A note on abuse

To this day, I’m having trouble pin pointing all that was done and how it was achieved.  It is via conversations like the one below that I am getting both therapy in dealing with what has happened to me and getting to make sense of it all.  Maybe these are obvious to someone who has experience dealing with it or has studied abuse to help victims and survivors, maybe it’s more obvious if seen from outside then if you’re in the situation, but I couldn’t make sense of it for many years while it was going on.

Friend:   its a huge question
me: yup
Friend: even getting across to some people what abuse can be.. not the obvious physical but all the subtle ways people abuse each other intentionally
Friend: you can forgive a slight given out of ignorance
Friend: but one out of malice and with intent to harm is sooo common and sooooo destructive
me: Yeah it can be ignorance, in the beginning i knew something wasn’t right but i couldn’t name it or put it off as more then ‘oh he’s just immature’
me: It didnt make it any less wrong on a repeated basis
Friend: nope and when you figure out that its intentional and with the aim to hurt it is really disappointing to see
me: And yet we forgive and let it go a bunch of times….sighhhh
Friend: then it becomes almost like a background accepted tool in an argument to get in some hurt along the way and possibly win
me: Ugh! yeah when arguements shouldnt be about winning or losing but about solving issues affecting the relationship
me: When it becomes a tug of war for winning, it becomes a power play for dominance, then the relationship turns skewed
Friend:’its part of the hot button tool kit often pulled out at need to get in some hits- the things they know hurt and hurt most and have no place in a discussion except to dish out punishment
me: Sighhhh when you truly love someone you should not be out to hurt them, you should point out issues and things that hurt you and discuss them. If they are fear based then reassurance is needed but it is mostly the person’s problem, not their partner, to deal with and if its due to the partner’s actual behavior being the issue then it should be thoroughly discussed as to how to resolve or compromise on that so it’s no longer a threat. No power play, no jabs to hurt the other person or hurt them back
me: But i know that is not always easy to do and i know its only going to work if both partners are mature enough and willing to make it work
me: In a one-sided relationship where one is abusive, this will never even begin to happen
me: The abusive one just brushes off the issue and refuses to even see it as an issue
me: They downplay your emotions and devalue your feelings about the situation
me: To the point where you then think yeah, maybe i’m wrong to feel how i feel and maybe i’m putting more into it then there actually is
Friend: the abusive one sees it as another way to gain control and will often pay lip service to fixing the issue but never does and in fact some take your attempts and fixing it as surrender or a sign they have a good tool to use and take your attemtps to stop their use of it as weakness
me: Yes. He did use to do that. He knew it hurt me and it caused fights and then he could devalue me and my feelings more and more every time
me: He could claim he was trying but i was never satisfied and never happy and that he did everything wrong and he played the victim
me: And all of it became my fault
me: And i felt like the rug had been pulled from under my feet and I didnt even know how or why
me: Can i remove names and put that bit of convo into a blog post? I’ll let you review it before i post
Friend: oh sure
Friend: anything you think might be good

me: thank you

Abuse takes on so many forms.  It isn’t just getting punched, kicked, smacked or strangled.  It is financial, emotional, mental.  It it any form of unwanted dominance over the other partner.  It is devaluing you, your feelings, your needs.  It is disrespecting you intentionally for the purpose of controlling you and demeaning you.  It is any form of control and manipulation which makes you feel  like the rug is pulled from under your feet, any form of isolation where they insure you have no friends, your family refuses or cannot contact you and you feel you cannot contact them.  It is any threat of harming you, loved ones or themselves to gain your compliance or to prevent you from doing things.  It is anything that threatens your integrity and your inner being.

Lies and twisted views

After our son was born, I stayed in Canada, still living with my mother, waiting….

I asked questions and never got a straight answer…when was he going to marry me?  When was he even going to file for a k-visa, the paper to allow me, his fiancee, to go live with him in the states.  All I got was ‘i will’ and later on ‘trust me, I have it all figured out’.

