Tag Archives: abuse

A Look At The Abscence of Ego In The SchizoAffective Mind

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A Look At The Abscence of Ego In The SchizoAffective Mind

There is a point at which one becomes aware of deeper truths present in what one perceives as reality, and although scientific-management and the other social experiments exacted upon the world by those who seek to create come kind of rational human being, a superman from the nascent gene pool of human nature, attempted to insert in SchizoAffectives (although at birth it could not have been known that these particular individuals—true individuals and not the rugged individuals of whom Watts speaks—would resist this insertion by becoming SchizoAffective [or Autistic or even Schizophrenic]) this rational thinking process, the mechanism of the system, the SchizoAffective resisted, with his very life.

childhood-schizophrenia-symptomsWhen a human being is born, he has no inherent thinking process; he has only sensation and awareness of those sensations. He lives only in the Now, he has no extrinsic concept of time, he has no ability of mind to predict behavior. At infancy, the human being is at his most mindful: all mind and no thought. All awareness and the glimmers of consciousness from his first intake of oxygen (and perhaps before). Through systematized familial relationships (whether that familial relationship be biological or institutional or on the street is irrelevant, for the etymological origins of the term family stem from the word “familiar”. Family is that which one is most familiar. That which one encounters and engages every day) a process of thought begins to supplant or replace that natural mindfulness and awareness. In Western Culture, rather than raise the levels of consciousness begins to break them down, to disintegrate them. Not necessarily out of meanness or malice or even evil, but out of efficiency and necessity.

*aLiCe iN WoNdErLaNd-SynDroMe*To disintegrate the consciousness and narrow the awareness makes for easier rearing of a child in an already systematized culture and society. Thus begins the Social Game. Without knowing the effects of such play, the familial institutions begin to prepare the infant for a childhood of systemized living: schooling, social interactions (rather than friendships), social communication (the forming of consciousness and awareness and sensations into rational, logical, linear thought, and thought into rational, linear, logical language). A schizophrenic meanders in speech, seemingly illogical, lacking linear capacity, therefore difficult to follow or comprehend. One thing does not naturally lead to another. It takes a path untrodden through the wooded fabric of his still intact mindfulness, awareness, and consciousness. Like grasping Alice’s hand and wandering thought Wonderland for a spell, visiting bits and pieces of nonsense. Like looking at the first layer of a highly iterated fractal. The SchizoAffective mind works (not processes) like layers of fractal chaos. It tessellates. Only making any kind of sense when the full pattern of the fractal can be seen from a higher level of magnification. As such, systematized society and its rules are traumatic to the schizoid mind.

Samsara + NirvanaThe schizoid mind is not fragmented by years of systematic abuse (that is AB-use, used badly or wrongfully) despite his speech appearing so to systematized society. His depth of emotion remains wide along the spectrum, not divided into sad/happiness, anger/contentment, crying/laughter. It retains its seemingly inexplicable nonduality and laterality: Cry-laughing-anger-smiling-sorrow-contentment-pensivity-stillness, etc. In effect, a chaos of emotion and mental associations that is like a quantum code. Every iterant absorbs the previous and results in a new iteration, which then absorbs, and so forth. Iterations can be understood to mean manners of speech, sentence structure, sensation, awareness, of environment, empathy of others’ emotions, words and meanings of others in their environment, and so on. Although, not an algorithm naturally, the mind of a SchizoAffective (and schizophrenic) behaves like one, more like IBM’s Watson, or higher level AI. The schizoid mind learns in this manner as well. Thus, he is a difficult addition to the social consciousness. He does not fit. He becomes the discordant (and contrariwise, society appears discordant to the schizoid mind; the affect to the schizo of SchizoAffective). Quite plainly, the social game can and does drive the schizoid mind into madness; hence his defense mechanism of dissociation, or isolation, or hallucination, or paranoia, or delusions.

Schizophrenia bisThe schizoid mind experiences intrinsically the external world like a person on LSD. His experience is psychedelic always, his awareness is synesthetic, his empathy almost like telepathy. What then of the socially constructed ego? Why is the schizo without one? Even if he were born with an ego, he would discard it out of preservation for his consciousness. The ego does not fit into the schizoid mind’s psychedelic experience and perception of the world about him. He MUST rid his mind of the ego; else, he shall not survive the continual and constant onslaught of the social order. In other words, the riddance and absence of the ego is a self-defense mechanism in the schizo.

