How Did You Brainwash Me?

When people ask, “Why do women stay in abusive relationships?” the answers are often too simple. There could be financial reasons, but if the abusive spouse died, would the victim wonder if they could support themselves to the point of doing nothing to advance their employability? (No.) There are the children to consider, but if the abusive spouse died, would the victim insist on finding a replacement right away? (No.)

Although finances and children are reasons victims cite for staying, one true reason they stay is a deeply implanted fear that they cannot make it in the world alone. My abuser implanted this fear so deeply in my mind that instead of recognizing the abuse in my relationship, I instead prayed that he would die. I consciously acknowledged the fact that he made my life hell, but the thought that I could divorce him remained outside my realm of consciousness. Abuse causes illness of the mind and body, and brainwashing sets both illnesses in motion.

What is Brainwashing?

Merriam-Webster’s concise encyclopedia states that brainwashing is a

“Systematic effort to destroy an individual’s former loyalties and beliefs and to substitute loyalty to a new ideology or power… The techniques of brainwashing usually involve isolation from former associates and sources of information; an exacting regimen calling for absolute obedience and humility; strong social pressures and rewards for cooperation; physical and psychological punishments for noncooperation, including social ostracism and criticism, deprivation of food, sleep, and social contacts, bondage, and torture; and constant reinforcement….”

I could have asked, “What is Domestic Abuse” and posted the same definition.

Brainwashing Works Best On A Special Type of Victim

Brainwashing is commonplace in abusive relationships. The abuser doesn't have to study mind-control in school to know how to use it in life. Watch out for this!Sandra L. Brown, M.A. says in her book Women Who Love Psychopaths that the best victims for brainwashing are women who are:

  • perfectionists, and/or
  • hold themselves to high standards, and/or
  • persistent, and/or
  • resourceful, and/or
  • goal-directed, and/or
  • self-sacrificing, and/or
  • previous victims of abuse or neglect, and/or
  • experience dependence, vulnerability, or incompetency issues.

If you are in an abusive relationship and do not recognize yourself in the first five or six bullet points, think back to the beginning of your relationship. Do you recognize aspects of who you were?

How Abusers Use Brainwashing Techniques Naturally

According to Ms. Brown’s book, abusers do not feel the way we normally think of what it means to feel. Due to childhood abuse or perhaps mental disorder, many if not most abusers detach from their feelings at an early age. Instead of feeling, they observe how other people behave, and then mimic those behaviors appropriately. In this way, abusers become expert behaviorists without taking a step inside a classroom.

They know what works and what doesn’t work to manipulate you to do what they want. And because they’ve detached from their feelings, abusers do not feel guilt for their manipulative actions. This is probably why abusers cannot take responsibility for what they’ve done to you or admit they abuse you (with lasting regret). They do not comprehend that any wrong took place and may think that your fear and tears are merely a show designed to manipulate them, and baby, they ain’t fallin’ for it.

In short, abuser’s use brainwashing techniques naturally because “the set-up” is all they know.

Lifton’s Brainwashing Technique

Robert J. Lifton was an early psychologist who studied mind-control and brainwashing. He broke the brainwashing technique down into the following categories. I’m going to change the descriptions to align with domestic abuse. (See the original list at

Assault on identity

The abuser attacks the victim’s self-identity by making statements that define the victim, eventually causing the victim to break down and doubt their own perceptions of who they are. ( i.e. “You’re not good with money” “You are a slut!”)


Arguments in which the abuser expresses hurt or discontent leads the victim to feel guilty (these complaints may be completely fabricated or loosely based on fact). Eventually, these arguments cause the victim to break down and feel guilt and shame for almost everything they do and come to feel they deserve punishment.


“When the person is forced to denounce friends and family, it both destroys their sense of identity and reinforces feelings of guilt. This helps to separates them from their past, building the ground for a new personality to be built” (quoted straight from Changing Minds because I couldn’t say it any better – a.k.a. isolation)

Breaking point

The breaking point is best defined by it’s symptoms: Depression, crying jags, a nervous breakdown or panic attacks, vague overwhelming fear or explicit fears of dying or loved ones dying. Unconsciously, victims begin losing their sense of “who they are” and experience the fear of “total annihilation of the self”.


Just when the victim can’t take it anymore, the abuser offers a small kindness. The victim feels a deep sense of gratitude (more gratitude than is justified by the abuser’s act). Does it feel like a honeymoon? Yep.

The compulsion to confess

The victim may feel a compulsion to offer up an act of kindness to the abuser, as if the pain the victim caused the abuser is anywhere near the pain the abuser caused the victim. The victim, knowing that nothing would make the abuser happier than to agree with the negative statements made early on, may “confess” to being exactly as the abuser said they were (“You’re right, I did act like a slut by wearing that dress” “Please take over all the bank accounts – I don’t understand money”)

The channeling of guilt

The victim’s overwhelming sense of guilt and shame combined with the assaults on their identity and unsubstantiated accusations cause major confusion. In time, the victim feels that everything they do is “wrong” and “I can’t do anything right!” After the victim enters this state of confusion, the abuser can redirect the victim’s guilt toward anything the victim thinks, feels, or does. This causes the victim to wonder if everything they were taught or learned previously was “bad” and that maybe the abuser’s take on life in general is “good”.

Reeducation: logical dishonoring

The victim thinks, “Hey – if I am such a mess because of what I was taught, then it’s not my fault that I’m so messed up!” The victim finds relief for their guilt by thinking such thoughts, so they “confess” to their abuser more of the “stupid” beliefs they hold but now want to rid themselves of. In this way, the victim begins to deny their own identity and willingly take on portions of the identity the abuser wants them to have.

Progress and harmony

As the victim empties herself of previous beliefs, the hole left inside of her acts like a vacuum, sucking in the abuser’s ideas of good/bad and right/wrong. The abuse eases because the abuser sees less of “her” in her and more of “him” in her. The victim receives a pleasurable response in his lack of abuse. There’s not more love, just less abuse.

Final confession and rebirth

Typically, the above steps will recur repetitively in the abusive relationship. “Final confession and rebirth” cannot be reached until the victim is completely and totally brainwashed to be exactly who the abuser wished. This is the point of no return.

You are reading this. You are not at the point of no return.

You can find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Amazon Authors, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

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148 Responses to How Did You Brainwash Me?

