Man biting woman's shoulder

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide but not guilty of murder. He could receive a suspended sentence and be free to abuse again, because Judge Masipa claims there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that Oscar knew Reeva was behind the locked bathroom door of his Pretoria, South African home on the even of Valentine’s Day 2013 when he blindly fired 4 shots through the door, murdering the young and vibrant Reeva.

As I scanned the endless verdict headlines this morning in disbelief, another Pistorius-related headline caught my eye:

My life of hell with Oscar Pistorius: Watch ex-lover reveal how she feared Blade Runner would kill her

In this brief article and video interview footage, Samantha Taylor, former girlfreind of Pistorius, describes incidents in which the paralympic athlete bit her, pinched her, and locked her in his home. She describes being so frightened following one of his rages that she hid his gun from him, the same gun he used to shoot and murder Reeva, out of fear for her life.

To me, this is chilling and reminiscent of my own degrading and fear-inducing treatment.

Although the boy in my story didn’t have a gun (at least not one that I knew existed), he bit and pinched me in public and private whenever it seemed he was losing control of me and/or I was exerting my independence.

In public, I would be sitting at a table of acquaintances talking about this or that, and suddenly he’d squeeze and sting my upper thigh or the back of my arm with an aggressive pinch.

I’d immediately react and jump mid-sentence, and those at the table would look at me like I was crazy and wonder, “What in the world?” But before I could get my bearings straight, the boy would quickly lean over and kiss me to further silence me while biting my lip. Once he released me, he’d whisper in my ear, “You are so beautiful.”

I was left shocked, stunned, frustrated and embarrassed.

In private, I would be sitting quietly reading, and the boy would sneak up behind me and bite my neck or shoulder and/or pinch my arm. I would immediately jump and tell him it hurt and to please not do that again. His reaction to me would be disdain.

He would say, “Oh, that didn’t hurt. You are so sensitive. You don’t like me touching you, do you? You don’t love me, do you?”

And then a rage would ensue.

He argued and tried to convince me that his bites and pinches were “love bites” and “love squeezes.” I didn’t know what to call them, because they hurt and left bruises but were immediately followed by his professions of love and idolization.

I was left so confused and wondering, “Maybe I am too sensitive and just need to lighten up a little.”

Today, I realize that these are tactics abusers use to control, intimidate and induce cognitive dissonance on their victims. It’s akin to training a dog with a shock collar, so they don’t go beyond the boundaries their invisible fence allows.

And, yes, I feared for my life before I left him, sleeping with a butter knife underneath my side of the mattress just in case he’d decide to wake me and fly into a rage. My fears were further validated a year after escaping when an ex-girlfriend of the boy contacted me and wrote, “I always feared that if I had married him, my life would become one of those Lifetime movies where the husband snaps and kills his wife for no apparent reason.”

The injustice of the Pistorius verdict is why we must not be afraid to share what happened to us and why our collective stories will one day be heeded and judges like Masipa presiding over trials like Pistorius’ won’t let killers walk free after an act of cold-blooded murder against one’s own spouse/significant other.

Consider picking up a copy of the recently released book by Samantha Taylor’s mother, Patricia, Oscar: An accident waiting to happen, which speaks to the athlete’s state of mind leading to Reeva’s murder. Chilling.

~Paula, author of Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath

abuse, Books, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Mental Health, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths
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Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. You would think that by now society recognises that playing victim and manipulating others into feeling sorry for them is what abusers, particularly narcissists, do when their mask is exposed and they are called to account. They are all the same. Mine too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. You would think! But I think most people are asleep and allow others to pull their strings and push them along life’s path. The human mind has so much potential but is, simultaneously, so vulnerable to being controlled. 🙂


  2. Masipa thought OP’s ‘distress’ immediately afterwards couldn’t possibly be faked. Of course is distress was real…but not for the reasons Masipa assumed. His distress was purely and simply for HIMSELF.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your own story clearly shows how abusers “play” with the signals- pinching and then the quick follow-through kiss and so on. Its a good example of how this manipulation occurs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like your point about the judge not understanding the signs of abuse. Calling Reeva fickle is proof that she is ignorant on the subject.


  5. When we know his sentence, we’ll be able to determine just how seriously this Judge takes this case. I’m not surprised that she let him off the hook on the other charges…… not happy, not in agreement, but not surprised.

