A little about the Our Place administrators.
app- I struggled for years trying to grasp what the problem was with my marriage. I attempted even to play roles that seemed acceptable to him, and went out of my way to achieve those roles. It became the never-ending race for acceptance. He announced what would make him happy, and I would race to fulfill it. Most people would be pleased, but instead he was angry and listed more things that he needed in addition. He would stretch that finish line out even further each time. I never get that prize from him.
I struggled with the faith side of marriage, and also the fact he had a serious medical condition that would never get better. I found that the church instead of dealing with the abusive nature asked myself, and as I found out later many, many others to rely on spiritual pixie dust answers instead of accountability. I found that they tended to like to guilt people into staying instead of dealing with the evil behavior that he portrayed. I also figured out that he felt entitled to the care regarding his medical condition, and he was also entitled to neglect the care of others when it was his time to step up.
After 20+ years of being together I found myself - warts and all - not the person that deserved to be neglected and guilted. I learned I didn't deserve being abused, and my life changed after I learned to own that. I want others to see the same light I did, and that's why I wish to welcome you to OUR PLACE!
Becky- I was married 13 years to an abusive
man; it was my second marriage.( My first
marriage to a good guy gave me two wonderful
sons who are now adults. )
Although I knew something wasn't quite right
during the year we were engaged, I chalked
his sometimes odd and hurtful behavior up to
his not having much relationship experience
and being still single at 40. After we married,
I soon found that I could do very little right .
He belittled , criticized and threatened me,
accused me of all kinds of dishonest behavior
and wore down my spirit. When physical abuse
began to escalate, I knew I had to go.
Since my divorce in 2003, I've been healing and
discovering--for the first time, really--who I am
as a woman and a person. I have a heart for
those who are hurting, and that's why I am at
Our Place. Supporting others who have been
abused is part of my healing and a way to pay
back the love and support I have been given by
my friends here.
Curly- Abuse is not always loud or physically
violent. Abuse can be very very quiet but still
break you and destroy you from the inside. I
was subjected to months at a time of silent
treatment to punish me for being right or
wrong, for being upset, for having the wrong
expression or for any number of reasons I never did understand. Although he was not generally physical there were times when I feared for my life. He shouted at times but mostly it was his silence that silenced me. I was nameless, invisible and I believed worthless. I have found my voice again. I am seen and heard. I am a worthwhile human being with something to offer this world. I found a community that understood and now I am using my voice to try and help others through Our Place.
Kita- I grew up in a family with a codependent parenting style. My first serious relationship started out with a charming, attentive man, who methodically isolated me from family and friends in a crazymaking manner. I ended up feeling alone, not questioning that I should ask him permission to attend any activity not involving him. I went from a semi-confident, college-educated, working woman to an individual who thought telling Goldilocks and the Three Bears to her infant daughter while her father was in the hallway tapping the other side of the door with a loaded .9mm handgun - was normal.
My sanity involved finding my voice, talking to family, friends and strangers, finding a safe place to share my experiences, both in real life and online. I have 11 years of experience on this journey of self-revelation and 8 of them have been shared with these Administrators who are walking their own path. The way I got stronger was to learn about myself, my boundaries and my accountability to myself, my child and my personal power and to no other human who does not have the same healthy standards. It did not involve trying to change for another, or to control anyone. My weapons of defense were clarity of thought and vision, documenting the various forms of abuse and communicating with others. My tools of growth were finding my own value in this world and creating a plan for my happiness which did not involve ridicule, power struggles, isolation and shame. My personal motto is: "Never stop learning about yourself."
notagain- Being in an abusive relationship can sometimes feel like playing out the character of the Rat in "who moved my cheese?" Our partner may start out seeming to be loving and protective, but with time, show their true selves to be very unpredictable at best, downright abusive at worst. It's normal to want to focus on those good times, those good qualities, and make excuses for the bad, but to really free yourself from the abuse, you have to merge the two and accept that both exist, both are real, and decide for yourself, if this is the way you want to live. Our Place is exactly the sort of "sounding board" that I needed to help me make those firm decisions for my life that have led to personal freedom.
percolate- I grew up in an abusive home and really didn't know how deeply it had effected me until I sought counseling after my third divorce. Although I thought I escaped their clutches by going to college and living half way across the country, through counseling I discovered that the people I chose to marry were just as passive-aggressive, disrespectful, and controlling as my parents.
I didn't have a name to describe what was wrong, but I knew nothing I did ever seemed to improve things. Today, thanks to the internet, I do have the words e.g., emotional abuse, withholding, financial abuse and sexual abuse.
Who are we?
Our Place was created by a group of friends who have worked together as a team for a long time. We are the former volunteer administrators of another popular message board for those in abusive relationships. In late 2008, when that forum changed direction, we decided to stick together and strike out on our own. And now here we are in Our Place!
We are known by our screen names: app, Becky, Blaithnin, Curly, Kita, notagain, percolate, Rocky, Stormy, Vanessa, Vicky, and vpc. We are from both northern and southern hemispheres. We work in many different occupations and professions. We are all parents. Sadly, we have all been in abusive relationships as well.
We are united in our shared commitment to offer practical information and help to people targeted for cruelty, abuse, bullying, and other bad behaviors. For each of us, the Internet was our lifeline when we were isolated, afraid, and uncertain whether our experience even had a name. We've each felt privileged to give back some of the comfort and validation we received when we needed it most.
Collectively, we now have almost half a century of experience running a support board! We've heard a lot of stories. We've seen many common themes in peoples' experiences all around the world. We've faced a lot of challenges, and helped our members to face some really big ones. We've been through a lot of battles together. We really like the way we work together as a team.
Our core values here at Our Place are kindness, respect, acceptance, tolerance, and courtesy.
We are NOT mental health professionals or authorities. We are your peers. We've been there. The information and advice here at Our Place is strictly our own opinion, based on our own years of observation, personal experience and education regarding abuse issues.
We hope you like our site. We hope you find some comfort, a new idea, a kind word, or perhaps a warm corner to curl up in for a little while. Please take what you need and leave the rest. We're glad you're here at Our Place!
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I've been single for the past 10 years and they have been some of the best years of my life. I've been busy raising my daughter, busy with work, and enjoying hobbies that I gave up when I was married. And I'm very hopeful that my 19-year old daughter, who is a senior in college, will never get involved in an abusive relationship. I don't date often (too busy) but when I do, I've found that because I'm more confident and healthier emotionally, I'm attracting much healthier men than I did when I was younger.
Stormy- I grew up in abusive home, and was married twice to abusers. I've been out for more than 8 years. I've been involved with a non-abuser for 6 years now. I have three lovely children-age 20, 13, and 3. My goals are to continue healing and growing, to overcome a lifetime of abuse and to help my children not pass the legacy of abuse down to their children. I care deeply about victims of abuse and their struggles to find self-realization and answers, so being a part of Our Place is a way to offer support.
vpc- I was in an abusive relationship for just over 18 months.
Violence, psychobabble and isolation led to a time during that 18 months where I didn't know what was reality. In that short space of time I went from being a fairly confident, cheerful person who enjoyed being with people, to a timid cowering woman who believed I was insane.
It wasn't until I was out that I began to really see what had taken place and I was diagnosed with PTSD about 12 months after the relationship was over.
The three and a half years I've been out have been some of the most difficult times of my life. Rebuilding and reconnecting after such horrid violations can be hard.
But along with the difficulties came new strength, passions and purpose. I have an increased belief in myself and a desire to do what I can to help others through the journey.
More admin stories still to be added.