The Power of the Present Moment

The Power of the Present Moment

There’s power in the present moment. In fact, that’s where all the power is. But folks in relationships with disturbed characters have a hard time remembering this. For various understandable reasons, abuse victims tend to stay in the past or future. And this is inherently disempowering.

Trauma always leaves a deep impression on the brain. So it’s natural for abuse victims to have a hard time letting go of the past. Past wounds may haunt them.  And many times, the consequences of their abuser’s behavior still visit them. It’s hard to shake off the past. And it can take hold of a person. But it can virtually enslave and paralyze a person, too. It can keep you from moving on. And it can keep you from staying in the present moment. That’s unfortunate, because the present moment is where all the power is.

Folks in relationships with disturbed characters worry about the future a lot, too. They wonder what their abusive partner will do next. And they fretfully anticipate what consequences might ensue. This is both natural and understandable. But it’s also disempowering.

Abusive relationship victims become adversely conditioned. They’re conditioned to ruminate about both the past and the future. That conditioning causes them to lose sight of where real power lies. It lies in the present moment. And it lies in the choice you have to take action in the here and now.

Moving On After a Toxic Relationship

Folks who finally wrested themselves from a toxic relationship often find moving on difficult. They can be haunted by the past. And even when they’ve done their best to forget, they can be plagued with new, painful reminders. Disturbed characters create lots of messes and do lots of damage. Parting company with all of this takes time. And sometimes the consequences of their actions don’t surface for a while. So, just when you think you can safely move on, another painful reminder appears. This makes parting with the past and staying in the present difficult.

Sometimes, victims unwittingly trap themselves in the past. They brood about what they didn’t see earlier. And they ruminate about all the years lost. They grieve over all they gave and all it cost them. This is just part of what I describe in In Sheep’s Clothing as the “slot machine syndrome.” But wallowing in grief over all you’ve lost is an energy drain. And keeps a person from moving on.

It’s natural for former victims to worry about what to do next. It’s normal to fret over how one will care for themselves, where the money will come from, etc. But thinking too far ahead can also be disempowering. The real power is in taking things one day at a time, one step at a time. Making choices in the here and now. Letting those choices instruct. In time, this breeds hope. And it only further empowers.

Joy Restored

In all four of my books, I discuss two key behavioral “formulas:” the formula for depression, and the formula for joy.  The behavioral formula for depression is focusing attention on and investing one’s energy in people, places, and things you can’t possibly control. (See:  Is There a Behavioral Formula for Depression?). The formula for joy involves the opposite. You focus all your attention and energy where you have power: your choice and action in the present moment. You won’t always get the results you anticipate or hope for. But whatever result you do get has the power to make you wiser. That helps guide your next steps. And in taking consistent action, you’ll find joy restored to your life.

I’ll have more to say on behavioral “formulas” for depression and joy next time.

23 thoughts on “The Power of the Present Moment

  1. This almost goes into victim-blaming. Victims are traumatized. Many cannot move on. People who have never endured such horrors cannot fathom the lived experience of those who have. They don’t realize how it’s not a choice. The victim is not CHOOSING to stay in the past, but rather she is traumatized to the point of being continually haunted by what was done to her.

    Brain scans show that bullying scars the brain. It creates grooves in children’s brains who are victims of bullying (evil). It changes their brains and those scarred brains don’t exactly bounce back to pre-trauma state. They lived with scarred brains. Abnormally grooved brains. Extreme stress that is prolonged, chronic, and unmitigated creates brain damage. It considerably ages brains and it also causes some sections to atrophy with other areas enlarging.

    Think of it this way. Let’s imagine this woman has been severely burned in a fire. She lives, but most of her body is covered in scar tissue and she needs skin grafts. Everyday she must endure the horrors of stretching her skin. Everyday she can see how her body is now covered in scarring. She’ll need multiple surgeries as she goes on in life. She’ll be extra sensitive in the areas where skin was grafted. She must take considerably more time and care towards safeguarding the grafted skin. She must be concerned with sunlight exposure, as it burns more easily. She must expend more effort in shopping for clothing as certain fabrics are now intolerable.

    All of her life from that point on is dominated by the terrible fire. She doesn’t need any “move on” messaging. It does not apply and is actually quite cruel to say to her. She isn’t willfully choosing to have her life be consumed with skincare, infection prevention, stretching (torture sessions) sessions, etc. It is a fact of life.

