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Revenge on a Psychopath — 213 Comments

  1. Welcome SjHendrix, being stalked is a familiar scene to many of us…and filing police charges or for orders of protection will not give you an iron suit of armor, they may continue to stalk and threaten you, but when you stand in front of a judge and the judge agrees with you that they are stalking or trying to harm you, it does give you some validity. It won’t stop a bullet, but at least it will give the cops a place to look.

    It sounds like you AND your children need an ORDER OF PROTECTION or RESTRAINING order (different states call them different things) I would also suggest that you get your phone number changed, and if possible make sure that your children are away from this person and their children. It makes me think from your story that thhis person is also using your children to “get to” you.

    And also, Keep in mind that this kind of stalker can be PHYSICALLY DANGEROUS and may even commit murder,. BE CAUTIOUS. don’t live in terror, but be realistic and cautious. NOT going to the police in a case like this can work to your disadvantage, but it may NOT stop them. You have my total sympathy and empathy, just make sure you are SAFE and I hope that the police and courts will assist you, but they can’t protect you 24/7.

  2. SJHendix, welcome to 180rule and everyone pretty much covered it. From my personal experience of being stalked, harassed, and escaping various sabotage attempts, what OxD typed above is VERY valuable information. I lived in a state of utter terror for months and law enforcement did nothing except to ridicule and dismiss my experiences as rubbish.

    Trying to sort out WHY psychopaths do what they do can become an exercise in frustration because even the “experts” that determine the criteria and definitions of personality disorders cannot agree upon, OR explain behaviors, that would diagnose a personality disorder.

    If you feel threatened, still, contact your local Victims’ Services Agency, ASAP. They can put you in touch with a number of resouces from legal to emotional support.

  3. Truthy you bring up a good point here about the “experts” not agreeing on the “symptoms” or even the NAME of “psychopaths”—The DSM-V which is the diagnostic “bible” of psychologists in which various mental illnesses and conditions are quantified and qualified is drafted by a “committee” of hundreds of PhDs….my husband used to say A CAMEL IS A HORSE DESIGNED BY A COMMITTEE—EVERYONE HAS TO HAVE THEIR OWN HUMP ON IT.

    LOL During the working on the DSM-V many of the people on the committees actually quit in DISGUST because of the egos and infighting among rooms full of PhDs…

    The bottom line though, is that we do know from recent research is that DNA does matter, and that psychopaths also have brains that are not only functionally (thinking) different from “typical” folks, but also the anatomy of their brains is different. How much DNA versus environment is the cause of psychopathy is still an open question, but my opinion is that there is a LOT of DNA involved. The bottom line though, is that if a person is HIGH in the TRAITS of dysfunction, there isn’t a cure for them. And, it doesn’t matter if they meet ALL the qualities of a “psychopath” per Dr. Hare’s Psychopath check list-revised or not. If they are toxic they are to be avoided FOREVER.

    • OxD, LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!! Indeed, any “committee” has it’s own camel, of sorts, and the DSM-V is NO exception. In fact, the DSM-V has redefined so many disorders that none of it makes any sense, at all. What I believe the DSM series has evolved into is a handbook on medicating-away myriad conditions. One of the most outrageous “conclusions” that the DSM-V committee came to was to define long-term grieving processes as a DISORDER. Because it’s now defined as a DISORDER, a psychiatrist or medical doctor can actually prescribe a host of pharmaceuticals to “manage” or “cure” the Grief Disorder. I almost shiat myself and went blind when I read that!

      So, the point of my response to SJHendrix was just this: whatever category the individual might fall into doesn’t really matter. If they are toxic to us, they are toxic to us. No knowledge, diagnosis, or assessment is going to ALTER what they are. Sure, absolutely, learn the SYMPTOMS of the behaviors – the pity-ploy, the love-bombing, the gaslighting, etc……..absolutely, learn those things. But, recognize and accept that there is not going to be any way to change the outcome of what that person might (or, might not) be.

