"I seem to disregard the threats and concentrate on the fact that I did it"
Well, it's good to recognize that face-on. I myself can't convince you that you're being unfair to yourself, and I doubt this whole thread could either - but I hope it at least puts the point into your mind and you'll entertain the idea. Because, yes, those threats are the entire point - the prime motivator behind everything you consider to be the very worst from your past.
And as horrific as the incident with electricity was, that was not the only one I was referring to as torture. You also related an incident with knives, and at least one other (possibly more) with asphyxiation.
I only zero in on those because earlier in this thread someone said it took you some time to even grant you'd been abused in any way at all - so I urge you to give these incidents the "motivation" credence that they are due.
Not to pry, but - have you shared with your therapist all of these multiple incidents when you suffered assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, kidnapping, and torture? And have you and the T called them out explicitly as such? Again - it's the ground on which you're walking in self-blame.
"I knew [the filming] would only last a few hours and I could go home. but the people in the camps didn't have that option."
But how were you, or they, to know that at the time?
Someone who will torture will kill. As soon as you experienced these assaults it opened the door to entirely believable and motivating threat of re-assault. The electricity, the knives - perhaps they each only happened once. But what would have stopped them from happening again? What could have ASSURED YOU AT THAT TIME that they wouldn't happen again? Nothing. They could just as likely have happened again once a month for a year, or again once a week for six months, or whatever. What could possibly have saved you - other than obeying?
The people in the death camps who were compelled to play a role in the process in order to save their own lives had no idea how long or short their reprieve would be. Once you started to "play along" in the death camps, those later caught attempting to rebel would typically be thrown into the ovens still alive - a known and well-documented punishment. Some of them bought themselves a few weeks before the end - others found a way to lay low, be seen as obedient and unthreatening, and lived on for years to be liberated and try to rebuild something after the war. It was really an hour-by-hour affair.
With that hanging over a person, they will do anything.
I posed this riddle to Crazy Gecko a few days back when he was aghast at himself for the possibility that he may in self-defense have fatally stabbed one of his perps:
What do you call someone who will do absolutely anything to stay alive?
You call them 'alive'.
And yes, Jeff, you were very much right in one of your follow-up posts. There was every likelihood and every opportunity in the world that if you'd ever raised a fuss they'd have killed you. It was "just a few hours" when you did as ordered. If you'd disobeyed it would have been a few years wrapped up in bedsheets under the East River until the last traces were gone. Sorry to be so visceral - but when someone successfully saves their own life so many times, however necessary, it deserves to be pointed out.
If you haven't already gone over with your therapist the full spectrum of physical torture and attempted murder that you faced please do. I suspect he/she will find it really important and I can only hope it will help you get a little closer to relinquishing some self-blame. It's just more victimization from people who've already laid far, far too much onto you.
Edited by SoccerStar (12/02/12 11:43 PM)
"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny