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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Domestic abuse victim now I isolate myself from people


 toban - Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:44 pm

I was involved in a very violent, abusive relationship for nearly three years but luckily got out. Even though I made the first step, I find it hard. My trust level is nearly zero percent. Although not everyone knows about DV and I don't expect them to understand, I have received a lot of negativity, blame, judgement from people who I thought would be there for me etc. People such as friends, family. I was told I deserved the abuse, why didn't I leave earlier etc.

My family doctor blames, judges me and at my last appt told me that he hopes I never talk about this again when I come in. Right now I have some ongoing medical issues due to the past abuse. He has made other judgemental comments.

I know I need to find a new family doc but scared because I worry about being judged. Female docs are hard to come by, very few take new patients. I'm okay with a male Doctor as long as there is no judgement.

I did have one male doc/specialist but unfortunately he retired. recently.He was extremely compassionate and went out of his way to help me. I can say he probably saved my life because I would likely be dead now at the hands of my exbf. I asked the specialist if I could keep in contact with him once in awhile to let him know my progress and he said yes, could send him letters to his office, will be there for awhile cleaning out. So he became one person I could count on.

My parents are another story. I moved back home after I left him They are not supportive, in fact told me the abuse was my fault, asked for it, deserved it etc. They have seen my broken limbs, bruises, cuts etc and my mental state. I told them to never tell my ex or anyone my location because it would put me in danger. I had problems with my ex after I left him. Anyways they have told my ex where I was/am and he confronted me many times. I thought he followed me even though I was careful. I found out my parents were telling him my location. I said why would you do that?!@ They said maybe I should give him a second chance, I hurt his feelings (I guess he told them this) and he wants me back. I realize they never saw the monster side of him, except for once. At a bbq he hit me quite hard. I looked over, they saw it, but never said anything until later to me. They said 'What did you do to him to cause him to hit you!?" Another time they told one of his 'friends' my location and this person assaulted me.

So now I don't tell them where I am going or nothing. If they have to get ahold of me, by cell phone only. I plan on moving out as soon as possible, financially hard right now.

I have tried going for therapy but haven't found someone I click with.

I feel frustrated, angry and tend to isolate myself from people. Keeping people at arms length. I don't want to get burnt or hurt again. I am tired of being judged, blamed and wish someone would give me some support. I am a grown woman but also human. Sometimes a hug would be nice but I pretend to be 'tough' to protect myself.

Any advice?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:56 am

User avatar Hi toban,
One of the many problems regarding domestic abuse is people that don't understand abusive relationships tend to blame the victim rather than the abuser (which of coure is a terrible mistake to say the least). There isn't anyone on this earth that "deserves" to be treated in such a manner. Abusive people want to have control over something or someone. If they can destroy another's self esteem to nothing, make them dependent, make them feel worthless, then they have control of a person and situation, which makes them feel strong. That's why people in relationships such as these ends up DEAD. During tragedy, sadly enough, people find out who their friends and family are. The one's that are not supportive just plainly don't understand. I would strongly suggest that you write a note to the retired physician, ask how he is doing, and ask if he has any recommendations for physician's and counselors that would be appropriate for you. My opinion of the current status of your health care provider is, if he/she's opinion was negative, he/she should have had enough professionalism to keep bias comments to themselves. As for you family and friends, tell them abusive people actually kill people and if they are to blind to see that then that's their problem and to keep their comments to themselves because you don't care to discuss issues in which they don't understand. As for you, take care of yourself, regardless of what others may say or think, you have done the right thing by not continuing to put yourself in dangers way. A computer hug isn't is as good as the real thing but nonetheless ((((toban))))
Best wishes!
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN
 toban - Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:41 pm

Update...

I moved out of my parents home and found out some news which really upset me. I decided to ask them why they were so unsupportive while I was abused and after I left. Was it due to them being in denial, not sure what to say or how to react, or maybe angry at my ex, but taking it out on me? They said no to all the above. My mom said in a cold like tone.. "When your dad and I married we only wanted one child" (I have an older brother who lives overseas). You came along and because we don't believe in abortion we kept you." I said "Why didn't you give me up for adoption?" She said " Adoption back then was different and we didn't want to look bad in front of neighbours or friends. We feel that you weren't deserving of emotional support while this happened or afterwards. Whether you lived, died or were maimed, so be it."

