Psychological Abuse Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Psychological Abuse. Here they are! All 100 of them:

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
My dad had limitations. That's what my good-hearted mom always told us. He had limitations, but he meant no harm. It was kind of her to say, but he did do harm.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.
Nathaniel Branden (Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
Trauma does not have to occur by abuse alone...
Asa Don Brown (The Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adult Perception and Worldview)
Parents who discipline their child by discussing the consequences of their actions produce children who have better moral development , compared to children whose parents use authoritarian methods and punishment.
Simon Baron-Cohen (Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty)
Mental anguish always results from the avoidance of legitimate suffering.
Stefan Molyneux
The only part of you that hurts when you're given the truth is the part that lives on lies.
Stefan Molyneux
If the sound of happy children is grating on your ears, I don't think it's the children who need to be adjusted.
Stefan Molyneux
Mind control is built on lies and manipulation of attachment needs. Valerie Sinason, (Forward)
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
Social anxiety results from being around people who are resolutely opposed to who you are.
Stefan Molyneux
I refuse to let the standards of evil people chip away at my capacity for integrity.
Stefan Molyneux
Deep connection is the antidote to madness.
Stefan Molyneux
Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
George K. Simon Jr. (In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People)
Childhood trauma does not come in one single package.
Asa Don Brown
we are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our body, which is doomed to decay..., from the external world which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless force of destruction, and finally from our relations with other men... This last source is perhaps more painful to use than any other. (p77)
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
Forgiveness is created by the restitution of the abuser; of the wrongdoer. It is not something to be squeeeeeezed out of the victim in a further act of conscience-corrupting abuse.
Stefan Molyneux
Imagining that you are deep and complex, but others are simple, is one of the primary signs of malignant selfishness.
Stefan Molyneux
In situations of captivity the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
I think this point is so important, I'm going to repeat it: You should never listen to criticism that is primarily intended to wound, even if it contains more than a grain of truth.
Robin Stern (The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life)
Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
In order to survive her tumultuous childhood, Mary created another Fat Mary, a companion and consoler, who took away her hurts, fears, and questions and kept them safe until Mary was older and mature enough to process the abuse and neglect she had endured.
Maria Nhambu
Sometimes, it is how you shine in the darkness during other people's misery that is remembered more than anything you could have said or done when you have suffered just as much.
Shannon L. Alder
There's no weakness as great as false strength.
Stefan Molyneux
I explain to my patients that abused children often find it hard to disentangle themselves from their dysfunctional families, whereas children grow away from good, loving parents with far less conflict. After all, isn't that the task of a good parent, to enable the child to leave home?
Irvin D. Yalom (Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy)
Asshole Proximity Disorder
Stefan Molyneux
Perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up, unless or until, scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder, or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.
Pete Walker
The acknowledgement of having suffered evil is the greatest step forward in mental health.
Stefan Molyneux
...repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Some people stand and move as if they have no right to the space they occupy. They wonder why others often fail to treat them with respect--not realizing that they have signalled others that it is not necessary to treat them with respect.
Nathaniel Branden (Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
Your body is a temple, not a daily dumping ground for another person’s pain, anger, betrayal, judgment, hypocrisy, denial, games, jealousy or blame. When you are being psychologically, spiritually or emotionally abused by a person, and they don’t care how it hurts you, then it is time to leave what is polluting your relationship with God.
Shannon L. Alder
There is tremendous trauma in the betrayal caused by a perpetual liar as they repeatedly commit psychological abuse.
Cathy Burnham Martin (The Bimbo Has Brains: And Other Freaky Facts)
Memories demand attention, and these memories will have teeth.
C. Kennedy (Slaying Isidore's Dragons)
Shame is internalized when one is abandoned. Abandonment is the precise term to describe how one loses one’s authentic self and ceases to exist psychologically.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
If you spend time with crazy and dangerous people, remember – their personalities are socially transmitted diseases; like water poured into a container, most of us eventually turn into – or remain – whoever we surround ourselves with. We can choose our tribe, but we cannot change that our tribe is our destiny.
Stefan Molyneux
To deny someone's feelings or experiences it to literally deny their reality.
Danu Morrigan (You're Not Crazy—It's Your Mother! Understanding and Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Distraction serves evil more than any other mental state.