    I think it is cruel to tell victims to essentially “move on” and be so tone deaf as to suggest victims are voluntarily, freely choosing to fixate on their abuser, his abuse and violence towards them, and survival strategies. You worded it much better than other writers, psychologists, etc. but it’s essentially the same message. Sure, yours sounds more like encouragement and that’s way better than those who whack victims with the “move on! get over it already!” directives.

    If it was a matter of simple choice, no victims would remain stuck. Being haunted day and night, plagued by memories of abuse, violence, and violation is involuntary. Just like a burn survivor’s days being fixated on their external injuries and the problems that come with it.

    And you’re not being stalked, targeted, or subjected to further abuse, harm, or criminal victimization. Must be nice. So no matter what victims do, some abusers will stop at nothing to ensure their victims suffer and remain hunted prey for the rest of their lives. There are abusers whose victims moved multiple times, across the nation and then back again, and the abuser follows.

    I wish more people understood that some victims aren’t ever able to “move on” and it’s not a choice they make. It’s not voluntary, nor of their making.

    So many narcs, psychopaths, garden variety batterers and other abusers will invest great effort, time, and money in ensuring their victims never escape their control, never escape their domination, never have another free moment in life. Victims would be terribly misguided and foolish to not be always watching over their shoulder, always waiting for the next attack. That’s the reality of certain victims. It takes being hunted prey to truly grasp the full-scale predicament they are in and will always be in, having had the incredible misfortune of being targeted and selected by a predator.

    What woman, in such situations, should be further blamed or shamed or admonished for not being joyful? None. Of course they are depressed. Oppression, subjugation, and victimization produce depression. Only psychotic or demented persons wouldn’t be depressed in such circumstances. Please don’t further add to victim’s burdens and victim-blaming by suggesting they are failing freshly anew, by not being joyful and engaging in this or that way, in not ‘moving on’, in not behaving their way out of depression. Such is a fantasy for certain victims/prey/targets.

    1. I’m not sure how my comments about what deep impressions trauma makes and understandably leads to depression, etc. is in any way victim-blaming. Nor do I understand how the “formula” for joy and energy re-vitalization discounts how difficult the task is for trauma survivors. It’s still the pathway, as tough as it is. And there’s ample trauma survivor research to back it up. I’ll be having more to say on the topic. Stick with it. I certainly haven’t made a career of blaming victims. And I know how badly it stinks that in the aftermath of trauma, the victim has even more hardship to endure to recover. So, I appreciate your sentiments. I know one trauma survivor who has to bring herself into the present moment one second at a time because of how decimating her past was. But her commitment to keep herself in the here and now as best as she can has been a true life saver. And by the way, acting one’s way in to a new mental framework is not fantasy. In fact, it’s the only demonstrated effective therapy. And I don’t believe in therapy that doesn’t heal. I realize that for trauma survivors this can be a monumental task, requiring much support and reinforcement. But it’s still the pathway.

      1. You’re right and I apologize. I was really set off by the wallowing in grief part and it colored everything for me. I fear I have become a gnat-strainer. It was only a word.

        You do have good messages and I’m glad you offer your website to victims. I learn much. Sorry for going off on you. Hope you and your loved ones are staying inside and safe during this pandemic. Ultimately, Christians’ times are in God’s Hands.

        Thanks for offering your works to the internet. I’ve seen your videos. You do seem like a genuinely good person, not someone to victim-blame. My perception was off and now I see that. Sorry!

        1. I hear you and I get where you’re coming from because there a lot of victim blamers in the world. I definitely don’t think Dr Simon is one. I’m understanding it like this that as hard as it is for those of us who have been abused greatly that we stay in the moment as best we can and not relive the abuse nor should we allow abusive moments to be gotten away with that are currently happening!?

