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Mar 182014
 

 

 

Various techniques used by abusers to manipulate their victims or enablers have been given “cutesie” names by various survivors. These techniques are not “cutesie” though, but by recognizing them when we see them in a relationship, we can make ourselves less vulnerable to being victimized or taken advantage of by anyone. Some of these techniques are:

 

The Love Bomb: This is how they hook victims. When you first meet them they start telling the future victim how smart, beautiful, strong, wonderful you are, and just overwhelm them with this “love bomb.” Most people are susceptible to this as we all like to hear how great we are from someone else’s lips. Once the victim is hooked, the critical stage begins where nothing you do is good enough.

 

The Cold Reading:  Making us feel like they know all about us and have our best interests at heart.

 

The Pity Ploy: They say “Feel sorry for me I’m a victim/downcast and I NEED your help, it doesn’t make any difference that I got myself into this fix, but now I “need” you and I will play on your empathy and get you to get me out of this mess I created.” While under their breath they are thinking “I will use your own caring, empathetic nature against you, to get you to enable me and for you to assume the consequences of my bad choices.”

 

The Smear campaign: This is what they will do to your name and character if you don’t do what they want or if you refuse to be further victimized by them. They will use the pity ploy with your friends and relatives and tell them how you have victimized them and what a scum bag you are. They present themselves as a victim of your mean hearted behavior.

 

Devalue and discard: This is the stage where the abuser thinks they no longer need you, or you refuse to be victimized further. They will humiliate and denigrate their victim, and then dump them. Then comes the smear campaign.

 

Gaslighting: Is a term taken from an old movie by that name in which Ingrid Bergman is manipulated by her new husband in order to make her appear crazy so he can steal her fortune. He does this by manipulating the gas lights in the house. When they flicker he pretends that he doesn’t see it and tries to undermine her own five senses.

 

This is one of the techniques used to undermine the victim’s confidence in their own gut instincts and make them question their own sanity.

 

The Spin Cycle: The Spin Cycle is named from how our heads go round and round like we had them in a washing machine on spin cycle. We just can’t seem somehow to focus on what is important, or to stay focused at all. It seems when we start to feel that there is a danger or problem in one direction, when we turn around, there is another one from another direction, and we keep spinning around and around. Even little things become problematic because we have trouble making decisions or even figuring out what is a big deal and what isn’t.

 

My grandfather called this “being pecked to death by a flock of geese.” Or as my late husband would have said, “it is hard to drain the swamp when you are up to your back side in alligators.” It is when there are always new problems, maybe even just small ones, that take our focus off the bigger problem. Magicians and slight of hand artists use distraction to keep the focus off of what they are really doing, and abusers do this with the “spin cycle.”

 

The constant barrage of problems, even “small ones,” keep us off balance, and spinning around. There is no way to really fix a situation when you are continually being distracted by other things. It is like trying to memorize the chemical periodic table while you are at a rock concert. It just can’t be done when the distractions are taking all of our energy, mind, and focus.

 

When we find ourselves in a “spin cycle” it is difficult to get out because our judgment is impaired to some extent. Looking back, I see the shape I was in when I was involved in the spin cycle, trying to stamp out one fire, only to have someone start another one or throw gasoline on the small one already burning. During that time I made some poor decisions regarding my own safety. It was only when my very life was threatened that I at least realized I had to get out of the line of fire, literally, and go into hiding. It was the most difficult decision I ever made in my life. And the most painful one.

 

Many times victims of domestic abuse stay “one day too long” because they are in the spin cycle and it causes them to negate the evidence before their eyes, the evidence that they do not want to believe, that someone they love is dangerous to them. It costs these people their very lives not to make the decision to flee the situation. Of course “break up violence” (link) is the time in which an abuser may be the most dangerous.

 

In working with victims of domestic abuse, I have seen so many go back, and leave and go back again, much to the detriment of their lives and the lives of their children. Of course not all are killed by their abuser, but if it is YOU that is the one killed, it will pretty much wreck your life. No pun intended.

 

How do you break out of the spin cycle? Well, by reading this article you are taking one step forward. Education is the primary way we can get out of any of the situations we get into when we continue to engage in a relationship with an offender who is without conscience, without remorse, and without any intention of changing and stopping their abusive behavior. (Though they may give a “sincere sounding” apology and promise never to do it again.) Finding support or therapy is another way to help us focus on the here and now, and to stop spinning.

 

Abusers will blame us for their rages, it is all our fault, never theirs. They will use the excuses that it is not them, it is the drugs or the alcohol, and they should be pitied, after all they are “tryyyyyying so hard” to change. As Yoda said, there “is no try, only do.” People who really want to change do change, and those who continually find excuses for why they aren’t successful in stopping their bad behavior will never change, no matter how much hope and “support” we give them. (link)

 

Once in a while I may still, under high stress situations, fall back into the spin cycle. During the preparation for my son’s latest parole hearing, I allowed myself to become so stressed I fell into the abyss of the “spin cycle” myself. High stress, high anxiety and out right terror of him getting out. The stress caused all kinds of health problems as well as emotional problems. I’m finally out of that deep dark hole, and working toward staying out of the hole. Some days it is a constant struggle to ascertain what is a real danger and what I need to ‘blow off.” Healing is a journey, not a destination. I do know though, that separating myself from worry about my son’s life and concentrating on making my own the best it can be, and accepting what is, not worrying about what is not, and what I do not have control over is the key to living a healthy and fulfilling life.

 

We have no control over the behavior of others, only how we react to it.

 

 

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  33 Responses to “The spin cycle”

  1. Article up

  2. Joyce,
    it really is shocking to experience the spin cycle, no matter how many times we’ve experienced it before. The reason it’s shocking is, because it starts with a love bomb. So I’m glad you started this list with that one.

    Without the love bomb, there can be no idealize, devalue and discard cycle. It has to start with something that the victim will WILLINGLY accept. That something is to be esteemed in another’s eyes. AKA “mirrrored”.

    The shock comes when we are pushed off that pedestal.

    Even when we expect it, for example when we know we are dealing with a disordered person, it’s so BIZARRE to watch. It’s literally sickening, nauseating to see the shameless attempt at manipulation.

    I’ve recently watched the latest episodes of “House of Cards” and it really exemplifies this behavior and the disgust I feel at observing it, even though I know it’s just acting.

  3. Joyce, the spin cycle is something that I “knew” about, but didn’t expect during my recovery. I had imagined that, once I began the journey, I would be impervious to falling into that cycle, again, and that simply isn’t true.

    The lovebombing can come from EITHER gender for ANY purpose, weather it’s sociopathic, or just plain toxic. I’ve typed about Flo, before, and I’ve pretty much severed all business ties with her. Working for food, running her farmette, etc., has come to a screeching halt with the addition of yet another creature to care for. I wasn’t paid enough for everything that I did, and the addition of one more animal to care for just put the stops on, at last.

    When I told her that she could “give” the job to someone else, she became frantic and tried to make me feel indispensable, saying, “But, I won’t find anyone as good as you!” Well, in TOXIC speak, that translates into, “I won’t find anyone as CHEAP as you!” And, guess what? Not my problem…….I don’t feel “bad” or “wrong” for my decision.