  1. Barbara says:

    I cried as I read the article, as well as many of the comments here, because I’ve been married for over 34 years now, and I am almost ready to break away. I’ve tried three times before, even ending up in court once before deciding to stay for couples/individual counseling. It didn’t’ work. I have lost any sense of who I am, yet I know she’s still in there somewhere. On top of that, whenever I am emotionally/mentally abused and get angry about it, I am accused of being “an angry woman,” or a person with an anger problem who needs help. I don’t go overboard when I’m mad, either. I simply express my feelings as positively and respectfully as I can, or walk away and come back later when I am more composed. Life is a living hell. I know I’m not perfect, but I have changed for the better over the years. People who know me will tell me I’m not an angry person at all, and in fact, I can be too nice. Thanks so much for this article. I feel like a fog has been lifted. God bless.

  2. rachel says:

    I am strong. I stand strong against him. All I just read, I recognize. I’ve left so many times. We went from Oklahoma to California. He called demanded by the courts the kids and I return. I would have never come back. I am trapped. I have been strategically making plans to leave. Saving money, slowly moving out. One box at a time. It’s getting worse. He put his hands around my throat and pretended to squeeze. I need out. I can’t find anywhere to go. I read articles like this often to keep my strength up. Also to remind me of who and how he chooses to behave.

  3. Marie says:

    I have been in a relationship for five years now, I read this article because my boyfriend and I are going through a major ordeal. I still find myself more concerned about his well being and how he is doing than my own children or my own. I am currently separated from him and I am thinking how did I become this way and why. I know he has brainwashed me throughout the time we have been together and every step in the process described above fits my life perfectly! I trying to stay strong and this article has helped me realize the hold he has on my concious and sub concious, and the effort he has taken to keep me under his control! I’m so overwhelmed with feelings of failure, and confusion. I am just taking it day by day.

  4. mary says:

    I have the same experience. Unfortunately he was a minister in Iran and was very powerful. Now he is teaching in the university now. He was an abuser. He used to make relationships with women and girl..
    Every time, I said anythings about his relationships with women and girls or I wanted to see his cellphone, he shouted on me and leave me for several times..
    He was in my life for 18 months and during this time, I was very stressful..Each time I complained about any things, he told me: You don’t have any things to loose…

  5. Robert says:

    Thank you

  6. Erika says:

    I cannot take it anymore… almost 10 years of verbal abuse. .everytime I tried to leave he threatens me with something.. I don’t know what to do….

  7. Call the NDVH or chat with a representative at Tell them about his threats, tell them you can’t take it anymore, and tell them you don’t know what to do. They will advise you, and I suggest you follow that advice. That’s what you do.

  8. Irene says:

    Inam hoping someone reads this, I am 8 years in. The the first 5 I had no clue what was going on, I thought I was going crazy, thought I was all these horrible things he said I was, confused and broken I almost had a nervous breakdown. He never hits me, doesn’t even really have to yell. Silent treatment, dosas appointing looks, passive aggressive jabs, constantly telling that I’m bad, selfish, bad with money, too sensitive too forgetful the list goes on. I left n I don’t any idea why I thought it would be different to come back. I’m an idiot, it’s happening all over again. I’m so sick of it yet all I do is feel guilt, over everything. I spend 10 bucks and I’m made to feel like a useless person over it. I work I have always worked.why can’t I just cut him off completely, why . Also when telling others my issues with him , it always sounds as if I’m crazy as if mb I am the bad one

  9. Abusers are adept at making you feel like “the bad one.” They are expert blamers and manipulators. I suggest you start building a support system so you can run what he says to you past a sympathetic pair of ears. Someone to validate that you are NOT the crazy one and to say, “OMG – I can’t believe he said that to you. You know he’s an idiot, right?” This validation of what you think and feel is very important to regaining your focus on the truth of your situation. Right now, you’re focused on what he says is the truth, but he has no problem distorting your perception and lying to you.

    You can start with the NDVH ( and build out from there. Don’t enlist his family or friends in your support network because what you’re doing or saying will get back to him. Attend groups, call hotlines, speak to your family doctor and get a therapist. If one of your friends takes his side right now, that person is ignorant of domestic abuse and should not be in this support network. Be choosy.

    You fear of “sounding crazy” or “like the bad one” is partially based on the fact that abuse makes you feel as if you can no longer communicate rationally with others. The problem is that you CAN communicate with the right people – people who understand and can help. For example, you do not sound crazy to me at all. In fact, I know there are a hundred other little things that happen to you that you didn’t include in your comment. It’s a big ball of lies made up by your abuser to make you feel weak. But you are not weak. You are capable, responsible, level-headed and completely sane.

    Visit the NDVH and start putting together a support system of domestic violence survivors, domestic violence support organizations, a DV support group or two, trusted (and educated about abuse) friends and family, perhaps an attorney if legal issues concern you, your family doctor, a therapist, … whoever you can think of to support you, validate you, and help you get back on track.

  10. Melissa says:

    I have left my abuser a month now it hasn’t been easy lots of self doubt, confusion, what if he really does love me, what if he has really changed this time?! I was with him only a year and 8 months but long enough to get me to point where I was going to have a nervous break down! I lost my children , my family , my friends he def had me in iosolatiin and would daily break me down. Thank God I held on to my job through this that was the last thing he was trying to get me to lose n he was working hard on that! One of my co-workers is one of my dearest friends and now has given me a roof over my head until I get on my feet! That man had me brain washed and I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I read this because even now sadly I feel guilt about leaving him and his pain! He had hit me, called me slut ( and many other choice words), made me think that everything I knew or thought I was was wrong, he would give me daily lectures of what I did wrong and could do better , would tell me if I only did this or that I would have him and his heart forever, he would talk to other women on IG or Twitter , he made me choose him or my children , he would text me all day at work telling that I am cheating that I was probably doing oral pleasures on men at work , he forced me to watch porn while giving him oral pleasure, he would hit me during sex ! The list goes on and on ! I am so thankful I have made it out! Alive !!!!

  11. rachel says:

    To all of you I want to say something. You can and deserve to be happy. You deserve to have a good life, to have yourself back. Abuser’s strip you of your identity and I know because I spent 6 years with an abuser. My ex-husband was subtle in the beginning in 2009 and it ended in 2014. I had concussions, broken capillaries, so much sexual, physical and emotional trauma by that point it’s ridiculous. When I came home to him hurting my 3 year old son I hit the breaking point. I had reached out to the local family justice center but i kept tittering on the fence until that night. It wasn’t easy but I want you all to know right now that it wasn’t just hard but it was possible. I got my CPO and got out. Go and talk to someone, document and get out because life without them may sound hard right now but IT IS THE BEST. You are worthy of happiness, you are worry of a good life with good people in it. Never give up, take a deep breathe and go after it. There is so much help out there for you. Break the silence, break the cycle. I love you all, I have been there and you know what?! You are a strong person and you can do this!