      I had a discussion with someone, recently, about someone that they had cut out of their lives. They’ve been having a very hard time coming to accept that the person is simply toxic. They are wasting SO much energy on trying to negotiate or bargain a better outcome with regard to this person, and they’re finally coming to terms with it and getting closer to acceptance.

      “Acceptance” does not, by any means or any stretch of the imagination, obligate us to ***~~~LIKE~~~*** whatever it is that we’re accepting. We do not HAVE to “like” it or “embrace” it. “Acceptance” is that final understanding that. regardless of what we throw out there, we cannot bargain or negotiate a better set of facts.

      OxD, indeed……….if they are HIGH in the traits, then they are TOXIC. That’s it, and that’s all. There’s no pill, no prayer, no surgery, no therapy, and no lightning bolt from the heavens that will change, alter, or “FIX” whatever is wrong with someone who is high in P traits. That’s it. That’s all. Period.

  4. SJHendix,
    Here’s a blog article someone wrote on the subject.
    http://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/how-to-play-the-narcissists-game/
    I found the link from my statistics page, not sure how it got there because they don’t link to 180rule AFAIK.

    Anyway it is the musings of a survivor and how she views interacting with spaths.
    Lots of different perspectives to consider.

    There are many pros and cons to consider because we learn from suffering so we can be sure to learn from any interaction with spaths. The main thing to keep in mind is this: Please Don’t Feed the Spaths. They eat our emotions, so don’t give them any. Whatever you do, do not take the spath personally. It isn’t personal. It is THEIR interpersonal style that is disordered and sliming you with that disorder is what they want to do. Keep in mind that it is very difficult not to get slimed when you interact with them. So there will be a price to pay for your tuition. Whether the price is worth what you gain, is something that you have to decide for yourself.

    • Sky, right…….”feeding” into whatever the spath wants only keeps the momentum of the setup going.

      I mentioned a discussion that I had with someone, above, in response to OxD’s comments, and this person that I was talking to was involved in a support group. Although I don’t like some of the language that they’re using, particularly the word, “perspective,” the individual had a GREAT opportunity to actually recognize “toxic” behaviors and setups, and RESPOND (rather than react) after contemplation and consideration OF the behaviors.

      Seems that this group member was love-bombing the person with the typical, “You’re the BEST _______,” and, “You’re the ONLY one that ___________.” I told the person to keep their mouth shut and to observe the setup – that this person that they had only JUST met couldn’t possibly “feel” that way and that observation would make the individual ***out*** themselves, in due time. Well……..true to form, the toxic person approached them with a VEILED indication that they needed/wanted money. This was after meeting this person in group therapy for the third time. The individual responded with a very UNjudgmental and UNchallenging response, which was far, far, far out of their “comfort zone” with regard to rescuing or “helping” someone who appeared to be in need.

      So, they most certainly do feed on our emotions, our feelings, our beliefs, and our precious vulnerabilities. And, to clarify, vulnerabilities are NOT, not, not, not “weaknesses!!!” They are indications of our sensitivity, empathy, and compassion, and I give NONE of them away, anymore. I guard them with fierce tenacity.

  5. Truthy, while AA does a lot of good, the AA meetings are great places to meet psychopaths….there are many psychopaths who are also alcoholics, even ones who have not had a drink in 20 years are STILL psychopaths. AA calls them “dry drunks” because they behave sober like a drunk does under the influence. NO remorse, no empathy, etc.

