The Story Of John And Diane by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.

© Charles E. Corry, 2001

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John, Diane, Sharon, and Timothy are fictional names. The events are real.

John is a world-class ballroom dancer and has built his own house on acreage he owns in northern Colorado, among his other accomplishments.

Diane has an M.A. in psychology and that background has allowed her to manipulate the system to her great advantage.

During his relationship with Diane, John was repeatedly punched, kicked, things thrown at him, and once he walked 30+ miles home to get away from her screaming and cursing. She would break things and then, the next day, send him flowers at work. John asks if you know how hard it is to explain flowers to your co-workers at the same time you have a black eye?

As with many men, the thing that John found the most difficult to live through was the distorted reality he faced in dealing with Diane. When dealing with such women, a sane man loses his own reference points with reality.

It also destroys any person's sense of worth to be constantly denigrated and battered. Abusive partners quickly learn what hurts the most emotionally, and Diane has a master's degree in psychology that she constantly used to her advantage against John.

Like most men, John tried be a problem solver. That characteristic commonly causes a man to believe there is some rational basis for a woman's anger. They then try to find a solution and women will play that trait to their benefit. In John's case, when he was hurt and humiliated by Diane, she would pin the problem on other things. For example, she would claim a birth control shot or hormones caused her to overreact. Early in the relationship John would then excuse her behavior as being beyond her control.

After the abuse and violence would come the approval and affection that he hungered for and reinforce his belief that Diane was really a wonderful person who truly loved him. Following that, however, would follow a cycle of more pain, then blame, then the search for the solution, then the love. John states that he finally realized that all along Diane was just being herself and had hurt many others in her life the same way she hurt him.

These are classic characteristics of battering, whether the perpetrator is male or female.

Intermingled in all of this is the distorted reality and denial by the batterer. Statements such as:

It really didn't happen that way!

You're making it up!

An abused person who still loves their partner will then question their own reality. As a test, at one point John wanted to set up a video camera to record the day. Diane went into a rage, screaming that he was just trying to prove her wrong.

In John's case, Diane used his uncertainty to cement the idea that other things were affecting her behavior and were to blame for her violent outbursts. There were many times in the relationship when her distorted reality would seem contrived and manipulative to John. In hindsight, he thinks she realized this and would change the chimera to something that wasn't manipulative to throw him off track and take the suspicion off of her.

As time passes in such relationships a person who is battered begins loosing their own identity, relying on their partner to define their own sense of self. With her background in psychology, Diane could see that transformation in John and exploit it further.

John was taken to levels of agony he had never imagined, yet relied totally on Diane to save him from the pain through her "love." John truly thought that if he did everything her way, and walked on egg shells, life would be good.

Batterers such as Diane are master manipulators who are capable of great deceptions and fabrications, while all the while making their victim believe they are to blame for the problems. Such battering can go on for years before the victim reaches some limit beyond which they will not go, or endure further abuse either of themselves or their children.

Diane's behavior with John was nothing new for her, as shown in the following timeline, and emphasizes why recognizing the common characteristics of dangerous women is so important for a man going into a relationship.

Circa 1980-1984

Diane accused a prior boyfriend of five years of abuse. John later contacted him and he has stated that there was never any abuse. She has accused other men of sexual abuse and domestic violence as well.

1990-1997

Prior to meeting John in 1997 Diane sued, or threatened to sue, numerous (10+) individuals.

1992-1997

In her day planner for 1992 Diane noted twenty-six doctors she saw for a plethora of problems just in that year.

She made lists of symptoms that include ninety different medical problems she claimed various doctors found wrong with her in these years.

Since the 1980's Diane has required anti-depression medication and continues to use these drugs. During 1995 through 1997, before meeting John, she obtained one-hundred-sixteen prescriptions.

Of three employers during this time period, she accused two of sexual harassment, threatened to sue one, and caused such a furor that one doctor settled out of court in October 1997. In 1993 she had sued the other when she hurt herself on the job.

Documents exist in her handwriting showing that she was suing her employer and an insurance company in different states for the same injury.

1995-1997

Diane accused five different men of stalking her during the one-and-a-half year period prior to meeting John. Following their divorce she is now accusing John of stalking her as well.

