A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


The Process of Brainwashing

1. The brainwasher keeps his victim unaware of what is going on and what changes may be taking place.  For example, he may control your finances, make plans for you, or not bother to tell you what his plans are until the last minute.  He may talk about you to others behind your back in his attempt isolate you from them. My ex's aunt never had children and always thought of me as the daughter she never had, and we were very close.  My ex couldn't stand it.  He was always saying things about me to his mother (her sister) and to his aunt...always trying to turn them against me.

2. The brainwasher controls the victim's time and physical environment and works to suppress much of the victim's old behavior.  The victim is slowly, or abruptly, isolated from all supportive persons except for the brainwasher.  Your partner might have insisted that you stop certain social, hobby, or work activities.  You might have been forced to a new location, farther away from your family and friends.  Or you may have been asked or ordered to reduce or stop contact with specific supportive people in your life. My ex hated everyone I was friendly with.  Hence, he forbade me to see them.  For awhile, I continued to meet with my friends, but in time, you grow tired of fighting it...and sadly, we just give up.

3. The brainwasher creates  a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency in the victim.  He does this with verbal and emotional abuse which becomes stronger and stronger over time. Over and over again I was told that I would never amount to anything, that I was lucky that someone like him took me under his wing.  Now, couple that with a lifetime of such abuse from my mother, and you can understand why I was so easily converted into a victim.  I already WAS a victim.

4. The brainwasher works to instill new behavior and attitudes in the victim. He trains to you behave in ways that he wants you to behave.  He gradually makes you feel differently about yourself, and erodes your confidence in yourself. Your self-esteem falters, and he continues badgering until you lose it altogether.  I had, what I now realize, was a great job when I was with my ex.  I worked as a case manager in a city-run home care agency.  I had great benefits...and was making fabulous money...but he constantly badgered me about my job, that it was NOTHING compared to his job as an actor. Now when I look back on it, I see where he was a 'bouncer' and had a few bit parts in films...not a star. And, HE was the one with the low self-esteem...which is why he had to bring mine down.

5.  The brainwasher puts forth a closed system of logic which allows no real input or criticism.  In other words, what he says, goes. If he says the sky is black, then the sky is black...no matter how blue it may be. If you feel like eating chicken and he wants steak, you're going to eat steak.  He has the final word. 

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