The Beginning and The End

On the path toward changing myself

This rainy, rainy world
Its pleasures are unfurled across my face
A gauze of tears I would have cause to shed
But in pride before your eyes
I keep my own still dry

In spite of history

There’s enduring mystery
Of how humans fight the facts
The memory of their acts

So many new false dawns

Bright days turned to storms
So much hope and trust we looked to future dreams
Seen in two such different ways
Each hoping that the days would

Bring a lasting plan
Some gold beneath the sham
And frailties would come along
As something strong

And you would really love me
Instead of what you do

Some characters are stone
And those should live alone
Immutable it seems I am
Though all my dreams pull me towards this way

Ancestors have their say
And drag me back again
The struggle to be free

Unending it seems
Most happiness I’ve seen
Is on my own
But I’m drawn to lighted windows

Helpless to discern
How I might become renewed
And leave the fatal few
Cause sometimes I have done it

Those glowing days I won
If not for very long, they were there
And those I think are wise
Say look behind your eyes

The flower that you seek
Is all in how you speak
The quiet in your heart
Will mirror the same part

And someone else, in time
In time
You’ll find

Sleepthief – Rainy World

Pictures in the News: London, England

“….Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am foremost. “
                                                                                                                       1 Timothy 1:15


First of all, I must mention that “Why does he do that?” sheds light on certain behavior of an abuser when he’s separated from the family. In the section called “The abuser as parent post separation”, starting on page 632, the author shows examples of how abusers are behaving in order to win other people’s favor, how they manipulate courts to win custody of a child just so that they can hurt the spouse.

I must admit, I do have such a temptation. Thanks to the book, it helps me to identify the unhealthy pattern. No, no, I’m not reading “my wife’s tactics” and predicting her next moves and get ready, no. I sincerely want to understand myself. My current process is digging deep into my soul, finding all the brokenness, and healing.  Think this – if all the use of this book for me was “reading enemy’s map”, why would I talk about it here?

Update: I understood today, from reading the book, that I shouldn’t focus on my feelings and my wife’s behavior.  Right, my goodness, I’ve been doing this for years and see it didn’t do any good!  No, I rather must focus on her feelings and my behavior, plus my thinking!

That’s why the second book comes so handy. Reading the book “Stop hurting the woman you love” helps me to see my problems at a different angle.

Here’s what stroked me in this book. It’s so straight-forward. I I’ll quote:

“We’re going to tell you an important truth here, a truth that you need to fully understand if you want to improve your life: When you engage in distorted thinking you are lying to yourself . Worse, often you don’t recognize the lie. Distorted thinking allows you to believe one of the most basic lies that we tell ourselves— that the world should be a certain way —and you make misguided choices as a result of trying to make the world fit the lie. Consider a simple example. The driver who believes he has a right to drive on the freeway without being cut off by other drivers believes a lie. He may not be aware of this lie/belief, but you can tell by his behavior that he lives by it. If you try to move into the outside lane before you reach your exit, he will speed up to block you. If you need to merge because construction has reduced two lanes to one, he will not let you in. His thinking is distorted by his belief in the lie that the world should be a certain way. In this case, he believes the lie that you don’t have a right to get into his lane if he is inconvenienced for a nanosecond. His behavior behind the wheel is the result of his distorted thinking.”

The point here is that I’m deceiving myself into believing certain things, which in reality are far from the reality. They continue by listing 5 major lies abusive men are telling themselves – and this is what shocked me, I saw myself at the 2nd lie:

Lie #2: If She Would Change, Then Everything Would Be Better

When something goes wrong, too often we want to blame someone else. (Then they give example of a man named Paul, but I’ll skip it)… Some of us don’t have the deep-seated issues that troubled Paul. But we do have plenty of problems—impatience, boredom, anger, depression, anxiety—and it’s easy to want our partners to change to make our problems go away. If she were just different, we think, we’d stop getting so angry and we wouldn’t argue so much. The truth? You cannot change other people. No one likes being forced to change her behavior. Your partner will resist. She will fight back because she finds your attempts invasive and controlling. If you persist in believing the lie that she should change, you will grow increasingly angry and frustrated when she persists in her usual behavior. Your anger and frustration and the mistaken belief that she alone is responsible for the problems in your life can too easily lead to domestic abuse.

Ask yourself:

1. Do I live by the lie that if my partner would change, then I wouldn’t be angry and abusive, and therefore my life would be smoother?

2. Or am I willing to change my own behavior and ways of looking at the world?

Here’s what I admit. My beliefs were strongly similar to the first point. Even though I constantly was saying that I’m changing, I always had expectations in the back of my mind for the changes my wife needed to make! “Oh if she would only stop drinking”, “Oh if she would only be less angry”, “Oh, if she would only see my efforts and believed that I’m not the same anymore”.

“You know what” – I’m telling myself now – “why don’t you continue making efforts and truly change, and if it really happens, it will be certainly manifested”. Therefore, now I’d rather pick 2nd point. I am willing to change my own behavior and ways of looking at the world.  What world?  My family is my world.

