Att kollidera med patriarkatet: vad handlar reaktion i det blå, eller explosion som kommer till synes från ingenstans, om?

April 21, 2017 § 6 Comments


Levant skriver att män visar aggression utan att ha blivit provocerade, medan kvinnor behöver bli provocerade innan de reagerar aggressivt. Dvs kvinnans reaktion kommer inte utan provokation, inte ur det blå alltså.

Vilka rollmodeller har vi växt upp med? De modeller vi haft kan också trigga uppror: om pojken haft en eftergiven, stoisk far, så försöker mannen hävda sig som vuxen, överdrivet? En mamma med obegripliga utbrott i det blå påverkar ens kvinnosyn och -relationer.

Hon, som dotter, borde ha fått lära sig bättre än hon fick om hon är värd att bli anklagad och aggressivt behandlad. Hon borde ha fått lära sig när hon kan avvisa det:

“Det där handlar inte om mig!”

Eller att lyssna på berättigad kritik. Och avgöra vad som är berättigat och inte! Inte minst vad som inte är berättigat.

Hon tenderar att ta åt sig. Göra ett så kallat rollövertagande? Se tidigare bloggning “Vad är kärlek?”:

“…en avgörande ingrediens i ojämställdhet är att kvinnor gör så kallade rollövertaganden i en helt annan utsträckning än män. Kvinnor försöker leva sig in i andras situationer medan män i mycket högre grad tenderar att fokusera på sig själva och sina behov.”

Han skjuter allt ifrån dig:

“Jag har inte gjort något!”

En reaktion som hade varit högst berättigad hos den lille pojken mot sin mamma för länge sen. Idag blir den reaktionen ett problem! Nu har han makt att avfärda allt. Han slipper all rannsakan eller avgörande om vad som inte handlar om honom och vad som gör det.

Ett av exemplen på att han inte förstår. Som om det inte kopplar? 😦 Och – det blir svårt att lära sig.

Varken man eller kvinna måste svälja sånt som inte är sant, men att bara avfärda är inte bra för nån relation och dess utveckling och i slutänden fortlevnad.

Susan Faludis pappa verkar inte fatta varför hans äktenskap med Susans mamma slutade i skilsmässa. Ett fenomen som inte är ovanligt?

“Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel lays bare the horrors of collusion with the patriarchy”:

“Like the Kingdom of God, the Republic of Gilead is both now and not yet. Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale conjures a theocratic dystopia—a version of the United States taken over by fundamentalist Christians after a terrorist attack on Washington.

Women are now divided into rigid classes determined by an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Bible. Atwood’s protagonist, Offred, is a Handmaid—a fallen woman who is forced to bear children for righteous couples—and the book follows her sufferings under the Gilead regime. Atwood paints in garish strokes intended to shock: This new society calls homosexuality ‘gender treachery’ and forbids women to read, own property, or choose their own clothing.

Since the novel’s publication three decades ago, Gilead has existed as a paper nightmare that gains or loses dimension based on the state of our national politics. Of course, we don’t divide women into classes of Marthas, Handmaids, Econowives, and Wives; we call them ‘the help,’ ‘surrogates,’ the working class, and the one percent.

America has never forced fertile women to bear children for infertile ones, but Trump’s pussy-grabbing presidency has given cover to the sort of blatant misogyny many thought consigned to the past.

‘In Trump’s America, The Handmaid’s Tale matters more than ever,’ The Verge declared the day after Trump’s election. In February, the book overtook George Orwell’s 1984 on the Amazon best-seller list. Texas is Gilead and Indiana is Gilead and now that Mike Pence is our vice president, the entire country will look more like Gilead, too.

America is rich in Serena Joys. One need look no further for her contemporary counterparts than Michelle Duggar and her daughters; or Paula White, the televangelist who allegedly led Donald Trump to Christ; or his aide Kellyanne Conway, who defends him as a ‘great boss’ to women.

The character Atwood invented is an amalgam of Phyllis Schlafly and Tammy Faye Bakker with a dash of Aimee Semple McPherson. The spectacle of the female fundamentalist celebrity is not recent, and she is not an anomaly. Her existence is proof of American fundamentalism’s durability, and a reminder that it could not thrive without the enthusiastic backing of women.