  12. Kenya says:

    This actually made me cry. I see a lot of people who have had worse situations than me, I never was physically abused or never have I had to see my ex again. But I was exposed to this exact thing at a very young age. The worst part is that my ex dumped me, I did not do anything to get out of that relationship. To this day I feel some shame when I remember that I let him control me so easily. And some anger, because I would have had my whole life thrown away had he not left me, because there was no way I was leaving him. Hell, for half a year after he was gone, I had constant paranoia that my current partner, or really any other person, would do the same thing to me and I wouldn’t realize it. To anyone who is a victim of this, I want to let you know that there is nothing wrong with you. I know that deep down inside I knew he was messing up my life. Find someone to confide in, hide it from your abusive partner if necessary. Just do anything to get out of it. Because it literally destroys your life. I almost lost all of my friends and family, and I would not wish the regret and shame of that on my worst enemy. And remember, not everyone is like that, and the people that are are easy to spot after you know what to look for.

  13. Ella says:

    I am leaving my husband of 12 years because I don’t want my children to grow up believing that anyone should be treated the way I have allowed myself to be treated, but I am struggling right now. We’ve been apart 5 months and for the most part he’s been hostile, threatening but this past week he’s been friendly, acting like a normal person and creeping back into my space. Seeing him act normal and seeing my son want to spend time with him makes me feel like I’m crazy. I start thinking maybe it wasn’t as bad as I think, maybe I could live with it, maybe I’m overly sensitive. I think about what he’s done, smashing my things, yelling, swearing at me, putting me down, cheating, telling me I imagined or exaggerated those things….but I can’t seem to get mad and I don’t understand. I feel guilty for the lawsuit I am about to file and think maybe I shouldn’t do it, maybe he can co parent and be my friend, even though I know it’s not true. I feel so confused. I know rationally what he’s done but when he behaves nicely, it’s almost worse than when he’s mean and saying he wishes I was dead. How can I stop myself from having these doubts? What is wrong with me?

  14. lyndsay says:

    I can relate. i am married, we have two daughters. i am a stay at home mom, with no money. thank god i have my mom & church community bc i am leaving today! im sitting here crying. i was doubting myself earler. thinking maybe i shouldnt leave, maybe its me not him, or its not that bad. i think that bc the way ppl look at me when i reach out to them for help. I am amazed im even researching abuse bc i know i am battered, torchered, & beat down to nothing. I love myself & my girls dont need to see the abuse & fighting & me crying for no apparent reason at all (that they can c). so my eldest i fear will not be happy leaving with Mommy today & i pray in a short time i can start to feel normal again & be able to live in the moment with my daughters. your información on abuse is spot on. ive read some new things from you i haven’t seen elsewhere which helped me válida te why im picking up & leaving my marriage of 13 years. im worthy of love & respect.
    I must go & not feel an inches of sorrow for him losing his family. lord please give me strength!

  15. Lol says:

    I suffered at the hands of an abusive partner in exactly the ways described in the article. It lasted only 18 months but in that time he managed to convince me to leave my husband for him and set up a new life. At first it was exciting and it seemed like I finally met someone who understood me and wanted the same things from life. Once I was wholly committed and there was no turning back he began the control and the secret drinking problem slowly began to be apparent to me. It ended with 2 violent drunk incidents (him not me) which made me realise I had to get out for my own safety and my kids and also his. He was abusive to his son and extremely jealous of my youngest and I also worried for their safety. 2 days after the second violent outburst he went to bed drunk and got up and left at 5:30 am the next day. That was the last time I saw him. He was found hanging in a hotel room 2 days later. A sad ending but it released me from an unspeakable hell that I could not find a way out of. Now I have a new partner who is the most amazing person but I find it difficult to believe that he loves me and am very insecure. I feel so damaged and I just want to be normal again.

  16. Annie says:

    I’m not sure what I feel anymore at this point. My boyfriend And I have been together for eight years. If I don’t like something he either gets mad or ignores me if I do not agree with him. There are things in life I enjoy doing and maybe I’m wrong but it’d be nice if he would do the things I enjoy sometimes but instead if I ask he rolls his eyes or sighs or even gets mad at me. So I don’t ask him anymore to do things with me because I don’t like feeling like I’m a loser over it. He yells at me all the time. I tried telling him it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong I don’t deserve to be yelled at bit then he said that he had a right to be mad at me and it was ok to yell at me. I’m not working right now because I’m in school full time and he always tells me if I don’t like him yelling that the door is there and I can leave anytime and also that he lays all the rent but I have taken student loans out to help offset the cost of living expenses this year and pay bills also. He tells me I’m being a bitch all the time when I don’t want to agree with him but I do it anyway so I don’t have to be ignored and yelled at. I’m at a point where I feel like I’m becoming crazy and that I’m starting to lash out at him. This isn’t who I am I’m not an angry person I’m not mean I’m not like this. I don’t understand why I feel this way. He totally disregards how I feel and constantly tells me I’m doing things wrong and will always make his faults tiny and blow mine up. I want to visit my family together but he says no and expects to visit his by not mine. He banned my best friend from my home. He yells and screams and tells people personal things in public or to his family and humiliates me. He says he doesn’t feel embarrassed so he doesn’t care but I tried to tell him that I care and it hurts me but he really doesn’t care. I feel so alone. I stay inside more because when he yells our neighbors can hear because we live in an apartment and I’m ashamed to go outside. I have two more semesters in school left and I feel it’s best to plan to leave when I finish my degree and start working next summer. I’m almost finished. Im going back to work this summer to save money for movin out. Our lease ends next July and I’d like to leave when he isn’t home and without a trace of where to contact me. I just want to leave and be on my own for a while just me and my daughter she’s 11 (not his). He doesn’t hit me but the emotional abuse is wearing me down to a point where I’m scared I won’t come back from it.

