Date: September 15, 2017 09:31AM
It's not that I have twisted my former compassion into contempt. I have had to neglect it as a means of survival. Even as a small child being abused, I could "see" and sense the pain of the abuser, more than I "worried" for myself. I've fought that impulse my entire adult life, until I learned "a little" about sociopaths and psychopaths, which I differentiate from addiction, though I know there are no such clear boundaries in humans.
My father experienced trauma as a child and youth, and meted it out to all members of the family he created. My mother experienced much the same, was not overtly violent, but stopped showing affection to her children when they began speaking. My father was a "secret" drinker, and a "legal" drug-seeker, and would swallow those until they were gone.
Maybe the reason I'm alive is that he self-monitored his addictions. It was like he behaved about TV. He would buy the best model available, then 3 - 6 months later, give it away, because all he did was watch TV and go to work. He would get a narcotic prescription, have it refilled several times, then stop for a while. Then later, do the same, my entire childhood. The violent, destructive rages, threats to kill the family, commit suicide, beatings - I could never attach a pattern to that, but could always feel it coming.
I don't know what brain anomalies caused it, but my reaction to fear was to "ignore" it. My mother used me to "calm him down," because I could walk into the middle of it, and talk to him in a normal voice, "talk him down." I don't think it was a "special" ability, rather, an extreme survival reaction - a shutting down of emotion. That suppressed fear commanded that I consider his feelings before my own,
That is the worst beast that followed me into adulthood, and it was (is) a danger to me. I had real love for my father, and I'm sure I don't have to say how that played out in adulthood, because it was entirely predictable.
I'm the second of four kids, m,f,f,f. 1 & 3 are dead of addiction, and 4 is on that path, though not as intensively, because she missed much of her childhood in a phenobarb and dilantin induced haze (car accident, grand mal six mos. later).
I don't know why or how I escaped, the self-math is too complex, but I know that the lack of fear made room for an unnatural empathy.
Leonard Cohen - I had heard the song before, but had never applied the prism, the one that breaks the obvious bright light into its many colors. So much more is there. Thank you.
I had never heard of the 4600% risk factor, and that's astonishing. I can see other survivors of SA, like they are wearing suits of armor, for a lot of years, having lost and regained my own, more than once. For me, losing the armor means exposing the empathy, the latter a thing beyond my hungry control, and that is the greater danger. Having written this, maybe I am not unique in that, which is good to think. We survivors fear not what may be done to us, but what we may allow to be done to us.
See what I mean about your posts? Maybe my bars can crack a little.
Anyway, I have long viewed addiction as an illness rather than a crime, and that the way the US fails to address mental illness can only leave me to believe that our lawmakers are heavily financially vested in "crime prevention," and the profits thereof. What "we" do to and with addicts and/or mentally ill people makes no sense, so I am left to follow the money. Lawmakers commit the greater crimes, and they're crimes against humanity.
Thanks again for - being you.