Man in the Mirror Project: Your Universal Bank Account

When is love a word that takes precedence over hatred?  Is it when you are angry with your child, or relative?  Angry at the driver who just cut you off or the woman at the grocery store who overcharged you?

Many of us may talk the talk, but when life is taking place, do we actually walk the walk?  Taking time to make a commitment to change ourselves takes effort.  Acting with love is not a simple flowery doing that is easily maintained and achieved.  Acting with love and out of love is a conscious discipline that must be acquired only by maintaining a consciousness of our actions, thought and deeds.  Consciously choosing love instead of reacting unconsciously to the issues and problems we face in our everyday lives.

This work is the work required for true freedom of our spirit and lives.  A world that we can create for ourselves individually without hate, without anger, without resentment, frees our energies up to lift our vibrations to another level.  You see?  Being conscious of this energy, either hatred or love that we resonate to in every moment of every decision, either adds to our bank account of LOVE or our bank account of anger.  When we draw back from the universe, and make a  withdrawal from our accounts which account do you wish to draw from?


Looking back at your Man in the Mirror - The Dysfunction in Families

As part of looking at our Man in the Mirror, we sometimes need to understand the emotional 
makeup that has transpired within us.  Sometimes it is from past lives, and sometimes it is from this lifetime, or even a lifetime that is repeating itself from prior lifetimes.  To recognize some patterns, it may be necessary to look at ourselves from the role in the family dynamic in which we started this time around.  Seeing ourselves clearly in this light and how we have dealt with our dealings, so to speak, help us to unravel the patterns established and see ourselves in a clearer light.   This is one of the steps we can take to gain control and understanding of our "emotional bodies", one of the four lower bodies that must come into the light for a true shift in consciousness to occur.

"Dysfunctional families are the product of an emotionally dishonest, shame based, patriarchal society based upon beliefs that do not support Loving self or Loving neighbor." 
                                                                                         - Robert Burney

"The point that I am making is that our understanding of Codependence has evolved to realizing that this is not just about some dysfunctional families, our very role models, our prototypes, are dysfunctional.
Our traditional cultural concepts of what a man is, of what a woman is, are twisted, distorted, almost comically bloated stereotypes of what masculine and feminine really are. . . . . . .
When the role model of what a man is does not allow a man to cry or express fear; when the role model for what a woman is does not allow a woman to be angry or aggressive - that is emotional dishonesty. When the standards of a society deny the full range of the emotional spectrum and label certain emotions as negative - that is not only emotionally dishonest, it creates emotional disease.
If a culture is based on emotional dishonesty, with role models that are dishonest emotionally, then that culture is also emotionally dysfunctional, because the people of that society are set up to be emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional in getting their emotional needs met.
What we traditionally have called normal parenting in this society is abusive because it is emotionally dishonest. Children learn who they are as emotional beings from the role modeling of their parents. "Do as I say - not as I do," does not work with children. Emotionally dishonest parents cannot be emotionally healthy role models, and cannot provide healthy parenting.
Our model for what a family should be sets up abusive, emotionally dishonest dynamics."
(Quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)

Roles In Dysfunctional Families - column by codependence counselor

"There are four basic roles that children adopt in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems."
"As an adult the Family Hero is rigid, controlling, and extremely judgmental . . . . . of others and secretly of themselves. They achieve "success" on the outside and get lots of positive attention but are cut off from their inner emotional life, from their True Self."
"The scapegoat is the child that the family feels ashamed of - and the most emotionally honest child in the family. He/she acts out the tension and anger the family ignores. This child provides distraction from the real issues in the family."
"A lot of actors and writers are 'lost children' who have found a way to express emotions while hiding behind their characters."

Roles In Dysfunctional Families

by Robert Burney M.A.
"We have come to understand that both the passive and the aggressive behavioral defense systems are reactions to the same kinds of childhood trauma, to the same kinds of emotional wounds. The Family Systems Dynamics research shows that within the family system, children adopt certain roles according to their family dynamics. Some of these roles are more passive, some are more aggressive, because in the competition for attention and validation within a family system the children must adopt different types of behaviors in order to feel like an individual."
The emotional dynamics of dysfunctional families are basic - and like emotional dynamics for all human beings are pretty predictable. The outside details may look quite different due to a variety of factors, but the dynamics of the human emotional process are the same for all human beings everywhere.
The basic roles which I list below apply to American culture specifically, and Western Civilization generally - but with a few changes in details could be made to fit most any culture.
There are four basic roles that children adopt in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems. Some children maintain one role into adulthood while others switch from one role to another as the family dynamic changes (i.e. when the oldest leaves home, etc.) An only child may play all of the roles at one time or another.

"Responsible Child" - "Family Hero"

This is the child who is "9 going on 40." This child takes over the parent role at a very young age, becoming very responsible and self-sufficient. They give the family self-worth because they look good on the outside. They are the good students, the sports stars, the prom queens. The parents look to this child to prove that they are good parents and good people.
As an adult the Family Hero is rigid, controlling, and extremely judgmental (although perhaps very subtle about it) - of others and secretly of themselves. They achieve "success" on the outside and get lots of positive attention but are cut off from their inner emotional life, from their True Self. They are compulsive and driven as adults because deep inside they feel inadequate and insecure.
The family hero, because of their "success" in conforming to dysfunctional cultural definitions of what constitutes doing life "right", is often the child in the family who as an adult has the hardest time even admitting that there is anything within themselves that needs to be healed.

"Acting out child" - "Scapegoat"

This is the child that the family feels ashamed of - and the most emotionally honest child in the family. He/she acts out the tension and anger the family ignores. This child provides distraction from the real issues in the family. The scapegoat usually has trouble in school because they get attention the only way they know how - which is negatively. They often become pregnant or addicted as teenagers.
These children are usually the most sensitive and caring which is why they feel such tremendous hurt. They are romantics who become very cynical and distrustful. They have a lot of self-hatred and can be very self-destructive. This often results in this child becoming the first person in the family to get into some kind of recovery.

"Placater" - "Mascot" - "Caretaker"

This child takes responsibility for the emotional well-being of the family. They become the families 'social director' and/or clown, diverting the family's attention from the pain and anger.
This child becomes an adult who is valued for their kind heart, generosity, and ability to listen to others. Their whole self-definition is centered on others and they don't know how to get their own needs met. They become adults who cannot receive love, only give it. They often have case loads rather than friendships - and get involved in abusive relationships in an attempt to "save" the other person. They go into the helping professions and become nurses, and social workers, and therapists. They have very low self-worth and feel a lot of guilt that they work very hard to overcome by being really "nice" (i.e. people pleasing, classically codependent) people.

