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Vanilla #2582641 06/27/15 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Vanilla
Breaking the Betrayal Bond

The target experiences symptoms of PTSD like nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. Even before the relationship is over, the body knows first. Post trauma there can be daily panic attacks and this is common to those abused.



That explains a lot of what I've been experiencing... a lot of this unexplained gut-level fear of a reaction when there's no logical explanation for it.

Hasn't stopped me from doing what I had to do, but it's in the times after an interaction.


Me: 45 W43
S7, Foster S9 (Planning to adopt post divorce)
D mentioned Feb 2015, Wife served 3/24/2015. She moved out 4/15/2015.
Sherman333 #2582677 06/27/15 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sherman333
Originally Posted By: Vanilla
Breaking the Betrayal Bond

The target experiences symptoms of PTSD like nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. Even before the relationship is over, the body knows first. Post trauma there can be daily panic attacks and this is common to those abused.



That explains a lot of what I've been experiencing... a lot of this unexplained gut-level fear of a reaction when there's no logical explanation for it.

Hasn't stopped me from doing what I had to do, but it's in the times after an interaction.


Yes, there is no stopping the reaction. It unsettles me but I get on with it.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Vanilla #2582681 06/27/15 11:32 PM
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Hi Vanilla,

Great thread. I wanted to add another element I didn't see in your invalidating post: gaslighting.

For those that don't know, the term comes from a late 1930s play that was made into several movies (the best known was the '44 film starring Ingrid Bergman). In it the husband slowly over time psychologically manipulates his wife into believing she is going insane in order to control her. He does this by denying what she experiences or does things and then accuses her of doing them.

So, one of the ways to invalidate is to deny the memory of the woman (it is almost always a done by men to women, but it doesn't have to be). Over time, this destroys the woman's confidence in her own ability to trust herself and her sense of reality. The perpetrators are usually classified as sociopaths (they use lies without remorse to get what they want).

Things will start very small. Little denials that really don't seem like a big deal worth really making a huge fuss over. They often rely on the gender socialization of both men and women to defer to male confident assertion and female hesitance to assert herself. By the time they build into really manipulating behaviors to maintain control the victim has really come to doubt herself and her senses. It is pernicious because the woman comes to blame herself and think it is something wrong with her, and therefore has trouble detecting the problematic consequences of the manipulation (she focuses on the perceived error on her part rather than what it allows the man to get away with).

Now, all that said, there are legitimate reasons for couples who are having R problems to argue about what exactly happened. One of the main reasons is that memory is selective, and if there is building R anxiety the hippocampus (part of the brain that plays a huge role in memory) actually shrinks and other parts of the brain that further disrupt the function of the hippocampus start kicking in faster and stronger. A sign that this is the problem is to discuss this with your partner and the important R rule: it is better be loving than right. During any argument, you can call for a time out and remind your partner of this problem. They should move to restore the emotional breech, and over time the couple should get better at doing this.

The sociopath would either try to keep manipulating or give up on this path and switch to another tactic in all likelihood. So, I'd look for an escalation (pushes this further to get you back under control and continue gaslighting) or a really sudden cessation of such behavior. The reason for the later is that they know exactly what they are doing. It is strategic. They are good at being strategic, and in switching tactics to match the situation. In the couples where there is a genuine problem with conflicting memories, especially due to R stress, aren't conscious of the behavior and will not be able to just turn the behavior off. So sometimes the strategic skill of the sociopathic abuser helps unmask them, as most of us are much too bumbling and stuck in our ways to be able to control ourselves quickly.

Not foolproof, but hopefully that is helpful.


Me: 50 W:43
S6, S3
M: 12 yrs. T: 17
M is bad & Not happy Bomb Mar '14
S 5 Feb '15
D Bomb 13 Apr '15 (but "no hurry")
DB Coach May '15
Wants proceed on D Aug '15
Starting 1-on-1 negotiations Sept '15
Vanilla #2582736 06/28/15 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: Vanilla
Originally Posted By: Sherman333
Originally Posted By: Vanilla
Breaking the Betrayal Bond

The target experiences symptoms of PTSD like nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. Even before the relationship is over, the body knows first. Post trauma there can be daily panic attacks and this is common to those abused.



