Sanctuary for the Abused
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Emotional Manipulator -- Skilled Controller
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Child Custody & Access Assessments
Whether it is because most parents can devise a workable child care arrangement or because of the absence of one parent, the majority of separating families, approximately 80% (Johnston, 1994), do not become embroiled in legal battles over the children. The remainder, however, approach the justice system looking for some form of conflict resolution such as mediation, arbitration, assessment, or a custody trial. Many enter the process with a lawyer to represent them, however, increasingly they are unrepresented [due to cutbacks in legal aid]. For this subgroup of highly conflicted families characterized by ongoing acrimony, litigation and conflict over the custody and visitation arrangements for the children; a history of domestic violence is probable. It is the children in these high conflict/violent families who stand to lose the most with simplistic solutions derived from an idealistic belief that it is always beneficial to children to have equal contact with both parents post-separation. As battered women know, battering men frequently do not end their domination over their families once separation has occurred. The abusers may use threats to seek custody as a means of perpetuating control over their former partner. Lengthy and costly litigation, fear of abduction, harassment, intimidation and violence during transfers are all genuine issues of concern. Although difficult to believe, a surprising number of battered women even face the real possibility of losing custody to their abuser. Recent research suggests that batterers are twice as likely to apply for custody and equally likely to convince the court of the merits of their custody application as non-violent fathers (Bowermaster & Johnson, 1998; Zorza, 1995).
In determining the best interests of the children from high conflict families, the courts may turn to custody and access assessors. An assessor can be a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist. Currently, there are no licensing or specific training requirements for assessors in Canada. Most assessors are members of a professional governing body, such as the College of Psychologists, but that may not always be the case. Guidelines exist, which include minimal standards of ethical practice, such as the Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Practice Related to Child Custody and Access by the Ontario Psychological Association. Regardless of the assessor's field, every assessment should meet a minimal standard of acceptable ethical practices.
An assessment can be court ordered or completed by consent of the parties and their legal counsel. The cost of an assessment can range from $1500 to over $5000. These costs may be covered by Legal Aid or by the parents themselves. The process of an assessment typically involves three to five interviews for each of the parties, observation of the child/parent interaction, contacting collateral sources of information such as doctors, therapists and teachers and reviewing affidavit material. Psychological testing may also be a component of the assessment if the assessor is suitably qualified to administer such instruments. At the end of the process, the assessor prepares a report, which typically includes detailed recommendations regarding custody and access, and this report is submitted to court.
A custody and access assessment report can be a very significant piece of evidence considered by the judge. Therefore, choosing an appropriate assessor is crucial. Assessors, like many other professionals, may erroneously subscribe to romanticized notions of "shared parenting" in cases with a history of domestic violence. Prior to an assessor being appointed to your case, explore his/her qualifications, know whether or not he/she has had domestic violence training, and gain a sense of any trends or biases in his/her recommendations. A thorough assessment by a well-qualified, appropriately trained assessor, can be invaluable evidence in custody cases involving domestic violence.
Once an assessor is chosen, be prepared to detail your history of abuse, your views of how the children have been affected by witnessing the abuse and any supporting documentation or collateral sources which may lend credence to the history of abuse. Domestic violence is, by its nature, a private experience. In many cases involving domestic violence, there is typically scant evidence of the abuse. These factors contribute to a battered woman's inability to corroborate her victimization from the moment a child custody dispute begins. Be as prepared as possible to highlight any evidence of your victimization.
In Canada, the federal Divorce Act is silent on the issue of domestic violence and most provincial statutes do not identify domestic violence as an issue to be considered in the deter-mination of custody and access. However, judicial precedence increasingly recognizes the negative impact of exposure to violence on children (Bala et al., 1998). In the United States, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (1994) has developed a Model Code on domestic violence in the child custody area that clearly delineates several important principles. First, there is the rebuttable presumption that it is detrimental to the child to be placed with the perpetrator of family violence in sole custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody. Second, visitation orders for the batterers can be tempered with conditions such as supervised transfers, supervised access, and treatment orders. And lastly, that there is a presumption against mediation in cases with domestic violence.
