I worked as a school social worker for several years. The word "special" was readily applied to kids, teens, and adults who had disabilities of any kind, qualified for federal programs or local "special ed," or had an unusual gift, etc.
Right now, though, I want to apply the term "special" to adult or teenaged batterers, whether they batter emotionally, physically, or both.
Batterers (of either sex) are IMO, "special" in many ways:
*They have little awareness that their cruel control shows how terrified they are that others might figure out their own weaknesses or flaws.
*They are fabulous charmers, at least in the beginning, who eventually convince or force their partner to give them exclusive love and attention.
*They are good at converting the slightest weakness, frailty or mistake into a verbal assault that causes severe doubt, fear, confusion, and self-blame in their partners.
*They are skilled manipulators, who overwhelm those they "love" with anger or the perfect recall of previous "crimes" (normal mistakes or imperfection) in order to destroy self-worth and serenity.
*They are experts at controlling by perceived threat: punching the wall near the victim's head for example, or displaying their gun(s) and other weapons, hanging out with dangerous friends; hiding, "losing," or stealing car or house keys, assets, immigration papers, contracts, etc.
*They're also skilled at making direct threats: injury to pets, property, the victim, her children or her family.
*They display an unusual lack of empathy when they injure or terrify their partner or children, except when they "apologize" or temporarily change their behavior because they fear retaliation, arrest, or abandonment.
*They are convincing liars who often escape arrest or conviction by persuading police, lawyers, or judges that their victim is the one lying in order to get custody of the kids or that she attacked him, rather than using a weapon in self-defense or to protect others.
Golly gee. Batterers have so many talents and skills.
Too bad they don't use them to help their family instead of to control and hurt them.