Manipulated Into Fear: The Familiar Pattern

By Marvela Dawnay

There are many discussions about fear, but society hardly discusses or hears stories about a woman experiencing fear that never seems to go away.

Fear is the pattern of abuse, and always the hidden secret – the victim stays with the abuser fearing not being loved anymore. If the victims do leave they eventually go back because “he has changed” and they are afraid of being alone. In these types of relationships, the man knows how to manipulate the woman into believing him every time.

No matter how much you love a man, if he is abusing you, love does not have anything to do with it, and he will not change! The author took a big risk telling her story, but the intent to educate women about abusive relationships was well worth her fear of the past.

Marvela Dawnay went to high school with a man and years later married and divorced him three times within thirteen years. His name was Rolf. During this time, she was living on the dark side, but others perceived her as living a happy and perfect life. Does this sound familiar to you?

Originally, Dawnay was going to name her story, “Nobody Cares,” but after she read up to Chapter 10, she realized that others did care about her, and she was the one that was too embarrassed and ashamed to reach out for help. After realizing these usual thoughts of a victim, she began researching all the traits and patterns of what Rolf had done to her and found that he had manipulated her into fear for his self-gain. What a surprise it was to find out that she had been involved with a psychopath and that there was a pattern she never noticed.

While writing her book, she was watching a morning talk show that was interviewing a celebrity about the abuse she had endured from her husband and in her childhood. In listening to her story, Dawnay began thinking back in time, about the amount of the pain she has endured and realized her experiences and challenges prepared her for being manipulated into fear.

In the beginning of each relationship with Rolf, he portrayed himself as the man she had thought he was years before – a farmer who drank beer with his buddies, dedicated to Christ, family-oriented, charming, loving, complimented her all the time, apologized for his actions, but most of all, knew how to make her feel sorry for him. Dawnay knew Rolf liked to drink a lot of beer and liquor and had used drugs in the past, but she was not aware of Rolf’s addictive personality, nor the severity of his addictions.

Shortly after she would marry him, he would begin to manipulate and con her into doing things she did not want to do. Rolf would call her uncountable times during the day and want to know her whereabouts. He insisted on being with her except when she was at work, and took her time away from friends and family – that is when the mental abuse began. He stopped complimenting her, and when she implied any wrongdoing, Rolf became outraged, calling her a string of names, and using profanity that led her to feel worthless and unloved. After he successfully gained control of Dawnay’s self-conscious, the physical abuse began… There were times when Rolf would threaten to kill her if she did not give him what he wanted.

While Dawnay was going through her third divorce with Rolf, she realized that he was not going to change and the only thing he loved was controlling her. After they got the divorce, Rolf tried to manipulate Dawnay back into a fourth relationship, but she finally began to see how she was living in fear, asking herself, “How can I get away from this man and change my life?” After this realization, Marvela was compelled to instill this insight of strength into her book for others, while also laying as a reminder to herself to never look back.

The take away from Dawnay’s journey is: reach out to others, listen to positive people daily, stay in faith and offer to help someone else in the midst of your storms, and even when it is calm. Do something for yourself that will prevent you from feeling fear.

*Note the names in the book are changed*


About the author:

Marvela Dawnay grew up in a small town in Missouri. She was a corporate executive and then later became a successful entrepreneur. She has attended two universities and served in the US Army Reserves for six years.

Marvela is currently writing the sequel.

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