A recent article in the Huffington Post pointed out something that many victims of domestic violence have been thinking; that Trump’s personality and behavior are characteristic of the abusive partners they’ve had. The article was sent to me by a client who felt Trump was a good example of an abusive spouse and for her as for the women the Huffington Post talked to, watching him was triggering the feelings associated with the trauma from which they were escaping.
And we elect him for president, because he sounds strong and we want change? Maybe that makes us wishful dreamers that are hoping for help when we feel like we have no control over our lives. As many know, the first step in helping an abused woman out of a relationship, is not just helping her to see that her partner is dangerous to her survival. It’s helping her to know that there are other choices, that she can do for herself what she is wishing someone else would do for her. Showing her that her mind, her skills are enough. Especially, it is important for her to accept the truth of her situation. In abusive relationships, the perpetrator works his weak spell by convincing his partner that she needs him alone, that she is weak and unable to take care of herself. This psychological imprisonment is as effective as real imprisonment.
When Trump declared that only he could save America from “the system”, that we need protection and only he could save us, alarm bells went off in the minds of many listeners. Angel Marie Russell wrote on her Facebook page, per the Huffington Post, ” Trump is triggering so many abuse and rape victims, including me”. “His behavior is almost exact to my abusive exes. It’s terrifying. I can’t even watch him.” But watch him we must. And as with all crazy-making behavior, we have to pay attention not just to what he says, but more importantly, to what he does.