    Also, Many disordered people become involved in “self help groups” Milo’s daughter was a prime example of that, someone had hung the label borderline personality disorder on her and she got involved with all the “self help” groups for BPDs, and of course she was using this to scam and con others to feel sorry for her ….poooooor babeeeee! PUKE! and of course she talked about how she had been ABUSED by Milo etc. Even when she was still hooking (I assume she is still now as well) and court ordered into drug rehab for the Nth time, when she was in NO CONDITION to parent a child, she sued Milo for custody of Grand…and the psychologist appointed by the court ran up hundreds of dollars, thousands in fees to assess the situation. She even suggested taking Grand out of Milo’s home (which had been his home since age 2) and putting him into FOSTER CARE so he would have a chance to “bond with his mother” LOL

    After Daughter found out Milo was ill, she tried to make Milo’s illness about HER. Fortunately Grand, who is now 13 or 14 told her WHERE TO GO and HOW TO GET THERE. Milo’s obit did not even mention Daughter or her other child who is cared for by the bio father of that child. While they didn’t think that was the ideal place for the little girl, they didn’t feel like at their ages they should take on another child in addition to the one they already had. In retrospect, that turned out to be wise, as the child is still preschool age and Milo’s husband will have enough on his hands with the teenager he has.

    My son Patrick tried to use his “abusive childhood” as his defense in his murder trial. LOL ROTFLMAO

    You know, the SMEAR CAMPAIGN that psychopaths paint against their victims, trying to appear the “victim” themselves is almost UNIVERSAL I think.

    • OxD, I’ve met some astoundingly insightful and genuine people in support groups like AA. And, on the flip side, I’ve met some very, very, VERY disturbing psychopaths, as well. What I’ve begun to accept is that there’s no “safe” place in this world that will be free of psychopaths, sociopaths, or toxic people. There just won’t be any place “safe.”

      Having typed that, a part of my personal process of recovery is to understand and accept this fact – there’s really “no safe place,” and even in counseling, there are pitfalls and sociopaths who are licensed and practicing. SO……..my “job” is to recognize the behaviors and respond, accordingly. I don’t have to be hateful (as I once thought), or mean, but I must choose the option that will best protect ME. If I have to interact with someone who is in a group setting, then I can use Gray Rock with some effectiveness. If I don’t have to interact with these people for any real purpose, then I can simply walk away.

      There is only one certain and sure-fire way to be “safe,” and that is to barricade ourselves in a personal compound and refuse to interact with humanity, on any level. I’ve been doing that for the past 2 years, more or less. I’m in a mode of near-agoraphobia, and I’m trying to sort myself out so that I emerge from that deep, deep distrust of MYSELF in relation to interacting with other people. I am learning how to keep MYSELF safe, even in the presence of evil.

      Milo’s biological offspring is a doozy, to be sure. What a terrible war it was for Milo and her loved ones.

  6. Truthy, I agree with you, being inside a “fort” for protection is about like being in a JAIL….and we can build those walls. The flip side of that is that we ARE more vulnerable when we go outside of our self imposed “jail/fort”

    Unfortunately there are psychopaths and other toxic people inside of support groups or leading the support groups, my comment wasn’t’ to “dis” The all support groups because I have found comfort in some of them from time to time, but just to show an awareness that not EVERYONE in a group like that is benevolent and honest. In fact, in my experience there is a higher percentage of spaths in AA than in the general public, and about the normal or slightly higher number of people in the helping professions (including doctors and nurses etc) The worst part of this is that when we GO to a support group, we are at our most vulnerable, wounded condition and these people who are disordered there have a razor sharp eye to pick out the most wounded to “befriend”

    About Milo’s daughter, Milo had 4 biological sons, all good men, but her daughter was adopted and by her teenaged years was showing signs of personality disorder, so the DNA won out in her case, though Milo loved her as much as she would have if she had given birth to her, maybe moreso, but in any case Milo and her husband committed to the Grandson and did what it took to keep him safe from his mother. Fortunately, he is old enough and savy enough now that he doesn’t want anything to do with his mother, though he does want contact with his baby sister (about 5 now I think) Once on a visit, the little girl told Milo, “My mommy says you are a hateful witch and are mean to her” LOL I bet she does! LOL But Grandson is old enough now to know that his mother is disordered and to know what disordered is. He’s doing well in school, has his grandfather and his uncles fairly close by so he has plenty of support even with the traumatic loss of Milo.

