Bodies in the Basement Blog Series: Recovery

I read a very, very interesting study yesterday: “High conflict divorce or stalking by way of family court? The empowerment of a wealthy abuser in family court”, by TJ Sutherland. This was a litigation study concerning the case Linda v. Lyle. It says, among many things, that courts are frequently apt to assume that both parties are the source of the conflict and are using their children as pawns. “A closer look shows high conflict divorce has features common to both domestic abuse relationships and the stalking behavior displayed by abandoned abusers.” The article goes on to say that, “The description of stalkers, batterers and litigants embroiled in high-conflict divorce sounds very familiar. A two year time frame is touted (post separation) as the period of highest risk for women who flee batterers and as the defining time frame for the “high-conflict” moniker. The actual behaviors are identical, and only the analyses differ.” Also, “… Family Court lends itself to use as a forum for post-separation stalking.

Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.
–Brian Tracy

The Truth or His Truth?

Like every single one of you that I have had direct contact with knows, my ex-husband has an extremely casual relationship with the truth, in all parts of his life. It seems from this article and other information on such sites as the Stalking Resource Center, that the post-separation/post-divorce pattern is just as universal as the in-relationship pattern of abuse, including their inclination to attempt to use the court to do their dirty work based on a truckload of lies. When we discuss these and other common behaviors, I frequently refer to the “Universal Abusers Playbook” because the more we explore each other’s’ experiences, the more we realize they are EXACTLY the same. Remember the Wedding Ring Game? On, off, on, off, over and over… the message being, “I will only be in this relationship when you are making me happy and doing what I want you to do” or “See how easily I can separate myself from this relationship?

Here’s one quote from the article that 100% applies to my life: “Retaliation for defiant behavior is a central finding in battering (abuse) relationships, and stalking is one retaliatory measure.” C.C. has met the qualifications for stalking multiple times and the retaliation using the court was payback for my blocking his ability to call or text me, after blocking him from my email over a year prior to that. Black and white, folks. Not to mention fully documented.

So, the question is, how do we continue to do our best work, live our best lives and heal in the face of such blatant continuation of the abuse?

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Aubrey Cole

Aubrey Cole

I survived a quarter century of psychological, emotional, economic and sexual abuse. When I got out, I vowed to help others do the same and founded the Emotional Abuse Survivors Network project in 2012. Now, I offer hope and healing to others on their journey as they rediscover themselves. My forthcoming books, Bodies in the Basement and Define Winning, chronicle my experiences, escape, and recovery. There is nothing so special about me that others can't emerge and thrive.
Aubrey Cole

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