Kieran Kelly


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Coercive control

Written by Paddy Rafter

September 6, 2023

Do you feel Coercively Controlled or Forcefully Compelled to act and be a certain way by another individual?

If your answer is yes to the above question, well then, you are not alone.
This type of behaviour is much more common in society than you might believe. It does not matter whether you are a male or a female or a gender fluid person, coercive control or being forcefully compelled to act and behave in certain ways is very common across our society.

What does it feel like to be constantly judged, criticised, dominated, exploited, belittled, invalidated and gaslighted by another person?

Are your opinions, thoughts and feelings constantly, negated, devalued, disregarded by another person?

Are you caught up in a relationship where the other person constantly seeks to strip away your freedom, your sense of self, your humanity and have gotten to a point where the other person has masterly rule of your life?

If your answer is yes

If your answer is yes to any of the above you have come to the right place. I created “The 48 Acts” to help me understand and subsequently recover from living in a coercive controlling/forcefully compelling relationship.

The fact that you are reading this blog shows that you have taken the first steps in your recovery. You have decided to act. “Act Ten” of the “Sixteen Axioms” of “The 48 Acts” is where you are now.

This is a difficult time for you.

I know how difficult this is for you at this moment, because you have been disempowered over a long period of time. I know how this feels, but I also know that with the help of this particular Act, you can become empowered.

You do not even have to do anything at this time. You have made a conscious decision that everything is not right in your life and that you want to change. I know from my own experience that change is a difficult thing to achieve. We who have been in coercive controlling/forcefully compelling relationships would have spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to change the other person, trying to get them to like or love us. This is where “Act Twelve” of the “Sixteen Axioms” of “The 48 Acts” can be of great benefit to us. It shows us that we are the ones that have to change and more importantly that we can change. By reading this you are changing already. The remarkable thing is that when we begin to change, everything around us changes as well. This was my experience and also the experience of a lot of people who have read and lived “The 48 Acts”.

Have you ever been gaslighted?

Gaslighted is a pattern of behaviour within the coercive controlling/forcefully compelling relationship which seeks to lower our self esteem and distort our sense of reality. When we lose our sense of reality we end up living in an unreal world. It was in this unreal world that I began to form other maladaptive behaviours like addiction to alcohol, in order to help me to cope. This unfortunately only made things worse. I constantly lived in my own head, and over time I created a false world to live in.

This is why I created “Act Eleven” of the “Sixteen Axioms” of “The 48 Acts”.

This act helped to empower me to start living my life in reality, by accepting where I was at, and this act along with “Act One” of the “Sixteen Key Actions” of “The 48 Acts” put me on a solid footing to begin my journey to recovery.

You need to be kind and gentle with yourself at this time. Know that you can change. Begin to put yourself first. Remember you can never change the other person, ultimately you are responsible for your own recovery and wellbeing.

You have started to reach out to seek help and support to help you on the journey you are about to embark on. People will understand you. You are not alone. People have lived in and understand what you have been through and how you feel.

Write down what truly happened, to help put your memory and reality back.

Remove the coercive controlling/forcefully compelled thoughts from your mind, and start to put your own in. “I am good enough. I do deserve better, I am worth it”.

To help you with this, I believe if you read “Act 14” of the “Sixteen Axioms” of “The 48 Acts”, It will be of great benefit. It certainly was for me.

Always remember coercive control/forcefully compelled relationships exist right across the social spectrum. You are not alone.

Do you feel like you are a victim of a coercive controlling/forcefully compelling relationship?
Do you feel threatened, intimidated, obliged to conform to the other person’s way of being and doing things?
Have you been subjected to physical, emotional, psychological or any for of abuse in your relationship?

If your answer is yes to any of the above, the “48 Acts” is for you.

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