« Last post by Artsy on Today at 09:34:29 AM »
I think relocating is a luxery that most people simply just don't have. As I read this thread it reminds me of safe houses that are set up for domestic violence (DV) victims because of this very problem. I can't help but think of PD as emotional violence and often find myself using DV as a parallel metaphor.
In DV cases, abusers take control of money and decisions, like where they live, as a means to control their victims. I could easily see this happening with PD. PD'ed people control their victims with mind control, money, kids, isolation, etc... just like DV perps. In DV the need to relocate in order to break the power and control the abuser has over the victim is absolutely necessary, so safe houses have been built and maintained to harbor them like a sanctuary. No such place exists for the emotionally abused.
I think therapists and the helping professions are limited by ongoing knowledge and understanding that is yet to be articulated, common practice, and sometimes just a plain lack of understanding of what it is truly like to live in these situations. Victims are often groomed and brainwashed into thinking they are powerless and can never escape, and the suggestion to simply move across the country can feel brutal to someone who feels trapped, doesn't feel confident in making new connections fast, or doesn't have money.
At the end of the day it's about having the independence to chose NC if needed. NC is a personal choice, but it's no choice if one cannot do it financially, socially, or in other ways. It is only a choice if obstacles to it can be removed. Sometimes that is a better focus for a therapist then the ultimate cut off. It might be less "barbaric" if a therapist focuses on the obstacles to moving, going NC, or anything else the client needs to do but can't, rather than just presenting what seems like a false choice to a disempowered person. Sometimes the obstacle is just the mental belief that we "can't."
The bottom line is to find ways, no matter how measured or limited, to get away from people who foster unhealthy dependence, try to exercise unhealthy control, or cripple and erode us in any way. As long as we are exposed to personal erosion we weaken and lose our stamina and resilience, something we need to survive the genuine hardships that come our way. I'd rather use my strength and agency to battle a drought, the loss of a job, the death of a child, then letting it be consumed by a PD for no other reason than it keeps them whole at my expense and feed into drama that gives them a boost.
So for those who cannot move, maybe the question needs to change. How can they get distance from abusive behavior that by it's very nature punishes distance. In some cases NC is the only answer. If family harasses and stalks, there are local police and legal means that can be difficult but might suffice instead of a complete move. Sometimes people can make simply a social move. There are many social circles in one city. If a social circle is poisoned by one bad apple, the whole barrel might be ruined, so without moving, a person can seek out new social circles.
I can honestly say, that I've been blessed with the ability to go NC and my heart breaks for anyone who, due to being single or of limited means, cannot make the clean break that I have from harmful people. When faced with helping friends or others in this situation, I think it's helps to focus on what little power they have to make changes, even if it's as simple as attending a new church in town, or like in your case, moving to a nearby city and then returning. Emotionally, that's as big as a major move across the country, because, I'm guessing, it had the same impact, distance.
The warmest wishes to you and those you empathically feel for. Feeling and being trapped is probably the worse thing any of us can feel.