Stefan Molyneux
The woman knows from living with the abusive man that there are no simple answers. Friends say: “He’s mean.” But she knows many ways in which he has been good to her. Friends say: “He treats you that way because he can get away with it. I would never let someone treat me that way.” But she knows that the times when she puts her foot down the most firmly, he responds by becoming his angriest and most intimidating. When she stands up to him, he makes her pay for it—sooner or later. Friends say: “Leave him.” But she knows it won’t be that easy. He will promise to change. He’ll get friends and relatives to feel sorry for him and pressure her to give him another chance. He’ll get severely depressed, causing her to worry whether he’ll be all right. And, depending on what style of abuser he is, she may know that he will become dangerous when she tries to leave him. She may even be concerned that he will try to take her children away from her, as some abusers do.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
We are supposed to call poison medicine and we wonder why we're always sick.
Stefan Molyneux
One of the best ways of repressing emotions is artificial certainty.
Stefan Molyneux
so often victims end up unnecessarily prolonging their abuse because they buy into the notion that their abuser must be coming from a wounded place and that only patient love and tolerance (and lots of misguided therapy) will help them heal.
George K. Simon Jr.
I am small. So are stars from a distance. It's all a matter of perspective.
C. Kennedy (Slaying Isidore's Dragons)
MOST PEOPLE have no knowledge or understanding of the psychological changes of captivity. Social judgment of chronically traumatized people therefore tends to be extremely harsh.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
BEFRIENDING THE BODY Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past. In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements. All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies. The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused.
Sandra Horley
Don’t ever feel bad for making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You’re responsible for your own happiness. Anyone who wants you to live in misery for their happiness should not be in your life anyway.
Isaiah Hankel
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
The major abscess in the mind is a lack of acknowledgement of evil.
Stefan Molyneux
IN ONE IMPORTANT WAY, an abusive man works like a magician: His tricks largely rely on getting you to look off in the wrong direction, distracting your attention so that you won’t notice where the real action is. He draws you into focusing on the turbulent world of his feelings to keep your eyes turned away from the true cause of his abusiveness, which lies in how he thinks. He leads you into a convoluted maze, making your relationship with him a labyrinth of twists and turns. He wants you to puzzle over him, to try to figure him out, as though he were a wonderful but broken machine for which you need only to find and fix the malfunctioning parts to bring it roaring to its full potential. His desire, though he may not admit it even to himself, is that you wrack your brain in this way so that you won’t notice the patterns and logic of his behavior, the consciousness behind the craziness.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The abuser’s mood changes are especially perplexing. He can be a different person from day to day, or even from hour to hour. At times he is aggressive and intimidating, his tone harsh, insults spewing from his mouth, ridicule dripping from him like oil from a drum. When he’s in this mode, nothing she says seems to have any impact on him, except to make him even angrier. Her side of the argument counts for nothing in his eyes, and everything is her fault. He twists her words around so that she always ends up on the defensive. As so many partners of my clients have said to me, “I just can’t seem to do anything right.” At other moments, he sounds wounded and lost, hungering for love and for someone to take care of him. When this side of him emerges, he appears open and ready to heal. He seems to let down his guard, his hard exterior softens, and he may take on the quality of a hurt child, difficult and frustrating but lovable. Looking at him in this deflated state, his partner has trouble imagining that the abuser inside of him will ever be back. The beast that takes him over at other times looks completely unrelated to the tender person she now sees. Sooner or later, though, the shadow comes back over him, as if it had a life of its own. Weeks of peace may go by, but eventually she finds herself under assault once again. Then her head spins with the arduous effort of untangling the many threads of his character, until she begins to wonder whether she is the one whose head isn’t quite right.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
You’re too sensitive’ victims of sexual abuse are told over and over by those whose reality depends on being insensitive. Most adults who have been in the victim role cringe when anyone tells them they are sensitive. In fact, sensitivity is a lovely trait and one to be cherished in any human being.
Renee Fredrickson (Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse (Fireside Parkside Books))
She's terrified that all these sensations and images are coming out of her — but I think she's even more terrified to find out why." Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing.