 

Daydreamer*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“*aLiCe iN WoNdErLaNd-SynDroMe*” by caroline barberis
“treatment-of-schizophrenia-01” by Life Mental Health
“childhood-schizophrenia-symptoms” by Life Mental Health
“Schizophrenia bis” by Gwendal Uguen
“Daydreamer” by H.Kopp Delaney
“Samsara + Nirvana” by H.Kopp Delaney

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Abuse lurking in the shadows

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It`s Sunday again, and I hope that people have slept well, and are ready for a new day. We will share different posts today, and will start with a well-written piece about trauma in different families. It will look on how trauma often continues in the next generations, and explain why. It is important to underline: Trauma can always be stopped, it is just important to realize that we can`t close our eyes, we must stare abuse in the eye and show that we won`t let it continue its hunt.


For people who have experienced trauma, this post might be triggering, so if you are in a bad place right now, feel free to read it at another time. For others: What shall we do to end trauma? I think one way is to show how common it is, so that people will be motivated to help. Every little thing we do, matter.

Nina, clinical psychologist

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Healing generational pain and trauma (that special stuff we get from our families)

mitochondrialeveI’m sharing a favorite passage from Adyashanti’s book Falling into Grace again. I think understanding this deeply at some point is key to the process of healing.

What he shares makes it clear why it makes no sense to blame parents for the ills of their children. It’s also why in becoming conscious, families can help heal one another. If the family does not become conscious, the individual still can.

We can really extend this idea to the whole human race (human family) and how we harm one another. And through understanding we can begin to heal not only ourselves but one another.

A passage from page 45 – 49 of Falling into Grace:

Now I want to introduce a different type of suffering, one that can be particularly difficult to unravel. Over my years of teaching, I’ve noticed that there’s a particular type of suffering that is sticky, pervasive, and often very hard to find your way out of. I’ve come to call this “generational suffering.” The notion of generational suffering is based on the fact that each of us comes from a generational line, which goes as far back in time as we can imagine, back even to the original human beings, our original ancestors themselves. We’re actually the outcome of a long chain of many, many generations. Each of our family systems is imbued with a tremendous amount of beauty and goodness, and also carried within these systems, as we all know, is what we might call “generational pain,” or “generational suffering.” This is an actual energy that is unconsciously passed down from one generation to the next.

If you look closely at a particular family system, you’ll see the pain that tends to be passed down through a family lineage. For example, parents who have a particular tendency to suffer with anger or depression tend to produce children who suffer from the same afflictions, and then these children produce children who suffer with the same, and so on. Generational suffering is very insidious. It becomes deeper and deeper ingrained in a family as time wears on, and it forms the core of much of the suffering that people experience.

One of the interesting things to note about generational suffering is that it’s not personal. In other words, it’s more like a virus that infects the people within a family. It’s a way of suffering that infects a family and then gets passed on, almost like the flu or a cold, through future generations. When you’re born, without even knowing it, you’re actually being handed this generational pain. In response, you will complain about it, think it’s terrible, or otherwise resist it. But by doing so, you will come to see that denial or complaints about this pain only makes it sink more deeply into your being.

When you start to identify how this generational suffering operates in your life, when you see how your particular way of suffering is similar to the way others in your family suffer, it can open your heart and mind. From this wider perspective, you can actually start to let go of blame and see that those who passed down suffering to you through this generational chain were themselves experiencing the pain and quite unconscious of what was happening. This pain just came to them, and they manifested it in whatever way they did, and then they unknowingly passed it down to the next generation…

…Eventually, this energy comes to you, and you become the forefront of this generational pain. It’s easy to get resentful and blame this pain on someone else, but when you really see the nature of it, you see that it’s not personal, even though the implications for you feel very personal, and maybe the way it was acted out was also very personal. But the pain itself, the suffering itself, is really not you. It was handed down unconsciously from one person to the next, from one generation to the next. Of course the way it gets handed down is often extraordinarily painful, sometimes violent, because it seems that you are the target of this suffering as it manifests in you and in the family members around you. But if you can avoid getting completely lost in the anger or the resentment – even though, from a relative perspective, it’s understandable – if you can withhold your judgment for just a moment, you will start to see that the pain that you feel was in large part suffering from others in your family-and it does not have to be your own.

When you feel and can identify this deep pain within you, see that blaming others in your family is not the solution. When you feel the urge to blame, keep in mind that your generational line has lived with the same pain, too. It is highly likely that they never even imagined that it was generational. They probably took it very personally, and therefore their only option was to act it out. When you start to see this in terms of a long chain of suffering handed down from generation to generation, and you realize that you’re the one, here and now, who can become conscious of how this works, then you have the opportunity to put an end to it.

If you’d like to read the ways Adyashanti talks about resolving generational pain you might enjoy his book Falling into Grace

More posts  on Beyond Meds that feature Adyashanti:

  A conversation about suicide

  The Cause of Suffering

●  Meditative Self-Inquiry: What is our true nature?

