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#463957 - 04/11/14 07:25 AM Stockholm Syndrome
si Offline

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 46
Loc: Utah
Stockholm Syndrome is when someone starts to feel sympathy or positive feelings towards their kidnapper, abuser, rapist, etc.

I think Stockholm Syndrome is one of the most devastating aspects of the abuse. I know it was prevalent in my own abuse. On one hand I was being fucked like a porn star, yet at times my abuser was my protecter from my peers who were bullying me. I guess being his bottom bitch he had to make sure I knew that he cared enough to defend me just enough to blow him some more. The irony is that he was my biggest bully, and continued to be so after the CSA ended. During the time I looked up to him and worshipped the ground that he walked on. It is just so pathetic to look back now. Here I am, a grown adult with my life blooming around me, on the path towards being a strong community leader, yet I feel sympathy towards someone who fucked me in a truck.

I always went back to him because he was the nicest person to me at the time, though it came with a price. When he wasn't fucking me he was actually pretty decent. Maybe that is why I went back, for the good feelings he gave me outside his bed. Somehow I could just feel normal and accept the way things were. However I know better now. I always felt I deserved it, because I did go back, and I was upset when he bailed on me, leaving me naked in that bathroom after I got done blowing him for the last time. To him maybe I was just a warm body, something for him to share his evil with. He never cared for me like I hoped he did. How is a child supposed to feel when someone is fucking them yet defending them from other bullies? How is a child supposed to feel when that person goes away and leaves them feeling empty?

I felt incredibly empty. Going to school was horrible after that, I always felt different from the other kids. I just wanted to fit in and feel like I could belong but they were all pure and I was a bag of dirt and evil. I knew I was just as capable, but I didn't feel that way. Everyone could be nice to me, but what the hell did that even mean to me at that time? Someone was nice to me once, and they just fucked me for years and bailed. To those teachers I was probably just another face, but that same face had a face full of dick and he loved the attention and affection he got for it. A dirty little boy who acted like a porn star for his best friend.

CSA is just an exhausting road, and trying to break from that sympathy that I held for him is so hard to do because I can't go back and time and shake myself and slap myself out of it. To stop going back because i'm only abusing myself.

#463966 - 04/11/14 02:55 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2842
Stockholm Syndrome is when someone starts to feel sympathy or positive feelings towards their kidnapper, abuser, rapist, etc.

It was a warm night in the middle of that summer I turned thirteen. My "big brother" friend and I were walking across the dewy cut grass of the school fields on our way to get some ice cream when two bigger guys came up to us in the dark, took my flashlight, then shone it in my face.

The guy who shone it at me said something like, "What are you going to give me for the flashlight, punk?"

My perp friend said to him, "Come on. He's just a little kid. Come on. Give him his flashlight. He's just a kid." It was the same whining, pleading voice he used to talk my trousers off so many times earlier that summer when it all began - you just couldn't say no to him.

He won me back my flashlight that night for a quarter. Just a quarter. And we got our chocolate almond custard cones. We walked the long way home, sticking to the neighborhood sidewalks rather than cutting through the fields, home to the tent pitched in a grove of pine trees in the back yard. And I snugged down onto the soft flannel of my sleeping bag as vulnerable and voiceless as I was standing on that grass field.

That night went no different than any other night we slept out, with the exception that I did not try to talk him out of it. I did not keep my hands on the belt loops of my shorts pleading not tonight. I knew what he wanted, and I just surrendered myself to him for saving me.

I wonder how many of us still sell ourselves short, erring on the side of assuming indebtedness to others, hooking up with friends and business partners who err on the side of taking. Stockholm syndrome for me wasn't just about my relationship with my abuser. It was about my relationship with the world ever since. Even today, I am still figuratively trading sex for flashlights, just feeling lucky to walk away with the meager results of my transactions.

I still have that green metal right-angle Boy Scout flashlight. As I was looking at it recently the thought occurred to me: I'm still paying for it.

#463979 - 04/11/14 10:48 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
Dave PNW Offline

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 129
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Si and Eirik.
I understand your connection to the Stockholm Syndrome. Yeah, me too. But for me it was a little different. I didn't get protection from bullies, I got companionship of a sort. For a lonely and isolated kid that meant everything to me. He chose me for a while, not just in the neighborhood, but also to join his family outings; visited their lake house and hunting cabin often; even went on an adventure on their family plane. His world seemed so much bigger and different and exciting from my world at home.

