Molly turned the ignition off and then gripped the steering wheel. She was late and she knew she was in for a tongue lashing. Clint didn’t disappoint her.
“Where in the world have you been?” he demanded as soon as she entered the room.
“I was at Grace’s baby shower,” Molly said defensively. “You knew that.”
“You should have been home hours ago,” he said angrily.
“Clint, I was only three miles away and I called you to tell you I would be later than I expected.”
“You should have been here! You know I wanted to take Heath a load of wood!” he said, his anger intensifying.
“You could have taken that wood to your brother on your own. You didn’t need me here for that. He doesn’t even like me.” said Molly with clenched teeth, trying desperately not to let her anger show.
“What I can do doesn’t matter. It’s what you are supposed to do,” he said defiantly, his eyes flashing with fire.
“Fine! We can still go if you want,” said Molly walking away, even as tears welled up in her eyes.
“It’s too late to go now. You should have been here!”
The scene just described in yet another example of abuse that often gets overlooked in our world. This type of abuse, “isolation,” leaves the victim feeling alone and desolate with nowhere to turn. Ironically, however, this type of abuse ultimately leaves the victim even more dependent on the abuser. They come to believe they are incapable of going anywhere alone. They are expected to divulge a detailed report on their actions, conversations, and with whomever they’ve had contact with. Most or all outside interactions are viewed with high suspicion.
The abuser in this situation justifies his behaviors as worry over the welfare of their victim which is proof of their love. As the situation intensifies, the abuser halts or severely limits all activity which does not include him, causing even further isolation. Additionally, fault finding with close friends or family members of the victim inflicts even more pain and confusion, yet causes a cloaked dependency even the victim barely recognizes.
As I wonder about out world and the hidden deceptions many people live, my heart breaks. Abuse comes in so many forms, yet so often it’s not recognized. The immediate thought process of “abuse” catapults most minds to physical abuse and this is absolutely an issue! But what about the “secret, well concealed” abuse some must endure? It’s out there and it’s very real. The damage, like verbal and emotional abuse, leaves scars deep within the soul of the victim.
People find it odd that the victim stays in such a horrible situation. And while I can’t explain it, I suggest most victims can’t. It’s much like the kidnapped child who never runs away from his kidnapper even when opportunity finally presents itself. They’ve become so dependent on their abuser the thought of fleeing is for only a fleeting moment. In a bizarre way, they believe this is their world, it’s all they deserve and in truth they believe their captor truly loves and needs them.
I suggest as you look at your loved one today, ask yourself how he/she would define you. Are you held in deep regard within their heart because you are the kindest, warmest, most sincere, and loving person they know? Would they ever wonder why you would want only control and power over them or do they wonder why and how you could love them so much? Do your eyes project love or something more sinister? Abuse can be disguised as love to the outside world. How do you view your relationship? Would your spouse hold the same view?
**Please note that using the term "him/he" is simply generic. This situation can be inferred to both male and female genders.
Some signs of isolation abuse:
· Isolation from friends and family which may even reach into the work environment if the victim is allowed to work at all.
· Extreme jealousy
· Anger if the victim has been away from the abuser any length of time
· Anger/frustration at/to the victim over phone calls
· The victim may harbor fear of being alone
· The victim may fear punishment from the abuser
If this is your life, call a counselor, talk with a Pastor or other person who can help you break the cycle and chains of abuse.