Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chilling. Correct.

An awesome reader sent me a link to this article a couple of months ago. It was almost too chilling to share at first, but now I think it's too dangerous NOT to share.
Especially the following passage, which describes my EX so very well. That's the chilling part.
Here is a brief history of my life with him, and my life trying to escape him. If any of you have wondered why we stayed together so long, pay close attention to the sentence about ending a relationship:

The partner and children of a batterer will, however, experience generalizable
characteristics, though he may conceal these aspects of his attitude and behavior when other
people are present:
The batterer is controlling; he insists on having the last word in arguments and decision making,
he may control how the family's money is spent, and he may make rules for the victim
about her movements and personal contacts, such as forbidding her to use the telephone or to see certain friends.
He is manipulative; he misleads people inside and outside of the family about his
abusiveness, he twists arguments around to make other people feel at fault, and he turns into a
sweet, sensitive person for extended periods of time when he feels that it is in his best interest to
do so. His public image usually contrasts sharply with the private reality.
He is entitled; he considers himself to have special rights and privileges not applicable to
other family members. He believes that his needs should be at the center of the family's agenda,
and that everyone should focus on keeping him happy. He typically believes that it is his sole
prerogative to determine when and how sexual relations will take place, and denies his partner
the right to refuse (or to initiate) sex. He usually believes that housework and childcare should be done for him, and that any contributions he makes to those efforts should earn him special
appreciation and deference. He is highly demanding.
He is disrespectful; he considers his partner less competent, sensitive, and intelligent than
he is, often treating her as though she were an inanimate object. He communicates his sense of
superiority around the house in various ways.
The unifying principle is his attitude of ownership. The batterer believes that once you are
in a committed relationship with him, you belong to him. This possessiveness in batterers is the
reason why killings of battered women so commonly happen when victims are attempting to
leave the relationship; a batterer does not believe that his partner has the right to end a
relationship until he is ready to end it.

Because of the distorted perceptions that the abuser has of rights and responsibilities in
relationships, he considers himself to be the victim. Acts of self-defense on the part of the
battered woman or the children, or efforts they make to stand up for their rights, he defines as
aggression against him. He is often highly skilled at twisting his descriptions of events to create
the convincing impression that he has been victimized. He thus accumulates grievances over the
course of the relationship to the same extent that the victim does, which can lead professionals to
decide that the members of the couple "abuse each other" and that the relationship has been
"mutually hurtful."

And Maggie? Thanks for reminding me that knowledge is power. I want mine back.


maplesyrup said...

It is so true. Unfortunately it describes my uncle to a tee as well. My aunt was lucky enough to get away from him, but her grown children don't understand why she doesn't want anything to do with him. Much much love to you and your little ones.

gwendomama said...

I love you too, Amber grade A.

Lauren said...

It's a dead on description for sure. I wish more people knew this stuff. I wish I'd known this stuff when I needed to.

Britni TheVadgeWig said...

I'm glad that the information was helpful. Like I've recommended before, "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft is the most amazing and informative book I've ever read about abusers. If you really want knowledge, that's a great book to start with. He also wrote "When Dad Hurts Mom," which is great to read, especially if you have kids with an abuser.

I agree that knowledge is power, which is why I write stuff on DV awareness and education on as many blogs and forums as I can. Thank you for being so strong, and for sharing your story. You're amazing.

MFA Mama said...

As I said, if more educated women had the ovaries to write about this stuff, it wouldn't happen to so damned many of us. You're amazing, lady.

WarsawMommy said...

My God. I simply cannot imagine living like this: I am counting my blessings, yet again, that I have never known this reality.

You - and all those other women who walk out the other side - are amazing. Amazing.

Sharon said...

I can so relate to that. The only reason I got away from someone like that is because he DIED. and I was glad. I'll probably go to hell for being glad that he died, but I would have never gotten away from him otherwise. I'm so glad that you are so strong (Yes, You are) Keep looking forward...

Another Suburban Mom said...

You are moving forward and should be proud of yourself.

I am so glad that you write about this and share.

Debra W said...

With education, comes power. Just the fact that you are taking the time to learn means that you are regaining your powerfulness! Sometimes, we need to learn just how right we were in a certain situation.

Good for you.

Rachel Inbar said...

I think it's important to know that *some* of these things happen *sometimes* in healthy relationships too... Having been in an abusive relationship (15 years), I think that one of the things that should have triggered a red light sooner was that there were some things I could *never* talk through with him, even if they were very important to me. My mom used to tell me to wait until he calms down, to which I answered, "He NEVER calms down". Nearly 8 years since the divorce, he still hasn't. Getting out was the best thing I ever did for myself and for my children... and the recovery is ongoing, but it gets better all the time.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I see power all over you.

(and I second the Lundy Bancroft recommendation, the man's a genius.)

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