But that’s a long and hard journey. Yes I know. It’s painful already and will get even more painful. But I rather bear this pain, temporarily, than live the rest of my life with the pain of a bitter anger, being angry at others who are not willing to respect me, to understand, to have compassion, to love me, to appreciate me, etc etc. Because it’s all illusion.

It’s my illusion that my wife hates me. It’s my illusion that my children want to stay away from me and don’t love me. They all love me and want to be with me. But with real me. They want to be with the person who I really am inside. The person whom they deeply love. They want to stay away from the person who deceives himself with lies and lives by these lies, because this is the person who hurts them and forces them to be distant from the loving, caring, and kind husband and father. I must eliminate this part of my personality. Stop expecting others to change. Keep the hard work, make effort, read and think… and act.

I’ll keep working.  I’ll keep praying…

Isa-57-15.jpg

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My Family is Important to me

I care about my family very much.  Therefore, I am trying to understand each one of them individually and imagine how each one feels and what goes on inside their minds.  I must understand their perception of life, at least at my level, since I can not be the person him/her self.  I must understand the amount of damage done by me when I hurt their feelings.  Because I care.  Because I must, not only undo the damages, but improve our relationship.  It hurts me so much to see that during past years we are growing apart, for this is not what I always desired.
I want to express how I understand each of my family members today.  And if I’m wrong, I’m asking their forgiveness for not being able to fully comprehend their inner world and see their inner beauty.

The first person I will share about is the first person without whom the family would not exist – my wife.  I will share only what I see in her as a person, not any private information.

My Wife

To be continued…

 

Passive-Aggressive

I have found this interesting article online. It shows that you do not need to wait until you have problems in your marriage. Maybe you are wondering why simple dating relationships do not work out. The answer might be hiding within your own personality!

Signs You’re Being Passive-Aggressive

1

We’ve all come across passive-aggressive behavior at some point — from the friend who compliments your “starter home” to the coworker who checks his phone while you’re talking. But while it’s easy to spot when it’s happening to us, it’s not always easy to know when we’re doing it.

Being passive-aggressive doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Often it’s “a strategy we use when we think we don’t deserve to speak our minds or we’re afraid to be honest and open,” says psychotherapist Tina Gilbertson, LPC, author of Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings.

Are you being passive-aggressive … but have no idea? Here are eight common signs.

2

Asking Threat-Based Questions

Sometimes a passive aggressive-comment can come off as a confrontation-like accusation, says cognitive behavioral therapist Alex Hedger. One example is asking threat-based questions like, “Why on earth would you ever think that?” or even something as simple as, “Are you nuts?” (Unless, of course, the person you’re talking to says something truly off the wall, like she wants to go skydiving without a parachute.)

These questions are not only passive-aggressive, but they also put the other person on immediate defense. So it’s more than likely you won’t get the response you’re looking for.

3

Making Wishful Statements

Another passive-aggressive behavior happens when you want something but aren’t asking for it directly. “For instance, when a friend mentions she’ll be attending a party and you say, “I wish I could go,’” says New York City-based psychotherapist Janet Zinn, LCSW. “It’s better to ask, ‘Any way I could come?’ It’s more direct and doesn’t leave your friend feeling pressured or uncertain.”

Another, far less benign way this type of passive aggression can manifest is through small put-downs and insults, says clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula. For example, someone comes to the office in beautiful new shoes and you say, “I wish I could get a new pair like that — but, sadly, all my shoe money goes to rent.”

Comments like these (perhaps intentionally) make the receiver feel guilty for getting or doing whatever it is that you can’t.

4

Doling Out Backhanded Compliments

Sometimes jealousy and passive aggression combine. Instead of being able to react the way you might want to (happy for the person), you instead say something that just sounds, well, rude.

For example, if a friend gets engaged and you’ve been waiting years for your boyfriend to propose, you might call her new bling “cute” or say you thought the diamond would be bigger. If a friend buys a house and you’re nowhere near a down payment, you might call his place “cozy” or remark that it’s a good “fixer-upper.”

If you catch yourself doing this, take a step back and apologize. It’s better to acknowledge your misstep — even your jealous feelings, if you’re talking to a close pal — than mistakenly assume that no one caught it.

5

Ignoring or Saying Nothing

On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes saying nothing at all is passive-aggressive. According to psychotherapist Katherine Crowley, author of Working for You Isn’t Working for Me, checking your phone when a colleague is trying to speak with you or during a meeting are examples of passive-aggressive behavior.

Sound familiar? Try to break this habit ASAP by not bringing your phone into meetings or even sticking it in your desk drawer when a colleague approaches. (If you get a must-be-answered-now email, momentarily excuse yourself from the conversation or meeting to respond so your typing doesn’t come off as rude.)

Ignoring someone’s calls, emails, or texts as a way of sending a message that you’re upset with him or her is another way this behavior can manifest. “Instead of communicating clearly and honestly, you are dropping hints and waiting for the other person to pick up on them,” says psychotherapist Jessica S. Campbell, LCSW. “When she doesn’t, she is punished with the silent treatment, cold shoulder, or some other method of withholding.”

