Domestic Violence…..Intimate view of the Red Flags and Warning Signs of an Abuser

Do you know the Red Flags and Warning Signs of an abusive partner?

How do you view your own self-worth and relationships?

This may be triggering for some but it is intended as a upclose and intimate view of Interpersonal Violence and may be the life saving influence for another. Please help pass this information forward!!!

In my life I”ve always seen these violent and controlling relationships as;

“It can’t be any worse than what happened in my home as a child”

I’ve never considered myself as a “Partner” in a relationship. Those who built me had broken down any real sense of value as an individual. I was “trained” in my childhood to be accepting of another’s control and violence against me and became submissive in my adult relationships; dependent for my own existence as a person. The abuses, violence, terror, torture and training to constantly give of myself without any consideration of my own needs, caused me to continue accepting these same acts and disregard any personal value that I thought I deserved.

What this actually did was teach me to accept any and all disregard for me as a human being!!!

The multiples of abusers, controllers of my existence, could manipulate me to fit their mold of the “PERFECT” partner/spouse. No matter how minute their wishes or how grand their desire, it became my own self belief that I should meet or exceed their expectations, despite any dislike I had for their actions.

I WAS THE PERFECT VICTIM!!!

There are many millions like myself, so well-trained to expect and accept any disregard for their own value. This generational training to discard our own dislike of what others do to us and how they break down and mold our spirit to fit their needs, rather than consider our own thoughts and feelings, leaves us destroyed of “SELF” and submissive to meet their wishes.

How does this reflect in your relationship? Do you give others that constant control; disregard your own wishes to meet the expectation of those who say, “I Love You”?

Do they say those words after they’ve spent an hour or five minutes tearing apart or beating down your individual thoughts or feelings?

Do they use the love you feel for them as a tool to make you feel guilt over your own attempts to build your person?

Do they demonstrate blatant disregard of your ideas, dreams, wishes, even if it is as simple as wanting to seek an independent career, education, or complete a goal?

These are their acts as controller of your existence. This is Domestic Violence, Interpersonal Control, Molding of your person and breaking down your spirit to accommodate and meet their expectations of what type of person you should be; putting their value, their ideas, their demands, above your own and taking from you the accomplishments and deserved happiness you were intended to have when your life was created.

I ask you this: “What gives anyone the right to take control over what you should become or accomplish in YOUR LIFE?”

Ask Yourself: “Are you seeing these submissive behaviors and believe the disregard of your value as a human being?”

As a mother, and sometimes out of necessity for financial assistance, I felt there was no possible way I could survive on my own, while trying to raise my children. I believed that accepting their vicious and almost deadly attacks was best because: “How would I keep a roof, clothing, food and other necessities for my children without them?

After all I had been brainwashed to believe I was not able to exist as a person, had no value, unless someone else was giving me that existence. It resulted in twenty years of beatings, control, degradation, financial dependence, and repeated attacks of attempted murder.

The threats and acts to take away the very breath of  life was done with loaded weapons to my head in the middle of the night; attempted drownings in the bathtub; captivity of  keeping me locked inside a 2nd floor apartment for 10 or 12 hours a day; tieing me up with phone cords and locking me in the bedroom for hours until they decided to let me loose; the forceful sexual acts without any regard of my comfort or dislike. They were the controllers of my existence as a person, but wasn’t I a creation of God, just as valuable as any other life on earth?

Rather than escaping their RED FLAG BEHAVIORS, before it became an almost deadly act of brutal violence; I stayed. It was my “training” and – So what if they ordered me out of the car in the cold to pump the gas while they sat warm inside? So what if they locked me inside or took me away from everything and everyone I knew? So what if I was expected to be the “whore” in bed rather than a partner of intimacy? So what if they took my money for their own needs or beat me to give up my career? So what if they decided every moment of every day what I was and wasn’t allowed to do with my time? So what if they took my hopes, my dreams, my goals, and manipulated my choices? SO WHAT?

What I’ve listed above are all Red Flags preceding the violence to come as their demands grew more intense and I could not meet all their expectations; could not read their mind and do their wishes before they spoke them.

It doesn’t matter if you are simply dating someone; if you are a teenager or an adult. When someone you’re with takes away your power of choice, manipulates your thoughts to feel guilt of meeting their wishes rather than your own;

This is the time to leave!!!

The pattern of an abuser isn’t to start off with beating you down physically. They don’t wear a warning sign or a mask of terror. They start off with small steps of calling you at all times of the day or night. Using such subtle manipulations tactics that you give in and allow yourself, out of the perception of love, to follow what they wish and disregard your own gut feelings and thoughts.

If you are reading this and find yourself thinking about your partner’s actions and coming to the conclusion that you see these little subtle acts of manipulation and control; please end the relationship now before your individual spirit, ideas, thoughts, dreams, hopes, goals, are stripped away to meet their own selfish needs and expectations of who you should be and what you should do.

