Tagged: Alice Miller

The results of the Rat Park Experiment, could apply to Victims of Relationship Abuse

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

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Most important Red Flags of a Narcissist

There are many Red Flags given off by Narcissists. Love Bombing for one. Mirroring is a big one, which I tend to consistently harp on about.

There are a couple of key things which the Narcissist will not hide from you. One is in my opinion the “most important Red Flag“. Ask the potential Narcissist about their childhood. Were they brought up by their Birth Mother? If they were still an infant and they were adopted out or given to other family members (say Grand Parents) to be brought up, that is themost important & biggest Red Flag“.

To better confirm that Red Flag, ask questions about the person’s Birth Mother? If there is any animosity or even outright hatred shown towards their Birth Mother, that is “yet another major Red Flag” which also confirms your perception of the biggest Red Flag.

It is my opinion that Narcissists are created due to Abandonment Trauma(s) suffered while still an infant, before the left hemisphere of the brain is developed. The Trauma(s) change how the Brain Develops – ie it’s a Hardware-Wiring issue and so Narcissists can not be changed via a treatment protocol.  MRI Brain Scans seem to confirm “my opinion”.

Joseph Burgo, in a radio interview, alluded to the coincidence that many diagnosed Narcissists had been abandoned in their early childhood. They were adopted out. They were transferred to other family members (Grandparents) to be cared for.

All the Narcissists who I got to know, had issues with their Mother. Yes the issues varied between a coldness to outright disdain.

Sam Vaknin wrote something confirming this in a review of the book titled “The Abandoned Child Within: On Losing and Regaining Self-Worth

Sam Vaknin wrote:

“Underneath this colourful maelstrom lies an hypothesis: pathological narcissism is the direct outcome of early childhood abuse and trauma, mainly in the form of abandonment or neglect. Narcissism, in other words, is a defense against hurt and emotional injury.”.

A female Somatic Narc had a pronounced dislike of her Mother. In stark contrast, she and her Dad were fine. Events in the past when one is an infant can have profound affects which can last a lifetime.

A Cerebral Narc would not speak to their Mother when she came in tears because her own Mother had just passed away. The Cerebral Narc’s Grandmother dies and the Narc could not be bothered to come and talk and try to comfort their own Mother. . Would a non Cluster-B Disordered Individual, who has Empathy for the suffering of others behave that way?.

Being brought up by other family members like Grand Parents can cause Abandonment Trauma. To the Grand Parents it’s a burden to “have to” feed, cloth and bring up their daughter’s infant child. They already brought up their own kids.

The distrust of the Birth Mother for being abandoned and sent off to live with strangers (yes they are Grand Parents and an adult understands that but an infant sees themselves being dumped off to some strangers) by the Narc can be life long.

Different people love very differently and sadly some not at all. That description includes Grand Parents. The infant had already lost life’s lottery by being born to a Mother who abandoned them and sent them away to live in another place. Good chance that the Grand Parents were not the kindest and most loving of individuals. So the infant losses again and possibly pays for such loss by developing a Personality Disorder which could prevent them from being able to establish and enjoy “Intimate and Loving” relationships.

Alice Miller has written a post on her site which ties a number of things together. Her post is titled: “The Ignorance or How we produce the Evil”. I’ll  have some quotes below, from that Alice Miller post.

Alice Miller wrote :

“Children who are given love, respect, understanding, kindness, and warmth will naturally develop different characteristics from those who experience neglect, contempt, violence or abuse, and never have anyone they can turn to for kindness and affection. Such absence of trust and love is a common denominator in the formative years of all the dictators I have studied. The result is that these children will tend to glorify the violence inflicted upon them and later to take advantage of every possible opportunity to exercise such violence, possibly on a gigantic scale. Children learn by imitation. Their bodies do not learn what we try to instill in them by words but what they have experienced physically. Battered, injured children will learn to batter and injure others; sheltered, respected children will learn to respect and protect those weaker than themselves. Children have nothing else to go on but their own experiences.

As Alice Miler stated “Children have nothing else to go on but their own experience”. If the infant child experienced Abandonment Trauma they they will not know how to Love someone. They will do to someone else, what had been done to to them. They will use them and abandon them.

