“How many times did it happen?” was a question I was asked often by friends or family after I left abuse. (I want to write, “After I left my abuser,” because the abuse actually never stopped even after I left him — it intensified for years. But that’s giving them too much power or credit or both.) “How many times it (abuse) happened” was entirely dependent upon the ever-changing whims and wills of a person who is and was completely mentally insane, who had been entrusted to care for others but could not, and who would not get help for themselves.
Also, a confession that has been haunting me: in my book, I tell you not to openly diagnose an abusive personality. However, admittedly, over and over on my blog, I call mine a sociopath. This is because, since the abuse never ended despite leaving him, I began turning to anyone who would listen to me regarding the intense level of abuse me and others were still enduring at his hands. I felt I had to openly express my concern that he is a sociopath in order to get the attention the situation needed. I needed HELP to escape from this person who never stopped hunting and haunting me down, who never stopped legally controlling me and psychologically torturing myself and others. I needed to put my foot down and express that this person is a CLINICAL SOCIOPATH, not simply an insult that I ascribed them. I needed help.
This brings me to the question of “how many times did it happen?” I was told by a cousin who asked me, “Well, my husband does that too but he’s Italian…”, or, a friend who knew us both, “Yeah but I think that just happens in relationships to everybody” regarding physical assault. Because you see, no matter how many times I explained how many times “it” happened, it never satisfied people. I needed to be on my death bed in a hospital for my claims to be accurate. It showed me that empathy is an all but lost sensation here.
So instead of telling you it happened every day or it happened every few years or it happened only once or twice, I will tell you how to discern and interpret how many times it actually happened to you or anyone else.
Listen to my pulse with me. You can feel this on an anxious few… The ones who are nervous always and unable to calm down. They are lost in a scenario inside their own mind that no one else can see, yet they feel compelled to run or fight back or hide. You can spot them from a mile away, often reaching for their vice of choice to take the edge off on a near continual basis all throughout the day.
So listen to my pulse, or yours, or your good friends’, or perceive it from across the sidewalk on a stranger: if a living, positive frequency is consistent and clean and not pocked with damaging holes or omissions or the sudden stop and start of a scared heart or kidneys, it does not falter.
An anxious, scared nervous system is in a constant state of upheaval and start-stop turmoil because it has been groomed to be scared of some big bad wolves so that power is sent to said abuser(s) on a consistent basis in order to feed the abuser. They like when your heart stops because it makes them feel powerful. They know this, even if only subconsciously.
If the person has been “well” groomed or if the threats happened on a consistent enough basis, the victim’s nervous system’s energetic frequency blueprint will look like a spastic heartbeat, always jumping up and down, going fast and then slow, stopping at times, then speeding up. It is not consistent or calm. It is frequently changing and unable to be controlled by the victim. It is outside of the control of the victim because the victim’s physiological responses, and therefore, energetic responses are 100% controlled by the abuser on purpose! Therefore, the greater the degree to which a victim has nervous system and/or energetic dysregulation, the greater degree to which they were abused, whether the abuse happened all day every day or the abuse happened just once. The level of negative output from the victim is not necessarily determined by obvious acts of aggression from the abuser but rather, other factors also come into play and these factors determine “how abused” someone is rather than how aggressive the abuser seemed to someone else.
And by “how abused,” I mean according to their own frame of reference contrasting how and who they were before the abuse and how and who they are after. To which degree has this individual been changed due to the abuse, regardless of what an outsider thinks about the level of abusive deeds, in other words.
So how many times “it” happened has no relevance when it comes to abuse because the confluence of certain sick factors come together to create a near-permanent trauma response from a victim no matter how many times it happened. You can be paralyzed from one time as much as you can from everyday abuse. The one time abuse IS every day abuse. Even one-time acts of aggression are preceded and precluded by daily or repeated grooming, coercion or threats which is an abusive act in and of itself. Or, if not, the memory (flashbacks) of the one time act causes the dysregulation.
It happened enough times that I don’t have control over my own body. It happened enough times that, until today, someone else(s) have controlled my nervous system completely. That’s how many times it happened.