Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Boundaries & Detachment

Lessons About Emotional Detachment / Boundaries

Part 1: The Incredible Shrinking Relatives
Learning to set boundaries is part of the healing process after any form of abuse. This task can be complicated. It seems there will always be people who want to upset you. They could be family members who deny that abuse took place. They could be the offenders or their allies who are still a part of your life. Their comments, expressions, or attitudes can hurt you and make your life much more difficult.

You handle people like this by using an emotional tool called detachment. Like any other emotional process, it is a skill you can learn. It takes practice. But keep working, and you will diminish the effect these people have on your life.

Let Go
Stock Phrases
Set Boundaries
Handling the Rough Stuff
Take Care of Yourself First
Practice, Practice, Practice
Make Them Smaller

The first step to detachment is to "shrink" the unhealthy person.
Make the person a smaller part of your life by making other parts of your life bigger. Start a new hobby, a job, learn something new, focus on other people, join a club, take a class, have more contact with friends - you get the idea. The only way to reduce someone's power over your life is to fill your time with other people, places, and things to squeeze them out.

This equation in emotional mathematics means adding things to your life automatically reduces the space taken up by unhealthy people and relationships. Expand your horizons. Occupy your mind with new ideas. The unhealthy person will occupy a smaller portion of your mind, and therefore your life.

Let Go
The unhealthy people in your life use guilt to keep you enslaved. When you begin to detach, you are upsetting the status quo, and they will use guilt to bludgeon you back into place.

Resisting this tactic is difficult but not impossible. Learn to recognize the guilt trip. Think about why they are doing this. You are trying to take care of yourself, and some people will go to great lengths to stop you. They want to maintain the status quo.

Accept that these unhealthy people will never grant their approval. This is a vital part of letting go. In fact, withholding approval is a most effective weapon to keep you enslaved.

When you let go, and honestly don't care if they approve of you, they will have a hard time hiding their surprise. Watch as they mentally scramble to think of another tactic to keep you entangled.

Realize that the other person's problem is not yours. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that no matter how hard you try, you can never, ever, ever change how another person acts. The only thing you can change is your reaction to them. You can fight the guilt they inspire. You can take care of yourself.

Stock PhrasesThe unhealthy people in your life often try to catch you off guard, or will try to ensnare you in a hopeless problem. The response to both tactics is to memorize some stock phrases. Some examples: "Hm. Interesting." "Wow, that's too bad." Or my favorite: "Huh. What are you going to do about that?" The last one is very effective, since these people want you to fix their problems. This response turns the tables on them. You express interest without offering to fix the problem, and force them to offer solutions. Then you conclude with, "Well, that sounds like a good plan. Good luck with it!"

When I felt required to fix things for other people, I remember my therapist asking, "Has this person been declared incompetent? Has the state institutionalized them? No? Then they have the ability to act responsibly and fix this by themselves."

This good point inspires another type of stock response: flattery. "You're a smart person. I have confidence in your ability to solve this." How can they argue with that? Are they going to insist that they're not smart?

Part 2: Set Your Boundaries
It is critical to spend less time with the person you are detaching from. You can decline invitations. You can make excuses and stay away. You can claim illness. You can complain about your crowded work schedule, or how busy you are with the kids. Sure, you have been taught that it's wrong to lie. Well, in this case, it's good to lie. Taking care of yourself is more important than showing up every time. Besides, they lie to you all the time, don't they?

Another effective tactic using this point is to complain at length about how busy you are. The person you're detaching from doesn't care about your problems. Often, they want to talk about their problems. If they keep hearing about your problems, they may stop calling.

Handling The Rough Stuff
The person you're detaching from can be very abusive.

Often, the reward they seek is to see the hurt in your eyes and the feeling of power they receive from being the cause of that hurt.

Recognizing this fact will give you unexpected power. The verbal jab is blunted when you know it's only meant to hurt you. And you can deny them the pleasure they seek. Don't debate the point. They want to keep the topic going because they know it's hurting you. Think of the verbal jab as a spitball thrown at you. If you laugh, or pretend you didn't hear it, or do anything else instead of looking hurt, it's the equivalent of ducking and letting the spitball sail by. Shrug off the comment as lightly as possible, and then bring up a topic of your own -- one that you know is distasteful to your tormentor. Doing this will deny them their reward, and give negative reinforcement. Eventually, they will stop attacking you. Bullies like an easy target.

Some examples are in order here. I know a man with verbally abusive parents. He learned to respond -- every time! -- by talking about his brother, who was gay. He described his brother's romantic exploits with enthusiasm, knowing his parents were very uncomfortable with the whole subject.

I know a woman whose uncle was verbally abusive and constantly made comments about her childhood molestation by another uncle. This woman learned to respond by staring at him, appearing distracted (and pretending she wasn't listening), then pointing to a spot on her uncle's face, neck or arms, and asking, "Does that look cancerous to you? Maybe you should get it checked."

Her uncle knew she was saying that as a defense. But he still hated it. And he stopped bothering her.

Take Care Of Yourself
In every life, there are other parts that are good. You have a right and a duty to focus on the good parts. If you have a good husband and child, or sweet pets who adore you, but your mother is making your life a living hell, give yourself permission to focus your time and energy on the good things.