  17. Prabhu R says:

    My mind fully distrub

  18. Anonymous says:

    I was married for 13months but at 6 months the warning signs emerged. The mask my husband wore slipped to reveal his true colours. I was told ‘you’re nothing but a fxxxing victim’ if ever I protested or tears rolled down my face. I learned to cry in the shower. One argument arose 1week before marriage- it had started three months before and I felt had been resolved. It had not. The basis? I wanted to take 6months of maternity leave which would have been self financed(and was social norm in my workplace). He did not want me to be around the house hence his objection. I am so glad i took charge of birth control.The first time he grabbed me by throat i made allowances and my compassion rose to the occasion. His father had died 6months before, his mother was ill- i turned the other cheek. 6 months later he started to ‘role play’ with his boss’s daughter- his version and the pride in managing to manipulate her did not rest well with me. So I interviewed her when the chance arose-I believed her version. My husband had got her involved in a game without informing her of the rules, to test out clairvoyant theory that ‘he would have a happy life but his wife would be sad as he would cheat on her’ When the rules were made known to her she rejected him, he then took this out on me the night before the most important job interview of my life. I was grabbed by the throat for the second time, verbally abused and mind games in context of above then progressed to usage of married dating websites, porn, and excessive marihuana consumption. Control, manipulation, trying to make you feel insecure when you are strong and deserve better. I got the job of my dreams and what happened? ‘you are nothing but the fxxxing product of society’ I earned 4times his salary, he could not cope. How pitiful and pathetic.These men are insecure, justify events after they happen to show themselves in a favourable light, spin tales to confuse you. Form an escape strategy NOW. They don’t change. Talk to a few people in confidence but above all rise above it. You are not on this earth to be submissive to a cruel dictator who changes the goal posts/is self appointed judge and jury. Previous behaviour determines future tendencies people!!!! To return to them thinking they will change is deluded. They see this as a further indication that they got away with it, and will do it gain. My husband admitted this in front of a fellow health care professional and still pleads not guilty. Pre trial approaches and he will find a loop hole, but if a polygraph test is requested I will pass this. Stand up for yourself. Respect yourself. You deserve much better than they are or could be or ever will be. I am now 7 months out of this marriage, yes there are odd tears as you remember the good times, but take off the rose tinted spectacles and remember in vivid detail the bad times. It has a somewhat diluting effect and will stop you returning in to the arms of a control freak and manipulator. To do so teaches your children an awful truth- mummy tolerated this and so should I!The manipulator’s low self esteem is not your problem. Their addictions are their issues. Teach them by your exit that they don’t control you, that their bad behaviour is not acceptable. You are not their doormat for them to wipe their feet on. Your strength reveals their weakness. I am now happier and at peace on my own, looking forward to the future and once I get the divorce(waiting as he uses this as the last controlling factor) it will be the biggest relief of my life. Extricate yourself while you still can. They NEVER change. If this helps one woman somewhere in the world tonight, it will all be worthwhile and not in vain.

  19. Sodei says:

    I have been living nightmare for all of the almost 12 years that I have been married. He definitely brainwashed me because I was already an easy target. My father was an alcoholic and abused my mother, me and my sister both physically and emotionally. I remember being quite young and trying to pull him of my mother, that in turn would enrage him further and he would turn his assaults on me. I remember us begging mommy to leave, but she never did. She remained by his side until his death a few years ago. Not surprisingly, I followed in my mother footsteps, it seems that I have been primed to be with abusive men. I’ve been in three relationships with abusive men. But this marriage now almost made me lose my mind. I have a teen daughter from a previous relationship and she has also witnessed the physical abuse,verbal and emotional. I also have two autistic boys from this marriage, I am a stay at home mom, and boy has it been awful. I took beat downs when I was pregnant with both boys in my third trimester for fighting back and trying to protect myself, and almost a lamp to my skull. But I find the emotional abuse to be the worst…I’ve had enough. I don’t have any money of my own and I’ve lost all my confidence to take care of my kids and I but I am still leaving because I see the effects it had on my daughter. She became suicidal and had to spend two weeks in the children psychic ward because he began to turn his emotional abuse towards her…But not never again. She and I have joined forces and we are standing up to him. We support each other. I’ve reached out for help but friends donor believe us, they believe his act. So now I am seeking outside help. Thank you for validating what I’ve known deep down.

  20. Cathy says:

    I have been married for 24 years. When I got married I had a 6 year old daughter from a previous marriage. A year after I remarried we too had a daughter. My husband was a manipulator. He made me believe all kinds of things so I would feel sorry for him. I am very compassionate and he took full advantage of that. All through the marriage he played the woe is me card and I fell for it. In 2006 he was found to have a motor neuron disorder
    He did not seem to be that bad but read articles on the Internet about it and took on these symptoms. I don’t know what to believe.
    He has been manipulating me with his disease for over 10 years now. I did everything for him but he could still do the things he really wanted to do. He was verbal abuser, he would make me and the girls feel guilty all the time. They could not stand him but I would make excuses for his behavior. Nine months ago our 23 year old daughter who graduated collage became pregnant. It was consensual but she was not actually with the boy. He became furious and ask her how she could do that to him. She had ruined her image. He began telling his therapist that she was raped. I guess he wanted sympathy. My daughter found out and was devastated. He tried to cover up the lie by saying they made it up and tried to have one of the therapist fired because she would not back up his story. That was the final straw. I was not going to let him make a hard situation even harder so my daughter and I moved out. It was so hard and still his because of his disabilty, and I continue to feel quilty. My grandson is beautiful, my daughter is becoming successful in her job but I still feel quilty because he brainwashed me all those years.i have talked to over 30 people we know and everyone of them are so glad I left and tell me I did the right thing, but it still hurts. I wonder if I will ever get over the guilt.

  21. Nikki says:

    I have had much experience on this very subject and it wasn’t until I read this article that I really begin to understand exactly what kind of relationship I had been involved in and how lucky I was to have escaped so quickly. Back in 1994 when I graduated from high school I had met a guy from that school who I thought was absolutely amazing. My parents and my friends immediately did not like him. I ignored anything and everything that could have been a warning sign. Back then I was barely 17 going on 18 and I was a vivacious, well educated, and extremely talented young woman who was ready to conquer the world. No one was allowed to tell me no and I always had something to prove. As I look back at that time I realize now that it only took 6 months for me to become completely immersed in my relationship until I begin to lose myself. Every single aspect of my relationship reflects the article on this site. I managed to push my family and my friends completely away. I was not allowed to use the phone unless he was in the room and he could hear my conversation. When I did make new friends I was only allowed to spend five to 10 minutes at their house and then returned home promptly. If I did not return within an allotted amount of time he would come and get me. Anytime I went to the grocery store after arriving within 10 minutes my name would be paged on the overhead and I would have to go to customer service only for him to ask me when I was supposed to be home. I never did tell him where I was going or which grocery store I was going to he would just call around until he found me. At the time I only thought of this as a major annoyance but looking back now I realize that it was all apart of his controlling. I wasn’t allowed to have a job and he liked the fact that I was dependent on him and his income even though it wasn’t a lot. He cconvinced me that I was crazy. He lied about everything you can think of but because my mind was in a different place back then, I bought into a lot of it. No one believed me when I complained so I stayed with him because many people encouraged me to find fault within myself first and because we had two children I felt like I could not live life on my own. Then something amazing happened. He cheated on me. I found out and my mind snapped out of a huge fog. I was elated because this meant that I now had a reason to be rid of him. I got a job, paid for a small apartment and left. I threw his whole world upside down! He pretended to cry, have feelings and begged me to stay. But somewhere along the line I found my old strength. It was as if my mind was out of the fog and I knew that I never did need him to begin with. The end was in 1999.
    Since then he continues his same pattern with numerous women. I have received phone calls from various ex-lovers or wives of his recounting their own relationships with him. I have turned into a sort of beacon of hope and validation that they are not crazy. He has 7 total children from three ex-wives, and he has numerous lovers all over the country. He has profiles on various dating sites and cheating is easy for him because he is in the military. He has broken up women’s marriages and he never leaves one woman without having another two or three standing by. He proposes to all of them and even buys them rings. He talks with them about having more children. I have not seen him since 1999, and I have always been cordial with him. He had no idea I knew about anything in regards to his life until the very last girl he was with spred his business all over social media and then contacted me. He truly is some piece of work.