Yeah…when they say ‘trust me I have a plan’?  runnnnnnnn

Meanwhile I was paying for everything myself off of the social service benefits I was getting while I completed college classes and did my one month internship.  It was an unfortunate event involving my mother’s boyfriend that had me cross the border a week early.

It was supposed to be another visit, but it turned out to be a rushed wedding.

For visits you only needed your birth certificate and a photo I.D. , no need for a passport at the time.

First they interviewed us at the border in separate rooms.  they gave him papers to bypass the k-visa and they gave me something saying I had to cross back to Canada within 2 days… to me that was all a bit rushed and confusing.

Granted the border guard giving him papers to bypass the k-visa was trying to be helpful but it would have required him doing the right thing and following through with it .  He never did.  I asked and he avoided to answer.

As to how we managed to get a judge so quick and without having to pay a huge fee?  His mother had been a paralegal and knew judges, including the one that married us.  He was a long time family friend and she asked him for the favor and he said yes.

So when the threats to keep my son from me were uttered, it had the weight of ‘they know judges, they can make it happen’ behind it.

Pregnant…and then what…?

So to continue where I’d left off in the beginning…

I took the test I was pregnant.  We were happy despite my mind entering a chorus of worries.  I asked myself sooooo many questions and had so many doubts.  I shushed them all, telling myself guys are immature longer then girls, he’ll grow more mature as time passes.  Everyone makes mistakes, right?  Maybe he WAS just really distraught, I mean he’d been attacked so yeah it’s possible he was just not in his right mind set and it didn’t matter ‘cuz I loved him with all my heart.

This is what I wanted.  He came over, and knelt on one knee… nothing fancy or over the top, put a ring on my finger and proposed.  I said yes, then he left again.  I had not wanted a diamond ring but he got one anyway, never really had me pick it out and I was wondering how he could afford it since he did not yet have a job, still studying for an accounting degree.

On hind sight, I should have asked more then that to more people then just him.

He was with me at the hospital when the baby was born.  The hospital ‘service’ was less then stellar.  And the language for him was a barrier.  He did not speak French and the staff mostly did not speak English.  He said he felt bringing up some things that were done without my knowledge, at the time, would have caused me to worry…actually on hind sight it would have had me protect myself against things that should not have been done… but I won’t go into the staff’s obvious lacks.  I was not staying in Canada and would not have to deal with them if I had another child anyway.  I would just make sure I got a better doctor and hospital next time.  Of course ‘next time’ never happened as I can no longer have children unless I have surgery…and at 39 i’m now fast approaching menopause anyway.

Why do we…?

I’ve been talking with friends this past weekend and asking a very important question…

why do we tolerate abuse from the people we love?

we wouldn’t take it from an obviously hostile enemy or a stranger.  At least some of us wouldn’t.  Heck, growing up I never let my older brother boss me around yet I grew up to let schoolmates and later on my own husband treat me like dirt.  I sheepishly tolerated the abusive behaviors I never should have tolerated.

I could have said why do we, as women, tolerate it?  Except that it’s not accurate because even men whose wives abuse them tolerate it.  I could have said ‘as a species’ but even that is wrong… faithful pets tolerate it and still love their abusive owners despite being kicked… some even tolerate it from their own species.

So why?  Why are we allowing this?  Survival?  Alpha vs omega? Does something in us turn off when someone who is supposed to protect us turns hostile on us?

I can’t say I”m submissive.  I’ve always been pretty alpha female.  Not one to push my inner strength on others or push my weight around at all, but confident and pretty ‘tell it like it is’ blunt.  And yet part of me tolerated and accepted so darn much of the abuse others put on me.  Verbal/emotional hurts twice as much as physical.  Oh I did defend myself  with pointing out it was not right, by verbally defending myself in verbal sparring matches etc but I did not leave.  I did not end it before it became ‘if you leave me i’ll kill myself’ and ‘if you leave me i’ll make sure you never see your son again’.

