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
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 ChangingMinds.org.)
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)
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.
*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.
Holly, K. (2012, June 21). How Did You Brainwash Me?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/06/brainwashing-abusive-relationships
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
Have you considered the possibility that he is using you for something? What do you give him when he comes around? Anything from attention to money could be his reason for keeping you on the leash. Or maybe he likes knowing you are waiting for him.
Could you be romanticizing the relationship you had 15 years ago?
Reach out to Jesus to save you, and He will :)
Spent all our money,caused me to lose my apartment,then called social services and said i was homeless and he wanted custody.he caused thr breakup of older daughter to her fiance just to get to me as a warning for me to stay in line.he will not be ignored
No contact doesnt work.and i have a restraining order against him! He has coached the kids that if i turn him in for violating restraining order,he will lose his job and he wont be able to help them financially so they are to defend him of mim gets crazy again and falsely accusing him. He is the victim,i am mentally ill, how can i be free,
I've been with my bf for about 7 months now and the last month has been utter turmoil. Everything seemed great and I had a decision to make and job offer in another state and was debating on going (a conflict I had before even meeting the bf). I decided to stay for myself, family and seek out this new relationship as I've never felt this before. Anyway, so when the bf asked me to move in, I was ecstatic, but told him although it's a little premature, I'll think about it. We agreed if I did stay that I'd move in 6 months later, but that he felt that's the direction that our relationship was headed. Anyway, fast forward to last month. I came to find out he was still in communication with his ex (rebound -who is engaged and in another state) and speaks to her once a month, on the dating site we met on. When I confronted him, he gave me the excuse if "well, I didn't know if you are moving or not and we haven't decided on what we are doing?" Let me preface all this by saying I didn't want to date him at first because I didn't want to get attached and he pursued, wanted to "label" us and be with me. It just flowed, felt amazing and was so easy and natural. I've never felt this before. So once I told him I still want to be committed and serious even if I move, he agreed to stop communicating with the ex and deleted his dating profile.
That same night I found out about his communication with the ex and dating profile, he said "if you leave me-you're replaceable." I was in tears. Who would think that if you are happy?? Then he goes on to say "well, it's true, everyone is."
He apologized for the comment and said what we have is special, but it still hurts me to this day and I wonder if I should still be with him.
What does he want? He was married for 8 yrs, divorced for 2 and had a rebound last year before me. I don't think he's ready for a relationship of this caliber and needs to date more.
Please advise-he hasn't said I love you yet and when I ask "what do you want or are you looking for?" He responds with "I want a gf." Which to me, just means anyone, he didn't say "I want you as my gf and I'm happy." Am I wrong???
Unfortunately, finding help can be hard as many therapists also come from abusive backgrounds and are blind to their own desire to maintain control and have you comply with their world view and assumptions about your character and motivations. After seeking help from a sexual abuse counsellor, I left with my head reeling after being accused of being an observor, when in reality I do engage emotionally in relationships and am wary when others display red signs. The fact that this lady then proceeded to attack me for agreeing to seek help - Do you do whatever someone wants? Demanded to know what I wanted, and then ignored my requests for information about meditation and boundaries, claiming not to be a relationships counsellor - heck, how can you deal with sexual abuse and incest with no understanding or relationships? - and proceeded to claim that people from abusive homes have been hard-wired to repeat the abuse or be just like their parents as they grow up with that schema, shocked me. Her refusal to listen or validate my feelings, as well as her insistence that intimacy means 'sex', left me stunned. She then claimed the principal who attempted to syphon money from my contract and then attacked me in private was "clever". I left the office disappointed and confused as I had hoped to receive support instead of feeling invalidated and accused of being foolish and overly compliant for agreeing to seek help. Walking away is not a cowardly act but a sensible choice if you want to regain your sanity. A healthy moment arises when you start to recognise abuse for what it is: an attempt to erode your sense of self to make the other person feel more powerful and in control. Please learn to believe that you are better off alone than in a bad relationship, and do not give a hoot if people find that odd. Communities have been brainwashed people to believe that having a partner is a sign of being normal instead of something that often suits one person at the expense of the other. Most abuse happens within personal relationships rather than at the hands of a stranger. This is a fact that people need to consider seriously before diving in and then floundering with the reality that many people are abusive and all of us have the ability to hurt those we claim to love or want to help. An appreciation of difference helps a lot in overcoming the abuser's desire for us to share and mimic their world view and be a slave to their needs or a mini-me.