  22. Kayla says:

    Worst feeling when this person is your mother. How do you break away from your family claiming they abused you when they convince everyone else and nearly yourself that you’re just making things up, taking them out of proportion etc..

  23. Unfortunately, your family isn’t interested in helping you heal the trauma of abuse. It won’t do any good to talk to family or the family friends who believe them. I know it hurts, but you need a support system of people who DO believe you.

  24. carissa minnick says:

    Oddly I only know my being sexually abused by dad but mom made me feel like I was liar or stealing her man,to me not being around after married with my other kids from 3rd marriage,need to make sure I didn’t screwup has only had opposite kids see me as crazy,repating emotional breakdown of sleep health inability is now in cycle where I am destroying myself and happiness it feels in my house,get nervous can ramble,feel I’m literally going insane everything my husband tells me I do wrong try to fix only rules change my kid now call me names use emotions to get me back down feel desire if hope to finally after recently seeing if I talk at all I’m always feel can bring out worse in others,like I’m a kid,guilt,mistakes totally my fault repeat can’t seem to have normal conversation,i am of zero value to this family want set them free to do that can’t afford do not feel value can be put on my love for him or kids and truly don’t know how real normal mom or dad is,or love,losing desire of only able to seem can actively try but less than few weeks if it without more time cutting self off,health is deteriorating I only wish punishment for myself death not by my hands but God to end suffering I cause or chaos,risk I’m not sure I am going to be able be sure they won’t suffer same fate unless set free,im in treatment bit nothing matters but what they feel I am never will knowing it’s unhealthy for us all I have no body I can vent to,scared of what feels brain defective memory,fear controls me, please no I don’t feel anything but great ful got be mom,will never see anyone but I as the problem now scaring more since lost almost all what i little will power I got to keep going on realized no way out my tour cher soul cause without them I have no body hate feel I’m burden put on them finally end by end of. This yr due to health I’m ok with only parts of memories except long term have short term almost destroyed nothing works,hoping for this my last wish,dont let it be for nothing lety kids be happy self assured

  25. Dawn says:

    I was abused and deserted as a child but I persevered and came out strong… or so I thought. I was in fact almost all of these: “•perfectionists, and/or
    •hold themselves to high standards, and/or
    •persistent, and/or
    •resourceful, and/or
    •goal-directed, and/or
    •self-sacrificing, and/or
    •previous victims of abuse or neglect, and/or
    •experience dependence, vulnerability, or incompetency issues” so I was one of those women who wondered why women never leave. Then I met Troy and he systematically took me down to the point of wanting to die, wanting him to die. Life was so hard. I was so depressed and crying all the time. I was like a robot pretending everything was ok because I was ashamed. Then one day (after 8 years of constant emotional and physical abuse) I just knew I had to get out or one of us would die. I needed to live. I was a mother. Plus I just wanted to live again. It was so hard but I finally did it. It’s been a couple of years now. I appreciate my life and my freedom so much now. If I could say one thing to women, know this Love does not hurt. When someone loves you they do not hurt you.

  26. Saskia Ulbricht says:

    I’ve been reading posts and articles on verbal abuse connected to HealthyPlace off and on for a few months.
    I’m in therapy and my therapist believes I am being emotionally abused. Sometimes I see it and others >I don’t. Because I don’t want to, I’m aware of this.
    I feel so angry at myself for not being able to get it together to leave him.
    We met when we were coming out of a drug rehab period. I guess I was a harder for me than for him… or that is what he made me believe, or lead me to believe, that I would relapse again if I wasn’t with him. Never clearly stated… but implicit all the time. That was 5 years ago, going on six… and I haven’t relapsed, but a part of me does believe that it’s thanks to being with him.
    It was easy for him to isolate me from most of my friends because they were, in fact, toxic. I really did have to start from more or less scratch at the age of 51… I am not the person I was, but who am I? I’m lost and totally taken up by keeping my head afloat, keeping my job, because I also support him…right now I’m scared he’ll come up and ask what I’m doing.
    He has never laid a hand on me, nor does he really insult me…it’s all more subtle than that. Irritated, angry tones of voice all the time.
    Ughhh, I’m feeling like shit putting all this into words here; I cannot abide the fact that I can’t seem to get out of this situation.

  27. I’m so glad you’re talking to a therapist. It doesn’t sound like his/her honesty is making much headway with you. I mean, you’re suffering from the conundrum many of us do: you don’t want to believe your head over your heart.

    The good news is that it sounds like your heart is switching sides. The confusion and self-blame you’re going through is typical for people who “know” something is right but can’t justify “feeling” it is right. And the inability to “feel” that it is right comes directly from the emotional abuse. You’ve been trained to doubt your feelings, to doubt your intuition. To doubt yourself.

    I’m going out on a limb to guess that he has relapsed whether you know that for a fact or not. He desperately needs you to stay with him so he can continue using you like the drug he attended rehab to free himself from. One of our bloggers said that addiction is a behavior, not a substance. He’s addicted to the relationship he has to you. You give him a sense of control over his world – perhaps a replacement for what the drug did for him. That makes sense because when you suffer an addiction, your ideas of healthy relationships gets all mixed up in the behavior of addiction. You came out of rehab together, so this relationship has been unhealthy for you from the start.

    Anyway, my thoughts on the matter aside, it is time for you to give your brain, your “knowing,” a chance to be heard more loudly. Purposefully stop listening to your fearful emotions (Who am I? and I can’t get out of this, etc.) in favor of brain-truths. Compare what he does to what literature says about abusers and what they do. Rethink your past: where were your successes? List them so you begin to regain the knowledge that you were successful before him. Write out what you WANT in a relationship and then compare that to what you have.