February, 1997

After they met, John and Diane became intimate just two weeks later. After having sex the first time, Diane, then age 37, began crying hysterically, and continued to cry for half an hour.

When she finally calmed down, Diane told John that she had herpes and had a breakout. Thus, she had just passed it on to him. Now he is forced to live the rest of his life with the disease.

When, later, the relationship began to sour, she held it over his head as a reason that he could not leave her because no one else would want him with herpes.

Today Diane claims that John put pressure on her to be intimate so quickly and that is why she didn't tell him. John believes that an adult only has two responsible choices with regard to any STD. Tell the other person and let them make the decision whether to be intimate, or say "No!" The option that Diane took is a crime and morally irresponsible.

January, 1998

There came a time when deep down John didn't want Diane's love anymore because he finally realized that immediately after would come the tornado of her wrath, and pain. As with many men in such a situation, he didn't want to live because he could not take the denigration and humiliation.

John had made the decision to leave Diane and the abuse because he could no longer look himself in the mirror. To prepare himself he wrote his feelings down in a letter but put off telling her.

Then, two days before he was going to end the relationship, she told him that she was pregnant.

John's decision was then immensely complicated by the fact that Diane was pregnant. Now what was he to do? How was he to walk away from a violent woman who would surely abuse his child?

His conundrum was how to save himself and not allow the child to be destroyed in the process. Still hoping there might be some underlying medical problem that could be cured, John was now even more driven to find what was causing Diane to behave this way. Believing that if he could only find and fix the problem she would love him and their child and the battering would stop.

Instead the abuse got worse as Diane now had a whole new set of excuses for her behavior, e.g., complications with the pregnancy, and then post-partum depression after the child was born.

The problems were never with her. Someone or something else was always to blame for her behavior. Blaming someone else and denial are characteristics of batterers regardless of sex.

May, 1998

While five months pregnant, one evening Diane began punching herself in the stomach. John told her she was going to hurt the baby. She replied, "It's too late for that!"

John called Diane's sister, Sharon, trying to get her to help calm Diane down. While John was talking with Sharon, Diane went our to her car and threatened to smash John's truck out of the way so she could leave. John asked Sharon what to do? She said, "Move the truck and we will both pray that she will be OK."

While John was talking to Sharon, Diane was on her cell phone, and John relayed this to her sister, who said, "Let's hang up, maybe she is calling me."

However, Diane was actually calling 911, claiming that she was being held hostage. About 20 minutes later the police showed up and arrested John even though he told them what had happened and encouraged them to call Diane's sister, Sharon, to confirm the events of the evening. Instead, John spent the night in jail. Prior to this he had never been arrested.

There was, of course, an immediate restraining order placed in effect and John had no contact with Diane until the court date two weeks later.

During those two weeks Diane wrote two letters to the court explaining her irrational and unbalanced mental condition. Her sister, Sharon, also wrote a letter to the court explaining that she was on the phone with John at the time. In her letter, Sharon described John as loving, calm, that he had never even raised his voice, and that he was trying to help. Conversely, Sharon described her sister as screaming, unresponsive, and emotionally, psychologically, and mentally unstable. As a result of these statements the charges against John were dropped during the hearing.

As you might expect, Diane would later testify during custody hearings that John forced her and her sister to write these letters.

After the charges against John were dropped, Diane told John that if their child was born deformed it would be his fault. Two mental health professionals, who have had extensive experience with Diane, have diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The first diagnosis was made in May, 1998, and the second finding occurred in November, 1999.

However, with her education in psychology Diane is able to successfully manipulate social workers by either breaking into hysterics, or by what John calls "priming the pump." She places an idea or thought into the evaluator's head, and then leads them to accept it by precisely placed lies and deception. This then confirms their notions, as originally planted by Diane.

Trained psychologists are fully aware of the manipulative nature of psychotic personalities but few case workers have the background to recognize such manipulation. Further, their gender bias is typically such that they cannot believe a woman would do such things.

John is thus left constantly fighting a rear guard action trying to document the truth and reality of the events. In these times few believe a husband. Men are regarded as the "batterer" by definition, rather than as battered. So all Diane has to do is claim domestic violence and all of the truth, evidence, and John's credibility disappear in the smoke and mirrors.

