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Messages By: dchandler

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May 19, 2006, 3:25 pm CDT

Reaching Out

I was touched by the insight Dr. Phil had to reach out to this abuser.  Some have said his eyes look evil....I think they look very sad, confused, and overwhelmed.  His past has dictated his present; because that is what he knows.  Now, with Dr. Phil's help, what he learns can change his future.  Thank you Dr. Phil for not just capitalizing on the story of abuse.  You looked into the eyes of the abuser and reached out to him as well.  

  

  

  

SO MANY people just can't understand why a person would choose to stay with their abuser.  The fact is, there are probably as many reasons as there are victims/abusers.  The choices we make are usually, if not always, a reflection of our past (what we think we know, what we have learned/not learned:   those things that have been ingrained into our makeup; sometimes consciously and other times subconsciously.)  For the abuser and the abused, the change will come when they are offered a broader knowledge base and they choose to utilize it.  

  

 
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May 20, 2006, 6:22 pm CDT

EMOTIONAL/MENTAL ABUSE

Quote From: ken_amber

Confront him. If you haven't already, he needs to know and comprehend the toll his actions and words are taking on you. Approach him at a calm moment. Maybe while watching tv together or something. Don't try to bring it up in mid- arguement. You probably won't be able to get to him as well in a heated arguement. When you do bring it up, try and be as sincere as possible, but also firm. Not threatening. Tell him he needs to recognize how he treats you is not acceptable, and it can't continue to occour, otherwise you will have to remove yourself from the situation. If you don't get a handle on it NOW, it WILL get worse. There is always some history behind a person who can be abusive in any way. Nip it in the bud now before he turns violent as well. Give him an opportunity to seek help for it, and if he doesn't comply, or at least agree to try, you may have to end up leaving him. I was lucky. I know Ken loves me a great deal and I knew HE knew he had a serious problem. And he was very willing to get help while we are both still so young because he recognizes just how it is preventing him from leading the type of lifestyle he would like to live. I wish you and your husband all the best.

I too was married to a man who emotionally and mentally abused me and my kids.  It is amazing how someone who is skilled at emotionally controlling people can take a woman who is educated, on the road to personal success, and strong willed and slowly/successfully strip away everything that she thought she was.  Even more amazing, is the knowledge that I allowed it.  I still haven't figured it all out, but here is what I do know:  My own need to see the best in people, no matter how personally hurtful they are, gave him the freedom to abuse me.  My need to make this second marriage a success, no matter what the personal cost to me and my children, gave him the freedom to abuse me.  He was jealous...but always utilized his sense of humor to give him the comfort zone he needed to abuse me without personally taking responsibility for his actions.  His emotional blackmail (I'll die without you) and ability to very skillfully turn around all discussion so that I was the one who was "crazy" or at fault left me feeling inept and believing I was going crazy.  I know that I became nothing.  No longer did I have friends, a career, or even the tiniest bit of self esteem.  I finally got out....but went back three times before I finally was finished with being abused.  I was lucky...I have a grown daughter that I had taught to be strong and independent.  She gave back to me the strength I needed to leave.  (I find it very sad that I had to rely on my daughter's strength and help, but am thankful and proud to call her mine.)  I tried to confront my husband and reason with him...even went to counseling.  The counseler told me to leave after one session with him.  He was unwilling to change....so I had to leave....to save myself.    

   

The most important lesson I learned from the relationship is that it is not my responsibility, nor is it possible to change someone else...to save them from their past.  Saving myself is all I can do.  Save yourself if the confrontation doesn't work.  Trying to save an abuser will only result in your death........emotionally, mentally, and possibly physically.  

 
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May 21, 2006, 1:21 pm CDT

Mixed messages clarified

In an abuse situation, the abused spends most of their time confused and frustrated; constantly trying to figure out why things are the way they are, what they did to cause such havoc in their lives, and searching for answers.  They read articles on abuse and watch shows, like Dr. Phil,  in an attempt to find answers and sort through all the confusion they feel.  Often, these resources will leave the abused feeling frustrated because they don't have the air time or article space to explain every phrase that is said.  I hope I can help with some of this confusion.  

