[Sun Apr 09 16:26:22 PDT 2006] Dorothy Phyllis, to start, why don`t you tell us a bit about yourself.
[Sun Apr 09 16:27:06 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I am married to a wonderful man, live in NC, have two great dogs and love to tend my fruit trees.
[Sun Apr 09 16:27:19 PDT 2006] Dorothy :)
[Sun Apr 09 16:27:47 PDT 2006] Dorothy I am going to start with a few questions about your book first.
[Sun Apr 09 16:28:41 PDT 2006] Dorothy We know that your book is about abuse, was that what prompted you to write a book?
[Sun Apr 09 16:42:14 PDT 2006] Dorothy What exactly prompted you to write a book about your life/
[Sun Apr 09 16:43:01 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I really just wanted to write but then I got remembering my life and wrote it down. That was the beginning of my book.
[Sun Apr 09 16:43:55 PDT 2006] Dorothy How do you think that the message in your book will be able to help others that have and are still going through abusive relationships?
[Sun Apr 09 16:45:01 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Well, I think they will realize that they do not have to go through what I did. That there is help out there and that there is life after abuse.
[Sun Apr 09 16:45:39 PDT 2006] Dorothy I agree... For the women here that have not had the chance to read your book, can you give them a brief summary?
[Sun Apr 09 16:47:18 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Started as a child, I was molested. I got into a bad marriage and then into not just one but two abusive relationships. I didn't see the warning signs. I got out of the relationships then went to school and wrote a book.
[Sun Apr 09 16:48:05 PDT 2006] Dorothy How has your life changed who you are?
[Sun Apr 09 16:48:25 PDT 2006] Dorothy Also Do you fell that it has made you stronger?
[Sun Apr 09 16:48:43 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton No, not changed who I am but has made me a stronger and wiser person.
[Sun Apr 09 16:49:22 PDT 2006] Dorothy What made you chose the title for your book? or was it a suggestion from someone?
[Sun Apr 09 16:50:18 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I chose it because it fit my life and it was. I had nightmares for a long time after the abuse. The relationships were a living nightmare.
[Sun Apr 09 16:50:36 PDT 2006] Dorothy I can understand that totally.
[Sun Apr 09 16:51:14 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I still continue to have nightmares if I see someone that reminds me of my abusers.
[Sun Apr 09 16:51:38 PDT 2006] Dorothy In an abusive relationship, do you feel it is soley the abusers fault for the continuing abuse?
[Sun Apr 09 16:52:48 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton That is a hard question. I would like to say yes, but I think if you continue to stay with an abuser, you give them the power to abuse. So it is some what your fault.
[Sun Apr 09 16:53:11 PDT 2006] Dorothy I agree.. in many cases teh abuser abuses because they can.
[Sun Apr 09 16:53:16 PDT 2006] Dorothy Not in all though.
[Sun Apr 09 16:53:30 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Right, not in all.
[Sun Apr 09 16:53:41 PDT 2006] Dorothy What type of feed back have you recieved from your readers about your book, if any?
[Sun Apr 09 16:55:04 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton So far, it has all been good. My readers feel my pain and anger. I have readers who have called me and said my book really inspired them so they felt that they could go on after leaving their abuser.
[Sun Apr 09 16:55:42 PDT 2006] Dorothy That is truly what paying forward is about.
[Sun Apr 09 16:56:23 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, I think everyone should pay forward.
[Sun Apr 09 16:56:24 PDT 2006] Dorothy Phyllis when did you start writing your book and when did you complete it finally?
[Sun Apr 09 16:56:29 PDT 2006] Dorothy :)
[Sun Apr 09 16:57:04 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I started writing it when I was in college in 2002 and finished it in 2004. About a year and a half.
[Sun Apr 09 16:57:28 PDT 2006] Dorothy Thats fairly average, from what I have learnt.
[Sun Apr 09 16:57:50 PDT 2006] Dorothy What part of your book did you feel was the hardest to write?