I recall too that I was somewhat conscious of the price I was paying for this. The second time he molested me he made it clear after I had feebly refused his advances how tenuous my place was. I gave in as my 12 year old mind quickly weighed the options .....and then went with him. It wasn't a covert exchange. I gave him what he wanted because he made it a condition of being chosen. I continued thinking that my complicity would maintain the connection. That and the fact that he had started this whole unwanted and confusing and conflicting wildfire in my rapidly changing body and psyche and I was just simply burned over.

It didn't really work either, the whole connection thing. After he got what he wanted he would always discard me for the day. Sometimes with clear disgust. But he would always come looking for me the next day or after, when he felt his "urges" again as he called them. When it ended around the time I turned 14, I was relieved on some level and yet I also felt a deep emptiness.

Over time as the distance grew between those summers and the rest of my life, I chose to almost deny the boy I had been ever existed. The boy who gave sexual favors in exchange for empty companionship. I have no personal artifacts from that time like you do Eirik, and not a single picture of me from age 11-15. I erased him completely.

For a long time I really hated the boy I was those years and strangely I also have to admit that I idolized and in some way still felt a deep attachment to the kid who abused me. Afraid that if I took too hard a look it might somehow drain away what remaining life still inhabited those memories of my youth.

But of course, you can't erase the past by leaving the artifacts behind. It comes along anyway and like you, I still sometimes consciously make degrading trade offs as an adult. A couple years ago I worked with a guy who was a skilled manipulator. I liked his companionship, enjoyed his intelligent conversation, occasionally he took me on outings. He was powerful and articulate. He also manipulated me into doing some of his work for him regularly for around 10 years. Sometimes he would jokingly say he felt like Tom Sawyer getting me to paint his white picket fence. I did it because I wanted this connection and I was willing to pay his price.

At his retirement, I said the "right things" and wished him well with a hug, but driving home I thought about our "complicated friendship". I realized it was similar in ways to the "complicated friendship" I had with the neighbor boy......except I wasn't paying for it in blow jobs, but in my dignity. The boy I was didn't ever completely disappear through my denial, he is still here and is starting to show a little gray in the temples.

Acknowledging this has taken a lot of introspection and admittedly even some courage. What I do with it in my future relationships will be the test I guess for how much that boy in me has grown up these last couple years.

Take Care, Dave

#463989 - 04/12/14 02:55 AM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
traveler Online   confused

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4230
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
interesting, si, et al!

i started a thread about this topic back a couple of years ago. here is a link to that, if you'd care to see some more discussion on the topic:

is it stockholm syndrome?

it was helpful to go back and read what i wrote earlier. i have definitely moved on from there since that time. take heart - it can get better.


Edited by traveler (04/12/14 02:56 AM)
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#463996 - 04/12/14 06:02 AM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey Si,

For a long time I have wrestled with the questions "Why didn't I run?, fight?, tell? Why did I just go along with it? He didn't even threaten me!"

The answer "You were just a kid." just doesn't satisfy me. The answer that "perps are masters of maniplulation" seems a little more tenable. He picked me out of all the boys in the neighborhood (or so I thought). He let me hang out with him. He was the coolest person I knew. And he supplied me with drugs and alcohol, to feed my budding alcoholism. He made me feel good. And what he wanted in return, he just took. It was never discussed. There was an unspoken agreement that what he did to me wasn't really happening. It wasn't real. Yet somehow it was clear that what he gave me was dependant on what he took.

The shame of what he did to me bacame overshadowed by the shame of my own complicity in it. A constant source of self-hatred, that I am only just begining to resolve, 44 years after the fact.

I don't know about Stockholm Syndrome, but I know that my mind was fucked with on so many levels that I still struggle with what is real and what isn't.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#463997 - 04/12/14 12:11 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: Jude]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3790

I think many of us understand the question why didn't I run,fight, tell scream? I for so long could not accept it was because I was a child. Than somewhere along the way of my healing--the child and I connected and my T says began to integrate. It was than I realized I kept looking at this through adult eyes and not the child's eyes. We are so disconnected until we somehow bring the fragmented parts the abuser created for us together.

