Fissatore...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Fissatore...
11
Wed, 07-06-2011 - 5:27pm

I'm curious becuase your take is so harsh sometimes with this "tough love"-type edge. What is your story? Maybe I'm just reading your responses as victim-blaming and almost angry at the victims for staying, but it's made me wonder - what is your connection?

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Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Wed, 07-06-2011 - 7:42pm
Hi Chipper, I "sort of" searched for Fiss' story. She posted some of it one day in a response to another post. As best I can remember, her abuser was an alcoholic as well. I sometimes have concerns about the way she presents her responses, but beneath the veneer of "tough love" I sense a person who has been through hell and back. Also, her responses, though strong at times, actually ARE pretty darned accurate. At times they do sound judgmental and dis-empowering, but I do not get the sense at all that she is trying to hurt anyone's feelings or to cause further pain. I get that she's a "wake up and smell the coffee" type person who just puts the plain old truth out there. At times she uses strong words to speak hard truths, but they are truths. As a survivor new to being a survivor, sometimes feelings are fragile and easily wounded. And that's to be expected. As someone who has been out of an abusive marriage since 11/14/99, I've had a long time to heal, with lots of therapy, counseling and support groups. I KNOW they work because they worked for me and thousands of others who went before and have come after me. There are days when I blow my stack on here, as Winter can testify, but it's usually because I've missed something or misunderstood something, and when I'm wrong, I suck it up and apologize. I don't think it's anyone's intent to hurt other board members feelings intentionally.

Some of the words that fiss uses in her posts do sound victim blaming, but unless you've had training and lots of experience in working with victims/survivors, it's so very easy to slip into that type of language. She knows what our members NEED to do (that's a dis-empowering word right there in the world of dv advocacy) because she NEEDED to do it herself. Am I making sense here? Providing a little clarification? Let me also remind you that YOU have the right to say, "Hey, I don't like how you just spoke to me in your response." Learning to speak up, defend yourself, express your displeasure and set boundaries for what you will/won't accept from others, is all part of your healing from domestic abuse. Those are all things you were never able to do when you were with your abuser. They are important, EMPOWERING lessons that (I'm going to use that word) NEED to be learned. The abuser in your life stripped you of those abilities to the point that you have to re-learn all over again and overcome that conditioning by your abuser. Oh, and when I use the "Royal You", I'm not addressing these words to you, chipperchick, but to everyone of you that has walked this path. And it's for this reason that I dont have fiss' posts pulled by the CM. When she crosses a line, she does hear from me. As a cl for this board it is my responsibility to step in when things get too heated or divisive. It's for this reason that I've chosen to answer a post directed at another board member. We are all sisters in the sorority of survivors of DV. We are all different, have different voices and express ourselves in different ways. All voices are valid and have the right to be heard. But underneath it all, every one of us who is here and posts, cares deeply about his/her co-survivors and only wants the best for them. Have you noticed how many views our board gets? The number who post is quite small compared to the numbers who view. But because we do have so many people who view but don't post, we have no way of knowing which voice is reaching who, or whose voice is the one that one of our "lurkers" needed to hear. For so long, our voices, while still with the abuser, were silenced. I'm really proud of you for starting this thread and asking the questions you did. It's a positive sign of healing and growth for YOU!

Mama Harmony

Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006
Thu, 07-07-2011 - 12:51am

I think fissatore means well - I recall her saying she has been there and done that and she is just frustrated that people can't see what it is. This is to fissatore. Why women don't leave? http://www.womensweb.ca/violence/dv/leave.php

excellent article, when women post in this board, they are reaching out, they are taking that first step. They know what they should do, they need help understanding why he goes one way to the next, our job (the more experienced ones) is to educate and give them the tools. No one likes to be hit, no one wants to be subservient, but women here are struggling with the good/bad and self esteem/financial/children issues and need to know why it is so important to leave and how to leave.

harmony - your story is

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2011
Thu, 07-07-2011 - 2:25pm

I just want to make a quick comment on what Winter said at the end of her post.

"The abuser will never take responsibility".

I have finally come to realize that. Mine was not physical either, but I just wanted him to "understand" why I had to leave. Almost like I wanted him to tell me that it was okay to do so.

He has told me that this shouldn't be hurting me, because I was the one who left (he locked me out). He said that I am doing this to punish him.

There is a bond between people on this board even though we have never met and even for those of us who haven't been here long. I very much appreciate the comments from people on my posts and there are some people who do make it hit come (comforting) than others.

Thank you, Winter, for your comments.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 07-08-2011 - 12:24pm

I use that "approach" because in most cases that's what is necessary.

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Fri, 07-08-2011 - 7:14pm
BRAVO, BRAVO,BRAVO. Put as only you can put it, Fiss. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-08-2011 - 11:29pm
I get defensive with your replies because I felt those fears and they are real. Not all men act like yours and mine did! We were lucky. Mine tried to kill me before I left him because I wouldn't sleep with him so why wouldn't I fear what he would do if I left him? Yes that night was the last night I lived with him because he gave me a new bigger fear. That fear was that my son would get hurt. Yes I feared money too but the biggest fear was he would kill me! When I left him I did not get in my van without making sure he was hiding in it. I was worried he would cut the brake lines. Up till my last night with him I thought I was safer with him because I didn't think he would try to kill me while I was with him. And Yes most blow smoke up our butts about taking the kids and killing us that is not always the case and I don't think its right to act like it always is that way. I still remember the paralyzing fear I felt over leaving. I didn't stop checking my van till I knew he was in jail. I remember almost giving in to go see him at a truck stop when he drove truck after I left him because he threatened to drive the truck though my dads house. What stopped me was the fear he would rape or kill me. I was glad he was bluffing but it could have not been a bluff.