That explains a lot of what I've been experiencing... a lot of this unexplained gut-level fear of a reaction when there's no logical explanation for it.



Hasn't stopped me from doing what I had to do, but it's in the times after an interaction.


Yes, there is no stopping the reaction. It unsettles me but I get on with it.

V


I'm going to tell a story as I don't really know what else to to to show you folks how intense these things can get.

So Christmas Day this year, I got up I wasn't feeling any love for the day. All of a sudden I was down and foreboding dread and really bad anxiety kept me wanting to not go to the family lunch.

By the time I was supposed to leave I was having the shakes external and internal.
I burst into tears I kept pacing back and forth.... I wanted to go back to bed I wanted to cancel the day pretend it wasn't going to happen.

But
I gave myself a huge ass kick up the ass, told mysel I was being really silly it's was just my mind playing a huge trick on me. I got ready heels make up pretty flowery dress wraped presents and went.

I was meeting s17 at a point on the road, while driving to the point I got worse. I could hardly drive, I had not been this out of control since I went to hospital for ad's. I couldn't understand I felt weak and hopeless. I wondered when the hell this would end and why now.

I'm parked and my anxiety is peaking, next thing xh2 car drives by!!!
I have no idea who is driving didn't get a good look and my mind really couldn't tell who it was, it didn't want to know.

As soon as it drove out of sight, anxiety is gone. As if it never happened, like a bad dream.

But for those who have been following you will remember that I posted about it when it happened. Now you will see life has moved on fast, and the anxiety of things being the same haunts me. It holds me back, it colours some of my thoughts an decisions.

I find the betrayal has really caused me to be far more careful than I need to be. I feel responsible and guilty for just being an outgoing person. Which is gradually easing.

It's gets better and often faster than you realised untill you read back.


M 46 h54
Both married before
T 11y
Bd 2/14 I must see where ow leads!
Ms 18 hs 26
Ggrass #2582872 06/28/15 08:14 PM
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Gg

This is typical of PTSD. It's drama enforced, so if xH2 had stopped shouted abuse or snarled the PTSD would reinforce.

As you 'mastered' it then PTSD weakens and there is less trigger. Gg you did well and I am pleased for you although the legacy remains.

If you can hold your ground then with cognitive behaviour it will weaken.

As I am glad you find the thread useful. It is intended as an honesty taster, Z had the idea that abuse is an added dimension to DB, and a few of the posters here openly admit to being abused or the target of it. Sometimes the abuse is raw, but the abused will often 'return' to their abusers 6 or 7 times before they acknowledge the abuse. It is the 'crisis' or spell breaker point which is crucial to helping both parties in the abuse.

Sometimes posters find it difficult to accept their roles as abusers or abused and it helps to know there are others with this issue and who still want to stand. The thread is intended to be a pointer for additional resources and a comfort.

I have observed that gas lighting is typical for those who have behavioural addictions including gambling, games, porn, spending, sex and eating disorders. It's is a sneaky theif style underhand tactic primarily in addicts designed to disguise addiction. Those with personality disorders use it to manipulate. It is extremely unpleasant as you say.

Astros,, thank you for drawing that out, it's a magnification of the 100% rule believe nothing of what they say and only 50% of that which they do. I am a great believe in recording interactions for later review, this could also be by way of journal. In my own case it stopped me doubting the reality.

V

Last edited by Vanilla; 06/28/15 08:18 PM.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Vanilla #2582972 06/29/15 05:44 AM
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This is from Bobs thread Pigpen explaining his views of triggers

Hi V,

To me a trigger is anything that elicits an emotional reaction that I can't control in the immediate moment. In the case of my M, it's a song, a favorite TV show, a thought of a place where we had a date or an experience that is poignant to us, the smell of a perfume that is similar to my W's, or seeing the car that she drove. More obvious triggers are photos people asking me about her. When that reaction is "triggered" it starts a cascade of feelings that I have to take specific measures to counteract. Deep breaths, a walk, or some other way to break my state.

