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Power and Control. It's something we all want and need. But when it goes beyond normal, it becomes an addiction. Being OUT of CONTROL is NOT normal ! This is MY way of seeing it. But using this perspective has changed my life, given my sanity back, and restored my soul.

It may be my way of seeing it. But also has been my way back to safety and sanity. And it could just be yours...as well!

Viewing Domestic Violence as an ADDICTION to POWER and CONTROL, is a new way of looking at an age old problem. But it comes from the first person, it comes from my own experience as a Survivor. How do we treat addictions? What works? Quiet, gentle steps toward sobriety.

Ask anyone who has seen DOMESTIC VIOLENCE if it seems sober, and they will tell you absolutely NOT. New concept. Old treatments. New pathways to healing.

You may call this radical. But I challenge you as to whether a better way has been found? Yes, I understand there is something called Rage Control, there is Anger Management. Then of course there is the Blame Method, which helps no one. But none of that attacks what I call The Hole In The Soul, which we all seek to fill. This is a job the Twelve Step Recovery Program can do!

Consider our society...is it not all about seeking the ultimate? Control? Power? And aren't these ideals used to sell everything from deodorant to cars? And isn't the ultimate in Management (the thing we all seek to do at our jobs, or we're told we oughta wannit) is Control, and Power.

And I'd like to say that because I am a trained social worker it came to me one day, as the proverbial apple fell on old Newton's head. But I can't. I had to find myself in a situation, after having LEFT the batterer, to find myself still dealing with the issues, his issues, issues I hadn't even experienced in my life-before our very brief marriage-when he changed like Dr Jekly/Mr Hyde.

But that didn't show me anything. It was when I saw another woman, displaying behavior I couldn't even grasp: Going for "A New Relationship" before even getting out of the abusive one...that I saw the light.

She acted just like an addict. And here I was dealing with her Domestic Violence issues just like she had been married to a practicing alcoholic. And Al-Anon is just as important as Alcoholics Anonymous! Because the lives of those living with the alcoholic become just as crazy if not MORE, than that of the one drinking. It runs the household. Addictions do that.

But she wasn't using. And I never have. Yet even though she and I had left our abusers, neither of us was free? And now here is a woman, jealous of me [ahem....two decades older than she???], because she wanted ANOTHER relationship??? And she even had an active one year old to take care of ??? That's when it hit me like a bolt lightening....I sat up so hard that I hit my head on the roof of the car!

I remembered in college that the model for business management and Domestic Violence are the same, with the small circle in the middle being power and control. But what if that gets out of hand? What if being in control meant OF OTHERS, not of the office or house. What if it meant all exist to serve the one in power, known as the boss from hell (%^0)

So WHAT IF that is all Domestic Violence IS?

I began taking the Twelve Steps applying them to my life, and ended up writing them up for the Addiction to Power and Control known as Domestic Violence .

Then I lived my life as if this were an addiction, not a villain. And everything changed..for the better. For even Dr. Jekyl was not always Mr Hyde, until the very end.

After all, before he married me he was a truly romantic caring individual working on building a home together. I always said that I AM of his dreams, but that he WAS NOT the man of his dreams. He was simply not able. And he refused to admit he abused, refused to deal with it. His dream woman had NO CHOICE but to leave. For to remain meant death. He had promised her. She believed him, he'd tried enough times!

So if this story sounds like yours. Please read on, and find hope. Even if there are no other meetings on this version of the twelve steps, there are Twelve Step meetings around the world, so effectively have they worked for decades now.

You can attend one and say nothing. It is acceptable, even expected! And if someone asked...there is no shame in saying just exactly what you came for....to get help finding the path your life once was on.

You should be very proud of yourself for seeking help with this extremely difficult subject. Domestic Violence and bullying, is a growing national problem. I see no decline in this. As long as we continue to push ourselves beyond normal human capacities, following the carrot on the stick of more, more, more, without asking "At What Cost" ?

To sum it up. I see addiction as a Black Hole. A Black Hole is a dead star which ends up sucking all matter into itself, as if in a desparate attempt to survive a moment longer. And that is exactly how I see the Addiction to Power and Control. Fortunately for us all, there IS help available.

Copyright November 4, 1999

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