3 comments on “Why Emotional Abuse and Forced Sleep Deprivation Are Effective Tools to Gain Compliance: Part 3

  1. Thanks for your posts on this matter. I am involved with a person who recently has been keeping me up most nights a week, sometimes all night. I just calculated my “sleep debt” and I’m at a loss of around 75 hours for the past three weeks. Subsequently, my eating and exercise habits have diminished. I am frightened for my health and concerned with my ability to prioritize myself and end the relationship.

    His sleep-deprivation tactics as of late:
    -Recycles and rehashes arguments that we’ve resolved multiple times over, all night, beating me down until I’m the one apologizing and asking for another chance;
    -Accuses me of being unfaithful in heart, mind and body, engaging me in a back-and-forth where I’m forced to defend myself or admit to something I’m not doing;
    -Derides me if I look “sleepy” or start nodding off, usually whilst touting that my requests to fall and stay asleep are a result of me being a “millennial”, and that I’m spoiled for thinking that I need a certain amount of sleep;
    -If he’s at my place, he threatens to leave or does leave if I fall asleep, waking me up in the process while accusing me of not giving him the attentions/interactions that he’s seeking;
    -If we’re on the phone, calling me to wake me up if I fall asleep, making hurtful statements, or sending me cruel text messages while we’re still on the line. He justifies this by saying that I’m hurting his feelings by not staying awake to listen.

  2. I suffer from bipolar disorder and my abuser used sleep deprivation as a tactic to usher in mania. Once I was thoroughly confused from lack of sleep, he would choke me until I was panicked then proceed to call authorities citing that I was the attacker and in the midst of an episode. I was carted off to psychiatric for weeks, part of me believing I was at fault. This went on for eleven years. I finally reported him to my counselor and they suggested I leave him. I pressed charges against him after leaving but the prosecutor felt that she couldn’t get a conviction. He used sleep deprivation to confuse me and to force me to comply with his will. That coupled with choking and frequent medication changes affected my memory and made his claim that I was crazy more believable.

  3. I keep thinking, “he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t mean to be this toxic.” I’ve read all the textbooks and articles; they’re starting to cross-reference each other at this point. He’s just that unhealthy. He’s just so insecure that it’s seeping into me, bringing me down with him.
    But. But. But…
    He also does this thing on nights (or ridiculously early mornings) we’re fighting, when, after agreeing to sleep on the couch, he comes back into the bedroom and whines his way back into bed. He sweet talks me back into agreeing to give it another chance. I agree just to appease him, just to get another precious hour of sleep.
    It doesn’t seem like abuse. I don’t believe he realizes that he’s manipulating me.

    But I also don’t know what to do.

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