I am thinking that summer may actually be here again! We have had some starts and stops but I think it has settled in for the season. I love summer! I wish it loved me.
As a lupus patient, I need to limit my sun time because it can cause my flare to go major!!! Not a fun way to spend summer. Actually, this year, summer will be shortened because in July or August I am having major surgery on my GI tract. I am not sure when but it is coming and looming in my mind too. I am doing what I call “marinating” about it. I am trying not to think about it. You know, the Scarlett O’Hara syndrome. It keeps me sane to do it this way.
In the meantime, I finally got to go to a meeting last Sunday instead of listening on the phone. It was so nice to see everyone and shake hands and fell their presence. It lifted me up spiritually as well. Various ones stop by and visit me but it was nice to be seated and listening to the discourse with my brothers and sisters around me. It really is good medicine.
So far though, allergies are really bad! I hear from others that it is the same way for them too. Even though I do not get out much, they are still plaguing me. Is it me or does it seem to get worse every year?
Otherwise, I am hoping to post more because I have learned to use my smart phone app and post from it now. Makes it easy to post. I was intimidated by it but not anymore.
I sincerely hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. I am going to give it a great try!
On way home now. Nap sounds good. Made Aaron mad because I asked him to just be quiet. He kept talking about stuff I really didn’t want to hear about despite numerous requests (nicely) to not chatter on. Before a procedure I like to quietly relax. Must have been too much to ask because during my prayer he poked me to talk and when I told him I was praying he stormed out. Ok, I did say sarcastically ” hold on a minute Jehovah” but gosh, he would not shut up!! In the car on the way home I tried to chat but he informed me, quite petulantly, that since i wanted quiet he was not speaking to me at all. So, yay me. Not only did I have to have this procedure, I have to deal with petty anger because I needed to relax prior to my procedure. Now we are home so I am sure I must pay for my behavior. Note to self, next time ask mom to take me.
It’s a new day. New stress. Oh well. Suck it up buttercup. No matter how many times I get yelled at, it seems there are always many more to find. I apologize and it gets thrown back in my face. No reasoning allowed. Heaven forbid I actually finish what I am saying. Interrupting is the name of the game. If only ears would listen to what I am attempting to say, then how much easier would it be to discuss. I do not call yelling at someone and not allowing them to try to talk, a form of communication. I call it bullying and belittling. Well I am going ahead with plans to work on the house. Apparently if you pay all the bills it entitles you to do whatever you want, or don’t want to do. Forget that I buy all the food, etc and am basically the cleaning lady, cook and secretary. Among other things. Oh well. I try. Pushing me away and verbally assaulting me is not my idea of a good day. Sad.
As you can see, things are not good right now. I wonder if this is the “dry drunks” you hear about alcoholics having. I hope so because if this is his true self, I am in trouble.
Hello once again!
As the title implies, this post is about priorities and listening so they can be placed properly. I have been quite depressed as of late. My lupus is really ugly right now. I am having major issues with my gi tract from top to bottom. I am dealing with drama within my family. I am back on prednisone. Basically, I cannot eat well, cannot sleep well, and am a round moon face sicko.
I had a bright spot yesterday I thought. My rheumatologist wants me to start Benlysta infusions. I was in the drug trial with real drug and it helped me a lot. Once it was approved though, the drug trial ended. So, he wants to do these infusions to try for remission. Remission is a word I have not heard for years!
Back to the story. My rheumy’s nurse called and said she had done the legwork and for me, my insurance would only cover these at an 80/20 ratio. In other words they would pay 80% and I would pay 20%. Ok, what does that mean? It means it is cost prohibitive for me. However, she next tells me that my 20% equals $250 per transfusion. Still cost prohibitive for me. Now she tells me that there is this gateway program that will pay for the med itself. So, I only have to pay the office visit ($40) to begin infusions and as for the $250, I can be billed and pay as I can! Wow! That is great news! Finally it is looking like I might get some type of relief from this all pervasive pain!
So, I decided to share this good news with my husband. I didn’t even finish the details before he exploded and told me that there is no way we can afford this! He also told me to cancel finding out about any thing else related to this! He told me I was wrong to even consider it. Seriously! He said it would be another bill and that we cannot take this on.
He stormed out into his garage room. I was numb. I really was in pain emotionally now. I thought why try anymore? You know, if I had cancer would he do the same thing about a med? Is he really so self centered and blind that he cannot see or comprehend how insensitive he was? The answer, sadly, is yes. I saw a new side of him yesterday. It is a powerful revelation.
I have been here to help him overcome HIS issues and done whatever was necessary to make sure he gets care he needs. You know, the Golden Rule. I saw yesterday that no matter how much I give he will only take. He truly does not seem to care about any of my issues at all. He went so far today to say he didn’t want to hear anything about my call to another doctor regarding a different issue. Guess I know where I stand.
A friend of his passed away yesterday afternoon. (This was after our conversation above had occurred). Now today, he told me his friend isn’t having s funeral. His wishes were to be cremated and his wife was to hold a sort of wake. My husband, the recovering alcoholic, told me he was going and would have a drink for his friend! Wow! It is almost like he was waiting for an opportunity to drink. He assured me he was going to stay sober but only have that one drink. Uh huh, right. He might delude himself but I have seen this behavior before. I tried to reason with him about slippery slopes and how he was all but dead himself a month ago. He refuses to listen. Well, I tried.
I came back here with assurances of sobriety and caring for my well being. Bait and switch. Jokes on me. Bad day. Sorry to bring anyone down but this is my reality right now. I will survive. I will have to go on chemotherapy if Benlysta is off the table. Oh well, I actually want to live so we will see how this plays out. I am just so sad to see and hear how my issues do not matter to him. Actions speak louder than words so if his words match his actions then I am alone on this painful island. Well crap.
Today is beginning to turn into a beautiful day! I would love to enjoy it. To do so, I need to be in the shade (where it is noticeably cooler) and wrapped in a warm blanket. Yeah, I am that person. If I can get warm, I might shed the blanket but who knows?
As I write this, my husband is weed eating the yard he mowed yesterday. It is good to see him out doing things and feeling so much better. I am so happy for him to be as normal as he can be despite his issues.
Today I have two people on my mind. One is a dear lifetime friend of mine who is undergoing a tonsilectomy today at age 53. She had some growths and needs them removed. The doctor doesn’t think they are cancerous but will biopsy them to make sure. I am thinking of you Joanne!
The other is my niece, Alli. She has been having all kinds of issues in her tummy lately. She has been unable to keep anything down for over two weeks now. I hope they find the problem and resolve it. She is undergoing scopes today to find the issues. I am keeping her in my thoughts as well.
As for me, well, I see my rheumy on Thursday. I am discussing with him possibly some prednisone and a few other items. I wanted to get back on the benlysta trial that is similar to the one I did a few years ago but I am not eligible because I was on the other one! So, I need to see about getting on the infusions, which my insurance will not cover. Why is it so hard tog et care for us lupies? I mean, approve the first drug ever for lupus and insurance companies make it cost prohibitive for the patients who need it! I wish we went back to when the doctors actually made these decisions, not some pencil pusher in an office building.
I thought that spring had finally come to our area here in Ohio. I was wrong. We are getting ready for rain tonight and tomorrow, and following that rainy cold front will be temperatures back in the 40′s. Really! I cannot make this stuff up!
I wondered why all day yesterday and today I was swollen in my joints and hurting all over. Now it all makes sense.
I just wish that Ohio’s bipolar weather would settle into one season. Warm, cold or hot. I don’t really care at this point. Just pick one and stick with it. This 80′s in the afternoon and 40′s overnight stuff is hurting me and many of my fellow autoimmune folks. Just stop! Yeah right, like I can change the weather…ha ha.
Hope you are not hurting in your area from crazy weather like we are here in Ohio! Have a good one!!
As I stated previously, I had a colonoscopy done a week ago on Monday. Things did not go as I expected. Not to rehash but they found four polyps, three of which were benign and small and one which was questionable and 3 cm in size!! I got worried.
Now as a lupus patient, it is not wise to get too worried, but I wanted to be prepared in case it turned out to be bad news. You know, think the worst and hope for the best. Uh huh. I did just that. I scanned the internet for colon cancers and what a malignant polyp looked like. I checked out treatments for cancer. Basically I scared myself to death. Whew! Job is now complete.
