Fantasy Bond

Over at the ABS CBN 2 Bantay Bata psych clinic, I'd counseled severely abused children. Most of the stories were sexual in nature, shame-induced. "Bonding to abuse" was one of the perplexing aspects of child abuse I'd always notice. Despite the shock and lowering of self value, a child feels she has no choice and clings to the abuser. Therapist/author Robert Firestone describes such denying form of ego defense as "fantasy bond." According to him, in "fantasy bond," an abused child creates an illusion of connectedness ("he's there to love and protect me") in relation to the primary caregiver who's shaming and violating her. Indeed, once set up, the denying "fantasy bond" continues on to adult years and functions automatically and unconsciously.