The Seeds of abusiveness are sown in early childhood by emotional neglect

The abusive personality very often expresses itself in uncontrolled aggression, has a negative self-view, and is filled with envy and jealousy. The jealousy that he has is an irrational, morbid one fuelled by suspicion, and this is often the most frequently cited motive for spousal murders, and indeed for the suicide of the abuser. This jealousy is not based on love, but on control and the desire to isolate the victim. He often imagines that she is unfaithful, and is driven demented by the thought that his control over her might be loosening. Sometimes in the guise of loving her and wanting to be with her, he tries to manipulate her into working in the same place as him. The intense jealousy that Stephen experienced increased throughout his short marriage to Linda, and was accompanied by a stifling possessiveness, a vehicle often used by abusive people to isolate their victims
“At the start, we used to always do things together nearly all the time. No! We did everything together. But, throughout the relationship I would want to do things with my friends on my own. I didn’t do it much, but on occasion I would go to Christmas parties and other events. There was never a row over it, but there was some tension. It’s hard to explain. He just wouldn’t be his usual self when I was going to something. He would always warn me never look or talk to any other men. I never did anything throughout our relationship to make him think like this. I was more than 100% committed to him. I used to tell him that he was the one for me, and that no one else compared with him. And I meant it. I never wanted us to part. If things were different, I would have quite happily spent my life with him and I would never have the urge or reason to look at anyone else. But, it got to the stage in our relationship that I would be afraid if we were out, and some other man talked to me. If we were out together, I would be nervous if I met an old male friend, I know he would be watching, and there would be something about it. So, in the end if I did meet someone out that I knew, I would just cut conversation short; it was more important to me at the time that our relationship is happy. I never kept up contact with old friends from home or college.
Even with friends at home, it was the same. I remember one Christmas, when we were out with my parents, and one or two of the lads that I would have known from home were out. Under no circumstances would I go over and talk to them. Even to say hello would have been an issue, and when I did say hello that night to friends living locally, who went to school with me, it was an issue. He would ask, “Do you like one of them?”. He even went as far that night as to say that they kept looking over at us, and that they didn’t like him etc. It was crazy when you think about it. But, he could explode if I didn’t keep him guaranteed in my behaviour that he was all that mattered. He was all that mattered to me, but it was hard to get that into his head.”

The abuser’s inner world is one of conflict, rage, uncertainty, tensions, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. It is interesting that the psychological profile of male batterers is very similar to people diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I will explain this condition later, but the colder and the more rejecting the parents have been, the more severe the trauma symptoms are likely to be. In other words, the more disrupted the attachment of the child, the greater the trauma and the greater the resulting anger and abusive tendencies in adulthood. If a male child is subject to shaming experiences especially by a punitive father, trauma, anger, and, for a substantial minority, abusive tendencies may be severely entrenched and magnified. Adolf Hitler is a prime example. Alice Miller’s book, For Your Own Good. The Roots of Violence in Child-rearing, gives a fascinating psychological profile of him. All the pent up rage and shame, coming from a childhood where he was regularly savagely beaten and humiliated by his father, were given full vent when he achieved power, and millions died as a result. On a much smaller scale, but on a global level, as will be shown later, physical abusers resort to sickening acts of violence to demonstrate power and exert control.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
ABUSE
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
DEATH OF A CHILD

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