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vivico1
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Abusive relationships

We hear in the story, about all the bullying Peter has to take for so long. I am curious as to if you feel there are any abusive one on one relationships in the story. What are they and how do they affect those involved? There is one I was quite worried about, I want to see what you guys think tho first. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: Abusive relationships

I had a reply all finished here last night and then my server went out and I lost it all. Argh!!
There were several abusive relationships here and of course Peter suffered through more than one of them. One situation that was very abusive was the one between Josie and Matt. He was very good at controlling her and making her feel grateful just to be with him. He knew how to take advantage of her insecurities. Matt could be mean and say cruel things, he could even physically hurt her but then he would say those magic words about how he loved her so much and she would then convince herself that the other part must not have happened the way she thought it did. She recognized his anger and even commented that it was the flip side to his passion but she didn't want to admit that he often used that anger on her.
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Stephanie
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Re: Abusive relationships

Deb,
 
Matt was very controlling, and for some reason, Josie, who is otherwise a pretty smart girl, allows him to treat her badly.  I have seen "peace at any price" in action, but I know that some battles are worth fighting, and she needed to shed him like an old snake skin. 
Stephanie
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vivico1
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Re: Abusive relationships


Stephanie wrote:
Deb,
Matt was very controlling, and for some reason, Josie, who is otherwise a pretty smart girl, allows him to treat her badly. I have seen "peace at any price" in action, but I know that some battles are worth fighting, and she needed to shed him like an old snake skin.



I agree. I think she was only staying with him because he was pretty much the pinnacle guy of status in their group and also she couldnt handle them not seeing her as part of the perfect couple everyone thinks they are. I think she knows if she drops him, gets him mad,she's out of the group and maybe a target as big as Peter. I am not sure she even understands the danger she is in with Matt. If she had stayed with him, the violence, both verbal and physical would have escalated until, maybe she would become another kind of statistic.

When I was in high school, the prettiest, sweetest girl there dated a really abusive boy at school. A jock with a mean temper. I asked her why she dated him, he was dangerous and didnt care about her if he could do the things he did. She was like a walking case of shock or something and just looked like, I don't know. I wanted to see her so bad at my ten year reunion when I went back to NM but she wasnt there either night, nor him and no one seemed to have any info on either of them. So I dont even know if she married him, or was alive for that matter. He and I got into it one time and he knocked one of my friends away from her locker and stole some of her stuff. It got me mad, so the next week, time enough to forget who you hacked off for a jock, I left one of my classes, went to his locker, took off his lock (I had my ways of getting info, so I had his combination lol) and replaced it with a new lock. Then at lunch time, I stood out of sight, not hiding, just out of eyesight and watched him try to open his locker three times. When it wouldnt open, he hit it with his fist several times, denting the whole door in to the locker itself, just smashed it and his things inside, cussing up a blue streak. I walked by as he stood there out of breath just staring at it like why wouldnt it bend to his will. I said, nice work, real smart thing to do huh. He just stood there looking at it, didnt even turn on me, and said, well the F'ing lock doesnt work! He didnt even get that it was a different lock. I just looked at him for a second and said, well fun guy, now you have to go to the office and they will get it open and all your smashed stuff out and you get to pay for the locker, was it worth it? He just kept standing there breathing hard, looking at the locker and saying, F'ing locker. He never did figure out what happened, never blamed anyone and no one to tell him because I was the only one who knew what I did. I didn't share that tidbit with even my friend he pushed and stole from. Tho she did ask me if I knew something about it. I just said, guess even the bad a$$ guys have bad karma too. She didnt know what I meant but she didn't ask anymore and what it cost him to pay for the locker and playing time on the field he lost, he never bugged anyone's locker again.

So, was it a good thing or smart thing I did? Oh who knows, I was in high school too. All I knew was it worked and yep, it was a revenge thing on my part I know. Gosh, havent thought of that little trick in decades! lol
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
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Re: Abusive relationships




I agree. I think she was only staying with him because he was pretty much the pinnacle guy of status in their group and also she couldnt handle them not seeing her as part of the perfect couple everyone thinks they are. I think she knows if she drops him, gets him mad,she's out of the group and maybe a target as big as Peter. I am not sure she even understands the danger she is in with Matt. If she had stayed with him, the violence, both verbal and physical would have escalated until, maybe she would become another kind of statistic.