So far, I've fallen completely apart when I've watched a couple on TV where there is compassion between the two, or even worse, if the H has an issue and the W stands by his side. I bawled through American Sniper. BAWLED. Seeing the support that he got from his W was a trigger for me in a different way. It triggered me into acknowledging that there was something I wanted to get and couldn't get from my M.

In the case of addiction, I'd say triggers are any stimuli that makes me want to smoke or drink or fall into any other addictive behavior. It can be the simplest of things. I used to love to stay home and get high on rainy days. So the rain is a trigger for me, when it rains, I want to smoke more so than on sunny days. I used to love to drink beer all day and watch football, so seeing commercials for football season makes my mouth water. Triggers in this sense are reminders of the life I lived and the benefit that I got from it at the time, the pleasure and the lack of pain.

Also, being upset is a trigger or any emotion that I don't want to deal with. This time not for the action (the actual smoking) but the result, the soothing effect of it. The numbing. I've noticed that when I go a week without having any communication with my W and I start to feel the distance, that's when I need to find a way to soothe myself. That distance, or more accurately the sense of loss in me that it elicits, is a trigger.

It's often not what people think - like watching someone else smoke or drink. Those to me aren't the real triggers as they come with the knowledge of how obvious they are and therefor I'm braced for them. I was around people drinking and smoking everyday in Central America and never considered it. I knew it was going to happen and was ready for it. But the rain, the rain comes without warning and sneaks up on me, it's the subtle ones that I don't think of.

My real take on triggers is a bit more esoteric and involves an energy field. Addiction, relationship, and other human experiences involve a feeling field or energy field. When we reenter that field by hearing a song, seeing a photo, smelling a fragrance, we are pulled back into the totality of it. Hearing the U2 song for Bob brought him back into the same field where he had years of experiences with his W. It wasn't just the music but the feeling. I bet he could he hear, taste, smell, and touch aspects of his M just from the first three words of the song. To me that's an energy field and not just a memory bank. In this case the trigger is like an open door of the energy field.

American Sniper opened me up to a separate field. Not one that made me want to smoke or drink but the field of what I so desperately wanted out of my M as well as what I want now - loving support. There is a longing field IMO. Seeing someone get what I want on that level is a trigger, or doorway into an emotional lack of control for me, I literally can't stop myself from crying. I fall headfirst into that field and have to wait until it spits me out.

When we are strong, and full, the door doesn't seem appealing to us. Same as when we know we're going to see it. Go to a party where you know your going to see your W and you can brace for the door. Run into her in the supermarket turning a corner and you walk right into the door and fall into the energy all the way over your head.

Hopefully that all makes sense.

PP

I believe this is what happens when the Trauma of Abuse is triggered. PP is discussing his addiction and his R with his WAW. A very important post and is one reason I believe absolute NC is required by a target.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Vanilla #2583648 06/30/15 10:47 PM
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I came across this on Going Mental (thank you for the reference Sherman) it was a little too male orientated for me but I hope it will tigger new discussions on the thread. I did remove some bad language and neutralised a little. Those who would like to view the original can visit the website. Intended to support the more male amount us, guys you know we gals support you, OK?

Mental: Strippers, Prostitutes, Sugar-babies, Porn Actors, Other Gold Diggers and Why You Shouldn’t datethem

Stripper gold digger, it should be obvious that entrusting your heart (and wallet) to a woman (or man) who gets paid to have sex and paid to fake love, affection, sexual attraction or orgasms is both unwise and a highly risky gamble, that is if you want a monogamous, stable relationship based on love and not a series of transactions.

Given the number of men who become involved with sex workers, strippers (“exotic dancers”), prostitutes, “sugar-babies,” porn actors, former child actors, “swingers” and straight up gold diggers expecting a Pretty Woman outcome, it’s apparently not as obvious as it could be. In the last few months, I’ve worked with a number of men — young men and older men who are old enough to know better — who have had their hearts broken and lives trashed by women like this, so it’s a good time to tackle the topic on this week’s Going Mental.

We will discuss:

1. There is no such thing as a psychologically healthy sex worker. There just isn’t. Many of these relationships begin as rescue missions. “Oh, she’s had such a rough life. I’m going to love her and treat her well and we’ll live happily after.” No, no you won’t. Ask the other nice men and women who came before you.