When Atwood wrote her novel, Schlafly had already established herself as one of America’s most visible and influential conservative women by leading a successful campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment. A committed Catholic, Schlafly hurled herself against feminism’s second wave with all the conviction of the activists she loathed. ‘The women’s libbers don’t understand that most women want to be wife, mother, and homemaker—and are happy in that role,’ she asserted in 1972.

But like her fictional doppelgänger, Schlafly was no homemaker. She traveled the country; she appeared on television; she influenced policy. The world she wanted to build could not coexist with the world that allowed her career. These contradictions did not, however, trouble Schlafly’s supporters. She defeated [omintetgjorde] the ERA by mobilizing them; her mostly female volunteer brigades harried [ansatte] legislators into rejecting the bill.”

Läs hela artikeln i länken.

“Read our full conversation with George Lakoff on ‘your brain on Trump'” kan man läsa vilka katastrofala effekter uppfostran kan leda till även på högre nivå, inte bara på nära relationsnivå:

“In a recent episode of Make Me Smart, Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interviewed George Lakoff, emeritus professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1996, he wrote an influential book called ‘Moral Politics,’ which describes the science behind how liberals and conservatives think. Lakoff shares his analysis of President Trump’s linguistic style and the effect it can have on your brain. An edited version of their conversation is below./…/

Lakoff: I study the mind, the brain and language. Most thought is unconscious, about 98 percent. And we have found ways of studying unconscious thought in all kinds of ways over the last 40 years. And that’s what I do. I study mostly unconscious thought and its contribution to conscious thought.

Wood: And its contribution to, kind of, politics and society too, which seems extremely relevant as it happens right now.

Lakoff: That’s right. I’ve been doing that since 1996.

Kai Ryssdal: So, and this time around, you predicted — although we should say you are no fan of Donald Trump — you predicted that he would win based on what he was saying.

Lakoff: Based on what he was saying, how he was saying it, and how he very cleverly managed to manipulate other people’s brains to his advantage as a super salesman, which he’s been doing for 50 years. And he instinctively knows exactly how to do that. He knows what to say, and those tweets that he gives are entirely strategic. There are four types. Each of them fits a strategy, you know, and he has an advantage when other people think that he’s just crazy or stupid.

Ryssdal: So let’s play some tape actually, we have tape of the president. This is not long after the election.

Trump audio: When I was young, we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade, we’d win with wars….

Ryssdal: He said it so much, I can almost repeat the next line. “There’s going to be so much winning, you’re gonna be sick and tired of winning.”

Lakoff: Right exactly. Yep.

Ryssdal: And he knew what he was doing.

Lakoff: Boy, did he know what he was doing. He knew perfectly well what he was doing. First of all, there are in this country about 35 percent of Americans who have what I call a strict father morality. That is, they understand that they, in their households or whatever, they believe that father knows best, that their father is the authority, that what he says is right. That if children don’t obey him, they have to be given tough love and punished until they do, and that this gives rise to a view that you have to be disciplined. That is not to do what feels good.

You’ve heard of feel-good liberalism? That means they don’t have a strict-enough father. The main thing is that this is a natural thing that this is how the world should be how it is. And if you look at history, you will see that the strict fathers win. And you can take a look at who wins, and they win because they’re right. That morality and authority go together, that the strict father knows right from wrong. So that if you want to see who’s better than who, you look at who beat who. And so you have religion won out, you have God above man and you have, we have conquered nature, you have man above nature. We can take anything we want for our use. You have the strong above the weak. We need a strong army, and so on. You have the rich above the poor, who deserve it, because they’re disciplined. The employers above employees, because they’re richer. The adults above children in 21 states. Teachers and coaches can beat children with sticks if they don’t just obey them and if they ever talk back. You have Western culture above non-Western culture. We won out. You have America above other countries, men above women, whites above non-whites, Christians above non-Christians, straights above gays. That hierarchy follows from one idea, not a bunch of different ideas. It’s strict father morality as applied to all aspects of life.