When I was in high school, the prettiest, sweetest girl there dated a really abusive boy at school. A jock with a mean temper. I asked her why she dated him, he was dangerous and didnt care about her if he could do the things he did. She was like a walking case of shock or something and just looked like, I don't know. I wanted to see her so bad at my ten year reunion when I went back to NM but she wasnt there either night, nor him and no one seemed to have any info on either of them. So I dont even know if she married him, or was alive for that matter. He and I got into it one time and he knocked one of my friends away from her locker and stole some of her stuff. It got me mad, so the next week, time enough to forget who you hacked off for a jock, I left one of my classes, went to his locker, took off his lock (I had my ways of getting info, so I had his combination lol) and replaced it with a new lock. Then at lunch time, I stood out of sight, not hiding, just out of eyesight and watched him try to open his locker three times. When it wouldnt open, he hit it with his fist several times, denting the whole door in to the locker itself, just smashed it and his things inside, cussing up a blue streak. I walked by as he stood there out of breath just staring at it like why wouldnt it bend to his will. I said, nice work, real smart thing to do huh. He just stood there looking at it, didnt even turn on me, and said, well the F'ing lock doesnt work! He didnt even get that it was a different lock. I just looked at him for a second and said, well fun guy, now you have to go to the office and they will get it open and all your smashed stuff out and you get to pay for the locker, was it worth it? He just kept standing there breathing hard, looking at the locker and saying, F'ing locker. He never did figure out what happened, never blamed anyone and no one to tell him because I was the only one who knew what I did. I didn't share that tidbit with even my friend he pushed and stole from. Tho she did ask me if I knew something about it. I just said, guess even the bad a$$ guys have bad karma too. She didnt know what I meant but she didn't ask anymore and what it cost him to pay for the locker and playing time on the field he lost, he never bugged anyone's locker again.

So, was it a good thing or smart thing I did? Oh who knows, I was in high school too. All I knew was it worked and yep, it was a revenge thing on my part I know. Gosh, havent thought of that little trick in decades! lol

I wonder why also that girls especially take the abuse from guys. Its not like they have no where to go like some older women with babies and no one to help them. They have families. So I guess you are right, Josie did not see the danger she was in because her obsurb logic was to keep him so everything would be fine in the being popular group. And its not outragous, the thought to keep ridicule away from you. Like I have said, it hurts worst than any pain I have ever had. And Josie had suffered mildly from ridicule before she started siding with the bullys. Doesn't it seem insane that Peter had a choice also to make fun of someone else and become the cool guy and couldn't go through with it. He was never rewarded for doing the right thing. Only more ridicule for  himself to bare.  But as they say, and its true, Life is not dealth fair. You have what comes and what you make up it.
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kiakar
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Re: Abusive relationships



So, was it a good thing or smart thing I did? Oh who knows, I was in high school too. All I knew was it worked and yep, it was a revenge thing on my part I know. Gosh, havent thought of that little trick in decades


That was neat, Vivian. I am glad you didn't get caught doing it. It served him right.  Good for you!
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Wrighty
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Re: Abusive relationships



kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
I agree. I think she was only staying with him because he was pretty much the pinnacle guy of status in their group and also she couldnt handle them not seeing her as part of the perfect couple everyone thinks they are. I think she knows if she drops him, gets him mad,she's out of the group and maybe a target as big as Peter. I am not sure she even understands the danger she is in with Matt. If she had stayed with him, the violence, both verbal and physical would have escalated until, maybe she would become another kind of statistic.


I wonder why also that girls especially take the abuse from guys. Its not like they have no where to go like some older women with babies and no one to help them. They have families. So I guess you are right, Josie did not see the danger she was in because her obsurb logic was to keep him so everything would be fine in the being popular group. And its not outragous, the thought to keep ridicule away from you. Like I have said, it hurts worst than any pain I have ever had. And Josie had suffered mildly from ridicule before she started siding with the bullys. Doesn't it seem insane that Peter had a choice also to make fun of someone else and become the cool guy and couldn't go through with it. He was never rewarded for doing the right thing. Only more ridicule for  himself to bare.  But as they say, and its true, Life is not dealth fair. You have what comes and what you make up it.