  2. Hi,
    I agree with a lot of what you say. I’ve certainly seen many online articles and popular self-help sites giving out such “advice” and it’s glib, insensitive and unhelpful at best. I suppose that’s partly because the audience being broadcasted to is anyone who visits such sites. I can compare that in a way to the sort of bland “be positive” advice dispensed online by upper middle class people from loving families who haven’t experienced and don’t really understand hardship – does the “dream big! Live your passion!” sentiment help if you’re a homeless, disabled, traumatised, charmless alcoholic with no family and no welfare? Do millionaires with tip-top private healthcare and mansions singing “we’re all in this together!” about covid-19 actually help anyone?
    However I disagree that Dr Simon (hello, Dr Simon) is necessarily contributing to that “you’re choosing to ruminate of your own free will” message (although I personally dislike the word choice “wallowing”). I suppose what I’m interested to know is: is it true that traumatised people, in general, of the nature you describe – those whose brain structures have been structurally damaged by abuse- cannot possibly progress from that trauma, are truly unable to overcome the kind of involuntary ruminating you describe? Clearly it’s important to make a distinction in cases where the victim is being held in place by for example domestic violence, financial or other dependency. But otherwise is it definitely the case that the dwelling on painful memories etc is impossible for the victim to overcome through therapy and practice – that they are physically incapable of getting to the sort of outlook mentioned here – learning to focus on the present, day by day? I’m not arguing a side either way, I’m just interested to know if that’s been proven definitively.
    If it’s not proven definitively that the damage is permanent and can’t be overcome, are you more saying, yes, focussing on the present may well help, but the steps that would need to happen in general for trauma victims to get to that point are so huge, that the advice is no use, and insulting? The alcoholic chronically ill homeless man with no resources is barely able to get up in the morning and stay warm at night, suggesting exploring yoga and re-writing his cv isn’t exactly helpful?

    1. You might want to read my reply to anony. I understand her sentiments. And I appreciate yours as well. Perhaps the word “wallowing” implies choice for some folks, so perhaps that choosing it was unwise. But to say that folks whose brains have been deeply damaged can’t recover is inaccurate. The more intense the trauma and the deeper the impressions, the tougher the road to recovery is. But I’ve witnessed many impressive turnarounds in my 72 years. And I’ve never found it helpful in any way to focus on how tough the recovery might be.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. That is what I hoped – pleased to hear it.

        I’m new to this website so will take some time to read through and digest. I came to it from an interview you have on YouTube. I was looking for advice regarding the rage I feel towards the “wolf” who hurt me, why I was easy prey, how to make peace with the fact that I’ll never get justice, and what to do about my obsessive thinking about what happened. This still alternates with sometimes fantasising about the “nice” facade of this individual. Using logic I do see that continuing in this manner will only hurt me, but just chalking it up as a big loss, focussing on my own life and drawing a line under it feels completely impossible. I can’t seem to let it go. My thoughts are dominated by the injustice of it all. I’m resentful and trying to be calm about it feels like I’m not really dealing with it just squashing it down. I’ve always felt compassion and decency were important but seeing how competitive, self-interested manipulative predators thrive has left me at a loss. I don’t have the killer egotistical instinct so wouldn’t cut it as a wolf. The activities I used to find joy in feel hollow as they’re bound up with the abuser, but turning my back on them also feels wrong. I feel like I could build an entirely new life, take up new interests, that have no connection with what he does but it feels like even if I did it wouldn’t really be freedom, just avoiding. In short, I’m in an angry, unhappy no-man’s land, stuck feeling. I’m pleased to have found your site that corroborates some of my perceptions about these predatory folks.
        I’ll keep reading…

      2. You’re right, Dr. Simon. It isn’t helpful to focus on how tough the recovery might be. One can appreciate it, though.

        The “unwittingly trap themselves” as well as “brooding” and especially “wallowing in grief” felt very victim-blamey to me.

        I’ve thrown myself into ‘moving on’ efforts. Active counseling/therapy. Actively seeking out healing and recovery and it only led to more victimization and traumatization from other predatory persons.

        Life is a minefield of triggers, intrusive, haunting memories, and years and years of traumatization from being targeted by a wide array of predatory persons.

        This bad feeling stuff doesn’t go away. It fills you with dread at what the next intrusive memory of abuse/victimization/cruelty is going to be and how many times it will replay again before it stops. I hate living. I’m but full of haunting. It never stops plaguing me – day and night.

        But there is no choice. Either way, one continues to breathe and thus has to exist. To suggest that I’m wallowing in it (or any victim is wallowing in it) is nothing new. Many people have such sentiments and lots of disgust as to why the victim hasn’t moved on, and gotten over it already. I wish such was in the past, to stay in the past, too.

        I haven’t found you to be otherwise victim-blamey. The “brooding” and “wallowing” word choices really set me off. I should have refrained from accusations of victim-blaming.