"Adjuster" - "Lost Child"

This child escapes by attempting to be invisible. They daydream, fantasize, read a lot of books or watch a lot of TV. They deal with reality by withdrawing from it. They deny that they have any feelings and "don't bother getting upset."
These children grow up to be adults who find themselves unable to feel and suffer very low self-esteem. They are terrified of intimacy and often have relationship phobia. They are very withdrawn and shy and become socially isolated because that is the only way they know to be safe from being hurt. A lot of actors and writers are 'lost children' who have found a way to express emotions while hiding behind their characters.
It is important to note that we adapt the roles that are best suited to our personalities. We are, of course, born with a certain personality. What happens with the roles we adapt in our family dynamic is that we get a twisted, distorted view of who we are as a result of our personality melding with the roles. This is dysfunctional because it causes us to not be able to see ourselves clearly. As long as we are still reacting to our childhood wounding and old tapes then we cannot get in touch clearly with who we really are.
The false self that we develop to survive is never totally false - there is always some Truth in it. For example, people who go into the helping professions do truly care and are not doing what they do simply out of Codependence. Nothing is black and white - everything in life involves various shades of gray. Recovery is about getting honest with ourselves and finding some balance in our life. Recovery is about seeing ourselves more clearly and honestly so that we can start being True to who we really are instead of to who our parents wanted us to be. (Reacting to the other extreme by rebelling against who they wanted us to be is still living life in reaction to our childhoods. It is still giving power over how we live our life to the past instead of seeing clearly so that we can own our choices today.) The clearer we can see our self the easier it becomes to find some balance in our life - to find some happiness, fulfillment, and serenity. 


Ten Ways to Find Your Magical Child

  1. Sprout wings! Imagine you have angel wings upon your back.  Perhaps even enlist yourself in the angelic secret service.  Every where you go act like an angel; undercover of course.  Open a door for someone, smile at a child, do random acts of kindness and don't tell anyone . . shhh!  
  2. Let yourself come alive.  Breathe!  So many of us are such shallow breathers.  We need to let ourselves breathe in the breath of life in order to experience it fully.  Full inhales, full exhales, not only oxygenate our bodies but release tensions, and yes, even purify our souls! It all works together - remember your built in inner yoga ;)  
  3. Comb out the thoughts of who you think you are and replace them with thoughts that you are an all powerful divine being, created by a perfect source with whom you have access to at all times.
  4. Listen to your feelings and like a child, question every feeling with "why do I feel this way?" without judgement, without worry.  Then ask yourself "Is it true?" and "do I still need or want to feel this way?"
  5. Sit outside and commune with nature.  Look at the trees as the wind blows.  Notice the beauty of perfection in all the things that nature has created.  Let it remind you that it was created all on its own in perfection.  No part of a tree or a flower has been created because of something man did.   Reflect this upon yourself and how you were created.  Marvel at it.
  6. Allow yourself to be a child again.  Do something that lets you "play".  Skip, sing, draw, color, something that will just allow you to "be".
  7. Laugh.  Find something to laugh at; yourself, a joke, a funny movie.  Laughing allows the emotions to lift from suppression to joy.
  8. Don't take yourself so seriously.  Our ego's tell us we need to figure out things, do things.  Let yourself just be and don't make judgments about what you "should" be doing, or where you "should" be or even "how" you should be.
  9. Let life flow through you.  Too many of us try and stop something from happening because maybe we find that we don't like it.  Notice how your body feels when something happens that you don't like.  Even physically, we can feel our bodies tighten and tense.  We are trying to fight the force of nature.  Take your body tensing as a cue, breathing in deep and letting it go.  More than likely there is nothing you can do in the specific moment to change the situation - more than likely it's already happened.  
  10. Smile at life.  Enjoy life while it's here.  How many times have you heard people who have been near death come back and say how precious they feel their life is and start to enjoy it more.  Life is a gift.  Treat it like one.  You are a gift.  Treat yourself like one.  Everyone you see is a gift - even the nasty, crabby people.  Let everyone and everything you see be a gift . . . remember, it's about how you view your world that matters most.


Where the Planets are Lining Up This Week

It's going to be an interesting week.

The spring equinox is here! And with it comes some intense energy.

The Sun has entered the sign of Aries this week, followed by the New Moon and a meeting with crazy Uranus. You may have lots of new opportunities and get very excited about things; only to be met with delays for a few weeks. Thanks to Mars and Mercury retrograde.

There is also a chance that many of your new beginnings and unexpected twists and turns; relate back to events in your life that started many years ago. Perhaps you weren't able to complete them, set them aside or you just were not ready to deal with the situation at that point in your life. I feel many of you will be dealing with relationship and/or professional issue. Some of you reading this, may run into an old flame. Others may get a chance to revisit a situation or an old boss may contact you about coming back to the company. Many of you will be connecting with people from the past.

The new moon this week is near 0 degrees Aries and this was part of the cardinal t-square from 2010 (summer). Do you recall that difficult period in your life? Many of my clients are still talking about it. These issues or things that were happening during this time period are coming back up again to be readdressed. Hopefully once and for all!

Also, because many of the planets are now in Aries, there will be an impulsive energy surrounding the week. You may feel like taking more chances than usual. Some of these choices will seem very "fated". Expect the unexpected. Just when you think something is going one way...a curve ball is thrown and forces you to take another direction.

There'll be a continuation of relationships changes for many people too; both personal and professional partnerships. You may find that a lot of people in your life are acting very self-centered and it will drive you crazy! It's all about "me" week rather then "we" week. You'll hear the phrase; "What's in it for me?" more than once this week. You may feel as if your voice is not heard and your opinion not counted.

On a similar note, there is something in your personal/home life that needs to change or end. It's time to let go. It's old. It's the same old song and dance and doesn't have a purpose in your life anymore. If you resonate with this, you will be in the process of doing this very soon.

On a very mundane level, people will push you out of the way to make room for their place in line. You watch! You may notice more rude and pushy people. Politeness has gone out the window.

There will probably be a lot to do and not much time to do it in. Astrologically, we have lots of squares and oppositions this week. Your energy levels may still be low. You may feel like there is not enough of you to go around and everyone expects you to Give, Give, Give!

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to schedule 50% less of what you would normally set in your schedule. Don't agree to take on more responsibilities right now. You don't have to say no. You should just say NO to right now.

Over the weekend, many of you will need to be extra carful of accidents. But my the end of the weekend, things begin to seem a little lighter and you'll enjoy a good movie, a nice meal and just feel more relaxed than usual. So get through this week and readdress past issues from two years ago. Move on by week's end, knowing you've accomplished a lot. Expect changes and curve balls to happen. Be patient and good to yourself. This is only a temporary energy. Things are changing but you need to roll with the punches for a short time.

-by Maria Shaw Lawson


The Man in the Mirror Project - ONE of our Gifts

"I wake up from dreams and go, 'Wow, put this down on paper.' The whole thing is strange. That's why I hate to take credit for the songs I've written. I feel that somewhere, someplace, it's been done and I'm just a courier bringing it into the world." 

                     - Michael Jackson quote from Rolling Stone 1983.

