Self-Esteem
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Why would an independent woman with a healthy amount of self-esteem stay in an abusive relationship with a man she does not love?

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2005-11-06 10:40:31
2005-11-06 10:40:31

The problem is she does not have a healthy dose of self-esteem. Most of us are chameleons out there and we have to be this way to fit into certain situations. i.e. business meetings, complying to different personalities in our families or with our friends, educations, etc. We change our moods as frequently as a clean freak changes their socks. I suggest you go on: www.google.com Then ask: What is the cycle of abuse amongst women? The general public for the most part thinks that abuse only happens to the poor or uneducated and that's further from the truth than you will ever know. I just saw a program on Oprah yesterday where a beautiful, young, country singer came forward and told of her abuse. Here she is ... beautiful, young, a fantastic singer, loads of money and she lets her mate batter her to a pulp. Why? It often stems back to how we were brought up. Was the mother there when we needed her, did we need more than our mothers knew we needed? Questions, questions, and we have to find the answers through therapy. Some people are just gentle souls (nothing wrong with that) and give their all in everything they do and that includes romantic relationships and complete trust in this. We must learn to always have our guard up and not give 100% trust to anyone until we get to know them better. I am not suggesting we throw ourselves into paranoia ... just be more alert. An abuser can be considered an "artist" in a grotesque way. They really believe they love the person they are with, but, it's all about control. It's like having a favorite doll and you play with it for awhile, put it high on a shelf so no one else can get it and then you bring it down when you want it. An abuser believes THEY OWN THAT PERSON and they actually have regressed back many 100s of years where women were used like chattel. "You do as I say and you do it with a smile on your face!" The abuser will often pour love and gifts on the unsuspecting woman and if we are honest anyone of us could be wooed with that attention. When women are in love they often let their guard down and not one woman I know can say they haven't been hurt by someone they once loved. Abusers will give, give, give, (giving full rein to his victim) and then suddenly, once he finds he has her hook, line and sinker, he jerks, and reels her in. Then the abuse starts. It could be little things such as "I really don't like that dress you're wearing ... go change into something else." Some women think this a loving interest, but it's not! From there comes more mental abuse such as "You're mine, never forget that" or "you're useless, and you're not as smart as you think." The abuser hammers away at his victim (a type of brainwashing.) The poor woman usually doesn't see it coming and by the time she does it's too late and it's difficult getting out of an abusive relationship. The woman may get angry at the verbal abuse and try to fight back verbally and then the physical abuse can start. Slapping, kicking, throwing things at her and downing her in front of her friends. I work at an abuse center and I've seen some very ugly sights in hospitals of what a man can do to a woman. It makes you sick! From there the abuser will try to isolate his victim. Perhaps move to a town where they know no one or, move to a more desolate area. He slowly alienates her from family and friends. From there the abuser threatens: I'll ruin your career if you leave me I'll go after your family I'll go after your friend(s) (mostly women, few men) I'll take the children and you'll never see them again I'll kill you if you ever leave me I'll hurt the kids if you leave me See the "I'll" and never will you hear an abuser say "I'll kill myself!" They are about control and believe you me, they are good at it. Once caught up in an abusive relationship it's difficult to get out of because there are not many laws that prevent this man from stalking or terrorizing the woman. You can get as many restraint orders as you want, but, until he actually does something the police can't do anything. That's the law! The courts are so full that even if you could get him on breaking a restraining order it would take months and possibly a year or more and don't think the abuser doesn't know that. The best thing to do is for that abused woman to pack her bags secretly. Then, if he is watching her like a hawk, get a trusted friend to set up an appointment with "The Abused Women's Center" and when he's at work head for that Abused Women's Center and don't look back. These centers will protect an abused woman, give them free legal counsel, therapy, give them a safe place to live. They will also go to court with them. This story will blow your socks off: There was a young actress in the late 70s by the name of Theresa Saldana (look her up on the internet) and she was in an abusive relationship. Not one to put up with it, she left him running off to her sister's apartment and temporarily living with her sister and her husband. Think she's safe? Not on your life or hers! Her abuser stalked her down and one day, in broad daylight, as she was coming down the stairs from the apartment, he was at the bottom of the steps demanding she come back. Even with her sister and brother-in-law standing guard over her, her abuser raced up the steps after her and she managed to get by him and out on the street. He raced after her, caught up to her and stabbed her over 19 times!!!! To the disgust of all of us who heard about it on the news, a group of wonderful citizens formed a circle as they watched this young woman being bludgeoned to death. It wasn't until a male jogger came upon the scene and intervened did the savage attack on Ms. Saldana stop. The