When I was with my NX, I struggled with wanting the abuse to end, but at the same time, I felt the only way to survive was to go along with the abuse and even defend him. What I felt and endured is known as Stockholm Syndrome.
Defining Stockholm Syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome is defined as a psychological condition in which victims emotionally bond to their captors. It was born out of a hostage situation in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973 when robbers came blazing into a bank and held several people hostage for 131 hours. The victims became attached to their captors!
It’s about survival
“Emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation.”
And that’s exactly what it was for me. Surviving. I had to stay attached to my NX for my survival. Yes, I fought with him tooth and nail on so many occasions. But, at the end of the day, I tried to stay as attached to him as I could. I mean, after all, I had fallen in love with him almost from day one. My love for him was so real and so true. I had to do what it took in order to make my marriage work. I even admitted to being at fault and entered into anger management classes. I wanted to prove to him that I would do whatever it took to fix things.
I was so submissive. I was so meek. I was even defending him! I had to survive in whatever way I could.
Below are several features of Stockholm Syndrome that Dr Carver lists in his article:
Looking at these features, it absolutely stuns me to realize that I experienced every single one of them. The one that struck me as the most eye-opening wasn’t the positive feelings of the victim toward the abuser. It is the negative feelings by the victim toward the family and friends! I had several people all tell me that my NX was bad news. That he was abusing me. I refused to truly see it! They were trying to “win” my release by trying to convince me that my NX was abusive.
The fourth feature – positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim – also struck me as vital to how deep into the syndrome I got. The term intermittent reinforcement also applies here. My NX would occasionally toss out compliments to me or act all lovey-dovey. It was to tease me with the hope that the marriage could be salvaged. That we could have that happily ever after. He’d weave the positive feelings in with the abusive tactics. One day abuse, the next day positive. And so on and so forth. It was the way to keep me trauma bonded to him.
I didn’t choose to see how toxic my NX is until he discarded me in May 2010. It wasn’t until I was out of the situation that I saw him for what he truly is. It’s taken a long time to reverse the effects of what I endured.
Have any of you experienced the above symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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