That is what Trump not only believes, he hacks and he assumes is correct. And he knows that about 35 percent of the country — the 35 percent who still support him — that, you know, who also believe this, even if they’re poor. And it doesn’t matter, this just a matter of material resources. The main thing is that if that is your worldview and that’s your morality, that defines who you are as a person. It’s self-definition, and people don’t vote against their self-definition. Not only that, it doesn’t matter if Trump lies to them, and they know he’s lying, because there’s a higher truth, which is strict father morality itself, which has consequences and that they are truer than any lies. And that if you deny that, if you accept the lies as more important, you’re denying your self-identity. That is why there are alternative facts.

Ryssdal: OK, well yeah, but here’s … oh, my goodness, so many questions.

Wood: I know. I have 10 to 100 questions as follow ups.

Ryssdal: So here comes just one. All this pointing out of lies and alternative facts and all of this that the media is doing. Spinning our wheels to no effect, is that what you’re saying?

Lakoff: To no effect with the 35 percent.

Wood: Well and it almost — some of your research seems to argue not only to no effect but to counter effect.

Lakoff: Yes.”

Läs vidare i länken!

George Lakoffs blogg.

Se “Att förstå Trump”:

“In the 1900’s, as part of my research in the cognitive and brain sciences, I undertook to answer a question in my field: How do the various policy positions of conservatives and progressives hang together? Take conservatism: What does being against abortion have to do with being for owning guns?

What does owning guns have to do with denying the reality of global warming? How does being anti-government fit with wanting a stronger military? How can you be pro-life and for the death penalty? Progressives have the opposite views. How do their views hang together?

The answer came from a realization that we tend to understand the nation metaphorically in family terms: We have founding fathers. We send our sons and daughters to war. We have homeland security.

The conservative and progressive worldviews dividing our country can most readily be understood in terms of moral worldviews that are encapsulated in two very different common forms of family life: The Nurturant Parent family (progressive) and the Strict Father family (conservative).

What do social issues and the politics have to do with the family? We are first governed in our families, and so we grow up understanding governing institutions in terms of the governing systems of families.

In the strict father family, father knows best. He knows right from wrong and has the ultimate authority to make sure his children and his spouse do what he says, which is taken to be what is right.

Many conservative spouses accept this worldview, uphold the father’s authority, and are strict in those realms of family life that they are in charge of. When his children disobey, it is his moral duty to punish them painfully enough so that, to avoid punishment, they will obey him (do what is right) and not just do what feels good.

Through physical discipline they are supposed to become disciplined, internally strong, and able to prosper in the external world. What if they don’t prosper? That means they are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve their poverty.

This reasoning shows up in conservative politics in which the poor are seen as lazy and undeserving, and the rich as deserving their wealth. Responsibility is thus taken to be personal responsibility not social responsibility. What you become is only up to you; society has nothing to do with it. You are responsible for yourself, not for others — who are responsible for themselves.

Winning and Insulting

As the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, said,

‘Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.’ In a world governed by personal responsibility and discipline, those who win deserve to win. Why does Donald Trump publicly insult other candidates and political leaders mercilessly? Quite simply, because he knows he can win an onstage TV insult game.

In strict conservative eyes, that makes him a formidable winning candidate who deserves to be a winning candidate. Electoral competition is seen as a battle. Insults that stick are seen as victories — deserved victories.

Consider Trump’s statement that John McCain is not a war hero. The reasoning: McCain got shot down. Heroes are winners. They defeat big bad guys. They don’t get shot down. People who get shot down, beaten up, and stuck in a cage are losers, not winners.

The Moral Hierarchy

The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a well-ordered world, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate.

The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, America above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, Whites above Nonwhites, Christians above nonChristians, Straights above Gays.

We see these tendencies in most of the Republican presidential candidates, as well as in Trump, and on the whole, conservative policies flow from the strict father worldview and this hierarchy

Family-based moral worldviews run deep. Since people want to see themselves as doing right not wrong, moral worldviews tend to be part of self-definition — who you most deeply are. And thus your moral worldview defines for you what the world should be like. When it isn’t that way, one can become frustrated and angry.

There is a certain amount of wiggle room in the strict father worldview and there are important variations. A major split is among (1) white Evangelical Christians, (2) laissez-fair free market conservatives, and (3) pragmatic conservatives who are not bound by evangelical beliefs.”


Våld: döda eller bli dödad, bokstavligt eller bildligt…

March 31, 2017 § 10 Comments


Pollack skriver i kapitel 13 “Våld: döda eller bli dödad” s 338-339 i boken “Real Boys – Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood”:

Det börjar med avskiljande: rötterna till manligt våld

Idag begås det mesta våldet i vårt samhälle av unga män mot andra unga män. Våld är det synligaste och mest oroande resultatet i processen som börjar när en pojke pushas in i vuxenvärlden alltför tidigt och utan tillräcklig kärlek eller tillräckligt stöd.

Han blir allvarligt avskild, drar sig tillbaka bakom masken och uttrycker den enda ‘accepterade’ manliga känslan – vrede. 

När en pojkes vrede blir för stor kan den resultera i ett våldsutbrott: våld mot honom själv, våld mot andra, våld mot samhället.

Våld är således den slutliga länken i en kedja som börjar med avskiljande. 

Våld handlar också om skam och heder. För många pojkar så innebär att inte ‘veta hur man slåss’ – eller att vägra att slåss när man blir utmanad att göra detta – ses som vanhedrande, ett tecken på tvivelaktig maskulinitet. 

Genom att lära sig hur man slåss /…/ försöker vår unge aggressor att respektera gamla pojkkodregler som uppfordrar till att göra allt som är möjligt för att skydda sin heder och förhindra skam. 

Vi har redan pratat om en pojkes känslighet för skam och att göra sig tuff för att skydda sig mot denna skam. Våld är, förstås, en pojkes försök att gå ett steg längre – att omintetgöra skam och vanheder genom att gå till offensiv, genom att skada en annan mänsklig varelse. 

Ironiskt nog så representerar våld hos pojkar också ibland ett fåfängt försök från deras sida att återknyta med andra, att skapa och behålla vänner. /…/ Våld kan ge en del pojkar en falsk känsla att de på något vis kommer närmare varandra, knyter an /…/ genom ett individuellt och kollektivt agerande av aggression och elakhet.”

Men istället för att återanknyta så isolerar man sig ännu mer? Stöter bort istället för tvärtom? Och så blir man ännu argare och vreden och frustrationen byggs på alltmer?

De som fortfarande kan skämmas över sitt beteende kan ändras, men de som inte känner skam, bara kallt rättfärdigande, kan aldrig kureras?

“En värld av våld.

De flesta av oss tror att våld handlar om andra människors barn. Vi tror att våld är en undre värld bebodd av gatukriminella, gängmedlemmar, seriemördare, illasinnade våldtäktsmän – samhällets drägg, inte våra barn eller barn till människor vi känner.”

Men våld tar sig inte bara uttryck i fysisk aggressivitet. 

“… prata med nästan vemsomhelst och så småningom kommer du att avtäcka någon förekomst av våld, som har berört någon i eller nära hans eller hennes [eller din egen] familj.”

Ja återigen, våld kan ta sig olika uttryck och är något som är angeläget för oss alla.

“Farbrodern som var advokat som begått självmord. Sonen vid det prestigefyllda universitetet som blev mystiskt mördad. Marknadsmanagern som blev allvarligt skadad i en bilkrasch sent på natten. Familjevännen som anklagades att ha misshandlat sin fru fysiskt. Den nioårige sonen som dödades i en cykelolycka. De fyra intet ont anande studenterna och deras lärare som blev kallblodigt mördade i skolan en tisdagsmorgon, enligt vad som påstås, av två pojkar från Arkansas [se Columbinemassakern i Colorado].”

Så oerhört sorgligt och oerhört onödigt! Det skulle inte behöva vara så ett enda dugg! Varför pratas det inte i betydligt högre grad och allmänt om det Pollack skriver? Det borde skapas en medvetenhet om vad vi socialiserar in inte bara våra flickor, utan också våra pojkar i.

“Faktumet är att vi alla lever i en värld av våld och att våra pojkar är särskilt sårbara för dess många manifestationer. Bara en liten procent av pojkarna begår eller deltar i den värsta sortens våld – våldsdåd – eller är offer för dylikt. Men alla är vittnen till extremt våld i en eller annan form: i skolan, på gatan, i nyheterna, i TV-program, i filmer, på datorn, i böcker och tidningar och, sorgesamt alltför ofta, hemma. 

