Issues With Power Failure or Submission

October 18th, 2010

“Interpersonal schemas built on experiences with early caretakers influence the selection and dynamics of relationships that evolve later in adulthood.

While survivors of child abuse may take physical leave from the toxic environment of their childhood, their core beliefs lack expectations for mutual respect and power-sharing.

If one’s earliest relationships with caretakers were abusive, the ability to relate to others remains constricted to a narrow range of expected outcomes.

All new relationships would likely follow a narrow focus of appeasement and obedience.

The victim  may feel unable to escape the "repetition-compulsion" of continuing to find relationships where remaining attached is synonymous with the abdication of personal rights and self-dignity. These abuse-generated survival tactics are actually maladaptive in the larger world.

Victims of childhood abuse may never feel entitled to self-regard, respect, and affection.

Instead, these victims continue to be abused by authority figures, and lack the skills to identify or free themselves  from this destructive attachment to others.

Women, for example,  may find men to be sexually exploitative or degrading, yet  cannot be assertive or disrupt their participation in such relationships.

The notion of escape overwhelms them with fear. They cannot express the personal rights that they were never taught by their abusive caretakers. They may not even perceive an alternative way to move beyond this narrow script.

Engaging in relationships based on mutual trust, empathy, and respect involves a paradigm shift to one that is not supported by their personal history.

The goal of therapy requires a certain element of "re-parenting"  that empowers such clients to articulate healthy goals and expectations that will finally transcend the prison of the recurring trauma narrative.

Recovery will involve identifying and confronting these maladaptive self-schemas that until now have robbed the victim of the opportunity to enjoy the full landscape of social freedom.

Reclaiming self-agency is a vital component in the recovery of "complex trauma." This will be discussed in the article pertaining to the Stockholm syndrome.

The latter condition describes a similar loss of power, autonomy, personal beliefs, and self-agency as hostages, while adopting those of their predators in order to survive.”

One Response to “Issues With Power Failure or Submission”

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