Posted in the Christopher Forum
#1 Apr 7, 2013
Stockholm Syndrome as an adaptive behaviour to narcissistic abuse:
What happens in Stockholm Syndrome is that a primitive survival instinct takes over in the victim as a threat to life becomes imminent. It is a complicated process that helps them to tolerate the indescribable narcissistic abuse they are being subjected to on a daily basis. Even when things are going well, the victim is controlled by fear that things can change in an instant. In their survival mode, the victim gets to see the world from the narcissistic abuser’s perspective, and they begin to focus on their needs (rather than their own) in order to buy some safety. Because of the real dangers involved, the victim gives up any hope of escaping, and dissociation becomes a comforting friend. Unable to take “flight or fight” from their detestable life, the victim goes into a “freeze” response (where they become immobilized). Interestingly enough, this freeze response can be seen in animals that are under the threat of death by a predator. The animal feigns death by playing “dead”, ordinarily the predator will loose interest in its prey if it is not moving (not showing fear). Like the narcissist, there is no fun in a kill without a chase, and perhaps the victim knows,(somewhere in their reptilian brain) how to repel the narcissistic “stress monster”. Over time, the victim becomes grateful for small mercies from their abuser, and they perceive any show of kindness or affection from them to mean that the danger has passed (for the moment at least); and for a while they can relax from their high arousal state of anxiety. Indebted to their benefactor for that reprieve, they convince themselves that their captor is really a “good guy”, and a pathological transference is established. As a result, a very profound behavioral and attitudinal reaction occurs within the victim in which they feel that they are both loved by, and in love with the narcissist; that way they can reciprocate with kindness and affection when really they are seething with anger (survival mechanism). This keeps the victim safe in that it represses their anger, thus staving off the narcissists reactions to rejection and abandonment that would be triggered if meet with hostility. Often, in fact, the victim will put themselves in such a self hypnotic trance of being in love with the abuser that they will defend their narcissistic persecutor to the outside world, and will even fight off attempt by others to rescue them. This makes it difficult for extended family to intervene, as it causes great confusion, and the family member may even become fearful that the victim will bring the wrath of the narcissist upon them. The victim also has a tendency to adopt a “pleaser stance”, which any therapist can easily detect. This pleasing behaviour is another strategy born out of a need for “keeping safe”; It is through the pleasing stance that the victim achieves a state whereby they can manage to comply with the abusers demands, give them what they need, and appear to always “go with the flow”. By being the pleaser, the victim manages to keep themselves safe from the inexplicable narcissistic raging attacks that come out of the blue when their narcissistic supply (the victim) fails to take part in the narcissist’s convoluted dance.
#2 Apr 7, 2013
And some children are intelligent enough to understand they will be abused either way and fight it like hell.
#3 Apr 7, 2013
Ongoing Psychological Absuse by Narcissistic Sibling
There are many secrets held in families about sibling psychological abuse. Each child in a dysfunctional family is trying to survive. In a narcissistic family when a mother or father has NPD it is very difficult. When you combine this with a narcissistic abusive sibling, it is much more difficult.
From the beginning of there lives there are brothers and sisters who have to withstand their narcissistic sibling's torturous acts, cruelties that go on every day. The narcissistic sibling constantly threatens them with physical harm, or says that they will get her brother or sister physically beaten or psychologically shamed by telling on them. Often this telling is a lie that the narcissistic sibling uses to erode and destroy the innocent sibling's relationship with mother or father. Often the narcissistic mother and the sibling collude to victimize the chosen scapegoated child. This can take a form of torture to the point where the victim feels like he or she can be annihilated at any time. It is terrifying to grow up in these circumstances. The other parent is useless in standing up for this innocent child. The parent is oblivious or gone all of the time, or completely caught up in their own private world that has nothing to do with his/her children.
The abusing sibling is often chosen as the Golden Child who can do no wrong. These siblings perpetrate horrendous deeds on their brothers and sisters. When the parents are absent they bring their friends into the house to terrorize the already frightened child. They make him or her drink something that is putrid. They tie the child up for hours. They make him wet himself. They scare him to death, telling stories that they are about to kidnap him. And any other horrendous idea you can imagine. I know about these abominations from those who write to me and share their life stories. It can be hard to imagine that these cruelties take place. Believe me, they are happening and being repeated day after day and during the night. They are never ending. Children who grow up in these circumstances often develop post traumatic stress disorder. The narcissistic parent ignores her child's symptoms--night terrors, recurrent horror dreams, anxiety attacks, agoraphobia, physical symptoms of extreme distress. Narcissistic mom thinks it is all so humorous and overblown. "You have a wild imagination and are making this up to get attention." "Shut up and do your school work and don't talk about this again. I am sick of your lies." Among themselves the narcissistic sibling and the mother make fun of the child who is being severely abused. They are purposely perpetrating these cruelties upon this child.