Remember the old phrase, "Listen to your gut?" Don't do that. The unhealthy people in your life use guilt and manipulation to inspire a gut reaction from you. I remember my therapist telling me, "Of course they're good at pushing your buttons! They installed them!" Instead, use your intellect to talk back to your gut feelings. You know that person is no good for you. You know your energies are better spent elsewhere. Take care of yourself. Do what's right for you. Say to yourself over and over again, "Taking care of myself must be my first emotional priority."

There's a book that is very helpful for this step. It's called Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns. Buy it and read it.

Practice, Practice, Practice
When you start this process, realize that you will slip up. You have spent all of your life in your relationship with this person, so give yourself a break. Don't punish yourself if you don't detach perfectly. Learn from every experience and try to do a little better next time. Be patient and persistent.

Detaching is a vital skill to practice on someone you are unable or unwilling to completely shut out of your life. You can even still love that person if you want to, even though you have detached. Your goal is to recognize the relationships that are not good for you, and make them a smaller part of your life. You can still care about unhealthy people, if you choose. But at the same time, you can prevent them from running (or ruining) your life.

Doug Larsen is a trained grassroots women's advocate.

Doug has counseled battered women, rape survivors, handled the Crisis Hotline, and has looked into the eyes of four-year-old molested children. He also chairs a local HIV/AIDS support group.

Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from St. Olaf College and -- almost -- has a Master's in Business Communication from The University of St. Thomas. He just never got around to writing his darned thesis.

From Douglas Larsen:
"I believe that education and communication are keys to preventing abuse and incest. Whether you are a survivor, friend, or family member, you will find resources available for help. You don't have to be alone."

Labels: , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:32 AM 5 comments


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coversational Terrorism

These are the conversational "Zingers" many use against "truth" arguments

All of the techniques listed in this document have actually been witnessed, told to us by someone else, or dreamed up. They are described in first person for clarity of motive.

The intent of detailing and naming these insidious tactics is so that the reader may AVOID USING THEM, to quickly recognize if someone else is using them, and for fun. There is much humor in the way people (consciously or unconsciously) conversationally cheat.

It is hoped that exposing these tactics will help muzzle the growing abuse in our conversational landscape. Give copies to both perpetrators and victims (only NOT for profit use).

The examples are overblown in an attempt to be both clear and funny. Use your imagination to think of how you (perish the thought) and others have used these techniques in the past.

They have been grouped by major category, with the best (worst!) saved for last.

First, we have the Ad Hominem Variants where you attack the person as a way to avoid truth, science, or logic which might otherwise prove you wrong. Next are the Sleight of Mind Fallacies , which act as "mental magic" to make sure the unwanted subject disappears. Then, we move on to Delay Tactics, which are subtle means to buy time when put on the spot. Then, the ever popular Question as Opportunity ploys, where any question can be deftly averted. Finally, we have the Cheap Shot Tactics and Irritants , which are basically "below the belt" punches.

Ad Hominem Variants

I'd like to respond to that, but taking into account your background, education, and intelligence, I am quite sure that you would not be able to understand."

My next point will be so cogent that even you will be able to understand it."

Even you should be able to grasp the next point."

I used to think that way when I was your age."

As you mature emotionally (or mentally, or spiritually), you will grow out of your present way of thinking, and you will eventually come around to my point of view."

You're new here, aren't you?"

Instead of proving a point true or false, this technique tries to imply that the individual's desires have led him/her astray without dealing with the merits of the issue itself. (C.S. Lewis termed this "Bulverism".) Any strong desire can be shown to have tainted a conclusion or clouded objectivity, which casts doubt on the legitimacy of a point. This is very close to the classic ad hominem fallacy: "you say that because you are a man."

You support capital punishment because of a deep-rooted death wish common among those who have suffered emotional traumas during childhood."

You oppose capital punishment because of an irrational suppressed death taboo common among those who have suffered emotional trauma during childhood."

You weren't breast fed as a child, were you?"

Sleight of Mind Fallacies
Instead of dealing with a comment or question directly, the idea here is to focus on some insignificant detail to evade the issue or buy time to think.

We need to define just exactly what you mean by _________."

Your last sentence ended with a preposition. Please restate it properly."

A twisted version of NIT-PICKING, the technique here is to purposely misunderstand some word, phrase, or analogy and shift the focus to it instead of the subject. This ploy will derail the other person into a defense of the word, phrase, or analogy instead of the case at hand.

You said 'feel' instead of 'think'. If you are feeling instead of thinking, I won't be able to convince you with reason."

You said this happened five years before Hitler came to power. Why are you so fascinated with Hitler? Are you anti-Semitic?"

This is a marvelous way to come off as nice while saying things that would otherwise be considered rude.

Have I ever brought up the $523.52 you owe me? Never! Have I ever embarrassed you or made you feel bad over it? Have I ever told you how much I need that money? No, I never have."

I don't care if other people say you're opinionated (or boring or overbearing, or etc.)"

I don't want to spend a lot of time on this, but (blah, blah, blah...)."

My dear congregation, I hate to speak of money matters, but (money, money, money, etc.)."
The intent here is to throw the other person's competence in doubt while at the same time changing the subject. A question is asked that the other person is not likely to know the answer to, destroying their credibility and confidence. To really rub it in, the questioner can give a full answer to his/her own question proving that him/herself to have superior knowledge of the subject.