July 3, 1998

John and Diane married in a little ceremony with a justice of the peace that she entirely orchestrated. She was 39, and John was 37. It was her first marriage.

Why, you ask, was John such a fool as to marry her after all she had put him through? And knowing full well that many of her previous relationships had ended with her blaming and destroying the other person and claiming domestic violence.

John remembers that Diane continually told him that he was bastardizing their child by not getting married. Besides, she would say, they were already married under "common law" because they lived together. Then she would badger him about how his friends and family would view him if he "didn't do the right thing." Diane also had her sister work on John from the same perspective until he finally gave in.

John remembers thinking, "If we are already married under common law, maybe the abuse will lessen if I do what she wants and we get legally married. Maybe she will be happier and stop." But, of course, it didn't. John, the eternal optimist, was terribly hurt by the outcome.

During the entire time they were together Diane would continually follow a cycle of abuse characterized by first sending John "Absolutely Wonderful" cards telling him, for example, that he was her reason for living. Next, she would do something to cause an argument, and find a way to humiliate him during the argument. On numerous occasions she would physically hurt him, or destroy something of his, apologize, and then send him flowers the next day at work.

An illustration, in one such incident she told him how he disappointed her on their wedding night, and how she should have gone down to the bar and picked up another man. Then she would claim she never said such things.

Once, after they were married, John started walking 30+ miles home to escape her verbal abuse. About five hours later, about 10 miles from home, Diane finally picked him up. She then berated him on the way home, demanding that he apologize.

John describes his life with Diane as continually walking on eggshells to try and avoid her wrath. Nonetheless, he was still verbally attacked in front of friends and family. Though he was then working two jobs, often until 2 or 3 A.M., Diane told him he wasn't working hard enough, and complained that he was disappointing her and his family.

All this time Diane was unemployed and mailing his paychecks to another state to her primary checking account. She would promise to go to work but then find a way to get out of it. Instead, she stayed home and watched TV.

October, 1998

Diane gave birth to a boy.

As newborns do, Timothy would fuss or wake up to be fed in the night. In response, almost every night Diane would throw the covers back and scream "F##k" or "G#ddamnit," and call the baby a "S##thead." Usually, she would then angrily take care of the baby's needs.

They began to share the nightly feedings roughly 50/50, but feeding Timothy outraged her so much that John began getting up at the slightest noise, sleeping with one eye open so that he could avoid the terror of her cussing fits.

That caused another problem.

Diane would wake up and see John taking care of Timothy and immediately infer that he didn't think she was a good mother. One such night Diane flew into a rage and threatened to slit her wrists. Another night she took the truck keys and said that she was going to run the truck off the cliff and left for three hours.

That night John again called Diane's sister, Sharon, and asked what to do? He wanted to call the police. Sharon convinced John to give Diane three hours to calm down and to come back, which she eventually did.

November 20, 1998

John found Diane standing in the shower with all of her clothes on frantically saying that she had hurt their son. She had him take all of the baby's clothes off and check for injuries, then continued to say how she thought she had hurt the boy. Then she told him that she could understand how a parent could hurt their child.

During this same period Timothy, age 1 month, was taken to the hospital with a mysterious bump on his head.

At one point during this period Diane found a hormone cream that she began using. All of a sudden her memory was coming back. She would still humiliate John, but was quicker to apologize, and seemed to understand the hurt she was causing. This went on for a month, then she stopped using the cream. Later, John found out that Diane had a conversation with her sister where she said, "I have to stop using the cream because it is making me feel better, but I don't want John to know I'm feeling better."

June 9, 1999

Timothy was crawling around on the floor. Diane said, "There has to be something wrong with Timothy." John said, "He looks happy, he's smiling," hoping to alleviate her concern. But that wasn't the case. She took it that John was saying she was wrong and flew into a screaming, swearing rage and stormed out of the room. In such relationships the battered partner can do nothing that is right.

Diane came back into the room cussing at John to change Timothy's diaper, which he went into the bedroom and did. The cursing continued. John asked her not to swear and pointed out that it was upsetting Timothy. That blew the lid off. She began smashing things, threw a pot at him, smashed a picture off of the wall, and tore up papers on the table. She then turned and began to hit and kick John while he was holding Timothy.

