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I think that one of the great elements about Waldal's book is that she makes clear that violence can take on many forms that converge at the same place of a dehumanization of self. For Waldal, the abuse she endured from Derrick was naturally physical, necessitating the coverup from makeup and so on to prevent others from noticing. At the same time, the abuse was psychological that was driven to a point where Derrick made it clear that her life would never be lived without him:
And that’s when it crept into me…he really can’t kill me…well, he could, but that’s not what I mean. What I mean is, he actually already has, because he’s killed my spirit. This is what it means to be alone, really alone…because there is not a living soul who I can tell.I hardly tell myself. He must feel me slipping because he has asked me a million and one times if I really understand he won’t live without me.
This helps to bring out that the abuse that Elin suffered and the abuse that millions like her suffer is the construct of enduring abuse on both physical and emotional levels, helping to erode one's sense of spiritual identity and sense of self.
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