You mentioned the constitution. Can you quote the preamble for us?"

Do you realize which of the dialectic principles you've just violated?" [ "No."] "I'd be glad to explain them to you, but (branch to OVER YOUR HEAD)."
I have observed that those who disagree with me on the next point tend to be unsophisticated, and those who quickly recognize the validity of the point to be more educated. The point is...."

Of course there is a lot of debate on this subject, but the best scholars believe..."

This technique requires prior knowledge of some embarrassing mistake or painful event in the other person's life. This knowledge can be woven into a comment in a way that agitates the other person without direct reference. A key word or phrase is tossed out like a grenade that embarrasses or humiliates the other person.

What was it your ex-wife used to say?"

Didn't we already have this argument just before you went through the de-tox program?"

This technique asks an obvious question and, by playing on a sense of guilt, demands a predetermined response driven by common sense or decency. The yes or no response is then implied to mean a complete agreement with the asker's point of view.

Family get-together:  
"Doesn't your family mean anything to you?" ["Well, yes!"] "Then I will see you at 10 am."

Support a political movement: "Do you want communism in America? Is that what you want?"

Join a Health Spa: "Don't you care about your own body?"
A rhetorical ploy to give more emotional force to a point or objection than is appropriate. This requires showmanship and involves risk, but when it works it can be quite effective. It is useful to use exaggerated facial expressions and/or pound on any nearby objects to effectively communicate the overreaction.

How DARE you question such an obvious point?"

Honestly! You can't REALLY expect me to believe that?"

A person will likely be off center of the ANALYTICAL/EMOTIVE SPECTRUM (an alternate name for this technique) in any heated exchange. By pointing out which side the other person is on, (either side will do) he/she is obliged to defend his/her temperament instead of the case at hand.

Your cold, analytical approach to this issue doesn't take into account the human element."

Your emotional involvement with this issue obscures your ability to see things objectively."

If a person is making an imaginative or novel point, the approach here is to push the idea to a radical extreme generally agreed to be bad. The extreme can be either real or imagined. The hope here is that the other person will reflexively back off and retreat to a defensive position, thus short-circuiting the progression of the argument.

So you think we ought to just throw out the whole system, then?"

How is that different from classic fascism?"

So you would just like to kill off anyone who disagrees with you, it appears!"

If you can see where the other person's logic is leading, you can make it very difficult along the way by arguing each minute sub-point and example. If the other person can not get past the first point, how will a case ever be made? Most of the techniques listed can be used to achieve this end.

I don't think we can go on until we establish the scientific validity of that last statement."

I don't see any point in discussing this until all the data are in."

This is the opposite of the CUT 'EM OFF AT THE PASS technique. Instead of arguing along the way, agree with all of the sub-points but deny the obvious conclusion. This is very frustrating to the other person because it automatically changes the subject to epistemology (how we know what we know). Generally, the other person will attempt another explanation rather than get into a heavy epistemological discussion, and the technique can simply be repeated.

I don't see how you figure that."

I agree with everything you said except the conclusion. It doesn't make any sense to me, and I can not accept it. I am trying, but your brain must work much differently than mine."

Delay Tactics
If, when put on the spot to answer a question or point, you come up blank, then delay tactics can buy time to dream up a response. These tactics are risky, because if you are not able to think of anything clever during the time you buy, you will be pinned even further.

Give descriptive attributes of the eventual answer, then pause as if expecting a response, while thinking of a real answer. When this technique is repeated the other person will appear to be begging you to give an answer.

I think the answer to your last question will clear up your confusion on this subject. (Long pause) Are you ready?"

Excellent question, and I think the answer will startle you." (Pause, look thoughtfully as if a response is due while thinking up an answer.)

I'm glad you asked. Would you like a long or a short answer?"

Same as above, only here the diversionary shift of focus is on the question.

This question could only come from the confusion of the ______ mind-set."

That is an interesting question coming from you. Interesting, interesting, interesting."
(Pause, as if admiring the other person. )

The question asked, is basically _______, ________, _______." (Restate the questions in various ways, pausing for approval between each, while thinking up an answer.)

A great lead-in for the technique of WISHFUL THINKING, or a method of delay giving yourself time to think of an answer.

Why do you ask that?" / "What makes you ask that?"

What drives you to make such a statement?"
A complex statement that paralyzes the brain.

What you inferred is not what you implied."

Your problem is that you are thinking in a linear versus configurational framework."

I'm not sure if I fail to disagree with that or not."

This is a recipe for sophisticated babbling. Ingredients include: philosophic sounding words and sentence structure, unintelligible Latin terms, banal folk wisdom, jargon, catch phrases, truisms, etc. Sprinkle lightly with a few words that appear to pertain to the subject. This will sound very impressive without really saying anything and will buy time to think of something meaty to say while your lips are flapping. In some circles such machinations can actually be passed off as an answer--or a point!

In view of the federal budget deficit, civil unrest, and international politics, we need to consider that, notwithstanding the mitigating circumstances, this country has got to get back on its feet. Don't you agree?"

Echo the question back or ask the other person a similar or difficult question. (This can be a valid technique if not used merely as a delay tactic.)

