The Four Mantras of Victims of Abuse

Uploaded 7/31/2018, approx. 5 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

It is a fact that people's stay-on remain in abusive relationships. They tolerate verbal abuse, psychological abuse, taunting, humiliation, rejection, denigration, belittling. They tolerate psychological warfare tactics, brainwashing, manipulation, gaslighting, ambient abuse, abused by proxy, scare-mongering, and they shoulder on, they remain. They lack self-confidence. The self-esteem is short. Their so-called loving and intimate partner makes sure of it.

Consequently, they are not able to regulate their sense of self-worth. All is good and true, but why don't they simply pick up their things, those of them who can, and sign off?

Even in childless, loveless, sexless marriages, when nothing binds the couple, both of them stay on. The perpetrator, the predator, and his prey, the hunter in the hunt.

This is because victims adopt four negative automatic thoughts. These negative automatic thoughts are propagated and promulgated by the abuser, but over the years, years or even decades of brainwashing, repetition, and convincing displays of authority and supreme knowledge, the victim adopts the stance of the abuser.

The victim internalizes what the abuser says. The victim becomes his or her own abuser by extension. We call this process interjection, and the result of interjection is an introvert.

What are these four sentences?

The first sentence is, I am lucky to be with my abuser. I am worthless, damaged goods. I am lucky to have found even my abuser. If I leave the relationship, who else would want me? Where will I find another partner?

The answer is, of course, no one. Better the devil that you know than the numerous demons who would not even come here.

The second sentence is what I call the best of all worlds. It says, life is harsh. Life doesn't get much better than this. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but that is merely an optical illusion, but fake a Morgenstern.

This is as good as it gets, so get used to it.

The third sentence is, my partner is not worse than others, and he is really trying. This is what I call malignant optimism.

The sentence says, every other partner I may find will have his own flaws, his own quirks, his own character defects, and his own personality problems or even disorders. I will have to accommodate all these all over again. I don't have the energy for them. I don't have the stamina. Better stick with what I know.

No one guarantees that my next partner will not be even worse than the partner I have right now.

Of course, the fourth sentence is: "Life is a serious business. It is not about the selfish pursuit of elusive happiness. It is about meeting your obligations and getting on with it."

At best, one can expect companionship and mutual support in old age. All the rest is a delusion, anything more than that is self-defeating and destructive wishful thinking.

This kind, this last sentence, is much more common among non-Western societies. Western psychotherapy is centered around and focused on the restoration of the individual's functionality and autonomy, and the attainment of happiness.

I have lived in 15 countries on four continents. I have discovered that only a very small minority of humanity adhere to these values and principles.

Autonomy, independence, and happiness are not universal values. The majority of humanity emphatically and often vociferously reject them. Western psychology is vehemently castigated all over the world as decadent and even in some quarters as a colonial instrument. The West is out to get your mind now that it had lost control of your country.

Consider the most basic unit, the family. In most societies and countries in the world, the family is sacred. It is centered around procreation, not recreation. Children and property are by far more important than the pursuit of happiness.

Actually, the pursuit of happiness is considered both selfish and risky. In other words, stupid.

Why risky? Because to pursue contentment and gratification, to aspire to bliss, is to assiduously avoid making the long-term sacrifices required in order to maintain a harmonious and productive cooperative.

Everything is secondary to these long-term goals.

Children and property.

Women tolerate abuse and domestic violence. Women act meek and subservient in order to accommodate their bullying husbands in these societies. Women undergo harmful medical procedures to conform to their husbands or boyfriend's ideals of beauty.

Spouses, both wives and husbands, accept extramarital offense, accept infidelity and adultery. They accept it as inescapable.

You are permitted to secure love, intimacy, and sex outside the marriage because you are not likely to get them inside the marriage.

As long as you sleep at home, as long as you make children a business only with your spouse, everything else you do is your own business.

In some strange way, these societies are much more tolerant of polyamory than the West.

Everyone in such societies mocks the more individualistic and rebellious members as egotistical exceptions.

So women or men who are individualistic, who pursue happiness, pursue their own goals, are rebellious, do not conform to social mores.

They are cast as sacrilegious or insane.

To maintain the status quo, reactionary forms of medieval religion, the Church, join forces with oppressive patriarchy, inane psychiatry and medicine, and stifling political authoritarianism in most of these territories.

That is the true picture of the globe, not the enclaves in California.

