In Norway we have a facebook-group called “psychologist” where we share interesting videos, articles and questions that we`d like to discuss. Two days ago someone posted a youtube-video that I actually started to watch (I don`t always have time for this) and I had to continue since I really liked it. The start was a bit tiresome, but when they start to discuss psychotherapy, I learnt so much and felt really happy afterwards. The theme revolves around questions that counselors often get in therapy: Do I need this? And what will happen here? Many also feel psychotherapy is the last resort: It proves that their “defeated”. They discuss these questions in a matter-of-fact way, and in my opinion, they do this brilliantly. I hope you`ll like it as well! Unfortunately it was impossible to embed it, so please follow the link I`ve provided to see it.
The last post was actually post number 200. I AM proud of myself. From writing almost nothing, I have the last year written and written, and there is still so much to say, so many stories to tell, so many other blogs to share (there is a lot of interesting stories out there) and thoughts that have to come out. I hope you have enjoyed the journey so far. Any wishes on themes I might write about?
I am reblogging one of my fav. blogs:
Every day someone lives in pain. Sometimes it is physical torment, and sometimes it`s mental agony. A memory can harm as well as knives and blows. I want to present a blog from Ashana. She grew up with no safety net, and it is almost impossible to imagine how that must have been. But we have to. We can`t close our eyes. Stories like her, make me want to fight for a better world.
Ashana, thank you so much for sharing your story. Sending you warm thoughts.
Have you had yours?
August 6th, a lone gunman toting two semi-automatic weapons killed seven people and wounded a number of others at a crowded Sikh temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A few weeks before, a man opened fire in a theater in Colorado, killing 12 and wounded 58 others. The first instance is classified as a hate crime. The second appears to be entirely random—murder for the sake of it.
These are difficult and frightening times we live in. Much of the Middle East has become destabilized, with civil war raging in Syria and smoldering in Egypt. Terrorist attacks and sectarian violence have become so commonplace in Afghanistan and Iraq it no longer seems to be news. Bombs planted in war-torn Chechnya, where violence has erupted sporadically since the start of the First Chechen War in 1994, reportedly killed four individuals on the same day as the gurudwara shooting. Meanwhile, the Indian Mujahideen struck in Pune on August 1st, when serial explosions rocked Jangli Maharaj Road. The world has become a terrifying place.
Or has it? Is this really anything new?
What about the 500,000-100,000 murdered in Rwanda in 1994? The 200,000 killed in Bosnia’s “ethnic cleansing” between 1992 and 1995? The 2 million executed, starved, or worked to death in Cambodia starting in 1975? The .5 million hacked to death or burned alive during Partition? Or, for heaven’s sake, the 11 million who died during the Holocaust under Nazi rule? And going back to perhaps one of the first genocides of the 20th century, the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish beginning in 1915? What about them?
Targets change, weapons improve, but ordinary people are now and always have been quite capable of torture and mass murder. Evil, it seems, is part of the human heart.
In saying this, I am not arguing that we are all just sinners, hopelessly seduced by that devil. Evil, at least in my mind, is a complicated matter. It is worth making an effort to understand These are my questions:
Why do some people carry out evil acts?
Why do some engage in more extreme acts of evil than others?
Why do these events occur more at some times than others?
How is it that some people—and not others—take a stand against evil, often at great personal risk to themselves?
Since I was about 13 years old, I have been deeply and abidingly interested in these questions. While an adolescent Stephen Hawking may have started searching for a unified theory of physics at that age, I started looking for a unified theory of evil. We need to understand the worlds we live in, and mine was for many years almost unrelentingly evil.
It might help to tell a little of my story. My dad molested me from the time I can remember. When I was two, he raped me with a pair of scissors. Like many sociopaths, he killed animals from time to time—usually in front of me—and at least once insisted I kill as well. His aim was not only to frighten, but to corrupt.
Before I was school-aged, my mother assaulted me multiple times—a few times by strangling, once with a pair of kitchen knives, once with a kitchen chair. I have incoherent memories of being dunked head-first in water—the tub or the toilet. I think she did that. But I don’t know.
To discipline me, one or both of them shut me up in a freezer until I lost consciousness. Alternatively, they chained me blindfolded to a wall in the garage, at times without any clothes on. In the garage, I was fed spoiled food, crawling with bugs, or no food at all and refused access to a toilet.
At the same time, my father was also my pimp. For 11 years, I serviced the perverted desires of pedophiles, mainly in a variety of cheap hotels, but also at home or in the homes of his friends. In addition, I performed sporadically in child pornography—both still and filmed.
I grew up in hell and the devil lived there.
Except these were people. People did these things, and in some cases, a lot of people. Unlike my mother, who acted impulsively and alone, my father was intelligent, organized, and apparently well-connected. For the most part, he abused me in the context of organizations that were systematically abusing other children and employed a variety of people—as actors and film crew, hotel managers, maintenance and janitorial workers, and human traffickers.
This was not simply the product of a single, unbalanced mind going over the edge, nor was it the result of a few people getting greedy and slipping into amoral behavior. There were too many of them—both consumers and producers—for these to be adequately understood as isolated incidents or as the work of the 1% of the population who simply lack conscience. Some of this is about ordinary people committing unbelievably, horrifyingly evil acts..
This blog is not so much the place where I am telling my story, as the place where I work to understand those stories. And also where I try to heal the scars.
Thanks for being here with me.
I have written some posts on dissociation, and even if people might feel this song has nothing to do with it, it still highlights one fact about dissociation: Dissociation means that we have different parts with their own unique abilities, weaknesses and strengths. Aguilera sings about the strong ones, and together they make an army. You have the wise, strong and the fighter. The point is also that when you are one of them, the others are in the background. A “fighter” would be in that mode, ready for attack with all that means in form of thoughts, feelings and actions. When you go from one mode to another, you “switch”. We all do it, so it`s not as otherworldly as the word dissociation suggests.
Enjoy the song, your time and yourself.
Lyrics to the song. Notice the “parts” she sings about in the chorus.
I’ve been standing where you left me
Praying that you’d come and get me
But now I’ve found my second wind
Now I found my second skin
Well I know what you were thinking
You thought you’d watch me fade away
When you broke me into pieces
But I gave each piece a name
One of me is wiser
One of me is stronger
One of me is a fighter
And there’s a thousand faces of me
And we’re gonna rise up
For every time you broke me
Well you’re gonna face an army
Army of me
Welcome to my revolution
All your walls are breaking down
It’s time you had a taste of losing
Time the table’s turned around
I see a glimpse of recognition
But it’s too late, yes it’s too late
And what you though was your best decision
Just became your worst mistake
So how does it feel
To know that I beat you?
That I can defeat you ?
Oh. how does it feel ?
It sure feels sweeter to me
Army of me