6

Procrastinating

A more active form of ignoring is procrastination. Maybe you’re unhappy with your job or your role in a particular project, but instead of saying something (or doing something proactive), you take extra-long lunches or even a sick day as the deadline approaches.

Socially, this behavior typically comes in the form of backing out of an obligation at the last minute — like giving an excuse that you can’t make it when you really just didn’t want to go in the first place, says friendship expert Nicole Zangara — or denying knowledge of the event altogether.

“Passive-aggressive behavior has 100 percent deniability and zero percent accountability,” Gilbertson says. “You can always say you didn’t receive the invitation, you lost it, or it completely slipped your mind, while your true motive — to turn down the invitation — remains hidden.”

7

Leaving Someone Out

Perhaps you’re not fond of a certain colleague. Rather than address the issue directly, you go out of your way to edge her out of the office clique. You might do this by inviting everyone on your team to lunch, except her, or gossiping about her, says Crowley.

Another example of passive-aggressive behavior in this category, says counselor Michael Diettrich-Chastain, is when “it’s your day to go on a coffee run for work and you ask everyone in the office except the coworker you don’t like.”

8

Sabotaging Someone

A more extreme move related to leaving someone out is downright sabotaging her. Instead of just excluding someone socially, you purposely leave her off email chains or meeting invites, or even “forget” to tell her when a deadline has been changed. If someone points it out, you make statements like, “Oh, I had no idea,” “I’m so sorry,” or, “I wonder how that happened,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis, to absolve yourself of blame.

In personal relationships, sabotaging could come in the form of “innocently” bringing your friend a cupcake when you know she’s trying to lose weight or pressuring a pal to hit the mall when she’s struggling to save money. In both cases, you might feel, however subconsciously, jealous or that you lack her discipline or willpower.

9

Keeping Score

When someone misses an important life event of yours, whether it’s not attending your party or not making the effort to go to your wedding, it’s natural to feel disappointed. In many cases, however, instead of confronting the person directly (or letting it go), we tend to fall into a tit-for-tat sort of pattern — which is passive-aggressive.

“For example, you aren’t going to their party because they didn’t come to your baby shower. Or you aren’t inviting them to your dinner party because they couldn’t attend your last one,” Campbell says. “Either way, you are keeping score and not creating a supportive relationship.”

This piece originally appeared on DailyWorth on April 7, 2015

In addition, here is another article:  dealing with Passive-Aggressive person.

Can women be the abusers?

Just say that you love me
Alone and silent face to face
Just say that you need me
Those words that swallow this empty space

Silence finds distance
And the distance will see us falter
Violent condition
Of a heart that always shames love

Just say it’s over, all we’ve become
Just say it’s time to lessen the sum
To tear down the bridge and build a divide
Erase all the memories drawn inside

Just say now you’ve touched me
Say all that I’m feeling won’t come undone
Just say in this darkness
That you’ll be here when the morning comes

You say that you love me
But those words are empty just like my heart
You say that you need me
But your words just lead us to fall apart

Sleepthief – Just Say It

bigstock-Breakup-Of-A-Couple-And-A-Sad-85806056-e1444978376665

Lundy Bancroft writes on page 709 of his book:

Are we supposed to pretend we don’t notice that the overwhelming majority of abusers are male?

And he’s right. The reports and social studies show that majority of the phone calls to 911 are made by women. And his book is dedicated towards helping to identify such males. In my honest opinion, it’s a brilliant book. This book should’ve existed long time ago, from the beginning of the mankind. It’s very humbling and eye-opening.
However, we should not make an assumption based only on police reports and the number of phone calls that mostly, if not only, women are being abused by men.  In most cases, men do not report.  They’re just “taking it” and “dealing with it”, even though not too well.  Also, based on another research, overwhelming majority of men believe that it’s OK for a woman to angrily yell and curse, call names, and even slap, shove, or throw things at man when she’s upset.  No wonder they’re staying silent and do not report.  And, how many shelters for women victims of conjugal violence exist in your city?  Probably more than one.  And how many for men?  In my city – none.  As well as in the country I live, in Canada.  See here – Canadian Association for EqualitySomehow the humankind is coming toward a tendency to believe that men do not need to share feelings, they don’t feel hurt.  Men never cry, right? WRONG.  Men don’t feel as much as women do, right? WRONG!  Men tend to hide their feelings, right?  RIGHT!
Am I trying to shift the attention and responsibility from men towards women?  By no means, NO.
Look people, there is something very important that we all must understand.  We don’t want to punish anybody.  We don’t want to hurt anyone for the sake of vengeance.  We must help one another to stop hurting.  The life is overfilled with pain and sorrow; by causing more pain, we’re contributing to the common basket of badness – stop doing that.  I know that not everyone will, just because I’m asking.  But at least I myself am trying to, and want to be an example.

I don’t know who might read my blog and I do not know everyone’s story.
Please do not think that my only purpose is to blame men in all marital problems. In fact, the word “blame” is not applicable to this entire blog, as I mentioned at the beginning in “About me“.

