We live today in a world plagued by the very real aftermath stemming from dealing with individuals who allow and excuse themselves of acting in ways faceted in power and control. From terrorists to well meaning govt. officials down to emotional divorcing couples and even within the victims trying to take back that which was taken from them. One way, the same as another, an assertion for dominance over personal control, or using the ability of power by taking it from another is not as simple as we treat it. It is not leaders struggling to find their place or an insecurities fruition. It is a relentless, insidious, and inconspicuous WMD.
Regardless of any reason, there is no excuse for asserting your influence above any persons personal power or control. Trauma incurred from doing so is the greatest inflictor of fear within a person and within fear is the most elusive, insidious, and aggressive form of cancer known to man. It latches onto any tiny seedling of uncertainty within it’s host and rapidly transforms that seedling into weed, rooted and interconnected using the negativity and anger it continues to plant inside; encompassing all that you do and relating everything you think about. Fear corrupts us and that corruption, the foreign new resident inits person manifests as similar to mental illness, symptoms that are or are very much alike, but are categorized respectfully by our deepest fear and what we do to cope with it.
While we are doing all that we can do to stop terrorism, and to educate parents on the effects of their divorce; we are doing very little in the ways of govt. institutions, understanding of mental health in general, and in relation to it’s manifestation in the victims of the aforementioned and what they bring. Our approach to Educational and considerate reform in helping those victims to not become the very thing that they were subjected to is so non existent in fact, that in the limited interactions we do have, we are epitomizing the problem itself. Instead of containing it, we’re antagonizing it’s growth.
Our judicial systems tactics, perpetuated by societal beliefs, are not survivable conditions for humanity.
By continuing in punitive forms of justice, by beating the will of the people into obedience, we are lying down to mistakes in understanding, not heinous intentions, made before revelations and breakthroughs of psychologists and social scientists were made. We are not deconstructing a persons behaviors through bouts of force and threats of loss of life (or time within life,) we are destructing a person in their entirety.
No one is wrong, it was just more unclear towards what was right, we have clarity now. Why don’t we use it?
If I had every resource I would find a physician brave enough to face our current judicial system and help explain why they are moving in the wrong direction – I’d get someone with a degree to come in and start by explaining the vast amount of similarities between mental illnesses and how, especially when influenced by stress or other outside forces, they fluctuate in appearance, they don’t act characteristically, leading them to be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all by overzealous, too rational, and/or skeptical practitioners.
I would ask them to explain that the entirety of mental illness diagnostics is still just a matter of guesses and those guesses are contingent upon which best guess was in the limelight at the time of diagnosing the specific patient.
I would have them explain that without access to the problem, they are very limited in what they can understand of it. That Incarcerating the patient doesn’t do anything in protecting or serving any member of society – What it does do; is it provides limited conditions or the complete denial of access to a problem, access of which is imperative to gaining understanding into what is really wrong, the actual cause of the problem. That gaining that understanding is crucial to acquiring the intellect necessary in forming a solution to the problem. Even then, the observation of the person after receiving the solution is exponentially important in preventing the reoccurrence or the mutation to a more wide spread affliction of the disease.
Locking away the problem may remove the eyesore, but it’s only promoting an uglier blemish to erupt violently.
I’d then ask they discern the correlation between the insidious nature and outspread of illnesses and disease to the current circumstances within, and trajectory of our society and it’s contribution to the growing prisoner population.
To bring to light that not only is the current process of judgment and punishment halting research, but in fact, the attitudes of society, police officers, guards, and even court officials towards the individuals caught within it, is directly worsening an already diagnosed individuals condition. That with these attitudes, confidently excusing the use of power and control as an acceptable form of punishment, an effort in teaching obedience, we are not only enhancing existing problems we are directly cultivating , planting, and nurturing new growth. We are assisting in the outbreak of mental illness , allowing it to mutate into forms it can inflict within anyone.
The treatment and punishments that we feel obligated to exact upon those we consider criminals, the continued exposure to the emotional and physical abusive tactics to “teach” them, tactics that we justify as appropriate for their transgressions; are anything but. As these same institutions and societal members tell me, I’m telling you again; “it is never okay to use abuse.”
In doing so, we are doing nothing more than feeding the illness, which is causing the fear, influencing more volatile tendencies to emerge, and then feeling caught off guard when it’s a member of our own family now diagnosed.
Instead of driving away darkness from our society, we are teaching it how to survive.
By looking at equal punishment as just punishment we are not only becoming the adversary- we are allowing room for their growth in becoming a better one. Which in return, we equally match to punish. If we continue this dance with the devil, I don’t think I need to explain further where we are headed.