    Mirroring is something that I’m paying a bit more attention to, these days, when I’m meeting other people. That’s pretty much why I keep my cards close to my vest when I meet anyone new. I don’t tell them about myself, my experiences, my likes, my dislikes, my opinions, my spiritual views, or my political beliefs.

  4. Sky, I guess I am “one of the world’s worst” at falling for the love bomb. LOL It used to get me every time. LOL

    The Pity Ploy is another all time favorite with me as well. Oh, boy, put that hardluck story out there and I’m on to it…gotta save you. LOL

    Part of it I think, looking back, was that even though I had many talents, the emotional abuse and denigration I received from Mommy Dearest that nothing I did was PERFECT, therefore it wasn’t good enough fueled my low self esteem. Even when I performed above and beyond expectations and got “atta boys” from my bosses or others, I felt like an imposter. I should not be receiving those compliments.

    We’ve all got “issues” that make us vulnerable to one or more of the HOOKS that can be sunk into us by abusers and offenders….and then when they start pulling on that line, just like a FISH ON A HOOK, we go into the spin cycle.

    I watched a horse reach over an electric fence that he did not know was electric and was not expecting the strong shock he got…he literally went into the spin cycle. He didn’t know what hit him, where it came from, or which way to run to get away and he literally went into the spin cycle with an added up and down in place component. Sometimes I have been in that horse’s shoes and had no idea where the “shock” came from, but other times I knew from whence it came, I just was gonna “fix it”—if I was good enough, kind enough, giving enough, loving enough, etc I could fix the situation. LOL Nope, doesn’t work.

    The TERROR that horse felt, the terror I have felt, doesn’t HAVE TO put us into the spin cycle. A donkey is much much smarter than a horse and they don’t go into spin cycles when in danger or think they might be. They ASSESS the situation, find out where the danger is coming from and decide to either fight or flee. A horse who is frightened will run off in TERROR, not even noticing that he is running into barbed wire or other dangers, but not a donkey.

    Watching animals and how they react to perceived danger is pretty interesting actually and we can learn a lot from them.

    Truthy, yea that was a “great deal” FOR FLO…LOL but you were spending more in gas and oil to get to the “job” than you were getting in cash and food. BUT…think of it as a great LESSON.

    I took a job once as a director of nursing for a large institution…and I worked 80-90 hours a week….only to realize that even when I accomplished the goal to turn the place around, the owners were going to STIFF me for the promised bonus, they even backed out of a promised FIVE CENT an hour raise they had promised to the nurses aids….and so I quit. BUT looking back I got a CRASH COURSE in administration and management that bode me well in other jobs later. So sometimes these things like with Flo are “teachable moments” and of course when you “go to the college of hard knocks” you have to PAY TUITION…LOL BTW I have a PhD in the college of hard knocks and had to repeat many of the lessons to get the message.

    • Joyce, absolutely, animals are teachers when it comes to reactions and responses. I’ve met a few creatures that truly lived in fear and anxiety, but not many.

      And, the thing with Flo was, indeed, a lesson for me. I had to learn that, even under the guise of “caring” and “helping,” people can still channel their disorders and bad behaviors into their various targets. And, the discussion that you always were quick to bring up was how we’re caused to FEEL “beholden” to others when we’re not paying attention! It’s part of the flaw of the “love bomb.”

      I “get it” about doing an above-and-beyond administrative job and getting nothing in return for the effort – same thing happened to me, and I’ll never (well……….hopefully) put myself into that position, again. That’s a spin cycle without rival!!

      • Yea, you know I’ve been “had” in one way or another in several jobs, but you know I did learn from the experience…I just wish I had been able to do so iin my PERSONAL life with offensive people.

        I remember one job I took EVERYONE warned me against taking it (because they knew the boss was abusive) but she had love bombed me and offered me a 30% raise in pay and so I didn’t heed the warnings and when she “went off on” me 6 months later, the bell went off in my head and that night I wrote my resignation letter and put it in her in box the next day.

        Later that day she came to my office and said “Joyce you and I need to talk” and I looked at her and said “You did all the TALKING necessary between us yesterday. I never spoke to her again during my notice to leave time left. I found out during that time that she had “gone off on” every person in the office at least once. I was fortunate that I had a job by the next week, and I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble landing a job so I felt fine about resigning. Not everyone in the office was as fortunate as I was and many of them could not have easily found other employment so they felt trapped there.

        I wish I could have applied that same lesson to my personal life that I did to my business life. Funny thing about me is that people who thought they knew me to be a “stand up” person had no idea that in my personal life I had DOOR MAT tattooed across my forehead where “family” and “friends” were concerned, and they had wiped their feet on me repeatedly but I kept laying down for it. So really I can’t blame anyone but myself for that. But now I KNOW BETTER so I will try to DO better.

        I realize that there are people who will take advantage of my “good nature” my caring and compassion, but I no longer look through ROSE COLORED glasses. I see much more clearly now than I did in the past.

        About some things I AM prejudiced, people who are dishonest, mean spirited, mooches, etc. I no longer tolerate…but it isn’t about race, color, creed, or sex that makes me “prejudiced” against them, but how they ACT.

        • Joyce, I “get that” about applying the rules in business life AND personal life. I never did that, either, and this is where I’m learning all about why I’ve made some of the choices and decisions that I did, and altering my system of beliefs to be based upon facts and truths, instead of wishful thinking.

          Today, it’s the same set of rules and boundaries across the boards. Personal or business relationships are both governed by the same set of rules as consistently as I can manage. My belief about why I didn’t have the same boundaries is that I could never imagine that some of the people that I cared about didn’t return that care and concern in the same way. Cog/diss, you know………LOL!!!!!!!!!!

          It’s interesting that you point that out because there is this gal that has been grappling with the facts of a relationship of three decades with a “friend” who has, at no point, EVER truly cared about this gal, and the sole reason that she has maintained this very toxic relationship is because an abusive parent told her that she would be a “bad person” if she didn’t befriend this individual. She cannot…………WILL NOT……….make the connection between the messages that she was taught via the childhood abuse IN RELATION TO her own choices and behaviors, as an adult: choosing bad partners and friends; codependency; placing her personal successes squarely into the hands of other people; etc. And, she’s expecting her counseling therapist to fix this for her, rather than her taking the steps to fix herself with the counselor as a guide.

          Yeah………..I “get it” about maintaining prejudices against a certain type like pedophiles and convicted criminals, and there was once a time when I would feel ASHAMED of this. Today, it’s a matter of self-protection – I don’t believe that ALL people who have served time are evil and beyond salvation, but the likelihood that they ARE willing to change their lives is statistically pretty slim. Same goes with garden-variety narcissists – the likelihood that they will be willing to take steps to change themselves is pretty remote, and I don’t have THAT kind of power to change anyone. So, I simply move on without anger or resentment.

  5. The pity ploy is a pretty sure bet. As women we try to ‘fix’ things. We like a ‘fixer upper’ don’t we? We can help them, we can change them, we can improve their situation. If only…..

    If only they Wanted it. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want the help. You can’t fix anything for anyone who doesn’t want it fixed. If you improve their situation, they have no rieason to throw the victim card. HOW DARE YOU! You can’t take that away from them. Hahahahahaha

    I read an article once that said as a wife or girlfriend, if we don’t want them, we should do what we can to fix them for the next one. To HeII with that! Why should I do all the work for someone else? Besides not all of us want the same things in a mate. Each of us has our own list of ‘Deal Breakers’.

