Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

I just read an article on Perspecticide and thought I would share some of the ideas about it. Perspecticide is the abuse-related incapacity to know what you know. It’s often part of a strategy of coercive control that may include manipulation, stalking, gaslighting and physical abuse.

Abusers often try to confuse and destabilize their partners, to increase their control through physical or psychological means. In my novel, Katie is battered repeatedly mentally and physically and does whatever she can to avoid the next one. She identifies with the aggressor instead of developing herself.

Abusers make their partners narrow their worlds. Once isolated, it is easy to lose one’s sense of self. Claude, Katie’s famous plastic surgeon husband, isolates her from her family and friends. She has lost her sense of self in him and focuses on taking care of her daughter, Rose.

Abusers insist on controlling minute aspects of their partners’ lives. Over time, victims internalize the rules and forget what life was like when they were freer to make their own choices. Claude makes lists of what Katie needs to accomplish each day and calls multiple times during the day to see what she has accomplished.

Abusers make their partners feel badly about themselves, and they begin to believe the negative descriptions of themselves and lose self-esteem. Claude constantly criticizes Katie’s physical appearance, wants to operate on her to improve her looks and tells her how stupid she is—can’t accomplish anything—the worst mother. Katie undresses in her closet.

Abusive partners demand certain acts as proof of love and over time the person being victimized gives in. Katie always gives into Claude whenever he wants sex—it’s easier and safer—she disassociates herself from the act and views it as something to take care of as quickly as possible—like washing the dishes.

Take good care of yourselves,