the wheel of power and control

The Wheel of Power and Control



Male Privilege


Using Children

Emotional, Economic, Sexual Abuse

He had the eyes of a teddy bear and the heart of vadar.

I was busy as usual in my whirlwind of life, enjoying independence at college. He showed up to be my protector when a conflict came up at school. The world was too dangerous for me and he wanted to be my only safe place…. . ISOLATION

I wasn’t used to being afraid or feeling insecure. I wanted to rebel against these new phantoms and tear them out like weeds in a garden. He gave me “space” and then told me that I was afraid of love saying that it was my own rebellious spirit that was causing problems… that I was a destroyer of love and a fearful creature in the safest place in the world. INTIMIDATION

I needed to “learn to trust” he said. Wasn’t I willing to grow as partners? He asked that I trust him with handling our financial affairs and I wanted to be able to trust him. MALE PRIVILEGE

Life was challenging. Mistakes were made and details fell through the cracks. Things weren’t set up for success and he didn’t have the patience to talk things over. Gone was the patience he had in declaring himself as my safe space. Life was too overwhelming for a conversation. He was angry and tired. The slow driver, the barking dog, the noisy neighbor angered him. The last thing he needed was my complaints and concerns to rock the boat. I woke up one evening thinking I was dreaming… He was on top of me, squeezing my arms til his fingers left marks, demanding at a whisper that I had better fall in line or watch out. THREATS

“When we have children, I will make sure that your mother and family never sees them.” USING THE CHILDREN

He told me what my thoughts were because he disagreed with them. He used to make me feel beautiful but as life began to be more frustrating to him, everything was ugly til eventually, even I was ugly. He told my mother that I was acting crazy and telling stories. Our finances weren’t being handled. I began saving my own money. EMOTIONAL, ECONOMIC, SEXUAL ABUSE

“I never taught my daughter to lie.” she told him. It was good to know I still had a safe place… my original safe place was still mine.

Once a best friend who said he would go to the ends of the earth to win me. Flowers every Friday. I was doted on lavishly that if anyone told me that the future would be a nightmare, I wouldn’t believe it.

This power and control wheel states the different behaviors that those who abuse power and control take… What I wanted to share was the tiny spiral where the appetite was first fed. ISOLATION didn’t feel like isolation while we created our own little world…. all the shadows were a much lighter shade before they became frightening.

I grew up in sunshine and therefore had no skills negotiating with shadows. I could not save my love from the darkness after it took over his heart and his eyes no longer shined for me. If I stayed I might have lost my heart as well. I was dying too. I had lost my words for living and I sat with silence, very sad and shocked. How can my dreams be possible if I no longer had a voice and my mind was numb?

And so I walked away. I did not wonder and hope til I lost hope in myself. I left when I knew I was the only thing I had left to save. I didn’t care about money, security or love.

It is you that must always save yourself. Your mother, your friends, your co-workers can hope the best for you. But it is YOU that has to save yourself.



~ by jnetsworld on January 30, 2007.

2 Responses to “the wheel of power and control”

  1. I love your strength to escape that situation. Why are some (perhaps many) men so cruel, is it all just insecurities?

    My father was like that with my mother (to some degree) only she did not have your strength to go. Or perhaps she couldn’t. Please trust that all men are not like that.


  2. Hi,

    Just a note in passing, I love your site.

    I have known many women who stayed too long with such a man. Your posting words of advice and “recognition-in-the-moment” is good work, and I’m sure it will help someone realize they need to leave such a situation.

    Again, very nice site. Have a great weekend,



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