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    • #134198

      If a person isn’t physically violent, but uses their size to block your way / restrain you.
      If a person doesn’t make outright threats but coats it in playful, jokey language.
      If they present certain options as a way of helping you with a specific situation, but then get annoyed if you don’t follow their way of doing things.
      Is that abusive behaviour?

    • #134248

      Absolutely it is. It’s intimidation to start with. Undermining your opinions, psychological (gaslighting)abuse by dismissing your feelings and trying to make out they are joking.The only way someone should be restrained is if they are a danger to themselves or anyone else. Also setting you up for coercive control by offering options which you choose not to follow. Have you read the dominator by Pat Craven or looked at the Freedom Project? That’s a course run by zoom at the moment, but there is an online booklet with it. It shows what an abusive relationship is like compared to a healthy one.

    • #134250

      Thanks for replying @Redpanda123 I’m working my way through the Pat Craven book at the moment.

      Doing the freedom course from home would be difficult due to privacy issues and going anywhere in person is not an option right now, but maybe something for the future.

      The logical side of my brain tells me that things are not right in my relationship, but the emotional side isn’t able to accept it. Perhaps that’s a survival mechanism or something.

    • #134255

      Definitely, my experience of abuse is like that, it was never in your face, always coated in lies and excuses.
      But if you stand back, if you ask others, it screams of abuse.
      They are such good manipulators, actors, great at gaslighting, this is why you are questioning it.
      Keep reading others posts on Is it Abuse?
      Everyone needs to ask this question because it is so confusing for the person actually in the situation.
      We need validation because our abuser, the person we should be able to trust and the person who should be able to tell us the truth – gaslights us.

    • #134264

      Oh yes 100%. Can you listen to Dr Ramani on YouTube? Also Lundy bancroft’s book ‘why does he do that’ is fab. And you’re right it is a survival mechanism – look up trauma bonding, cognitive dissonance and safety planning.

    • #134428

      I feel like my self worth has slowly been destroyed. The put downs (always done in a jokey manner). Being made to feel as though I’m not good enough. I doubt and second-guess everything.
      Yet I was taught in therapy that no one can make you feel anything, so I don’t know if what I just said is right or not.
      I’m even not sure if my version of events is real, or is my head making more of it than it is.

      • #134442

        Hi Darknessallaround,

        So sorry you are experiencing this. Being unsure if your version of events, doubting your reality, is a result of gaslighting. Suffering abuse then having it constantly minimised by the abuser and disguised as “jokes” is crazy making behaviour, it’s no wonder you feel confused.

        The thing about therapy you brought up is interesting and where a trauma informed therapist is so essential. Yes, under normal circumstances and in a place of physical and psychological safety we can learn to respond to circumstances rather than react and exert greater control over our emotions. We can emotionally regulate ourselves, or learn to, and from this place of safety and emotional regulation it is true that others can have little to no influence over how we feel- they can’t make us feel anything and we are the masters of our own feelings and emotions.

        Living in abuse, however, is not a place of physical or psychological safety. We are in survival mode, our system cannot differentiate between the abuser and a tiger that is going to eat us, and we become trapped in a cycle of fright, flight, freeze and fawn. The most basic of tasks necessary for our survival are affected; eating, sleeping, laughing, human connection….regulating and managing the abusers emotions is our top priority (as we all know what happens when he’s unhappy about something…).
        Locked in a battle of survival and constant managing of another’s moods leaves it impossible to emotionally regulate. I’m a level and responsive person now rather than the stressed out, anxious and reactive one I was because I’ve had quite a long time out of the abuse. I’ve been physically and psychologically safe. I firmly believe I would be in a psychiatric facility if I had stayed in my marriage. That is the difference between living in abuse and being free, or at least what it has meant to me.

        Good luck on your journey, take care and keep posting x*x

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