Brainwashing - Mind Control Coercive Control coercive control EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Perspecticide adult to child

Perspecticide is a term used to describe the act of imposing one’s own beliefs, values, and opinions on another person, especially a child. It is a form of psychological manipulation and can be damaging to the child’s development. It is important to remember that children should be allowed to form their own opinions and beliefs, and that it is not appropriate to force one’s own views on them.

Psychological manipulation of an adult child can take many forms, including guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and emotional blackmail. Guilt-tripping is when a parent or other adult figure uses guilt to manipulate the child into doing something they don’t want to do. Gaslighting is when an adult figure attempts to make the child doubt their own reality or memories. Emotional blackmail is when an adult figure uses threats or emotional manipulation to get the child to do something they don’t want to do.

Emotional blackmail to an adult child may involve a parent threatening to withhold love or approval unless the child does something they want. This could include making the child feel guilty for not spending enough time with them, or for not following their advice. It could also involve making the child feel like they are not living up to their parents’ expectations. Other forms of emotional blackmail may include threats of abandonment or of cutting off financial support.

©Linda Turner 2023


The harsh reality of “perspecticide” in a coercive control relationship

People subjected to perspecticide often blame themselves, as they feel despairing and disoriented. It can be hard for them to figure out exactly what’s wrong. Controlling partners serve as a filter for the outside world, gradually forcing their victims to lose the support of family, friends, and coworkers. Isolated and controlled in this way, victims lose self-esteem and have trouble remembering what they once thought, felt, and believed. There is hope, however, for victims of perspecticide and coercive control. And recovering one’s own perspectives and life is mighty sweet.

For more information on how to recognize perspecticide and reclaim your sense of self after a controlling relationship, please check out Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship.

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The signs you’re a victim of perspecticide

For the victim, their life is overwhelmed with wondering how to appease their controlling partner. Fontes said they may even experience physical signs of stress over time such as changes to eating and sleeping, head or back aches, and digestive problems, because they are too worried about their partner’s wrath

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For children, as I have mentioned before, it means their parent taking over the narrative in terms of what the child is experiencing, feeling, thinking, and believing. The child is rendered without a voice.
This means that the child cannot have his needs met by the parent. Depending on how much of it is going on, it can mean child neglect on every level: physical, emotional, psychological, learning, safety, etc.
Some instances:
* “Mom, I’m hungry.” Invalidating answer: “No you’re not. You just had food an hour ago.”
Continued: “That was just a cracker.” Invalidating answer: “I don’t want to hear another word of this.”
* “Mom, I’m being beaten up in school by a gang of boys.” Invalidating answer: “What did you do to deserve it?” or “What did you say to them that made them do that to you.”
* “Mom, grandpa sneaks into my bedroom every night to play doctor with me. I don’t want to play doctor!” – sexual abuse. Invalidating answer: “How dare you say something like that about your own grandfather! He would never do that! Little liar!”
* “Mom, I feel sick.” Invalidating answer: “No, you don’t. You’re faking it.” – typical for scapegoats.
* “Dad, (my brother) is hurting me. He’s always finding an excuse to punch me. My guts are so sore from being punched there.” Invalidating answer: “Boys will be boys! Just slug him back!”
Continued: “But he’s stronger than me. I don’t want to do this any more.” Invalidating answer: “You’re a sissy then. Is that what you’re telling me?”
* “Dad, I’m feeling sad. I don’t want to go that party.” Perspecticide answer: “No, you’re not. You are angry and you are going to go, and that is all there is to it. Put on a happy face.” – teaches a child to be inauthentic if it is done a lot.
If you grew up with a lot of this (weekly or daily basis), no, it is not normal by a long shot. It is definitely a sign of either substance addiction in the parent, or a Cluster B personality disorder.
Rejection and being retaliated against does a lot of damage to a child, and to the relationship between parent and child. The child’s main relationship to the parent will be filtered through the child’s fear: they will not look to their parent for love, care or comfort, for truth, for reasonableness, for safety, for stability and constancy, for acceptance — all the things we associate with a good family. The child will also be seen as not not seeing the parent as an exceptional being (except in the way that the parent gets away with hurting the child over and over again) – so the parent feels insulted by that instead of working towards being a better parent. The main way that the parent is viewed is “Scary, inconsistent, subject to rage at any moment, is out to hurt me and destroy me.”
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Emotional Incest | The Fix

