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  • 09-03-2017, 04:28 AM
    Been thinking about this whole subject...'is it or is it not abuse'.

    Clearly what constitutes legal abuse varied between counties cultures and even states. Bit is not too hard to pin down what applies in a particular area, can do this via the local DV shelter, or Community Law Centre or if you have the resources by checking with a lawyer. What I find less cut and dried is how to define behaviours that do not reach the legal thresh-hold needed to be called unlawful...a lot of the not ok behaviour I lived with (and found very distressing) fell into this category - upsetting but not outside the law...not things that the authorities had power to do anything about - or were interested in interested it. Things like being insulted, demeaned and emotionally manipulated, having no say in situations that impacted on me and such.

    Since coming to Fort I have realised that behaviour does not have to be illegal to have a serious impact on those who live with it. Indeed as a survivour of both illegal (rape and physical violence) and the not ok but not illegal stuff like that I mentioned above I now believe that any and all of these behaviours have the potential to cause trauma not only at the time but in the longer-term.

    I am now at the point of believing that it is immaterial whether what has upset me is legally defined as abuse...what is more important is what it was like for me to live through...whether I perceived it as traumatic, whether it has left me feeling hurt and damaged. It has left me feeling lesser, needing help and support to heal from.

    Have a personal example. As a child among other things I was blamed, punished and made to suffer for stuff that was outside my control. Later as an adult I had a relationship with a partner who also was quick to unjustly blame me. I found this aspect of their treatment of me hard to bear...could not take it in my stride. Other people may have been able to but my previous history made me very sensitive and reactive to what they were doing - continued to do even though I told them I found it unfair and hurtful.

    My thoughts for what they are worth.
  • 04-24-2017, 05:01 PM
    I've been going over my history... I see a pattern in being incapacitated
  • 03-22-2017, 05:04 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    can you get a restraining order for mental and emotional abuse as well as verbal?
    might wanna ask a lawyer in your country/state? laws differ from place to place, and we aren't qualified to offer legal advice
  • 03-22-2017, 03:33 AM

    restraining order

    can you get a restraining order for mental and emotional abuse as well as verbal?
  • 11-26-2016, 03:47 PM


    I went through a horrible expereince when I was younger and it reminds me of your situation. I'm glad you found someone that is worthy of you! I tild myself you cant appreciate the beauty of light without a defining shadow. we are able to appreciate the good, because we know what bad really is.
    I hope you have told him your story, if not when you do I hope he as understanding as he seems!
  • 11-25-2016, 02:21 PM

    So sorry you are in this position.
    I cannot speak for another, just myself.
    What matter isn't how I categorize the situation for you, but how you feel about it and if it is or isn't working for you or is or isn't harmful to the child, soon to be children.

    So, in line with speaking for me...
    I was in an abusive situation. I ended up going to a domestic violence shelter that my T referred me to. It was not as bad as many may think. I certainly would not have guessed it to be a safe place, but it actually was. The other women there were focused on getting their stuff together to leave asap. They were building resumes, applying for jobs, or food stamps, all with support of staff. No one was stagnant and no one was harmful to one another.

    Sure not all shelters are that way I am sure.

    So another situation, My child was a toddler, and I was living with my mom who was emotionally and verbally abusive. Sure, my immediate idea was that it HAD to be better than a homeless shelter. Well, I really wasn't feeling too good about exposing my child to her abuse, even if I was there to intervene and it was limited. After much personal deliberation, I decided... Well, option #1 is I KNOW my son is being exposed to abuse. While Option #2, a homeless shelter, idk. Maybe abusive, maybe violent, but idk.

    Often for me, the unknown is the most scary option.

    However, I took a huge leap of faith and decided to leave my mom's and enter the homeless shelter system with my toddler child.

    I will never regret making that decision for us. It really helped me to start owning my choices and taking back control of our lives.

    Sure, it could have turned out different.
    Sure, fear of the unknown coulda been worse and damaging.

    Yet, just simply saying...
    Sometimes our fear of the unknown is worse than reality of it.

    At my mom's, I knew there would be just verbal and emotional abuse, not physical.
    In the shelter, I had no idea what to expect. My biggest fear was physical assault.