David L. Calof
SCREW CHILDREN! That's the mantra of the world. Instead of burying them with a national debt, shoving them in shitty schools, drugging them if they don't comply, hitting them, yelling at them, indoctrinating them with religion and statism and patriotism and military worship, what if we just did what was right for them? The whole world is built on "screw children", and if we changed that, this would be an alien planet to us.
Stefan Molyneux
Invalidating someone else is not merely disagreeing with something that the other person said. It is a process in which individuals communicate to another that the opinions and emotions of the target are invalid, irrational, selfish, uncaring, stupid, most likely insane, and wrong, wrong, wrong. Invalidators let it be known directly or indirectly that their targets views and feelings do not count for anything to anybody at any time or in any way.
David M. Allen
It is strange... the reasons one feels he doesn't deserve things.
C. Kennedy (Slaying Isidore's Dragons)
Yes, the people around us can be insensitive, narcissistic, toxic, and sometimes even abusive, but it is up to us to take that energy on or let it flow through us. No one is responsible for taking away our happiness but us.
Aletheia Luna (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
The manic relief that comes from the fantasy that we can with one savage slash cut the chains of the past and rise like a phoenix, free of all history, is generally a tipping point into insanity, akin to believing that we can escape the endless constraints of gravity, and fly off a tall building. “I’m freeeee… SPLAT!”.
Stefan Molyneux
Guilt is a feeling that you owe a debt that you're not paying.
Stefan Molyneux
Remember, a fact is a fact, no matter how hard the liars amongst you might try hushing it up.
Billy Childish (My Fault)
After all I've done for you' has alienated more children from their parents than any act of parent cruelty.
Dorothy Rowe (Depression: The Way Out of Your Prison)
When we meet and fall into the gravitational pull of a narcissist, we are entering a significant life lesson that involves learning how to create boundaries, self-respect, and resilience. Through trial and error (and a lot of pain), our connection with narcissists teaches us the necessary lessons we need to become mature empaths.
Mateo Sol (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
Someone carries my belief that raises hope in me, but flame didn’t last for long
Durgesh Satpathy (Equating the Equations of Insanity: A Journey from Grief to Victory)
invalidation is crazy-making, and it is also at the root of gaslighting, where victims' feelings are purposely denied or manipulated in order to make them question their sanity.
Samantha Rodman (How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family)
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Psychological trauma is an affliction of the powerless. At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming force. When the force is that of nature, we speak of disasters. When the force is that of other human beings, we speak of atrocities. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.… Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.… They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
To any survivor who may be doubting whether what they’ve experienced is truly abuse, remember that emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse will never be, and should never be, considered part of the messy equation of a normal relationship. As both metal health professionals and survivors can attest to, the traumatic highs and lows of being with a narcissist, a sociopath, or a psychopath are not the natural highs and lows of regular relationships. That suggestion is quite damaging to society and to survivors all around the world.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
Combat and rape, the public and private forms of organized social violence, are primarily experiences of adolescent and early adult life. The United States Army enlists young men at seventeen; the average age of the Vietnam combat soldier was nineteen. In many other countries boys are conscripted for military service while barely in their teens. Similarly, the period of highest risk for rape is in late adolescence. Half of all victims are aged twenty or younger at the time they are raped; three-quarters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-six. The period of greatest psychological vulnerability is also in reality the period of greatest traumatic exposure, for both young men and young women. Rape and combat might thus be considered complementary social rites of initiation into the coercive violence at the foundation of adult society. They are the paradigmatic forms of trauma for women and men.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
ABUSIVE MEN COME in every personality type, arise from good childhoods and bad ones, are macho men or gentle, “liberated” men. No psychological test can distinguish an abusive man from a respectful one. Abusiveness is not a product of a man’s emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man’s early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology. When someone challenges an abuser’s attitudes and beliefs, he tends to reveal the contemptuous and insulting personality that normally stays hidden, reserved for private attacks on his partner. An abuser tries to keep everybody—his partner, his therapist, his friends and relatives—focused on how he feels, so that they won’t focus on how he thinks, perhaps because on some level he is aware that if you grasp the true nature of his problem, you will begin to escape his domination.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Having one's mother or father or past abuser admit to their crimes or even apologize for them changes nothing--certainly not what they did. Rather, such an apology would give you the psychological permission to "move on" with your life. But you do not need anybody's permisson to move on with your life. It does not matter whether or not those responsible for harming you ever understand what they did, care about what they did, or apologize for it. It does not matter. All that matters is your ability to stop fondling the experience with your brain. Which you can do right now.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
