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”

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”

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)”

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”

Weekend Dad: A Victim of Abuse

We hear a lot about the struggles of single motherhood and the horrors of deadbeat dads, but what about the good dads who love their children very much, but only get to see them every second weekend? This is what it’s like: I have my children and everything slots into place. Everything feels right. They’reContinue reading “Weekend Dad: A Victim of Abuse”

A Male Survivor of Domestic Abuse: A Glimpse Behind the Mask

I’d like to say that telling others you’re being abused, and somehow finding the strength to leave, is the end of the fight. I’d like to say that the moment you stand up and declare you’re not going to be a victim anymore, things get easier. But this isn’t a fairy tale. If I thoughtContinue reading “A Male Survivor of Domestic Abuse: A Glimpse Behind the Mask”

A Male Survivor of Domestic Abuse: Leaving my Abuser

Day 39 of the Lockdown There were five of us at the meeting – seven if you count the children: my daughter, aged 4, and my son, 2 – but I’d made them a den in the playroom and set them up with a movie so they’d be out of the way of what neededContinue reading “A Male Survivor of Domestic Abuse: Leaving my Abuser”