Mel Gibson strikes again, and this time, his disgraceful tirades have been caught on tape and released for all to hear. His behavior has generated a domestic violence investigation and some surprising discussions amongst celebrities, some whom are more upset about the tapes being made public on, than they are about what the tapes revealed. Like it or not, public exposure is exactly what was needed, and it was warranted.

Without these tapes, many would never believe Gibson verbally and emotionally abused his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, let alone physically attacked her and possibly their child. And somehow, even though Gibson was heard acknowledging that he hit his girlfriend in the face and head while she held their baby in her arms, many still search their celebrity logic to soften the truth. We may not want all this to be true about Gibson, but we can’t allow our fantasy of who he is to counter the reality.

Yes, yes, I know, the poor is rumored that he sought professional help when he realized that he wanted to end his relationship with Oksana, as he wanted to do so nicely but he just couldn’t figure out how to do that without help. Interesting.
If you are still finding it easy to feel for the man, especially as he sought help, remember the very serious fact that Gibson DID threaten to "bury" Oksana in a rose garden. So, shelve the empathy for him long enough to learn a little more about abusers and how they operate, starting with the fact that counseling does not help or stop abusers, in fact, many use it to manipulate, and they are very convincing at tricking people that they are seeking it for other purposes. They also try to get others to see that THEY are the actual victims, and will go to great lengths to convince you this is true, garnering sympathy and support while making their partners look opportunistic. They will pull at your heartstrings to get you to see things their way, and will do so with ease, and without guilt.

According to friends, Gibson sought help after a lot of hard times with his lady, and he was apparently “getting his buttons pushed." Interesting. When an abuser says his partner is “pushing his buttons,” that usually means he is with a woman who stands her ground or fights to be valued and resists being controlled; it means he is with a woman who won’t just take abuse or control or allow it to occur as easily, as he might have expected. Claiming she is antagonistic is also a tactic to indirectly blame her for his own feelings and actions~creating a "what else could he do when she behaves like that," mentality amongst onlookers and his confidants.

Despite the popular myth that abusers only pick women with low self-esteem, abusers often pick women who are challenging and who have strong characters; these women eventually develop low self-esteem because of their interactions with abusers, who are extremely draining, but many women do not come into the relationship that way. Button-pushing happens when control is being countered, questioned, or lost, and that can happen a lot when a strong woman is with a secretly weak man, a man who must be in control all the time to maintain his internal peace. When the lady fights to maintain her sense of self and her dignity, trouble brews. Financial pressures, or any pressure that brings about the possibility of him losing the power he thought he had, it challenges the perception the guy has created, and that is enough to bring out the crazier side of the abuser.

Men who abuse women are the least likely to appear destructive or harmful on the surface to the majority of us; this makes personal validation for the women they affect almost impossible, as no one else ever sees the harsh side of the men they experience and try to describe~but then audio recordings like this are revealed to remind us how easily we disbelieve women who describe the opposite of what we see. Think about it~without these tapes would you have believed Gibson could be this extreme?

Abusive men know they deceive and if you pay attention to one of the tapes where Grigorieva stated to Gibson that she would expose him for who he really is, Gibson confidently replied, " on will believe you." He is well aware that his exterior/public persona is the polar opposite of what he shows her, and he knows this contrast creates a divide in perception and is hard to process, and this is exactly what every abused women experiences in their lives. It’s a shame all abused women can’t make their phone calls and the contact from their abusers public like Oksana Grigorieva did; she should be praised.

Author's Bio: 

Teagin Maddox is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Relationship Coach, and the Exclusive Expert on Domestic Violence at She provides analysis and interpretation of high conflict/destructive relationship cases in the media-from a unique perspective and delivers powerfully effective communication strategies that help women recognize, avoid, and recover from destructive relationships. Teagin also teaches dating safety, awareness, and success programs. Visit her at

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