Once I got to this point I began love all of me. Then I realized I was not complicit but did it for survival, to cope to live. I was told I would be taken away if I told, I did not want to leave my family. He was good to me, gave me extra funerals and weddings, and there was always a stipend for these Masses. I was given more than others. I was not from a rich family, had financial challenges and the money helped out.

Like you I do not know much about Stockholm Syndrome but like you the my mind was screwed up from the abuser and the abuse. Maybe the touch, fears, threat of loss of family, being treated "special" created an dependent situation. The mind was immature and unable to process what was truly happening. I struggled for so long but today I accept I was not responsible or complicit. The child and I are whole now.

It took me about 45 years to begin therapy and healing. Three years of therapy, support groups, doctors and pain and struggling has given me the chance to live and change how I look at myself.


#463998 - 04/12/14 12:46 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1106
Hi Jude,

I wanted to do a different take on the self-hatred you mention. I used to think in terms of self-hatred, self-recrimination, self-abusive. But, what I wound up with was self-destructive. I've had a LOT of everything since age 19 after an overdose of pills--individual therapy, group therapy, and many, many other personal enrichment efforts in an effort to hold on to some sense of sanity and hope.

Where I am today is that my immature self HAD to so suppress who I am in order to psychically survive, that my only option at that time was to completely suppress a ME, and become what someone else wanted me to be. I saw this as my only way to survive. The way I figure it I had to actually damage my thinking processes in order to alter the way I perceived reality. It was the only way I could survive in what was for me an un-survivable environment. It enabled me to remain in abusive situations yet not feel the depth of pain those situations caused me. FAMILY OF ORIGIN!

So, today, I see all the self hatred I felt as the primitive program my young self wrote so I would not feel. Of course, eventually, the program will actually destroy me physically. But, it did keep me alive to fight another day. And, that's what I'm doing now in my 60's. I'm in a fairly early process of integrating my damaged early child self and my adult self. It is slow for me, but it is real. And, for the first time in over 60 years I am feeling habit strength building in ME. It's not super strong yet, but the efforts are cumulative.

Love and good will to all,

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#464008 - 04/12/14 05:39 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
Rustam Offline

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 474
Loc: UK
When I read this thread, St Pauls words popped into my head "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child". The words reminded me that the child's world is a different world.

When I was abused; imagining that I had a role in it helped me cope, to co-operate and be complicit gave me the illusion that I had some power, to focus on the 'good' in the abuser shielded me from the unbearable reality and gave false comfort that I was getting something out of it. My natural hunger and need for human warmth and touch deceived me into thinking I wanted it, I was told I wanted it, I believed I wanted it. I wanted and desperately needed closeness and human touch and that is all I wanted.

I remember once shaking and crying in shock after abuse, on my own eating some cheap sweets (candy) given by the abuser, they tasted like chalk with my own salty tears in my mouth, but as I ate them I could imagine that I was cared for, I was special, that it wasn't all bad, that the abuser was kind, to focus on that helped my small self escape the true horror, but in escaping the horror I had to believe it was I who had done wrong. If I 'initiated' the abuse and brought the horror on myself that too gave me the illusion that I was to blame, I was in control, I caused it, so I could flee the powerlessness and believe I could stop it. Such lies are the lies I had to tell myself to survive, the sad part is to still be telling myself such absolute rubbish.

Our justice system knows that children cannot be tried in adult courts yet I still put my child self in an adult dock and hand down the harshest judgements. I know now it is cruel and unjust but every time I come up with an incident of abuse or something 'bad' I did as a boy, the same harsh adult judge comes up with his self-hating, shaming and awful condemnation. Now I sometimes feel like laughing at the grotesque absurdity of my own cruelty, to judge another boy as I judge myself would be ridiculous, stupid and inhumanly cruel, it is the twisted thinking of a child abuser and yet I still do it. It is time I stopped and I am trying to, bit by bit, incident by incident seeing and feeling how it really was for a boy is inching me towards the innocent truth.

#464009 - 04/12/14 05:45 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: Rustam]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2842
Rustam -

I am awed by the brilliant insight of your post. It absolutely resonates, at least with my own truth. Thank you for putting words to my thoughts.

#464156 - 04/16/14 05:03 PM Re: Stockholm Syndrome [Re: si]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
I idolized my molester.

It took a long time to accept that I thought as a child then. I just locked my thinking on my CSA at age 7. It took a few decades to see things as an adult.

That is when recovery began. The truth of my innocence in the crimes against me.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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