Susan gave an example of how her controlling ex-husband’s mere presence terrified her.
After Susan separated from Anthony he used to stalk her. I was so freaked out when I knew he was in the same area.
I was in bed and he’d come to stand by the bed, and he had a pair of quite loose track pants on, and I laughed and tweaked at them so they came down a bit and he was absolutely furious out of all proportion.
I don’t know why he was so furious, but that’s the first time that I thought he was going to hit me and I laughed at the look on his face and he said, ‘Pull them up!
I’d go, ‘What the fuck, you’re not spending any time with me! I just let him dominate because then I had no way of trying to sort out how not to get dominated.
’ ‘Woo woo, I’m supposed to be number one centre of attention here, not the bloody book.’ Now I realise they need their time out, they need their book read, they need to relax. Although I didn’t do everything he said, although I was swayed I suppose. Maybe later there were some areas which I would stand up to him about, perhaps like the children a little bit.” Everyone in an intimate relationship knows what their partner’s particular “looks” mean.
He did the same in the house, so that any time I claimed personal space, he would take it over.” Other men lock women out of the house.(4) Yet other men may use space to intimidate, for example a man interviewed by Lundgren said, “It makes her reconsider when I lock her up in a cupboard. Give her a sense of her total dependency, that’s the only way.”(5) Sam, a man who admitted to controlling and abusing his partner said, “I used to get shitty when my girl used to go read a book in bed by herself.
That was the time he threw all the furniture over the balcony onto the lawn, down one storey so they all smashed on top of each other. They said it would take a little while and he, at that point, said he was leaving.
He came over to the phone and said I’ve stopped now and then he left.” Sometimes the abuser kicks or punches holes in the wall or defaces her car.(3) Whilst others attempt to frighten her by driving recklessly with her or the children in the car, or by attempting to run her off the road.
He kicked the door in, chucked stuff, pinned me up against a wall and yelled at me.
There was lots of intimidation, plenty of it, enough for me to avoid it like the plague.
Or, as Heather said, Luke used to throw shoes directly at her.