Updated yet again on Apr 28 2017.
Stockholm Syndrome (Trauma Bonding) is said to keep those being abused, in the abusive relationship. They cannot leave their abuser.
I am posting this because I believe there is something to learn from the Rat Cage / Rat Park experiments.
I believe that victims of relationship abuse are stuck in the equivalent of an empty Rat Cage. They feel alone and not connected to anyone who cares about them. They may have been isolated from Family and Friends by physically moving to a different city. Abusers instinctively seem to know that if they can isolate someone, then they can control them and physically or mentally abuse them without outside interference. Again without a support structure, the victim is alone as in the isolated Rat Cage.
The drug in this scenario is the Abuser. Just as Rats isolated in a Rat Cage became addicted, so do the Abuse Victims. If the Victim does leave, then they could suffer from PTSD or worse. They will constantly think about the Abuser and often return to their Abuser, even after horrific physical abuse. In my opinion, this is highly similar to addiction.
Further proof of this concept comes from the same Rat Cage / Rat Park experiment. When the isolated and heavily addicted rats are moved out of an isolated environment into a Rat Park with lots of other rats and lots of stimulating things to do and play with, they lose their addiction.
Going further, Victims of abuse need to move into a Rat Park environment. They need to be among people who care. Friends and family who will morally support them. They need to also have fun. Being abused is “NOT FUN”. I suspect that once the victim is moved into a Rat Park type environment, then their addiction to the abuser could dissipate without symptoms of PTSD etc.
That brings up the lack of such a Rat Park environment for Abuse Victims. They should be surrounded by people who care, people who will try to help them. People who will talk to them. One common theme from Victims going thru forms of Therapy is that they cry their eyes out during the therapy sessions. They have no one to talk to. They feel that no one cares. Like the Rats in the isolated Rat cage. The Rats become addicted to the point of destroying themselves. Victims become addicted to their Abuser. For many victims this addiction destroys them. In my opinion, the Rat Park experiment shows the need to create a Human equivalent of a Rat Park for Victims of Abuse, so that victims can end their “Addiction” to their Abuser.
We have Women’s Shelters filled with women seeking help but percentage wise rather few “Helpers”. We have Therapy, which costs money that the abuse Victim may not have. No money, equals No Help. We have Public Housing, but with long waiting lists. We have legal aid for people convicted of a crime, but Victims of Relationship Abuse may not “qualify”. Society has a disorienting and disconnected patchwork of supposed help and so Victims cannot get away. It may not just be Trauma Bonding which is holding them back. As a society, we do not have an all inclusive support system, like a Rat Park human equivalent environment, to help Abuse Victims if they want to leave their Abuser, Heal and Recover. So they remain “stuck” in Abusive Relationships.
I have received email comments suggesting that it may be the Victim’s lack of confidence to express their feeling that could be at fault. A Victim’s typical inability to establish and enforce clear boundaries is in my opinion, a Learned Survival Mechanism. During early childhood, we learn how to survive in our home environment. Some kids are lucky and are born into loving and caring families. Other kids are not so lucky and have to adapt and learn behaviors to survive. That applies to Disordered Individuals also. One’s early childhood helps to form the future Adult. The work of the late Alice Miller readily comes to mind. I have referred to Abysmal Parenting or the lack of Parenting as being the primary cause of adult dysfunction. Many a Narcissist was not raised by their Birth Mother for example. On the other hand, when a Victim is physically being beaten Black and Blue, IMHO clearly the Abuser is at fault and “not” the Victim.
Video is courtesy of the Alice Miller YouTube channel
There was a video posted here of an English couple. The Husband gave his wife a couple of black eyes one night. The Police showed up and his attitude was as if nothing wrong happened. He called out to his wife and asked if she wanted to speak to the Police. Thankfully the Police had body video recorders running.
I have a friend who was isolated to a different country by a very Disordered Individual. Once isolated, the abuse became physical. One time she was beaten so badly that she ended up being hospitalized for months. It was not her inability to speak up for herself that is to blame. If you start to speak up for yourself to a very disordered individual, you could very well be beaten Black and Blue. IMHO the Abuser is at fault and they are totally responsible for their behavior. View the video in the link shown above. Getting two black eyes was not the Victim’s fault.
