Emotional abuse in borderline families is the worse abuse of all

Christine Lawson writes in her book, Understanding The Borderline Mother, that children have four needs:

    1. To be held (to be enveloped by safe, loving arms)
    2. To be mirrored (to se a positive reflection of themselves in their parent's eyes)
    3. To be soothed ( to be comforted, reassured, and protected)
    4. To be given some control ( to elicit predictable responses to expressed needs)

Lawson writes a little further:

"Like a broken record, the borderline's behavior seems compulsively driven, with the aim of eliciting what she lacked as a child. The Waif needed to be held, the Hermit needed to be soothed, the Queen needed to be mirrored, and the Witch needed control." p.45

In addition to physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse in the form of denigration put children at high risk of developing Borderline Personality Disorder. Denigration can take the form of teasing, ridicule, mockery, humiliation, embarassment, and harassment. Dr. Lawson writes:

"Chronic denigration can destroy even an emotionally heathy adult's self-esteem. Denigration of a child can destroy the soul before self-esteem has a chance to develop." p. 46

One client told me how he was constantly referred to as "fat butt" as a child growing up. He also said that he was often told sarcastically that he was "dumb as a stone", and that the dog was smarter than he was.

What is even more damaging is when the parent is held accountable for this emotional abuse and it is denied as "I was only kidding." or the victim gets blamed as "not being able to take a joke" or further denigrated as "there you go whining again."

Emotional_abuseSome might argue that physical and sexual abuse are less psychologically damaging to children because the nature of the abuse and the perpetrator is clear, but emotional abuse is more confusing or "mystifying' as R.D. Laing, a British psychiatrist called it. Dr. Laing thought it was the "mystification" that was the most damaging aspect of emotional abuse because as the abuse is being perpetrated, it is also being denied.

It was this invalidation that Lawson refers to when she writes:

"Linehan explains that invalidating environments do not allow the expression of painful or negative emotions. Invalidating families teach children that pretending to be happy is more important than being happy, and that talking about how you really feel only makes things worse."p.46

The "no-good child" often has it worse. As Lawson says,

"Unjustly accused, the no-good child is sentenced without trial, held without bond, and may feel imprisoned for life. Therapists sometimes warn family members not to depend on the person with BPD to validate their self-worth, yet young children have no choice." p. 47

One client, a very capable competent nurse in her early 30s, told me that it took her years to overcome her anxiety about whether she was competent and good enough.

Lawson writes:

"Children raised by borderlines may spend their childhood balanced on the edge of disaster and may suffer anxiety for the rest of their lives." p. 48

The old child's nursery rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." is wrong. Words often hurt worse than sticks and stones because sticks and stones only injure the body, but words can injure the soul. A broken leg is one thing, but a broken spirit is quite another.

This is post # 12 in a series based on Dr. Christine Lawson's book, Understanding The Borderline Mother.

Lying of politicians leads to mystification of population

Today, October 27, 2006, Mia Culpa Web Site has a great YouTube clip of Bush, Cheney, Snow, and Lieberman repeating their "Stay The Course" talking point which now they are claiming they never said. This is a good example of "mystification" which can make people crazy.

Isn't it time for some intellectual honesty? Isn't it time for leaders with moral integrity? Don't we deserve better leaders than this? Please vote this fall for candidates who are honest, who have integrity, and who are interested in representing you in a free and democratic government and not merely in being shills for industrial/military/political interests.

I recommend that you click on the link below and watch the clip.

ink: Mia Culpa: Lieberman "Stay the Course".

Tom Reynolds' National Republican Congressional Committee has gone too far with their attack ads

Sex_ad The Republican National Congressional Committee has gone way over the line. It's chairperson, Tom Reynolds, is my congressman, and he, and his committee, bring shame to his constituents and the great citizens of New York State and the country. Here is the level the NRCC is stooping to as reported by CBS on October 21, 2006.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is being criticized by one of their own candidates for a sensational attack ad it produced for a congressional race in New York State. Democratic congressional candidate Michael Arcuri is accused in the ad of billing taxpayers for a call to a phone sex line placed while he was in a hotel. The ad shows Arcuri leering at the silhouette of a dancing woman who says, "Hi, sexy. You've reached the live, one-on-one fantasy line." But Arcuri's campaign released records showing the call made two years ago from his New York City hotel room to 800-457-8462 — a sex line — was followed the next minute by a call to 518-457-8462, the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. Arcuri, the district attorney in Oneida County, said the ad was "clearly libelous" and threatened to file a lawsuit. Even his GOP opponent, state Sen. Ray Meier, described it as "way over the line." At least seven television stations in Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton refused to run the ad, Arcuri said. The NRCC stood by the 30-second message. Spokesman Ed Patru insisted it was "totally true" and said candidate Meier was not consulted.

Politics has turned into a version of World Federation Wrestling. Ads have become tawdry, hurtful, cynical, and deceitful. The reason these attack ads are used is because they work. Voters deserve the politicians they elect, and I wish and pray that the majority of voters become more aware, more just, and more truthful as they take the responsibility to cast their votes.

This kind of propaganda which distorts the truth and distracts voters from the real issues that affect their lives, their communities, their state and their country is damaging to their mental health and the public health of our country. This kind of deceit is toxic, immoral, and unethical. Do you want these people representing you in this State and country?

Robert McClure, a professor at the Maxwell School of Public Administration at Syracuse University said "I think they have a low regard for the American electorate, but I also think they have the evidence that these kinds of negative smear campaigns work."

I applaud the TV stations that had the decency to refuse to run these ads.

Link: Steamy Attack Ad Meets Chilly Reception, Republican Committee-Sponsored Ad Accuses Dem. Candidate Of Billing Phone Sex Charges To Taxpayers - CBS News.

Do the Republicans exploit evangelical religiosity?

Jesus_and_flag Crooks and Liars has a a clip from Keith Olberman in which Olberman discusses David Kuo's new book, "Tempting Faith" in which Kuo describes the hypocricy of the Republican Administration who mock and laugh at the evangelical's religiosity and use them purely for political ends. The New York Times has an article today, October 13, 2006, by David Kirkpatrick which says essentially the same thing as Olberman said.

This is proof of how politicians co-opt and exploit religion for political reasons. Hitler exploited Lutherans and Catholics who fully supported his Nazi policies. It is the further reason that our founding fathers created the principle of separation of church and state which the Republicans have eroded with their numerous faith based policies and activities.

This is a mental health issue for the nation because it is another example of "mystification" which I have discussed on previous posts. Mystification drives people crazy because people in authority are saying one thing when they really are intending another.

To watch the clip, click on the link below.

Link: Crooks and Liars » Tempting Faith: Christian Conservatives Duped by BushCo. Part II.

Letter to a Christian Nation, the book

Letter_to_a_christian_nation Here is the beginning of "Letter To A Christian Nation" by Sam Harris.

“Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse.”

Here is one of the reviews from the Amazon web site about this book.

“I can’t sign my name to this blurb. As a New York Times best selling author of books about business, my career will evaporate if I endorse a book that challenges the deeply held superstitions and bigotry of the masses. That’s exactly why you should (no, you must) read this angry and honest book right away. As long as science and rational thought are under attack by the misguided yet pious majority, our nation is in jeopardy. I’m scared. You should be too. Please buy two, one for you and one for a friend you care about.”
–Unsigned, New York Times best selling author

Sam Harris' book is a very important book which brings into question the theocracy which has develped in America. He makes a compelling case that this theocratic thinking not only threatens the future of our democracy, but the well being of human beings on planet earth.

Letter To A Christian Nation is a sobering book, one that will scare you and one that will make you angry. I highly recommend it to all Americans.

Link: Amazon.com: Letter to a Christian Nation: Books: Sam Harris.

Keith Olbermann eloquently enumerates President Bush's lies

Bush Crooks and Liars web site has an eleven minute clip of Keith Olbermann's special comments on the lies of President George W. Bush. It is a must view for all Americans. You really have to wonder about Bush's mental health. He does seem divorced from reality.

To view the clip click on the link below

Link: Crooks and Liars » Olbermann’s Special Comment: It is not the Democrats whose inaction in the face of the enemy you fear.

Americans should be ashamed of their Republican congress - They are not safe even around children

Jon_stewart When I observe the disengenuous lying that goes on in Washington it makes me want to cry. Tom Reynolds, who is my congressman I am ashamed to admit, had the most ungodly news conference about the Foley affair at a day care center of all places, exploiting further, children, for political ends. It is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen done. This is the guy who defended Tom Delay, vouching for his innocence on Meet The Press on October 2, 2005 just a year ago this month. These guys have no shame. The only thing that makes me feel a little bit better is Jon Stewart's biting and scathing satire. To watch the Jon Stewart clip, click on the link below which will take you to a YouTube clip on Crooks and Liars.

Link: Crooks and Liars » Daily Show: GOP Quickly Abandoning the Sinking S.S. Hastert.

Fundamentalism of all stripes is wreaking havoc on humanity.

Fundamentalism Fundamentalism teaches exclusivity and hate for the different. This hated is then captured by political movements for harm on humanity. This is not true religion but dysfunctional psychopatholgy. Check out this YouTube movie on "The Power Of Faith". This kind of "faith" founded on exclusivity and hatred is not good for the public health. To watch the 3 minute video click on the link below.


Further worries about Bush's mental health

Tdsnieleak Yesterday, September 29, 2006 Crooks and Liars web site posted about a 2 1/2 minute video from Jon Stewart's Daily Show during which Jon discusses the President's reponse to the scandal created by the National Intelligence Estimate leaked to the press on September 26, 2006.

Bush seems angry that Americans have the information from the NIE report that the terrorist threat has gotten worse since the U.S. invaded Iraq not better as President Bush and his administration continually states in spite of the evidence to the contrary.

It makes one wonder whether the President is psychotic, psychopathic, or a dry drunk in denial. These possibilities, of course, are not mutually exclusive and so could be overlapping.

It is very destructive to our country and the world that the President would not want Americans to have information necessary in a Democracy to allow them to participate in good policy development. He seems defensive, rigid, insistent, and angry.

In dysfunctional families one of the rules is the "Don't Talk" rule which means that everyone knows that bad things are happening but no one is suppose to say anything for fear that it may upset the person in authority, usually mom or dad. One of the ways of commenting without being blamed is to make a joke or to play the clown. This gets exemplified in our national politics by satire which Jon Stewart is so good at. It is a sad thing to watch President Bush and his administration self destruct. The only thing sadder is to witness the death and destruction that has been perpetrated around the world under the guise of "freedom and democracy". It seems President Bush believes his own delusions even with evidence to the contrary.

Watch the clip by clicking on the link below. You will either laugh or cry or a little of both.

Link: Crooks and Liars » TDS: It’s the NIE Report.

Honesty, love, deceit - the relationship implications for a happy committed relationship graphically articulated

The person who writes the Indexed blog is a very clever, insightful, intelligent person. I have become a huge fan of this web site. On Tuesday, September 26, 2006, there are some great postings. As a marriage counselor, I especially enjoyed this one. Spend some time reflecting on it, it will be well worth it.


Link: indexed.