Category: fear

child, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, divorce, domestic violence, families, family, fear, General, kids, law, lawsuits, legal, murder
Help! I fell in love with the boogeyman!

(c) Forever May, 2009

The boogeyman.

Everybody knows the boogeyman isn’t real. Right?

Well, to some, the boogeyman is very real and he is the one you love.  How does someone fall in love with the boogeyman?  What makes the boogeyman become what or who he is? A monster – an abuser…

Abuse at its worst is when the one person you look to as your life partner hurts you.  That’s the person you should trust, confide in, turn to, and be there for…. til death do us part does not mean a death because of the very relationship the wedding vows refer to.  The pain is ten-fold, the emotions run especially high, the betrayal, and bitterness is raw, and in the end – the wounds & scars run deep. Very deep.

I have been an advocate against domestic abuse for years. I know the cycle of abuse. I know the pain. I know the scars. I lost my son to domestic abuse.  So, I would know better than to involve myself into another abusive relationship. I would never mean to get in a relationship with a man who would hit me or take my freedom and will away from me. I know the signs, the symptoms, the who gamet.

If you have noticed my blog has been slow posting over the last year or so, this is the reason.  I somehow managed to get myself into a relationship, again, with an abuser. Its taken me a year and 1/2 and several dozen attempts to get away.  I did, finally, get out.

*I* fell into the cycle again knowing better…. I know SO WELL what to look for, what to avoid, and what to do – I’ve been through this before. I couldn’t believe where I found myself again.  I asked “why did this happen” each time I would be swallowing my tears, hiding in my dark room, or  sneaking past his sleeping quieted body to the fridge to grab a piece of bread and scurry away to eat it without waking him or his rage…How did *I* get trapped by another monster?

He was the boogeyman, you see, wearing a disguise.  He offered me a helping hand when I needed it badly, and he was so beautifully charming.  He had a good paying job, a nice house, car, he worked hard, he was kind, sensitive, good looking, a good listener, we had fun times together.  We had so much in common on our views, opinions, passions, and goals. It was perfect…too perfect.  He even got me a puppy.

Sure, I thought “this is too good to be true” and was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I was expecting another shoe to drop.

I didn’t expect it to be a boot …( a steel-toed boot).

I had plenty of space, as his job took him out of town for weeks at a time too. While he was away, I would have plenty of time to myself, to do my thing.  It was my time to recharge my inner batteries so-to-speak.

The weekends when he was home we’d have a great time together.  Then I told him I wanted to get a job.  Instantly, he changed into the boogeyman.  He quit going to work, became extremely possessive, and if I had a job interview, he would subversively sabotage any chance I had of getting it.  A job meant indepedence.  A job meant I would leave.  He lost his job then his car, and eventually his house.  He moved us into an old house that had once been scheduled for demolition and every other week I was running away from home, but with my dog by my side, it was difficult to find anywhere to go for any period of time.  I went to the shelter. I wanted to work, but the inconsistency of my life couldn’t allow me to keep a job.  I went back after I would run out of options, just to leave again within the next few weeks.

For the first year and 1/2, no matter how abusive it got, he hadn’t “hit” me.  The abuse was mental, verbal, emotional, psychological, financial.  Intimidation tactics, threats, but he always promised he’d never hit me.  I lost all my friends, one by one, who got tired of the “drama” or who were afraid of him coming over there.

Then he hit me for the first time.  It was an “accident” he said, a “freak accident.” Right.

I was so afraid and in shock I stood frozen in the corner he’d backed me into and then played possom all night until I had the chance to run. I went into a shelter, but was kicked out of the shelter for eating yogurt after 9pm. I was starving – food had been a special commodity with him. 

Back I went with the utmost of apprehension… the second time he hit me, a week later, he didn’t just hit me, it was an all out brawl, and my dog bit him… the puppy he’d gotten me… protecting me.  He threatened her.  I left that day and never went back.  I had the good fortune of some of his friends who were nearby, picked my dog and I up from the corner gas station, and had a feeling the abuse had been going on, but weren’t sure.  He kept me too isolated to know. 

Now they knew, and his secret was out.  Finally, I was out too.

He still tries, and thinks I’m his, and will be home. I received roses yesterday.  I won’t budge.  My things are still at his house, in my bedroom there that has notes he painted for me all over the walls and ceiling.  His obsession with me hasn’t diminished, & he can’t control me anymore.  So far he’s had the desire to save face in front of his friends enough to leave me be.  So far.

What happened to him that made him this way?  If you ask him he’ll say it was all my fault, an accident, or a result of my “craziness”.  He’ll never admit he’s a monster.  He doesn’t seem that way at first of course.  He has a good side, a good heart, a generous nature, but the flip side is a controlling abusive man.

