Sunday, October 4, 2015

The key*

Some teenage boys in our therapy have learned that their anger is burned hurt, and that their antisocial appraisal of people, of the world, is a defense.  The appraisal comes when their need for bonding, for love that sees them, has finally been frustrated in all quarters.  They must bury hope, they must bury reaching out.  The philosophy that forms is cold heat: a cold attitude that covers the fire of failed love.  This is not something they can learn in isolation, with no one at all there for them: That would be the last straw of complete hopelessness.  They learn it in a warm relationship with the therapist.  This allows the hurt to be respected, to be held by a caring person.  Painful hope stirs.

These are the young men who do not become school and college shooters.

Some other young men can’t learn this.  They have been too scalded too early in life, are now a seventeen-year-old shell containing a six-year-old helpless psyche.  The same lessons that work for the other boys bounce off a chaotic brain, a person holding himself together only by being against everything.  He is against because touch and warmth are too late, are only pain and engulfment.  He is an against soul.

We can “manage” guns, we can “manage” anger, to possibly lessen violence.  But what we really need is early caring.  In How To Become a Schizophrenic, Modrow writes:

“Since the sufferings and mental disorders of the schizophrenic patient can be seen as a protest against an intolerable living situation, some psychiatrists such as R. D. Laing and Martti Siirala view him or her as the sanest member of the family.  Their views find confirmation in the experimental findings of Elliot Mishler and Nancy Waxler, two Harvard University psychiatrists, who write:
“’It is a matter of great importance that differences between parents of schizophrenic children and parents of normal children are more striking than are differences between schizophrenic patients and normal children serving as research controls.’”**
The answer to these mass murders will be for society to dissolve the dissimulating label “parent” and see merely people influencing and hurting others: hitting, bullying, shaming, oppressing by their depression and anxiety, starving by their lack of empathy, starving by their absence, crazymaking by their own confusion, crazymaking by their sexual and emotional neediness.  Dissolve the aura of parent and simply have people open to the light of decency.  In a generation, there would be no boys gutted of love and failing to grow to be men, and the shootings would stop.

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* See earlier posts: Theory platform: Elliot Rodger, age 22; Why the world is so screwed up; The shootings.

** John Modrow, How To Become a Schizophrenic – The Case Against Biological Psychiatry, Writers Club Press, 1991, 1996, 2003, p. 14.  Author’s footnotes left out. 

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.