Abusive Families

An abusive family is one whose member or members may be suffering physical, psychological mistreatment and even sexual abuse inflicted by other members of the family. Sadly, some children grow up in these families thinking that such atmosphere is normal.

634 Questions
Abusive Families

What is kind hearted girl?

This type of a girl is one that cares for others well-being not just her own, she could also be put into the the the category of selfless because even when she has a ton of things to do for herself, she will most likely put them first. she stops what she does just help someone else in need.

Child Health
Abusive Families

My Mother kicked me in the groin it didn't hurt at first but now it hurts.what should I do and how do I handle it next time?

Put ice on it and that will help. The way you wrote the question is that the kick was on purpose by your mother. If this is true, then, it is abuse and you need to call social services.

Parenting and Children
Abusive Families
A Child Called It

Who is Dave Pelzer's mother?

Catherine Roerva Christen Pelzer was Dave Pelzer's mother, who passed away in 1992.

Catherine was an alcoholic who had been drinking from the age of 13. Brought up in the Mormon community of Salt Lake City, she would hide in the outhouse during Prohibition to wince down bootleg whiskey. Her parents were divorced, which made them outcasts in that religious community, and Catherine was frequently locked in a closet, denied food, and told how despicable she was.

Catherine suffered from alcoholism and was mentally ill. Her mental illness was Borderline Personality Disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder ('Witch'), which is characterized by an irrational fear of rejection and abandonment and self-hatred as a result of surviving a childhood that required complete submission to a hostile or sadistic caregiver (pg 131) Christine Ann Lawson of 'Understanding the Borderline Mother'.

For a picture and more information about Catherine, see http://thequeenandking.blogspot.com/2009/08/did-dave-pelzers-mother-from-child.html

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

Do women stay in abusive relationships because of a fear of being alone?

  • Women stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons, it is never that simple. They may believe that they can work through issues with their partner and the abuse will diminish. It is never easy to leave someone when the heart is entangled, just because there is abuse doesn't mean there is not love. There may be a fear of being 'alone', but it is not usually just that that keeps them. Victims of abuse often suffer from high levels of insecurity and low self-confidence which makes it easy for them to be convinced by the abuser that they are at fault for their abusive behaviour. So, often the woman may feel that if she changes her behaviour then the abuse will stop. It can become a cycle that becomes more and more abusive over time and leaves the woman feeling so hopeless that she begins to accept her partners abusive behaviour.
  • Yes, and it also depends on the culture of the woman. In some culture women are not "allowed" or afraid to leave, it could be so that they don't bring shame to their family...a lot of times they stay for "the kids" not realizing that they do more harm to their children when they stay in an abusive relationship. Abusers also chose women that have issues, like insecurity thus making it easier for them to control the victim. Also, in this day in age, the victim is no longer just a woman, it can be a man, in the gay/lesbian community, transgender community. Rich or poor, educated or not, violence exists and I think the cycle can be broken if the children can be taken out of the violent situation in time so that their generation has a chance to make better choices and live different lives.
Abusive Families
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is ambient or stealth abuse?

This is a very tricky tactic used by an abusive person to make you crazy. Since ambient abuse can not sometimes be visible the victim may believe they are so bad and or are going nuts. The abuser may want to isolate their victim from other people as they provide the partner with reality checks such as feedback and reference points. Since their main goal is to de-stabalize the victim's reality they try to ruin these "outside influences." They may gossip about their partner to people in a manipulative manner such as pretending to be concerned for their well being as their partner is acting a little nuts. They wont give there self away to other people, they are calculated in their interactions. People may start to wonder about the partner as the ambient abuser fills their minds with distortions and the abuser apparently my come across as a nice person.


Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything - but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

It is the outcome of fear - fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant - and unnecessary - lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom ("gaslighting").

Ambient abuse, therefore, is the fostering, propagation, and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen.

In the long term, such an environment erodes the victim's sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victim adopts a paranoid or schizoid stance and thus renders himself or herself exposed even more to criticism and judgment. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally deranged and the abuser - the suffering soul.

There are five categories of ambient abuse and they are often combined in the conduct of a single abuser:

I. Inducing Disorientation

The abuser causes the victim to lose faith in her ability to manage and to cope with the world and its demands. She no longer trusts her senses, her skills, her strengths, her friends, her family, and the predictability and benevolence of her environment.

The abuser subverts the target's focus by disagreeing with her way of perceiving the world, her judgment, the facts of her existence, by criticizing her incessantly - and by offering plausible but specious alternatives. By constantly lying, he blurs the line between reality and nightmare.

By recurrently disapproving of her choices and actions - the abuser shreds the victim's self-confidence and shatters her self-esteem. By reacting disproportionately to the slightest "mistake" - he intimidates her to the point of paralysis.

II. Incapacitating

The abuser gradually and surreptitiously takes over functions and chores previously adequately and skillfully performed by the victim. The prey finds itself isolated from the outer world, a hostage to the goodwill - or, more often, ill-will - of her captor. She is crippled by his encroachment and by the inexorable dissolution of her boundaries and ends up totally dependent on her tormentor's whims and desires, plans and stratagems.

Moreover, the abuser engineers impossible, dangerous, unpredictable, unprecedented, or highly specific situations in which he is sorely needed. The abuser makes sure that his knowledge, his skills, his connections, or his traits are the only ones applicable and the most useful in the situations that he, himself, wrought. The abuser generates his own indispensability.

III. Shared Psychosis (Follies-a-Deux)

The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity.

Her membership in the abuser's "kingdom" is cast as a privilege and a prize. But it is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim's resistance and her ability to "see straight".

