Chapter 3: The Bully

Page 8 of 9

You can keep the palace clean and tidy. I will take over as ruler and enforce the laws. I will be King. I will collect the taxes and keep all the money. I will, of course, give you a generous allowance for household expenses.”

Later that night, when the princess was dining on sautéed frogs’ legs in a tarragon, cream and brandy sauce, she said to herself: “I don’t fucking think so!”

There is a serious point to this story. Why do so many of us ‘jump at’ the frog’s offer?

How are women affected by the tactics used by the Bully?

When we live with a Bully we are walking on eggshells. We can never relax properly, as we are always awaiting the next outburst. We constantly try to second-guess him and to avoid antagonising him. We dare not disagree and we cannot express opinions. We dare not leave and we lose our confidence and become timid.

When we walk down the street, we look at the ground. We are afraid to go to sleep. We are completely controlled.

We may become bullies ourselves and victimise other women or our children. Women have told me that they have got involved with even worse bullies to protect them from the last one. We defer to men, and apologise all the time.

We feel brave when using alcohol or drugs, so become dependent. We are afraid to show affection to the children in case he takes it out on them. We believe he is angry so we try to placate him. As I stated earlier, this is not the case. What reason would he have to be angry?