What do you think the answer to your question is?"

How 'bout if I ask you a similar question?"

With a sparkle in your eye, start into a long-winded story which presumes to apply to the subject at hand. Continue until the other person calls your bluff, then act insulted and claim that you are not getting equal time or a fair chance to explain you case. Then, thoroughly offended, drop the cover story and start with the real answer (whatever it was you were able to think of while you were babbling).

This reminds me of the time I was in Cucamonga. Let me tell you, it was hot! (Time to think up real answer during dramatic pauses) And we were in a small hotel when a gas leak started. Well! You can imagine how we...."

To give an obvious, over-literal, useless, or pun response to delay with humor.

["What is your first point?"] "My first point is point #1."

[How do you explain the difference between salaries of men and women in this company who are perfoming the exact same jobs?] "I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with gender."

Question As Opportunity
A standard response for politicians is to view any question as an opportunity to say whatever they want. The "answer" does not have to have anything to do with the "question" asked. This practice has all but killed the utility of debate and dialog in politics and, unhappily, it is spreading to other areas of life as well. Following are some inconspicuous techniques that allow a deft shift from the question subject to the desired subject.

Deny that the issue is limited to the question at hand. Redefine the issue to your favorite topic.

It is not a question of (this) or (that), but rather it is an issue of (whatever it is you want to say.)"

["Are you for or against capital punishment?"] "I don't think the issue is being for or against capital punishment. The real issue facing our country is the federal budget deficit. I propose that we.... "

Acknowledges the issue and quickly changes to a new subject.

X is certainly one topic that could be discussed, but Y is another..."

Well, my track record is certainly one issue, but this month's agenda is another. Do you know that in the next five days...."

Cheap Shot Tactics and Irritants
Take this example: suppose you were a person who was incredibly stupid but was trying to come off as intelligent. What would the proper response be if you were me?"

Let's just say that we knew for sure that you were a sexual pervert...."

Why, that is a brilliant question coming from you!"

You're looking less repulsive than usual today."

Who would have thought you had it in you?"

Active listening is where you parrot back what the other person is saying in order to draw them out and to keep them talking. DISTORTED ACTIVE LISTENING parrots back what the other person is saying, but gets it all wrong or makes it sound incredibly stupid. Similar to LUNATIC FRINGE.

If I hear you correctly, your point is... (get it all wrong)."

It sounds as if you are saying that torturing children is a good idea...."
To the feebleminded, if there is a NAME used as a label for IT, then it must be wrong, even if it isn't. The NAME, now a "proof" of sorts, can be used as a sledgehammer if IT comes up again.

The case you just made was first made by Edgar Sullivan in the late 1800s and was quickly disproved. The 'Sullivan Error' inevitably occurs to people when they first start studying the subject."

Your line of reasoning is called the MacGregor Phenomenon."

Why, that's Calvinism!"

A clever and socially acceptable way of denying what someone has said by claiming to know more about what the other person thinks or feels than they do. Believe it or not, this technique is quite commonplace and effective.

That's a cruel thing to say, and I know you don't mean it."

You've made that point well, but ... (1) I know where your heart is; (2) I sense that you're not comfortable with what you're saying; (3) I know what kind of person you are deep down ... and that you cannot continue to hold this position and maintain your integrity."

Johnny, the reason I can't give you permission to go to the party is because I know that deep in your heart you'd rather spend the time here with me."
 To bring up a past event and GET IT ALL WRONG, or even to make up a past event. The intent is to get the other person confused, angry, and defensive.

You never admit defeat. Remember that chess game I beat you in?" (The one you lost.)

But last week (or a minute ago) you said the opposite! Make up your mind!"

Remember last time we had an argument, and you turned out to be wrong and wouldn't admit it? Now we're in the same spot we were last time."

When all else is lost, refer to a phony study that supports your case. This is a bet that the other person will not call your bluff. Does he/she know for certain the study didn't happen? The usual response is "I have not seen or heard of this study", further discrediting the other person as not doing comprehensive study of available source material.

Research at UCLA has proven conclusively...."

I know the idea sounds unorthodox, but a recent study at Harvard has substantiated this view."

The repeated use of an assertion, truism, bad joke, or even physical gesture when used to the point of extreme irritation.

The customer comes first!" ["But what about our profit?"] "The customer comes first! ["But they don't have any money!"] "The customer... (etc.)."

["What do you think?"] "It's crazy." (wave arms while stating) ["What is that supposed to mean?"] (wave arms wildly) ["Huh?"] (repeat as necessary)

I would like to answer your question directly, but considering your past reactions / ability to cope with the truth / emotional instability, I feel that to do so would be a disservice to you at this time." [Other person gets (justifiably) upset.] "See, what did I tell you. You are flying off the handle already!"

After using any of the previous ploys, point out any physical manifestations of the other person's irritation as further proof that they are wrong.

You seem to be sweating a lot. Of course, I would be too if I had to try to support your flimsy position."

Why look, your lips are quivering. You have a hard time admitting defeat, don't you?"

Use an actual, fabricated, or hypothetical statement from some universally credible source.

What would your father say if he could hear you now?"

As it says in the Bible: 'God helps those who help themselves'."

If Albert Einstein were here I think he would agree with me. Didn't he once say 'If an idea does not at first seem absurd, it is probably incorrect'?"