If you are a mother and feel you cannot exist and provide for your children without them; you probably feel this way because of the brainwashing you’ve already been forced to believe.

Know that as a human you are given value of life when you are born. Your own desire to provide for your children will make it possible. It won’t be easy, and you will have to do without many of the luxuries you and they might have now, but think of the consequences of staying where you are.

More than likely the control is growing stronger because you have children. The abuser knows they have stripped away belief in your independent abilities. They have you where they can control what you achieve; making sure that you do not out grow the dependence of life, home, food, basic living necessities they provide.

Take a moment to dream of what YOU truly want in this life and what you wish to influence in your children’s life. Think about your possibilities. Think about how the children are impacted by the growing degradation, forceful control, yelling, screams of mercy coming from their mother; how does this reflect in your children as they hear and watch you cower from your partner?

How will they see what is healthy and normal in their own relationships?

I realize, as being one of those who broke away to raise her children with nothing but the clothes on our backs, how difficult the process can be. There is a lot that is needed and you will need some basic skills to move forward. You need to make a safety plan and escape without harm. You need to seek out assistance with job skills, education, medical and maybe even financial assistance. I know personally that resources of help are low and very difficult to receive, but don’t believe in the brainwashing of others and deplete yourself of personal value, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! IT IS POSSIBLE!!! YOU ARE POSSIBLE!!!

You can call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or check out their website: http://www.thehotline.org

PHONE THEM NOW FOR A CONFIDENTIAL 24/7 COUNSELOR TO HELP YOU FIND A WAY TO ESCAPE: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author; “My Justice”

Website: http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

Advocate/Author/Speaker/Examiner/Talk Radio Host/Survivor

Fear of Judgement and Shame……

This may be very triggering for some, but I beg you to challenge yourself just a bit to get through it. I believe you will find a great sense of accomplishment when you do!!!

Yesterday morning I finally faced something that I never thought possible. Please allow me to share in hope it can give you a breath of courage; a sparkle of what can change.

The Violence Prevention center of South Western Illinois, (VPCSWI.org) asked if I would like to speak at a training seminar they held at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois.

If you are familiar with any of my history, there is this huge block between me and ANY CHURCH BUILDING!! Religion itself is fine, but going into an actual church can cause instant panic; it rips at my emotions and holds me captive in fear of judgement. The valley of shame from my past and all the horrible truths that lie there-in still causes the tears to flow.

Sadly this is so much a part of me, when I attended a funeral this past spring I broke into little pieces, shedding tears as I looked at the beautiful stone carved angels. Simply being in the building I could hear them screaming “NO”.

“You shouldn’t be here!!! How dare you stand there as if accepted.”

Of all things the line into the church at the funeral landed me in the end seat of the first pew, just left of the pulpit. I begged them to forgive me. As we kneeled in prayer, I listened intently; however, I couldn’t stop the sense of begging for their acceptance of me. To look past all of my faults and all that had been done and not strike me down at that very moment.

When the service ended I exited quickly, gave my hugs to the family, and found my car. Shaking with the tears streaming down my face, I immediately lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. (I’m extremely emotionally addicted to them.) Then putting my car into gear I took off in search of our local Baptist church.

I’d seen signs around town for the church, Faith Baptist Church of Breese, but had no clue where it was located. I actually came home to search it down, but not until I had driven around in a panicked state for an hour trying to find it. I don’t have GPS in my car or phone, so thank you internet & the creation of Google!!!

Sadly when I found it and drove out there the doors were locked and I stood there crying for someone to let me in. I had to speak to a minister at that moment or for sure I would just break into pieces and never be able to return. NOo one was there to let me in and I didn’t write the number for the location I needed to call.

“There was no solace and I came home to lay on my bed and cry like a child!!”

The only connections I had with any church throughout the past 30 years was my first wedding, my children’s Christening; then once a forced attendance during a weekend visit with my children, which was nothing more than a control game by their father. There has been maybe two weddings and this funeral. Somehow, I had always managed to stay out of a church because of this heavy sense of judgement.

“It wasn’t always this way of course!!”

As a young child I did everything to go to church, I loved church!! My babysitter or one of our neighbors who attended would always take me to our Baptist church. May dear Grandma McKnight, had taken me to her very Southern Baptist church during my last visit with her at five.

“Just two years after the monster came into my life, all of that was gone!!!”

First he used God’s allowance of what he did to me. Then after age twelve he said God would no longer forgive me for the bad things that happened between us. God would start passing judgement and I would never be accepted into His heaven.

“To this day I have been afraid of this judgment and would shake in fear with each service I ever attended.”