The fear in the child's eyes was something John will never forget.

She eventually stopped and went into the bedroom and slammed the door. John feels at that point he missed his last opportunity to leave and take his son to a safe place.

A couple of hours later Diane came out of the bedroom, said she was sorry, said that she didn't know how all of the stuff got broken, and tried to convince John that she didn't do it. All of the while he didn't respond, fearing more rage.

She asked to hold Timothy and John let her, being careful to watch her actions. The boy was put to bed shortly thereafter, about midnight. John just sat on the couch the rest of the night, as mentally drained as he has ever been, not knowing how much longer he could endure the emotional roller coaster and abuse.

But he had nowhere to turn. He knew of no support network for men and felt he was on his own to either fix or carry the burden Diane and the baby imposed upon him.

June 12, 1999

The morning started off fairly well. When John got up he asked Diane if he could plant some flowers before they went into town and she agreed (note the level of control here).

John went out back to plant and almost immediately she came out onto the deck and screamed: "Where are the keys?" She then went back into the house and slammed the door. He then thought, "I better go help unload the truck so she doesn't get madder." While he was walking around the house to do that he heard the back door slam once again so hard the windows in the house shook.

When he got to the front door, she was coming out and he said, "Honey, if you just ask me without cussing and in a friendly tone I will do anything you want." She immediately started swearing and screaming at him and went back into the house and slammed the door again.

While John was outside unloading the truck he heard a loud bang in the house but he figured it was just another door being slammed by Diane. When he finished with the truck, he went back around the house and continued planting flowers and bulbs. About 10 minutes later he heard the truck speeding up the driveway.

John immediately went inside to see if she had left Timothy, as she had in the past, but the child was gone.

As there was little he could do, he went back outside and spent the next four hours working in the garden. When he came inside around 4:00 P.M. he found what had caused the big bang he had heard. Diane had knocked over the entertainment center with a TV and all of his trophies and other valued possessions. Many of the things were smashed.

He stood the cabinet back up, picked up the TV, and went into the kitchen to eat something. Then the phone rang. It was Diane. She immediately began screaming at him again. She said that she was in Winter Park, Colorado, at her sister's cabin. She told him that she was leaving, she had taken his son, that she would be sure that his son never knew who he was, that Timothy would have another daddy, that John would never hunt or fish with Timothy, or be a part of his life. "I will teach him to hate you," she told John.

The only glue that had been allowing John to continue trying to find a solution was his son. When Diane took that away from him and said "He is going to have a new daddy," and "I am going to make sure that he doesn't even know who you are," etc., John lost it.

He had the remote from the TV in his hand and threw it through the TV. He then knocked over a China cabinet, a curio cabinet, and threw a couple things and then collapsed in the middle of the living room and cried.

The collapse did allow him to dig down to the depths of his soul. There he found in himself the strength to go on, to recover, to learn what was lacking, and what to do to never allow another person to take so much from him. And by publishing this he hopes other men can learn and escape such horror.

About 15 minutes later the phone rang and Diane acted as though she hadn't said all of those things. She tried to explain to him that she only wanted to stay at the cabin for a couple of days.

However, unbeknownst to John, she had called his brother and the police. She told them that John was going to commit suicide, that things were smashed in the house, and he had guns. There were several calls that went back in forth between Diane and John before he noticed the police crawling around his property.

He asked Diane what was going on and she then told him what she had told the police. She said that she was going to call them and tell them to leave him alone and had John promise not to come out of the house until she got there and could clear things up.

The next two hours went by with John on the phone trying to explain things to a friend who is a deputy with the local sheriff's department. John also told him that when Diane got there he would come out and this could be cleared up.

When she eventually showed up he came out to be immediately swarmed over by a SWAT team, knocked to the ground, kicked, and dragged across the parking lot handcuffed.

A sheriff's deputy told him that even if one glass was broken in the home he was in violation of the domestic violence laws. On that basis he spent the next three days in jail. A restraining order was issued as well, and John did not see his son again until August, and then only under supervised visitation.