The accounts of rape, wife beating, forced childbearing, medical butchering, sex-motivated murder, forced prostitution, physical mutilation, sadistic psychological abuse, and other commonplaces of female experi ence that are excavated from the past or given by contemporary survivors should leave the heart seared, the mind in anguish, the conscience in upheaval. But they do not. No matter how often these stories are told, with whatever clarity or eloquence, bitterness or sorrow, they might as well have been whispered in wind or written in sand: they disappear, as if they were nothing. The tellers and the stories are ignored or ridiculed, threatened back into silence or destroyed, and the experience of female suffering is buried in cultural invisibility and contempt… the very reality of abuse sustained by women, despite its overwhelming pervasiveness and constancy, is negated. It is negated in the transactions of everyday life, and it is negated in the history books, left out, and it is negated by those who claim to care about suffering but are blind to this suffering. The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings. It is impossible to remember as real the suffering of someone who by definition has no legitimate claim to dignity or freedom, someone who is in fact viewed as some thing, an object or an absence. And if a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
When a man’s face contorts in bitterness and hatred, he looks a little insane. When his mood changes from elated to assaultive in the time it takes to turn around, his mental stability seems open to question. When he accuses his partner of plotting to harm him, he seems paranoid. It is no wonder that the partner of an abusive man would come to suspect that he was mentally ill. Yet the great majority of my clients over the years have been psychologically “normal.” Their minds work logically; they understand cause and effect; they don’t hallucinate. Their perceptions of most life circumstances are reasonably accurate. They get good reports at work; they do well in school or training programs; and no one other than their partners—and children—thinks that there is anything wrong with them. Their value system is unhealthy, not their psychology.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
To make matters worse, everyone she talks to has a different opinion about the nature of his problem and what she should do about it. Her clergyperson may tell her, “Love heals all difficulties. Give him your heart fully, and he will find the spirit of God.” Her therapist speaks a different language, saying, “He triggers strong reactions in you because he reminds you of your father, and you set things off in him because of his relationship with his mother. You each need to work on not pushing each other’s buttons.” A recovering alcoholic friend tells her, “He’s a rage addict. He controls you because he is terrified of his own fears. You need to get him into a twelve-step program.” Her brother may say to her, “He’s a good guy. I know he loses his temper with you sometimes—he does have a short fuse—but you’re no prize yourself with that mouth of yours. You two need to work it out, for the good of the children.” And then, to crown her increasing confusion, she may hear from her mother, or her child’s schoolteacher, or her best friend: “He’s mean and crazy, and he’ll never change. All he wants is to hurt you. Leave him now before he does something even worse.” All of these people are trying to help, and they are all talking about the same abuser. But he looks different from each angle of view.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Dissociation, in a general sense, refers to a rigid separation of parts of experiences, including somatic experiences, consciousness, affects, perception, identity, and memory. When there is a structural dissociation, each of the dissociated self-states has at least a rudimentary sense of "I" (Van der Hart et al., 2004). In my view, all of the environmentally based "psychopathology" or problems in living can be seen through this lens.
Elizabeth F. Howell (The Dissociative Mind)
Early relational trauma results from the fact that we are often given more to experience in this life than we can bear to experience consciously. This problem has been around since the beginning of time, but it is especially acute in early childhood where, because of the immaturity of the psyche and/or brain, we are ill-equipped to metabolize our experience. An infant or young child who is abused, violated or seriously neglected by a caretaking adult is overwhelmed by intolerable affects that are impossible for it to metabolize, much less understand or even think about.
Donald Kalsched (Trauma and the Soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption)
A narcissist, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of an empath. Emotionally, narcissists are like brick walls who see and hear others but fail to understand or relate to them. As a result of their emotional shallowness, narcissists are essentially devoid of all empathy or compassion for other people. Lacking empathy, a narcissist is a very destructive and dangerous person to be around.
