He Wasn’t Always a Bad Guy… Was He?
Yesterday, a very sad Facebook post came across my feed. A woman that was beaten to a bloody pulp, by her partner, told a part of her story. She posted pictures of the results. It was horrific. You can view it here if you believe I am exaggerating: Stephanie Littlewood’s Story
I shared it… couldn’t help myself.
I write quite a bit about abusive males and toxic relationships. I’m not an expert in the typical sense, but I have a driving need to understand the nature of men that believe women are an underclass of humanity. Stating that, I’ve learned quite a bit over the years and feel I can speak about certain issues. My Novel, FBoM dealt with the issues of rape from a more unexpected, by a stranger, first date level of abuse. Steph’s story was different.
It is highly unlikely her attacker, and partner, just woke up one day and decided to become evil. Can we blame alcohol or drugs? Sure… why not. Doesn’t change the man he was, just amplifies it. There were signs, although they are not mentioned in her story, without any doubt, that he had acted out in the past in some way.
Why do women date and or marry men like this? Because they didn’t start off that way. I’m sure at one time the man was charming and sweet. Made her feel special and wanted. Like the world revolved around his love for her. She was needed and desired… He needed her in some way, and gave her life meaning and purpose.
At some point in the relationship, after she had given him everything she had to offer, he changed. Probably started off by becoming jealous, insulting her friends and family. Then he probably began to isolate her in some way, refusing to allow her any freedom to be who she was, keeping track of her every movement, stalking her on social media or looking through her phone. If she had opinions or ideas she was probably made to feel foolish, stupid, or flat out wrong.
The verbal abuse probably began. “Life was better when you weren’t so fat. What’s wrong with you, why can’t you cook anything decent? You’re a useless cow, why do I keep you? What man would want you other than me? Fill in the blank with your own insults meant to belittle, degrade, and shake confidence.” All designed to remove any value she felt she might have had. She became dependent on him, even in the form of emotional abuse. After all… if nobody else would want her, wasn’t she lucky to have him. Where else could she go? She had nobody else, nobody would ever love her again. At least it was attention, even if it was negative attention.
Or perhaps he took the other route and played on her good heart, making himself seem that without her his life would end. “I’m an awful human, but you’re all I have. Nobody loves me, I’m worthless but you’ll take care of me.” In some ways, this is worse than the verbal abuse. It’s not real, it’s a game designed to allow practically any behavior at all, because he knows the woman will not allow him to kill himself. He’s too narcissistic to do it, she knows that, but can’t take the chance. He’s picked his target to perfection, because that’s what men like this do. They play on the empathy of women and their need to heal, to cure, to nurture. This reality is even harder to break free from than the verbal abuse, and much more difficult to write about, because they never seem truly abusive… until they do. By then the woman (or frequently man in this case) feels trapped without any options other than to stay.
Even the sexual relations with him probably changed. What was once passionate, possibly loving, but definitely pleasurable most likely became violent, dominating and more about his pleasure and what she could do for him that what they could experience together. Degradation, in some way, was probably a strong component. Reminding her that she was worthless, that she was inferior to him and he could sexually dominate her, and treat her as little more than a whore.
There were probably break ups… or near breakups in the past. An attempt to escape. Moments when she had a brief moment of clarity that this wasn’t the relationship she wanted. He apologized, offered to change, to do better. May have threatened to kill her, or more likely kill himself if she left. Why would she want to be responsible for him killing himself… it would be her fault… she had to stay. He bought himself enough time to continue the brainwashing, the gaslighting, the re-establishment of control of his pet.
The night the attack finally happened was just the physical manifestation of a pattern of abuse that had probably gone on for years. She didn’t give him what he wanted. She displayed the ability to make a choice of her own, and wasn’t going to back down no matter what he tried. His “property” had become uppity. That couldn’t be allowed. She would have to be taught a lesson that he was in control. This was about power, not sex. This was about dominance and ownership, not love and caring.
The con was no longer working. Whether he used fear, dependence, or his own neediness to be taken care of while playing on her empathy, it didn’t matter. She showed that she was awakening, and it was time to put her back in her place.
The rest of the story you can read on her post, found on the link I shared previously. Do I know for certain that the above happened? Of course not, I’ve never spoken with the woman and I certainly wasn’t there. But it’s a common story… it’s a common reality for many women (and some men) and the outcome is far too frequent. Many times, women will even end up blaming themselves for the crime that was perpetrated against them. The man did that good of a job with the brainwashing…
. . .
FBoM has an appendix that offers resources to women that have been raped, abused or otherwise are in need of assistance. The novel itself can be found at the following link. You can download or bookmark the Free and Interactive Rape and Violence Resource Guide from that page without buying the book.
Links with solid advice on how to escape a toxic relationship before it’s too late: