Controlling people have a low sense of self-worth

Despite the outpouring of rage and shame, all controlling people have a low sense of self-esteem and self-worth, and being in control brings a sense of safety. Controllers feel like victims, and may have been one, so sometimes they carry out the abuse as a way of retribution or revenge. They feel that they are entitled to inflict pain on others. Indeed, they may not even see that they are doing so. They think in extremes and have no concept of boundaries, but tend to over-exaggerate a partner’s behaviour. They have a strong intolerance of any type of discomfort, and have rigid beliefs about how a person should be.
The abusive or controlling personality type believes the partner is the problem and must be controlled and made subject to his will. He does this by controlling the emotional distance between them. He is determined that she will never be allowed to leave, and that she belongs to him and to no other man. The consequences of this type of thinking can sometimes be fatal, not just to the spouse but to the children also. We frequently read stories in the newspapers of how families are murdered, and there is no doubt that frequently the abusive personality type is in that sad mix.
Abusive personality types have a dangerous and specific characteristic – the blaming mindset. They project their own negative traits onto their partners. This mindset sees the partner as the source of the abusers discomfort, shortcomings and failures, and this continually stokes his anger. In Linda’s case, the blaming mindset began to tentatively emerge soon after the marriage,
I was very tired through my pregnancy and didn’t have great energy. I was so low in iron I had to get injections. Stephen used to say to me “I hope when the child is born you will continue to be the same person you were before you got pregnant, and go out”. He said that he hoped I wouldn’t turn into one of these boring parents who quieten down when a child comes along. I used to say that I wouldn’t get boring, but in the back of my mind I used to think that there would be changes. I was going to be a mother; I couldn’t go out and party all night if I wanted to. I would have responsibilities and so would he. Anyway, there were still happy days at this stage. I was married now so I knew we would have to work at it.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press

Posted in abuse, abusive personality, controlling personality, domestic violence, narcissistic personality
Tags: , ,