Capturing life in words…

Snapshot of Emotional Abuse

I would like you to pause, and take a minute to educate yourself on something affecting one in four people today. “Emotional Manipulation”, also known as emotional abuse or maltreatment. It is a form of domestic violence. It affects all income levels, religions, ethnicities, genders, education levels and ages. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Emotional abuse does not even need to be in our home to negatively affect your life and loved ones. I am divorced. I have two children by John. Even though our marriage didn’t work, we both put aside (with time) our differences. We actually became friends. With wisdom, we realized our relationship should have stayed at the friendship level.

We got along after the divorce until he married a borderline personality disorder. (This is in no way meant to indicate this diagnosis is dangerous). Then all went to hell. He slowly was seduced, manipulated and in the end, eventually threatened to act a certain way or face extremely painful consequences from his wife. This is the pattern for controlling, abusive people. It’s starts out subtle, and in increments you do not notice, the noose is slowly lowered over your neck.


The abused is isolated and kept in place by emotional manipulation, threats, financial restraints, lack of access to transportation, verbal maltreatment and even sexual abuse, in some cases.

My ex husband for six years could not have a conversation with me unless his wife (let’s call her Shamu, as her presence was like a Killer Whale– physically large, yet able to “swim friendly” when it benefitted her.) Otherwise, as long as she maintained control, she was calm. Yet once. She perceived any loss of control (real or imagined), she became vicious .

Eventually, her existence was clearly fatal to all involved outside the marriage of John and Shamu.
His brother. Charles and I were becoming increasingly concerned for John’s welfare and how this was affecting our children.



The school system began to document, unknown to me at the time, the behavior outbursts of our son with Asperger’s. A very clear pattern emerged– Josiah was only acting out on the Fridays before visitation and the Mondays after. He would also wet the bed the night before going to daddy and Shamu’s house. He would feign illness and beg me not to send him.

My daughter was manipulated. As long as she played with her step-sister during visitations, thus allowing Shamu to smoke and talk on the phone all day, she was treated kindly and given gifts. If my daughter made Shamu mad, my daughter was completely ignored, as the step-mom doted on her toddler. On those weekends, my daughter would tell me through sobs her step-sister, Rose, was loved more. Emotional abuse is far reaching.

I spoke with doctors, therapists, attorneys, even DCS– all said emotional abuse by Shamu was hard to prove and to work with John, well, Shamu would not let me talk to John. There were some rare occasions I was able to speak privately with him… But it was too late. She had turned John against me and his depression was so severe he was incapacitated.

I cannot tell you the heartache and tears I experienced as a mother as I took my children to therapy and had to drug one of my children so he could manage. It was a nightmare
When any child, with special needs or not, begins to act out it
is often a symptom of something else, such as their home environment

It was only when John became suicidal and Charles was able to convince him to get help did the chains begin to fall from all. John is taking steps now to rebuild a healthy life. Also, my son no longer is medicated, anxious and avoiding his father.

John is a lucky one– not everyone survives abuse. It will take some time, but the road before him is no longer traveled with a noose around his neck. John was very lucky. He distrusted me, but listened to Charles. Also, Charles was able to immediately provide alternative housing and subsidize his financial needs. There are local resources to provide food and housing

If you, or someone you know is being abused, please seek assistance immediately. Click here for information and help within the United States.
Do not try to leave an abusive relationship until you have established a safety plan with the help of calling a domestic violence shelter, a therapist, or law enforcement. When an Abuser realizes they are losing control when a survivor tries to leave, they become angry. A safety plan allows one to leave safely.
I dedicate this to all survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

3 comments on “Snapshot of Emotional Abuse

  1. Pingback: Abusers rally support | Salem Witch Hunt

  2. anniethinksabout
    August 28, 2013

    Thank you. My situation is somewhat similar, but things are getting better. There are drugs for Shamu that have actually helped make him less angry and possessive. I can very much relate to this story.


  3. James Donadio
    September 6, 2013

    Hello. This is Charles. I am the character referred to in Linda’s writings. Over the years, I have observed John and saw mild disintegration of his persona. I was concerned and began a fruitful, blessed relationship with Linda. ( I consider her to be my sister, and I am her brother). Eventually, John married Shamu. In fact, I was the officiant at the ceremony. It broke my heart to learn that Shamu would not let John rent a tuxedo for their event, so she could spend those funds on a more elaborate gown. God only knows the sense in that…you can’t fix UGLY. Before the ceremony began, I was amazed and angered that she told me to alter the words in the ritual book I was using. She refused to say that she would love, honor and OBEY” her husband. She wanted me to say that she would “love, honor and RESPECT” him. I consented, much to my dismay…to alter sacred words that have spoken in numerous nuptials over many years. Despite the verbage, she did NOTHING that she vowed to God and the public. She did not love him. She did not honor him. And she definitely did not respect him…ever. I am a retired Psychiatric Nurse for the US military, I have worked with many people and many diagnoses. I hated (did I say HATED?) working with the Borderline Personality Disordered patients. In my opinion, and the opinions of other psychiatric professionals, they are the most evil, conniving, dishonest, vile persons in all of creation. Well, Shamu had all of these. ..magnified. I knew from the onset that their marriage was doomed. And I was right. She became the MAN of the house, dictating to him what would be done that day, including several prohibitions, including not speaking with his former wife. She was even physically abusive. One time when I was visiting John, I saw her throw a towel at my brother’s face, telling him “damn, clean yourself up.” Keep in mind that John was then being treated for Cancer with chemotherapy and radiation. These caused many side effects, none of which she tended to, though the guise of taking care of him at her mother’s home. How convenient. Soon, the two had full reign over him and they BOTH began to barrage him with various oggressive and passive-aggressive comments. I could not take it anymore, so I terminated my visit and returned to Philadelphia. I tell you, this THING that people believe to be human, is a true piece of shit with no morals whatsoever. She is currently in Nursing School. I have written a few letters to prevent her from even sitting the nursing boards, warning others about her Satan-like existence. Check this out…my brother received his first check from VA Compensation. It was mistakenly deposited into her account, and she is refusing to surrender it to him. Instead, she has deposited it into mommy’s account. Yes, the Civil and Federal authorities have been notified and are planning a course of action in the immediate future, which could result in charges of forgery, theft from a Federal organization. How do you spell F E L O N Y? OOPS Shamu, should this occur, there go your hopes of becoming an RN. This is a benefit to all of her potential coworkers and patients. In conclusion, I would like to share my level of hatred toward this whale, whose initials are Amber Goll.

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