man was caught and she was rushed into emergency hanging onto life. Now we talk about miracles and wonder why bad things happen to us and here is a lesson for all of us: Ms. Saldana was fighting for her life, but made it. She lived in terror in that hospital and feared her attacker would come back (even though he was in jail.) This once beautiful woman had to look at scars all over her body and remember that terrible attack on her all over again. In time when she had to be released from hospital her family and friends had a difficult time getting her out of the safety of that hospital. Once she was at home she lived in so much fear she wanted to take her own life because she had no quality of life. It took many years and much strength by Ms. Saldana to get her life together and she started an abused women's center to help other women as well as being active in changing the laws to protect women. I hope I have convinced you by now that battered women are not stupid women, but terrified women and it can happen to any culture and to the poor and wealthy alike. It's one of the leading causes of injuries and death. Laws are slowly being changed to protect women and police departments are taking a more active interest in the skills of self defence for women. No police officer loves that almighty call of domestic abuse, and especially when they know they are facing a woman that has had the daylights knocked out of her. In years past if the woman refused to press charges against her abuser (and most did) now Canadian police officers can size up the situation and press charges against the abuser themselves. Slowly, but surely the laws are being changed to protect women. By the way, there are abused men out there as well, and even if it's out of curiosity it's well worth looking up on the internet. Marcy I am the author of this question. For the record, the abuser that is described in this question suffers from low self-esteem. He has no skills or education, he can barely read and write. He is an ex-pimp, ex-drug addict, and has served time in prision for assault. He believes that a woman is a piece of property. He is very possessive, jealous, and insecure. He has a bad temper and is easily irriated. He has had thoughts of suicide. He has superficial relationships with his friends and presents himself as a victim in all of his past relationships with women. He is the classic case of an abusive, controlling man. I posed the question to get some general feedback on abusive men. In hindsight, I realize the reason why I allowed this man to live in my home and it is not because I suffer from low-self esteem, because I DO NOT. I am a very CONFIDENT WOMAN. I was new to studying and reading the bible and he used that to his advantage by manipulating me with the scriptures. I was focused on changing my life and serving God because "we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God." When I first met him, of course, he was nice and sweet and professed how much he wanted to serve God. That is how I was lured to him. I did not know anything about his background, and I was naive into thinking that all people who go to church and read their bible are good people. I allowed him a temporary stay in my home because he was having finanical difficulties. He moved into my house and became verbally abusive and attempted to gain control over me. When I would ask him to leave, which was more than once, he would use bible scriptures to make me feel guilty. It worked for a while. This man also is living in this country illegally and he was pressuring me to get married to him to gain his legal status. By the way, that was his main objective. I NEVER LOVED HIM AND MARRIAGE WAS NOT AN OPTION. He no longer lives in my house, but he has been stalking me day and night. He continues to harrass me by leaving nasty messages on my voice mail, of course, telling me that I am the "devil" and that he is so "righteous and spirtual." Yeah right! The problem with him is that he still thinks and acts like a pimp, hiding behind religion. Now he is telling everybody in church that I put him out of my house and he did not have anywhere to go. I am not responsible for a 43-year old lazy man that is looking for a woman to take care of him. He failed to tell the whole-truth, instead he told half-truth, half-lies. As usual, he portrays himself as a "victim." I fear God and not a man pretending to be a Christian. This experience has made me an even stronger person. Now I have ZERO tolerance for any man that even remotely exhibits any signs of an abusive character. At the same token though, I am so angry that I allowed myself to be subjected to his digusting behaivor. I keep playing all of the incidents over and over in my head and it is driving me crazy! Can you recommend anyone that I can talk to or any websites that I can go to for therapy. I live in Miami, Florida. You might wish to visit http://www.safe4all.org for a list of resources or Florida Coalition Against Abuse and Domestic Violence at http://www.fcadv.org Thank you for going into more detail regarding your relationship with this man. Don't beat yourself up over it! You are a Christian (so am I) and you were just trying to be nice. Although I am a Christian I am extremely careful of men and women and although usually very nice to them I keep them at arms length until I know them a little better. A person with such problems as this man can't hide them forever and the truth comes out. I am so glad you are thinking of going to an Abused Women's Center. Thank you to the other poster for giving you that much needed information. No matter how strong and independent we think we are there are just times we let our guard down when we really want to help someone. Don't let this loser sour you against those that may need your help. Just take a little more time to get to know them and never let anyone move into your home. Good luck God Bless Marcy

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