Destroying Your Possessions

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One sign you are a victim of abuse is if any of your possessions have been destroyed. Remember that an abuser is primarily concerned with control, and in the context of control he or she secretly considers you to be a possession. A person is capable of having possessions, but a possession is not capable of having possessions. Therefore destroying your possessions is an effective way to dehumanize you, showing you by force that you don’t have rights to ownership.

If one of your possessions has been destroyed it follows that any of them could be destroyed at any time, that you have no control over the objects in your life. It’s a short step then to see that the real motive is to make you cede control of the existential too, your thoughts, beliefs, and actions, which are also your possessions although they are more ephemeral.

There can be no doubt about who has the power in the relationship when a physical object that you can see and touch is destroyed in front of you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You become more malleable with the ephemeral possessions when you don’t fight back in the face of your physical possessions getting destroyed. When you think about it, what your abuser is saying in no uncertain terms is that nothing belongs to you, that nothing of yours is safe, that you only have access to these objects because of his or her ‘benevolence’.