It’s a vicious cycle and one that occurs so gradually it’s easy to forget just how far in the wrong direction you’ve gone until something hits you in the face.
I may not have any certificate proving that I read about this in books or observed studies relating to it and then passed a test to prove I did in fact pay attention – but what I do have is quite a few years of pretty extensive, hands on experience; while I may not be the best versed in the terminology, I understand and further explain what it means.
I suffered through an unimaginably difficult time alongside my husband, then, in a cry for help and in acknowledgment that the battle we were enduring was too complex to conquer alone, my husband was not “punished for his actions,” he was subjected to punishment for the sake of being punished. We were both in need of help, and we were instead tossed aside and left to continue in our now deeper suffering and we were even more alone.
While searching to regain myself, I studied everything, including every “why it had happened.” I discovered a very large deficit between fact and opinion regarding any and everything I was being counseled on. Unfortunately, at this stage of the abusive cycle I didn’t put much trust in my self or my personal opinion. I wasn’t anyone worth listening to, even when I decided I was, I became even less worthy just to a lot more people.
So I set out even more diligently to understand how I was wrong, I thought in finding that answer I’d have better insight into why I was so adversely altered by what had happened. I didn’t feel that different about myself, other than in relation to the opinions of me being different than who I was.
Adverse affects such as apparently, I no longer could reason productively or deduce accurately to predict probable outcomes anymore. I had never had a problem with doing those things before, but now my deductions were way off of the majorities. But, I was also never insecure enough to be in the relationship I must have been in either, and I really hadn’t though myself to ever be so naive as to the true nature of a person so close to me as I guess I was. So I kept looking.
Book after book, study after study, and nothing was the same. If I found one that said this, the next one I’d read would discredit it by that. Nothing was consistent, there was no irrefutable or even marginally accurate enough fact to ground my newly given knowledge of myself and my life in.The only constant was that my kids were healthy (in relation to the factual, circumstantial causes of moving across the country and their life and family being torn apart) and that I knew my husband was a great man and an outstanding father. I had faith in him and in us; alongside the evidence within our children and of every other day in our lives to substantiate that faith, I came back.
When I got back, Ross and I talked, about everything, for months… and months. I came back to love him and in doing so I gained better perspective. I was gifted the opportunity to empathize with the side of him which oppressed me. The side of him that was once the victim too when he was 9 years old, held hostage, and then witnessed the suicide of the teenaged kid in front of police there to arrest him.
I now understood personally what it felt like to have my power and control of what happens taken from me, among a billion other things that does to a person, I had to felt the uncontrollable surges your mind and body experience fighting (I’m not much accustomed for flight) to get it back. I was able to hear what my husband was feeling rather than being preoccupied with what he had done. It was in that compassion, and upon our relentless young love, that we were able to begin to restore our friendship and our marriage.
We are still learning, I wouldn’t suggest anyone to take the path we have yet. It’s a work in progress, not succumbing to the fear of any moment losing yourself, your power over what happens to you, or your control of being somewhere that should have been safe. Its progression, but painful and the kind of undertaking I can only describe as starting yourself over from scratch without a foundation and hundreds of the wrong blueprints.
But, our kids are happy, as are we, and in owning the pain, growing from our mistakes, maybe we can innovate new ways for a better road than one society currently walks in our combined efforts of ending every form of abuse.
We cultivated our love and life again from deeper than rock bottom – and In doing that I can see why the influence of fear can overcome everyone around us. We aren’t afraid anymore – and that is the most terrifying threat to fear of them all.
To say my disposition was forced upon me or insidiously transcribed is next to insulting. I have the opinions and mindset that I do, based on personal, factual revelations and occurrences that I gave 5 years of my life, blood, sweat, tears, and soul to understand. These are my opinions that almost killed me in the difficulty endured in trusting them again. Opinions, that are conflicting with every other one. They require I fight, still, everyday. I am so tired of fighting, not for/by means of coercion or under false testimony for anyone, even for my husband would I pick up a battle with such terrible odds. But I have spent my fair share of time living under the influence of fear, and it will take a work of the messiah to ever convince me to shut up and sit down for what I believe in, without good reason, again.
I will fight for Ross’ right to be seen as who he is rather than what he’s done with every ounce of grit I have. I will pursue the same fight for any woman who has the exact opposite opinion of me. Even if in doing so it causes people to unfairly question my credibility. Anyone who has been a victim is deserving of finding their way back to understanding the way the world should work in their own way and until we can give them that ability, structured collectively, with a program like ARC (I had too), I have no desire and far less than enough reliable information to feel comfortable in forming allegiance of myself with any way relating to treatment of any form of abuse.
My alliance will remain, always, with the victim of its use.