    Does your therapist use cognitive behavioral therapy with you? Ask him or her about it. Tell your therapist that you need help battling back your emotions and enriching what information your brain is giving you.

    I hope this is of some value to you. I’m so happy that you’ve kept your sobriety. That takes guts, strength, and the ability to manage the “knowing” vs “feeling” aspects of yourself. Basically, you already have the skills you need to separate from the abuse. You only need to learn to apply them.

  28. Lily says:

    I wany to reply to Ella of March 29th, 2016:
    Thank you for posting that! My husband of 5 years I left in January, and it’s now been 5 months. He was at first super super hostile, he was angry and starting dating other woman but still wanted to reconcile. I stopped talking to him entirely and he asked to seem me in a counsellors office after 2 weeks of that, and now it being 5 months he’s normal again in temperament towards me and says “He cares” but doesn’t want to get back together. When I got to the session the counsellor asked me why we were there and turned out my husband told him I had wanted to talk with him, which I have a recorded text conversation that it’s the opposite. So maddening. Anyways, perhaps after being violently angry doesn’t work they go back to being “normal”, it’s just more manipulative tactics of behaviour mimicking, “ok that’s not getting the result I want, I have to do something else… let’s try this….” It’s not a game, but this description also gives me cautious compassion – I know my husband turned off his emotions early as a child at 5 as he told me and why (it’s sad why) – GREAT ARTICLE and thank you.

  29. Marc says:

    I experienced this, but in an academic environment rather than a relationship.

  30. It’s damaging to your mind and soul no matter where it happens, isn’t it?

  31. Priya says:

    I tried to leave 6 times. When I did leave, he met someone else and now he’s having the relationship of my dreams. I have no idea what I did wrong but I read articles like this and I resonate so deeply that now I’m just lost.

    I came across this article because I googled “was it me? abuse”. I think the fact that I’m googling stuff like that indicates that I’m trying to understand what happened to me because I have absolutely no idea.

    I can’t remember what I was like before. I have anxiety now and I never had it before him. I doubt myself so much. I am constantly in low mood and depressed. Not sure what to do. I take antidepressants and have therapy but it’s me. It doesn’t feel like a normal break-up. It feels heavy and dark.

    The problem is me now. He’s gone. He’s left me.

    I wish I was the one who was dead.

  32. You are far from the first wonderful person who wondered “was it me?” The answer is no. It was not you. Nothing you could do would make him stop abusing, controlling, manipulating. You can’t love a person out of his/her personality.

    And I’ll go on record saying that it only appears that he is having the relationship of your dreams. You are on the outside now. The outside is not allowed to see what is going on inside the relationship. Do you remember your happy times with him? Well, he is pretending to be exactly the man he thinks the new woman wants. If he hasn’t started the abuse yet, he’s priming her for it. If he’s actively abusing her, he and she have the convoluted agreement to hide the abuse and to carefully guard the truth. Remember how confused you were when he changed? She will experience that too.

    There is nothing wonderful about that man. It was an illusion. That’s why it feels so heavy and dark now. The full weight of the lie he wove for you is easy to feel now that you’re out from under it.

    Instead of asking, “was it me?” ask to see the truth of your abusive relationship so you can come to terms with it. Feel the betrayal, the dark lies, the loss of the future you thought you would have. Mourn it all so you can move on.

    You will move on. You will reclaim yourself. When you say “it’s me,” I understand that you know you’re fighting your own mind on this one. It’s okay. You’ll get through this. You’ll feel better on the other side.

  33. Birdmom says:

    Thank you for this article. It helps knowing others are out there who deal with verbal abuse. And I do have a story to tell. But, Its not safe for me to do so yet. Unfortunately, people who you speak to regarding your spouse behavior cant imagine that very nice guy ever doing such things. Lol
    At one point my own couselor, didnt understand about verbal abuse.

  34. Emma says:

    I was in court this week with my ex partner. We were together for 6 years and I left him 1.5yrs ago. And i still live in confusion about whether it was all in my head. But when I read this article all of the steps made sense to me, it was exectly how I felt. Always in a state of panic. Hypervigiliant. Living my life to please him. He was always putting me down or what was even more painful was when he just didn’t even notice me. Just ignored I was even there, or pointedly ignored me when I had been ‘disrespectful’. It was a relationship where only he existed.

    But then in court even the Judge says that the way I perceive the relationship is not reality and he is not this person, and I go back to doubting myself all over again.

    And I’m trying to remember situations that happened in our relationship and how I felt and if it was in my head and what was going on and why is he so nice now and why can’t anyone else see it and it must have been in my head because nothing makes sense and I feel like I’m going crazy. And I’m now the bad party for making these allegations and he is the victim because he has ‘only ever been a good dad.’

    But then when I read this article it all makes sense again because its exactly how I felt. But its just so painful that even the courts are telling me that he isn’t this person so it feels like I have to suffer in silence and that I’m not entitled to feel this pain. And I just have to continue having him in my life as the father of my children and him just pretending like nothing ever happened. And I don’t feel like I can cope with that. And he tries to involve himself subtly in other ways instead of just contact with the children. I feel like he has been given the power all over again and that I will never get my strength back.

  35. You can take your power back by accepting the court system is a joke. You’ve been abused by him and the court, and the court doesn’t deserve any more of your headspace than he does. Now, you have to work withing the court’s guidelines. That’s all.

    Learn to recognize abuse (verbal, emotional) and detach yourself from it. Ise this page is a guide:

  36. Alex says:

    Excuse me? “the best victims for brainwashing are women who are” WOMEN? If you think only women are victims, you need to go back to school. In fact, after 9 years with an abusive wife, having met all the people I met in groups of abused people, let me tell you the way women abuse men, is far more destructive for the man himself but mostly for the children that witness it. You should be ashamed for that discrimination of sex. There are pigs on both sides of the river.

  37. Alex says:

    I read the story carefully, and I would only offer my opinion, that we all (including me) we add this disclaimer “Both women and men could be abusers or victims…” in the beginning of our story. My self, have had terrible time to prove I was the victim. From what i have heard from others, men, when they decide to seek help, they are looked at as monsters that try to come out clean. In most cases I have heard, including mine, men must collect a whole lot of evidence when women just get a friend or sometimes even their affair and that will do just fine. Dont get me wrong, I have suffered greatly in my relationship, i got hit, pushed down the stairs, have marks on my body will never go away, had my family attacked, abused in emotional ways you would never believe can get to anyone, had my religion, country and beliefs crashed. And i still care if this person (we ex-wife) is still well. They call it Victim’s guild, and come those who suffered the most, from what I’m told. I think this is what brainwashing is at its last stage. I wish you all to be, remain and always be, really free from the past.

