Today I went to an educational workshop, ScreenMATE, which discussed how to recognise abuse and harmful behaviours and to encourage people to speak out and offer help. The workshop interrogated unconscious beliefs and attitudes to do with harmful gender stereotypes. The facilitators were excellent and I got a lot out of the training, although felt quite triggered by the end of it.
One aspect of the training that stood out to me was the Duluth Model, Power and Control Wheel . I have included the two wheels below, although we only discussed the Power and Control one. What got me was that my father used all these tactics of power and control over my mother. Even though I knew all this, seeing it in this wheel model made it all just seem very real and wrong. I mean I knew it was wrong, of course it was wrong, but the fact that his tactics were text book behaviours just freaked me out I guess. It made me think of my ex husband too and how I know he used many of these power and control tactics on his kids when he was married to his first wife. M was an alcoholic and so I know his behaviour was linked to that, but he definitely carried some of this stuff into our marriage. He used some forms of emotional abuse (our humour was based on putting each other down, making me feel bad about myself at times, making me feel guilty) and intimidation tactics (displaying weapons), using male privilege and minimising my abuse. I am painting a bad picture here of M, but some of this stuff was concerning. I definitely felt like I could handle it, but seeing it in this wheel, shows me that power and control were definitely at play. It makes me feel a bit sick that I was attracted to someone who had power and control issues, like my father, and that I was unconsciously drawn to that.
With the abuse of children wheel, my father used religion/ God against me all the time. This is a massive part of SRA and mind control programming, so that the child believes they are evil and bad. That whole circle relates to my childhood. Anyway I feel a bit ill writing about it all.