Whats going on in his mind?  Why is he abusive?  Thats why this topic is particularly involving my focus right now.  Why did I fall into it again, even knowing so well what to avoid and look for.

It goes to show one can never have too much knowledge. Thank goodness I’m away and safe.  I thought he was going to kill me one day. He might have. I am sad for the way things turned out, but knew it was the only choice, for me to leave. 

I want to reunite with my son one day, and I want to have a close relationship with my daughter and granddaughter, and my son too, which I could never have with an abuser around me.  He didn’t see himself as an abuser, so he didn’t see things the way I did.  He has the mind of an abuser, fits exactly the profile in the article to follow.  So exact in fact, its spooky, like it was written about him.

There’s some very useful information about domestic violence and abusers in the following articles, how abusers’ minds work how their loved ones can deal with them, and where to find help.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty over the past year while I was dealing with this.  As for me, I’m okay, a little traumatized again, with my PTSD acting up. Hypervigilence at its best… or worst, I guess.  

I’m making new friends, finding support of wonderful people around me, and enjoying the peace. I’m starting to feel happy again, and hope again.

For anyone out there involved in an abusive relationship, take it from me, its not your fault, stay strong, and there is a light out there somewhere – keep trying to find it.  I know its hard and frustrating and often times hopeless.

You can make it, and you don’t deserve to stay.  Its hard getting out. I know.  Have faith in yourself and keep trying to find a way out.

I think I’ll stay single for a while though.

Thanks again for your support!

 _________________________________

For More Information read:  Exploring the Mind of An Abuser

children, fear, General, love
With woman missing, a mother worries

A Seminole woman hasn’t been seen since a court appearance Feb. 6, when she appeared to be pregnant.

By CURTIS KRUEGER
Published April 18, 2006


[Times photo: Dirk Shadd]

Linda Steenberge, 61, holds a photograph of her missing daughter, Melissa Steenberge Pound, 34. The photo, which is about 2 years old, shows Pound with her nephew Thomas Ford and a daughter, Joanna Pound. Steenberge says Pound has suffered from depression.


 

In 2004, Spirit,
a wolf-dog hybrid,
mauled one of Pound’s daughters.

   
 

Melissa Steenberge Pound, a 34-year-old Seminole woman with a history of depression, was expecting to give birth to a baby two months ago.

But she has disappeared, possibly with her infant child, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office wants help finding her. So does her mother, who is worried about their safety.

“I just want to know that she’s all right,” Linda Steenberge said.

It is the second traumatic event for the family in as many years.

In 2004, Melissa’s then-2-week-old daughter, Susanna, was mauled by Spirit, a wolf-dog hybrid owned by a relative. That event generated wide local publicity and focused attention on the question of whether wolf hybrids should be allowed to live in urban and suburban areas. Spirit was soon put to sleep.

In the latest case, Steenberge said Gregory Steven Pound, father of Melissa’s children, was jailed for failing to provide information about her.

Public records indicate Pound is being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of contempt of court, but Pinellas sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Bordner said he had no information on why.

Steenberge said her daughter and Pound consider themselves husband and wife, but are not legally married.

Steenberge is especially concerned about her daughter because she has suffered from postpartum depression.

“I think she’s … in depression to where she doesn’t know where she is,” Steenberge said.

It has happened before. Steenberge said her daughter, after giving birth in the past, became completely disoriented and “she didn’t know who she was.” She said her daughter did not take her normally prescribed anti-depression medication during her pregnancy.

It’s not clear whether Melissa has the baby with her.

She was last seen in a Feb. 6 court appearance, but Steenberge said she seemed to still be pregnant then.

Bordner declined to say whether detectives had checked local hospitals to see if Melissa had given birth. But even if she has, it might not have been at a hospital. Steenberge said her daughter previously had her babies at home.

Melissa last telephoned relatives on Feb. 9 and 11, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

After the dog bite two years ago, child welfare workers took the Pounds’ four children away and placed them with their grandparents, Steenberge and her husband, in Largo. Since then, the youngest child’s facial scars have almost completely healed, but she may have suffered some brain damage from the attack, Steenberge said.

Melissa has been working on a plan with foster care workers designed to help her prove she could safely regain the custody of the children, who are 6, 4, 2 and 20 months. Now, she has not been in contact with the kids for two months, and Steenberge said that’s unlike her.

The oldest child has started to notice her mother’s absence and recently said, “I hate my life,” Steenberge said. When she asked why, the girl said, “Because Mom’s not coming to visit and because Mom’s not calling me.”

Melissa Pound of 9166 Sunrise Drive in Seminole is described as a white woman, 5 feet 5 inches tall, about 120 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder-length brown hair.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call Detective Ed Judy at (727) 582-6200.

