Sunday, November 27, 2011

when dreams depart

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When it comes to traumatic events, sometimes the underlying issues are obscured even to those who experienced them. The most anyone can do is to be as objective as humanly possible, trusting he has made the best evaluation possible.

It's usually with apprehension he opens his wounds to anyone, for just as the support of a friend can hold him steady, the disparaging of the latter can throw him into an abyss. At first he seeks support from anyone who'll listen, but eventually comes to realize the subject at hand is foreign to the general public. He therefore devotes large chunks of time to understanding what went wrong and its effects upon interpersonal relationships, health and personal growth.

I came to realize as long as you live with some people in an Gilligan-Island existence, all is love and peace. To the public eye it is difficult to perceive there are human beings who are incapable of sustaining long term friendships except nominally. Some will work day and night to sabotage your connections by 1) seeking to poison your view of others and 2) absorbing your energy with a long list of demands.

Some people also inflict terror so eventually a flash of the eyes is all that is needed.  Cycles of abuse consist in measured doses of sweetness and calm, that eventually lead to periods of tension and hostility, that eventually erupt into verbal attacks. As Darlene Lancer says, "The abuser may be loving between abusive episodes, so that you deny or forget them."

This shift back and forth, can push you into a role similar to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. After each “explosion” he’s walk about in an antic disposition for days not wanting to eat nor take care of himself.  While to others the list below may seem to be a collection of cold clinical data, to me each trait is a condensed prompt that elicits more distressing personal stories.

-- Intuitive Feeling

Paranoid Personality Disorder -- ICD-10 is characterized by the following traits:

- excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs;
- tendency to bear grudges persistently, i.e. refusal to forgive insults and injuries or slights;
- suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous;
- a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation;
- recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner;
- tendency to experience excessive self-importance, manifest in a persistent self-referential attitude;
- preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events both immediate to the patient and in the world at large.

-- The World Health Organization


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