Our very own Dianne Schwartz

Posted by: Dotsie

Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 02:11 PM

October Featured Author
Dianne Schwartz

Beginning today we'll be featuring Dianne Schwartz, Author of Whose Face is in the
Mirror, expert on Domestic Violence. Dianne has become the crusader for
women everywhere who've suffered domestic abuse, giving them a voice
against domestic violence. She will answer questions, offer advice,
and provide proof to the world that you can heal from the violence, you
can begin anew, you can survive AND most importantly, you are not
alone. You can visit Dianne's web page to learn more or Amazon to purchase her book.

For more information, please visit: http://www.eadv.net/

For some very odd reason, I just got around to reading Dianne's book in August. I devoured it. I am looking so forward to chatting with her about this topic this month. I hope all of you will join us.
Posted by: Bluebird

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 02:17 PM

I read it several months ago and as soon as I opened it, I could NOT put it down. I think I read it in two days. I cannot wait to meet her in person.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 02:51 PM

Blue, why don't you get it out and see what kinds of questions you have for her? That's what I'm going to do. And, I'm hoping all of us meet in 2007!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 03:04 PM

Hello Ladies!

I just returned, late last night, from my publisher's (Louise Hay) 80th birthday bash. I almost decided to not go but something inside told me I should so I met a long time email friend there and immediately knew why I needed to be there. I'll be sharing some of what happened there in the next month but for now, I'll just say I was amazed that my book, after almost seven years, is still active and going into even more foreign countries!

This month, feel free to ask me any questions because my life of abuse is literally, an open book. If you want to discuss writing and publishing, I'm open for that too!

I'm looking forward to sharing with all of you!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 03:53 PM

Dianne, I am in bed with a heating pad on my lower back and ice packs all around my knee. Your book is downstairs in my office. I highlighted tons and made notes so I could ask you lots of questions and comment on your excellent writing style this month. I can't wait to get started but I have to wait for Ross to get the book for me and he's at his dad's right now. My dad is here in the rocking chair reading and doing sodukus, but he couldn't put his hand on your book. I'll wait for Ross.

I am so glad you went to the birthday bash. Tell us about it. I bet Louise loved seeing you. What a wise thing for a woman to do for herself...throw a birthday party. Great idea!
Posted by: auntiebear

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 03:53 PM

Hi Dianne,

I just ordered your book on Amazon! I'm looking forward to reading it and discussing it with you.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 04:18 PM


I am looking forward to learning more about you and your journey. I am so glad that you did not back out on the birthday bash and can't wait to hear more about that, too.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 04:39 PM

I read Dianne's book twice. When I returned to college about 5 years ago, and I told my advisor that I wanted a degree in social work to learn more about social problems, specifically family violence, she gave me Dianne's book. My professor had met D at a presentation in AZ. I was so glad to see that someone (D) had written a true life book on the realities of DV. There are many research studies, statistics, and theories on the dynamics of DV. But D's book is a narrative in the voice of one who has lived through DV. I read D's book again when I found her on this site, and visited her suppport site. I admired that D recognized the patterns related to how she was parented, and how that is often a set up for the young adult to unconsciously repeat those patterns in a marriage. What is great about D is that she became conscious of the patterns during her recovery journey, and literally fought for her life to break the chain. Not only that, but she also advocates for others to break the cycle of violence. As a kindred author/spirit to D, I admire & respect her, and I am so glad she is the featured author. It's fitting because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Posted by: Bluebird

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 06:49 PM

Dianne, I had no idea your book was international!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 07:26 PM

Thank you, my dear friends. Yep, the book has been international from the beginning...Australia and England. I'll tell you more about this later but I am so excited because I got to meet and talk to Dr. Wayne Dyer! He is so nice and captivating. Not any ego about him. Also, Suzie Orman (sp) the female financial analyst was there--very, very pretty and nice. What a wonderful time I had!

Two women approached me at a garden party the night before the birthday bash. I should mention the party was at the president of Hay House Publishing's home. Unbelievable. Beautiful scenery and they had set up tables around the pool area with wonderful flowers and a fire going in the fireplace. Anyway, these women asked me my name and then the title of my book and when I told them, they got so excited and called over three more women. Seems they all work at the South Africa branch of Hay House and told me my book was the very first one they decided to carry in their country because they had such a problem with dv. I almost started crying as we discussed me possibly traveling there in the future to speak! Can you imagine?

Then, I met the pres. of the Australian Hay House. He has asked me to come to his country and do a media, tour blitz. I must give him three months notice before doing so but he said he read my book and loved it! A man read my book!!!!

So, I'm excited to say the least! And then, I met this man:
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 10:57 PM

Well Dianne, you know what I thought of your book personally, fantastic and iluminating. It showed me and several friends I lent it to that even beautiful women can be and are abused. The abuser doesn't discriminate between beautiful, plain or homely. Your strength helped me in another way, it helped me to turn my back on a job that was abusing my mind, my heart and my soul. I have become a successful Editor and have you to thank for part of the decision I finally had the courage to make. Thank you lady!
Posted by: Eagle Heart

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/01/06 11:13 PM

Dianne, I've tried many times over the past year to order your book from Amazon, but each time the delivery date was continuously delayed until finally the order was cancelled by Amazon. I've tried again - Amazon tells me it will be here by Oct 10.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 12:12 AM

I've read Dianne's book and consider the book a must read. A 'hands on' approach by traveling to Australia and South Africa will provide hope and proof positive that there is a better life after DV for women of these countries. I sure am glad you went, not only for the party and guest, also for yourself and women who need to hear your message.

Dianne, I'm sitting on the edge, what did the psychic have to say?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 01:15 AM

Thanks gals. I'm humbled. Deeply humbled and Chatty...my book played a part in your decisions? I stand amazed! I'm so proud of you.

I spoke with the psychic but we only talked about how he found this talent and how he never charges for his readings. Said he just can't do that when people's hearts have been broken. He gets paid through his books and touring the country. And...he wore the most beautiful kilt! Black wool crepe with beautiful pins. It was unbelievable. I really like him and he wants a copy of my book as he was raised in a very violent home as a child. He's the nicest man.

Eagle, you could have ordered it through my publisher. I'm sorry you had such a hard time getting it. Heck, I would have sent you a copy!

Anyway, I'm excited to share with all of you this month. I will be leaving to go to AZ for the birth of my new grandson but they have a computer so I can log on and chat while there.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 03:48 AM

IT sounds like you had a wonderful time. IT must have been a lot of fun and interesting conversations at such an event!

I have always loved spending time with writers. It is such a blast and the words never stop!...no matter what the conversation is about, each group is talking about something different.

I read your book also in two days and you did a good job!
Very nice thoughts and descriptions of the emotions that you just can't get from a statistical book huh?

I am also looking forward to seeing peoples questions and answers.

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 10:50 AM

Bathbuddys, welcome! Hope you'll stick around and let us get to know you better.

Dianne, all this from a gal who recently shared that she was becoming reclusive. I believe in the power of prayer!

You'll have to tell us more about your trip and duture plans for your book, but I want to start getting into the nitty gritty.

The first text I underlined was:

I also knew I had nothing to be ahamed of. I was the victim. I didn't abuse another person - I was abused.

Do you think shame is the main reason women cower in the background and rarely share thier secret?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 02:05 PM

A victim of abuse leads a shame-based life for many reasons. Let's face it, being abused by your spouse or partner is not normal and if married, it goes completely against the wedding vows. So, living this conflicted and confusing lifestyle creates many emotions.

Add to this mixture, the abuser placing the blame on her shoulders. Most victims come from dysfunctional families to begin with so it doesn't raise the flag that something is wrong with the man they married but a flag within themselves that keeps the blame in their hearts and soul. They, alone, have caused this nice man to become angry and violent. What can they do to fix it? Be quiet--become more submissive--pray more--have his meals on time--meet all of his demands? The list is endless and the really bad thing about an abuser is his demands continue to change. The woman will "fix" whatever it is that's making him beat her to only be met with another demand. It keeps her off-kilter.

I took the word "confuse" apart and came up with this. When living with an abuser, he will continually con her into believing it's her fault and when she accepts this as fact, it will fuse her to him and his false words and statements.

It is EXTREMELY difficult to get rid of this shame. Even after I had been in therapy for some time, I heard that the ex had remarried and it only lasted seven months because he was also abusing her. I remember thinking to myself, "Oh, so it wasn't just me...he beats all the women he's involved with." I still had that small glimmer of blame.

Being a victim is nothing to brag about although I've met women who have been divorced for 16 years who still talk about it like it happened yesterday. All the anger and shame are still there and many wear it like a designer wardrobe!
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 07:17 PM

Dianne, do you think talking about being a victim of abuse helps to reduce the inherent shame? What word or value would be the opposite of shame? Also, what do you mean by wearing it like a designer wardrobe? (I don't get the analogy, sorry.) I like the "confuse" analysis: right on!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 08:03 PM

Lynnie, I think it depends on "how" a victim or survivor talks about it. Do they use it to help others or to stay in the victim mode and hope people will feel sorry for them? Does their tale of woe enter a room before their body does? Where does the value of sharing come into play and why?

Let's say you are sitting with people in a restaurant, having coffee, and stand up and announce, "Well, I have to go to my battered women support group now." What is the reasoning for sharing this information? Usually, to call attention to yourself for one reason or another.

I believe the opposite of shame would be acceptance. It happened to you but shouldn't define who or what you will be in the future.

Okay, the wardrobe analogy. Some women will wake in the morning and apply make up, fix their hair, put on jewelry and before they leave the house, don their "feel sorry for me wardrobe." Their full intention is to talk about what they've been through, how tough their life is, what the latest horror their husband did to them, yada. It becomes a part of their every day personality.

I'm 100% for women regaining their power and they can't do it if they remain trapped in the past.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 09:08 PM

Amen to that!! No matter how hard it may be to move on past the horrors of ones abuse, until they can say, "Yes I was abused and now I'm not." Same concept as 'A sore will never heal if one keeps picking at the scab'. What I have seen all to often when someone tries to speak openly about their past abuse is that LOOK, she gets, like I told you so, or well that would never happen to me. Usually thats from a friend or relative, which makes hiding the abuse easier.
We have come a long way and yours and Lynnies books and this BWS and your EADV site are a God send for abused women.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 09:50 PM


I had nightmares after reading your book...it was that real to me. I appreciate your willingness to share your pain and your gain with all of us. As I mentioned to you by e-mail, I used your book and an article you sent me in preparing for a program I did for Nurses and Social Workers on DV.

Your perspective added a lot of depth to the presentation. Thank You.

One thing that I've noticed in interacting with victims and also the shelter workers, etc. is the deep anger towards and name calling of the abusers, even years later. While I am very understanding of the emotional pain that was inflicted upon these women and that the workers see on a daily basis...it just seems that staying in the place of such intense anger can't be healthy.

How do you feel about this?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 09:53 PM

Thanks Chatty.

Now, this may sound strange but I've found it to be the truth. The woman who says, well, if it was me, I'd never stay or I would do this or that if he ever hit me, is the very woman who would stay if she was abused.

Most women would be horrified to hear about the abuse and say, oh dear. The woman who has spent a long time thinking about what she would do is thinking along these lines way too much. It's like if you don't smoke, would you think about what happened if you did? Why would it be a thought?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 10:03 PM

Jane, anger keeps us attached to the abuser on an emotional level. In a way, we're still involved with them without them ever knowing it. We've left physically but remain stuck with them on another level, and it isn't a good one.

I believe this happens when the victim has never had the chance to confront him. She doesn't know how or where to vent her feelings of anger and pain and they stay trapped in her spirit. Not that venting would change the abuser but it might give her a chance to start healing. She lost her voice as an expression of how he made her feel.

But, these women need to know that we can forgive from a distance. I don't mean that the abuse is right in any form but to forgive releases her from the anger. It's a deeper understanding. And, a lot of their anger is really directed at themselves for tolerating so much and they haven't directed it toward the right area.

I forgave my abuser in my heart because I knew he was a very sick man and to hate him only hurt me and you just can't heal with animosity in your heart. It would stop my life from being full and rich and he certainly wasn't worth that!

This is why I feel therapy or a support group is so important to women who have left abusers. They need to change the focus from him to what they will now do with their lives of freedom.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/02/06 10:13 PM


to hate him only hurt me


I couldn't agree with you more. I find when I hate, I hurt and when I forgive, I live.