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Abuse Victim as Hostage: Stockholm Syndrome and Trauma Bonding

Abusive relationships require two people to sustain, and the abuser and the abused form a bond and dependence. Society often refuses to tackle this phenomenon, and people, mostly women, remain in abusive households for various reasons. The abuser treats their spouse as an object, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs, preferences, wishes, and priorities. The abuser exploits the vulnerabilities in the psychological make-up of their victim, and abusive behavior often indicates serious underlying psychopathologies.

Spot a Narcissist or a Psychopath on Your First Date

There are warning signs to identify abusers and narcissists early on in a relationship. One of the first signs is the abuser's tendency to blame others for their mistakes and failures. Other signs include hypersensitivity, eagerness to commit, controlling behavior, patronizing and condescending manner, and devaluing the partner. Abusers may also idealize their partner, have sadistic sexual fantasies, and switch between abusive and loving behavior. Paying attention to body language can also reveal warning signs.

Bullying as Art, Abuse as Craftsmanship

Abuse is about control and is often a primitive and immature reaction to life's circumstances. The abuser's primary colors include unpredictability, disproportionality of reaction, dehumanization, objectification, and abuse by proxy. The abuser engineers situations in which he is solely needed and generates his own indispensability in the victim's life. The abuser fosters an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability, and irritation, which erodes the victim's sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

Body Language of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuser

Abusers emit subtle signals in their body language that can be observed and discerned. They adopt a posture of superiority and entitlement, and they idealize or devalue their interlocutors. Abusers are shallow and prefer show-off to substance, and they are serious about themselves. They lack empathy, are sadistic, and have inappropriate affect. They are adept at casting a veil of secrecy over their dysfunction and misbehavior, and they succeed in deceiving the entire world.

Gaslighting and Ambient Abuse

Ambient abuse, also known as gaslighting, is a subtle and insidious form of abuse that is difficult to identify. It is the fostering of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability, and irritation. There are five categories of ambient abuse: inducing disorientation, incapacitating, shared psychosis, abuse or misuse of information, and control by proxy. The abuser uses these tactics to manipulate and control their victim, often leaving them with low self-esteem and a sense of isolation.

Stalker Psychology

Stalking is a form of abuse that continues long after a relationship has ended, with the majority of abusers getting the message. However, a minority of abusers, the more vindictive and obsessed ones, continue to stalk their ex-partners for years to come. These stalkers are typically lonely, violent, and intermittently unemployed, but they are rarely full-fledged criminals. Contrary to myths perpetrated by the mass media, studies show that most stalkers are men, have high IQs, advanced degrees, and are middle-aged.

The Shock of Abuse

Abusers are skilled at hiding their abusive behavior from the rest of the world, often with the help of their victims. A study of 30 women who survived attempted homicide by their intimate partners found that half of them were completely surprised by the attack, despite having been victims of previous episodes of abuse. Victims often rationalize the abuser's behavior and feel guilty, believing they are to blame for the misconduct. Classic risk factors for attempted homicide by an intimate partner include escalating episodes of violence, threats with or use of weapons, alcohol or drug use, and violence to children.

Deja-vu: Fight Back Gaslighting, Messing with YOUR Mind

Gaslighting is a manipulative form of communication where a power differential exists, often involving invalidation of emotions, twisting reality, and coercion. It can lead to lower self-worth, feelings of insecurity, depression, and anxiety. To combat gaslighting, it is important to recognize the situation, document events and feelings, assert oneself, seek support from others, and consult a professional if necessary. Gaslighting is a dangerous form of emotional abuse that can have long-lasting effects on mental health.

Intimacy and Abuse

Abuse often occurs in intimate relationships, despite it being easier to abuse a stranger. Abusers often believe that their abusive behavior fosters intimacy and equate violence with enhanced intimacy. Many abusers were raised in environments where abuse was condoned, and they perceive intimacy as a license to abuse. Abusers are often scared of real intimacy and use abuse as a way to fend it off.

Good People Ignore Abuse and Torture: Why?

Good people often overlook abuse and neglect because it is difficult to tell the abuser and victim apart. The word abuse is ill-defined and open to interpretation, leading to a lack of clear definition. People also tend to avoid unpleasant situations and institutions that deal with anomalies, pain, death, and illness. Abuse is a coping strategy employed by the abuser to reassert control over their life and regain self-confidence. Abuse is a catharsis, and even good people channel their negative emotions onto the victim.

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