[Sun Apr 09 16:58:38 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton About the abuse. I relived each chapter as I wrote but the abuse was like I was there again. I felt hurt and anger.
[Sun Apr 09 16:59:30 PDT 2006] Dorothy Yes writing will force a person into reliving it all and that is hard but on the other hand it is where the passion to write is drawn from.
[Sun Apr 09 17:00:03 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton It helped me to get the anger out.
[Sun Apr 09 17:00:08 PDT 2006] Dorothy If you had a chance to write Living Nightmares of Abuse again, would you change anything.
[Sun Apr 09 17:01:04 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I think I would stress more that there are safe homes and people you can turn to for help. You don't need to stay in an abusive relationship.
[Sun Apr 09 17:01:24 PDT 2006] Dorothy I so agree with you there.
[Sun Apr 09 17:02:02 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton A lot of women do not know there is help like I didn't.
[Sun Apr 09 17:02:03 PDT 2006] Dorothy So saying that I think it would be safe to say that we need more information such as your story to help women gain strength.
[Sun Apr 09 17:02:31 PDT 2006] Dorothy When I was reading your story, I was always wondering why you did not seek out help.
[Sun Apr 09 17:02:45 PDT 2006] Dorothy You did at one point but you still went back to him.
[Sun Apr 09 17:03:05 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes. I did not know of safe homes and had no one to tell me.
[Sun Apr 09 17:03:37 PDT 2006] Dorothy True, also this was a few years back and many towns were so far away from any type of womens shelters.
[Sun Apr 09 17:03:48 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, when I went back, I had a plan of my own to get away. I probably should have done it sooner but I was scared.
[Sun Apr 09 17:04:02 PDT 2006] Dorothy Do you think that writing your story helped you in your relationship with your husband now?
[Sun Apr 09 17:04:51 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, I except my husband for the good man he is and do not try to change him. I also appreciate him.
[Sun Apr 09 17:05:10 PDT 2006] Dorothy He sounds like a true Godsend for you.
[Sun Apr 09 17:05:22 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton He is my angel.
[Sun Apr 09 17:06:18 PDT 2006] Dorothy I have one more question in regards to the actual relationship, what was worse for you, fearing the beatings or the fear of the sexual rape by your then husband?
[Sun Apr 09 17:06:43 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton The sexual rape. It was degrading.
[Sun Apr 09 17:07:09 PDT 2006] Dorothy Yes I would agree with you for sure.
[Sun Apr 09 17:07:26 PDT 2006] Dorothy Do you havbe any plans to write another book for women?
[Sun Apr 09 17:07:57 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton After a while the beating, you feel numb but the rape a wakens you quickly.
[Sun Apr 09 17:08:59 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Not at this time. I am in process of writing a fiction fantasy. My heart is really there. I think in time I will write another book for
[Sun Apr 09 17:09:19 PDT 2006] Dorothy I will look forward to both books:)
[Sun Apr 09 17:09:34 PDT 2006] Dorothy Your writing is exellent and very descriptive.
[Sun Apr 09 17:09:47 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Thank you so much.
[Sun Apr 09 17:10:10 PDT 2006] Dorothy I read in one of your reviews that your ability to draw a picture with words is totally awesome and I do agree with that point for sure.
[Sun Apr 09 17:10:25 PDT 2006] Dorothy You are more than welcome.
[Sun Apr 09 17:11:03 PDT 2006] Dorothy Thank You for writing and sharing a very horrible time in your life with us and all the other women in the world. To have to relive that in order to help others is commendable!
[Sun Apr 09 17:11:21 PDT 2006] Dorothy Well I think I have picked Phyillis`s brain enough...
[Sun Apr 09 17:11:40 PDT 2006] Dorothy So ladies feel free to ask Phyllis questions.
[Sun Apr 09 17:11:54 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I just hope my book will help others in abusive relationships or those that are now out of them.