Maybe we can be a catalyst for that kind of healing.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 01:59 AM

Dianne, I like that: acceptance is the opposite of shame. Yes, accepting all of yourself, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Chatty, thanks for mentioning my story. Jane, are you a social worker? I have a degree in social work. Ah, forgiveness. Wow, what a burden it is to carry around that hate. I for one am glad to be free of hate and anger. Dianne, that is so true that people bond over their weakness versus supporting each other with empowerment. Carolyn Myss wrote a book called "Why People Don't Heal" and bonding over ailments was one reason. On the other hand, therapy and support groups is a way to achieve empowerment while bonding. The scene that gave me chills was the boat scene, and being left on the beach, and your son and a dog. I could visualize the whole scenario, and it made my heart race. Oh, and one of the descriptions of your body in pain with bruises on your abdomen and thighs made me hurt to envision this. Plus the DQ. How do you feel when you pass a DQ? Neutral?
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 10:02 AM

I have been reading this thread in awe for the past few days. It is amazing how much knowledge and strength I feel when I read these stories.

Dianne, I have always thought it to be healthy to develop a new type of relationship with our ex's, whether it is an old friendship, lover or husband. You have a past together and even though one part of the relationship is torn, there seems to be some value in continuing a connection.

I imagine that it would be unhealthy, on the other hand, to have ties with an abusive ex. I have no desire to have any contact with my abuser even after 15 years. I don't even want contact with my former step children, who were just as sick as the ex.

Is this normal? Is it situational? Is it a part of forgiving myself?
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 01:37 PM

Well to me its "out of sight, out of mind." That works just fine.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 01:44 PM

Jane, if I have anger I can physically feel it in my body more then mentally. It can be compared to a weight pressing on my shoulders. I guess this is from my therapy with "Dr. Bob" because I felt lighter after my sessions end and could easily recognize when that old part of me is trying to return.

I belonged to a book club in Ohio and one of the women told the group that she was having a problem with another woman (rightfully so, it was a verbally abusive friendship) and she was having trouble forgiving her. The women were offering her advice and prayer and my big mouth jumped in and said, "It's a choice. You decide to forgive or not forgive and you do it in your heart." It's really very simple.

Lynnie, sadly, I have no problem passing a DQ! As a matter of fact, I got a chocolate dipped cone yesterday. I decided to go back in history while visiting Scottsdale years ago and drove by our home there. Not a good thing. Made me sick to my stomach and took me back in time. I also have a problem with driving down Hayden Road there. That was close to where we lived and where he terrorized me in the car.

David and I went to dinner by Lake Wayzata and afterward, sat by the lake, watching the boats dock. It was a trigger for me and I had to leave. I still have a small amount of PTSD that will rear it's ugly head but my shrink told me to continue to open myself to this and it will leave.

Anno, I see no reason to ever force ourselves to be friendly with an ex and especially when the kids aren't yours and his--together. When I forgave the abuser, he took it as a sign that I still cared for him and was trying to "romance" me. He was married at the time too. Knowing him, he was having problems in his marriage and needed another woman on the hook after his wife left him (she did).

It's okay to walk away forever. Like Jesus said, shake the sand from your sandals, when you do. Leave it behind, where it belongs. It and they, were an experience that we learned from...hopefully. So many women don't and will connect with another abuser because she hasn't gotten to the root of the problem, which is her attraction to the abusive personality. She MUST find out why, when, how, so she can break the pattern.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 01:48 PM

Wow, so much has been brought to light already. This is great.

Ladies, please announce to the world that Dianne is here this month to assist women in understanding domestic violence. I've read her book and know how much she has to offer. I've also read Lynnie's so we are fortunate to have the attention of two such wise women on this topic.

Dianne, another section I have underlined is page 25. I guess I underlined this because as younger women we tend to care too much about what others think.

Here are your words:

I had pride, but it was misdirected. Instead of focusing on important issues such as self-respect, inner peace, or living a normal, violence-free life, I would focus on what other people might think. A very short marriage, divorced again, being alone, growing old without a man, and being forced to start dating again. Although I felt I was a failure in every aspect of my life, I didn't want others to view me in the same light. I had to hide the woman I had become. In my mind, it was easier to live with the violence than admit I'd made yet another mistake.

What honesty! Brutal honesty.

I would love to believe that this is the thinking of a younger woman...before one realizes that we need not focus on what others think, but I believe even midlife women, and older women think exactly like this and that's why they stay.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 02:37 PM

I came by that thinking naturally. My parents would have rathered I stayed in an abusive marriage than get a divorce. I'm sure it was an embarrassment to them that I was getting, yet, another divorce. But, there is nothing like the fear of being killed to make you leave and even my shrink told me he was afraid I'd end up with a broken neck because my husband would pick me up by the throat/neck and throw me into walls. But you know what? When you are living in that fear and soon after the abuse, a victim tends to minimize the horror of it. She forgets how scared she was and the pain she felt. The fear of the unknown outweighs the fear of another incident of abuse.

Dotsie, I have found that women my age seem to be afraid of what others think than the younger women. Maybe it's a generational thing that we've yet to overcome. But, after therapy and at the age of 47, I stopped caring about it. I've heard that hitting the age of 50 will do it so I guess I was an early bloomer.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 07:28 PM

Hi Dianne, I am sorry to hear that you are triggered by certain sights and sounds. However, you are so far into your healing that you know why, and what to do about it. You mentioned Hayden road to me before. Do you have to go there often in your various travels? I also thought it was interesting that Jane, a nurse, had the opportunity to personalize her presentation to social workers with your story, and by coincidence the director of my social work department had given me your book. It just goes to show that even in academia with all its stats and research, a true life story is needed. Also, as Dotsie pointed out, I like the way you re-defined pride from "what do others think" to how you could use pride to empower yourself. Dotsie, do you want to make an announcement in the announcement forum on Dianne's behalf that this is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the NABBW expert, our very own Dianne, is the featured author with a memoir of abuse and recovery? That might bring more visitors here. Anno, I'm sorry to hear that you endured abuse.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 07:31 PM

It's me again. You can tell how passionate I am about bringing awareness to domestic violence. Dianne, I have to vent. Please bear with me. Tomorrow on the Tyra Banks show, she is going to have a panel of "pretty" women who had been abused. The tease question is: "Do you think you were abused because you were pretty?" I am shocked! Pretty has nothing to do with it. Domestic violence is about power and control, exploitation and intimidation. Why not a show with homely people and ask the question, "Do you think you were abused because you are homely?" I thought that as a society we came a little ways to realize DV has nothing to do with looks. Dianne, what do you think about this?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/03/06 08:50 PM

I think they chose pretty women because they would get more viewers that way. We should all email the show and complain about it and make her have a REAL show on abuse. But on the other hand, people don't believe that wealthy, intelligent or glamourous women are abused. They think they are on welfare with 10 children by 10 different men, driving a rusted-out, old car and are a dredge to society so if this helps educate the public, more power to them. Whatever works.

I stay away from Hayden Road when I visit. That was the street I drove down the first time he abused me and my life changed so drastically. It isn't a fond memory for me so I just avoid it. My triggers serve to keep me going and spread the word. I will use them to my advantage.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 03:47 PM

I avoided a spot in Minneapolis for years, because of the triggers. I also remember refusing to drive an important highway because of the emotions it brought back to me. One day I was late and could not avoid either the "spot" or the highway. I drove on the highway and the spot, and an anxious feeling spread through me. Actually, much more than an anxious feeling. Much, much more. But I got through it and I decided to not avoid this highway anymore.

I just came off that highway today and drove by the spot. I had no emotions what-so-ever. It has completely disappated. If it hadn't been for reading this, I would not have thought about it at all. Time is a healer.

My shaking the sand out of my sandles was very cleansing. I wrote my abusers name, his family members, my step children's names on a piece of paper and threw it over a bridge into the Mississippi. I watched it float away and said goodbye. It was very cathartic.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 04:30 PM

I've known women who have done the same thing and burned the paper and let the ashes float into the air. I think it's a great idea. One woman took all of her abuser's old love letters and burned them in the desert. Some just throw them in the trash and burn a white candle in the house they shared with him.

To some, it might sound ritualistic but I'm a believer in, if it works, do it! It's about us and healing.

I mention in my book that I took all the pictures of the abuser and I--together--and put them in a shoe box and was going to leave them at his doorstep but caught myself. It was nothing more than a mind game, trying to make him feel bad, something he was incapable of feeling. Instead, I threw them in the dumpster. Today, I don't have one single picture of him. But, I did go to a resort in Scottsdale and while they were checking me in at the front desk, I was looking at the pictures of their exercise room and spa and there he was! He was a model.

At first, I was shocked and then, I started laughing! His only exercise was lifting his arm up to smoke pot!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 05:31 PM

Anno, you mention stepchildren. You were probably the best thing that ever happened to them. I'm surprised they haven't hunted you down.

I know a woman who married an abusive man with young children. This woman only stayed married to this guy for about a year before she ducked out. About 20 years later, one of his children tracked her down and shared how much she had loved the woman. She said she was the only positive female influence she had ever had in her life. Sad, huh?

Page 26:

I was sickened by what the minister said to you. I can't believe he led you to believe it was your fault, you needed to pray more, possibly fast and become more humble and submissive. Then for him to pray with you and ask God to change YOUR heart and YOUR ways made me want to throw up.

How did you get beyond that because I know you are a faithful woman and I feel the church did you a tremendous disservice. I can only guess that you realized he was one human being who THOUGHT he was representing God. In my opinion, he was totally misrepresenting God.

I know a woman who had a total sex change. She came into his world as a male and is now a total female. I knew her for about a year before reading her book. She shared a similar experience about when she went to a minister for guidance. He basically told her to be the man God intended her to be, but was so degrading in his choice of words. It surprised me that she didn't run as far as she could from the church. Instead, she remained faithful and remains so to this day.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 05:46 PM

I was held captive to false beliefs most of my life. If I came against my husband, I was coming against God. I would suffer for it, not him. It's a huge guilt trip to keep women pregnant and barefoot, while being abused.

My first session with Dr. Bob, I set my own rules. Don't ever come against my beliefs or faith. He told me he would never do that and if I felt he was, to tell him. But, my beliefs (false) began to change on their own during my sessions without him ever saying a word about it. To allow yourself to be abused (we allow it by staying) is not holy ground. It's unholy! It's a sad representation of God's love and what He wants for us.

When this minister told me this, I wasn't in shape to discount his words. I felt like I was in shock at this time. My new husband of one month had beat me to the point I should have been in the hospital. My soul and spirit were troubled, sick, sad, disappointed, scared and didn't know what to do or what to believe. There is that word again: confused.

I was also told that I had a "umbrella" covering that God gave me to protect me but when my husband didn't do God's will, it created holes in my umbrella and I would be the victim of acid rain that would leak onto me because of my husband's actions. I actually belived it! So, my efforts were directed to get him to be a better and holier man so I wouldn't get the acid rain. Can you believe it? I have trouble believing it myself today.

I kept my faith because I finally realized it wasn't any power making my husband abusive...it was a decision on his part. But, it has kept me from being a regular church attender. I am more of a spiritual woman today and it isn't based on rules and false doctrine. It's based on love and acceptance. God won't punish me for another's actions!!!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 08:05 PM

Dianne, I continue to be amazed and in awe of your faith...throughout the book and now. Your spiritual journey is beautiful to witness. The way you hung on to God even with false beliefs is amazing. I

I wish you could find a church home where you could be comfortable. You belong in a community of believers. You have so much to offer. You are so honest and real. The church needs people like you. Do you realize that?
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 08:06 PM

oops, I just read this again and I hope you don't think I'm preaching. I don't mean to. I'm just speaking the truth!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 08:21 PM

Dots, it wouldn't do any good if you were preaching, which you weren't, because it would fall on deaf ears.

I did attend a church in Nashville that I loved. I just refuse to go to a church where someone stands at a podium telling me what to do when they don't live it themselves. I've had so many horrible experiences in a church that I could write an entire chapter on it.

This is why I lean toward spiritual rather than church. I have become stronger that way. So many churches abuse their congregations. It makes me so sad to watch it happen.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/04/06 08:22 PM

P.S. It wasn't God who spoke out false beliefs. It was man.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 12:40 AM

I felt the same as you about church. I always felt that since I could not submit, I was a terrible sinner and I felt like I didn't belong in a place like that since I was NEVER going to forgive this MAN!
I had to really turn to my own GOD at the time, it was a very loving God and sometimes I had to believe that God was a women as God was way too loving to be a MAN....lol

I am okay with all of that now! It was a real hard thing to get through though.
Thanks for sharing this too as IT IS SO IMPORTANT! probably number one.

I repeated a lot this phrase: God is everything or God is nothing!

Hugs to you Angel,
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 02:06 PM

It was very difficult to understand that God was love and not some giant waiting for me to step out of line so He could smash me like a ant on the sidewalk. Dr. Bob had to first, get rid of all the shame-inducing thoughts put in my head by my parents, before I could wrap myself around that idea. All they had taught me was, I better shape up or was going to burn in hell for eternity. Now, that's a downer! They also threw the scripture in my face about honoring your parents (forgot the read down further where God instructs parents to not provoke your children unto anger) but they always told me that when they died, I would be sorry. So, even in their death, I was going to feel awful and go to hell. It wasn't until I was in my 40's that my mom tried that again and I told her I could die before her so how would she feel?