You will more than likely have your heart run through a paper shredder. Trading sex and faking love and attraction for money is about as predatory and transactional as it gets. You are not a special unicorn. You are not that one that they “really love” so it’s best you face facts. If you’re paying, they're playing.

2. The allure of the bisexual sex worker — and many of them are bisexual — is perhaps thrilling (i.e., a novel sexual/relationship experience) and ego bolstering (i.e., what a sex God/goddess you must be if you can get them to go straight), it will most likely end up breaking your heart. Bisexual strippers, call workers, "actors", etc., are buy-sexual. In other words, if you’re “buying,” they’ll be yours for a time until the money, security, vicarious status by association or whatever they’re using you for dries up and/or you become tired of paying for “love” and attention.

Their motto seems to be, “Any orifice (or wallet) in a storm.” If you’re willing to pay their bills and offer them some measure of security, attention, etc., they’ll perform for a time, but don’t bet against the house or someone’s true nature. They are sexual mercenaries. Of course, there are bisexual individuals to whom this doesn’t apply, but they’re probably not sex workers and/or members of some other profession in which a person play acts for money.

3. One mere mortal man or woman can not possibly provide the amount of attention, validation, money, security, etc., that this type of damaged individual requires. Let’s face it, if taking off your clothes and having sex for money seems like a viable career option, odds are the individual has either sustained some pretty serious abuse in childhood and/or has a scarcity mindset and is looking for a shortcut to money. Lying for money, feigning interest and love for money shows a lack of integrity and ethics. Needing the attention of crowds of people to feel good about oneself probably means this individual isn’t going to be content with the love and attention of just one person.

It calls to mind the lyrics from “Roxie” (Chicago):

And the audience loves me. And I love them. And they love me for loving them, And I love them for loving me. And we love each other. That’s because none of us got enough love in our childhoods.
And that’s showbiz…
Kid!”

There may very well be sex workers who truly have hearts of gold who are capable of loving, monogamous, non-abusive relationships, but they are most likely the exception, not the rule. If stable, kind, emotionally mature and honest is what you’re seeking, look elsewhere because it’s probably not on a pole.


4. Eventually, you will have to pay to keep their clothes on. For those of you who have been involved with a stripper, hooker, phone sex operator, porn actress, etc., you know what I’m talking about. First, she will give up her “career” for you. Then, inevitably, when you just don’t have any more money to give (or you realise you’re being duped and used), or they have become so unstable and abusive that you ask them to move out, they will threaten to begin stripping or hooking again or contacting a former lover. And then you do it. You pay a stripper to keep their clothes on or a hooker to not hook.

5. You may end up ruining your future chances at having a loving relationship with a stable and emotionally healthy person. There’s an old saying, “Crazy in the head, crazy in bed.” Professional sex workers may be over-the-top in bed — exaggerated moaning and groaning (fake orgasm alert), willingness to do sexual acts or invite third (or fourth or fifth) parties that most “non-professionals” wouldn’t do. This may have the effect of diminishing your ability to enjoy sex with partners that are healthier and require trust and real intimacy before they release their inhibitions.

Genuine love and intimacy take time to build and grow. It doesn’t happen overnight or in 36 hours. A healthy person who respects themselves, who has boundaries and is looking for an honest to goodness relationship is unlikely to jump right into bed and let out that inner freak. That takes time. Going back to a healthy person will be like expecting a cup of coffee to have the same rush as a gram of cocaine.

Additionally, self-respecting individuals are probably not going to be interested in dating someone who has sex with strippers, hookers and the like.This is not necessarily due to religious beliefs or some sense of Puritanical morality. One, it will cause them to question your well-being, self-esteem and your ability to have a healthy relationship. Two, there are health risks, e.g., STDs, and other safety risks, e.g., a psycho ex who is stalking you and any new love interest you may have.

Last edited by Vanilla; 06/30/15 10:51 PM.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Vanilla #2583679 07/01/15 12:14 AM
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Quote:
I came across this on Going Mental (thank you for the reference Sherman) it was a little too male orientated for me but I hope it will tigger new discussions on the thread. I did remove some bad language and neutralised a little. Those who would like to view the original can visit the website. Intended to support the more male amount us, guys you know we gals support you, OK?


