Saying “no” to an abuser, part 2: case study

To explain how the techniques discussed in Part 1 play out in real life, my recent experiences provide a useful case study in what can happen when you say “no” to an abuser – even one you no longer live with. Denial, manipulation, emotional blackmail, gaslighting, forced concessions, false misunderstandings, punishment by proxy – sheContinue reading “Saying “no” to an abuser, part 2: case study”

Saying “no” to an abuser, part 1

Saying “no” to an abuser is always a red flag to a bull. It takes guts to say it, knowing that this simple word will result in an explosion, at a time to be determined by another. But saying it is something we must do if we don’t want others continually damaging us. “No” mightContinue reading “Saying “no” to an abuser, part 1″

Co-parenting with an abuser

Co-parenting with an abuser isn’t co-parenting: it’s a war. Abusers – sociopaths, narcissists, borderlines – can’t relate to other people, can’t feel empathy, and have no restraints on how they treat others. Lacking meaningful, reciprocal, loving relationships, their lives are reduced to one thing: winning. For them to win, somebody has to lose. Unfortunately, thatContinue reading “Co-parenting with an abuser”

Abuse 101: using children as weapons

I said “no” to my ex the other day. She sent me a string of nasty texts, but couldn’t hurt me directly. So instead, she took it out on my children. Abusers use any means at their disposal to control, coerce, belittle, humiliate, degrade and damage you. They know that your children present a weakContinue reading “Abuse 101: using children as weapons”

PTSD Hyperarousal / Hypervigilance

I’m in imminent danger of physical attack. I don’t know where it’s coming from. I don’t know who is doing it. But within the next few seconds I’m going to have to make a choice between fight or flight. My body is flushed with epinephrine and noradrenaline. My heart pounds, my muscles jitter, I feelContinue reading “PTSD Hyperarousal / Hypervigilance”

Abuse Recovery: when you fall for it again

As time goes on, you dare to believe that life is getting better. Things calm down with your abuser. They start acting like a reasonable, rational person and you no longer dread the sight of them at childcare handovers and sports day. You become comfortable with the way things are. It’s not what you wanted,Continue reading “Abuse Recovery: when you fall for it again”

Do abused men not matter?

My domestic abuse support group was cancelled two months ago. Let me make that clearer: the only support group for male survivors of domestic abuse for at least a hundred miles suddenly and unexpectedly abandoned us. There was no warning, no fanfare, no real explanation. On the day of the group, mere hours before itContinue reading “Do abused men not matter?”

Understanding Controlling and Coercive Behaviour (by a survivor)

Everything you want to ask What is Coercive Control? Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate of Family Relationship became a crime in the UK in 2015. In short, Controlling Behaviour is a pattern of acts where an abuser makes their victim subordinate to and dependant upon them – very much a master/slave dichotomy –Continue reading “Understanding Controlling and Coercive Behaviour (by a survivor)”

Male Tears: Recovering from Abuse

I’ve always considered myself a modern man. I’ve never been afraid to get in touch with my feminine side, I love talking about feelings and relationships, and all my best friends are women. I don’t have a killer instinct, I don’t like confrontation or aggression, and I’ve never understood the obsession with competitive sports. IContinue reading “Male Tears: Recovering from Abuse”

Abuse and PTSD

At the end of December, I received a letter from my psychiatrist that spelled out, in black and white, that I have been formally diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the abuse I suffered during my marriage. It was the first time after leaving her – the first time in nineteenContinue reading “Abuse and PTSD”