So, is it any wonder I was attracted to an abuser? I needed someone who would continue to punish me. I felt like I needed and deserved it.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 07:49 PM

Oh how I relate to you! I always felt alone as though no one in the world felt like me!

Throughout my life as I began dating, or whatever we do in the UNHEALTHY way (without any type of guidance) I did not like the boys that were nice to me and didn't treat me badly, but I wasn't too interested and hung out with the boys as I loved to surf and rollerskate and had no interest in painting my nails or going shopping.
When it came time to date or meet the ones that were attracted to me, I treated them badly or avoided them like the plague....hehe

I just didn't feel right and that is one of the MAIN reasons that I left my kids father. HE WOULD NOT FIGHT WITH ME at all... he just told me to either calm down or how cute I was when I was mad.....oh that was just it! I had to get rid of him....

It seems like I was in the SAME relationship for over 20 years until I was brought to my knees with the LAST ONE.

I guess what kept me mostly alive through it all was my children. I was all they had and they were not going to end up all messed up like me and have to go to therapy etc.

SO they became my only breath and I did anything I could to make their lives as normal as possible....

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 09:04 PM

Nancy, I am so glad you can relate to what Dianne is sharing. If you don't have her book, you should get it. There's so much more within the pages.

Dianne, I appreciated these words:

Society doesn't understand why a woman can not just pack up and go. But a woman is in the gretest danger when she leaves her abuser. He feels the loss of control over her life and usually gets more violent.

I have not been abused, but I certainly am the type to say, "What is wrong with that woman? Why doesn't she just pack her bags and get out?" I learned so much by reading your book. It definitely made me realize I was judgmental because I was ignorant when it came to this subject.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 09:23 PM

Nancy, it's really strange how it works but when you finally understand that love is gentle and kind, you will literally have people thrown into your life that feel the same way. Whether it's God's love or man's love, it all changes when your thinking does.

I remember when I told Dr. Bob that I liked a challenge in a man. He looked over his granny glasses at me and gave me that look, something I learned to dread. I had hit on something we were going to explore in depth. He explained to me that it wasn't challenge and wasn't the least bit healthy either.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 09:26 PM

Most of the unabused people in the world ask the same question because it seems so simple, when it isn't.

The victim is leaving more than just the man. She's leaving her home, many times, uprooting her children, leaving behind the dreams she had for a happy marriage. The dreams of growing old with someone. It's a very strong emotional longing.

There is a reason we have more animal shelters in America than shelters for battered women. The public doesn't see these women as helpless when they do see animals that way. But when she is rooted and living in confusion, she isn't able to think clearly. She is mentally helpless and also, often financially helpless as well.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/06/06 10:46 PM

Dotsie-YES! I got Diannes book sent to me from my Guardian Angel...lol
(another person I met that showed me Diannes group!) It is definately not a mistake that I have met you all.
As soon as I found Diannes web site, I emailed her and we talked on the phone for awhile. I didnt say anything to her but I cried through most of the conversation as I was finally home. I mean I finally could talk about this openly and share with someone that didn't judge me and ask me why I did that for so long?... It is just amazing how people are put into peoples life, JUST AT THE VERY RIGHT moment!

I got Diannes book and read it in two days as I only read when I go to bed at 2 in the morning.

Mine wasn't not being able to live in my house as my house was always mine, they thought I was going to be their sugar momma as, after all, I was raising two kids, why couldn't I support them too, and give up what I worked so hard for.

OH it was society in my head telling me that I was wrong for not turning the other cheek, or if I didn't like it, I would just not talk to him or I would get him out of my life. LOL I even had neighbors calling the police complaining of the noise and yelling going on at my house and also sounded like construction was going on. (he would break things and hit my walls with baseball bats if I wasn't home..) He even busted up an antique couch and maple table, the table he busted in half and put it back together so when I came home and put my feet on the table it fell apart....oh geesh my good neighbors were so helpful and hated me living next to them.

It is like not being able to walk with your head up as you feel so ashamed.... I just couldn't figure it all out as I didnt do anything.?


Anyway YES Diane.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/07/06 02:04 PM

Most battered women can't figure it out. It's a complex lifestyle but when "that" light finally goes on, it becomes simple. When I speak, I always tell the audience to never ask a woman why she stays because she doesn't know why herself!

There are so many battered women out there who need help. This is why I couldn't just write a book and not carry it further. This is why I'll go to another website and answer a question when asked to do so, to help a woman. I can't sit back in my current world and know that women and their children are being abused. I can't say that it stresses me or bothers me when I know what kind of life they are leading at that very moment while mine is happy. My spirit won't let me do that. Yes, there are times I get worn down and need to step away for a few days but it doesn't happen that often.

When I was being abused, I didn't know another woman who was going through the same thing. Like you, Nancy, I felt alone in the world. Who would understand? Who could understand? That's what keeps us trapped in shame. What would they think of me? That is what not only keeps us silent but silenced as well.

I want to mention that when I wrote my book, I didn't use my abuser's real name. It wasn't to protect him but I did it for several reasons. One, the book wasn't about him or exposing him. What purpose would that serve? It was for the victims of abuse. His real name was Hank. Also, his sister and her husband were so supportive and loving of me during that time and he was very high up in the Mormon church and I didn't want to cause them any problems. They wrote me long after I left him. I felt she had been through enough because of her brother. People already knew he was abusive. His friends found out without me ever saying a word.

Intention is very important when talking about being abused or writing about it. My intention was not to be published. I was going to write my story of recovery and put it in the local shelter for the women to read while there. Like I've discovered so many times, when we remove ourselves from the pain and hatred toward the abuser and use our experiences to help others, God and His Universe always step in and take over. It's amazing to watch!
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/07/06 09:39 PM

WOW! that is exactly what I want to do too. That is why I didn't want to tell "my story", that was about pain and abuse but like with Diane, I would not want anyone to know who this guy really is as I feel the same way about forgiving as much as I can and move on. BUT I will tell what happened to me and it will be the truth as this is how we grow and others can relate to the realness of our stories...
These guys are basically from the same mold. Some are definately more far gone then others, but you can pretty much guess" what their next word is or their reasoning or that you are the one that will be blamed for it, no matter what..
For those of you that don't know, my "abuser" killed his own brother and only served 9 months in a low security facility that we called "Camp Snoopy". HE got to leave every day and go to his job or to staulk his then prey.
He killed his brother because his brother asked him to not be mean to his then girlfriend and told him that if he wasn't nice to her and treat her right, that he would.
He was ONLY 21 at the time, he killed his brother by getting physical with him (his brother did not die right away) When he left his brother to go to a bar, his brother was still alive on the couch. He went out awhile longer, went home, went to bed and woke up in the early morning for some reason and checked his brother and his brother was dead from a blow to the head. He called the police at that time and said that he thinks that he killed his brother.
I knew him way after all that and for 9 months this was the nicest, sweetest guy you would ever want to meet. Clean cut, short hair, dressed very nicely, very polite, a musician and an electrician and he loved hanging out with me and my boys. This wasn't all of a sudden, I mean when he first put his fist through my glass front door and came in my house yelling at me, calling me really bad names.
My first thought in my sick mind was that "HE REALLY LOVES ME" hehe no one EVER broke my door down over me before....oh my goodness, that started the ride of my life!
I never knew at the moment to get rid of him, I was so in shock and felt so close to him that I NEVER in my right mind would know how he got to be the way he was going to be too me......

I will do whatever I can to help others, even if it is one person. It is worth it to me, I have lost a lot of friends and have met alot in groups etc, they NEED someone to speak for them and Dianne You are truely and Angel. YOu are making a difference.......YOU have might quite a BIG difference in my life and I haven't even met you in person.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/07/06 11:45 PM

THANK YOU for being here. Your knowledge is shared so freely and love flows from you. I'm so grateful to call you friend.

After I read your book (in three days?) I sat and pondered a lot of different chapters and some specific things I had underlined. I think I finally came to realize that the first time a woman is abused by this person who has promised to love her till death do they part, she is in shock. I don't think I realized that this shock doesn't necessarily leave or go away either. Would you say that's a true statement?

I put myself in your shoes and I KNEW I would be totally shocked. I just don't know how you recover from that state of mind.

Again, thank you. JJ
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/08/06 12:33 AM

Nancy, thank you for the kind words. I don't feel like any thing close to an angel. I'm keeping a promise to God for keeping me alive. I love what I do but my life isn't perfect. That's one problem with writing a self-help book. People think you should have all the answers and not have any problems, which isn't true. The only way we can continue to grow is to experience life lessons and most of mine aren't that pleasant. I could stand to learn something new every single day!

Being healed before sharing a lot or writing is important. Not only because it can cause emotional upsets but we have to formulate why we did what we did and have the answers. Self-help books must have an ending. I've read quite a few that didn't and the authors even dedicated their book to the abuser, usually their abusive fathers. I don't get it.

I will never have all the answers but I try to work with the knowledge that I have. I'll always be honest and often blunt but battered women live on excuses. That's the only way they can not have to change their lives. It's hard!

As a woman, I learned quickly to tell my two girlfriends that knew of the abuse, that the reason I stayed was because I loved him. This wasn't true but being women, they would back off and think...well, love will win out then! I just wasn't ready to leave and didn't even know why I stayed so I found that it was the fastest way to make them stop asking me questions. I had no real answers! I stayed with him a year while going to intense therapy, searching for the answers. Heck, I didn't even know what the questions were!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/08/06 12:42 AM

Wow JJ. I've really had to think about your question. I've gone back in time and tried to remember. I'll answer this as well as I can but I might have more thoughts on it later.

The first time he beat me, I was scared more than anything. That, and trying to think clearly so I could escape without him starting in again. I felt like I was in shock as I drove over to my girlfriend's apartment. That was one of my life's worst moments. I was suddenly thrown into a world I didn't recognize and I didn't know how to survive within it. I felt like a freak. No doubt, the shame had already kicked in.

I felt disbelief that night at my girlfriends. I was looking for reasons. I just didn't understand why he beat me. I didn't sleep very well, thinking over and over in my mind what in the world I had done to cause it. I felt embarrassed and humiliated too.

By the next morning, my mind had shifted. I didn't know what I was going to do, didn't have a clue in the world but I drug myself to work like I did every single day. That's when he walked into my store.

I feel that the shock left after the first day. You have to realize that my dad had always treated me badly so to be called horrible names and to be hit, was nothing new to me. I just went into the frame of mind that it was my fault, I caused it and I would change. So, it wasn't shock but a very severe case of survival and denial.

I was always afraid of him after that and for good reason.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/08/06 09:47 PM


I so appreciate your honesty and openess, I know that isn't easy to do. I remember what you said about living a good life is the best revenge. That is so powerful and I am so happy to see you doing just that!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/08/06 11:37 PM

Oh, that I am, Jane! I'm sure it would irritate Hank if he knew it too. If he's still alive. I don't know anything about him and don't really care either.

Really, it doesn't bother me to share. I'm not upset by it at all. I didn't like writing about the abuse in my book but that's because it bored me to tears. I had moved so far beyond that it was almost like writing about another person and in a way it was. I had really changed and healed by then.

If any of you want to ask me about writing or publishing, I'd be glad to explore that topic with you along with my book and experiences.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 05:03 AM

Okay, Where should I start? from now or then?
Should I share some of the bad stuff and then what I did to make it better? Should I write it free hand and publish that way? or type it all?
Ummm, there are a lot of questions?
When I wrote the play and the music videos, I thought of one part in my life and wrote it one scene at a time?

I am like you, bored with all of the "things that I went through" I feel like it was another lifetime as you as my life is sooooo different now...

I guess I will have more questions for you when I am further in this process.

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 02:00 PM

This is what I did:

I sat down and wrote my entire story. Then, I tossed it and started again. While writing it the first time, I got more of an idea of the formatting I wanted and how I wanted the storyline to unfold.

I didn't waste a lot of time writing about how I met him and how nice he was because it was all a facade but the editor of my publisher made me put something in about it just for the reader to know.

Every manuscript has to be typed. To keep my creativity flowing, I didn't go back and self-edit but just pounded on the keyboard day after day. Self-editing stops the flow of a story because you get stalled going back and changing it.

Think of your reading audience. What do you want them to know that might validate them so they know they aren't alone. Sadly, you have to go back into the abuse to do this. Then, give them the answers that you found to escape. This give the reader hope for a better life but they need some kind of guide. As you know, these poor women are lost and confused and feel hopeless. Ask them questions. Like in chapter 22 of my book, I wrote every single excuse I had heard and used myself, to stay in the marriage so I had to lay them out to show there is no validity in them. Break through the fog of false thinking and hopes.

