Rebeca (minervajb) wrote in little_details,

Bonding between victims in traumatic situations (captivity)

Bonding between victims in traumatic situations (captivity).

I’ve googled several variations of that (bonding between victims, bonding in traumatic situations, bonding on victims of catastrophes), and I’m guessing the problem is the wording I’m using, but I can’t find anything relevant to my question. All the results I get are about trauma bonding (which is another name for Stockholm syndrome, apparently). I’ve tried looking up bonding between soldiers, because I guessed that would get me something closer to what I was asking, but the results are too specific. I’ve tried looking up “bonding between POWs” but I get more results about trauma bonding.

The setting is modern day, US. Magic is a thing that exists, but it's very uncommon.
Character A runs away from Evil Guys, who had kidnapped him and were torturing him. Character A mets B, who is an MD (who doesn’t practise because she changed careers right after finishing med school) because she works in the place he runs to. For plot related reasons there’s no option to call another doctor to treat A, so B does. Their relationship is a not-actually-a-doctor/patient one. Evil Guys find A and kidnap him again, and kidnap B too because she's there, so why the hell not. They are kept together, A is tortured on a daily basis until they are rescued about a month after the second kidnapping. She’s forced to watch the torture on occasion, but not subjected to torture herself (not physical, at least). They bond (mostly because they are the other’s only source of non-hostile interpersonal contact/comfort and sharing a 100 square feet cell with only one cot). I’ve found a couple articles about how traumatic situations can make the victims bond ( apparently stress makes people friendlier with others on their same situation), but also a passage on a book written by someone who was on a concentration camp and how he resented other prisoners. A may resent B a bit, because while both of them are on a similar situation, she fares better because she’s not being tortured. I can handwave that a bit, though.

My problem comes with the rescue. I’ve researched a lot about torture, CPTSD, learned helplessness and whatnot, so I can guess how they are going to react to the “outside world”. My problem is what I’m not as sure about what happens to that bond: they try to avoid the other, because it’s just a reminder of what they went through? One of the symptoms of PTSD is avoidance of things that remember you the traumatic event. Or do they become even closer, because only the other understands what they went through, much like soldiers returning after serving together?

English is not my native language, so again I may not be using the right wording. And I sent this as an anon post, but since I can't find it on the community and the post on the sticky has dissapeared, I decided to post it myself.
Tags: ~psychology & psychiatry: ptsd, ~torture

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