    I ended up staying in the shelter about three months before I found a place on my own. Was not nearly as awful in real life as it was in my mind.

    Just saying cause sometimes I have prematurely have eliminated viable Options.
    IMO, not a good idea to eliminate ANY options while in crisis. All are viable. Yet, that is my opinion, no substitute for any other.
  • 11-24-2016, 11:10 PM

    idk, we can't really say if you're being abused or not, is up to you really whether you think it's abuse. Now, imo, his behavior is out of line at the very least but what one person can put up with and not feel abused is unbearable to others. You say forced affection, if you mean forced sex that is rape by law where I am - doesn't matter if you live together, are dating, married, etc., if you say no and he keeps going it's legally rape. A lot of the things you said he is saying are common in abusive relationships, such as saying he's making you stronger.

    Another thing I try to remember is that being in a relationship is a choice. It doesn't have to be abuse to leave. You can leave him if you don't like the way he chews or sneezes. I mean, you don't have to have a reason other than you are somehow unhappy with the relationship and don't wanna be in it.

    There may be local dv shelters that could help you if you feel you need to leave. They at least can give you insight on your rights in your area and may be able to provide you and your children housing. Things are a little different everywhere, so idk what the dv shelters where you are can do, but you can call them and ask questions without having to leave. They may be able to help you plan an exit strategy that doesn't require you to give up your hard work in school and your career. He can't just up and take the kids cuz you left him, just doesn't work that way and is considered kidnapping. Not to scare you, but in some places staying in an abusive relationship while a small child is at home is considered child abuse and can result in the kids going to foster care. Way bigger disruption imo than moving, even if it would be such a huge stressful move. I'm not saying it's easy (or fair), not by a long shot, and everyone's situation is different. Not telling you what to do, that is absolutely 100% up to you. I know it's not as easy as "just leave him", especially given you have a small one and are pregnant as well, just that you may want to look into the laws in your area to see what you can do and what you have to do by law. Far as I know being homeless isn't grounds to have your children removed, so that's not likely a concern.

    I am sorry to hear how you and your daughter are being treated. It's a terrible situation to be so incredibly unhappy in a relationship. Whatever you decide is best for you, I hope it pans out for you.
  • 11-24-2016, 08:18 PM

    Am I in an abusive relationship, or am I just going crazy?

    This is my relationship right now, with my boyfriend....
    He intentionally pushes all of my buttons and pulls at every nerve (insulting me, pointing out all my flaws), then he says it's "for my own good", he thinks he's making me stronger, thinks he's "training" me. He forces affection on me and admits that he does it just to piss me off, but when I do get pissed off, he retaliates at starts a fight with me. He tries to control me and my daughter, he tells me how to raise her because he thinks I'm not doing a good enough job. He criticizes everything about me, to the point where I feel bad about myself and he says "it's your fault you feel bad about yourself" and "since you feel bad about yourself, I'll make you feel bad about yourself too". He does all of this because he thinks (or claims) it helps me. He gets angry over small things, gets angry that I can't have sex right now because of pregnancy-related health issues (then he threatens to cheat on me) then screams in my face, throws things, breaks things, and when I retaliate with an angry response or cry from having a nervous breakdown, he only gets worse. One of our horrible fights, it was caused by a simple conversation about bills, I merely said that since I'll be on maternity leave (my already low income will be cut in half) and he is getting a huge raise and promotion at his job, that it might not be fair (or even possible) that I pay 50% of all the expenses. This sent him into an angry stupor, yelling at me, accusing me of being a "lazy *****" and not wanting to work. I try to explain that I can't work, since I am growing and carrying his child, and will have to stay home for a little while to take care of our new born child. This just makes him even worse, he says "Oh, so you'll have it easy, sitting on your lazy ass at home with the baby while I actually WORK to provide for you!" My daughter was in the house, she witnessed everything and heard him yelling at me, she saw me break down, huddled on the ground crying and hyperventilating (he would not stop yelling). Some of you may think I overreacted, or maybe I'm a drama queen, but having chronic depression/anxiety is not easy,especially when you throw pregnancy hormones in the mix. It traumatized her, she broke down too from seeing me in that state, and that broke my heart even more. She jumped to my side, holding onto me and crying, yelling at him and defending me.
    It shouldn't be this difficult, everything feels so difficult, I feel like I'm in a cage with high voltage bars, and each day the cage gets smaller and smaller, it's closing in on me.
    After our fights he apologizes and says he feels bad, that he loves me. He apologizes to my daughter too and tries to buy both us off, tries to buy our forgiveness with gifts or dinners. But the fights just happen again...they happen almost every day.
    All of my friends and family say that I should just leave him...that simple, huh? Just leave. Like it's that easy. The only thing is...where would I go? I have no one that I know in the city I live in who would house me and my daughter (and my unborn child). I would have two choices: Be homeless (in a high crime, highly homeless populated community) with my two children, and most likely get them taken away by C.F.S., or move back in with my parents (who live two hours away). The second option may seem like the better choice, but please try to see things from my point of view: my daughter's dad (from my previous marriage) and step sister and half brother live in our city, if we moved away, she would be distanced from her family and almost never see them again, she would also have to switch schools (again) and leave all of her friends behind. She has A.D.D., so huge changes in routine just mess her up. Also, I would have to abandon my schooling and completely forfeit my future career, flushing all of my invested time, money and effort down the toilet. Mine and my children's' lives would be turned completely upside down by either outcome.
    When ever I talk about leaving, he threatens me with things like taking our baby away from me and making sure he gets full custody, and replace me with some other woman to be our child's mother. He says that if I leave, he'll make my life a living hell. But I feel like I'm already in hell...and I feel like there's no way out. Not right now, anyways. I wish I could just leave him, I wish it were that simple. I think that my best option (at this point) would be to wait out the storm, once I am able to go back to work and I have my degree, get a well paying career so I don't have to rely on his money anymore and I'll be able to stand on my own two feet and be able to support myself and my children. I'll also be sure to get a good lawyer, a court order for him to pay child support and I will allow him (supervised) visitation rights for our child.
    How do I keep my sanity for the time-being?
  • 11-14-2016, 12:19 PM

    Not Alone

    This makes me feel a lot better about how I feel about my parents. What I struggle with most is validating how I feel, whether my hurts are legitimate. It's always been drilled into my head that I'm too sensitive, that I'm disrespectful when I voice that the things my parents do hurt me. I try to understand them, but I can't forget that they. hurt. me. What hurts most is they refuse to recognize it. The more I realize that people who take on the role of the abuser live in fear. I hope one day to fully realize that the being in the dark corner isn't a big scary monster, but a silhouette of mist that confuses me and doesn't make sense.

    I believe that the people who consistently hurt you have no solid basis upon which to give you validation. Over time when a person independently discovers his/ her own beauty, that's what counts. I can't keep waiting and hoping for my parents to change. They'll never understand that they put themselves before me, emotionally, that they emotionally dehydrate me.

    You're not alone in this feeling. I try to tell myself to look in the mirror and see myself with my own eyes, not my parents'. At the end of the day, I am the only person who will be there for myself 24/7.

    Wishing you love and healing
  • 11-14-2016, 12:58 AM
    hey jean

    idk whats your story, but whether its abuse or not is your call to make, not ours. fort is open to anyone who believes they have been abused and wants to talk of coping/recovering from the aftermath of this trauma: ptsd, depression, etc. some people are here because they were gang raped and now cant sleep because of night terrors. others are here because their parents didnt love them much and now they cant form meaningful relationships and feel lonely and inadequate. we dont judge whose story is "bad enough" and whose isnt, what matters is that we all have problems as a result of something someone did to us that they shouldnt have done, so we come together to talk of how we overcome these problems and rebuild our lives.

    fort is not a hotline, where people wait in line to get connected to a volunteer who'll talk to them. its a peer support group. there are no volunteers, its people like you talking to each other, and everyone is free to respond or not respond to anything they wish. so you wont be taking anything away from anyone, you'll be adding to the community: your story might help someone feel less alone in their struggle, and your insight might help someone else tackle their problem.

    hope this helps
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