Most writers first do an outline of their chapters. I do everything backward so wrote my story and then, titled the chapters. It's up to you how you do it. We're all different.

This is what makes a writer a writer: Sitting down at that keyboard and just writing. At least one hour a day and no less. A time when you won't be disturbed and you can turn off the telephone. I always sat down and prayed before I started writing that only the truth would come out with no excuses or the ego entering in to try and make myself look better. I made stupid decisions and had to write them out for the world to see. As one reviewer wrote: It boggles the mind what goes on in the mind of battered women. Yes, it does so we must bring some clarity to those who are stuck in this cycle.

Hope this helps!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 03:23 PM

Dianne, thanks for offering to help with the writing/publishing topic too. I'd love to know how you got a publisher? Did/do you have an agent? And, what are you writing now?

I found it interesting that it wasn't the abuse that made you go to counseling, rather the phone call from your mom. Want to share anything about that?

Also, you mentioned that you stopped talking with your two girlfriends about the abuse. I bet that happens all the time. People don't want to be a burden to others, nor do we want them to think we aren't strong enough to do what needs to be done. I bet lots of women can relate to that.
Posted by: TVC15

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 03:41 PM

Hi Dianne,
I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing woman. Just wanted to tell you that!
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 05:28 PM

YES! Dianne, What are you writing now?.... good question...lol

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 07:37 PM

Dotsie, I found a woman on the Internet who found an agent for me. I don't even remember how I found her but I don't send people to her anymore because I got emails from people who wanted to know if I liked her and I noticed that she was charging for things she shouldn't be. I felt it was unethical. I told her so and asked her to stop using me for a reference. She was really upset with me but I didn't care. It's people like her who give the writing world a bad name. Scammers. But, she did find me a good agent and he was the one who "ethically" sent out my manuscript to publishers. He's a writer himself and got a five book contract and stopped agenting. Nice guy.

Ah yes, the phone call from my mother combined with the abuse I was suffering, got me into therapy. It was supposed to be a birthday call but it ended up being one that told me she understood what made the way I am, yada, and to me, it was all insults. That's what put me over the edge. It was sink or swim at that point of my life so maybe, I should thank her for calling me and making me crazy!

At some time, you do stop talking about the abuse because your friends don't know what to say, don't have the right advice to give and it has to get old for them to listen to it. It was kind of a scenario with the elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring.

Thank you, TVC. That means a lot to me...a whole lot and I appreciate it.

If I tell you gals what I'm writing, I'd have to kill you so let's just say it's a book for women but has nothing to do with abuse. I will never write another book on dv because I said every single thing I wanted to say in the first one. I don't believe in beating a dead horse.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 07:56 PM

I can't wait to read your next book, especially if it's for women! I'm excited for your announcement, whenever that may be. Keep writing. I like your style/voice!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/09/06 08:44 PM

Thanks, Dots. This brings up another point in the writing life. Try to not share your work with many people. On my latest venture, I told one close friend and sent an outline to my editor. The editor is a very good judge of what is a good idea and what isn't. If it stinks, she finds a nice way of telling you so but the message is the same...it stinks! She's very excited about my latest idea...so am I!

Anyway, I believe that our writing or project can lose energy if we share it with too many people. One negative comment can make us start doubting. Writers tend to be somewhat more emotional about their work and the people who would usually criticize are those who have never written anything themselves.

Yes, you might want some feedback but be very careful who you ask for it. You might even take a writing class at B&N and get close to the instructor. They are not usually going to do anything but help you do a better job. You're their student, right? They look bad if your work looks bad.

Don't rely on friends or family for input. It's a very sticky ground that could end friendships or cause a rift with that family member. Go to an expert.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 02:18 AM

Hi. I'd like to add something re: real names or not. In cases of sexual abuse, the perpetrator cannot be named UNLESS he has been convicted, or else the writer can be sued. Plus, no publisher would take the project if the perp is named and there has been no conviction. So, that is another reason to fictionalize the names in your story. Dianne, I did not use an outline either because they constrict me. I wrote the whole story and then selected chapter titles and accompany quotes. I also learned not to edit as I wrote, but wow! I went through so many re-writes.
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 03:39 AM

I also have a good source for writing well and getting it from yourself. I read and did the activities in the first 4 chapters and this is where my 12 scene play came from. Basically out of nowhere. There were 8 more chapters of things to do and I didn't pick up that book again....lol
Can I say the name in here?

It was an excellent source....for me anyways!

Yes you are right! legally about naming people without a conviction as that becomes public record.
I also found thinking about doing an outline and it sent me into panic mode....lol
When I do my best writing, I just get out a pad and GO!

Thanks so much for all of the information and I can't wait to see what your up to now Dianne, it sounds exciting!

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 01:44 PM

Nancy, of course, you can put the title of the book here! Another good book, which gives a lot of info on writing and publishing and what editors look for is: The Forest for the Trees. It's packed full of good advice that should be followed.

When I was in CA for "that" wonderful week end, I suddenly got clarity on what I should be writing. I had been working on another book but I think I had fallen in love with it's title more than the book itself. I was really struggling with it. I'd write part of a chapter, only to never return to it. I had no passion for it and I finally figured out that it was the kind of book I wouldn't read myself. I don't know what happened that week end but I suddenly knew what I should be writing and it's flowing very well. Strange.

I can't tell you how many books I've read that are best sellers and have had many printings, that have typos in them. It's just amazing. One book was even on how important it was to have a clean manuscript and it had typos!

This brings up a point about a good editor. They will not change your story and only look for mistakes but actually make you a better writer. This is not a person who will charge you $1 a page and read it and return it to you with no suggestions. That does absolutely no good and is part of the writing world scam. This is what the woman I mentioned earlier did. Some writers want to be published so badly, they fall into these traps and the scammers know it and use it to their advantage.

My editor and I worked through email although we lived in the same town. I'd email a chapter, she'd edit it and send it back via email. If I had a question, I'd call her. Sometimes we'd lightly argue over a point as she was a survivor of dv herself, but between the two of us, we got it finished!

Another point: My publisher wanted to know what I was doing in regards to my subject matter. At that time, I was volunteering at the shelter, had a support group for female inmates and was speaking a lot on dv. This is important because a publisher wants to know what the writer is going to do to promote their book. They expect the writer to push it themselves, along with their PR.

Okay, I think I'm writing a book here!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 01:49 PM

P.S. My editor and I struggled with the word, "crotch" in my book. We exhausted our vocabulary, trying to find another word but the only other word that came close was, vagina. Nope, couldn't use that. We stuck to crotch.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 02:58 PM

This is an interesting site for writers to check out different agents.

Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 09:07 PM

The title of the book is one I mentioned to you on the phone.
THE Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
I give a copy of this book to all of my very special friends and artists that have come into my life and they had no idea of their potential.
This book has done so much in so many peoples lives that it is incredible.
I know now why I put it down the first time I read it and did the excercises up to the 4th chapter,
IT was that I wrote and directed a play and I didn't want any recognition for it. I didn't tell anyone that I was writing the play and when it was over, it has raised over $4,000 for a good cause. IT SCARED me REALLY bad as I was and am still not sure I am capable of doing such wonderful talented things....I recoiled!. hmmmm, maybe that is why I don't pick it right back up and do it again....lol
It is always next to my bed....it is a wonderful way to start or finish things that you have always dreamed of...

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/10/06 11:02 PM

Nancy, I still have never finsihed taht book, but I loved it while I was doing it. I have given the book as a gift too. And everyone is capable of doing such wonderful talwnted things. Why not. God has given all of us gifts to use for His glory. Go for it!

Dianne, I hope you don't mind the way I keep brigning out parts of the book. I underlined so much that I found most important. I think it's good to mention these issues here in case women are reading and not writing. So here's another part of the book:

I noticed that I began to avoid negative people. I was aware of how destructive negativity could be.I no longer wanted to speak or think negative words or thoughts. A new awareness was taking place, which was much easier and caused less stress.

This must have been a tremendous turning point for you and for any one who has ever been abused becasue I imagine abusers are absorbed in negativity.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 12:44 AM

Dianne, I am curious as to why there was a struggle in regards to the word "vagina." I recall reading the word "crotch" and wondering why that word was used. I usually associate "crotch" with male anatomy. Nancy, there are 2 books that literally changed my life. One was "The Artist's Way."
Posted by: Bathbuddys

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 04:05 AM

lol if you loved it, why did you put it down?

Dianne, this also stuck way out to me and I LOVED that you put this in there. Most people either don't know or dont realize that being surrounded by negativity can only cause a lot of doctor visits and sleepness night, days and always.
I have to REALLY watch this as my biological family has moved to Missouri...crazy huh? I came to get away and here they all are again...geesh my god sure does have a sense of humor.

Anyway I ALSO ABSOLUTELY LOVED Chapter 23 on the Children as I don't know about you but I made sure that I did everything possible to get better so #1 they wouldn't become abusers ( I raised two sons alone)
#2 I never wanted them to end up in Therapy and groups because of my being their mother. #3 I did everything in my power to learn to be a good listener, friend, parent and role model. Every thing I didnt have, I gave them and I can say that if you asked me the one right thing I did my life, it would be, I AM an Excellent Parent!...woo hoo!

I had never seen this much talked about in groups etc, let alone in a book... VERY good work you did!

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 01:16 PM

I believe we pull people to us that reflects what we're feeling ourselves. If we don't like "us" we're sure to find friends or lovers who will treat us like we're unlikeable. Is that word? LOL! So, who we hang with shows how we feel about ourselves.

It was strange because I never noticed how my girlfriends talked toward me until during therapy. I will also mention that I put a stop to it too. It was no longer acceptable. I began to view myself and my life completely different. That Law of Attraction thing at work again.

Nancy, I believe our children are the true victims when abuse is taking place. They didn't invite that loser into their lives and didn't choose them as a father or stepfather so we have to be held accountable and take up the slack, so to speak. You are a true and good example of how a mother's love can fill the gap. You should be very proud of yourself!

I have done The Artists Way twice now. It really is a life-changing book, isn't it? I was never good about taking the artist on the weekly date tho.

Lynnie, medically speaking, I wasn't kicked in the vagina. I wasn't kicked inside of me. My editor and I explored this in depth and my publisher didn't seem to have a problem with it so we let it stay. I always call that area my crotch and never thought it was just a male term.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 01:45 PM

Lynnie, I tried to email you and it came back undeliverable.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 02:09 PM

I also love the Artist Way and have been doing morning pages for years (even before the book). I have trouble with the artist dates, too. What kinds of things do you do when you take yourself on a 'date'? I like to go to the dollar store and look at the toys for some reason. They just make me smile. I recently bought bubbles for my creative writing class and sometimes I just go and blow bubbles on the porch.

We say crotch here in the south...you know like when you can see up someone's dress...it's a crotch shot!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/11/06 05:38 PM

I would take my dog and bird (in her carrier) and sit by the pond, next to our building. Now, it's too cold for that. Sometimes, I would wander through the mall or go to a bookstore or...yep, go shoe shopping!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 03:44 PM

Bath, I never finished because I am in the habit of having a quiet time each morning to journal, read the Bible, and pray. Doing that and The Artist's Way was too much and I didn't want to give up my other routine so I never got back to it. Crazy.

We also say crotch.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 04:02 PM

Hi Dianne, thanks for the explanation re: crotch. Dotsie, if you already journal in the AM, can you consider that your "morning pages" as The Artist's Way calls it? I think sometimes we can incorporate what we learn from books into our routine without being so literal about what the author prescribes. Julia Cameron (TAW) had one child, no 9-5 job, and had the time to approach morning pages in the early am. I teach journal writing workshops. Some people get up at 4:30 AM for their jobs and children, and in no way can they fit in the morning pages. I would not think that you would have to do morning pages in addition to your already journal writing. Am I lecturing? Sorry. If I recall correctly, you came across a similar book to TAW at the same time you started TAW. But I really recommend finishing TAW, because there is so much more Cameron offers than morning pages and artist's dates. Speaking of dates, that's funny that Dianne goes shoe shopping! I went to a new art association meeting yesterday by myself (at least new to me) and that was my artist date. Nancy, I am so glad to hear how women make it better for the next generation. I declared at 15 that I was not going to have children. My step mother and aunts said I was too young to make that decision. They said my maternal instinct would kick in. My maternal instinct kicked in in another way: I felt too maternal toward all children to dare bring another into a violent and incestuous family. You used your courage in another way: to break the cycle of violence.
Posted by: Allison_Bottke

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 04:21 PM

I've intentionally stayed away from reading this forum page because I'm on a publisher deadline and I am old enough and wise enough to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a serious priority problem when it comes to online forum communication. Especially regarding subjects that are near and dear to my heart. I find myself dropping everything to read and respond and before I know it the better part of the day has flown by and I'm even further behind than when the day began! Yikes! If I don't get the final edit completed on my next novel by October 30th, I'm going to have one very unhappy publisher to contend with.

