June 28, 2009
Trauma survivors know all about perpetrators. Dissociative trauma survivors know all about sadistic perpetrators. Dissociative trauma survivors with a background in ritual abuse, or mind control, or sex slavery organizations know all about truly evil perpetrators.
Those of us in the world who were not directly exposed to such darkness have a hard time grasping its depth. It seems surreal to us. Unfathomable. While many therapists may truly believe “in their heads” that abuse and evil exist in this world, having that head knowledge is still a far cry from truly knowing and experiencing yourself as the target of evil.
I’ve been working almost exclusively with dissociative trauma survivors for over 20 years, and I have listened to and believed what my clients have told me. I know the politically correct answer is to say that I can neither confirm nor deny the abuse of others, but let’s face it. Either trauma therapists believe their clients were genuinely abused or they need to get out of the field and go work somewhere else.
But do therapists really know what evil is? I dare to say, no, most do not.
They have head knowledge, but most mental health therapists have not experienced evil. They haven’t been the target of a predator. They haven’t had their soul ravaged or clawed into. They haven’t had their body destroyed or ripped apart. Of course, there are some wounded healers that have truly been able to rise above their own traumas and actually do have a genuine sense of how deeply evil can wound, but these are a rare find.
(But be careful, there are far too many wounded who should spend more time on their own healing before jumping into the helping profession. If you happen to find a therapist that truly has done their own healing, then you are very fortunate – that person will be able to help you. But please watch out for the professionals who are still mid-process. They can cause a lot more harm than they might mean to cause.)
Despite my sheltered upbringing, in the past few years, I have been getting a deeper grasp on how cold and evil people can be. I’ve had a closer look at the destructive handiwork of predators. Initially it took me off-guard, because I really believed in the goodness of people. I was raised to trust, to forgive, to love, and to see the best in others, and I do that easily.
So being targeted by the calculated coldness of predators has been quite an eye-opening experience. I still shake my head in surprise, completely amazed at how vicious people can be. The lies, the twists, the deception – the depths to which people will sink when they have no conscience to guide them – it’s totally mind boggling to someone raised by a family who truly believed in goodness.
How does someone protect themselves from blatant attacks by a predator trying to destroy them? When someone is trying to rip at your very core, how do you stay safe and solid within yourself?
First, know that they don’t know you. They know what they want you to be, but they don’t know who you truly are apart from them. As a result, they don’t speak the truth about you, or about anyone. They speak through the tools of their trade. They tells lies, they create deception, because these are the things they know. They know darkness, and they know cold, calculated, purposeful destruction of people. Yes, they purposefully work to destroy good people. But they are not you. And they are not me.
You don’t have to listen to them. You don’t have to believe them. You don’t have to be who or what they say you are. You don’t have to do what they say to do or think what they tell you to think. They are flat wrong in their words, their actions, and their motives. Learn who you truly are, apart from their lies and their manipulations and their tricks. Learn to think for yourself, neither in obedience to them nor in reaction to them, and that will help you to separate yourself from them.
And believe in your true self. Your life, your beliefs, your heart, and your soul belong to what you are willing to fight for and to what you stand for when there is nobody but you yourself telling you where to stand. You don’t have to give any of yourself away to the dark, cold emptiness of a predator. If you know and connect to your true self, that alone can be a protection against any predatory attack on your self. Knowing who you truly are is an armor against the lies and tricks intended to destroy you or hurt you by telling you who and what you are.
And learn how to compassionately love. Hold onto that gentle love you feel, and never let it go. Evil does not love. If you can genuinely love and care for others, you are not one of them. Stand solid in the knowledge of your own goodness, your spiritual faith, your strengths, and your ability to think and to feel and to love. Let that repel the evil away from you.
Separate yourself from them. Know who you are apart from them.
And stay far away from them. The best protection you can have is not to give them the opportunity to say or do anything to you. Protect yourself. If you know that somebody is a predator or a perpetrator, stay away from them.
Because you are not them. And they are not you.
You do not belong to them, no matter how much they come after you.
You do not belong to them, no matter what they did to you or what they said to you or what they made you do.
Stay true to yourself, and be who you are. Be who you truly are. And let the power of compassionate love overcome any darkness that tries to change you.
If you forget, remember the beauty and simplicity in an opening quote from the movie, “The Notebook”:
“I am no one special – just a common man, with common thoughts. I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect, I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who has ever lived.
I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and for me, that is always good enough.“
Kathy Broady LCSW
February 27, 2009
Next week, I will be attending the 2009 CONFERENCE ON CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN.
AbuseConsultants.com will be an exhibitor at this conference.
If you are attending this conference, please stop by my exhibit table and let’s chat for awhile!