I believe that when one learns about the Red Flags and if one starts to see multiple Red Flags on a consistent basis then one is able to get a better idea of who one is interacting with. It has nothing to do with putting labels on people before they do anything wrong. If one does not take heed of those Red Flags and falls prey to an Abuser, then it’s too late. Yes, people are out there who abuse other people. Yes, there are people with Codependent Traits and lots of Empathy, who seem to be attracted to those who abuse. Those who will abuse others also seem to be rather attracted to those who have lots of Empathy and Codependent traits. People call someone an Abuser after they have abused someone. It is not a matter of innocent until proven guilty. They get called that label because they have abused their victim. All abuse is bad, but some abuse is horrific.
I’m posting this for everyone to think about it. The videos below give more details about Dr. Bruce Alexander and his Rat Park experiment. BTW that Rat Park experiment has been repeated many times, with the same results. So it has been scientifically proven.
Video is courtesy of the MinuteVideos YouTUbe channel
Video is courtesy of the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell YouTube channel
Video is courtesy of The Agenda with Steve Paikin YouTube channel
Really good read, which essentially details how Trauma Bonding works.
Click on this line top visit the The Minds Journal website.
Red Flags are important to watch for. Narcissists repeat their calculated behavior with each new Target. Learn about the Red Flags commonly displayed by Narcissists and then watch for them.
There is a world of difference between honest Flattery and Calculated Persistent Flattery.
If someone relatively new in your life is consistently flattering you, ask yourself what do they want. Make sure to watch for other Red Flags.
Video is courtesy of the Inner Integration YouTube channel
Infant Attachment Trauma caused by the Birth Mother or by the infant being given away to be raised by someone other than the Birth Mother (Grandparents or adopted out) can result in a Cluster-B Disordered Individual such as a Narcissist.
Childhood Trauma (later form of Attachment Trauma) caused by one or both parents can result in a Codependent Individual. One or more of the parents could be Cluster-B Disordered.
I am of the opinion that said Individuals (Narcissist or Codependent) are created (not born – ie not genetic) because of variations of Attachment Trauma inflicted on them via Abysmal Parenting.
John Bradshaw’s work raised the awareness of the concept of the Injured Inner Child. I have spoken to people with high levels of Narcissistic Traits, about their childhood. It was like I was talking to a different individual. even their vocal characteristic changed. I have crossed paths with Narcissists and have paid the price. Yet I still feel sorry for them. In my opinion it is not their fault that they are the way they are. The same for folks with Codependent Traits.
Keeping this site going I have again come full circle back to Attachment Trauma. I was reminded of that today while researching the website of a San Francisco Bay area Complex PTSD Therapist. I have to get in touch with him, to see if I can share some of his material on this site.
Taking my theory further, a relationship between a Narcissist and a Codependent could result in further Trauma. The Codependent could develop PTSD (or Complex PTSD if the relationship had been a long term one). The Narcissist could also suffer Trauma in the form of Narcissist Injury (Abandonment Trauma), from the loss of their valued Source of Narcissistic Supply. In the extreme, the Narcissist could attempt Suicide because of that Trauma and injury (I have witnessed this with Somatic Narcissists). Both types of individuals were created due to Trauma and when combined into a relationship both end up creating more Trauma. The Codependent could also develop Trauma Bonding if the relationship becomes abusive, and cannot leave.
Narcissists are attracted to Codependents.
Codependents are attracted to Narcissists.
Maybe the Injured Inner Child (see Alice Miller’s book titled : “The Drama of The Gifted Child“ and John Bradshaw’s books and videos about the Inner Child) of each type of individual can somehow pickup on the injured Inner Child in the other type of individual. The Injured Inner Child could be the source of the attraction between Codependents and Narcissists.
The common theme in the above is Trauma. The destructive Domino cascade is initiated by Extremely Poor to non-existent Parenting. Another area where our Educational Systems have failed Society. How many of you reading this, have had courses which detailed Great Parenting?
The most important role that a Human can have is to become a Great Parent. Yet we get zero formal training. I have had to take many courses in say Accounting and Statistics which I will “never” use. I have had zero courses detailing how to be a Great Parent. Does this make sense to you???
The female had called police about a verbal argument with her husband saying that she had feared for her life. The Police came to the home, but the husband was no longer there. The police informed her about getting a Protection From Abuse Order. She indicated that she would do so, but never followed through. Trauma Bonding messes up the logical thinking of the abused victim.
If the Police are suggesting to get a Protection From Abuse Order, then do it. The husband apparently purchased a legal handgun the following day.
Abusive and Disordered people fear abandonment. Some fear abandonment more than they fear death. The abuse is to keep the victim in line and under control.