        I fear I’ll never come out of this. I’ll be sure to read your next post and those that follow that.

        Abusers are murderers. They are torturers. And the pain and haunting is a daily plague. Wicked. So very wicked.

        Maybe one second at a time is the way to go. To stay in the present. It’s a constant battle. One day at a time.

      3. Dr. Simon,
        I too have wallowed in my grief over not only what abusive characters have done to me, but how many out there have abused me. I’m not trying to school you when I say this, I think I had to grieve what people did to me, how long it was done as well as how did I LET it go on.
        I’m GLAD to say, that with all your writings and BELIEVE me I print them all out and have read and re read the 3 books I bought from you…I am DONE GRIEVING!!!
        Thank you especially for this post as it describes what God has been preparing me for…LIVING in the PRESENT!!! Now I truly see each day as a GIFT or PRESENT!!!
        I am doing the hardest thing I’ve ever really had to do, and that’s leaving some DEARLY LOVED ONES in the hands of God and maintaining no contact. I’m praying daily again for them and compassion is growing again inside of me!
        Thank you!

        1. Pricilla,

          Glad to hear you are doing well. Its extremely difficult and painful to practice NC, especially, with our loved ones. You are wise to let go and let God. Indeed you are a lovely and compassionate person and you will continue to blossom and grow. Keep growing in Spirit and Love, you will be blessed for this.

          Prayer is powerful and God does hear His Children, pray without ceasing.
          Hugs and God Bless

          1. BTOV

            JUST FOR YOU. hope you are well

            I have had my job suspended for three weeks ( no work). I am still very much employed. The whole team at my works is in the same position. I have know lost 42 pounds in weight

            INVITCUS

            BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY

            Out of the night that covers me,
            Black as the pit from pole to pole,
            I thank whatever gods may be
            For my unconquerable soul.

            In the fell clutch of circumstance
            I have not winced nor cried aloud.
            Under the bludgeonings of chance
            My head is bloody, but unbowed.

            Beyond this place of wrath and tears
            Looms but the Horror of the shade,
            And yet the menace of the years
            Finds and shall find me unafraid.

            It matters not how strait the gate,
            How charged with punishments the scroll,
            I am the master of my fate,
            I am the captain of my soul.

          2. Joey,

            I am well, thank you for asking and above all thinking of me, I think of you too. I will try to post more often.

            So true, all of us are Masters of our Fate and Captains of our Souls.

            Hugs and many Blessings

  3. Hi,
    Last comment /question – apologies for bombarding the comments, I’ll stop here. Have you any suggestions/ information sources regarding victims recovering without justice?

    I’ve made a start on reading up on this, early days but all I’ve found so far is the idea of forgiveness. I can’t see that forgiveness applies where sadistic, calculating individuals are concerned – the man who exploited me is not contrite, he’s not the victim of sad circumstances, he enjoys cruelty, he planned every step in cold blood- forgiveness isn’t any use here 🙁
    I wouldn’t win in a court case, and I can already imagine attempting to expose him otherwise publicly would be very hard – he’s too good at image management.
    Regarding recovery, I can see the logic in focussing on what you can control. But does that mean I need to just avoid thinking about the unfairness of it all, and knowing he’s out there doing just fine? I feel trying to sweep it all under the rug will give me a tumour 🙁

    1. For the vast majority of victims, there is no justice. None whatsoever. Not in this life, on earth. God will repay, but it seems most victims must wait for this life to pass before seeing any justice.

      Most abusers and predators are excellent at image management/impression management. Most hone their public persona with the calculated intent of making it that much more unlikely any of their victims will be believed, let alone obtain justice.

      Abusers excel in manipulation and deception. Abusers love cruelty and sadism. Of course they are calculating and cold-blooded.

      I’m so glad you have side-stepped the pitfalls you mentioned, the traps and nonsense so many lead victims to believe — that the abuser deserves pity or greater understanding, that the abuser is contrite. Nope. Not at all. Others may be taken in by such lies, but not you. Good!

      No forgiveness need be given. Why cheapen such? I stand against those that lead victims to believe they must forgive in order to heal and that forgiveness is for the victim, not the perp. Nonsense! What lies!

      If the perp isn’t asking for forgiveness, showing actions in keeping with repentance, and eager to compensate you for what he did to you (like pay for your counseling bills, as an example, assuming the perp isn’t destitute or nearly so), no need to forgive. It’s illogical to forgive. It’s a betrayal of yourself, if you will.