Alice Miller also wrote :

The well-known American pediatrician Dr. Brazelton once filmed a group of mothers holding and feeding their babies, each in her own particular way. More than 20 years later he repeated the experiment with the women those babies had grown into and who now had babies themselves. Astoundingly, they all held their babies in exactly the same way as they had been held by their mothers, although of course they had no conscious memories from those early years. One of the things Braselton proved with this experiment was that we are influenced in our behavior by our unconscious memories. And those memories can be life affirming and affectionate or traumatic and destructive.”

It is my opinion, that It is not the Narcissist’s fault for developing such a Personality Disorder. It is up to you whether you want to get involved, in any kind of a relationship, with a Personality Disordered individual.

So recapping the two biggest and in my opinion most important Red Flags of a Narcissist. If you learn that the person was not raised by their Birth Mother that is IMHO the most important and biggest of all the Red Flags. Major issues with their Birth Mother is another confirming major Red Flag.

The more Red Flags that you can spot, the higher the probability that you are interacting with a Personality Disordered Individual.

Watch for the Red Flags.

The birth or creation of Evil. Are Narcissists born with Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Or are Narcissists created?

Sam Vaknin‘s post on Psych daily titled “Narcissism, Pathological is an excellent place to start. Sam presents assorted psychological views about the cause of Narcissism, starting with Freud’s work.

Beth K. McDonald presented a paper in September, 2013. It was titled “Out of the Mirror: A Workbook of Healing for Adult Children of Covert Narcissists

The personality traits of covert narcissism and codependency in adult children who grew up in narcissistic family systems, are examined in Beth K. McDonald’s paper.

Click on this line to visit the Adler Graduate School webpage where you can download Beth K. McDonald’s paper.

Joseph Burgo, in a radio interview, alluded to the coincidence that many diagnosed Narcissists had been abandoned in their early childhood. They were adopted out. They were transferred to other family members (Grandparents) to be cared for.

Sam Vaknin wrote something confirming this in a review of the book titled “The Abandoned Child Within: On Losing and Regaining Self-Worth

Sam Vaknin wrote:

“Underneath this colourful maelstrom lies an hypothesis: pathological narcissism is the direct outcome of early childhood abuse and trauma, mainly in the form of abandonment or neglect. Narcissism, in other words, is a defense against hurt and emotional injury.”.

Childhood trauma of Rejection and Abandonment, could help explain a Narcissist’s extreme fear of “Rejection”.

Alice Miller has written a post on her site which ties a number of things together. Her post is titled: “The Ignorance or How we produce the Evil”. I’ll  have more quotes below, from that Alice Miller post.

What I am sharing in this post is not meant to be an excuse for any Emotional Abuse and Psychological Manipulation by Narcissists. Brain Scans prove that those suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder have specific differences in their Brain Scans when compared to Brain Scans of people who not suffer from NPD.

Alice Miller wrote in her post:

“All the childhood histories of serial killers and dictators I have examined showed them without exception to have been the victims of extreme cruelty”. Major Human Brain development starts during Childhood.”

Alice Miller also wrote :

“Children who are given love, respect, understanding, kindness, and warmth will naturally develop different characteristics from those who experience neglect, contempt, violence or abuse, and never have anyone they can turn to for kindness and affection. Such absence of trust and love is a common denominator in the formative years of all the dictators I have studied. The result is that these children will tend to glorify the violence inflicted upon them and later to take advantage of every possible opportunity to exercise such violence, possibly on a gigantic scale. Children learn by imitation. Their bodies do not learn what we try to instill in them by words but what they have experienced physically. Battered, injured children will learn to batter and injure others; sheltered, respected children will learn to respect and protect those weaker than themselves. Children have nothing else to go on but their own experiences.”

>Born innocent

The well-known American pediatrician Dr. Brazelton once filmed a group of mothers holding and feeding their babies, each in her own particular way. More than 20 years later he repeated the experiment with the women those babies had grown into and who now had babies themselves. Astoundingly, they all held their babies in exactly the same way as they had been held by their mothers, although of course they had no conscious memories from those early years. One of the things Braselton proved with this experiment was that we are influenced in our behavior by our unconscious memories. And those memories can be life affirming and affectionate or traumatic and destructive.”

