from~DREAMCATCHERS for Abused Children Blog~myspace

May 18, 2009

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality

An abusive man/woman …



smashes things


calls you names

makes you feel ugly and useless

cuts you off from your friends

stops you working

never admits he is wrong

blames you, drugs, drink, stress etc.

turns the children against you

uses the children to control you

never does his share of the housework

never looks after the children

expects sex on demand

controls the money

threatens or wheedles you to get his own way

seduces your friends/sister/anyone

expects you to be responsible for his well-being

A non-abusive man/woman …

is cheerful



tells you you look good

tells you you’re competent

uses your name

trusts you

trusts your judgment

welcomes your friends and family

encourages you to be independent

supports your learning, career etc.

admits to being wrong

is a responsible parent

is an equal parent

does his share of the housework

accepts that you have a right to say "no" to sex

shares financial responsibility

takes responsibility for his own well-being and happiness

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality

It is sometimes possible to predict the likelihood of the person you are currently or are about to become involved with being abusive. Below are a list of behaviors and traits which are common in abusive personalities. These are commonly known as Warning Signs.
While not all abusive people show the same signs, or display the tendencies to the same extent, if several behavioral traits are present, there is a strong tendency toward abusiveness. Generally, the more signs are present, the greater the likelihood of violence. In some cases, an abuser may have only a couple of behavioral traits that can be recognized, but they are very exaggerated (e.g. extreme jealousy over ridiculous things).
Often the abuser will initially try to explain his/her behavior as signs of his/her love and concern, and the victim may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate, control and manipulate the victim.
At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say the jealousy is a sign of love. He/she may question you about whom you have spoken to or seen during the day, may accuse you of flirting, or be jealous of time you spend with family, friends, children or hobbies which do not include him/her. As the jealousy progresses, he/she may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may be unhappy about or refuse to let you work for fear you’ll meet someone else, check the car mileage or ask friends to keep an eye on you. Jealousy is not proof of love, it is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness.
Controlling Behavior
Controlling behavior is often disguised or excused as concern. Concern for your safety, your emotional or mental health, the need to use your time well, or to make sensible decisions. Your abuser may be angry or upset if you are ‘late’ coming back from work, shopping, visiting friends, etc., even if you told him/her you would be later back than usual. Your abuser may question you closely about where you were, whom you spoke to, the content of every conversation you held, or why you did something he/she was not involved in. As this behavior gets worse, you may not be allowed to make personal decisions about the house, clothing, going to church or how you spend your time or money or even make you ask for permission to leave the house or room. Alternately, he/she may theoretically allow you your own decisions, but penalize you for making the wrong ones. Concern for our loved ones to a certain extent is normal – trying to control their every move is not.
Quick Involvement
Many victims of abuse dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. The abuser will often claim ‘love at first sight’, that you are ‘made for each other’, or that you are the only person whom he could ever talk to so openly, feel so at home with, could understand him so well. He/she may tell you that they have never loved anyone so much or felt so loved by anyone so much before, when you have really only known each other for a short amount of time. He/she needs someone desperately, and will pressure you to commit to him/her or make love before you feel the relationship has reached ‘that stage’. He/she may also make you feel guilty for not committing yourself to him/her.
Unrealistic Expectations
The abuser may expects you to be the perfect husband, wife, mother, father, lover, and friend. He/she is very dependent on you for all his/her needs, and may tell you he/she can fulfill all your needs as lover, friend, and companion. Statements such as: ‘lf you love me, I’m all you need.’, ‘You are all I need.’ are common. Your abuser may expect you to provide everything for him/her emotionally, practically, financially or spiritually, and then blame you for not being perfect or living up to expectation.
The abuser may try to curtail your social interaction. He/she may prevent you from spending time with your friends or family and demand that you only go places ‘together’. He/she may accuse you of being ‘tied to your mother’s apron strings’, not be committed to the relationship, or view people who are your personal friends as ‘causing trouble’ or ‘trying to put a wedge’ between you. He/she may want to live in the country without a phone, not let you use the car, stop you from working or gaining further education or qualifications.
Blame-shifting for Problems
Very rarely will an abusive personality accept responsibility for any negative situation or problem. If they are unemployed, can’t hold down a job, were thrown out of college or University or fall out with their family, it is always someone else’s fault, be it the boss, the government, or their mother. They may feel that someone is always doing them wrong, or out to get him. He/she may make a mistakes and then blame you for upsetting him/her or preventing him/her from doing as they wished to.
Blame-shifting for Feelings
The abuser will deny feelings stem from within him/her but see them as reactions to your behavior or attitude toward him/her. He/she may tell you that ‘you make me mad’, ‘you’re hurting me by not doing what I ask’, or that he/she cannot help feeling mad, upset, etc. Feelings may be used to manipulate you, i.e. ‘I would not be angry if you didn’t …’ Positive emotions will often also be seen as originating outside the abuser, but are more difficult to detect. Statements such as ‘You make me happy’ or ‘You make me feel good about myself’ are also signs that the abuser feels you are responsible for his sense of well-being. Either way, you become in his/her mind the cause of good and bad feelings and are therefore responsible for his/her emotional well-being and happiness. Consequently, you are also to blame for any negative feelings such as anger, upset or depression.
Most abusers have very low self-esteem and are therefore easily insulted or upset. They may claim their feelings are ‘hurt’ when they are really angry, or take unrelated comments as personal attacks. They may perceive normal set-backs (having to work additional hours, being asked to help out, receiving a parking fine, etc.) as grave personal injustices. They may view your preference for something which differs from their own as a criticism of their taste and therefore themselves (e.g. blue wallpaper rather than pink, etc.).
Cruelty to Animals
The abuser may punishes animals brutally, be insensitive to their pain or suffering, or neglect to care for the animals to the point of cruelty, e.g. not feeding them all day, leaving them in areas he/she knows will cause them suffering or distress. There is a strong correlation between cruelty to animals and domestic violence which is still being researched. (For more information and personal experiences, see Domestic Violence and Cruelty to Animals.)
Cruelty to Children