Never underestimate the psychological damage that a narcissistic sibling in collusion with a narcissistic parent can and will do. Remember there is no conscience with these people. Some narcissistic siblings are highly sadistic and get pleasure from harming their brothers and sisters.
Those who remain silent--adults who know the truth--need to speak up an stop this horrendous cycle of abuse and torture. If you do now speak out and intervene, no one else will. Much of human nature has a distinctively dark side. Don't brush this truth away. Use you knowledge to alleviate the suffering of others who have been through these psychological hells of childhood. Many of these children survive to tell their stories. They are inspiring and redemptive. They are our heroes
#4 Apr 7, 2013
I'm curious to know if this was aimed at someone in particular? I grew up in a troubled home and this happened to me at the hands of my brother and my mother. Numerous lies were told to my mother about me and she believed them all until I moved away but the saga continued when I moved back with my own family. I was one of the lucky ones that even as a child knew what was going on even though I didn't know what it was called at that point and time. I made a conscience decision that my children would never go through what I did as a child and even as an adult. I thank God that my children are happy, productive adults. The lies that were told about me were what my brother was doing (basically stealing from my mother which continued throughout her life). My mother finally figured it out a few years before she passed away but by then ALL of her money was gone. I forgave my mother also. But I went through years of actually hating her for not seeing through all of the lies. It is a terrible feeling for a child to go though this. I thank God I was a strong person even as a child.
#6 Apr 7, 2013
The Power Assertive Rapist (30%)
This is the type who will claim to have a weapon but will only use it to ensure the victim's cooperation. With 44% of all rapes falling under this category it is the most common of all forms of rape. Precipitating factor is desire to dominate an impersonal sex partner on 20-25 day cycle; cruises singles bars, the internet, acts macho; may repeat on same victim
Anger Retaliation Rapist (24%)
This is different because the perpetrator is actually out to punish women. Often carrying hate towards women this type of perpetrator will often substantially injure victims to the point where they require medical intervention or hospitalization. Precipitating factor is perceived injustice at hands of women on 6-12 month cycle; sees self as athletic and masculine, action-oriented; uses blitz attack.These men are so angry, especially at women, that the only way for them to deal with their anger is to act out sexually toward women. Many of these can be found in chatrooms on the interent voicing a general hatred for women.
The Power Reassurance or Opportunity Rapist (30%)
This is one who takes advantage of an opportunity to commit a rape. This is done in conjunction with another crime such as burglary, robbery or kidnapping. Precipitating factor is loneliness and lack of self-esteem on 7-15 day cycle; neighborhood nonviolent attacks; keeps souvenirs, thinks victim liked it
Anger Excitement Rapist, Sadistic.(16%)
This perpetrator wants his victim to be hurt. Often victims are killed. Almost all murder/rapes take place at the hands of these criminals. Precipitating factor is need to express fantasy; compulsive in personal appearance; carries rape kit; learns better ways to stalk, and will eventually kill. These predators crawl the internet as well, looking for victims.
#7 Apr 8, 2013
Hate has caused a lot of problems....and its never solved one.
Looking back on your own experience..do you feel you really didn't have to do anything? Go with the flow and the truth will out. I only fought back when my life depended on it. There were a few knee injuries involved. Scapegoats have no choice. They're literally unable to defend themselves. Its ironic..what anger us sets us free in the end. PPL who scapegoat others with no consequences will do it with wild abandon. Gets them everytime!:)
#8 Apr 8, 2013
My experience was not a physically abusive one until I was a teenager and then it was just face slapping because I was trying to fight back at the injustice the only way I could, by being mouthy. Another problem was that my brother's friends would come over and grab me in inappropriate places until I lost it one day and grabbed a butcher knife and threatened to cut the guts out of the worst offender. That put an end to that. My parents were unaware these things happened. I felt like I had to handle things myself. I do feel like these things made me a stronger and better person. Karma is taking care of my brother. As I said my children are wonderful people and we are very close.
#9 Apr 8, 2013
This is to been there--- I can't imagine what it was like to grow up in a home like u an WorthTheRead did. You say u and your own children r very close. I imagine u made sure your own children never had to experience the dark side as u did. For u and them to be close u must have been a very attentive mother to all their needs. Good job.
To WorthTheRead---how about u, do u have a very close relationship to your children??
#10 Apr 8, 2013
Thank you! I made up my mind when I first became pregnant with my first child that my children would never have to live like I did. I was not perfect but tried my best!
