BELIEVE

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale

About Me

I am a 28 year old single mom of a 9 month old boy. He is my world and my life. Before I was pregnant I was in a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship. My son gave me the strenght to leave that man to create a good life for my child. My life has now become a matter of protecting my child to make sure the pattern of abuse does not get imposed on him so he is a "benefit to society" not a "menace to society". I am in the midst of a court battle for visitation and child support and it is taking all that I have to stay strong for my son. His father harasses me every chance he gets and is trying to take control back of my life and I won't let that happen. Please note I am not a counselor or psychologist; I am simply sharing what I have learned through my personal experience and time through counseling and groups to recover from abuse.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010
So this has been a grave challenge for me: We share a child so we have to be (minimal at that) in contact. I was struggling with my communication as when he would be angry, put me down etc in an email I would respond with frustration and anger back at him. I told my counsellor about my frustrations and how I am sick of getting into "email wars" with him and she gave to me the most helpful information to date. I want to share this with all of you and dedicate a few posts on the techniques that you should be using when communication with an abusive man

The first rule is to be assertive, brief, precise and show no agression. Keep it to the point, ignore his rude comments and state only what is neccessary to state. Initiating an argument is what he wants. So don't let that happen.

The second rule is to avoid being nice to your abuser. They will see this as a sign of being weak and prounce on you like prey.

The third rule is to ignore his nasty comments. Ignoring them will be more annoying to him as he is doing it to get a reaction out of you.

The fourth rule is to avoid hot topics. He will see this as an attack and attack you back. Stick to the bare minimum and only what you need to.

The fifth rule is to recognize his attempts to bait you and to push your buttons. Don't reward his attempt.

The sixth rule is to avoid overloading with information and stick to one subject at a time.

The seventh rule is to not let your abuser change the subject and go off track.Keep refocusing on the topic at hand. The instant the blame game, sarcastic comments, criticism, insults etc occur walk away or stop communicating.

The eigth rule is that boundaries are non-negotiable. Do not participate in your abuse.

The nineth rule is to remember that they are patholigical liars - avoid asking questions and assume everything is a lie to avoid disappointment.

The tenth rule is to learn the difference between statements and questions. Don't respond to statements (especially insulting ones)

The eleventh rule is not to reveal anything about yourself. Do not show him any vulnerability - again he will prounce on this like prey

The twelfth rule is to pay attention to projection. By being observative you may be able to find out what your abuser is up to and what games are coming next.

The thirteenth rule is if you are a submissive person by nature - learn to be assertive.

The fourteenth rule is to understand you can say "NO" without explanation.

The fifteenth rule is to expect him to try and wear you down. Enjoy the show and dont let him!!!

Ok so these are the first 15. I don't want to overload one post so I will be splitting them up. I hope you find these helpful, I know I did and they have (and will) help me in communicating with my abusive ex.

4 comments:

sugarplumdream said...

I so appreciate these being posted. I had a counselor for a very short while where I learned a few techniques. Sadly, my attorney had to play counselor (I guess they are called that) at times. He told me to never let a phone call be longer than 1 or 2 minutes. He had to tell me not to play the abuser's game and get into arguments with him. Basically my attorney and my family and friends shared all these techniques with me one way or another, but I really like them being spelled out. And number one, yes, they all work. And number two, it confirms to me if I ever doubt that yes, my abuser is an abuser, did abuse me and his continued actions just prove that to me. They like to initially get you to feel sorry for them and if that doesn't work then out comes the aggression and insulting, etc. Then when I ignore that and stand my ground on my decisions he starts giving me advice and counseling on how I should be acting like an adult ie. doing whatever he says, to him, means I'm being a grown up. Anything less and he thinks he has carte blanche to insult me and verbally abuse me.

The rule about no revealing anything is important in my mind. My abuser will initiate communication for exchanging the kids, but he will throw in a comment about how he knows my schedule is SO busy. Well I don't take the bait on that. My schedule is less busy than his, I will always have more time for the kids than he will with his employment. But I think he wants me to say "yes, I'm so busy" and maybe sometime he will take me to court and try to use that to say I'm too busy to be a mother to my kids. I think a judge would ignore him in the long run, but it would certainly be a stressful thing to go through and in the end he would only be doing it to harass me, not because he really wants the full time responsibility of his children.

I have responded to his long email tirades with copying just the information I need him to communicate (when he's getting the kids) and NOTHING else.

Another technique I've employed is just to not do phone calls period. My abuser will be very abusive over the phone because he knows that very likely there will be no record of it whereas an email there is. He is less verbally abusive in an email. He doesn't flat out say I'm crazy and I'm full of sh*t, etc.

abusemom81 said...

It's so incredible how all abusers are the same and use the same techniques. When I don't give in and stand my ground as to what I believe is best for my son I am psychotic and immature. He acts all nice and then we disagree on an issue and again he verbally attacks me and my character. I actually have a restraining order and he is ONLY allowed to contact me via email with regards to our son. We even have a third party to do the exchanges as he is now allowed to see me. He just harasses me, verbally attacks me and starts arguments infront of my son. Just like the power and control wheel states.

sugarplumdream said...

It seems they just can't give up their desire to control their victim. I don't understand it, I would just as soon work together and do what's best for the kids and be as unselfish as possible. But then I was always the one being totally unselfish, and doing everything the way he wanted in order to keep him supposedly happy. In reality he was keeping control over me and nothing I ever did was good enough.

I'm still shocked that he fits the profile of an abuser so well. I was in denial for so very long, and doing whatever he said in order to try to keep myself from abuse. It was when I finally realized he was a pathological liar, that he would say anything to keep control over me, and that he didn't want to change, he wanted to control and abuse, was when I got myself and my kids out of the situation.

abusemom81 said...

I feel ya! I am only focused on doing what is best for my son, and all he can think about is how to get back at me! It's not supposed to be about us...it's about what is best for the child! I find this very frustrating too!

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