The Mathematical Formula For Destructive Relationships

All relationships have the potential to be hazardous, abusive,  and destructive. The destruction begins gradually and at times it will not end until  long after the relationship itself has ended. It just depends on how long we allow the destruction to occur before stepping up to the board and balancing out the equation.

Just as in mathematical equations that become difficult; we should simplify difficult relationships in our lives too. Simplifying can mean counseling, creating a positive change in the relationship, eliminating irritants, or in some cases simply leaving the relationship and moving forward.

Destructive relationships can be hard to spot initially. Over time the signs become more obvious, especially as we begin to see what was once a bright flower wither and fade away. Once we see the first sign of a destructive relationship, the others signs and symptoms arrive shortly after. Or so it seems.

Signs of a Destructive Relationship:

Non-trustworthy partners seem to be a dime a dozen these days. The breaking of trust is the beginning of a destructive relationship. Once trust is broken; it is time to break out the hard hats. The wrecking crew has arrived.

If two people can not trust one another the relationship officially becomes classified as a destructive relationship. The person that can’t trust suffers, and as a result the person that can’t be trusted does too. This is not healthy for either party.

Recovery from broken trust is possible if correction occurs, and it is sincere and genuine. This typically means that there will not be repeat offenses. If there are repeat offenses there may be a bigger problem. There could be a compulsive liar in the picture. If so, there are ways to break the liar down. Once you break them down and all truth becomes visible, options can be weighed out and recovery is absolutely possible. Until then, brace yourself for the other phases of a destructive relationship.

Internal Damage leaves us holding on to things that leave us felling lost, hopeless, sad, or broken. These feelings can be overwhelming and cause panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depressions, and sometimes paranoia. Internal damage can make true forgiveness seem impossible.

External Damage is when one will begin to notice things around them breaking. Whether on purpose or by accident; everything begins to break down internally and externally. This typically happens after a few incidents have occurred that created internal damage or conflict.

Withdrawn from normal activities is a symptom of a destructive relationship.  One may withdraw from friends, family,  and activities. They will isolate themselves with their partner and display signs of social avoidance. This needs attention particularly if the withdrawing from others is not for legitimate reasons. Sometimes, people grow up and apart. It doesn’t necessarily mean one is withdrawn.

 

Excessive Weight gain or loss is another sign that someone is in a destructive relationship. Sometimes people who are suffering emotionally will eat or starve their way to feeling in control of something. Food becomes a replacement for those gaining weight. For those in a destructive relationship that are losing weight, I have found that they starve themselves strictly to feel in control of something in their life since other areas are lacking self-control.

Control is a common characteristic seen in one or both parties involved in destructive relationships. Controlling people have the same patterns across the board, and they will often come off as very well liked socially. If they tell you where to go, what to do, who to talk to, what to wear, or how to act; they may just have control issues. If both parties are insecure and have controls issue, there could be a few Doomsday’s ahead.

Psychological Abuse occurs when one belittles another’s achievements or lack there of. Psychological abuse can be any type of mind game; from name calling to threats of suicide. One may also manipulate their partner into forgiving or at least trying to. Someone who is psychologically abusing their partner may also threaten suicide when their partner decides to leave them. If the person being abused speaks of suicide, their words ought not be taken lightly. 

Psychological abuse can be any of the following phrases (to name a few):

I said NO! You can’t wear that! Nobody cares what you think! Nobody cares about you! You don’t matter! Who are you talking to? Who’s calling here? You can’t talk to “them” ! This is MY house! I pay the bills! You are LAZY! You are worthless! Get out! I don’t need you! I never loved you! You are ugly! You are fat! I hate you!

These words can be devastating, and often lead to violence. If you are in a violent relationship leave immediately. There are shelters across the country that house men, women, and children in violent situations who are looking for relief.

Violence is not healthy in any relationship. Violence can be hitting, throwing, smacking, cornering, or intimidating another person. Violence often follows psychological abuse.

Depression is usually the last phase before one begins to receive a reality check as to where their relationship has been; where it is, and the direction it is heading. Depression can be life threatening and one suffering from depression should seek help from a certified medical professional. There are some self-help techniques for depression, and ways to fight depression. However, talking to a counselor is always a good idea. It is nice to have an outsider help us reduce difficult equations.

When things become broken inwardly and outwardly in any relationship; getting out is the only way to avoid having only bits and pieces yourself left. Repairs are much easier when something is only partially broke, than when no longer running at all.

 © Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

To The Abusive Parent In Subway

I witnessed a horrific scene with my children this past weekend. As we left church, we decided to stop and eat at a local eatery. We had no idea what we would soon be witnessing; when our intentions were to just grab a quick bite to eat before their father came to pick them up.

As we stood in line I had taken notice to an unhappy woman. She was extremely disgruntled. She wore it inside and out. As her son asked her a question while standing in line she yelled at him. Next she slams him into a booth where he then jammed his index finger. He began to cry “You broke my finger” and repeated this statement as he cried. He was hurt. And I was certain it hurt, he was very small. This mother was easily ten times his size. This mother had just committed the act of child abuse on camera, and in public.

As the little boy cried for his abusive mother to pay attention to what she had just done, she turns around from ordering once again and grabs his face. She stares into his face almost nose to nose and hastily she says “I am going to beat you to death! I am going to KILL you!” I don’t want to hear another word from you!”

The boy then slides down and hides under the table sad, frightened, and all alone. My heart broke for him. I could only imagine what else she has done to him. This woman should be caged. She was a beast. No child should have to suffer any form of child abuse. Period. I could only imagine what he goes through when not in public!

My son hadn’t seen what happened as he was in the restroom. As my son walked out of the restroom he states “Mom, that little boy looks scared!” I found it interesting that at age eleven my son could pick up on it, but not the boy’s mother. Instead, she stayed absorbed in her own anger, paying no attention to her child.

The boy hid under that table with his back against the wall until his mom finished ordering.  He was afraid to move, and afraid to speak.

As his mother paid for her subs, she accused the workers of not giving her all four subs she had ordered when they were all four sitting there for everyone to see. The subs were all out in the open. As the employee explained, “You ordered four and there are four right here”, the angry woman then admits to the cashier “I have lost my mind.”  As the woman makes that comment to the worker I think to myself  “ugh…..that’s an understatement!”

Her daughter then walks over to the little boy and in the same tone you mother uses says “GET UP!” The hateful mother then turns around to her daughter and says “DO NOT EVEN SPEAK TO HIM”! The daughter whom appeared use to her hateful mother, doesn’t utter another word and walks out the door. I thought “wow, she got in trouble for sounding just like her mom. She got snipped at for becoming who her mom is teaching her to be. How sad! Those poor kids.”

As that little boy left I thought “that poor baby. If she does that here, on camera, and in public; what does she do behind closed doors? ” As this hateful woman crosses the parking lot, everyone in Subway began to discuss this event. We were all astonished. I stated, “She needs locked up!” and everyone agreed. The workers then jotted down the time of the event so the video could easily be reviewed.

This woman had serious issues. As my children witnessed this event, their first response when she left was “Thank God you are not like that mom!”

To The Abusive Parent In Subway on Sunday September 26, 2010:

I had just visited a new church. It was your church. My daughter has a friend that attends there so we went to check it out. You sat two rows over from me in the worship service. I recognized your red sweatshirt when the kids and I pulled into Subway and thought “I just saw her at church.”

I was floored to discover that within 5-10 minutes of leaving a worship service you wanted to kill your child or beat him to death. What is wrong with you? You are 10 times his size. Where does this come from? What exactly is your problem? You need serious professional help. You anger and furry is destroying your child’s life.

Find the root of that anger you carry, and fix it. No child should have to suffer from child abuse as your little boy did today. Instilling fear in him doesn’t mean he will respect you, or even love you when he grows up. It is your way to feel you have control over something to treat him this way, and it is most likely because you have lost all control in other areas of your life.

Mistreating him as you do should revoke your license as a mother. You do not deserve such an honorable title. In a case such as this, you were only an incubator. How dare you take advantage of your position as a parent? How dare you take it for granted? There are people spending thousands to have the title mother, and there are people like you that do not deserve it. It makes me sick. How do you look at yourself? How do you put up such a front in church, and then act so foolish as soon as you leave the building? You are one of the reasons, many will not attend a church. It is filled with others like you. And many are better off to worship from home than to face such hypocrisy.

I hope that boy gets removed from your custody. And I hope you also realize your daughter speaks to him, and others,  just as you have taught her to: with haste.

In the time I was visiting Subway, I didn’t see him doing anything out of the ordinary. I saw a kid asking his mom something. I saw a kid that feared your abuse. I saw a kid hiding under a table wishing he was leaving the store with a real mom  that loved him instead of leaving with you.

As you walked away you said “Get up, now lets go tell your dad what you did” in your hateful voice.

Instead of telling your husband what your son did; why don’t you go tell a psychologist, law enforcement, and CPS  what you did? Admit yourself somewhere! You should be in an institution. You should admit you have a serious problem, and fix yourself. Your son did nothing out of the ordinary. Nor did your daughter. If anything, they are doing what you teach them. And from what I saw, you want them to see you have control.