WOW!! You have done such a Great Job on your Posting!! I have just learned SO Much about Abusers and Victims!! I was trying to locate some information because I Truly believe that My 22 year old SON is being Mentally and Emotionally Abused by his Girlfriend of almost 4 years now and it just Breaks My Heart!! I am a Single Mom and I raised My 2 Boys Completely on My Own, with NO Help Financially or Emotionally from their father that walked out when my oldest son was 12 and my youngest son was only 2 years old. I often wonder If my youngest son is Allowing this Abuse to continue because his father has Never been a part of his life and he has become Close to his girlfriend's father!!?? Could that be a Factor?? His girlfriend started off acting as if she really did Like Me and Our Family, but then things began to Change!!?? Over the past couple of years my Son has become Very Distant with Me and We used to be Extremely Close. I had noticed that She would always say things around me like "You Are Such a Momma's Boy" and he used to smile and say "Yes I Am"!! You could just Read the Expression on Her Face that those words and Our Close Relationship just Infuriated Her, but I honestly Never Understood until Now!! She has also Never been Close to her Own Mother, but Very Close to Her Father. Her Parents were also Divorced when she was 3 years old, but her Father uses "$Money" as His Way of being Close to Her and she Uses It, letting me know now that this is probably how she first learned how "Manipulation" was done!!?? She has Totally Isolated My Youngest Son away from ME, His Brother, his Entire Family, And ALL of His Friends!! She has even Started Arguements with Me and turn All of the Blame on Me and then I have had to actually watch My Own Son Totally Take Her Side and Take UP for Her on Everything! I have even witnessed Her Yelling and Screaming at Him and watched Him just Sit There and Take It and Not say One Word back to Her!!?? Does this All sound like Abuse to You?? I Don't know What to Do and he Won't even Talk to Me Anymore! It's Heart Breaking for Me because My Son was Always Such a Great Kid and Very Outgoing with Lots of Friends!! Help Me Help My Son!!!
I'm angry that homosexuality often is not socially acknowledged/accepted when they know about abusive relationships (as of course homosexuality can have multply other reasons). and it may be for some (like it used to be for me) a way to get out, a way of thinking that is unchangable. anyway.
Because of my fear of men, I typically turned gay (at least I thought I liked girls but I usually just feel safer with them) until I met my boyfriend. turns out I'm not but instead I found out and confirmed my fear of men. This abusive relationship was the last thing I wanted in my life ever and subconciously I wanted to protect myself from it,is what I came to realize.
I don't hold a grudge for him for what he did to me, I just know after only 7 months that it's time to end this relationship once and for all. (I wanted to break up several times before, the lsat fight ended up in tears and me pushing him out of my mums flat)
I love myself more than that, I don't want my identity destroyed even more than it is already. I don't even know who I am right now. I feel lost and stupid. I know that there were times he really loved me and it was that honesty and innocence that made me forget about my stupid shield and made me cross lines for me to grow into a woman. I find it amazing how many strong women are out there who learned to deal with such a thing in their own way, even if not always successful they fight.
I only feel oblivious to the fact that most of the time we women are just means to something, even though we could do so much better but we can't and sometimes just don't want to. Maybe someday before the world ends we will finally find a recept on how to act in certain situations and find the best solution so there is more hope in the wolrd and less injustice. (Even if I wasn't into standing up for woman, I guess I am now more than ever)
be blessed and take care
Hi, my wife also told me that I am an abuser. She agreed that she was, but she had to include me also. I know I have not acted always appropretly, but if you want to know who is the abuser, you have to think, who starts the fight, who continues until the other agree. Who stays in front of the door and lot leting you go outside? Who follows you room to room until you get crazy. Who starts being violent? Who always has to say Sorry for the things they did wrong? Who has stop seing his friends and familly? Who decides everything?
I doubt that both parteners are abuser, Police have to assess who is the main agresor and who is the victime. Sometime, I would say the abuser defends him/herself. It is hard not to react when you receive a slap in the face, or you get spit at. When your partener block your way out and follows you everywhere in the house. I blew out a lot. I tried to find my way out of the house, but I always tryed not to hurt her. My wife used object to slap me with and everything you could imagine. She is not strong so I won't get bruises, but if I restrain her by the hand, she would get a bruise really easily. Does that mean I am an abuser?