●  Looking at things honestly, sincerely and truthfully may not be an easy thing to do

●  Wake up! On awakening

●  Everyone says they want to discover the truth…

Other books by Adyashanti:

● The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

● Emptiness Dancing

● True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Freezing trauma

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Unfortunately, not everyone are born with the same chances to thrive and grow like others. In fact, Norway is one of the lucky countries, and I have discovered time and time again, that being brought up here, is really like winning the lottery. But: Don`t let that fool you; Mental health is a huge problem here, as in many countries. Many live with severe problems and have not had the scaffolding they needed when they grew up.

I will continue this post with sharing more information about a topic I am very concerned about, since I work with it daily. The subject is trauma and dissociation, and I have chosen to reblog a post from a woman who must fight every day, against every type of challenge in the world. Please know that this entry might be triggering for others who have experienced trauma, and keep from reading it if you are at a bad place right now. Thank you for your respect.

Nina, clinical psychologist

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Fight, Flight or Freeze?

Don’t know about you, but we/I are firmly in the freeze camp.

Always have been.

A few years ago, I had some sort of assessment done by a Psychiatrist who drew up a diagram showing the window of tolerance see here for more info.

She said that in her opinion, I was functioning in a state of hypoarousal.
Which means I’m at the bottom end of the chart. When I was officially given the D.I.D diagnosis, H said the same.

Some traumatised people are in a permanent state of hyper-arousal which is where the fight /flight response comes in. An example being that when in a situation that is perceived as threatening, a person may display extreme rage and aggression. However, when a person reacts with hypoarousal, they become quieter, may appear depressed, and withdraw. ( see here for further information.. ).

The freeze response is where I am.
It is a pretty regular thing for me to ‘find myself’ unable to move sitting curled up behind my bathroom door.
shut down when in a situation that feels threatening (note, just because it feelsthreatening doesn’t mean it actually is). ‘Playing dead’ was what I did during traumatic experiences, and what I continue to do. Fighting and fleeing were not options. Theyshould be now though, I think.

While I recognise the reasoning for the freeze response, I also see that it causes huge problems in my day to day life.
I am not alone with this way of responding. It seems that it is the response of most of the rest of me, if not all.

Am beginning to accept that during time loss especially those times where I have evidence of having been out (where?) and being with (abusive?) people, that freeze response may have heightened risk rather than lowered it.

Now, I think (?) we need to learn how to fight and how to flee when in genuinely threatening situations. We also need to learn how to tolerate things that feel threatening but are not. Am not sure if that is possible since it seems from what I’ve read that those responses are learned during very early childhood.

Really hope this makes sense.
Thank you for reading.

sources http://www.kimberlyschmidtbevans.com/1/post/2013/06/the-window-of-tolerance-edges-of-growth.html

http://www.voice-dialogue-inner-self-awareness.com/dtd.html

Abuse in the news

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Sexual abuse, assault, violence

2013-03-13 Clergy sex abuse settlements top $2.5 billion nationwide – There have been nearly 17,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse since 1950 and legal settlements for their suffering continue to climb. [sexual abuse, religion]
2013-03-12 Overturned Sexual Assault Case Spurs Bill to Limit Commanders’ Tribunal Powers – “A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would remove the power of military commanders to unilaterally overturn or lessen the decisions of judges or juries at courts martial under their review. The proposed legislation came as a direct response to the outrage of victim advocates and some lawmakers to the recent case of an Air Force lieutenant colonel granted clemency after a sexual assault conviction.” “According to statistics compiled by the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, 2,420 servicewomen reported they had been victims of sexual assault in 2011. The military estimates that number to represent a mere 13 percent of total abuse.” [military, sexual assault, women]
2013-03-11 Unholy Alliance (NY Times Editorial) – “Gender-based violence is an epidemic. A World Bank report estimated that more women between the ages of 15 and 44 were at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria combined. According to the United Nations and other sources, more than 600 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime…” Yet, halfway into their two-week annual meeting, delegates to the UN Commission on the Status of Women fear they will not be able to agree on a final communiqué, just like last year. Conservative factions from the Vatican, Iran, and Russia are leading efforts to derail the effort yet again. [women, United Nations, domestic violence, sexual assault]
2013-03-06 Two of three women in Colorado prisons diagnosed with psychological disorders – “The number of Colorado female prisoners diagnosed with psychological disorders has risen sharply to more than twice the level of male prisoners. The women are almost without exception victims of severe sexual and physical abuse, experts say. They cycle through jail and prison, often because they don’t get adequate treatment or community support. ‘The trauma histories are extreme,’ said Theresa Stone, chief of mental health at Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. ‘It’s hard to hear what these women have been through.'” [women, incarceration, sexual assault, domestic assault, trauma, treatment access]

2012-12-03 Fighting Back Against Sexual Assault In The Military – Transcript of 30 minute interview. “An investigation into a dozen instructors at Lackland Air Force Base suggests systematic sexual abuse of trainees. Critics say this case is emblematic of a larger problem. The Department of Defense estimates that as many as 19,000 sexual assaults occurred within the military in 2011.” [sexual assault, military, women]

Female veterans

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Honor Betrayed

This is the second in a two-part series.