I even stayed and eventually tolerated some physical violence…

It’s time to rethink how I deal with some things because this, I know, is ridiculous.

I did get a document called a Prima Facie this week and can get more help and services until they review and decide on my case.

The waiting is the part that is tough.

Food for thought, part 3

but enough on the after effect for now.  It will hopefully become more clear as the years I’ve lived through unravel with each blog posts.  I’m actually hoping that revealing the past 18 years or so will be done quickly as I want to get to the point where I am telling my daily struggle to get myself where I need to be.  The daily struggle of the journey I face now… Only to express the struggle of now, I have to explain how I got here.

So with this little explanation series of posts to keep things from being too absorbing and breaking the story into more manageable pieces, and the occasional food for thought post to try and explain a bit my current thought process, hopefully things get explained more clearly and make sense by the end of it.

 

cheers and regards,

formerly known as alikakadri (online communities and I’ll explain that too)

and if you’ve known me online, well… you might be tempted to think you knew what was going on, but I assure you that the surface was just that, the surface.  the reality of it that you never really got to see is much different then you thought or assumed.  The truth may shock you a bit.

Just know that this is my last online interaction under that name as it would be too darn easy for him to locate me if I did not discard this handle/online name.  It is no longer me, no longer represents any part of who I am today.  It is discarded and beyond this blog’s completion ‘alikakadri’ will no longer exist while I move on and shed anything even remotely linked to this login name

 

alika8_001

 

Food for thought, part 2

Maybe if I would have woken up earlier to the truth I could have prevented her falling for the similar trap.  Maybe my story now, posted on this blog, can help prevent it happening to someone else.

See, in most relationships, the one not crossing a border, you can get out, you can get your family to help you providing you’re ready to walk away, you can get a job and you can walk away at any time.  You have a status: citizen.  Your country most likely has help in place to protect it’s citizens from abusive relationships and the messes they cause to both the spouse and the children involved in them.

Thing is, if you cross the border of a country…ANY country… without citizenship to that country, without some sort of immigration status, you don’t have those rights, you don’t currently have access to the help you would normally get if you were a citizen.

Oh there’s some things in place for some people, but not for us Canadians coming to the United States to marry one of their citizens.  Shelters?  nothing long term enough for you to get a status and keep your kids.  Besides, for them you need to prove the abuse…something that is not necessarily easy to prove, especially mental and emotional abuse…which doesn’t leave visible scars or bruises.

If you haven’t reported the abuse to the police, you’ve got even less help coming your way.  Emotional and mental abuse is near impossible to prove and cops won’t see it as anything but a minor issue that ‘you need to work it out’ except you can’t work things out with an abuser because they will always continue to abuse you.  It’s essential to their own lacks and to filling the black void that can never be truly filled.

You must understand that they never truly loved you.  You’re not a person to them but a tool to boost their ego and if you’re not boosting their ego because you speak up about your own needs and, God forbid,  equality they will remind you that you’re nothing but an ego boost and remove any self-esteem, friend, downplay your needs, make you feel like you’re too demanding, too possessive and essentially that you’re wrong in everything and your needs are over the top when in fact they were not.   It then takes forever to re-balance what is natural and what is not over the top, if ever.  You then spend forever asking yourself, from the moment you’ve been put down for having those needs/feelings, where is that line that seemed so obvious before you met these narcissists but is now completely refusing to fit in the spot it had before.  Once it’s taken from you, you no longer can see where that distinction should be and forever will be afraid to cross the invisible unspoken limit.