You would know if you are the abused, it is easy if you really check. I don't think there is two brainwasher in the couple. If one fits the description more than the other, then, it might be a tactif for your spouse to share the blame.
Maybe you are right about the money, I am the only one working, but I could just go in a room somewhere. She won't leave me my child, but now, I cannot stay there anymore. I will find a way to see my child later.
Enought if enought.
I have a basic right to listen the radio and decide what to do in my brakes, to have nice time with my child alone (because she won't leave him with me alone)
This is not right!
Thanks for that site!
I have been out of my abusive relationship for 6 months and its an every day struggle. Feels like its been a blur. This article has given me some clarity and peace of mind. Thank you to the author and thank you God for bringing me to this website this Christmas eve.
I really needed this.
I also understand why my significant other identifies with the victim, which was never my intention. I hope to alter my behavior as never make them feel that way again. But they fail to accept that I may be partially or equally the victim as well.
The sure way to decide whether you are abused or the abuser is to STOP abusing. Just like that. Stop it.
Set some personal boundaries and enforce them peacefully. (http://verbalabusejournals.com/how-stop-abuse/setting-personal-boundaries/)
When you hear yourself saying things that you don't like, shut your mouth. When you feel like doing something that does not align with who you want to be, do not do that thing.
The abuser is likely to attack viciously when you put your boundaries in place. It is difficult to keep your mouth shut or walk away when someone says hateful things to you, but with practice it will get easier. Also, in time, you will begin to see the truth of who your SO is and realize that changing, for them, is probably not going to happen.
This is a very informative site and I think the comments are wonderful because they help us see we are not alone. I am concerned about your calling the woman's pretending to be a "happy good girl" manipulative. I don't see it as healthy but I wonder why it doesn't fall more under a label of "codependent" than "manipulative". When the abuse victim tries to please the other it seems to me not a deliberate calculated manipulation but rather an avoidance of unpleasant consequences: just giving the abuser what he/she wants to get through the victim's own day. Anyway, I am happy you are doing what you do!
Christine, I believe this is the comment you're referring to? I stand behind the statement because, as I said, "anytime you pretend to be someone you are not in order to elicit a certain reaction, then you are manipulating". This type of manipulation is typical of codependency. The motive behind the manipulation (make peace, stay calm, avoid pain) is QUITE different from the motive behind the abuser's manipulations (to control, destroy, crush). I do not intend to say that the abuse victim is as "bad" as the abuser (typically this is not the case as abuse victims tend to be more empathetic, sympathetic and forgiving than abusers).
HOWEVER, if we want to JUMP OFF the abusive cycle, then we victims/survivors must recognize these unhealthy/manipulative qualities in ourselves. For example, instead of being the "happy good girl", we could clearly state to our abuser, "I am very angry right now and do not feel like pretending to be otherwise. I am going to (place or to do something else) until I feel better."
Recognizing our tendency to manipulate "for the greater good" allows us to stop doing it. When you stop doing habitual, unhealthy things, you jump off the abusive cycle - you refuse to play. Could you agree with this or do you still concerned with my viewpoint?
To summary it up, since the divorce this guy appears to be totally BRAINWASHED by this woman, to the point he acts and speaks just as she has for many years. IF anyone has any suggestions as to why or how he can be helped, please comment.
The world definitely needs to know that Men suffers from Domestic Violence from Women!!!!!
About a year ago, I decided to seek counseling. This was advise from friends she doesn't k ow about. Reluctantly, I went and it all spilled out. The counselor told me that I was a victim of a narcissist. I had been made to believe I was inadequate. After a could of visits, she told me I wasn't allowed to go back. She made me find another counselor and insists on going with me.
I now have panic attacks for about 8 years now. We have no social life and my daughter and couple of others are my only friends I this. My own stepdaughter (HER daughter) tells me that I should have left years ago. All of her friends she grew up with are grown now but still remember coming to our house and how she treated me.
I've often felt like I wasn't a man. That I was different. But slowly realizing its not me. I've met people that telle I'm a good person and need to break free of the 24 year prison I've been in. I'm ready to live.
What keeps me there is the guilt. For some reason I believe she can't function on her own. Her parents are dead and she has no family except for her daughter. I'm slowly realizing that I can't be responsible for that. She controls her own destiny. I have found that not all women are that way as I thought. And I've also figured out that I have much to give AND receive. It's not a one way street.