    • Phoenix, your response is right “on time.” I used to be VERY susceptible to the pity-ploy, and I have become so wary of this that it’s almost comical. Whereas, I used to respond to that in a whole-self expression of empathy and compassion (facial expressions, vocal inflections, and body-language), I tend to seize up when someone starts down that path.

      I love what you typed, “I read an article once that said as a wife or girlfriend, if we don’t want them, we should do what we can to fix them for the next one. To HeII with that!” RIGHT!!!!!!!! I don’t know what egotistical jackazz came up with that nonsense, but it’s impossible for any of us to “fix” or “help” anyone else – it’s simply NOT within our capacity, and this is what I had to finally learn about myself. Throughout most of my lifetime, I felt responsible to “fix” everyone else, to my own detriment. Well, how arrogant was THAT?! To actually believe that I had that kind of power and control that I could “fix” someone else? It wasn’t intentional arrogance, but it was arrogance, nevertheless.

      You’re 100% spot-on: we each have our own list of Deal Breakers, and my list is so extensive that I won’t ever even entertain the idea of dating, much less a relationship. LOLOLOL!!!!

  6. Phoenix, you are soooooo RIGHT!!! The problem with me is that I kept SAYING what was a “deal breaker” but then I would fall for the PITY PLOY.

    Once upon a time I felt PITY for a woman “down on her luck” who had been “abused” by a string of psychopaths (or so she said) I took PITY ON HER and allowed her to come park here on the farm in her small RV….so she would have a safe place, and could leave her dogs safely while she went to work. Well, she didn’t even look for a job and when she was given a chance to do PAID WORK over the internet editing stuff for a friend of mine who had a PR agency, she wouldn’t even do that. She had no boundaries and kept overstepping mine….eventually, I realized that she was playing that PITY CARD like a champ and I was giving her chance after chance to HELP HERSELF…she had no intention of helping herself So I asked her to leave. Even gave her $150 to make sure she had enough gas to get somewhere else.

    When I told her “it isn’t working out” she REALLY went into her own version of the PITY CARD then would immediately start BLAMING me for her problems, accusing me of abusing her. Which is really funny, because the entire time she was here she would not turn a tap. I let her have a bathroom in my home for her exclusive use with ONE stipulation, that SHE CLEAN it…did she clean it even once? Of course not. I let her use my washer and dryer with the stipulation that when my jug of washing soap she would buy the next jug? Would she do that? Nope, she started driving 30 miles to town to wash her clothes in a laundrymat. (which didn’t make a bunch of sense to me as it cost her more to drive to town and use the laundry than it would have to have bought a jug of soap.

    Then when she was doing her flips and flops, she even accused me of denying her health care and insinuated that she had breast cancer and I wouldn’t help her get medical care. I had offered to drive her to the free clinic when she first got her, but again, it was my fault because I was “always so busy” that she “didn’t want to put me out.” That’s a laugh.

    It is funny in a way, because as I watched her flip and flop, pull out every excuse in the book, I stood there stunned almost looking at her trying to hook me and I actually felt nothing for her…NO pity, only disgust. I had not allowed her to get to me emotionally and once I made up my mind that she was a psychopath herself, using the pity ploy and the blame game etc. I realized she was NOT A VICTIM at all, but simply an abuser who had lost a victim to prey on. I even talked it over with Dr. Leedom who knew the woman and agreed with me that the woman was a complete FAKE…so actually though she was some trouble while she was here, and all my “helping her to help herself” didn’t work because she was unwilllng to help herself. It was a LESSON FOR ME….there are many people who will present themselves as a victim who are simply psychopaths who have spiraled down and lost their victims, so they are on the hunt for their next person with empathy who will try to “help” them.

    When she was accusing me of abusing her (which I had NOT done) I realized that there are those who have become “down on their luck” because they are failures even in duping others. My son Patrick blames me because at age 20 he went to prison for murder….because when he was 17 and robbed our friends’ business I turned him in to the police. The “reason” he killed Jessica was because she had also turned him in to the cops (he was on parole from a robbery and would have gone back to prison for credit card theft) and he had to punish her. That’s why to this day he wants to kill me. I deserve it for “betraying” him.

    Yes, the offenders always seem to have a “reason” why they are down and out and they find someone else to blame for their problems. So it behooves us to be careful when people present themselves as victims. It IS difficult to distinguish the REAL victims from those only pretending to have been abused. That is back to the SMEAR CAMPAIGN that they do on the one who got away. They make us out to be abusers and blame all their problems on us.

    Some people who are vulnerable believe them and take “pity on them” and become the next victim. My mother is a perfect example. She wants SO badly to believe that my son has learned his lesson and reformed that she is willing to give up the rest of her family for him. I know other parents who also won’t “give up” on their offending children no matter how many times they commit crimes. Or how many spouses allow abuse over and over. I do understand, I allowed it for so long, but now when people lie, cross reasonable boundaries, etc. they don’t get another chance from me. That may sound harsh, but “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME!”

  7. Truthy and Phoenix, yesterday I was talking to a close girlfriend about my “rules of my house”—-I’ve let people live here over the years in my house because I loved them and/or wanted to help them through a rough spot, or because I felt sorry for them. And though I always FELT that people who lived i n a home, their own or someone elses, should “pitch in on the housework.” I didn’t always insist that folks did that.

    When my sons were little I started teaching them to tidy their room, pick up their toys, etc. and I let them stand in a chair at the sink and “Play” wash dishes…in fact, they loved it so much I used to threaten them with “If you aren’t good you can’t wash dishes tonight” LOL By the time they were 10 and 11 they had been DOING the dishes with minimal supervision for a couple of years. LOL So by the time they got out of grade school they knew how to “keep house”, and of course some things were more fun than others. When I took in a foster kid I would teach them how to do things at the house because Ii felt that it was a necessary LIFE SKILL….so when people come to STAY for an extended period at my house, not just a “guest” but living here, I expect them to pitch in around here a little, take out the trash, pick up a broom, wash a dish etc. and clean up after themselves, i.e. act like RESPONSIBLE adults. Unfortunately some folks resent that they are expected to act like responsible adults and they think I am very harsh to expect that they should pick up their pizza mess out of the living room floor.

    In the past I let some of this slide because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by nagging at them to quit leaving messes all over the place. But you know, now, MY HOUSE, MY RULES.

    If I were moving into YOUR HOUSE that YOU paid the bills for, I would do my best to not inconvenience you, and pick up after myself, and to help with the house or yard work and pay what I could afford toward the utilities, etc. so WHY should I expect LESS OF my “roomers” than I would do if I moved into their house?

    I look back and I remember all the people I have let “move in” here on the farm and how they wanted “room service:” and a “maid” but didn’t want to behave as RESPONSIBLE ADULTS and how they expected me to wait on them hand and foot as well. I actually used to allow this, but NO MORE. Now, it is MY house and MY rules and if you don’t like them, you are NOT required to stay here. LOL

    • Joyce, that’s something that I’ve never let slide when I’ve stayed at someone else’s home. Even when I was paying rent for the room from the colleague, I cleaned up after myself AND him and his girlfiend! LMAO!!!!!!!!