“In the 1970s the French gynecologist Frédéric Leboyer demonstrated that babies delivered without physical force and given a loving reception by their immediate environment show no signs of desperate crying or any kind of destructiveness. In fact they will even smile only a few minutes after birth. As long as they are not separated after birth, as was the custom in the 1950s, mother and child will develop a relationship of trust that will have positive repercussions on the entire further course of the children’s lives. In the physical presence of her baby, the mother will produce the so-called love hormone (oxytocin) enabling her intuitively to understand the signals emitted by the child and to care for its needs by a process of empathy. These phenomena are described by Michel Odent in his latest book (“The Scientification of Love”, London, Free Association, 1999).”

There are always two sides to every coin. Actually there are three, as we often forget about the sharp edge of the coin. So it may be with Narcissists. that one side of the coin indicates that the Evil could be created and not genetic. The other side of the very same coin, points to everyone being born Narcissistic.

Sam Vankin wrote in his post titled “Narcissism, Pathological:

“It is the psychoanalytic belief that we are all Narcissists at an early stage of our lives. As infants and toddlers we all feel that we are the center of the Universe, the most important, omnipotent and omniscient beings.

At that phase of our development, our parents are perceived by us to be mythical figures, immortal and awesomely powerful, there solely to cater to our needs, to protect and nourish us.

Both Self and others are viewed immaturely, as idealizations. This, in the psychodynamic models, is called the phase of “primary” narcissism.

Inevitably, the inexorable processes and conflicts of life erode these perceptions and reduce the ideal into the the real.

Adaptation is a process of disillusionment. If this process is abrupt, inconsistent, unpredictable, capricious, arbitrary and intense – the injuries sustained by the infant’s tender, budding, self-esteem, are severe and, often, irreversible. Moreover, the empathic support of our caretakers (the Primary Objects, the parents) is crucial. In its absence, our sense of self-worth and self-esteem in adulthood tends to fluctuate, to alternate between over-valuation (idealization) and devaluation of both Self and others. Narcissistic adults are widely thought to be the result of bitter disappointment, of radical disillusionment in the significant others in their infancy. Healthy adults accept their self-limitations (the boundaries and limitations of their selves). They accept disappointments, setbacks, failures, criticism and disillusionment with grace and tolerance. Their self-esteem is constant and positive, not substantially affected by outside events, no matter how severe.”

As young children they felt abandoned and alone, without anyone showing them any Love and Empathy. They were adopted out to strangers. They were sent off to live away from their Mothers to be taken care of a relative such as a Grandparent. Such relatives may not be the kindest and most loving people. Their Inner Child holds on to that. Then as an adult, they are incapable of showing Love and Empathy for others. Their Inner Child also has a major fear of being rejected and abandoned, yet again.

It also explains a common thread which I have witnessed, in that Narcissists have “major issues” with their Mothers. Those issues are also projected onto all other females, because the Mother who abandoned the Child was a female.

When the Evil is created, no amount of therapy can undo the damage. Brain Scans prove that Narcissist’s brains function differently. The childhood trauma may have created physical changes in Brain Function as the young Brain was starting to develop, not just psychological changes.

The debate whether Narcissists are born or they are created, will continue as long as there will be Narcissists. The answer may in fact be along the edge of that coin, as it connects both sides of the coin. Maybe both Genetics and Environment play roles in creating said Evil. The Evil being nothing more than an adaptation by the Narcissist to try and survive the childhood trauma and genetics. Life is rarely Back & White.

This all could amount to yet another “Red Flag” to look for. Was the person adopted? Was the new love of your life, raised by their Mother or by someone else? If they were raise by someone other than their birth Mother, how does their face look when they speak about the people who raised them? Body language and facial expression can often tell you more than spoken words. They can say that they loved the person who brought them up, but their facial expression could display sadness or anger.

If you get a gut feeling that their words do not match their facial expressions, then ask more questions and watch their face and body language. Do they go into a defensive posture (ex fold their arms in front of them, before or as they answer you)Answers to those types of questions, could give you clues about individuals who “may” very well be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder due to very early Childhood Trauma created when they were just an infant and or toddler. Unfortunately, Narcissists do not come with “Warning” labels.

Originally posted to https://uniquelynarcissistic.wordpress.com