Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts on Grief and Interpersonal Violence

Thoughts on Grief and Interpersonal Violence

Domestic Violence Stats & Warning Signs

Today while eating supper, I watched several videos about people who needed to overcome unresolved grief. One show of Dr. Phil's was called 'Twisted Grief'. He said that some people think they should grieve a long time, to show the depth of their love for the person they lost.  His guests' lives had been impacted by an accident, and the death of a loved one that happened in front of them. Both events were not controllable. Statements made were about the children and families that are watching their loved ones suffer now, doing the grieving, and how these grieving people are not there in a normal capacity to give their loved ones their full presence or attention. Loved ones know something is wrong, and may be feeling powerless to effect change.

Dr. Phil suggested that since the family of a 7 yr. old boy killed in a car accident with a 16 yr. old girl driving had forgiven her, it would be insulting to them, and not honoring the legacy of the little boy, to continue to blame herself and not move on.

 Our loved ones would not want us to ruin our own lives by hanging onto their loss, as if their legacy is centered on sorrow and scarred lives. We lose happiness and precious days of our own lives, in grieving for an inappropriate time. It is up to us to determine where we are, and when we're ready to look up. Many times, the financial and personal 'train wreck' after our withdrawal or subdued interaction with life, waits to then be addressed, also.

On the other hand, we can be stuck, unable to feel emotion, if we don't have the skills or if we do not give ourselves permission to grieve. Some of us think we are being strong, in not being honest with how we feel, or because the burdens placed on our shoulders make us feel like we would be disloyal to those left behind and our responsibilities. In cases like these, we carry the blunted emotions (energy in motion) around in our bodies, our very cells, and we're like a foggy rain forest for an extended period of time. This type of grief can be physically costly. Often we are not paying enough attention to keeping ourselves hydrated, or eating well, exercising or getting sun. We may have withdrawn socially, which doesn't allow for healthy diversions, injections of different aspects of reality and life, and withdrawal concentrates our energy around us, making us unaware of the needs of others.

Medications can often only extend, complicate and add to the resistance to enter our own personal grieving process. We certainly don't need increased toxicity, side effects like an increased likelihood of suicide and/or homicide to add to the landscape. There is no 7-11 approach to heal our hearts. It not only takes time, but what we choose to do in that time can be crucial to healing.

My viewing went on to watch families impacted by the loss of a daughter and then a mother in another situation, stemming from interpersonal violence. I heard that one in three (1 in 3) women will experience violence in a relationship in their lives. It is not always safe to leave a bad relationship, until the timing is right, as exits are the most dangerous. Also, if someone has been choked, it is a lethal act, and predicts more heavily that they may be killed in the relationship. Many women who thought they knew their partner, unhappily learned and experienced unknown violent, controlling dimensions of them. The disbelief of ones' beloved suddenly turning on and harming them, dismantling ones hopes and dreams, can be taken as one's fault, or something that can be changed or controlled. It can be too easy to have loyalty to the relationship, or the other person, instead of ourselves and the well being of our children. Sometimes all we can control is taking charge of taking care of ourselves.

A daughter was found beaten to death on her college dorm bed. A mother who went to let her daughter's ex-boyfriend in her daughter's apartment so he could get the rest of his belongings, was beaten and burned so badly, the brain damage and broken bones in her face, etc. will probably never allow this family to have her fully back again. Another mother spoke about her daughter who had been stabbed to death.

No one has permission to harm another in any way. Below are two charts of Relationship Patterns-both Violent and Non-Violent, and what some aspects look like. These are for you to download for personal use, or for someone you love. Next posting, I'll download types of Verbal Abuse, in a chart that might be helpful.

It's important for those practicing power and control in domestic violence to get the help they need. Possible factors include modeling from their own childhoods of unequal parental relationships, a lack of communication, problem solving or social and negotiation skills, unresolved child physical and/or sexual abuse, nutrient depletion, disease and/or parasitic infections. The cultural causation of gender roles, acceptance of the myth of unequal value and male entitlement can play a part in IPV, but has not been proven to be the main or lasting cause.

A friend of mine once withdrew her restraining order or wanted to modify it, saying that her husband would lose everything-his job with a record of a felony, his home and possessions. She was hoping for help from counseling. If they slip back into the same patterns, she is the one who will lose everything: her life. From her comments later, I could tell the daily all-consuming threat of safety that had become her norm, was still there to wear her remaining health down.

Women often give excuses for the behavior of their mates, hoping that they will change. They rationalize, minimize, deny and wait out behaviors, often at their own emotional and mental stability and health, and many times, their physical health. A past female acquaintance related being thrown down on the cement. Her hip will never be the same.

To balance the above information out with options for help, I'm including Kim Cooper's Youtube video about Getting Help for Narcissists here, also. You cannot do this alone, if you choose to stay, or stay longer. Boundaries have to be set and kept, and social support is critical. My best to you on your search for answers.

The chart at the top is from's website, where a mother and sister were determined to take their loss and contribute to preventing IPV from taking place, or give women the tools to recognize and escape it.

The chart below is about Controlling Behaviors. Many of these can be normal behavior, but it is the intent with which they are used.

  Sweet Street Luscious Lemon Squares - Cakes, Pies & Cookies (Google Affiliate Ad)

Questions? Contact us at

Grief, grieving, domestic violence, abuse, physical abuse, interpersonal violence, narcissism, narcissist, verbal abuse,