      I cannot imagine that people would stay (even as invited guests) in someone’s home and not have enough respect and/or courtesy to leave the place in better shape than it was when I got there.

      That’s one of the things that Flo’s going to miss about us watching her farmette – nobody else is going to be as conscientious when they’re getting the amount of pay that she offered us! LMAO!!!!!!

  8. Truthy, I could regale you with tales of various people who have stayed here RENT FREE, or those who have paid rent, including my own son Andrew. And then there was the VISITOR from HAIL who expected gourmet meals and 5 star hotel service at the same time she wanted me (her limo driver) to do everything for her including latch her seat belt. and one evening (HINT, PUT YOUR COFFEE DOWN WHILE YOU ARE READING THIS PART SO YOU DON’T SNORT IT OUT YOUR NOSE) since I had been driving her around all day I asked if we could just eat off paper plates and she threw a freaking fit that I would expect HER to eat off a paper plate. How DARE I even ASK?

    Years ago one of David’s eagle scouts who was a very SMART kid, working on his degree that eventually led to a PhD in classical languages etc. but it was the summer after his first year and his parents who had carried this kid around on a pillow telling him how he was so smart he would nto have to do manual labor so he never leared how to do ANYTHING but that summer he was going to have to get a J.O.B and he was terrified. He came here for a “visit” right after school let out but he decided to stay for the summer and sit in the woods and read latin and greek, well. He would, however show up for EVERY meal. and I would ask him sometimes to take out the trash, so he started hiding from me so I would do a job myself rather than hunt him down to get him to do it.

    So finally after a week of this I called him in and GENTLY told him that he had to go home to him parents, that I was not his mom and I couldn’t afford to feed another mouth, and that if he didn’t get a job for the summer he wouldn’t be able to go back to school in the fall. He cried ,like a baby and has hated me ever since. This kid got his PhD and now teaches, but his narcissistic problems about being “so smart that he didn’t have to learn to do manual things” was taught to him by his parents, who because they are “working stiffs” despise manual labor…even the labor to wash a dish, or take out a bag of trash. Those things and how to do them are LIFE SKILLS and people who don’t know how to do them are handicapped. But I am not taking on one as a boarder for free, or even if they pay rent.

    • Joyce, that’s the thing – helping folks and opening your home to “visitors,’ etc., is a noble thing to do, but you “get it” about users. I’m the same way.

      I know I’ve mentioned a friend who had offered for Bob and me to come stay with her and I recently discovered that she’s actually WAY in default with her mortgage, and I made the decision to sort my situation out, myself, and make every attempt to NOT give in to my own codependency, and to feed hers by taking her up on her offer.

      At first, it seemed like a “good idea” because it’s a large enough house to accommodate us all, but I had no idea that she was so deeply in default, nor did I realize that I would be subjecting Bob, myself, and our pets to ONE MORE relocation because this gal is going to lose her house. She is. And, she’s into such a state of avoidance that she won’t even contact Social Services on her own behalf to help herself! And, there is NO WAY that I’m jumping into that frying pan! LMAO

      My mom used to say that fish and house guests are the same: they both begin to stink after 3 days. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, this is true if we are emotionally involved or attached to our “house guests.” But, if it’s a business arrangement (requiring rent, etc., in the form of a legal contract), I believe that we CAN help other people without feeding their personal issues. For the PhD that is better than everyone else……….ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!! His type will be the FIRST to disappear if there ever is a zombie apocalypse and people are required to survive by the skins of their teeth.

      I was very careful to make sure that I wasn’t drinking coffee before reading your response! ROTFLMAOTMNR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paper plates? LMAOLMAOLMAO!!! I’d LOVE to be able to afford paper plates on account of I HATE doing dishes! LMAOLMAO

      Honestly……..give people enough rope and they will certainly hang themselves, right? LOL

  9. Yea, that was a woman who “invited HERSELF” to my house by announcing she had bought a ticket (non refundable) and I fell for it and did not say “Oh, so sorry b ut I have plans for that month!” LOL While she was here she made a nuicience out of herself in every way possible, all the while with a smile on her face. I was beginning to think she was senile, but then I found out she came here to be a pest….and then to bad mouth me to the world. I don’t live in the lap of luxuary for sure but I have a house, two vehicles that run and enough food and occasionally I eat off paper plates or bowls.

    And anyone who comes to my house as a “guest” but intends to STAY a month, well they might as well act like FAMILY and pick their own socks out of the floor, buckle their own seat belts, find the washing and dryer machines and do their own laundry, and eat off paper plates sometimes and PRETTY OFTEN eat left overs. I don’t throw out GOOD FOOD just because we ate some of it the night before. LOL

    Actually I must not be too terrible to live with, my MIL lived with us for 10 years until she became senile and decided I was mean to her (I actually loved her very much) and went to live with her granddaughters that she had raised. I’ve had hired hands who lived here on the farm with us who didn’t seem unhappy in the least to pitch in on housework etc in their “off” time because they LIVED here as well. I’ve had foster kids, some pitched in more willingly than others, but they all pitched in and learned LIFE SKILLS of cleaning that they used when they got out on their own. From a very early age my kids were to “help” even if it was just to pick up their toys when they were 2-3 and as they got older I taught them LIFE SKILLS of cooking, cleaning, and Patrick even wanted to learn to knit and he was good at it.

    Michael and I have a division of labor under most circumstances that we are both comfortable with…he does the mechanical work on vehicles, carries heavy objects, and does anything in the house that I ask him to do….I don'[t order him around and he obviously doesn’t feel “put upon” here. We are FAMILY and we work together to have a nice clean house, food on the table, clean dishes, and the “hole in the woods” looking nice. Yesterday we went and dug up and replanted dozens of jonquils into the yard and we are making plans for a vineyard.

    People who live together must get along and show respect for each other…each contributing to the over all upkeep of the house. Living in an ARMED CAMP or where one or more of the people living with me expect me to pay all the bills, keep it clean, prepare all the meals and clean up after them and wait on them like a maid (unless they are physically incapable of helping out) just ain’t gonna happen. It is amazing to me though just how many people in my life have thought that me being their total support and maid was their RIGHT.

    My son Michael and I both kick in financially and both of us do “chores” and we have not had a cross word about our living situation ever. We both have the best interest of each other at heart, respect and love one another and I will never have anyone, long term guest or short term guest, who comes here and expects to be waited on like this is a 5 star free hotel. Or anyone who comes here and shows disrespect to anyone while in my home. The door swings both ways.

  10. Joyce, the gal that bought the unrefundable ticket to “come visit” had a VERY glaring issue with her actions. It wasn’t your companionship that was so priceless to visit, but HER association that was so valuable. What an arrogant *****!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Instead of HER saying to you, “Joyce, I really want to come visit and buying a ticket would be unrefunable. When would it be most convenient for you for me to come on down?” she said, “SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!! I’m coming to visit, so you’d better be prepared!!!” (SNORT) Wow………………just…………………wow………..

    To me, it’s an honor to be a guest in anyone’s home, and it’s MY job to be a “good” guest instead of a pain in the azz. It’s stressful for people to host guests in their homes, and increasing that stress is just unnecessary, IMHO.

