Note from the Editor, Kelly Jones:
During my 15 year relationship/marriage to Alex Jones, I knew I was being abused, but was controlled by his gaslight and isolation and control tactics. I first filed for divorce in 2005 and tried to leave our frequently. I was threatened that our children would be taken, was manipulated by narcissist love bombs and threats. Finally, in 2013, I filed for divorce and followed through. It’s pretty clear that he was planning for divorce: he restructured the business and I believe was already having at least one affair. It is now 2018, and he is still controlling me and trying to destroy me by Court actions.
I hope this article will help people who are being gaslit or abused. Regarding divorcing a narcissist, I am reworking custodywars.com into a portal of news and information to empower people dealing with narcissism and divorcing a narcissist. Part of this will include very strong warnings and client empowerment about the Family Court system, which routinely targets abuse victims with its own and even crueler gaslight, taking children from good parents and giving them to abusers often.
Take my case. I won a Jury verdict but the Judge acted outside her authority to leave my children primarily with Alex Jones. People marvel at this, but my case isn’t unique in its injustice, although it is definitely and clearly a shockingly extreme example. What happened to my family in our case is a clear poster child of how Family Court fails children regularly. It is also an illustration on how the Family Court system employs emotionally abusive tactics.
It is funny how most people know when a relationship is fundamentally unpleasant when it comes to ordinary friendships or acquaintances, but have a hard time deciding that an intimate relationship like a marriage has turned abusive. How easy it is to make that decision is part of the answer. Casual relationships or even long-term friendships can be abandoned with relative ease. The level of personal sacrifice is moderate, not cataclysmic. However, you have to weigh the decision very carefully when it comes to a committed relationship. You want an extra mind in on the judgment. You will even resort to a questionnaire to help you. Natasha Tracy has provided just such a questionnaire in the HealthyPlace website.
The emotional abuse test asks questions about
- your fear of your partner because abuse results in fear.
- feelings that you are “crazy” because the abuser tries to make the victim discount his or her own judgment.
- your partner’s effort to humiliating you, criticize you, or “put you down”
- your partner’s efforts to limit your freedom by controlling your money or where you can go.
Emotional abuse has to do with gaining power and control over a partner in a relationship. The abuse can be physical to gain control through fear. That is easy to recognize.
Emotional abuse is a lot more subtle. At the start, it may take the form of behaviors that look like caring and trying to protect a partner. There is a “grooming” period in emotional abuse where the abuser lavishes attention and special experiences on his (or her) partner. This behavior comes about because of the abuser’s need to gain trust and build a bond which makes the relationship more difficult to escape.
Domination and control are the marks of emotional abuse. You can tell if you are being emotionally abused if your partner behaves as follows.
- Regularly says things just to upset you or frighten you.
- Becomes overly and inappropriately jealous of attention from others or even conversation with others.
- Regularly monitors your time and whereabouts.
- Regularly monitors your phone calls, texts, or emails.
- Regularly makes decisions for you or makes decisions for both of you without consulting you.
- Fully controls the finances and how you spend money or gives you little or no access to money.
- Keeps joint account passwords secret from you.
- Regularly ignores your requests or makes sudden decisions without regard to your requests.
- Regularly leaves the home at inconvenient times.
- Regularly shows contempt for you in the language he or she uses.
- Treats you like a servant.
- Gets unduly and extremely angry if the demands he or she makes are not met.
Emotional abuse is destruction of a relationship, radically altering it into something alienating and painful. The worst effects of emotional abuse happen if you don’t recognize it as such and you internalize the idea that all the negativity is your fault. Once you recognize abusive behavior for what it is, once you can externalize it as belonging to that other person, at least you are not injured by the extreme guilt.
In many ways, emotional abuse is more damaging than physical abuse because it damages the essential foundation of personality.
- The ability and will to be independent.
- The feeling of having personal boundaries over which you have control.
- Feelings of authority and confidence in yourself.
- The ability to try out new things and learn.
Long-term, unrecognized or unacknowledged emotional abuse can lead to severe long-term complications. It is a severe stress disorder and can lead to:
- Chronic anxiety.
- Phobic reactions.
- Psychosomatic disorders.
Although emotional abuse does not always lead to physical abuse. Emotional abuse is always a component of physical abuse.