FAST ANSWER:The technique here is to answer so quickly or in such detail that no one could ever doubt the response.

["Do you really think that anyone else agrees with this crazy idea?"] "52.359% of Americans surveyed agreed."

If proven wrong or corrected in any way that you do not like, revenge is the answer here. This can be accomplished by throwing a fit, glowering at the person with a death stare, complete withdrawal or pregnant silence, or some other form of dramatic emotional blackmail as manipulation. The idea is to train people not to correct you in the future by making them pay dearly for correcting you now. Also known as the THAT WILL TEACH YOU technique and/or THE ESCALATION PLOY.

If you're going to be that way about it, then...."

You don't love me (sob!)."

A specific escalation of YOU'LL PAY FOR THAT; make it seem as if the other person is attacking you rather than making a simple point or correction, especially if you suspect that the other party is correct. Rather than staying on the subject, begin to act hurt--as if you have been viciously attacked as a human being--rather than admit you are wrong, or could do better, etc.

I can't do anything right..."

I suppose in your eyes I am just a total failure."

["I think the reason people are honking and gesticulating at you is that the sign says MERGE, not STOP."] "Well, if you think me such a terrible, horrible person...."

Pretend that the reason the other person isn't able to agree with you is that they are not listening, or at least not hard enough.

If you'd just listen you'd have heard me the first time when I said that...."

Since you obviously weren't listening when I said this before, I'm forced to repeat myself."
To take an extraordinary amount of time or go to great technical depth to wear out the other person and get time on your side. The other person is pushed to give up and agree with you rather than endure the torture of hearing you go through another sincere, long-winded answer.

Since you are a true intellectual, I will have to give you a more comprehensive answer than most... Blah, Blah, Blah... (use WORD SALAD technique).

Now that I have answered your point, do you have any other concerns?"
(Repeat until the other person collapses or gives in.)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:06 AM 0 comments


Monday, April 23, 2018



They were in love. Everything was wonderful. They'd been together for twelve years. They were expecting their second child and they were delighted. And then came the unexpected telephone call. The phone call from the 9-year old boy asking to speak to his "Daddy."


The trust, the dreams and the hopes all shattered in an instant with the revelation that her husband of twelve years had a secret relationship and a secret child for nine years!

"I love you baby. You know I would never hurt you. My job is to protect you always and I will always do that. You just need to keep our secret safe. Don't tell Mommy what we're doing ... she won't understand that I need to show you how to love ..."
The child who trusts the adult not to hurt him/her is betrayed by the abusing or neglectful adult.

The mere word, "betrayal," evokes enormous feelings. It’s one thing to be disappointed, saddened, and unhappy; but it’s altogether another to feel BETRAYED.

…Lied to in a way that feels humiliating. Defiled by someone whom you trusted; someone in whom you placed your belief, your hopes, perhaps your love. Perhaps it is in the enormity of the truth not told, or the complexity of the subterfuge, or the completeness with which the trust was given…that the pain grows to feel so huge.

Another common experience in the moment of discovered betrayal is deflated self-esteem. It is so very important to remember that trust given and trust broken is at the core of the betrayal issue. Trust is a gift. If you gave and it was not well and honestly received – YOU have no blame. That you would trust and honor you both with one of the greatest gifts one human can offer to another, makes the betrayer the person who is sorely lacking. You must not diminish the magnitude and beauty of your gift – by belittling yourself for having given.

There are many times when one can experience betrayal:

Betrayal by parents:
A parent who abused you.
A parent who lied to you.
A parent who neglected you.

Betrayal by a lover:
A lover who has conducted another relationship(s) while with you.
A lover who has told you things and presented a picture of themselves that was false.
A lover who has taken all your money without your knowledge.
A lover who has transmitted a disease you never knew about.

Betrayal by society:
A promise for full employment that never gets met.
A promise of social security – that may not be there.
Quality healthcare – available only to a few.

Betrayal by your body:
A chronic illness when you’ve done "everything right."
A disease of body image – and you feel hopeless and helpless.

Betrayal by a friend:
A closely guarded secret --- exposed…
An important promise --- broken….
A person you trusted who acted with no regard for your feelings...
A friend you put yourself on the line for – who left you high and dry.

Betrayal of self:
Lies to self.
Denial of a personal medical condition.
Participation in a disrespectful relationship.

In all these instances – it is the quality of the perceived connection between the parties that determines whether the injustice feels like a betrayal or simply an unpleasant event or behavior.

If someone you feel no particular connection to – promises a gift – and fails to follow-through; perhaps you are upset, disappointed, even angry. The rage and despair often associated with betrayal comes only when the experience is one of a profound, wrenching violation of your faith in another. The establishment of trust is a tremendous commitment you make. It only makes sense that when the commitment is dismissed – the magnitude of that dismissal can feel overwhelming. Whether the betrayal is experienced at the hands of another or is perceived to be experienced at the hands of self – the initial shock and anger can be quite draining; sometimes frightening.

The sense of betrayal can be accompanied by a self-anger, a new/renewed distrust of self, a new/renewed fear of self, and the decision-making skills you possess. With the feeling of betrayal can come the feeling of a psychic implosion. At the moment, you do not feel whole. Many begin to fear they will never feel whole again.

