Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.
The first time my boyfriend hit me, and I hit him back, we were so ashamed and horrified with ourselves. It started over drugs, naturally. He wanted to get more and the only money I had left was for bills (this was when I was still trying to keep up with bills, before I gave up on bills all together and only focused on getting drugs). He kept trying to get money from me and finally I called him an asshole or something and he smacked me. Immaturely, I smacked him back and we tussled for a few minutes. Afterwards, we cried to each other saying that would never happen again. Then I gave him the money to get more meth.
After that, it happened again. And then again. Not only from him but from me also. Smack, smack, smack. Each time hurting each other a little worse than the time before. The neighbors start to ask questions. The cops start showing up regularly.
Then we quit drugs. And what I thought was, we’ll stop hurting each other now. Oh, was I wrong.
6 days after we quit he wanted drugs again and I wouldn’t do it. While I was taking a shower, he came in, pulled the shower rod down, and beat me with it. I didn’t give in to the drugs (win!), just took the beating until he calmed down.
On day 9, we decided to go out for a drink to celebrate being off drugs so long. Bad idea. This time I never even had a chance to hit him back. He beat me black and blue until the cops came and took him to jail.
That time was definitely the worst. Though he still beats me, it’s never as bad as day 9.
I hate being so much smaller than him because he laughs off my meager attempts to fight him and it makes me feel hopeless. I’ve learned to not hit him first or even push him away if he bows up to me or I will most certainly get my ass beat. It’s gotten so bad that even if I yell or just say something bitchy, I’m sure to get punished physically.
So here’s the really sick part; I think I’ve become somewhat addicted to the abuse.
In the beginning, when he would hit me, we couldn’t have sex for days after because we were so ashamed. Somehow, over the past couple of years this has evolved to where he really only seems to want to have sex with me after he beats me. And though I hate to admit it, I’m the most turned on after being beat. Even when I’m crying and in pain, my pussy is on fire from wanting him so bad. I can’t blame this all on him, because I’m just as guilty for getting pleasure out of something so sadistic.
I don’t know what it is but it’s like, when he hits me, at least things are normal. When he hits me, at least he will want me afterwards. He barely wants to have sex any other time now. I’d never tell this to anyone in my real life, but sometimes I start a fight just so he will have sex with me after.
Is it the drama that turns us on? The pain? And how much of it is linked to the addictions we are constantly trying to keep at bay?
Consider these statistics:
- “Half of the men in batterer intervention programs appear to have substance abuse issues and are eight times as likely to batter on a day in which they have been drinking.
- Approximately half of partnered men entering substance abuse treatment have battered in the past year and are 11 times as likely to batter on a day in which they have been drinking.
- Between a quarter and half of the women receiving victim services for Intimate Partner Violence have substance abuse problems.
- Between 55 and 99 percent of women who have substance abuse issues have been victimized at some point in their life and between 67 and 80 percent of women in substance abuse treatment are intimate partner violence victims “
My boyfriend and I are slowly beating addiction and I’m very proud of us for that. But how do we beat abuse? Where do we even start getting help for this when hurting each other has become the normal for us? And most importantly, would my boyfriend even be willing to get help for this? Am I?