Victim becomes paralyzed with fear therefore sticks up for and covers for abuser to avoid physical or psychological harm or even death
Victim has been brainwashed into believing the abuser’s blame of her and distorted reality. She is forced into adapting to his delusional world.
Her defense strategy is to engage in psychic numbness and denial thereby lessening the chance of being pushed beyond her physical-mental endurance.
Behind closed doors there is no protection from the abuser who continuously threatens to torture her more if she disobeys him.
Her fear of his response and going haywire if she does not give him complete control 24/7 is a dynamic as she is held captive.
She is the one who is forced to demonstrate a normal life to the public while experiencing extreme trauma and being forced to comply with his harmful orders in the privacy of their home.
Fear of reprisal and punishment and the constant threat of harm changes and re-regulates her emotional life.
What he demands she does as a way for her to stay alive and if there are children, to keep her children alive.
Typically, there is a complete destruction of family ties or a dramatic weakening of contact therefore, support.
Physical, mental and emotional torture is integral to the abuser’s pattern and if she tries to stop him it could trigger a dangerous emotional outburst of violent anger-always with the possibility of leading to her being killed.
No part of her life is spared as he enjoys acts that will inflict pain and suffering. The sadistic component of inflicting pain and suffering over every area of her life and personhood satisfies the need to hurt which increases over time.
Everything she does and does not do is to reduce the risk of his harming her or her children which takes a negative toll on her emotional and mental state. Over time the abuser gets worse and this can be devastating because she cannot stop him.
As she becomes increasingly victimized by him, illness, body, mind and emotions, come into play from overwhelming stress, fear and tension.
24/7 she faces a wide range of challenges and abuses as she tries to meet his ever expanding needs to injure, damage and victimize her. He gets off on watching her suffer and inciting fear for which he has absolutely no remorse or guilt.
She is terrorized in the privacy of her own home and forced into the role of submissive to a dominant abuser whose explosive outbursts she tries to control.
The abuser’s need to terrorize women or express violence toward them is premeditated and coldblooded as well as criminal
The abuser must control all aspects of the victim’s life including basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, medical care and mode of communication, i.e., who and when she connects with others and this may be taped by him.
If the victim should get pregnant there will be a sharp escalation in the overall abuse which now includes the health of the fetus and her chances for a safe pregnancy and delivery.
Pregnancy can open up a fire hose of rage and violence increasing trauma and a need to be hyper-vigilant as to what horrible things he might do next. The environment is filled with an atmosphere of threats to her personal safety.
Economic abuse is always present as the victim is exploited and without power over her money and decision making about it. Again, she allows him to manipulate this part of her life as a way to deescalate his harming of her and/or children.
There is always a chance of a cascading negative impact if she puts pressure on him or in any way goes against his will which keeps her on high alert and traumatized.
She is blamed for all the problems in their relationship, home and child rearing and if she does not agree, there is a chance of increasing physical violence with horrible consequences to her and her children.
In some sense, she is a hostage or slave held against her will in a confined situation which is difficult to escape from given the abuser’s mindset and her fear of what harm he will do next.
Victim is forced into bending herself in various ways to accommodate his demands and stay safe as the systematic torture continues. Like a slave, she is enslaved to his will and lash and increasing destructiveness.
Inevitably, the constant torture loosens her anchor in reality and her own power as her consciousness and unconscious become fear based. He steals her power to act with any agency, keeping her out of alignment with the truth and the need to protect herself and her children by escaping his grip.
The victim’s life is always in danger and although excruciatingly painful she fears the worst if she shows signs of resisting or blowback. She must submit or risk further harm or being killed.
He needs to degrade, demean and lower her self esteem which allows him to continue acting out. If for some reason, she reclaims her ego identity and autonomy, the situation becomes more dangerous with the likelihood of violence and beating her down into submission and powerlessness.
The abuser does all of this while steadfastly maintaining his innocence and refusal to accept his destructive and often criminal behavior.
Like in a video game, the abuser is in control of every aspect of the victim’s life, i.e., he chooses what takes place and with whom, what bad and good things happen and what the end is. This domination gives him the power to inflict pain or kill whatever characters he decides either lives or dies.
In an invisible cage wearing invisible shackles she suffers horrendous abuse meant to crush her identity and break her body, mind and spirit. Terrifying atrocities and seeing no safe way out, she becomes increasingly hopeless and helpless increasing the likelihood of a complete meltdown.
She feels lucky to be alive and continues to try to calm down his violent frenzied behavior which exhausts her and causes massive damage to her integrity and self-worth.