  38. In reality, both male and female victims of abuse have a difficult time “proving” anything. Women are thought to be making stuff up to get a man into trouble, and men are thought to be, as you said, trying to flip the tables. As you know having left your abuser, the ultimate “help to leave” is yourself. You must wade through all the legal and social BS and decide to be free no matter what anyone thinks.

    I hope this stage of continued concern for your abuser disappears soon so you can be free from the past, too.

    What are the people you’re talking to advising you to do to get through it?

  39. Alex, that is a paraphrase describing Sandra L. Brown’s book, “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” And the statement “the best victims for brainwashing are women who are…” describes the findings of Ms. Brown who extensively studied, well, WOMEN who love psychopaths.

    Keep in mind that male discrimination over what women should and shouldn’t be has effectively minimized the study of women psychopaths until fairly recently. For example, it hasn’t been that long since female reporters were shooed out of trials that involved pedophilia, molestation or rape to protect their “delicate constitution.” For whatever reason, in the beginning of psychology (a relatively new science), men were studied and men did the studying. Now that society considers women to be (almost) equal to men, there should be more studies that go into the female psychopath’s mind-set. I hope.

    All that said, I believe the male and female propensity for psychopathy goes deeper than gender. I believe, in the future, studies will show that both males and females can be abused in equal proportion, as well as an equal proportion of males and females as abusers.

  40. Bel says:

    Hi, i have read the comments from this article. My story is i met my husband when i was 18, he was safe . I had a condition which meant i couldnt have sex and the medical profession didnt have a clue, my husband stood by me and never pressured me, he even married me knowing it may never happen. He has always had a temper and i saw it 6 months after we had been together, when i was trying to find my friend to say goodbye one eveing and he was angry about this and shouted at me all down the road, even grabbing me by the shoulders. I forgave him but never forgot. I evenually was able to have sex and had a daughter . We were happy enough, i never felt quite settled. We moved south and i stayed at home with my little girl, i remember things being ok. Sex was still not good and i still felt a lot of pain, but desperate for another baby i got pregnant, i knew something was wrong and i said in the waiting room for the scan i was worried ive been so ill and they havent been able to find the heart beat. He turned to be and shouted for f×××k sake stop being so f×××king negative. Never the less i was right and he was devastated but he never apologised and thats when i can pin point the start of the things going wrong, and remembering other times, when he got mad because i left the table to speak to my cousin at our wedding and his mum rushed out behind him to defuse the situation. When we had my son, i nearlydied and he never bonded with him. When he was nearly 3 he stouted in front of both kids in a aggressive stance with fist clenched, i hatehim, i f×××king hate him. Five years on and one break down lots of therapy and meds, i have finally seperated from him, we have at this point been together for 23 years. It seemed amicable, he did ask me how long had i been seeing my friend for, i have lied and said im not. But i have found this man who is so kind and allowing me to be me, not this downtrodden exhausted woman (please forgive me for the affair) we seperated 6 weeks ago and i want him to know ive met someone, but i am terrified of him shouting at me and twisting my words, making me feel like the slut i already think i am. I cant bare the agression and not quite sure what to do.

    Sorry for the lengthly message

  41. You aren’t a slut. You are a woman who did what you needed to do to save your soul from the darkness of abuse. You aren’t a serial cheater, you aren’t trying to manipulate or take advantage of the abuser while you sleep around. The only forgiveness needed is from yourself. (And yes, I would say this to a man, too.) I didn’t feel sorry for my affair for years, so I didn’t ask forgiveness from God until 7 years after the fact. When I did finally seek it, I heard a voice saying, “You’ve been forgiven since it happened. You only needed to accept forgiveness to feel it.”

    Anyway, you don’t have to tell your abuser anything. You don’t owe him even one peek into your private life. You can choose to continue lying to him or say, “That’s not your business,” or “I don’t talk about my private life with anyone anymore.” Or something like that. Say what makes you feel empowered.

    Alternatively, cut off all communication that has nothing to do with the children. Every time you open yourself up to him, he files the information away to use against you later. Or gets aggressive immediately, as you fear. So stop giving him ammunition. Speak only of things concerning the welfare of your children.

  42. Tonya says:

    I have been married to a verbal abuser for 23 years. It never ends. My 2 sons have experienced it. There is a pattern. A few good days, then weeks of bad days, silent treatment because I have done something wrong. Now on last day of vacation, that he has made horrible for me. Because I have done the wrong thing. Stupid stuff, like going to the pool with the room key accidentally. Or not hearing my phone that he needed something, & I did not see the text. I feel sad I have endured this hell so long now. I hate that my boys have dealt with it. How can I get out?! I am now 62 years old?!

  43. Susan says:

    This is very interesting, the way you took brainwashing and mapped it to abuse. I was abused by a therapist while in my 20s. I’ve been working with a therapist now who specializes in molestation and domestic abuse, but it’s been hard to unravel this for me. It keeps getting stuck.

    One problem is that I see descriptions of domestic abuse and sexual all over the internet. I don’t see my story, to read and start to absorb. Are there resources, books, stories? I will look into that book you got the brainwashing from, because it was a brainwashing, just without the sleep deprivation and physical assault. (It wasn’t not a sexual relationship.) I can’t figure out how she get me pulled in and manipulated into “alternative realities” so quickly. She had my family falling for the garbage or struggling, without knowing what to do with it. It took 3 sessions to get me to see her full time, and maybe 1 to start the alternative realities. I was an emotionally healthy person when I started, and my family was a good one (with it’s issues but healthy). I never disconnected from family, though that’s certainly part of what she was trying for. I’m intelligence and capable (honors student, etc.)

    It’s similar to the stuff that people accuse the book “Courage to heal” of creating for them in conjunction with psychopathic therapists. Only she pushed that book at me, and the idea that maybe all my problems were from a sexual abuse. I read the book, and every creepy event in my life flashed up, and none of it remotely was sexual assault. So I knew that wasn’t my problem, and ended that sequence she was pushing. There’s so much more to tell. They had me in with them (group too with two other therapists) for a total of 3x a week for a bunch of years.

    I finally left. I tried putting it behind me. But something’s kicking up and messing with me, and working with my current therapist, this is definitely the cause, and it’s deep.

    We’ve pinpointed a few of the “how it was done.” One, that I was directed to her and only her by a “colleague” from the Employee assistance program. I was young so didn’t know how to judge her. She redirected conversation in that first session in ways that were setups (or seem to be.) From there it gets hard to sort out what she did. Some of the items here have parallels. I’d like to dig in and figure out some of the brainwashing and how they played out with her. It’s verbal and hard to remember (I do have notebooks I kept from a year into it and on — so I have records of how intensely creepy it got.)