I went on Monday for my follow up appointment. My gastroenterologist told me that the big polyp was a type of precancerous cells that is fast at changing to cancer. It could have been worse had I waited much longer to have this procedure. He said he feels sure he got most of it out. It does not warrant another procedure for one year. No more than one year. If I have any issues before that, we will decide how to proceed sooner. In the meantime, he is double checking the tests that were done, along with the hospital records to make sure al is well and we can wait. Whew!
Crisis averted for now. So, now I am feeling a little more relaxed and not so stressed. Thanks be to God! I wanted to share this good news with you all because I am prone to share bad new easily enough so good news should be shared too! Thanks for the prayers!
Hello everyone! I sincerely hope that you have all had a great week! Our weather here in Ohio has been beautiful! Sadly, I did not get to enjoy it.
I had to prep for a colonoscopy which meant that I was tied to the toilet for the weekend. Yay me! I am glad that I had it though. It was on Monday morning I had it. I knew something was different when I woke up and discovered it took a lot longer than normal. I was also hurting a little. I have had lots of these since 2001 so I know the drill.
Anyway, I found that they had removed three small 2 mm polyps and one big 3 cm polyp. That big one was the worry. They have all been sent for biopsy and I find the results on Monday. Ok, whew!! Made it!!
Then, on Monday evening I began to hurt in the region of the big polyp removal. I went to sleep eventually but woke with more pain. I kept pretending to myself ( something I am quite good at) that it would go away. Instead, it got worse until finally I called the doctor at 4:30 pm. He told me to go to the ER and have a ct scan. Easy enough, right? Wrong!
I got there at 5:30 pm (driving myself, don’t ask). After triage and IV port in, bloodwork was sent off and they finally got a room for me. I went back and got dressed in hospital garb and waited. I saw the doctor around 8 pm and he ordered morphine for pain and zofran for nausea. Now I was scrambling texting trying to find a ride for later when I left. Remember, I drove myself ( again, don’t ask).
Finally I got my ct scan. The doctor returned and said my lymph nodes were inflamed around the area the polyp was removed. Great! The good news was my colon wasn’t perforated!! Ok, lymph nodes, sounds like lupus is acting up to me but what do I know?
I was then told I was being admitted. What!? Oh just great! So, now I am texting saying I am not needing a ride after all. Around 1 am I am taken to a room and after another hour of admission process I am finally able to rest a little bit. I slept for an hour before the lab came for blood again. Next was the tech for vitals. The nurse was next with meds. So, no sleep.
I must have seen seven different doctors on Wednesday morning. Finally one came in and said I had “alongmedicalnameicantrecall” syndrome that a few people get after a colonoscopy. Figures. This was the first time I ever had anything like this!
I was told if I could eat lunch, I could go home. Yippee!!! Well, after lunch, another doctor came in and said I would stay one more night just to be safe. Oh no!!! After she consulted with the other doctor, it was decided it was up to me! I dressed quickly and asked for my paperwork. Ah! The sweet smell of success!! I was breaking out!! Then, oops!!!!
They asked how I was getting home. Thankfully I had not had pain meds that day so I told them I was driving myself. It almost was an issue but in the end, they walked me all the way to my car and I was out of there!!!
I stopped and got my meds on the way home them got home. Took my meds and sat in my recliner with the intent of watching a few shows that were on the dvr. The joke was on me! Once I sat back my kitty jumped into my lap and I woke up at 8 this morning! Now, that’s not so bad but I went into the bedroom and promptly fell back to sleep. I finally woke up at 3 pm! I guess I was sleepy!!!
So, I must apologize for being MIA but it wasn’t intended. To beat it all, the weather today is cold rain!! All those beautiful days and I was out. Crap. Oh well, at least I am home now!
Please dear friends I would like to ask for prayers that my biopsy comes back ok. I am a little worried. I am not going to obsess but it is there until they give the all clear.
Hopefully I will steer clear of hospitals for a long time now. Well, one can hope anyway! Hope you are all enjoying spring wherever you live! ~Jen
Well my friends, I think we might actually have lift off for spring! A few times it looked this way only tone buried under snow again. Thankfully, I think the true spring has taken hold so off we go! I love this time of year despite my body’s trials. This time of year brings a sense of renewal to body and soul. The thoughts of beautiful things, such as flowers and babies fills my mind.
I have been in pain, yes, but somehow the beautiful weather dulls it a bit. Psychological, yes, most likely, but it feels great to be alive in spring!
I am planning my garden and getting excited to be growing heirloom plants that are more nutritional than the GMO substitutes available at most stores. I am happy to start my flowers too. I am also planning an herbal garden so I can use fresh herbs in foods. Yes, I love spring!!
Our lupus walk is approaching as well. Still have no team members and I am the only donater so far but I refuse to let it worry me. I have made it to this side of winter and today, nothing will slow me down!! Things will improve, I am sure!
I have also been working on organizing the house. I need to get things in order so that I can relax and enjoy the warmth of spring and summer that is quickly approaching! Funny thing, I never enjoyed spring cleaning before but after this particularly hard winter I find myself enjoying it!!
So off I go to face my day! I hope each of you will slow down and appreciate all Gods Works during this season of warm renewal of life!! I will be!!
When you have an autoimmune disease like lupus and others, you need to be travel savvy when taking trips. How do I know this? Well, I like to travel and find that proper planning and rest can make the world of difference to a lupus body.
I have found that when planning a trip, first consider how you are traveling. If by car, then the rules are different than from airplane. So, in an attempt to help others, I thought I would share some of my “tips” for traveling with an autoimmune disease like lupus.
No matter your mode of travel, the first rule is always the same, get plenty of rest before you go anywhere. Take your time when planning your trip and be sure to include this rule.
Do not “wing it”. Properly planning your trip and itinerary can make the most ambitious trip more manageable. I start by listing what I plan to take with me, as in clothing and accessories, and from that branch out into what I want to do while on my trip and places and/or people I want to see. This helps because by breaking it down to smaller components, you do not get overwhelmed and overdo it. It is important to do this, otherwise, you could be setting yourself up to a disasterous trip and full on flare! Simply taking it in bite size pieces before you leave can make all the difference in the world.
Rest. Plan rest stops for you and your body so you can do all the things you really want to do. For example, when I travel by car, I always plan on taking a day off the next day to let my body rest. If I push myself, then I get into a world of hurt. It is vitally important that we rest often and take our time. If traveling by plane, you can rest on the plane, especially if it is a long flight.
No matter how you travel, make sure you stretch your legs at regular intervals, and as often as you need to. This will prevent not only blood clots from forming in your legs, but also allow for your muscles to not cramp and for proper blood flow and joint movement. When you sit too long in one position, your joints tend to stiffen up and become painful. When by car, I try to stop once every two hours, no longer than that, and get out and walk a bit. It truly does help. In a plane, you can walk up the aisle and back down as you go to the restroom or to the snack area. If you are on a long flight it is important to do this for the reasons mentioned above.
Keep your meds close to you. If traveling by car, keep them in the interior of the car if possible and if by plane, keep them in your carry on luggage. This insures that you will not get separated from your vital medications. I never put my meds in checked baggage, ever! I always try to keep a small bag in the interior of the car to so that if I need something, it is in easy reach and not buried under a mound of luggage in the trunk of the car.
I hope you have found this to be helpful. I have learned these things by trial and error. I love to travel. I love to see new things. These hints have helped me to maintain a semblance of less pain as I see and learn new things in my travels.
I saw my new gastroenterologist the other day. Since I have been having so many issues with my colon, I knew I needed to see someone so my new family doctor referred me to this new doctor. He was awesome! He had us schedule a colonoscopy for the first part of April, hopefully by then these issues will be resolved enough to do it.
I feel so much better after seeing this doctor and I am so glad to add him to my team of doctors! My appointment was for 2:30 pm, I got there at 2:25. I was checked in and filling out forms and then called back to the room. The nurse was thorough and very nice. The doctor was amazing! Afterwards, I paid, got my instructions, and left. It was now 3:00. WOW!!! I love how these doctors value my time as much as their own! I like this new trend in medicine.
