The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

Ambient Abuse 1


Ambient abuse is when you are put into a constant state of anxiety by the behaviour of someone else.

Here are some examples. They are of ambient abuse in a marraige/relationship.

Your partner promises to phone you at a certain time – hours later, they still haven’t phoned and you are left feeling anxious.

You are kept waiting anxiously all day to hear the results from your partner’s medical test you know has come through that day.

You suffer long silent, angry nights.

Your partner reminds you of his allergy every time you want to visit your parents/friend/family-member who has a dog.

On your girl’s night out you are surprised and anxious to find your partner waving to you from the bar, but then he disappears – or reappears now and then.

When you are in a happy group, your partner sits outside of the group, making you wonder if you should sit with them, or stay with the group.

At parties and celebrations your partner develops a splitting headache or any other condition (dog allergy) which forces you to feel jumpy and anxious.

Your partner ‘forbids’ you to take medication for depression or post natal psychosis or slags off your desire for further education because of some reason/opinion of their own, making you anxious that they might know something you don’t.

You partner leaves you on the street, or drives off in a huff leaving you in a situation that triggers fears for your safety – in your own town, or a foreign country.

Something unpleasant occurs like a car crash – but your partner ‘forbids’ you to phone any relative to let them know as it’s ‘none of their business’ or ‘it will make them worried’.

You find things moved around in your house, or your car keys/jewellery in illogical places making you anxious you might be losing your mind.

You become depressed (and anxious).

When you are together you are always checking to see whether THEY are alright and happy.

You dread them coming home in case they are angry, sulking, drunk, or in a bad mood.

You dread going home.

You dread showing them a purchase or discussions, because of the re-action.

You clean up after them, or keep an excessively clean, tidy home to please them.

You ‘admire’ their wisdom and question your own.

You feel like a little girl or little boy, having to ask permission to do anything.

You find yourself becoming alienated from your friends or family.

Your partner prefers not to live in the town you have ties with, or you move because you get a place in a university, but your husband/partner HATES living in that town.

Your partner goes to their own parents for Christmas and you go to yours with begrudging ‘permission’ to do so.

Your partner HATES your parents.

Your partner withholds their approval on your ideas or activities.

Any situation where you are left feeling anxious, but you can’t exactly explain why.

You LUUUUUUV them despite all of the above and feel you couldn’t live without them.

Ambient Abuse 2 to follow


Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

6 thoughts on “Ambient Abuse 1

  1. I do hope this isn’t you that you are talking about. Not that it would make your experiences much different from mine. But I have always felt better able to cope than most, for some inexplicable reason. But then I always feel that the pain of other people is so much worse than mine.

    But then I was born on the cusp between beholden women and identifiable women. Women who had no identity, and women who knew who they were.

    Such a pity that I never learned to say, “You can cut this crap, now.” I might not have finished up living alone.

    No, I am not a victim. Just immeasurably stupid and too kind at times.

    Actually, it can’t be you because you have a dog. And I am okay anyway. There are things to be said for living alone.


    • These abuse articles first appeared on a blog I had from about 2006. They were triggered by watching abuse happening to someone, and working with a social worker who dealt with abuse. But I realise that my first marriage was abusive – but I don’t think it was purposeful – abusers often haven’t a clue they are abusing!


      • Most of them don’t, Love. That is the saddest thing of all. But in those cases there is room for “The Victim” to say, just stop this. Sadly, some people don’t know how because they don’t understand why

        Sorry, I don’t have much time for Social Workers. Go and save a child who is being abused.

        I once had one of them coming at me, but I certainly didn’t need her to tell me how to deal with an alcoholic, compulsive gambler. Did she think that I should have been more understanding? Or perhaps she thought he might listen? Bloody pillock.

        There is only one answer. Leave,


  2. Thanks for the post – it sounds very familiar! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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