Domestic Violence Discussion with
Jennifer Bowles, MSW, LCSW

Jennifer Bowles is a licensed clinical social worker currently working in California as a medical social worker at a county hospital. She obtained her Master's degree in social work from U.C.L.A. Since graduating in 1993 she has worked in a variety of settings, including private practice, with children and families, frail elderly, and chronically and terminally ill clients. Prior to becoming a social worker she was a deputy sheriff. She believes this law enforcement background provided her with an increased sensitivity to abuse issues, including domestic violence.

She has seen first hand the damage domestic violence does to the individual and family. It crosses all demographic barriers: financial, racial, ethnic, age and sexual orientation.

Our thanks to Jennifer Bowles!

 

22. StorkNet Member: My father for many years had a temper and would speak before he thought. Unfortunately I was the one that mainly got the brunt end of things being the oldest of three children. As a teenager my father would make comments to me that really hurt and at a very critical time in a teenagers life put a very big crimp in my self esteem.

Ever since then I have suffered from low self-esteem and even though I know that I'm pretty (and have been told by many people) I just can't believe them. Once when I was 15 he got so mad at me that he lifted me off of the floor by my throat and held me against the wall in front of my siblings and mother. My mother doesn't remember but believe me, my siblings do.

My father and I don't have the greatest of relationships but we do talk and I love him but I don't like to spend too much time at my parents house. He has gotten better over the years and realized some of his mistakes but the damage has been done.

How can I learn to feel better about myself? Since having my baby in October I have lost 40 pounds and I'm 20 pounds lighter then I was before I got pregnant and feel terrific about myself now but my father will still make comments about my weight. This is coming from a man that is over 250 pounds himself and not in the best of shape.

Jennifer: It is very painful to not feel validated by people that are supposed to love us. Your father sounds like a person who has difficulty expressing loving, caring thoughts and finds it much easier to give criticism. He may consider this "being a parent." I know it is a difficult concept and one that most of us struggle with, but the only opinion that counts is the one we have about ourselves. You have reason to feel terrific about yourself. You've lost weight (NOT an easy thing) and you seem to take care of yourself by not spending much time in the presence of your father who continues to be in some ways abusive and your mother who denies what went on in the past and is likely not supportive of you when your father makes thoughtless comments about you in the present.

It is said that it takes 10 positives to overcome one negative. Consider what progress you have made that you can feel good about yourself after all the negatives you experienced. Keep up the positive self-talk. I know it can sound strange to use affirmations, but they really can be helpful as you are "reprogramming" your self perception. What can be helpful is realizing that making progress on your self-esteem will really help your child have good self-esteem as we are our children's role models. If your father has made some improvement since his earlier years as a parent perhaps he would be open to listening to how painful his comments are to you and really how UNHELPFUL they are. Let him know if he makes positive attempts at expressing caring thoughts as this may reinforce him responding this way to you and other family members.

If you like this article, we'd be honored if you shared it using the button below.
Bookmark and Share



Questions and Answers (Click on the linked numbers below):

 1.  Husband's temper
 2.  Divorced, did not keep documentation for protection. What should I do?
 3.  I'm getting divorced. Do I tell the judge about my husband's anger? Should my daughter be with him?
 4.  How do I find an Abuse Center in My area?
 5.  How can I help my friend see that she's in a cycle of abuse?
 6.  Thank you, Jennifer
 7.  Is verbal abuse considered domestic violence?
 8.  I've left my husband - why do I feel so sad and guilty?
 9.  I'm being abused but no one can tell.
10. How does domestic abuse affect the children of the marriage?
11. When do you get past the damage?
12. Husband abusive and terminal. I'm pregnant. Can I make it on my own?
13. Therapists and false memories
14. Who do we tell if a child in my son's class is being molested?
15. My children are afraid of their father but he has part custody, what do I do?
16. This relationship is tearing down her self-confidence piece by piece.
17. I got away from the abuse but now my daughter is suffering.
18. Why do so many women end up in abusive relationships?
19. Is yelling verbal abuse?
20. Steps toward recovery?
21. Parents drinking affects the holidays
22. My dad was verbally abusive to me and I now suffer from low self esteem.
23. I can hear the neighbors fighting. What should I do?
24. My ex says no to counseling, but I want my kids to go.
25. Is my boyfriend showing signs of being abusive?
26. How can I prevent visitation rights?
27. Question about one of Jennifer's comments
28. Finding strength and independence
29. I worry so much about my children when they are with him and his new wife.
30. My friend got out of one abusive relationship and into another.
31. Helping my brother with his temper
32. My husband is an alcoholic.
33. My sister is abusing me.
34. My mom was abusive. Will I be too?
35. Abusive husband and a new baby
36. How is past abuse from my deceased husband affecting my 4 1/2 year old?
37. My best friend chose a controlling boyfriend, just like her father. Help me explain to her.
38. My husband intimidates me into sex. Is this abuse?
39. Husband has anxiety and is becoming violent
40. Separated, pregnant and thinking of working things out with abusive husband
41. Question about verbal abuse?
42. Is my boyfriend abusive?
43. Ex-husband and unpaid child support
44. Surviving molestation
45. Our arguing has turned physical now
46. I left my verbally abusive husband
47. Woman realizes she is the abuser
48. Husband's health is making him angry
49. Abuse and chronically ill
50. Abusive relationship and going through divorce proceedings
51. Granddaughter may lose custody
52. Relationship with abusive boyfriend is like obsession
53. Very afraid of abusive, threatening husband
54. Are my boyfriend's actions abusive?
55. I worry that my children will be molested because I was
56. Why do women stay or have a hard time leaving?
57. I need help to get away. What can I do?
58. Elderly parents are abusing each other, alcohol involved.
59. Is my daughter being abused by her stepmom?
60. Do you discuss female domestic violence towards men and children?
61. Friend keeps going back to abusive boyfriend
62. Alcohol problems as teens related to growing up in a violent home?
63. I left my abuser... a message of hope
64. How to help a pregnant friend
65. Resources for domestic violence in the military?
66. Nephew in abusive relationship
67. My husband is too controlling
68. Advice from someone who stayed
69. I left and now I'm confused
70. Thank you, Jennifer
71. My husband mentally abuses me
72. I've taken steps to leave my abusive husband, but am worried about my daughter
73. Abuse in friendships?
74. Why do women oppose mandatory reporting?
75. My husband is frightening me with his anger
76. Am I becoming my father?
77. Love and abuse
78. Boyfriend threatens me
79. Husband wants me to get an abortion, is verbally abusive.
80. My mother-in-law is harrassing us
81. Children verbally abusive like their father
82. Son and daughter-in-law's arguing affecting grandson
83. Should I call my husband on each verbal abuse?
84. My fiancÚ babysits and I am worried about his temper
85. My friend's child is affected by abuse by father
86. Every time he hits me, he blames me for it, then repents, apologizes and feels bad.
87. Acquaintances from church--the woman is attacking her husband. How can I help?
88. Shelters - how do you find your funds to live on and where to go?
89. My friend appears to have no way out!
90. My husband is in prison and we're divorcing. Visitation rights?
91. If you are in immediate danger

Copyright © 1996-2016 StorkNet. All rights reserved.
Please read our disclaimer and privacy policy.
Your feedback is always welcome.

StorkNet Family of Websites:
StorkNet's Blog | Pregnancy Week By Week | Exploring Womanhood | Books for Families | EriChad Grief Support

Bookmark and Share
Find Us on Facebook
Twitter