3 thoughts on “The Invisible Cage Of Abuse: Protection Or Jailer?

  • June 1, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    This really resonated with me..since finally getting my other half out of the house 6 months ago, after 5 years of complete mind and body control..I am still trying to come to terms with the complete destruction of my mind and body. I cannot believe who I have become, a complete opposite to my outgoing old self. I let him manipulate me into a powerless,helpless shell whilst he blatantly stole every penny I had (over 70k) and destroyed my life, yet still made me feel a duty of care for him. All the rage, anger and frustration I felt was turned on myself, and I became compliant in his abuse of me.
    All the questions..how did I let this happen..why didn’t I stop it..have left me with self loathing and mistrust of my own decisions. The scary thing I am trying to understand is why I am still in that state of disassociation, keeping myself prisoner in ‘learned helplessness’ while everything falls apart as a result of his actions. Attempts to re engage with the world cause a flurry of confusion and instinct to hide, in sleep, bad health, and distractions that have become compulsive obsessions. I am in danger of losing my home, which on a deep level terrifies me but somehow leaves me too numb to do anything about it.
    The really stupid thing? We still talk..every day..and the bond seems unbreakable. I hate what he did..hate who I am now, but cannot bear to end it.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Charlotte ~ thank you for the courage it took to share this with me, and to admit to yourself that while you hate who you are now and what this person did you cannot bear to end the contact with him, not now, not yet. At least you’re not denying the truth of this. This situation and behavior is the invisible cage of abuse in action: you know on some level this isn’t the person you desire to be, right? And yet you feel trapped and caught up in as you say, “learned helplessness.” Staying in contact with him – while keeping you locked in the cage – is soothing to your nervous system on some level as this connection is familiar. It’s what you’ve known. It takes a willingness to be even more uncomfortable for awhile – in a different sort of discomfort – to sever that connection with him so that you can begin to do the work on yourself required to unlock yourself from the cage. I am reaching out my hand to you – I invite you to listen to and if you sense it would contribute to you – call into my radio show to receive facilitation from me. There is only so much I can offer to you in response to your comment here. And yet if this is your own version of a “call for help,” I am here, as an ally, willing to support you in your journey. Here is the link: http://drlisacooney.com/radio-show/ And Charlotte? What if for one day you weren’t in contact with him? What if it just starts with you making a different choice one day at a time?

      Reply
  • October 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    I can’t tell you just how much reading this filled my heart. I have been out of horrific DV marriage for 13 years now. My 15 years with him were the hardest thing I have ever done. It was mental and physical. I am not sure which one is worse. My life story is not like any others but it’s mine he left me for dead after i walked out on him. I remeber people saying and still saying why didn’t you leave him. I find myself doing the 4Ds in my head now, then I didn’t think of anything but protecting myself. After leaving him finally walking out the door with my purse in my hand I knew that was the end. I have learned through therapy that the same time I was allowing this to go on I too was abusing my kids. (They were never abused physically by him but the mental part was the worse, watching it, hearing seeing it). Too make a long story short I survived it although the damage was done the scars remain, the pain is gone. I have 3 beautiful kids that are wonderful. Although one did follow in my steps being with an abuser she too survived. I only wish I had the strength I do now then. Thanks for your blog. Shares it also.

    Reply
 

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