Friday, November 24, 2006
By Patricia Lefave, Labeled, D.D.(P)
While I was still in psychosis, this thought came to me as I observed the faces of the nurses who were observing me. "Evil is live backwards." (Both literally and metaphysically)
That was part of my reintegration process; my concrete experience beginning to fit together with the symbolic meaning of my psychotic state. That was very important to me because I knew it meant healing and integration. I also understood something else; that we have all been taught over and over again that the fault lays in the ones who complain of abuse and our supposed lack of forgiveness and not in the ones doing the abuse.
The abusive love the turn around. It empowers them at the same time it disempowers us and keeps the whole sick relationship flourishing. I once heard someone ‘correct’ black people who were obvious victims of contempt and abuse to ‘forgive’ the ignorance in their abusers. Ignorance? Did the advice giver mean that those people who did it don’t KNOW that taunting and threatening lives is wrong? The implication is that the abuse is just an unconscious mistake, or "accident."
Dysfunctional relating is a symbiotic union between abuser and abused. Sometimes it’s co-dependency. It’s a power struggle; it’s enmeshment. Functional relating is also a symbiotic union, but between equals who are neither the abusers, nor the abused. It’s mutuality; personal empowerment, intimacy.
When the burden of responsibility is placed upon the victim, it does two things simultaneously.
It invalidates the victim's experience, perception, and reactions AND it validates the abuser's thinking, behavior, and lack of contrition. This keeps the cycle going. Insanity is a circle. But so is sanity. If psychiatry starts going in the other direction, this is what will happen.
The burden of responsibility will be lifted off the victim, who is breaking under the weight of it, and will be handed back to the abuser, where it belonged in the first place. Notice I said the responsibility for the abuse and not the abuse itself. We are trying to break the cycle after all.
This then will do two things simultaneously also.
It will validate the victim's experience, perception, and appropriate emotional reactions AND it will invalidate the abuser's thinking, behavior and lack of contrition. The exact opposite of how it is in psychiatry right now. It will empower the victims as individuals, without vengeance, dis-empower the abusers, and break the cycle. The cycle needs to be broken not suppressed with chemicals on either side of that.
In the symbolic meaning of my psychosis, which was incredibly accurate; we must "convert" evil so that we all can live....Evil is the mirror image. It looks like "reality", but it is really just a "reflection" of our own error. It's time to step back through the "looking glass" and out of the nightmare of our own creation.