Cycle of Abuse Video

Transcript:

In the last video, I got interrupted by my father-in-law. He was outside and was calling my name, so I cut the last video short which might be a blessing for some of you, but…

I got to thinkin’ after he had left and I was getting ready to come back to this video and reviewing what I had already said, and I thought, “You know what? This kind of answers the question as to why even when I’m by myself and should be able to be very productive and mentally strong and emotionally capable…why it doesn’t always work that way.

The Cycle of Abuse

It kind of goes back to the cycle of an abusive relationship. Now abusers, whether they’re violently abusive, or verbally abusive, or emotionally abusive – whatever they type of abuse…no sane person can continue [living] in ugliness for an extended period of time. And abusers know that. So what they tend to do is break up these periods of abuse with periods of being very nice. um…

In my mind, when he’s nice, that’s the guy I married. So, you know, every time Mr. Nice guy comes home, it’s like a sign saying, “Okay! Things are going to be better this time,” or “things are going to be better NOW,” I guess I should say.

When he’s being nice, he “gets it.” He’s apologizing for this (not in so many words, really) but he’s trying to make up for doing X, Y or Z, and I think, “I’ll try to stick it out for a little while longer.” And then the next thing you know, he’s PAH! right back in your face.

What happens during the nice phases is that I get a little more self-confident, I get a little more mentally and emotionally strong, um, I feel like I’ve got a support system in my husband, I feel like things are going smoothly, and I start new projects or I start working on an old project…. Something that I know is good, is going t make me happy, is going to make life better not only for me, but, you know, other people.

And then [CLAP!] it’s back again. Mr. Mean Guy.

So, what has happened over the last 17 years is that I’ve received a kind of training. Just like you’d train a dog not to do something. Whenever I get too independent, the mean guy comes back. Whenever I start expressing too much of myself, Mr. Nice Guy takes the highroad. You know, he’s outta here.

So, when they’re gone for an extended period of time, like my husband is at this point, it’s no wonder I hit a wall recently in the past two weeks. No wonder the past two weeks have been kind of a down-turn for me. I think it really may have something to do with the fact that this is the way I’ve been trained to operate.

I’ve been trained to receive permission to be myself, and then to have it taken away from me in an instant. I think that is the trap that I fell into the past couple of weeks.

You know, and I’m not…[hear breath]…I-

I wish I knew how to explain all of this without sounding like a crybaby or that I’m blaming my abuser for everything. I really wish I could come across as someone who knew exactly what she was doing and knew exactly what she was talking about and had the answers for everything…not that I want to be a know-it-all either, but, you know…

I don’t want to seem like all I want is sympathy because of this situation. What I’m trying to do is report to you what I’ve gone through, and in this situation, give you an idea why I think I’m going through it.

If it is true that I’m receiving training from my abuser to not progress past a certain point in my own personal development of who I am (which is very possible, by the way)…IF that is true, then it explains a whole heck of a lot for me. And maybe the next time that I hit that invisible wall where everything falls to pieces, I feel like I can’t handle anything, that I can’t do anything, then I’m just gonna tell myself, “We’re changing the training.”

“My ideas are important. What’s going on in my head is important.” And even if what I’m doing has gotten a little harder or hasn’t turned out exactly as I’d planned, that doesn’t mean that it’s never gonna be [the way I planned]! It just means that it’s time to learn something new. It’s time to figure out another way to get around an obstacle, and from this point forward, I am NOT going to NOT recognize when I am falling into the pattern of denying who I am.

cycle of abuse video image

My husband gave me a kind of training. Just like you’d train a dog. Whenever I get too independent, he punishes me. If I am submissive, he gives me a treat.

 

[doorbell] Oh- he’s back, I gotta go. Bye bye.

[Normal Interruptions clips show some of the interruptions I dealt with while making this video]

 

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Since writing this page about the cycle of violence, the powers that be have found a better description of what happens in abusive relationships. The cycle of violence is better described with the Duluth Model; its main thrust is called the Power and Control Wheel

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