In many relationships, if not in all, both sides can make a difference and put forth efforts. But it is only possible if each will focus on his/her own issues. If I’m trying to identify the wrong actions of my own and am working on uprooting the harmful values and attitudes, our marriage will succeed. Yes, even if only I alone am doing it. Of course, it would be ideal if both were walking on the same path, but you know why is it wrong to look at your wife and wonder whether she’s working on herself or not? Because eventually it will become your full-time job, paid by the satisfaction of finding imperfections in your partner, and then – back to finger-pointing, expectations, and certainly giving-up. You simply won’t have energy for changing yourself. But this type of work requires a lot, a lot of energy.
Nevertheless, I want to share what I have found about abusive women. Don’t take me wrong – Lundy Bancroft’s book is amazing. It helps every man [I can only speak from a man’s perspective] to look at himself and sincerely acknowledge his rotten parts and work on them. Men are at fault in many cases, and I believe that a man must take the first step in improving relationship – by changing himself and only himself, and once the step is taken – never stop. Do not take it as if I’m starting to attack women now, please. But there is extensive work done in exposing abusive women, as well as men, and I would like to share a few things.

abusive.female

The author of this book [a woman] gives 10 warning signs, and I feel that I must share them – not with men, but with women, rather. Look at it this way – I took the book “Why Does he Do That?” which was originally written for women, and I am using it to educate myself and change my patterns, let it be in painful way, but no choice, the wound must hurt before it heals. I sincerely wish to all women, who would recognize themselves within these signs, to humble themselves, never hate themselves but rather lovingly look at their own errors and try to be different with all sincerity.
Warning Signs for Men:

  1. 1.Find out about her past relationships. How long did they last? Were they short lived? How did they end?
  2. 2. Pay attention to how she handles anger in your relationship. What does she do when she is frustrated? How does she communicate when she is mad at you?
  3. See her on a bad day.
  4. 4. Is she very demanding? Demanding of you, of your time, resources?
  5. 5. Is she manipulating and controlling? Is she trying to control what you do and who you see? Does she turn things around so it is always your fault?
  6. Is she extremely jealous?
  7. Does she isolate you from friends and family?
  8. Does she say cruel things to you?
  9. Does she have mood swings?
  10. 10. Does she show erratic behavior? Does she make impulsive decisions.

Here is the full page with author’s interview
I don’t want to comment here about anyone, because this isn’t the purpose of my blog. I can only tell that if we look at most families, most of us are abusers; we aren’t perfect. But if we work on our imperfections, we can succeed in making members of our family happy. As I said previously, my purpose is to change myself. My purpose is to make my wife and children feel happy to be around me, to be grateful to have me in their lives. No demands can help me in achieving this goal. It helps me to write about my admittance, my weaknesses, my mistakes and problems, and later on – about the changes I’m making.

That’s all.

The Magnifying Glass Inspector

How much time have we wasted
In countless, sleepless nights
Trying so hard to fight…
Something to adorn to

When the world comes falling down
Like a laden barren tree
Stars are falling…Every single day
Is just a fleeting memories…

Secret Illusion – Winter Poem – a must-hear beautiful song, with child choir!

I am not so well-versed in terminology, neither do I have such a great experience in writing as the authors of books I’ve read; nevertheless, I want to try to describe what The Magnifying Glass Inspector is like.  It seems to be easy – just write about myself, but no, it is the most difficult.  I have to look at myself and give descriptions as if I’m looking at someone else.  And I have only one person – myself, while other authors base their research on many-many cases.

Inspector

Whenever this person meets new people, he does appreciate their good sides.  He always has a hope that this new person would be a great friend, or just a nice person to be around.  Then, after a certain period, the more he gets closer to others, the more he begins to analyze their traits of personalities; he is trying to understand people.  But no matter what good intentions he has, his main point of interest becomes their weaknesses and negative aspects of their personalities.  We can say, well, everyone has weaknesses and strength.  Right.  And he knows that.  But he installs a huge magnifying glass in front of his eyes, yes just like on this picture, so that both hands are available to point at faults of others.  “Oh, this guy, what is his problem?  He is not sincere and his smile isn’t genuine.  And this one, I’m sure he’s a liar and he just pretends to be good but who knows what he really thinks about you.  And I would be a friend with that one, maybe, but he isn’t that smart and we don’t have what to talk about.”
But he doesn’t just keep it to himself.  He shares his opinions about people with others.  First, with those close to him.  Then, when his friends are tired of listening to this negativity, he switches on others, and can talk all day long about how imperfect others are, etc.

But all of the above is only a small fraction compared to how he treats his family.  His wife is tired of listening all the negative things he thinks about children.  He is sure that they’re being dishonest in their words and actions.  He is so sure that the child is lying – and yes, sometime children do lie – but let him catch a child at least once on lying, there will be no end to his suspicions.  He takes a big magnifying glass which is tuned to notice only imperfections.  And instead of overlooking and forgiving the imperfections, he meditates and dwells on them.

