In my quest for knowledge and research on domestic violence, I came across references to a book appropriately called “A Dance With The Devil”. It was written by a woman by the name of Barbara Bentley and tells of her struggle with a former abusive husband and her hard-fought survival and recovery. It immediately struck a chord with me and I thought I would share an excerpt from her book to demonstrate. Perhaps you will not be as dumb-struck as I was; perhaps you will. I will tell you that some of the points that she made had me riveted in horror and familiarity. Following is a passage taken from her book:
“Looking back now, it seems unbelievable that I would have stayed in this marriage for so long, especially with a repeating pattern that is easy to recognize now, but that was indiscernible at the time. You had to be there. John was a psychopath-a master manipulator who made it seem reasonable and plausible at the time the abuse happened, and he abused when no one else was around to be able to validate my feelings. If I had told others, they wouldn’t have believed me anyway. He was too charming. He was the life of the party who went out of his way to help others.
During this time, verbal abuse wasn’t even discussed as domestic violence, and because I wasn’t physically beaten, I didn’t think I was a victim of domestic violence. Most important, the emotional trauma was not constant. It came in spurts. Most of the time we had a happy existence that appeared normal, integrated with a close-knit social support system of family, friends and co-workers I don’t feel embarrassed by my vulnerability at that time of my life. I now know that I stood no chance against John. Psychopaths are so clever that they can even disarm mental health professionals, who are trained to recognize and deal with their behaviour.”
I would recommend this book to anyone who has known abuse personally or knows someone that might be in a relationship that they suspect is abusive.
In my own journey with my ex; I have lived this life …….. as have others that have unwittingly been trapped in his path. Those few that have readily admitted and realized the depth of his atrocities are the only ones still not ensconced in his unflinching dramas. As part of the process, we need to cast the blame not to ourselves, but to the perpetrator himself. To recognize that despite the fact that we believed…..and we did believe….and yes, we hoped too….that we in no way deserved or earned the punishment that this man delivered. The only thing we are guilty of is trusting and hoping for the good in this individual. It is he who is at fault wholly and completely; not one of his victims including myself and my daughter deserved any of what was inflicted on us.
Coming soon! http://www.cheateralert.com
Working towards a better future!