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The dangerous effects - Ambient Abuse

It's late and I've been thinking about the past few months. As I sit here I find it so hard to understand and comprehend what it was I was being subjected to. It felt like I was living in a make believe world where everyday was unpredictable and everything I was being told was a lie. Living on my own has given me the time to reflect and view things more clearly. I don't think you ever get over the effects that emotional abuse has on oneself but in time through self education I believe we can become more aware of the different types of abuse there is out there and being aware of the tell tale signs and knowing our boundaries.

After I divorced a few years ago now, I researched to find out what it was that I had been exposed to. Not knowing anything about personality disorders, I searched certain traits I was being subjected to. I searched as much information as I possibly could to self educate and become more aware of myself and what it was that I would need to survive and protect myself against for the future.

I was naive, having relied on my husband, extremely timid and easily trodden on, I didn't have the skills or the confidence to combat a strong controlling personality. Walking on egg shells and living a life you know in your stomach is wrong but you can't find the ways to escape. I suffered from anorexia and weighed 39kg at one stage - I was all skin and bone. Had my family seen me I shudder to think how they would have reacted. I suffered a little depression, became a hermit for 6 months and feeling so alone I had no one to talk with. I didn't really get any support because no one really really knew what was going on but they did notice my massive weight loss but still didn't ask any questions or if I was ok. I didn't really think anyway that anyone would possibly get what it was I had endured. How do you explain your life to someone unless they have lived it and know what you're going through themselves?

Recently having moved towns, I thought I had met my soul mate. I was obviously and quite clearly not at a point of having fully learnt all I should have, from my divorce and my time recovering.

It was hard to pin point what it was that was happening because the abuse was performed so stealthily. If I had tried to explain to someone what it was that was happening they would have thought I was truly going insane. I searched and searched for some answers and I discovered some information on ambient abuse. I had become stronger and approximately 2 months after moving in together I was feeling that it had been a bad move. I love where we are living but it was the moving in with him that I was beginning to regret.

It was the total fear of the unknown. Trying to instal fear into me through acts of intimidation. Having my emails accessed, face book accessed and incriminating photos placed on my profile page to get at me after leaving. Totally unpredictable behaviour. Twisting, manipulating, lying to set me up to make me appear to be the insane mother so my ex could have our son back living with him. I was protecting my son against his awful, evil ways. He'd drop subtle hints by disorientating me by lying. I felt I was in fear, living in a very unstable environment, unpredictable to say the least. He would turn conversations around as though I was picking on him when I wasn't. I felt I was being monitored. I was in constant bewilderment as to what an absolute crazy nut case it was that I had moved in with. I really had begun to think this person I was living with had major deep seeded psychological issues. Such horrendous and evil bully tactics performed in such subtle ways. And what was it that he planned to gain from bullying a woman that had moved into a new town, not knowing anyone?? Possibly money, control??? Just a very sick, insecure person seeking out Narcissistic supply.

It had not occurred to me until 2 months that he had been syphoning information out of me from day 1 to later use against me.

After leaving I was stalked and I believe I still am to some degree and through others. He was in contact with my ex husband I know to cajole against me. Belittling me to others while still trying to maintain contact with me and play the other side of the coin to suit himself. I stopped contact with some people - feeling they were in it with him. Not the types of people I wish to hang with knowing they would be into hurting someone this way or would be a part of his silly games. I just can't stop thinking what type of person performs such acts. To try to inflict as much pain as possible to someone and not stopping at their families.

I don't respond or interact in any way shape or form. The moment you do you give up your freedom for their Narcissistic Supply (NS). While no interaction occurs they're not getting their supply or their needs met and claiming the reaction they so desire. I try to laugh it off to some degree now to cope with the absurd behaviour he is portraying. That is all it is is wasted time on trying to harass someone that is not interested in them anymore and they just don't know how to drop it or let it go.

What I have realized through this whole process is how naive and trusting I was even 6 months ago. I had the blinkers on and just wasn't paying enough attention to the signs. I must have been still quite insecure because I fell hook, line and sinker.

My advice to anyone that is in or has been in this position, be aware and know your boundaries. Read the signs and if something isn't sitting right you're probably right. Don't ever doubt your feelings. I was told mine were wrong. They weren't wrong. Be strong and never allow anyone to treat you any other way than what you want and deserve. Real men don't stalk or abuse women - FULL STOP.

Love to all and my thoughts are with you...

Comments

Wendyiscalm's picture

Profound information

Hi Just Smile,

This is a profound article with such important information. Just imagine another woman, at home feeling like you felt, going through what you went through and FINALLY someone has named it, validated it and given her hope.

You make a great contribution.

Thank you.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Justsmile's picture

Thank you Wendy

Thank you Wendy. I'm hoping I can make a difference to someone's life.

If we can help others with our experiences I'll feel like I'm giving back and doing something worthwhile in my lifetime.

Thank you for your acknowledgement and kind words.

Justsmile

Susan K.A.'s picture

Thank you for sharing your story!

Dear Carolyn,

I am so glad that you are sharing your story with other women here. I know how healing it if for others to recognize their own pain and suffering through the eyes of someone who has experienced a similar hell. They don't feel so alone, so ashamed, and silenced. Your words are enormously healing and powerful, for that reason. They open doors, switch on lights, open windows, let in fresh air, perspective.

I have a friend, the mother of my son's friend who had been a virtual prisoner in her marriage for the last 20 years. She lived in shame, isolation, artifice (acting as if everything were okay, despite the fact that she was being severely emotionally abused, threatened, manipulated by this alcoholic, rage-prone man. He didn't care at all for their four kids, in fact acted as if he hated them. So she had to be twice the parent. She lived in constant fear, walking on eggshells..

She resolved last spring to break free, get a restraining order on him...and is trying to get a divorce. But the system here in Oregon is so backwards and upside down, I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is! I fervently pray everyday that she and her children are able to one day truly break free of the chains he imposes on them, the fear and anxiety that they still live with daily, despite the fact that he isn't in their home anymore. It is grossly unfair and leaves me feeling utterly helpless and hopeless...

And yet-

I rejoice in the fact that she found the courage and self-love to leave him. My friend says she doesn't know who she will be when she emerges from this tumultuous and painful journey, but she knows she will not be anything the same. She inspires me so much. And you inspire me too, Carolyn! Thank you for letting go of fear and walking into the light.

Much love to you now and forevermore!

-Susan

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

Justsmile's picture

Thank you Susan

Dear Susan,
Thank you for responding to my post. I am so sorry to hear of your friends story. I am pleased to hear though that she has made the break from such a terrible situation - it does take some strength and courage to make the move. I do commend her for making the best decision for herself and her children. Abusers do tend to hang on and it can take its toll because all you want is some peace and harmony in your life without the stress and constant berating from the abuser. The anxiety, fear and walking on egg shells are very typical symptoms felt by the victims.
I still suffer a bit from anxiety - my ex husband after 9 years still meddles in manipulation tactics and tries to belittle me in subtle, stealth ways to make himself feel better and to want that need take control and be in control. It's also all in aid of feeding his neediness and selfishness, to appear the perfect person to the outside but it's not how it is at all. He needs gratification and validation from others to feel the perfect person. If you're content and happy within yourself you have no need to impress others with accomplishments or seek that validation - a very insecure person hiding behind a fake facade will require that narcissistic feed.
You are so right that it isn't fair that anyone should have to be subjected to such horrendous behaviour. Abuse leaves lasting effects and it is truly just time and the help and support of others that came help ease the pain and grief suffered.
I am happy I could be of help and an inspiration.
All part of the healing processes is to self educate, find out who you are because you certainly lose a lot of yourself along the way, set your boundaries and to find that happiness from within. It can be a lonely journey to get to that place because we can often feel alone thinking no one understands what we're going through. It can be such an extremely harrowing ordeal but a life changing one for the better also.
I wish your friend all the very best and thank you again for writing to me. I hear your concern and greatest empathy for your friend. She is so fortunate to have your friendship and support.
Love to you and your friend,
Justsmile

Susan K.A.'s picture

Glad to hear from you, Carolyn

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you for your well wishes for my friend and the love that you have extended us. She's far too busy right now, but I know she would find a lot of solace and support from joining World Pulse, sharing her story and reading women's stories such as your own.

Thank you for your kinds words. She may be fortunate to have me as a friend, but I am equally enriched by her friendship. She has taught me a lot about the resiliency of the human spirit.

I'm sorry you have some anxiety still. It does seem inevitable after all you've been through. (I suffer from anxiety from time to time and haven't experienced abuse).You have gained so much wisdom and insight from your experience though and it really shines through your writing. I do hope that you are really gentle and loving with yourself. Treat yourself with loving care and treasure yourself always! I am learning to do that everyday. We really have to regard ourselves with the gentle, tender loving care we would extend to our children or dearest loved ones. We deserve nothing less.

With love,

Susan

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

Wendyiscalm's picture

Justsmile

Thinking of you.

Yu u nobuntu,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

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