Emotional incest from either parent is devastating to the child’s ability to be able to set boundaries and take care of getting their own needs met when they become an adult. This type of abuse, when inflicted by the opposite sex parent, can have a devastating effect on the adult/child’s relationship with his/her own sexuality and gender, and their ability to have successful intimate relationships as an adult.

What often happens is that ‘Daddy’s little princess’ or ‘Mommy’s big boy’ becomes an adult who has good friends of the opposite sex that they can be emotionally intimate with but would never think of being sexually involved with (and feel dreadfully betrayed by, when those friends express sexual interest) and are sexually excited by members of the opposite sex whom they don’t like and can’t trust (they may feel they are desperately ‘in love’ with such a person but in reality don’t really like their personality). This is an unconscious way of not betraying mommy or daddy by having sex with someone that they are emotionally intimate with and truly care about as a person.

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Identity Crisis – Understand the Full Impact

It isn’t enough to understand the identity crisis symptoms or those of perspecticide.

I see it all the time: survivors don’t realize just how deeply the narcissist inflicted a loss of identity onto them until the survivor remove themselves from the situation.

When we’re suffering from perspecticide, we can’t see it that way because the narcissist has led us to believe that our perspective is wrong.

The narcissist slowly but surely infiltrates your sense of self and kills your sense of perspective.

Most narcissists won’t come out and say, “I’m not allowing you to leave the house.” No, they’re subtler than that. A narcissist will make you think it’s in your best interest to stay home – and they will consider your leaving the house a personal attack on them.

They will use gentle implications of guilt and worthlessness to make you completely dependent on them for all of your thoughts and actions. This is what leads to a loss of identity or perspecticide.

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Loss of Identity: Examples of Perspecticide from Narcissistic Abuse

Loss of identity is unavoidable after being in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship.

I often hear people compare living with a narcissistic partner to living in a cult – but with even more isolation.

In a cult, you have fellow comrades sharing the same abusive experience. With narcissistic abuse, however, you’re totally alone.

Just like living in a cult, it’s difficult to understand the full range of perspecticide aka an intense loss of identity until after you’ve left the narcissistic abuse for good.

The narcissist’s control over their target’s thoughts is sometimes so subtle, severe, and deeply ingrained that the survivor struggles to manage life on their own after they begin to recover.

I’ve put together some identity crisis examples to help you figure out if you’re experiencing perspecticide so you can start to dig yourself out.

You deserve to have your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Source: Loss of Identity: Examples of Perspecticide from Narcissistic Abuse

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Perspecticide: An External Force Causes Your Loss of Identity

Evan Stark, an award-winning researcher and professor at Rutgers is credited as first coining the term “perspecticide” in his 2007 book, Coercive Control. Perspecticide is the incapacity to know what you know, as a result of abuse.

With perspecticide, the abuser slowly chips away at your perspective until you have no thoughts of your own. Perspecticide was first used as a psychological manipulation tactic on prisoners of war and later by cult leaders, topics I’ve written about before.

The goal is to achieve a total loss of identity in the intended target.

After all, it’s much easier to control a person when they have no thoughts, opinions, and feelings of their own.

It’s important to remember that when we talk about perspecticide we aren’t just referencing staunch political beliefs or major convictions (although those views certainly aren’t spared).

But perspecticide goes much deeper than that. It refers to extreme gaslighting and control where the abuser controls just about every thought that enters the target’s head – even if the target doesn’t realize it.