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How to Recognize the Abusive Personality
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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
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Recognizing the abusive personality
Eleven warning signs that someone has an abusive personality.
1.) They must have total control
2.) You can never do anything right in their eyes
3.) They will isolate you away from your family and friends.
Many abusers try to cut you off from your family and your friends. And by doing this, they gain more control over you and how you think. Because they are well aware that your family and friends would not approve of how they are treating you. And they also know that those closest to you would begin to see a huge difference in your personality, which is becoming more and more unsure of yourself on a daily basis. You realize that you are slowly becoming a "non-person" like a frog that is slowing boiling to death in hot water because the temperature is being turned up little by little so that they hardly notice it.
The abuser may insist that you move to another city or state, to limit contact. Once out of sight, it is much easier to control the amount of contact you have with your friends and family. These "outsiders" are often blamed for any problems the couple have. Before you know it, you are cutting ties with your family and with your closest friends. You are afraid to have them and the abuser in the same room together for fear of what he might say to them and vice versa. He will use any number of excuses to keep you from seeing them. And if distance is involved he will use the lack of money for why you cannot visit your own family or even call them.
Unfortunately you may find out that he is very close to his family. He manages to come up with the necessary finances to see them and communicate with them anytime that he wants. You are beginning to think he is very selfish. And you would be right, he is.
4.) Abusive people are very possessive of their "targets." You are their "target."
Usually abusers are extremely jealous and possessive of you, and may question you about how your time is spent and with whom, what was said, and may probe for details about any friend's background. They will also accuse you of flirting with every man you come in contact with, or of looking at a complete stranger and encouraging them to pay attention to you. Of course, you have done no such thing, but convincing the abuser of that is pointless. The abuser will explain their jealousy away with declarations of love. "If I didn't love you so much, I wouldn't care who you saw, or what you did."
Abusers seem to have the impression that what belongs to you also belongs to them. They may even insist that you share your financial bank accounts with them. At the same time, the abuser may be very reluctant to share any of their personal finances with you. They may have a separate bank account from you that you are not allowed access to. In fact they may even refuse to tell you what they are doing, or where they are going, and will say things like " You don't need to know." They may also get extremely angry when you question them about money, calling you a "nag." In fact if you dare to question them about anything you are called "masculine" and accused of "acting like a man."
Everything in a relationship with an abuser is "one-way" which is the abuser's way. What an abuser requires of you, he does not expect of himself. The rules that he applies to you do not apply to him. When you do something to break the rules it is a "cardinal sin." However, when he breaks the same rule he finds justification for it. Or so he thinks.
5.) A sudden violent temper over the smallest of things
6.) They always give good first impressions:
They can be very charming and charismatic when you first meet them And they can fake this personality for the entire dating period so you have no idea what is lurking beneath. To you and to everyone else you will think you have found your "Prince Charming," not knowing that once you have committed to them, their REAL personality will surface and you will think you married a complete stranger. We call them Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They have two completely different personalities and the abusive controlling one is the REAL one.
7.) They are verbally abusive, but not right away
As your relationship continues you will start to notice that instead of always telling you that you are pretty or attractive, they will begin to call you names. Such as "ugly", "fat", or "stupid and dumb," etc. They will also degrade your status as a woman, and use profanity more often or for the very first time and you are shocked because they never did when you were dating. They will openly stare at other woman, and compare you to them, and threaten to leave you if you don't begin to "watch your weight" or become smarter, or more talented, or whatever else they want to say to make you feel like a complete failure.
8.)They are never at fault for ANYTHING
Actually they make sure that if they make a mistake, YOU are the one who caused them to do so. And in addition, anything that goes wrong in their life is YOUR FAULT and you are the one who has to fix it, because they are perfect in their own eyes, and will never admit that they are not perfect. They are complete narcissistic.
9.) The Abuse happens in cycles
You will start to notice a pattern of behavior that it predictable. There are good and bad days. On the good days you think, wow, I am so in love with him, look how nice he is being. And you tell yourself that maybe you have misjudged him, that maybe you are the one with all the problems, that he has been right all along. It really is YOU, not him that needs counseling. And then, ALL OF A sudden when you think things are going smoothly and you are actually starting to feel happy again, he picks a fight, blows up, abuses you verbally, mentally, emotionally, and FINALLY PHYSICALLY, and you get this "sick feeling." You become very fearful and afraid, that THIS TIME he might really hurt you or even could kill you. So you call the police. However, in front of the police he is able to control himself, calms down, (after just raging seconds before they get there) and they find YOU upset, hysterical, crying, crazy, and YOU come off looking like the one who is out of control, needy, and in need of counseling.
So you don't press charges, and after they leave, he becomes dangerously abusive again, and then finally falls asleep, gets drunk, leaves, etc. And the next thing you know he is apologizing, crying, bringing you gifts, flowers, candy, etc. Promising to NEVER DO IT AGAIN, and you forgive him and all is well, for a few days, or maybe a couple of weeks. (This is called the Honeymoon period" BUT it never sticks because once again, he flares up, you are abused, and the cycle repeats itself for years and years if you let it. So you realize that you are actually enabling him to abuse you and you are participating in your OWN ABUSE.
10. You become completely confused and burned out emotionally
You buy all these self-help books on how to fix him, not knowing that men like this can never be fixed. The cure rate is about 1% to zero. But you read and read more and more books, and then you pray to God, not understanding why God won't CHANGE this man who you think you love. But you don't really know what real love is, because you have never experienced it.
11. You finally come to the conclusion that you cannot fix this person, and you reach out for help.
This may be the best decision you ever made because it will lead to your "freedom" and finally you will find happiness and peace. But you have to reclaim your identity which you have lost. You have to get stronger, and you have to have a plan to escape without getting hurt.
This is God's answer to your prayers. God does not want you to stay in an abusive marriage or relationship because you are in a "no win" battle with pure EVIL.
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It's all about control and power, over you. What you do, where you go, and who you see. NOTHING is your own decision and you will lose all freedom over your choices in life. Even what you wear and how you think.
You find yourself trying to please them all the time. You change things about yourself, like what you wear, what you read, what you cook, how you clean the house, how you think and talk, etc. because they are constantly criticizing every thing you do. You fix one thing, and they will think of another one to attack you for. If they say you are too fat, you go on a diet, only to have them tell you what you can and cannot eat. They will always justify their criticisms of you by making it sound like other people think the same way about you that they do.
You think everything is going fine, and then all of a sudden out of no where you are in trouble with him again. It can be something as simple as "What did you do with my shoes?" This is because NOTHING is ever his fault. One woman was in trouble with her abuser because she dared to ask him to "Pass the butter" at the dinner table. His response was to yell at her and tell her the "last thing she needed was butter and that he hated to see her eat." She weighed 135 pounds. Her punishment for daring to ask for the butter was the "silent treatment" for three days.