The Truth About Abuse
Healing from any form of abuse takes time, effort, and diligence in searching out the truth. Hope rests within the truth. I realized in my life that I didn't know I was being abused. I didn't know where to turn or even how to find the answers. I needed someone to help me but I didn't even know who to turn to or trust. This is why Beyond My Life exists. To help people discover where to turn, how to get help and even what questions to ask. It is about discovering if you have things like PTSD or if you've been a victim of narcissistic like behavior or even parental alienation. It isn't about finding your identity within the diagnosis, but it IS about realizing the truth about what happened to you. Once you start to realize it, then you can start to heal.
Not everyone has their life threatened by an abuser, but many do. Our journey's are all different but one thing remains the same...we all want to heal and be able to move past the hurt and shame and to find life again.
That's what Beyond My Life is all about. Learning to live again. To me, this all starts with identifying 'The Truth About Abuse'.
What is Domestic Violence/Abuse?The United States Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as "a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner." The OVW reports that a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the U.S. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in this country. Every day, at least three U.S. women are killed by their partners. Domestic violence can take many forms - physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation, threats of violence. Any situation in which one partner is wielding power over the other repeatedly can fall under the umbrella of domestic abuse. Taken from: Domestic Violence: A Power Struggle With Lasting Consequences Published on May 27, 2011 by Susanne Babbel, Ph.D., M.F.T. in Somatic Psychology
What does Abuse Include?Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust. Abusers may apologize profusely for their actions or try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of love or care. However, violence and control always intensifies over time with an abuser, despite the apologies. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., wanting the victim to spend all their time only with them because they love them so much) escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threatening to kill or hurt the victim or others if they speak to family, friends, etc.). Some examples of abusive tendencies include but are not limited to: Telling the victim that they can never do anything right Showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends and time spent away Accusing the victim of cheating Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or family members Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs Controlling every penny spent in the household Taking the victim’s money or refusing to give them money for expenses Looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing Controlling who the victim sees, where they go, or what they do Dictating how the victim dresses, wears their hair, etc. Stalking the victim or monitoring their victim’s every move (in person or also via the internet and/or other devices such as GPS tracking or the victim’s phone) Preventing the victim from making their own decisions Telling the victim that they are a bad parent or threatening to hurt, kill, or take away their children Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones, or pets Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons Pressuring the victim to have sex when they don’t want to or to do things sexually they are not comfortable with Forcing sex with others Refusing to use protection when having sex or sabotaging birth control Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol Preventing the victim from working or attending school, harassing the victim at either, keeping their victim up all night so they perform badly at their job or in school Destroying the victim’s property Taken from ncadv.org/learn-more
How to know if you are in danger of death?Domestic homicides have been called the most predictable and preventable of all homicides. According to the DVDRC, most of the domestic homicides reviewed had at least seven well known risk factors. Appendix I outlines a complete list of the common risk factors in all the domestic homicide cases that have been reviewed. The committee found that the most common reasons why domestic violence ended in death were: the victim was separated from the person who killed her, or she was getting ready to separate from him the couple had a history of domestic violence the level of violence had been increasing the abuser had shown signs of obsessive behavior, including stalking the victim the person who killed their spouse was depressed in the past, the abuser had threatened to kill the victim If you recognize one or more of these warning signs, be aware that the victim may be at risk of being murdered. Never assume that a victim is safe because she is planning to leave a violent relationship or has just left a violent relationship. Although leaving will increase her safety over the long term, the most dangerous time for her is just before she separates, while she is leaving and shortly after she separates. Safety planning is critical during this period. - See more at: http://www.makeitourbusiness.com/warning-signs/domestic-violence-is-there-a-risk-of-death
Post Separation Power and Control Wheel
What is Parental Alienation?Parental Alienation Syndrome Used to Wrongly Blame Mothers Per Garland Waller, "I have met many honest, caring and courageous mothers who, for speaking the truth, have been publicly called crazy, hysterical and delusional, and labeled with all kinds of pseudo-disorders for being strong and for fighting for the safety of their children. Yet some of them have been nearly broken by the family court system, and the damage to their children is immeasurable. We must act now to begin reforming our family courts." Garland Waller is an assistant professor in the Television Department at Boston University's College of Communication. She has produced more than 10 award-winning documentaries.(http://womensenews.org/story/commentary/010905/biased-family-court-system-hurts-mothers#.UqNCctI3vBI) Court Systems In a report released by Voices of Women, "Family courts re-traumatize battered women by forcing them to confront men they fear and granting custody to abusers 37 percent of the time despite the women's roles as primary caregivers." Voices of Women Organizing Project (http://womensenews.org/story/080508/report-abused-women-see-danger-in-family-court#.UqM8atI3vBI) Susan Lob, director of the New York-based Voices of Women Organizing Project, said the court system turns their allegation of abuse against women making the accusation, who are sometimes painted as unreliable or unfit due to emotional problems. The mothers they surveyed are not perfect parents, Lob said, but they were primary caregivers who were not accused of endangering their children. Courts, she said, should protect abused women who want to protect their children.