Your speaking to your daughter that way, exhibited your control issues. Why is it that you have the right to tell her not to talk to your son which is in turn her brother? Just because you hate him, doesn’t mean you can force your daughter to. You are sick, and truly do have some serious control issues. And I doubt I am the first to tell you this.

You will die a lonely, hateful, and miserable woman if you continue this path you are on. I will pray for you, but I will pray more for that little boy and girl. God will protect him, and hopefully the law will too.

It’s people like you who make the world a dark place. It is people like you who cause children to need intense therapy as they grow and mature. It is people like you who raise dysfunctional adults. It is someone like you, who probably would kill their child. You are insane.

It is people like you; that someone like myself  simply can’t stand to be near. Your negativity sucks people dry. And surely, I hope you get a grip. It is embarrassing that someone like you lives in this town. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Being Married To An Alcoholic Can Mean Divorcing Yourself

Being married to an alcoholic is challenging. As if marriage isn’t tough enough, we find ourselves facing an illness that can be life threatening.

As spouses we want to believe that there is hope, and that the behavior is something we can correct. We believe the if we do certain things, say certain things, avoid situations, and act a certain way it will change the alcoholics mindset. We think that if we avoid alcohol itself that it will help. After all, if we drink they will want to drink. So we avoid it all together. We try everything to prevent drinking episodes and fight like hell to understand the disease, its causes, and its effects.

(One of the biggest mistakes we make; is thinking we can control the fate of the disease.)

It is hard to maintain an upbeat spirit and our identity when dealing with an alcoholic on a daily basis. Often times we lose sight of ourselves and eventually, as we find ourselves again we find the courage to walk away.

The hardest part of dealing with a spouse who suffers from alcoholism is accepting the reality that we can’t change them. It does not matter what we do, they are who they are. They will lie to us, and they will deceive. Trust will be hard to restore.

The battle of dealing with an alcoholic you love can be just as bad as having the disease itself.

Some alcoholics hide it well. They come off as hardworking, well liked, and social. Others can come across as laid back and quiet. These are usually the ones who can’t maintain their alcohol and become violent. It can be quite dangerous. They can’t hear our crying and pleading for them to get help, instead they dive deeper into the drinking and begin to resent the one suggesting they seek help. They are in their own world, and only those who accommodate their disease are welcomed.

Alcoholics are on a road to self-destruction. Until they reach a dead-end they will not realize that they need help. They will continue to surround themselves with people who make them feel justified in their behavior. Someone who says “Oh you had a bad day? Want to have a drink?” will soon be their best friend. They feel this person understands. What this person has done is opened another door and allowed the alcoholic to do even more damage. They have just become the rescuer.

Alcoholism is a painful disease to watch. We never know what will come next. A new injury, more vomit, a new place he/she passed out, another fight, a D.U.I., a social mishap, or a new hole in a wall or door.

When living with an alcoholic you are truly the only one who knows the extent of the disease and can often vouch for the fact that you never know what their mood will be. Sometimes even the slightest things can set them off. It is Jeckel and Hyde. They are critical of others because they feel bad about themselves. They are out of control. They have lost sight of who they are. As a result they can become controlling, and abusive.

When we love an alcoholic it can be debilitating. They can not see the pain they cause. Sometimes we just have to let go because it becomes too depressing to watch and live with. At that point all we can do is pray for the best results.

Until people want to change, there will be no change. And if their disease is causing you to lose who you are and what you believe in, it is time to let go. It is not worth losing you too!

For more information about contributing to your loved ones disease  click here.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Where To Go

There are many resources available to both men and women who are trying to leave an abusive partner or relationship. Many are unaware of these resources. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Life is too short to live in negativity. There is a way to free yourself.

Every state in the United states has abuse shelters in counties throughout the state. If you are in fear of your life and hiding from an abuser there are even underground shelters. These are shelters that aren’t talked about openly. But by choosing an underground shelter your safety is pretty much guaranteed. Nobody will find you at an underground shelter.

Some shelters look like homes, and are disguised by their appearance alone. These are safe havens for victims of abuse, and these shelters will help you get on your feet. Many people hear the word shelter and they picture multiple bunks or cots as we have seen in the movies and on television. This is hardly the case. These shelters are often nice places. Although some may be lacking in amenities, not all of them do.

Each shelter has different rules, and accommodations. Do some homework to find out which shelter will meet your families needs the best. Most have a community living area and each person has their own private room and bathroom. In most shelters these rooms are locked and only the one rooming in there has a key. A shelter that offers privacy such as this, is ideal.

