Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Sociopath Among Us part 5 Defenses and The Art of Rape

Drinking and sociopathy HERE
1. OK, you've seen an example of the havoc this individual can wreak in a city, a family, a community.
2.  you've read the online Cleckley book,  Mask of Sanity.
3. you've read one brief literature review about childhood factors--for a great deal more, Read Ken Magid/Carole McKelvey's book, High Risk- Children Without a Conscience.

4. you've looked at some of the basics of recognizing this individual through some behaviors and characteristics.

But we have to take it a little deeper now.

Obviously, if we could all spot these folk easily they would not be able to do so much damage.

oops   uh,  emergency.....

Ok. Back.
so- It is important to understand the concept of DEFENSES.
Let me write a little something about defenses in general, and later you will see
why they are important in understanding the sociopathic individual.

Psychologists and psychiatrists generally consider the use of defenses to be helpful at times. Defenses allow an individual to avoid the fear and pain of unbearable feelings or anxiety-provoking situations, giving one time to brace, to shore up the ego as it were, to eventually become strong enough to confront the trauma. According to theory, occasional or moderate use of psychological defenses enables or allows a person to survive for a time, to maintain a level of functioning.
 A woman refuses to see that her husband is having an affair; this denial may serve for a while to keep her protected from shame and humiliation, and her children shielded from divorce. A preteen molested by her stepfather represses the memories; for a while this allows her to continue in school and do her work without collapsing in a shocked and hurting heap of pain as the enormity of his abuse hits her—a collapsing which would be entirely appropriate, but would also be incapacitating: she loses, she dies. A man filled with unrecognized lustful desires for a married co-worker sublimates his energy instead into passionate art or gourmet cooking; a woman rebuffed by a man intellectualizes and rationalizes the rejection: he isn’t financially ready for a serious relationship; I wanted to lose a few pounds before I got involved with someone anyway.

Survival. Avoidance of pain. Adapting to the present circumstances. Defenses are a part of the human psyche. But more deeply, defenses are deceptive, hiding, unhealthy techniques, which affect behavior, emotions, and thinking processes. Their use is largely unconscious and they move one away from transparent, genuine communication and growth. In the world of therapy, and according to Freud, who had identified and delineated the whole defense dynamic, recognizing the patterns in the use of psychological defenses was essential in therapy if meaningful personality change was to take place. Theoretically, as a client began to see and evaluate their use of defenses, and how they originated, a greater sense of happiness, autonomy, and health should ensue. While the defenses varied in their effects—sublimation was considered “the healthier defense,” for example—some, such as regression, projection, acting out, displacement, and passive-aggressive behaviors were almost always quite destructive or debilitating.

And the incredible amounts of energy needed to maintain strong defenses typically leaves individuals stagnated, uncreative, unfulfilled.

It is not easy to recognize, let alone eliminate, one’s unhealthy psychological defending. Defenses are not conscious choices of how to deal with threatening situations or feelings.
 Instead, one might imagine
 looking out onto a yard or field during a rainstorm; at first the water pours down, hitting each square inch of the ground evenly. If the rain is hard, or lasts a long time, the water may begin to pool up, either because the ground is saturated and can’t take any more—there isn’t anywhere to put it—or because the ground is hard and impenetrable, and the water has no way to be absorbed.

And if it keeps raining, even the low places where the water has accumulated begin to overflow. And the paths left by the little rivulets of rainwater which form and slowly, then with greater and greater speed, find a way through the yard, seeking lower ground, keeping an equilibrium—are like defenses.
Unplanned, they come into high relief
under a downpour,
channeling off stimulation, changing a bit or a lot under outside influences, such as a tire track or a slow accumulation of leaves, building over time, blocking the way.
They develop "naturally" over time, unconciously, influenced by everything that makes us:
parents, siblings, biology, genetics, environment, community,
conditioning, culture,
This is my brief description of defenses; it is enough to ponder. (what are yours? your friends and family can tell you more accurately that you yourself)
you can obviously read more here there and everywhere.

The Art of Rape

The Art of Rape A Presentation by Mary Todd

The Art of Rape- A Play by Mary Todd

Mary Todd's The Art of Rape


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