Despite the existence of judicial precedence and the Model Code, most domestic violence advocates would probably describe a significant gap between theory and practice when it comes to recognizing domestic violence as a germane factor in custody determinations, and affording due consideration to maternal and child safety (Jaffe and Geffner, 1998). An increasingly powerful backlash, in the form of "parental alienation syndrome," has provided battering fathers with the theoretical explanation for why their children may not want to visit with them post-separation. Victimized mothers can be typecast by this unsubstantiated theory and many judges, lawyers and assessors are uncritically embracing this concept. Anticipate the use of such tactics, be prepared to defend yourself against them, and become as knowledgeable as possible prior to the commencement of an assessment. Many battered women before you have been ill prepared for their experiences during a custody battle and alarmed by the ultimate outcome of the custody dispute. Preparation is key.
Ms. Poisson, M.Ed., is currently in the process of completing her Doctorate in Education in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto. She has been employed as Clinical/Research Services Co-ordinator at the London Family Court Clinic since 1995. Ms. Poisson is qualified as an expert witness in Ontario and New Brunswick in the areas of custody and access and the impact of childhood physical and sexual abuse on adult survivors.
GREAT SITE FOR CUSTODY/COPARENTING ISSUES
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Manipulative Relationships: Are You In One?
Manipulation is not the same as influence. We all use influence with other people to advance our goals, and this is one of the hallmarks of healthy social functioning. Influence recognizes the rights and boundaries of other people, and it is based on direct, honest communication. Influence is one way we have of functioning effectively in the world. Influence recognizes the integrity of the other person, including the right not to go along with the attempted persuasion. Manipulation, on the other hand, depends on covert agendas and an attempt to coerce another person into giving in. Even though it may appear that the manipulator is strong and in control, there is usually insecurity under the facade. The tendency to exploit others and disregard their rights is a sign of unhealthy personality functioning. In fact, people who manipulate others have difficulty in maintaining good interpersonal relationships.
Those who manipulate other people are good at spotting people to control. If they feel unable to manipulate someone, they usually give up and move on to somebody else who is more likely to be receptive to the attempted manipulation. Once you recognize the features of the manipulation, the next step in correcting the situation is to discover your own contribution to the problem. (This statement may seem a bit difficult to accept. After all, it's the manipulator who has the problem, you might say. But realize that manipulation cannot occur in a vacuum. As is true of any relationship, it takes two people.) You can come to understand your contribution to the manipulative situation and then take steps to correct it.
Here are some common traits of those who are vulnerable to manipulators -
You feel useful and loved only when you can take care of the needs of other people. This goes beyond being nice to other people. Your sense of worth is tied up in doing things for other people. In fact, you take this so far that you please other people at the expense of your own well-being. For example, you might buy something especially nice for your partner or a friend when you would never spend that kind of money on yourself. Manipulators are drawn to this type of person and have no qualms about taking advantage of this particular personality trait.
You need to have the approval and acceptance of other people. Although most people appreciate being accepted, a problem occurs when you feel that you must be accepted by everyone at all times. The core problem here is the fear of being rejected or abandoned - and it is so strong that you would do anything to avoid the feelings associated with this fear. The manipulator works by giving you the acceptance that you need - and then threatening to withdraw it.
You fear expressing negative emotions. Although expressing anger and engaging in a conflict are never pleasant, some people will go to any length to avoid a confrontation. They want things to be pleasant at all times. They fear that they will fall apart in the face of negative emotions. Manipulators have an easy task in this kind of relationship - all they have to do is to threaten to raise their voice, and then they get their way.
You are unable to say no. One of the characteristics of a healthy relationship is appropriate boundaries that clarify who you are and what you stand for. In order to maintain healthy boundaries, however, you must sometimes say no when someone attempts to push your limits. If you are afraid of the conflict that may arise when you say no, you play into the hands of the manipulator. Learning effective assertiveness techniques is a way to regain your sense of control in a manipulative relationship.
You lack a firm sense of your own self. A clear sense of self means that you know what your values are, who you are, what you stand for, and where you begin and the other person ends. If you have an unclear sense of self, it is difficult to trust your own judgment or to make decisions that work in your favor. Without a clear definition of your self, you may be an easy target for a manipulator.
If you are in a manipulative relationship, it is helpful to recognize the personal tendencies that allow the other person to assert control over you. You can come to understand and explore these safely with the support of a professionally trained therapist. While you may not be able to change the behavior of the manipulator, you can change your own responses to attempts at manipulation so that you achieve a firmer sense of your own integrity. The unhappiness resulting from a manipulative relationship can lead to life-changing experiences that generate insight and the ability to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday living.
Monday, November 20, 2017
The Art of Saying "NO"
A lot of people just don't like the idea of having to tell people they can't do something. Or they feel obligated when a colleague asks a favour; or feel pressurised when someone senior to them needs something done.
