Sunday, 19 February 2017

Love Bombing – what is it and what it feels like?

Love bombing is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. 
Wikipedia

Love Bombing is a seductive tactic that is used when someone who is manipulative tries to control the relationship with bombs brimming with “love” right from day one.
elephantjournal.com

Love bombing is so called because of the constant bombardment of communication from the sociopath.
Datingasociopath.com

Love bombing is an all-encompassing exhaustive campaign of flattery that bombs the target with non-stop positive reinforcement.
Psychopathsandlove.com


Ten years ago I was bombarded by, what I realise now was a psychopath, who over a period of two years sent me a continuous campaign of flattering texts, emails and telephone calls. I only met him in late 2005 and this is what I received come January 2006.

Good morning
I am so happy
Knowing you are the woman I want to marry and call my wife
29.01.06

After leaving an abusive marriage I was vulnerable but  I thought, three years later that I was healed and had found the love of my life. I have never received such wonderful words from anyone before. On reflection, I realise we were not a very demonstrative family. Although my childhood was happy, an outward showing of feelings and love was limited and my first marriage was abusive. This narcissistic sociopathic man I had come into contact with online on a dating site filled a void with lovely words.

In fact, I think I love you too much
But you know what
I don’t care
So long as you love me too
Won't ever break your heart
Can't wait to be with you
13.02.06

I was blown away, infatuated and addicted to the words not him. His love bombing felt like love and I thought I was in love. It's taken 10 years and a tremendous amount of work on myself to understand and accept what happened to me. I was duped, manipulated and love bombed.

What lies behind us?
What lies before us?
Are tiny matters
Compared to what lies within us
Remember always that I love you
08.03.06

What greater flattery than to have someone who adores you and thinks you are the best thing they have ever known. What greater flattery to believe that this person believes they too have found the love of their life and they will “love you forever and never hurt you or make you sad.”

Sherlock Holmes was an idiot
Robert Watt was a fool
Other inventors were all worth nothing
Cos none of them discovered you
I am the genius, cos I found you
25.05.06

I fell hook, line and sinker. I fell head over heels in love; I wanted to believe that this was what love was really like. I wanted to believe that there were good people out there and that there was someone who would see the best in me and love me unconditionally. He came over as loving and caring, trustworthy and loyal and he even agreed he had the same values, ethics, dreams and goals as me. As he states in his text above, yes he was a genius, a genius in manipulation, brainwashing and a genius in lying and not only lying to me but also to himself. He was and is a psychopath.

On my honour, I promise to love you now and forever
You are my life
No man wants to trade anything
And I cannot afford to trade you
You are my life
I’ll love you now and forever
23.06.06

He promised to love me forever, "till death us do part." But he didn’t; he used and abused me in order to obtain a Visa to the UK. He became violent and financially abusive, not contributing adequately to the household finances but sending money to his mother, buying clothes, endless pairs of shoes and going out with his friends. I became a thorn in his side and was not invited to visit with his friends.

You are the best woman on earth
The best in my life
You are my world, my future
I love you baby and I won't ever stop loving you
I will hold you so tight tonight
05.07.06

Realising and accepting you have been lied to and betrayed by someone who was supposed to love and care about you is devasting. For it to happen twice is doubly excruciating. I was traumatised and suffered nightmares, flashbacks, depression, chronic migraine, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post Traumatic Relationship Disorder (PTRD).  He didn’t care, because just like trash I was cast aside, used and abused, thrown to the sharks and had to somehow save myself.

We are two different people
But I can't imagine my world without you
Why do I think about you so much
That it drives me crazy
I love you
24.08.06

The red flags I should have picked up on were the intensity and rapid pace of the relationship.  But also it was the space I was in at the time. This sociopath caught me at one of my most vulnerable places – leaving and recovering from an abusive marriage of 25 years. I also have to reflect on my childhood as my father was volatile and aggressive and there were little demonstrative love and emotional intelligence shown to me who anyone else in the home. I was not used to this rapid and intense love bombing and unfortunately for me “it felt so good.”

Remember love bombing goes hand in hand with gaslighting, grooming, coercive control and all forms of abuse including sexual as well as child sexual abuse and exploitation. It is used to manipulate the victim into believing that they are deeply loved, special and extremely valuable to the perpetrator. Love bombing is not just used in adult to adult relationships but also adult to child or young person and parent to child/grandparent to child. Love bombing is an insidious part of the abuse and is embedded in every type of abuse and forms part of coercive control and manipulation. 