Part I: Attacked at 19 by an Air Force Trainer, and Speaking Out

Trauma Sets Female Veterans Adrift Back Home
Returning servicewomen are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, an often-invisible group bouncing between friends’ sofas and shelters.

OVERCOMING PAIN Tiffany Jackson, pictured in her uniform, was raped, which set her on a trajectory of drugs and homelessness. More Photos »

Two years later, she had descended into anger and alcohol and left her job. She started hanging out with people who were using cocaine and became an addict herself, huddling against the wind on Skid Row here.

“You feel helpless to stop it,” she said of the cascade of events in which she went from having her own apartment to sleeping in seedy hotels and then, for a year, in the streets, where she joined the growing ranks of homeless female veterans.

Even as the Pentagon lifts the ban on women in combat roles, returning servicewomen are facing a battlefield of a different kind: they are now the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, an often-invisible group bouncing between sofa and air mattress, overnighting in public storage lockers, living in cars and learning to park inconspicuously on the outskirts of shopping centers to avoid the violence of the streets.

While male returnees become homeless largely because of substance abuse and mental illness, experts say that female veterans face those problems and more, including the search for family housing and an even harder time finding well-paying jobs. But a common pathway to homelessness for women, researchers and psychologists said, is military sexual trauma, or M.S.T., from assaults or harassment during their service, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sexual trauma set Ms. Jackson on her path. At first she thought she could put “the incident” behind her: that cool August evening outside Suwon Air Base in South Korea when, she said, a serviceman grabbed her by the throat in the ladies’ room of a bar and savagely raped her on the urine-soaked floor. But during the seven years she drifted in and out of homelessness, she found she could not forget.

Of 141,000 veterans nationwide who spent at least one night in a shelter in 2011, nearly 10 percent were women, according to the latest figures available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, up from 7.5 percent in 2009. In part it is a reflection of the changing nature of the American military, where women now constitute 14 percent of active-duty forces and 18 percent of the Army National Guard and the Reserves.

But female veterans also face a complex “web of vulnerability,” said Dr. Donna L. Washington, a professor of medicine at U.C.L.A. and a physician at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs medical center, who has studied the ways the women become homeless, including poverty and military sexual trauma.

Female veterans are far more likely to be single parents than men. Yet more than 60 percent of transitional housing programs receiving grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs did not accept children, or restricted their age and number, according to a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office.

The lack of jobs for female veterans also contributes to homelessness. Jennifer Cortez, 26, who excelled as an Army sergeant, training and mentoring other soldiers, has had difficulty finding work since leaving active duty in 2011. She wakes up on an air mattress on her mother’s living room floor, beneath the 12 medals she garnered in eight years, including two tours in Iraq. Job listings at minimum wage leave her feeling bewildered. “You think, wow, really?” she said. “I served my country. So sweeping the floor is kind of hard.”

Not wanting to burden her family, she has lived briefly in her car, the only personal space she has.

Some homeless veterans marshal boot-camp survival skills, like Nancy Mitchell, of Missouri, 53, an Army veteran who spent years, off and on, living in a tent.

“That’s how we done it in basic,” she said.

Double Betrayal of Assault

Of more than two dozen female veterans interviewed by The New York Times,  16 said that they had been sexually assaulted in the service, and another said that she had been stalked. A study by Dr. Washington and colleagues found that 53 percent of homeless female veterans had experienced military sexual trauma, and that many women entered the military to escape family conflict and abuse.

For those hoping to better their lives, being sexually assaulted while serving their country is “a double betrayal of trust,” said Lori S. Katz, director of the Women’s Health Clinic at the V.A. Long Beach Healthcare System and co-founder of Renew, an innovative treatment program for female veterans with M.S.T. Reverberations from such experiences often set off a downward spiral for women into alcohol and substance abuse, depression and domestic violence, she added.

“It just pulls the skin off you,” said Patricia Goodman-Allen, a therapist in North Carolina and former Army Reserve officer who said she once retreated to a mobile home deep in the woods after such an assault.

Ms. Jackson won full disability compensation for post-traumatic stress as a disabling aftermath of her sexual trauma, although she was at first denied military benefits.

http://nyti.ms/129KtSa

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/us/female-veterans-face-limbo-in-lives-on-the-street.html?smid=pl-share

Why don`t they just LEAVE?

