Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The recent alleged incident involving Chris Brown and Rihanna prompted me to repost the “Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality.” If you or someone you know is involved in a relationship with a battering personality, please seek help.
Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality.
Many people are interested in ways to predict whether they are becoming involved with someone who might be physically abusive. Below is a list of behaviors that are seen in abusive people; the last four behaviors (16-19) are almost always indicators that a person is a batterer. If the person has several of the other behaviors, there is a strong potential for physical violence.The more signs a person has, the more likely they are a batterer. In some cases a batterer may have only a couple of very exaggerated behaviors (e.g., extreme jealousy over ridiculous things). Initially, the batterer will try to explain the behavior as a sign of love and concern, and you may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate and control. FBI statistics show that 95% of all domestic violence is male violence against women.
- Jealousy: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will usually say jealousy is a sign of love; jealousy has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. A jealous person will question you about who you talk to, accuse you of flirting or be jealous of the time you spend with family, friends or children (anyone but them). As jealousy escalates, the person may call frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. A jealous person may refuse to let you work for fear you will meet someone else or may exhibit strange behaviors such as checking the mileage on your car or asking friends to watch you.
- Controlling Behaviors: At first, a batterer may explain controlling behavior as concern for your safety, your need to use your time well or your need to make good decisions. An abuser will be angry if you are “late” returning from the store or an appointment and may question you closely about where you went and
who you talked to. As the controlling behavior escalates, an abuser may try to control your personal decision about your home, clothing, religious choices and money. Some abusers may try to require you to
ask permission to leave the room or the house.
- Quick Involvement: Many people in abusive relationships dated or knew their batterer for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. A batterer may come on like a whirlwind, “You’re the only person I could ever talk to.” or “I’ve never felt loved like this before.” A batterer needs
someone desperately and may pressure you to commit.
- Unrealistic Expectations: Batterers are very dependent on others for all of their needs. A batterer may expect a partner to be a perfect mate, parent, lover and friend. A batterer may say things like, “If you love me, I’m all you need.” You are supposed to take care of everything for the batterer, emotionally and in the home. Generally, batterers are unable to tolerate frustration.
- Isolation: A batterer will try to cut you off from all resources. If you have close friends, a batterer may make disparaging, gender specific remarks about them or disparaging remarks about your family ties. A batterer may accuse people who support you of “causing trouble.” A batterer may want to live in the
country without a phone, not let you use the car, or try to keep you from working or going to school.
- Blames Others for Personal Problems: If a batterer is chronically unemployed, someone else is always doing the batterer wrong or “out to get them.” A batterer may make mistakes and blame you for causing them. A batterer may blame or fault you for almost anything that goes wrong.
- Blames Others for Personal Feelings: A batterer may say “You make me mad.” “You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask.” or “I can’t help being this mad.” Each of us may our own decisions about how we think and feel, but a batterer will use feelings to manipulate you. Harder to catch are claims like “You make me happy.”
- Hypersensitivity: A batterer is easily insulted, claiming “hurt” feelings when really feeling very mad or may take the slightest set-back as a personal attack. A batterer will rant and rave about the injustice of things that have happened—things that are really just a part of living, i.e., being asked to work overtime, getting a traffic ticket, being told that a personal habit is annoying or being asked to help with chores.
- Cruelty to Children and/or Animals: Batterers may punish (take power over) children and/or animals brutally or be insensitive to their pain or suffering. A batterer may expect children to be capable of doing things far beyond their ability (spank a two year old for wetting a diaper) or may tease children or young brothers or sisters until they cry. A large percentage of batterers who beat an adult partner also beat their children. A batterer may not want children to eat at the table or expect them to stay in their
room all evening (stay out of the way).
- “Playful” Use of Force in Sex: Some batterers like to overpower their partner, holding them down during sex, or act out fantasies during sex while the partner is helpless (i.e., rape is exciting). A batterer may show little concern about whether a partner wants to have sex and uses sulking or anger to manipulate a partner’s compliance. A batterer may start having sex while a partner is sleeping, or demand sex when a partner is tired or ill.