I don't think it was simply about status for Josie and for many other girls in the same situation. That was definitely a bonus but I think Josie felt loved and important when she was with Matt. He constantly reinforced it with attention and praise and he was the first one to say he was in love. That meant everything to her. She wasn't sure she even counted as a person but then felt she must have value if Matt wanted to be with her. When he started being mean and then abusive he knew how to work the situation. At first she doubted it had ever happened, later, she became aware of him doing things but he always apologized and professed his love so she overlooked it. He had her in a constant state of confusion and doubt about what was really happening. Add to that the fact that she never told anyone and she was very isolated amongst many "friends".
 
 
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onecunninggirl
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Re: Abusive relationships

I honestly think that abuse is a tough thing to get out of.  My mother was in an abusive marriage before she married my father.  It literally took my mother's first husband almost killing her and hurting my sister(she is my half sister), and then my father coming to the rescue to get my mom to leave.  My dad found her and my sister in a horrible state one night, my mother was beaten and bloody (the bastard had come after her with a cast iron frying pan).  But even when my dad talked to my mom about it, at first she said it was her fault she had caused him to be that angry at her.  Thankfully, my dad was able to convince her other wise, and he stood by her side when her husband came back to offer her the support she needed to kick his no good butt out.  Then he stood by her to make sure that she never let him back in her life.
 
I think for people that have never been there, it is so easy to say I'd just walk away, but the truth of the matter is that most abuse starts verbally...you aren't good enough, it is your fault, etc.  By the time the physical starts the abused is so fracture that it is hard to believe that you are worth something, and I have heard many abused people say they honestly felt they deserved it.  Josie demonstrates that feeling when she told Peter on the elevator that she deserved what Matt had done to her.  I also think Josie felt there must be something wrong with her, since Courtney seemed to want what she had so badly.  I'm sure Courtney had told her many times that she was lucky because when they went to parties he never wanted her out of his site, or because he always seemed so attentive.  What the outsider doesn't realize is that this was the beginning of the controlling, and the friends were helping Matt's cause. 
 
I really don't think it was that Josie was weak or that she wanted to retain her status.  I just feel she was so fractured she couldn't get away.  I think she was getting there, but not 100% ready.
 
Karla
 
 
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Wrighty
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Re: Abusive relationships



onecunninggirl wrote:
 
I think for people that have never been there, it is so easy to say I'd just walk away, but the truth of the matter is that most abuse starts verbally...you aren't good enough, it is your fault, etc.  By the time the physical starts the abused is so fracture that it is hard to believe that you are worth something, and I have heard many abused people say they honestly felt they deserved it. 
 
Karla


I agree Karla and I'm sorry to hear what your mother went through. No one knew what their real relationship was. Their friends thought they were so in love that they couldn't be apart. The reality was that Matt was jealous and controlling and didn't trust her. I do think they loved each other but it was a warped sense of love.
 
I had a similar relationship in my early high school years. It started out great and we were each other's first real boyfriend and girlfriend. He was a great guy, funny with lots of friends. His father had a terrible, terrible anger problem and would rage and yell things. He had no self control and he was often verbally abusive. His kids didn't like him and kept their distance. My boyfriend eventually developed anger issues and self control problems himself. It started so slowly as just disagreements and then arguments but only with me. He was still the funny guy with everyone else. I'm sure no one ever suspected how he could be. He always apologized and said he loved me and things would be fine for awhile. He became more and more controlling and jealous of other guys and then my friends. He would accuse me of things I wasn't doing but would get mad anyway. He would punch the wall, scream and holler. Later he started pinching my arms and squeezing my face so hard that I would have bruises inside my mouth. He always blamed me for his actions. I never told anyone, not my friends or family. Then we started the breaking up and getting back together phase. Finally. I stuck to my guns and didn't go back. I met someone else too. A wonderful, wonderful guy that became my husband years later. He couldn't have been more different. Even then the ex gave me a hard time for awhile.
 
Eventually he moved away and I really felt hate for him. I would see him on rare occasions over the years and we would say hello and that was it. About 20 years later he moved back with his very nice wife and great kids. They became friends with mine at school. We would see each other more and more at school functions, etc. and I didn't speak to him much for a long time. I usually just spoke to his wife. Now I can chat with him but we've never ever discussed our past relationship. Fortunately, he found happiness and peace and became a different person. I was happy to see that he didn't continue with his anger and abusive ways.
 