I've been married over 27 years!
Im looking for some reassurance I guess, I just left a very abusive relationship of almost 5 years. I finally called the police the last time he attacked me physically, punching me in the head and calling me a bitch and a cunt. That was the final straw, he got arrested and went to jail for 2 days but the judge decided there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him. He now thinks he "won" his case, and its me that is the crazy one! He managed to convince the judge that I am bipolar and a crzy person (without him having any evidence of this). Since this day I decided to separate from him and we are in a civil process to decide what will happen with our 3 year old son. In the time of leaving jail, he quickly was out partying and seen with other women. He shows no remorse, no guilt and keeps maintaining that I am the crazy one who he left ...
what is wrong with these kinds of people? I went through an absolute hell with him, horrific verbal and psychological abuse then physical (which got worse and worse over time) and he seems to have just moved on meeting other women and focusing on himself and not his son.
Will he ever change?
The isolation is one of the first things I remember. I wasn't allowed to have friends because he couldn't trust other people especially guys- I was such a slut. My co-workers were not allowed to come over because they might knark on him. My family lived too far away so if I wanted to see them they had to visit us. My dad still jokes about the Christmas I snuck out saying I was headed to the store, instead made the 45 minute drive on my own just to get to see my family on Christmas for maybe a 15 minutes visit. Couldn't even take the kids because I didn't want them to have to lie.
I cried so much that I learned to cry in complete silence just so he wouldn't make fun of me. But when he had a point to make, and this is no exaggeration, the minimum was 3 hours of drilling argument. Many times I had work the next day (I was the only one with a regular job in over 8 of those 11 years) but he didn't care if I got to sleep or not. He had a point to make. It was also during this period I experienced my first panic attacks.
The abuse was physical a few times but when I fought back, that ended pretty quick. When I was pregnant, he did push me down but what hurt worse than the physical shove was that he saw I'd landed on his guitar and he moved me off it so he could make sure the guitar was okay! CPS was called once when he hurt my son. We also went to counseling but he'd only go if I agreed not to tell the counselor that he drank beer and smoked pot every night.
One time he asked if he could bring another woman into our home and I was so screwed up by his brain-washing I actually wondered for a minute if by agreeing I might FINALLY get some help around the house. lol But then I came to my senses. He was extremely possessive and controlling. His step mom asked me once why I didn't wear makeup and I'd forgotten it was because he asked me not to.
He constantly belittled me and called me names. Mostly a lazy fat ass. Towards the end he told me I was replaceable on a daily basis. When we broke up, he actually asked me to stay an additional 3 months through the holidays and I thought he wanted to try to redeem himself to me, but after the holidays he abruptly kicked me out for not going back to work so he could drive a better car. Said he didn't believe in marriage and monogamy anymore.
I'm still ashamed that my kids witnessed the example he set. He really wasn't part of their lives at all until we split up. In fact, I actually put the kids in daycare while I worked even though he was home all day!! He said he needed the time alone. I often wonder if I will ever heal from this trauma. It's been over 12 years. I lost my identity. I became someone I did not like. And I still have to deal with him sometimes. Most of the time, I try to believe that he's changed, but every once in a while his true colors show again. My relationship with God has been the biggest blessing, but I guess I still have a ways to go yet because the lies still bother me.
Such simple comments...
The lovely female waitress wipes the table down. I dry the table with the napkin. My partner comments that the waitress has just wiped the table in a tone that indicates I have OCD or some 'failing'.
We're walking back to the apartment while on holiday. I start to go down one path and he another. In that tone that indicates I'm wrong, he asks me why I'm going that way.
If any of his four children (aged 16 - 26) asked him to do something, he would happily interrupt any prior plans we had made together (or were in the middle of doing!) and then say I'm being difficult if I didn't want to change plans!
I value health and fitness. I do not keep stockpiles of candy in the house because I cannot stop at just one. He does keep a stockpile.He does not listen to my request to not offer me any candy and my request to keep the candy in a spot I don't know about. He interrupts me when I've asked to not be interrupted while grading papers or something similar, and offers it to me then. On one hand I feel an absolute dog complaining about this but on the other hand I am being ignored and my wishes not valued.
