An abuser of domestic abuse will do all they can to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. They crave the need to constantly be in control of their partners life, it gives them power and puts them in an authoritive state of mind.
An abuser will also come across as very confident too, again this is a reflection of their character and how they can intimidate their partner.
They can come across as popular people, very well liked and a person who can’t do wrong. Everyone else has done them a wrong, their behaviour is always because of someone else, it is never because of something they have done. To the outside world they can do no wrong, often putting doubt in the survivor mind.
But what happens when we take away the power and control from an abuser, what are we actually left with, what does it reveal?
Many survivors will tell you how their abuser was charming, putting them high on a pedestal, making them feel as though they were the only girl in the world. But this is not the true identity of that person, they wear a mask, masking out who they really are.
If you sat and actually listen to an abuser they would more than likely tell you a sob story or two to get you “one side” to make you feel sorry for them. Some might even throw in a few tears too, for extra measure.
They are very good at acting and the reality is, they pull the wool over everyone’s eye, not just the survivor.
When we think of domestic abuse we often think of physical aside, not necessarily the hand in hand coercive control that goes with it.
Judgmental attitude leads society to believe domestic abuse only happens to a specific type of person. The reality is, it knows no boundaries.
Looking back at my own abuser I can quite clearly see it was he was insecure, unpopular, lacking in self-worth but because he had wrapped so much power around him during our 3-year relationship, I didn’t see him for who he really was.
When we first met, and throughout our relationship, he never had a stable job so he was never financially secure. Whenever he wanted the latest fashion, he would ask his mum to buy it and then tell me how much he was loved and spoiled.
I, on the other hand, was in full time employment and financially dependent.
My mobile was always beeping or ringing whether it was friend or my mum.
His phone hardly ever rang at all, if it did it was his mum.
No one ever came to visit him at his flat, he had a flat mate living with him when I first moved in but a horrific beating left him crawling on all fours, literally, leaving and never coming back. So you could say even through my ex abuser seemed popular, he didn’t have any friends.
Stripping him of power and control, he really wasn’t anyone. He dragged me down to his level to make him feel better about his own life.
When I left him and he knew there was no way I was going back, the rejection from me was him losing his power and control over me, therefore making him feel worthless, the way he made me feel.
He didn’t know how to deal with the rejection, he didn’t know how to let me go or how to make that break.
He would keep going to my parents’ home as if him crying on the doorstep or him telling them his sob stories would make me go back, I’d seen all his tears and heard all his sob stories so many times before.
Rejection makes an abuser feel powerless and in turn this can make them angry, not necessarily losing their temper but making them want to hurt you harder and deeper than before.
The fear of rejection gives abusers a low value opinion of themselves – exactly how they manipulate you into feeling. You could say our rejection makes them feel the way we feel when they attack us with coercive control.
To some, rejection can seem like grief, losing a loved one – because a survivor does love their abuser – but an abuser no longer knows how to cope or deal with things because the only stable thing in their life has been power and control, coercive control and domestic abuse is all they know.
An abuser will feel rejection and a survivor will most probably feel overwhelmed with extreme guilt. Guilty for leaving, guilty for staying, guilty for not leaving sooner, guilty for falling in love, guilty for everything that they did and didn’t do.
Maybe reject made him move onto his next partner so quickly so they can start the cycle of abuse all over again to feel the need to be wanted.