How do you identify the counterfeits in your life? What are the signs you look for when you are meeting people, dating, socializing? How do you know if they are the real deal or a fake, phony or a fraud?
Here in the good ole U.S. of A. we have of few ways of checking to see if our currency is the real deal.
- Thread running through the bill
- watermark bearing the image of the person whose portrait is on the bill
- color shifting ink
We have safeguards for protecting ourselves with counterfeit cash. But what about our hearts, how do we spot a counterfeit? We don’t get to hold a man up and look at him through a light to see if his face is the same, do we? We don’t have a thread to look at to make sure its printed? We don’t even have color shifting ink. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could take a potential friend/boyfriend/companion’s wrist and rub a marker on it. If it turns out clear “real deal” if not then “no thanks”.
But what if we do have certain things to test? What if we really do have watermarks to look for and we are missing the boat?
Take for example: 2 faced, being able to hold the bill to the light and see if the faces match…
The two faced boy – lets explore for a moment! Take the Joker, he is fantastic to everyone around you. He has your family and friends fooled but behind closed doors he is different. So often I heard Kara say “It must be me, he never treats anyone else with such disregard”. These signs started popping up long before he popped the question. The problem was that he was the master manipulator. He was able to twist her into believing how flawed she was and how much she needed him. But the fact remains she saw a different side to him that the rest of us were unfamiliar with.
The thread running through the bill- the security thread
He is often the boy with past experiences that you have heard and seen for yourself. The essence of him is woven through him. What are his common issues? What is his history that has helped make him who he is today? How does he interact with his family? How does he interact with other women? What did his breakups look like? What does he do when he thinks no one is watching; drinking, drugs, chewing, smoking, pornography? The tricky thing is that abusers are so darn good at hiding this thread that is woven through their life BUT when you are spending time with him and reading between the lines you start to see things that don’t add up. As a woman examining this thread are you allowing him to cover his thread with excuses? Are you choosing to believe the Prince in him rather than who he really could be because in your heart of hearts you soo want him to rescue you? The thread is a tricky one, its harder to see and darn the luck its easier to overlook. Overlooking is such an easy thing to do…for a while. But would you accept a $100 bill from someone without the thread? Why not? Why would you be so careful with your money but not with your heart? What’s his thread say?
Color shifting ink
Does he shift your sense of reality? Do you feel like you are going crazy? “It can’t be him acting like this, no no it must be me.” “After all I am the CRAZY one with a past.” “After all I am the one who gets emotional.” “After all I am the one who screamed and acted like a complete fool. The events leading up to my retaliation seem irrelevant now because I reacted, because I am CRAZY.” One of the hardest parts about shifting your sense of reality is that you yourself start to believe him. “He acts so charming and wonderful to everyone else so of course it must be me going crazy.” Point in case – Kara was convinced, let me stress CONVINCED she was going crazy. She went to doctors explaining she was bipolar. She saw a psychiatrist begging for a diagnosis (which he did not give her). At his demand or he would divorce her; she called the psychiatric unit and asked to be admitted. When they questioned her they refused. Why? Because she wasn’t in need of those services. She was in need of a divorce attorney and an order of protection.
Run! Run as quick as you can… if any of these fit someone in your life. The effects of domestic violence span far beyond the abused woman and her children. If you have friends or people you are allowing in your space, in your circle…RUN if any of these fit.
THE WARNING SIGNS OF ABUSE*
He speaks disrespectfully about his former partners
He is disrespectful toward you.
He does favors for you that you don’t want or puts on such a show of generosity that it makes you uncomfortable.
He is controlling.
He is possessive.
Nothing is ever his fault.
He is self-centered.
He abuses drugs or alcohol.
He pressures you for sex.
He gets serious too quickly about the relationship.
He intimidates you when he’s angry.
He has double standards.
He has negative attitudes toward women.
He treats you differently around other people.
He appears to be attracted to vulnerability.
If you are looking for a go to list I just gave it to you. Here is a long list to see if he is a counterfeit or not. The real deal doesn’t posses these traits, he just doesn’t. You can talk yourself and your family into why he is so perfect but the truth remains. Why not test him first? You might not have the marker but you do have the ability to look into him on a deeper level. Here are some tools – use them!
Do I test people in my life now since Kara’s X? YES I do! My family is too precious to me to drag through that mess again. We were all affected by his lies. It took a long time for my son to stop dreaming about him. We witnessed the abuse first hand and we were there through it all but we ignored much of the signs. We didn’t know what the signs were and we were all too forgiving and accepting of bad behavior! Before I found myself accepting anyone in our lives, bringing them in and letting them become woven through our family unit. HA! Those days have changed. Our lives are forever changed and now that we have weeded through I see it is for the better! All the praise and glory go to God!! Someone once told my husband that we cut friends out of our life because of the animosity between Kara and her X. At first I struggled with it. But now I relish in it…heck yeah I cut people out of my life for being an abuser and also those who choose to associate with him.
Catching my breath by Kelly Clarkson….”I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right” is my favorite lyric.
* Warning Signs taken from Lundy Bancrofts book Why Does He Do That? pg 121 – Go read it!