[Last modified April 18, 2006, 01:48:05]

child welfare reform, foster care abuse, children, cps, domestic violence, family, fear, foster care, government, home, kids, love, missing child, system failure
Missing mom may have feared losing son

The woman’s husband says she was afraid the state would take away their newborn like they did with their other kids.

By CURTIS KRUEGER
Published April 24, 2006


Gregory Pound sat in the Pinellas County Jail for a month for failing to reveal where his wife and baby son had gone, even though he insists he doesn’t know the answer.

But he says he knows this much: Melissa vanished because she feared child welfare workers would take their son, Moses, away from her, like their four other children.

His family, Pound says, is being persecuted by the government.

“She had to flee for her life and the life of her child,” said Gregory Pound, 50, in a telephone interview from jail last week. On Saturday, he was released from jail.

Two years ago, a dog owned by Gregory Pound’s sister, Diane, bit the couple’s newborn, in a case that generated extensive local news coverage. It was widely reported that the dog was a wolf hybrid, though Diane Pound denied that in an interview last week.

After that incident in 2004, child welfare workers removed the rest of the Pounds’ children. The parents have not been able to regain custody. It’s why the Pounds believe their new baby, born in early February, might be taken away also, Gregory said.

Officials with the Safe Children Coalition, which coordinates foster care and other services for Pinellas and Pasco counties under a contract with the state Department of Children and Families, said they cannot discuss individual cases because of confidentiality laws.

But they stressed that in cases like these, a system of checks and balances is designed to give parents legal representation and the right to appeal. Judges, not just case workers from various agencies, review key decisions such as whether children should be removed from home or reunited with parents. They also said parents with children in foster care do not always lose custody of their newborns; several factors go into that decision.

After the Pounds’ children were removed, they were placed with Melissa’s mother, an arrangement that is essentially a form of foster care.

On Feb. 4, Gregory says, Melissa gave birth to their new child. She suggested the name Moses, because she thought it was appropriate. The biblical baby Moses also was sent on a journey – downriver in a basket of papyrus – to escape the persecution of the pharaoh.

Last Monday, the Sheriff’s Office said Melissa, 34, had disappeared and that “detectives are concerned about (her) well-being and the condition of the newborn.”

A spokesman said no Amber Alert had been issued for the baby because it was not clear there had been an abduction; the child was with his mother.

Melissa’s mother, Linda Steenberge, said at the time that Melissa had previously suffered from postpartum depression and that “I think she’s … in depression to where she doesn’t know where she is.”

But Gregory and various friends and family members dispute that, saying her disappearance was planned.

“It was a calculated event, saying, “We’ve got to do this for their safety, for the opportunity for the mother and baby to bond,”‘ said family friend Gene Greeson.

Gregory Pound, a tree trimmer from Largo, says a judge jailed him after case workers accused him of knowing where his wife went and refusing to disclose it. He denied that.

Melissa’s disappearance could damage or delay her chances of regaining custody of the four children she has not seen in about two months.

“You don’t want to lose four trying to save one,” Greeson said.

But at the same time, Greeson said, when you follow Christian principles, “you do what you believe is right, not what you believe is going to best work.”

The Pounds’ pastor, Bruce Bendt of Grace & Peace Fellowship in Tampa, agreed. “We have to take a stand for those things that we know to be right.”

Bendt said Gregory and Melissa Pound were married in a church in West Virginia in 1999, although they did not get a marriage license for reasons related to their religious beliefs. Case workers are supposed to evaluate parents like the Pounds and determine what they need to safely regain custody of their children. They prepare a list of tasks called a case plan.

Gregory and Melissa had been working on their case plan, while at the same time appealing the decision to have the children removed in the first place, Gregory said. He said he had many objections to the process, including a requirement in a domestic violence class that he admit to having committed domestic violence. He says that would have been a lie.

April Putzulu, spokeswoman for the Safe Children Coalition, said participants must “buy in” to the process. Otherwise “the individual is a potential disruption for the rest of the group who do acknowledge their need to improve.”

Gregory has been acting as his own attorney in many of the legal proceedings.

When asked last week whether he and Melissa jointly decided that she should disappear, Gregory said it was her decision. When asked if he supported that decision, he declined to answer. He said he hopes he and his wife will win their appeal and reunite with their other children.

Such decisions, however, are rare.

Failing that, the most likely way Melissa would regain custody of her other children would be to work with the very system she apparently has run away from.

“They will find her, there’s no doubt in my mind,” said Greeson, who stressed that he thinks the Pounds are competent, loving parents. “You find Public Enemy No. 1, why can’t you find a woman with a child?”

[Last modified April 24, 2006, 01:40:15]