He has pushed her into a survival mode and by taking away her options and inciting terror she chooses not to provoke him. At all costs to herself, to try to prevent his reaching the boiling point, she does not attempt to stop him even though it is harmful to her and eventually will negatively impact children in the home.
Over time the crisis in this relationship will get worse and the victim will become desensitized and dissociated from herself as a coping mechanism against his growing rage. Psychological mechanisms of denial and numbing are used to endure what is happening in the relationship.
A recipe for escalating the torture would be to get back a sense of self that would not subjugate to him or be demeaned by him. If she challenges his power and control over her and her life, he can become more threatening.
He cannot tolerate any feeling or suggestion of the victim breaking his grip on her and her life which would be demonstrated if she got back her old self.
Stripped of her identity he recasts a new person who accepts his acts of depersonalization in order to stay alive.
Her perceptions and judgments shift as she loses attachments to societal norms, expectations and common sense. On abuse overload, her brain cannot work correctly as she faces a ticking unpredictable time bomb. All her coping mechanisms are stretched.
At all costs, she does not want to cause the abuser to spin wildly out of control or go as far as triggering a psychotic snapping episode. She is aware of this possibility of unraveling and devolution and the real threat it poses to her safety.
The sadistic component of the relationship can exist underneath a nice guy image and good public persona, i.e., caring, sincere and helpful. The sadist cannot manage these urges and impulses because he gets high on it and feels better. In relation to hurting women which will extend to her children eventually, he is excited by inflicting pain and suffering through torture. Most concerning are the homicidal impulses that could cause murder.
The abuser cannot and will never accept responsibility for his actions and often will continue denying his role even after a court sentencing to prison for his behavior, i.e., Scott Peterson has Lacy Peterson’s picture up in his prison cell as he continues to deny any guilt in her murder and the murder of their unborn child.
Shaken to her core, the victim allows the abuser to take away things and does not assert her rights for fear of harmful retaliation. It is crystal clear that standing up to his aggression poses severe risks to her safety and survival.
Her fierce resistance to action or changing the dynamic between them is a risk she understandably does not take in order to protect herself and her family.
Traumatized by tensions and fear her stress hormones are altered and negatively impact her health. As he steals her life it extracts a huge toll in how she sees and experiences herself and life.
The malignant narcissistic aspect of this power and control relationship is everything is completely skewed toward his best interest, not hers. All actions have this ulterior motive. He gets a thrill out of doing this to her and this incentivizes more and more of these types of actions.
In the relationship she is bullied and intimidated as way to ratchet up the tension and fear that will keep her obedient and submissive. Also, the threat of harming her children allows him to torture and hurt her. It is horribly threatening to a mother whose basic need is to provide protection from harm to her children.
The psychological trauma she endures can last for years and raise the risk of not being able to live fully, authentically and in emotionally healthy ways. The abuse she was forced to endure can change her view of the world and herself to the worse.
Controlling and inhibiting his hostile behavior, has a ripple effect in the short and long term as previously unimagined atrocities are acted out on her.
By isolating her from a normal social pattern of living, he hopes to crack her psychologically, causing mental exhaustion and eventually a mental collapse. When the psychopathic element is present, he instills this psychological torture for pleasure and a feeling of being smart and confident and able to get away with it.
In this bizarre world, the victim is coerced and often forced to say or do things that do not make sense.
The abuser tries to make the victim believe she is causing him to do wrong, harmful and crazy things and he continues brainwashing her until she believes he is right. This can cause her to doubt and lose confidence in her perceptions and understanding of the truth, i.e., who she really is and what is happening between them and in their shared life.
CONTROL – she is severely compromised through his control. It is a coercive/control relationship. His control is an unstoppable force that is constantly threatening her safety.
She is required to accept his delusions and must believe his reality is reality.
She cannot upset or challenge his sense of superiority, absolute power and control of her body, mind and life.
It is as though she is on a slippery slope and he is pushing for her to fall apart from his profound abuse.
The need to express violence toward women make him quick to rage and this can turn violent against children in the home.
In the course of abuse, it snowballs day by day to the ending which can be murder as he becomes increasingly unstable and dangerous.
There is nothing to ease the agony, as he mercilessly makes her life a living hell.
She is a hostage in a very dangerous terrifying ordeal in which she must follow his rules to stay safe and alive. Much of her energy is focused on not upsetting him.
His sadistic component of perverse pleasure forces her to accept pain that could be transitory or result in permanent damage. She is forced to accept his sadism as a strategy to stay alive.
Fear of escalating his anger she says and does things that are not of her own thinking and can look outrageous or bizarre.