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If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably been watching the explosion that has engulfed  Anthony Weiner, New York City mayoral candidate and ongoing political comedy sketch. Aside from the fact that his name is almost too perfect considering his scandal, you may have noticed something else about Anthony Weiner: his wife, Huma Abedin, has stuck around through this mess. And she’s been getting a lot of flack for it.

YesEven Hillary Clinton seems to think that Huma Abedin should leave. Which is a little ironic, considering she stayed with Bill. Obviously Bill and Hillary had more history when their scandal broke, and they were in different situations, but the real question is this: does Hillary Clinton have a right to make a public statement about what another woman should do in her marriage? In fact, do ANY of us have a right to judge another person’s marriage or relationship?

Probably not.

 

There are so many beautiful women (Kasandra Perkins, Reeva Steenkamp, Nicole Brown Simpson, Rihanna) who’ve lived and died this story. Heather Cassel was a 20 year-old woman from Spokane who died this week.  Heather’s not a model or a superstar, but someone’s mother, daughter and friend, and of as equal value as any of us.

It’s one thing to support someone trying to leave a bad situation. Or to say that YOU would leave in that situation. It’s one thing to say that abuse is unacceptable, etc. But those aren’t actually the kinds of statements we’ve been hearinganxious

We see this all the time. When Rihanna and Chris Brown went through that nasty split years back, people were outraged…that she didn’t leave when it first got bad. Survivors of domestic abuse are actually blamed all the time. ”Why didn’t you leave?” Women who stay with husbands who cheat are criticized for staying. Society has its own particular ideas about monogamy and relationships and morality and projects them as blanket judgments on situations that require more than simply one-size-fits-all determinations. Life is not always black and white. We exist in a world marked by shades of gray, and when the media, when fellow women and fellow members of society, start to project those black and white determinations onto those gray areas, they end up condemning women for making choices that may have seemed like the only options, or who may have made the choices that they deemed best for them. In fact, language and phrasing have much to say when it comes to keeping women down. In fact: The word “woman” is believed to have derived from the Middle English term wyfman, broken down simply as the wife (wyf) of man. In Old English, women were described simply as wyf, while the term man was used to describe a human person, regardless of gender.c It`s funny how easy it is for us to judge the person who didn`t leave, but why don`t we focus more on the person who abused? By saying that she should have left we are also saying indirectly that she should be blamed. What if we would focus the same way on other tragedies? For example: Who would say: “The stupid Cambodians, why did they go like sheep to the slaughters” when two- thirds of the population was killed. We look at how we can prevent this from happening again, and at the abusers. We don`t blame the people who have been manipulated. 



http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4NWOpP/:8O8IRjz:aPObg-_M/facts.randomhistory.com/2009/04/30_women.html/

previously pointed out

http://pinterest.com/houriganm/victimology/

Our Campaigns - Sexual Assault Voices of EdmontonPatrick Stewart: Men need to help end abuse

The actor speaks out on rape, telling men to prevent domestic violence

Verbal Abuse Journals

http://wagstalk.wordpress.com/

 

How to spot disorder: Is your ego being inflated?

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How To Spot Disorder: Is Your Ego Being Inflated? Run.

16AUG201310 Comments

by theabilitytolove in Uncategorized Tags: ,

     I pontificate a lot about a ‘genuine’ recovery. I’ve gone into what that means. So I’m going into this a little more because I experienced an attempt by a disordered one trying to infiltrate with their little tentacles out, ready to claw into my soul. NOPE. Not going there.

The reason that a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist is able to get into your life and down your pants so fast to seal the deal is ego inflation. Who doesn’t like to be told that they’re wonderful, right?
imageI think we make ‘nice’ of the reasons our disordered ones were allowed into our lives and I see this when page admins ‘lure’ survivors, when describing what happened: “He exploited all of your GOOD qualities! Bastard! He saw all the GOOD in you and that’s why you were targeted! Yes, he took all of those GOOD things about you, your POOR THING and exploited them for his OWN benefit!” I’m exaggerating this of course, but it’s irritating when I see it. It’s also questionable because it doesn’t feel honest to me.

Recovery is the greatest opportunity you will ever have in getting to know yourself, warts and all.

Well, what they say is only half true. He took your ‘good’ qualities and elevated it to rock star status. Healthy people do not need this kind of ego stroking and healthy people do not need to ego stroke in this way either.

imageAny abuser, whether it’s a disordered one or not, knows that you’re probably not going to date him if he’s throwing you up against walls and down stairs, or twisting your arm, or devaluing you and calling you names, right?

That’s only logical, but with a disordered one, they study you, they do it through Google searches, your face book page, and they will even create fake profiles and message your friends, claiming to be an old friend of the past and that they want to surprise you but need a little more info, and of course, friends willingly do this without exercising any caution on your behalf with privacy. They are really good at getting information on you, your friends and out of you, with all of that ego boosting, you fill in all the blanks.