IV. Abuse of Information

From the first moments of an encounter with another person, the abuser is on the prowl. He collects information. The more he knows about his potential victim - the better able he is to coerce, manipulate, charm, extort or convert it "to the cause". The abuser does not hesitate to misuse the information he gleans, regardless of its intimate nature or the circumstances in which he obtained it. This is a powerful tool in his armory.

V. Control by Proxy

If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbours, the media, teachers - in short, third parties - to do his bidding. He uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware instruments exactly as he plans to control his ultimate prey. He employs the same mechanisms and devices. And he dumps his props unceremoniously when the job is done.

Another form of control by proxy is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, or even physical punishment) against the victim. Society, or a social group become the instruments of the abuser.

Addendum (by a different poster) VI. Cliques of Bullies

Of course, ambient or stealth abuse and manipulation can exist in the context of any kind of relationship and intimacy whatsoever. However, sly abuse of power and underhanded manipulation, with bizarre paranoid malicious gossip and all manner of Sadistic instigators and their eager and foolish proxy pawns, are only all the easier given distance, even shunning and social isolation as experienced by targets of relational bullying and harassment, scapegoats, dissidents and whistleblowers.


In my view, creating a climate of rivalries via unfinished relationsips - such as the allegedly estranged wife the narcissist hangs onto but claims "nothing" is going on, while simultaneously being inappropriately involved considering the relationship is allegedly defunct; failing to disclose & openly conduct what is supposed to be the narcissist's current and primary relationship; insisting on communcating with past girlfriends and making it known one is doing so while agreeing this is not appropriate given narcissit's betrayals, but breaking such agreements; betraying trust by returning to past girlfriends - and so forth, is an example of what is termed "ambient abuse" because an adept and persuasive liar finds excuses and various reasons to explain away all of the above, while continuing to undermine what is supposed to be a primary relationship (and refusing to relinquish such relationship even when caught betraying trust).

The end result is a supposedly primary relationship built on nothing but lies, deceit, betrayal, complications and a pervasive atmosphere of fear in the form of intense insecurity.

The individual caught in this web of intrigue is naturally hypervigilent and afraid because nothing makes sense. Meanwhile, the narcissist inists "black" is "white".

An empty guarantee is often worse than none at all. Bound by exclusive fidelity, never reciprocated, the hapless partner of such a Narcissistic playa becomes only the more isolated and in the dark. The manipulative abuser has not only locked out any possible competition that might press fair value and dignity, but craftily enlisted the mark in the desperate and lonely effort.


Husband to wife: You think you have friends?! Our friends are courteous people. They don't tell you how ridiculous they think you are, but they tell each other...and I've overheard comments. You don't have any friends; just people who feel sorry for your ignorance. People merely tolerate you out of a sense of kindness and feeling sorry for your pitiful appearance and your ridiculous ideas. Perhaps you should practice keeping your mouth shut...and while you're at it, take a look in the mirror. If that looks good to you, you're really more messed up than they think you are. Rather than embarrass me further, why don't you just stay at home so I don't have to be seen with you. After all, I would like to have friends who don't avoid me, just because they don't want to be around you or be put in a position where you're imposing on their patience and tolerance. It might be a good idea for you to consider seeing a psychiatrist. Maybe a professional could get through to you. I'm tired of trying to get through to you. You're just too far gone for me to be able to help you by telling you the truth about yourself. If you don't believe me, that's proof enough that you're beyond help. Why can't you be more like other women I enjoy being around? Do you really think it's attractive to be so boring and stupid?... but you really aren't capable of seeing the truth beyond your fairytale world, are you? You really are a mental case. You're lucky I'm so devoted to our marriage vows...or you'd be on the street. Do you think any other man would have you? Do you think you'd have even friends who pretend to be interested, if I put you out of my house? If you don't have the ability to see beyond your own warped truth, at least, appreciate the fact that I let you stay here...at least, for now. You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in the kitchen. What more do you want? That's gratitude for you!!


I have experienced this several times with different individuals before I realized my pattern and finally found a true friend to marry. Whatever I contributed to the household was never good enough. We could have something that was perfectly edible but he would go out of his way to get a different brand of the same food...and complain about what I brought into the home. Never really saying anything directly to me but just constantly making sure I knew that his preferences were different...and superior. The constant disregard or "forgetting" of my likes and dislikes. "Oh yes that's right; you don't like mushrooms. Well, there's plenty of the sidedish." My husband had a desk job and used to go to work and call home to check on me or tell me what to do or monitor my progress according to what he thought should be done. So annoying.


Your letter mentions "ignoring my intuition". It's odd, because in my two+year relationship with an abuser, I often had feelings of dread and foreboding. Each time I was correct in those feelings, though I did indeed see him those times when he would call, drunk, and ask to see me. My gut was telling me to run in the opposite direction, but I didn't. And each time, there was drama-fights and abuse. There were times when I turned around and went home without seeing him, and I am certain I avoided trouble. In the final months, when he would call and I would return to him, almost immediately I felt sad and wanted to cry. Even if things were good for a week, or two, or three, I knew that nothing would really change. If I ever tried to discuss anything that upset him, he became angry. His apologies were always in some way my fault. Enough is enough. Nothing will change, unless I take the first step-I left him last week. As the Stabbing Westward song goes "If I must be lonely, I think I'd rather be alone". Be strong. Thanks for your input. Beverly I've experienced stealth abuse in my past two relationships, and am now addressing it and becoming healthy again. Neither of these relationships involved the classic abuse pattern (controlling behavior, extreme jealousy etc) but both were abusive none the less.