Mateo Sol (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
As I have explained in earlier chapters, abusiveness has little to do with psychological problems and everything to do with values and beliefs. Where do a boy’s values about partner relationships come from? The sources are many. The most important ones include the family he grows up in, his neighborhood, the television he watches and books he reads, jokes he hears, messages that he receives from the toys he is given, and his most influential adult role models. His role models are important not just for which behaviors they exhibit to the boy but also for which values they teach him in words and what expectations they instill in him for the future. In sum, a boy’s values develop from the full range of his experiences within his culture.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
At first you might wonder what you did to deserve such treatment. Nothing, probably, so that doesn't matter. What matters is that, eventually, the abuse becomes the status quo. It's no longer about the whats and whys (“what did I do?” “why are they doing this?”) but the whens and hows (“when are they going to do it?” “how are they going to get me?”). Persecution becomes inevitable, inescapable. And once you get into the victim mindset, you're fucked. The bullies don't even need to hurt you now; your poor, warped, pathetic brain is doing half the work for them.
Nenia Campbell (Freaky Freshman)
Chronic trauma (according to the meaning I propose) that occurs early in life has profound effects on personality development and can lead to the development of dissociative identity disorder (DID), other dissociative disorders, personality disorders, psychotic thinking, and a host of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. In my view, DID is simply an extreme version of the dissociative structure of the psyche that characterizes us all.
Elizabeth F. Howell (The Dissociative Mind)
Being in a state of denial is a universally human response to situations which threaten to overwhelm. People who were abused as children sometimes carry their denial like precious cargo without a port of destination. It enabled us to survive our childhood experiences, and often we still live in survival mode decades beyond the actual abuse. We protect ourselves to excess because we learned abruptly and painfully that no one else would.
Sarah E. Olson (Becoming One: A Story of Triumph Over Dissociative Identity Disorder)
…is methodical abuse, often using indoctrination, aimed at breaking the will of another human being. In a 1989 report, the Ritual Abuse Task Force of the L.A. County Commission for Women defined ritual abuse as: “Ritual Abuse usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful,humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim.The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination. It includes mind control techniques which convey to the victim a profound terror of the cult members …most victims are in a state of terror, mind control and dissociation” (Pg. 35-36)
Chrystine Oksana (Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse)
A huge majority of parents use some form of physical or verbal aggression against children. Since women remain the primary caretakers of children, the facts confirm the reality that given a hierarchal system in a culture of domination which empowers females (like the parent-child relationship) all too often they use coercive force to maintain dominance. In a culture of domination everyone is socialized to see violence as an acceptable means of social control. Dominant parties maintain power by the threat (acted upon or not) that abusive punishment, physical or psychological, will be used whenever the hierarchal structures in place are threatened, whether that be in male-female relationships, or parent and child bonds.
bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
I spent most of my life believing l was crazy because all the crazy things I experienced in childhood were treated as nonexistent or normal. This belief colored every decision made, from something so basic as what to wear today, to the more esoteric boundaries of whether I should kill myself. I understood very well that killing myself under the wrong circumstances would establish my insanity forever. So I analyzed every word, every gesture, before committing myself. (Which probably accounts for why I am alive today.)
Sarah E. Olson (Becoming One: A Story of Triumph Over Dissociative Identity Disorder)
Paradoxically .. the very feminist movement that gave women more options also helped create pressure on many of us to be strong, successful, and independent—the kind of women who would theoretically be immune to any form of abuse from men. As a result, women who are in gaslighting and other types of abusive relationships may feel doubly ashamed: first, for being in a bad relationship, and second, for not living up to their self-imposed standards of strength and independence.
Robin Stern (The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life)
It is not okay for someone you like to treat you poorly and then pretend it didn’t happen, making you question your own grasp on reality. This dynamic is called gaslighting. It’s a common tactic of abusers to shift the focus of the blame from their bad behavior onto the person they are victimizing. One important side effect of gaslighting is having your memory “black out” after a fight (because your brain is trying to protect you from the cruelty of the abuse), which results in not being able to remember how an argument started. You may start to internalize the idea that there is something wrong with you and that you did something to provoke the situation as you’re increasingly beaten down and confused.
