What is the definition of a victim of abuse? "Authority figure?"

Ask anyone what an authority figure is, and they will likely give you a logical answer – that is, anyone who is in a position of authority. But ask an adult child, who suffered from parental dysfunction, alcoholism, and abuse during their upbringing, the same question and they will most likely give you an emotionally painful one. “Authority”, for him, significantly transcends the traditional definition of the word, and so does the concept of “father.”

Subjected, without choice, recourse, escape or solution, to some two decades of betrayal and detriment, these adult children, while still physically intact, are not necessarily emotionally stable, although they often appear deceptively confident and capable. However, their years of defamation, demoralization, degradation, and dangerous exposure to parental crimes from which they could not defend themselves or protect themselves has left them shattered and without the trust that otherwise allows people to connect with and love others in the world. world in general.

“Adult children often live a secret life of fear,” according to the textbook Adult Children of Alcoholics (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 10). “Fear, or sometimes terror, is one of the threads that connect the 14 traits. Two of the first three describe our fear of people. While many adult children seem cheerful, helpful, or self-reliant, most live in fear of their parents and spouses, in addition to fear of an employer … They have a sense of imminent death or that nothing seems to work. “

That fear is the main parameter used by an adult child when trying to define an “authority figure.”

“(All) children seek authority to help them define what is real and make wise decisions when interacting with others,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 355). “Support from responsible authority gives them confidence in developing their own ability to live effectively in the world.”

“(However), the tragedy for children in an alcoholic home,” he continues (p. 355), “is that a model of life that is based on the responsibility of sanity is stolen from them … The attitude of abuse that underlies all addictive behavior, dominates the family and children learn to accept this attitude in others and in themselves “.

Unknowingly, when trading the world with a hairpin trigger, these people frequently trip you up with others, who can often be categorized as “authorities” due to various factors.

Taller, heavier, and / or stronger-looking, those with such physical characteristics can place the person at a current disadvantage by suggesting or recreating their paternal power play imbalance early in life.

Speech, tone of voice, volume, movements, actions, and gestures serve as the behavioral characteristics that remind or reactivate you.

“We have a negative ‘knee-jerk reaction’ when dealing with someone who has the physical characteristics or mannerisms of our alcoholic qualifier,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 417).

Minor imbalances, such as those manifested by someone else’s better job, a higher salary, and greater amenities, such as a bigger home or a more luxurious car, can cause some degree of unease.

Life’s many functions, roles, and titles, including bank tellers, store clerks, teachers, supervisors, bosses, police officers, and judges, along with the broader customs, immigration, court systems, rule-making and advocacy bodies, prisons, governments, and even God are adorned with the word “authority” and place adult children at a decided disadvantage, with almost no way out with them.

Extending this authority and emphasizing their power are those who perform their duties in uniforms, which can virtually dictate their superiority. Those with a more secure and stable upbringing may pass a police car parked on the road at a speed that considerably exceeds the limit with poise, for example, but an adult child may take their foot off the gas even while maintaining an undermining speed. him, seeking to avoid the passionate emotions that would surely result from a confrontation with him.

Having been the routine target of a predatory parent and received “punishment” for doing little more than existing while growing up, he has grown accustomed to being held responsible for the uncontrollable behavior of others and to taking blame for crimes he never committed.

“Authority figures scare us and we feel fear when we need to talk to them,” again according to the ACA textbook (p. 417).

“We mistake our boss or supervisor for our alcoholic parents or raters and have similar relationship patterns, behaviors, and reactions that carry over from childhood (ACA textbook, p. 417).

Forced to fill in, swallow, file, deny, and even lie about his past to believe that he “went and forgot,” an adult child does not realize or understand that this is not the case and that a single authority figure can. Gently press its “play” button, bringing unresolved and sometimes traumatic recordings to life in your mind. These circumstances can result in various forms of insanity.

“Insanity,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 359), “begins when children are forced to deny the reality of pain and abuse. Once children have come to terms with the idea that alcoholism it is not violent or dangerous, they have no basis to decide what is real or to know how to respond to those around them. They no longer trust authority to guide them or protect them from harm. “

In fact, the “authority” created their harm, abandoning them in their greatest moment of need, and then no one seemed to protect them from their original and only “authority.”

