What Qualifies as an Abusive Relationship?

abuse game face

I hate this game

When I talk about abusive relationships, one thing I hear frequently is “If I man ever raised his hand to me, I would be out of there immediately.”  Well, that’s great, but that’s not all there is to abuse. In fact, many abusers are never physically violent at all! But that doesn’t diminish the terror or the impact. For many survivors, the physical abuse, the raw Mars expression, was the easiest to manage – just cringe, dissociate, and tend to the wounds later. But the more Plutonian psychological aspects left scars that were far slower to heal. As I once heard an abuser say, “Violence just means you can’t get the job done any other way.”

One abuser I knew of would use the baseball system to terrorize his wife. “Strike one,” he’d say with an evil grin. And he’d keep muttering it. “Strike one, bitch, strike one.” When the pressure got to her, she’d beg to know what was going on, what she’s done wrong to get a ‘strike’ in the first place, and what the hell would happen when he got to strike three. And this, inevitably, made him smile wider. “Strike two.”

Another was the son of a retired but still well-known police chief. He would tell her stories of the heinous things he’d done to other people, the violence he’d perpetrated against his previous partners and even their children. “And do you see me in jail? No. There’s a brotherhood, and they know better than to believe crazy bitches like you.”

My own abuser never let me have a sense of privacy. He would come to me and say, “I hacked into your email. I know what you’re up to.” Terrified and wanting to prevent a blowup that would put me in real danger, I would beg to know what he was talking about, what he’d found that made him think I was doing anything wrong. I would offer to go through my email together and explain anything he had questions about. He would always refuse. “Why would I give you a chance to lie when I already know the truth?”

He would also stand in my doorway at night while I was sleeping (we never slept together – he stayed up all night drinking) watching me with a murderous look in his eyes, waiting for me to wake up and scream. He had long since taken the locks off the door, so I bought a Christmas door knob hanger with little jingle bells on it so that I’d at least know when he opened the door. I still use it, to this day. Some wounds never completely heal.

Have you or someone you love ever experienced this kind of subtle terror? Share your stories here.

Consult with Midara.

 

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Comments

What Qualifies as an Abusive Relationship? — 14 Comments

  1. Sure,one of the things my ex loved to do was get me in a car and go 100 miles an hour down the highway. If we got in an argument he would drive me behind a deserted building and park {just to talk}. I could not have a conversation without him lurking around every corner.
    One time we were discussing his abuse with a psychiatrist .I explained the times he would choke me but he would counter that he never cut off my air flow. He knew what he was doing with that crazed look in his eye. I never knew at what moment he would snap and that would be the end of me. I finally decided I would rather die than live one more day in fear.I still dealt with stalking after the divorce , and threats to any guy that I dated . I met my second husband who could not be intimidated. My Knight in shining armor, my junk yard dog , My Aries.

  2. I might add that the physical abuse is also emotional abuse as it is degrading and humiliating. My ex used every tool he could think of to keep me in line. He would call me filthy names, he would go into rages if I did not have every item in the laundry clean. Rules for how the house was kept. He would rage if another man even looked at me.
    Before I married him I fancied myself to be a feminist. Ha. What a joke. He has a huge Stellium in Leo..

  3. Passive aggressive manipulation and ostracizing are the games of my husbands family. Some people leave a stain on your soul.

  4. Too much to share, the beatings keep you attentive, ahead of their needs, you learn to not ask only applaud even if it is to keep yourself
    Light and positive and do not do not fight back this is their hope they’ll show you; I used to get”you’ll see”
    What I saw was bruises trips to hospital. I thought I was loosing my mind. One day I found a stash of my things buried outside my favorite jeans nitegown hat cell phone
    Insanity
    Jump fast and far, they don’t get better they get worse

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your story, Midera. It must have been a living nightmare!

    After reading this article I think I became aware of how kinda abusive my boss is.
    She has attacked me twice within the past 4- months, and it’s gone to the point where I have started to write things down for every thing I could be attacked/critized for by her.
    I’m not disagreeing with the need for feedback and critique – but I am afraid of stepping one inch out of the lines, out of fear that she will attack me once again in a new meeting in the future. These meetings does not seem to ressonate with any schedule.

    It’s so bad that I don’t have the energy to start looking for other jobs even. That’s what she wants anyway. Control me.

    One day we discussed something seemingly innocent and then she said, so that everybody could hear it, “When you think it will happen then it WILL happen. You do think so negatively”.

    Everybody speaking her language could hear her.
    It took a moment for the bullet to sink in, and in the meantime I had answered her innocently – but afterwards I got SO angry and hurt. Who does she think she is?!

    I have to get away from this place, but I lack the energy for it. A classic sign of loosing yourself… When you wake up with stomach ache before going to work…

    • “Who does she think she is?!” If God is showing you that this person thinks is entitled and the world (you) owes her something… she’s lost. But you dont have to be. Dont overthink how it will play out. Find an exit and keep going. It’s not worth doing if you can’t be your own person while doing it. Thats my take on it anyway. I rather eat dirt for a few days than let the resentment destroy my soul… Take your time but do weigh the cons long term for not leaving.

      • Or: just give her a piece of your mind. That has worked a couple times for me as well (though not with bosses only co-workers). Mercury is up to a retrogade… maybe he’ll help you 😉

  6. Those who will give you the silent treatment also qualify. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They will fk with your mind until you are but an Echo of who you once were. Do check this asteroid in your charts. Ive been tracking that pair (narcisus+echo) dor sometime now. Also dejanira+nessus. They do tell my story and i keep an eye on it for future people i let in my life. Blessings to all

  7. I was married a long time ago to an abuser, and I left. I met him while in the Marine Corps, and I saw all of his threatening phsyco controlling behavior before, but denied it, or thought I could change him. It escalated…it always does, as the perpetrator needs to have control. We were married for 8 months before I left, and had been choked, constantly accused of cheating or wanting someone else, (a ploy that is used to keep someone off balance, and constantly defending themselves). It escalated to the point of him threatening me with forced sex, as “he was my husband, and he would take it if he wanted it”…..I told him to go ahead, he might not wake up in the morning, or be missing certain body parts (Lorena Bobbit before her time). He rolled over reluctantly, and I was gone in a week. I went all the way across the country to get away from him, and luckily he never came after me, and he sent me divorce papers which I happily signed.

    However in years after…its taken me a long time, to let go of those “parts of myself” that “attracted that experience”. Please understand we all have unconscious, hidden parts of ourselves that we are unaware of, and that contribute to our interaction with others. While growing up, I had a “less than strong demeanor” and was content with “pleasing others” vs standing strong in my own power…..I have grown since then, and strengthend my inner character, and now can SEE and FEEL those type of energies, and do not engage, or attract them anymore. The only thing that changes on the outer, is when you change on the inside. Everyone in your life is a mirror, if you have “attracted a bully, control freak, etc…it is showing you the changes that you need to make within”.

  8. How to deal with a psychologically abusive family whose defense for ruining my mental health are all those other times they were “loving”?. Since their abuse almost never left physical marks, how do you reach for help? How do you try to make others know what you’re going through when you even have doubts that the abusers are abusers?

    • Macaceta, I’m so sorry. I recognize the pain and confusion in your voice well.

      Here’s what I can say: most abusive relationships have moments of love, care, and sweetness. If they didn’t, no one would ever be in them. That doesn’t erase the abuse.

      You are the expert on your own experience. And abusers have a very strong vested interest in denying their abuse. According to them, line is always just on the other side of what they’ve done. But it doesn’t lessen the damage they do.

      If you want to talk, please drop me a line. <3

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