  11. This “guest” actually came UN-invited, but I didn’t have the backbone to tell her “soooo sorry, that would be inconvenient for me, you should have asked me first before buying the ticket” AGAIN, MY issue for being such a DOOR MAT to people….and when she got here her DEMANDING behavior was such a SHOCK to me I couldn’t even IMAGINE she would be doing it on purpose, but it turned out later that she came here for that VERY REASON. UN-farking believable!!!! I actually was convinced for a while she was senile because NO person with all their mental facilities would act that way….. but LIVE AND LEARN. LOL and it was a great lesson for me.

    After she got back home she tried to SMEAR me to anyone with an e mail address….and the worst part was she had gotten the e mail address of a lady that I didn’t know very well…and then e mailed her that her husband was hitting on me…which was true, but DANGED why on earth would she do that unless she was TRYING to hurt someone???? At the time it ENRAGED me, but what can you do about someone like that except go NC? So she did not accomplish what she had set out to do, but you know it was a VALUABLE lesson to me.

    And that is the thing in dealing with ANY kind of dysfunctional or disordered person, you can NOT “deal with them” you have to shut them out of your life.

    Here is a great article I saw today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-levin/is-your-identity-thief-hi_b_5002814.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime about when family members or “friends” become identity thieves and run up debt big time in YOUR NAME.

    Having been attacked by “family” identity thieves who took control of my credit cards and my phone account I know what the theft entails….and how it put me into a SPIN CYCLE that took me quite some time to recover from.

    Here is a short quote from the article above:

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that your best option is to turn your family member in to law enforcement, regardless of the relational consequences. If you catch someone exploiting your identity to incur debt that they can’t pay off, make no mistake — they’ve almost certainly stolen your money.

    In the absence of a police report, you will be on the hook for whatever debt they incur at whatever interest rate they incur it. No creditor in 2014 is simply going to charge it off or forget about it, and you might not even be able to discharge it in bankruptcy — which alone will make your life much more expensive (and likely a nightmare). Plus, the damage to your credit score means that pretty much everything else in your personal universe is going to get more expensive: interest rates on legitimate accounts you have; the deposits that utility companies could require you to make; and a host of things you don’t consider, like car insurance. Meanwhile, the family member from Hell will get to keep whatever tangibles they acquired in your name.

    I really do enjoy having company, for a day or even for “quite a while” and my son’s friends feel comfortable coming here and I love having them here, but they don’t expect me to wait on them like a maid, and in fact, most of the time, they get outside with my son and help him do “two man” jobs that I can no longer help him do. I fix a big pot of stew and several pans of corn bread and they love “mom’s cooking” and clean up after themselves.

    Unfortunately, in the past I’ve had “friends” who were high in P qualities “move in” on me and act like they owned the place and I owed it to them to let them order me around….but that was before I had any boundaries, and they helped me to DEVELOP some. And you know, that’s a high price to pay “tuition” to the University of Hard Knocks, but some of us have to be hit in the head with a 2×4 before we GET IT that there are people who will mooch off you, take advantage of your friendship, your love, and roll over you like a steam roller.

    Of course at first they give you the “love bomb” and make you think they care for you, but then slowly they push the boundaries until you are like the frog who is in a pot of cold water, but the heat just keeps being turned up until you are BOILED ALIVE.

    I used to wait until the “water” almost reached the boiling point before I would call a halt to it, but not now….now when the water starts to feel “warm” I get the heck out of the situation pronto!!!!

  12. Joyce, you wrote, “And that is the thing in dealing with ANY kind of dysfunctional or disordered person, you can NOT “deal with them” you have to shut them out of your life…” and this is a very sad fact. There is NO changing these people, whether it’s by talking to them, wishing that they would just SEE what their behaviors did, or praying for some sort of thunderbolt from the Heavens to cause them to enter into the World Of Humanity.

    The disordered are disordered. Nothing……….not one thing………..is going to change that sad fact, no matter what is attempted.

    There is a gal that I know who has held onto a very toxic “friendship” for DECADES and has been fighting the truth about this “friend” for a year, now. She has asked for my opinion, my advice, my help, and my ear in sorting out “what to do” about this person. I cannot listen to one more complaint about this “friend.” I can’t. She doesn’t want to hear the truths and facts about this woman, what she is, what she does, WHY she does it, and HOW she does it, but she continues to wallow in her self-pity and misery like a pig in a mud-patch.

    There’s what SHOULD be, and there’s what IS, and neither of those things typically meet. That’s the hardest thing that we have to come to accept. We cannot change things in others. We can only change ourselves. And, one of the best steps of change for ourselves is to walk away from these people without malice, rage, or a thirst for vengeance. And, no………….it’s not a simple task!! It requires focus and attention to Self.

  13. I agree Truthy, when we have someone who is a “problem” in our lives we can’t change or fix that person, all we can do is disconnect. Years ago I had a girl friend who would get into abusive relationships, and when her BF would hit her she would call the cops then go to my house to cry and the next morning bail him out of jail…rinse and repeat…I finally told her, “Marilyn, if you keep bailing him out after he hits you, don’t bother to come here and cry, you have quit being a victim and have become a VOLUNTEER….” and actually, she quit her job of 22 years (a GOOD ONE!) and married this guy (her second abusive husband) and I lost contact with her when she moved out of state.

    We can’t make people help themselves and if they are continually putting themselves in a bad/abusive situation and then jumping back in again and again, all we can do is move away from that relationship….no matter how much we would like to “help” these people. Dr. Eric Berne would call it the “oh, ain’t it awful” game where the person keeps others giving them sympathy for their wounds…sort of like someone hitting their thumb with a hammer and then wanting you to “kiss it and make it better”—well, THEY have to quit hitting themselves with the hammer.

  14. Joyce, I “get it” about how victims of domestic violence end up the way that they do – the first marriage was violent and horribly abusive, and I truly believed that I deserved no less than what I experienced. There comes a point when a person says to themselves, “Hey…..this is NOT right, and I’m not going to change the dynamics, here.” Sadly, most victims don’t ever get to that point, and it’s very sad for the victims, and very frustrating and draining for friends and family that care.

    The gal that I’m talking about is a perpetual victim and has literally said the words, “I just want someone to fix this.” Well, she has convinced herself (as an adult) that the words that her mother screamed at her (as a child) were true and prophetic – she IS worthless; she IS fat; she IS lazy; she IS useless; etc………..so, she sabotages herself to appease her childhood abuser, even though the abuser died about a decade ago.

    I can’t tolerate it, anymore. I am uncomfortable in giving advice, even when I’m pressed to do so, and this gal wants me to explain why she’s making the decisions that she has, why other people take advantage of her, HOW they do this, how SHE does this, etc., etc., ad nauseum. THEN, when I tell her, “These are the facts, not my beliefs…” she dismisses them and actually told me that I had hurt her feelings because I was telling her that her beliefs were “wrong” and that, therefore, SHE was “wrong.” I’ve NEVER used that language with her – I’ve said, “That’s not true, even though you might believe differently. Beliefs are feelings, and feelings aren’t always facts.”

    Yes…………these perpetual victims are VERY draining and VERY frustrating. It’s not that I don’t care about this gal, but I CAN’T AFFORD to continue caring. The cost is too high for me, and she is in total denial about where she is heading.

