The Proof Is In The Set Up

Discussion in 'Domestic Abuse' started by BlackPegasus, Jan 17, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BlackPegasus

    BlackPegasus Well-Known Member

    It never occurred to me in all the years we were together that he was intentionally setting me up for an argument. Even when I started researching domestic violence over the internet I didn’t think it had ever happen to me.

    In the last few days I spent with my husband I came to many shocking realizations. My husband was doing all the things I had read about. He told me how he was attracted to his former college professor, how beautiful she was, and he wanted to approach her but knew she was married. Of course I was deeply hurt by this and that was cruel enough but when I didn’t say anything he said something absurd. “Now that I’ve told you that I’m gonna have to hear about it.” It wasn’t just the words but the tone in his voice. It was the tone you hear when someone is egging an opponent on. Then it hit me. He knew saying that would hurt me and he was hoping I would react as any hurt person would.

    But why would he want to set me up like this? And it suddenly made sense. He wanted to set me up so he could, in his mind, have a reason to hurt me…an excuse for his desire to harm me. And at this point all the past issues where I really thought I had done something to upset him had been controlled by him. He was intentionally doing hurtful things just to upset me. My responding and asking to not be treated in such a way would later be used with descriptions like nagging and pressuring. These things he used against me in his case with other people and was the “perfect” cover up for his abuse. Even I didn’t realize what was happening.
  2. I just wanted to tell you...well, congratulate you most sincerely on your [eventual] astute powers of observation and the invaluable things you learned through the process of what you [most] unfortunately endured for so long. Sadly, there are few 'victims' who come even close to discovering such profound realizations as you did. That you persevered in 'studying it', even as you were going through your own hell is truly remarkable. I was really heartened to hear your story, and I think it's a very great thing to share it here...others could learn much!

    It's rather blithely said, and often, that someone cannot make us feel a certain way, and that how we react is always a fundamantal choice (and just as often is the 'victim' blamed) - but it takes a far deeper understanding to be able to fight and conquer how we react, to consciously be aware of the dynamics (often warped) within relationships - and of course, this is something that is not widely taught. You've proven that gaining insights (no matter how hard won) is possible! Lastly, I'm glad for you and your triumph in escaping something that was ultimately harmful to you!
  3. BlackPegasus

    BlackPegasus Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for the reply.

    The thing is it isn't easy to publicly admit to what I allowed myself to go through. In fact it's humiliating when I think about it. I sometimes just feel so ashamed of myself I want to hide. I feel weak and stupid. People, from the very day I called the police for safety away from the situation, have told me how brave I am. Yes it took courage. Courage I didn't know I had and I have no clue where it came from. As brave as I could be to help someone else I was a coward in regards to helping myself. Some days I still wonder if I can take care of myself.

    I feel so many things at once. Courage, fear, pain, a broken heart...It's hard for people too see me as I am when I speak so loudly. And that has probably been what kept me alive so i would hope my friends would appreciate that about me. I'm stubborn to a fault and only on a few occasions was I ready to give life up. Lately it's felt like I could give up. I've come so very close. I've had those moments.

    But if my story can help anyone else to not feel ashamed the way I have. To find courage. I don't know. What kind of an example am I putting up with it for 10 years? I'm an idiot is what I am and nobody should listen to me.

    I wouldn't listen to others who told me to get out. I was too afraid. Maybe that's why they say courage isn't the lack of fear but rather the ability to face fear. It's alright to be afraid yes. But facing it is the challenge. Especially facing it after the fact.

    I'm an passionate evaluator. Most people seem to be one or the other but I value passion and logic. Maybe in some way that's an answer. But there is no rationalizing it. My mind has struggled with that for weeks and it's driven me to near insanity. My brain wants to rationalize and explain what happened. Why someone could be so cruel. But it can't and my brain can't seem to handle that.

    There is something in my latest blog about this. I'm talking about my dreams but in it I also talk about dealing with it now. I tried to rationalize with my abuser. look for answers and solutions. It would work sometimes but never for long. Now I can rationalize freely. now i am actually dealing with what happened instead of surviving from moment to moment. It hit me hard and sudden. 10 years of it all at once. I feel like I'm on overload.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2008
  4. Awww Hon - it's easy to say, I know - but don't continue the cycle of beating your self up now that the outside factor is gone. It IS a process, and you've certainly got much to digest, now that you're not as distracted by fighting off the 'predator'. It WILL take time...Be patient with yourself as you begin to heal (again, a given, something we are not commonly taught). Even sharing this, your story, is part of the process. And a healthy one at that. You ARE brave! (I've been told such things myself, and I know how hard it is to let it sink it - but it can come in small moments - accept those at least. Let yourself, consciously "allow" yourself, give yourself 'permission'...)

    What you endured and survived and no less - what you learned from your ordeals, I say again, is remarkable!! And again, I also say that so very many others endure such situations for their entire lifetimes - and never give it the reflection, nor gain any insights whatsoever from it as you did - likely shame and self-blame coming to be as great (if not worse) as any enemy on the outside - yet just as subtle and devastating... Beginning and trying to understand this is also a process...and one you're engaing in right now as you are aware of and studying your own feelings. Perhaps you could consider it, try to perceive it as, an 'exercise', instead of a 'final exam' - to win or lose - as learning goes on forever when given the opportunity - and one that you now have!

    Realize, and begin to 'forgive' yourself (in increments if need be) for having seemingly accepted for so long the flawed/faulty "training" you were given by complex outside factors and influences, be it family, peers, misogynistic perceptions and/or society in general. We're pretty much all prone, without being aware of such things, whether we admit it or not!

    (btw - you are taking care of your self!!)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  5. Hi Again...