De flesta föräldrar till pojkar måste handskas med ämnet våld väldigt tidigt i sina söners liv, precis som varje pojke måste handskas med det själv. Utmaningen för föräldrar är att förstå skillnaden mellan action, vilket pojkar älskar, och våld, vilket de flesta pojkar inte gillar – och att lära sig hur man hjälper pojkar den sida av linjen, som skiljer de två. 

När blir bråk alltför grovt? När blir att retas mobbning? När korsar oförskräckthet gränsen för onödigt risktagande? 

Som föräldrar vill vi uppmuntra våra pojkar i deras strävan efter action men hålla dem från att bli del av den nationella statistiken som kan hänföras till våld i vårt samhälle. 

Vi kan göra detta genom kraften i anknytningen, som vi har diskuterat genom hela denna bok – genom att förbli nära involverade i våra söner, lära dem hur man handskas med en vrede som kan bli till våldsamt raseri och ge så mycket information som vi kan för att hjälpa dem att undvika att bli offer för andras skadliga agerande.”

Ja, det är väldigt skamligt att inte vara “on top of everything”? Skamligt att inte kunna eller veta, utan måsta fråga? 😦

Att reagera med vrede när minsta sårbarhet (inte minst beroende) exponeras, om så bara undermedvetet för en själv (den kvinnliga partnern kanske inte är medveten om det för fem öre ens)? Minsta lilla av detta triggar ett ilskeutbrott som MÅSTE uttryckas OCH rättfärdigas? Och ofta är det föremålet för vreden som rättfärdigar vredesutbrottet. 😦

Men det här måste männen själva ta itu med!

s 340:

“Unga män och pojkar lider också en hel del av våld som hör till kategorin risktagarbeteende som gått fel.

Michael Kennedy, Robert Kennedys sjätte barn, dog i slutet av 1997 när han spelade fotboll på skidor. Fastän han var trettionio år, knappast en pojke, när han smällde in i trädet, höll han på med den sorts ‘pojkar-är-alltid-pojkar’-beteende som vårt samhälle inte bara tolererar utan har kommit att respektera, uppmuntra och till och med vörda.

Statistik visar att Michael Kennedy inte är ensam – fastän 60 procent av alla skidåkare är män [resten är kvinnor och barn?], så är 85 procent av de skidåkare som dödas män. Och fastän det inte rörde sig om något brott, inga vapen var inblandade, det inte handlade om ont uppsåt, så var Michael Kennedy faktiskt offer för våld

Och en av de mest tragiska manifestationerna av manligt våld är förstås självstympning [inkluderande rökning, bruk av alkohol och droger] och självmord. Som vi diskuterat tidigare har självmordsfrekvensen bland män mellan femton och tjugofyra år tredubblats mellan 1950 och 1990 och självmord är nu den tredje ledande orsaken till död i denna åldersgrupp. 

Bland amerikaner i alla åldrar är självmordsfrekvensen bland män fem gånger så stor som bland kvinnor. 

Våra pojkar och unga män är i sanning i riskzonen för alla sorters våld – från slagsmål och olyckor, till våldsbrott, mord och självmord.

‘Den främsta orsaken till dödlighet och sjuklighet bland tonåringar har skiftat från infektionssjukdomar till beteendeorsaker,’ skriver doktor C. Wayne Sells, en specialist i barnmedicin i Kalifornien.”  

Riskbeteendet har ökat?

Det tråkiga är att kvinnor verkar ha börjat ta efter de sämre dragen hos män. 😦

Och de här männen bidrar till relationer som tänjs. 😦 Se Emma Bergstens krönika “Par som reser tillsammans verkar ha tråkigast”:

“Det spelar ingen roll om vi sitter i en bar eller ligger vid poolen, det är så mycket sura miner bland paren. På vårt förra hotell bevittnade vi till och med gråt och förtvivlan hos ett par som hade det riktigt kämpigt. “

Jag känner igen det där. 😦

“Alla problem man har hemma följer också med på semestern, och jag är så tacksam över att det är mamma som jag reser med och vi har roligt hela tiden och trivs så bra tillsammans.

Det förvånar mig inte att det finns studier på att par ofta gör slut efter semestern.” 

😦 Sorgligt!

Stjäl denna text:

“Hjälp mig, jag vet inte hur jag ska hantera detta!