There are even some work places where saying no is definitely frowned upon; and in, say, the police force, could be a sackable or disciplinary offence.
After having worked for some time with people where saying no either feels impossible or just isn't allowed, we created a body of work to address it. In some cases it is indeed, how to say no without ever saying the word.
Of course, there are times when saying the 'n' word is a necessity. But in our experience, there is so much anxiety around the possible consequences of using it, that people don't say anything at all, or agree to things they'd rather not, or get landed with work that isn't theirs and so on.
That can't be good for anyone, but especially the person who finds themselves staying late at the end of the day to get their own work done after they've finished everyone else's; or who swallows their resentment when they are 'volunteered' for something they don't want to do; or who quakes at the idea of having to be a bit tougher with a supplier or even someone they manage.
It's Not Assertiveness
The reason we've been asked this is that assertiveness training has been around for some time, and people wonder if this art of saying no business isn't just more of the same.
Well, no it isn't, and here's why.
We believe the very term 'assertiveness' is limiting. For instance, people say you should be assertive rather than aggressive, as if assertiveness is the only way to deal with a difficult situation. It isn't. If you are being attacked or abused, then aggressively fighting back may well be an appropriate thing to do. The key word here is appropriate.
So yes, aggressiveness may be appropriate, assertiveness may be appropriate, but there's a greater range of choice of behaviour than those two types that could be equally appropriate.
Before we discuss them, though, we want to talk about some of the things that happen to people when what they think and feel is different from what they do.
Many 'unassertive' people recognise that their pattern of behaviour is to be nice or compliant for far longer than they really want to until they reach the point of no longer being able to hold it in; then they explode nastily and inappropriately all over whoever happens to be around.
There are three ways this 'explosion' can happen. The first is that the rage happens inside the head and remains unexpressed. The second is that it is inappropriately expressed, and someone not involved, like a work colleague or secretary or even a bus conductor, becomes the recipient. The third is properly directed at the 'offending party' but is out of all proportion to the probably small, but nonetheless final-straw-event that unleashes it.
Not Nice Not Nasty
This leaves people with the impression that there are only two states or behaviours they can do: Nice or Nasty. When, in fact, they have forgotten a whole range of behaviour that lies between Nice and Nasty that can be termed Not-Nice (or even Not-Nasty).
What we've seen with assertiveness, is that it is often seen as a single form of behaviour: just say no, stand your ground, be a broken record - all quite difficult if you are truly unassertive, or in our jargon - simply too nice for your own good. The concept of asserting yourself, (getting your voice heard, being understood, being taken into account, getting your own way) needs to be broadened to include all forms of behaviour. It can include humour, submission, irresponsibility, manipulation, playfulness, aggressiveness, etc.
The key point here is that the behaviour - nice, not-nice, nasty - is chosen. We emphasise the word key, because until people are able to choose behaviour that's free from the limiting effects of their fear of possible consequences, they will not be able to act no matter how well they are taught to be assertive. They will still feel overwhelmed in difficult situations.
It needs to be acknowledged that the strong feelings associated with changing behaviour are real and valid. Once people do that, then these (usually difficult) feelings can be looked upon as a good thing, a sign that something new is happening. At this point people can start to 'choose' to have these feelings rather than having to endure them or trying to pretend they are not happening.
The idea of choice is very important. If people feel they have real choice about how they behave, they start to realise that it can be OK to put up with something they don't like. They can choose it because they want to; it is to their advantage. They then avoid the disempowering tyranny of always having to assert themselves. (Which is almost as bad as feeling you always have to be compliant or nice.)
Many people think that in order to be assertive, you need to ignore what you are feeling and just 'stand your ground'. In fact, you ignore those feelings at your peril.
Often the magnitude of peoples' feelings is way out of proportion to what the situation warrants. They may well reflect a previous difficult event more accurately. But because that previous difficulty was so difficult, it feels as though every similar situation will be the same.
It is only by beginning to experience and understand how crippling these feelings can be that people can start to do anything about changing their behaviour. Many people know what they could say; they know what they could do. Most 'unassertive' people have conversations in their heads about how to resolve a conflict they're in; but still, their mouths say 'yes', while their heads say 'no'. Knowing what to do or say is not the issue here.
Therefore, in looking at practising 'the art of saying no', it is wise to broaden the brief to so that it isn't about becoming more assertive; rather it's about changing your behaviour to fit the circumstances.