I must be doing something that invites this type of behaviour. I want to stop. I now feel stuck because I feel horrible about leaving, feeling sorry for him. His wife left him seven years before he and I met. I once had direction and strength, but now feel lost, stupid and mean. I didn't even expect the relationship get this far. And this is after 'low-level' abuse compared to other readers' experiences.
This blog is now in my bookmarks.
All the best to everyone.
Thank you for listening.
The comfort in this shared pain is knowing I am not alone.
i thank you all.
Anyway, I don't know where the idea came from, but this worked for me: As soon as the thought of death came, I stopped it and mentally "rewinded" the thought to the first safe point. THEN, I forwarded the thought to a SAFE conclusion (instead of the death).
For example, if I "saw" my son falling off of a cliff, I would rewind the vision to a point where he was safe. Then, I could put myself in the picture beside him, see myself picking him up and walking calmly to safety.
Doing that really helped me.
When I think back to that time period, I remember "heavy" abuse taking place. He was always angry, always bordering on physically assault. I was afraid for MY life, but because I couldn't see that I SHOULD be more afraid of him, my mind changed reality to warn me that my CHILDREN were in danger instead. That's what I think anyway.
It's the kind of thing I can't take back, and I don't act in any other abusive ways at all. However, he has done all sorts - isolated me, threatened me physically, played intense mind games, ignored me for weeks on end, physically assaulted me a few times, calls me names (ugly, sl*t, stupid dog...and more that I shouldn't repeat), I have no friends left, I don't talk to anyone at work, I don't look up in the street for fear of being accused of flirting/ looking at men, I have been threatened with gang rape, him getting drunk (he is out of control crazy when drunk), told I'm lazy, fat (I have gained 30lbs...possibly more), no good in bed, he will go and find some other wh*re to bed, I have been kept up being accused for nights on end with no sleep and still having to work...the list goes on.
I feel I deserve this now though. I really think I do.
Anyway, lately I have had this overwhelming feeling of sadness. Like I just want to end it all because my future is so dim, and I can't see myself leaving him because I am worried about my families safety, and his safety. However, I feel trapped because I know I can't kill myself because I would hurt my mum and dad too much. I also feel like I have nothing to live for anymore, but at the same time I am stuck.
I know I am missing out on life though...I am constantly walking on eggshells and I don't do anything anymore. I am so worried about my family dying for some reason though. I feel like everything in the future is bleak and my parents might die, and I am missing out on them!
I really could use some advice... I'm Stuck...
Well… Here I am again. I have written in other posts that my current relationship is the best one I have been in yet and that he “loves” me but I don’t trust him. He is always telling me that our relationship would be perfect if I didn’t analyze his every move. I of course do that because my whole world is made up of red flags….
The last couple of days before the “boo boo” I had been putting a ridiculous amount of effort into trying to stay happy, not freak out when he ran off to get on the phone or said something I didn’t like or understand. I was just trying to be a happy, good girl. I was seeing if our relationship would actually be better if I did what he said was missing, or effing it up to begin with. It was about 3 days into my experiment, and he and I had been in the house all day. I had done a couple of his assignments for class to help him get caught up, so he could study for his tests he needed to take. Nothing major just responses to other people’s posts, then I would go back to work on my computer reading responses and visiting different groups here in my blog.