#11 Apr 8, 2013
Couldn't have said it better myself! One day soon I will share with them all the details of my childhood. The birth of my children changed my entire world!
I wouldn't allow my older brother near my daughter. She was 8 or 9 before she knew I had an older brother. I would have loved to have kept it that way! His temper scared her. He showed up one day threatening to burn our house down. While we were waiting for the police he was outside screaming I'm going to do it..over and over. He really likes fire. My daughter started stuffing her favorite toys in her backpack and asked me to close her door so the fire "wouldn't get it." What an uncle..eh?
Crazy dosent begin to cover it....SMH
Our family has never kept in contact. Everyone scattered as young teenagers. Many divorces,rehab stays,suicide attempts. Typical of dysfunctional families.
My hopes in this thread is to help children who don't have a voice. May we recognize their dismal plight and help them.
#12 Apr 8, 2013
Whatever it takes. I caught my grandfather raping my sister. I tried saving her. Only for her to get mad at me for interfering. It was a bad day. Horriffic.
#13 Apr 8, 2013
You can become aware of child abuse by recognizing the signs. Here are 10 signs that can help.
1. Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.
Sad girl with teddy bear stock
2. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.
3. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.
4. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.
5. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.
6. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
ChildAbuse_10Signs_ChildrenSch ool_180px.jpg7. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.
8. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.
9. Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.
10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.
Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities.
#14 Apr 8, 2013
False Memory Syndrome is the phenomenon in which a person believes that he or she remembers traumatic, usually sexually abusive events that have not actually occurred. The term was coined in 1992 by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in an attempt to describe the theory that adults who recall instances of sexual abuse from their childhood may actually be inaccurately remembering information, or even completely inventing an event that never took place (Freyd, 1992).
#15 Apr 8, 2013
False memory syndrome is defined as:
[A] condition in which a person's identity and interpersonal relationships are centered around a memory of traumatic experience which is objectively false but in which the person strongly believes. Note that the syndrome is not characterized by false memories as such. We all have memories that are inaccurate. Rather, the syndrome may be diagnosed when the memory is so deeply ingrained that it orients the individual's entire personality and lifestyle, in turn disrupting all sorts of other adaptive behavior...False Memory Syndrome is especially destructive because the person assiduously avoids confrontation with any evidence that might challenge the memory. Thus it takes on a life of its own, encapsulated and resistant to correction. The person may become so focused on memory that he or she may be effectively distracted from coping with the real problems in his or her life.
#16 Apr 9, 2013
Worth the read
I hope you are not trying to say that the problems talked about here were false memories. I can only speak for myself but I assure you they are true.False memory syndrome is not a true diagnosis because it has not been proven by the medical/mental health community. I am not saying it does not exist but there would have to be other mental problems for someone to believe horrific events happened that did not. Worth the read thank you for your information, if it helps even one child you have done a wonderful thing. I am a mandated reporter so I already know these things but there are many people who do not.
#17 Apr 9, 2013
In no way was I trying to imply that what you posted was false. You have given no reason for anyone to believe what you went through as a child is false. You sound like someone who is well adjusted, otherwise you would not have such a close relationship with your own children.
My intent was to show that if someone already had mental problems, false memory could take over their life. Which unfortunately would delay them in getting help for whatever their real mental problem was. An example would be narissistic personality disorder, these types of people will spend their whole lives doing whatever it takes to be the center of attention. The world revolves around them and their needs. They would not be able to obtain a close relationship with their own children because their own selfish needs would always have to come first.
#18 Apr 9, 2013
Thanks for clearing that up. I HAD a friend that was exactly as you describe. She has no friends and family members have nothing to to with her, even her children. She will not believe that the problem is her not everyone else. I almost feel sorry for her but I have no time for the bs.:)
#19 Apr 9, 2013
This post is hallmark of the defense mech used to blame the victim. Has something triggered you?
#21 Apr 9, 2013
You're welcome. General awareness is vital. Children who grow up in dysfunctional families have varied trust issues dependent on the severity of abuse. Generational abuse is common.
'False" brought up victim blaming. Good point! Sounds like a good time to expand the perspective and understand the lifelong issues many children face as adults.
I'll search out some links.:)
#22 Apr 9, 2013
Signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms appear seemingly out of the blue. At other times, they are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell.
While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms:
1.Re-experiencing the traumatic event
2.Avoiding reminders of the trauma
3.Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event
◾Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
◾Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
◾Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
◾Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
◾Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing
◾Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
◾ Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
◾ Loss of interest in activities and life in general
◾ Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
◾ Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)
Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
◾Difficulty falling or staying asleep
◾ Irritability or outbursts of anger
◾ Difficulty concentrating
◾ Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
◾Feeling jumpy and easily startled
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