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Author Topic: This is normal, right?
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If someone is being abused by another, that the abuser always apologizes afterward, or just acts like it never happened?

Are there any mental disorders that cause people to be more abusive than others? I noticed my mother is quite abusive, she IS on meds for a mental disorder. After she fights with me or other family members, she glares at us and goes silent for a few days then all of a sudden acts like nothing happened. Another person in my family is just like her, but he is more destructive.

In my opinion, this mental disorder must run in the family. But does it cause abuse? Or is it just the abusers nature to abuse another person?

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Heather
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I think we have to be careful calling any abusive behavior normal.

But yes, it's typical as part of the cycle of abuse for abusers to have what is often called a "honeymoon" period after they have an explosion of some kind. It's also typical for abusive people to refuse to take responsibility for abuse.

On the whole, at this point in time, abusive behavior is something that's understood to mostly be learned behavior. In other words, abusive people most often learned to be abusive by growing up with abuse themselves, or seeing it somewhere very close to them at times in their lives when they were learning about interpersonal relationships.

However, certain mental illnesses can also influence people's behavior and how well they can control their own behavior. What mental illness does your mother have?

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Thank you for your reply, i understand this better. She actually did grow up with abuse, and since she is like that, my brother is taking the same path.

She has a few, Bipolar and Schizophrenia.

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My brother had a horrible fight yesturday and actually hurt my sister. He "favors" me from the rest of the family so i never get anything but insults and verbal bashing. He apologized to her, and she accepted to keep the family at "peace". But is her acception of that a wise decision?
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Heather
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Sounds like your brother has learned abuse from the dynamics in your house, most likely.

Your sister could accept or not accept his apology, and either way, it's not likely to stop abuse happening in your family. Someone being abused generally has no power to change the behavior of someone abusing: only the person abusing has that power.

Regardless, you have the power to report the abuse to your local department of children and family services, who CAN intervene and help you all to become safer. Verbal abuse you receive is still abuse, and if you know of other abuse happening in your family and want to do what you can to stop it, you'll need to notify someone with the power to help.

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Okay.. and i don't see my brother stopping, but i had talked to my mom about her abusing me, and she stopped for a long while and just every once in a while bursts.

I have considered calling in, especially after what happened recently. But i always have that voice in the back of my head telling me not too. I want to protect my sister and myself but my dad and sister say i shouldnt and how it would just ruin the family.

I admit i have been abused, emotionally and physically. But i've lived with it this long, i do get depressed out of no where alot of times. But im trying to forgive my mom, i actually dont consider her my mom anymore, just a person living in the house that i have to deal with. I don't want to ruin my family with calling in... maybe ruin it financially or something..

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Also to one of my other threads in this topic.. I have been sexually abused by my uncle, from my moms side, so her family must have been through alot. Its just hard for me to comprehend sometimes.
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Heather
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Most people who abusive, if not all, do not simply stop. In order to learn different ways of behaving, it generally takes a good deal of counseling and education expressly for abusive people.

If anything "ruins a family," it's abuse. If you feel like it's nothing you have to do anything about because you've "lived with it this long," that suggests you've begun to become desensitized to it, which means it has had severe psychological effects on you. At the same time, it's hard for me to believe you don't feel anything should be done, because you clearly came here asking for help.

I know you know it's not good for people being abused, but people often forget it's also not good for anyone doing the abusing. No one has a wonderful life who is abusing other people, nor feels good about themselves.

Intervention certainly tends to cause strike and conflict, but not only can it make everyone far more safe, if anyone doing abusing gets the help offered, in time a family has much more of a chance of being healthy and happy than if abuse continues and goes without intervention.

Why do you think your family getting help would ruin the family's finances?

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I have been trying to get into therapy actually.. i know i came here for help, im just so confused on the entire situation and you are giving me great advice.

I'm just afraid that calling would cause even more problems for my family, they are very complicated. My dad always says that they would lock my mom away or something and we'd lose the house. He loves my brother too much so he avoids the topic of kicking him out of the house.

I have told two of my friends about my family abuse and they both advised me to call. But im just worried to do so. I almost keep hoping for my family to change on their own, so i wont have to call. But then a bad outburst happens every few months.

Im kind of here to get encouragement to call, not only for advice so i understand it better. But im still worried [Frown] .. sorry if im not making too much sense

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Heather
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I'm sorry to say that nothing is likely to change on its own. Abuse doesn't just go away, unfortunately.

I think some counseling and therapy for yourself would probably be a great idea just in terms of expanding your support system.