He had a bad attitude for the last 2 days of my “experiment” and I could tell something was getting to him. We went to leave to house to go to the grocery store and I noticed his attitude was way worse. One of my pet cats was running up the driveway. She is a huge ball of fluff and he said something about her being fat, I laughed at it and was jokingly telling him not to talk crap about my lil fluff dragon of a cat. Somehow that escalated to him calling me a fat head. I tried to blow it off… we went and got in the car. Before we could even leave the street he asked me what was wrong I told him and it further escalated to him screaming in my face and acting like he was going to choke me because I wouldn’t shut up mid-sentence. I wanted to get out the fact that the last time he had said that we were in a big fight and he was saying it out of anger, so even though “he meant it in a joking way” it wasn’t funny but it hurt. So he exploded and got out of the car, I turned the car around and went to the house…
I followed him up the stairs and kept talking to him he kept yelling and telling me to leave him alone. I said, “No, I'm not gonna just let this ride out because how I fell is important too,” I was trying to explain that I wasn’t doing anything to deserve him being such a butthead to me. He got up and left the living room and went to the bedroom. He was still talking over me. I just wanted to get my point across that it wasn’t my fault and that I had really been putting effort into being better, not “bugging” him or getting into his business, or being depressed all of the time. He kept yelling, “no,no,no your wrong!” and “get the fuck away from me…,” But I kept trying to get my point across. He pushed me a few times finally into the wall. I wouldn’t stop talking so he grabbed me and wrapped his arms around my neck and tried to strangle me. My back was facing him at this point and he had me in almost a head lock. I told him to let go, and to stop. My eyes were full of tears I couldn’t breathe, I was scared. I thought, “hit him back, grab his balls! Anything you can’t breathe idiot!!” But then I thought what if I hurt him? I didn’t want to hurt him. He let go… I stood there for a minute and then kept talking… I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to stop. He took a large framed picture off of the all in the hallway and said, “you don’t want to shut up bitch I am gonna break this over your head and I bet you do then…” something to that effect I can’t remember verbatim. I cringed and kept going. I looked him straight in the eyes got maybe a inch from his face and screamed, spit flying and all… “IAM NOT GOING TO STOP TALKING!!THE TRUTH IS A BITCH ISN’T IT!! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO DESERVE THIS SHIT!!! I HATE YOU FOR THIS! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!!, “ I said. i took a couple of seconds to gather myself and then took my keys and the rented movies that we had and started to leave. He followed me out of the house. I kept walking. He said, “Mary, where are you going?” I said, “Don’t worry I'm not gonna tell anyone! fuck you, just leave me alone,” and I left.
The whole way to the Movie Rental store I was crying like a baby. I had called my best friend a couple of time, but there was no answer, so I left a message. After I dropped off the movies I drove to the boat dock that is in my neighborhood and I sat there for a while. I cried and I prayed. My throat was swollen, my chest hurt and I just wanted to talk to someone and get this out. He had text me a couple of times asking where I was going and told me that I had forgotten something. I text him back saying I didn’t and that I was hurt. I told him that everything I basically told you guys. That he had almost choked me out in the hallway, that I wanted to get away from him but couldn’t hurt him, that he doesn’t love me… that the bible says love is slow to anger and that he doesn’t love me and then asked him how he could do these things to me when he knows what I had been through in my past. I told him I hated him for knowing my past and still getting with me knowing he couldn’t control his anger. I told him he should have moved to the next girl in line. Then I asked for a divorce… lol (we aren’t married that’s what the lol is for…) As usual he said that he wasn’t listening, “I'm not even gonna read this, I should be packing, I won’t be bothering you anymore, you win” I said ok, as usual… I told him to get gone…and that he never listens to me.
As usual we are still together. Different relationship, best one yet… but still abusive. I guess my love for him is what overlooks all the dumb shit. Maybe it is that I am afraid of being alone… things go waaay deeper than this shallow story I'm telling you now. This happened Sunday, today is Tuesday. I spent all day yesterday trying to sleep because Sunday night I didn’t get any rest and to be honest I didn’t rest all day Monday either. Last night I took two muscle relaxers and had lied on a hot pad and finally fell asleep. Sooooo… here I am again…
Your reaction to his abuse illustrates the cycle of violence perfectly. He lashed out verbally. You lashed out verbally. He didn't like what you said and told you to leave him alone. You didn't leave him alone because you wanted to be heard. He lashed out physically. You "apologize" through your promise to not tell anyone. He calms down. You tell him you don't want to be with him, he says okay but ignores you, and you accept being ignored. Isn't that how your experiment started? Didn't you want to be "a happy, good girl" so he would stop ignoring the real you (by abusing it out of you) and love you again?
Trying to be "a happy, good girl" when you are not is a manipulative action. Yes, I know you did it in response to past abuse, but anytime you pretend to be someone you are not in order to elicit a certain reaction, then you are manipulating him. You aren't alone - I did it too. However, it NEVER works the way you want it to work. You wanted to make him happy, so your intentions are "good" - but manipulating is bad for everyone. In your case, after play-acting happiness, all of your pent-in anger erupted and clouded your mind. He could have killed you, and you know it. He wants you to know it. You can try to minimize the assault by calling it a "boo boo" but it is far from a mistake. Physical assault is a direct warning that the abuser will do whatever it takes to get what he wants from you. It is serious, and I wish you would acknowledge it as such.
I am frantic to help her. She trusts no one but me! I can't let her down! Her friend!