The abusers unrealistic expectations of their partner are often mirrored in their attitude toward children. He/she will think of children as ‘small adults’ and blame the children for not being responsible, having common sense or understanding. He/she may expect children to be capable far beyond their ability (e.g. is angry with a two-year old for wetting their pants or being sick on the carpet, waking at night or being upset by nightmares) and will often meet out punishments for ‘naughtiness’ the child could not be aware of. Abusers may tease children until they cry, or punish children way beyond what could be deemed appropriate. He/she may not want children to eat at the table, expect them to stay quiet, or keep to their room all evening while he/she is at home. Since abusers want all your attention themselves, they resent your spending time with the children or any normal demands and needs the children may have. As above (cruelty to animals), there is a very strong link between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.
‘Playful’ use of Force in Sex
He/she may pressurize you to agree to forceful or violent acts during sex, or want to act out fantasies where you are helpless. A male abuser may let you know that the idea of "rape" excites him. He/she may show little concern about whether you want to have intercourse and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. Starting sex while you are sleeping, demanding sex when you are ill or tired, or refusing any form of intimacy unless you are willing to go ‘all the way’ can all be signs that he/she could be sexually abusive or sexually violent.
Rigid Gender Roles
Abusers usually believe in stereotypical gender roles. A man may expect a woman to serve him; stay at home, obey him in all things – even things that are criminal in nature. A male abuser will often see women as inferior to men, more stupid, unable to be a whole person without a relationship. Female abusers may expect the man to provide for them entirely, shift the responsibility for her well-being onto him or heckle him as being ‘not a real man’ if he shows any weakness or emotion.
Verbal Abuse
In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, either in public or in private, this can include degrading remarks or running down any accomplishments. Often the abuser will tell you that you are ‘stupid’, could not manage without him/her. He/she may keep you up all night to ‘sort this out once and for all’ or even wake you at night to continue to verbally abuse you. The abuser may even say kindly things to your face, but speak badly about you to friends and family.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Very rarely do abusers conform to the stereotypical image of a constantly harsh, nasty or violent person, either in public or in private. More frequently the abuser portrays a perfectly normal and pleasant picture to the outside world (often they have responsible jobs or are respected and important members of the local community or Church) and reserves the abuse for you in the privacy of your own home. Nor are abusers always overtly abusive or cruel, but can display apparent kindness and consideration. This Jekyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser serves to further confuse the victim, while protecting themselves from any form of suspicion from outsiders. Many victims describe "sudden" changes in mood – one minute nice and the next explosive or hysterical, or one minute happy and the next minute sad. This does not indicate some special "mental problem" but are typical of abusive personalities, and related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.
Drink or Substance Abuse
While neither drinking or the use of drugs are signs of an abusive personality, heavy drinking or drug abuse may be a warning sign and do increase the risks of abuse, especially violence, taking place. Often an abusive person will blame the drink for his/her abuse. However, a person who, knowing there is a risk he/she could be violent when drinking or on drugs, chooses to get drunk or high, is in effect choosing to abuse. The link between substance abuse and domestic abuse is still being researched, and it is apparent that while neither alcohol nor drugs necessarily cause violence, they do increase the risk of violence. (See What about alcohol and domestic abuse?)
History of Battering or Sexual Violence
Very rarely is abuse or violence a one-off event: a batterer will beat any woman he is with; a sexually abusive person will be abusive toward all his intimate partners. Situational circumstances do not make a person an abusive personality. Sometimes friends or family may try to warn you about the abuser. Sometimes the abuser may tell you himself/herself that he/she has hit or sexually assaulted someone in the past. However, they may further go on to explain that "she made me do it by …" or in some other way not take responsibility and shift the blame on to the victim. They may tell you that it won’t happen with you because "you love them enough to prevent it" or "you won’t be stupid enough to wind me up that much". Once again, this is denying their own responsibility for the abuse, and shifting the responsibility for the relationship to remain abuse-free on to you. Past violence is one of the strongest pointers that abuse will occur. If at all possible, try to speak to their previous girlfriends.
Negative Attitude toward Women
Some men may tell you that you are different to all the women they have known before, who display a lack of respect of women generally or who talk negatively and disrespectfully of their previous wives or girlfriends. They may tell you that you are special, not like the others and that they consider themselves to be the luckiest man alive to have found the last decent woman. It is not likely to be long before they remember that you are a woman and don’t deserve their respect.
Threatening Violence
This would obviously include any threat of physical force such as "If you speak to him/her again, I’ll kill you", or "If any wife of mine acted like John’s did, I’d give her a right seeing to". Threats are designed to manipulate and control you, to keep you in your place and prevent you making your own decisions. Most people do not threaten their mates, but an abuser will excuse this behavior by saying "everybody talks like that.", maintaining he/she is only saying this because the relationship or you are so important to him/her, tell you you’re "over-sensitive" for being upset by such threats, or obviously want to hurt him/her. Threats can also be less overt, such as "If you leave me, I will kill myself", or "You are so wonderful, I will never let you go/couldn’t live without you".
Breaking or Striking Objects
The abusive person may break your treasured object, beat his/her fists on the table or chair or throw something at or past you. Breaking your things is often used as a punishment for some imagined misdeed on your part. Sometimes it will be justified by saying that now that you are with him/her, you don’t need these items any more. Breaking your possessions also has the effect of de-personalizing you, denying you your individuality or literally trying to break links to your past. Beating items of furniture or throwing objects will often be justified by saying you wound him/her up so much they lost control, once again shifting the blame for this behavior on to you, but is actually used to terrorize you into submission. Only very immature or abusive people beat on objects in the presence of other people in order to threaten or intimidate them.
Any Force during an Argument
An abuser may physically restrain you from leaving the room, lash out at you with his/her hand or another object, pin you against a wall or shout ‘right in your face’. Basically any form of force used during an argument can be a sign that actual violence is a strong possibility.