The outer experience of life is a constant, changing, passing picture that the outer mind has created in its imagination of being our real existence.  Accordingly, our attention is constantly fixed upon the outer, which alone contains the imperfections of our own creation and view.  We have forgotten our own divinity.

God is the giver, the receiver and the gift and is the sole owner of all the intelligence, substance, energy and opulence there is in the Universe.  If we learn to give for the joy of giving, whether it be of love, money, or service, we would open the door to such vast opulence that it would  be impossible to want for a single thing.

Unfortunately, most on earth are currently centered in selfishness and unprecedented condemnation of each other - it is the idea of claiming ownership to achievements and feeling superior due to the appearance of outer wealth.  We forget that there is but one L.O.V.E. acting, one intelligence and one power of substance - that is God, Allah, or the natural force that acts in every one of us.  It is foolish then for us to claim power of our own.  If in every act, God were given full credit, huge transformations would be taking place within us, giving full credit and power where it belongs.

There is little understanding of the law of supply and demand. There is positively abundant supply omnipresent, but the demand for it must be made before the Law of the Universe permits it to come into manifestation.

We, having free will, must consciously and with full determination make the demand.  When we do, it cannot fail to come forth into expression - no matter what it is - so long as we hold an unwavering, determined consciousness that the real power behind our intention will do the work.

The Feeding of the 5,000

This is also known as the "miracle of the five loaves and two fish" given that the Gospel of John reports that five small barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy were used by Jesus to feed a multitude.
Coptic icon of the miracle of "five loaves and two fish".
According to the Gospels, when Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been killed, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place near Bethsaida.
The crowds followed Jesus on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
"Bring them here to me," he said.
Jesus directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

**from Wikipedia


The Man in the Mirror Project - A Force of Nature

In the last post  I mentioned Michael Jackson's insightful knowledge of   working with the laws      of nature.    That by knowing who we are, what we are comprised of, and what the universe has available to us, we can be a powerful force.

Knowing ourselves, after all, is what Jesus himself has told us to do.  "Know thyself".  He also stated that "The Kingdom of Heaven is within", yet most of us still refer to the Kingdom as somewhere other than within ourselves.  As we said before, to begin to know ourselves, we have to become conscious of what we think, the way we act, the way we react, and what we do that causes events to transpire in our lives.  True freedom and becoming a force of nature means acting with natural laws and not against them, or not maintaining a state of being that is unconscious of natural law.

The following is a quote that lends insight into the laws of nature that we sometimes forget we are a part of.  There are many things in our lives that make us who were are, or how we orchestrate our lives, lets say.  This is what Sri Aurobindo had to say about the forces of nature:

". . . at least nine-tenths of our freedom of will is a palpable fiction; that will is created and determined not by its own self-existent action at a given moment, but by our past, our heredity, our training, our environment, the whole tremendous complex thing we call Karma, which is, behind us, the whole past action of Nature on us and the world converging in the individual, determining what he is, determining what his will shall be at a given moment and determining, as far as analysis can see, even its action at that moment.  The ego associates itself always with its Karma and it says "I did" and "I will" and "I suffer", but if it looks at itself and sees how it was made, it is obliged to say of man as of the animal, "Nature did this in me, Nature wills in me", and if it qualifies by saying "My Nature", that only means "Nature as self-determined in this individual creature".  It was the strong perception of this aspect of existence which compelled the Buddhists to declare that all is Karma and that there is no self in existence, that the idea of self is only a delusion of the ego-mind."                               
                                                                         - Sri Aurobindo

Being present in your actions and thoughts and how they came to be help you to not become a victim of bad karma (the law of nature), but a conscious creator, or a force of nature.


Michael on LOVE

"Love is slippery like soap.  I wrote a poem about that once.  You can't hold onto it like a pair of shoes.  You have to let it go and be itself.  Love is a living breathing force.  It radiates through our beings and makes the small things disappear and the large things even better.

When I was a child I thought love is what everyone looked for in life.  When I grew older I discovered love is what everyone is. You don't have to look for it, you are already there.  Love is you and when you look around you everything that God has made is love.  The trees are love, the flowers, everything.

So when I say love is slippery it's because love is meant to grow, and to be free.  It's a force of nature, free like the wind and changeable like the tides.  It's a living breathing potent force of nature.  You can heal with love, touch with love, make love, or be afraid of love.  What you cannot ever do with love is destroy it.  It is the fabric that holds together our very existence.  The fabric we were comprised of and our very beings.

Decide to become a force of love and you'll change your whole existence.  Love can permeate the worst of situations and eliminate the worst of feelings.  So decide on love and what kind of love you want in your life.  The love you save may just be your own."


Love is a funny thing to describe. It's so easy to feel and yet so slippery to talk about. It's like a bar of soap in the bathtub, you have it in your hand until you hold on too tight.
Some people spend their lives looking for love outside themselves. They think they have to grasp it in order to have it. But loves slips away like that wet bar of soap.
Holding on to love is not wrong, but you need to learn to hold it lightly, caressingly. Let it fly when it wants. When it's allowed to be free, love is what makes life alive, joyful, and new. It's the juice and energy that motivates my music, my dancing, everything. As long as love is in my heart, it's everywhere.

- Michael Jackson, Dancing the Dream


Happiness - According to those on the "other side"

I asked Michael for his input today.  There is a new movie out called "Happy" so he has given his definition of happiness.  Well, there were quite a few people on the other side that wanted their turn as well, so I posted them all.  I hope you enjoy them. I sure did.

"Happiness is when I see a child smile.  They don't worry about tomorrow or what they are going to eat for dinner.  They just play and smile because they feel joy in the moment.  That's why I think we should all be like children.  Smile just because we are alive.  Smile because there are times in your life that will be worse than this moment and there are times in your life when things will be better.  But for now you only have this moment.  What's it worth to you?  Is it worth it to feel grim or will you decide to be happy?

This life is short.  Please enjoy what you have before it's too late.  Peace and L O V E,  Michael"

Elizabeth Taylor:  "Happiness is when you love someone even though they don't love you.  Knowing in the end that when we all come back together, we will all love one another as we did in the beginning."

Grandma Tiny:  "Happiness is when "cupcake" sits on the chair sucking on an ice cream cone with a big smile on his face."  (she used to call my son "cupcake" . . umm. . .guess she still does!)

Grandpa Paul:  "Happiness is when you see your brother and you realize that even though years have passed between you, you still feel the same."

Aunt Margaret:  "Happiness is when I get to be here will all of you.  It makes me smile."

Uncle Sam:  "Happiness is when my daughter Farah holds the new baby. Ooohhh it's beautiful!"

Lettie:  "Happiness is when I see my son coming home from the war"

St Germain:  "Happiness is when I am certain that all beings will win liberation and freedom from the binds that hold them today."

El Morya:  "Happiness is when I see someone smile because they have past the test of knowing the right thing to do.  Liberating themselves from the suffering they know they can cause themselves."

Master J(Jesus): "Happiness is knowing the suffering I have endured in lifetimes has not gone in vein.  That all people will one day be whole and in love just as we are now."

