Friday, October 19, 2018

Domestic Abuse Misconception #18

Domestic Abuse Misconception #18: Abusers act alone. The truth is that the abuser will use any tool possible to maintain power and control and one of his best tools is other people, especially other people important to the victim. 

This is incredibly common with narcissists, and most abusers actually have strong narcissist characteristics. The people that the abuser rounds up are called Flying Monkeys. The flying monkeys are often people close to the members, friends, coworkers...people who have some amount of influence over the victim. It is a way for the abuser to win people over to his side and to deprive the victim of much needed support. 

Flying Monkeys may not even know this is happening. Because the abuser is so adept at changing the narrative, at playing the part of the poor, pitiful victim, the Flying Monkeys can get pulled in to rushing to his defense and attacking the victim. This is particularly common when the victim is beginning to wake up to the abuse and set boundaries and take steps to get healthy. 

Having a friend or family member come out of left field to attack you for seeking safety or try to coerce you into reconciling with an abuser is devastating to a victim, who can begin to wonder who, if anybody, can be trusted. 

It is so important that victims see this for what it is. A smear campaign. Abuse by proxy. Just another way for the abuser to assert control. It is also important for the victim to know who is safe.

And be on your guard that you don't get recruited for the Fellowship of the Flying Monkeys. Learn the dynamics of abuse. Know how the abuser works. Learn to see through the act. First, do no harm.

This article sheds more light on the world of Flying Monkeys.

(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)

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