Perpetrators who use love bombing are usually sociopathic, narcissistic and psychopathic and know exactly what they are doing because it is all about them, for their own gain and theirs alone. Love bombing can happen to you whoever you are, whatever gender, sexual orientation, culture, social standing and age - it is one of the basic needs of a perpetrator and forms the basis for silence and secrets as some abusers rely on their victims to love them or fall in love with them. 

I leave you with this email my perpetrator wrote to me in the very early days of his love bombing:

Honey
Let me start by saying that I thank God every night since I found you. You came into my life when everything seemed so dark but you provided the light to find my way. I've never been so certain of anything in my life like I am of us. You have totally changed my outlook on life and I thank you for that. I never thought that someone could love me like you do, but guess what? I love you that much too. I feel as if I'm walking over clouds just thinking about you. You make my life complete. I know you've said we could do foolish things while in love, but you know what? With you, I wouldn't mind being a fool for the rest of my life. I love you so much and I know you love me too. I know that others looking into our relationship might think that we're saying too many foolish things but they just don't know how we feel about each other. There's nothing foolish about the things I've told you, I meant every word I said. I love you. I would do anything for you. Today I promise you that I would do anything in my power to be a great person, outstanding father and a loving husband for you.

I LOVE YOU!!

If this letter doesn't reach its destination, send it to heaven 'cause it was meant for an angel.

Love you loads
xxx

Love bombing is also an insidious part of Immigration Marriage Fraud which is more prevalent in the UK than individuals believe and still relatively unrecognised fully by the Home Office and UK Border Authorities. Immigration Marriage Fraud, love bombing, coercive control and every other form of abusive behaviours are very difficult to prove in the UK court of law. 

See my other blog post: 
http://averyenglishmrsteacup.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/immigration-marriage-fraud.html 

The text messages and letter shared in the post are the actual love bombing that I received from my sociopathic abuser just 10 years ago. There are hundreds more; I would receive a minimum of three texts per day over a two year period, that equates to a minimum of 2,184 texts – but it was much much more, I have three notebooks full – you see I recorded everyone.


@ed2inspire
19.02.17


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Disclosure – What it can feel like

Let me tell you what it feels like to disclose; to share my story, to disclose my abuse, to talk about it and to let you in. Disclosing to some random person or even all of you here reading this was and has been hugely difficult and challenging over time. So let me try and explain to you what disclosure can look and feel like. The years and years of build up to disclosing are toxic and damaging; holding onto trauma can damage the brain, relationships and cause many disorders, for example, PTSD and cPTSD, DID and other mental health disorders. Some victims and survivors of abuse turn to substances, alcohol and can lose everything and end up on the streets homeless. We refer to survivors as such as some do not make it, some sadly pass away and some commit suicide, some of those who survive campaign to help others and raise awareness of this insidious crime and the long lasting life-long damage of abuse.  

So let me educate you as to what the build up to disclosing feels like...

So let me tell you why I feel blue, why I lost trust and why I was bust. Why decades of shame, blame, silence and tears, living in fear, embarrassed and guilt-ridden, I was a hostage and hidden. I felt worthless and frightened, marginalised, an outsider looking in. I had been sucked in by a charmer, lied to by a groomer, coerced by a narcissist, gaslit by a psychopath. Life has been sad; I even asked if I was really bad.

I have been lost at a heavy cost, I became invisible, haunted with a miserable soul and my heart and spirit broken, my voice was taken; you see my abuser spoke for me. I thought I was smart but even I fell apart. Abuse is abysmal; it is a sick excuse for silence and secrets, threats and fear, exclusion and segregation, rejection and elimination. We become nobodies encased in guilt & shame and the damage is life-long, we never forget.

He held my head against a wall, took me by the throat, pulled me along by my hair and pushed me till I fell with his flying fists. His evil words flowed like fjords which damaged my psyche and he thought he would break me. My confidence was destroyed; I was embarrassed, ashamed, dirty, unclean, muted, unseen; my personality stripped, I was controlled and gripped, my sanity was blown, my mind not my own. I was told I am paranoid and it was all in my imagination. My brain was fried and my inner child died; I never cried, you see I couldn’t my tears had run dry, I was completely cried out. Is it really me? Would I ever be free?

