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Old 04-04-2005, 11:00   #1
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Nightmares from abuse, any help?

Warning, long post:
My fiance's ex-boyfriend (the one before me) was extremely abusive and in my opinion downright sadistic. As a result, she's suffering from nightmares and general anxiety about seeing him again, especially since he's still in the area and we unfortunately can't leave until we're done with college. This is something that bothers her everyday, sometimes pretty badly and has been going on for several months although she hasn't seen him since they broke up. But he evidently can be extremely jealous and possessive and would not quit calling or bothering her for a month after she broke up with him, and that only stopped because I started getting on the phone when he would call.
I wish there was a way she could get closure, but she wouldn't let me go to the police and now I would feel stupid doing that after so long without actual provocation. Although we have gotten a couple of dropped calls from the same area code and cell phone company that he was using. If it was up to me I would have already utilized the phrase "a real friend helps you bury the body", but I digress. I know if he comes back again, at least one person is going to the hospital me or him, since I know what he did to her and that's not going to happen again.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop the nightmares and anxiety? Preferably no medications. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:37   #2
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sounds like she was dating my ex!

the only way i was able to work thru the mental effects of my ex-husband was to get counselling. medication wasn't needed. i went for about a year and a half. i didn't have a lot of money so i went thru catholic social services (i'm not catholic and, although i'm a religious person, there was no spiritual counselling involved) and was able to pay according to my income. i'm telling you, it was the only way i was able to get my head on straight. i would highly recommend it. if nothing else, maybe she can find a support group in the area. you might be able to get information from your local women's shelter.

feel free to pm me if she needs someone to talk to. being a victim of domestic violence is a terrible thing to have to deal with and even though i've been divorced from my ex for a little over 9 years and am happily remarried, i'll never forget the things i went thru.

good luck.
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Old 04-04-2005, 13:11   #3
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She needs to get to a counselor.

I can also recommend yoga & meditation to relieve the anxiety. Exercise will also help with this.

Like Jager above, I also was in a situation with an X and cannot tell you how helpful counselors (in my case EAP) helped me to leave and focus.

If things escalate with this X, please seek law enforcement assistance.
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Old 04-04-2005, 19:22   #4
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^6 Both of the last 2. Good solid advice.
Guns have two enemies. Rust and Politicians. Those who make war on the Police will have to become friends with the criminals.
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Old 04-04-2005, 21:55   #5
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Buy her a firearm or two, get her training (if she doesn't already shoot), get her to apply for her carry permit, buy her lots of nice carry gear/clothes--whatever it takes for her to CARRY consistently. Get her some FOX OC too. Document every attempted contact by him. Get a restraining order against him if necessary (not worth much really, but it leaves a paper trail regarding him.) Seriously consider transferring schools. The peace of mind from being in another town may do her a world of good.

Now I realize most of my suggestions won't cure her nightmares. But they may help her get through her waking day without as much fear/unease.

Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2005, 22:39   #6
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As the fiance in question, I should point out that we are already getting me a G19, and I have applied for my permit. There aren't any classes in our area, or I would probably take them. Also, we can't transfer schools because he is ROTC and I also have a scholarship. Most of the problem comes from the fact that we live in a fairly small town, so everywhere I go I have bad memories. We won't be able to move away from the area for another 2 years. As for counseling, all we can afford right now is the counseling center at our school, and I have been there before, when I was still with the exboyfriend. They weren't overly helpful at the time, and I doubt they have improved much in the past year. However, I do plan on giving them a chance soon, if things don't change. Thanks for all of your suggestions.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:43   #7
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Sometimes it just takes time and distance. It's never going to go away, but it will get easier to deal with. Having a support network is a great help, family and friends, etc. If your area has something like a Victims' Advocate program, they may be able to provide counseling or a support group. They may also be of help in getting a civil protection order. Change phone numbers. Document any instances where he contacts her (you), what is said, etc. Taking a proactive stance in your own defense is a great way to help you feel less like a victim and more in control. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:55   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I just have one more question. Aside from listening and generally being supportive, is there anything I can do to help? What do your husbands/fiancees/boyfriends do that helps?
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Old 04-05-2005, 14:35   #9
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My boyfriend knows most of what's in my past, and other than being supportive and listening, I think he actually makes an effort to understand where I am coming from, as in, putting himself in my shoes. He says he hopes he never hurts me as much as the exes did. However, in 2 years of being together, he doesn't show the characteristics of the others. I am learning that I don't have to be afraid of him and that I don't have to feel like I'm tiptoeing around him all the time because I never know what will set him off. I know Multi-G gets mad at me sometimes, but he never yells at me. He has a temper, I have seen it, I've never seen him direct it at me.
Age and treachery trumps youth and exuberance.
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Old 04-05-2005, 15:01   #10
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Originally posted by RF7126
Thanks for the replies everyone, I just have one more question. Aside from listening and generally being supportive, is there anything I can do to help? What do your husbands/fiancees/boyfriends do that helps?
While I haven't been abused like your fiance I have a bit of the same problems... of anxiety and stuff when going out and about.