Foolishly, John pled guilty to a charge of criminal mischief and was given a deferred sentence. And finally he had sense enough to get out of the relationship.

July 6, 1999

Diane filed for divorce. John accepted supervised visitation in the temporary orders to allow him to see his son.

John was scheduled by the court to see Timothy twice a week but over the next eight months there were 24 missed visits when Diane didn't show up with the boy. The lady(?) doesn't miss a trick in the book of nasty.

September, 1999

Diane was given 50% of their belongings by the court and came to collect them. As one imagines, she took everything she wanted, with the added feature of destroying most of the items she didn't care to take. John's brother was present and recorded her actions on video and John filed a police report. The officers came to the house to get a copy of the video and to survey the damage, and they asked John if Diane had lived there too?

If so, the officers told John that there is no law against breaking your own things. Note that in the June 12, 1999, incident above, where Diane had turned over the entertainment center and then called police, John was arrested and held in jail for three days.

November, 1999

While they were separated, Diane was reported to social services by a visiting supervisor for erratic, irrational behavior toward their son.

February, 2000

John's father died of cancer. On the day of the funeral, Diane filed a police report claiming John scratched the door and fender of her car. Once again there is no evidence to support her claims. But the mere accusation, a police report, and all of these lies damage John's attempts to get his son out of this insane situation.

At a later court hearing, under oath, Diane claimed that during a visit to John's father's hospital room, where his father was dying of cancer at the time, John drug her out of the room into a stairwell. She swore John then told her that he loved her and that if she didn't come back to him, he would kill her. However, John has six witnesses to the events, and photos of that day that do not support her story.

April 4, 2000

John obtained a court order stating that 17 of the 24 visitations with Timothy that were missed were to be made up. Instead, through mid-2001 Diane has missed another 46 scheduled visits and only 5 have been made up. Such lack of accountability and enforcement of orders against women typifies Colorado courts.

John has also documented many lies by Diane and direct perjury during her court testimony. In frustration, he wrote to the governor, senators, congressmen, county commissioners, and to the district attorney asking why perjury is not of consequence in his county?

The same day he got calls and e-mails from several of their offices. The next day John also got a call from the district attorney's office asking to see the documentation.

Then, two days later, without notice the district attorney filed a motion to revoke John's deferred sentence from the June 12, 1999, incident, and demanded immediate payment of court costs that were not due for another three months.

John spoke with the district attorney's office seeking information as to what he was required to do. He was told to pay the $5,000 bond and show up in court. When he did show up in court the charge was dropped.

September, 2000

A parenting evaluator stated that when interviewing Diane he was talking to two different people at times.

October, 2000

Diane was fired from her fifth consecutive job, a day care center, after she accused them of abusing and starving the children in their care.

December, 2000

Diane's fixation with going for medical care has carried over into dealing with her son. The boy has repeatedly been taken to the doctor, to a specialist, or to a children's hospital; or a clinic, doctor, or hospital has been contacted 138 times in the boy's twenty-six months of life. That is a doctor contact every 5 days. As a result, every time the boy is asked if he is sick, he always says "Yes."

Diane is the boy's only source of reality. Given her degree of obsession about illness, how could the child think anything other than he is always sick. To the boy it's just a way of life.

January, 2001

At a court hearing Diane alleged that John held a gun to her head and forced her to have sex during their marriage. Prior to this testimony in court she had not made this accusation to anyone, including her therapist.

In a parental responsibilities evaluation Diane had previously claimed that John had punished her by withholding sex, not forcing her to have sex. Obviously, whatever lie needs to be told to manipulate the present situation is her choice du jour.

For example, during the evaluation Diane gave them a false police report claiming that John had been arrested on a previous occasion, pointing to what a bad man he was. John asked for proof of these charges from the evaluators. They refused to provide the documentation. Later, John was able to find out that in police report in question Diane had gotten into a pushing match with two other men and threatened to get a gun and shoot them.

Of course, the truth might have helped John's case and hurt Diane's in the evaluation. So the truth could not be permitted.

February, 2001

Diane has clearly committed perjury in court in excess of 100 times that John has documented. The court system does nothing about her lies.

Of course Diane also ignores at her pleasure the court-ordered visitation privileges awarded John.

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