Author Topic: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.  (Read 17798 times)

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Hillia

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 11:10:19 AM »
But Assumption Lady was operating on the belief that he was an abuser - with no evidence to support her assumption - and PPs were pointing out that *if* her assumption had been correct, she had just made the situation worse.

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KenveeB

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2012, 11:53:58 AM »


I am curious as to why you always jump to the worst possible conclusion in every thread?
Yes the woman was out of line, but I am pretty sure the chances of you being in a situation like this again are slim to none.

I thought the exact same thing as she did, and I find your comment incredibly unhelpful. It is extremely likely that an abuser would react poorly to such an intervention and take it out on his victim!

ETA: from PM I gather you think I'm agreeing with you, but I wholly agree with Kherbert. It's unwise to get in the face of an abuser in front of his victim and then flounce off thinking "that showed him". The only thing it shows him is that he should not be so kind as to take her to the ER the next time. Which will probably be later that same evening because she must have done something to attract attention from that lady, right?

He wasn't an abuser though, so I didn't look at the situation as if he was. I read the post at face value, I didn't read any what-ifs into it. I didn't imagine any additional scenerios except what is stated in the OP.

But the whole point is that even from her perspective, she wasn't being remotely useful. She was either making a bad situation worse if he was an abuser or insulting an innocent person if he wasn't. In no possible scenario did she do anything helpful. Which makes her rude and an idiot.

Audrey Quest

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 12:05:51 PM »
I think Assumption Lady was being selfish.  Her actions were all about her trying to e a hero, not concern for the OP.

Minmom3

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2012, 01:39:34 PM »
I got the "is she abused" question about my 3 yo daughter in the check out line at the supermarket.  Little white skinned redhead with Orphan Annie curls.  She had two pea soup shiners her 3rd Christmas.  Looked just wonderful. 

Thing was, she had done it to herself, two times, seven days apart.  She ran into her bedroom, lost her footing and hit her forehead (3rd eye position) on the side rail of an antique brass bed.  Gave herself a glorious goose egg, 2 weeks before Christmas.  We put ice on it, and she went about her day.  Goose egg turned purple and color sagged, as gravity has its way even with blood cells inside your body.  So, she ended up with shiners and then green eyes even though her eyes had actually not been involved in the injury.  Then, just as it was starting to go away, she did it again.  Exactly the same way, too!  Bigger goose egg.  Bigger bruise.  More pea soup eyes.  She DID look like she'd been punched, really couldn't argue with that.  She also looked worse than many darker complected children would have looked, because she's a very fair skinned redhead with nearly translucent skin, and she didn't even have any freckles at that age. NOTHING hid those bruises.  We have Christmas pictures that are just lovely....  The only thing I could do about those two injuries was take down the bed she hit her head on.  It was packed away for several years.
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Hillia

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 02:12:45 PM »
My brother and SIL had this problem all the time when their daughter was young.  While not a redhead, she also had that translucent skin. They were very, very careful about sun exposure and got sunscreen recommendations from her pediatrician.  Niece wore sunscreen, a hat, etc on every outing.  She never got burned, but her face did flush from the heat (southern Arizona).  Invariably they'd get several people stopping and chastising them for 'letting her get so burned', and nothing seemed to stop it.

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JenJay

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 02:18:49 PM »
That happened to me once. When I was pregnant I had to be on an injectable blood thinner, heparin. It caused bruising around the injection sites and, because I had to do it every 12 hours throughout my entire pregnancies, I had quite a few quarter-sized bruises at any given time.

By my third baby I was pretty adept at my shots but with the first kiddo I bruised myself a lot. I went in for a regular check-up, I must have been about 6 months along. A nurse I hadn't seen before came in and did the usual preliminary stuff, then she asked me to raise my shirt so she could measure my belly. She looked at me and gasped. I said something like "Oh yeah, pretty, huh? It looks worse than it feels." She had this look on her face like she was ready to kill someone and she said "Who did this? Did your husband do this to you?" I was so mad! I said "I'm on heparin because I have APS and you would have known that if you'd reviewed my chart before you came in here!" She didn't say another word, just finished up and left. When I left she gave me my check-out papers and I didn't notice until I got to my car that there was a business card for an abuse hotline attached to it.  >:(

Some people believe what they want. Shut them down once and then ignore them.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 02:25:03 PM »
My aunt in law got something like this when her son was little.  He was a very active and clumsy kid, and there's an incident he likely will never live down, in which he was running around the yard, wasn't looking where he was going until the last second when it was too late and went face first into a tree trunk. 

