Friday, November 19, 2010

Isolation is the Key to an abusers control

There were many things my mother did to me to isolate me from people so that she could abuse me more and control me.  Taking away any chance I thought I might have to seek help.  This is just one such story.

When I was 16 my mother had just married her 4th husband and moved 45 minutes away.  I stayed where we had been staying with a nice family and their boys as a live in nanny when I was not in school.  I wanted to finish out my year at the same school before moving back with my mother.  When I did with in a few months she did something she knew would isolate me in a big way.  We were residing in a town that was mainly Mormons(Latter Day Saints).  My mother was a fanatical one and attended church every Sunday.  For anyone who is a Mormon they will tell you that every first Sunday of the month is what is called Fast and Testimony Sunday.  On this day the hour of where we are in the chapel is mainly for members to stand up and testify about their month, or how strongly they believe in the church, ask for prayers for their families and so on.  On this Sunday my mother went up to the podium.  I stayed sitting with her husband and her 3 step kids.  I had no idea what she was about to do.

She got up there looking sad and started off with saying that she needed the prayers and support of the ward.  That she was going through a very difficult time.  At this point she took some tissue and dabbed at her eyes.  She is very good at bringing on the tears on command.  She then said that the issue she is dealing with is my problem with morality.  I looked up at this stunned.  She then went on to say that I was sleeping around with several of the boys at school and she had no idea how to deal with it.  Upon hearing her say this the shock and embarrassment that over came me was staggering.  Until that point I was a virgin except for being raped when I was 13.  She said she had done all she could think of to control my promiscuity and I kept defying her.  She begged the members to help her with her struggle and then got down with of course tears rolling down her face.  I had slid as far down in my seat as I could.  I knew my face was red and i knew people were staring at me and whispering.  My mother sat down and didn't look at me.  Just kept up the act of sniffing and dabbing at her eyes.  When it was time for us to get up and head to class people surrounded my mother and were hugging her and offering advice and condolences.  I was getting glares and people telling me I should respect her and so on. 

When we got home my mother hounded me.  Screaming at me that I knew I had done this and was doing it and I had to state it before i had a chance at redemption.  She would slap me repeatedly and shove me around.  Even grabbed my hair and yanked.  This went on for days.  Finally to stop the abuse I said yes i had done it.  So she told me I had to tell the whole family or else.  So I went in during family counsel and was made to tell the kids that i had been promiscuous and that they should make sure they don't end up like me.  This went on for a while of my mother telling the kids they don't ever want to end up like me.  I just wanted to go to my room and be alone.

From that day on I was treated like I was worthless.  Shunned is a better word for how I was treated.  Parents told their kids that I was a bad apple and a bad influence and to stay away from me.  Making friends was next to impossible because my reputation was already made for me.  When school started I was called names and had the cruelest pranks played on me.  Teachers already had an opinion of me, which of course wasn't good.  Even 18yrs later if some people are asked if they knew me they will readily say yes and then tell of my reputation. 

It took me going to counseling for abuse these past 2 years for me to realize that this is a tactic that all abusers do in some form or another.  Maybe not to this degree but they do it to isolate their victim from people that could help them.  They do it to maintain the control they need to have to keep their victim in the place they want them.  I wish I had known all this then.

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  1. The fact that your mother stood up during fast and testimony and said those things should have been a clue that something was not right with her. Since you didn't say you were called into the bishops office I assume that he did not believe her.

    1. Actually the Bishopric did believe her. I was shunned by everyone in that ward and from many other wards because of that day. When I went to school it followed me there as well since it was a Mormon town. I could not get away from it and still to this day, 23yrs later, I still here of people passing on those rumors about me.