What abusers say: 15 early warning signs

This is what I wish I knew before spending 17 years with JCG.

Avalanche of the soul

Do you feel there’s something ‘not quite right’ about your new romance? Can’t put your finger on why? If so, you may have a budding abuser on your hands – and listening to what they say could prevent you from becoming their latest project. Here’s 15 early warning signs that are dangerous to ignore.

Photo by click Photo by click

15 Early WARNING signs

1. He rarely – if ever – calls you by your name. You answer to ‘babe’ or ‘darling’ (because you’re an object, rather than a person). My ex managed to insert this into virtually every sentence, especially when he was making excuses for bad behaviour. Or, this unreformed playground-bully has thought-up a witty but cutting nickname, perhaps referencing the size of your posterior, which you are expected to find as entertaining as he does.

2. He tells you his marriage broke down because his wife was abusive /…

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Invalidation-It’s a wonderful thing

Checking my reader yesterday and viewing the post on domestic abuse which happened to me, I made a comment agreeing with a previous poster.  Imagine when I saw the site owner send a message to the loser regarding my post.

She emailed him my post and he of course took that opportunity to deny deny deny.  Who knows what he told her but guess what SN, you say you don’t believe everything you read on the internet? Yet you believe everything the narcissistic psychopath tells you.  For your information, I lived with him for 17 years, all the abuse heaped on me, the gaslighting, the constant invalidation during our residence together and after.   I think I know what I’m talking about.

He and I have had many talks about the half truths, the made up scenarios, the outright lies he put up on his blog.  His response?” People are stupid. I can write whatever I want. If people want to believe it then that’s their choice.”

So take down my post SN, invalidate my experience.  Isn’t it easier just to blame the woman anyway?  You play right into his hands.  Or should I say his web.

Why do you hate women?

Fantastic response!

Avalanche of the soul

Here’s my blanket response to the depressingly self-righteous trolls that find their way to this site. I’m nearly as tired of repeating myself as I am fed up with reading their pointless comments. Domestic violence is a gendered issue: stop pretending it’s not.

A website dealing with domestic violence was certain to attract trolls. Their comments are unsurprising in their irrelevance, ignorance, and uniformity and typically look like this:

  • “Why is it always ‘he’ with you feminists?” Do you understand what feminism is?
  • Men are victims too! I never said they weren’t.
  • My girlfriend is convinced I’m abusive, thanks to sites like this. Have you considered the possibility that you actually are?

I usually allow their mini-tirades on the site because hey, I enjoy a laugh as much as anyone else. But I’m tired of repeating myself now. So, for the men getting all bent out of shape because I…

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I Had a Culture Column at WIRED. And Then I Didn’t.

So true.

monica byrne


Photo: an illustration by Eric Battle and John Jennings from Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of the Phoenix. 


A month ago, with the Hugo fracas in full swing, an editor at Wired wrote me and said, “If you have something to say, you have the platform.” Given Wired’s enormous readership, what an incredible thing. I wrote the piece in an afternoon, they put it up, and it did well.

Shortly thereafter, the same editor said she and the Culture editor wanted me to write a column for them. Which was even more thrilling. And given that my op-ed had been about systemic bias in favor of white men in literature, I thought they knew exactly what they were getting with me: a commitment to changing the conversation around what’s considered newsworthy art. I wrote to the editor, “Boyhood or the new Avengers movie? I could give a shit. A Girl Walks Home Alone at…

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