    I read your blogs - they were truly powerful (and you express yourself so very well). Horrible, sad, tragic and so full of many raw emotions (yet with an undeniable, underlying strength). Not to mention that (sadly) there is so much in common with what others have suffered, including myself in the past. The dreams you further suffer through now reminded me of my mom, who still dreams about my [abusive] dad in technicolor, even 8 years after his death (they were married for 51 years - so don't YOU feel bad as I formerly said) It also reminded me of a column (one of a short series) I wrote on Abuse a few years ago at a website. Hope you don't mind if I share - I sure don't wanna hog your thread...!

    * * *

    A ponderous subject has left me deep in thought. It isn’t in fact a new one, yet remains a veritable contemporary mystery to the many, including its victims. A recent conversation I’d had, initially about ‘limits’ within relationships, turned towards the aspect of Abuse - usually perpetrated against women (…without addressing it in all its forms or victims thereof). The notion expressed being that is was hard to comprehend why women in fact stayed in such circumstances. “Hmmm,” I thought, “this is worth the struggle to put into words”, though I wouldn’t be the first, nor the last… Bear with me in the next few columns… I, like others, have lived just about long enough to realize that Truth gets a better chance to run around naked (at least for a time), while Fear must always hide in the shadows. This the only way things change… and the point of this dialogue.

    Regarding the question, there simply is no way to easily sum up the supposed reasons for this phenomenon, and yet they exist a-plenty. (And for who’s sake should this be an ‘easy’ endeavour anyway?) Does it have to do with the traditional subservient role of women? Yes, even in this day! Well then why does it happen to apparently ‘powerful’ women as well?… Would it have to do with that ‘subservience’ hindering financial independence, and therefore a possible way out? Most certainly! Yet the woman who may be ‘well-off’ has born the brunt of in-house violence as well… So then, there must be something much more fundamental at work. While it may be about how women have been treated and viewed (and this is of course absolutely significant), it is also certainly about how women actually perceive themselves… inadvertantly perpetuating the proverbial vicious circle.

    To begin with, there’s a singularly powerful motivator in the notion that to be “alone” is seen as abysmal failure. As well, to have failed in a relationship brings with it great shame. Simple? How about the ‘Happy-go-lucky Bachelors’ versus ‘Old Maids’ for example… think of how deeply this notion runs in your own veins. And why is that? This perception is imposed on females early on as they are “groomed” for attractiveness, desirability, and potential compatibility while ever and anon it is heard, “boys will be boys”. This is but the tip of the iceberg… as well as that women themselves have in effect perpetuated these teachings in their own offspring, often merely by maintaining their silence, though in itself this is also a complex factor - starting with being hesitant or fearful of questioning the Status Quo. And while many changes in perception have indeed occurred, there is still a pervasive and underlying desire to “Keep the Peace” - also designated as ‘women’s work’.

    Secondly, the ‘sanctity’ afforded Marriage & Family (if not all relationships… and into which we’ve been well indoctrinated by our own families, faiths, society, as well as all contemporary Media) has often and ironically dismissed Women’s voices and concerns. I say ‘ironically’ because if one is going to invest in something supposedly profoundly sacred & long-term, then wouldn’t ALL input and wisdom be most needful and welcomed?! Yet this has not been so, and the legacy continues, for the traditional “Head of the Family” was seen as needing to be soothed, placated, and ’appreciated’. For even in this day, often times ‘he’ is seen as performing a sacrifice, while ‘she’ is merely performing her prescribed ‘function’. When it comes to domestic violence, this notion is often exacerbated. Furthermore, “Family Affairs” are generally regarded as utterly private lest they reflect poorly to ‘the outside’ and bring shame… no matter (and perhaps especially) how bad things are. Needless to say, there is much that has been and still goes unaddressed, and unacknowledged.

    Thirdly, the changes that have indeed come about have by no stretch been easy feats - it was not popular work made light by the hands of many, but rather individual stalwart efforts. The repercussions of speaking out and in effect rocking the boat have never been welcomed, and the pressure remains to hold fast to the notion of “unconditional acceptance” - mistakenly interpreted as ‘unconditional love”…

    With this combination of factors and influences at play, is it any wonder then that the silent suffering continues?

    If I haven’t piqued any interest yet, or conversely, if you find yourself already arguing, stay tuned… And ask yourself how the myriad confluences of ‘ideals’ and relationships between Women and Men has coloured your own life… Keep in mind that violence and aggression is only “natural” as a consequence of unaddressed issues. It festers like an undressed wound and is an ever-present undercurrent in all of our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. In this world, we are in fact surrounded by it. It causes Fear. It reaps Fear. And truly we are all victims, for the continuing legacy that’s carried forward denies the possibility of growth, understanding and compassion… It has also long denied Women the right and necessity to share and express their wisdom in a world where we have always needed all we can get…

    Brutality -

    Acid Rage
    Seeping, Searing,
    Seething -
    Throbs and pulses…
    Corrodes its way
    into every deep crevice
    under skin and mind ~
    Bold, Blind, and Merciless
    Marvelous in power
    Never spent in mere
    minutes of action,
    to hurt nor to hide,
    Nor in hours of mind-full
    vengeful flights

    When the Lion’s at the door,
    there are more ways than one
    to skin a cat…

    Yet, a lonelier beast there never was
    than the one always relegated to
    being backed into a corner
    when the knock comes

    Wisdom lies dormant in Fear.

    © 2003
  6. theleastofthese

    theleastofthese SF Friend Staff Alumni

    I especially love that second to last paragraph about the "lonelier beast". Wow!!!!:eek:hmy: Loved the whole thing.:smile:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.