Sunday, 31 May 2015

Transference of Blame, Responsibility and Scapegoating within Abuse

Transference of blame, victim blaming or scapegoating are all insidious and extremely damaging to the victim in question whether it be a victim of non-recent sexual abuse, current abuse or any form of domestic abuse/violence. Any of these abuses will all have a perpetrator that is an expert in grooming their victim. The transference of blame and responsibility to a victim is a complex and necessary psychological component of the perpetrators clever, calculated and manipulative grooming process.

Victim blaming, scapegoating or whatever anyone wants to call it is a repugnant hostile, social psychological discrediting calculated routine by which the perpetrator moves blame and responsibility away from themselves and towards a target person or group. It is also a practice by which anger, emotions, hostility and accusations are projected onto another. The victim automatically feels wrongly blamed, criticised, persecuted, offended, ill-treated but through fear, anxiety, self-blame, low self-esteem and confidence, depression and a need to “keep the peace” the victim will not feel able to stand up for his or herself. The victim will be made to feel ungrateful, selfish and self-centered by their perpetrator due to grooming through false love, sex, gifts, money, food, drugs, cigarettes, outings, even a home; the victim will be psychologically messed up and confused, blame themselves and turn inwards and resort to many unhealthy coping mechanism to enable them to function and get through the day. Distortion of the truth is a well-known feature of the perpetrator to the victim.
Transference of responsibility, victim blaming and scapegoating is always psychologically complex and confusing. The perpetrators are so clever that they can distort the truth, appear charming to the wider world and community and will isolate their victim as quickly as possible from those closest to their victim in order to continue their abuse. Their process in achieving this will be calculated and coercive as they remain close to the victim’s friends and family while carefully and coercively isolating their victim in such a way that the victim often doesn’t even realise what is happening until much further down the line.

In transference of responsibility, victim blaming or scapegoating, feelings of guilt, aggression, blame and suffering are transferred away from the perpetrator so as to fulfill an unconscious drive to resolve or avoid such bad feelings. This is completed by the displacement of responsibility and blame to another who serves as the target for blame both for the perpetrator and his supporters. When we do not take responsibility for ourselves we are unconsciously choosing to react as a victim but victims that are systematically groomed over long periods of time are unable to recognise they are victims until much later on; some do not recognise this ever. To better understand this process research the Drama Triangle concept - persecutor, rescuer, victim - we get on and off this triangle regularly throughout our lives but understanding the theory is helpful, (Karpman, 1968).
The perpetrator's drive to displace and transfer responsibility away from him or herself may not always be experienced with full consciousness by the perpetrator; this is referred to as self-deception and is one of the main features of transference and the perpetrator. The victim’s knowledge that he or she is being blamed, victimized or scapegoated builds slowly and covertly over long periods of time and accompanies many everyday events. The perpetrators target experiences exclusion, ostracism and even expulsion from family, friends and situations and dangerously believes the perpetrators propaganda and takes on the responsibility and blame which can lead to a lifetime of damage, illnesses, tumors, depression, cPTSD even heart attack or stroke. The victim will believe that they are the cause of the problem, behaviour and will believe they must be a bad person and deserve the perpetrators victim blaming.

Where the process of victim blaming is said to be unconscious it is more likely to be denied by the perpetrator. In these cases, bad feelings, such as the perpetrator's own shame and guilt, will also be denied. Transference of responsibility frees the perpetrator from self-dissatisfaction and his or her conscience and provides narcissistic gratification to him/her. It enables the self-righteous discharge of aggression and negative behaviour. Perpetrators or scapegoaters tend to have extra-punitive characteristics; this is defined as inflicting punishment or authority on others with the intention of making the victim complain or whine thus getting the victim into trouble or be punished. It’s interesting to research Kraupl-Taylor, 1953 writings and work.
Transference or victim blaming is the perpetrator's classic defense mechanism against unacceptable behaviours and emotions such as aggression, selfishness, insecurities, hostility and guilt. To use selfish and insecure in one sentence is the epitome of victim blaming and the perpetrator is both of these to the point of near psychosis; narcisstic, sociopathic and psychopathic are all conditions linked to perpetrators of victim blaming and transference of responsibility within any form of abuse.  In a charismatic blending perpetrators come across as strong, self-assured, savvy and correct but what they do not want you or anyone else to know is that they are weak and not able to take knocks in life or the possibility of admitting to a mistake. They come with no conscience, empathy or compassion.

Melanie Klein states scapegoating is an example of projective identification, with the primitive intent of splitting: separating the good from the bad, (S. Scheidlinger, 1982). Another perspective: perpetrators or scapegoaters are insecure individuals driven by hierarchical motives to raise their own status by lowering the status of their victim, (C A Carter, 1996).
Mr. or Mrs. Charming will ensure you feel crap about yourself; will ensure you carry their guilt and shame; will ensure you have no thoughts of your own; will ensure you are scared for your life; will ensure you have no confidant; will ensure you give up your career; possibly have many babies so you can’t work; will ensure you only have pocket money; will ensure you perform sexual acts for them when they desire it; will criticise you lower your confidence and self-esteem and of course they will ensure you believe this is all your fault.