It’s not that I didn’t or don’t pray. It’s not that I haven’t always tried to live the best life possible or that I didn’t or don’t believe in religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’ve got an antique picture of Jesus and it is a beautiful sense of my connection with Him. This picture has been carried with me for these past 25 years, through the divorces and instant escapes. It was one of those most valuable possession I ever carried. Not valuable in dollars, but in a personal relationship with God. I have always gotten on the floor and prayed to this picture for a better way;  for a way out of the fear, violence, submission. I have broken down repeatedly and begged for His forgiveness to shine into my path.

This brings me back to yesterday’s event……

The event was a Faith Leadership Training Seminar and I was asked to speak. I was honored and amazed they’d asked me; gladly I accepted and took on the challenge.

“Was it finally possible that I could stand in front of those who served various entities of their church and not feel that heavy weight of their judgment and my fear?”

It really first hit me as I pulled into the front entrance of Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Instantly I felt the grip of standing on hallowed ground. The panic hit and my heart started pounding. I parked as far away from the front door of this exquisitely decorated conference building, mainly because I felt the fear of;

“What would they think if they saw ME getting out of the car, pacing quickly into the building, searching for a familiar face to cling to for acceptance?” Luckily I soon found the beautiful friendly smile of Debra Mize, the one who originally invited me to attend and speak. She is such a bright face or perhaps it’s knowing the connection we have from our paths.

I watched as those attending walked into the conference room. with each eye contact I questioned my worthiness to be amongst them. As I listened to the awesome presentation from the staff at VPCSWI and the opening given by U.S. States Attorney, Mr. Stephen Wigginton; I absorbed all of their knowledge and enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.

Then came my turn at the end, that’s right; last speaker!! My stomach turned as I started walking up to the stand. My heart was beating so fast I feared a heart attack would strike me down right there. My knees shook so badly I felt myself stumble a bit as I walked. Then I stood there and looked out at the 25 faces in attendance, maybe not that many you say, but these were all mainly connected to their church!!! Different levels of leadership within their perspective areas. This was terrifying; their judgement of my being involved at all with this seminar was all I could think about.

First I questioned my worthiness then I questioned my ability to make an impact on their hearts!!!

“How could I leave them with something to carry away from that seminar besides the very useful information in the training?”

I took a deep breath and fairly explained who I was. Then as I began to open with the carefully written out and then outlined on notecards speech I had intende; 20 seconds in I had to stop the tears.  Then I thought about the importance of their understanding of how what they had just heard about in this wonderfully presented seminar, effected the person who lived inside the mess.

There were a few other topics I shared, but most importantly was to explain that those living in this violence and abuse, would most likely not be sitting in the front pew of their churches. The fear of judgement and the shame is too heavy for much success at this. Instead, I hope that I left an impact on them concerning the need of us, as a society, to remove the masks; to put no one in our society above suspicion of these crimes. Instead ask them to really see the people around them, in their neighborhoods, grocery stores, (yes, even bingo) and take 5 or 10 seconds to really look at who they are and what they might be dealing with or trying to survive.

Remember; 1 in 4 homes are struggling with some type of violence, bullying or abuse. We must care enough to guide them to resources and do all we can to support the continued provision of TRUE HELP!!!

We must remember also that people, like Jerry Sandusky; who was not just a famous coach, but also a father, husband, neighbor, friend and church parishioner. We must care enough about our friends, family, neighbors to ask when we suspect that something might be going on.

“Are you alright? Are you safe? Please can I direct you to some help?”

I pleaded with them as I do with each who reads this,

“Please be the extended arm of help?”  Remove the blinders of acceptance and do not turn away from the screams, tears, and fear of those who are being harmed.

To let you know what the greatest accomplishment for me; they all welcomed me!!!….. I did not feel the heavy weight of judgement when I left the conference. Instead I felt peaceful with a wonderful blessing of accomplishment, finally I know that it is alright!!!

Thank you VPCSWI for inviting me to attend and close out your very wonderful seminar.

Thank you U.S. Attorney Wigginton for a great opening to an early Saturday morning share.

Thank you Ms. Debra Mize; Art Therapist, Ms. Cathy Daesch; Educator Ms. Teva Shirley.

Mentioned:

VPCSWI.org – http://www.vpcswi.org/

Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – http://www.snows.org/default.aspx

United States Attorney, Stephen Wigginton – http://www.justice.gov/usao/ils/index.html

Faith Baptist Church of Breese, Illinois – http://www.faithbaptistbreese.com/

Belleville Counciling Services; Art Therapist Ms. Cathy Daesch – http://www.stage-ps.info/Therapist-Directory.aspx

Illinois Visiting Nurses Association, Educator, Ms. Teva Shirley – http://sivna.com/

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Author: “My Justice”

ISBN#978-1-45207-170

Authorhouse.com, Amazon, BN.com, Lulu.com

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