    The “adoption syndrome” of a child adopted and raised in another family from their biological one has an interesting history. Psychologists have known for decades that adopted kids turn out poorly at a higher rate than biological children, even if those adopted kids are raised in a “good” home. It was ASSUMED that it was because the kids knew that their biological parents had “abandoned” them and therefore they were angry and that was what made them “act out” FINALLY science has realized that many of the children available for adoption come from biological parents who are disordered (or they wouldn’t have been up for adoption in the first place) and because more and more people are keeping their out of wed lock children, fewer children from a “good” background are available for adoption.

    These children have done nothing to “deserve” to be born from a disordered parent or two, but people adopting children should be aware of what they may be taking on and start therapy early in the child’s life. Dr. Leedom, who has a son by her psychopathic ex husband and has been working from the time the child was an infant to instill compassion, empathy etc. in case his father’s genes tend to push him toward psychopathy. I hope she succeeds.

    Parents who like doctor Leedom know that the other biological parent is disordered should pay special attention to any children born of the union. You know, yourself Truthy, about DNA overcoming the loving parent’s attempts, as your older son is high in P traits.

    Back in the 1950s in my small rural community where everyone knew every one else’s skeletons in the closet, those families with “insanity” in them (which in many cases was multi-generational ) were shunned by many, and I was told I could not date a nice young man because of the “insanity” in that family. Not because he was “bad” but because the community realized that there was something hereditary in the mental illnesses and my own family (who had more than its share of “mental illness” in the form of alcoholism and psychopathy) didn’t want me to marry into a family and possibly have a “mentally ill” child myself. FINALLY medicine has come to that conclusion as well that mental illness in many forms is indeed passed on in the DNA.

    In my own case, I married a man with a mental illness that was not apparent and he was the son of a psychopath, so my kids had two psychopathic grandparents AND many other psychopathic relatives and ancestors, so the “bad DNA” was in my family as well. If I had known then what I know now, I would never have had children. But that is 20/20 HINDSIGHT and so I can’t change what IS, only deal with it.

    I grew up thinking that my family was “fairly good” when in fact it was anything BUT good. I’m just grateful I didn’t turn out to be a psychopath myself. Life “ain’t fair” but it is what it is, so we must learn to protect ourselves from would be wolves, and whether it is in the church, AA or any other group of people, there will be those wolves there, hiding, waiting for a chance to attack the unwary, so like the rabbit grazing behind my barn, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open, listen to the environmental noises, and watch out for “cats”

    • OxD, I was very vaguely aware of Victor’s family dynamics by his own accounts. His father was a glorified WWII prisoner of war, and had all of this combat “bravery” to capitalize upon. His father, to my understanding and in complete hindsight, was no hero. Yeah, he might have assisted other POW’s in surviving, etc., but he was an abuser BEFORE he entered the military, had a horrible childhood, and used his prior military experiences as an excuse FOR his abusive behaviors.

      ***Note: my use of CAPS is for emphasis, only.***

      Now……..as a strict aside…….I fully recognize that combat veterans experience PTSD and that those symptoms can include domestic violence – I acknowledge that, and I understand that. But, Victor’s father was abusive before the outbreak of World War II. So………on with the whole point of that recollection!

      Victor’s father was abusive. Victor was abusive. Victor’s son, Mike, is an abuser. And, the only grace from this whole thing is that it is likely that the cycle ends with both of my sons, Mike and Bob. Mike cannot reproduce as per his use and abuse or anabolic steroids. Bob………well, I can’t see him ever being mature enough to even get married, much less willingly become a parent. So…….

      Indeed, if there is KNOWLEDGE of a long line of “insanity” or “bad” seeds, then communities will sort of weed out the gene pool. I imagine that this was strictly practiced when human beings lived in far smaller social groups and tribes.

