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  #121  
Old 11-18-08, 12:35 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

I wish I had read that years ago.

Should also add, does he separate you from family and friends? saying they don't like him, or are not good for you. It's slow but one day you realize that he's manipulated you into a little cage.
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  #122  
Old 12-01-08, 11:49 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

fact is its not as simple as it sounds. in anyway shape or form. and its not even necessarily that he will be an abuser during the relationship. but from my personal experiance what happens if he doesnt get what he wants from you while you are together. and i can say that he didnt posses any one of the signals that you say to look out for. these are not just the characteristics of an abuser but of a sociopath. someone inheritly depressed who thinks nothing of themselves and is therefore, vulnerable to be acting out in a variety of differnt ways. from my own experiance i would think those who become abusers are those who suck you in. they dont show any signs at all. they make you feel like they cant live without you tell you all this bull**** about how much the7 love you that jsut sounds so ludacrous but you dont think of it in this way at the time. i guess what i mean to say is dont only look for these things. you need to be on your gaurd against everyone before you get yourself hurt like i did
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  #123  
Old 05-16-09, 11:09 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

Wish I knew all this 25 years ago...........
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  #124  
Old 05-16-09, 08:24 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

That's the beauty of the internet. We can tell our stories and hope that someone can learn from them.
Be well.
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  #125  
Old 05-19-09, 04:25 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

lots and lots of stories. :-)
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  #126  
Old 05-22-09, 03:39 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

This is an interesting thread that is, at it's core, about personal security.

The problem with all forms of security is that they are never perfect. No matter how well educated, vigilant, emotionally intelligent and secure you are, there will always be someone who has just the right emotional cocktail to slip passed your defenses.

The problem with the type of list in the first post is that (in my opinion) we want to make it exclusive. It makes our life simpler and makes us feel safer and more in control. In reality, some abusers will align with that list, but some will not.

You don't even notice most of the people that you exclude from consideration. We unconsciously exclude most people by applying broad rules to narrow the field of potential candidates. Obviously crazy or dangerous people are usually excluded without even thinking about it. It would be debilitating to have to consciously analyze every person you meet to determine if they are a suitable partner so we take short cuts: passive exclusion.

The people we put under active consideration are very few. Once we get to this point, we are actively screening people. We are probably screening them because they are attractive and interesting on at least a few levels. This is where we get into trouble. Our rational decision making process is going up against our subconscious and emotional desires.

It's not really a fair fight at that point.

In my opinion, the biggest danger is thinking you can't be fooled because you are too "something" to get into that situation. We are all emotional creatures, we can all be fooled.

Checklists and guides make us feel better, but the world is too complex to be reduced to a set of "do's" and don'ts".
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  #127  
Old 05-22-09, 03:49 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

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Checklists and guides make us feel better, but the world is too complex to be reduced to a set of "do's" and don'ts".
I have to mostly agree with this post. I was once in a relationship where my guard was up the whole time. I did not want to get hurt. Well after a year into becoming a couple I became an abuser. I never saw it coming.
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  #128  
Old 05-22-09, 08:30 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

You BECAME an abuser ? I gotta know how that happened!

The reason I ask... I have always maintained that abuse is a choice. The abused choose to tolerate bad behavior the first time because they don't really believe that the abuser really means it, apologizes profusely, or some other action that leads them to believe it's a one time thing ( I realize this is a very abbreviated statement and my apologies to any that are offended...I want only to learn)

The second time, however, the abused definitely owns some of the responsibility for being in a dangerous situation (again, I am speaking with a broad stroke...I know every situation is different)

Now, having said all that(and please keep in mind that I'm not sitting here with a pile of rocks to throw) .... How does one transition from being from being a non-abuser to abuser.

Is it the result of addiction ? Or were you pushed into a corner and you were fighting for survival ?

This subject really interests me and I really do not have any wish for bad things, just knowledge !

