I was channel surfing the television the other night and I came across this woman being interviewed by a well known talk show host.
I did not have to watch but a few minutes to understand what the topic for tonight was because I could see it in the eyes of the woman being interviewed. I was drawn to hear what she had to say because I knew she was the survivor of a domestic abuse relationship. She had this look of frailty but there was also a look of strength in her eyes.
Her beautiful young face and look of self-confidence kept me glued to the television for the next hour. This was not a talk show I watched on a day to day basis but as I said before it was something about her eyes that pulled me in.
This particular episode centered on Sharon, a petite Caucasian woman with brown soft curly hair, just enough makeup to compliment her features and those eyes if I am not mistaken were brown and beautiful and had a defiant strength to them.
This was a woman who had for over many years had been with a man (her husband), had three children by him and was now was talking about the mental and physical abuse that he put her and her children through, the youngest two being boys ages 8 and 13 at the time.
Sharon had finally found the inner strength to walk away from a man who treated her like his property and when sometimes during the abuse video taped it and would make his oldest son handle the video camera while it was happening.
He would call her names on the videotape, she had knots and bruises on her face and he would always give her an explanation as to why he was beating her, saying things to her that she deserved it calling her negative cruel names and having their son sometimes pipe in with his on negative comment.
The odd thing about this man though was that he never trusted anyone, not only did he videotape his abuse to his wife, but like President Nixon he also recorded conversations with different people he associated with.
Sharon said, “I would think at the time that my sons did not love me, but at the same time, I realized that they were also trying to survive in this home living with this man that was their father.”
Sharon could not go anywhere without giving her husbands a minute-to-minute explanation as to where she was. When she arrived at work, she had to call, when she picked up their child from school, she had to report in, he had full control of her life. He would blow up her cell phone with the ringing and she would always have to report to him whenever she was going to or leaving any place. Since in his mind, she belonged to him as if a slave, she had to call him “master.”
As I was sitting there watching this I grew angrier by the minute, but this time I did not ask questions like, “Why did she not leave if it had got that bad.” I usually would have said, “If I were in that situation, I would not have taken that.” However, to be honest, I do not know what I would have taken from a man in that frame of mind.
In all honesty, it is easy to come under the control of a man if he is debonair,handsome, and rich and know all the right things to say and he seems so confident and sure of himself. However, the truth of the matter is he is a little man living a facade. When his life starts falling apart, you are the one who is going to experience his wrath.
In your mind, you have hit the jackpot and anything he says negative about you has to be because it is true and this person loves you. Manipulators have ways of controlling that when you are in the forest you cannot see the forest for the trees.
My self-esteem has never been that great, and I know men can be suave and sweet and nurturing when first entering into a relationship. If they have money and lavish it on you saying things like, “I want to take care of you, you deserve the best.” You believe these things whether you are a professional and smart woman or someone living from paycheck to paycheck and your self- esteem is just not, where it should be. Every
woman wants to be taken care of and loved.
When he starts telling you how to dress, how to wear your makeup, where you should go and choosing your friends, you think these things are sweet because he cares about you. The truth of the matter is this is when the controlling is begins.
You may even think to yourself how can a man this great be with me, how come some other woman has not snatched him up already, the truth may be he probably did have past relationships all them ending up with the woman running for her life, if they did make it out running.
Just like in Sharon’s case comes the manipulation, starting to make her think she cannot do anything right whether it is keeping the house clean, taking care of the kids or just being there for him. In addition, just like in Sharon’s case you might think, “If I can fix these things about myself then things will get better,” because by this time you have fallen deeply in love with the man and of course you want the children to be with their father.
The abuse can start with words, putting you down while at the same time raising him up. His voice gets angrier and louder with each new conversation; things begin to be thrown around in the house. To quiet him down you agree with everything he says, trying not to add to the negative atmosphere by giving explanations to explain why certain things have occurred.
You dread him coming home, he sucks up your oxygen, when he is home wanting all the attention and by this time, he probably has isolated you from your family. He finds reasons why you should not spend time with your family and friends and if you do go visit he is there hovering over you, but even in the presence of your family putting you down, saying things like, “she can not do anything right.” Your self-esteem getting more vulnerable and probably too embarrassed to let your family knows what is going
on when they are not around.
Once at home again, yelling at you for something you did while in public. Something that you are not even occurred happen. He decides it is time to move, taking you further away from your family and friends’ isolating you into territory that is not familiar.
Everything that goes wrong in his life he has a way of convincing you that you are the downfall in his life, and even in your mind you know he is wrong, he eventually makes you believe that what he is saying is true.
You have happy times with this man, though as not as many happy times as bad. When they are happy, you realize you love this side of your man. This is the person that you love, and the one that you wait to come and visit you in your marriage or relationship.
Not only is this man good at manipulating you, he is good at manipulating the people around you. To the world, he is a good provider, a good husband and father and the women think you should be glad to have such a man on your side.
He may have a drug or drinking problem and sometimes is able to keep hidden from the world. Something may even happen at work causing him to get discipline. In return, he comes home and disciplines you. He may be losing control of his life, job may be going bad, etc. His anger escalates, when he comes home, you are the one he takes his frustrations out on. A bully husbands fights women who will not fight back.
There are women like Sharon who love their husband and stay with them because they want their children to have their father in their life. Unlike Sharon who finally realized that if she did not leave he was going kill her eventually, they end up dying.
Also unlike Sharon, there are people who are not aware that the woman is being abused. Sharon’s boss at work noticed the bruises, the isolation from coworkers, and the phone calls that would leave her shaken. She became Sharon’s confidant and helper. She also documented all the bruises, the coming to work late, etc.
Sharon was able to get out of the marriage, and with the prosecuting attorney, her husband is now in jail for over thirty years and any chance of probation occurs in eighteen years.
Sharon decided to get out of the marriage before she was murdered. She had someone to confide in her boss, who happened to be a great assistance to her. She made her plans.
If you are reading this and you find yourself in a relationship that is not safe for you or your kids it is time to make a plan and get out. Maybe you leaving will really help him to see need to make a change and seek counseling, if not you have to move on….save your life, save your children’s childhood, and then you all can hopefully start moving forward.