Words of Affirmation – Emotional Manipulative Tactic #2

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Emotional Manipulation Tactic #2 – Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation” are just what you want to hear from your significant other – that they love you, how important you are to them, they are sorry, and how they will never hurt you again. The only thing is – you never hear these things from them unless you are extremely upset and threatening to walk away. Or when they feel the need to exert their power over you in some way. It could be when you’ve reached your boiling point, like a frog about to jump out of the pot, but these words of affirmation are what your abuser knows will get you to stop being angry and stay. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t a true feeling of love or respect for you. It’s just giving you what you want to hear (or gifts) to calm you down – that’s appeasement, not love. 

After Scott’s last physical attack in October, I threatened to leave.  Scott then claimed to have an epiphany, that he would change and do whatever it took.  He bought me Hallmark cards of affirmation daily and wrote me letters stating how much he loved me and was sorry for all that he’d done in the past. (Looking back I think he was just buying time, hoping I wouldn’t press charges or file a PPO – Personal Protection Order.)

Upon returning from my birthday cruise (that he went on without me), Scott presented me with a beautiful platinum 5 diamond ring stating, “Happy Birthday. I love you with all my heart and I want to make (US) work.  It was the nicest piece of jewelry he ever gave me. But his words didn’t sound sincere, even then.  So Scott was making this grand gesture at the time trying to save our marriage by buying me gifts and showering me with words of affirmation.   “I will change and do whatever it takes” he proclaimed.   That lasted about a month, if that.  

January Journal Continued . . .

I awoke to Scott shaking my shoulder. I bolted upward and asked with my heart pounding a million beats per second. “What do you want now?” indignant that he had picked the lock, again.   Sleep was becoming difficult.  I never knew when he would ‘pick’ the lock and let himself into my bedroom.  My bedroom had become my invisible prison.  It was the only place I felt somewhat safe.  But was it?  After all, according to Scott it was HIS house, HIS room and HE could enter anytime HE felt like it with no regards to my wishes, privacy or our agreement; which apparently never took place.  I was crazy and delusional.

Standing over me in the dark Scott clamored “Where’s the ring I gave you for your birthday? I need it back!” 

“What?  It was a gift.  I’m not giving it back to you” I said, refusing his demands, pulling the sheets up trying to protect myself (and hide the ring I had on). 

In the most patronizing voice Scott could muster, he demanded, “I need it back so that I can pay attorney fees!” He said, angrily shouting at me, now holding out his hand expecting me to comply. 

Groggily I actually laughed with disgust upon hearing this. Rolling over, turning my back to him I replied, “Nope.  Sorry” hoping that he would go away and leave me alone.

I firmly believe if it came in a box, wrapped with a bow and a card that said Happy Birthday, it’s a gift.   If he feels that he needs the money that badly, let him sell one of the numerous watches or electronics I had bought him over the years.  It was ridiculous – and why that ring?

Not happy, Scott replied “Well, we will just see about that after I speak with your attorney. Good luck on paying your attorney fees!”  He knew I didn’t have any money of my own, that all our finances were held jointly.  And, he was making sure that I didn’t have access to those funds. Threats and more threats filling me with worry and fear.  Exactly what he wanted.

It took me hours to fall back asleep after he stomped away. Damn him for making me worry, not to mention scaring the hell out of me in a deep sleep. I had the ring on, thank goodness, and I was scared he would try and rip it off my finger.  I bet he had gone through my jewelry already looking for it. After that night’s incident, I wouldn’t put it past Scott to take anything of mine worth value.

Once again, we later learned that day Scott had sold additional E*TRADE stocks and changed the statement mailing address to that of his work office. That way I wouldn’t see his selling/moving of our funds. This also was in violation of both the MRO and MSQ orders.

Battleground – January

War of the Rooms

I made a mad dash for the master bedroom, purposefully going to bed earlier than usual to claim my ground.  While I was sound asleep, Scott picked the lock once again. Startled, I awoke to Scott poking me on the shoulder.  Obviously rattled with a angry tone he asked me, “What did you do to MY (not our)  Merrill Lynch account!”  

Stunned and baffled why he woke me up, I assured Scott, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.  I haven’t done anything to your account.”  Reluctantly and obviously agitated, he gave up and stomped out.  I was grateful he left, and didn’t climb back into my bed again.

Stupidly, I admit that I had left all the finances up to Scott. It was my job to pay the bills and run the house.  Scott would always make sure there was enough money in the checking account to cover those bills each month.  That was our arrangement over the years. Scott invested our savings into various stocks through E*TRADE, Merrill Lynch, and into investment properties.

New Attorney #2

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After much searching, and five consultations later, I found and hired a large firm with a good reputation to handle my divorce.  I explained my marriage history and warned my new attorney, Bob, that I think this was going to be an ugly divorce.  This was already evident by Scott’s threats and behavior already.  Bob reassured me that this is normal, and that his large firm will protect and serve me well. I signed the appropriate documents, handed Bob my retainer and a copy of my original filing for divorce along with our box of tax files for him to copy.

Interrogatory Questions

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After I shared my new attorney’s information with Scott, we immediately received his interrogatory questions for me to answer. Bob was stunned. He has never seen such an extensive packet of questions.  According to him, I have just 28 days to complete literally hundreds of questions. These ranged from the typical financial questions to the ludicrous such as “#121 – Describe your current emotional and physical state,”  or “#78 – Why do you think you are a good parent?”  Those types of questions weren’t simple yes or no answers, and will take me hours upon hours to prepare.  I can’t figure out what Scott hopes to learn from his extensive list of questions.  I am a simple housewife.  I have nothing to hide.  All our bank accounts are joint.  In return, my attorney sent out a standard set of interrogatory questions for Scott to answer with a few tweaks here and there. 

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Financial Alienation 

Since the day we decided to file for divorce, Scott has put me through deliberate and intentional alienation from our finances.  He shut them down, stating it was his house and his money.  Scott refuses to give me money, knowing I don’t have a working ATM card with our main bank in Chicago.  I always thought it was strange that he kept our bank account in Chicago, even while living abroad.  After we moved back to the States, Scott still kept that account, even though the bank is more than a three-hour drive away.  Scott coordinated most of our banking and managed the checkbook.  We had opened a small account at the local credit union who financed our mortgage, but there is never much money in that account.   

It wasn’t until months later that I learned Scott had once again hacked my Yahoo email account; once at 7:17 a.m., and again at 8:39 a.m. that day.  He was also busy violating both the MRO and MSQ Orders moving joint marital funds around and selling off E*Trade stocks. Now it all made sense, why Scott was so upset when he had problems accessing the Merrill Lynch account that day.