Once you are in the shelter your basic needs are met. The staff will provide you with numerous resources such as child care, employment, food, toiletries, etc. They will also provide you with clothing, vouchers for things in the community such as Y.M.C.A, movies, etc. These resources vary from shelter to shelter. The length of stay also varies from shelter to shelter, however I have seen many shelters that will allow the victim(s) to stay for up to 3 months.

Shelters will keep you and  your children safe, and are a definite way to stop/end abuse. They are secure, and will provide you will attorneys if necessary. Most of the workers are volunteers and understanding. They too were once a victim.

By retreating to a domestic violence shelter, you take the first step in reclaiming your life.

There is hope!  Life begins when the abuse ends.

What Controlling People Really Want

I have studied controlling behavior for quite some time.  I find the psychological patterns that accompany it quite intriguing. After observing and analyzing a case these last few days,  I figured out what it is controlling people really want in a partner/relationship.

What a controlling person really wants is someone weak.  They attract nothing but weak people in almost every aspect of their life. They prefer someone who is more of a follower.  Someone they feel that they can help in some way. They want someone to stroke their ego, someone to cater to them. They want a puppet on a string.

In the beginning of the relationship they will appear to be a giver. But once they are settled they take, and take, and take. And then once in a while, they give. To their partner anyway. To the world in most cases, they come off as laid back, easy going, driven, and focused. However behind close doors, they are verbally abusive and at times physically abusive.

What the victim doesn’t see often times is that they are in fact a victim. Their weak mindedness, fragility, low self-esteem, and brokenness will allow their mind and heart to believe this person is their rescuer. “They will take care of me!” “It’s the fairy tale!” And it will be fabulous in the eyes of the victim while the victim remains in that state of weakness.

Controlling people thrive in co-dependent relationships. As do the weak minded initially.

I have come to a conclusion as to why the relationship that would be labeled as controlling, often ends. It isn’t only because of control. It is because the victim, gains strength over time. The victim begins to find their voice. Once this happens, the victim walks away. The relationship is finished. The controller then attracts another weak person, and the trend continues. It is when the weak become strong, that it ends. If a controlling person had their way, they would never end a bad relationship. If they ended it they may have to face themselves.

If you are in a controlling relationship, find your voice and use it. Stop the abuse, before it stops you!

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Co-dependent Personalities & Raising Co-Dependent Children

Co-dependent personalities usually refer to life as black, or white. There is no in between. It is harder for them to see others view points, and they tend to create their own reality. A co-dependent person may often value other’s opinions over their own, compromising their own values and integrity to avoid rejection. They sometimes dress sloppy, or in baggy clothes, and even in tighter skimpy clothes, displaying their issues with self-image.

The problem with co-dependent relationship within a family, is that we adapt our feelings and boundaries as theirs. We do not like to see them making bad choices, in pain etc., so we try to control it. It can become something that eventually controls where they work, live, who they marry, meaning all major decisions are dominated, by us.

People with co-dependent personalities:

•Need to be needed

• Are  people pleasers

• Are controlling

• Afraid To Be Alone

• Mistrust others

• Are Perfectionists

• Avoid their feelings

• Excessive caretakers

• Hypervigilance (a heightened awareness for potential threat or danger)

• Often they attract needy dependent people

• Downplay their own feelings, to the point that they may not even know how they feel

• Have trouble making decisions

• Do not feel they’re lovable

• Put their own interests and hobbies aside to please others

• Are excessively loyal (even staying in abusive relationships)

• Do not ask others to meet their needs

Do You Have A Co-Dependent Relationship With Your Child?

As parents, we need to say “no” to doing tasks that foster immaturity and dependence in adult children; such as, doing their laundry, cleaning up after them, helping them with their bills, providing them with shelter (as adults), etc. It is important to learn to be separate individuals and teach them to take care of their own needs.

We need to teach our children how to tackle problems in relationships or in life, not take care of the problems for them. They need to grow up and be able to have healthy, mature, adult love relationships.  If we do things for our grown children beyond what is age appropriate, we lower their self-esteem and actually stop them from growing up.

When you are co-dependent you are enmeshed with family members’ emotional boundaries and you treat them as extensions of yourself. Therefore, you do not want to see them in pain, uncomfortable, making unwise choices, or unhappy. You try to be the one in control. You aim to fix them or their situations to be what you think is right, and good for them. You fail to see the long-term damage you are causing, you think you are only helping them.