While in many circumstances assertiveness can be a straight jacket of it's own (often creating resistance and resentment), the full lexicon of behaviour can be freeing, because there is choice in the matter. Using charm, humour, telling the truth or even deliberate manipulation, may well get you what you want without having to attempt behaviour that may go against your personality.
If you add a dash of fun or mischief, The Art of Saying No becomes a doable prospect, rather than another difficult mountain to climb.
Here are some pointers of what could make it easier to say 'no'.
If you're saying something serious, notice whether you smile or not. Smiling gives a mixed message and weakens the impact of what you're saying.
If someone comes over to your desk and you want to appear more in charge, stand up. This also works when you're on the phone. Standing puts you on even eye level and creates a psychological advantage.
If someone sits down and starts talking to you about what they want, avoid encouraging body language, such as nods and ahas. Keep your body language as still as possible.
Avoid asking questions that would indicate you're interested (such as, 'When do you need it by?' or 'Does it really have to be done by this afternoon?' etc.)
It's all right to interrupt! A favourite technique of ours is to say something along the lines of, 'I'm really sorry; I'm going to interrupt you.' Then use whatever tool fits the situation. If you let someone have their whole say without interrupting, they could get the impression you're interested and willing. All the while they get no message to the contrary, they will think you're on board with their plan (to get you to do whatever...)
Pre-empt. As soon as you see someone bearing down on you (and your heart sinks because you know they're going to ask for something), let them know you know: 'Hi there! I know what you want. You're going to ask me to finish the Henderson report. Wish I could help you out, but I just can't.'
Pre-empt two. Meetings are a great place to get landed with work you don't want. You can see it coming. So to avoid the inevitable, pre-empt, 'I need to let everyone know right at the top, that I can't fit anything else into my schedule for the next two weeks (or whatever).'
Any of these little tips can help you feel more confident and will support your new behaviour. For that's what this is: If you're someone whom others know they can take advantage (they may not even be doing it on purpose, you're just an easy mark!) you need to indicate by what you do that things have changed.
Here's an Analogy:
Let's say you're a burglar. There's a row of identical houses and you're thinking of having a go at five of them. The first house has a Yale lock on the front door. The second house has a Yale and a Chubb lock on the front door. The third house has a Yale and a Chubb lock on the front door and bars on the window. The fourth house has a Yale and a Chubb lock on the front door, bars on the window and burglar alarm. The fifth house has a Yale and a Chubb lock on the front door, bars on the window, a burglar alarm and a Rottweiler.
Which would you burgle?
When you make it easy for other people, they will naturally keep coming back. By learning more effective ways of saying 'no' you make it harder for others to expect you to do what they want without taking into account what's going on for you. You become more burglar-proof.
Changing Others by Changing Yourself
A lot of us wish that the person we are in conflict with, or feel intimidated by, would change. Then everything would be all right. We've all heard this from a colleague, friend, partner and even said it ourselves: 'If only he'd listen to me, then I wouldn't be so frightened.' 'If only she'd stop complaining about my work, I'd be much happier.'
'If only' puts the onus on the other person to change how and who they are and makes them responsible for how we feel. By using some of the tools outlined above, people can get a sense of being in charge of situations, rather than being victims to what other people want.
It does seem to be part of human nature to blame others when things go wrong in our lives, or when we're feeling hard done by. If you take away the 'if only' excuse you also take away the need to blame and make the other person wrong. It's also rather wonderful to think that rather than waiting for someone else to change to make things all right, we all have the ability to take charge of most situations and make them all right for ourselves.
What also makes it easier is that we all just have to get better at 'the art of saying no'; none of us has to change our whole personalities to create a more satisfying outcome!
Sunday, November 19, 2017
The Health Effects of Domestic Violence
The effects of violence on a victim's health are severe. In addition to the immediate injuries from the assault, battered women may suffer from chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, psychosomatic symptoms, and eating problems. Although psychological abuse is often considered less severe than physical violence, health care providers and advocates around the world are increasingly recognizing that all forms of domestic violence can have devastating physical and emotional health effects. Domestic violence is associated with mental health problems such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Women who are abused suffer an increased risk of unplanned or early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. As trauma victims, they are also at an increased risk of substance abuse. According to a U.S. study, women who experience intimate partner abuse are three times more likely to have gynecological problems than non-abused women. From Violence Against Women: Effects on Reproductive Health, Outlook, vol. 20, no. 1 (September 2002).