2009 CONFERENCE ON CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
March 2-4, 2009
CO-PRESENTED BY GENESIS WOMEN’S SHELTER
AND THE DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT
The 4th Annual Conference on Crimes Against Women offers the most practical, current, and relevant training provided by the country’s leading experts in the fields of intervention, investigation and prosecution for the full range of crimes committed against women.
Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers; domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide investigators; probation and parole officers; state and federal prosecutors; nurses; victim advocates and domestic violence shelter staff, will gather again this year in Dallas to participate in workshops, computer labs and case studies that will address all types of crimes in which women are targeted. This year’s agenda will address issues related to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, serial murder, Internet-related offenses and other crimes.
Some of the workshops include:
By Christina Smith
Prostitution has been an age-old problem around the world. But with the ever-growing popularity of technology and the Internet as well as other trends in criminal behavior, law enforcement officers must look beyond the traditional places when investigating prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation of women. This workshop will provide practical information for combating these crimes. The emerging trends in prostitution will be discussed. Additionally, the issues of substance abuse, human trafficking and other factors that affect prostitution trends will be examined.
By Jim Tanner
Improve your interview skills. Learn how to tell when someone is editing something out of a verbal or written statement. This session will cover the basics of Discourse Analysis, a lexical and syntactical approach to analyzing statements. Using clear examples, Dr. Tanner will explain how a respondent’s shifts in words and grammar can point interviewers to “hot spots” in a statement that need to be probed. You will never listen to a conversation or interview the same way again if you attend this session.
“EVERYONE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!”: WORKING WITH FEARFUL AND RESISTANT VICTIMS
By Susan Clark
In this workshop we will explore the psychological dynamics involved in victims’ interactions with criminal justice professionals. Faced with a volatile mix of anger, alarm, denial and unpredictable responses – how professionals can communicate effectively with traumatized and resistant victims.
HOW WOMEN CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES
By James A. Savage, Jr. and Kristen Howell
This is a two-part workshop. The first part will present a number of simple security and emergency planning measures designed specifically for women as well as effective strategies that can be adapted and used by police officers and other professionals to deliver these important learning points to their constituents and communities. Also covered will be several aspects of personal safety and security to include travel, shopping, home, school and work that often are overlooked or not commonly known
The second part of the workshop will discuss safety planning for battered women who are either in abusive relationships or trying to safely terminate those relationships. Safety planning techniques include how to be emotionally and physically safe from the batterer, as well as how to manage the batterer when he is violent and when he is the Honeymoon stage and promising change. This presentation will also go beyond the run-of-the-mill safety planning techniques by helping domestic violence experts identify and train women how to augment their own survival skills with skills to effectively leave and leave safely; as well how to maintain safety in a technologically advanced world where hiding is no longer a plausible strategy.
“MY DADDY HURT MY MOMMY”: INTERVIEWING CHILD WITNESSES TO CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
By Irish Burch
This workshop will provide investigators and others with an overview on the importance of forensically interviewing children who have been exposed to violence. It will provide participants with an understanding on the types of information that can be gathered and how the interview process can aid in gathering key information for their investigation.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN GOES HIGH TECH
By Cindy Southworth
From Caller ID Spoofing to stalking victims through social networking sites, abusers are misusing new high-tech tools to commit the age-old crimes of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Learn how everything from GPS to Spyware to Virtual Worlds can be misused to harm a victims and how agencies can become more tech savvy to address these crimes, safety plan with victims, and safely incorporate technology into their own work.
SERIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT AND OFFENDER CHARACTERISTICS
By Craig Ackley
This workshop will present information on the different types of offenders who commit sexually assaults. Included in this presentation will be a focus on understanding offender characteristics, motivations, and risk for violence.
UNIQUE APPROACHES TO INTERVIEWING POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Bill Bernstein
This workshop will be an interactive training that will address the crime of human trafficking from the perspective of helping the victims. It will include a discussion of many of the obstacles faced by those interviewers of human trafficking victims. Techniques and strategies for overcoming these obstacles will be presented.
WORKING WITH EXPERTS TO EXPLAIN VICTIM BEHAVIOR IN SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
By Jennifer Long
When a victim alleges a sexual assault, the prevalence of myths causes the public to search for a reason to doubt the allegation rather than to search for the truth. This presentation compares the myths about victim behavior with the realities of the behavior, addresses the necessity of offering expert or other testimony to explain a victim’s behavior and offers recommended strategies for explaining victim behavior—either through the introduction of expert testimony or through the victim’s own testimony—at trial.