Shannon Weber
Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing. So they fragment the memories into hundreds of shards, leaving only acceptable traces in their conscious minds. Rationalizations like "my childhood was rough," "he only did it to me once or twice," and "it wasn't so bad" are common, masking the fact that the abuse was devastating and chronic. But while the knowledge, body sensations, and feelings are shattered, they are not forgotten. They intrude in unexpected ways: through panic attacks and insomnia, through dreams and artwork, through seemingly inexplicable compulsions, and through the shadowy dread of the abusive parent. They live just outside of consciousness like noisy neighbors who bang on the pipes and occasionally show up at the door.
David L. Calof (The Couple Who Became Each Other: Stories of Healing and Transformation from a Leading Hypnotherapist)
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
When enforcing our boundaries, first and foremost, we are caring for ourselves, but we are also helping others to have a clear understanding of what we consider acceptable behavior. We are reflecting back to them what is not acceptable and, therefore, providing them an opportunity to consider that information and make necessary changes. If we ignore the behavior or accept the behavior, not only are we undermining ourselves, but we are denying the other person an opportunity to learn about themselves and to grow, and ultimately, we deny them the opportunity for a healthy relationship with us. -Psychotherapist Donna Wood in The Inspired Caregiver
Peggi Speers (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
It makes perfect sense that if human beings are raised in warm, loving households; if they are brought up to believe that the world is a secure and decent place, then they will grow up with a healthy relationship toward themselves and other people. - able to give love freely and receive it in return. Conversely, if a person is severely mistreated from his earliest years, subjected to constant psychological and physical abuse, he or she will grow up with a malignant view of life. To such a person, the world is a hateful place where all human relationships are based, not on love and respect, but on power, suffering, and humiliation.
Harold Schechter (The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers)
This medicinal potion was additionally consumed as part of a sacred ritual known as Sōmayajña where the Yogis that Jesus himself had taught were helped to reach an enlightened trance. In effect, Jesus had developed the Nirvanalaksanayoga Tantra specifically for women, to heal them from the psychological damage and abuse they had to endure at the hands of men. He wanted to enable them to rise above patriarchal dominance, realise their highest potential, and then he would guide them towards an enlightened state. The first person to benefit from this privilege was Mari [Mary Magdalene] herself. Jesus began teaching this discipline in every place that he visited: from Kashmir in the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, to Uttar Pradesh, and Mari would accompany him on every journey he embarked on, from east of the Indus to Nepal.
Anton Sammut (The Secret Gospel Of Jesus AD 0-78)
The hardcore drug addicts that I treat, are, without exception, people who have had extraordinarily difficult lives. The commonality is childhood abuse. These people all enter life under extremely adverse circumstances. Not only did they not get what they need for healthy development; they actually got negative circumstances of neglect. I don’t have a single female patient in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver who wasn’t sexually abused, for example, as were many of the men, or abused, neglected and abandoned serially, over and over again. That’s what sets up the brain biology of addiction. In other words, the addiction is related both psychologically, in terms of emotional pain relief, and neurobiological development to early adversity.
Gabor Maté
How do we find words for describing levels of betrayal and emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual torture that fragment and destroy a child or cast and case traumatic shadows over the whole of adult life? We might, as a society, slowly find it possible to accept that one in four citizens are likely to have experience some form of emotional, psychical, sexual or spiritual abuse (McQueen, Itzin, Kennedy, Sinason, & Maxted, 2008), in itself a figure unimaginable and hidden twenty years ago. However, accepting the way a hurt and hurting parent or stranger re-enacts their disturbance with a vulnerable child or children remains far easier to digest than to consider the intellectually planned, scientific, methodical, procedures of organized child-abusing perpetrators-in other words, torture.
Valerie Sinason
Narcissistic Supply You get discarded as supply for one of two reason: They find you too outspoken about their abuse. They prefer someone that will keep stroking their ego and remain their silent doormat. Or, they found new narcissistic supply. Either way, you can count on the fact that they planned your devaluation phase and smear campaign in advance, so they could get one more ego stroke with your reaction. Narcissists are angry, spiteful takers that don't have empathy, remorse or conscience. They are incapable of unconditional love. Love to them is giving only when it serves them. They gaslight their victims by minimizing the trauma they have caused by blaming others or stating you are too sensitive. They never feel responsible or will admit to what they did to you. They have disordered thinking that is concerned with their needs and ego. It is not uncommon for them to hack their targets, in order to gain information about them. They enjoy mind games and control. This is their dopamine high. The sooner you distance yourself the healthier you will become. Narcissism can't be cured or prayed away. It is a mental disorder that turns the victims of its abuse into mental patients because it causes so much psychological manipulation.