All that said, I have spent the past hour or so reading all the posts on this October Thread. Great comments, great feedback, and it's like we're sitting in a living room having coffee and chatting - I'm gonna love this group! (Bravo Dottie for actually doing something with your vision!) I am going to order your book, Dianne, as well as your book, Lynnie. Both titles sound intriguing and I can't wait to read your books. I would love to respond specifically to so many posts on this thread, but I need to sign off now and get back to work.

Although it isn't the sole focus of my writing and speaking platform, domestic violence has a role in my history and I'm always interested to communicate with other women who have shared this journey. So many women have traveled challenging roads in life and I am always amazed at how God uses the pain of our past to give us a purpose for the present.

Have a blessed day!

Allison Bottke, Author/Speaker
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 04:35 PM

Wow, Allison, welcome to BWS! It's true that BWS has a way of drawing us together so that it is hard to get to our other tasks. I just wanted to say hi to you before I signed off.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 04:52 PM

I love your site, Allison, and how beautiful are you? Wowza, girl!

I think, as women, we expect way too much of ourselves and try to fulfill that expectation. Even though I have no children at home and had all the time in the morning to write my morning pages, it was still difficult for me. Handwriting is tough. I began to just read the chapters and underline what spoke to me.

Something of interest: After we've left an abuser who demands so many things, we continue in the pattern of demanding from ourselves. For years, I would have a lazy afternoon and want to take a nap and would even try but my guilt of not doing something would take over and I'd be back up doing something. There wouldn't even be someone in the house to make me feel guilty but it happened anyway.

Many victims will leave the abuser to only continue in self-abusing ways. It's almost like we feel that we deserve it.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 05:35 PM

BTW Allison. I have a close friend who went from a size 22 to a size two. She did it with healthy eating and exercise. After losing that much weight, she had a ton of excess skin that was hanging so had this new technique/surgery to remove it. No anasthesia, if you can believe it. He used a local on the areas. Then, after four days, the doctor removed the stitches and used a medical glue to replace them. She has absolutely no scars. I mean, nothing! The doctor who performed this surgery has passed away since then though.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 06:35 PM

Dianne, where is your picture? When I got married to my now husband, I used to list for him all that I had done during the day, including my job. "I went to work, I answered 77 phone calls, I did the laundry, I ..." as if to justify my existence. This was a pattern that developed for me as a child, when I had chores to do after school, and my step-father "inspected" my accomplishments. "The faucet on the tub should SHINE" he'd say. "Now put a SHINE on that faucet!" Then, the man I was married to in my twenties wanted to know how I earned my keep (he did not want me to work: "No wife of mine is going to sling hash!" he'd say.) So I'd list laundry, and other household chores. My now husband (since 1988) told me more than once that I do not have to justify how I spend my time. Yet, here I am on BWS, feeling guilty for not doing anything I thought I'd do today. Some of the patterns are hard to dissolve! I am grateful for TAW because it helped me to get in touch with creativity, rather than thinking that chores was my only reason for being!
Posted by: P.J.

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 07:21 PM

Hi Everyone! I think this is my first post here, but I have lurked on this site for a long time! I am a friend of Dianne's and I actually got to know her through her book. I was in an abusive relationship that I finally broke away from 5 years ago. While living in that abusive relationship I was very much in need of reading a book by someone who had actually gone through the same thing. Dianne's book was that book. After reading it I found her website and we connected through email. Dianne helped me in ways I can't even tell you here. Just let me say that she was a Godsend. Since then we have remained friends and recently were able to finally get together in person when I went with her to San Diego for the Hay House parties. We had such a great time!

Allison, I am the friend Dianne mentioned above who lost 135 pounds. I looked at your website and you look GREAT! I know first hand what a tough road that is....

Here's a link to my website. I don't have any before photos on there (I need to add some!) but there are six pages of pics of me since the weight loss. The Honeymoon Cruise page and the Wedding page are probably the most recent!


Back to Dianne...she is an awesome woman, a talented author, and a person with a great heart who has a sincere desire to help others!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 08:36 PM

Lynnie, were you married to my first husband? Sounds just like him. Didn't want me to wear make up, yada, a long list of dumb demands. He also told me I did nothing during the day. So, I started doing nothing and asked, "How do ya like that?" He shut up on that point but not on anything else. Today, he has a shrunken brain from drinking so much and a brain tumor.

I always keep our flat clean, laundry done, bathroom clean but I do it out of respect for David (and myself) because I know he likes a clean home. I would never do it if he demanded it.

I had a girlfriend who was married to this jerk wad that demanded the bathroom be "sanitized" four times a week. I say, clean it yourself.

PJ!!!!!! You've arrived! Look at her pics. She's so beautiful but more important, she's that way on the inside too. Yep, she was my partner in crime in San Diego. And...she is now married to a wonderful and loving man and it's about time! She earned it.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/12/06 11:35 PM

Welcome PJ!!!! You are beautiful and so is Chloe!

Dianne...you're supposed to clean bathrooms???????
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/13/06 01:15 PM

I guess so, Jane. I read it somewhere. My husband uses this hairspray that must have super glue in it. It's so hard to get off the bathroom counter. If I didn't clean it every single day I'm sure I'd have to get a bomb or something to blast it off.

I'm so bad...when I found out my first husband had a brain tumor my immediate response was, "Don't you have to have a brain to have a brain tumor?" He's been a missing, horrible father to my three oldest kids and it really hurt the two oldest ones. The youngest one could care less.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/13/06 08:38 PM

I taught Allison everything she knows...I swear! And talk about hair spray, mine could last through any Alabama tornado. I love this stuff.

I was never physically abused by my hubby, but mentally, yes. By silence. I know it's not the same thing, and it doesn't "harm" you physically, but it still hurts and some scars still remain, inside. Dianne, do you ever encounter anyone who says they suffer from this type of abuse?

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/13/06 08:52 PM

I did. From my mother. She could torture you with her silence and it wasn't until you apologized for the unknown sin (how could I know what it was if she wasn't speaking to me?) that she would slowly start talking to me again. I might add, she did this to my dad as well.

In a physically violent relationship, there is the tension building stage. This is when the abuser stops speaking to you or grows quiet and won't answer questions. For me, this was worse than the actual violence, which always followed. It can unnerve someone. Plus, I never knew what brought it on.

It is truly torture and I'm sorry you or any other woman has had to endure it.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 01:12 AM

Holding hand up JJ, waving wildly shouting me, me, me...
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 01:23 AM

You suffered from this as well, Chatty? How horrible. It's just such a cruel way to treat someone, don't you agree? Premeditated torture!
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 03:28 PM

Who did this to you, Chatty?

JJ, could you explain more about how this was used against you? Was it like my mother or another way?
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 03:50 PM

I want to encourage all of you to go to Our Voices and read Dee's story. It will touch your heart and let you know that there is always hope when the world seems the darkest.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 08:00 PM

I have always found that the emotional aspects of abuse are much harder to overcome than the physical ones. I have a few physical scars from abuse, but the emotional scars still hang with me in such strange ways.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 09:20 PM

I have nothing to compare my emotional abuse to as luckily no one ever hit me. My third husband the one married after being single/widowed for the second time, after 14 years alone. He married me to get away from his terrible (unknown to me) life in Northern Minnesota, he took advantage of me in everyway, said all the right things, like no sex before marriage because he had too much respect for me. I thought that was wonderful. Once married, his name on my home and bank account, credit cards etc. and having managed to chase away most of my friends, he kept me near him always. He would threaten to leave, threaten to have me put in jail, saying I was trying to kill him. He was nuts, had been institutionalized years earlier. It was a horrible, debilitating experience. I began to feel helpless, didn't want my son involved so said nothing. Oh and the no sex before marriage, turns out he couldn't if he wanted to, we never did, NEVER! There is so much more to this story that left me a near recluse, too nervous to leave the house. I still have problems and it isn't over yet even though I managed to trick him into a divorce in 2001 (after 6 years of hell). My story would never be believed if written as a book, it is stranger than any fiction I ever read. Mine was all mental abuse but it became physical in the way it changed me from a fun loving wild lady to a near hermit afraid someone might find out what an old fool I'd been.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/14/06 10:09 PM

It sounds like he also abused you financially as well. There are a ton of guys out there, just like him.

Anno, the emotional abuse is really difficult to get rid of. It stays in the back of your mind for a long time. I had to really work on myself and understand what was said to me was designed to bring me down by a man who knew much less than I did. It's very targeted too. These men are very sly.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 01:54 AM

Here's a snippet...My abuse came in the form of complete silence. When we were dating, it was different (dated five years)but about 6 years into the marriage , he lost his voice. Something. He would never speak to me unless I addressed him. He never asked me anything about my job, my family, nothing. When we road in the car together to go somewhere, whether it was vacation or to the grocery store, he never spoke. He would turn on the radio, and then turn it down so slow you would have to hold your ear next to the radio to hear it AT ALL. Some sort of punishment, I suppose.

We built a rather big house. When we did, we built him a workshop that was 1700 sq ft. He would come in from work, go to the workshop, and stay out there until bedtime. Every single day. Then he would come in, say good-night and go to bed. If I tried to start a conversation he would give me "yes" or "no" as an answer. Now he was always polite, never raised his voice, but he just didn't have anything to say.

I lost a bunch of weight one time and his comment was, "I liked you better fat."

I would try and make the effort. I would go out to the workshop and hang around trying to make conversation. Again, yes, or no. No other comments. If I asked him to take me out to eat the answer was, "not tonight." The weekend, same thing.

Finally, after 10 years of it, I asked him one night to go out and eat and he said, "Don't you have any friends? Can't you get one of your friends to go with you? I don't want to go. Period." That was the straw that broke the camels back. I turned around, left, and the next week, got a lawyer.

He married our neighbor when the waiting time was up. Gee...I wonder....

Posted by: Dee

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 03:28 AM

I'm delving more and more into the forums as I make my way back more and more to my friends here at BWS. I'm touched by so many women who want to open up their lives and show and express their pain from the past or perhaps the present. I'm so glad I came back and as time goes by I want to read more and more about everyone's cross they've had to or are carrying. To anyone who is truly giving up and feel you're so far down and there's no way up I'm here to tell you there's always hope, always another place to go, and somehow, someway a direction to find hope and start again. Dianne, thank you for the reference to 'One Tiny Strand of Hope' in 'Our Voices'. I've been so touched by the response by women who have read the piece and their reactions when they realize it's true. Please, please never give up no matter how bad things get. There's always a reason to keep going...maybe not in the same direction, but in a direction you've never considered before...perhaps kept back by fear or intimidation or uncertainty. These are little fears that can be overcome with a will to live and believe. I hope your Book continues to be a huge success and I'm going to buy it as soon as I can get it ordered.
Bless you all, those who hurt, those who have lived past the pain to find hope and renewal of life. Keep your stories coming so the rest of us will find something in them to cling to and be inspired by.
Thank you, Dianne. I look forward to reading your labour of love.
Posted by: 49erDonna

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 04:17 AM

Thank you all for sharing your histories here. I hadn't realized how much I had felt like I was all alone until I started reading your responses. I have spent so much time making my son's life better after my divorce that I guess I haven't dealt with how much the emotional abuse I experience really impacted me.

I feel like I have come a long way since those day when we had to walk on eggshells to avoid ticking off my ex - but reading your responses brought it all back. That's not bad - because it made me realize how lucky we all are to not be in those relationships.

Thank you for sharing those memories of the tough times with the rest of us. I think as women who have gone though it as well as women who have not, we can all learn from the stories of others.

Bless you all!
Posted by: Edelweiss

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 09:53 AM

JJ it's so hard to imagine you with a "silent" man. Your right, that is as abusive as verbal abuse.
This entire Post is a book within itself worth publishing. I'm sure it helps so many women out there.
My heart is with you all.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 02:40 PM

I want to go back to something Dianne said a few posts back. (I will see if I can figure out how to add a quote).

I have always been aware of the fact that I am not a traditional, natural beauty. My ex picked up on my insecurities right away about this. For almost 10 years, he let me know that I was ugly (I know that is a great exaggeration, by the way). It took me years afterwards to begin believing that I was cute and not the hideous creature he made me think I was.

Last night I had a dream that someone, again, was letting me know that I was not beautiful. It is strange how these thoughts continue to haunt.