I couldn't believe my ears and walked out. Few days later I phoned and asked if this was a joke or if they were having a bad day. They said "No!"

I really don't know how I should feel. Part of me is upset, another part numb. I don't tell people about this because I am afraid others will think I am the problem, that my parents dislike me because I must have done something wrong or was an awful child towards them. I know growing up I did well in school, never got in trouble, never tried drugs, alcohol or smoked.

I always sensed there was something different, but never knew what. They were never supportive people in the past and I guess now I know why.

I don't even know how I should feel. :(
 Dr. K. Eisele - Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:52 am

User avatar Toban:

I have read your post from last August about the problem, and skimmed many of your posts about your ongoing health problems.

I am so glad you got out of that relationship--your ex-boyfriend certainly has a lot of issues, and unfortunately, made them your issues, by abusing you so horribly.

About your parents, I'm shocked, but, on the other hand, I am a psychiatrist and have seen many things that seemed so wrong. Still, it seems so odd for them to so blatantly tell you they never wanted you and don't care what happens to you, while at the same time, have a more-or-less normal relationship with your older brother. (As I'm writing this, though, I wonder how "normal" that relationship really is.)

I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise, though, knowing how they purposely endangered you by telling your ex where you were. I really think, personally, at the point I knew they truly thought I deserved such abuse, that would have to be the end, if I were you. I am not you, though. Whatever feelings you have about them, please remember, are okay. Your feelings are what they are, and you cannot control them. The part you can control is how you let the whole thing affect you, and how you choose to respond to it.

Notice that I said "respond," and not "react." From what I've read, you seem to be a reasonable, thinking person. "Reacting" to our environment is what we do when we do not stop to think about consequences, whereas "respond" is what we do after having carefully considered all sides to the issue.

I wonder if there is still some thing about your parents that you do not know. It seems that the family doctor you wrote about last August may know something. I have no idea what that may be, but it seems as though there must be more to their position than what they're letting on. In any case, you owe it to yourself to protect your well-being (physical and emotional) and limit your contact with them until you can find out more. Is there some relative who could be objective that act as a go-between to help you find out more about this?

My next suggestion is obvious. You need to find a therapist you can click with. Right now, you don't know how to feel about your mother's remarks, but the potential is there for this to be very bad. You will need a therapist to help you through this.

Please do continue to update us. I wish you all the best and congratulate you for getting to this point--it takes a lot of character to do what you have done.
 toban - Fri May 16, 2008 3:22 pm

I know I'm bumping an old post but I realized I forgot to post an update..

I spoke to my brother in regards to our parents. He said during our childhood that I received the brunt of the abuse (emotional and sometimes physical). They were abusive towards him at times but I received it more. He recalls overhearing a few times in regards to me not wanted in the first place but he didn't want to tell me.

My brother talks to my parents once in awhile but not very often.

My parents don't have many siblings. My dad had one sister who passed away. My mom has a sister who is still living. I asked her in a non confrontational way about them. She didn't have too much to say other than that she could see things going on with my parents that she didn't agree or approve but was apprehensive to get involved.

Since my last post I haven't spoke to my parents. Actually they sent me a letter once that was quite nasty. I feel quite betrayed by them.

I have gone for some counselling. I can't afford to pay so I tried some free counseling that is short term.

I admit I have trouble trusting others. I feel abandoned. Even though my parents never abandoned me as in walking out the door, never coming back, I feel abandoned. I feel as though I never had parents, never felt protected or loved.

This is in the past but this is one of the things they would do. When I was 15 I was in a bicycle accident. I had a mild head concussion, bruises, cuts etc. Luckily not worse. My bicycle was mangled. I came home, dragging my bicycle. My parents were outside and they were more concerned about the bike that I bought with my own money. They never asked if I was okay, do you need to see a doctor, nothing. I was crying and they walked right by me. I don't expect sympathy from anyone but admit it did hurt. They were the same with other incidents that happened to me while growing up. I was told not to cry and if I did, they called me a cry baby, wuss etc. I use to go in the bathroom, cry and clean myself up before coming out of the bathroom so they wouldn't see the tears. I didn't want to be called names for crying.

I rely on myself for everything. I know there is nothing wrong with that but sometimes I do need someone but I'm afraid of abandoment, rejection.

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