Do you mind giving me a state or zip code for you? What we can see with that information is if there might be kind of a halfway step for you, where you can talk to someone who knows how the system works, and can fill you in on it so you know what your options really look like, and what all your choices here may mean for you and your family.

Can I also ask where your Dad is in this? It sounds like you're saying he is not abusive, but may be enabling the abuse. Might he be willing to help arrange family therapy for all of you? Therapy is private, after all.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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OWL Dan
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Welcome,

You said that you wanted encouragement to call. Think of it this way; as Heather said it won't stop without intervention. Your mother’s illnesses and your brother, who most likely has similar issues, can’t get better with out professional help. Also, it can actually get worse. If you decide to call and get help; not only will you get help, you will also open the door for your sister to get the help and protection she deserves. Your dad and sister tell you that if you call it would ruin your family; ask yourself truthfully, isn’t your family ruined already? I know that I am being tough here but a situation this bad calls for a ‘tough love’ approach. Hopefully, if you can finally see how bad this really is, you can be the one tough enough to get help for yourself and therefore start the process of helping your family! Listen to and take Heather’s help.

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Dan

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I guess i could send you my state information (kind of edgy on giving out that info, but this is important) could i send it in a private messege to you? and you would only give me information on this matter right?

My dad isnt abusive at all, he is the most kind man on the planet, he just loves the family so much that he tries to keep everything calm. He doesnt intervene much when things happen, he just gets upset. I'm also not sure if he would, he isn't the type of person to know how to do any of that (like calling for therapy). i would actually entrust my sister with that (she is older than me). I may talk to her about trying to get therapy for everyone.

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quote:
Originally posted by OWL Dan:
Welcome,

You said that you wanted encouragement to call. Think of it this way; as Heather said it won't stop without intervention. Your mother’s illnesses and your brother, who most likely has similar issues, can’t get better with out professional help. Also, it can actually get worse. If you decide to call and get help; not only will you get help, you will also open the door for your sister to get the help and protection she deserves. Your dad and sister tell you that if you call it would ruin your family; ask yourself truthfully, isn’t your family ruined already? I know that I am being tough here but a situation this bad calls for a ‘tough love’ approach. Hopefully, if you can finally see how bad this really is, you can be the one tough enough to get help for yourself and therefore start the process of helping your family! Listen to and take Heather’s help.

Thank you so much Dan.. [Smile] You just gave me a lot of encouragement, once i give Heather my info i will highly consider calling in and trying to work things out for my family. When you said, "isn't your family ruined already" that struck me, you're actually speaking the truth. As much as i hate saying it, my family is ruined, and i will try my best to be the tough one and help my family out
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Heather
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We don't have PMs enabled here, however you can email me that information using the "contact us" link near the bottom of this page.

You have my assurance that information will be kept confidential and your email address will never be used for any purpose besides this one.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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I will definitely email you the information as soon as possible, most likely by the end of the day. Thank you so much for your help [Smile]
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Heather
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Of course. I understand (and if I recall correctly, Dan does, too) all too well what it's like living in an unhealthy and unsafe home. When I get your information, I'll do some legwork and see what resources we can find for you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Really? Its comforting to know that the both of you helping me, know what im going through [Smile] Thank you again, i couldn't thank you enough
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OWL Dan
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I will not lie to you and say that it will be easy; it will be hard and a lot of work. I will say that you and all of your family deserve better than what you have now and seeking help, even if it is just for you, is a great start and that it can get better. I wish you and your family good luck and patience! [Smile]

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Dan

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Thank you dan! [Smile] i'm definitely willing to go through the tough work, i would do anything to make my family happy.
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Heather
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I hope you know you're pretty amazing. [Smile]

(I just left home early. That certainly is a valid option for anyone, and in my case, I'm not sure intervention would have worked or that I was in the mental state to do anything but get out. It was also advised by our family counselor that I did leave that home for another placement. I admire you a lot for seeing what you can do to help yourself and everyone else. That's pretty incredible.)

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Thank you so much for saying that, made me feel more confident in myself [Smile]

Well im glad you left though! I dont like when people are in situations to get hurt.. I did think about leaving once i turn 18, but i would feel unaccomplished, i have the feeling that i should really stick around and maybe change things. Even if that means im risking my well being even further

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Heather
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Well, I do NOT think it's sound for you or anyone else to risk their lives or well-being to try and help family members doing them harm. That is strongly not advised, and not something anyone advocating for the care of people could advise in good conscience. As well, if you have to risk your own well-being or health to help, chances are you won't be helping anyone, as it doesn't help you and doesn't help anyone for someone to allow them to keep hurting them.