   

1.  "It isn't your fault" - You do not own someone elses behavior.  Nobody asks to be physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually abused.  

   

(I didn't ask my husband to emotionally and mentally torture me or my kids; he chose to do it.)  

   

2.  "It is your fault" - The boundaries that you set for yourself are your responsibility to develop.  It is your responsibility to hold your boundaries and accept nothing less for yourself.  

   

(I lost sight of my boundaries, did not develop boundaries, and allowed him to walk over my boundaries.)  

   

3.  "Seek counseling" - Only when you are removed from the abuse and clear boundaries have been established.  

   

(I sought counseling and my husband went too.  He clearly was not willing to honor the boundaries set forth and was unwilling to accept any personal responsibility for his actions.)  

   

4.  "Leave" - You cannot change anyone but yourself; and changing yourself does not result in a change in another's behavior....it may curve it, but the abuser will regroup and find other reasons to abuse.  

   

Don't allow your confusion, frustration, and exhaustion to detour you from solving your problem.  If you are being abused.....leave.  Stop making excuses for staying.  The abuser is not your responsibility.  It is not your job to fix them.  Chances are very good that by now you have a lot of yourself to fix.  Undoing the results of abuse can take years.  Start now.  Find that ounce of love for yourself that he/she hasn't stripped from you....it's there....God placed it deep down in your soul for this very reason.  

 
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May 21, 2006, 1:48 pm CDT

Child/Adolescent Bipolar

Quote From: debellyn

Again, and still, I don't know what to do or even how to go about making a decision on this. I feel so incredibly alone with these parenting decisions, and each decision seems so critically important.  My 16 year old daughter is oppositional, rejects all authority (especially mine), has no father or father figure in her life (her dad was bipolar and committed suicide in '01), she may also be bipolar, has learning disabilities, is lacking in some basic life skills (i.e., problem solving), is unmotivated, is connecting with the wrong peer group, is angry and mean, swears profusely, and is clinically depressed.   

   

I spoke to an educational consulting firm (hugely expensive) and they're suggesting that eventually (if not immediately) she'll need to be entered into some kind of residential school/program. Wow, scary. Sure, I'm scared that she'll feel like she's being kidnapped and that I've abandoned her. And, I honestly don't know if it's the right thing to do. How does one know? How does one know where to send your child? Do they work? Her hatred for me will certainly increase...is it possible for such a troubled teen, possibly bipolar, with such a negative view of the world, to eventually see and find some happiness?  

   

Any thoughts? Any really great residential programs? Any success stories? What should I be wary of? And how do I ultimately make these decisions??  

   

Thank you.  

deb  

Bipolar issues in childhood and adolescence differ drastically from adult onset bipolar.  Before you send your daughter to a residential program I think it would be wise for you to get her evaluated for mental health issues.  If she is bipolar, a residential program for behavior issues is not your answer.  She needs to be medicated.  It can take many month's to regulate those meds....but you will once again see your daughter.  My son onset at age 8 with the illness.  He became extremely unstable; raging for hours, threats to self and others, couldn't sleep, cursed profusely, and his speech was pressed.  All of these behaviors were a result of his instability; not because he was a bad child.  Two websites that I found extremely helpful were the JBRF and CABF sites.  Go to them and read everything they offer on the subject.....then, if you feel your daughter may be bipolar, find a psychiatrist who knows something about the illness in children.  Knowledge will empower you and can make a world of difference for your child.  If you have any specific questions about early onset bipolar, feel free to contact me by email at deechandler1122@yahoo.com.
 
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June 3, 2006, 2:44 pm CDT

Searching these sites may help

Quote From: bampa22

Oh boy do I need advice and help.  I have a 16yo adopted son who we adopted at age 6.  He was a cocaine and alcohol exposed child.  He entered the foster care system at the age of 11months after months of neglect.  He went through many foster homes, 2 pre adopt homes who all turned him back over to our state b/c of his behaviors. 