So he takes all of this and gets out his ego inflating machine and turns on the air attached to your ego…pump, pump. pump. . . and soon enough, there is enough air in that ego that you’re literally swooning. This is how the disordered creates the mirroring that you’re experiencing, that intense high. It is unrealistic and it is dangerous because NO ONE is that special.

But this is also something that you need to be mindful of in recovery. It’s been really interesting talking to women who are emotionally healthy in ego. What I’ve found consistently with all of them, is that not only do they have a healthy self esteem (ego) but they are also highly aware of their darker sides, their vulnerabilities, so when they’ve experienced targeting in their dating lives, they are able to see the disordered one readily because the over the top flattery and ego inflation looks completely ridiculous to them. They recognize it for what it is,extreme manipulation through ego boosting. It is incredibly distorted and that’s because IT IS.

imageSurvivors can become very defensive about this and it’s frustrating to me when working with them too. I give clear examples of what it means to look at yourself completely, with a great deal of humility and transparency in recovery. It is UNPLEASANT, but ironically, looking at the behaviors, attitudes, poor self esteem, low/no boundaries, mistakes, choices, SETS YOU FREE TO EMBRACE YOUR HUMANITY, and this will be the very thing that will protect you against  targeting from anyone in the future. It keeps your feet on the ground and centered securely in reality, because the psychopath’s love bombing is anything but that, it is fantasy.

The individual love bombing me, was of course, appealing to my ‘great writing’! It’s always nice to be appreciated for the work I do. Sometimes I feel down because it doesn’t feel appreciated so much, but that’s an area of LOW self esteem and not valuing myself.

We all have a human desire to be appreciated for our gifts and who we are. This IS natural and it’s perfectly okay too. I let my friends know often, that they are special to me, and that their friendships or  personal gifts mean a lot to me. A compliment or appreciation given when taken in context and combining the WHOLE person, someone you know well, can really make someone’s day brighter, especially if they’re having a rough time. This is the good stuff.

But when someone is ego inflating me, putting me into ‘rock star’ status with my writing, and continuing on with what a great person I am,  I know I’m being fed bullshit. There are times when I’m asked questions, where the questions in and of themselves are an attempt to inflate my ego with my knowledge about the disorders. At other times, I’m offered other ‘gifts’ that are clearly an attempt to exploit.

I know that my writing is ‘okay’, but I’m no Ernest Hemingway, or Claudia Moscovici! I’m realistic about it, with a level of humility when it comes to my work, where I strive for balance and this helps me to recognize ‘rock star’ status immediately and to ignore it.

At the same time, there are survivors who write to me and tell me that the blog has literally saved their lives with the information they’ve read here. I don’t see that as ‘love bombing’. When someone is grateful to you for your giving to others,it is not the same as the disordered one holding the ego inflater pump. As with everything else when discussing pathological people, it is in the EXTREME. There is a balance. Again, compliments are really nice, but flattery is a major red flag.

I think this part of recovery in acknowledging that the psychopath was allowed into our lives is hard, not because we felt good about ourselves or that our good qualities were exploited, but because we didn’t feel good about ourselves, we didn’t have healthy boundaries and we weren’t aware of our darker sides or vulnerabilities. I know this stuff is incredibly difficult to come to terms with because it already feels like such an injustice with all the pain we are feeling and with what the psychopath appeared to have ‘gotten away with’. It’s hard to admit that in reality, we were duped.

I’m not responsible for any of my psychopaths abuse. But I am responsible now for working on myself genuinely and deeply, so that this never, ever happens to me again and I know how to respond when I’m targeted.

The most dangerous phase of any relationship with a psychopath is the love bombing stage. It is the stage filled with the most deceit, the most ego inflation. This stage is critical to any disordered one approaching you, and the idea is to completely destroy you. Your future destruction by a disordered one is not going to happen without your willing participation. And THAT is not going to happen unless the psychopath can successfully exploit your low self esteem, boundaries and vulnerabilities and the tendency to FANTASY through ego inflation.

Change in recovery, includes rebuilding from a foundation of authenticity about ourselves. Positive and negative behaviors. Building self esteem, boundaries and most especially self awareness of yourself and your humanity, is what a genuine recovery entails. There is nothing more devastating to create a rock bottom than a strategically destructive psychopath.

The psychopath shows us all the wounds we need to heal.

Ego inflation, in my opinion, is the number one way to spot disorder. If you see this, don’t doubt. RUN.

Onward and upward.

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Best Of The Week

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The most popular posts of the week both had to do with the saddening swell of violence and terror in Egypt this week: Violence Erupts In Egypt — Reactions & Analysis, and my follow up piece Egypt Quickly Descending Into Hell.

