Thursday, March 10, 2011

Contradict yourself - just don't be a Psychopath!

The photo to left shows Dr Joseph M Carver, PhD, the author of the article I am bringing up in today's entry.
The Stockholm Syndrome - Are we really that bad?

I came upon a text apparently meant to be about The Stockholm Syndrome and the problematic love involved on this victims' part. It is written for the victims, not for the abusers, but I think both sides can have benefit from looking into the aspects at work in these situations. However, it is not - as one might think by seeing the title - about hijackers or terrorists.

The author, Dr Joseph M. Carver, of the article 'Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser (Part 1)', writes:

Similar to the small kindness perception is the perception of a “soft side”. During the relationship, the abuser/controller may share information about their past — how they were mistreated, abused, neglected, or wronged. The victim begins to feel the abuser/controller may be capable of fixing their behavior or worse yet, that they (abuser) may also be a “victim”. Sympathy may develop toward the abuser and we often hear the victim of Stockholm Syndrome defending their abuser with “I know he fractured my jaw and ribs…but he’s troubled. He had a rough childhood!” Losers and abusers may admit they need psychiatric help or acknowledge they are mentally disturbed; however, it’s almost always after they have already abused or intimidated the victim. The admission is a way of denying responsibility for the abuse. In truth, personality disorders and criminals have learned over the years that personal responsibility for their violent/abusive behaviors can be minimized and even denied by blaming their bad upbringing, abuse as a child, and now even video games. One murderer blamed his crime on eating too much junk food — now known as the “Twinkie Defense”. While it may be true that the abuser/controller had a difficult upbringing, showing sympathy for his/her history produces no change in their behavior and in fact, prolongs the length of time you will be abused. While “sad stories” are always included in their apologies — after the abusive/controlling event — their behavior never changes! Keep in mind: once you become hardened to the “sad stories”, they will simply try another approach. I know of no victim of abuse or crime who has heard their abuser say "I’m beating (robbing, mugging, etc.) you because my Mom hated me!"

Now the 'Small Kindness' is about giving your victim little signs of consideration at the right times.

However, I find some problems with his description of the 'Soft Side' issue.
Just something like mentioning that abusers will often tell the victim about how they've been wronged, abused, etc., various hardships like poor and abusive upbringings, he ends the whole passage by saying:

I know of no victim of abuse or crime who has heard their abuser say "I’m beating (robbing, mugging, etc.) you because my Mom hated me".

Oh is that right? Why then you've just contradicted the whole chapter which is about how this is exactly what abusers do: Tell their victims they're disordered because their parents - their mom, their caretaker, - beat them up or otherwise mistreated them and basically were very hateful in their ways towards the abuser.

So which is it?

What hits me about something like this glitch is that for as long as it is someone professional, someone who has never been linked to 'bad' conduct or having been diagnosed a psychopath or antisocial themselves, they can get away with almost anything, just as long as some of it fits what people already have found to be true in most cases.

And 'most cases' may be key here, since if you ARE a psychopath (in their understanding), there's no way you can not have acted like this clinical psychologist describes. You must've acted thus, or your victim/s would not have developed what they define as 'Stockholm Syndrome', and that is because NO ONE can possible love a psychopath! No, not REALLY love, it MUST be manipulation.

As a representative of the side that carries the label Psychopath I can't help but finding this problematic. It tends towards superstition when you can't imagine a psychopath really being loved and not because of abusive manipulation, whereas on the other side a professional who writes about your manipulative methods can't be wrong, even when he contradicts himself!

And while we're at it, where is the respect for the victims in all these writings that portrays them as unthinking marionette dolls that any psychopathic person who happens to come by can manipulate into doing and feeling the exact opposite things of what is viewed moral, sane, logical, good, etc.?

As I see it there's a lot of disdain and hidden contempt for these 'normal' people who so willingly become our victims.It is not only in the Stockholm Syndrome I see this ... you can say that in this case it is understandable that a victim will try to please their abuser, since their lives may be at stake.
But once we draw a connection between airplane hijackers and common psychopaths it really begins to look suspicious.