The Disordered Individual cannot handle losing control. One solution is to eliminate the problem. Because Narcissists know right from wrong (unlike with Psychopaths where right or wrong do not exist) they will realize that they just murdered their family. The embarrassment of going to trial and media attention would be too great for their fragile Ego to handle. So they kill themselves.
If you are in an abusive relationship and considering leaving, please contact your local Law Enforcement. They can also inform you of other assistance available to you – like Battered Women’s Shelters. Listen to the Police and follow through by getting any suggested Court Orders. By getting Law Enforcement to visit the family home, a Disordered Individual such as an abusive Narcissist could reconsider escalating the violence, since it has now been made public. It anything goes to Court, a Police Officer’s testimony will trump a Narcissist’s great sounding BS.
The video below is a Heads Up that Disordered Individuals can damage way more than your emotional well being. They can literally destroy you and possibly your children. Learning about the Red Flags to watch for is so very important. Better to walk away when multiple Red Flags are displayed, than becoming involved with a Disordered Individuals and later getting emotionally and or physicically abused or even killed.
Video is courtesy of the Inside Edition YouTube channel
I find the Leyla Loric’s Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome YouTube channel to have a unique way of explaining that which is complex in their videos.
In the video below she outlines, in an easy to understand manner, how Trauma Bonding happens.
Video is courtesy of the Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome YouTube channel
The repeating of the connection and disconnection. The Push followed by the Pull. Richard Bandler‘s NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) sheds some light on this. Love Bombing and Trauma Bonding both create major bonds between the Narcissist Abuser and his/her Victim. I’ll try to post something about that at a later date.
Briefly, I believe (your mileage may differ) Love Bombing and Trauma Bonding covertly put the Victim into a Deep Trance State.
It is a sign of Major Mind Control, when a women gets kicked down a flight of stairs, yet will not leave such an abusive relationship. Why? Because the women will tell you that they are still “in Love” with the abuser. Actually they mention the person they met at the start of the Love Bombing phase. The Fake Persona they were fed.
In my opinion, (your mileage may differ) victims of major physical abuse are not in Love with their Abuser. They have been repeatedly Anchored to go into a Deep Hypnotic Trance State, where they have been programmed to experience a huge rapport with the Abuser.
The black eyes and broken bones hurt far less than having to exit that Deep Hypnotic Trance State. Not unlike a heavy drug addiction to say Heroin. It is only when Victims leave such abusive relationships and those anchors and triggers are no longer fired off, that they can see the reality about their Abuser.
When you watch this video, note the Red Flags (like Love Bombing and Isolating the Victim and making the Victim dependent on the Abuser) which appeared “prior” to the physical abuse starting.
This video features Leslie Morgan Steiner, Beverly Gooden, Kit Gruelle, Mildred Muhammad who were Victims of Physical Abuse. They address why they had stayed in the Abusive Relationship. Kudos to these Brave Women for sharing their stories.
Video is courtesy of the Markay Media YouTube channel
Learn about and then watch for the Red Flags displayed by Disordered Individuals. The more Red Flags displayed, the more questions you should be asking about the individual displaying those Red Flags.
Click on this Link to visit the Why We Stayed Twitter page.
Click on this line to visit the Kit Gruelle website.
Click on this line to visit the Mildred Muhammad website.
Click on this line to visit the Beverly Gooden website
Click on this line to visit the Leslie Morgan Steiner Facebook page
In this TED Talks presentation Leslie Morgan Steiner explains “Why domestic violence victims don’t leave”.
Leslie Morgan Steiner says that she was in “crazy love” — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life.
The video is courtesy of the TED YouTube channel
The relationship started out, by the Abuser Love Bombing her. She called it to Seduce and Charm the victim. Her future Abuser Idolized her and she stated that that he “believed” in her. Note that she uses the term “Soul Mate”. Watch for those Red Flags, they may be extremely important to your future health and well being.
Next the victim is isolated. She was moved away from her friends and family.
About a week before she married her Abuser, he choked her and bashed her head into a wall. When the bruises on her neck cleared, she went ahead and married her Abuser.
She got the “I’m sorry” story and that it would never happen again. She did get Abused again, and on a regular basis.
Trauma Bonding, in my opinion, kept her in the relationship. Listen to the language which she uses to describe her Abuser.
There is something else which kept her in that Abusive Relationship. That was her “Silence” about it. I know that statement may not sit well with some readers. Listen carefully at the end of the video, where Leslie Morgan Steiner clearly states that the end of her Abuse started when she “started talking about it”.