Other highly circulated pieces included Californians Use Less Electricity As Everyone Else — Here’s Why; our brutal and effective Photo Of The Day: “Not All Violence Is Physical”; and whether or not it’s time to mark The End Of The Art Gallery?

Just a few recommendations, in case you missed them: Is Washington In A Post-Policy Moment?; my thoughts on why Obama’s Economic Approval Rating is so terribly dismal; Here’s How Little The Public Knows About The Deficit; and a small defense of Edward Snowden, Time To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

For good measure, also check out Rep. Steve King’s latest racist rant. Good luck with that Hispanic vote.

The ghosts of superstition

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THE GHOST RAPES OF BOLIVIA

THE PERPETRATORS WERE CAUGHT, BUT THE CRIMES CONTINUE

By Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

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All photos by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky. Noah Friedman-Rudovsky also contributed reporting to this article.

For a while, the residents of Manitoba Colony thought demons were raping the town’s women. There was no other explanation. No way of explaining how a woman could wake up with blood and semen stains smeared across her sheets and no memory of the previous night. No way of explaining how another went to sleep clothed, only to wake up naked and covered by dirty fingerprints all over her body. No way to understand how another could dream of a man forcing himself onto her in a field—and then wake up the next morning with grass in her hair.

For Sara Guenter, the mystery was the rope. She would sometimes wake up in her bed with small pieces of it tied tightly to her wrists or ankles, the skin beneath an aching blue. Earlier this year, I visited Sara at her home, simple concrete painted to look like brick, in Manitoba Colony, Bolivia. Mennonites are similar to the Amish in their rejection of modernity and technology, and Manitoba Colony, like all ultraconservative Mennonite communities, is a collective attempt to retreat as far as possible from the nonbelieving world. A slight breeze of soy and sorghum came off the nearby fields as Sara told me how, in addition to the eerie rope, on those mornings after she’d been raped she would also wake to stained sheets, thunderous headaches, and paralyzing lethargy.

Her two daughters, 17 and 18 years old, squatted silently along a wall behind her and shot me fierce blue-eyed stares. The evil had penetrated the household, Sara said. Five years ago, her daughters also began waking up with dirty sheets and complaints of pain “down below.”

The family tried locking the door; some nights, Sara did everything she could to keep herself awake. On a few occasions, a loyal Bolivian worker from the neighboring city of Santa Cruz would stay the night to stand guard. But inevitably, when their one-story home—set back and isolated from the dirt road—was not being watched, the rapes continued. (Manitobans aren’t connected to the power grid, so at night the community is submerged in total darkness.) “It happened so many times, I lost count,” Sara said in her native Low German, the only language she speaks, like most women in the community.


Mennonite children attend school in Manitoba Colony, Bolivia.

In the beginning, the family had no idea that they weren’t the only ones being attacked, and so they kept it to themselves. Then Sara started telling her sisters. When rumors spread, “no one believed her,” said Peter Fehr, Sara’s neighbor at the time of the incidents. “We thought she was making it up to hide an affair.” The family’s pleas for help to the council of church ministers, the group of men who govern the 2,500-member colony, were fruitless—even as the tales multiplied. Throughout the community, people were waking to the same telltale morning signs: ripped pajamas, blood and semen on the bed, head-thumping stupor. Some women remembered brief moments of terror: for an instant they would wake to a man or men on top of them but couldn’t summon the strength to yell or fight back. Then, fade to black

Some called it “wild female imagination.” Others said it was a plague from God. “We only knew that something strange was happening in the night,” Abraham Wall Enns, Manitoba Colony’s civic leader at the time, said. “But we didn’t know who was doing it, so how could we stop it?”

No one knew what to do, and so no one did anything at all. After a while, Sara just accepted those nights as a horrific fact of life. On the following mornings, her family would rise despite the head pain, strip the beds, and get on with their days.

Then, one night in June 2009, two men were caught trying to enter a neighbor’s home. The two ratted out a few friends and, falling like a house of cards, a group of nine Manitoba men, ages 19 to 43, eventually confessed that they had been raping Colony families since 2005. To incapacitate their victims and any possible witnesses, the men used a spray created by a veterinarian from a neighboring Mennonite community that he had adapted from a chemical used to anesthetize cows. According to their initial confessions (which they later recanted), the rapists admitted to—sometimes in groups, sometimes alone—hiding outside bedroom windows at night, spraying the substance through the screens to drug entire families, and then crawling inside.

But it wasn’t until their trial, which took place almost two years later, in 2011, that the full scope of their crimes came to light. The transcripts read like a horror movie script: Victims ranged in age from three to 65 (the youngest had a broken hymen, purportedly from finger penetration). The girls and women were married, single, residents, visitors, the mentally infirm. Though it’s never discussed and was not part of the legal case, residents privately told me that men and boys were raped, too.