What can I say… Yes, this is me.  Yes, I did this and I understood that it is wrong to have so much judgement, but I was in a very deep denial.  The reasoning I had inside my head – I am trying to foresee the bad before it occurs, I’m not going to be deceived by others since I can see them through and know their intentions.  I’m like a mobile X-ray machine!  Remember, in the beginning I admitted that always wanted to remain a mystery while stubbornly assessing others, trying to understand their thinking?  I don’t know whether this a part of Water Torturer, probably not.  But the combination of these two – can you imagine how deadly and destructive it is to emotional well-being of my wife?  Of my children, whom I always put to doubt?  It is like torturing with water but replacing water with vinegar or another acid!

Between the time when I wrote my first 2 pages and now, about 2 weeks have passed.  I am still reading “Why Does he Do That?”, I decided to finish it first.  I’m half through the book.  I really hope that there is a solution at the end of the book; I’m looking at numerous articles on the web as well, since they’re shorter than a book.

I WANT TO BE DIFFERENT.  THERE IS NOTHING MORE I EVER WANTED IN MY LIFE THAN TO UPROOT THIS TERRIBLE VALUES I HAVE AND REPLACE THEM WITH THE GOOD ONES.

Admittance is important, of course.   I’m doing more than just sitting there and admitting things.  I’m digging deep into my mind.  I want to understand myself and know WHY?  Why am I this way?  Certainly I can’t rely solely on my own understanding.

Do not think that I see only bad in people – no!, I don’t.  But I choose to focus on the negative, this is the problem.  Like, by choice I’m looking at the defects.  And I know it is wrong. 

What’s interesting – I do commend others, and I do tell them about their good qualities and their efforts.  And I do commend my children and my wife, too.  The problem is – when I criticize, it really overtakes everything positive I ever said.  Combine this with The Water Torturer personality – and here, a slow killer.  Miserable man that I am!

So what am I going to do?  What am I already doing?  First, and most important – I am praying.  I strongly believe in the power of sincere prayer, if I ask God to help me understand and give me wisdom, he gives me in a large amount.  How could I understand all these things?  Yes, the books and articles, but the same book talks about so many men who are still the same and will never change.  I am not part of them.  Tomorrow I won’t be the same as today.  Because I don’t want to.  Just like I’m working out in the gym, I’m exercising my mind as well.

Tonight, I will think more and more, and read.  My purpose now is to first of all change and become the one I always wanted to be.  I’ll write another page about who I really want to be.  I know that my marriage is finished.  I know that my children are against me.  I’m trying to not believe this, but the facts are right in my face.  Despite all these, my purpose is to become whom I always wanted to be.  I know at least now how to look at myself and more-less the problems I have.  Next step is to know what to do… and actually do it!

Here I found a great online article that tells how to change your ways if you’re admitting your abusiveness and desire to change.  I am in agreement with all these, and really want to do just so.  First part [my comments in square brackets]:

1. Listen to the Survivor

When one has been abusive, the very first – and one of the most difficult – skills of holding oneself accountable is learning to simply listen to the person or people whom one has harmed: – [true, it was so hard to just listen and to not stand for yourself.  But I’m honestly willing to conquer that!]

Listening without becoming defensive. – [oh that was my number one problem!  But I want, I want to do it anyway]

Listening without trying to equivocate or make excuses.

Listening without minimizing or denying the extent of the harm. – [Even though I really want to, I know how difficult this is.  But now, I do understand the harm.  Because previously I believed that only I was harmed.  Now I understand a lot more]

Listening without trying to make oneself the center of the story being told. – [Yes, I will not do that]

When someone, particularly a partner or loved one, tells you that you have hurt or abused them, it can be easy to understand this as an accusation or attack. [every time I took it as accusation.  Not anymore, I swear.  My wife and kids love me, why would they falsely accuse me.  I have to stop being so stupidly stubborn and just listen and care] Very often, this is our first assumption – that we are being attacked. [yes, yes, so true.  Sometime all my wife did was expressing her feelings, and I took it as an attack, and I attacked back]

This is why so many perpetrators of abuse respond to survivors who confront them by saying something along the lines of, “I’m not abusing you. You are abusing me, right now, with this accusation!” – [I did say this.  But I won’t anymore.  I am not the same.  Try me]

But this is the cycle of violence talking. This is the script that rape culture has built for us: a script in which there must be a hero and a villain, a right and a wrong, an accuser and an accused. 

What if we understood being confronted about perpetuating abuse as an act of courage – even a gift – on the part of the survivor? – [She must have a lot of courage; therefore, I don’t expect this to happen soon]

What if, instead of reacting immediately in our own defense, we instead took the time to listen, to really try to understand the harm we might have done to another person? [I swear, I have tears in my eyes now – I really want to do it, with all my heart!  I want to understand, and to undo, any way I can]

When we think of accountability in terms of listening and love instead of accusation and punishment, everything changes. [Absolutely agree.  It’s not easy, though.  Easier to speak.  But there is a lot more than just words I’m willing to do, and doing already.  I care]

The Water Torturer

Years went by
Thousands of memories haunt my mind
Wondering why
so much depression within a short life
day by day the