I am not the type of person to put up with that kind of thing and it still surprises me that it happened. But I was only about 15 and it happened so gradually that I didn't know it was sneaking up on me. He wasn't a bad guy but he was reproducing the anger that had been taken out on him. I can really understand how a person could get caught up in an abusive relationship and find it hard to leave. Especially if there are children and the lack of finances involved. You've been brainwashed to believe certain things and it's hard to make changes. Fear is also a big factor. I consider myself lucky that things turned out the way they did.
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onecunninggirl
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Re: Abusive relationships



Wrighty wrote:

You've been brainwashed to believe certain things and it's hard to make changes. Fear is also a big factor. I consider myself lucky that things turned out the way they did.


I am so thankful that you were able to get out of it.  Sometimes even the strongest people have a hard time walking away.

Karla

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Wrighty
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Re: Abusive relationships



onecunninggirl wrote:

Wrighty wrote:

You've been brainwashed to believe certain things and it's hard to make changes. Fear is also a big factor. I consider myself lucky that things turned out the way they did.

I am so thankful that you were able to get out of it.  Sometimes even the strongest people have a hard time walking away.

Karla

Thanks Karla, I'm thankful too. It was so unlike my personality for me to get into this situation but it can happen easier than you think. It was a lifetime ago but this book really brought it all back to me. Yuck.
 
~Deb
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Stephanie
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Re: Abusive relationships

Karla and Deb,
 
What astounding situations - and you're right, people do wonder why the abused individual doesn't just "walk away" - there's so much more involved than that, though, isn't there?  I don't know what I would do if I found out my daughter (who is only nine now) was being abused in that way by her husband.  I would probably park myself in her house and not budge ... even though I'm sure there's a better way to help!  I just cannot imagine someone I love being treated that way.  There are so many circumstances that factor in to relationships but I think the best thing we can teach our daughters is that no one has the right to tell them who they are.  What is that called, Projecting?  When people cut you down, and tell you about the problems you have and they're really telling you what they think of themselves?  
Stephanie
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onecunninggirl
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Re: Abusive relationships

Stephanie, since my mother had been through an abusive relationship, she always told me if I stayed in one I wouldn't have to worry about him killing me because she might do it herself.  She was very adamant to tell us that there was a way out, to come to her or my father  and they could help. 
 
I don't have girls, I have two boys, but I am trying to raise them to be respectful of women.  There is a country song out, it is a father talking to a young man who has come to pick up his daughter and he tells her "respect is what she deserves and respect is what she'll get".  I am trying to teach my boys that lesson.  As they get older I want them to understand to treat a woman the way they want to see me treated.
 
I think one of the alarming trends we have started to see is a reversal in abuse cases where it is the woman who is the abuser.  So I guess it isn't just our girls we should be worried about any more.
Karla
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Wrighty
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Re: Abusive relationships



onecunninggirl wrote:
Stephanie, since my mother had been through an abusive relationship, she always told me if I stayed in one I wouldn't have to worry about him killing me because she might do it herself.  She was very adamant to tell us that there was a way out, to come to her or my father  and they could help. 
 
I don't have girls, I have two boys, but I am trying to raise them to be respectful of women.  There is a country song out, it is a father talking to a young man who has come to pick up his daughter and he tells her "respect is what she deserves and respect is what she'll get".  I am trying to teach my boys that lesson.  As they get older I want them to understand to treat a woman the way they want to see me treated.
 
I think one of the alarming trends we have started to see is a reversal in abuse cases where it is the woman who is the abuser.  So I guess it isn't just our girls we should be worried about any more.
Karla


You're right Stephanie, there are so many factors that go into all relationships. In the abusive situations it often happens so gradually that other people may not be aware of it and the victim may not realize how much it has escalated. It's so deceiving. When I had my bad relationship as a teen I knew it wasn't a good situation but at the time I never considered it abusive. Of course that was part of the control and misplaced blame he used. I was much quicker to see bad relationships for other people than I was to recognize it in my own.
 
I also have sons and we have taught them to be respectful of women. They have many strong ladies in their lives that have set good examples. My husband has also set a good example by being a great husband and father. As Karla mentioned, women are often the abuser in the relationships. I don't think it's a new trend though we are just becoming more aware of it. Too many men have been embarrassed to admit it to anyone, even themselves. They often think it emasculates them if a woman is controlling a man. That's not their fault though, it's the abuser and it can happen to anyone.

 
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