Whitney Houston:  "Happiness is when I see my daughter in love.  The look on her face is priceless.  I miss her so much.  I love her with all my heart. Peace."

James Brown:  "Happiness is when I feel good! Ha, ha"


The Man in the Mirror Project - Step into the Light; Change Your Destiny

Have you ever noticed that all outer things are transient, but the unseen things are eternal?  Your beliefs completely control your behavior. So it would stand to reason that any modification within your body of belief will result directly in a change in your outer world.

Make yourself aware of the changes that are taking place in the world today.  Seems like everything has been thrown up in the air, and we are waiting to see where everything lands.  Most systems, partnerships, marriages, even careers are all being reviewed right now. It's time to let go of  our worn out patterns and step into a new lighter way of being.

What new patterns would you like to set up for yourself for the next chapter of your life?  Taking steps in the right direction include eliminating toxic thoughts, reminding yourself that you are a divine being and that anything is possible.  You are not limited by your race, your age,  your gender or your status in life.  The only limitations you have in this life, are those you place on yourself.  

Stepping forward into the light means to come to terms with the fact that you are indeed a emanation of light from the creator Himself.  Who would have thought that you were so powerful?  Who would have thought that you could create anything you desired?  Stepping fully forward means letting go of the darkness in your life.  Maybe it was a traumatic experience, a bad relationship, parental abandonment, or your inner self critic.  More than likely any of these and all of these kinds of experiences you have stored in your memory, your thoughts and your body as feelings.  

There were many things that I found out about Michael after he passed that we had in common that I never realized.  One of those things was that we are both huge advocates of self help books.  You can take yourself very far by focusing inward on what your thoughts are and how you feel.  We did some exercises with the Man in the Mirror project before that asked you to ask yourself questions about different emotions that come up.  This is the best way to let go of your darkness.

For instance, if you are feeling cross or angry, ask yourself why.  Is it because of something someone else did or said?  If it's something they did, are you responsible for it?  If the answer is yes, perhaps you are placing responsibility upon yourself when you shouldn't be.  Letting each of us be responsible for our own selves empowers us individually.  No matter how much you care or love someone else, you really do them an injustice by taking irresponsibility for those things they should be learning themselves.  Let it go.

Was is something someone said?  If it was, the you have to ask yourself "Is it true?".  Most often the answer to this one is "No.".  Most people that say things that upset us, say them out of spite, anger, or jealousy.  Most often those are the things that aren't true.  If it's not true, why take their anger, spite or jealousy on?  Let them be miserable if they'd like.  You can decide to be happy.  If it is true, then decide if you'd like to change it.  Look at yourself through the eyes of a child, knowing you can and will make mistakes, but you can always choose to learn from them and move on.

If it's a past hurt, like abandonment or trauma, we might have a tendency to repeatedly ask ourselves "what did I do to deserve this?".  You most likely have carried these types of wounds with you for many years.  Some may be physical, but you can choose to heal the emotional hold they have on you.  Is it true that you really think you deserved what happened?  Or was it a result of someone else's choice that affected you so terribly?  What is it that you can change about what you are projecting or thinking that can help you stay away from similar situations in the future?   Chances are it was someone else that made a choice and you have accepted the responsibly to live with what you perceive as the consequences. 

I'd like to challenge you to change that perception.  Let's say your parents gave you up for adoption, or abandoned you completely.  Most likely you feel rejected or feel you will be rejected by most every other relationship you have in your life.  This was your first relationship, so how could you not?  What if instead of thinking the problem in this scenario was you, you decide to accept the fact that they made their choice based only on the knowledge and thinking they had at the time. More than likely, it had nothing to do with you or if they said it did, nothing to do with the real you.  Other people do not define us, we do.  For some reason because it is our parental relationship we feel they should love us no matter what - and, in a perfect world they should.  But I think we all know if we were all perfect we wouldn't be here.  Everyone makes mistakes, judgments, and from time to time wrong thinking.  Even our parents.

You see it's all energy.  What we think and feel, we become.  What we project out to the world with our thoughts and feelings, we bring to us.   So lighten your load and let go of your darkness.  As Neville Goddard has said "A change of feeling, is a change of destiny."


Man in the Mirror Project - Letting Go of Past Hurts

Most often it's our thoughts about what a person should be, or what role we have placed that person in our lives that creates a hurt that we find difficult to let go.

A mother who is supposed to be .....
A friend who is supposed to be .....
A father who is supposed to . . 
A wife who is supposed to . . 

When they aren't what they are "supposed to be" we get hurt.  We ask ourselves questions like "Why aren't they there for me?", "Why would they lie to me?", etc.  Sometimes, as Michael says, people don't realize what they say and do hurts.

Usually in situations like this the offense that sticks with us is taken so personally it's cut us very deeply, leaving gaping wounds that are re-opened after every thought of the person or similar situation.  "I can't believe so and so did this or that to me".

What if we change the thought for a moment and instead of being angry at the person for not doing something, or doing something, we begin to think they were only doing that what they were capable of at the time?  Meaning, is it a possibility that the person you are so angry with was not capable of being the person you wished them to be?  

When we change our thoughts about the situation, we can change our emotions too.  Thereby beginning to let go of those things we have chosen to hold onto that don't serve us in a positive manner.  If we choose to hold onto anything, it should probably be for our good, and not something that makes us feel bad.  Forgiveness, after all, is most beneficial to us, not the other person.  You can never forget hurtful things that have happened to you, but you most certainly can forgive them.

Forgiving yourself may help you purge emotional toxins such as sadness and anger, opening the way to peace and joy.  Try the following exercise to help yourself feel forgiveness:

Sit in a quiet place.  Close your eyes and imagine that there is a circle of light around you.  Ask yourself a few questions:

Who have I not forgiven?
Wait for someone to pop into your mind.
Invite this person into your circle .
Visualize looking into their eyes and complete one or both of the following sentences:
Thank you for teaching me . . . .
I recognize that you have come into my life to teach me how to or not to . . .

When you've finished, say in your mind that you forgive them.  Repeat as many times as necessary "I forgive you. I release you.  I am at peace."
Say goodbye and with love watch them leave the circle. 


Keeping Your Head Up

Many times in our lives we seem to have painful experiences that we question.  Why should it happen to us?  What did we do to deserve it? Or, why did this happen to me again?

In the midst of pain we are rarely able to see any good that can come from it.  Internal, emotional pain, can eat away at you until you are literally a living zombie.  So what does it do for us and why must we go through it?

Pain in and of itself doesn't do a thing but hurt!  However, if we look at what has caused the pain, rarely does it have to do with only ourselves.  Usually someone "else" causes the pain. " Bob made me feel this pain, because he broke up with me."  Because Bob broke up with you, you internalize the pain.  Maybe even think "why doesn't Bob like me anymore" or "what's wrong with me?"

The question now becomes did Bob really cause the pain? Or did your thoughts about what happened with Bob cause the pain?

