Nobody should have to put up with this.
We already know that you can be controlled by put downs, but did you know, you can also be controlled by receiving praise too?
Sometimes abusive partners will use positive reinforcement to control you. They will do this by making you feel like the most amazing person in the world in the beginning of the relationship for the smallest things. This sets expectations and you feel like you’ve really let him and yourself down if you don’t keep it up.
He will give you praise for certain behaviours that he finds beneficial to him, but never compliments behaviours which are only beneficial to you.
A bit like a dog trainer, he will praise you for doing what he wants you to…and then you feel good, so you keep doing these things.
He also might use this technique to isolate you…He might say things like “you’re far too intelligent to be hanging around with the friends you have”…Sneaky ‘ay!?
He might also become rather sparse with praise he gives you, so then you miss it and become addicted to doing whatever you can do in order to hear more. It becomes like a drug habit…You get hooked on trying to win his approval. Have you ever seen that episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ when Sheldon tries to condition Penny? Take a look…
Unfortunately we do all crave praise in life, especially when we’re in a shitty place, so this technique really does work…very easily.
Look out for the way he compliments you and see if he really is being genuinely nice to you or if he is just trying to condition you! You might be quite shocked.
So many women, who are in abusive relationships have this secret fear of being lonely if they leave…The truth is, you’re lonely now! Where is your emotional support? You’ve pretty much fucked off everyone you had in your life before hand or hardly ever see them and missed out on anyone decent you might have met since…
This is another stupid core belief we have because of bloody movies and songs that we hear every day. We think we need a partner to stop us from feeling lonely…A partner is just one person…Think logically about how many people you could have in your life if he wasn’t in it! Girl…that’s not loneliness!
Did you know that on average, single women are happier than women who have partners?! Yeah for real! You know why? Because women tend to feel they get most of their emotional closeness and physical affection through friendships. They also claim to have had their most intimate conversations with friends. Another reason is because women tend to work harder on relationships than men,so they feel more valued by their female friends. Therefore guys…the only sensible reason to be in a relationship is because you actually want to be and not just because you fear the alternative.
A lot of people in our society think that getting out of an abusive relationship is easier than getting out of a normal one…They are so wrong! They think that leaving an abusive man must be easier because, well, why would anyone want to be with a wanker?! Surely they can just walk away and never look back…The reality is , that it’s much harder to get out of an abusive relationship, because not only can it be dangerous, but also because he has all these little techniques that he uses and it makes it really hard to get out in the first place but actually even harder to stay out once we’ve left! If you’re thinking about leaving your abusive partner then you need to make plans for how you’re going to dodge his obstacle course. Below I have listed a few things you should take into consideration, that he may try…
•He might get into another relationship really fast, knowing that it will upset you…not because you want him, but because you will feel like you’re totally worthless and replaceable and it will probably hurt, no matter how much you believe he’s an arsehole that you’re better off without.
•He might suddenly drop in weight and stop looking after himself and tell you he can’t live without you. It’s making him ill and that he has realised what he’s done and is so disgusted with himself that he has become depressed and stopped eating and respecting himself and the only thing that could help him is if you returned to him and lived happily ever after (even though he has no intention of going to get real help).
•He might constantly contact you and tell you he ‘just wants to be your friend’ or ‘just wants to make things up to you’ or ‘just wants to meet up and talk’ but then when you agree he will just feel a surge of that power he’s always had over you and quickly return to disrespecting you and your boundaries and it’ll be too late because he will have already convinced you to tell him where you’re staying or already convinced you to kiss him for the first time again or taken you somewhere nice and convinced you things are changing. The whole “oh he’s just being romantic” bullshit will start all over again.
•He might be really threatening and aggressive and tell you if you don’t go back to him he will hurt you, your family or friends or himself (you know…because ‘he loves you so, very much’).
•He might act like he used to be when you fell in love with him in the first place and promise you the bad times are over and say that he was just really stressed and that he’s realised that now and it won’t happen again.
•He might threaten to get custody of the children by lying to show what a shit mother you are.
There are hundreds of things he will try…You have to stay strong and believe in yourself…YOU CAN DO THIS ALONE! If you have managed to survive in an abusive relationship for this long there is no way that surviving in ‘normal’ life will be too much for you!
I’ve chosen this lovely quality to talk about in more detail first, because I just so happened to have been talking to someone about this last night.