RESPONDING TO STRANGULATION AND TRIAL PREPARATION: WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND HEALTH CARE NEED TO KNOW
By Tiffani Dusang and Eddie Hazell
This workshop will address the issue of strangulation. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a leading cause of physical and psychological injury to women between the ages of 15 and 54. An episode of IPV often includes multiple actions, and the violence typically escalates over time. Often times these injuries result in permanent disability or disfigurement and can include strangulation. Responding to strangulation, when it occurs within a domestic violence context, requires an understanding of the overlapping dynamics of power, control, love and fear. Due to the variable ways strangulation can be accomplished severity cannot be decided by visible bruising or injuries. Victims have complex needs that thorough well-documented reports can provide objective and factual demonstration of the inflicted violence. These reports can be crucial at trial and impact the outcome of any legal case as well as victims.
And many more….
If you have the opportunity to attend this conference, please do so.
And remember to please stop by my exhibit table and say hello!
Kathy Broady LCSW
February 10, 2009
Dissociative Identity Disorder is created from severe, chronic child abuse, but does that abuse automatically stop in childhood?
Unfortunately, no, it does not.
All too many survivors continue to be trapped in abusive environments long after their childhood has ended. Sometimes this abuse continues with the same family-related perpetrators that abused the survivor all throughout the childhood years. For example, far too many adult children of creepy-fathers are still being sexually abused into adulthood.
Creepy-fathers don’t necessarily stop being sex offenders just because their children get older. These lifelong predators already know how to manipulate your dissociative system, and they will continue to “call out” and dominate the child parts that they controlled for all the years previous. The child parts don’t necessarily realize that they are in an adult body, or that years of time have passed, so it still feels like more of the same to them.
Typically, in situations such as these, the dissociative walls that separate those abused child parts and the adult host can still be locked solidly in place, allowing no seepage of information to pass through. The adult DID survivor may not have any conscious awareness that they are still being abused in this way.
But true, far too often.
Sometimes, the ongoing abuse is more organized than in-home family abuse. The sex slave industries can use, own, control, sell, and exploit dissociative survivors for many years.
Slavery didn’t end with the Civil War – it just became more hidden.
One of the current ways that slavery still exists — even in 2009 — is through the entrapment of the dissociative population. Various prostitution / pornography organizations can “own” and exploit survivors by using physical violence, emotional blackmail, drugs, mind control techniques, and dissociation as means to maintain their power and control. Extricating these dissociative prisoners from these organized predators is a complicated and complex process, but possible nonetheless.
Adult trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) have had years of experience managing severe trauma while simultaneously blocking themselves off from the reality of that trauma. Dissociative walls can provide an element of amnesia that both protects the person from the overwhelming crushing awareness of ongoing abuse, but also traps the survivor in an ongoing continuation of that abuse.
If dissociative survivors have current-day chunks of missing time blocked from their awareness, they cannot know what happened to them, but they also cannot remove themselves or protect themselves from the ongoing trauma and abuse. Without effective therapy and treatment, they also cannot remember or control the fact that they could be handing over their children to be used in the same abusive ways by the very same perpetrator groups.
Unfortunately, we all know that the kiddie porn industry is alive and well.
Dissociative survivors that grew up being used and sold within the kiddie porn industry are at a higher risk of continuing to be owned by, and forced to work for that industry even as adults.
When DID survivors are involved in current day abuse, it is imperative to break down the amnesiac walls created through dissociative processes. The survivors have to have the courage to look at what they are involved with, and then have even more courage to problem-solve their way out.
Dissociative survivors trapped in other kinds of family violence and domestic violence are vulnerable in these same ways.
Trauma therapists must be aware of these possibilities so they can actively work with the dissociative population in order to assist them to gain freedom from ongoing abuse. Therapy with a strong emphasis on increasing internal communication and lowering amnesiac barriers is essential.
Therapists need to use basic good trauma therapy while doing this work. Listen closely to the inside parts, help sooth the pain, create both internal and external safety, reconnect the isolated parts with the rest of the system, address the concerns raised by those internal parts in all the normal ways, etc. Many of the very same processes that work to help heal “regular abuse” continue to be effective in addressing more extreme abuses.
*** To all dissociative survivors —
You don’t have to stay stuck in the abuse cycles. If you are able to read this post, you are able to do the work it takes to remove yourself from any ongoing abuse that you are tangled in. Of course, your perpetrators won’t tell you that you can get out, but you can get out and away from them anyway. You are older, wiser, and stronger than you were when you were just a child. You can find ways that will work for you, you can find safe people to help you, and you can be safe. Talk lots and lots to your inside people – it’s only as you work together as a team that you can beat the external controls. It takes a lot of hard work, but if you all really want to be free from abuse and safe from harm, you can be. It can happen.
Kathy Broady LCSW