She talked to the Police about it – very very important first step. She talked to the neighbors about it. She talked to all her friends and family about it. The key is that she “Talked About It“. She let people know that she was being Abused and people helped her. If someone does not know about your abuse, then they cannot help you. “Talking about her Abuse to others”, helped to break her bonds to the Abuser
Talking about your Abusive Relationship to “everyone” Is the Major Message of this video. No one deserves to be Abused. Abusers program those being Abused “Not to Tell“. When one stays quiet about being Abused, they are giving power over themselves to the Abuser. Abuse is about having power and control over someone. Abusers want those being abused, “to keep their mouths shut”. As soon as one tells others about being abused, their Abuser loses all of his or her power and control. Saying something about being Abused could help to set the Victim free.
Click on this Link to read a prior post about a female being turned into a Human Torch because she dared to leave a Disordered Individual. She was burned alive because the guy “didn’t accept being abandoned”.
Note also the major Red Flag indicated by the abuse that her Abuser had apparently received from his Step Father from the age of four. Major Trauma suffered by an infant and a young child is IMHO a Major Red Flag that such an individual could be a Disordered Adult.
Those Red Flags could be extremely important. Learn about them and then watch for them. The more Red Flags that show up, the more questions should be raised about the individual displaying those Red Flags
Click on this link to visit the official Leslie Morgan Steiner website.
Click on this Link to visit the official Leslie Morgan Steiner Facebook page.
Police wearing body cameras capture the result of a horrific beating a woman had received. Because of the body camera video, the husband who beat his wife was charged and convicted and is now serving a 10 year jail sentence.
Yes he is in jail, but has justice been served? He gets free Room and Board for 10 years, with 3 meals a day cooked for him. Just look at the woman’s face in the screen capture pic. She had been getting this kind of abuse for 10 years. Absolutely sickening.
Is the photo below showing you, your future?Photo of Gale Marmoy is a screen capture (which we made) from the Police video
Her husband had apparently been beating this woman for about a decade before being convicted. Clear example of Trauma Bonding or Stockholm Syndrome on the part of the victim.
If you are presently in an abusive relationship, then seek out the Police and your Health Care Professionals to help you to get out of that abusive relationship before it “Kills You“.
Abuse is real. Being abused is not the fault of the victim. Trauma Bonding is very real, but those bonds can be broken with the help of your Medical Professionals.
No one deserves to be abused.
Watch the video to see how cool he was when the Police arrived at his door after he beat his wife. IMHO he displayed Psychopathic traits. It was bizarre how he calmly asked his wife (whom he called Dawn) if she wanted to speak to the Police. It was as if nothing had happened to give a reason for the Police to have shown up. As if he had done nothing wrong. If the Police had not come, he was not going to call his wife an ambulance or take her to the hospital.
What kind of person could be so Heartless and lacking in Empathy, to behave in this manner? Well lets see, a Malignant Narcissist in a rage and of course a Psychopath could do extreme damage to someone in the blink of an eye. Afterwards they could even blame the victim. Such disordered individuals lack Empathy for the suffering of others.
It boggles my mind how someone could do something like this, yet sadly it happens all too often.
Video is courtesy of the OfficialHantsPolice YouTube channel
Your Brain on Love, Sex and the Narcissist: The Addiction to Bonding with our Abusers
by Shahida Arabi
*If you enjoy this post, please consider supporting Self-Care Haven by purchasing the e-book version of this article, which is an extended and more in-depth look into these biochemical bonds. All proceeds will go towards services for survivors. If you were inspired by this article and would like to write about about this perspective, please be sure to link back to the article. Thank you!
April 27, 2015
Many survivors of narcissistic abuse are confounded by the addiction they feel to the narcissist, long after the abusive relationship took a toll on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Make no mistake: recovery from an abusive relationship can be very similar to withdrawal from drug addiction due to the biochemical bonds we may develop with our toxic ex-partners.
Understanding why we are…
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Trauma Bonding or Stockholm Syndrome can occur when the abused individual is made to go thru alternating Reward / Punishment cycles. A simple act of kindness during an abusive situation, can mess up the victim’s brain chemistry. The kindness event is short lived, as the abuser goes back into Narcissistic Abuse mode. Unfortunately for the victim of the abuse, a Trauma Bond may have started to form.
Very well presented video about Trauma Bonding, which at first establishes what Stockholm Syndrome and Trauma Bonding is. Then details the Reward Punishment cycle, which is used to “hook you”.
Video is courtesy of the Inner Integration YouTube channel