I'm 22 now. The first relationship was when I was 18, with a person a good friend of mine set me up with. He had been interested in me, and I thought he was sweet and that I'd give him a chance. I knew something was wrong but ignored my intuition -- he was immediately very intense about the relationship, talking about marriage and whatnot. He idealized me to the extreme, which I was uncomfortable with, but also routinely tore me down and criticized me, so I felt sad and confused. He also pressured me about sex. A few months into the relationship, he had sex with me against my will. I did not see him any more after that, but did try to resolve things through e-mail, which was a huge, unproductive mistake. There was no resolution with him-- he changed from idealizing me to completely devaluing me, calling me names, telling me I said and did things which in reality were his actions(!), implying I was delusional and making things up because I was in love with him, that he had the power. It was a nasty shock to me that there are really people like that out there.

The violation was my first experience having sex.

I began another relationship a year and a half later, after I'd spent a significant amount of energy dealing with my last experience and felt ready to have a positive relationship. This time it was my choosing, not a set-up, and I resolved to be true to myself. I felt comfortable enough with my partner to tell him what had happened sexually in my last relationship, and was glad that he seemed so respectful about it. He also respected my space and was reasonable and un-intense. However, several months into my relationship with him he launched into a speech about how he had dated a sexual assault survivor before, and I was similar to her and must act in certain ways because of my experience, and he felt sorry for himself for being burdened with that, and he had more power in the relationship because of it, and I would surely become co-dependent etc. He took a deep vulnerability I had shared with him and threw it back at me.

I should have walked away without looking back. But I felt threatened and scared, and sexually insecure.

He apologized later, and I believed him and continued trying to have a relationship with him. But I found that I was scared to express my emotions to him. He acted closed off and refused to have intercourse with me, and it was an executive decision rather than something we discussed together. This made my fears about sex much worse, and it didn't do much for my self esteem either. I felt completely humiliated, and that I would never be able to have a healthy relationship. He was physical with me but isolated me emotionally. When we talked about everything that had been happening between us emotionally, and started having open communication and moved into a forgiveness and resolution process, we did make love together-- my first real experience ever. But less than a week later, he cheated on me by having a threesome with my coworker and her boyfriend.

I also found out that he had cheated on me with an old girlfriend for several months, and concealed this information from me. He even got tested for HIV knowing that his results might not be fully accurate, deciding the risk was low enough to risk my health.

So, I haven't dated anyone who fits the classic abuser profile, but I've dated some pretty mean dudes.

And I am someone who is very ashamed of my relationships, and very ashamed that I let all that stuff happen to me, so I don't talk much about it. As you will see I'm even anonymous here. I feel pathetic. I feel like I should have stood up for myself and trusted my gut, walked away and made self-loving, self-respecting choices. But I will now! I learned a lot of hard lessons in a relatively short period of time.

It breaks my heart when I think of how many people are being abused. Stay strong everyone.


I am or have been in a relationship just like this. Except it's things like my tone of voice. Example I had my "work voice" on instead of my normal voice so he cut the conversation off. Or he'd say I was listening but that he didn't listen (like there's a distinction some how). Offer to buy me a new bar-b-que but take it off my child support payments. And he only takes 2 out of the 3 kids (the last one is an infant) and he doesn't have the room in his apartment to take all three. But maybe he'll think about taking her on the weekends when he doesn't take the others. So I never have a childfree weekend (there's 5 children in total here). Everything is on his terms.He wants the kids to call him every night so he feels needed but frequently hangs up on them because they didn't talk to him (they're only 2 and 4 years old). If he has the kids and knows I'm going to be renovating the house he'll call several times over the weekend to see if I'm done yet, and how lonely he is. And if he knows that I'm doing something for the kids like make them a quilt or paint the room or something special for them that's going to be a surprise, then he'll tell them that he has a surprise for them. And he'll make comments like oh you must be bored if you're doing that... They're very subtle comments but they're constant. Daily really. And everything, everything is always my fault. It's terrible and he's not even here!! If i don't answer the phone then he'll either call every 15 minutes or else he'll stop by unexpectedly with a coffee. Very intrusive. Even neighbours have come over because he's asked them to stop by and "see how I'm doing". Heaven forbid if someone comes to visit!! I even get intrigated when people park their cars across the street from my house. the neighbours are just being polite saying oh there's this type of car parked outside of the house, she must have company. But if he doesn't recognize the car then the phone starts ringing and the comments come flying. He even questions things I sort through and give to the goodwill. It's a nightmare really. But at least he's no longer living in the house anymore so the physical violence, and intimidation is gone.


My self confidence and sense of self is began to diminish in December of 2004. Now I have only a vague idea of what I think I have become. I�ve all but given up my identity and in some way made myself an extension of his personality. I realize from my past that I�ve always had weak ego boundaries and domineering personalities allow me to be more submissive, less confrontational and unwilling to make waves in the interests of �getting along."

I have a 2 year old daughter and she continues to witness her father constantly calling me names like that are denigrating, or having reference to filth. I'm sometimes sworn at in an appareant attempt to 'get my attention' As if I weren't listening in the first place. The outbursts were never this strong and not as frequent. We used to have fun together, now we just pass each other in the house, with me hoping I don't provoke him into another rage or another intense lecture. I'm always given instruction or directions when he leaves the house, as if I wouldn't know what to do with my time if he weren't around. It's hard to really put a finger on the abuse itself because it usually happens in a lot of different scenarios at a lot of different times. Most times, he makes it seem as though if I hadn't provoked him, he wouldn't have yelled or lost his cool or what ever. I guess, if I had to compare it to anything, it's a little like living with a slightly senile person who remembers some things, but not others. He finds you comical to torment and even if you tell him his behavior hurts you, he says things like, "I don't know what you mean." "Exactly when did I do anything that hurt you". If you come up with specific examples, they say, "I don't remember that." Then you sit there like a fool trying to find an incident he does remember and then he says you're just overreacting to an incident and pushes it off on your interpretation of it. And they honestly, honestly don't remember the incident the way that you do and if you ask them, they will tell you a completely different story in order to distract you from your true intent which is to engage them in dialogue. It is really hopeless.