Even though it was male oriented, very enlightening huh? smile


Quote:

Mental: Strippers, Prostitutes, Sugar-babies, Porn Actors, Other Gold Diggers and Why You Shouldn’t datethem


My STBXW is a former stripper.

All of the behavior listed she's demonstrated. Only she used sex as a means to control.

Last edited by Sherman333; 07/01/15 12:15 AM.

Me: 45 W43
S7, Foster S9 (Planning to adopt post divorce)
D mentioned Feb 2015, Wife served 3/24/2015. She moved out 4/15/2015.
Sherman333 #2584685 07/04/15 11:10 AM
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My story tho nilla shows a connection and I wasn't sure why, that dread I knew of something happening.

In regards to nilla and her reverse attraction it was also a thought of mine In regards to hair make up and dress sense.
Dress and make up deliberately me and not something xh2 would approve of.
Heels and hair colour also things and colours xh2 would disapprove of and openly had denigrate those who had those sort of colours.

I loved it xh2 would hate it, that was a huge tick from me.


M 46 h54
Both married before
T 11y
Bd 2/14 I must see where ow leads!
Ms 18 hs 26
Ggrass #2584956 07/05/15 05:42 PM
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Stockholm Syndrome and Cognitive Dissonance

Stockholm Syndrome in relationships is not uncommon. Law enforcement professionals are painfully aware of the situation — making a domestic dispute one of the high-risk calls during work hours. Called by neighbours during a violent physical spousal abuse incident, the abuser is passive upon arrival of the police, only to find the abused spouse upset and threatening the officers if their abusive partner is arrested for domestic violence. In truth, the target knows the abuser/controller will retaliate against him/her if 1) they encourage an arrest, 2) they offer statements about the abuse/fight that are deemed disloyal by the abuser, 3) they don’t bail them out of jail as quickly as possible, and 4) they don’t personally apologise for the situation — as though it was their fault.

Stockholm Syndrome produces an unhealthy bond with the controller and abuser. It is the reason many victims continue to support an abuser after the relationship is over. It’s also the reason they continue to see “the good side” of an abusive individual and appear sympathetic to someone who has mentally and sometimes physically abused them.

Throughout history, people have found themselves supporting and participating in life situations that range from abusive to bizarre. In talking to these active and willing participants in bad and bizarre situations, it is clear they have developed feelings and attitudes that support their participation. One way these feelings and thoughts are developed is known as “cognitive dissonance”.

Cognitive Dissonance explains how and why people change their ideas and opinions to support situations that do not appear to be healthy, positive, or normal. In the theory, an individual seeks to reduce information or opinions that make him or her uncomfortable. When we have two sets of cognitions (knowledge, opinion, feelings, input from others, etc.) that are the opposite, the situation becomes emotionally uncomfortable. Even though we might find ourselves in a foolish or difficult situation — few want to admit that fact. Instead, we attempt to reduce the dissonance — the fact that our cognitions don’t match, agree, or make sense when combined. “Cognitive Dissonance” can be reduced by adding new cognitions — adding new thoughts and attitudes.

For example:

Heavy smokers know smoking causes lung cancer and multiple health risks. To continue smoking, the smoker changes his cognitions (thoughts/feelings) such as
“I’m smoking less than ten years ago”,
"I’m smoking low-tar cigarettes”,
"Those statistics are made up by the cancer industry conspiracy”, or
"Something’s got to get you anyway!” These new cognitions/attitudes allow them to keep smoking and actually begin blaming restaurants for being unfair.

A 40,000 Sport Utility Vehicle that gets 8 miles a gallon and is justified (rationalised) the expense and related issues with:
“It’s great on trips” (you take one trip per year),
"I can use it to haul stuff” (one coffee table in 12 months), and
"You can carry a lot of people in it” (95% of your trips are driver-only).

A spouse/boyfriend becomes abusive and assaultive and the target believes that can’t leave due to the finances, children, or other factors. Through cognitive dissonance, they say “He only hits me open-handed” and “She had a lot of stress at work.”