MrMurphy listens and is supportive and what I absolutely adore is the small gestures he does to show how protective he is of me. Putting an arm around my waist or shoulders at the grocery store. Nuzzling my neck and kissing me at dinner. Everything he does just SCREAMS... I love her and BACK OFF OR DEAL WITH ME!

Now his mere prescence calms me (even around my highly verbally abusive family), I know I am loved and that he would do anything within his power to protect me from any abuse of any form.

edited to add*

I have a friend that was physically abused by her last two boyfriends and she takes great solace in the fact that she's engaged to a great guy who treats her nice now while he's just an abusive loser with no one that loves him.

Last edited by PilotKitten; 04-05-2005 at 16:16..
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Old 04-08-2005, 10:43   #11
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As a general rule, anything not reported to the police, did not happen. While we know that it likely did occur, the chance to make a good case for the both of you has been frittered away. The guy's ability to make your life hell has been aided by the vicim's reluctance to report it to the police.

Also lost is the call history that is often vital in showing the number of problems and fear created by this guy. At this point, it might seem to some who might have to make the prosecution decision, that you are actually planning a felony by asking for help here.

Absent the requests for protection orders, the complaints of threats and calls made to police, you don't have much other then your say so.

What to do? Move away immediately, far away, and insure your friend never communicates her location to anyone that has contact with this guy. Report often, to the police, any actual or suspected problems. Ask for the report number, keep track of it and know who you talked to.

Sadly, the signs are often there early in relationships. Having had to investigate a huge number of related felonies, I found this all too common. It is pretty had to convince women that the "very attentive" guy could be a stalker on another day.

...was here

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Old 04-10-2005, 15:20   #12
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Yea, that's what I was afraid of. Frustrating and depressing but I guess that's how it is. ;T

Thanks again everyone for your replies, it's good to hear what others think about it.
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Old 04-18-2005, 21:23   #13
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As I read your posting and the comments of others, all of which provided sound advice, I had a realization. It is important as you and your fiance start your lives that there isn't any issues that prevent your happiness. Although, the first thought is to confront the ex-boyfriend or pound his head I would recommend against it. Also, the use of a handgun to solve the situation is not the answer either.
If there is a confrontation it would be best to ask, and I do mean ask, the boyfriend to leave you both alone and tell him you don't want any trouble. If he persists contact the school administration and explain the situation to them. Lastly, law enforcement is the next option. If the ex has a desire to join the military after graduation, I am sure the school's ROTC administrator would be more than happy to handle the situation. We are not aware of the extent of your fiance's abuse, but overcoming fear is hard without any help.
If the ex-boyfriend should break into your residence then by all means shoot him. I recommend head shots for they are permanent. I live in Southwestern Indiana and I know law enforcement will react to any abuse.
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Old 04-19-2005, 20:00   #14
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Here in MI we have RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounter) thru which one can arrange counseling on a sliding scale according to abiuilty to pay. If you don't like the couseling provided by the school (and my own expeience with that was worse than worthless), be proactive and find counseling elsewhere.

Also, this may sound like a little thing, but it can help get you started... take a vacation somewhere ELSE, anywhere you've never been before. If money is an issue, go camping for a long weekend... eat PB&J or ramen if you have to, just so long as you go somewhere with no memories that taint the place, and no one to worry about running into, and nothing to distract you from the moment you are living right now. It will give you a breather, and time to recharge, and remember how to hope in the future instead of fear it. You can go with somebody, or alone, whichever you are more comfortable doing, so long as you do it. My personal experience is that backpacking is a great way to get away, not to mention exhausting enough physically to guarantee that i can sleep through a bear trying to get into my tent...and that certainly put my life into a better perspective.

Lastly, would it be any comfort to you to have people pray for you both in this situation?

"Don't waste your time with explanations. People only hear what they want to hear." Paulo Coelho

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Old 04-19-2005, 20:08   #15
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It's difficult, will take time to get over. Seek whatever counseling you can afford, find, get. If you are religious, talk to your pastor/preacher/etc. Get the G19 and carry it, get the OC spray whatever makes you feel more secure in protecting yourself. Take a self-defense class many are free or low cost for women.


Keep reminding yourself what a lucky person you are to have the new boyfriend and to be getting on with the rest of your life.

Good Luck and best wishes,
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