And in this piece of text - contradictions aside - the line-drawing is unmistakable. If anyone thinks otherwise, all you need to do is pay his website a visit. It is ABOUT psychopathic abusers.

Good reading.

...Or not as the case may be!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic post, Zhawk. I have been thinking about this for a while. For lots of reasons (Hmm.... )

Zhawq said...

Thank you. I've had it in mind for quite some time too, since I read the first book on psychopathy by Robert Hare. He does it too.
It's not like the victims doesn't play along, but I think it needs addressing nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

Some good points made here, Zhawq. Something to meditate on.

Zhawq said...

It's rather disgusting if you ask me, Notable. No reason really to meditate, it's so transparent you'll never get around to actually meditating you can see from the bit of text I've quoted. ;)

But for the good points bit, thanks! Always appreciate that. *s*

Anonymous said...

You took this article so out of context that I feel dumb for even responding to it. I have a feeling that even if I explained the "alleged contradiction", you probably wouldn't get it.

In order to "get it", you must READ the entire peice and how Carver explains what causes Stockholm Syndrome. The paragraphs before your "contradicted clip" tell different examples of how stockholm syndrome can occur.

Let me break it down for you. It's about the bond between the predator and victim, it's why victims have so much trouble,...psychopaths. It's the perception of threat that keeps victims hanging on, keeps them attached without the ability to detach or run.

The underlying threat to the victim has been created and/or formed through direct, indirect or witnessed methods. The predator might have threatened family members, threatened to kill the victim...whatever the predator needs to say to push the victim to conform. Thus, the victim stays.

The victim knows and believes the predator is serious and could personally harm them by a) already experiencing it b) seeing them harm others c) hearing about their violent behavior or from the predator himself by telling stories of revenge to remind victim that revenge is possible if they leave.

Are you getting any of this? Now, reading the beginning of the article sets the piece up for predators saying and doing outlandish things to scare the shit out of their victim to make them stay. Then, in relationships...predators use the soft side to pressure the victim to stay put. Regardless, predators have to create the fear and that fear is not created with saying, "I'm robbing you because my mom hated me".

Seriously, I don't see how you think this is contradicting? How can a victim take a predator seriously if he intially says, "I'm going to kill you because my mother hated me". Wouldn't you immediately assume that the predator is not so much of a predator but a big weenie with a soft spot?

Either you didn't read the entire piece of you might be a bit 'retard'. The ending "My mom hated me" does not so much relate to the 'relationship' soft spot but more less the beginning of the piece when the predator is trying to establish and maintain dominance and know, the 'tough' guy, the guy with the 'gun', not the guy whose mommy hated him.

I'm not running spell check on this nor am I coming back to this blog...mostly because the first post I read was you trying to discredit an article that was totally taken out of context and not to mention, you're a psychopath trying to argue the obvious...good look with life and the empathy stuff.

Anonymous said...

P.S.: Didn't have time to run spell check, just enough time to bitch and run...later

Anonymous said...

I completely agree the entire response to the article was taken out of context, misquoted,tweaked and manipulated to meet a specific agenda. If you're going to critique an article, at least do it correctly.

Anonymous said...


DMW said...

No. You are right. It is possible for a victim to love a psychopath just because she loves him. We love them because their inner child cries out to us and we want to help ease their pain. We feel compassion for them because they are hurt and want to heal but don't know how. We feel how hurt they are and we know that they hurt others because they don't know what to do with their pain. We hope that if they are shown empathy and compassion and real, unconditional love they will learn it. Maybe we're stupid and deserved to be used by these people, but how can we not try to ease a persons pain that has suffered so much. I don't know the answer to this. Do you?

Unknown said...

Now just remember guys just remember contradiction began when anything was given a human definition and kept in books that are unable grow.. We all take what we want from reality and our knowledge is all situational.