Emotional Abuse - Power and Control Tactics - Author of Too Much Too Soon Internet Dating Blues


Inspirational speaker and author Nicholl McGuire shares personal insight and important signs when you are being emotionally abused or someone that you know.  She lost her abused relative on July 2020 to a violent boyfriend who then turned the gun on his self.

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Physically Abused Victims Feel Trapped, Fearful, Often Worried, Insecure, Angry and Jealous

So the abuser didn't hit, slap, kick, push, or spit on the victim in awhile, but one's refrain from physical abuse does nothing for the victim's negative emotions that linger long after the abusive episodes have subsided.  When the next explosive argument and violence shows up, it most likely will produce more of the same feelings: isolation, fear, worry, insecurity, anger, and jealousy in the victim.  There is no quality communication, genuine love, compassion, or understanding in relationships like this!


When a victim feels trapped it is similar to that of a mouse caught in a trap.  No matter what one's common sense tells him or her about getting away, the fight within feels useless after awhile and so one gives up!  In the victim's mind, "You caught me. I accept my fate."  So all attempts to get free whether he or she tries to do it or someone offers to help are ignored.  There is more reasoning as to why "I can't, I won't, I couldn't..." Instead of, "I can, I will, I am able to..."  The abuser has a long list of strategies to keep the victim close.  He or she uses them time and time again because they work!  The abuser had already interviewed the victim a long time ago during the dating phase.  He or she plays on the victim's weaknesses.  

The abuser thinks evilly concerning the victim. "She is the lonely type, she isn't going anywhere.  He is needy due to his mental disability.  He doesn't have much money, he can't manage his bills on his own.  Who is going to want her?  She knows she is ugly, she is lucky to have me.  He never could keep any of his girlfriends in check, he's a wimp.  He probably thanks God everyday he has someone like me."


Someone who has used repeated intimidation, threats, and harm isn't the kind of person you can rest easy around.  So the victim is visibly nervous and scared within whenever the abuser comes around.  The anxiety increases when a voice is raised, a door is slammed, something goes bump, and someone screams.  The flight, fight or freeze response is activated.  However, most victims are usually frozen in these relationships.  They can't seem to move when they would like, so they just busy themselves in view of their abusers, sit for far too long like in front of a screening device, stand in place when the abuser talks like what a soldier would do when a sergeant talks, or go to sleep when things in their households are tense. 


There is the worry the victims carry around at home like, "Did I cook the right meal, buy the right food...Should I say this or do that?  Is he going to hurt me because I did...I should have never done that." The concerns are even more intense when around relatives and friends whether with an abuser or not.  "I hope that they don't say anything to piss him off.  I really wish that my parents wouldn't talk so much to her.  I rather be at home, this way I don't have to answer their questions.  Maybe if I just smile and don't say much, they won't tell me another thing my spouse said or did to them.  I pray my partner won't give me the silent treatment or find an excuse to hit me, because of what my friends said.  I can't stay here for long, because my spouse is going to start to blow my phone up and I don't want to hear his mouth!"


It is hard to be yourself when in an abusive relationship.  You don't feel content with who you are, you are unsure about your future, and you don't trust yourself or your partner.  The violent partner may still be someone who you love, but how can one feel at ease in a relationship with an individual who uses violence to manipulate and control?  How can one say that he or she is "secure" when most of the behaviors that the victim displays especially when communicating with others say, "I am uncertain about who I am anymore.  I can't seem to make a decision.  Do you think I am doing a good job?  What do you think about me?  Am I living up to your expectations?  Please don't reject me, you probably think I am stupid. I don't think I am smart enough to do that look at all of my poor decisions."


Having a relationship or friendship with someone who has been victimized isn't easy.  As a victim, you aren't a happy person to be around.  You have sadness in your eyes, anger in your voice, misery in your walk, and an aura that tells everyone, "Please keep away!"  So it isn't any wonder why people gradually distance from you.  You make excuses for your pent up rage.  You lie about how you truly feel when asked.  Then one day or many days you go off on the wrong people.  You can be a bit selfish expecting them to be all things to you, meanwhile you can't be too much of anything to yourself like a peaceful person for starters.  You want to be there for someone who disrespects you while you disrespect others.  Your anger is misguided and misdirected. A victim has no problem displaying rage and acting on it with others, but eventually cowers to one's abuser.  Watch how he or she thinks twice about reacting to the abuser during conflict or a tense moment, but doesn't hesitate to display unhealthy emotions with select individuals that he or she considers weak.  Talk about the kettle talking about the pot!  The victim is really angry at his or herself for making the decision to stay with a loser and it is unfortunate that everyone around this person suffers because of it!


The victim is often jealous.  Why?  Because he or she sees how the abuser treats everyone else outside the home with kindness and respect.  The victim is jealous of those people who have quality relationships, so how come she can't have something like that with the man or woman she chose?  The victim attempts to use healthy relationship advice to make her situation better with an unwilling subject.  His or her partner becomes upset when this done because the abuser doesn't want to change.  Jealous emotions arise and the victim begins to lash out on the unsuspecting because he or she feels powerless in a miserable relationship.  The victim knows the difference between love and hate, positive and negative, healthy and unhealthy, good and evil, and because of that it hurts all the more to see that others are doing so well and he or she is not.  Jealous emotions will also keep one distant from those who appear to be doing better in their relationships than the victims.  However, that is not always the case rather what he or she is jealous of is a mirage or allusion.  There are many relationship secrets that couples do not share with others for many have been emotionally and/or physically abusive at one time or another toward each other.