      I doubt there will be any kind of justice for you. It’s based on stats, experience, and anecdotal evidence of others’ experiences.

      Sweeping it all under the rug is crazy-making, too, along with the tumour you mentioned.

      I rest in the knowledge that God knows what was done, that God promises He will repay and He is my Avenger. You don’t say if you are a Christian, but as for me, that is my solace.

      Perhaps you can take even better care of yourself now, as a special ‘screw you’ to him. Make a point of being an even better advocate for yourself. Advance your own self-interests even more. Grace yourself with even more self-love than ever before. Defy him. Abusers love to instill self-hatred in their victims. So, defy him. Love yourself like never before. Make it a project. A radical self-love project. Whatever cruelty he inflicted on you, whatever insults he spewed, whatever exploitation occurred, try and make the opposite happen/true. He said you were worthless or disposable? Cherish yourself on an even greater level. Bask in the knowledge of just how valuable, worthy, and wonderful you are.

      Abusers are thieves, murderers, and destroyers. Like devil father, like abuser son. So, perhaps that is the project, the radical self-love project. Become your own hype person. Be your own cheerleader. Read God’s Word and see how valuable you are, assuming you are a child of God. Spite your abuser with your newly-found, newly-nurtured radical self-love.

  4. Dr. Simon… you are spot on! Having come out of two abusive relationships it took honest self reflection to see that I had been allowing it all along. Denial is a terrible thing and not until we take responsibility for it and our part in it can we change our direction, and begin to heal.

    1. Abusive relationships are not two-way. They are predatory. Victims do not “allow it” and thus bear responsibility. It’s victim-blaming territory.

      Imagine, if you will, if your abuser used weapons, like guns, instead of coercive control via lessor overtly violent means (control by verbal and emotional abuse, as one example). One person preying on another does not equal “I’d been allowing it all along”. Not true. It’s a power imbalance. There is no negotiation that occurs. It’s a power grab by the abuser.

      Agentic men claim to understand women’s plights but they are men with opportunities women never have. I tire of hearing how women are choosing to be in abusive relationships. Not so. No woman goes out and selects herself an abuser and brings him home and gets all excited about how he is going to wreak her world and destroy her self-esteem and grind her down, bit by bit.

      Don’t take the responsibility of an abuser. You didn’t allow it all along. Your abuser abused you. Did you sign up for that? Did he tell you, “ah yes, Donna, at the outset, I wish to make things crystal clear for you, so you may choose whether or not you want to become an abused victim, so here is how I’m going to f— up your life, do you want to proceed? Or would you opt out and decline such a dismal future?”

      Nope. He did not. You didn’t get with either abuser because you chose to be abused. Don’t fall for the victim-blaming ‘it takes two’ ‘you’re responsible, too’ ‘you allowed it’ BS.

      Anyone held at gunpoint, taken hostage, isn’t told the “you allowed it” BS line, and yet abused women get such toxic BS lies spewed on them in a multitude of ways.

      I’ve changed my mind again. Dr. Simon was abused? So be it. And he managed to get out and recover? Great. But he is still a man. And it makes a tremendous difference in this oppressive, woman-hating society, whether or not a victim is male or female, as the chances of future victimization are vastly different. The vast majority of men get off on harming, victimizing, preying on, and abusing women. Women are oppressed. Women are marginalized in ways men don’t ever understand or truly comprehend, as they are men and move through this world with male privilege (what is privilege but ‘not having to think about it’?).

      Women are beaten down. Repeatedly. Oppression is so entrenched it is seen as normal. Sexism and men’s violence against women as seen as normal and even ‘natural’. Dr. Simon fails to appreciate this in his application of his victimization and his recovery and his success, as it seems it was but one abuser. Not an entire sex that is steeped in hatred for his sex/existence.

      1. anony,

        Sounds like you are the one with the real hate issues concerning the opposite sex. There are a great number of men who are ashamed to admit they have been victimized by women along with being stereotyped and made fun of. Many men have contributed to this very forum sharing their personal abuse stories. It’s not just woman who are abused, its men too which is a known fact.

        Discrimination will always be, because people are imperfect and character disordered as Dr. Simon writes about. When one tears down another we can become the abuser just as well in a more twisted an insidious way.

        1. Hate issues? Not so. I love and adore the men who aren’t evil, misogynistic, violent, oppressive, abusers.

          Jesus is my Savior.

          But the reality remains. Most men hate women. And the rare man who is abused by his wife still has male privilege in this world, as the world is male dominated with men at the top, hording the power and resources.

          I suspect you are a woman who is so entrenched in male-identification that you cannot see the reality we live in today. This is a common problem with women. It’s a survival strategy for some and brainwashing for the rest.

          I am not an abuser. I am not tearing down men without cause. I am a woman who is tired of all the rampant male victimization of women all over the world.

          Do I expect people to be perfect? Obviously not. And to say “discrimination will always be, because people are imperfect and character disordered” is to throw a monkey wrench of irrelevancy into the mix and to throw up one’s hands in needless acceptance. It’s a non-argument you put forth.

          Men dominating women is not acceptable. Sexism is evil. Same with racism. Do you support racism? Since we are “imperfect people”? Highly doubt it. And yet you support sexism, saying “discrimination will always be”.

          Are you married? Do you have sons? Usually married women who are mothers of sons are the ones most likely to espouse the “but men are abused, too!” distractive, non-responses like you offered.

          I do not believe that women are incapable of abuse. But women usually abuse other women.

          I once knew a woman, for a short time, who did emotionally abuse her spouse. The daughter was just like her mom. The two of them easily qualified as malignant narcissists. Vile, vile, awful mother and daughter. The dad was nice to that mom. He was nice to his beauty pageant narc daughter. But he wasn’t trapped in the marriage. He could have divorced her at will, had he wanted to do so. Women don’t have that type of agency when it comes to abuser men. They are entrapped, they are hunted by the abuser men, they are beaten and even murdered.

          And women aren’t ashamed and humiliated to admit they are being abused? You believe such only shames, humiliates and disempowers men? Hardly. Abuser men claim almost 100 percent of the time to be the abused party and falsely claim the woman is the abuser. It is such a common practice, it’s DARVO. Deny the abuse/deny being the abuser. Attack the abused woman. (such is usually smearing her as non-credible, crazy, a liar, an adulterer, etc) And finally, Reverse Victim and Offender. The wife-beater claims to be victim. The wife-beater claims the wife is the batterer, not him. Please, now that you have been made aware of such, revisit such supposed stories on here of supposed claims of men being the victims and their wives being the abusers.

          If you read enough, hear enough accounts of abuse, are experienced enough, you come to have a feel for these things. Why? How? Because abusers seem to play from relatively the same handbook. Men use the same lies and false claims against the victimized women. Woman abusers falsely smear campaign the women they victimize in a few key ways. There is a proficiency that can be developed, due to exposure and experience and you’ll start seeing and hearing the same patterns a person can find in research studies concerning wife-beating and men who use violence and coercive control against their wives/girlfriends. That you take these false claims of there being supposedly all these men victims who are unrecorded victims due to being too embarassed to speak out, as FACT, (which it’s not, it’s a LIE) is evidence of your inexperience in the field of abusers and just how many men are actually very bad people who should be rightfully hated. DV is not gender neutral (other than in name — which is to obfuscate the reality of men’s widespread violence against women) in reality, no matter how many liar men falsely claim to be victims. When a man claims to be the victim of abuse, with his wife or girlfriend being the supposed abuser, a person should be extra-suspicious of such ‘victim’ actually being an evil, wife-beater. The chances are very, very high!

          If I had to guess, you are a mother of sons. You are very male-identified. Arguing against material reality (statistics, for example) shows your bias and prejudice. To claim I hate a hatred against men and that I am turning into an abuser?? For citing material reality?? Come on now, please recognize how off-based, unfairly biased, and prejudiced you are.

          Men don’t need you to lobby for them. They don’t. Men have real power, privilege, and advantages over women in male-dominated society. It’s objective reality, the world over.

          Domestic violence is a gender neutral term. Deliberately so. Ever wonder why the MALE powers that be wanted to phase out wife-beating, wife-beaters, women-abuse, wife-abuse? Because DV is overwhelmingly men’s violence against women. When men are recorded as the victim, a lot of times, it’s abusers duping the officers, working the system, and having their abused wives arrested and jailed for LIES. Other times it’s men-on-men violence where the more stereotyped ‘masculine’ (sex roles are made up BS, they are stereotypes, but so many believe in masculinity/femininity it’s mind-numbing) gay man is beating on, controlling, abusing the other gay man who is less stereotypically ‘masculine’. Beyond that, there are women sometimes arrested for DV who are beating on their woman partner.