So, one major thing down, a few more to go. I still have eto see my new gynecologist for checking out that mass on my ovary. I am seeing my neurologist Friday. I see my surgeon next Thursday and the the following Monday, my rheumatologist. My ducks are lining up quite nicely.
Thank you all for your continued good wishes and thoughts and prayers. Things are on the upswing now! I am being proactive and hope things turn out well. I have a lot more living to do, a new grandbaby coming, and plans to do much more!
Well I am sorry to report that my infection never went away. A part of it lingered on from my recent hospitalization despite all the antibiotics I have taken. The pain was pretty bad so off to the ER again.
After tests, iv’s and a ct scan they discovered that this infection had not left. However, it was not as bad as before so wonder of wonders they sent me home with five new prescriptions! Hooray!!! I packed a bag in case they admitted me but so happy I didn’t have to use it.
One more thing… I asked about my blood count and I am now 12.1! 12 is the lowest number for not being considered anemic. I am working on improving that by eating protein. That is good news indeed!!
So, I am home, in my recliner, my kitty is sprawled out across my lap, and all is right for me. Hopefully, after two more antibiotics, this thing will be gone once and for all. Here’s hoping!!!
I found this on another blog and it is quite good. I do want to say there is some profanity in it and I apologize for that, but since I did not write it, I wanted to let you know in advance. I do not use profanity myself, but Natalie does in this post. It still is quite good. As for her references to “Heartless Bitches”, it seems this is what she refers to her readers. Just FYI. Otherwise, good read! I got this post from http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/emotional_abuse.shtml
by Natalie P.
Most people have had it happen: at some point in our lives we find ourselves manipulated or “guilted” into doing something we didn’t want to do. We end up angry at ourselves for caving in, and resenting the other person for pressuring us. However there are other kinds of emotional manipulation – covert abusive and hurtful techniques that even the most stalwart Heartless Bitch can fall prey to, that undermine a person’s self-confidence, and may even make you feel like you are going crazy. The thing is, while true Heartless Bitches would NEVER tolerate physical abuse, they can get blindsided by emotional abuse, and not even realize it’s happening – especially if it is coming from someone they trust and love. Like physical abuse, emotional abuse becomes a vicious circle that chips away at your self-confidence, making it harder and harder to leave. If you are in a relationship where you have a sick sense that SOMETHING is wrong, but somehow it’s always YOUR fault, and you find yourself always tring to “fix” things, this article may be for you.
Emotional abusers are very insidious – some of them are much harder to spot than others, because they mingle their abuse in between acts of generosity, and often employ emotionally manipulative tactics, and passive-aggressive behavior. Not all emotional abusers overtly belittle and verbally harangue their partners – some are much more perfidious and as such, their partners may not realize that the source of their distress and an unease over the relationship has been coming from abuse for quite some time. The longer a woman remains under the grip of an emotional abuser, the more she will start to question herself, her actions and her beliefs. It is the abuser’s goal to make her believe that she deserves his cruelty and that only through her actions can she make it stop. It is his intent to get her to feel that she is the cause of any relationship problems, and that his (abusive) behavior is simply a response to her, and therefore acceptable. It is true, that only through her actions can she make it stop – she must have the courage to leave the relationship and avoid further contact with the abuser.
Abusers, physical or emotional, are abusive because of their own self-hate and internal issues – not because of anything their partner did. No amount of work or attempting to please will stop an abuser from abusing. They have to be willing to recognize and actually work on their own issues before they can stop inflicting cruelty on the people who love them. In many cases, they don’t even love their partners, because they can’t even love themselves, and don’t feel that they deserve love, even though they crave it. Abusers may genuinely feel bad that they committed another act of abuse, not because they have any real compassion for the person they hurt, but because they get angry at themselves for “screwing up” again. This drives them further into self-loathing, and further into a cycle of abusive behavior.
It is common for men who are “called” on their abusive behavior to blame the woman, and claim SHE was the abuser. He may even point to his abusive childhood as proof that he is just an innocent victim. The truth of the matter is that abusers generally DO have a history of abuse stemming from their childhood, with emotionally abusive and/or physically abusive parents. However, it is important to note that though women can become abusers, MOST OFTEN (because of the way we are socialized and the power setups in society), if there has been no *successful* theraputic intervention, MEN from abusive families become “ABUSERS”, and WOMEN who grew up in abusive families become “Abuse VICTIMS”.
Like the alcoholic, an abuser must admit his behavior to himself and others, and seek help. Unfortunately, not all therapy works, and not all people who go into therapy are ready or willing to do the personal work necessary to get better and eliminate their destructive patterns. As such, abusers are not safe people – even after they enter therapy. It can take years of therapy to unravel and undo the damage and self-hate that has driven someone to abuse. During that time, the abuser may actually get worse before his behavior improves, if it changes at all. It is quite common for deeply disturbed people who enter therapy to initially use the therapy to project their problems on everyone else and point out the character flaws of those around them, rather than face their own internal demons. Until they can be honest with themselves and the therapist, the therapy will accomplish nothing. For a person who has spent a lifetime of lying and hating themselves, honesty does not come easily.
More disturbingly, some abusers can and DO go into therapy as a ploy – to make it LOOK like they are actually working on their own behavior, and accepting responsibility for their actions, when, in fact, the real motive is to arm themselves with distortions of the therapist’s words and tools, in an effort to heighten and increase the psychological warfare. The bottom line, is that you can’t trust an abuser, the same way you can’t trust the married man who is having an affair and keeps promising to leave his wife.
The more subtle forms of emotional abuse can be the hardest to escape from, because the gaps between the loving, caring behavior and the emotional cruelty can span several weeks or months. However, someone who is nice and caring, and helpful for 2 or 3 months at a time, but then deliberately does or says something very emotionally devastating and cruel to a partner is no better than someone who does the same nice things but then PUNCHES his partner once every few months. The pain, the insecurity, the uncertainty, and the heartache are the same. The bruises and the welts are on the inside instead of the outside, and they take far longer to heal. While someone may be emotionally blindsided by major episodes of emotional cruelty, and may even recognize it as abuse, abused partners often “overlook” the subtle everyday criticisms, “chain yanking”, and emotional blackmail that are woven into the fabric of their relationship, accepting (or denying) it as just part of a “relationship”. Unfortunately, it’s part of a very UNHEALTHY relationship.
It can leave the woman wondering if the pain is worth the good times, and even wondering if this is as good as it gets? What if there isn’t anything better? When he distorts the past and blames you for the relationship problems, you may even feel like you are going crazy, and he will certainly do everything he can to imply that you ARE. The truth is, there IS something better. You don’t have to put up with a relationship where you are treated poorly, with disrespect, or emotional cruelty, no matter how infrequent those acts are. And of course, when you do get upset, the abuser will infer that you are overreacting, or “too sensitive”, so it adds to the confusion and hurt that you may feel.
What are the signs and symptoms of Emotional Abuse?
A common misconception is that emotional abuse has to take the form of a partner yelling over every little thing, belittling or constantly criticizing a partner. Other forms of emotional abuse, can however, be just as damaging, and far less overt. They can include being disrespectful, discourteous, rude, condescending, patronizing, critical, judgemental, “joking” insults, lying, repeatedly “forgetting” promises and agreements, betrayal of trust, “setting you up”, and “revising” history.
To outsiders, abusers often appear as decent, successful, sensitive, calm and nondescript. To their families, they are often controlling, self-absorbed, hypercritical, compulsive, childish and mean-spirited. Most of abusers are actually BOTH. It is the disparity between the one they love and the one that harms them that keeps the woman confused. He may intersperse episodes of abuse with words of love, telling her that she is “the best thing that has ever happened” to him, and that he wants to start treating her that way, confusing her further. She keeps hoping that if she does enough, if she gives enough, he will stop hurting her and the loving, caring side of him will prevail. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy that often keeps the woman in the relationship for far too long. Ask yourself: Do you have a drawer full of “apology” jewellery, or a closet full of “apology” clothes?
