Mind Games

Living in abuse takes a well thought out strategy. It's not good to be surprised and thrown off balance all the time.My current strategy for dealing with Will’s abusive behavior is like how I handled basic training for the Army in ’91. Going in, I knew that basic training was a mind game. I knew they were treating us a certain way for a reason – to break our spirit so we were easier to control and to embed the Army Way into our psyche. The drill sergeants “broke us down” so we would all be “the same soldier” – predictable, reliable, controllable, etc.

In fact, I wanted to be “the same soldier.” I knew that to become the best that I could be (for the Army), I would have to remove my heart and soul from the situation, leaving my brain washed clean of any residue of “self.” In other words, I had to protect ME from mental and emotional harm. Physical pain and injury is much easier to withstand.

To protect myself from the internal-type injury, I learned to remove myself from the reality surrounding me. Yes, we were rolling around in wet sawdust at 4:30 am with temperatures in the low 40’s. But from my place outside of myself, I was able to laugh at the situation. It was ridiculous. We looked like idiots for doing what those yelling men told us to do, and those yelling men looked like idiots making us do it.

The situation is similar with my husband. When I remove my spirit from the words/ideas he’s trying to embed into me, he can’t touch me. He can’t make me believe. He can’t upset me.

He doesn’t even know I’m not there.

*Photo from The Naked Convos (and M.C. Escher I’m pretty sure)

this post is an excerpt from Kellie Jo Holly's book

Read My Abusive Marriage…and what i’m doing in ityou’ll think I married your husband.

About Kellie Jo Holly

Kellie Jo Holly passionately advocates against domestic violence through her writing and mentoring service. She loves helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave the relationship and begin to heal. You can also find Kellie on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. You can buy her books from Amazon.


  1. I used to do that a lot, I would just go on auto pilot for a few hours or days, in order to stop feeling or needing things. I would become numb.

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