Shannon L. Alder
[Abusers] blame the world - circumstances, other people - for their defeats, misfortune, misconduct, and failures. The abuser firmly believes that his life is swayed by currents and persons over which he has no influence whatsoever (he has an external locus of control). But there are even subtler variants of this psychological defense mechanism. Not infrequently an abuser will say: "I made a mistake because I am stupid", implying that his deficiencies and inadequacy are things he cannot help having and cannot change. This is also an alloplastic defense because it abrogates responsibility. Many abusers exclaim: "I misbehaved because I completely lost my temper." On the surface, this appears to be an autoplastic defense with the abuser assuming responsibility for his misconduct. But it could be interpreted as an alloplastic defense, depending on whether the abuser believes that he can control his temper.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison DBW Vol 8 (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works))
Often, our misunderstandings about love are born in disruptive family relationships, where someone was either one-up or one-down to an extreme. There is an appropriate and necessary difference in the balance of power between parents and young children, but in the best situations, there should be no power struggles by the time those children have become adults - just deep connection, trust, and respect between people who sincerely care about each other. In disruptive families, children are taught to remain one-up or one-down into adulthood. And this produces immature adults who either seek to dominate others (one-up) or who allow themselves to be dominated (one-down) in their relationships - one powerful and one needy, one enabling and one addicted, one decisive and one confused. In relationships with these people, manipulation abounds. Especially when they start to feel out of control.
Tim Clinton (Break Through: When to Give In, How to Push Back: The Moment that Changes Everything)
For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself . . . . And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination. The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce, art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world—e.g. picturing all I’d do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.
C.S. Lewis
Because the problem of ritual abuse and mind control has not gone away - the survivors are still there - many more therapists have learnt about it. Survivors have spoken out and written their stories, and therapists have learnt a great deal from those brave survivors who have discovered what was done to them. There is a large special interest group on Ritual Abuse and Mind Control within the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. Those therapists who have learnt in isolation or in small private online forums are once again sharing their knowledge widely, and books such as this one are beginning to be published again. The work is still very difficult and challenging, but we now know so much more than we did. We know that there is not one massive Satanic cult, but many different interrelated groups, including religious, military/political, and organized crime, using mind control on children and adult survivors. We know that there are effective treatments. We know that many of the paralyzing beliefs our clients lived by are the results of lies and tricks perpetrated by their abusers. And we know that, as therapists, we can combat this evil with wise and compassionate therapy.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
...My father muttered something to me, and I responded with a mumbled "What". He shouted, "You heard me," thundered up from his chair, pulled his belt out of its loops, and inflicted a beating that seemed never to end. I curled my arms around my body as he stood over me like a titan and delivered the blows. This was the only incident of its kind in our family. My father was never physically abusive toward my mother or sister and he was never again physically extreme with me. However, this beating and his worsening tendency to rages directed at my mother - which I heard in fright through the thin walls of our home - made me resolve, with icy determination, that only the most formal relationship would exist between my father and me, and for perhaps thirty years, neither he nor I did anything to repair the rift. The rest of my childhood, we hardly spoke; there was little he said to me that was not critical, and there was little I said back that was not terse or mumbled. When I graduated from high school, he offered to buy me a tuxedo. I refused because I had learned from him to reject all aid and assistance; he detested extravagance and pleaded with us not to give him gifts. I felt, through a convoluted logic, that in my refusal, I was being a good son. I wish now that I had let him buy me a tuxedo, that I had let him be a dad. Having cut myself off from him, and by association the rest of the family, I was incurring psychological debts that would come due years later in the guise of romantic misconnections and a wrongheaded quest for solitude. I have heard it said that a complicated childhood can lead to a life in the arts. I tell you this story of my father and me to let you know I am qualified to be a comedian.
Steve Martin (Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life)
It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma. But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited "seduction by the father" as the "essential point" in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the "uncles" who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that "discretion" had led him to suppress this essential information. Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently. p9-10
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))