I've told him several times that if he is not happy with me, he may leave at anytime. The house and the business I started are in my name alone. He owns the car. I hide within myself when he's around and I don't like to sleep with him. We don't have sex anymore. I can't stand it.


I thought it was me. I thought I was being ungrateful and picky. I made excuses for his behaviour, "because he came from so far away to see me (us) and he was working so hard to save up the time to come and visit". I began a long distance romance with a firefighter in California. It was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Slowly, my sense of self-worth was eroded by this needy, manipulative, narcissistic man. Obviously, I was a sitting duck. Separated and trying to raise two boys. He just slipped in under my radar. Arguments were pointless because he had a special way of making me feel like I was the crazy one. When I refused outright to allow him to help with my mortgage, his use of the words stubborn and ungrateful were like he was swearing at me. When I refused his offer of a new microwave, he went down to the breaker box and disconnected the connection (unbeknownst to me). When my old, faithful microwave suddenly stopped working, there he was with a new one. When I put a downpayment on a new door for my entranceway, he secretly went back to the store and paid it all off. This is typical behaviour for a man in the early stages of abuse - he wants to make himself indispensible. When he expressed an interest in disciplining the boys, I told him if he had issues with the boys, to discuss them directly with them, but that I was going to handle discipline. He then went on a rant about how the job of a step-parent was thankless and that I was not supporting him in his hopes of being a good father figure. We were not married/living together and I didn't consider him as anything more than "the boyfriend". He wanted to adopt the boys and when I pointed out that their father would never give up his parental rights (and had no reason to), once again, I was not being supportive. He would shame my sons into tears and be proud of it. He raped me anally when I was pregnant with our daughter and then told me I had imagined it. How do you imagine anal violation? When I wanted my daughter to have a hyphenated last name, he ranted and raved about hauling me into court and taking her away from me (she was 10 days old). He shared my innermost thoughts and feelings about my family with my brother and sister-in-law and denied that he had. He told my neighbours he couldn't refuse my request to have a baby (that I trapped him into it). He told friends that I expected him to quit his job in California and move to Canada. At that point, I was grateful for the time away from him...why would I want him to come here fulltime? When I wanted to return to school after the baby, he offered to help financially, but somehow, the money just couldn't make it from California to Ontario. Mysterious. He claimed he didn't have a checking account. Enter the financial control. Yuck. When I think about the things he did to me sexually, the hurt he caused, the humiliation. He used to tell me, "You need this". I haven't been with a man since I kicked him out 3 years ago. Don't want sex. I want to heal mentally and physically.

He had to go. He started to tell me that no one else would want me. That who else would come from so far away? I started not to care. He still watches my house. I am sure he is responsible for at least 90% of the hangup phonecalls we get. He comes to visit my daughter and uses her as an excuse to shadow me. My lawyer just doesn't get it. I guess this form of abuse is just too subtle for his brain.

This story is just a short version of the months of crazy-making behaviour I have experienced at the hands of this nut. We are still trying to wash off the "dirt" he brought into our home. Please, please listen to your instincts. If you find yourself making excuses for someone's bad behaviour, stop. It is NEVER EVER your fault. Does he scowl at you to make you behave in a certain way? Give you the silent treatment? Does he insist on taking you to appointments and picking you up? This guy was insulted when my therapist didn't want to talk to him. Like he had the inside track on my thinking...Does he show up even when you tell him you will make your own way home? You cannot change him. If he promises he will when you threaten to leave, just leave. He will not change. Above all, don't get sucked back into his game. He will just make you crazy all over again. Women deserve so much better than this. Be strong. Stand up for yourself. Believe in yourself. There are good, helpful people out there. Women's Shelters and Sexual Assault Centres are good places for support. Calling a Crisis Line can get you in contact with other sources. I found this website interesting - although some of the messages are not very helpful.

AnswerI need to share here because I have been told to look into this matter because of my past actions. I can say, that I am shocked that i have done some of these things. More so, I am ashamed that I did this to someone close to me that I love. I am not asking or looking for pity, in fact, i will probably incur wrath from some. And that is totally acceptible, because i have no one to blame other than myself. I can not blame my past, my lost girlfriend, or any other factors. I am held accountable for my actions and I accept that. Seeing first hand what the results are of hurting someone I love is devastating. The fcat that I can not take back my actions makes it even worse, but I have to accept the consequences of my actions and the only course of action left to me is to recognize my faults and correct them for the good of all, even if that means losing the one I love forever. Never were my intentions malicious, yes, I have said things that should NEVER be said to a woman and i regret those words and will for as long as i am alive. The damage i did makes me feel ashamed of myself. This is in no way a narcissistic view of myself, if it was I wuld be saying that "she deserved it" and free myself of the guilt. Instead, I am admitting my faults and owning up to them. i screwed up, plain and simple, no excuse. I am hoping I never caused her to feel scared of me in a violent way, the last thing i could ever do is hurt her physically. Striking a lady goes against my principles. I do know that i have never lied to her, and although she has left, she can say without a doubt that I did not ever lie to her. Because of a past incident in her life, i harped on her and made her feel bad about herself. Looking back now, i was wrong in every sense. It was not my business nor my right to question her, what was in the past should have stayed there and her actions do not define who she really is, a lady. I caused her to doubt herself and lose the self esteem she has earned. I caused her emotional pain that i could not fathom other than what i am going through and even then, it is in no way comparable. I deserve what i am feeling, and the sole person to blame is myself and my stupid behavior. She is by far a better person than I will ever be and I hope that she knows that.