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:15 PDT 2006] Val can I ask how old you are???
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:20 PDT 2006] Dorothy I am almost psoitive they will.
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:24 PDT 2006] Val Don't answer if you do not want to
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:28 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I am 53.
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:34 PDT 2006] Dorothy Womensselfesteem.com will be exposing it as much as we can.
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:36 PDT 2006] Dorothy :)
[Sun Apr 09 17:12:59 PDT 2006] Val Did you have any professional help?
[Sun Apr 09 17:13:07 PDT 2006] Dorothy damn I wish I had a spell check on here....grrrr!
[Sun Apr 09 17:13:14 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I am proud of what I have accomplished at my age.
[Sun Apr 09 17:13:30 PDT 2006] Dorothy Cheers!
[Sun Apr 09 17:13:39 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton No, I did it on my own, although some help would have been welcome.
[Sun Apr 09 17:13:53 PDT 2006] Willow Thank you Phylis for sharing your story. One thing I have noticed with myself and others with whom I have spoken is that they don't realize that they are not alone. That this is not just happening to them. They don't have to go through this alone.
[Sun Apr 09 17:14:36 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, I want to stress that to other women. I didn't know that.
[Sun Apr 09 17:14:42 PDT 2006] Val Was you family involved
[Sun Apr 09 17:15:30 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Not much. My family had their lives and I didn't want to involve them with a problem like I had.
[Sun Apr 09 17:16:01 PDT 2006] Willow My family thought I should stay with my husband. They didn't think I could make it on my own.
[Sun Apr 09 17:16:10 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton My brother was always there for me but I didn't want to get him involved either.
[Sun Apr 09 17:16:48 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Oh, I hate that. Some times family think it would be easier for you to stay.
[Sun Apr 09 17:16:55 PDT 2006] Riley Phyllis, I would like to let you know that I am honored to have met you. Knowing what you have went through and how you are doing now it quite a story. You have every right to be proud of who you have turned out to be. I do have one question: Do you have any children?
[Sun Apr 09 17:17:46 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton No, I was not able to have children. Not that I didn't want them. I guess it was for a reason that I didn't now.
[Sun Apr 09 17:17:55 PDT 2006] Val What made you decide to publish your book?
[Sun Apr 09 17:18:04 PDT 2006] Val And were you afraid?
[Sun Apr 09 17:19:08 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I wanted other women to see what I went through and with my book, I hope to help others. Yes, I was afraid but some names have been changed to protect the inocent.
[Sun Apr 09 17:19:23 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Is it innocent?
[Sun Apr 09 17:20:30 PDT 2006] Val Did your husband encourage you in this endeavor?
[Sun Apr 09 17:20:35 PDT 2006] Dorothy No spell check...Grrrr
[Sun Apr 09 17:21:04 PDT 2006] Dorothy Phyllis I have learnt that through a lto of abuse that women would rather chose physical to mental abuse.
[Sun Apr 09 17:21:17 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, my husband encouraged me from day one or before. He knew I loved to write.
[Sun Apr 09 17:21:21 PDT 2006] Dorothy As you mentioned that the sexual abuse was so much harder to escape.
[Sun Apr 09 17:21:33 PDT 2006] Dorothy it must be because it is more of a mind set with women.
[Sun Apr 09 17:21:55 PDT 2006] Willow Interesting. I was never hit physically. But the mental blows were painful.
[Sun Apr 09 17:22:08 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, I would choose physical to mental also.
[Sun Apr 09 17:22:26 PDT 2006] Dorothy I have evern been told by some children that they would rahter get hit than lectured.
[Sun Apr 09 17:22:27 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Not that I would choose either.