Women are particularly vulnerable to attacks when pregnant, and thus may more often experience medical difficulties in their pregnancies. Recent research has called for increased study of pregnancy associated deaths. "Pregnancy associated deaths" are "deaths occurring to women who have been pregnant within the previous year." A study conducted by researchers in Maryland of 247 pregnancy associated deaths found that the leading cause of death was homicide. The researchers have called for "enhanced surveillance" of pregnancy associated deaths and additional research focusing more specifically on the role of domestic violence. From Nancy K.D. Lemon, Health Watch, in Domestic Violence Report, vol. 8, no. 5, 69, 69 (June/July 2003) (citing Isabelle L. Horon & Diana Cheng, Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality—Maryland, 1993-1998, in JAMA vol. 285, no. 11, 1455 (21 March 2001)).
Other studies have shown that there are significant obstetric risk factors associated with domestic violence. Abused women are more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted disease infections, vaginal and cervical infections, kidney infections and bleeding during pregnancy, all of which are risk factors for pregnant women. Abused women are more likely to delay prenatal care and are less likely to receive antenatal care. In fact, "[i]ntimate partner abuse during pregnancy may be a more significant risk factor for pregnancy complications than other conditions for which pregnant women are routinely screened, such as hypertension and diabetes." From Violence Against Women: Effects on Reproductive Health, Outlook, vol. 20, no. 1 (September 2002).
As discussed in more detail in the section on marital rape, in many countries, marriage is believed to grant men unconditional sexual access to their wives, and to permit the use of violence if their wives do not comply. Women's lack of sexual autonomy in these situations puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Recent research in Nicaragua, for example, suggests that domestic abuse increases the likelihood that women will have many children and found that abused women were twice as likely to have four or more children. From Ending Violence Against Women, in Population Reports, vol. 7, no. 4 (December 1999).
Domestic violence can be fatal; women are both intentionally murdered by their partners and lose their life as a result of injuries inflicted by them. In particular, recent studies in the United States have focused on choking or strangulation, a tactic often used by batterers. Because choking or strangulation rarely leaves vivid external physical marks, police may not recognize the victim's need for medical assistance or the seriousness of the violence. Injuries resulting from choking or strangulation can often be lethal; such injuries "may appear mild initially but they can kill the victim within 36 hours." From When Abusers Choke Their Victims, Violence Against Women 22-5 (Joan Zorza ed., 2002).
In addition to the danger of death from injury or intentional homicides, research also indicates that women who are abused may be more likely to commit suicide. The Family Violence Prevention Fund, reporting on a 1995 study, stated that 29% of all women in the United States who attempted suicide were battered. UNICEF reports that a "close correlation between domestic violence and suicide has been established based on studies in the United States, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Peru, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Suicide is 12 times as likely to have been attempted by a woman who has been abused than by one who has not." From UNICEF, Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls, 6 Innocenti Digest 1, 4 (2000).
The World Health Organization's Factsheet and Violence Against Women: Health Consequences detail the health consequences of violence against women around the world. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Family Violence Prevention Fund provides an excellent overview of the health effects of domestic violence on women and children.
For a list of research and reports on the health effects of domestic violence, click here.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Destroying the Lives of Others
Narcissists expect and demand that the ones nearest and dearest to them, tolerate, admire, love, and cater to their needs. They expect others to be at their immediate disposal. Their behavior is obnoxious, aloof and indifferent and they fully realize this. Narcissists test the mental limits of people's patience. Individuals in a relationship with a narcissist feel something is not “quite right,” and many seek answers to the unsettling experience of day to day contact with a narcissist.
Narcissistic individuals do not tend to be physically abusive although there are some out there that are. Their worst weapon is their mouth. With their mouth they spit verbal negations and dispense emotional abuse. Their vocal cords are their method of attempting to control others.
Narcissists do not have the emotional capacity to provide support or understanding to others. There are numerous defense mechanisms which narcissists use to confuse and unbalance those around them. Organization is unknown to narcissistic individuals and they avoid future plans if it concerns pleasing another for some reason not evident to them.
They do not want anyone thinking highly of them for several reasons. First, their sense of self as special, unique and deserving keeps them grounded at maintenance level in their relationships. Maintenance level is just enough, just in time to keep the folly of the relationship moving forward, but just enough and no more. To expend more energy on the relationship would cause others to feel some degree of predictability in the whole affair. Contributing to the happiness of the ones they already envy for having the ability to feel love is not a an activity in which narcissists wish to participate.
