Jennifer Freyd writes at page 194 in her book "Betrayal Trauma":
“But what sort of relation is it, and what purpose does it serve /../ If a woman is blind to her husband’s betrayal and abuse she may be serving the immediate survival needs of her children and herself. But often the perception of dependency is the result of past or current psychological manipulation; escape and change may be possible, but the woman may not see those options at all. More often than not, I suspect, an adult’s perception of dependency is erroneous.”
Jennifer Freyd on “Removing Blinders, Becoming Connected”:
“Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the horror of our world that we are blind to its wonder; sometimes we are fortunate enough to be so overwhelmed by the wonder of the world that we are blind to its horror. When fragmented by betrayal blindness we sometimes see neither the horror nor the wonder, But whether we see them or not, both elements exist.
Psychological health and fulfilling, constructive relationships have in common wholeness, integration and connection /…/ …often the perception of dependency is the result of past or current psychological manipulation; escape and change may be possible, but the woman [man it can be too?] may not see those options at all. More often than not, I suspect, an adult’s perception of dependency is erroneous. People are too easily manipulated into believing they have no options, and thus they collude in their own self-deception.
It is also tragic, and all too common, when a fear of trust limits intimate relationships between trustworthy individuals. This fear of trusting is a kind of betrayal blindness without the betrayal. The person is unwilling to look, for fear of finding betrayal. Thus, the blindness serves to protect the relationship, but at the prize of intimacy /…/ Therapist-directed feelings of gratitude are not the stuff of connection and intimate relationship.
Blindness and lack of connectedness whether truly needed or not, are ultimately tragic solutions to life. These adaptations keep us from knowing ourselves and others fully. We end up fragmented both internally and externally – impoverished spiritually and socially /…/ it seriously constrains our human potential /…/ Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and betrayal blindness have learned to cope by being disconnected internally so as to manage a minimal kind of external connection. But with adult freedom and responsibility come the potential to break silence, to use voice [Grossman!] and language to promote internal integration, deeper external connection, and a social transformation, Through communication – integration within ourselves and connection between individuals – we can become whole; embodied, aware, vital, powerful.”
She also writes at page 193 in her book:
“Carol Gilligan (1991) identified the irony that occurs when we must sever our relatedness in order to have relationships. She observed that in adolescence we learn to cut off components of our internal sources of knowledge in order not to speak unacceptable truths that would threaten relationships. According to Gilligan, this is something we learn to do; it is not the way we come into the world.
Must we be this way? And if this kind of behavior is so common is it perhaps acceptable, or even healthy? Perhaps. But I believe that a great deal of our habitual betrayal blindness is not necessary, and ultimately not healthy.”
About Gilligan’s book “In a Different Voice” you can read:
“In a Different Voice has inspired new research, new educational initiatives, and political debate-and helped many women and men to see themselves and each other in a different light.
Carol Gilligan believes that psychology has persistently and systematically misunderstood women--their motives, their moral commitments, the course of their psychological growth, and their special view of what is important in life. Here she sets out to correct psychology's misperceptions and refocus its view of female personality. The result is truly a tour de force, which may well reshape much of what psychology now has to say about female experience.”
More about Gilligan here.