I am working on putting together an ADVISORY COMMITTEE consisting of volunteers who are willing to put their email/contact info on my websites for members who need help, assistance or general questions in your specific line of work.
I was hoping to get volunteers in fields such as therapists, police officers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, or any field that could directly relate to child abuse awareness & education and/or assisting abuse victims & survivors.
I am getting so overwhelmed with the 20,000 plus members I have now that are needing my help, assistance or who just have general questions and am in desperate needs of qualified individuals who wouldn’t mind volunteering some of their free time to help and assist others pertaining to child abuse awareness, education and abuse, sex offender registry, survivors, post traumatic stress disorder, therapy & counseling, etc.
If interested, please submit your credentials & professional background information. I will need to know what TITLE your listing should fall under and also how you would like your listing to appear (you can refer to the list below for ideas)
I will also be putting together a TEEN MENTOR COMMITTEE consisting of volunteers willing to work online with abused, troubled or struggling teens. This would be a very important program. I have many, many young adults who simply need someone to care, listen to them and help advise them. They desperately need one-on-one attention which is something I cannot give with so many members. If interested in helping these children, please let me know.

This is what I have so far!!!

DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN has put together an Advisory Committee consisting of trained professionals in different fields and
backgrounds who may be able to assist you with different issues you may be experiencing. Please review our list of advisors and also our list of
important RESOURCE LINKS to see if they may be of assistance to you.


Autism Speaks


Get Ready to Read

Learning Disabilities

Local Utah Center

National Center for Learning Disabilities

RTI Network

US Autism & Asperger Association


Career Voyages – Apprenticeships and Internships

State Job Bank Listings

State Vocational Education and Rehabilitation

National Organization on Disability

Association of Small Business Development Centers

JOBS DIRECT USA – A resource for employers to locate employees, and for employees to post their resumes to employers.

COVER LETTERS THAT WORK! – A service (in two versions) which provides you with invaluable techniques for writing cover letters which will absolutely generate serious interviews.