Now with all that said, i want to address the 5 categories I read above:

1. Inducing disorientation: I am still in the process of going over all the things that may have caused this in her. Although i supported her in all her endeavors, i failed to tell her. I told my friends how great she was in handling dilemmas, but it should have been her i told. I did make her doubt her decision from the past but I did not use lying as a tool. I used my black/white perception (which is changing). I did encourage her to pursue her dreams in her sport and life. But I did not do it consistently.

2.Incapacitating: I do not believe i did this, although she is the one who can answer this best. I would help her if she needed help, but I did not see her as a hapless person who needed me to do everything for her. Although i did try to offer advice on certain situations and how to handle them in order to make things easier for her (she works hard and I was attempting to alleviate some of the burdens).

3.Shared Psychosis (Follies-a-Deux): I live in the real world so i do not see this as a factor. I did not perceive "imaginary enemies" other than those I have actually encountered in real-world situations, which she was no where near. The ones I faced were real and if any of you have been in the "Sand Box" you will understand. I did test her integrity and loyalty, which i hold as a creed. I showed her complete loyalty and integrity, i would never violate that and would expect the same. I do not believe in flirting, cheating, or any other way that would make her doubt she was the one I loved.

4.Abuse of Information: I was allowed access to her email and phone records and I did look at it. Just as i offered her access to mine so she could have peace of mind if she wanted it. I abused that and now see it as an invasion of privacy that I should not have done.

5.Control by Proxy: The only times I have "recruited" anyone was to talk to her. She is angry with me and if she could hear from others I believed that she would listen to a third party. I did not prod, cajole, or script anything. My friends are just that, friends, and they saw how devastated I am and asked if they could do anything. All I asked is if they had anything to say, to just call her and talk. But I do not dump them.

There is no doubt i did some wrong things, probably a lot in her view (which is what counts the most). But the fact now is she is devastated and I am to blame for that. With her bringing this up to me, I am able to look at the harm I caused. I am hoping that it is not too late, because now that it is out in the open, I can see it and do something about it. Whatever changes i need to make are not impossible now that they are in full view in my eyes. They are changes i will make in order to make right what I have done wrong. I know deep inside that these are things that are not impossible but rather "common sense". Her fear is that i will revert back to the same thing, but the real truth is I am going to revert back to the original person she first met and fell in love with. I can remember her smile and laughter and beaming love and that is what i wish more than anything to see again. Her trust in me is not going to happen right away, and i understand that and accept that and the only thing that is left to do is show her these changes and keep showing her over and over. Maybe one day she will accept me and believe in me again. Now that i have been shown the outcome of my actions, it is my responsibility and duty to her to show her how much she means to me and never fail her again. And i would expect of her to not take any "crap" from me and tell me so.

This is a topic I so desperately need to do research on to build a battered woman's case in a law-suit with my battering ex-husband's sister (she is his defender and enabler and traitor to battered women. . Her brother once beat someone up with a baseball bat the guy was in intensive care, but Valerie has stated in legal documents she is "proud to be an enabler" (and supposedly the defender of family honor...the one who makes more money that all of us and can therefore "save" us all". Anyhow, I barely have time for all the research but I would love to hear from any and or all of you on my message board. There is so much perception here of the subtle treachery. Anyhow, I really want to mention that long ago I wondered how to detect an abuser (after I came out of an abusive childhood wwith a cruel mother who tried to kill me in a car accident over a lollipop I asked for) and many years later I could spot an abuser plain as day in borad daylight. One of thee most prevalent characteristics of these men is that at FIRST they make the most obvious public displays of their interest (how inappropriate...intimacy is private, not public). They try to occupy the heights of public life while they attempt to conquer you. You'd almost cower in the grocery store in submission if you didn't realize how despicable this type of "courtship" is. They do it in public at first because the odds are you are not going to publicly embarrass him or yourself. Public domination is almost a guarantee you'll "be nice". So I've had to defend myself in public plenty and not feel the slightest bit guilty over the fact that I've saved myself from this type of public exploitation where I have no choice except to be "nice". You're out there trying to work and take care of personal needs...you're not out there to "socialize" or make friends. You already have plenty of friends, you socialize plenty, your time is your time whenever you choose it. The fact that you are walking in broad daylight does not mean you are an open door they can walk through. One more thing....lets not confuse when "nice guys" are just nice just to be nice. Not everyone who is nice means he wants to jump into bed. And that works both ways. I've had plenty of guys think I meant more than I did just because I meant to be polite and "nice."


I should certainly hope that not all solicitation of third party consultation or even of intervention outright automatically constitutes abuse by howsoever unwitting proxy! I'd even hope that all public attention of any sort whatsoever does not automatically constitute manipulation by deliberately creating awkward tension and invading privacy. I certainly hope that there can be allowance for interest and support. Otherwise, I might need to invest in a portable cone of silence! The concept of stealth abuse is not of simple misunderstanding but of something intentional and devious.

Abusive Families

Why do people hate their family so much?

Added to This Opinion:

Although there is not one clear cut answer for hating families, hate passed down from generation to generation.

In addition to generations passing down a "spirit" or attitude of hatred, other issues that add to it is:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse in the immediate family.
  • Physical abuse.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Divorce.
  • Constant arguing in the family.
  • Personality conflicts. Within the immediate family two siblings could be totally different in personality and have serious conflicts between the two of them. The same can be seen with a parent and one or more of their children.
  • Witnessing abuse as a child.
  • Marriage partner can add to families not liking each other.
  • In many cultures, divorce will divide families.

Another Opinion:

  • Divorced mothers or fathers stealing a girlfriend or boyfriend from their daughter or son (this happens more often than many people know.)