      The issue now is that our population has increased SO rapidly that there aren’t any more small communities to govern the reproduction of bad seeds……..or, at least, try to. Now, there are very toxic people in every walk of life and in every venue. At work. In church or synagogue or other spiritual meeting places. In social groups. In groups with shared interests. No place is safe from predators, and the caveat for those in recovery is to ACCEPT that the very places that we once expected to provide us SAFETY, SECURITY, and SUPPORT can (and, often, ARE) the very places where the most depraved and toxic individuals gather. Particularly in groups where there is a clear leadership or hierarchy, those places are NOT ~~safe~~ for those of us recovery until we are well………..WELL……….on our personal paths of recovery and healing so that we are COMFORTABLE in spotting and moving away from toxic behaviors.

      Eugh………it’s not pleasant, but it’s what ~~IS.~~

  7. Truthy, I’m not sure the world was a safer place when the population was less than now…in our small community there were plenty of drunken wife abusers, even though everyone “knew” no one did anything….and most of those whose family had outright mental illness found partners and reproduced. You are right that the world is NOT a “safe” place though some places are safer than others (wars etc)

    I do NOT buy the belief that PTSD causes people to be violent that were NOT VIOLENT BEFORE the PTSD. In fact I think that psychopaths who experience war’s horrors are LESS EFFECTED than typical people who have empathy. How could they be upset at what they see if they lack or nearly lack any empathy? I tink they just use it as an EXCUSE for their bad behavior.

    But I did not become violent because I had PTSD I didn’t abuse others, I didn’t drink to excess because of it.

    My ex husband’s father was a WWII combat survivor and he was also a psychopath. He didn’t beat his family but he emotionally abused them and CONTROL was his big issue. His children both suffered severe mental illness but not abusers, just neurotic and unable to escape his emotional clutches.

    • OxD, I believe that you’re right about the “safety” factor, come to think of it. I guess, it’s a false WISH on my part that, somewhere in History, there was safety and security. But, in strong consideration of historical events, you’re 100% spot-on.

      I also agree that PTSD doesn’t necessarily CREATE abusive behaviors – it can exacerbate aggressive tendencies in people, but I think that my point was that Victor’s father claimed to be “shell-shocked” and was extremely abusive and claimed Victor (his only offspring) as his property, rather than a human being. Victor’s mother left her husband, taking Victor with her, and the abusive father would make all kinds of claims of how much money he had sent to the mother and that it was Victor’s money to spend as he wished. It was VERY sick, and VERY manipulative, and this was long before Family Courts began to dictate visitation guidelines, etc.

      Victor’s father used his “combat veteran” and POW Survivor as a means to an end – to get whatever he wanted from people. Mike, my eldest son, fabricated his status of “combat veteran” with the use of forged and fabricated military documentation that would support this claim. He goes on and on about his combat veteran status, but he cannot convey ANYTHING of detail about where he allegedly was, what he allegedly did, etc. The names and events are completely false, fabricated, and utter lies. And, since impersonating a decorated combat veteran (STOLEN VALOR) is no longer considered a legal crime, he’s rolling in it for everything it’s worth.

      People use whatever tools and situations that they can as a means to THEIR ends. Whether it’s a pitiable family history/story, or military service, or medical illness, toxic people use events, situations, and other people to THEIR advantage without a second thought of what they’re doing, whom they’re harming, or what the consequences might be. Since there are no longer any consequences for Stolen Valor, Mike is in hog-heaven. That’s it.

      Oy…….vey……….

      • Oh……..strict aside about Victor’s father surviving POW………many people who survived POW camps did so through extreme determination. But, in the situation that Victor’s father was in, he was allegedly held captive for 3 years at Bataan. Now, it was a fact that he was part of that march, and it was also a fact that he was a POW in that dreadful camp. But, the interesting thing about Victor’s father was that he actually had NO friends even into the 1980’s when he died – I never met the man, personally, and had only Victor’s words as reference.