One of the most difficult things about identifying and leaving someone who is a psychological and emotional abuser, is that the REALLY successful abusers are highly intelligent and hide their abuse incredibly well. They may have shelves of filled with psychology books; many are well-read and very well spoken. They know how to twist and manipulate language and people. They present an exterior of calm, rational self-control, when in reality, they have no internal control of their own pain and chaotic self-hate, so they try to control others, and drive others to LOSE control. If an abuser can cause YOU to lose control, it proves how healthy HE is, so he can say, explicitly, or implicitly (it’s amazing how sighs, and rolling of the eyes can accomplish as much as words), “There you go again, losing it, crying and yelling. I’m not the one who needs therapy, *you* are.” Unfortunately, if an outsider sees the abuse at all, all they see is an outburst from you, NOT the abuse that triggered it. It may make you feel as if you have had all your lifelines withdrawn, as if you are going crazy, because nobody believes you that this charming, “nice”, helpful, successful man could be so incredibly psychologically cruel and deliberately hurtful.
Abusers play the pushme-pull-you game threatening to withdraw their affections, dropping statements out of the blue intended to destabilize. This has the effect of making their partners insecure and uncertain, but that plays right into the abuser’s hand as he then can accuse the partner of being “too needy”. Ploys such as casually talking about how he’s thinking of taking a job in another city are one such example of destabilizing talk. In this kind of case, it doesn’t start with any discussion of your relationship, or what might happen to it – he talks only of the cool job opportunity, with no recognition of the impact it might have on you, your relationship, or your family.
An emotional abuser may make fun of his partner, or make subtle or not-so-subtle disparaging remarks about her while with other friends, and encourage the friends to make disparaging remarks. He will then be sure to tell her about the jokes they made and act surprised when she doesn’t find them “funny”. He may even tell her that she is overreacting and that it was “all in fun” and that no harm was meant by the “joking”.
Not all emotional abusers criticize their partners directly – sometimes it can be as simple as constantly criticizing how someone keeps a kitchen, or complaining about the mess in the house, or continuous grumbling about the laundry, or complaining about the noise and mess the kids make. He will make her think it is her job to keep him happy, and imply that household things are contributing to his unhappiness and bad temper.
An emotional abuser will seem to encourage his partner to grow, to develop new skills and expand her horizons, but then will do things to impede or prevent that progress. He will mope and sigh about how little time she has for him now that she is working more or taking that course, or back in school. Or, he will “encourage” her to advance herself, but refuse to provide any additional assistance around the house/family to ease her workload, effectively making it impossible for her to take that course or job. If he DOES provide assistance, he will let her know how HARD it is for him, and how MUCH he is doing for her, every step of the way… he will play the “sad puppy” to the hilt, trying to get her to feel guilty for the burdens she has put on him.
An Emotional abuser will try to make his partner responsible for his happiness. Either through direct comments, or indirect implications, the abuser will let his partner know that he is not happy, that it is somehow her fault, and that she must fix it. The problem is, no matter what she does, it will never be enough, and it won’t ultimately make him happy.
The abuser may take this behavior to an extreme, insisting that he is the best partner or relationship she will ever have, the only one who can truly love her (despite all her faults!), and that if she doesn’t live up to his expectations, he will leave the relationship. Since abuse is really about control, the abuser knows he can have the upper hand in the relationship if he can keep her uncertain and insecure.
Emotional abusers overcompensate for their self-hate with a warped kind of narcissism. They genuinely believe that YOU SHOULD know how they feel, and know what to do to make them happy. AND that you should be willing to do those things without having to be asked or told. They believe that they DESERVE to be treated better, to be put first, to be given preferential treatment. He will expect you to read his mind. He lives by the “if you really loved me, you’d KNOW how I feel” game, and of course will punish you for not being telepathic. If confronted with the unreasonable nature of this behavior, the abuser will blame his partner for his lack of communication – it will always be her fault that he couldn’t tell her what he needed or wanted. He will project HIS behavior on her, and insist that he couldn’t talk to her about what was bothering him because she was too intense, or critical, or angry, or judgemental, or needy. Don’t buy it. Those are HIS issues. Not yours.
And speaking of narcissism, the emotional abuser will be envious and resentful if YOU get more attention than HE does in a social setting. He will likely punish you for it by one of any number of techniques: ignoring you, sulking, disappearing for hours, flirting heavily with someone else, or leaving the party or function without notifying you.
Emotional abusers expect the rest of the household to live by their waking, sleeping and eating schedules. If his schedule is interrupted or disturbed, or if the partner chooses not to follow the same patterns, the abuser feels justified in “punishing” the offender. This can include the full battery of emotional abuse and passive-aggressive tactics – because in the abuser’s mind, the partner or household member “deserves” it for not caring enough about him to live by his schedules and activity calendar.
Emotional abusers may use punishment tactics like leaving (without a word to you), a party or function that you both went to. They will have socially plausible, pathos-laden excuses for their unannounced departure, like they couldn’t find you, or they were tired and wanted to go home. However, the REAL reason they left without a word, was to punish you; to wind you up, to get you worried about them, and ultimately, to have you feel guilty for not paying enough attention to them. When you confront an abuser on the concept of COURTESY around these sorts of things, the abuser will either apologize weakly, (but the damage has been done), or insist that your distress over his behavior is overreacting.
Emotional abusers will remind you of your flaws under the guise of trying to be “helpful” or sensitive. He may make comments like, “You seem unhappy with your body” – even though you have made no comments about your body image or otherwise, or “You are running late again – you never can get anywhere on time”, or “There doesn’t seem to be much point in planning things with you.” All are comments intended to unbalance and remind you of what he perceives to be your weaknesses.
Emotional abusers will try to isolate you from family and friends. There are several tactics that may be employed. If he can’t manipulate your friends, he will either find reasons to denigrate them or will be “uninterested” in doing things with you AND your friends. He may find them “boring”. You may find yourself caught in a double-bind where he “encourages” you to go out with *your* friends, refusing any invitation to participate, but then mopes that you never spend enough time with HIM. Over time, you may find yourself isolated from your friends by virtue of the demands on your time that he makes. You may also find him VERY upset if he finds out that you have been talking to a close friend or family member about him and/or your relationship with him – especially if that person is likely to tell you he’s behaving like an ass.
One emotional abuser went so far as to “set up” his wife so that she would isolate herself. He did it by “reminding” her of her “shyness”, and how socially backward she was. He did this under the guise of “being sensitive” to her and the areas she “needed to work on”. Then he would offer to “help” her by suggesting she come along to a party or social function with him. Prior to the function he would again “help” her by briefing her on people attending the party, so that she could “have something to talk about” with them. As part of his tactic, he told his wife distortions or half-truths so that she would make social faux-pas at the function. If she ever questioned him, he would insist that SHE must have heard him wrong, and it must have been HER nervousness that made her forget or screw up. The man was a “pillar of the community”, so to his friends, she looked like a bumbling (and even insensitive) fool, and they “couldn’t figure out why a man like him was with a woman like HER.” Combined with his subtle denigration of her friends and family, she gradually isolated herself by not attending social functions, and cutting off relationships with her support network.
Instead of “lying” to a partner, an emotional abuser may “forget” significant promises he made to his partner – especially if forgetting that promise will hurt her. He may also “forget” things so that he can let her know that things that are important to her are NOT important to him. This tactic can take the form of making a special dinner for her, containing shrimp when he has known for years that she is allergic to shellfish, so she can’t eat it, or buying a feather comforter for their bed, when he knows she is allergic to feathers. He will claim that his lapse was due to “forgetting”, when in fact, it was a passive-aggressive ploy to trick the partner into believing he was doing “something nice”, get her hopes up, and then bring her down with the fact that she could not enjoy this “gift” of his after all… It is a passive-aggressive slap-in-the-face.
Emotional abusers expect more from their partners than they are willing to put into a relationship. The problem is, no matter how much the partner gives, it will never be enough, and the abuser will expect more – because the relationship isn’t about love for the abuser, it’s about control.
The more independent a partner becomes, the more abusive the abuser will be, because he sees he is losing control of his partner.
Emotional abusers expect to be forgiven for their “mistakes” (otherwise known as abuse) but are unable to forgive their partners for legitimate mistakes – and will continue to “punish” their partners for those mistakes, long after apologies and restitution have been made.