Free Antibiotics – Meijer’s

Free Antibiotics – Publix

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Giant Eagle

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – KMart

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Kroger/King Soopers/City Market

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Sam’s Club

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Target

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Walgreen’s

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Walmart

Medicare Patient Assistance Programs

Needy Meds Cost Assistance Programs

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888) 477-2669

Patient Assistance Programs Center


Childcare Resources – Child Care Aware

Childcare Resources – from US Government

Kids Health Newletter and Information Center

National Child Care Information Center


American Diabetes Association

Chronic Illness Resources for Teens

Healing Well – Chronic Illness Resources

Improving Chronic Illness Care – Resources and Research

MedLine Plus – Coping With Chronic Ilness Resources


AARP – Grief and Loss Resources and Information

Help Guide – Grief and Loss Coping Resources


FindLaw – National Lawyer Resource List

Internet Legal Research Group

Internet Legal Research Group

Legal Resources


Acorn Housing Corporation – prevent foreclosure

Federal Student Aid – Free Application

Food Assistance Programs

Government Assistance – Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid

Housing Resources Group

Medicare Website – Medication Assistance Programs

MedLine – Financial Assistance for Medical Costs

Needy Meds – Cost Assistance Programs

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888) 477-2669

Patient Assistance Programs Center – Rx Help

Red Cross – Emergency Travel Assistance

Small Business Adminstration – Financial Assistance

U.S. Dept. Housing & Urban Development – affordable rentals


Miscarriage Support

National High Risk Pregnancy Support Network

Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-PLAN

Postpartum Depression Support

Postpartum Support International

USA: National STD Hotline : 1-800-227-8922


Alliance for Aging Research – 1-800-639-2421

Bridging The Prescription Coverage Gap

Eldercare Locator – 1-800-677-1116

Meals on Wheels

Medicare Website – Medication Assistance Programs

National Council on Aging – 1-800-424-9046

National Institute on Aging – 1-800-222-2225


America on The Move – Steps to a Healthier Life

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Obesity Information and Resources

Daily Strength – Obesity Support Group (and other health issues)

Healthy Counties Database – Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

Healthy Food Assistance Programs

Nutrition for Kids – Feeding Kids Newsletter

Obesity Action Coalition

Overeaters Anonymous Support Groups

Reliable Info on Health Topics

Revolution Health – Kids and Weight Community Forum

SparkPeople – Weight Management Tracking and Support

Stickk – Online Weight Management Incentive Program

The Daily Plate – Weight Management Tracking and Support

Weight Control Information Network

Weight Management and Obesity Resource List

Weight Watchers Community Forum


Eating Disorders Coalition

Health Corps – For Teens

National Eating Disorders Information Centre

National Mental Health Information Center – Eating Disorders

National Institutes for Health Eating Disorder Resources

National Eating Disorders Organization

About Face

Overeaters Anonymous


Internet Resources on Violence Against Women

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 1 800 537-2238


Help for Teens and Young Adults with OCD

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation


Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder – Support Group

Borderline Personality Disorder Central


Drug and Alcohol Resource Center 1 800 784 6776

Help Starts Here – Addiction Resources

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Prevention Resources – Kids and Teens

Quit Net – Tobacco

Resources, Training and Action on Alcohol Issues

Tobacco Cessation Resources

Treatment Facilities Resources


Anxiety Peer Support

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

National Center for Health and Wellness


Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources

CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)


Beyond Blue

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Depression Experience Journal – Children/Families

Every Minute – National Depression Resource List

Freedom From Fear

Help Starts Here – Depression

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

National Institutes for Health – Depression Resources

Web MD – Depression Resources


Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Mental Health Sanctuary Resources

Mental Health Today PTSD Resources

PTSD Support Resources


Every Minute Suicide Prevention – Resources & Support

Global Directory of Suicide Hotlines

Hopeline : 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Samaritans – UK

SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA

USA: National Poison Help : 1-800-222-1222


American Veterans Services

Career Center For Combat Wounded and Disabled Veterans

Hire Heroes USA

Iraq War Veterans Organization

Military Support and Resource Links

National Resource Directory

Operation Home Front – Housing and Family Support

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Soldiers’ Angels

Support for Homeless Veterans

Treats for Troops – Care Packages

Veterans and Families – Coming Home

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans Support Groups Listing

Vets Success – US Dept of Veterans Affairs

Vietnam Veterans Support

Vocational Education and Rehabilitation

Wounded Warrior Project


5 Responses to “from~DREAMCATCHERS for Abused Children Blog~myspace”

  1. Robert Gartner Says:

    I think this site is great and is of great benefit to those seeking answers and support. However I believe this site mentions as a support source the Justice for Children group, a group which rejects parental alienation syndrome. For the life of me remaining after being horribly abused by Justice for Children when it facilitated the removal from me, my precious daughter, I cannot understand how it, as a group, DENYS the existence of the very thing that is abuse, e.g. as defined by your list presented on this web site!! It was the very abuse I and my daughter suffered from ‘mommy’ and the very abusive household to which my daughter was retunred! Justice for Children should be immediately removed form your list!

  2. paigekepple Says:

    Executive Search Online, Free Apply Executives & Professionals: Changing Jobs?

  3. Jill Ludwig Says:’s done it once more! Superb read.

  4. I truly love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build
    this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own site and want to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Many thanks!

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