what he said. I hope you will consider watching this. The show is Focus Today. I went to you tube and put in Patrick Doyle and found the title "Unsafe Relationships".

THE VIDEO IS GREAT!!!!

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Hoping, I really appreciate the video you linked. It eerily described exactly what I'm dealing with. It was nice to have someone voice my deepest. unsettled fears and struggles in this situation, and I was validated by it. Thank you.

Morning Glory, I'm so sorry that you've dealt with this same, relentless and brainwashing type of abuse. :( There are no words for it, mainly feelings. Feelings which are doubted and second-guessed over and over again until we are immune and despondent to it all.

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whitebutterfly11

I'm glad it helped and you are welcome.

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Yes it is abuse at the core of your soul. The damage is must worse than others. It targets your faith and connection which is quite intimate. I am still feeling the stress of this after the divorce. Someone just befriended me on Facebook I sent them a request five years ago. (they dumped me after a talk with my ex probably all lies) They have been friends with my EX this whole time and I can't sort through the lies. That invisible stress was causing me distress and I had to realize that it is a perceived fear with the valid abuse tied to it. I am still trying to move forward and not be sketched into the manipulative forum he used to make me look like the evil housewife. I have to believe people can know me and I have to be honest but at the same time. I am now in control of my life. I have decided that anyone that knew me with the governor never really knew me. For one I do not fall all over people anymore to get friends. If they do not participate I will find friends that will be a part of my life. I found myself falling into old patterns of thinking even after many years have passed. I am looking forward to setting up new patterns and moving on. I am done talking about abuse with friends. and moving towards a life without it. I will have always have the abuse it happened but I can be the best version of a healed woman. This is something I can now do now that I am out. If I can save a friendship is not for me to determine. Either they were my friends or they are not. I am focused on positive things in life not their issues. I am done protecting and sorting through the lies. I do call people to being good people and accepting the circumstances. It might make them uncomfortable but I do not care. Abuse is that way there is a discord and nothing good comes from it. My faith meant nothing living in that abuse. I had to redo all of my core values after I got out.

The funny thing I stayed going to church and the governor has not stepped a foot in church since the divorce. Who is the emotional liar it was about god not me right? That must be so hard for him to not have that support. He can't have faith without it. Boy must be my fault. LOL

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