Do You Need Proof?

by Annie Kaszina on June 2, 2015


I really wish my partner would hit me then I’d have proof” wrote one emotionally abused woman this week.   Does she really want her emotionally abusive partner to hit her? Absolutely not.  It’s just a form of words to describe how desperate and confused she’s feeling. What she wants is proof that the relationship is toxic enough to leave – before she can even think about starting to recover from emotional abuse.

If her partner were to hit her, do you suppose that would ‘do the trick’?

Highly unlikely.

Statistics suggest that in the US a woman is hit by her partner 35 times before she even files a police report.  (Nor does it vary much elsewhere.)

What this means is that the appalling fact of being struck by an intimate partner is NOT enough to make the scales fall from a woman’s eyes.


Rather, a phsycially violent abuser will use the same lines to justify his behaviour as an emotionally violent abuser – I use that term deliberately – does:

“You made me do it. If you hadn’t done what you did, I’d never have done what I did. Besides, it’s not that big of a deal…”

While the victim is likely to make all the usual excuses: “It was the drink…” (Have you ever seen a bottle of alcohol get up and attack  someone?) “It was stress over work/being out of work/old emotional baggage/financial worries…”

What’s it all really about?

The victim’s belief that ‘things’ have to be objectively proved to be bad – beyond all (un)reasonable doubt – before they can possibly leave.

That simply doesn’t work.

It’s the old lobster thing: when you pop a live lobster into a pot of cold water and only gradually heat the water, it takes the lobster a long time to realize the gravity of what’s happening – in whatever way a lobster does make sense of it. And the outcome, for the lobster, is NOT a good one.

It’s all about the Crapometer

crapometeriismallBut let me present you with another way of looking at it. Let’s paraphrase what that woman who wrote desiring proof was actually saying.  For her – to use the technical term -it’s all about the Crapometer.

“What I need is to see is that the needle on the Crapometer is pointing to red” is how I interpret her words.

What’s the big thing with where the needle points?

You see, where the needle points on the Crapometer doesn’t really matter.  The simple fact of having to measure a relationship anywhere along the Crapometer is the only information you need. If your relationship is anywhere on the Crapometer that means it is emotionally abusive.

A relationship that can be measured on the Crapometer is… Let’s be lady-like – the way my mother taught me – and say: it’s just not worth having.

No relationship – whether intimate, or not – should ever be about giving and/or taking c**p.

How do you know your relationship is a Crapometer relationship?

Because it/he leaves you feeling like crap – at least some of the time.

That is all the proof you will ever need.  Feeling like crap in your relationship around a ‘loved one’ is a sure sign of toxicity.

The red flags don’t come any bigger than that.

You can continue to ignore them for as long as you like.

The relationship won’t get any better.

You see, relationships don’t just happen.

Someone sets them up. More precisely, in an emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser installs a Crapometer.  Right from the get-go.  He may not use it very much at the start. But, rest assured, it’s there, ready and waiting.

The Crapometer will outlast the relationship.

There will NOT come a time when he will turn to you and say:

“You know, I think the time has come to turn off the Crapometer.  Your sweet and loving nature has finally won me over. I get where you’re coming from and, from now on,  I’m going to be a good and loving partner forever and a day.”

He loves that Crapometer more than he loves you.

Way more.

What kind of a person loves a Crapometer more than another human being?

Someone who’s really, really into Crapometers.  Someone who’s not that mad about love and affection. Someone who is wedded to their Crapometer.

Which means that, unless you want to remain stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship, wedded to that Crapometer, too, you only really have one choice: you’ve got to take your well-being into your own hands. And leave him to spend even more quality time with his Crapometer.

That’s your only chance of happiness, wholeness, and being loved for the person that you are. You can live in the shadow of the Crapometer, or else you can recover from emotional abuse, but you can’t do both.


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