Interview with Director and Founder of Domestic Violence Resource Center...


When Mothers are Abused and Children are Used to Keep Them "In Line"

They can do no wrong, the children of two dysfunctional parents, they are esteemed by their abusive fathers far more than their mothers who gave birth to them.  Why?  Simply put, most abusers revel in being able to control children--they are seen as extensions of themselves and tools to be used.

The victim reaches a boiling point in the relationship that she can't take the emotional and physical control any longer, the abuser knows this, so dad is going for the children.  They will listen and obey or else.   

Strange as it may seem, for many abusers it is okay for them to abuse both mothers and children, but someone else dare correct their children including their own mother, they better look out!  For example, if the mothers were to discipline their offspring such as: take their toys for misbehaving, yell about poor grades, or remove gaming devices for not doing chores once again, they are made out to be the bad guy.  Dad may not go all in about correcting his children, but will lash out on mom for doing so.  (I know confusing, right!?) The mother suffers in silence because she is being punished once again for doing what a parent typically does, train a child.

A father, who had once been harshly dealt with as a child by his caretakers, looks at almost any form of correction like teachers calling about his unruly child to a mother raising her voice about what a son or daughter has done wrong again as a personal insult.  A mentally disturbed man will "go off" or "lose it" as if he is defending the child within who had no voice long ago.  When mentally and physically abusive people have children, unresolved issues show up in how they parent or not.

Long ago Mom, the victim, who didn't have a clue how deep the rabbit hole was when she dated her abuser, who is now a father, inherited a major problem--someone who she loves--but still a problem that she can't solve--no matter how much she does for him, how timid she becomes, or how many children she has for him!  Secretly, many victims wish that they would have never made the mistake of having children with an abusive man like this, but they reason it all away with positive thinking until the children turn on them--some sons and daughters begin to root for the other side, the abuser! 

For some of you, who are not familiar with this kind of mental abuse, you would think that the abusive parent, who you don't know is controlling and manipulative, is simply "protecting" the children when he is critical of the mother's discipline practices.  However, that is not the case, he is using the children like pawns in a game.  They are used to make you or I think that he is a good parent while putting the other parent down.  You learn later what he was saying were lies, exaggerations and cover-ups usually to make him look good while the other parent looks "out of control," "crazy" or "emotional." He uses the children as spies to find out what the mother is up to; for instance, who she is talking to on the phone when he isn't around, where she has gone, and what she has bought at the store.  

When the hurting mother scolds her children for being disrespectful to her, making excuses for the father's angry outbursts, or reporting back to the father about everything she is doing or not, he accuses her of being abusive and tells the children something like, "Your mother needs help--she doesn't know what she is talking about.  Your mother has problems!  You don't have to listen to her.  I have always had issues with your stupid mama!  Look at her, she drinks, cusses, fights me!  Thanks for telling me about her, don't worry I'll buy you this or that..."  Meanwhile, the abuser never bothers to take responsibility as to why Mom is upset once again and avoids telling the children the truth.  He twists it or doesn't bother to talk about anything!

An abusive husband grows weary of having to put his wife "back in line, she can be a handful!"  He might tell his family.  "I'm concerned about how she treats the children" while conveniently leaving out the times when he did some mean-spirited things that left the children scarred like he did to the mom.  

Abusers see the innocence of a child and use it for their own benefit.  They will excessively dote over children while putting the mother down in front of them.  Say they love the child while ignoring their broken wives who too would like positive attention.  The petty husband creates division and stirs up feelings of jealousy within his own family.  He does these things because he feels good doing them and couldn't care less about how his actions make his partner feel.

The abused wife might even redirect her angry spouse back to the misbehaving child to avoid being punished yet again for not correcting the child for things like: talking back, fighting with other siblings, or not completing homework.  "You love the kids so much, you deal with them!"  For some mothers, enough is enough and so this is why they end up leaving their abusers and their kids behind. 

When a mother is repeatedly made to feel inadequate about parenting the children and ignored when issues arise concerning them, not only by her abusive partner, but other controlling relatives too, she will give up on her family and all that comes with them.  If she is at her wits end trying to be all things to her children while trying to keep the peace with her difficult spouse, she will unfortunately direct the children back to their abusive father.  She may say things like, "I'll tell your father...I can't take you all anymore--let him deal with you!  You don't want your father to beat you too, now do you?  You know what your dad will do if he finds out, so if you tell him this, I will tell him that, and he will really hurt you this time!"

Oftentimes abusers will use children in such a way to control their spouses.  This is why victims will lie or keep secrets concerning the children for fear of backlash.  Meanwhile, a brainwashed child is like a detective, watching mother's every move.  Eager to "tell dad" in an effort to get his attention and another treat for a job well done, children store up information like recorders and wait for the opportune time to share with their fathers about "bad mom."  Quite naturally a child will do these things for fear of being punished, because "we know what happened to mom the last time and we don't want that happening to us!"  However, the whole family is subjected to punishment depending on how the mentally troubled father feels that day.

A victim may have never thought when she gave birth to sons and daughters that she would end up disliking or even hating them because of whatever their father has put in their heads, but this is a wife or a girlfriend's reality.  Everyday a mother is watching her back, being careful not to say anything that can be carried back to her temperamental spouse.  She doesn't trust her children or her husband.  She is weary of the angry outbursts and worries over what her children might one day become.  She has no choice but to plan her escape.  Things were already unsettling in the household, but they only worsen when she sees the truth, "My children are just like him, they are trying to control me too!"

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men and other books.

God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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