If you are struggling with a feeling of having been betrayed – there are many things you are likely to experience including: (1) shock (2) denial (3) anger (4) extreme hurt/sadness (5) anxiety (6) emotional lethargy (7) social lethargy (8) changes in daily living activities; in other words, many of the symptoms of depression. This is quite normal – but if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is important to meet with a mental health professional for an evaluation for therapy – possibly short term, medication, etc., etc.

As you begin to understand the nature of your feelings and look for ways to proactively heal…you will be on …the road to recovery … In doing this, many may discover that the betrayal, the loss, the anger, and all the other feelings involve not only the immediate betrayal but any other betrayals experienced over your lifetime. Previous experiences of betrayal – whether from infancy / childhood or from adulthood last week can complicate the way in which you experience the betrayal and heal from the betrayal.

Betrayal by another does not have to mean that you have to betray yourself. It does not mean that you are unworthy and unfit. It does not mean that you deserved the treatment you received, nor is it a guarantee that you will be treated the same way again. If you feel betrayed by yourself - you may have to work with someone professionally or in a support group to understand the feelings of betrayal and how you can heal.

Tips for healing…

Acknowledge your pain, anguish…and every other feeling you have.

Surround yourself with supportive friends/ family.

If you are choosing to end the relationship, writing a letter to allow your own release will be important for you. (This is a letter that you will very likely not send.)

If you are choosing to continue the relationship, make sure you set clear and specific limits for future interactions.

Make sure to interact with at least one positive force in your life every day.

Allow yourself time to heal and learn.

Forgiveness of YOURSELF frees YOU from YOUR pain.

It is critical to remember during this healing time that…

Your trust has been abused…this is a very big deal. Recovery will take time.

You are NOT responsible for the betrayer’s decisions. (If you see self as the betrayer of self– recognize that your choices were propelled by choices you felt were reasonable at the time.)

You CAN heal.

You are NOT alone.

You are NOT "stupid."

YOU did not create the betrayal.

You do NOT need to understand the betrayer’s actions in order to heal. You DO need to get lots more information if you are going to remain in the relationship.

You may never understand the betrayer’s motivations – you do not have to in order to heal. You DO have to if you choose to resume/ continue the connection.

If you choose to continue the relationship, you MUST see ACTIVE change in the betrayer towards a new, healthy, HONEST communications style.

By Pamela Brewer, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW-C

Labels: , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:38 AM 16 comments


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Compulsive Liars

Compulsive Liars often feel the need to lie about almost anything. They often lie about little things such as what they ate for lunch and they also lie about big important things. When compulsive liars lie it becomes a very bad habit. It is very difficult to break and it almost feels like that they can not stop lying due to it being almost automatic. It almost becomes so automatic within themselves that lying becomes a part of them. They often can lie and sound very convincing.

People who are compulsive liars often lie so much that it is almost like a script. Once an individual memorizes a series of scripts that are lies then they can say the scripts sounding very convincing to other individuals. At times there is flaws in the individual stories that they lie about or other lies that they tell. Compulsive liars often have big stories in order to cover up a certain area of their past which the person is afraid to let other people know. They are often afraid of being judged. Compulsive liars often have extreme self esteem issues and often lie to portray themselves as someone else that they aren't really.

Compulsive liars may stop lying and come clean about the truth when they are caught. The lies that compulsive liars do tell will eventually catch up to them. People around them will begin to notice gaps in their stories and the other lies that they tell people. Compulsive liars can only be so convincing only so long until someone notices that it is mostly lies. Compulsive liars will often tell another story full of lies if they don't want the truth to be known when they are caught in other lies.

One thing to remember about compulsive liars is you often can not tell the difference between a truth and lie. After so many stories have been told and so many lies that have been told then it is difficult to people around them to figure out exactly which is false and which is true.
People can not always tell lies about everything about themselves since it is impossible to hide everything about themselves completely. Compulsive liars can not always lie about everything little thing about themselves or other things.

Compulsive liars often lie to the family and friends. Compulsive liars will also lie to the person that they love romantically. Be careful with some compulsive liars since some of them don't have any guilt about the lies. Some of them never come clean about the truth unless they reach a point of where they want to stop lying.

How does a compulsive liar stop?
A compulsive liar has to make the decision to stop lying. A person won't stop lying unless he or she wants to do so. A compulsive liar can't begin to stop lying until he or she decides to start to tell the truth about everything in the past and present and future. Or just selective truth. Someone who is a compulsive liar will sometimes fall back into the mode of lying again. Compulsive lying is much deeper than just self esteem issues.

Michelle Knudson is a Freelance Writer. She's happily married and resides in the USA. She loves making a positive difference in the lives of people. She enjoys reading, writing, her gold fish, and computers.

Labels: , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:58 AM 17 comments


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Unethical Influence - How Abusers Control You


The following Influence Continuum shows you the method and modes of various influence techniques. Also you will find the various descending techniques for that section.

At the top of the Influence Continuum you will find choice respecting tactics that are educative and therapeutic and have their emphasis on the message. In the middle you will find compliance gaining techniques that are persuasive and manipulative and have their emphasis on gaining a response.