But there may be ways you can help yourself and everyone else without having to do that.

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About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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I applaud you for not only wanting to help yourself to have a better life but also for wanting to help your family to have a better life too!! [Smile]

I will share with you that it took me some time but the therapy/counseling and hard work was well worth it! You said that you feel that you stick around and help change things. First of all, you can’t change someone else. You can inspire others to want to change though. Also, I agree with Heather, there is no benefit for anyone in this situation if you place yourself in harms way unnecessarily. Plus, it is my thought that if you stay in that environment when you don’t have to, you might unknowingly send a message to the others that things aren’t that bad. This message may distract the rest of your family from putting enough effort into getting better. Remember, to care of your self first or highest your highest priority, so you can continue to be strong enough to be there for the others!

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Dan

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I guess you are both right, i know sometimes i can be quite immature with these things, so im thankful you are both here with guidence for me. I'll try my best to do what you are both telling me, and i know this was quick, but i talked to my sister about an intervention type thing (possibly with a therapist, involving the whole family) and she said we will definitely try it out. So i guess one step has already started.
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OWL Dan
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It's great to hear that your sister is on board too! The first step is one of the hardest, letting others know you need help, and you have successfully done that and incredibly well too I may add!!! I suggest that your next step is to find a therapist, talk with them, and then follow their advice as to when to involve the rest of your family (they could be challenging).

[ 01-17-2011, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: OWL Dan ]

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Dan

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[Smile] Thank you, and i will definitely do so, just a few minutes ago i was looking on a few therapist websites around my area, im still going to send my info to Heather, i know for sure i'll need some extra help with this. Thank you for your support! You really helped me come to ease with my situation a bit more. I hope things go well!
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Hi again,

I know i havent replied lately, or sent in my location. I was sorting a bunch of things out with my family. I've decided that i will, for sure send in my info by the end of today. I know that i do want a therapist for myself as of now, i just dont know how to get one (i dont have a license yet or job.)

I have mentioned to my mom and sister about getting me one, but they don't seem to understand why i need one.

The few reasons i want a therapist is so i can at least tell someone about my issues at home and what i've been through, i seem to be losing my seemingly happy personality (even around my boyfriend) and he is getting worried. I just need help and advice from a therapist. (my sister use to go to one and it helped her out alot so im hoping for the same outcome [Smile] )

My family is still going to do the intervention! So im very happy about that, i feel that it will go very well. After i talked to the family things have made a turn around. My brother and mom are getting medication for their mental disorders, and things are cooling down a bunch [Smile]

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Heather
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It's okay: you're under no obligation to respond or even to do what I've suggested.

Do you want help finding therapy or counseling in your area? If so, I'd be happy to help you look for options.

I'm so glad to hear that it sounds like your family members are making efforts to make your home and family a safer place for everyone.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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OWL Dan
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I happy to hear that things are starting to turn around at home. You said that your sister has seen a therapist and that it has helped her. Have you reminded your mom and sister about this and have you told them your reasons for wanting to go to a therapist? You said that your family will going to do the intervention, does the place where your family will be going for the intervention offer individual counseling or could they refer you to one? Talk with them, if you can, and find out; they may also be able to you with getting your family to understand the benefits of your going to your own therapist.

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Dan

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I would really appreciate getting help to find therapy or counseling [Smile]

I have talked to my mom and sister about it, my sister thinks im "okay" mentally. She sometimes thinks she is the only one depressed lol. Another thing, is that they dont know i was molested by a family member (i cant reveal that). I'll try talking to them about it again though.

Now that i think of it, you're probably right, i think there is individual therapy there. When we set up an appointment i'll see what i can do.

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OWL Dan
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If you would like to send us your zip code, through the "contact us" link at the bottom of this page, we can help you locate some possibilities. You can also try asking at the place that is working with you for the family intervention.

Please always remember how much progress you have already made towards having a happier life and that it will get better as long as you keep trying! I wish you all the best. [Smile]

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Dan

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Alrighty, i sent in my zipcode and state. Thank you so much for your help with this, i just hope i have some opportunities to get into therapy. I was thinking maybe my boyfriend could drive me to the appointments since i dont have a license yet. But i also don't have money [Frown]

I was also hoping once you send me some places, i can show my sister and im sure she'd pay for me. (the family is on a tight budget as well). I'm even willing to wait a few months.

And thank you again [Smile]

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Heather
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I sent you back a referral a few minutes ago.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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