Every thing that happens in this life is an opportunity for you to become your own master.  The master of your thoughts, your deeds and what pain you choose to hold onto or let go of.  You and only you, are able to let in, let out, or change yourself, all from the inside out.  You are so powerful!  You only have to realize that it's the thought about yourself and your world that can either hinder you or up lift you.  The universe then, responds.

 “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
 — Maya Angelou


Real Life Patterns - Abuse


Many years ago I was talking to Michael about an burn accident that happened while he was on the set shooting a Pepsi commercial.  I wanted to make sure he was OK.  He told me about some skin graphs he had to have done, but that he would be fine.  After he said, "My father actually apologized.  Can you believe it?" This was the first time he had ever "spoken" about the abusive relationship with his father.

Abuse is very widespread.  Sometimes abuse could be happening under your very nose, and you would never know it.  Abuse doesn't always leave bruises you see.  The real bruises are inside and take a very long time to heal, if they ever do.  The long lasting effects of abuse are devastating and can derail your life.

Just recently my son just came home with bruises again from his abuser.  We've gone through the system, only to be belittled and brushed off.  After them telling my son to tell them what happened, they sent him back to his abuser.  He was then punished again for telling.  Sometimes abusive situations can look very dismal. You can suggest therapy, try to talk about it, but in the end, you simply can't control how someone else acts.  These are cyclical patterns, most often from repressed pain and cycles of abuse from their childhood.  Most of us go through life thinking it might be normal.  It is "our" normal anyway. How would we know healthy, when we've only experienced abuse?

No one likes to talk about abuse.  It's the silent killer.  No one likes to do anything about it, and if you are abused, God help you if you say anything about it to embarrass your abuser.  This doesn't make your abuser a bad person, it makes your abuser someone who needs help.

Michael used to get physical ill when his father would walk into the room after the years of abuse he suffered.  We hold the pain inside and even though we "grow up", we still retain the pattern of abuse inside and it's effects.  The healing has to start at an individual level.  One of the first thing's you can do is get yourself out of the pattern of abuse and on to a healthier life for you and/or your children.

How can you stop this destructive cycle?  Here are some helpful answers from others for almost any situation:

I think victims can stop the cycle of abuse by removing themselves from the situation and not adding fuel to the fire in any way. Unless the abuser goes to counseling and gets behavior modification, long term change is unlikely. Short term, abuse will reappear on its usual cycle. This is not to say that the victim is at fault; but rather that it is safer to remove oneself from the vicious cycle and move on. The list below, which I copied from another answer, seems appropriate.
Remove Yourself from his "World" a)Relocate to a place he does not know about; get a P.O. Box and put a privacy code on it. b)Do NOT contravene the decisions of the system. Work from the inside to change judgments, evaluations, or rulings - but NEVER rebel against them or ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests. [comment: have mixed feelings about working with the system; definitely do not ignore any decisions you are obligated to meet--or do not seek the final decision] c)With the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts - decline any and all gratuitous contact with the abuser. d)Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening e-mail messages. e)Return all gifts he sends you. ["Return to Sender"] f)Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom. [Change locks if you have not moved] g)Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him, in a single, polite but firm, sentence, that you are determined not to talk to him. [Keep recordings of any messages he leaves, especially threats] h)Do not answer his letters, emails, etc. i)Do not visit him on special occasions, or in emergencies. j)Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas forwarded to you through third parties. k)Disconnect from third parties whom you know are contacting you at his behest. l)Do not discuss him with your children. m)Do not gossip about him. n)Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need. [Do not provide him anything or return anything to him] o)When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs - or his. p)Relegate any inevitable contact with him - when and where possible - to professionals: your lawyer, or your accountant.


How to cope with your abuser?
Sometimes it looks hopeless. Abusers are ruthless, immoral, sadistic, calculated, cunning, persuasive, deceitful - in short, they appear to be invincible. They easily sway the system in their favor.
Here is a list of escalating countermeasures. They represent the distilled experience of thousands of victims of abuse. They may help you cope with abuse and overcome it.
Not included are legal or medical steps. Consult an attorney, an accountant, a therapist, or a psychiatrist, where appropriate.
First, you must decide:
Do you want to stay with him - or terminate the relationship?
1. I want to Stay with Him
FIVE DON'T DO'S - How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist
Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him;
Never offer him any intimacy;
Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on);
Never remind him of life out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity;
Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence.
The TEN DO'S - How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You If you INSIST on Staying with Him
Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.
Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary Narcissistic Supply for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you.
Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace.
Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition.
Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion". Treat your narcissist as you would a child.
If your narcissist is cerebral and not interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy is of paramount importance.
If your narcissist is somatic and you don't mind, join in on group sex encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist. If you do mind - leave him. Somatic narcissists are sex addicts and incurably unfaithful.
If you are a "fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that you can fix the narcissist - it simply will not happen.
If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their condition, with no negative implications or accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.
Finally, and most important of all: Know Yourself.
What are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A codependent? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting?
Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship.
Define the things that you find harmful to you. Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful behaviors that affect you - but this can only be accomplished in a very trusting, frank and open relationship.


(1a) Insist on Your Boundaries - Resist Abuse
Refuse to accept abusive behavior. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities.
Demand a just and proportional treatment. Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behavior.
If you are up to the inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him taste some of his own medicine.
Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him. Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail.
If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him (legally).
Do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser's weapon.
Never give him a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression.
Be guarded. Don't be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.
Be yourself. Don't misrepresent your wishes, boundaries, preferences, priorities, and red lines.
Do not behave inconsistently. Do not go back on your word. Be firm and resolute.
Stay away from such quagmires. Scrutinize every offer and suggestion, no matter how innocuous.
Prepare backup plans. Keep others informed of your whereabouts and appraised of your situation.
Be vigilant and doubting. Do not be gullible and suggestible. Better safe than sorry.
Often the abuser's proxies are unaware of their role. Expose him. Inform them. Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used by the abuser.
Trap your abuser. Treat him as he treats you. Involve others. Bring it into the open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfect abuse.
(1b) Mirror His Behavior
Mirror the narcissist�s actions and repeat his words.
If, for instance, he is having a rage attack � rage back. If he threatens � threaten back and credibly try to use the same language and content. If he leaves the house � leave it as well, disappear on him. If he is suspicious � act suspicious. Be critical, denigrating, humiliating, go down to his level.
(1c) Frighten Him
Identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated, escalating blows at them.
If a narcissist has a secret or something he wishes to conceal � use your knowledge of it to threaten him. Drop cryptic hints that there are mysterious witnesses to the events and recently revealed evidence. Do it cleverly, noncommittally, gradually, in an escalating manner.
Let his imagination do the rest. You don't have to do much except utter a vague reference, make an ominous allusion, delineate a possible turn of events.
Needless to add that all these activities have to be pursued legally, preferably through the good services of law offices and in broad daylight. If done in the wrong way � they might constitute extortion or blackmail, harassment and a host of other criminal offences.
(1d) Lure Him
Offer him continued Narcissistic Supply. You can make a narcissist do anything by offering, withholding, or threatening to withhold Narcissistic Supply (adulation, admiration, attention, sex, awe, subservience, etc.).
(1e) Play on his Fear of Abandonment
If nothing else works, explicitly threaten to abandon him.
You can condition the threat ("If you don't do something or if you do it � I will desert you").
The narcissists perceives the following as threats of abandonment, even if they are not meant as such:
Confrontation, fundamental disagreement, and protracted criticism When completely ignored When you insist on respect for your boundaries, needs, emotions, choices, preferences When you retaliate (for instance, shout back at him).