Second, if another thinks highly of the narcissist then there are expectations which that person has that the narcissist must fulfill. The narcissist, however, does not intend to fill anyone's expectations except that of his/her own.
Happiness, joy, and the effort to please others is not normally undertaken by the narcissist except in the beginning or potential ending of a relationship. At either of these points, the narcissist may be charming, helpful, pleasing, and amusing beyond imagination. But, this effort is only used to obtain a new narcissistic supply source or to win back the affection of an important source if abandonment appears eminent. At all other times, the narcissist believes his/her presence, is clearly and abundantly sufficient to maintain the loyalty, trust, affection and respect of those which the narcissist already considers his/her object. So, the narcissist will postpone, withhold or procrastinate the continuing efforts that are essential to maintaining any kind of meaningful relationship. A narcissistic person is unable to fake the emotion of love for another for a long period of time. This impairs the capacity for a committed relationship with a narcissist. Therefore, marital instability and promiscuity are prominent in those with NPD.
Narcissists can perform obligations in the global areas of their lives and with strangers quite well. But, with those individuals they have already captured, they find the expenditure of civil treatment taxing to their mental reserve and not really necessary. They routinely display to their captured objects their worst traits. These may include abuse of alcohol, sex, verbal negations or other behaviors that tend to keep people at a distance and not allow any close interpersonal strength to develop. This is evident in the narcissists relationships with their wives/husbands, girlfriends/boyfriends, children, brothers, and sisters.
Narcissists will never accept the blame for anything that happens in a relationship. They are quite ready to blame the other person involved. They expect to be the center of attention in a relationship and demand their every wish be fulfilled by their partner.
Don't expect the narcissist to get better with age. By the time they are old they have pushed everyone who has ever tried to care about them away. Their narcissistic characteristics also seem to increase after the death of parents or loss of others that have exerted some type of control over them.
A relationship with a narcissist can at times be fun and invigorating. After the relationship has come to an end, for the non-disordered, there maybe a feeling of let down or boredom. A relationship with a narcissist is like a roller coaster ride--there are extreme highs and lows. Be thankful the relationship has ended. The best advice for anyone who is presently involved with a narcissist is to RUN! The relationship won't get better. Also, it's better to get out before the narcissist snatches away all your self-esteem. Remember, their worst weapon is their mouth.
Friday, November 17, 2017
IS MY SPOUSE (or PARTNER) A SEX ADDICT?
ask yourself, honestly:
- Does your spouse have unaccountable time?
- Does your spouse have unaccountable money?
- Does your spouse have unaccountable moods?
- Does your spouse's moods depend on whether he/she gets sex or not?
- Does your spouse have a lack of sexual activity with you?
- Does your spouse have a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect?
- Does your spouse have a supply of pornography (online or offline)?
- Have you been told he has a sex addiction (hookers, affairs, porn)?
- Are there many arguments over sex?
- Is your spouse unable to be emotionally intimate?
- Does sex appear to not satisfy him/her (wants more right away or there never seems to be enough)?
- Does he come up with new positions or things he begs you to do and then gets upset when you say "no"?
- Does he respect you?
- Is there a lot of anger or erratic behavior when he/she is said "no" to sexually?
- Do you feel alone during your sexual encounters?
- Do you feel used, dirty or abandoned after sexual encounters?
- Is there a sense that he's/she's got his "fix" and now he's better?
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Psychopath: Desire Driven, Untamed Nature
Our bundle of wishes drives us out of the bunk in the morning, well most of us anyway. We all have our own unique bundle that motivates us to act. No two bundles are identical, similar is as close as it gets.An act correlated to a wish or wishes in your bundle is far more satisfying than one out of sync. We are out here driving around acting on our desires and bumping into to each other all the time.
One of the most crucial characteristics we all must appreciate about bundle of wishes is that predators’ bundles are untamed.
Your chances of crashing into a predator, such as a rapist, pedophile, stalker, con artist, or the like, should be expected. Preparation is crucial to avoid a head on collision.
Awareness of a predator’s presence before you crash into them is far better then after. I learned my awareness the hard way, only after a destructive collision. Some driving lessons will help you maneuver around them.
What makes predators different is known. Their ability to mask this difference depends on your ignorance.
So what is different? Basically two things: the nature of their bundle and their lack of restraint for acting on a wish in their bundle. Predators have an untamed bundle of wishes.