The Jailer has so many tricks up his sleeve, it’s unreal. When people talk to me about controlling relationships and they say my absolute personal favourite line… “Why didn’t she just leave him?!”, I like to try to explain to people, who haven’t been there themselves, that although from an outside perspective (not just family and friends but even strangers) it appears utterly ridiculous to continue to stay with someone whom apparently treats you so badly, that actually they have probably experienced so much of ‘The Jailer’s qualities’ that they don’t feel they can leave…
The jailer does not like you to leave the house…and after being, well ultimately brainwashed, subtly at first and then more and more over time, you feel like there’s no way out. I mean, there are all different levels of this, as there is with all of the abusive behaviours. Some men will go all the way and literally lock you in the house for years (Yes this does actually happen!) and others will let you out sometimes, for a price (you have to do something for him or spend half of whatever money you might have scraped together to go out, on him, so you run out half way through this time you spend out and feel embarrassed and decide ‘all by yourself’ you won’t bother next time) usually he will stay at this level if you have a family or friends already around you that would notice if you were just gone completely. I definitely, personally believe, that this is one of the 8 characteristics that really set you up mentally, to truly believe that you can’t leave him.
They might do/say any of the following…
•Refuse to care for the children or care for them inadequately so that you don’t want to leave them with him again.
•Tell you that, he just wants you to throw a sickie and stay at home with him because he loves to spend time with you.
•Ring you at work to get you into trouble (this also reminds you, you can never really be away from him! He will always be inside your head) and you have to answer or, Christ, you’d get a bollocking when you got home.
•He might delete your work from the laptop so you have to make excuses to not go in and then spend lots of time, stuck in, doing it all again.
•Change the clocks around the house, so that you end up being late and then put them all back again and claim to not know what happened and says you must be “going mad”.
•Make a huge deal and create lots of arguments if you work with other men.
•Persuade you that you should stay at home and give up work, because he wants to look after you. He will even use this one if he’s unemployed himself!
•He might go out and ‘accidentally’ leave his keys at home and doesn’t know how long he will be out for, so you have to stay home to let him in or he might take both sets so you wouldn’t be able to lock the door to go out or get back in again.
•He might ‘forget’ to take the pushchair out of the boot of the car, before he drives off for the day, so you’re stuck home not able to go anywhere.
•Hide your clothes or shoes or if he’s made you put on weight or lose weight he might not let you buy new clothes to fit…(Yep, this happens too). Some men have actually joked that “The secret to a successful marriage is to, keep her pregnant and hide her shoes”!
•Leave you so many chores before you can go out that he knows you’ll have no time once you’ve finished them all.
•There has even been cases, where Jailers have trained dogs to not allow a woman to move from a certain spot in the house!
•Checks the mileage on the car and questions every extra inch you may have driven or demands to see train or bus tickets.
•maybe he will video call you, to see where you are.
•He might time you to see how long you’ve been.
•Maybe he installs security cameras around the house so that ‘he can keep you safe’ and watch what you do from his phone or other device throughout the day.
•He may make sure to put others off coming to visit you or stop you inviting them by, Walking around in his pants, being slightly rude to guests, ignoring them to watch T.V. or play his Xbox, Sulk before they arrive and after they leave, go and sit in another room so that you have to make excuses for him, Sometimes when he’s in another room, guests might ask if hes alright and we will say something like “yeah, he’s just shy” or “he’s just come home from a night shift” this will put others off staying long or coming back.
•He might start arguments with family or friends and tell you he was only sticking up for you, because they had behaved controlling towards you.
•He might seduce our friends or family either sexually or into thinking he’s a perfect gentleman, so that if or when we tell them he’s an arsehole, they think it must be you.
•He might say that our friends or family have tried it on with him!
•Tell you your friends don’t really like you and use you.
•Cause a huge argument over nothing when you’re getting ready to go out.
•Maybe he gives you a look or even says outright you look bad/fat/ugly etc. once you’re ready.
•He might insist on having sex with you before you go out and not let you wash afterwards.
•Check your underwear once you’re home.
•Turn up wherever you are to “surprise” you.
•He may insist on coming everywhere with you. Some people think this means he’s devoted and he loves you and it’s sweet.
•Suggests moving away…It would be “romantic” or a “fresh start”.
These are just a few of the things I’ve heard about or read. The Jailer really is a twat! He has this belief that we’re all a bunch of slags and that if we’re around other men or sometimes women too, that we will definitely end up having sex with them…(which is funny really, because he’s usually already told you at this point how ugly and disgusting you are and that you couldn’t get anyone else and are lucky to have him…this is cognitive dissonance which i was note at the end of this blog). He believes that men should be in charge and that women are like pets. Women can’t do real work and they work so much harder because their job might be more physical. He will be pissed if we earn more than he does and act like you’re just lucky, not that you’re actually good at what you do. He knows that women should be kept at home out of sight.
The Jailer will probably get most of these beliefs from experiences from an early age. Many of us may have grown up in families where the man goes to work and the woman stays at home and cooks and cleans and brings up the children. Also when men watch their favourite sports, it’s usually Football or Cricket or other sport which are mainly televised as a man’s game, again separating us and making it look as though we’re not able to play just as well as a man. There are many other social reinforcements as well to keep them thinking they’re much more important. We have things like WorkingMEN’s clubs and Gentlemen’s Clubs (Strip clubs)…all subtly and subconsciously reinforcing then that men are ‘above’ women. I mean look back, not actually so long ago and women couldn’t even vote! Women weren’t always allowed to attend University or get a Degree either. This makes hearing things from our elder’s like “It’s a man’s job” or “You work and you’ve got kids!?” so commonplace. I think we’ve only just, very recently gotten rid of the option to click on “housewife” on online forms and replace it with “house person”…and I think actually, some online forms do still have the “housewife” option? These things sound silly but again, they’re all little triggers to a Jailer to make him keep believing he’s right.
We ourselves encourage this believe he has!!! Remember when you first met and he said things like “I want you all to myself this weekend” and you interpreted that as ‘so romantic’? We didn’t question the fact that he wanted to keep us away from others because we didn’t realise that was the case back then and set boundaries…once you’ve gotten into a relationship without setting boundaries, it’s very difficult to then implement them later. Also later on into the relationship we feel grateful if we do go out because he’s let us. We say things like “I’m allowed out this weekend, if you’re free”…The use of words like “let” and “allowed” illustrates how we actually, kind of believe ourselves that he has the right to stop us! Some women criticise others for often going out without their partners.
Once the Jailer has us head fucked enough, we end up losing all ambition and self-esteem and we might not even want to go out. We lose our financial independence and our family and friends have been pushed away and then we feel totally stuck…after all where would we go or how could we afford to leave?! We might start to put on or lose weight, start using drugs, drinking a lot, lose strength of character and absolutely hate ourselves and give up and accept that this is just our lives now.
When we have pushed our family and friends away we have nobody to talk to anymore, no help or support, nobody to ask for help and we feel immense loneliness.
Again…This is NOT normal!!!! None of it!!! So look out for these things from the absolute second that you meet someone! Even if you have no plans tell him you do and will have to arrange the second date for the day or weekend after…If he’s a normal man, this will not put him off…you can still spend lots of time with him but make sure he knows you have a life too and need to get on with that sometimes without him! Oh and I personally recommend that you don’t sleep with anyone until you’ve had at least 5 dates…Some people think that sounds a lot nowadays but seriously…get to know them better first, because once sex happens the first time, it usually becomes more about sex for a while, than anything else…I didn’t let my fiance near me (apart from kissing goodbye) for almost a month and we had spent pretty much every other day for a good few hours together (between work and seeing my friends and family)…He was happy to do the same…and too much information I know, but MATE, did it make our first time so much more amazing (I remember every second like it was yesterday and we’ve been together 8 years).
If you identify with any of these points and you’re still inside this relationship please call someone or email me at email@example.com.
There are Domestic Abuse services in all counties in the UK and they’re maily 0800 numbers so they are free…There is also The National Domestic Abuse helpline on 08082000247 (which is also a free numbers from landline or mobile)…If you’re unable to phone because he is there then you can also also check out http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk (Which again I cannot recommend enough it helped me change my whole life)… http://www.victimsupport.org.uk , http://www.domestic-abuse.org and countless others. Each local Police service will have a domestic abuse unit with specially trained lovely people who won’t take anything you say any further IF you don’t want them to but WILL help you!
I’m going to publish this now and go back to work…I haven’t got time to proof read it but I will edit later if needed. for now I hope this helps even one person today. Much love x
Shit…I can breath now…I’m feeling like I needed to do those last 2 blog posts and I’m truly sorry if it’s upset anyone, but, I want to get my point across as strongly as I could, that as much as you think you can predict someone else’s actions and think you know them….Well, you can’t and you don’t. People like him are shit and unfortunately things like this do happen more than other people realise! Since this happened to us (my daughter and I), I have spoken to and heard of countless other women who have been through similar situations and they never once, not in a million years, expected it to end that way, otherwise they would have definitely gotten help and gotten out before then!
We only really know ourselves and even then, sometimes we make mistakes and think shit why did I do that?!
Trust your gut, if something tells you “this doesn’t feel right”…You’re rarely wrong with gut feelings…I had a gut feeling he was a wanker for years but put up with it. I can’t even explain how much I regret that now!
O.K. I’ve had a bit of a break from this subject for a couple of days…I had actually sat back down a couple of times to continue, but ended up procrastinating for a couple of hours and then closing my laptop.
I’ve spoken about the basics 100 times, over the last few years, but I didn’t realise how big this would be, to really go into more detail about everything. I mean, I will never tell the whole story of what it was like and what happened day by day it would be impossible and take me 10 years, but, this is as ‘in detail’ as I’ve gone into it all, even with myself.
