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Stockholm Syndrome

May 10, 2010

In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.

Simply put, Stockholm syndrome is when a hostage or kidnap victim becomes emotionally attached to their kidnapper, because they are so dependent on them for food and other necessities. Hostages who develop Stockholm syndrome often view the perpetrator as giving life by simply not taking it. In this sense, the captor becomes the person in control of the captive’s basic needs for survival and the victim’s life itself.

I’ve been a hostage for about 17 and a half years and I’ve definitely not developed this syndrome. Although I’m dependent on them for survival, I want to get out. And evidently, they want me out as well.

I wish parents could realize that children can’t always be the perfect angels they were when they just came out of the womb. Sometimes we lie, sometimes we fail tests, sometimes we make the wrong decisions. And although you try your best; giving good advice and guidance and doing all the other parental obligations, your children are human and ergo, they are prone to error. Instead of constantly complaining about the small mistakes your child makes, exaggerating on those unfortunate imperfections, focus on the good things.

It’s actually beyond me how my parents are of the belief that I’m such a horrible child, a disappointment and a failure because of such simple things. Granted, my room is a mess, I don’t particularly enjoy doing chores, I’m lazy, I tell lies, I don’t like studying, I backtalk, I procrastinate, I would rather hang out with my friends than with my parents, I make simple mistakes when I’m doing calculus or physics problems and I’m always listening to music.

I guess they’ve decided that, cumulatively, these things make me the worst child in the world, an absolute burden. Because every other parent is just so happy with their perfect child.

I am a hostage. Every minute detail of my life is controlled by them. They constantly nag and complain about my faults, as if they are not cognizant that I may have some good qualities inside me too.

I’m just not able to understand why so many other people can see these good qualities, but the people who mean the most – the people that gave me life – are unable to see them.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carla permalink
    May 10, 2010 1:28 pm

    Fran all parents are like that, ignoring your good is a quality that they must possess, excepy my daddy <3. But mothers – definately.

  2. Rachel permalink
    May 11, 2010 6:58 pm

    This is a good post. I feel like this sometimes, but then I remember that college is just around the corner.

  3. Jodi permalink
    May 19, 2010 3:43 pm

    This is soo true Fran!!

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