I am an incest survivor.
“Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors.” (Stockholm Syndrome, Wikipedia)”
How does that translate into Incest? Well, according to RAINN, Stockholm Syndrome
“components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling relationships. Common symptoms include:
- Victim having positive feelings toward the abuser
- Victim having negative feelings toward family, friends, or authorities
- Abuser having positive feelings toward the victim”
The reason I am talking about this, is because this is exactly what happened to me. For the longest time, I thought it was perfectly normal that I adored my father. I was the closest to him. I used to sympathize with him and worry about his well being, stress levels, and most of all I was TERRIFIED that anyone would find out. Not because it would be embarrassing for me, or scary for me. But no – what would happen to HIM??
But last year, my therapist made me realize about Stockholm syndrome and somehow, everything just started falling into place since then. My mother found out about the sexual abuse a month later. She confronted him a little while later, when she went back home. He no longer lives at home and I no longer talk to him.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still SURE if he needed something, I would be there. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, I feel free. For the first time in my life, I feel truly free.
And that is thanks to these two little words, with such a big meaning – Stockholm syndrome.