Posted by: Margie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 02:48 PM

HI Dianne
I want to share an incident that happened to me recently.My husband, son and I were talking. My sons best friend went to visit his girlfriend at college. I asked does he stay in a hotel? My son said he stays in the dorm. I said in the dorm. He said yes. and I said in the dorm room with his girlfriend and my son said yes. I said his is allowed in the drom room. My son said yes if he is escorted up. My husband jumped off his chair and came over to me and yelled at the top of his lungs what don't you understand I understand what he said and how many times do you have to keep asking the same question. I yelled back he called me a bitch and I yelled back and picked up my lunch bag and started to swing at him. i swung but didn't hit him. He said I will not speak to you the rest of the week-end and if you ever do that again I will divorce you. He has not spoken and has walked around the house with a scowl on his face. All he is going to see is I almost hit him. He isnot going to see his yelling at me caused me to become angry and hurt and made me feel that I was stupid. It will be all my fault. His has done this to me before. I dont know how to handle this and I dont know what do to. Margie
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 03:10 PM

All of you are such a blessing to me. Your willingness to open up and share to not only help yourself, but others who might be reading this thread.

Margie, I see a lot of childishness in your husband. For him to overreact in this way is alarming and especially in front of another person. I would find a good counselor and go (by yourself) and explore why you are tolerating his bad behavior. In the end, it's about us and what we accept or don't accept. It will help you define yourself and your boundaries. But, nobody should have to live in those circumstances...ever!

JJ, it sounds to me like the hub was cheating on you and almost trying to force you into a divorce. That way, you had to take a stand and he didn't. You're the bad guy for divorcing him. Can you say, chicken?

Dee, I was trying to tell my husband about your story and kept breaking down and crying. It was just too emotional for me to talk about. This doesn't happen with me very often so it shows how important your words are and the impact they carry.

Ms. Anno! I've met you in person and you are NOT ugly! You're quite beautiful and your personality makes you even more lovely. These abusers--they do anything they can to make a woman feel bad about herself. I used to tell my ex how handsome I thought he was. One day I told him I didn't feel that way anymore since I had gotten to know the inside of him. He was astounded and started yelling about how I had always remarked on his looks. He couldn't believe I would say that and shoved me out of the house. It was okay for him to say negative things about my looks but he couldn't take it when I did the same thing.

I've often thought about writing a small book on women who have endured many forms of abuse and how they escaped and healed. Might be a project in the future, from reading the stories here.

Gosh, I hope I responded to everyone. I'll go back and check, just in case. I sure do love you gals.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/15/06 03:13 PM

Donna, I almost titled my book: Walking on Eggshells or Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop. I know that feeling. My dad was what they call a "rager." It kept me nervous all the time just waiting for his next outburst. It was an awful way to live so I can understand what you are saying and...how happy am I that you are out of that mess!!!!
Posted by: Edelweiss

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 08:02 AM

Margie, when an animal is cornered he will bite too. When words won't help you any further, then its instinctive to lash out like you did. You just swung at him? Geez look at all the old TV programs where women threw dishes at their husbands! He can be glad you didn't swing something worse than a lunch bag at him.
As for the silent treatment and his pouting; just go about your business as usual. Call friends, laugh a lot and have a great time. I'd think that is the best way to show him that his childish behavior is ridiculous.
If I'm wrong, Dianne, please correct me.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 10:19 AM

You know how women say their husband 'dumped them'? Well one day mine actually did it. He drive me out into the desert and stopped the car, said open the door and get the package out of the trunk. I got out to get it and he drove away, laughing. There was nothing as far as the eye could see but sand and cactus. I waited by the side of the road and it was getting dark so I started walking and in the distance saw lights, nope not him, it was a trucker in an 18 wheeler. He seemed okay and so I took a ride, thank God he wasn't some killer. I didn't have much choice because at night there are coyotes that run in packs out there and they aren't friendly. The guy drove me close to town and then gave me $20.00 for a cab at the truck stop. I got a cab and went home, he wasn't there. He got back several hours later and was more than a bit shocked not to find me when he went back after thinking I had been punished enough. I never did tell him how I got home. That was the last time I ever rode in a car with the creep.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 01:36 PM

People do what works for them. So, if his silence doesn't bother you, he might stop acting like a child. One problem is trying to live with someone who does this. The yelling and getting in your face, that's not something to ignore. It's scary and I'd be afraid the physical abuse might start some day if he doesn't get a grip. Life is just too short to live like that.

Chatty, what a horrible thing to do and since when does a grown woman need to be taught a lesson?
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 02:11 PM

Dianne, you can also correct me if my thinking is wrong, but I believe Margie's hubby reacting the way he did signifies he has "other" issues with her and it had nothing to do with the situation. It was a way for him to lash out at her because he is not happy. He just used that occassion to hurt her; to make her feel bad about herself.

Margie, I don't mean to talk about the situation as though you aren't here, but was just directing it to Dianne to get feedback. Just as my hubby was silent to me, and never wanted to be involved in my life, AND he used the silence to drive me away, I think your hubby may use these outburst to do the same thing. TO MAKE YOU REACT and this way he isn't the heavy, he can blame YOU for things falling apart.

Just my perspective. JJ
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 03:00 PM

We have to remember that abuse is about control so I'd say he's using verbal abuse to control her. Yeah, he has some serious issues, that's for sure. But, if we accept their bad behavior, it's a clear sign that they can continue with it.

I worked with a woman years ago who had a husband that talked to her terribly. Called her horrible names, etc. but she didn't want to leave him. I sent her to a great therapist and she started telling him that his actions were abusive and she wasn't going to tolerate it anymore and if he didn't like it, he could get out! He stopped and today, they have a great marriage.

We always need to stop questioning why these men do what they do and ask ourselves why we put up with it. That's where we find the truth and freedom.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 04:05 PM

I want to address warning signs. I have some listed in my book but some of my beliefs have changed since writing it. Today, I believe that all women are different and what might serve as a warning sign to one, won't be for another.

This is why listening to our inner voice is so important. It will tell us when something isn't right with a man but a lot of us ignore it. We think we can change him, love will lead the way, blah, blah, blah. Why would we date a man who needs to be changed in any form? Dogs are trained, men aren't.

One warning sign is a man who is too nice. Agrees to everything you say. That isn't natural and a sure sign that he's trying to trap you. He's not showing his true nature.

Also, gifts on a first day are a warning sign for me. He's hiding behind the gift so you won't take too close of a look at him. It's his covering. Most women see flowers on a first date as being romantic. I see it completely different.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 07:46 PM

I can't stress enough to trust your own instincts. When that little voice in your head speaks, and it is a warning or nagging question, LISTEN....The one time I didn't, I got myself into more trouble than I could have imagined. Don't you agree Dianne, that we all posses a kind of instinct, all we need to do is listen to and trust it.
Oh and the punishment was because I said "NO" to his purchasing a baseball signed by the Yankees that cost $1500. He said I was being selfish!
Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 08:13 PM

Wow, miss two weeks, miss alot! I wanted to read all the posts before I joined in.

I too have had to endure verbal and mental abuse from my husband. He is a very good manipulator, and it has taken me a long time to be able to see through all that. The only saving grace for me was the fact that I am very independent and I pretty much do my own thing. It has always been that way. It was always my daughter Sofia and me going to church. Sofia and me going to school functions. He didn't want to be bothered. The only time he acknowledges me is when he has a complaint about something. The other time is when he wants sex. He can't touch me without having to grope my private parts. The difference now is, I just don't tolerate it. I tell him how I feel, where as before I was afraid of him critizing me and pointing out my complexes.

3 years ago I tried to leave him and managed to move out for 8 months. The mistake I made there was the fact I left because of the wrong circumstances. If any of you knew what I did you would be shocked. He asked me to come back and Sofia was having a difficult time, so I have been giving it another try. The reason Sofia was having a difficult time was because he stooped low enough and told her things that she didn't need to know. He did this to turn her against me. He used the same tactic with my parents and it worked. The only support I had was from my brother and his wife.

There is so much more, and when I am ready I will tell my story. The reason it has taken me so long to come out of my shell about this, is the fact that I really needed to make sure I was comfortable telling you all.

It took me two years to recover from all this and that's because I found a different shrink and he really has helped me more than I thought possible. I don't think I would be alive today if it wasn't for God's Hand carrying me. I wanted to commit suicide 3 years ago. It wasn't a cry for help type either, I was serious. I didn't want to live any longer. Thanks by the Grace of God, He gave me enough strength to think of Sofia and how this would've affected her. This is when I checked in a psychiatrict hospital, and was there for 8 days. Believe it or not, I became so attached to the other patients, I didn't want to leave. It was so safe there, and for once in my life I was able to be myself. I was so cheerful during that time, I sang and I danced. No one was embarrassed to be around me while doing so. One person even asked me what kind of meds do they have me on, and that they wanted some, LOL. I told them no different than the ones I had been taking before. In fact, I was the only patient there that didn't need sleep aid. I slept good the entire time I was there.

Oh dear, I didn't mean to ramble. There is so much more, to be continued at a later time.

I love you all alot!

Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 08:20 PM

Wow Chatty, I am really disgusted with what this creep did to you. Leaving you like this, what a coward. That's what I am reading about in these posts, cowards.

Another thing that made me sick was what the preachers and churches were doing. If they would read the Bible right, they would see that God is a divorcee Jer 3:8. God wants good witnesses. If one is miserable because they are stuck in a marriage for fear that God wants it that way, they are not setting a good example of a loving and merciful God. Another point, Jesus paid the price and in repentence, our sins are forgiven, and that includes divorce.

These holier than thou's that like to keep you in bondage and lecture you are probably the same people that are looking at porn on the internet. Don't be surprised with that!

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/16/06 09:29 PM

Chatty, I can't see God allowing us to live on this earth without that inner voice to guide us. We make a lot of mistakes by not listening to it so imagine if it was never there!? I also believe women were given an extra dose of intuition, more so than men. When I take the time to slow down, pray and meditate, it's amazing how much I can develop better intuition. It's in the listening and stillness.

Cathi, thank you so much for opening up. It's difficult to share at first because some people will tell you to just leave him without taking everything into consideration. I once spoke with a shrink who told me he had a client who was over 60 and not in a position to leave her abusive husband financially. So, she learned to protect herself using his fear of being exposed. When he would raise his hand to her, she would tell him that she'd call the police and it would ruin his career. It always stopped him. I at first thought it was a horrible way to live but her options were limited because of her age.

I could rant for hours about churches. Why is it okay for him to abuse me and not okay for me to leave him? Don't get me started!

For quite a while, I denied that I had seen anything in my ex before we were married. But, there were some control issues I noticed that he would quickly stop doing when I called him on it. I thought he realized I wouldn't put up with it and what a mistake that was. They don't know anything but control.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/17/06 02:38 PM

Cathi, I am so grateful you chose life and even more grateful you give the glory to God. He can do amazing things when we let Him. I'm so sorry you've had to endure such hardship, but as you can see by the others sharing their stores here, life goes on, it changes and there's a whole plan God has in store your future. Keep leaning on Him and trusting.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/17/06 05:45 PM

I've had women lurk around my site for up to six months before posting. It is extremely difficult to say the words--I'm being abused. I almost choked on those words when I had my first therapy session. But, once we admit it, we can find ways to leave, cope or whatever our choice is. And, it is our choice, not another person's idea of what we need to do. If a woman does decide to leave but only because she feels pressure from friends and family, she will return. It' a place in her mind where she has to arrive and can't be forced into.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/17/06 09:17 PM

I remember finally convincing my ex that we needed to go to couples therapy. Since insurance was paying for it (my insurance, of course) he was willing to go one time. He knew the end was near and he really didn't want me to go (I was finacially supporting both of us, his 16 year old daughter and her daughter).

The therapist asked us what our issues were and I just blurted out, "He is mean!" Both my ex's mouth and her mouth dropped. She asked him to leave and talked to me alone. She was afraid of the retribution that might be in store for me.

She referred both of us to The Domestic Abuse Project, a non-prof organization here in Minneapolis. I went, he didn't, and withing 3 weeks of my first session came the Great Guppie Murder and I was gone and never looked back.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/17/06 09:38 PM

I've always told women to never go to counseling with an abuser and like you mentioned, it's the retribution factor. Plus, they sit there and lie and it only makes the victim more frustrated.