Well she took him for a check up and the nurse looked at all the bruises on the child and asked in a horrified tone "What have you done to that child!" AIL said "I don't have to do anything to him, he does it to himself!!"  The doctor was not pleased that she said it that way, as she was supposed to just note her own concerns and leave them for him to address, and AIL said the next time she went that nurse was no longer there.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Iris

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 03:07:24 PM »
I don't think it's inherently rude  to express concern to a possibly abused person, even if you are not medical /social worker personell. An unfortunate side effect of that is that some of us may be exposed to some 'interesting assumptions', but , still think that's better than the previous attitude of 'Don't get involved' .  That said, THIS woman was rude . 'Is everything okay?' would have been a much better start than 'Leave  him', and to confront a potential abuser is rarely wise.

But what really makes her rude to me is when she responded to your reassurances with nastiness. The most common pattern of domestic abuse is one where the victim's sense of self worth has been systematically undermined.  Since you weren't abused it was just flat out rude. Assuming you were abused, making you feel bad about yourself with nasty remarks is the opposite of helpful. I really can't imagine what she was thinking'



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« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 03:26:52 PM by Iris »
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rashea

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 03:11:30 PM »
I've worked as an advocate. There's a way to reach out, and this isn't it. But, then if this had been me, I would have known that they separate the patient and ask a few discreet questions just in case.

Confronting the abuser (if he had been one) is almost always a bad idea. It just starts all sorts of issues.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Onyx_TKD

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2012, 04:39:27 PM »
I don't think it's inherently rude  to express concern to a possibly abused person, even if you are not medical /social worker personell. An unfortunate side effect of that is that some of us may be exposed to some 'interesting assumptions', but , still think that's better than the previous attitude of 'Don't get involved' .  That said, THIS woman was rude . 'Is everything okay?' would have been a much better start than 'Leave  him', and to confront a potential abuser is rarely wise.

But what really makes her rude to me is when she responded to your reassurances with nastiness. The most common pattern of domestic abuse is one where the victim's sense of self worth has been systematically undermined.  Since you weren't abused it was just flat out rude. Assuming you were abused, making you feel bad about yourself with nasty remarks is the opposite of helpful. I really can't imagine what she was thinking'



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I think one of the huge mistakes this woman made is assuming that her interpretation of the scene must be true. If she had approached to ask "Are you okay?" like Iris suggested, the OP probably would have looked up (revealing her unbruised face) and mentioned that it was horrible sinus issues (which seems like a fairly unlikely explanation if she was actually trying to hide domestic abuse injuries). In that case, the issue of abuse might never have even come up, and the OP would have been left with a pleasant memory of someone checking on her to make sure she was OK. If the woman had still suspected abuse, but had brought it up more delicately and been willing to back off when the OP told her it was not a concern, then the OP might have been slightly embarrassed, but she and her husband would probably just have had a good laugh about it later and thought no more of it (and if she had been an abused spouse who was not willing to admit it, then the seed of thought that other people wanted to help would be planted).

Instead, the woman jumped straight to "leave your husband, because he's a horrible abuser" and accused the OP of being a liar when she didn't agree (the overly familiar "honey" while telling a perfect stranger that she's "in denial" about being abused just adds insult to injury). She followed that up by drawing the husband's attention to the fact that she thought he was abusing his wife, which seems pretty much guaranteed to either horribly insult an innocent man or inspire an abuser to just be more careful about hiding his wife's injuries, if not add a few more out of anger. I'm trying to imagine who this woman's approach could possibly help, and I'm coming up blank. If an abused wife were ready to accept a perfect stranger's opinion that her husband is a worthless human being who she needs to leave immediately and she had the resources to actually leave him, wouldn't she already have done so? Most people aren't just going to believe the statement "[Your family member] is horrible and worthless" from even a friend, much less a stranger, unless they've pretty much decided it themselves already. Everyone else is just going to get defensive. And if the hypothetical abused wife did believe it and wanted to leave him, nothing this woman said suggested that she was prepared to offer any concrete resources to help her do that. So what on earth did she think she was going to accomplish? ???

ETA: Trying to help victims of domestic abuse is wonderful. Calling people liars, assuming you know how to run their lives better than they do, and telling them who they should and should not associate with is not helping. In fact, it sounds a lot like the red-flag behaviors I've heard for potential abusers. Way to kick someone who (she thought) was already down. >:(
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 04:46:25 PM by Onyx_TKD »

nuit93

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 05:00:59 PM »
This is a tricky one. 

It would have been one thing for the stranger to ask the OP "are you okay?" (well, obviously she's not since she's in the ER now that I think about it) and maybe offer the number/business card of a women's shelter if abuse was suspected.

Accusing the OP of lying...getting into dangerous territory.  I sort of understand where she was coming from (denial by abuse victims is common enough) but still risky.

Confronting the husband?  Definitely not okay.

