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In the book “Why Does He Do That?” Lundy Bancroft outlines ten types of abusers. You can see the brief description of each type in my previous post on identifying types of abusive men.
Today we are going to dive more into the mindset of the Drill Sergeant.
The Attitudes That Drive the Drill Sergeant Abuser
The Drill Sergeant is all about control. From the clothes she wears to the people she sees he runs his partner’s life in any way that he can. He may listen to her phone calls, read her mail, or even make her children report her movements when he is not around.
The Drill Sergeant abuser is fanatically jealous. He frequently accuses his partner of cheating on him or lusting after other men. Ironically he is also often out having affairs himself. He doesn’t value fidelity, he values possession.
The Drill Sergeant believes that he owns HIS woman. All women are merely objects to be used by him, and this particular one is also obligated to obey his every command. He may say the words “I love you”, but he doesn’t know what they really mean.
The Drill sergeant is almost guaranteed to become physically violent. He will not hesitate to beat his partner to the point of severe injury if that is what is required to maintain control over her.
The Drill Sergeant understands that his control requires her isolation. He goes to great lengths to ensure that she is unable to gather any support that might assist her in escaping his control.
The Drill Sergeant is also likely to experience other mental health issues or substance addiction. While these issues do not cause the abuse, they can intensify his violent tendencies.
The Partner of the Drill Sergeant
The partner of the Drill Sergeant lives in constant fear. Even a decision as small as Coke vs. Pepsi could bring on an assault if she gets it wrong. She knows that no matter how hard she tries she will inevitably make a mistake and pay for it in verbal or physical assaults.
The Drill Sergeant’s partner may try to stand up for herself at first. She quickly learns, however, that this only brings on more intense abuse. His threats and violonce will escalate to any level necessary to put her back under his thumb. She literally fears for her life if she crosses him.
The Drill Sergeants partner feels like she is completely alone. Because he monitors every person she talks to, and the conversations she has with them, she can’t directly ask for help. In order to escape she has to rely on her own strength, and there isn’t much of that left.
If the Drill Sergeant’s partner attempts to leave she knows that she is risking the life, and that of her children if she has any. It takes a LOT of courage and careful vigilance for her to find a way out. She knows that restraining orders and even jail time won’t stop her abuser from coming after her in revenge. She also doesn’t trust the court system to do its job and protect her. Building up the support team required to help her escape her situation safely can take years.
The partner of a Drill Sergeant is extremely traumatized. She may experience PTSD symptoms equal to or even worse than many veterans who have seen intense combat. The level of betrayal trauma that her abusive partner inflicts with the violence and the affairs can cause extreme emotional damage. She will need loving support from family, friends, and a good therapist as she works towards healing.
Do You Know a Drill Sergeant Abuser
The Drill Sergeant is usually one of the easier types of abusers to identify. Maybe you are thinking of a friend or family member who is in a relationship with this type of abuser. Please remember that it is extremely difficult and often unsafe for them to reach out for help. Be very cautious of their safety as you reach out to them in support.
Remember not every abuser fits neatly into one package. You may know someone who has a few of these traits, but not all of them. You may know someone who has all of these traits, plus a few dozen more. The important part is to recognize the attitudes of abuse at work here.
If you believe that you are in an abusive relationship please reach out and seek help using the resources at the bottom of the abusive types post here.
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