I have personally stood on the edge of this abyss and I often wonder what it would take to push me over the edge. I know that I pulled the plug on several relationships because of this fear.

But, still I wonder.....
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  #129  
Old 05-23-09, 03:44 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

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Originally Posted by Brain Control View Post
You BECAME an abuser ? I gotta know how that happened!

The reason I ask... I have always maintained that abuse is a choice. The abused choose to tolerate bad behavior the first time because they don't really believe that the abuser really means it, apologizes profusely, or some other action that leads them to believe it's a one time thing ( I realize this is a very abbreviated statement and my apologies to any that are offended...I want only to learn)

The second time, however, the abused definitely owns some of the responsibility for being in a dangerous situation (again, I am speaking with a broad stroke...I know every situation is different)

Now, having said all that(and please keep in mind that I'm not sitting here with a pile of rocks to throw) .... How does one transition from being from being a non-abuser to abuser.

Is it the result of addiction ? Or were you pushed into a corner and you were fighting for survival ?

This subject really interests me and I really do not have any wish for bad things, just knowledge !

I have personally stood on the edge of this abyss and I often wonder what it would take to push me over the edge. I know that I pulled the plug on several relationships because of this fear.

But, still I wonder.....
Of course abuse is a choice in the strict sense, but it frequently involves personality disorders and similar pathologies that may distort the abusers perception to the point where they believe it is either justified or not actually abuse.

There are other patterns of course - power, control, fear of loss, etc.

Often the abuse is a choice in the same way that a drug addict taking drugs is a choice. That does not excuse the behavior, but it might help explain it.
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  #130  
Old 05-23-09, 10:10 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

Quote:
I have to mostly agree with this post. I was once in a relationship where my guard was up the whole time. I did not want to get hurt. Well after a year into becoming a couple I became an abuser. I never saw it coming.
That last part is what gets my attention...

Quote:
I never saw it coming.
That sounds, to me, like a honest statement made with no small degree of pain. And I do understand the psychology of the pathological mind, I have studied this issue for many years.

I would like to state, for the record, that I'm no mind mechanic... I'm a logger, I'm blue collar 'till I die. But, I still feel compelled to learn about things that I don't fully understand.

I'm not looking to excuse abusive behavior, or even to understand it. I would like to try to understand the process of becoming one.... I know it may not be possible, these things can be intense.

Good people do bad things all the time. Alcoholics were not always alcoholics, they didn't just wake up one day...addicted. There was a progression, a slide, sometimes gentle(the frog in the frying pan mentality) or... a traumatic event punts an otherwise "normal" individual over the edge.

The end result is the same either way, and I'm interested in the journey.
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  #131  
Old 05-23-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

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Originally Posted by Annwn View Post
pathologies that may distort the abusers perception to the point where they believe it is either justified or not actually abuse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Annwn View Post
control, fear of loss, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annwn View Post

Often the abuse is a choice in the same way that a drug addict taking drugs is a choice. That does not excuse the behavior, but it might help explain it.


I could not have put this better myself. This is how it was for me. I was experiencing tremendous and sudden changes in life. I was afraid of losing control (and losing it anyway). I was afraid of losing what relationships I had left including my girlfriend (just short of a ring and date). With a screwy kind of logic I sensed her vulnerability (or my own scariness) and wanted to know if she would be able to defend herself from me (Duh! No!). With no intention of following through (I told you it was screwy!), I pressured her to (what married people do). I was aggressively insistent. I only relented after she began to sob. I think really think she was frightened. I was so relieved that she said no (I was such a jerk!) Then, in an effort to get her to punch me in the stomach (for pretending to be a jerk by being one), I slapped her face. Not hard, I thought (I had been taking karate for several months). I have no idea what was going on in her mind about what I was asking her to do. She eventually did half-heartedly slug me. Of course I apologized profusely before leaving shortly after. It was late and I had no business being out at that time of night. I have often wondered what might have been if I had just stayed home that night and went to bed early.