I'm sure he and his family hated to lose their meal ticket. Oh, the things we do. Never looking back is the best way. Leave them in the dust, where they belong. And, you're too nice and pretty of a woman to ever be treated that way.
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 12:16 AM

I heard that from you once before Dianne: therapists prefer to counsel those who are being abused seperately and independently from the other. You explained the dynamics of this train-of-thought to me so well. Then, I read your theory and reasons for it in a book on relationships! You are a pioneer! When there is hope for the relationship, then the therapist will invite both to a session. But unless/until the victim can be safe, the abuser is disinvited. I kept my counseling sessions secret from the man I was married to because I knew he would sabotoge them. Dianne, did I read somewhere that it took you 2 years or so to be fully independent once you had made the decision to leave? Itt took me a LONG time to go through counseling enough to get the self-esteem that made me think I could live independently.Plus, I had to learn to work again after he had told me I was worthless out in the world. He worked night, I worked days. One morning, as I left for work through a temp agency, his GIRLFRIEND dropped him off at our apartment just as I was leaving for work. And he said he was working overtime the night. OT, right! Where was his car? I bet they left his car at the motel. In the meantime, my therapist had worked through safety factors with me, for when the violence escalated. Unfortunately, I had been so isolated from all friends and family. And, if someone would reach out to me, like a neighbor trying to make friends with me, I would neglect to form a relationship because I was so ashamed of being abused, and of his temper and attitude. That is the last thing a victim wants to do: she needs all the support she can get. Then, a new friend witnessed how he talked to me and told me I was bieng verbally abused. I had never heard that term before, so I took the term to my therapist. I had to admit I was being abused, after thinking this was a "normal" way of a relationship (like you, based on what I learned from family.) Just sharing.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 04:58 PM

Thanks, Lynnie. I'm having trouble typing as my hands are shaking from our baby trauma.

I stayed in therapy for two years to be sure I had gotten rid of all the garbage my parents had put in my mind and I never wanted to be like "that" woman again. I wanted to be completely healed so I wouldn't make the same mistakes. I have to tell you, the most work involved me finally understanding that my parents weren't mind readers, didn't know me at all but would always tell me they knew exactly how I was. What a weight was lifted when I understood that. It was like being born all over again but without the trash!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 05:21 PM

Dianne, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandson and DIL. I replied to your request for prayer in the other forum. I've got you covered girlfriend!

Maybe it's time to mention something you else you talked about in the book Dianne. You wrote about how behavior gets passed down from generation to generation. When we live a certain way, we believe it's the only way.

I am so grateful for all the survivors who have broken the family chain. I would bet that when women do this, they don't get much respect from their families because they are forced to see they too should change.
Posted by: Allison_Bottke

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 05:59 PM

It’s been almost one week since my last visit to this Forum. I posted my first comment on 10/12. And just like I said, this can become addicting! I’m beginning to freak out because my October 30th deadline is looming and I’m finding myself reading forum chats, posting messages on my blog, reading emails…I’m sure many of us can relate!

And Queen JawJaw, while you were teaching me “everything you know,” why the heck didn’t you teach me how to stay focused? Huh? And how about teaching me how to change the word “Stranger” from under my name in the left sidebar of this post? I’m a Member! And where is my photo any way? (insert smile here.)

Pleased to meet you, Dianne, Lynnie, Dee, Cathi, PJ and the rest of the amazing women on this forum. PJ, you (and Chloe) look fabulous! Congrats on the fabulous weight loss. I’m especially touched by your willingness, Dianne, to be so vulnerable and transparent with us. I really can’t wait to read your book…sounds like you have some cutting edge opinions on how to handle the issues of abuse. Thank you for being the Featured Author and for responding to comments with such wisdom and grace. And, Dee…hang in there as you “make your way back.” There are a lot of us out here who have made phenomenal u-turns in our life!

I wanted to quickly comment on Cathi’s 10/16 posting about “holier than thou” clergy and church members who espouse opinions that would encourage abused women to remain in an abusive environment. I work full time in Christian outreach ministry. I write and speak from a Christian worldview and all of my books are published by Christian publishing houses. I have the opportunity to speak in churches of all denominations all over the country and it’s been a very long time since I heard a clergy man or woman encourage a woman to remain in an abusive situation. In fact, they will often help a woman escape and find a safe house.

That’s not to say there are not some old-fashioned folks out there who are clueless, I’m sure there are. But by and large the bottom line is to get a woman and her children to a safe place. Sure, a member of the clergy would of course hope and pray that the marriage could be saved—that healing could happen (because it sometimes does.) But I pray you will not lump all of the “church” into the category of being holier than thou when it comes to this subject.

Okay, I’m back to work now, ladies. I’ll check back in a few days. Hope you are feeling better, Dotsie! And thanks again for your vision to connect women like this. It’s clear to see God is using you in a mighty way just as he is using this forum to help his daughters find hope, healing, and strength to live in this crazy world. Have a blessed day to all!

Allison Bottke
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 06:49 PM

Dots, it's that chain of iniquity mentioned in the Bible. I feel that fathers are more responsible than the mother for what kind of man his daughter will be attracted to. If he treats her with love and caring, she will immediately know there is something wrong with a man who isn't a good guy. I couldn't recognize it because of the way my dad treated me and it created a familiar feeling. Like, I had known him my whole life and I had...in my father.

My mother refuses to acknowledge that I work with battered women. She won't talk about it. I stopped trying to figure her out a long time ago so don't even question it. She isn't a part of my mission in anyway. Her attitude won't change what God expects of me.

Allison, when I was told to stay with my abuser it was 1989 so there has been some change since then. Not enough change but change. I think what bothers me is some churches thinking that abuse is a spiritual problem, which it is in a way, but it's a learned behavior and really takes a lot of input, support groups for batterers and therapy and even then, the percentage of success is extremely low. Many women stay in this horrible situation and pray for a miracle and many end up dead. Plus, it hurts them spiritually to not have their prayers answered and makes them feel worse. Men batter because--they can get away with it, they've learned it and they like doing it.
Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/18/06 07:59 PM


Sometimes I don't explain things clear enough. My message was to those that hear a priest or minister tell a battered woman to stay with her husband. The ones that make her feel that it is her fault. I was trying to convey to anyone that has had the experience not to feel compelled to stay with the abuser because some priest/minister told them they had to because that is how God wants it.

What you are doing and what those organizations who are trying to help, are doing are a wonderful thing. I was merely trying to send a message that God will not fry anyone that is divorced as some churches teach. Those churches are teaching falsly, IMO.

When I left my husband, my priest heard his side of everything and he told me to go home. He refused to hear my side of it. That's what I was referring to.

I am glad you came in and informed us of churches that are there and willing to help.

I hope I clarified everything.

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/19/06 07:07 PM

I recently wrote this for a shelter newsletter and wanted to share it with all of you. Remember that this is from an emotional viewpoint and doesn't include police who don't help the victim, judges who make bad decisions, etc.


It’s a legitimate question, asked by those who don’t understand. If a woman is being abused, she’s free to walk out the door, never to return. This is common logic and especially if you have never been a victim of domestic violence.

Our first mistake is assuming a victim is thinking logically. We don’t understand that she is frightened, confused, dependent and carrying the burden of shame on her small shoulders. If she believes that she’s the cause of the violence, it’s also normal for her to feel that she’s the solution. If she can stay long enough, try hard enough, love him enough, then he will change and stop abusing her. Her daily life revolves around proving herself worthy of his compassion and caring.

She is also waiting for the man she first met and fell in love with to return. While blaming job stress, personal circumstances, alcohol and drugs, or even his family history for his outbursts, she remembers how he was when they first kissed. If the outside factors weren’t present, she would be able to once again be happy with him. She doesn’t understand that the “nice guy” was a façade and the abusive nature is the real essence of the man.

The fear of death if she leaves is very valid. When I suggested to my ex husband, a very abusive and angry man, that we should divorce, he told me that if I ever left him he would kill me. I knew he was capable of murdering me because he had demonstrated it many times. I was afraid to stay with him but even more frightened to leave. Statistics prove that a woman stands seven times the chance of being killed when she leaves. Battered women aren’t stupid—they don’t want to die!

One of the main problems with staying, besides the obvious danger is, the longer she remains, the more confused she becomes. If you look at the word “confused” the first part is con. She begins to con herself that he will change and he is conning her too. Combining this, she is no longer able to think clearly and accepts violence as something she deserves. Every time she is beaten, she tries harder to be what he demands rather than realizing abuse is nothing more than a choice he’s made.

It’s ironic that we have more shelters for animals in our country than safe havens for victims of domestic violence. But, I believe that the public looks upon animals as helpless and thinks battered women aren’t. They are helpless in their minds. They aren’t capable of thinking rationally when all of their energy is focused toward survival. They can’t concentrate on finding resources to help, finances to enable, or a hand to lift them up. They’re too busy meeting his requirements of the perfect woman.

I dissected the cycle of domestic violence (Tension Building-Explosion-Honeymoon) and discovered that the most important segment was found during the Honeymoon stage. I went back in time to when I was married to my abuser and using complete honesty, remembered how I felt, what he said, what actions were taking place and why I stayed. It was quite an eye-opening experience for me. Let me share it with you.

1. An abuser will normally buy the victim gifts during this stage. Mine was no different. Was this why I stayed? No.
2. He was showing remorse and sorrow. He cried and promised it would never happen again. Did I believe him? Only after the first episode. After the second time, I was becoming a part of a pattern along with him. To my present mindset, I was more of a volunteer, rather than a victim at this point in time.
3. Was it due to finances? No. I owned my own business and could easily move and find another place to live and support myself.
4. Was I afraid to be alone? Not really. I didn’t want to go through another divorce and the first time he beat me we had only been married one month. I believe I was more embarrassed than anything but it wasn’t the real reason I stayed with him and listened to his apology.

Let me explain to you what happens. Considering a victim has no control over her life and her words and actions are controlled by the abuser, when he’s crying and pleading for another chance, this is the only time in the relationship that she has a say. She feels a sense of power, although a false sense, that for this small time frame, she can make the decisions. Finally—she’s like a normal human being that is being taken seriously. Until one lives in this environment, it’s difficult to understand how meaningful a small amount of authority can be. During the Tension Building and Explosion stages, she isn’t able to respond with real emotions and tell him what she thinks or his anger will flare. There is no fear of abuse during the Honeymoon stage because he’s trying to prove something to her. If we remove the fear factor and add a small dose of power, it’s a very heady experience for her. It’s not something a victim is allowed to savor very often so it’s easy to understand how she can become addicted to this rare feeling.

Right after the Explosion and before the Honeymoon, is the best time to work with the victim. Reaching her before the apologies and tears can cause her to consider staying with him is the opportune moment to reach her with the truth. She can be directed on a new path before he has the chance to alter her direction and conviction. Time is of the essence because she’ll be desirous of the high she needs, which only he can provide.

We should also be aware of her need for validation. When he’s condemned her, he’s the only person who can take back the words and actions that have demeaned and hurt her so deeply. This is another reason she is pulled back into the cycle. She wants to hear him confess that he was wrong and the abuse wasn’t her fault. This always seems to be a strong point for women, even after they’ve left the abuser for good. “Why can’t he just admit that he was wrong?” I always remind her that it isn’t important for him to take responsibility for his actions because it won’t change the past, even if he does. But it’s very important for her to know the truth. And, the truth is that she didn’t cause the abuse and the best revenge is to live happily, something he said she’d never be able to do without him.

I’ve heard responses to the question, why does she stay and all of them are valid. “Don’t ask this of a woman because it victimizes her again.” Or, “Don’t ask why she stays but ask why he abuses her.” But, as a survivor I want to add my own response—“Don’t ask the victim something she doesn’t have the answer to. She doesn’t know why she stays because she lives in a world that is made up of lies, denial, guilt and confusion. Once she finally discovers the truth, she’s gone and will never return. All of the excuses she’s used for staying such as finances, love or children will fly out the window.” Like the Bible states, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” She finally found her own truth.
Posted by: Jane_Carroll

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/19/06 08:14 PM

That's the article that Dianne sent me when I spoke to a group of nurses and social workers on DV. I read it during my talk--it actually got several women in the audience to share their experiences.

They all said Dianne was right-on in describing their feelings.
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/19/06 08:37 PM

This is beautiful Dianne. You are a wise and beautiful women. God bless you for your continuing work with abused women.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/19/06 08:47 PM

Thanks gals. I appreciate it and hope it helps others.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 12:24 AM

I think once these women see an or hear the TRUTH often enough it does help them. When they know they are not alone, not the odd ball, they can feel more secure in knowing there are so many women suffering the same fate. Also that there are even more women who have survived this horror and been able to move on, get healthy mentally and actually find happiness. You and women like you Dianne are a Godsend.
Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 12:18 PM

Dianne, if I was to find myself in a situation where I am having a conversation with a victim. How could I best comfort her?

I understand the, "why don't you just leave?" part. In the beginning of my marriage, about after a year, I realized I made a mistake. I have been mentally and verbally abused. I felt like a loser and couldn't do anything right. I then was trying to find a way out, develop a strategy. Then I found myself pregnant with Sofia. I then thought, maybe a baby will turn him around. I have seen this in real life many times. How men and women change when they have a child. During my pregnancy, he became worse and made me feel fat. He would look at me in disgust. Again, I realized this wasn't going to work, but what can I do? I just couldn't pick up and leave. On top of it, I was having a very difficult pregnancy which required me to rest most of the time. His reaction, "women have been having babies for years, why can't you handle it?" Needless to say, I had to be hospitalized because I was eclamptic and had seizures. I needed an emergency C-section because the baby was in trouble by that time. Whilst in the hospital, his comments were, "you're so lucky you get to lay around all day, while I have to go and work." This all made me feel so small and worthless.

