MJ: During my marriage, I experienced different forms of isolation. Physical in distance by living in different states for 11 months while he “looked” for a place for us to live. Alone in the house while he worked third shift and slept during the day and made it clear I was not to have any outreach to neighbors. Isolation socially as he didn’t want to go to church, visit family, have family visit, eventually no friends to visit at all, and was not interested in anything social more than going to see a movie once in a while. Isolation from him even talking with me when he was awake save for the questions about when the meals would be ready. Forget about any normal marital physical touch. He actually turned his back to me on our wedding night, put a pillow between his knees and went to sleep. So, isolation in the bedroom as well. What can you tell women who have experienced isolation to expect once they leave their abuser and are there any ramifications for self-isolation, which might be a normal result, after they do leave?
Percell: This is quite profound and cannot be given due diligence here. However, I believe the three main things to be; 1. Self-Isolation, 2. Low Self Esteem, and, 3. Sponsoring Thoughts.
1. Self-Isolation: Many persons, not only isolation victims, go through this malaise. Something unpleasant has occurred; serotonin and dopamine levels are down; we are sad. This is a naturally occurring reaction to a physical condition. But there is a difference between sadness and depression. Foremost, one is okay… the other is not. It is imperative to determine which one is dealing with in order to correctly diagnose the problem and seek a way out.
Both sadness and depression can lead to self-isolation...oddly, the very thing that precipitated the issue. Feelings of not wanting to deal with it, not knowing what to do, not having the energy to be around others, wanting to be alone are all symptoms of the malaise. The only cure is to attack the cause and not the symptoms. The cause is #2.
2. Low Self-Esteem: It is a fault of the human condition to view the world through our own eyes rather than viewing our lives from the outside in, God, or your universal Higher Power. I have found that many women blame themselves in some way/s for their situations. Yet, they are angry with the doer who isolated them. This self-created paradox does not add any positivism to the cause.
“What’s wrong with me?”, “Why didn’t he _____?”, “What could / should I have done differently?” are some of the most usual questions. Of course, the reality is that you did not desire the isolation, therefore the questions are moot. Being left without answers leaves you angry and feeling horrible about yourself. On the other hand, you are well aware that you did nothing to instigate the treatment making it not your fault. That you have been mistreated for no reason leaves you angry. This, followed by, “How could I let this happen?” and “Why didn’t I say / do something sooner?” steer you directly back to feeling horrible about yourself. The impending and inevitable result is a low self-esteem. The cure is #3.
3. Sponsoring Thoughts: A complete study and understanding of the mind is one’s only hope to a speedy recovery from such a malaise. In many cases, it is a complete avoidance of such. It is paramount that one understands how the brain and mind work in order to be better prepared for or avoid an array of life issues.