  

Over the years we got used to "M's" rages he was small enough we could basket holdhim until he called down.  Well now he is 16 weighs nearly as much as much as my parnter and I and is taller than both of us.  To make matters worse = I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 7 years ago. 

  

Two weeks ago, I reached the end of my safety rope.  M began to rage when he became grounded from his gameboy as I left his room - he ran after me and punched me 2 times with a closed fist in the head.. I fell forward and hit the door jam.  This terrified our other adopted children.  M then began running through the house turning over furniture and scream.  I got the other 3 children safe in their rooms while my partner attempted to get M on the floor on his stomach and sit on his bottom until his rage ended.  He usually - believe it or not - allows her to do this.  But I was in so much pain from being hit I said I had enough and said I was calling 911 over the objection of my partner.  While on the phone w/ the dispatcher he came and cornered me while onthe phone and began kicking me.  ... he then ran up the stairs put his foot through 2 walls, a door and slammed his bedroom door so hard he ripped part of the door jam off and put a hole in the wall where the door knob would touch the wall. 

  

So when police arrived, about 4 minutes later, it took 4 large officers to handcuff my son.  We immediately gave him his night time medication = zyprexa.  he continued to kick and scream.. then he began to calm down.  As we explained that he has been charged before but found not culpable b/c of his mental age (IQ is about 60-68).  The police decided that detention would not accept him b/c of his mental retardation so the only option was to the ER for a psych eval.   

  

So I followed them to the ER.. by the time he was seen 4 hours later, my son was sound asleep - it was 1am his zyprexa was in full effect and couldn't be arroused enough to answer question.  I thought best at that point since the CDMHP wouldn't find him a harm to himself or others since he was docile and asleep.  We left and agreed to see his psych the next day which took 2 days thanks to my HMO. 

  

So my questions.. anyone in the same boat.  I am even thinking of sending my son to facility that can appropriately handle his mental retardation, mental illness and obvious brain disfunction.  If you know of any facilities that take teen boys with low iq.. please let me know.   

  

I am now terrified of my son and everyday I walk on egg shells hoping to not set him off for fear he will attack me worse next time. 

Does your son rage for more than twenty minutes?  Does the word "NO" set him into immediate defiance?  From what I have learned working in the drug and alcohol recovery field, and from having a bipolar child, there is a high incidence of certain drugs causing mental illness.  Mental illness is also genetic...and 80%+ of drug addicts are self medicating for their mental illness.  Look to the JBRF and CABF websites (junior bipolar research foundation and child and adolescent bipolar foundation) for information on the illness and, if you think he is bipolar then he needs to be stablized on meds.  I know that my son was put on so many different meds before he finally was put on lithium, abilify, and clonadine....which stablized him.  NO MORE RAGING!!!!  My son smiled for the first time in five years ....what a blessing.  Good luck and don't give up.  You must also put the safety of your family first...so if you have to call 911 every time he rages to have him sedated...do it. 
 
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July 16, 2006, 5:23 pm CDT

07/17 Mommy Dearest

tinameyers...message put it in a nutshell.  Unfortunately, far too many of us had mother's who chose to neglect, physically/mentally/emotionally abuse and use their children.  With the addition of meth to the mix of life destroying drugs of choice, it seems to be the rule in many areas of our nation rather than the exception.  The only beautiful thing in all this is that we too have the freedom to choose.  There is nothing we can do to undo our past.  Neither can we choose for another to change their behaviors.  Praise God...we can re-route our future.  The pain of our past is real and will always ooze out of our hearts at some level; however, when put in it's place (context), it can be utilized to create a future for ourselves and our children that will triumph over the discraceful legacy our mother's have left. 

My children are now in their early twenties.  The legacy I will leave shines brightly and will carry them through the inevitable trials and tribulations that they will face in life.  If I never do anything else of importance; I have accomplished the most important thing of all.  I have loved my children. 

