Cycle of Abuse: Was developed in 1979 by Lenore E. Walker to explain patterns, and the stages of behavior in an abusive relationship. There are four stages in the cycle:
1. Tension-building: Stress from daily life, such as conflict as work, home, with children and/or finances. During this stage the victim may either begin “walking on eggshells” trying to desolate the situation by being non-confrontational, and going out of their way to be more doting, helpful and nurturing, or, the victim may provoke the abuser in order to get impending abuse over with.
2. Acting-out: The abuser’s behavior exerts power and control over the victim, and their behavior escalates (often times) to verbal and psychological abuse, which is often followed by outbursts of violent, abusive behavior. The emotional, verbal or physical abuse often times serves as a release for the abusers hostility, and is followed by the “honeymoon” stage.
3. Reconciliation/honeymoon: The abuser may feel (or pretend to feel) guilt, remorse and empathy. They may be accountable for their actions, but more often than not they aren’t, instead the project (or share) their behavior onto the victim. (Such as, I wouldn’t have cheated, if you’d been more attentive. It’s your fault–or I wouldn’t have cheated had you not been more attentive–so it’s both our faults.)
The victim often feels fearful, and uncertain during this stage, not sure of whether or not the abuser is sincere, and that it won’t happen again. In addition, due to the emotional abuse that tends to proceed this stage, the victim often feels that they played some part in the abuse, taking responsibility for the abuser’s actions–that if they had done things differently, that this wouldn’t have happened. (This applies to not only physical abuse, but emotional abuse such as cheating.)
4. Calm: This stage involves the abuser vowing to change. The abuser asks for forgiveness, often promises to go to counseling, and gives gifts to the victim. Passionate make up sex, and an intense feeling of connection are often present in this stage, which further serves to reinforce to the victim that they are in love, and that this relationship should, and could, be saved–and that it won’t happen again.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 30: Book Club Discussion on “Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse” by Joanna Moore - June 27, 2017
- Live Stream from June 21, 2017 - June 25, 2017
- Episode 28: Gratitude Can Help Keep You Grounded - March 21, 2017