Control. As human beings we spend our entire lives seeking control. We smoke cigarettes, abuse drugs and alcohol, we impulse shop, and we use a myriad of other tactics to feel in control of our lives. Some part of us knows that control is an illusion. Eating disorders and gambling addictions are manifestations of that desire for control.
Some people beat their spouses to feel in control of their lives. Some people rape women to feel powerful and in control. Given enough time physical abuse and rape will eventually escalate into murder.
Victims of this abuse certainly have no control. They could choose to walk away, and seek help. Abusers are adept at convincing their victims that they are powerless.
A man, an abuser, once told me “You’re going to find out some things about me, and I don’t want them to change the way you think of me.” The next day I found out he broke his girlfriend’s leg with a golf club, because he believed she talked too much. He wanted to shut her up. So he broke her leg. For control.
One of the men who raped me told me once that he loved manipulating women into situations to force them to have sex with him. He loved making women do things they didn’t want to do. He smiled as he described some of the things he’d done to women. Control.
Another of the men who raped me, waited until I was unconscious from my migraine medications to rape me. I briefly regained consciousness during the rape and he was telling me “You have wanted this for so long.” The only way he could control me enough to get what he wanted was to wait for me to be unconscious. Control.
And every day 22 veterans commit suicide because they have no control.
So how do we find control without murder, rape, abuse, or suicide?