Have you ever done something mean spirited and afterwards you wish you hadn’t? Two things happen as a result: guilt and behavior modification. You feel so darn guilty that you correct your behavior in the future.
Now consider the act of a predator. They do not experience guilt, thus no behavior modification in their future. No guilt equates to repetitive inappropriate behavior. No restraint by guilt sets them apart.
Two factors of our restraint are inhibition and empathy.
Inhibition arises because we feel our action might hurt somebody else. May not be true, but in our assessment we feel it is true. We do not act on this wish.
The second aspect is empathy. This is the ability to identify with someone else’s feeling. Here we assess a desire to act from the standpoint of another. If we decide our act will effect someone else in a negative way, we will not do it.
A predator has a desire and acts without this assessment. They do not have this ability. Research indicates they never will.
A predator’s bundle of wishes fall in the legal or criminal realm. A predator that is driven by legal desire is extremely pervasive and rarely identified. Criminal predators cause society’s greatest fear and when caught our legal system is designed to remove them, at least for a while.
Both types are dreadfully destructive. Personally I fear the legal variety because their impact is left unchecked. They cause significant harm to those that unwittingly get close to them.
Wake up all you domestic violence victims! If your spouse’s bundle of wishes is untamed, they do not change.
Where I place my greatest fear is irrelevant. What is relevant is a predator’s desire is either unfathomable to you (criminal) or in your mean spirited category (legal). Your fear comes from what you do not understand.
Why anybody would want to sexually assault a woman or molest a child is beyond our power of reason. Sorry to say that some wishes in some predators’ bundles are pure evil.
That they are acted upon is another predator difference. We can never be certain about the nature of somebody else’s bundle. Observing and realizing an action arising out of their lack of constraint indicates possible predator presence.
Remember we all slip up occasionally. No body is perfect. An occasional act that is mean spirited is normal. Beware of the ones who repeat the same behavior under similar circumatances.
Without inhibition and empathy some relatively innocuous behaviors can give off clues to indicate the necessity to steer clear.
As you drive down the road of your life be on the lookout for an untamed bundle of wishes.
AVOID THAT HEAD ON COLLISION!
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
6 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship
(could take years or weeks - no time frame)
1. Managing the Situation
The point at which abuse/violence is first experienced is a crisis for the relationship,and although some women end relationships at this point, the majority do not. They find, or accept, an explanation for the incident which allows for a future. They develop strategies to manage the situation and incidents of abuse.
2. Distortion of Perspective/Reality
Gradually more and more of a woman's daily life and thought processes are affected by abuse/violence. Managing anxiety, trying to make sense of why, takes up her energy and attention. Answering why often involves her taking responsibility. Coping is increasingly focused on trying to do and not do certain things, or defiantly acting certain ways knowing the consequences. Either approach means repeated abuse can be understood "by herself and others" as yet again her responsibility.
3. Defining abuse
It is often only after a number of assaults or abusive incidents, that women define the abuse as abuse/violence. This is not just about using the word abuse/violence, but seeing herself as someone being victimised and the man as someone who is an abuser. For this to occur some level of responsibility has to be placed with the abuser and events understood as a recurring feature. (Abuse can be emotional, sexual, verbal or financial)
4. Re-evaluating the Relationship
Once the relationship is understood as one in which abuse/violence occurs a re-evaluation process begins. Decisions take place in a changed context of meaning. The possibility of leaving temporarily or permanently, of engaging processes to contain violence, becomes easier to contemplate.
5. Ending the Relationship
Most women make many attempts to end abusive/violent relationships and the reasons for returning include believing his promises to change, the absence of acceptable practical alternatives, pressure from others, the absence of effective protection.
6. Ending the Violence
Contrary to popular myth, ending a relationship does not always ensure the violence ends, it may in fact place women at greater risk of serious, and even fatal assault.
INFORMATION ON GETTING OUT
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Psychologist Explains the Psyche of Psychopaths
By April Wilkerson
When news broke of the alleged BTK Killer's capture in Wichita, it sparked new discussions and feelings toward a decades-old case: fear, relief, intrigue about such a person.
Public interest in serial killings and psychopaths is always high, says a local psychologist. But her involvement in the field is from a more analytical perspective.
Dr. Sue Stone is a clinical psychologist at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, a position she's held since January. Although her work here is in general psychology and therapy, her specialty area is psychopathy, and she came from three years' work at the Department of Corrections, doing criminal court evaluations, consulting on capital murder cases and more.