At the bottom of the continuum you will find destructive controlling techniques designed to isolate you from normal social supports and reality testing. As your review the continuum try to remember people or organizations (friends, bosses, teachers, family, corporate tactics, etc.) you liked and disliked that have been applied to you fromthe various sections of the influence continuum.
This is a powerful quick tool to help you choose how you are influenced and to identify unethical or illegal types of personal, corporate or governmental influence to which you have been subjected.
Method Of Influence Techniques

Mode of Influence:
Choice-respecting (emphasis on message)

Information Giving
Directed Questioning
Creative Expression
Commenting on Problem or alternatives
Suggesting Ideas
Recommending solutions
Rational argument (message oriented)
Hypnosis (some forms)

Mode of Influence:
Compliance-Gaining (emphasis on response)

Persuasive/Manipulative Rational Argument: compliance oriented
Emotional appeals

Compliance tactics:
consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity
Hypnosis (some forms)

Controlling/Destructive Isolation from social supports:
Selective reward/punishment
Denigration of self and of critical thinking
Dissociative states to suppress doubt and critical thinking
Alternation of harshness/threats and leniency/love
Control-oriented guilt induction
Active promotion of dependency
Physical restraint/punishment
Pressured public confessions


Labels: , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:41 AM 2 comments


Friday, April 20, 2018

Attention: Protective Parents in Family Courts

From Downtown Oklahoma City Examiner :

by Diana Winslow 

Concerned parents were elated this week when a much awaited segue for them to speak came forward as an invitation from the federal government, asking for clarifications on identified problems with child human rights in court, family rights in court and the lack of a uniform structure to respond to child sex abuse investigations, child abuse investigations and placement of children with a parent who is not known to them, has committed crimes against the other parent or is convicted of crimes that put the child at risk in their care.

Following a march on Washington DC and a Congressional Briefing this Summer members of Congress heard and were concerned about the severity and frequency with which child custody issues are mishandled, to the point of injury to the child or protesting parent.  It is remarkable that BOTH events happened despite the sequester, AND that these actions generated interest and an invitation.

Some cases are so problematic, as with the classic case illustrated in the October 2012 Documentary of Holly Collins, called “No Way Out But One“, that the parent is forced to flee the situation, due to deafness in authorities, investigators, systems system law and policy, court law and policy, and court systems. Succinctly, the definition of being run into the ground by such system based problems is called “Systems Induced Trauma.” Beyond victimization in a specific social or family situation, the family, one or all members are further agitated, abused or traumatized by the applied services and policies of systems that interlock without oversight, basically trapping the persons perpetuating a complaint without safety and resolutions.

The US Department of Justice is ready now to consider cases of chaos caused by State child and family courts. USDOJ is calling for child custody outlines in a format. The purpose of providing the outline is for the writer to simply and systematically give structured information regarding the problem case in question.

The US Department of Justice wants timelines of these outrageous cases.

Just complete and send your case in this format to: Mary Seguin by January 15, 2014 so she can provide them to the DOJ. The USDOJ invitation was issued to the representing group at the Summer March and Congressional Briefing: The California Protective Parents Association.

Format for the Letter to the USDOJ
Who you are
 1. Contact information:
 2. Background:
3. Education:
4. Former employment:
5. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

Who your former partner/husband/wife is
1. Background:
2. Education:
3. Former employment:
4. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

Reports of physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest
1.  Law enforcement (give name of office and address):
Date, Name and title of officer, Outcome of investigation and report:Child Protective Services (give name of office and address):
2. Social worker/Counselor/Other
Date, Name and title of worker, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):
 3. Court personnel (give title and address):
Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome(including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):
4. Other offices/individuals:
Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

Intimidation against you that deterred you from reporting
1. Who intimidated you:
2. How were you intimidated:

Gag orders
1. Who gave you a gag order (name, title, date, place):
2. Rationale given for gag order to not talk about these recurring crimes of incest and assault and battery.
3. Removal of child(ren) from you after you reported criminal physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest:

Response from Social Services
1. Name and title of person(s), recommendations for investigation/ removal/ supervision:
2. Date of recommendation and where recommendation was filed:
3. Name and title of person ordering removal of children (if removal was ordered) :
4. Date of order and where order was filed:

Supervised visitation
1. Name and title of person recommending supervised visits:
2. Reason given for recommendation:
3. Name and title of person who ordered supervised visits:
4. Date and place order was made:
5. Name of specific visitation center you were ordered to attend:
6. Amount of fees:
7. Dates and times you were ordered to attend:
8. If you were not ordered to a specific visitation center, name of visitation center you chose:
9. Was this center paid by the county:

Motions you filed for relief
1. Date and place filed:
2. Who filed the motion:
3. What lawyers were involved:
4. Outcome of the motion:
*At the end of the time line, please provide note: Supporting evidence is being compiled in exhibits.”

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Parents in and out of CPS courts and family/divorce courts face a hamster wheel of demands, which beyond the direct trauma to the family, often exhaust financial and emotional resources, cost jobs and personal assets. Most everyone knows at least ONE case like this. Please pass this article along to others who might be affected.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:00 AM 0 comments


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Loved? No: Dishonored and Abused

Loved? Dishonored, and Abused

Hey Honey, "express yourself"...
("wife" in this article can also mean "significant other"... such as girlfriend, etc.)