Madness turns to sadness
screaming for an end
Hating all that you’ve loved

All those friends
flee there is nowhere you can count
time goes slow
facing the isolation in this world
day by day the

Madness turns to sadness
screaming for an end
Hating all that you’ve loved
Hiding, crying, learning
All that has left from me
Echoes in the shadows

Secret Illusion – Echoes in the Shadows

water_torture

Do you recognize yourself in this situation? I do. A lot. Shame on me…

If you can’t read, hold Ctrl on your keyboard and roll up your mouse wheel to magnify.

the-water-torturer

Or maybe here?

the-water-torturer 2

THE WATER TORTURER (From “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft) [my comments in square brackets]

The Water Torturer’s style proves that anger doesn’t cause abuse. He can assault his partner psychologically without even raising his voice. He tends to stay calm in arguments, using his own evenness as a weapon to push her over the edge. He often has a superior or contemptuous grin on his face, smug and self-assured [usually not, rather being puzzled]. He uses a repertoire of aggressive conversational tactics at low volume, including sarcasm, derision—such as openly laughing at her [Can’t remember myself doing this] mimicking her voice [I never did that], and cruel, cutting remarks. Like Mr. Right, he tends to take things she has said and twist them beyond recognition to make her appear absurd, perhaps especially in front of other people [not me. As I said, I have parts of this type and some from others]. He gets to his partner through a slow but steady stream of low-level emotional assaults, and perhaps occasional shoves or other minor acts of violence that don’t generally cause visible injury but may do great psychological harm [not to my wife but rather to kids, especially the older ones. I recognize this pattern in me, and I’m so sorry.]. He is relentless in his quiet derision and meanness.

The impact on a woman of all these subtle tactics is that either her blood temperature rises to a boil or she feels stupid and inferior, or some combination of the two. In an argument, she may end up yelling in frustration, leaving the room crying, or sinking into silence. The Water Torturer then says, “See, you’re the abusive one, not me. You’re the one who’s yelling and refusing to talk things out rationally [OH MY GOODNESS, THAT’S ME! I always waited until she got all heated-up and said just that…]. I wasn’t even raising my voice. It’s impossible to reason with you.”


At this point, seeing myself this way, and imagining it is someone else, I really begin to hate myself well… I don’t know what else to feel. I just feel like hating myself, even though I know it isn’t the right thing to do. I really begin to boil inside and wanting to beat myself up. But reminding myself that this isn’t the solution to the problem…I still wanna do that! But I swear, I swear that even though I acknowledge all these acts, including the thoughts I had then, I did not realize the impact I was making. I just thought that I was trying to stay cool in the situation and not to be provoked into a fight by my angry wife. And I, yes I, made her angry! I swear I didn’t realize that.


So… Let’s continue.
The Water Torturer tends to genuinely believe that there is nothing unusual about his behavior [true, he does. And, genuinely!]. When his partner starts to confront him with his abusiveness—which she usually does sooner or later—he looks at her as if she were crazy and says “What are you talking about? I’ve never done anything to you.” [moreover, he adds “Better see what you’re doing to me! And to kids!”] Friends and relatives who have witnessed the couple’s interactions may back him up. They shake their heads and say to each other “I don’t know what goes on with her. She just explodes at him sometimes, and he’s so low-key.” Their children can develop the impression that Mom blows up over nothing. She herself may start to wonder if there is something psychologically wrong with her.

Breakup of a couple with bad guy and sad girlfriend

The Water Torturer is payback-oriented like most abusive men, but he may hide it better [well, I can tell you that he may subconsciously hide it, without realizing it. Remember, he genuinely believes that nothing is wrong with him]. If he is physically abusive, his violence may take the form of cold-hearted slaps [emotionally only, in my own case] for your own good or to get you to wake up rather than explosive rage. His moves appear carefully thought out, and he rarely makes obvious mistakes—such as letting his abusiveness show in public—that could turn other people against him or get him in legal trouble.


Wouldn’t you just hate a guy like this? I would. I do. Hate and despise to my very guts! Oh, that is me, my own self…What am I going to do now?


The book continues: “This style of man rarely lasts long in an abuser program unless he has a court order. He is so accustomed to having complete success with his tactics that he can’t tolerate an environment where the counselors recognize and name his maneuvers and don’t let him get away with them. He tends to rapidly decide that his group leaders are as crazy as his partner and heads for the door.” – [This is true, unless he recognizes who he really is, repents, and is genuinely trying to change. Like most abusers, this type, in my opinion – at least what I discern about myself – doesn’t realize that his behavior is abusive and sincerely wonders why his family is turning against him. But once he does and decides to be different, he will be the most persistent in his efforts. And thanks to your eye-opening book, Mr. Bancroft, this is exactly what I’m doing.]

Today, after analyzing the person of me to a deeper level, I realized that I’m the type of abuser which wasn’t mentioned in the book “Why Does he do That?”.
I call it “The Magnifying Glass Inspector“.