I lived like a zombie and life was lonely; I was encased in a fog my body trapped in a bog. I was being sucked under by quicksand and manipulated by his hands. Isolated, kidnapped, and taken hostage in my own home; invisible, unseen, all I wanted to do was hide, my heart had died. The pain and trauma left me in a coma; the lethargy was indescribable…please let me sleep till I see next world, let me die; take me now anything but these lies and mental abuse.

I was angry, confused, cynical and scared; triggers the worst, flashbacks a curse. Sleepless nights and nightmare fights. The foetal position kept me safe; you see I took no chances from his unwanted advances so I barricaded the bedroom door trying to protect my inner core. You see I was not consenting which for him was degrading.

All this a secret behind closed doors, a door he held the key to, quite literally. A charade played out privately, I must behave publicly. Mustn’t cause any doubt of this big fat lie, we don’t want neighbours to pry. But back home I get the stick, a fist or a barrage of words. Who’s going to believe me and give some reprieve, there’s no one who knows because it’s too outlandish, scandalous, and outrageous; too taboo this dirty word called abuse. You see no one talks about this ghastly stuff because it’s too uncomfortable, it doesn’t happen at others tables.

Outwardly I look fine; my fa├žade in place, lipstick shining nothing is ever out of place. My persona flawless, polished & gleaming but underneath there is a pain so deep that I am trying desperately to escape. The pain goes to the core of my being and that damage is life-long and, I believe, can never be fully healed although the past is past and I now live in the moment – not the past or the future – the moment.

Disclosure is the hardest act, and that’s a fact; to open up and share my dirty laundry, my personal story with all of you, for all of you to share, have a pop at, an opinion and a judgement, even discuss embarrassing and shameful, makes me feel dirty and unclean, muted and unseen. People see me differently now and I am different, I can never to be the same again, how can I and nor should I and I shouldn’t have to explain to you or anyone what it feels like to be abused.

So, don’t tell me to get over it or move on; don’t tell me to forget it or it’s in the past because let me tell you it’s impossible. What most survivors need are someone who listens and believes and who can scoop you up and believe in you; can give a hug and smile and a cuppa tea. If this is possible there’s a small chance of healing and a small chance of hope and peace, of breaking the cycle and the pattern. There is a chance of a brighter future, a chance of peace of mind and a chance of being somebody again and a chance we can find a safer place to live and breathe in solace.

Now you know a little of what it feels like to suffer decades of abuse and then have to tell some random stranger in a uniform, your journey of abuse, over and over, somewhere clinical because they decide that’s the best way to disclose. And when you do find the time to listen to me, you have no excuse to disbelieve or doubt my words or feelings, question my mental health or my historic sexual activity. What you do have to do is listen, hear, believe and care about me. You have no excuse or reason to disbelieve me or anyone else who finds the strength and courage to disclose their story of abuse.

Never judge a child, teenager, young person, adult or the elderly whether they be male or female, of any gender, social standing or culture who have suffered abuse - historic or current, sexual or otherwise, domestic violence or abuse or not. Consider how challenging it is to speak, possibly as long as three score years and ten later about an evil perpetrator that abused them as a child.

Remember others may never tell or my find the courage, beat the shame and tell someone safe before their passing. We must honour the brave that comes forward and disclose this insidious crime who have the courage to speak out to endeavour to make changes to current systems, laws and procedures in order to safeguard current and future generations of children and young people.

So when someone discloses their horrific abuse have the decency and respect to believe them.

The greatest gift you can give a victim or survivor of abuse is to believe them.


This is a small precis of my talk about Disclosure in Antrobus, Cheshire with @VoicingCSA on Saturday 11th February 2017. To see the full talk please go to: 
Voicing CSA Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/voicingcsa/about/?ref=page_internal
Website: https://.voicingcsa.uk
Email: at contact@voicingcsa.co.uk 
Twitter: @voicingcsa



On Saturday 12th February 2017  I was lucky enough to meet and spend time with actor Chris Harper at the Escape Charity Event at Old Trafford VIP Suite, Manchester. Chris currently plays the role of groomer "Nathan" in Coronation Street; as Nathan, he will go on to groom Bethany over the next few weeks.  I spent quality time discussing my own story of grooming, gaslighting and coercive control with Chris in order to assist him with his research in his role as a paedophile and perpetrator of abuse.

You can read the article/interview with Chris Harper  in the Sunday Mirror today (12.02.2017) where, as an Ambassador, he supports charity  Voicing CSA and shares a small part of my story here: 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/coronation-street-star-reveals-met-9800715


@ed2inspire
12.02.17