          You argue the lies that incels (woman-hating incels) espouse. Please educate yourself about material reality.

          1. Oh look, another man murdered some more women. A trucker stabbed four women in TN, three of them died. And in the news clip on CNN it says the motive is unknown. Know what the motive is? Woman-hating. It’s a hate crime, but men’s violence against women is so widespread and so widely accepted, that such targeting of women, by men, for criminal victimization and violence isn’t recognized as hate crimes, yet they are hate crimes.

            The motive is woman-hating. It’s very, very simple. Multiple men have murdered their wives and then suicided in just the past day or so. The COVID-19 quarantine is entrapping women even more. When asked about the impact of stay-at-home orders, one cop actually told the awful truth – it’s going to cause the domestic violence crimes to go through the roof (wife-beating, woman-abuse is going to go through the roof).

            Women are marginalized. So are those who are of a minority race or ethnicity. Go out and stab 4 members of a different race and people are going to suspect the murderer was racist and it was a hate crime. A man in TN just stabbed four women, murdering three of them, and everyone suddenly throws their hands up in the air in confused resignation as though the motive can not be ascertained? Nonsense. It’s woman-hating. It’s sexism. It’s misogyny.

            It’s very tempting to turn your back on such objective realities, yet I encourage all women to recognize these truths and to start talking about women’s lives, women’s victimization, women’s rights and the need for change. Anything less and you’re guilty of perpetuating the status quo which is rife with misogyny, sexism, and men’s crimes, violence, and abuse against women.

            Quick – how many serial killers can you think of who are women? Count them. How many male serial killers are there in the USA alone? Don’t blur things, BTOV. It’s all around us. And women should be upset and talking about these horrific realities and nope, not lobbying for supposed men victims. Go back to the stats. Go back to your lived reality. Be objective. Most men should be hated and despised by women. Most men are dangerous to women. Women have excellent reason to fear and loathe them, being the predatory abusers they are. Evil men are all around us.

        2. BTOV and Dr. Simon,

          Sorry for being so aggressive towards you both. I’m struggling and it’s not pretty and I’ve been aggressive towards you both, which feels wrong. Sorry about that. It was bad of me.

          I wish you both well.

          1. Anony,
            You make valid points.
            For me, the problem within these comments is the idea of “free will”. Yes, abuse requires some form of compliance from the victim. BUT the point is that compliance/consent isn’t given with free will! Consent and compliance obtained by manipulation, threats, psychological/cultural conditioning isn’t free will.
            Abusers GROOM their victims!
            They don’t always look like monsters, they deliberately psychologically manipulate and control. That’s not accounted for in a comment like “denial is a terrible thing…until we take responsibility and our part”! There is truth in there but the wording is problematic – that word responsibility especially- because it doesn’t acknowledge any of this context. Same with BVOV re men are also abused and need acknowledged and supported too. Yes, of course! Absolutely, and there are stigmas for men, and different battles as you mention. They DO need lobbied for too!!! The sensitivity in that is that in helping abused men you don’t add to the already damaging power structures and narratives re men/women inequality, culture of violence against women. There is truth in the comments, and for the avoidance of doubt I value very deeply Dr Simon’s knowledge illuminating the path to recovery and thriving, it is a lifeline! I really look forward to the next post.
            I just think it’s worth pointing out in comments some of the ways words like responsibility, and the phrasing, can be laden with more than what the poster perhaps intended (?). Abuse scenario isn’t a level playing field where two grown adults engage on equal footing, where person A attempts to con and control the other, and if person B falls for it -they’ve no one to blame but themselves, it takes two to tango. That’s the problem with not acknowledging the nature of grooming and coercion, and the wider context of things like culture, history, power dynamics. It can add to shaming the victim, because it implies that there’s a share of “blame” for why abuse happens, that there is blame and it is equal!
            If a child is groomed online by an adult predator who convinces them to meet in person, then proceeds to abuse that child…would you place your main focus on the child’s denial about their role in that scenario, tell them it takes two to tango, wag a finger and say they and their abuser are both responsible for what happened? I’m sure that wasn’t intended but do you see where I’m coming from?
            It is a balance I guess…to not perpetuate either the sense the victim is completely powerless, can reclaim life in spite of these dark forces and shoring up awareness and practices to stop it happening in future. looking forward to post 3. Empowering is a good word 🙂

          2. anony,

            I can understand where you are coming from. And I also can understand what Dr Simon is trying to say. Like most readers, I encountered a lot of victim-blaming when I left my abuser and it simply added to the trauma experienced at the hands of the abuser. Trauma causes responses that are conditioned (which isn’t surprising, since unconscious, learned responses are designed to be a very effective way of learning), so my mind simply learned to keep me safe by being over-alert to threat, so every time I read or heard anything that sounded victim-blaming, I would get very angry.