Mental Magpie

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 05:17:06 PM »
I don't think it's inherently rude  to express concern to a possibly abused person, even if you are not medical /social worker personell. An unfortunate side effect of that is that some of us may be exposed to some 'interesting assumptions', but , still think that's better than the previous attitude of 'Don't get involved' .  That said, THIS woman was rude . 'Is everything okay?' would have been a much better start than 'Leave  him', and to confront a potential abuser is rarely wise.

But what really makes her rude to me is when she responded to your reassurances with nastiness. The most common pattern of domestic abuse is one where the victim's sense of self worth has been systematically undermined.  Since you weren't abused it was just flat out rude. Assuming you were abused, making you feel bad about yourself with nasty remarks is the opposite of helpful. I really can't imagine what she was thinking'



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Seraphia

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 05:44:54 PM »
Ouch! I'm so glad you're feeling a little better. I hope the antibiotics wipe that nasty bug out.

I don't know that there was a "right" response here, aside from the truth, of course. This woman was a hero in her own mind, and probably went home congratulating herself on trying to reach out and help that poor battered woman in the ER and telling off her terrible abuser husband. There's a right way and a wrong way to ask those sorts of questions, and the only method I can think of that might have challenged her assumptions would most definitely not have worked with you feeling so poorly.

Quick story: When the hubby and I were still dating, we played on an intramural softball team together. I, overcompetitive klutz that I am, managed to catch a thrown ball with my face and had to go to the ER for stitches. Our coach drove me, and the intake nurse definitely went into 'Abused?' mode. She asked me: "Now, did this injury happen as a result of some sort of argument with your partner?" Just as my poor BF walked into the room too. I defaulted to humor: "Nope. The third baseman just has terrible aim. And he owes me a beer." She laughed, he laughed, all good. But that was also her job - not so much the random people sitting in the chairs outside with the coach.

I think you did the best you could, and I'm not sure you could have changed the initial assumption in any case. Hopefully she'll come to the realization on her own that there are more helpful things she could do for abuse victims than confronting random couples in the ER.
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mrkitty

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2012, 07:04:51 PM »
MY question is... how are you feeling?  I was reading the story waiting to find out if the doctor was able to do anything to help.  I hope they could!

I agree with the others that the woman is a busybody.  Honestly, even if you *did* have a black eye and a bruised face, that wouldn't mean your husband did it.  So *starting* her approach with "you should leave that man!" would be wrong in a huge number of circumstances.  And even if he *had* done it, that approach would immediately put you on the defensive.  A *much* better approach would be more along the lines of, "Your face looks pretty painful!  Did your husband hit you?  You should know that that's really not the way a normal relationship goes.  Most husband don't hit their wives, and it's not right.  Please tell somebody, they'll get you help, honest.  You could tell the doctor here when you go in."  Or something.  I'm not saying this is perfect wording, but women tend to stay with abusers because they think they love him, that he loves her, or because they think it's normal, or they don't know where else to go or what to do.  Starting a conversation with "leave him" won't get anywhere.


Thank you for asking, MommyPenguin!

I wanted to give it a day or two to see how things are going before I answer - goodness knows, I don't want to "jinx" anything! I have certainly been wrong before thinking I was getting better...but wasn't.

The doctor put me on a 10-day course of Amoxicillin and three days of Vicodin for pain. Knock on wood, but I am thinking the antibiotics are starting to kick in....it almost seems like things are loosening up a little and instead of pain in my upper/lower jaw I have a massive all-over headache, much like a traditional head cold. Then again, being on a strong pain killer, I can't say whether the pain in the jaw is gone, or if it's just being suppressed from the medicine. But given that the headache is here and the jaw pain isn't coming back immediately after the medicine wears off before the next dose...I'm very hopeful.   :D

I can tell you, though, that it's been a very interesting couple of days on the Vicodin...I have been having vivid dreams in technicolor that are most entertaining...last night I dreamed that we received a very large shipment of pure green catnip...and the kitties were most happy.  ;D Don't ask me why.

I'm looking forward to getting off the Vicodin, though. I could live without the constant dizzy feeling and nausea.  :o Me and anything stronger than aspirin don't get along well.

I hope this isn't TMI, but I did want to let anyone know who is interested that going to the hospital was probably for the best, despite the weirdness I encountered in the waiting area.

If I had been a little more clear headed (ahem) at the time, I might have explained to the woman that her approach to "helping" a suspected abuse victim was anything but helpful. In the most polite terms imaginable, of course.  ;)

If, God forbid, I need to go back because this infection isn't done yet (special Rosary being said by me for this purpose), I thank everyone for your feedback - I think I have a better idea now of how to handle it. Not that I want to. I don't even want my worst enemy to go through that.

Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

CakeEater

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Re: It's not what it looks like. No, really. But thanks for asking...I think.
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 05:20:26 PM »
I don't have any advice, but I'm glad you're feeling better. Your original story entertained me no end this morning - is it wrong that I found your description of your pain very funny in places?  ;)