To assist healing and hope affirm daily you are worthy and full of love; know you are unique and create positive and optimistic thoughts; know others love you and you are respected and family and friends trust and believe in you; spoil yourself, get in touch with nature, be creative and gently and over time take responsibility for you and your life NOT your perpetrators. Remember you are strong and have greatness within.
References and Further Reading:

Agencies for Support:

A Game Free Life by Stephen Karpman
Without Conscience by Dr Robert D. Hare


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Guest Post: Acknowledgement of the Inner Child

To re-engage with the memories of that day

those days
is to invite my child to be present once more
until the child is acknowledged no progress in process is achievable.
Acknowledgement needs to be total in acceptance.
Without judgements & labels,
It needs love & understanding.
a lifebelt,
a there there.
Acknowledgement is in our unity as people
without the need of a hand to hold
even kind words
witness to each others

Written by David - A survivor of abuse

Published by Mrs Teacup with the kind permission of David, an invaluable member of the 12 week Pycho-Educational Group for adult survivors of child sexual abuse that I co-facilitate with my colleague Valerie via the charity National Association of People Abused in Childhood www.  

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Life On the Bread Line

To this very day I don’t know which is worse having absolutely nothing or having only just enough. I’m not talking about items or extravagances. I’m talking about money. We all need money and we should not be ashamed of admitting that we all need enough. Enough is relative to our values, ethics and morals and of course our lifestyle. When I fled my abusive husband and marriage fifteen years ago I left with absolutely nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true, I took my car, a few clothes for immediate needs and thankfully on the advice of my lawyer passports and legal documents but basically, other than a car full of clothes, I had fled from my abusive husband with nothing.

Thirty years of a job, career and hard work counted for nothing. I had been isolated from family, friends and given up my career to follow my high flying husband around the world and bring up our child. I had no money of my own, no bank account, no job and my car was even registered in his name. The day I fled in November 2000 I owned nothing other than a few poxy clothes.
Where strength comes from when your at rock bottom I do not know but in a fog, dogged by cPTSD, acute IBS and depression and managing threatening texts, harassment, stalking together with psychological, emotional and verbal abuse I tried to keep myself together and find somewhere to stay. There were two of us, my ten year old daughter, and I to take care of and I had to try to keep a sense of normality and stability for her. That was the toughest thing to do; having nothing didn’t compare to endeavouring to take care of my child and keep things normal. What was normal.

The abuse and threats, to find and kill me, continued for years via texts while the two of us lived in a hotel for a week and then moved into a close friend’s one bedroomed house. The friend was living in France and mailed me a key. Our wardrobe was the boot of my car. We lived on bread, baked beans, cheese, cereal, soup and cups of tea; anything that cost just a few pence and we shopped just day to day with the few pennies I had or could rustle up. I had to beg and borrow but I never stole.
Its hard to remember detail and I can’t remember how I rustled up the deposit for a rental agreement but somehow I obviously did and three months later we moved into the tiniest two up two down unfurnished cottage with absolutely nothing other than the car boot full of essentials. No duvet, pillows, sheets or towels. No cutlery, plates, glasses or food. No washing machine. No chairs, sofa, table or beds…nothing and I mean absolutely nothing. I can’t remember for how long we slept huddled together on the bedroom floor until I could afford a bed. Our coffee table was a packing box covered in a cloth and we sat on the floor. Over the next few years we had to start over and gradually accumulate essential possessions to make a home. What we did always have was each other.

Three years later after my world had been turned upside down, and the ex-husband gave us nothing from our beautiful five bedroomed home that I was forced to flee to save myself and my daughter, my divorce settlement came through and I bought us a house. Worst thing I ever did. I used most of my divorce settlement as a deposit but what I hadn’t considered was if you can’t pay your mortgage the bank will repossess your house. The bank sold our home and I got not one penny of any equity.
As a fulltime working single parent I couldn’t earn enough money to pay for everything and have a balance to carry over to the next month. The mortgage and bills took all my money, I couldn’t put food on the table and I couldn’t pay for gas and electric. I had gas and electric meters fitted but no one told me this was more expensive that a monthly bill. I was broke. Totally and utterly broke. All my salary went on the mortgage and trying to keep a roof above our head. No benefits for me; apparently no one could help. I asked continually for help from all the authorities but was told I did not qualify from everyone I encountered. Apparently I earned just enough.

Winter arrived and we had no heating or light and sat every evening for over a year in the dark in our coats, hats, scarves and gloves under duvets and blankets. It was the scariest time of my life. I earned enough to not qualify for any help or support but I didn’t earn enough to look after my daughter properly and put food on the table. No one listened, no one cared. I was actually stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. I worked fulltime to live like this. I was like the walking dead. Looking back I don't know how I functioned or survived.
In 2007 I was declared bankrupt and the bank repossessed my home, my daughter went to university and I went to Dubai to start all over again. This was the second time I had had to do this. I had nothing. I lost everything again. I left with two suitcases and commenced as a teacher in an international school to try to begin a new life and start over yet again. I was determined to come back and start afresh, which I did.