Anyway, numerous times I had tried to leave him and then he would get really panicky and beg me to stay. That he couldn't live without me and he would try to change. My parents did nothing but complain about what kind of a husband he was. But when it came down to me leaving, they would want to hear his side of the story. Then they would join the chorus of "give him a chance". I stopped working when I became pregnant and didn't start until she was 2 years old. On and off I had been working because he couldn't handle his part of taking care of her.

Dotsie, you met him, doesn't he seem like a nice person? This is how he presents himself to others, so that places a negative on me.

As I stated earlier, I left him about 3 years ago. I had everything working against me. I couldn't find work, and I was so emotionally drained, all I wanted to do was cry and sleep, cry and sleep. My daughter wanted to stay with me, even though she was leaving a nicer house behind. It was always me and her, me and her doing things together while she was growing up. His #1 priority was playing tennis and hanging our with his friends. Their needs came before ours did. I feel so bad now and she is still trying to recover from all this. She is not as bad now as she was then, and through therapy, she is making progess. He had told her things about me she really didn't need to know. He did it to turn her against me. He even told her I didn't love her anymore. I didn't know that until I got her to fess up, and she was snapping at me several times.

Well, 8 months later, he really wanted me back and I saw what this was doing to Sofia and I was broke, and needed surgery.

So I stay, and live my life my way and he lives his way. I leave him alone as much as possible. My concentration is to myself and Sofia.

My shrink even told me this wouldn't be the right time to leave him because there is so much going on. But he emphasized the fact that I need to take care of myself. Both shrink and therapist are on the same page and have stated that they will be there for me and guide me.

Sorry for writing a long one. I guess I am just adding my experience to the "why don't you leave him?"

Back to Dianne's article. How do you guide anyone in the physical abusive situation when you understand it is not that easy to leave the husband? It would be nice to be able to help someone plan an escape. That would be a useful organization. What I mean escape, I mean taking the children and leaving a State. Changing identification, at least temporarily. I know this may sound far-fetched, but I am a believer in not just throwing ideas to someone, but offering your help, giving someone a solution. I am thinking along the lines of her and her children's life being in danger.

As for the shelters, I noticed there was absolutely nothing available for my situation. I might add, Virginia is not a very friendly divorce State for women.

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 01:48 PM

Cathi, I'm so sorry that you've spent so many years with such a selfish man but I understand that a woman has to do what doesn't make her life worse. It's all in the timing.

A woman needs to keep important papers hidden, maybe at a friend's house. Her birth certificate along with her children's, ss cards, school papers, insurance cards, anything that she will need if she picks up and leaves quickly. Think of what she would need to start over in a new place.

Also, some men will charge a woman with kidnapping if she takes the children out of state so it's good to check with an atty about the correct way to do it. A woman can change her identity along with her ss number but that is usually in severe cases.

I always try to find a support group for a victim to attend and call 1-800-799-SAFE for a shelter near her area. Or, if she can afford it, a good counselor that will guide her.

If we try to help a woman, we must be sure that we are not putting our own lives in danger. If an abuser is violent, he might come looking for us too so we have to be very careful.
Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 02:17 PM


Also, some men will charge a woman with kidnapping if she takes the children out of state so it's good to check with an atty about the correct way to do it.

That was my problem exactly, except in VA it is if I left the house and took Sofia. When he couldn't manipulate Sofia into staying with him, BTW I think he did that so he can get away with not paying child support. Anyway, I went to an attorney and he refused to sign the separation agreement. I pretty much had to give everything away in order to get out of there. My attorney worked for a law firm that was for women only. Their compassion was overwhelming (sarcasm). First of all they were extremely expensive, and I used practically most of my nest egg to pay the retaining fee. Then they did a lousy job. The lawyer kept encouraging me to fight and go to court if I had to. Well, of course that meant more money in their pockets if it went that far. Plus it was possible I would've had to stay in the same house for a year. I just couldn't do that at the time.

Anyway, thanks Dianne for the input as to what to do. This is really helpful incase I ever find myself in a situation of trying to help a women of DV.

I think I am going to start another thread on the full story of what happened to me and why I left him when the circumstances were totally wrong. I don't want to highjack this thread.

I love you alot Dianne!

Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 03:38 PM

And we love you too, Cathi. In my book, you are totally brave. Your heart said do what is in the best interest of Sofia. I am just hurting for you and your situation. I pray that you find the peace you so richly deserve.

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 04:36 PM

Love you too, Cathi. Feel free to post in this thread. This is about abusive relationships and fits right in. I'm just happy that you feel free to open up and share because I know it really helps.

I'm leaving for the airport in an hour and will not be here until a day or two. So, you gals have a great week end and enjoy yourselves as I'm going to do, kissing and hugging that new baby! I can't wait.
Posted by: Wisdom&Life

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/20/06 07:50 PM

Have a wonderful time, I hope all is well with the little bundle of joy!

Love and Cheers,
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/21/06 02:48 PM

Dianne, please know we are thinking about you and praying for you and your family.
Posted by: Allison_Bottke

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/21/06 02:49 PM

GROUP HUG - GROUP HUG - GROUP HUG. A quick shout out to EVERYONE posting on this thread...we should ALL be proud of ourselves, proud of each other, and proud of what Dianne has done in writing this book and posting so often this month. There is strength in numbers and it's important to know we are not alone in the journey of surviving DV. Years ago this issue wasn't addressed at all, and while the stigma of shame and blame is often still attached, there is a hope and healing that can only occur when we realize we are not alone. When women (like us) allow ourselves to be transparant and vulnerable, amazing things happen! My heart aches to hear the pain so many have experienced, yet it also rejoices that lives have been changed and are continuing to change. Have a blessed day, everyone!
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/23/06 01:10 AM

Welcome Allison and please stay around and look and join in. We need women such as yourself who appreciate being a woman and says so....
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/23/06 03:38 PM

Hello from beautiful and warm Arizona. My grandson and Missy are home and I have to say he's simply perfect. Doesn't look like ET or Truman Capote but a perfectly formed baby with a ton of hair. I think I'm in love!

All of this labor and delivery brought back a not-so-nice memory. When I was in labor with my second child I was very relaxed and practicing the breathing my doctor had taught me, which made my husband believe I wasn't really in labor at all. He stood over me while I was sitting on the sofa and lit a cigarette and dropped the burning match on my leg. When I jumped up out of pain, he decided I wasn't really in labor or wouldn't be able to move like that. The things we tolerate blows me away. But, as I've mentioned on here before, today he has a brain tumor so what goes around...

Strange how I had forgotten that and it's so wonderful to see my son so excited and kicking in to help out with the baby and household chores and happily so. He managed to get two extra days off work so he could help her. We're all enjoying our time together, as we should.

Thank you, Allison for your very kind and wise words. I'm so glad to have you a part of this wonderful group of ladies.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/23/06 03:55 PM

Congrats Dianne,
Thank you for sharing this miracle with us all. It just warms my heart to hear about this child!
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/23/06 06:16 PM

Hello Dianne, I am happy to hear that you are able to be there for this awesome baby experience. It's amazing how you were able to process that memory with the cigarrette. I am glad you got it out of your subconscious, out into the open, where it can be dissipated. I will be away for a couple of days. I am going to do a domestic violence awareness month presentation in a mountain community of CO. I have paired with a SANE: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner to bring awareness on DV and SA. We call ourselves: SANE for TEARS (Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide.) But as you know, I am all about awareness for DV too. I will do a presentation on the "power and control wheel" and a book sale, signing. I got a nice email from my brother re: this event. You see, none of my efforts pay off financially, but he recognized and encouraged me that my mission pays off in dividends for others that I may not be aware of. Making a difference, that's really what I want. Dianne, your book made a difference to me. It helped me to see that it was really ok to talk and write about DV because as we heal, we help others heal. Isn't that amazing? Love and Light, Lynn
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/23/06 09:50 PM

I am so happy to hear that your grandson is beautiful and healthy. Lots of love coming your way from Minnesota.

Hello Allison
You are also from Minnesota! Where do you live? Welcome aboard the boomer women forums. Enjoy your time here and keep sharing your wisdom and love.

Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/24/06 04:11 PM

Lynn, it really IS okay to write and talk about dv. I think back to the days when nobody did it...the dark secret. I've heard it called the little secret but what is small about it? It's a huge problem. I'm so glad you are speaking out this month and teaching others. Good for you!

Allison is from MN too? I didn't notice that. How great! Another woman from The Frozen Tundra! We should all get together for coffee and thaw out!

I'm a very lucky woman. I'll get to see all of my grandchildren on this trip. I've missed them so much and it's wonderful to see them crowd around me and hug me and show me how much they love me. What a heart warmer. We went to my oldest son's house last night to watch the Cowboys play and it was such a moment of complete joy for me that at least, part of us were all together and having so much fun, although the Cowboys lost.

I'm leaving for Phoenix tomorrow for two days and then home. The hub is helpless without me and he said that himself!
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/24/06 07:07 PM

Dianne, I am grinning from ear to ear. So happy you are among yourloved ones. I know it feels so good! I hope you are taking pictures.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/26/06 11:02 AM

Dianne, since you are winding down on your month here as Featured Author, is there anything else you would like to impart for those who may be suffering in the midst of domestic violence? remember, there are lots of woemn who read and never post. Also, remember that your words remain here forever. Hopefully, women will read and be moved to do something about their situation for months to come!

Ladies, know that this topic can always be opened at a later date.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/26/06 03:17 PM

First of all, I've enjoyed sharing and second, I deeply appreciate those who had the guts to open up and talk about their own experiences.

If you have been reading this thread and see yourself here, please know that a woman never asks for abuse although there is a part of society that will try to make her believe this. Second, you don't deserve it...NO MATTER WHAT! I don't care what the abuser has told you or tried to convince you...you have done nothing to deserve to be abused. Third, reach out for help. Call your local shelter and even if you don't feel you are in danger physically, emotional abuse will destroy you from the inside-out and you can attend a support group that will give you your power back. Fourth, if you have children, understand that abuse will change their lives forever so it's about more than just you. You may feel that they need their father but not if he is an abuser. Abuse will define their future. Abuse is a deal-breaker. Fifth, if you think being abused makes you a holier woman, think again. It's unholy ground and not where you want to walk. God does not approve of abuse! Sixth, open up and tell someone but make that someone a person who can really help you, not just a sounding board. Venting does no good if change doesn't follow it. It can become a pattern. Seventh, know that you are loved even if you don't feel it or if the abuser tells you that you are unlovable. A lie. You are valuable because you draw a breath and are God's Creature. We all deserve to be loved but not the kind that an abuser gives. He may tell you that only he understands and knows you. Another lie.

Find your own truth. It's the truth you were given at birth and may just be buried. Do whatever it takes to find the woman you are. You'll like her and may find that you've never really met her, just like I did. I like me and you can like yourself as well. Just give another kind of life a chance.

If any of you want to discuss this further, we can always post in the domestic violence thread. Just don't be afraid because you won't be judged. If you want to go to my website and read, you WILL see yourself there if you are a victim and you'll know you aren't alone. There are 4 million people who are abused every year! www.eadv.net

Reach out and change your life.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/28/06 12:59 PM

Dianne, you are the perfect person for this ministry. You are so wise, real, and understanding. May God continue to bless you and all the women you have touched, and have yet to touch. May all women be blessed by getting in touch with their true selves and thrive as you are.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/28/06 01:46 PM

Thank you very much, Dots. I love what I do, which some people find hard to believe. They think my work should be depressing. What? Saving lives is depressing?

I'm back home and my grandson and DIL are doing great. I already miss him but I memorized his little face before I left and fell asleep last night picturing him. I'm in love!
Posted by: Anno

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/28/06 02:00 PM

Welcome home, Dianne
I have learned so much from this thread. It is the first time I have been honest with others (other than my closest friend) about my past experience with domestic violence, and it felt good.

Thank you for the opportunity to open up and get it out, once and for all.

Thank you for all the work you do with victims of domestic violence. God has blessed many women through your presence and love.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 10/28/06 10:20 PM

How sweet of you! I love what you wrote..."get it out, once and for all." That is so important. Deal with it and let it go...forever. Don't harbor negative feelings and just move on to better things...and men!
Posted by: Princess Lenora

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 11/01/06 12:52 AM

Hi Dianne, thank you for an inspiring, informative, and insightful conversation during Oct. I admire you for all the work you do to confront violence. You share your story so generously, and we all learn from what you share. Love and Light, Lynn
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Our very own Dianne Schwartz - 11/01/06 01:37 PM

Well, back at ya, Lynnie! You are doing the same thing and I admire you for that too! Sisters with the same cause.