Emotional abusers expect their partners to change for them. Unfortunately, the changes the partner makes will never be enough – the abuser will always want more.
The abuser says it’s not completely his fault, or she pushes his buttons, or that something she did triggered him to do or say something hurtful or damaging to her.
Emotional abuse can take the form of him insisting that she isn’t spending enough time with him, forcing her to “prove her love” by booking extra time and adjusting her life and her schedule around him, so that he can then reject any suggestions she has for activities, and act disinterested when they do have time together.
When she tries to make plans with him, the abuser will remind her in a condescending way of how poor she is at planning and how he doesn’t believe that the plans will work out. Over time, comments like this insidiously undermine her self-confidence, by telling repeatedly that she is untrustworthy. Her untrustworthiness becomes yet another excuse for him to “punish” her with abusive language or actions.
Another emotional abuse tactic is to reject activities that she suggests and then do them with other people – letting her know that he is doing them with other people – establishing control and implying that she is not worthy of doing the activities with him, but other people are.
An emotional abuser will often use condescension as an effective tool in manipulating and hurting his partner. In expressing his own internal anger, he targets his partner. But because she has done nothing to “deserve” his anger at this point (or any point!), he may be rude, brutally inconsiderate, condescending, patronizing, or even use the “silent treatment” to get her upset or angry. When his partner gets upset, and an argument ensues, he can then express his anger at her, and blame the fact that she “got angry” at him, for the whole argument – even though HE started it. Don’t let him convince you that your anger at his disrespect and emotional cruelty, is somehow wrong or abusive to him. That is part of his control and escalating cycle of abuse technique.
As part of this “control” technique, the abuser may “set up” his partner, pushing as many buttons as possible to get the partner to lose control by breaking down in tears or getting angry or yelling. If you raise your voice, he will insist that YOU are the abuser. Don’t buy it, and don’t believe it. While there might be better ways to handle the situation, (more easily enacted if you weren’t emotionally involved with this person), chances are that he has inflicted so much psychological warfare that you have been backed into an emotional corner, and are reacting in self-defense. Emotional reactions in self-defense to an abusive situation do NOT make YOU an “abuser”.
One of the more subtle but effective ways an abuser can “wind” his partner up is by invalidating/rejecting/showing no compassion for the feelings of his partner – especially in conjunction with a deliberate act of malice that was designed to upset or hurt the partner. He will claim the act was either “accidental” or intended to help the partner. He will try to tell his partner that it is NOT OK to feel angry or hurt or upset by his actions – or that if she DOES feel those things, her “feelings are her own” – that he has no responsibility towards repairing any emotional damage he may have caused. As part of this tactic he may pay lip-service to personal responsibility by saying he “takes responsibility” for his actions, but then make no offer to do anything about the resulting emotional pain, or say that there is nothing he can do to repair the damage or make restitution. If she tries to get him to do anything to make restitution he will use the word “blame” as if it is a dirty word, and accuse her of trying to lay “blame” on him for his actions. This is the functional equivalent of someone using a board to “fan” you and when he “accidentally” hits you over the head, telling you that he was just trying to HELP and that if you feel PAIN, well, your feelings are your own, and he can’t be responsible for YOUR feelings, and there is nothing HE can do about it now… Non-abusers who genuinely ACCIDENTALLY hurt a loved one’s feelings, do not refuse to nurture those feelings – they help repair the emotional damage, and they don’t repeatedly make the same “mistakes” over and over with their partners.
The flip side of this, of course, is that emotional abusers want to reap the emotional rewards for being nice and doing “good” things for their partners – they want the affirmation, appreciation and attention they feel they deserve when they do something positive for a partner.
The truth about responsibility for one’s feelings is that if you love and trust someone – if you open your heart to the love and caring, you also open it to the potential for hurt. Yes, in the strictest sense of the word, no one can make you feel anything – you choose to let them affect you for good or bad. But very few people, (except perhaps those with borderline personality disorder), can be completely “unfeeling” when dealing with someone they care deeply for. Most people are unable to open their hearts up completely to love and be able to “let” only good things affect their feelings and not the bad. To disconnect yourself from feeling hurt and pain is to disconnect yourself from feeling love and joy. When you open your heart to someone, you are granting them your trust as well as your love. You are trusting them to respect and honor your love. If someone abuses you by violating your trust, you are not wrong for trusting – THEY are wrong for breaking that trust and using it to hurt you.
Emotional abusers have huge double standards. What is ok for them, is NOT ok for their partners. I.e. THEY are allowed to get angry – their partners are not.
Abusers will blame their partner for “allowing” or encouraging them to be abusive. In as much as a refusal to capitulate can trigger an abusive attack, any sign of “guilty” feelings or weakness in a partner is like blood in the water for sharks, when it comes to abusers. Of course, according to the abuser, it is up to the woman not to provide him with the temptation to abuse, by changing HER behavior.
If caught in a lie or exposed in a situation where he can’t immediately manipulate his partner into taking the rap, he may try to go for the sympathy ploy, in an attempt deflect the situation away from his bad behavior. For example, one abuser caught in the middle of a lie, blamed his lie on “bad memory”, almost started crying, and began bemoaning what he would do if his memory was going, because his whole job depended on being able to remember lots of details. All of a sudden, the situation turned from him being caught in a lie, to his partner being expected to feel sorry for him because of his “bad memory”… Other deflection techniques he may use when his behavior is exposed, are:
-to bring up stories of childhood/parental abuse (watch these, they are the same old stories each time, and if you listen closely, you may see that his behaviors closely match those childhood abuse patterns…)
-to bring up troubles and things bothering him at work
-to bring up his hurt and “pain” over something YOU did ages ago, and have long-since paid for.
-”missing” a grown child who has left the home, or children he abandoned and his former partner “won’t let him” visit (big wonder why…).
If you DO manage to get an abuser to a relationship counsellor, (something many abusers will insist you two don’t need – he’ll insist that you “can work things out yourselves…”), the abuser will work to ensure that the counsellor sees HIM as the mistreated partner, or at the very least, that his behaviors are one-time incidents rooted in just cause. These kinds of emotional abusers are often highly intelligent and manipulative. They will manipulate and lie to the counsellor, pinning the onus back on YOU to change your behavior for HIM. You may find it very frustrating and difficult. Even if he can’t avoid having his trust-breaking behavior exposed, he may find a way to manipulate the situation so that his “reasons” for breaking trust were because of YOUR inability to meet his needs. Beware. Sometimes counsellors buy into that stuff, and you end up getting a double-whammy.
Emotional abusers will hide their abuse in acts that they can claim were done to “try and help” their partner. For example, taking a partner’s kids away camping for the weekend, ostensibly, “to give her some time off”, but without phoning and checking with her first, “forgetting” she had made plans with them already, and deliberately making sure the kids didn’t have time to pack up and be properly equipped. This is designed to get her upset, but have it look like, on the surface, he was “just trying to be helpful and she got upset at me.” Similarly, an abuser might do some of your laundry “as a favor” to you, without your asking, and then shrink or stain your clothes. When you get upset about the fact that not only did he do this without asking, but it caused damage, an abuser will imply that your anger is invalid and unwarranted, that you are ungrateful, (he was just trying to help!), and that there is nothing he can do about it now. The abuser learns and goes for the most sensitive “buttons” on his partner, so that he can get a response out of her. The abuser seeks ways to violate her boundaries through calculated “acts of kindess”, and may resort to using her children, her personal belongings, her friends, or her personal space as tools.
In addition to favors which cause damage, the emotional abuser may do legitimately helpful “favors” for his partner, but again, ones that the partner never asked for. The problem is that the abuser never gives freely or unconditionally. He expects some kind of recompense in return, often without stating what that expectation is. This then gives him another opportunity to feel justified in punishing his partner when she doesn’t live up to his unstated expectations of gratitude and reciprocation. When his partner stands up for herself, you may hear him using phrases like, “everything I did, I did for her”, and “after all I did for her, THIS is how she treats me!”. Abusers will often complain (especially to others outside the relationship) about how unappreciated they are/were, and how they gave and gave and gave, and got so little in return…
Another destabilizing tactic that the abuser may use is to reneg on a committment, or on a stated belief, catching you off-guard, possibly even putting you in a position where he can accuse you of “hurting” him because you didn’t know his beliefs/principles/goals had changed. He will use the excuse that he “changed his mind” as a tool for keeping you off-balance. If you question his about-face, he will accuse you of not allowing him the right to change his mind. While people legitimately DO change their minds about things, abusers will do it often, and without warning, with maximum rug-yanking effect for their partners.
