Showing posts from 2016

On Why Holiday Traditions Are Problematic—and a Different Perspective

Here we are again. The holiday season is upon us. People are running around trying to organize things for the upcoming holidays, and trying to find gifts for their friends, loved ones, and those they don’t care about or even hate. Why? Many reasons, and we’ll talk about some of them.

There are a few problems with all of this and here I will discuss two of them. Moreover, I offer a perspective on how you can make things better for yourself and those around you.

The first problem is that the whole tradition thing can be messy and complicated. Yes, the holiday tradition can be beautiful: devoting time and attention to those who are dear to you, thinking about them and giving them something that will hopefully bring them some joy. But—the important thing is to ask yourself if it’s something you WANT to do or if it’s something that you feel you HAVE to do? Plenty of people think they “have to”—that’s the tradition, and everyone is doing it.

Yet, many people hate the holidays and experienc…

Character Assassination—and How to Handle It

Those of us who have encountered people with narcissistic, predatory, or even sociopathic tendencies (for the sake of simplicity referred to as manipulator) have experienced a phenomenon where the manipulator tries to vilify you by using triangulation, gossiping, power play, mischaracterization, and other tactics. It usually goes like this.... 
The Mechanism Behind It
The manipulator is driven by shame, insecurity, and fear. As soon as they start feeling inferior, or as soon as you notice the manipulator's toxicity—or as soon as they noticeyou noticing their toxicity—they begin feeling deep insecurity. In their attempt to manage it, they may try to cover their tracks and save their image by giving you made up explanations and excuses, instead of recognizing their unhealthiness and working on themselves to overcome it. If you are able to see though their smoke and mirrors tactics, ideally you will either set a firm boundary and distance yourself from them or they will get terribly …

On The Difficulties of Identifying Narcissistic, Unhealthy, Toxic, Dangerous People

Recently, I posted a picture on the Self-Archeology Facebook page that says the following: "Narcissists literally have two faces—their real face and their stage face. And neither is anything like the other. Which one you see will depend on how long you’ve known them. Narcissists can be very charming and know how to gain favor. Anyone who doesn’t know a narcissist well will tell you the narcissist is one of the greatest people they’ve ever met! They believe this is one of the most intelligent, kindest, most interesting, funny, agreeable, most attractive, talented or accomplished people ever. They may wish they themselves had it so "together" or were so popular. However, anyone who knows that same narcissist better (family members, longtime coworkers, etc.) will tell you the narcissist is one of the most horribly frustrating and toxic people they know, and the mere mention of their name makes them feel uneasy, angry, frustrated or otherwise unhappy. Being the only one wh…

Psychiatric Hospital Experiences (Part 2): Worker Stories

Psychiatric Hospital Experiences (Part 1): Patient Stories can be found here.

Here's PART 2: WORKER STORIES. [Language unedited, except for a few typos for clarity.]

Comment 1:

It's *insanely* difficult to prove abuse. There was an incident with the home health agency I worked with where a male CHHA raped a female stroke patient. She had extremely limited verbal skills, but was still able to communicate what happened. Police were called. An investigation proceeded. They determined she was of a "limited mental capacity" and misunderstood what occurred. Worst thing I ever saw.

Comment 2:

I used to be a support worker for an organization in Canada that used zero restraints and most of the people we served had some variation of extreme intellectual disability and mental health diagnosis as well.

I mention this because ,in my ten years supporting there, I never once had to restrain anyone. We used a lot of preventative techniques (sort of like the peel method) to identify s…

Psychiatric Hospital Experiences (Part 1): Patient Stories

About a month ago, I read an article on called Things I Saw As A Psych Ward Nurse Too Dark For Horror Films. In it, a male nurse shares his experiences working in a huge psychiatric hospital where he saw, experienced, and participated in many horrible things. Those who follow the subject for a longer amount of time probably will not be too surprised because it is extensively documented how terrifyingly grim so many mental health facilities and health facilities in general are. However, I spent some time reading the comments under the article and wanted to post them as a separate article. I have selected a few more interesting ones where people share first-hand experiences of either staying in such a facility as a patient or working there as a staff member. It's a lot of text, so I decided to separate the comments into two posts: one for patients' stories and one for workers'.

Here's PART 1: PATIENT STORIES. [Language unedited, except for a few typos for cl…

Mother Mistreats Her Child (Hands in Supermarket Example)

Recently, I was shopping at a local supermarket when suddenly I heard an annoying voice of an annoyed woman. It was a mother scolding her 5-6 year old child for picking up items and inspecting them.

“How many times did I tell you that your hands should only be in two places,” she muttered in that condescending, pretentious, pseudo-reasonable tone. Which means, “Look, I’m clearly feeling extremely upset and neurotic but I can’t just blatantly lash out on you or physically assault you because it’s a public place, so I will use an authoritative and relatively calm tone filled with manipulation, impatience, intimidation, and humiliation to make you obey, which will both in the short term alleviate my emotional instability and ostensibly mask my poor parenting skills.”

“What are those [two places you should keep your hands in]? In your pockets or…”
“…behind your back!” finished the boy and put his hands behind his back.

“Very good!” she said in a condescending and approving manner. Which…

Healing Starts Where (Self-)Connection Begins

This is a quick article on the topic of self-connection. Here, I will talk about the importance of self-connection, the origins and difficulties of (self-)disconnection, and the cultivation of self-validation and individuality.
The Origins and Results of Disconnection

When we are children, we often are invalidated, mistreated, rejected, frightened, manipulated, confused, and abused in a thousand other ways. To avoid all of that and survive in our toxic and dangerous environment, we learn to adapt to it by disconnecting from it—and, fundamentally, from ourselves. Then we grow up, and those survival and defense mechanisms carry into our adulthood and manifest themselves in the same or similar forms. Except now, being in a completely different habitat, they are not protecting us but hinder our growth and lead to numerous problematic, even unhealthy situations, behaviors, and moods.

Being disconnected from yourself leads to reality distortion, overreaction, unhealthy boundaries, acting out…

"I Yell at My Children, and They Will Turn out Fine!"

This article is a response to an old, yet very pertinent comment regarding childhood trauma and its effects.

About three years ago, I wrote an article called Child Abuse and Its Results in Today's Society. Some time after, a person named Lisa left this public comment:

I didn't publish it at the time for relatively obvious reasons, and then completely forgot about it. But yesterday I was looking at all the unapproved comments, saw it, and thought it could be useful to comment on it. This is a rhetorical response only; I'm not actually addressing Lisa personally. I've met and observed many people who say and do similar things, and who have a similar personality and communication methods. I'm simply using this comment as a background context—an example, or a vehicle, if you will—to talk about a bigger, highly common issue that is childhood trauma. Now, disclaimer aside, let's get to it.

Not that I do not agree with any of this, but as a parent (and someone abused b…