We’ve just woken up from nightmares, so are sitting at the computer distracting… As far as I know the nightmares weren’t about the ex-husband, but for some reason we’re sitting here remembering how he used to enjoy our dissociation. It meant he could abuse us further, and he knew when the softer, gentler parts such as Sophie were present so that he could get away with greater levels of psychological abuse.
When we met him he admitted to having been abused by his sister and her friend from the age of 7. It stopped when he said it was to stop, which was when he was about 12-13. It affected him badly, and he was diagnosed with PTSD. But we think he had bigger issues happening in his brain, but they were never really addressed as he never attended therapy for any decent amount of time. When Management said that he was a sick puppy… well he was a sick puppy! The things he enjoyed and thought were beyond the scope of normal “kinkiness”.
Sometimes when we were bad, he would gain attention at his work by telling all his workmates the latest exploits of his wife’s trip up to the local psychiatric ward. He loved having to ring up his boss in the early hours of the morning while we were being assessed to say that he wouldn’t be able to make it to work because we were being assessed (again). This was despite the fact that we often went straight to work after these assessments. So he loved the attention that our craziness could bring… and also he hated work so used us as an excuse to get out of it whenever possible.
One of the things that we just realised… In the later part of the marriage, his time off work was starting to get him into trouble… so the attention he gained there had started to turn negative. This meant he had to try and get that level of positive attention with us. His description of positive attention involved cutting in front of us and the one we hadn’t realised until tonight… he used to mimic our dissociation and dissociative switches. We might be being unkind, but he only started doing it in the last 6 months that we were together, so it wasn’t an enduring pattern that had been with him since the start of the relationship which lasted a very long 8-9 years.
Our dissociative switching is fairly “smooth”. It usually just involves a sharp intake of breath, rapid blinking, slight cough or if there is an internal battle a zoning out for a short time. It was the zoning out, or blankness that he would mimic.
How very odd…
Hope he one day gets the help he needs… We don’t think he will as he refused to go to the court ordered family violence courses that were part of the Protection Order we were awarded against him. A big part of seeking the Protection Order was to protect other women from him. His final assault involved him attempting to strangle us, we knew from his stories that he’d tried to do the same thing to his mother before we met him. So he was into repeating patterns of violence. He was going to keep on repeating those patterns until he got some help. We’d tried to get him to go to get help for the last four years of our marriage… We gave up on that, and on us near the end.