Both Controllers and Victims come from difficult homes where parents are a source of danger or neglectful. In these are chaotic homes there is no way to predict a parent’s mood or behavior. There is often substance abuse, mental illness, multiple marriages, sibling abuse, and or emotional, sexual or physical mistreatment. Kids in these homes experience no comfort but rather terror, humiliation, shame, anxiety, confusion, manipulation and a host other negative feelings. Feisty kids can become controllers. More compliant kids can become victims.In chaotic difficult homes, complaint kids survive by trying to stay under the radar. They hide, appease and learn to not be fully present to lessen the pain. Some kids build whole imaginary worlds in their heads where they escape the pain of abuse. Victims learned to tolerate the intolerable so they lack a sense of self-worth and personhood and are often anxious, depressed and just going through the motions. They often replicate their childhood homes by marrying a controller and using the coping methods of compliance and retreat to get by. The victim’s suppressed anger may be inflicted on the kids when the controller is not present.
The Victim (Chaotic)
Chaotic, confusing. Parent isa source of stress rather than a reliever of stress. May be dangerous: abuse, neglect, violence, drugs, and alcohol.
Victim Adult Intimacy
Little to no experience of safe connection or comfort. Victim’s passivity and fear prevent emotional intimacy. People are dangerous, not safe.
Having already learned to tolerate the intolerable during childhood, dangerous relationships feel normal. Feels unworthy, unlovable and believes they cannot survive on their own.
To stay under the radar and to survive. Appeases to avoid eruptions of anger in the controller.
Fear, depression, hopelessness, powerlessness. May express anger toward their own children. Grief about childhood events is blocked and therefore trauma remains unresolved.
Anger in others. May numb out and/or dissociate if someone gets angry or is threatening. Silence can be anxiety-producing and feels like the calm before the storm.
Response to Stress
Panic/surge of adrenalin and/or dissociates, endures abuse, and tries harder because: “It’s my fault.” Chaos feels normal. Lots of buried pain so may numb pain with addictions.
The Victim – Awareness and Reflection Skills
What is Self-Awareness?
The ability to internally reflect, understand and evaluate inner responses and outward behaviors. Can communicate this awareness to others.
Victim’s Self Awareness
Faced humiliation and terror as a child. Self-reflection would mean facing pain, so it is avoided. Numbs out or uses addictions to avoid painful emotions.
What is Others-Awareness?
The ability to reflect on, ask about and describe internal feelings, thoughts, and reactions of others. Able to put self in another’s shoes and see from their perspective.
Believes others are dangerous and confusing. Can’t predict or understand feelings and behaviors of others. Constantly scans for signs of danger.
Comfort Level in Dealing with Negative/ Painful Emotions
The ability to control reactivity when recognizing and responding to negative emotions in self and others.
How Victim Deals with Negative Emotions
Difficult emotions are overwhelming; life has taught the Victim no one cares and no one will help. Resigned. Numb. Never learned helpful coping methods.
For Your Love Style
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