Learning about Stockholm Syndrome

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Figuring things out
Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

  1. Susan says:

    Hi there

    I have been searching the web as my step sister, who I know was abused by her father has what I believe to be a very unusual relationship with him, and I come across those, as you have stated those two little words ” Stockholm syndrome” How can I help her?

    • Hi Susan, I am sorry but what I know from Stockholm Syndrome is what my therapist told me. I am definitely not qualified to help but wht she said was for people with Stockholm Syndrome, the best way is to cut yourself off from them [the abuser/s] altogether and that has really helped me. She did tell me at a later stage to look into forgiving him but that was much much later. Hope this helps!!

  2. Cam says:

    I & all my sister’s were repeatedly raped and had numerous abortions for our father/stepfather. Now he molested my 8 yr old daughter, and my oldest sister suffers from Stockholm and will not help in the court proceedings. Sux.

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