4.11 ABUSE MAY BE WORSE WHEN ALL SEEMS NORMAL
Abuse does not only happen when an argument is going on or there is a disagreement. The most damaging part may be when nothing appears to be happening. This is because the abused person is often afraid and therefore adjusts his/her behavior to suit the abuser or feels constantly threatened that the abuser will explode. So even during "quiet times" the abuse is very much part of the relationship. The abused person must, in a sense, carry the weight of the abuser around with him or her. This is why people often feel light and free when they get away from the abuser or get out of an abusive relationship.
Abused people often study their abusers quite carefully and may not even realize that they have done so. They learn the signs when abusers are about to blow or raise their voice or start being demanding. They know when the argument is going to escalate to louder and louder shouting. It's a bit like living around a predator and recognizing the signs of when it is hungry and looking for food and when it is satisfied and able to lie quiet.
There is a saying that goes something like this: Captives understand their captors much better than captors understand their captives. Why? Because the captive must understand the captor to get what he or she needs. The captor, on the other hand, does not need to know much since the captive is not essential.
Note from my experience: I learned when to avoid having an argument with my 1st wife or how to avoid having her bad vibe me BUT I did not understand that she had captured me in the first place. I did not realize that she had enclosed me in her invisible cage. For example, she had conditioned me over the years to not press her when she wanted to avoid talking about our problems and at the same time I had learned to respond immediately, to jump, when she wanted something.
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