    If he doesn’t get 15 years with no parole, it will be an outrage!


  6. Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
    I knew Paula would be writing about this verdict. I reblog her post because as usual she speaks the truth so eloquently


  7. I was not surprised by the verdict but disappointed. I had hoped justice would prevail. But you are right. This is not the time to throw up our hands and say ‘Why bother, justice is never served anyway” It is time to speak out even louder and in greater numbers until it is too loud and too many to ignore or deny.
    Great post paula I knew you would have strong feelings about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I thought of you as I watched the decision at the ungodly hour of 3:30 this morning. It’s importance was just too relevant to miss!

    Intent is one of the most difficult characteristics to prove in a crime. It requires getting into the mindset of the offender, something that no one can do with exact certainty.

    But surely, the story from Pistorius was riddled with unbelievability. For one thing, if he truly felt an intruder was in the house, he would have turned to the person lying next to him in the middle of the night and to say something like, “Did you hear that?” The brief encounter, that would be normal for any reasonable person, would have made him notice that Reeva was not tucked into bed beside him, and would have caused him to consider whether the noise was from Reeva, herself, rather than an intruder.

    A reasonable person would have thought first about what action would protect his loved one. Instead, he wants us to believe that his lack of consideration for her unknown whereabouts, was an effort to create protection for her. Fifteen years is the maximum sentence he could receive for the reckless endangerment that the court has acknowledged cost Reeva her life. Can’t think of a solitary reason why he should receive any less than the maximum sentence.

    And why shoot without warning? Why four bullets through a closed door?

    Court cases hinge on proof, not accuracy or even truth. Although we can all contemplate that what likely happened was a contentious argument in which Reeva threatened to leave, and that Pistorius was so enraged, he picked up the gun and showed her that she could only leave on his power-crazed terms, the Judge found that the Prosecutor’s case was simply not compelling enough. That does not mean it didn’t happen that way, but simply that it was not proven to be so.

    We all know that world class athletes produce world class testosterone levels. It’s what propels them into soaring achievements and bolsters their competitive drive. It can also have the deleterious affect of counteracting their levels of oxytocin, that would provide them with humanity, love, trust and caring. Not all athletes have this mis-balance, but it’s not an unusual phenomenon.

    Without appropriate oxytocin levels and oxytocin responses, a person develops without affective empathy and conscience. Those of us who have fallen victim to psychopaths all know the impact of lack of conscience. Reeva Steenkamp paid the ultimate price for not knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If the judge were better educated on the signs of abuser and victim, she would have realized that there was plenty of evidence to prove intent. The simple fact he claims not to have known where Reeva was is intent. “You aren’t concerned that your girlfriend COULD be in the bathroom and shoot anyway?” That’s intent to kill. And his cries and sobbing is indicative of his own self-pity, not remorse for having murdered Reeva. I’m so saddened by this verdict, Joyce.


  9. I was interested to hear your “take” on the verdict. How disturbing that his tears must’ve skewed the judge’s opinion in his favor. Yet another perpetrator still on the search for new victims.


    • I think the Judge is highly misinformed with regards to domestic violence and spotting perpetrators of domestic violence. It’s rather simple to spot a perpetrator: just listen to the victim. In this case, there were text messages between Reeva and Oscar that revealed the toxic nature of Oscar’s behavior and how it impacted Reeva’s sense of security. Unfortunately, the Judge dismissed the texts calling them irrelevant, because people are “fickle” in relationships. WOW!! I am shocked and disgusted. What an unfortunate dismissive reaction to the very evidence that spoke most clearly to Oscar’s state of mind. He KNEW Reeva was in that locked toilet…he KNEW it was her. He’s a liar and a criminal and he got away with murder.


  10. If you haven’t been there, it’s easy to judge and blame the victim. If you’ve got some experience with an abusive, you find yourself nodding in agreement. Your story reminds me of my dad’s “love bites” he called kisses.

    Generally, pop was generally a gentile, peaceful sort, and he hardly ever raised a hand to me, but his teasing could get hurtful, like referring the neighborhood boy rapists and child molesters as “my boyfriend”. Ugh! But when he was being “affectionate” he’d take these bites out of my cheek that really hurt!

    I guess I never really considered him an abuser, but on rethinking it, I guess he was at that! He’s gone now for eight years, so I guess that’s a good thing. So sad. Great post Paula! Thanks for sharing.


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