Reading the Susan Powell book

I’m about halfway through If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris. And holy wow, Josh was an absolute louse. I don’t understand why Susan stayed with him as long as she did. For that matter I don’t understand why she married him.

I don’t really get why people — mostly women but men also — attach themselves to dirt bags. I’m not talking about in the sense that the person doesn’t make a lot of money, or isn’t very educated, or isn’t good looking or smart. Most people like that are perfectly decent human beings. I mean “dirt bag” in the sense that the person treats their partner badly. (They are often in trouble with the law and/or involved in drugs also.) Why would anyone want to be romantically involved with such a person? Especially Susan, who seems to have had it straight regarding so many other aspects of her life.

I don’t get it.

Josh strikes me as an “eraser.” I read a book about eraser killers, basically men who not only murder their wives but try to wipe out every memory of them. Josh didn’t act concerned after Susan’s disappearance, he published a website telling lies about her, he moved away shortly after she vanished, etc. And ultimately, he erased the biggest imprint she made: their children.

5 thoughts on “Reading the Susan Powell book

  1. Lori June 22, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Its hard to understand unless you have been there…..but basically your self esteem is so beaten down….your mind is warped….you don’t see it or you do but fear leaving. Trust me i thought i would never be involved with someone like that. Yet I did….bleh. Not as bad as this dude though at least. She saw it. She finally was starting to leave and starting to break free. That’s when the abuser is the most dangerous.

    • Meaghan June 22, 2014 / 6:28 pm

      I’ve never been involved in an abusive relationship myself but I have witnessed it in my family: my parents. Specifically, my mother abusing my father. There was never any physical violence but the verbal/emotional was over the top. Not a day passed without her having a violent screaming tantrum, and often she’d have five or six, for the stupidest reasons. For example, once she utterly lost it because the toilet paper was not in the right place.

      We all got some of it but Dad got the worst of it. There were days when I’d deliberately do something to provoke my mother, just to stop her screaming at my father and start in on me, because I preferred to be the target than to watch her abuse my father. He never fought back, never stood up for himself. Not that it would have done any good.

      After their divorce (she left him, actually) it took a long time and a lot of explaining from me for my father to see the truth of the situation. He had dated much before his marriage, and he’s socially awkward anyway, and I guess he didn’t realize that the way Mom treated him wasn’t normal or right.

      • Ruth June 22, 2014 / 9:45 pm

        Yeah. There are reasons ranging from not even knowing what abuse is to feeling so low and lacking a sense of what you want or what is good for you, to not having any way to escape (threats from partner), to being so isolated by your partner. I worked at a battered women’s shelter and the thing is, it really CAN happen to anyone.

  2. Angie June 23, 2014 / 9:39 am

    Low self-esteem, not knowing what a healthy relationship is supposed to be like, being involved with so good a liar and manipulator that you actually believe his bullshit and gaslighting…there are many reasons.

  3. Jessica June 23, 2014 / 11:30 am

    It is hard to understand until you ahve been in the situation for sure. And women (Usually but I am sure men too) have the idea that they can “Change” the person or at the very least teh person will change because they love them. It’s unfortunate because its usually NOT what happens – and they get into a cycle of the abuse (Be it verbal, Mental and/or physical) and then the apology and begging for forgivness and promise that it won’t happen again etc… from the outside its easy to say “Get away from that scumbag! What is wrong with you!” but on the inside you are seeing it from a whole other perspective and its unfortunate. Susan and most certainly her children did not deserve any of this – very sad sad situation.

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