II. I can't Take It Any Longer - I Have Decided to Leave Him
(IIa) Fight Him in Court
Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating, especially in a court of law, for instance during a deposition:
Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self. Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of "talents and skills" which the narcissist fantasizes that he possesses, any hint that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party. Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others. Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim.
The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.
The narcissist reacts with narcissistic rage, hatred, aggression, or violence to an infringement of what he perceives to be his entitlement. Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest will inflame the narcissist.
Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his needs are not everyone's priority, that he is boring, that his needs can be catered to by an average practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. - and the narcissist will lose control.
Contradict, expose, humiliate, and berate the narcissist ("You are not as intelligent as you think you are", "Who is really behind all this? It takes sophistication which you don't seem to have", "So, you have no formal education", "you are (mistake his age, make him much older) ... sorry, you are ... old", "What did you do in your life? Did you study? Do you have a degree? Did you ever establish or run a business? Would you define yourself as a success?", "Would your children share your view that you are a good father?", "You were last seen with a Ms. ... who is (suppressed grin) a cleaning lady (in demeaning disbelief)".
Be equipped with absolutely unequivocal, first rate, thoroughly authenticated and vouched for information.
(IIb) If You Have Common Children
I described in "The Guilt of the Abused - Pathologizing the Victim" how the system is biased and titled against the victim. Regrettably, mental health professionals and practitioners - marital and couple therapists, counselors - are conditioned, by years of indoctrinating and dogmatic education, to respond favorably to specific verbal cues.
The paradigm is that abuse is rarely one sided - in other words, that it is invariably "triggered" either by the victim or by the mental health problems of the abuser. Another common lie is that all mental health problems can be successfully treated one way (talk therapy) or another (medication).
This shifts the responsibility from the offender to his prey. The abused must have done something to bring about their own maltreatment - or simply were emotionally "unavailable" to help the abuser with his problems. Healing is guaranteed if only the victim were willing to participate in a treatment plan and communicate with the abuser. So goes the orthodoxy.


Refusal to do so - in other words, refusal to risk further abuse - is harshly judged by the therapist. The victim is labeled uncooperative, resistant, or even abusive!
The key is, therefore, feigned acquiescence and collaboration with the therapist's scheme, acceptance of his/her interpretation of the events, and the use of key phrases such as: "I wish to communicate/work with (the abuser)", "trauma", "relationship", "healing process", "inner child", "the good of the children", "the importance of fathering", "significant other" and other psycho-babble. Learn the jargon, use it intelligently and you are bound to win the therapist's sympathy.
Above all - do not be assertive, or aggressive and do not overtly criticize the therapist or disagree with him/her.
I make the therapist sound like yet another potential abuser - because in many cases, he/she becomes one as they inadvertently collude with the abuser, invalidate the abuse experiences, and pathologize the victim.
(IIc) Refuse All Contact
Be sure to maintain as much contact with your abuser as the courts, counsellors, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate.
Do NOT contravene the decisions of the system. Work from the inside to change judgments, evaluations, or rulings - but NEVER rebel against them or ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests.
But with the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts - decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist.
Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening e-mail messages.
Return all gifts he sends you.
Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom.
Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him, in a single, polite but firm, sentence, that you are determined not to talk to him.
Do not answer his letters.
Do not visit him on special occasions, or in emergencies.
Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas forwarded to you through third parties.
Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his behest.
Do not discuss him with your children.
Do not gossip about him.
Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need.
When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs - or his.
Relegate any inevitable contact with him - when and where possible - to professionals: your lawyer, or your accountant.


Firstly, this is not hopeless, the cycle of abuse CAN be broken, but on the other hand it doesn't work out very often.
Only times I ever knew this kind of stuff to get a happy ending began by the victim leaving, with the kids, pets, family car, whatever, until the abuser had shown SUSTAINED PROOF that they were getting outside help (3 months seems to work).
Rule one: There are good reasons why the law says you can't be a lover and a therapist ... so don't try.
While I am on the subject, if you feel you are in any way to blame, try to find outside help yourself. If you get the right kind you'll either identify fix whatever is your responsibility, or learn how to see that pretty much none of it is. (You know you need help with this cutting stuff anyway, so what's to lose?).
Rule Two: Only way a relationship is ever going to work is between two equals.
There is no real difference between:
a) You as victim, spouse as abuser. b) You as Judge, spouse as penitent.
They are just psychological and emotional mirror images.
It's just as unhealthy and dysfunctional for you to manipulate and control him as it is for him to manipulate and control you.
If you do that you flip the cycle of abuse over...but you don't come close to stopping it.
Abuse is about CONTROL...controllers (this is going to be hard to believe, but it's true) relate almost as easily to BEING controlled as they do to controlling...the only way to break that up is to get them AWAY from control and into healthier situations...same goes for the victim...
Healthy people in healthy relationships do not maneuver each other, they rather accept and try to understand each other and grow as much honesty and intimacy between them as they possibly can.
The only way to truly break the cycle of abuse in the long term is if both parties determine to set course for being healthy people in a healthy relationship.
If you can't get that deal, it's time to walk.
Personally, in your situation I would also insist on a "no firearms, no ammo" deal until he can learn to use them responsibly. I'm sure his "gun to head" scenarios are mind games, but a loaded gun is a dangerous toy ... this could end in several kinds of tragedy he never intended.


I am involved with a covert abuser who is an expert in lying, withholding, neglecting, crazy-making behavior, shifting blame, pretending to be the victim, etc... After many confrontations, she switched the visible part of the abuse to entirely covert abuse. I now feel that the best way to protect myself is by rebuilding myself WITHOUT LETTING HER KNOW ABOUT IT, ie by: 1/ collecting a lot of information on abuse (especially covert abuse) 2/ Observing the situation without confronting her or letting her know that I am aware of what she is doing 3/ Avoiding contact while rebuilding my self-esteem and regaining trust in my perception of reality, with the help of family and friends (I told her I was depressed and needed to be alone and played numb on the phone a lot) 4/ I think she is gradually losing interest in me, since I act like I'm psychologically down, dead almost, and she is now turning to other "preys". Even though I feel a little cowardly, it is the only way I have found to get away. I feel that by encouraging victims to confront their abusers, you are underestimating the power of some abusers who can be extremely manipulative. Confronting them will just lead to more abuse and the victim will just lose even more strength in the process.