Emotional abusers will use the “mind change” tactic to set a partner up in a no-win situation. No matter what the partner does, the abuser will find a way to find fault with it – if the cat craps on his bed and she doesn’t clean it up, she is uncaring and selfish. If she DOES clean it up, then she was invading his personal space.
Emotional abusers encourage their partners to do “self-indulgent” things that the abuser will later resent them for. It may be as simple as encouraging her to go out dancing with her friends, or to go visit her mother, or it may be as serious as encouraging her to take a job or go back to school. In many cases, his “encouragement” is part of the “if she really loves me” test – if she does what he encourages her to do, she is diverting her attention from him, and he will feel justified in hurting her as a result.
Once someone starts to detach from an abuser and refuses to play the games, he may go for the sympathy ploy. If his partner doesn’t capitulate and refuses to pander to his emotional blackmail, she will be accused of being cold and heartless, in the hopes that THIS escalation of emotional blackmail will hurt her further.
Emotional abusers often display different personalities to other people in their lives – watch for a completely changed demeanor, behavior, body language and even tone of voice, when they are at work, or with a circle of friends. The abuser may claim that this is just different “facets” of his personality, but in fact, it is a warning sign that he puts on different personnas to suit the situation, and you will never know which one is the REAL person. It belies huge insecurities – the way children try to act like the crowd they are with in order to be accepted – and is an indication of the emotional immaturity of the typical abuser.
Emotional abusers, like physical abusers, can be exceedingly charming -that’s why it’s so hard for the victim of abuse – their friends only see the charming side, and don’t see the discourtesy, lies, meanness, condescension and rudeness that happens inside the relationship.
Because abuse is about power and control, the abuser will often try to become “buddies” or friends with his partner’s closest friends. If her female friends are attracted to him at all, he may even try to prey on that, so that if she has a conflict or a problem with him, she doesn’t have a close supportive friend to turn to. Abusers will use things like stories of childhood abuse or trauma, lost friends or the death of relatives to get her friends to feel sorry for him. He will play up the “sensitive guy” role. If he can cozy up to her best friend, the friend will feel caught in the middle – which is exactly what the abuser wants – to cut off his partner from external support. If he can, he may even flirt heavily with her friends, have an affair with one of her friends, or become pals with one or more of her former friends as another way to hurt and attempt to shame her. As much as possible, he will perpetrate this behavior in front of his partner, so that he is exhibiting his control – going for maximum hurt to her through a blatant display of compassionless disrespect.
The emotional abuser often plays pushme-pullyou. He will indicate that his interest in his partner is waning, and when she begins to start separating from him, he will become attentive and interested again. He may even use sex as a weapon against her – by telling her that she isn’t paying enough attention to him, spending enough time with him, or isn’t initiating sex enough, but then will reject her advances when she tries to initiate.
Abusers are completely self-centered. They blame other people and seldom take responsibility for their own actions.
Abusers are self-righteous. They find ways to justify their behavior. As a result, he always focuses on her problems, and insists that she change to make the relationship better.
Emotional abusers hate apologizing – and if they DO apologize, they will only do the same thing again. They know this, and will even try to make it seem like any expectation of an apology is really an attempt to “blame” them. (Again, “blame” being that dirty word). For example, “You just want me to say I’m sorry and promise I’ll never do it again, so that when I screw up again, you can point a finger and blame me and get angry with me and say, “See? You did it again and you promised you wouldn’t!”" This is called “projection” – abusers do it all the time. They project THEIR issues onto their partner, and try to make it their partner’s problem. They make it sound like the partner’s is somehow wrong or attempting to set them up for “blame”, for wanting some sign of compassion and remorse, and an indication of willingness to work on the behavior problem.
If you do get an apology out of an abuser, it is a quick-fix, not a long-term solution, because they will do the same behavior over again – that is why they are often so resistant to apologizing and saying that they will work on the behavior – because they KNOW they will repeat it at another time.
Abusers may, early in the relationship, in a moment of “opening up”, tell you of their abusive or manipulative nature. At the time you may think that this is some kind of indication of a willingness to work on their past problems, or that somehow it will be different for you. In fact, what they are looking for is absolution in advance for behavior they will later inflict on you. They may even go so far as to say, “I told you this is how I am.”
Emotional abusers often grow OLD without growing UP. They are emotionally stunted and immature. Emotional abusers are self-preoccupied, and demonstrate a passive-aggressive interpersonal style.
Emotional abusers may do seemingly loving, kind and considerate things, that actually convey a subtle message that you aren’t “perfect”, that you aren’t quite good enough. For example, it may seem very sweet that he rubs cream into your hands before bed, but then you remember that he also didn’t like you touching him if your hands were the least bit dry or rough – it “hurt” his skin, so you always had to have hand cream to make your hands soft before you touched him. Sadly, the REAL message behind the seemingly loving act of rubbing cream in your hands is that you aren’t perfect, you aren’t living up to his needs and expectations, NOT that he loves you… In their own subversive way, these “messages”, couched in “loving” acts, eat away and erode your sense of self-worth.
Emotional abusers deny that they have any problems and/or project their problems onto their partner, often accusing their partners of abuse – especially AFTER the partner has woken up and called the abuser on his behavior. At this point he will be sure to tell as many *mutual* friends as will listen, that she is controlling and abusive to him, in an attempt to further undermine any support she might get.
In order to gain sympathy, the abuser will share convincing stories of his burdens, including stories of how he was abused as a child, or how he witnessed his mother being assaulted by his father.
An emotional abuser demonstrates little capacity to appreciate the perspective of another person when his own interests are at stake. Emotional abusers often flip between being a martyr and a self-absorbed asshole – there is no middle ground, and they use the martyrdom as an excuse for their behavior when they are in self-absorbed asshole mode (“I was just doing something for *me*. I’m tired of you making me feel bad about myself.”). However, that “something” often winds up breaking a relationship agreement, a promise, or involves him being condescending, ignoring, or rude.
An emotional abuser sees himself as a blameless victim, and denies his own provocative behavior, even going so far as to bemoan the fact that a partner left him, or threw him out, “after all the things I did for her”… The emotional abuser will play up the “pathos” in an attempt to garner sympathy, all the while, continuing to stalk his ex, making jokes about things he could do to upset her, and invading her personal space and boundaries at social functions.
Like physical abusers, emotional abusers will often stalk their former partners. The stalker’s objective is often to control her through cultivating fear rather than making direct or specific threats, or confronting the her. Sometimes this stalking can take the form of simply moving into the same neighborhood as a former partner, and letting her know, through friends, where he is living. His move into her neighborhood will be “justified” by him for some specious reason, but the reality is, he can’t let go and is still trying to control her and inflict pain on her after the relationship is over. This is a subtle form of terrorism, because abuse victims are often very emotionally (if not physically) afraid of their abusers once they wake up. She will know that she might run into him at the local convenience store, gas station, supermarket, or on a walk. He is, in effect, pissing on her boundaries (something abusers have no respect for) and trying to make them his own. He may even begin dating someone who lives very close to her, so that he has an excuse to go by her house, or park his car nearby.
Ex-partners of abusers will often express fear of their abuser, and will have no desire to be anywhere near the abuser. On the other hand, the abuser may try to appear as if he is calm, rational, and still supportive of his ex-partner, despite the fact that he will also express the opinion that he believes she is quite unstable. He will make statements such as saying that he “bears her no ill-will”, etc., but then will show no respect for her boundaries or her requests for him to stay away from her. The abuser will still inquire with friends as to how she is doing, implying that his inquiry is because he cares about her – he does care – about retaining those last vestiges of control, even after the breakup. What he really wants to know is if she is suffering or doing badly, because that feeds his sick ego. He feels best when he puts other people in as much pain as he is in.
