A Common Characteristic of an Abuser is Disrespect for Boundaries
Brooke Shields confronted her alleged stalker, John Rinaldi, 49, in court on Monday after years of fearing his obsessive behavior was being directed toward her young children. Shields alleges she was pushed to her breaking point when Rinaldi dropped off a stuffed animal for daughters Rowan, 13, and Grier, 10, at her home in West Village. Rinaldi allegedly left the stuffed animals at Shields’s home in 2013. In the following months he allegedly left a silver picture frame given out by Shields’s mother Teri, who died in 2012, at the actress’s 18th birthday party, Teri Shields and Rinaldi were friends when the actress was alive. The silver frame was addressed to 13-year-old Rowan. Finally, in May of 2015, Shields was fed up and reported Rinaldi to police. Shields is expected to return to court Tuesday. [Daily Mail Online, June 13, 2016]
People like this Rinaldi character demonstrate that they are abusers or sociopaths or well, just plain evil, in their total disregard for their victim’s boundaries. I suspect that just about every single one of our readers here at ACFJ could give many examples of this wicked behavior that so often masquerades as gift-giving or a thoughtful birthday card or showing up at a social event where the victim is.
I have experienced this personally as well. Wicked people who had targeted me and who had been sent off from the churches I have pastored, told not to return, nevertheless kept up various forms of contact. They would send me a birthday card or gift or an anniversary card or they would show up at a funeral service I officiated at. All of this, you see, done in the context of “plausible deniability.” “Oh, well, we just wanted to show you that we love you anyway.” Or, “yes, I know but surely we needed to attend this funeral out of love for the departed one’s family.” Yeah, right.
The real purpose of an abuser in violating boundaries (do not contact me again, do not come here again, etc) is an evil motivation to invade the personal life of the victim and continue to cause them trauma. These trespassing violations also evidence a desire to communicate to the victim and everyone that, “I will not be controlled by you. I am the one in control here.” All done with an ever so sweet smile and voice tone, you know. I have seen it. And I have called such people on it. “You need to leave. I am not going to have this conversation with you. There is the door. Go!” Their behavior, you see, is nothing less than harassment.
These boundary violations are often perceived by the naive as kindness. “Wasn’t that a nice thing for him/her to do.” Ignorant people can be swayed by these evil tactics and start to accuse the victim of being too harsh and unkind. “So, they sent you a birthday card. What’s the harm in that?” The harm in that is that the card was sent to traumatize, to defy, and to hurt. That is why I never acknowledge such cards, never use any gift card sent by such a person, never say “thank you.” To do so is to be manipulated by evil.
Abusers very often do not truly love their children. Maybe none of them do. It does seem, does it not, that if a parent truly loves their children they would not abuse their other parent, right? But abusers frequently go all out to gain custody or equal visitation rights in prolonged court battles. Why? Because they demand power and control. They insist on forcing the victim to have to continue to include them in the victim’s life. They call on the phone. They sent a gift or a card. They show up at places they know the victim is at or where the children are. They trespass. They will not respect boundaries.
It is evil in action. We all must become wise to it or the wicked will dupe us and make us their ally.
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