Hey! Abuse is horribal it scars you for life, but there is a way out it takes time. I have ben a victm of abuse so i can relate but the cycle will only continue if you let it. You have to be the one to put a stop to it! If you are being abused by a spouse or loves one it is the hardest cycle to end. You love the person but if they are abuseing you mentaly or phys they realy don't love you. You relate to the abuse and sometimes feel the need for it because that's is the way that that person has expressed "love" You have to be strong get away and surround yourself with only good positive people who are then non abusive. Sorry that this is happened to you :(


The cycle of abuse can be stopped abruptly in the blink of an eye or it will stop over time.
Sometimes people don't have time and something should be done. There is no one worth enough to constantly receive abuse from them. No one should go through that and no one deserves that. Emotional, physical or otherwise.
I'll tell you how the cycle of abuse I was in stopped.
I was smacked around and punched on a regular basis, but I loved him so I stayed. I was young and very very naive. I finally stood up to him and told him to leave. He gave me the " I love you but I'm not in love with you, I care about you but I don't want to be with you, I'll take care of you and give you money but I won't live with you" just so he could feel the power like he made the decision to leave. Those were the best 2 weeks of my life. I was relaxed and was free to breath. He came back after 2 weeks, broke into my apartment and beat me up beyond recognition because he said I was cheating on him. He said if I wasn't going to be with him then no one else would be with me either. That night he ran and I called 911. The police found him and arrested him and put him in jail, unfortunately for the law he could only be kept for 3 months and was released. While he was in jail, I built up my case and moved out of state. When he was released he didn't contact me which really shocked me because of his possessive behavior. The turning point came about when he was placed in jail again for 5 more months for violation of probation and he wrote me letters crying begging for me to come back. Saying how he was sorry and wanted to make it up to me. I went for a year not sleeping at night only a few hours during the day, going out and constantly looking over my shoulder and drinking to forget about everything that happened. The point that I realized I was strong was when I returned to the state he lives in to finalize my divorce and I went to the jail to confront him and he cried like a baby. He cried like a baby, like I had done all those times when he hit me for no reason and I did the same thing to him that he did to me: I showed absolutely no emotion. After my visit to him he sent me letter after letter doing the same thing he always did, trying to make me feel bad. He said how much I hurt him by not consoling him. I never responded and finally realized what I had told him, that we were over. Now I am happily in a relationship with a wonderful person who lets me be me.


I know it sounds weak to say this and I hate it, but I am also a victim of the cycle of abuse not only by him but by a court appointed psychologist also. I knew then,that I was in a no win situation. So the cycle continues on. Darn it, and I never expected, nor wanted any part of this thing called spousal abuse, yet here I sit. I have tried to educate myself on the subject, as much as I can. Thinking that if I understood it a little better I might find a way out without further hurt. I've learned many things regarding the nature of abuse,cycle of abuse, types of abuse and abusers,and some of the whys. Yet I'm still scared to death. After many years of consistently working I became disabled. My disability pension helps me to survive for which I am very grateful. But the main thing that I treasure are my two precious children. Ages 11 and 8. I had them, named them, and paid for them, and they are health insured by me, thru my former employer. So is he insured under my policies, as a matter of fact. I have always been the main contributor financially in this relationship,the main nurturer to our children,basically head of household, and/so I feel compelled by meeting the needs of my children, otherwise we would do without a lot, and because I cannot afford to further my plight in this situation, thus compensating not only what is left of me,but also my childrens welfare. I cannot, and will not for their sake. For they mean more to me, than anything life has ever offered. I call them the gifts that only God can give. My abuser works, as well but what he makes is a secret.It is the same old tired story, and I am his focus for anger. Fortunately for me, after one terrible day two years ago he'd called the police on me again after trying two other times to try to get back at me for the one time he was arrested for domestic violence. They almost arrested both of us, since I had sprayed him with pepper spray to keep him off of me. He said, the children were present when I did it, and they were not...finally my mother came by and told the police the things (that only she knows)about his abusiveness. So finally they released me and when he verbally agreed to leave and work out of town, then he was released. He comes home on weekends(every weekend). Gives the house and me the white glove treatment and if it doesn't suit him it can be hell to pay. Verbally,sometimes physically,slanderously,and threatens me with calling social services. Now my children are well cared for and I'm sure their teachers if confronted would agree but there are sometimes a few dirty dishes and laundry to be done...I cannot always keep up to his demands... I am just physically and sometimes emotionally unable. But there are no roaches, or gargage...there is always food and too many clothes for the children...there is just sometimes and not always neglected chores. I could not bare the emotional threat and strain of him somehow causing me any more added problems by bringing in a Social services visit to our home. He threatens to take the children from me, and get rid of me. He'll put me in a home,and find him someone else who can do it all. These words are a nicer way of putting it. According to him ,He has an excellent attorney,I'm disabled but he will see to it that I lose that,I had better never touch any alcohol,since I have had problems with it in my distant past,he says he could convince any of them I'm insane,inept, and a drunk. Reminding me of the time, after he was arrested for domestic violence the court appointed psychologist believed him. And it is true. I went in that psychologists office intent to tell my side of it for once. I was warned by my so-called spouse before hand that that shrink says, You're the one that has the problem! Surely enough, that psychologist was already convinced before I arrived. I had not said, but one or two things before he interrupted me and pointed his pencil accusingly at me and said, You are the one with the problem! While I watched my abuser grin at me. That was the most defenseless and scared I've ever been. I still am. My being on a physical disability (also for panic disorder)...seems to him a way to do it. My fear is not so much for myself but for my children, whom I would give my life. How can I break this terrible cycle I'm in, without jeopardizing losing my children?...yet by their hearing and seeing him abuse me cannot be good for them either. There must be a way. I am sick of the hurt and craziness of this whole thing. I do not want revenge just a way out. Why shouldn't I keep my babies? I give them everything and neglect myself, so their needs can be met,and I don't mind. Their everything to me, and as far as I'm concerned their all I've got. He's such a good con. I'm convinced the devil himself resides in him. He had some concocted idea in his head tonight (he's asleep now)that I might be seeing someone else and he'll kill me for it. Pulled back his fist called me everything that could be set to the tongue and demanded I speak,speak,speak!NOW!etc.etc.etc.etc.etc............ It is awful living this way.