I'm happy for you that it worked out so well but that is not always the case and some do die or get hurt when they leave. I still think all should leave but feel we need to remember how we felt in their shoes and remember that fear is real and build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Sun, 07-10-2011 - 4:25pm
In my experience and from the stats I've read, the most dangerous time is right after you leave. I get upset when ppl make it sound easy by saying, "just wake up and leave!" In reality, for most... its not that easy. That's why I wondered about fissa's story. Being so "in your face" about the need to leave seemed very insensitive to the real danger a person is walking into by doing that.
Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Sun, 07-10-2011 - 11:12pm
Chipper, you are quite right in your response. The time during which a survivor is leaving the abuser and in the few weeks right after IS the most dangerous time. It's why I ALWAYS recommend going into shelter for our members who are dealing with an abuser who is already physically violent. They are already high on the lethality index. Unfortunately, so many people hear the word "shelter" and think it's like a homeless shelter. I think a better word to use would be "safe house".

I can see your point, chipper and it's a valid one, but I have no doubt in my mind that Fiss' story is real and honest. She just chose to deal with her situation in her own way. When I had the abuser in my life arrested and hauled off, three days later my dd and I were moving 1200 miles away. That was 11/99. Sometime in March of 2000, he called me at my parent's house (in violation of the op/ro and no contact orders that were in place). I basically read him the riot act over the phone, loading my shotgun and locating a hand gun at the same time because I had absolutely NO IDEA where he was calling from. For all I knew, it could have been down at the end of my road. At any rate, I ended up telling him that basically, as far as he was concerned, we may as well be dead because there was not a snowball's chance in hell that he would ever lay eyes on either one of us again. I also told him that when he did to us what he did on that very last day that we were all together, he chose to surrender any and all parental rights he might have ever hoped to retain. I then hung up the phone. Within a minute he phoned back. I answered the phone with one word, "WHAT?" He replied, "I just wanted to know what you want me to do." I replied, "Drop dead," and hung up the phone. That was the last I ever heard from or spoke to him. So, yeah, I can understand how Fiss chose to handle things. For her, when it was over, it was OVER. I was pretty much the same way. But even though leaving was swiftly and surely accomplished, it was by no means easy. And I think Fiss' posts say that.

Sometimes "in your face" is what it takes for a person to get past their denial, rationalizations and philosophizing (sp?). I'll tell you like I've told several other members who have expressed concerns over a poster (not all have been about Fissatore, either.) You have the option of putting a member on "ignore". When you do so, you will no longer see any of their posts. It's a choice you have and are free to exercise.

As board cl, I have a responsibility and a duty to perform certain things. One is to make sure that the iVillage Terms of Service have not been violated. That hasn't happened. Two is to step in and cool things down should they become too heated or divisive. The things that I am posting now are, hopefully, provide a better understanding and acceptance of ALL voices that are represented here on this board. ALL of our voices were silenced for far too long, so for this reason I prefer to let every voice be heard whether controversial or not. Whether it's a soft, gentle, compassionate voice, or a strong, in your face voice, or the voice of someone firmly between the two, I want ALL of us to be heard.

Mama Harmony

Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006
Mon, 07-11-2011 - 1:58am

just my 2 cents..I think 'leave' from fissatore probably means make the plan to leave, do whatever it takes, use the resources to get help. At the same time, when a poster posts the first time, our job should be to point them the resources and help them recognise the abuse and give them ways to empower themselves. So yes, "tough" talk can work but not the first time. So there is a time and place for tough talk.

Again each and every case is different. In a way, fissatore was lucky that her abuser found another "victim" and left her..he was a womanizer and didnt care to pursue her. Some abusers are 1 woman (men) and they will get to whatever way they want ..and they are the ones that go all lengths..

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Mon, 07-11-2011 - 8:06am
I can also see your point, Winter. This is why I stress, stress, stress people visiting our board's website and contacting their local domestic abuse resource. IMO, the single most important thing victims of DV can do is EDUCATE THEMSELVES about domestic abuse, its dynamics, the why's & how's. It's my strong belief that education of EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE is the greatest tool we have to end it. Survivors need to be educated so that they don't re-enter another abusive relationship. Law enforcement and the judicial system are in SCREAMING need of education about DA. Our schools need to teach about it, advocates working at agencies and shelters need to constantly keep education about DA up front. Ministers and churches need education, young men need to be taught that this is not acceptable behavior. It's all about education, education, education. Remember: Knowledge is POWER and the more knowledge we have, the more POWERFUL we are to affect change in our lives. Working with survivors in real life, I see it all the time. The ones who read, study and learn about the dynamics of domestic abuse are RARELY returning to us for further services because they've been sucked in by another abuser. The ones who don't, we see repeatedly, and every time we hear, "I just don't understand how I keep ending up with these guys," to paraphrase. It's all I can do to bite my tongue and not proceed to "preach them a sermon". By the same token, some people direct how their life plays out by being proactive, responsible and taking the steps they need to take to make sure their life goes the way they want it to, and others simply "let life happen" to them. And this brings me right back around to my opinion that education is the key to surviving domestic abuse, healing from it and making sure it never happens again. To be a survivor of domestic abuse, a person MUST educate themselves, then get honest with themselves, and take the steps to insure that never again will "life just happen" to them. These are crazy times we live in and we must all be watchful to protect ourselves and our families. But there's a fine line between being "watchful" with knowledge about what's going on around you and being "hypervigilant" and scared because one doesn't take the time or expend the energy to learn about what is going on.

Mama Harmony

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