Sara’s sense of ‘victory’ over her ex-husband was not due to the fact she had escaped without physical/emotional abuse.
Her victory was that she had correctly determined he would not change.
An abuser will adopt different methods, for he may be too old to resort to physical violence or might not have the opportunity to create mental torture. He will, however attempt to maintain control.
He will nurture that mentality where hurting another person grants pleasure as if gives him control. That the abuse Norman offered hurt him more than Sara was not measured.
As the time of the flight to his city was 2 am,i nstead of 2 pm she knew, before she packed her bag, he had not changed. She did not open herself, she would not be a victim.
Her emotions were locked, her interest in him had died forty years ago. He meant nothing to her. There was nothing he could do or say which would in any way gain her compassion.
Too often, when there is a separation of a decade or more, the ex-victim believes the abuser has changed. Maybe he says it, maybe he behaves differently.
But when he has control, he reverts to type.
Had Norman been better at his deceit, he wouldn’t have tipped his hand by booking her on that 2 am flight. But, as an abuser, he can never miss the chance to ‘hurt’ another, even when he is the one to be discomforted.