    This gal actually PUT OFF contacting Social Services that could have helped her, long ago. She refuses to make phone calls or take any actions on behalf of herself that would HELP herself. “I’m so glad you made me call ___________,” is what she’s said to me on countless occasions. My response has always been, “I didn’t make you do anything – you made the call, not me.” So, she always turns in any action into something that she was COMPELLED to do by another person, rather than a deliberate action made on her own behalf.

    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRRRGH!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Truthy, I read an article about a medical study done concerning “fat” people….It started off as a study about helping obese people lose weight and ended up about WHY people wouldn’t lose weight and then about studies that showed that many people who were abused as children end up obese, and have a much shorter life span. Of course I know that genetics plays a part in obesity, and also how you were raised as far as eating patterns etc, but they are actually, I think, “on to” something about this.

    Abuse as a child (and include stress in that “abuse”) has a profound influence on a developing brain. Even in adults STRESS can literally KILL brain cells.

    The bottom line is that ABUSE is a public health problem and is costing us decades in shorter lives, and billions in increased health care. I am glad that the powers that be are starting to look at abuse as a “public health” issue just as at one time they looked at smoking as a public health issue and started working to decrease smoking, which has ultimately led to the decrease in smoking and therefore longer and more healthy lives for many people.

    • Joyce, that’s very interesting about obesity. Something that I’ve noticed about contemporary children is that there are SO MANY obese children. Not just the “husky” child, but morbidly obese kids that aren’t going to have a chance at experiencing a “normal, healthy” childhood and adolescence. When I was a kid, it was a VERY rare situation where a child was obese. Now, it seems that children are so neglected and ignored that they are all suffering from some kind of dynamic within their family.

      With regard to my own obesity, food never argued with me, belittled me, abandoned me, or humiliated me. It provided instant comfort and whatever effect occurred within my brain. And, a layer of adipose tissue provides a layer of INSULATION.

      It’s much more than a physical/medical issue. Obesity is a whole-self thing that (IMHO) is rooted in emotional health, first, and genetics plays some role, but not as much as other factors. Of course, that’s my humble opinion! LOL

  16. Glad you liked the article. Of course obesity is not ONLY caused by “regular” abuse, but too many parents literally do not know what a healthy diet is, or “have time” to cook, even if they KNEW HOW. It amazes me how many households think that a “Home made meal” is KFC. In fact KFC advertizes that you should get your “family dinner” from them with a large bucket of friend chicken and so on. WTF? That is NOT a “family dinner.”

    I’m not a fancy cook by any means, but I DO know how to read, so if I want to make something that I don’t already know how to make, I take out a COOK BOOK and read how to do it. I also have an OLD cookbook that tells you how to butcher the chicken as well as how to cook it in 100 different ways.

    I’m a “lazy” cook so I use my crock pot a lot and bake a lot of chicken (which I wait for a sale to get and stock up on) but my son and I eat out very RARELY…not only because of the cost, but the fact that most “out” food is high in salt and fat.

    There are many reasons that kids get fat…and abuse is only one of them, but it IS interesting about this study. Believe me, quitting all the snack foods I crave is not any easier than quitting smoking. LOL

  17. Joyce, LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve stopped smoking for a month, now, and it’s quite a challenge to avoid adding one addiction to replace the other – especially, with something oral like FOOD. LOLOL!!!

    I think my reference to obese kids is that it’s neglect to allow a child to get THAT huge. Seriously, I remember when it was a very rare thing to see a morbidly obese child. These days, about half of all children are medically obese, and it’s because the parents simply do not care – they’re too busy with their own lives to be bothered about supervising their children.

    When people think about domestic violence and abuse, they think of women who look like Farrah Fawcett (The Burning Bed) and Julia Roberts (Sleeping With The Enemy) – their preconceived ideas of WHO a victim of domestic violence is has already been determined. The general public cannot even allow their imaginations to suggest that the bank teller that just took their deposit faces constant terrorism from their significant others. They cannot imagine that the third grade teacher is in a continuous state of FEAR to go to their own homes. They refuse to imagine that the physician’s assistant at their doctor’s office endures spousal rape at the hands of their domestic partner.

    I think that an open discussion of abuse is important. And, that discussion needs to include the voiceless innocents – the kids involved. NOBODY talks about how deeply these children are impacted that are produced in abusive environments. Yeah, yeah, yeah……….it’s a shame and all that, but blah, blah, blah…..

    The most recent statistic that I know of indicates that 90% of all domestic violence is perpetrated IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. There are numerous reasons for this, and the reasons aren’t the point for sharing this statistic. It’s a truth that we simply are unwilling to acknowledge and do something to change – via Laws, intervention, etc. Ugh….

  18. I agree totally, Truthy, and unfortunately our court system seems to think that a “child NEEDS TWO” parents even if one has been shown to beat the carp out of the other parent, and the court can’t seem to get the idea the “just because he beats his wife, doesn’t mean he isn’t a good father!” WTH??? DUH???

    Even if a child does not become an abuser themselves when raised in that kind of environment, it doesn’t do them any good….and unfortunately more go on to be victims themselves than become abusers themselves.

    • Joyce, I never understood that line of thinking. I actually had a Social Services case-worker say to me, “Well, he was beating up on YOU, not the kids….” WTF?!

      Abuse, in any form, destroys the fragile psyche of children. Period. Whether the destruction manifests in adolescence or throughout adulthood, the damage is complete.

      There’s a person that I know who was raised by a single parent, and that parent was so abusive that it turns my stomach to hear her recollect her childhood experiences. And, she is just now beginning to see how her childhood abuse created a system of false and faulty beliefs about herself, others, and Life (in general). She has been a perpetual victim throughout her life, and she is coming to terms with ALL of this, right now.

      I am not a trained professional, but my observations are that there are 2 possible outcomes for children who are raised in an abusive environment. They will a) become abusers, themselves, or b) develop into perfect victims. Period. Now, some will pull themselves OUT of those dynamics, early on, but most will not. And, it’s SHAMEFUL when Courts pretend that this is not a fact. Ugh.

  19. I think to a great extent you are right about that abuse of children creates victims and abusers when those children reach adulthood, however there are also the abusers who were NOT abused as children and there are those “perfect victims” who were also not abused. So with that in mind there are many other things in play, including genetics.

    I have often wondered if they can determine how the brain of a psychopath is different than “typical” brain, why can’t they study the brains of victims and see how we are different than “typical” brains. Of course in our cases, one would have to wonder if our brains were different BECAUSE we were abused or suffered some horrible trauma, or if the victimhood was there because we were genetically programmed to allow others to make us victims?

    Years ago there was a study at Fort Roots VA hospital where a man started with ONE litter of Pointer pups, and he bred and re bred the dogs for 20 years or more. Breading the most aggressive to the most aggressive and the most “fraidy cats” to the other “fraidy cats” and in 20 years (about 20 generations) her had a race of Pointer dogs that were worse than any pit bull, and also a race of dogs that were so timid if you said “boo” they would cower down. So it seems like the “timid” genes are also there as well as the aggressive genes.

    Now Ii am not what you would call a “timid” person, yet I allowed those close to me “friends” and “family” to abuse me where I would never think of allowing a stranger too treat me like that. Most people outside my family know me as a “stand up” person who isn’t afraid to take a stand and not be shy about saying what that stand is. But those people do not realize the “real” me when it comes to being an enabler.

