Respect

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March 29, 2008

I have learned that if you are in a relationship, you must be treated with respect, which means your partner:

  • Is willing to compromise … not

“If I disagreed with him, he would go on and on like a broken record, until he got his way”
Often, when I disagreed with him, he would make me ” talk to the jury” and he was the judge, so I would have to raise my hand to speak and he would say” okay, the women in the black shirt you can speak now” He degraded me constantly”

  • Let’s you feel comfortable being yourself … not

“I remember that for dinner I had to arrange to sit at a table away from everyone, or he would not speak to me. He said that I embarrassed him because I talked about personal issues, and that I should talk about current events”

  • Is able to admit to being wrong …not

“He said that he was always right”

  • Tries to resolve conflict by talking honestly …not

“He would start to say the opposite that I was saying and began to disagree with me to prove a point. He then would “take a poll” with his friends and colleagues to discredit any of my thoughts or point of view.”

  • Enables you to feel safe being with him …not

“I remember, one day I was running down the parkway and broke my foot. This was about after 4 months after dating. I was in a lot of pain and he took me to his parents and placed me on the chair outside, where he left me there because he was thinking about whether he should have a shower. I was in agony and wanted pain drugs. He made fun of me for the next 6 years because I broke my ankle. He thought it was funny and it was my inadequacies that caused this to happen . He perceived it as an inconvenience”

  • Respect your feelings, your opinions and your friends …not

“When I wanted to go out with my friends, he would say “why don’t you spend time with me?” Then he started to put my friends down”.

  • Accepts you saying “no” to things you don’t want to do …not

“I told him that I did not want to go camping, He nagged me until I agreed to go. I went, hated it and fell down. He made fun of me. “‘He had our therapist and myself believe I was frigid. She was making an appointment for me at a sexual councilor. Did I tell you he always made me do things I did not want to do.”

  • Accepts you changing your mind …not

“I love the theatre and went for an audition. I was so happy when I got home and told him that I think I got the part. He said that I never stick to the plan and was upset with me that I had auditioned; because that was the night we played soccer. He ignored me during soccer, so I did not like playing. So I apologized for my behavior.”

  • Respects your wishes if you end the relationship …not

“If we had a fight and he thought possibly I would break up with him he would start crying uncontrollably saying how much he loved me and how sorry he was. He would then be so afraid to leave me and go to work, so he would call in sick . My parents thought this was strange behaviour for a 30+ year old man.”

Because when someone loves you, you feel valued, respected and free to be yourself. You should not be made to feel intimidated and controlled.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL

My Sexual Rights

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March 29, 2008

“He would constantly tell me my “job” was to greet him at the door, pull down his pants and give him oral sex upon his arrival home” Mount Cope …. But He Loved Me

  • I have the right to feel good
  • I have the right to initiate healthy sex
  • I have the right to pleasure myself

“He had our therapist and myself believe I was frigid. She was making an appointment for me at a sexual councillor. Did I tell you he always made me do things I did not want to do.” Mount Cope ….. But He loved Me

  • I have the right to say NO
  • I have the right to be listened to
  • I have the right to say “stop” without labels

He wanted to take nude pictures of me and put them on the internet. He kept telling me “We can make lots of money” I kept saying no . Shortly before we separated he would sneak into the bathroom while I was taking a bath and took pictures. I was concerned he would sell them and put a clause about these pictures in our separation agreement.” Mount Cope…. But He Loved Me

  • I have the right to have my sexual boundaries respected
  • I have the right to have my sexual needs and preferences respected
  • I have the right to honesty in order to make choices

He always wanted to make a porn movie and would try to talk me into it. He would make me watch porn movies so I would know how to do it. He told me I didn’t know how to do it.” Mount Cope …. But He Loved Me

  • I have the right to enjoy sex without fear
  • I have the right to enjoy sex without guilt
  • I have the right to enjoy sex without shame
  • I have the right to safe sex

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL

Empowerment

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March 04, 2008

I signed my divorce papers today. I did not know how I would feel so i decided to take the day off work. When I got to my lawyers office I glanced at the paper and although it stated that I was no longer married to this person, to me it said something totally different. I gave me a sense of empowerment. Although, I paid for my entire divorce, it did not matter to me. I would have paid twice that amount. Why? Because this is what I signed today.

  • Enough is enough
  • I am free from abuse and neglect
  • I have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and will not settle for less
  • I have the right not to be verbally, emotionally and financially abused
  • I have the right to live a happy life

Life is better for me now, but it takes a long process to just feeling good about yourself again. For some it takes a long time, for others it may take a shorter time. Everyone is different. Time does heal, but it is up to you to do the work, and advocate for your own overall health. Below are some tips, that I adhered to during the first year of my separation that I found helpful:

  • Do not drink, or use prescription or illicit drugs. It only masks the pain, and you could compound your problems, rather than deal with them
  • Do not date. Try to learn about yourself, and love yourself again before bringing someone else into your life
  • Re-invent yourself. Do things that you like to do and are passionate about them
  • Educate yourself on abuse
  • Use and access services on abuse
  • Use your support systems
  • Journal and blog
  • Remember, the pain will go away in time.There is a light at the end of the tunnel
  • Allow yourself to grieve and feel pain. It will make you stronger

