I found a starving feral kitten out in the blackberry bushes and brought him home, fed him, gave him medical care, loved him, and named him Bracken since he had come from the blackberry bush. The kitten adopted me as his person. The problem was I already had another cat and she did not welcome the competition. She hunted and terrorized little Bracken.
The more he was afraid, the more he acted like prey. The more he acted like prey the more her predator instincts kicked in to hunt him.
As Bracken grew he became much bigger and stronger than the female cat, but she had already trained him to be afraid and cower to her.
I worked with Bracken, building up his self-esteem. I made sure my other cat saw him playing with and hunting toys. He was acting like a predator and not prey.
Sometimes, especially if one has lived in an environment of fear for so long, people can start to act like prey. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are also predators. They usually hunt the meek and gentle. They exploit the wonderful qualities about them such as tolerance, patience, the ability to see the potential in someone, forgiveness, and loyalty.
As I have worked with victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking I have seen the same behavior patterns of predator and prey. I have also seen the results of working with people to build up their self-esteem, help them to control fear, and learn to comfortably be assertive.
I have also seen victims testify against their perpetrators and they stand boldly and speak with strength. Then after the court hearing they collapse on the courtroom floor and need to be carried out. Some people have said it helps to pretend to be an actor or actress, carry a picture of a warrior and visualize themselves as strong.
Grey rock method has also helped many people that have abusers with personality disorders who attempt to feed off of fear and emotion. It is helpful for victims to discover ways to make themselves an unappealing target, to not give abusers the energy of fear to relish in, to avoid contact or make contact so uninteresting that the predator must go somewhere else for their yummy snack.
Not all humans are humane. Not all of us are the same, meaning just because you would react with compassion and understanding doesn’t mean that everyone else will.