    I have a childhood friend who is a wonderful guy…but he was raised in a VERY abusive household. His mother is the perfect victim to his father’s abusiveness, and this man (my friend) is so afraid to make anyone mad that he is so passive and I really feel sorry for him because I know his life has been hell because of the effects of his father’s abuse.
    In that family the abuse was kept a “family secret” and only imagined by those who knew the friend’s father, but I have no doubt it was horrible, and maybe more emotional than physical, but I see the damage he did to both his children.

    S

  20. I wanted to revive this discussion with a recent experience.

    ****Note: my use of CAPS is strictly for emphasis, and not to be construed as online yelling, under any circumstances.****

    I’ve mentioned a good friend that I have who was dating an abusive spath for many years, “took care of him” for ALL of the years that they dated (financially, sexually, etc.), and finally put that dog down, a year ago after he kept secretes, abused Rx and street drugs, and he made threats of physical violence. So, she filed for a restraining order, kicked him out, and has been grappling with COG/DISS for over a year – she still “misses” him.

    The reason that I chose the discussion about the “Spin Cycle” is that this gal – God love her – goes through frequent spin cycles over this guy. This man threatened to kill her son, harm HER, took HER prescribed post-op medications without her permission or knowledge, took HER SON’S cash savings out of HER lock box without her permission or knowledge, and engaged “best” friends and neighbors in KEEPING SECRETS about him begging vicodin, alprazolam (Xanax), and other powerful prescribed medications. This guy even approached me and asked me for my prescribed anxiety medications and added his own caveat of, “…just don’t tell ____________…” that he asked me for my prescribed drugs. Apparently, he asked EVERYONE for their prescriptions, regardless of what it was prescribed for. Pain meds seemed to be his drug of choice.

    Back to the “Spin Cycle.” This gal sends herself (she does this to herself) into radical spin cycles whenever she “remembers” ;how “nice” and “caring” he was to her, and she recently experienced 3rd Party Contact from this guy who met two of her neighbors and asked them to forward a verbal message to her that he was “thinking” about her. This sent her into a tizzy of further grief, guilt for kicking him out, and shame that “she caused” his situation by calling the cops and filing for a restraining order.

    At some point – and, I believe that this will happen – she is going to set aside her emotions and “feelings” about this guy and realize and ACCEPT that all of this man’s “good” qualities were simply parts of his elaborate illusion. She’s going to realize and accept that this man – REGARDLESS OF PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS – is a very, very bad man, manipulated HER past experiences into HIS benefit, and was 100% abusive to her and her son. Once she comes to that acceptance, that Spin Cycle is going to be disabled. And, if it isn’t entirely disabled, she will surely have more control as to when and how often that Spin Cycle starts up.

    The Spin Cycle is a response to fear. That fear is typically based upon trauma. And, the fear prevents us from taking action, making sound decisions, and caring for ourselves, FIRST. This poor gal knows that sending messages through friends/neighbors is a violation of the restraining order, but she’s not going to contact the authorities and report it because of her own sense of guilt, shame, and fear. Well……….HIS behaviors are never going to change, and this “back door” violation is just him testing the proverbial waters on how far he can push the edge of the envelope.

    Fear is powerful. It’s just as powerful as s-e-x and it has a greater impact than anything else that we can experience. But, what where we want to MOVE towards is the understanding that we can control our own reactions and responses, and this includes managing fear and fear-based decision-making.

    I had a terrific day, yesterday – Hoppy Belated Easter to everyone, right? But, it was a very rare day for me and I didn’t experience blinding or even nagging fear. This is no easy challenge to meet, but we can (and, DO) have the power to rewire our own thinking processes, over time.

    Today, and it’s just for today, the Spin Cycle is strictly to extract water from laundry. I’m making this a fact for myself, TODAY. I can’t talk about how I’m going to feel, tomorrow, because it hasn’t gotten here, yet. But, I can certainly control how I approach TODAY.

    Brightest blessings to everyone during this Spring of renewal. Today is a GOOD day.

  21. Truthy, your comments about that “spin cycle” are very good. I think we have all experienced that “spin cycle” and when we got out, we went back in, until one day we realized that we didn’t like it any more and that no matter how we spun and looked at things from a different aspect, the picture didn’t change.

    Last night I watched a 20/20 about a young man who had been involved in a school shooting 15 yrs ago when he was 17, and he was visiting every school where there had been a school shooting and talking to survivors or the loved ones of survivors, and one of the men who had lost a daughter told him what I have said often enough, just like the airlines will tell you if the oxygen mask drops down, you must put yours on FIRST before you try to help someone else.

    I know you would like to help your friend, (and Ii am speaking of all of us) but we must make sure that WE have on our “oxygen mask” FIRST before we try to help someone else. A drowning person cannot help save another drowning person. Our strength is limited emotionally just like physically, and if we are sinking we can’t help others. It is difficult to get there, and sometimes we get caught up in more emotional drama on top of our own and we can’t handle it.

    As hard as it is, sometimes we have to back away from someone in the spin cycle and save ourselves first.

    Saturday I visited with a friend who has finally after great grief thrown her son and h is druggie girlfriend out of the house after he and the girlfriend went into a big cussing match at her at a public event. She is still suffering and I know she is, and I gave her encouragement. Her husband would have thrown them out long ago so she at least has comfort from her husband and adult daughter.

    Another situation I am aware of is a young mother whose P pedophile X has gained total custody of her 7 yr old son and I can’t do anything to help her and I know her grief must be over the mountain. I feel so helpless to help her or her situation. It depresses me just to think about it. It makes me feel homicidal. It is one of those horrible situations. So while I comfort her as much as I can I have to keep a “clinical distance” just like when I practiced medicine I had to keep a “clinical” distance EMOTIONALLY from patients who were dying or having terrible problems. I h ad to tone down my empathy to a level I could live with and still be of help to them.

    Getting out of the spin cycle and STAYING out of the spin cycle is important to our growth and healing BUT we CAN do it. thanks for your comments.

    • Joyce, in my situation, the “Spin Cycle” was par for the course – there was no other possible response because that was what I was taught, as a child, via the dysfunction.

      Now, after all of these years, when the expsath left, I finally understood that this “Spin Cycle” is something that was created for me, as a child. Recognizing this was the first step to diffusing it. Finally, at long last, it has become something that I “understand” and have the ability to control.

      What I’ve found truly amazing is how other people attempt to start that spin cycle for their own benefits or entertainment. THAT is what we, as survivors of betrayal and abuse, need to find out for ourselves: we have control ONLY over ourselves. And, when we give our feelings, emotions, etc., to someone else for safekeeping, it is a huge risk that we’re taking to expect them to not use/abuse our vulnerabilities.

      The friend that I mentioned is finally “getting it” as to WHY that spin cycle is so familiar to her and why, specifically, she “responded” to any act of attention or kindness from any other human being. The guy that she “misses” is becoming an experience for her learning, now, which is a great thing for her. He GAVE HER what she made very clear that she, personally, needed. He did this through mirroring – with her type (and, mine, as well) mirroring isn’t difficult, at all. WE very clearly indicate our personal needs through our own words, actions, and decisions, and the PREDATORS simply mirror what they believe that they’re seeing. The difference is that they are not genuine, under any circumstances.