Leon Festinger first coined the term “Cognitive Dissonance”. He had observed a cult (1956) in which members gave up their homes, incomes, and jobs to work for the cult. This cult believed in messages from outer space that predicted the day the world would end by a flood. As cult members and firm believers, they believed they would be saved by flying saucers at the appointed time. As they gathered and waited to be taken by flying saucers at the specified time, the end-of-the-world came and went. No flood and no flying saucer! Rather than believing they were foolish after all that personal and emotional investment — they decided their beliefs had actually saved the world from the flood and they became firmer in their beliefs after the failure of the prophecy. The moral: the more you invest (income, job, home, time, effort, etc.) the stronger your need to justify your position. If we invest in a raffle ticket, we justify losing with “I’ll get them next time”. If you invest everything you have, it requires an almost unreasoning belief and unusual attitude to support and justify that investment.

Studies tell us we are more loyal and committed to something that is difficult, uncomfortable, and even humiliating. The initiation rituals of college fraternities, Marine boot camp, and graduate school all produce loyal and committed individuals. Almost any ordeal creates a bonding experience. Every couple, no matter how mismatched, falls in love in the movies after going through a terrorist takeover, being stalked by a killer, being stranded on an island, or being involved in an alien abduction. Investment and an ordeal are ingredients for a strong bonding — even if the bonding is unhealthy. No one bonds or falls in love by being a member of the Automobile Club or a music CD club.

Investment in an unhealthy R

Abusive relationships produce a great amount on unhealthy investment in both parties. Several types of investments keep us in the bad relationship:

1. Emotional Investment
We’ve invested so many emotions, cried so much, and worried so much that we feel we must see the relationship through to the finish.

2. Social Investment
We’ve got our pride! To avoid social embarrassment and uncomfortable social situations, we remain in the relationship.

3. Family Investments
If children are present in the relationship, decisions regarding the relationship are clouded by the status and needs of the children.

4. Financial Investment
In many cases, the controlling and abusive partner has created a complex financial situation. Many targets remain in a bad relationship, waiting for a better financial situation to develop that would make their departure and detachment easier.

5. Lifestyle Investment
Many Abusers use money or a lifestyle as an investment. Targets in this situation may not want to lose their current lifestyle.

6. Emotional and Sexual Investment
We often invest emotional and sexual intimacy. Some targets have experienced a destruction of their emotional and/or sexual self-esteem in the unhealthy relationship. The abusing partner may threaten to spread rumours or tell intimate details or secrets. A type of blackmail using intimacy is often found in these situations.

In many cases, it’s not simply our feelings for an individual that keep us in an unhealthy relationship — it’s often the amount of investment. Relationships are complex and we often only see the tip of the iceberg in public. For this reason, the most common phrase offered by the target in defence of their unhealthy relationship is “You just don’t understand!”

Combining Two Unhealthy Conditions

The combination of “Stockholm Syndrome” and “cognitive dissonance” produces a target who firmly believes the relationship is not only acceptable, but also desperately needed for their survival. The target feels they would mentally collapse if the relationship ended. In long-term relationships, the targets have invested everything and placed “all their eggs in one basket”. The relationship now decides their level of self-esteem, self-worth, and emotional health.

For reasons described above, the target feels family and friends are a threat to the relationship and eventually to their personal health and existence. The more family/friends protest the controlling and abusive nature of the relationship, the more the target develops cognitive dissonance and becomes defensive. At this point, family and friends become targets of the abusive and controlling individual.

Importantly, both Stockholm Syndrome and cognitive dissonance develop on an involuntary basis. The target does not purposely invent this attitude. Both develop as an attempt to exist and survive in a threatening and controlling environment and relationship. What might have begun as a normal relationship has turned into a controlling and abusive situation. The target is trying to survive. Their personality is developing the feelings and thoughts needed to survive the situation and lower their emotional and physical risks. All of us have developed attitudes and feelings that help us accept and survive situations. We have these attitudes/feelings about our jobs, our community, and other aspects of our life. As we have found throughout history, the more dysfunctional the situation, the more dysfunctional our adaptation and thoughts to survive. The target is engaged in an attempt to survive and make a relationship work. Once they decide it doesn’t work and can’t be fixed, the healing starts.

This post is a combination of several pieces of research on trauma.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


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