Abusive Brainwashing Techniques
"One of the best ways to tell if you are being abused is to trust your gut feeling.This is a difficult task, if your abuser has managed to make you doubt your own sanity, but it is vital to your survival and healing.
Abusers brainwash their intimate partners using methods similar to those of prison guards who recognize that physical control is never easily accomplished without the cooperation of the prisoner.
The most effective way to gain that cooperation is through subversive manipulation of the mind and feelings of the victim, who then becomes a psychological, as well as a physical, prisoner. These methods form the core of abuse."
[ About Brainwashing from Maia's abuse survivor site. Thank you for making this information available ]
Biderman's Chart of Coercion
The process of abusive brainwashing:
- Isolation: Deprives victim of all social support [necessary for the] ability to resist. Develops an intense concern with self. Makes victim dependent upon interrogator.
- Monopolization of Perception: Fixes attention upon immediate predicament; fosters introspection. Eliminates stimuli competing with those controlled by the captor. Frustrates all actions not consistent with compliance.
- Induced Debility & Exhaustion: Weakens mental and physical ability to resist.
- Threats: Cultivates anxiety and despair.
- Occasional Indulgences: Provides positive motivation for compliance.
- Demonstrating "Omnipotence": Suggests futility of resistance.
- Enforcing Trivial Demands: Develops habit of compliance.
- Degradation: Makes cost of resistance appear more damaging to self-esteem than capitulation. Reduces prisoner [abuse victim] to "animal level" concerns.
NO, this does not mean your partner is a supremely intelligent individual. It means they are a dysfunctional, spiteful abusive person. Those highly effective techniques for manipulation are a natural part of who they are. As you will read under Inside the Mind of An Abuser, these people are all pretty much the same type of character... sharing a great many thinking patterns and behaviors.The abuser keeps the victim unaware of what is going on and what changes are taking place. Your partner might control your finances, make plans for you, or even talk or gossip about you to others behind your back in order to isolate you from them.
The abuser controls the victim's time and physical environment, and works to suppress much of the victim's old behavior. Your partner might have insisted that you stop certain social, hobby, or work activities. He may insist you move to a new location, farther away from your family and other supportive contacts.
The abuser instills in the victim a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency. Verbal and emotional abuse amplifies these emotions, and they become stronger and stronger over time. Your partner puts forth a closed system of logic, and allows no real input or criticism. In other words... What he says, goes.
Abusive Breakdown Tactics - the tools of abuse
Here are some of the tactics abuser's use to hurt you... to take you down and keep you there. How many do you recognize?
Verbal Assaults: Berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation. Blowing flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self confidence and self-worth.
Domination: The abuser wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it. When you allow someone else to dominate you, you can lose respect for yourself.
Emotional Blackmail: The abuser plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other "hot buttons" to get what they want. This could include threats to end the relationship, the "cold shoulder," or use other controlling fear tactics.
Gaslighting: The other person may deny that certain events occurred or that certain things were said. You know differently. The other person may deny your perceptions, memory and very sanity. It is this act of abuse which makes you begin to think you are crazy or losing your mind.
Unpredictable Responses: Drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts. Whenever someone in your life reacts very differently at different times to the same behavior from you, tells you one thing one day and the opposite the next, or likes something you do one day and hates it the next, you are being abused with unpredictable responses.
- This behavior is damaging because it puts you always on edge. You're always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you can never know what's expected of you. You must remain hypervigilant, waiting for the other person's next outburst or change of mood.
- An alcoholic or drug abuser is likely to act this way. Living with someone like this is tremendously demanding and anxiety provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly frightened, unsettled and off balance.
Constant Chaos: The other person may deliberately start arguments and be in constant conflict with others. The person may be "addicted to drama" since it creates excitement.