Stone says there's an adage in her field: Not all psychopaths are serial killers, but all serial killers are psychopaths. While psychopaths as serial killers are a relatively rare phenomenon, there are people functioning in society who exhibit various degrees of psychopathic behavior in their daily lives, she said.
That makes the term psychopath a relative one, but there are definite characteristics of such people, Stone said.
Psychopaths demonstrate antisocial behavior and an aggressive narcissism -- they use people through charm, intimidation or violence, she said.
"They have a parasitic lifestyle -- they live off people. Their whole mindset is domination over other people," she said. "Psychopaths are not necessarily criminal in their activities, but they are attracted to positions of power. They have no anxiety about their behavior.
"Psychopaths see themselves as wronged. They can be paranoid, feel persecuted, feel a need for revenge. They harbor a lot of persecutory beliefs." (i.e. - They are the victim, not you, in their heads)
There also is a lot of thrill-seeking with psychopathic behavior, Stone said. Over time, there will be an escalation of their behavior because they've gotten sensitized to a certain act, but then have to "up the ante" to capture the thrill they seek, she said.
That may be the case with the alleged BTK Killer, who resurfaced with letters to the media after not being heard from in a while, Stone said.
"Psychopaths have a need for recognition, not just a need for attention," she said. "They have a sense of being invincible, of 'I can outsmart you.' They're taken in by their own narcissism. It's almost like a game."[Sociopaths] often take "souvenirs" from their victims -- pictures, jewelry, lock of hair -- to remind them later, Stone said. "They want to keep that image, the fantasy of that control going," she said.
In the BTK case, Dennis Rader has been arrested and charged in the killings of 10 people beginning in 1974. His seemingly normal life as a churchgoer and Scout leader has shocked many, but that type of appearance is not unheard-of in psychopaths, Stone said.
"It's a misnomer to think that if we saw a psychopath, he would look odd. Often, that's not the case," she said. "A psychopathic individual can be a chameleon and learn to act a certain way. That advances their opportunity to engage in certain behaviors because who would suspect?"
Often, people think that childhood abuse can create psychopathy in adults, Stone said. Childhood trauma certainly can aggravate psychopathic tendencies, but it's not a cause-effect relationship, she said. Research over the last 10-15 years is supporting the notion that psychopathy is related to a genotype (aka - GENETIC), she said.
Psychopaths also differ in that their intellectual and emotional understanding of things don't match. Stone said psychologist Robert Hare has a saying for this condition: Psychopaths know the words but don't know the music when it comes to emotions.
"They know intellectually what it is to be sad, but their empathy and regard for other people is not there," Stone said. "They can mimic the feeling, but they really can't put words to how they feel because they don't have that internal experience."
There is no known treatment for psychopaths; rather, behavior management is the course of action, Stone said. Psychopaths don't say, "I need help" because they see others as the cause of their problems; they don't have anxiety to prohibit their behavior, she said.
And studies have shown that group therapy not only doesn't work for psychopaths, it makes their behavior worse, Stone said. They use the therapy setting as practice for manipulating people.
One percent of the general population in the United States meets the criteria for psychopaths, Stone said. But the percentage is 15-20 percent in prisons because of the criminal activity psychopaths often engage in.
Instances like the BTK case often create anxiety or spark fears in people, Stone said. But it can be a good time for people to reassess their safety precautions in their homes, cars and when dealing with strangers.
"There's a certain amount of trust that goes into our daily interactions with people," Stone said. "It's important for people to realize when dealing with strangers that they need to take some precautions."Most people want to trust and help others, but that's just the position that Ted Bundy took advantage of, she said. He would act hurt and request assistance from women -- even using props like a cast -- then as soon as they were close enough, he would abduct them, she said.
Simple actions such as locking doors at home and in the car are important, but so is protecting yourself in a vulnerable position, Stone said. It's OK to call the office of a repair company to check a person's credentials, she said, and if a stranger comes to your door asking to use the phone, ask him to step to the curb, then call the police.
"It doesn't mean we need to be suspicious of everybody. We couldn't function in life; we have to have some sense of trust," she said. "The BTK case brings up issues of safety. It's a good time to look at what areas we can be safer in our day-to-day life, while realizing that serial killers are a relatively rare phenomenon."
BUT SOCIOPATHS ARE NOT A RARE PHENOMENON - THE MAJORITY OF SOCIOPATHS EXPLOIT OTHERS BUT DO NOT KILL - CLICK HERE FOR MORE