Fortunately, her parents forced us to separate for a couple months (permanently). Her mom said they thought we were getting too serious and their daughter needed to consentrate on finishing high school (she was 17).
Nothing was ever said about what I had done, and I was too ashamed to have the courage to bring it up, much less appologize. On top of that I was numb with fear that I may have broken the law and could be facing jail (I was 19).

Beside the regret of having lost so much, there was a gnawing feeling that lingered for decades after. I could not let her go. I thought I was just emotionally attatched to her memory in an unhealthy way. It didn't sink in until much later when I had married and my daughters had nearly grown. I finally realized something of what I had done to D. To her personally. And I never made a real effort to appologize and explain to her that it was all my fault and not hers. Only now do I imagine what I put her parents through...

I've not repeated this foray into stupidity. Looking at it now is like looking back at times when depression led to suicidal ideation. It made so much sense to me at the time. It was so real. I can't really get my brain around how anyone can be that way but I have been there.
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  #132  
Old 05-24-09, 06:28 PM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

Wow ! !

Thank-you for that compelling post ! !

Here's the way I see it....

1) You were young, inexperienced, under stress and temporarily stuck on stupid

2) She also was young, inexperienced, under stress but a wee bit stronger

3) She had a support network that did what they were supposed to do

4) You were appalled by your behavior

5) And, most importantly, you never repeated this episode

What I'm referring to in my above post is the long term abuser... ie... The first time being the abusers fault, the second time sharing responsibility with the abused for tolerating it. In your case this did not happen.

No one can realistically say that someone who experiments with cocaine is a crack-head. Sure it's not the smartest thing to do but drug addiction is a long term affair with something that is unmanageable.

It is obvious that you stepped over the line, but it's equally obvious, to me, that you have payed an emotional price for this one time event. In my opinion, kudos are due all around for not allowing this horrible night to progress into a tragic trend. I can only hope that she learned how to deal with this behavior before it gets to that point, and it appears( I hope, anyway) that her parents are smart enough to pull that off.

As for you, I cannot label you as an abuser( as you have labeled yourself)

An abuser, by definition, is someone who repeatedly dominates someone else for purposes of self-gratification. An event can be described as abuse, and an abuser is someone perpetrates it. I don't believe you meet that standard. I know someone will be offended by that statement but, hey, it's my opinion and I won't throw rocks at someone else s.

I hope you can make peace with this tragedy, both with yourself and with her. Forgiveness is a powerful tool, and woefully underused.

Once again, thank-you for your story !

BC
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  #133  
Old 07-24-09, 05:37 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

Oh man I wish I would read this post earlier!!!
Ha! I could have saved a lot of time.
BUT: I think that if you ever meet a person with those qualities
you not gonna spend more then one date with them anyway.
And plus - at least in my case - I can not judge that quickly and I like to give people more chances then one...
Good luck to everybody finding the right person!
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  #134  
Old 07-24-09, 08:51 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

dang I wish I would have read that before I married my wife!

I replaced the "he" with "she" and I answered yes to like 75% of the questions.

Oh well.... I'll get over it
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Old 11-10-09, 06:02 AM
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Re: How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

For some of us our disorders are so strong that NOT abusing someone is a difficult choice. One that takes a lot of effort and tending. Something we have to struggle at and a task that is never finished.

For some of us being an abuser is the natural unthinking path, and only with constant vigilance can we stop. So, for some of us, relationships are torturous not because we are being abused and made to walk on eggshells by someone....but because if we DO NOT walk on eggshells we become abusive.

I don't know how long it takes to heal and have healthy relationships for anyone else but I know that for me it still has not happened and I am working at it all the time. I have hopes that one day I do not have to keep on guard against myself. But right now I know I do.

I didn't know this until recently. I was oblivious. I really thought that a lot of my behavior was justified- because admitting that I was the problem again and again- well that hurts. And it's far easier to be unkind to someone else who you can walk away from, than admit what you are doing and carry that hurt with you.
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