People in relationships have conflicts. But there is a right way and a wrong way to resolve them, and no matter what the other person does, no matter what a person’s “issues” are, abuse is the wrong way. Emotional cruelty and abuse are choices. A man can choose to be abusive or choose to be non-abusive; he can choose to be honest and straightforward, or passive-aggressive and covert, and no matter how hard a man tries to blame his partner, there is no justification for abuse.
If you are a victim of emotional abuse, you have to wake up to the fact that this person *does not love you* and probably hasn’t loved you for a very long time, if ever. Because the truth of the matter is, someone who can be emotionally cruel, malicious, and compassionless with people who have given him their love and their trust, is so absorbed in self-hate that he is incapable of loving himself, much less anyone else. What the abuser feels is obsession, not love.
If you find that you are having to explain the basics of respect and courtesy to a partner – if you are finding that he just DOESN’T SEEM TO GET IT, when you try to explain why his behavior or actions were disrespectful – run far and run fast. People who are capable of maintaining and contributing to a loving, supportive, healthy relationship, DON’T need to constantly have the concepts of respect, compassion, and consideration explained to them.
Just because he admits his behavior (and WATCH – some abusers are VERY good at acknowledging they did something without apologizing, or admitting there was anything WRONG with the behavior.), does NOT mean he is willing to change it, that he will not repeat the behavior, nor that he even believes he did anything unacceptable, hurtful or wrong. DO NOT take admission of an act as a sign of integrity, acceptance of responsibility, a show of remorse, or an indication of genuine caring, unless you see EXPLICIT behavior that demonstrates it.
It is NOT wrong, or unhealthy to want someone to love and care about you and care for you, and to want to reciprocate. It is only through this kind of openness that we can acheive true intimacy with another individual. And two emotionally healthy people, CAN do this without becoming co-dependent. Unfortunately, abusers violate the trust that this kind of relationship requires, and are incapable of true intimacy. They want you to be dependent. People who ARE capable of genuinely loving you in a healthy and safe way, DON’T WANT TO HURT YOU, and do not DELIBERATELY DO THINGS TO HURT YOU. They don’t play on your insecurities and they don’t wage psychological warfare on you. They don’t blame YOU for all the relationship problems, and they don’t fabricate problems just so you can be the scapegoat.
People who love you will treat you with respect, consideration, courtesty, honesty and compassion. If you are with someone who matches the abusive behavior in this article, get help. The sooner you wake up to the fact that the relationship is unhealthy, and move on, the sooner your life will improve.
Remember: Safe People are people who draw you closer to who you were meant to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. They encourage you to be your most loving, growing self.
More links to web pages/sites about Abusers and Emotional Abuse:
Romeo is Bleeding – how to recognize and avoid abusers and controllers
Angry Affirmations – how abusers stay mad at the world
how to be Unhappy – how abusers stay miserable
The Blame Game – How Abusers with Borderline Personality Disorder set people up in “no win” situations. If you want to learn more about BPD, check out the entire section at Suite101. It might be that the abuser you are dealing with has this very debilitating disorder.
A Non-Borderline’s Quest to Understand Borderlines – Q&A about why Borderlines act the way they do (abusively), to people close to them.
Devaluation – How borderlines “devalue” people close to them so they can feel justified in acting out.
Good book resources include:
Emotional Blackmail – When the People in your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate you, by Susan Forward, Ph.D.
Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse, by Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.
Today began as any other. I got up and drank some coffee, sat down and took my pills. Next thing I know, I hear someone knocking on my door. By the time I come around from the fog, they had left. It was my mom. So I called her and then sat down again. Once again, the next thing I know, someone is knocking on my door again. I had fallen back to sleep once again! I answered the door to find my husband there. I am not sure he ever said why he came down here but his car would not start so he couldn’t leave. Long story short, his car is still here but he left in the pouring rain to walk back to his home. By the time I was fully awake, he had left.
Now I ate something and then sat back down. Seriously, I fell asleep again. I also discovered my lymph nodes swollen so my thought is that I am flaring up in my flare again and sleep is what is happening. It happens when I begin to flare up worse than “normal”.
So now here I sit, at 4 in the morning, wide awake and watching my programs I dvr’d. Hope I can get some rest soon.
So, how was your day? I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for letting me vent a bit.
For those who say they don’t have the time to coupon I say thank you! I, however, find that the things I get free are the things I enjoy giving away the most! I always try to get anything that is free with coupons. What my family cannot use, I donate to the local food pantry. I find it is so enriching when you can give back.
So, in that vein, let me share my shopping and coupons that allowed me to get 27 bags of stayfree products, full size bags, for free! Well, to be honest, I did pay $3.77 for them all and also got two $5 gift cards from target as well. So overall, I made money by buying all these products. I earned $6.33! Here is the breakdown:
My stayfree stock up tonight. I got 7 overnight ultra thins, 9 regular ultra thins with wings, 2 super thin with wings, 6 regular thins and 5 carefree liners. How much did I spend? $3.77 total!!!! I actually have two $5 target gift cards too!! Woot woot!!!
After the sadness of this week, it was great to finally hear some good news! I thought I would share it with you all as well. My cousin Trish found out she is officially in remission from her stage 3 ovarian cancer! Yee hawwwwwwww! Woot woot woot woot!
My cousin you see, is the mother of 18 children. Not all are hers biologically. She and her husband foster and most of the time, adopt those they foster. They specialize in teenagers. Their house is a constant ebb and flow of young people, either doing chores, or watching tv, or talking on their cell phones and well, you get the picture.
She is a very special person and has changed so many at risk teens into upstanding citizens that have security they never had by living in her home. She gives them love, lots of love, and responsibilities, morals, values and well, love. It is so amazing to meet these kids and get to know them and in no time, they are my “nieces and nephews”. I say that because in our family, any older person who is a cousin or whatever is called Aunt or Uncle out of respect. My running joke with each of the kids is that I tell them each that they are my favorite. It is our gag we say and they love the teasing.
These kids come from troubled homes and for the most part have had little or now security and stability in their young lives. They transform over time into these lovely young people who finally are getting what they needed and blossom as a result.
Back to Trish though, I believe that the fact that they have all these kids,is why she fought so hard and is in remission today. She has so many reasons to stay here. I believe those kids anchored her here by loving back in the face of scary times.
My cousin Trish is an amazing woman. I love you Trishie, my MUCH older cousin! (inside joke, she is 3 months older than me and right now is the three months between so she is older than me!) She and her husband Charlie are truly inspiring to those around them by living their lives in such a special way.
By the way, I should mention that all of those kids are not living at home now. Many are grown and have moved on to pursue higher education, get married, having their own kids and so they only have nine at home right now. However, they all come back home to Mom and Dad for frequent visits and get togethers.
I have a common refrain these days when I look around my little house. The question is “Will I ever get this done?”. When I moved in here, in June, I got unpacked, well, mostly unpacked and then set about to settling in to my new digs. In the interim, I have been able to get more of my stuff and now find myself surrounded by bins and boxes of various things that I need to sort out and make decisions about.
It is a sad commentary for me to admit that I am surrounded by these bins and boxes and even though I do get a few things done each day, I find it seems to keep growing instead of diminishing. Is it breeding while I sleep? I feel certain it is something far simpler. Basically it is because, I have had a few set backs health wise and have had little or no energy to do most anything at all. When I do have energy, I am in catch up mode, catching up on dishes and such. That means that the bigger things surrounding me are still waiting for scrutiny, of which I have not had energy to do. It is a classic catch 22.
I am hoping to get over this hump and soon because I need to get this place winterized before the weather gets too cold. In order to do that, I need to find a way to get around these bins and boxes. It really only matters to me but I hate it being so messy. I will leave that for another day though…
I wanted to share with you all a picture of my favorite feline, Miss Shelby, who is my therapeutic helper on those bad days. She was a foundling, feral, and very young and pregnant. She has never gotten any bigger and so she is a petite little lady. She is also very intuitive as to my health. She knows before I do that I am feeling unwell.
It never ceases to amaze me that she will get right in my face and not go away right before I flare up or get sick. She is trying to comfort me before I know I need it. When I am flat in bed, she is right beside me, snuggling up to let me pet her and interact with her.