We got back to my Mother’s house that day at around 5pm. I was just so relieved to see my daughters face. I held her for such a long time and just sat thinking about how I never wanted to leave her ever again. I finally collapsed once she was asleep next to me (still at my Mum’s house…She had set up a bed for her in the lounge and we took the sofas because I didn’t want to go home). I woke up to my father coming in (My parent’s had divorced when I was about 2 or 3 years old and after a long, rocky relationship with this man, I hadn’t seen him for about a year)…He grabbed me and just held me for what felt like a really long time and as much as I didn’t like him, I really needed that at that time.
The next day, the police came to talk to us. My husband had gone into the garden to smoke a cigarette when they arrived, but. they sat down and started to talk to my Mother and I, they were incredibly gentle and sympathetic and they were careful how to go over the details of what had happened in the hospital 2 nights before. After a few minutes, I realised that my husband hadn’t returned yet and I asked if I should go and get him. It was then that I was told he had been taken and arrested on suspicion of murder! It hit me like a bus full of lead…I didn’t quite know how to process this information. They continued to tell us how They didn’t know if that was the case, or if it was a total accident at that time, but they could drop charges to a lower charge easily whereas it’s harder to raise a charge? (I don’t know)…So with this news 1000 thoughts and feelings overloaded my brain and I can’t really remember a lot else that was said apart from that he would be put on bail at his Mum or Dad’s address (100 miles away) and that there would be a ‘no contact’ bail condition.
After a few days I couldn’t help checking his Facebook account to see if I could monitor any activity and wishing I could write him a message to get some fucking answers, but I was too scared to break the rules, because, well, I was used to doing exactly as I was told I suppose?
I managed to guess his password a few days later and signed into his account…I wanted to see if he was stupid enough to have confided in anyone…The police had given me this idea when they had taken all of our laptops and his phone and told us that they would be checking to see if he had searched anything suspicious or spoken to anyone afterwards…All I found was a message to his ex-girlfriend, telling her she was looking good and asking if she was still single! Yep about 4 days after his son had died guys…That is what was important to him…nice one!
Anyway a few more weeks went by and a few hundred more interviews with police and social services and then, one night, I got a phone call from my friend. She told me to check my husbands status because she was worried…I looked and he had posted something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore, Goodbye”. So I called the police so they could check it out as I didn’t know what he had planned on doing…My sister had said to me “shit, do you think he will kill himself” and I can remember saying “No, don’t be stupid he’s probably sat in his car somewhere attention seeking and feeling sorry for himself, because for once, he knows that everyone sees him for the prick he is”.
The police rang early the next morning and said that they had managed to track his new phone’s signal to our area (I think they can get a much better pin point nowadays but back then it was like a 2 mile radius which makes things a lot harder)…They said they had been looking for the car but nothing had come to light yet and that they would keep us updated.
The next thing I knew the police were knocking the door again…They came in and sat down with us and told us that they had located his car hidden at the end of a disused driveway behind the road we lived on…They had then noticed a small pain of glass missing in our front door and as they looked through, they could see him…There he was 10 feet from the front door hanging from the staircase. When they told me I think they expected me to break down but actually the first thing I said was “what a selfish arsehole” and shook my head in disbelief that 1. this obviously made it look like he really was guilty, 2. he had left me and my daughter to pick up all the pieces and just pissed off free and 3. seriously, right there!? What if me and my daughter had gone home and we had opened that front door first!?!
I hated him…I can’t even explain how much! I mean you treat your wife like shit for years firstly…but you then kill your own child…then 4 days after that, you try it on with your ex and then a few weeks later realise you’re fucked so you take yourself out of the equation and leave all the cleaning up to the people who did nothing wrong?!
Sorry, I could rant forever, but, he isn’t worth the time!
So, next was getting the results of my son’s autopsy…This literally took months! in fact, he passed away, 2 months later we were able to get enough of his body back together to have a funeral for him (they had sent off his brain to one part of the country to analyse, his heart to another, his lungs to another and his eyes to another…it was horrible) and then it wasn’t until another 4 months had passed until we got the results of the inquest.
Shaken until his brain and eyes bled, killing him.
It took me a long time to accept all of this deep down and it’s something you don’t “get over” you just deal with. It was 9 years ago now and I still cry sometimes and wonder what he would look like and what his favourite things would be. But I stay strong for my beautiful daughter because now she’s older, it’s come to light that it has really messed with her and we have a hell of a lot of work to do to help her get back on track. She has self harmed, been bullied over this, shut down, refused to accept certain other things in her life. It’s pretty fucking horrendous…But I am so, very proud of her and we will keep trying.