I watched the latest advert on domestic violence the other night and my immediate thought was not “How dare he!” but “She’s going to go through it when she gets home”
“Why?” you may ask, “She’s done what he told her to”
But, she will be interrogated when she gets home – “Did you enjoy yourself without me?”, “Dance with anyone?” – that first question is a double edged one! If she answers “Yes” then she will be accused of not loving him, seeing other men or even women; if she answers “No” then he will suggest that she would be better off staying in or going out with him.
He’s now got her just where he wants her, under his control; it will be described as love, protection or caring about her – but it’s not, it’s control.
You are his possession not a person in your own right.
So when your work colleague starts to make excuses not to come on that monthly girls night out – look at her. It could be that there are financial reasons, but it could be domestic violence in the shape of bullying, it doesn’t always result in bruising, it could be deeper than that, because bruising of the self confidence is worse.
Domestic violence in the form of beatings invokes “tea and sympathy” and help offered to escape; the victim cannot deny the bruises and although may offer excuses, knows that people can tell what has gone on – even the children can recognise this.
Bruising of your self esteem is harder to identify, he loves you and is protecting you – isn’t he? Well no, he is controlling you! There needn’t be any violence, there may have been in the past, but it will evolve into this negating of you as a person and you will be slowly become a possession, subject to his whims – the hidden threat of violence will be there, but no one else will notice it – because it is hidden.
Watch your colleague, does he pick her up from work, coming into the office/shop etc. to wait for her? You may think he is being kind or loving, but look at your colleague, did her eyes light up when she saw him or did she look cowed or embarrassed? Does he ring her during the day – it may be the first flush of love – or is he checking up on her?
If you go out as a couple with them, does he tell her to go to the bar to get the drinks and never take his eyes off her? Does he talk fondly of her, but with a condescending air? Are there hidden insults and put downs about her when she speaks?
The gradual erosion of the self confidence will leave the victim with no self esteem, she will be looking for the put down whenever anyone compliments her on her work or outfit, hair, shoes etc., because that’s what she’s used to.
She will end up thinking that she is worthless and cannot cope by herself, she definitely thinks that she can’t live without him – because he’s told her so.
The reality, could she see it is quite the opposite, the husband/boyfriend is the one who cannot live without her! He has defined his life on his control and domination of her and must keep her there.
She cannot see this and is living in fear, the shepherds pie was a bit scorched on one end, she will make sure that he doesn’t get that bit, but he has noticed it and tells her she can’t cook, say it enough times and she will believe it. Use it to poke fun at her when they are in company and others will laugh at her – even the kids!
Listen, dear victim – you are not an idiot, you are not reliant on him for your food, roof over your head and clothes – you are a working woman, you can keep yourself!
You can do it, you are “WORTH IT” and you are not alone; there are people, colleagues – I won’t say friends because he’s stopped that – out there who realise what is happening and will help.
STEP AWAY FROM HIM NOW!
GET YOU BACK AS A PERSON.