Last night was one of those difficult nights. I was home alone cringing and reading Pamela by Richardson. And I could feel myself get angry at Pamela or Richardson for writing a character like Pamela.
I just couldn’t understand how Pamela could fall in love with Mr. B – a violent man who kidnaps her and repeatedly tries to rape her. This question has honestly been bothering throughout the whole novel. I mean, it’s one thing for Pamela to want to think highly of her “dear mistresses” son, but it’s a whole other deal to actually fall in love with him and worship him (literally!)- “ he shall always be my Master; and I shall think myself more and more his Servant” and there is NO end to all her “how wonderful and kind my master is.” Then it hit me: Stockholm syndrome!
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, essentially mistaking a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness.
I can see why Pamela’s amorous feelings for Mr. B. would be cultivated by his failure to fulfill her expectations of violence and mistreatment. After all, Pamela’s heart doesn’t melt until Mr. B. starts acting decently towards her. I guess, when all you’re expecting is to be raped and disrespected, it makes loving treatment all the more endearing!
What disturbs me is that Richardson portrays it as a good thing, like falling in love with your captor and wannabe rapist is always the way to go. Stockholm syndrome is a very real phenomenon, but it is a psychological affliction, which comes about when the captive feels (subconsciously) that the only way to survive is to give in and worship their captor. It is a horrible affliction when you think about it, and it’s one of your minds last ditch attempts to survive. The idea that someone would ever portray this as a happy thing, as something to aspire to, is horrific to me. The fact that Mr. B. still manages to have a happy ending and get the girl when he traumatized her so much that her brain knew she literally had no other choice, that the only way to survive would be to fall in love with him, is pitiful. She is not actually happy, and Mr. B loves Pamela but he still tyrannizes her.
I think this is why for the longest time I had an aversion towards this book and didn’t want to read it. I didn’t want to come to bring out memories I hid so well. But I can’t always let the past haunt me.
It’s generation of tradition and culture that has made us believe that it is okay for men to behave like predators. That if someone really likes you, they will be mean to you and that’s how humans show affection. And for some reason we are programmed to fall for the ‘bad girls/boys’. That we consistently stay with the person who is abusing us, emotionally, mentally or physically because either we believe that is what we deserve or we will never be with someone who is kind. Because for us, love is synonym to being violent.
I want to say I have figured it out and self-love is the answer. Most times it’s so hard for me to love myself that I just find it difficult to comprehend. I think the answer is self-compassion. (Which is a product of self-love) But just being compassionate towards yourself. It’s taken you a long time (How many years you are) to make your self-beliefs. It is not going to be easy to change your thought process in a day or a week or a month. It’s going to take time and a lot effort. But it is possible.
These are some positive affirmations I tell myself daily as soon as I get up.
- I am safe.
- I believe in myself.
- I can trust others.
- I can trust myself.
- I am free to be myself.
- I am worthy of love.
- I am fit and healthy.
- I am confident.
- I am loved.
- My heart goes out to those who feel the need to attack.
- I can transform my feelings of anger to compassion.
- I have many who support and love me.
- I am able to feel clean again.
- I release myself from feeling the attack was my fault.
- I release myself from feeling like a victim.
- Thanks to all the humans who offer to give love and support.
- Even now I see the genuine goodness of humankind.
- I still believe there is good in everyone.
- I accept the miracle of feelings of forgiveness.
- I ask for and receive miraculous healing today.
- Today is the day I heal from any sexual molestation.
- I am free from feeling like a freak or alone.
- I reclaim my power after my sexual molestation.
- I choose today to stand up and say NO.
- The Universe supports me in my decision to say no.
- I choose to be free of abuse now and always.
- I AM LOVE!
Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.🙏❤ Much love😊🙏