Deep Thinking

“I, like every other person, have my own strengths and weaknesses. But only by thinking about my weaknesses and analyzing them deeply I can exercise and improve my strengths. Because looking at your own weaknesses requires strength. A lot of strength and much effort. Only then I will be able to turn my own weaknesses into strengths, my stumbling blocks into the stepping stones.
– Vadim

thinking-monkey
How can you throw your hopes
Away without even try
To take a new direction
New road to ride

How can you say there’s no
God up in the sky
If you never searched
Never tried to find

Fatal mistake
You’re drinking the poison
Of the snake
Digging your own grave

You’re choosing the wrong way
To heal your pain
Why do you sell your soul
For a so short price

And play these little dirty
Games with your life
Why don’t you fight against
The insisting gravity

That pulls you down to
A hole of grief

Fatal mistake
You’re drinking the poison
Of the snake
Digging your own grave
You’re choosing the wrong way
To heal your pain

Shining Star – Fatal Mistake

When reading this, please don’t think of me as such a wise person. My wisdom comes only from three books I’m reading: The Bible, “Why Does He Do That?”, and “Stop Hurting The Woman You Love”.
We, humans, differ from animals by the ability to think, and especially to analyze ourselves. I decided to not give into the sadness of my loneliness, but rather take advantage of my situation of living alone. Well, I’m doing sports, walking, etc. but the most important is that I do take time to think and analyze myself. I’m thinking of my feelings and past events. What had triggered me to behave a certain way? What was I feeling at the time and what was the final drop to overfill my already full glass?
I think more and more about how I feel, and what makes me feel this way and why. When I was abusive, what triggered my behavior? I remember that I have been accused in the things I have not done. I’ve been accused in thoughts I have not thought. I’ve been accused in being the person I really wasn’t. Or maybe I just thought of myself that I wasn’t that kind of person?
What does it mean to be an abuser, anyway? Is abuser the one who time after time gets angry and behaves scary to others? Is he the one who is tremendously jealous? Selfish? Nagging? Doubtful? Unfaithful? Accusative? Well, possessing any of these can be counted as a trait of abusiveness. I can tell for sure, though, that no abuser wants to be treated the way he is treating others. What he does is what he actually despises. But that’s toward himself, or course, while toward others his behavior is always justified by his reasoning [she provoked me; if you didn’t do that I wouldn’t do this; I’m saying it only for your benefit, etc.]. He doesn’t want to be treated by others the way he is treating them. At least this is what I came up to by analyzing myself. You won’t find this in the book “Why Does He Do That?”. This book is written by Mr. Bancroft who analyzes others, with abusive minds, who, as you remember, prefer to remain a mystery. It’s totally different thing when you, knowing yourself [admitting to yourself] as an abuser, decide to let go your mysteriousness and open up yourself to yourself [yes, that can be!] and see the crap you have inside. Like opening a nice shining toilet that always used to be cleaned from outside, and is shiny…ok ok, too much of a comparison, but you get the point, right? I mean – this is how it feels.
The feelings of being wrongfully accused and misjudged is what hurts me the most. When I hear accusations of desiring to cheat on my wife, while I know deep inside that I really-really want to be faithful, and especially that I am – makes me mad. And, when a child is mistreating his mother [my wife], hearing from her that his behavior is caused by me mistreating him, really makes me mad and bitter.
Thinking deeply about these thinks makes me wonder: Do not I myself actually accuse others in things they have not done, intentions they did not have, actions they did not take? I wrote above that things an abuser does are the reflection of what he actually hates. Therefore, I hate to hear these things about me, but I am talking to others those close to me in a degrading way. It is so twisted, my mind, isn’t it?
Well, I need to change the ways I think and feel. Easier said than done, but… Trying to understand Understanding how I make my family feel is the key. It really would be a great idea to analyze my own speech in small packets. Let’s imagine a situation and then try to analyze it:
My wife shops for chicken, she bought cleaned-up legs, no skin no bones, but the price is tripled! What do I say? I say: “Honey, why did you buy it at such a price? Aren’t you trying to save money? Look, I could buy the same thing for 3 times cheaper, and I could clean them myself and we would save money.” There is nothing wrong with saying this, right? Seems at the moment. Then, I have to be alone and analyze…
Analyzing started…


What message did I try to send my wife just now? That saving is important. That I care. That I’m willing to spend some time doing extra work [cleaning these chicken legs] in order to save money. Well, that is what I think and sincerely believe. On top of it, I’m trying to be nice and sound sweet! And when my wife bursts into tears and starts yelling at me that I am senseless and I don’t care about her feelings, I wonder “Is she really crazy? She doesn’t care!”.
Now, I’m trying to imagine what message my wife is receiving. Ah, that’s different! She hears: “You don’t care about family budget. You’re lazy [don’t want to clean up these legs yourself]. I’m better than you because I’m not lazy, and I’m smarter because I know better how to budget and I’m a hard-worker” – DUH!


Analyzing finished…
Time to apologize. Well, I just made up this situation, but there were so many similar ones. And I never apologized. Because I never even understood how I made her feel.