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL

Live In The Moment

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February 08, 2008

Do you recover? I still don’t have the answer. Although, I have changed my life drastically in so many ways, I think that it is something that forever changes you both for the good and the bad. And the memories will be with me for the rest of my life. I am a different person now. I do not rust easily and am always suspicious and cautious. I wonder what people’s agenda’s are. I never thought that way, seven years ago. I still try very hard to see the good in people. Throughout my journey I have met many people that have gone through similar situations. I guess common experiences bring people close together. I have learned to really value my friendships and not to stop my life because I am dating someone. I have also learned that space and time apart is a good thing. I have also realized that I still have some healing to do and time really does help. they say that time heals all wounds, and it really does, but you never forget, and sometimes the wounds start to bleed, but not everyday. Trust is a big issue of mine. Although I truly believe that trust is earned and not given. i wish I could see myself in a year from now, but on the other hand I was told this wonderful phrase that I now hold dear to me, “Live In The Moment”. The days that you are truly happy, embrace them and the days that you are truly sad, learn from them.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL

Being in Control

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January 07, 2008

It has been several months since my separation and I can honestly say that I am starting to heal. I am fortunate to have the resources to know how to heal. I work in an environment that supports healthy relationships. I find it interesting that he tried to make me feel so incompetent, that I would not be able to function without him. I guess it is part of their plan, to become so dependent on them that you cannot live without them. It is funny though, I do not find living independently in the “real” world difficult. In fact I have accomplished more independently that I have in 7 years. For once in my life, I no longer have negative people in my life minimizing everything I do. But I have to wonder, Why did I stay so long? I know that there were red flags, but why did I not listen to my gut instinct? I guess it was fear of being alone. I always had a boyfriend, and did not know anything different. Since I have been forced to live on my own, it is not that bad. In fact it is a safer environment than when I was with him. i think people distract themselves with “noise” so they cannot face themselves or their fears. I think it is harder to live in reality than a fantasy world. But sometimes, the truth catches up with you, whether you are prepared to deal with it or not. I actually like being on my own, because for once in my life I am in control and no one is controlling me.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL: DATING AFTER ABUSE

A New Year – A New Beginning

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January 01, 2008

Thank goodness it is 2008, and I have made it through 2007. I will always remember 2007, as the year from hell. I am happy that they are having “fun”. I wish that one day, I can put this behind me and not feel angry, hurt or sad. A new year means new beginnings. I can honestly say that starting over is a really hard thing to do, especially when my whole entire world revolved around him. I have learned some valuable lessons throughout my journey. The most important on is to follow your gut instinct and be aware of the red flags. I wish 7 years ago, I had not called him and that I should of broke it off when I was sitting on his mothers chair outside, after I broke my ankle. I stayed too long, that was a huge mistake, but it could have been a lot worse, I could have had children with him. One day I want to recapture my identity, and be a happy person like I was 7 years ago. I sometimes think that I could be that happy person, if I met someone. I think that I would probably feel swept off my feet and living in the honeymoon phase. But I am to vulnerable right now, and would probably ignore the red flags. All relationships can be wonderful at first, but very deceiving at the same time. I think it shows more strength to choose not to date until I have put the past behind me. I think that I would attract the same type of guy. On the other hand, I am also realizing that it is a “couples” society and there seems to be a stigma around being single, like there is something wrong with me. To be honest, I have not been single for 15 years, I think that is the problem. I went from one bad relationship to the next, and each one got worse and worse. I admit that I miss having a partner, and sometimes I think that he has won because he has a partner. Why do I think that? I am an attractive, athletic, and well educated, yet I feel that all the decent men are all gone, and that I am going to stay single the rest of my life. Why do I think like this? Well, some positive things happened this year that I would like to share:

How I Changed In 2007

He gave me a hard time about going back to school to obtain a Ph.D, so I did

He told me that it was inappropriate to go dancing with friends, so I do. In fact a few of my friends who have been through difficult times, used to dance at lunch

He told me that I could not spend money, that going to Tim Horton is something I don’t need. Now I go to Tim Horton’s twice a day

He said that I like to spend and spend, so I bought myself a condo that no one can take away from me

He tried to ruin me financially, so I cleaned up the mess with some help and am now debt free

On the way home from our honeymoon we had to stopp at President’s Choice to open up an account, so I closed it, and do my banking at one financial institution now

He told me that it was inappropriate to join a theatre company, so I joined two

He always went where he wanted to go on vacation, so I went to LA and did what I wanted to do

He tried to isolate me from my friends, so I made new ones

He stole money from people, so I decided to give some to charity (victims services)

He told me that I was too righteous, so I have been attending church and trying to figure out what is a good fit for me, as well my mom and I have started this blog

He did not want me to go to conferences, so I have attended as many as I can

He would call all the time to check up on me , so I now have an unlisted phone number and I do not freely give it out

He used to tell me that I did not know the real world.Unfortunately he introduced it to me

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL : DATING AFTER ABUSE

An Order Of Ribs And A Side Of Coward Please!

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November 07, 2007

I overheard my parents talking and I guess they ran into my ex @ Ribfest yesterday. My dad went after him and started swearing at him, walking right behind him. The coward ran into the ambulance and called the police. Now I know that he will leave me alone, and that he is out of my life for good. I no longer have to worry about him. He is gone. He should not mess with my family. There is a little bit of justice.

T he police came this morning to speak to my father about his “death threat” toward my ex. So we now have another incident report. The sad part is that when my cat saw the policeman in his uniform, which is very similar to my ex’s she ran terrified under the bed. He did something to those cats. I don’t doubt that now. The police spoke to my parents and when they told him some of the things that he had done, he seemed to understand, having three daughters of his own.

This afternoon I was very angry so I went to a colleagues for lunch.Her house is very calming. At lunch we danced. It felt good except for the love song. Then I went running that evening , and then screamed in the car.

At least I don’t have to cry anymore, or I don’t have to feel pressured to do things I don’t want to. I can sleep in peace and quiet.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR POLL: DATING AFTER ABUSE