Extreme co-dependency involves subtle control over your adult children’s choices of colleges, career, place of residency, religion, and choice of marriage partners. Over all, you dominate their decision-making abilities. Secretly you feel safe, secure, and loved when others need you and depend on you. It makes you feel important and gives your life meaning because you do not have your own life fully understood and integrated.

Co-dependency use to only be talked about in families where there was alcoholism, or drug addictions. Now, they are linking it to dysfunctional families in general. And lets face it, all families are dysfunctional. Some are just better at admitting it than others.

Co-dependent Personality Disorder is a dysfunctional relationship with the self characterized by living through or for another, attempts to control others, blaming others, a sense of victimization, attempts to “fix” others, and intense anxiety around intimacy. It is very common in people raised in dysfunctional families, and in the partners and children of alcoholics and addicts.  Most chemical dependency treatment centers now also offer treatment for Co-dependency. (definition extracted from http://www.mdjunction.com)                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.                                                                    

Do Controlling People Have Smaller Minds?

I’m sure we can all think of someone (or perhaps many someone’s) who have issues over control.

It appears to me that controlling people are the more narrow minded of the human species. I sometimes wonder if there is some sort of damage to the frontal or parietal lobe of their brain. It certainly would be an interesting study!

When dealing with a controlling person, we are dealing with someone who is irrational in most areas of life. they appear to be one who is mentally challenged when it comes to being logical about life situations or events. (The lights just aren’t all working upstairs, ya know?)

At times it seems as though we are talking to a wall when speaking with a controlling person. It’s their way, or the highway. We have a voice that they can’t hear and our opinions mean nothing to them. (Heaven forbid we speak our minds or have our own thoughts, opinions, or ideas.) 

Controlling people get what they want and they do it at almost any cost. The sad part is, they usually don’t even realize they are doing it. 

I read a really good book a few years ago by Patricia Evans as I began my journey as a single mother. It described controlling people to a tee. It explained that they lack self-esteem, and direction in their life. It said that sometimes it is because they are controlled by someone, and the only way for them to feel like they have any control in their own life, is to control the life of someone else.Her theories made perfect sense to me.

Controlling people often have addictions and other chemical imbalances in addition to unresolved childhood issues. They create their own reality, therefor explaining the narrow mindedness. She warned in the book the challenges of breaking free from those that control you. When in terms of divorce, she explains, the last thing they will use to control you is your children in a court room, and I must agree with her. I have experienced it myself, and I have seen it in the life’s of others. Man can it get nasty!

Can you think of anyone that shows the following signs?

*Substance Abuse- There is a huge link between excessive consumption of alcohol and controlling people.

*Increased Sensitivity- No matter what you say, they feel you are insulting them. They feel you are attacking their character and they get mad very easily. In women, they typically cry easy. In some cases they think nobody likes them, everybody hates them, they are mad at me etc.

*Extreme Jealousy- Are they worried about past relationships, or who you talk to on the phone? Do they think you are spending too much time with others and not enough with them?

*Dominance Over Every Issue- Do they have the final say in everything? Or even most things? Do they dominate the conversations forcing their opinions on you? Are you in a dictatorship instead of the partnership that you wanted?

*Complete Control Over Emotions- Do you feel they control your moods? What about your emotions? Are you only allowed to express certain emotions or feelings in their presence without an argument?

*Belittling – Are they making fun of you? Calling you names? Telling you that you couldn’t make it without them or that you would never find anyone else? Calling you ugly, fat, too skinny, etc.?

*Forced Intimacy- Do they force you to have sex or even guilt trip you into it? (I refer to it as a sympathy sex.) Do they force you to take on certain roles when having sex? Do they only satisfy themselves?

*Blaming others or guilt trips -“its not my fault” “YOU did this” “If you would have just listened!”

Patricia Evans, author of Controlling People says “Once the person loses a connection with oneself that forms his or her reality, control is pursued in the exterior world.”

The first stepThe important thing to know is, well, you can’t change them. They are who they are. Either you suck it up, take the abuse and leave them in your life OR you stick up for yourself, decide enough is enough, and you walk away. Only you can decide.

Walking away is difficult, and the control doesn’t necessarily stop unless you learn techniques on how to do so. And even then it can be tricky. They will attempt to make your life hell. To them it is your punishment for making them feel even worse about themselves.

The best revenge you can get however, will be a life well lived.

Though you are a victim of someone’s hurtful behavior, you are responsible for your response. Protect yourself, there is life after this. But it’s up to you to take the first step.

Are you being or have you been controlled before? What can you do or have you done to break the cycle? What do controlling people really want?

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.