The question is – if I conveyed my thoughts wrongfully, what should I say instead? Think….Think again…Nothing comes to mind…
Think deeper………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..ARGH!!!!………………………………………………YES!
I conveyed my thoughts – my thoughts! This is the problem! I should not even think these thoughts! Yes, if I genuinely care about my wife and love her [and I do] I should only think at that moment 1.how hard she’s working at home [working full-time and then doing laundry, making lunches for kids, cleaning house, etc]; 2.what she felt when she found this product: “Oh, this will save me some time and energy, I’m too tired”; since this will save me time, I can actually cook something yummy for Vadim tonight”. And here I come and poke her bubble of little happiness!
The best thing would be to just say nothing. Or, if she’d mention this purchase to me , I should say “Oh, that’s great, this will save you time and effort! You’re doing a lot already, my love” – and say nothing about those overspent $10. And be happy. Everybody’s happy. Think this, if you aren’t happy, at the moment, how much would you be willing to pay to buy your family happiness? More than ten bucks, I bet! And happiness isn’t in things you buy, not in trips to restaurants. Happiness is in the ways we’re treating one another. Love does not look for its own interests.

Oh, I begin to sound like an adviser from those books about aid to relationships. No, this is only the result of my deep thinking, and nothing more. This is my own advise, or correction rather, to myself.


I am visiting a support group for anger management. Yesterday, we had a play which made me think quite deeply later on. The coordinator asked one volunteer to get another volunteer out of his chair, using any technique he likes. The attempts were made as following: someone suggested to give him money; another suggested to poke his butt until it hurt; another one promised the guy to help with winning his court – and this actually made him get out of the chair. Of course, it happened because neither suggestion with money nor poking has been applied. Then, the coordinator pointed to this fact: whenever we want something from others – either action or a thing – we’re all using our own ways and techniques in order to obtaining the desired result. We’re using what it takes, let it be a false promise, physical force, or a manipulation – and after certain technique gives us the desired result, we tend to use it another time. These are the typical dynamics of communications. Then I thought – do we actually think how our actions affect another person? If it’s our family member, we can hurt him either physically or emotionally, or both. Why not just ask politely “Can you please get out of this chair?” and maybe explain the reason why you need it so badly to get him out of this chair? And even better, on the long run, show an example by yielding in daily life. Especially to your family members and friends. [I think!] I begin to understand now how my ways of communication could improve.


I need to look at my wife and listen to her, without focusing on how she’s speaking but rather on what she’s saying and try to really understand how she’s feeling at the moment. I know this, I know, but why can I not just do it? I love my wife, I know it. Why then, do I become provoked by her?
My favorite Biblical scripture is 1 Corinthians ch.13. In verses 1-3 Paul speaks of the importance of love: “1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2. And if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3. And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I do not benefit at all
Verses 4-8 define what true love is: “4. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5. does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails…
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5. does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails…
What a beautiful scripture!…Love does not become provoked. So, that means that during our arguments I lose my love for her? I don’t know. Who else? My kids? What do I feel toward my son when he clearly disrespects me? I do feel extremely mad, true. I never hit my son…I did slap him and sometime used to take some objects, like shoes, and throw at the wall flying his direction. But could I actually beat him eventually? I heard the expression “To push buttons” and this is what I feel he’s doing to me. Like, playing on the strings made of my tense nerves.
It’s not good, this feeling. Any acts of violence, emotional or physical, are not good. It begins with emotions, with feelings, and it just depends on the severity of the offence you feel whether you will let it become physical or not. And I know that even though this is only emotional and mental abuse, it isn’t what I really want to do. Can it be my weakness? Yes, certainly being an abuser is a weakness. It is this kind of weakness that you put forth in order to appear stronger. Therefore, I need to be stronger in order to conquer my weaknesses. Since abuse begins with feelings and thoughts, I must change my feelings and thoughts. Remove the poisonous plant by its roots.

This blog is not meant to be a psychology/family health/anger management aid – I mean, I myself have a problem, I am no doctor or psychologist or whatever, so do not start asking for help like I see on other blogs, this isn’t the right place.

At the anger management group which I’m visiting weekly, all guys have one thing in common – we all went through difficult times in our marriages. One of them said “It is nice to be among other guys who went through same things I did” – and then I thought to myself: “Yes, it is nice to be among people who had similar experiences, but they are not among whom I would like to remain. I want to be among those men who were able to overcome their problems, who were able to see their own errors and admit them to themselves, who were able to change.” And I sincerely wish that most of them, if not all, become these men.

I still find, though, the first book “Why Does He Do That?” more of eye-opening, even though it was originally written for women. Maybe Mr. Bancroft should write a revised version of this book and call it something like “Why Do I Do That?”.

Back to the book that changed my perception of myself. Abuse is not a certain action time after time. Abuse is the wrong way I’m treating my family day after day; therefore, abuse is the lifestyle based on certain wrong values and attitudes. I have to find out which ones, and most importantly, have to find out how to eliminate those from my mind and what to replace them with…
Different types of abusers are described in there, but I can only speak of those types which I recognize in myself. Nobody is one exact type only. There can be a lot from one and a bit from another. As for me, the major type of abusive mind that I have is The Water Torturer [page 237]