        When I read Victor Frankl’s book, I was stunned to learn that the most vicious, ruthless, and brutal of all encounters in the concentration camps were with those of his own kind – fellow inmates who were high in P traits BEFORE being interred and, after arriving at the camps, demonstrated that they had NO compunction of not only manipulating and terrorizing fellow inmates, but actually picking and choosing which ones would be sent off to execution and medical procedures. The thought of this caused me some serious disturbance for a while – that there was literally NO empathy or compassion for their own ethnic brothers and sisters. So…….this leads me to believe that Victor’s father was likely one of “Those People” that were monitoring his fellow captives in order to save his own skin.

        That book, “Man’s Search For Meaning,” was a HUGE eye-opener………..oh, my….

        • Truthy,
          Actually that makes sense that the spath POWs would pick on their fellow prisoners in that way. The reason is that spaths do what they do to others so that it won’t happen to them. They feel that if someone else is paying the price, then they won’t have to. It’s part of the “competition” of winners and losers.

          A spath I knew once said, “the reason people stare at a car accident is because they feel that if it happened to someone else, it won’t happen to them.” But they don’t just wait for “accidents” to happen, they create their own “accidents” to ensure that they won’t be chosen.

  8. Well, I actually knew a survivor of the Baatan death march and he was a kind, caring man…I have known other survivors, and read and seen documentaries about Nazi survivors…many are BITTER and think the world owes them something because they suffered, others are kind, and some turned their faces to the wall and died. I have always been fascinated by stories of Nazi type torture and genocide.

    A man who rose high in the world (he was one of Prince William’s God Fathers and was Knighted) wrote 30+ books, and I know his daughter and some of his friends. this man was WITHOUT A DOUBT a psychopath on the outside world…inpregnating a 15 year old ward, deserting his wife and kids, but there is also NO DOUBT that he was SELFLESS and BRAVE in the prison camp, frequently taking punishments for other prisoners, his daughter is very conflicted to this day though her dad has been dead for several decades now. Because of my own problems with my bio father I was asked by a mutual friend to counsel her. I also knew one of his biographers, an earlier biographer was very much telling the truth, but the family hired another biographer to “clean up the stories” of his books which were lies and his life which was one BIG LIE…

    It is strange how psychopaths behave sometimes, I think his “heroism” in the prison camp was because he always saw himself as a HERO and did whatever it took to APPEAR a “hero” to others, I think his 30+ books (all of which I have read) which portray him as heroic were more important to him than anything that was REAL in life.My bio father also wanted to appear “heroic” and “special” but didn’t go about it with as much “class” as this man did so though some people who didn’t know him might have thought my bio father heroic, those that knew him KNEW THE TRUTH, not his lies about his life.

    But basicly I go with Dr. Frankl’s THREE ways of handling the prisoner/captive state is to turn your face to the wall and die, fight to stay sane and alive, and become bitter and abusive because you “have suffered” and deserve special treatment.

    We all want to THINK that we would be strong and not selfish under those circumstances but I do also realize that great pain, fear, terror and so on can make people do things who wouldn’t have done them otherwise…at the time they are filled with terror, but years afterward, using PTSD for an excuse of hurting others is I think a FAKE all the way round.

    • OxD………….Frankl opened my eyes about psychopathology in social situations that involved extreme trauma, threat, and duress, and I kind of “knew” that certain people did certain things in those environments, but the fact that people were so comfortable in harming those of their own kind really solidified the whole structure of psychopathology and the ***social*** dynamics that are involved.

      I just had a conversation with someone where they kept trying to explain a loved one’s abusive treatment of others, and this person kept trying to say, “So……..if SHE was abused, then she couldn’t help it?” She wasn’t hearing a word that I was saying until I finally told her to stop talking, and just fuqing LISTEN.

      JUST BECAUSE a person is raised in a dysfunction of family violence, abuse, or addiction DOES NOT FOLLOW that they, themselves, will become abusers. Is it more likely? Yes, it is. Is it inevitable? No, it is not. There are 2 outcomes of dysfunction on that level: a> perfect abuser, or b> perfect victim. Nobody exits such extreme trauma understanding what the parameters of “normal” interactions, behaviors, and responses are. They don’t. They can’t. They have NO frame of reference that they can compare it to.

