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Stockholm Syndrome

handcuffs-964522__180In my book, Trust Me, I have a kidnap victim fall in love with her kidnapper. Now it turns out he was really not a kidnapper though technically he did commit the act. But he was a good guy is what I’m getting g at. When she falls in love with him, she believes he has kidnapped her supposedly to save her life. Many would call this Stockholm Syndrome which is a very real thing and has played a major part in many people’s lives.

Officially named in 1973, the syndrome has become renown in the media and on film and in books. Stockholm syndrome is the connection between an abductor and the victim. Instead of despising the kidnapper and trying to escape, many victims become attached to the abductor and even fall in love with them at times. They ‘join’ the kidnapper and see themselves not as a victim anymore. The victim becomes the criminal and takes part in many of their illegal acts.

One of the most famous incidents involved the abduction of Patty Hearst. The heiress was taken one day as a victim but then was carrying a gun and participating in bank robberies later on. During her initial time with her kidnappers, she developed a bond with them that became stronger than that with her real family.

Another was more recent. Jessica Small was a young girl taken from her home. She became extremely obedient and docile to the point of doing whatever her captors said in order to survive. Her bond was not as real as most under the Stockholm Syndrome is classified, but she allowed it to develop to live and then later was rescued. Her bond did not carry long past the rescue.

This syndrome has now expanded beyond kidnappings and is being used wherever there is a relationship where one person is controlling another. A great article by Dr. Joseph M. Carver expands on this further.

My story, Trust Me, involves a kidnapping. The victim finds herself drawn to the man who took her, but the situation is unique. He isn’t cruel to her. He keeps telling her that he did it to save her life. Only then does she allow herself to fall completely for him. The rest of the story is her discovery on whether or not he can be trusted. A few potential readers have protested the kidnapping part but they haven’t read it yet to see that it is not really like the actual events that I’ve described above that have been labeled Stockholm syndrome. There is no brainwashing. It is a story of mystery and intrigue. Stockholm Syndrome is serious and not a romantic toy.

 

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