            But I also have begun to realize that being in the present moment is all that matters – that’s all the life I have. Tomorrow isn’t here yet, and the past has gone. Abuse robbed me of my present moments, as I was always planning the future, or re-playing the past, or often somewhere else, totally dissociated from my present experience. Re-connecting to the present is within my power, and is my responsibility alone. Sure, I didn’t choose what happened to me, and I don’t now choose my mind’s and my body’s reactions. They’re implicit and unconscious. But they are also understandable and don’t have to be something I dread or push away. I can acknowledge them kindly and still use my power to stay engaged in my present moment. My ex can never take that away from me, even though he still tries, and I still get crossed that he remains unaccountable, but it is what it is. Focussing on it serves me no purpose.

          3. Thanks, Evelyn and Erin! I felt that I was being aggressive, but in reading it again, I wasn’t being aggressive. There goes the overactive nicey-nice overly conscientious, overly agreeable conditioning that abusers instill in their victims, there it’s conditioned for the victim to believe herself to be this “mean, nasty” woman, who “just wants to fight” if I dared to say anything in response than total agreement/total mindless support ‘yes men’ style. I loathe my evil abuser that much more for instilling that in me.

            My points were valid. My assessment was legitimate. Having opinions that differ is not aggressive or wrong of me.

            Male victims who usually need support are those who were molested/raped and victimized as children — wait for it, by other MEN — and that’s the only vulnerable male victim I’ve ever read about or come across. If the sexual abuse went on long enough, it usually messed up the guy for life. But there again, it’s another MAN’s brutality, sadism, and perversion that is the cause.

            So no, men don’t need women to lobby for them. This world is male dominated. Almost all wealth and resources are male owned and male controlled. Men have inherent standing in life that women do not. It’s a sexist, woman-hating world. Men can lobby just fine for themselves. Just look what happens when stricken with a ‘man cold’ how much moaning, whining, whimpering, etc. comes out of those manly men. Don’t fall for the trap.

            Men don’t lobby for women, so why should women, the oppressed class, lobby for the supposed victim members of the oppressor class? Answer: they shouldn’t. All women should encourage, lobby for, support, rally for, empower, and strengthen other women. Women need to start being exclusively for other women. Men don’t need our help. Until women actually achieve parity and true equality and liberation from men’s domination and oppression – the world over – women should be for other women, and only women. Let the men take care of their own. They have all the power and resources as it is.

            Nobody is on equal footing with a predator. A con artist is a predator. To be conned is to be victimized. There is no equal footing and therefore no possibility of negotiation or fair exchange. It’s predatory and the one taken advantage of is not to blame. I’m tired of all the victim-blaming in the world. I’m tired of victims being told they need to take responsibility for what some predatory man did to them. No woman goes out looking to marry a wife-beater. None. Nobody wants their life to be destroyed. There is an imbalance of power that is inherent in this all. Just like the person with the gun makes all the rules. Might makes right is believed in so many ways. People may not realize they subscribe to such beliefs but in their proffering victim-blaming or blame-sharing (what crap) ‘take responsibility!’ comments, they show that they do.

            Keep it clear. Con artists are scum. They should be shot or made to live on some criminal island where the predators can eat each other or whatever. Same goes for wife-beaters, coercive controllers, garden variety abusers, and so forth.

            BS about this neutral, ‘character disordered’ notion. Nope. Call evil, evil. Stop babying the predators of the world. Stop acting like evil will reform or is misguided or that it’s a “two to tango” transaction/dance. No, no, no. But I’d bet few to no ‘character disordered’ persons would show up and pay for ‘therapy’ or ‘consults’ or buy the books if scum was frankly talked about as being scum and deserving of criminal island death.

            For all the non-evil women of the world, may God bless you all!

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