- be sure to tell your wife that the only reason she married you was so she could sit around the house all day and do nothing, even though she was fifteen weeks pregnant at the time and in a high risk category due to a previous miscarriage and on doctor's orders to REST REST REST

- also tell her that the only reason she wrote for the newspaper was so she could provoke, because you were jealous of the fact that she could write what the people want to hear, and you couldn't

- act like you can never have anything by throwing everything you own in the garbage, or out the bedroom window. (I remember looking out our window one day to see stuffed toys that had been torn apart, laying on the lawn for the superintendent of the building to clean up; at first I didn't realize what the mess was until I took a good look, then I was completely stunned... even more-so when I realized they were the stuffed mementos that belonged to my husband!)

- You could even fake walking in your sleep in order to scare your wife -- pretending to attempt climbing out your bedroom window (I should have let him; we were on the third floor).

- leave the room that you're in, acting perfectly normal, then go into the bathroom and pound your fist into your hand when you're in the bathroom alone talking to yourself

- when pounding your fist into your hand be sure to whisper loudly "bam, bam, bam"

- when you're done doing this come out of the bathroom and return to the room you were in; when your wife asks you if all is okay look at her dumbfounded & answer "yes, why wouldn't it be?"

- you could take a butcher knife to your work shirts and shred them, then throw them into the closet so that when your wife is cleaning she will find them and "feel guilty because she must have upset poor little you."

- or you could just tear your shirts apart with your bare hands

- take out your anger by banging your head and your feet onto your vehicle (this was witnessed on more than one occasion by a neighbor)

- when your wife wishes to discuss something respond with yelling and screaming

- don't forget to drool like a wild animal while you're yelling and screaming, a documented trait of an abuser

-add the touch of pounding and kicking the furniture while you respond to discussion (more often than not I was sitting on this furniture)

- if perhaps you might want to respond in a reasonable tone, do so with these words: "I don't know", "I don't remember", or "I don't want to talk about it"

- after you have repeated the above words like they're the only ones in your vocabulary, sit on the sofa with your arms at your side, your shoulders slouched, your chin hanging, your eyes glazed over, and your tongue hanging slightly out of your mouth so that you appear as an "idiot" as defined in the dictionary; this intimidation is used to 'scare' your wife into thinking she's 'really done it this time' therefore she'll back off and leave poor little you alone

- when you're screwing around on your wife (or significant other) be sure to look her straight in the eye and tell her you love her and tell all your friends & family you love her too. Repeatedly.

- when your wife catches you in one of your numerous lies be sure to go ballistic and blame her

- you could also choke her and throw her to the floor by her neck, and just to make sure she learned her lesson you could also go for her throat again a few days later

- and always, always remember, that everything that goes wrong in your life is your wife's fault.

There's even more:

- your ex-wife tells your present wife that you used to start fires in the basement to keep warm after a night of drinking, with her & the baby asleep upstairs... oh, and your ex-wife knew the dents in your car were from your head and your feet

-you stay up half the night on internet porn sites then blame your step-child's boyfriend for the access charges or download history (meanwhile he hadn't even been to our residence at these times, or on our computer at all for that matter).

- the floor under where you were sitting at the computer half the night is all gooey in the morning (I am not first I thought it was 'cat barf' but upon further inspection I came to the realization of exactly what it was. A couple of nights I walked out into the living room when he was on the computer to the wee hours of the morning; as soon as he saw me he immediately shut the computer off).

- even after it was proven that you were the only one accessing the porn sites on the net, up half the night doing who knows what to yourself, you still persist in yelling & screaming at the top of your lungs at your wife, that it wasn't you; your own ex-wife will tell the current wife that is your response when you've been caught red-handed (in this case 'one-handed') at something.

Oh, here's the best one of all:

- drink out of a glass that is obviously sitting & soaking at the back of the counter away from everything else and realize the glass has Javex in it, freak out & accuse your wife of trying to poison you, meanwhile the cupboard is full of clean glasses and you always, always get cold water from the filter jug in the fridge; just another thing to "blame your wife for"

- bang holes in the wall with an obvious object then claim to know nothing about it

- take all your friends phone numbers out of the memory system on the phone while in one of your 'feel sorry for me' moods then yell & scream at your wife that you can't have any friends (the only reason my hubby did this was because I liked his 'outside of work' friends & enjoyed visiting them; but with my hubby, I was supposed to bitch & complain about them, not have a good word to say about them, and not want him to associate with them; now you know where I'm coming from with 'mind games & twisted facts'; if you think you're confused just imagine living with this psychopath)

- tell your wife that she is insignificant, her existence is meaningless, and she is a burden, just like you told her your first wife was

- when the curtains that your wife bought from a friend who smokes interfere with her breathing, as she has asthma, and your wife has to sleep in another room, be sure to go apesh*t & accuse her of being pissed off at you because you were on the computer half the night, put your boots on & proceed to leave the house over 'her issues.'

- be sure to obliterate your wife in everyone else's eyes, especially when your own mother tells you that your temper will ruin your life & your wife comes out looking better than you do; you must destroy her image in everyone's eyes because you're afraid of the truth coming out

- you must convince everyone else that your wife is a psycho.


(NOTE: Women can be just as abusive and crazy-making as men.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:19 AM 1 comments