[Sun Apr 09 17:22:52 PDT 2006] Willow There is so much of a mind set with abuse. the person being abused sometimes thinks
it is their own fault. That was me. I kept trying to fix me.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:03 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I think that is true. My dogs really hate it when I scold them too.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:10 PDT 2006] Dorothy mental abuse scars far deeper i feel than anything physical, unless of course it is very physical.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:38 PDT 2006] Dorothy LOL I agreee, most animals feel very much a disapointment low than anything when a master repremands them.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:38 PDT 2006] Willow Trying to have a healthy relationship after such a bad one is so hard.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:44 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I always thought it was my fault until I figured it out.
[Sun Apr 09 17:23:50 PDT 2006] Dorothy It is very hard Willow.
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:06 PDT 2006] Riley That just shows how
strong you are Phyllis
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:06 PDT 2006] Angie Another reason that so many stay in abusive relationships is becasue they are in denial--Wiillow said it too, when you "think" it is your fault. That's what keeps you with the abuser
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:08 PDT 2006] Dorothy You almost have to empty your head forever and reborn your mind totally.
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:22 PDT 2006] Willow I keep thinking that everyone will treat me badly eventually. I just wait for it.
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:40 PDT 2006] Dorothy Thats fact Riley, she shows totoal survival strength in her book.
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:40 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, it is hard to have a good relationship after an abusive one. It takes a strong man to help you. Yes, reboot.
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:41 PDT 2006] Val I am very blessed to know you Phyllis and thankful that you have chosen to share your pain and courage with us
[Sun Apr 09 17:24:41 PDT 2006] Willow Then I shake my head and wistle a happy tune so to speak
[Sun Apr 09 17:25:01 PDT 2006] Dorothy Thats what you ahev to do Willow.
[Sun Apr 09 17:25:30 PDT 2006] Dorothy Changeing your thought patterns is everyway the best weapon to ward off negative thoughts.
[Sun Apr 09 17:25:34 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton It has been my pleasure. I hope being here will help you all.
[Sun Apr 09 17:26:12 PDT 2006] Dorothy It does take a very
special partner to make the transition work also.
[Sun Apr 09 17:26:16 PDT 2006] Willow Dealing with these sometimes hidden emotions doesn't feel very nice, but it helps in the end.
[Sun Apr 09 17:26:32 PDT 2006] Dorothy Yes You are so right Willow.
[Sun Apr 09 17:26:37 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton Yes, I feel like I can conquere the world now. I have worked at being the person that I knew I always was.
[Sun Apr 09 17:26:57 PDT 2006] Dorothy You can only put thoughts on the back burner for so long until they find a way to the front.
[Sun Apr 09 17:27:00 PDT 2006] Willow I'm still faking it till I make it. But I do believe I will make it.
[Sun Apr 09 17:27:07 PDT 2006] Riley Well girls, I have to go. Thank you for a wonderful night, plenty of insight and your perfect company. Good night and and Thanks again Phyllis. I will definitely talk to many women about your life and your book.
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:19 PDT 2006] Dorothy I have found that women in general are the best therapist for each other
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:20 PDT 2006] Angie BRB
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:36 PDT 2006] Dorothy when women help women just like what goes on in here, it has been amazing.
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:38 PDT 2006] Willow You are a great facilitator Dorothy.
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:42 PDT 2006] Dorothy HB
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:50 PDT 2006] Dorothy Thank you Willow
[Sun Apr 09 17:35:55 PDT 2006] Dorothy I really do not do much
[Sun Apr 09 17:36:15 PDT 2006] Dorothy I write articles and make a place for the members to hang out and have a few laughs
[Sun Apr 09 17:36:15 PDT 2006] Phyllis_Benton I think women are good therapist for each other too.
; Then there a little bit more chit-chat and the interview ended. It was wonderful to have that talk with Phyllis Benton about her book and get some insight as to who she really is inside. Phyllis is a survivor and has an enduring strength that many women lack the skill to find in themselves. Thank you Mrs. Benton for a wonderful evening and for your book "Living Nightmares of Abuse".
Our Book Review of "Living Nightmares of Abuse"- CLICK HERE.
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