It doesn’t happen in a day, not even in a week.  That could not unbalance the strong, independent but emphatic people they prey on.  No, instead they dance back and forth in repetitive cycles that make you so confused that you lose that inner balanced self you thought was solid and strong.  In isolating you, in making you confused, in making you question your beliefs and knowledge, in making you completely dependent on them, they create the erroneous belief that you need them.  They are the provider of everything good because there is no more ability to bond and make friends.  Their games and charm to the general public, making them seem near perfect (which is how you fell for them in the first place) puts the general public on their side and between fears, doubts and the inability to compete charm-wise, attempting any sort of friendship becomes an insurmountable chore.  Thus, the tormentor becomes the source of everything both good and bad and the center of your universe… though if someone is strong enough your children can still remain the center of your universe.

My son has been the one I put first.  Defending him against his father’s mental and emotional abuse was not easy (and for most of his childhood, more instinctive for me, sort of seeking to not let his father treat him like dirt or like the tool I didn’t see he was using me as) and I did fail at times, falling into the games of his twisted mind and doing things I consider failures as a parent.  Things I’m not proud of.  Things I still need to forgive myself for.  Because under normal circumstances I would never have done anything like that but with my inner core threatened, I ended up doing out of desperation.

Thing is, you become an adept at making excuses for the abuser and you become an enabler by not speaking out (no one would believe it anyway since they’re such crowd pleasers and charismatic charmers while you’re doubting yourself and have become so withdrawn by fears hanging over your head that no one gets to know you and no one trusts you because deep down you no longer trust them from fear of the wrong person learning the wrong truth and you get deported and lose your children and the roof over your head and any hint of the ‘safety/security’ you know is there despite the abuse.  Sighhhhhhh and there lies part of the problem….

 

alika13_001

Food for thought, part 1

I know I don’t put this blog up how it’s supposed to be (i.e.one post a day or a week), sometimes posting several in one day and skipping a few days.  My current days are a bit chaotic  but that isn’t the main reason I’m inconsistent for this blog.  Mostly I need time to organize my thoughts, deal with my feelings about this situation and I’ve had to relive every painful moment of the situation over and over.

Until you fall in love completely and give your all to someone who seems genuine but tears you apart several times, confuse you thoroughly until you question your very inner being, that inner core of who you are until there’s little to nothing left of it, your morals, your beliefs, your personality sundered into shreds, it’s difficult to imagine.  In order to educate people, I need to be thorough and try to explain exactly what it does to a person to be married for near two decades to an un-diagnosed narcissist and be trapped by a lack of basic human rights as your most important things in life get taken and swung over your head the moment you don’t comply to their often impossible demands.

Growing up, they played a movie to us French Canadians in elementary school.  The movie is “Jamais Sans Ma Fille” translated as “Not Without My Daughter”.  It depicts the romance, marriage, journey of a woman who ends up married to someone from a middle eastern country, has children here in North America with him, then he expresses the desire for his children to go visit his parents in that country.  He tells her it’s only a visit but then once they’re over there she has no rights as a woman and neither does her daughter.

There he becomes abusive and refuses to let them return to North America, at which point they are trapped.  The rest of the movie explains how she is then forced to escape on her own and return only to have the biggest legal battle of  her life because her children are still trapped over there and she is trying to get 2 countries to agree on returning her children to her.

Seeing this movie, you think it only happens if you fall for a middle easterner.  You think to yourself: that’s terrible but I’ll be careful and never marry a middle easterner.  You think you’re smart enough not to have it happen to you.

I thought I was smart enough.  I also thought I’d never fall for someone that didn’t treat me right, and in normal circumstances, I never would have.

What doesn’t occur to you, and it never occurred to me, is that you don’t think this can happen in a developed country.  You don’t think this can happen in a country where women have rights, are pretty liberated and modern.

Except… it does… more often then you think.  And there is currently very little set up in place to help.  At least in the United States there isn’t.

So my hope is that, as you read my story and how I handled it, you consider how can this be better prevented or handled?  How can we put in place some sort of help for women like me.  Because along my journey I met another in a similar situation.

 

Alika Shot 2013-01-25