Jag är läkare [kvinna]. Min pojkvän (systemarkitekt) och två av mina manliga vänner (ingenjör och HR-administratör) har för vana att mansplaina kroppens olika mekanismer, sjukdomar etc för mig.

Att säga att de har fel (när de har det) eller syrligt påpeka att jag förmodligen vet mer om ämnet än de hjälper inte. Kan jag på något sätt få dem att sluta med detta frustrerande beteende eller får jag helt enkelt lära mig att leva med det?”

Letting the ones you live with down…

December 28, 2016 § Leave a comment


om Vincent Felitti och drogmissbruk.

“Kan du inte säga: ‘När du säger så där blir jag ledsen!'”

Kan han alls sätta sig in i att den andra parten blir ledsen? Skiter han i det? Eller tycker han att hon gett honom anledning? Tror han att han själv är fullkomlig (“den som kaste första stenen”)? Ja, skulle han vilja höra samma saker om sig själv? Hur skulle han reagera? Gäller inte den gyllene regeln här?

Den där gyllene regeln blir “stelbent.” För att han inte vill bli störd (något hon bara ska förstå ordlöst och genom tankeläsning), så tror han att hon inte vill bli störd och så går båda och väntar på båda och så går en hel dag av väntan på varandra! Tar hon initiativ till något så “ska hon bestämma”! Saker blir så komplicerade! 😦

Till slut tror hon att hon förstår varför de inte kunnat dela resväska: när de varit utomlands har de måst släpa all packning från bilen till hotellrummet varenda dag, för han vill inte dela resväska med henne med det nödvändigaste (toalettsaker och nödvändiga ombyten).

Precis som missbrukaren av alkohol smyger med flaskorna, så smyger han med cigaretterna: han har flera cigarettpaket i sin resväska, men detta vill han inte visa henne!

Att han äventyrar hälsan, är det bara hans angelägenhet? Sviker han inte deras förhållande/relation? Vem ska ta hand om honom när han blir sjuk? För jo, cigaretterna ÄR redan på väg att förstöra hans lungor! Det konstaterades att han har begynnande emfysem för snart 2 år sen.

Hans f.d. andra fru var också missbrukare, av alkohol – men också av cigaretter. Alkoholen har hon övergivit, men tydligen inte cigaretterna. Han märkte inte att hans fru drack.

Vincent Felitti skriver om ursprunget till missbruk:

“My intent is to challenge the usual concept of addiction with new evidence from a population-based clinical study of over 17,000 adult, middle-class Americans. The usual concept of addiction essentially states that the compulsive use of ‘addictive’ substances is in some way caused by properties intrinsic to their molecular structure.

This view confuses mechanism with cause. Because any accepted explanation of addiction has social, medical, therapeutic, and legal implications, the way one understands addiction is important. Confusing mechanism with basic cause quickly leads one down a path that is misleading. Here, new data is presented to stimulate rethinking the basis of addiction./…/

Smoking: Smoking tobacco has come under heavy opposition in the United States, particularly in southern California where the ACE Study was carried out. Whereas at one time most men and many women smoked, only a minority does so now; it is illegal to smoke in office buildings, public transportation, restaurants, bars, and in most areas of hotels. When we studied current smokers, we found that smoking had a strong, graded relationship to adverse childhood experiences./…/

 When we match the prevalence of adult chronic bronchitis and emphysema against ACEs, we again see a strong dose-response relationship. We thereby proceed from the relationship of adverse childhood experiences to a health-risk behavior to their relationship with an organic disease. In other words, Figure 2 illustrates the conversion of emotional stressors into an organic disease, through the intermediary mechanism of an emotionally beneficial (although medically unsafe) behavior./…/

 Alcoholism: One’s own alcoholism is not easily or comfortably acknowledged; therefore, when we asked our Study cohort if they had ever considered themselves to be alcoholic, we felt that Yes answers probably understated the truth, making the effect even stronger than is shown. The relationship of self-acknowledged alcoholism to adverse childhood experiences is depicted in Figure 3. Here we see that more than a 500% increase in adult alcoholism is related in a strong, graded manner to adverse childhood experiences.1./…/

Discussion: Although awareness of the hazards of smoking is now near universal, and has caused a significant reduction in smoking, in recent years the prevalence of smoking has remained largely unchanged. In fact, the association between ACE Score and smoking is stronger in age cohorts born after the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking. Do current smokers now represent a core of individuals who have a more profound need for the psychoactive benefits of nicotine than those who have given up smoking? Our clinical experience12 and data from the ACE Study suggest this as a likely possibility. Certainly, there is good evidence of the psychoactive benefits of nicotine for moderating anger, anxiety, and hunger.9″

Han kan gott ha skuldkänslor för varje cigarett han tar. Han sviker den han lever med, som inte har ett enda dugg med den misshandel han fick utstå som barn att göra.