- Verbal Abuse: In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, verbal abuse can be gender degrading, cursing, running down accomplishments. An abuser may say a partner is stupid and unable to function alone; sometimes waking the partner from sleep to verbally abuse or not allowing sleep.
- Rigid Sex Roles: Batterers expect to be served; may require a partner’s presence in the home at all times; expect to be obeyed in all things – even things that are criminal in nature. An abuser believes is gender superiority.
- Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde: Many people are confused by the abuser’s “sudden” mood changes – they will describe that one minute the abuser is nice and the next, exhibits explosive anger. They think the abuser has some “mental problem” or is “crazy.” Explosive anger and mood swings are typical of batterers and these behaviors are related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity and violent temper.
- A History of Abuse: Having been abused physically or sexually as a child or having witnessed abuse of a mother by a father, does not necessarily make a person a batterer. But it does provide a model of unequal power and violence as a means of solving problems. It is the one common piece of history for all batterers…they have seen the battery of their mothers when they were young.
- Substance Abuse: Heavy drinking or drug use are often correlated with domestic violence. These are not the cause of battering, but abusers sometimes excuse their behavior by saying, “I was drunk, I didn’t know what I was doing.”
- Past Battering: A batterer may admit battering in the past, but someone else was at fault. You may hear from relatives or ex-spouses that your partner is abusive. A batterer will beat any person they
become intimate with. The circumstances of any situation do not cause battering.
- Threats of Violence: This includes any threat of physical force meant to control you. “I’ll slap your mouth,” “I’ll kill you.” or “I’ll break your neck.” In reasonable relationships, partners to not threaten each other. A batterer will try to excuse this behavior by saying “Everybody talks this way.”
- Breaking or Striking Objects: This behavior may be used as a punishment (breaking loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize you into submission. The batterer may beat on tables or walls; throw objects at or near you. Again, this is a very significant behavior; only immature people beat on object in
the presence of others in order to threaten them.
- Any Force Used During an Argument: This may involve holding you down, physically restraining you from leaving the room and any pushing or shoving. (An abuser may hold you against a wall and say, “You’re going to listen to me.”
has always had a soft spot for abused women. I’m not sure if it was because my grandmother was abused or because I’ve always known how wrong abuse is.
Although my former abuser would like to deny, forget, excuse, or even justify his abuse towards me, I cannot act as if it never happened. This does not mean that I do not forgive him because I do. I forgive him because forgiveness is so important to a peaceful life.
I adopted this goal because it has always been on my heart to do so. The recent news about Chris Brown and Rihanna reminded me about this very important topic.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
If everyone lived the lifestyle of the average American we would need five planets.
I thought I would start with me. What am I doing to contribute to the problem? What can I do to help solve the problem?
My global footprint is 4. What’s yours?
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the current First Lady of the United States, and the wife of the forty-fourth President of the United States Barack Obama. She is the first African American First Lady.
She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Michelle Obama is the sister of Craig Robinson, men’s basketball coach at Oregon State University.
I love Kathy Bates. She’s not the too thin to see type Hollywood loves so much. She has so much personality and her acting skills are to be coveted. I loved her in Misery, Water Boy, and The Family That Preys. Kathy Bates is da bomb!
5’ 3” (1.60 m)
Poor Kathy Bates was forever losing out when her award-winning stage characters transferred to the screen. Unphotogenic and unattractive by Hollywood standards, she faced disappointment after disappointment as younger, prettier or more established stars usurped her New York stage triumphs in their adaptations to film. First Sissy Spacek takes on her potent role as the suicidal Jessie Cates in ‘night, Mother (1986), then Michelle Pfeiffer seizes the moment to play her dumpy lover character in Frankie and Johnny (1991). It would take Oscar glory to finally rectify the injustice.