I don’t know which is worse to have nothing or just enough.
To be on the bread line is so stressful and the trauma this causes is un-comprehendible. At least with nothing you qualify for help. But to have only just enough is so painful I cannot put it into words. The worry of how you will eat and feed your children is the very worst feeling I have ever felt in my life. None of my abuse can equate to that. Loosing everything and not being able to do right by my daughter was worse than anything my ex-husband did or could have done to me. Scrounging a fiver here and a tenner there to feed your child is the most undignified feeling in the world.

With the vast austerity today there are many families feeling and living like this, so please...have compassion for those living on the bread line and having only just enough cause I believe this is worse than having nothing at all.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Trolls & Bullies on Twitter

Many of you reading this blog know me and know my story; for those of you that don’t, my story is posted on here on this blog. Feel free to read it and enlighten yourself.

I was abused for over 20 years by my first husband and then sadly abused again by my second husband for just 6 years. Thank God I recognised the behaviours associated with abuse, domestic violence and abuse and psychopathic behaviours so much quicker with the second husband.
It was no easier to acknowledge and no easier to deal with but at least it didn’t go on as long or destroy me for as long. Nevertheless, it had an impact on me and my extended family once again but possibly for different reasons second time around. We were all devastated it could happen twice, we were all devastated I could make the mistake twice; we were all devastated I could be taken for granted twice and hurt deeply twice. But as humans we make mistakes and do not always make the correct judgements or do not see what is right under our noses when we are swept up in the power of love.

I take complete responsibility for all the choices I have made in my life and accept I got it wrong…twice. I am also sorry for the pain I have caused my family over the years but they understand and we have healed.
None of this was done on purpose. With both husbands I was very much in love and felt they both would last forever. I wanted both to last forever, when I took my marriage vows I meant them from the bottom of my heart but maybe in this day and age there is no forever anymore, it is not possible anymore? The main travesty to come out all this is that I struggle with trust as so many others do. As we get older and engage in relationships we all come with baggage, whether it be good or bad. Individuals can tell you anything and we may never know if any of it is true or false; people can lie and become someone they are not and you may never know till it’s too late. With the internet there are so many people who hide behind a false picture and a computer screen and you have no idea who they are; if they are male or female, black or white, young or old. This is so scary to me that I find a happier place is to be reclusive. That is a much safer place for me to be. Criticise me if you like, tell me it’s not healthy if you want but it will not change anything, because from now on I have to be and feel safe and currently this is the only way that works for me.

So why am I telling you this…well having been abused in some way most of my life I had never envisaged I would be abused, trolled and bullied online all over again. I thought that only happened to others; to nasty vile people who said things that instigated those behaviours not someone like me who is just honest and getting on with life and her work. But incredibly I have been trolled by pedophiles, bullies, survivors and strangers on Twitter, all because of the important work I do and when they do not agree with my democratic right to an opinion. Remember I am very well , intelligent and relatively healthy in mind and spirit and oh yes I understand psychopathic, narcisstic and sociopathic behaviour so well now I can now sniff them out in a heartbeat. But others are not so experienced possibly; there are others who may get sucked in and then hurt and damaged all over again. These trolls and bullies are cowards, most of them hiding behind a false name or pseudonym, so you never know who they are. They are a disgrace.
If trolling and bullying online can affect someone like me, think what it can do to others who are facing challenges so big they cannot function daily. Think what it does to individuals who may be suffering from trauma, mental health or disabilities. Or think what it does to some one so ordinary that they just feel they have a right to an opinion. To inflict trauma on top of trauma is cruel beyond belief. Before you write you ghastly vile words, make your assumptions, tell your lies and cause mayhem…THINK. But you know, I am sure most of you trolls and bullies don’t care because that is a classic characteristic of a psychopath. Keep your thoughts to yourself and stay in your troubled world or get some help and therapy. But I am aware for most of these vile individuals that is an impossible request as they thrive on these vile traits and behaviours.

For those of you being trolled and bullied…BLOCK AND REPORT…and please do not engage, do not give them anymore publicity or fame…remember they do not deserve your time, space or words. DO NOT REPLY. They do not deserve the 15 minutes (or even one second) of the fame they so unhealthily crave so badly that they do not care who they hurt or further damage or traumatise on the way. These individuals are psychopaths and there are more of them in the world around us than in our prisons throughout the world.
May 2015

Since writing this post, sadly, I have had more bullying, trolling, harassment and extremely negative behaviour from individuals on my Twitter timeline and have therefore had to un-follow several accounts and lock my account so it is protected and to ensure I am protected and safe, to the best of my ability. I am a professional in safeguarding and work everyday with survivors of abuse and exploitation and this behaviour on Twitter is unacceptable and distressing. Individuals need to be aware of themselves and how their language, comments and harassment make others feel. Disillusioned is putting it mildly.