      With the case of POW survivors, I thoroughly agree that a POW survivor isn’t sentenced to be an abuser after their experiences. It is those who were already disordered BEFORE the experiences who emerge as more adept abusers.

      It’s just like the example that I provided about the ex-brother-in-law’s brush with Death. A “normal” person……..empathetic, compassionate, remorseful, and in possession of a conscience would have seen their survival as an opportunity to improve their lives, and the lives of others. A disordered and abusive person sees only that he/she cheated Death, itself, and is now impervious to ANY consequences as a result of any choices, decisions, or behaviors. They become EMBOLDENED to perpetrate even more extreme forms of abuse.

      I studied sociology in college, and I recommend Dr. Frankl’s book to EVERYONE with the caveat that it is NOT for those who are just emerging from a trauma and are not well on their individual paths of recovery. The imagery and descriptions are extremely triggering, and not meant for those who are in the throes of denial or deep cognitive dissonance.

  9. Truthy, the main thing that Frankl made me see first off was 1) yes, I had been through trauma that was awful and painful to ME 2) there are worse traumas in this world and 3) even though my injury was not the worst in the world, it was still LEGITIMATE for me to feel traumatised. It also showed the three ways that we can handle things 1) turn our faces to the wall and die 2) become bitter and hateful ourselves or 3) find meaning in it all and grow. That book read in the depths of my pain showed me there was a way to recover and find meaning, I just had to search for it.

    Years 45 years ago I worked in calilfornia with some people who had the tats on their arms from the prison camps. I didn’t know them well or discuss their past with them but I NOTICED the tats and someone told me what they were and I became interested in what they went through. Frankl’s book gave MEANING to the experiences I read about, what was happening INSIDE these people not just the horror that they experienced physically.

    Frankl’s book also showed me that even though my “horror” didn’t compare with theirs in the scope of things, it was NONE THE LESS LEGITIMATE TRAUMA and I was “entitled” to feel injured.

    I think the correlation between children who are abused by their parents and them growing up to BE abusers may be more in the DNA than in the abuse itself as children of abusers who are adopted at BIRTH and placed into NON abusive homes tend to be more disordered than children who are NOT from abusive parents. So I think there is plenty of evidence that DNA has a big part to play in people being disordered and/or abusers.

    Sociology “believes” that if you label a kid “bad” he will be bad and so no matter what he does if you don’t “label” him “bad” he will reform on his own and become socialized to society. I had a sociology class in college that the teacher told us that if 6 kids were shoplifting and 3 were caught, and arrested and 3 were not caught that the three that were not caught would quit shop lifting and the 3 who were caught would become criminals and continue to shop lift. So the teacher’s “answer” to crime was “don’t call it crime and don’t label them criminals” LOL

    • OxD, you outlined the lessons from Frankl’s work far better than I can……but, it all makes sense when I’m calm enough to separate the emotions (feelings) from the event(s) or facts. Trauma is trauma.

      Survival is survival, as well – I totally agree with the three responses to immediate threat and post-traumatic survival. This is why I attended the hearing, the other day – if I did not get myself there, face down the event, and go through with it (regardless of the outcome, etc.), I would NEVER leave my house for any reason, again. I “knew” this, in my head. Of course, I was a complete mess, but that’s not important. What was significant about it was getting there, and getting through it. So, going to the grocery store or some other public situation might be more manageable, next time.

      I think that anyone who is able to feel “guilt” can alter their behaviors. Guilt is WAY different than “shame,” and there are some things that I still feel guilty for having done or participated in. But, that’s something that I’m dealing with. The DNA factor is very, very important in this current discussion because we cannot – CAN NOT – force a leopard to grown zebra stripes. Well, we can in a genetic laboratory, perhaps, but even genetic tampering/engineering is FULL of terrible consequences. So……….yeah……….