Kathleen Doyle Bates was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, the youngest of three daughters born to Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer, and his homemaker wife Bertye Talbot. Kathy’s great-great Irish grandfather, who emigrated to New Orleans, once served as President Andrew Jackson’s doctor. She discovered acting appearing in high school plays and studied drama at Southern Methodist University, graduating in 1969. With her mind firmly set, she moved to New York City in 1970 and paid her dues by working everything from a cash register to taking lunch orders. She scored a tour-de-farce performance alongside Christopher Walken at Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre in Lanford Wilson’s world premiere of “Lemon Sky” in 1970—but she also had a foreshadowing of the heartbreak to come when the successful show relocated to New York’s off-Broadway Playhouse Theatre without Kathy. Walken wound up winning a Drama Desk award.
By the mid-to-late 1970s Kathy was trotting the boards frequently as a rising young actress of the New York and regional theater scene. She appeared in “Casserole” and “A Quality of Mercy” (both 1975) before earning exceptional reviews for her role of Joanne in “Vanities”. She took her first Broadway curtain call in 1980’s “Goodbye Fidel,” which lasted only six performances. She then went directly into replacement mode when she joined the cast of the already-established and highly successful “Fifth of July” in 1981.
Kathy made a false start in films with Taking Off (1971), in which she was billed as “Bobo Bates”. She didn’t film again until Straight Time (1978), starring Dustin Hoffman, and that part was not substantial enough to cause a stir. Things turned hopeful, however, when Kathy and the rest of the female ensemble were given the chance to play their respective Broadway parts in the film version of Robert Altman’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982). It was a juicy role for Kathy and film audiences finally started noticing the now 34-year-old.
Still and all, it was the New York stage that continued to earn Kathy awards and acclaim. She was pure textbook to any actor studying how to disappear into a role. Her characters ranged from free and life-affirming to downright pitiable. Despite winning a Tony Award nomination and Outer Critic’s Circle Award for her stark, touchingly sad portrait of a suicidal daughter in 1983’s ”’night, Mother” and the Obie and Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for her powerhouse job as a romantic misfit in “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune,” Kathy had no box-office pull and was hardly a strong consideration when the roles finally went to film.
It was her fanatical turn as the drab, chunky, porcine-looking psychopath Annie Wilkes, who kidnaps her favorite author (James Caan) and subjects him to a series of horrific tortures, that finally turned the tide for her in Hollywood. With the 1990 shocker Misery (1990), based on the popular Stephen King novel, Bates and Caan were pure box office magic. Moreover, Kathy captured the “Best Actress” Oscar and Golden Globe award, a first in that genre (horror) for that category. To add to her happiness she married Tony Campisi, also an actor, in 1991.
Quality film scripts now started coming her way and the 1990s proved to be a rich and rewarding time for her. First, she and another older “overnight” film star, fellow Oscar winner Jessica Tandy, starred together in the modern portion of the beautifully nuanced, flashback period piece Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). She then outdid herself as the detached and depressed housekeeper accused of murdering her abusive husband (David Strathairn) in Dolores Claiborne (1995). Surprisingly, she was left out of the Oscar race for these two excellent performances. Not so, however, for her flashy political advisor Libby Holden in the movie Primary Colors (1998) and her quirky, liberal mom in About Schmidt (2002), receiving “Best Supporting Actress” nominations for both
Kathy has also done prolific work on TV as a seven-time Emmy nominee, and has taken to directing a couple of TV-movies on the sly. She was nominated for a DGA award after helming an episode of “Six Feet Under”, in which she also had a recurring role. While some of her more recent movie parts have been generally unworthy of her talents, she has more than made up for it in TV-movies playing everything from cruel-minded caricatures (Little Orphan Annie’s Miss Hannigan) to common, decent, every day folk.
Divorced from her husband since 1997, Kathy has been the Executive Committee Chair of the Actors Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.