PREVIOUS: What is abuse #4
QUOTE: “Social anxiety results from being around people who are resolutely opposed to who you are.” ✍︎
(Perps = Perpetrators, Abusers / Vs = Victims)
• The visible form of overt abuse – physical violence – is easiest to identify. But Vs are usually too broken & ashamed to acknowledge what they’re enduring : “I walked into a door , I accidentally fell , It’s nothing”…..
However, there are other direct ways that only the V experiences (list below). Cover-ups are used by all categories of Vs : single women, financially dependent mothers, children, the elderly, and abused men – to show weakness. Shame silences.
• All blatant abuse is done with no concern for the physical or mental well-being of the victim. Even ‘loved ones’ have no real or separate existence. Vs are just an extension of the Perp’s internal world, experienced as part of themselves, like one of their own limbs. Narcissistic mother to child: “Put a sweater on, I’m cold!”
👺 Most Perps totally believe they have a right to control, put down, manipulate. They consider it legitimate to exert power over others, and that weak people deserve to be put in their place – because weakness is to be despised. Besides, they say Vs are ‘asking for it’ by being pathetic. So there’s no reason for the P to change!
IRONY: Abusers believe & act as if they’re the god of their personal world – to be obeyed & worshiped. YET they’re totally dependent on others for their sense of equilibrium & well-being!
IF they loses power over others, it can feel like they’re losing control of a limb, even their mind. Their insecurity-driven anxiety will trigger violence, intense manipulations & frantic attacks, in an effort to shore up the endangered False Self & force the V. back into alignment.
• the independence or disobedience of a significant other radically diminish the Perp’s identity & supply of psychic nourishment
• it forces them to experience not being the center of everything, while not realizing their world view is way ‘off’
• they lose the sense of control over their inner world (thoughts, feelings….), which they find intolerable
➼ Vs are not asking for self-knowledge, nor compassion for the P. Rather, it’s their WIC’s need to placate the monster they’re not allowed to leave.
Traumatized ACoAs believe that – “If I could only figure out exactly why they’re acting this way, then I can change myself, them or the situation (mainly myself), then things will get much better & we’ll all be happy!”
BEHAVIORS (see also “TRAITS” )
• Degradation: make the cost of resisting seem more dangerous to the V’s self-esteem than giving in. Reduces them to “animal level” concerns
• ‘Omnipotence‘: make it clear it’s impossible to resist being abused & dominated
• Enforce Trivial Demands: create the habit of giving in (compliance)
• Induced Debility & Exhaustion: weaken mental & physical ability to resist
• Isolation : eliminate all social support which would help the V. to resist. Create in the V. an intense concern for & dependence on the P
• Monopolize Perception : focus the V’s attention on some immediate problem, forming a narrowed vision of reality. Eliminate any input competing with those chosen by the abuser, preventing the V. from taking any oppositional actions
• Use Occasional Indulgences: provide ‘positive’ motivation for the V’s continued compliance (payoffs for obeying, but starves V with crumbs to keep them quiet & coming back for more)
• Threats: Cultivate fear, anxiety & despair
(from Dr. Judith Biderman, MORE...)
NOTE: At the end of “The Sopranos’, the therapist fires Tony after reading a -genuine- study (by Samuel Yochelson & Stanton Samenow, psychiatrists specializing in the criminal mind). It reports that therapy doesn’t actually help sociopaths – only further enables their bad behavior by sharpening their manipulative skills.
NEXT: Indirect Abusers