“We transfer that fear (of abandonment) to our adult lives, and we fear our employers, certain relationships and group situations,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 11). “We fear authority figures or we become an authority figure.”

In the latter case, the abuse spreads from an abused child, who becomes an adult child, and then to his own offspring, if he has not undertaken an adequate recovery, repeating the only behavior to which he has been presented.

The definition of an adult child, in the end, of an authority figure has little correlation with what the figure does, but rather with what he unconsciously believes it does to him, and this involves several subtle factors.

The first and foremost is the fact that an authority figure wears the displaced face of his father or primary caregiver, which seems to gently uproot the sediment of his past that he thought was well buried.

Second, it ignites the emotional bond, like a thread that extends from the present to the past, or between him now, as an adult, and him then, as a child, generating the anxieties, fears and trepidations that his parents first elicited. original betrayal of his, or the one that inadvertently placed him on the “enemy” side of their fence and created the mistrust that separated him from them and, ultimately, from most others in the world. Rather than attract, he repelled, eventually leading him to disconnect from them and from God or the Higher Power of his understanding.

Paradoxically, what he needs most now to cure his condition, reunification with others, is what he most rejects.

Despite what may be several decades after the original offense occurred, regenerated emotions can cause similar or even identical reactions, returning you to a time when you were physically, psychologically, and neurologically underdeveloped, and resulting in helplessness and paralysis in the current time.

Finally, the neurological pathways, or connections between his brain cells or neurons, can be so dense and established that he automatically leads them back to his origins, returning him to the age of three, four or five, when he may now be 30 or more years. 40 or 50.

“The abuse of authority figures in childhood has left us on guard as adults about authority figures,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 379). “We tend to put people into the categories of an authority figure when they may not be … Our past experiences tell us that any leader, employer or officer is inherently an authority figure, and to be wary.”

If a loving, caring and protective father treated me like this, an adult son can reason, then how will others in the world treat me, who do not know me from Adam and therefore owe me nothing?

The purpose of the brain, above all else, is to promote and ensure the survival of the person and processes any potential danger, whether perceived or real, in its primitive or reptilian portion, causing an avalanche of stress hormones that must be harnessed to that the person is properly. fueled for fight or flight action that will improve your chances of survival if you do. An abused child, forcibly confronted with a hopelessly unbalanced power play, can do nothing but flee inward creating an inner child sanctuary and thus virtually drowns in the physiological reactions that are triggered within, both defeated by this unusable response and the damaging parent. You tripped over your circuit

It takes several more milliseconds for your circumstances to arrive and register in the upper, rational part of the brain. But, programmed to be “better safe than sorry,” the bottom part often reacts in the same way to authority figures who represent parents later in life, avoiding the path to higher roles and leaving the A person with no choice but to fight the waves of fear and terror stirred within him. The repeated betrayals and dangers in the original incident create chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Forced, before understanding or recovery, to negotiate life through survival traits that attempt to minimize the danger to which he believes he is subjected, he implements a strategy of pleasing people to calm, appease, and appease his displaced authority figures. His parents. and therefore create the illusion that he is kind, helpful and benevolent; in other words, that he is a friend and not the enemy that he seemed to become in the eyes of his parents or primary caregivers. The motivation, in all cases, is to improve your chances of survival in your emotionally weakened state, even though the danger exists almost exclusively within your mind and not outside it, in the world.

Two of the 14 survival traits echo the fearful state of an adult child: “We isolate ourselves and fear people and authority figures” and “We become approval seekers and lost our own identity in the process.” .

“Becoming complacent,” according to the ACA textbook (p. 11), “is one of the solutions that adult children apply to avoid being criticized, shamed, or abandoned. Adult children also try to disarm people. angry or scared with approval seeking behavior … We believe that we will be safe and never abandoned if we are ‘nice’ and never show anger. “

The authority figure and the dynamics of liking people are by-products of being forced to deal with slanderous, dysfunctional, and sometimes dangerous parents or primary caregivers, and without knowing or understanding the reasons behind their actions, as the abuse it was never identified or labeled as inappropriate. The adult son, in the end, was led to believe that his parents represented everyone else in the world.

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