She was the most beautiful thing in the world to him. She couldn’t believe her luck when he looked at her and chose her. He made her feel special with his attention, as he paraded her in front of his friends, remarked upon her intelligence and complimented her.

Previously unliked by men and women both, she bloomed under his guidance. The few friends she had carefully cultivated, the ones who liked her kindness and welcomed her company did not meet his standards. Under his secret sneers and uncomprehending gaze they lost heart and withered away from her. Puzzled but happy, she accepted their gradual withdrawal and instead immersed herself in her new love.

She joyfully signed away her independence, trusting to her new love to keep her safe. The door of his house closed behind her, implacably, impermeable, impregnable.

She quickly learned. A place for everything and everything in its place. Clean and tidy by nature, she realised she must not clean and tidy, without first informing him of her intentions and replacing things exactly where they were. She quickly learned. Fond of reading and music, she realised she must not read in his presence as he required her full attention, every minute of every day. She restrained her love of music until she knew she was alone in the house, and danced, summoning the joy she dimly remembered from months past.

Her intelligence, once an asset, became a burden. Once praised, now ridiculed. She quickly learned. She stifled independent thought and individual opinion. Crushed them down until they crumbled away. Told she was stupid, she began to believe. Told she was untrustworthy, she began to doubt. Told she was pathetic, she began to die.


19 thoughts on “Trapped

  1. Uncomfortable reading but very good. I think you have captured the slow attrition of this very well. Your post didn’t show up in my reader today for some reason so I had to come looking, just in case. Glad I did!


  2. I know abusive relationships exist. I wonder if it’s not enough to encourage our children to believe in their own worth. Maybe we also have to help them see the destructive influence of toxic people’s negativity; help them learn early that that sort of person is not to be trusted or befriended. And if the truth of them doesn’t show till later — leave as soon as it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are very right – these sort of relationships don’t even have to be physically destructive either, just the gradual erosion of self worth is sufficient. It probably isn’t enough to encourage children to believe in their own self worth… but how do you teach character judgement to a child? It’s something I personally have found comes with age and experience, but you are right… it’s the sort of thing that should be added to the school curriculum.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think as parents, we have an obligation to point out positive and negative treatment when we see it, both in the media and in real life. Have age-appropriate conversations about the effects one individual’s treatment (positive or negative) has on the people they interact with. Maybe interactions you and / or your child see at the park, at school, out shopping, in restaurants. It would be wonderful to have schools reinforce the message, but I think this is an area where a parent naturally has the greatest influence.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, very wise words. My sons are 17 and 21 now and actually learned very little at school about these issues other than a passing mention of “domestic abuse”. It’s so much more than that though, it’s about respect and compassion which as you so rightly point out should be learned from parents first…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A very powerful post, and very well written. I followed the link on your testing post, but I find a lot of posts don’t appear in my feed and I have to search to find posts from the blogs I regularly follow. Never mind, it was worth the effort to get here. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I appreciate that :)I don’t know why today’s didn’t show up…hoping tomorrow’s does! Apparently it can be something to do with how you receive notifications, search engines and son did explain and I understood about one word in seven…lol!
      However, thank you for taking the time to chase the post down and comment 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

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