      The “Spin Cycle” is one that is familiar to individuals who have endured and survived prolonged trauma, especially as children. For some of us, it’s not only familiar (in italics, here), but comfortable – it’s what we know and even the smelliest, most tattered blanket is comfortable to us if it’s all we know.

  22. I got to thinking today about the “spin cycle” and how various things to do with an abuser can throw us into that spin cycle….and I remember how I felt like I had so many important things to do that I just couldn’t get them done, and I went from one task to another without ever finishing one…ended up accomplishing nothing.

    In retrospect I can see that the tasks that I thought at that time that NEEDED to be done were not something that I really did need to do, I just didn’t have the JUDGEMENT to determine what was necessary and what was something I should have ignored. It is like trying to finish getting your dishes done while your house is on FIRE! Many times we spend all our time on things that don’t matter and lilttle or any time on the really important things.

    Last night a friend who has been in the spin cycle over multiple attacks by her entire family and the very church who turned their backs on me and embraced my abusers are doing the same thing to her. She had been making some progress but a chance encounter with one of her abusers in a grocery store sent her back into the abyss. I stressed in my phone conversation last night the NO CONTACT rule and suggested that she walk away without comment or conversation if such thing should happen again.

    In my own case I ran into one of my abusers in a market unexpectedly and the sheer UNEXPECTEDNESS of the encounter made me break NO CONTACT as well, so I know first hand how she must have felt in her encounter.

    Panic and HIGH ANXIETY can send us into the spin cycle and the bottom of the abyss, keeping us from accomplishing the important things, and keep us focused on the less important things.

    Healing is a long journey and how long depends on how severe the damage is in many ways, mental, emotional, financial, physical and stress can make us succeptible to all these things, breaking down our judgement, finances, health and render us unable to cope because we can’t focus on what is really important. Calming ourselves is a big job and many times will require professional help. I sought professional help again last summer when I went into the spin cycle over my son’s parole hearing coming up. Because it was SO important to me that he not get out, the thought of him getting out raised my anxiety to the stratousphere and beyond, leaving me a wreck. I am determined to not let that happen to me again, but who knows…it isn’t easy to climb out of that abyss of anxiety but it is important that we give it all we have to do so.

    • Joyce, I make no secret of my being a strong advocate of engaging in strong counseling therapy for individuals who have experienced abuse, trauma, and/or extreme family dysfuction. I know that I’ve met terrific resistance from many people, along the line, for one reason or another, and this is something that I cannot emphasize, enough. We human beings sometimes need HELP. Recovering and healing from abuse, trauma, and dysfunction is one of those things that is better accomplished with trained assistance.

      When our roof gets a leak, we can certainly TRY to fix it, ourselves. But, it’s more likely that the leak will worsen and the overall damage will be due to the worsened leak. Thus, because we’re too prideful or fearful OR even stingy to spend the money to call a roofer, the damage is compounded when it could have been seen to, early on.

      The same goes forth with a plumbing issue. I can fix something very, very minor in my own house. But, if I want to install a water filter for my entire house, I need the expertise of a licensed plumber.

      If I need medical care, I can self-diagnose and make some terrific errors in judgement, or I can seek the advice of a trained professional.

      Why is emotional health any different? Because it involves “feelings” as opposed to an ear infection or broken bone?

      There is NO easy or simple way to recover from trauma. There just isn’t. And, we can never “know” what all of the triggers are going to be. But, with the help of a trained and licensed professional that specializes in trauma, we can learn how to self-soothe and calm ourselves during ordinary stress so that, when we’re faced with something unexpected or extreme, we have the tools handy to manage it.

      I recently had my own personal situation that involved a months-long preparation, SNAFU, and ultimate conclusion to the event-in-question. Leading up to the event was almost the most anxiety-inducing place I’ve ever been and I can directly correlate the most recent event with previous events that involved judgements. Of course, this event wasn’t a personal attack or the severance of a contract of marriage. It was a fact-based event that only required responding to direct questions that were not accusatory. BUT……in my very damaged mind, it was a personal event that was going to cause me to die.

      I’ve seen many, many people attempt to pretend that their traumas never happened, that their family dysfunctions were a figment of imagination, and that they could “handle” the abuses that they endured, and none of those approaches were ever successful or healthy.

      In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have emotional business to deal with. We also wouldn’t have illness, crime, or GMO’s. But, we don’t live in a “perfect” world – there’s no such Universe. So, it’s OKAY to say, “I am going down the tubes, and I need help.”

      You are 100% spot-on that it isn’t easy to climb out of the abyss. For me, it’s been a challenge just to acknowledge that there even WAS an abyss that I’d fallen into.

      Excellent discussion, Joyce, and a topic that I’m working on, myself, every day.

  23. Truthy, I am 110% right on with you about PROFESSIONAL counseling. And I also know that not every counselor is “great” so you may have to try one or two. There is an old nurse’s joke about “what do you call the physician who finished LAST IN HIS CLASS…?” the answer of course is DOCTOR. The same with mechanics, plumbers, teachers, etc. some are better than others and some are just incompetent, but in any case I would never try to set my own broken bone, and the fact that I have BEEN a counselor doesn’t make me any more qualified to counsel myself than my dog. A counselor is a person who has been trained and because they are NOT EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED they can look at your problems OBJECTIVELY not emotionally. No matter how smart or trained we think we are, we are NOT OBJECTIVE, we respond emotionally.

    I know you’ve been having high anxiety lately over this thing and I so relate to it over my own “melt down” about Patrick’s last parole hearing last year. High levels of anxiety can last a few minutes or hours like a “panic attack” or they can last months or years. The thing is that high levels of PANIC/ANXIETY keep us from functioning well and do our mental and physical health some pretty nasty things.

    Learning to meditate helps greatly, but it is difficult to meditate when you are in the spin cycle, however, you CAN train yourself to accomplish it with PRACTICE. High levels of anxiety literally keep us from thinking “straight” and keep us from making logical and good judgments and choices. We literally just “don’t know where to turn.”

    A lady I am counseling right now who has very high levels of anxiety is having great difficulty in seeing what is “really” important and what is not and is operating almost entirely emotionally and some of her decisions about what is “important” are interfering with her actually accomplishing anything. Her health and well being are suffering as a result and she is unable to make progress, as a result her physical and mental health are suffering greatly.

    Anxiety is a “future” worry about something that is not actually there. For example if you were afraid of snakes and you were constantly worrying that maybe some how a snake might have gotten into your house and you were SO anxious about it that you continually were looking inside your house in case a cobra escaped from a circus and some how managed to crawl into your house. You couldn’t sleep because you were anxious that it might crawl into your bed while you slept, etc. I know that is a very hyperbolic example, but anxiety can literally go to that level if we allow it to. Sometimes it requires medication, but many people refuse medication as well as professional counseling.

    It was, I admit, very very difficult for me to seek professional counseling, having counseled others, I felt ashamed I could not handle my own anxiety and other symptoms. Of course that is “silly” to think that way or feel that way any more than a physician would feel badly about having to get another doctor to take out his own tonsils or set his broken leg.

    You are also very right when you say that recovering from trauma, maybe even trauma that was from the time you were a child, is a long and difficult journey, but one that I believe is worthwhile in every way. I’m glad your situation is over for the time being with that one anxiety producing event, but you are making progress, Truthy, in even recognizing what is causing the anxiety. TOWANDA!

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