As I have stated before, doctors have found that those who are chronically ill and have a pet, seem to fare much better than those who do not. All I can say is, thank you Shelby, my furry baby, for “helping” me when I am down. I could never repay you for your kindness. Love you sweetie!
As the title implies, I wanted to discuss how people are getting back to the land. Personally, I have been trying to become as self sufficient as I can. I do this by reading and learning about a great array of things. I try to buy locally. Locally buying means not buying from the big box stores, but finding farmers around you that sell produce that is organic, with little or no pesticides involved. You would be surprised what you can find when you start looking around.
I also want to learn how to can food. I have always been fascinated by the art of growing and preserving the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor. As times have gotten really tight, I have found that more people are feeling these urges too. I think we should get back to the basics and share it with our kids and grandkids so these important skills are not lost.
I am a woman who was raised on the old foods from Appalachia by my grandmother. She lived the kind of life we only read about these days. The family lived off the land. Some of my fondest memories as a child involved picking beans, eating tomatoes right off the vine, and the sweetest corn on the cob I have ever tasted. We would sit on the front porch and break beans we had picked ourselves, then my grandmother would take them in the house and cook them up for us to enjoy!
My sweet grandmother was from the hills of Kentucky. She lived during the depression and was able to build a house from the ground up if she set her mind to it. She knew how to take nothing and make something out of it. I admired her pluckiness and her skills. She did not have a higher education but she knew more than most college graduates.
She sewed all of our clothes as we were growing up. She made our coats too. We had outfits like Doris Day did, dresses with the matching coats. She was a whiz at making clothing. Her other sewing skills included making draperies. She would make the pleats by hand and her drapes were always beautiful. As a matter of fact, her handiwork is still on display at the junior high here in my hometown. She made them all. It still amazes me at her tenacity to not only tackle such a big job, but to complete it on time and have it be so well made that it still is in use to this day.
Now that I have wandered off topic, I guess what I have been thinking about is returning to the simpler things in life. Simplifying, out of necessity, has opened my eyes to the old days when things were simple yet fulfilling. I am exploring a great many topics and I will share them with you as I discover some things others may be interested in. Have a great day!!
- What ‘Back-to-the-Land’ Skills Do You Have, or Wish You Had? (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Where To Find Organic Food Stores (answers.com)
It is that time of the year again, the time when the weather cools at night and the air is filled with the scents of fall. It is a beautiful time of the year! I love this time of the year! Unfortunately, my body doesn’t like it. The cooler weather triggers flares in many lupus patients. I am one of those patients.
As most of you know by now, I am in a major flare. Fully. I have joint pain, fatigue, blisters in mouth and nose, malar rash, and feel like poo. I called my rheumy and he called me in the poison I hate. Prednisone. Yes, it can work miracles, especially for us lupies. I just hate how my body responds to it. For the first two days, I was still miserable. Days three and four led to a flurry of activity as the prednisone kicked in and the adrenaline kicked in too. Of course, with the increase in activity, it also brings setbacks in other ways.
My body reacts to prednisone in a variety of ways. I almost always get the malar rash breakout when I first start it. Next comes the MAJOR hot flashes! I mean MAJOR! No sleep is another one. I get back spasms too, dunno why for those. Now add in intense itching, extreme hunger and insomnia, and well, you get the picture. Sure, it helps me fight lupus! It gives me energy and shows me how I can feel good sometimes. The minuses are many though and I hate this medication!
Alright, I know, it is a miracle drug that keeps many of us lupies alive. I understand that. I just wish science could find some other medication that does not have so many side effects and yet can stop a flare in its tracks! Until then, we have to get the different poisons, aka medications, and pray for the best.
I am thankful for the meds because seriously, they do help stop the major effects of this disease. The drawbacks come in the form of osteoporosis and others. I know this personally.
So, I have been MIA for a bit because I am either tearing into a project with this energy from the prednisone, or I am sleeping for 24 hours catching up. Such is life in the life of a lupus patient.
|Phase 1 – TENSION BUILDING:
Tension increases, breakdown of communication, victim feels need to placate the abuser.
|Phase 4 – CALM:
Incident is “forgotten”, no abuse is taking place.
|Phase 2 – INCIDENT:
Verbal and emotional abuse. Anger, blaming, arguing. Threats. Intimidation.
|Phase 3 – RECONCILIATION:
Abuser apologizes, gives excuses, blames the victim, denies the abuse occurred, or says it wasn’t as bad as the victim claims.
From the webpage http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/emotional-abuse/
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF ABUSERS
* He was verbally abused as a child, or witnessed it in his own family.
* He has an explosive temper, triggered by minor frustrations and arguments.
* Abusers are extremely possessive and jealous. They experience an intense desire to control their mates.
* His sense of masculinity depends on the woman’s dependency upon him. He feels like a man only if his partner is totally submissive and dependent on him.
* Abusers often have superficial relationships with other people. Their primary, if not exclusive, relationship is with their wife/girlfriend.
* He has low self-esteem.
* He has rigid expectations of marriage (or partnership) and will not compromise. He expects her to behave according to his expectations of what a wife should be like; often the way his parents’ marriage was, or its opposite. He demands that she change to accommodate his expectations.
* He has a great capacity for self-deception. He projects the blame for his relationship difficulties onto his partner. He would not be drunk if she didn’t nag him so much. He wouldn’t get angry if only she would do what she’s supposed to do. He denies the need for counseling because there’s nothing wrong with him. Or he agrees to get counseling and then avoids it or makes excuses to not follow through. He might not want her to get counseling because, he reasons, she wouldn’t have any problems if she only turned to him.
* He may be described as having a dual personality — he is either charming or exceptionally cruel. He is selfish or generous depending on his mood.
* A major characteristic of abusers is their capacity to deceive others. He can be cool, calm, charming and convincing: a con man.
* The mate is usually a symbol. The abuser doesn’t relate to his partner as a person in her own right, but as a symbol of a significant other. This is especially true when he’s angry. He assumes that she is thinking, feeling, or acting like that significant other — often his mother.
I posted this a year or so ago but feel it is worthy of repeating… thanks for indulging me! Enjoy! ~Jen
I have a cat. Her name is Shelby. She was a foundling who adopted me. She is also so much more than just a feline friend. Shelby has an intuitive nature that allows her to see when I am ill and respond to me. When I am in bed, like now, she is laying next to me. When I am asleep, she lays either next to me or above my head. Some days, she is not around and that is usually when I am feeling good. She goes about her business as she normally would do. When my lupus is acting up, though, she is right by my side, purring and rubbing on me and trying to help me feel better. It is uncanny, (or should I say, uncatty) how she knows without me saying a word, that I feel awful. She is not overly in my face, but she is on the periphery should she be needed. While my cat is unique, she is not the only one who is intuitive. I read a story a few years back about a nursing home that had “adopted” a stray cat. The cat was allowed to roam the halls and “visit” with the residents. This cat had an intuitve nature too. It was discovered that the cat would go to a particular resident who was imminently ready to pass away. When a resident was at this point, the cat could not be coerced to leave the room of the resident. It would stay until the person passed away. It became noticible to the staff and they would know by the cats behavior, whether there was an impending death or not. They felt that the cat didn’t want the person to be alone, so it would stay on the bed with the person until after they passed. I also saw a story about cats and patients with AIDS. The story said that those patients who had cats, tended to live longer than those who did not have a pet cat. Cats were the pet of choice because they did not require as much work as dogs and chronically ill people may not be able to give a dog the exercise they need. Who knew? So, my Shelby has this same empathy, but for me. She has been a true and loyal friend in my down times and always helps me with her presence. She is not a “talker” type of cat, but she is always here, by my side, when I need her most. She does not judge me, or make me feel I am worthless when I cannot do things. She is just here, faithfully, making me fell loved. Funny that a cat can do that and so many humans can’t. We should take a lesson from the animals on this one!
I decided to make this post so you all could share your stories of your journey with these autoimmune diseases. I honestly think that by sharing, it helps us in the day to day, knowing there are others that are dealing with the same issues. So, please share your story by commenting on this post. I think it will help our community bonding and each of us personally. Thanks! ~Jen