So what is a Flying Monkey? I always think of them as a toxic person's remote controls. They are the people that enable, perpetuate and justify the abuse.

It seems a long time ago now, that I began assigning inner-animals to my fellow survivors. It all started after I cut contact with my family, and took my first steps on my healing journey. As I began to shift some of the constant anxiety that had held me in its grip my whole life, my cheeky sense of humor began to shine through. That is how my inner-monkey came to life.

Although I am now flying high, I am NOT a Flying Monkey!

So what are these Flying Monkeys? I always think of them as a toxic person’s remote controls. They are the people that enable, perpetuate and justify the abuse. Here are a few typical phrases that the Flying Monkey may utter:

  • Oh yes, your mother warned me you would say that!

  • Your father’s health is really deteriorating

  • I know that he hurt you, but his intentions were good

  • Well, nobody’s perfect!

  • I am just trying to understand why you left, I am not trying to defend anyone

The problem with those, and so very many other things that Flying Monkeys say, is that they may not be manipulative. For all you know someone is really trying to understand what is going on.

 How To Spot a Flying Monkey

The key to Flying Monkey Spotting is in the energy. Flying Monkeys are looking to knock you off balance, are fishing for information and are generally disingenuous. As soon as you feel unbalanced around another person (especially someone who is somehow connected to your abuser, so someone from their community or social circle) start asking yourself:

  • Does what they say line up with how they say it? Energy is always a give-away of someone’s real intentions.

  • Are they sharing as much information about themselves and their lives as they ask of you?

  • Are they making excuses to snoop around, look at your diary or use you computer?

  • Do they often correct themselves when making statements about your abuser? When I saw them last week, I mean last month. Perhaps they are covering their tracks.

  • Do they keep emphasizing their loyalty to you or how little contact they have with your abuser? Who are they trying to convince?

Of course this is not an exact science. When dealing with people that are somehow in contact with your abuser, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out. You are better save than sorry. Besides, your real friends will understand if you are a little guarded with information after what you have been through. That is what makes them real friends!

That’s why they have inner-ions, inner-elephants, inner-rhinos and inner-border-collies!

(Thanks guys, you rock!)

we love to read your comments below

While I may technically be the Director here at SwanWaters, my unofficial title is Healing Cheerleader! I’m a survivor of childhood emotional abuse and workplace bullying. And believe me when I say that I’ve walked the walk when it comes to healing from trauma. I firmly believe that we can undo some of the damage that abuse has done to us, and learn the necessary skills to handle life and all it brings us.

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One comment:

  1. Aubrey Cole

    June 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    (Admits to being the inner-Border-Collie!)

    I got very lucky in that I had lived life such that very few people were able to be recruited as FMs against me by my ex. However, the stories I learned about the things he did *after* I got away from him are astounding. He had a boss FM, a couple of subordinate FMs (who were aimed at other subordinates who dared to defy his crap), and of course several fake relationship FMs. I discovered that he had two or three FMs at my church, one of whom I confronted with the truth and two of whom I was not invested in at all. Nonetheless, the only FMs he has been successful at “recruiting” are his attorneys and even one of them withdrew from his case when he concluded that all the accusations my ex was making were complete b.s.!

    The toughest part was watching him attempt to recruit my young daughters as FMs. But I kept focused and kept being the best me I could be. Since they only saw him fewer than 30 days a year and then not at all, he was never successful in that regard.

    However, I have a very hard time going to church in part because I know he is still so obsessed that there are people he is using for information. I just don’t know who they are. That creeps me out.


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