 
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July 16, 2006, 5:34 pm CDT

Regrets

Quote From: mishl0422

My mom was always the life of the party with her friends but didnt give a crap about me and my sister.  She is still like that to this DAY.  I am 38 yrs old.  I think the twist that occurs you are talking about my mom used to say "you always hurt the ones you love..."  because she knew we had unconditional love for her and her friends didnt!!!  So she never tried to impress us.  I am still angry with her and argue with her sometimes, but she ALWAYS  wins.  We went through strange men too, and always were her second priortiy.  She is on her 4th marriage, and all her energy goes into him and her dogs.  She never visits her grandkids, my oldest is 17 and she has never taken my kids anywhere just for fun.  She wont even babysit for me or my sister.  She says she did her "time" but to us she never did.  Everyone else we know their parents beg them to babysit!!!  I have a question for you if you even read this, my mom always says if I argue with her I will regret it when she dies.  I say I won't.  Because our strained relationship is HER fault.  She is SUPPOSED  to be the mother in my opinion.  Do you think i will???
I think what you will regret is that you let her win by even entering into the arguement with her.  Why do you want her to spend time babysitting your kids?  Do you want them to feel the rejection and pain of being a second, third, fourth priority to the person that should cherish them and relish them with their love and affection?  Stay away from her....if she hurt you, don't think for a minute that she won't do the same to your kids.  Give them what you never got....first place in your life.  ...........by the way; hurting the ones you love is not loving them at all.
 
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July 16, 2006, 5:45 pm CDT

Good Job!

Quote From: thumpalina

I had this wonderful chance to be on the Dr Phil Show when they were trying to find the guests to be on the show but I just so happend not to check my email on the sunday that they sent it to me so I missed my chance how ever I would still like to share my story with you. I am now 21 years old and I have a mother that I no longer talk to at this point for my self and the protection of my child and the children that I will have in the future. My mother has never really cared what has been going on with my life and it has been almost three and a half years since I stopped talking to her. she is a drug addict and an alcoholic and she will not take responsibility for her actions. she is now 41 years old and since I was little all I can remember is her being with alot of men. and her doing drugs in front of me I know that she needs help but I thing that she is beyond help at this piont I have been trying to get her to realize that I have her only grandchild and she may never get to see him unless she shaps up. however she tells me that it is way to hard. and she blames every thing on my Dad. Non of this is my falt or his but she doesnt seem to think so. some days I wish that I could have the relationship I used to have with her but when I look at reality I know it will never happen. she alowed me at the age of 10 to drink alcohol and even after I joined my church and she new it was not permitted to drink she would still offer me some. I told her no after I got baptised but I know that she was dispionted in me. Some time I think if she could only see me now and how happy I am with my husband that she may change but that is why I stay a way from her because I know that my feelings are the ones that are going to get her in return because she can only change if she wants to. and at the moment I thing that it will take her getting lung cancer for her to realise what she has missed out on all these years. for all of you that have gone through the similar experiences. keep your head up. and dont look into the past for answers look to the future and what you stand for it is the only way that you will get throught the hurt that you are feelling at this moment in time. I can say that I do forgivemy mother for the things that she has done. but I will not let me or my children suffer for her sake. My God bless you all. 

  

Thumaplina 

People who use/abuse drugs make that drug their priority.  They will place the blame of their addiction of anything and anyone but themselves; because that very action gives them the permission to continue using.  As long as they choose to use and refuse to put the effort into not using, they are a danger to themselves; but more importantly, a danger to you.  Good for you!  You chose to protect yourself and your children.  Hold that boundary and do not allow her past it!  I'm so proud of you. 
 
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September 16, 2006, 8:51 pm CDT

Passive Agressive Behaviors

I've heard of people who have made themselves feel better after being in an abusive relationship by doing mildly passive agressive behaviors that make you just want to laugh: tooth brush of ex around the inside rim of the toilet (before you leave and deffinently after your LAST kiss,) letting their dog lick the much loved banana split then smoothing it before delivering it to the soon to be ex, dog food to replace "chili" for dinner, adding a thin layer of heat, icy hot, or ben-gay on the toilet seat, wrapping ex-lax in a hershey bar wrapper....and the list goes on. I know I prefer the thought of these to overt reactions.
 

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