I know it's hard. I feel your pain. My husband just recently pulled his fist back at me and I immediately moved out into my own place. Please look in the yellow pages and go to a shelter with your kids and let the local authorities know of his actions. Something has to be done about his behaviour. Buy some protection if possible. My husband threatened to get a restraining order against me because, at one point and time we were going to couples counseling and got into an argument. He actually wen t and got the papers to try and scare me. This is when I knew it was time to leave. Please be safe. I hope things get better for you. God Bless




It is impossible to stop the cycle of abuse when you are living with a narcisstic psychopath.It will stop only when you decide to leave . Abusers are incapable of functioning in a loving relationship;and will use violence-be it verbal or physical, as a means to control you and every move you make.The charismatic charlatan you fell in love with, was but a figment of your imagination;and his.The person you thought you knew, never even existed .He has no conscience.Something red flows through his veins; but it most certainly is not the blood of life.He will look for new ways to humiliate you and smother your last ounce of happiness.He is always looking for ways to degrade your image , because it pumps him up. The mere fact that he has a decent, good-looking wife to push around , is all that matters to him.He was never your "other-half". Never your "partner".He never will be. His self-hatred will be used against you in ways you never imagined possible; or at least, in ways you never fathomed the man of your dreams could be, toward you.This person you are determined to remain with-will stop at nothing to destroy you ; to destroy your happiness and even your freedom. He needs an audience ; so,while you are suffering in silence and humiliation-he is falsely portraying you- in any way he can- to anyone who will listen , because he craves attention.The more sympathy he can muster; the more attention. Are you content to feed his "martyrdom" ; never knowing what acts he will perpetrate against you ?The vows he took in matrimony, to love you above all things,was,and is a farce.On your best day you will never meet the standards you think he needs .Why would you stay with someone who capitalizes on your insecurities, even to the point of deliberately using lies against you? If you don't know it by now ; you never will know that this man is your worst enemy.For him, you were his "ounce of normal".The life you thought you had with him, never existed.He charmed you with false acts of love and kindness, only to ensnare you.It was impossible for him to hide his true nature , once you saw him in action on a daily basis .Your decency and good looks were used merely ,by him ,to feed on; sort of as his ticket to humanity .To prove to the world that he is just like everyone else. You can sit there all day and say that you live only for your kids.But what kind of life is it for you or them? The cycle of abuse will end when you leave him.If that is impossible today,then it is up to you to come up with a plan.Take some classes in order to ensure a successful future , not only for yourself ,but for your kids. Above all,do not confide in your husband ;unless you want him to sabotage any chance you have , for happiness .You have freedom over your own mind.You can choose to go forward , if you really want to.I have a feeling that your "disabilities" improve, once you are able to move on.Make that call today.You don't have to continue to be his victim-unless you want to.


basically LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP hard as it may seem it is the only answer. for the abuser will continue to abuse . and will no doubt continue to do so with the next partner that they have. which has happened in my case. however, the girl was brave enough to phone me and ask what my ex was like with me. glad to say she left him too. abusers don't change. move on to a happier and healthier relationship. YES it is possible.


There are no "dos" and "don'ts" in a abusive relationship. You can't believe all of the stuff about the narsissist in the answer above. Not only that, but not all abusers are narcsissits and you don't have to have "dependent personality disorder" or be a massochist. Labeling people won't do anything but enable them to continue the way they are. The person who is abusing is just that, a person who is abusive. He/she does it because he/she chooses to, not because his/her "parents were mean" or he/she "grew up in a bad place". We are adults and we choose how we act and respond to our environment. If a person has so little regard for you that they would hit you, that is who they are. You can't change people, especiailly if you enable them by giving them everything they want. If you are in an abusive relationship, call you local shelter or crisis hotline. Get in touch with family or friends. Try to find a way out. If you must stay where you are for financial reasons, find a safe place to save money for yourself and get out a.s.a.p. Call the authorities. Let people know what's going on. Don't lie or make excuses for your bruises. Some people will be mean to you and act like it's your fault. Just be strong and know that they are obviously ignorant on the subject of domestic violence. Eventually you will find someone to listen. You should not be ashamed because it's not your fault. Whatever you do, DON'T lose track of who YOU are. If you have children, think about what they're seeing. Be strong and believe that no matter what, you are beautiful and you do deserve better. I know what you're going through, I was there for three years. And now, not only am I a survivor, but I am helping two friends in similar situations. One is a few days from getting her own place and getting out for good. The other just started her journey to freedom tonight. That's why I'm here, to look for advice to give her. If you can't find anyone to listen, feel free to e-mail me. cs1275@txstate.edu. I'll be glad to give you a shoulder to lean on.


"How can a victim stop the cycle of abuse?"
WOW! I've really been hit with revealations this morning.
The cycle of abuse stops when you and I take back our power.
Today I realized that I am still very angry and justisfiably so. In fact I am considering seeking professional counseling to help me overcome my anger which has been an open sore that my violaters continued to pick at to keep me sore and wounded. I realized this morning that I never really properly healed from my abusive experiences by very sick people who run several versions of a destructive theology that has ruined thousands of lives over the course of 7 decades and left most involved in varying degrees of insanity.
They never wanted for me to heal. I don't care about what my violaters feel anymore. I'm fed up with being nice and concerned. I wish all of them a painful hell.
I decided that I have been blessed in more ways than one greatly in the coming new year and don't want to carry any garbage from my past along with me into my new life. This morning I chose freedom. This morning I decided to take my life back. This morning I decided that I finished with religion and really have been for over 2 years now.
Please wish me luck.
Best Wishes For The Future...


i have been in an abusive relationship for a couple years now. I lost all of my friends, hobbies, and respect. I have to dress a certain way, eat a certain way, talk a certain way, and in the process i lost myself. The house must always be clean,and i am scared out of my mind. I do truly love him with every fiber in my body, but how can he love me? I am constantly called names, screamed at, and made fun of by him. He wants me to move out with him as soon as i can (I am not 18 yet)but i am scared and now he doesn't want to be together any more.....i need some ones help. He won't let me talk to anyone like a counselor or anything, and nobody knows anything that happens with us. I have to hold everything in and hide things from my family what can i do


The victim is not the one that needs to stop the cycle of abuse. The victim needs to get out and away from the abuser and the abuser needs help. Look in your local phone book there is a number to call for abuse (hot line). In your local paper and such there will be numbers for advocate groups that can help. The police can also help and get the abuser away from the victim. The victim should not wait to seek help, the longer this goes on the more damage to be done, physically and mentally. Run don't walk to get help. It is out there.


Remove yourself from the situation. If nesscerary get a restraining order.


I volunteer for an Abused Women's Center and that's your ONLY way of getting away from this piece of dirt! Make a plan. When your abuser is at work phone from a friend's house or a pay phone (not your home phone or cell phone) and make an appointment (at your convenience ... when you can get away) to see a counselor at the Abused Women's Center. A little at a time start packing simple personal things and have it ready to go. Hide your suit case or put your clothing and personal effects in a bag where your abuser can't find it. Once you enter an Abused Women's Center they are well aware of what you have been through and there is a big box of kleenex always available on the counselors desk. They are kind (some have been abused themselves) and will help you through the red tape. You will be put into a "safe house or transition house" and your abuser or anyone else WILL NOT know where you are. While there they will expect you to do chores, attend programs to teach you the tools so you will not go back to your abuser or get involved in another abusive relationship. There is legal counsel to help you, and they will also try to help you get a job and get back on your feet. 

*Above answers re-posted from Answers.com (Wiki)