What is PTSD?Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that most often afflicts military personnel that have experienced dangerous situations in combat, but can also affect women and children exposed to violence. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a sufferer of PTSD may experience Strong depression, anxiety, or guilt Flashbacks and nightmares Difficulty sleeping Memory problems Lack of interest in things that they have usually enjoyed Mood swings Often, it's the emotional component of domestic violence that leads to a chronic state of PTSD, according to by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. Being abused by someone who should be trustworthy and nurturing leads many women to feel abandoned, betrayed, even crazy. Depression is by far the most common symptom of domestic violence, and it's also one of the chronic effects of PTSD caused by abuse. The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that many victims fall prey to has a profoundly undermining effect on their mental and emotional well-being. And because abusers often exacerbate the harmfulness of their abuse by refusing their partners access to adequate medical and psychological care - and even withholding such care as a further form of abuse - it is often extremely challenging for victims of domestic violence to escape the cycle of abuse. Even those of who have managed to move on from crippling abusive relationships can suffer the aftershocks of abuse - in other words, PTSD - for many years. PTSD from abuse is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive imagery, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, insomnia, hyper-vigilance, and avoidance of traumatic triggers. Extracting oneself from a domestic violence situation can be extremely challenging.If you are a previous victim of domestic violence and you suspect that you are suffering from the delayed symptoms of PTSD, I encourage you to contact a psychotherapist who specializes in domestic violence. If you are in a situation where you are currently experiencing domestic violence — or even if you are unsure and want to learn more — a great place to start is The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The above is taken from Psychology Today, Compassion Matter by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.
What is a Narcissist?Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people (male or female) have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Definition By Mayo Clinic Staff Tips For Spotting and Coping with a NarcissitClick Here
Here's what you
need to know.
What can you do with it?
There is life after abuse. It does take work, commitment and support, but there is life. I am a living testimony of God's love and grace. Christ pulled me out, started me over on a solid foundation and has given me not only life, but an organization to give back to others. It is possible to survive, but it is also possible to overcome and to be the best of what God has intended us to be.
I have my life back and now I am growing in Christ and what He has for me.
My life changed with Jesus and He showed me not only His love, but also His grace in giving
me a new life apart from abuse. I sometimes made bad choices at different stages of my life, but God came anyway. I messed up at times even after I was saved and God came anyway.
He is there in our rights AND our wrongs. He changes our hearts so we can see our own mistakes, but He also leads us away from untruths so we can see what it was doing to us.
The most important scripture for me is from 2 Timothy 1:7:
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
All of the above (power, love, sound mind) is what abusers take from us. I am here to say that God gives them back. I pray these qualities into the lives of each person reading this so they can begin to see their worth like I did...through the eyes of the One that knows us....His name is Jesus Christ.
Allow yourself to heal. It will take commitment and a "want to" that no one can force upon you. It is ultimately your choice.
So many seem to not want God to help them, but my life would be over if it weren't for Him. This website speaks truth about what domestic violence is, and how we can heal by praying to a God that does still care about us and knows we exist.