      Good discussion!

      • Truthy, you are right, a person who feels GUILT has a conscience and having done wrong, the conscience nags them to change their behavior in the future. Shame is defined as the feeling we have when others know about our guilt. (We would like to keep our guilt hidden if we can, that’s a normal response) We can feel guilt without having to let the world know we did wrong, but if our wrong harmed someone else, then I think we are bound ethically to let the person know we did wrong, that we hurt them, and how and make amends if we can do so without causing more pain.

        I could name 100+ things I have done wrong, things I knew were bad at the time I did them, but I did them anyway. I feel immense guilt about these things whether they hurt anyone else or not. But, I have also worked on FORGIVING MYSELF for these things. I can’t UNdo them, but I can never repeat them.

        Part of my problems in dealing with disordered people and giving them second and third and N-th numbers of chances is that I know that I have done WRONG and feel guilty about it, so I kept hoping that others would too. Because I was not “perfect” and “guilt free” I couldn’t expect others to be “perfect” so even if they did really bad things to me repeatedly I kept on ignoring it. NO MORE

        I do not hold myself to the standard of “I’m only okay if I’m perfect” any longer and I have forgiven myself for the acts I did knowingly and unknowingly.

        The anxiety you experienced over the court hearing on your disability was because you, like me with Patrick’s parole hearing, let the outcome which was SO important to your welfare drive you into a UBER ANXIETY STATE….I did the same thing, Truthy, so I know how easy it is to let this happen. But we both did the best we could in getting the result and getting through it. But hopefully we have both LEARNED from allowing ourselves to become OVER ANXIOUS to the point it about shut us down.

        The key, I think, is to RECOGNIZE when you are climbing on the anxiety scale….and to nip it in the bud with meditation, self affirmations, professional help and looking at the situation in a LOGICAL WAY not emotionally. I know that is difficult, but it can be done.

        Glad you got through the hearing.

        • OxD, for me, personally, the most interesting aspect of this whole process of recovery and healing is coming to the factual conclusion that I’m simply a human being. I’m not a super hero, I’m not evil, I’m not excellent, I’m just me. I am enough. Where I am is enough. Neither of those assertions have ever been in my vocabulary, and it’s completely foreign to me to experience it.

          I’ve also come to notice that survivors of childhood trauma/dysfunction have a generally similar view of the world, and of themselves. The victims have never felt that they were “good enough.” Nothing that they did was “good enough,” no matter how hard they tried to make it so. Following that, flawed and false perception is the catastrophic thinking. It’s unavoidable. And, it’s so very, very powerful. Everything is a death sentence, and everything is just one more slap in my face, or kick in my teeth. This is how my thinking has been throughout my entire life. The “ups” were UBER in that I felt as if I was on top of the world, and could handle anything that came. I was high on feeling high. But, the higher one goes, the further they fall, and when the bottom eventually dropped out, it wasn’t just some unpaid bill or fender-bender. It was the end of the world and I went down DEEP into despair.

          I’m beginning to learn about logic and practical thinking. Those things have always been rather elusive and……..to be quite honest, nonexistent. The “rewiring” process isn’t easy. It isn’t simple. It isn’t painless, and it sure isn’t fast. I’ve spent over half a century believing things that were false, and never seeing anything that was factual. So, it’s going to take some time to sort out. 😉

          In the meantime, it was a huge accomplishment for me to get TO the hearing site, enter that building, sit through the process, and exit the event without bursting into spontaneous combustion! I’m proud of myself for having done that, and the outcome or decision will never be as vital as that one accomplishment where my recovery and healing are concerned.

          😀

  10. Congratulations on accomplishing that event. John Wayne is said to have said “Bravery is not being afraid, it is saddling up when you are scared shiatless and riding out anyway” and I agree with that. Being AFRAID is OK…but we must still “saddle up’ and do what has to be done. YOU DID THAT! So TOWANDA to you!

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