Another Opinion:

i had hate my family for always getting in my relationships and the issues with my kids and for the actions the choose to do towards me and my little family i have for the verbal abuse for the abandoning and not caring for me but i have forgave my family but i have not yet to forget about all of the pain and suffering they have cause .

United States of America
Abusive Families
United States

How does child abuse happen?

  • Child abuse (verbal to physical and not sexual) can occur if one or both parents have been brought up in an environment of abusive behavior. It has always been believed that all women (of any age) love children, but this is not true and some wish not to have children for reasons of their own. Doctors discovered a few years ago that women who have given birth may suffer from 'postpartum blues' which is a hormonal imbalance and can cause the mother to become depressed where she may ignore her baby or possibly, in a small percentage of cases harm the baby. Every woman is an individual and while some mothers have the patience of a Saint with their child or children some women can become abusive if they cannot control a baby from constantly crying to a small child that is active and into everything. Sexual abuse by mainly the father (but a small number of mothers have sexually abused their sons) this can often generate down from the environment in which they grew up. Often sexual abuse with a male or female parent goes unnoticed for years and there is no test a doctor can give to tell if a parent may or may not become sexually abusive to their child.
Abusive Families

What are the signs of child abuse and how can you help the abused child to overcome the harm it has caused?

Since the obvious treatment for injuries from physical abuse is medical treatment, I assume you mean psychological treatment. This can depend on the child's age, who the abuser was, how long the abuse lasted, whether the abuse was sexual, physical, emotional, as well as other forms of abuse.

Treatment and the healing process:
First of all, the child needs to know the abuse is not their fault. Children have a tendency to blame themselves for the abuse, thinking if they had been more . . . or less . . . then they wouldn't have been abused. So reassurance that the abuse was NOT their fault is crucial to their emotional healing.

They also need a lot of love, patience, understanding and reassurance that they are now safe, as well as someone who will really listen when they do finally open up and talk about it. But getting them to talk about it may take a while, so be patient. They will talk about it when they can - when they feel emotionally ready to do so. Don't rush it, or that may make them even more withdrawn and reluctant to talk about it. It may take time to earn their trust, so don't take it personally.

Abused children have been through things that most adults can't even comprehend, much less imagine a child having to endure. The child's caregiver, therefore, needs to learn how to talk to the child, as well as respecting certain boundaries.

For example, if the child has been sexually abused, give them their privacy, such as during their bath, or when they are changing clothes. If they were physically abused, don't ever spank them; use other methods of discipline when necessary. If they were emotionally abused, talk to them with respect, love and tenderness, but also with sincerity. Children are really quite perceptive, and can often tell when an adult is not being sincere in what they say.

Don't allow other children to ever bully or tease the child - this could cause even further damage to the child's fragile state of mind. For example, it's quite common for an abused child to be sent to a foster home, where there are other foster children. Some of those children may have been abused, too, and may act out their anger and frustration by being aggressive towards other children.

Anger is a common emotion in abused children, but the child does need to learn constructive ways to deal with the anger. A child that has been repeatedly beaten by a parent may feel that physical abuse is a normal way to deal with anger, and act on that by treating other children the same way.

Children who have been emotionally abused (being told they are stupid, ugly, etc.) will need a lot of positive feedback on even the smallest achievements to help rebuild their self-esteem. A child who has been told repeatedly that they are stupid, ugly, etc., does end up believing what they've been told, and it will take a lot of time, reassurance and lots of praise before they realize they aren't any of the awful names they were called.

Signs of abuse and the different forms of abuse:
Emotional baggage can stay with a child for a lifetime if they are not given the proper treatment and environment (love, security, protection, etc.) after being abused. Emotional baggage can turn into a really heavy burden for the rest of their life if they are not helped to "lighten the load" as early on as possible. There are signs you can watch for that will let you know what the child may be feeling, or what the child may have endured. There are counselors who specialize in abused children, as well as in certain childhood behaviors, such as:

  • If the child is cruel to animals or other children, he or she may be acting out their anger and frustration over not being able to fight back to their abuser. If you notice any physical aggression, address it immediately by seeking professional help for the child.

  • Drawing is often therapeutic for an abused child, and what they draw can tell a lot about the type of abuse they suffered, and how it should be treated. For example, if they draw things of a sexual nature, then that is a probable sign the child was sexually abused.

  • If the child draws pictures of violence, such as knives, blood, etc., that may be a sign that the child was threatened with knives, or even witnessed their abuser kill a pet.

  • If the child writes things such as angry stories, that is a good indication that they still have a lot of anger that they have not dealt with yet, and will need help in dealing with the anger.

  • If the child eats far more than is normal, or if he or she tends to hoard food, then that may indicate the child wasn't fed enough, sometimes even forced to go for days with no food.

  • If the child won't eat, that may be an indication that he or she was constantly told they were fat, and feels that eating will only make them fatter, even if they are underweight.

  • If the child tends to hoard items, that could be a sign of insecurity. Often, for children who had nothing, or who had their belongings destroyed or thrown away by their abuser, this may be their way of wanting to hold on to something of "their own."

  • If a child displays unusual fears, this could mean the child was deliberately threatened or scared by their abuser. For example, if the child has an abnormal fear of the dark, their abuser may have done things to them to make them afraid of the dark, or the abuse may have taken place in the dark, such as sexual abuse at night when the rest of the family was asleep.

  • If the child is abnormally afraid of being alone in a room, they may have been left home alone or even locked in a closet for long periods at a time.

  • If the child is afraid of taking a bath, it's possible their abuser may have actually held their head under water, making them believe he was going to drown them.

