CONTROL AND CODEPENDENCY
IN THE HOME

The world was shocked when David Steinberg killed his "adopted" daughter in 1987.
What was more shocking, was what happened to his wife, Hedda Nusbaum.
Here is a synopsis of the events using the 5-step progression.

The Five Stages of Progression

STAGE 1:*People feel loved and wanted. However, the controller is too "helpful" and complimentary.
STAGE 2 *Fear begins to come. *Subtle criticism and threats begin. *The controller beomes idolized.
*The controller begins to play the "blame game."
STAGE 3 *Some people are "catching on" to the abuse, so the controller instructs to avoid them.
*Sexual immorality and financial control may begin to appear.
STAGE 4 *Police, Social agencies, and/or Government agencies begin to investigate.
*The person is threatened with harm or even death if they try to leave.
STAGE 5 *The controller begins to act in a paranoid fashion. *The controller often threatens death.
*The controller often tries to take his Co-Dependents away to an isolated place to avoid authorities and family members.
*At this stage, there is complete brainswashing and total control over the Co-Dependents.


  • Stage 1: At first, when Hedda met David, things were great. She hadn't been happier. Eventually she moved in with him.
  • STAGE 2: One day, David began to criticize and embarrass her. He said it was for her own good. By this time Hedda was idolizing him. The abuse began but was sporadic.
  • STAGE 3: David suggested she separate from her parents..not see them anymore because they were part of a dangerous cult.
  • STAGE 4: He took all of her earnings and began to beat her on a regular basis.
    She didn't understand why she was receiving the beatings,
    but since Steinberg was "always right," she figured that she deserved them.
  • STAGE 5: Steinberg claimed Hedda had made pornographic videos. She didn't recall that she had done this, but because he was so convincing, she thought that she might have. They began freebasing cocaine. David began to abuse Lisa and her brother and eventually, Lisa was beaten to death.

Some of the numerous topics include:
*Recognizing Verbal Abuse *Abuse Signs *Controlling Behaviors
*The Cycle of Abuse *Quick Relationship Profile *Dealing With Verbal Abuse
*Personal Responsibility *The Silent, Incideous Nature of Abuse *The Angry Person's Codependence
*The Victim's Anger *Am I Enabling? *For Battered Guys
*Why Do I Keep Falling For Creeps *Mindset of the Codependent *Symptoms of Codependence
Included are the following topics:
*Potential Indicators Of Domestic Abuse
*Stress Related Problems in Children of Abuse
*Progression of Violence
*How Abusers Stage a Return
*Signs of Rehabilitation
*Common Characteristics of the Battered and the Batterer
*Similar Stories of Battered Spouses
*Dangers After Separation
*Long Term Effects of Abuse
*Make a Separation Safety Plan


I GOT FLOWERS TODAY

I got flowers today. It wasn't my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night, and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.

I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.

Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn't believe it was real.

I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry,
because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today, and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day. Last night, he beat me up again, and it was much worse than all the other times.

If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I'm afraid of him and scared to leave but I know he must be sorry, because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death.

If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today.

Authority does not equal Control

Submission does not equal Codependency

People in authority need to be like the shepherd in Psalm 23.
Read the 23rd Psalm and put your husband, parent, boss, pastor, government leader or other leader in the place of the shepherd. For example:
"my husband (parent, boss, pastor, government leader)is my shepherd; I shall not be in want he (she) makes me lie down in green pastures;", etc.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
[NIV]

Recommended Reading
General Reading
Family Secrets by John Bradshaw
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Dr. Susan Forward
The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
For You Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child Rearing by Alice Miller

Christian Reading
But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter From Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships
by Jill Murray
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller

Problems at Work

"I Got Flowers Today" by Jeanine Flournor and Shaila Robinson

Picture of house courtesy of:
www.designs4free.com

Man,dog and child/and man and woman hugging pictures courtesy of :
www.designs4free.com

Hedda Nussbaum picture courtesy of:
www.animationlibrary.com

1999