In August 2011, the veterinarian who’d supplied the anesthetic spray was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and the rapists were each sentenced to 25 years (five years shy of Bolivia’s maximum penalty). Officially, there were 130 victims—at least one person from more than half of all Manitoba Colony households. But not all those raped were included in the legal case, and it’s believed the true number of victims is much, much higher.


Mennonite children playing soccer in Manitoba, Colony, Bolivia.

In the wake of the crimes, women were not offered therapy or counseling. There was little attempt to dig deeper into the incidents beyond the confessions. And in the years since the men were nabbed, there has never been a colony-wide discussion about the events. Rather, a code of silence descended following the guilty verdict.

“That’s all behind us now,” Civic Leader Wall told me on my recent trip there. “We’d rather forget than have it be at the forefront of our minds.” Aside from interactions with the occasional visiting journalist, no one talks about it anymore.

But over the course of a nine-month investigation, including an 11-day stay in Manitoba, I discovered that the crimes are far from over. In addition to lingering psychological trauma, there’s evidence of widespread and ongoing sexual abuse, including rampant molestation and incest. There’s also evidence that—despite the fact that the initial perpetrators are in jail—the rapes by drugging continue to happen.

The demons, it turns out, are still out there.

Justice Or Not, We Take One Step At A Time

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Every little thing we do for the better, helps a little

One step at a time

There are so many stories of unjust treatment, and this blog will not watch prejudice, abuse or misuse of power without writing about it. The knowledge and insights we want to share, can hopefully be of inspiration and broaden the reader’s mind even more. The more knowledge we have, the stronger we become. Remember, one person can do great things (think of M. Teresa & M. Gandhi), but before anyone can do anything, it`s important to learn as much as possible about the world around us. We cannot do anything before we know what needs to be done, and cannot help without understanding people and their specific world. There are so many perspectives out there, and we hope to show you some of them. That`s the reason our guest bloggers are much appreciated, and even more importantly, the readers of this blog who are free to give feedback on what this blog suffers from and what we should continue with.

Unjust systems, laws and use of power

Unfortunately, there is still much unjustice in the world, much of which we feel powerless against (often using cognitive dissonance to protect us from that feeling)  since strong leaders and serious problems in the world make us feel helpless. But, this is not so. Sometimes we forget how much power we have, just by speaking up and getting others on board, a lot can change.

shh

we can`t keep silent

 Jerry Alataly writes: One would believe, if justice was blind and treated all people equally, that there would be equal punishment which matched the total amount of harm from the offense of the many people who commit crimes. We like to think that there is fairness in the legal worldsystem, where nobody  receives any type of special treatment; everyone is given the same  opportunity to defend themselves, and, when guilt is proven beyond a  reasonable doubt, face the consequences of their actions.  Punishment. Like we know, this is not always so.  Don`t panic from all  unjust treatment. Take a deep breath, and find the warrior inside  you: Paulo Coelho “Warrior Of The Light”: Then the Warrior thanks his  travelling companions, takes a deep breath and continues on, laden  with memories of an unforgettable journey. His heart is sad, but he  knows that his sword is sacred and that he must obey the orders of  the One to whom he offered up his struggle (from J):

Example of a social problem:

610 million people are registered as disabled worldwide. All around the world, existing stereotypes, fears and prejudices have excluded them from equal opportunities. They are often discriminated, marginalized, or treated with pity and welfare.

Overwhelming? Look here for comfort: Founded in 1988, Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) is an international social enterprise that has reached more than 6 million people in over 160 sites and 30 countries around the world. DiD focuses on promoting the ability of the disabled and creating more than 6000 jobs for the visually impaired worldwide.

So, what can one person do?

Hard to believe that one person can have any real effect? What about Brandon Stanton who met 6-year-old Rumi and his mother and decided to take their picture and put it up on his website. In the process, he made Rumi’s cowboy dreams come true! And what about the man who bikes across Canada to raise awareness for organ donation?

If you are not sure if you want to share your story, inspire others, or do something kind, might I recommend reading about the Benefits of givingIt increases your own happiness and has other unexpected effects. As a psychologist, I don`t think it would be very far off to prescribe “exercises in kindness” along with a healthy lifestyle in general.

Saving someone`s day, might not even cost much time and effort. One man, for example, simply stopped by a car who did not have more gas, pulled out his extra gasoline tank, and gave them enough gasoline to continue.

Do you have examples of what one person can do? Or would you like to guest blog here, and thereby enlightening more minds ready to be transformed? Feel free to email us at: forfreepsychology@gmail.com

Further reading:

More on unjustice

heaven on earth

oneness of humanity

The lies we tell ourselves

Little Acts of Kindness

Validation: You can change things