  • If the child has a morbid fear of fire, even from a cigarette lighter, their abuser may have burned them, or constantly threatened to do so. They may have even witnessed their abuser burn something or someone else.

  • If the child has an abnormal fascination with fire, this is something that needs to be addressed by a professional immediately. Otherwise, the child could grow up to be a pyromaniac (arsonist).
  • There are as many treatments and ways to help an abused child as there are forms of abuse. But the key here is to first find out what kind of abuse the child suffered, and to have them treated by someone who specializes in child abuse. All of the above examples are serious issues, although some can be more serious than others - especially if not treated properly, or early enough.
  • If you are a foster parent, you need to learn the signs of different forms of abuse to help you better understand the child who was abused, and to help you help the child. Your foster child's social worker can help you with this by giving you material to read, and websites to research. It is so important to do all you can to understand what the child went through at the hands of their abuser in order to understand the child's behavior. What may seem odd or bizarre to you probably seems normal to the child. In addition, this behavior may be all the child knows, and doesn't realize it's not acceptable.
  • Never scold or punish a child for (most of) these behaviors, or make fun of them. And don't allow other children to make fun of them, either: This will only cause even further damage and more mistrust. When you see an abused child acting in strange ways (such as hoarding food), simply reassure them that they will never go hungry in your home. You may have to reassure them quite a few times, but with the right love and care, they will come to realize they can trust you, and what you say - if you keep your word to them.
  • Also, don't ever berate or criticize the child's abuser to them, especially if their abuser was a parent. Abused children tend to have mixed emotions about an abusive parent: They are afraid of them, yet they still desperately want to feel that parent loves them, and feel a sense of loyalty to the abusive parent. To put the abused child's parent down to them will sometimes put the child in the position of feeling they have to defend that parent. This will confuse the child, and delay their healing even more.

Little things mean a lot

Sometimes even the smallest things can make a huge difference for the child. For example, giving the child a wallet, purse, box, etc., to put their personal belongings in, and letting them know that it is theirs, and that no one will take it from them, can go a long way towards building their sense of having something of their own. This is one of the first steps towards building their sense of security.

Always show the child the same respect you expect them to show you. Knock on their bedroom door and wait for them to respond before entering, and never just barge in on them when they are in the bathroom. This will let them know you respect their "space" and privacy. It will also help teach them to do the same towards others.

Speak to them in a calm, reassuring and respectful tone. Yes, you are the authority figure in their life, but you can (and should) still speak to them with respect, and maintain your authority at the same time. Actually, the more respect you show someone (yes, even a child), the more they will tend to respect you. Children learn by what they are taught, and there is no better teacher than a good example.

Praise the child for accomplishments, even the small ones. What may seem small to you could actually be something really important to the child. For example, if the child draws a picture of the sky with yellow or green clouds, compliment them on their creativity, rather than telling them clouds aren't really yellow or green. Not only will this be good for their self-esteem, but it will also teach them to use their imagination.

If the child displays a fear of the dark, never make them feel embarrassed or tell them it's silly, or that "there's nothing to be afraid of." Simply reassure them calmly, and then get them a night light. They will soon learn there is nothing to be afraid of, but they have to learn it. You can't just tell them that and expect them to know or believe it.

Phone numbers for abused children:
  • National Child Abuse Hot Line 800-422-4453 TDD 800-222-4453

  • ChildHelp USA National Crisis Hot Line 800-292-9688

  • National Domestic Violence Hot Line 800-799-7233 TDD 800-394-2255

  • Girls and Boys Town National Hot Line 800-448-3000

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
Freephone 0800 800 5000

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) 00 353 742 9744

Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800

South Africa
Crime Stop at 0800 11 12 13 or 08600 10111

Kids' Help Phone: 1 800 668 6868

If you know of a child who is being abused (or if you strongly suspect abuse), or if you are a child who is being abused, you can call any of the above numbers to report the abuse, or to get help. You do not have to give your name if you don't want to. In cases of physical abuse, look out for obvious things like bruises and also for a withdrawn, fearful or excessively watchful attitude. Any suspected cases of abuse must be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Abusive Families

Is Angel Locsin Chinese?

No, she is Filipino.

Abusive Families

Can you give an example of a veiled threat?

  • A veiled threat is a sentence given to another that can have two meanings and be taken as information or a joke or a threat. Example: 'Now that I've told you my private secrets I may have to kill you' and the person laughs or on a more normal basis 'If I ever found someone going out with my girlfriend I'd kick the crap out of them so bad they would be in the hospital for a month.' This person may be suspicious of the person they are talking too, but put the sentence in such a way that they are simply talking about anyone, but know full well that the person they said it too gets the drift of what the threat is all about.
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

How does poverty affect domestic violence?

When someone lacks money..it's all they can think about. A man is "supposedly" the provider for his family..now, when he's not providing, he feels helpless and he begins to feel stressed. Most of the time, this leads to men abusing girlfriends, wives, even their own kids. Why? Because in these situations, men feel as if they have no control in their lives, mainly because they are poor, and they feel that the way to regain that control is to go after someone/something who is weaker..in other words, women, children, etc. It may sound weird, but it's the truth. It is happening more and more now especially because of the economy being so bad. All stems from stress.

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

If you have a verbally abusive step-father how do you get him taken out of the household and not the children?

Call the police station and speak to an officer about it. If the step-father is threatening the children he can be removed and not the children.