    I just want to figure this out. So if you have any resources to suggest, please do. Right now I don’t have any specific questions on what you wrote and how it played out, but i”ll come back if I do. However, it helps to see it in the less than usual “abusers do this” format, when with her, it was not as easy to spot the elements from those usual words. Thank you.

  44. Christie says:

    From those who left, Id like to know how you did it. Did you have a conversation or did you simply just not go back home. I want to leave so desperately, but im so scared to tell him. Im not in fear of being injured, it just kills to have to tell him that I want out

  45. J. H says:

    Thanks so much for this article! I’m fine ally separating from my husband and was beginning to doubt my decision and maybe all the things he did and said were for my own good because he loves me and were in fact true but reading this has reminded me of so much and I know I am right it isn’t love it’s abuse and control. I find strength in knowing my mind will be my own again in the near future.

  46. Jessica says:

    I think I have reached my breaking point today. After sobbing uncontrollably in the bathroom at work for 5 hours, binge eating, purging, I came back to my desk to read this. I pray that I can find the strength that you all have.

  47. Marc says:

    According to Ms. Brown’s book, abusers do not feel the way we normally think of what it means to feel. Due to childhood abuse or perhaps mental disorder, many if not most abusers detach from their feelings at an early age. Instead of feeling, they observe how other people behave, and then mimic those behaviors appropriately. In this way, abusers become expert behaviorists without taking a step inside a classroom.

    They know what works and what doesn’t work to manipulate you to do what they want. And because they’ve detached from their feelings, abusers do not feel guilt for their manipulative actions. This is probably why abusers cannot take responsibility for what they’ve done to you or admit they abuse you (with lasting regret). They do not comprehend that any wrong took place and may think that your fear and tears are merely a show designed to manipulate them, and baby, they ain’t fallin’ for it.

    Is that the case for all abusers?

  48. Songbird says:

    Emotional abuser? I’m beginning to think so. I’m in my 30s now and an ex and I have been going back and forth since 2005. It’s 2016 and I’m done! I do blame myself for being stupid & blind. My ex Persued me hard. He worked with me. I was admin & he was a Police Officer. It’s started out slowly, friendship, then casual dating… Dinner and a movie and talking & texting everyday all day. He told me he felt with depression at times but is talking with a shrink about it. I should have know then he was trouble. Though he was nice, funny and sweet back then. As things started to progress he told me he & his ex broke up because he has commitment issues. Another red flag however at that time I was falling for him. He also was telling me he cared about me. I believe him because he visited me at my work area in front of everyone 3 times a day. We were with each other a lot. I was never one to evolve my life around a man but we started hanging out more, he wanted too . Then I noticed he was coming around less. I would invited him places and there was an excuses. So I did my own thing thinking he’ll come around and he did. Then one day I text him on a weekend to see what was up. He was going to DC. I asked and said that’s cool, what’s going on up there. He then cursed me out and said,” do you want me to get into an accident and freaking die.” ” why are you texting so much.” I told him I didn’t know he was driving but thought someone else could be and then why did you reply then. Text back later then. My heart sank. I didn’t call him for a long time, and when he called me I thought I was going to get an apology. I didn’t I told him that it hurt me and he knows my brother died in a car accident and I would wish that on anyone. I forgot how that mulled over, but I didn’t get the apology I deserved and I believe he somehow made me feel it was my fault. “When did I get so weak?” So two years went by and I was starting to feel unloved and appreciated. I mentioned how I feel but didn’t say the L word. I was afraid of his reaction. But he assured me he cared for me, but he would mention two past relationships. I ended up getting slightly jealous of these two women at times. One a blond. And German decent. I ended up hating my dark hair and dark features and ethnic look though I’m part white too. He praised these types. Also his life without me was a big freaking secret. I never met anyone close to him, he mentioned a guy friend and telling him about me but we never met. I only met a few friends and it was a couple at the guys bday party. By this time I was head over heels for him. I noticed him hanging less with me, and calling less and when I called or text him. He would Ana at me then I’m busy. But he came around when he waged too. And I was head over heels for him but getting sad and a nervous sick feeling. Boom! I was pregnant. I was scared for weeks and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want him to hate me and I was nervous and afraid. When I finally got the courage to tell him after crying at work in the bathroom puking. I miscarried a couple days later. I told him when he asked me what’s going on with you. And he held me, and I told him I loved him then. We were intimate that night. And he avoided me after that. I didn’t even see him at work. When I got the courage to call him. He said what do you want from me, blood? You’re not my girlfriend and it takes more than that for me to love someone. I fell into a deep depression and ended up getting push out of my job by his friends. Later years later he pops back into my life. Comes to my home, asked to see me on my porch, hugs me-shaking and says he nervous. He told me he did love me then and still does. We spoke a little more then he hops in his patrol car and leaves. Weeks go by and I contact him, oh he said he wanted to be with me too that I was the biggest regret of his life. I text him, he ignores me. Then gets mad and mean, though I wash nice. He tells me he’s in a relationship. He does love me but not in the same capacity. I’m hurt again he says it’s not going to work for me… And I’m like why? Hurt again. I leave him alone. Then months later he’s driving in patrol up and down my street and one day drives down it looks at me when I’m talking to male (old) neighbor. He drive by slowly stares me down head on. I was talking so I didn’t react. He’s was on patrol and doesn’t patrol my area. Well I text him, hi… Just saw you you can say hello. Then a few days later the same thing, but this time iPhone shows nothing message undelivered. I then stupidly send him an email saying that was cruel or rude to block me, (see that was his big thing in our relationship… Ignore me to punish me or tell me he can’t bc his issues & everything was I don’t know) I also told him if he actually loved me still regardless of can’t be with me he could be cordial with me, he’ll you just saw me and you can’t save or say hi. He then tells me I don’t know how I can say it any nicer but don’t contact me anymore. I went off. I told him was a evil nasty ass liar he was. Then he threatened to get a protective order against me and have me arrested if I contact him again. He’s a freaking manipulator right!?! I’m so mad at myself. I was always so afraid to hurt his feelings. Also he told me is brother died at 19 yoa I. Front of him, my brother died at19 too but in a car accident. I think that’s another way now he played the sympathy thing. It was always about him. I turned into a low self esteem, timid person bc of this jerk. This time I spoke my mind. He’s a narcissist sociopath and I fell into his trap. Beware ladies. Actions speak louder than words. Love yourself more.

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