Parenting and Children
Abusive Families

What are the effects of verbal abuse on children?

the verbal abuse is a very serious matter for instance if a young child acidentilly spills a glass of milk a parent or both parents may start calling the child stupid and cursing and putting the child in a depressing stage feeling like sucide ,or cutting the wrists,maybe even bulling other people or peers around them.

the vebal abuse is such as cursing really not being called fat or lazy but those words are very upseting to kids making them feel not wanted or not loved.

im here to tell u im going to be 13 and took care of 3 younger siblings while my family slept and and did nothing, to help, my sister a year and a half younger than i helped me with our lil sister and brother of course they could both go to school thankfully and i was happy 4 that and i struggled with househlod chores . my grades went from a's to c's and d's . i also begain to complain to my grandparents about my struggles and they let me live with them . i now make straight a's and am living a better cleaner invironment. but while i was getting each child ready for school plus myself if i messed one thing up and my parents found out i was cursed at and that's considered verbal abuse . if it's effecting your health,grades ,and self estseam .. contact someone

verbal; abuse is very serious in court and can be held against parents if u want to go that rought !!!!

Abusive Families

My ex makes me sad now so what do I do?

Try to move on.

Parenting and Children
Age of Consent & Underage Relationships
Abusive Families

As an adult how do you forgive your parents for being neglectful your entire childhood?

First you have to acknowledge that nobody is perfect. I'm not, you're not. If you feel that you have the right to blame all of your bad attributes on your parents then you certainly have to acknowledge that THEY TOO are products of their environment and maybe they just didn't know any better or didn't think what they were doing was so bad. Look for the good in them. Look for anything that could be considered a redeeming quality. When you were a kid they were big and powerful and all-important. Now you're the adult. Recognize that you too have faults and now that you're "all grown up" your parents aren't as big and powerful as you believed when you were a kid. If you don

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

What makes an abuser an abuser?

There are many kinds and types of abusers. It is impossible to define a single pathogenesis (origin and development of the pathological conduct). Culture and society also play a role. Abuse cuts across social-economic strata, geography, ethnic lines, and periods in history. It is associated with certain mental health disorders but this is not a prerequisite - abusers can be psychologically healthy, in the clinical sense.

Abusive Families

What is trauma bond within abusive relationships?

You should research 'Stockholm syndrome'.

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

What happens to kids who run away?

Kids that run away generally don't make it through the night since the honey badgers like to come out. most little kids will either get eaten by the honey badger because the honey badger doesn't give a s**t. but if you are one of the few kids who could some escape the clutches of the terrible honey badger you will soon start to starve and dehydrate since you have no one to care for you anymore. which at first will be a terrible feeling but soon your cerebral cortex will be liquefied and you will feel nothing and will die slowly and alone praying every night that either you were just home again or that the honey badger will come and find you to put you out of your misery.

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families
A Child Called It

Where is Dave Pelzer's mother?

Catherine Roerva Christen Pelzer passed away in 1992. For more information about Catherine and her life, see: http://thequeenandking.blogspot.com/2009/08/did-dave-pelzers-mother-from-child.html

Parenting and Children
Abusive Families

How do you rescue children from a sociopathic mother?

If you suspect child abuse call children's services and report the mother. If you hear or see the mother in an act of abuse, call the cops immediately.

Abusive Families
SMS and Texting

How do you call someone in a different state?

Find out the area code of the state dial "1" the area code then the person's number. If you do not know the number you can call directory assistance, 1-411 for both local and national numbers. THEN EAT YUMMY CHOCOLATE

Abusive Families

Can you go to jail for running away from abusive parents?

* If you are a minor and run away and break the law this is the only time you may be arrested. Since your parents are abusive then seek out help from Child Aid in the area you live. If you don't know the phone number then ask the operator and she will give you the phone number. If you are a minor the streets are not safe for you and running never accomplished anything. Seek the help from Child Aid and they will protect you against your abusive parents. Be sure what you consider your parents are doing is abuse. This is not abuse: A parent grounding their minor child for staying out late at night or not doing their homework on time; skipping school; hanging out with the wrong crowd; doing drugs (including alcohol) or if parents have found drug paraphernalia in their room. Abusive parents are parents that hit constantly; kick; scratch; punch or verbally abuse their child or by demeaning them by calling them names such as 'stupid'; to 'you're fat and ugly', etc., or sexually abuse the minor child.

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

Is pushing the start of abuse?

  • No, in many cases pushing someone in the heat of anger or frustration does not mean that person will turn into an abuser. At some time in every person's life they have pushed or shoved someone in the heat of anger, but it is not a continuing act. While pushing is not acceptable to anyone people are only human and true physical or verbal abuse has become confusing to many. True physical abuse is a continuing pattern such as; pushing; shoving; kicking; scratching; throwing things at their mate; black eyes; cut lips; broken teeth and ribs; bruising or threatening the victim with a weapon such as a knife or other object. If someone pushes you for the first time make sure it is clear to them that they are never to do that to you again and mean it!
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families

How do you know if you are being verbally abused as a child?

The abuser would constantly tell you how worthless you are and try to control everything that you do. They play guilt games, or yell and scream when you do nothing wrong; in order to beat you down.

You could be told that you are stupid or worthless. You may asked questions like:

"what good are you?"

"what can we possibly do to you?"

"If you don't do what I tell you, I'll kick you out of this house"

"You're an idiot"

"You were a mistake"

"You are horrible everyone was so much better than you"

"I will crash this car and end both our lives to get away from you"

They will probably show no sign of affection towards you.

Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Abusive Families
Elder Abuse

Why do people make false accusations of Abuse or being Abused?

so many reasons why somebody may make things up, maybe too hurt somebody, maybe for attention, obviously they want something or want someone to feel something for them, example .. Janet was accusing Alfred of rape .. Janet was just upset with Alfred for cheating on him and wanted revenge you need to look at why the person is saying this, do they have a grudge against the person they are accusing, obviously there is some reason for it revenge tactic by women, a way to make someone feel sorry for somebody, if somebody just says it with no reason whatsoever then they need psychiatric help


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