Vadå, ta ansvar för sig och sitt? Han har inte gjort nånting för att ta itu med sig eller sitt, så vitt hon vet! Han kan ha goda skäl till det? 😦

The movie The White Ribbon…

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s a review of this movie in Swedish. It looks as if you can download the movie for free here. Read about the movie here. Here a review in English.

Because of the many things that Adverse Childhood Experiences lead to, the problem of adverse childhood experience is the most important public health problem ever seen…

July 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

See this article about adverse childhood experiences and their effects on health much later in life.

The [ACE-] study is a wake-up call for the medical and public health communities that previously thought that high levels of child trauma, including sexual and physical abuse, were seen only in disadvantaged populations.

The 17,000 people who comprise the ACE study are typically American middle-class – 80 percent white, 10 percent Asian, 10 percent Latino. Seventy-four percent attended college; 46 percent graduated from college. Their average age: 57./…/

‘The study is disquieting in its description of the frequency of abuse against children and how often families appear to be dysfunctional,’ wrote epidemiologist Dr. William Foege, former director of the CDC, a senior fellow with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a legend in the field of public health, in an editorial in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

‘It is not what we want to believe about our culture, our neighborhoods, or ourselves. And yet as troubling as the data seem to be, we need to confront the problems described and find an appropriate public health response.’/…/

…fixing the obesity problem with diets or advice about eating won’t have any effect. ‘Nutrition is a nice subject and has nothing to do with obesity,’ he explains. ‘Teaching people about nutrition is essentially predicated on the assumption that people get fat because they don’t know any better./…/

Regarding the larger issue – the effect of behavior on chronic disease – one thing is very clear to Felitti and Anda. If physicians don’t address how childhood trauma affects people’s health, it’s not likely that patients will change their behavior. They won’t lose the weight, stop the smoking or dig out of the depression that contributes to their diseases.”

On a childhood…

April 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

The American neurologist Jonathan J. Pincus on Frank McCourt from the chapter “Hitler and Hatred” in his book “Base Instinct – What Makes Killers Kill” ISBN 0-393-32323-4 page 179- 180:

“Frank McCourt’s book Angela’s Ashes offer insight into how abuse might lead to bigotry.

The author movingly portrays the poverty into which his father’s alcoholism and his mother’s depression had thrust the family. His father would return home late at night, intoxicated, his paycheck gone.

He would awaken his starving children and have them stand in the kitchen and recite noble poems and sing patriotic songs that celebrate the Irish and condemn the English as the cause of the misery of the Irish and, in extension, of his family.

As a reward, the father gave each child a penny with which to purchase candy the following day.

Their father successfully displaced his own responsibility for the family’s poverty to the English. Fortunately for the author, his father and mother were not violent and abusive [physically!?], but what if they had been? Could deprivation and abuse be the origin of IRA terrorism in lower middle-class Belfast?

The dreadful sense of helplessness and humiliation that is engendered by child abuse, the victim’s sense of powerlessness and fear, and the rage which spring from it are crucially important motivators toward violence.

Depression in an abused person intensifies this dynamic. The brain damage and/or intoxication that can be superimposed interfere with the capacity of the abused individual to control the expression of his rage and hatred.

The paranoia and delusional thinking of individuals who have additionally inherited mental instability and mental illness exacerbate these dark feelings and abolish the capacity to love, to trust, and to enjoy life.

So fundamentally do these factors harm the psyche that the life’s work with such victims can be seen as an attempt to escape from their victimhood and sometimes ‘rise’ to the level of perpetrators.”

But from where comes brain damage and psychiatric problems?

McCourt also writes about severe abuse by teachers at school. Not least physical. But this kind of abuse is also combined with other sorts of disrespect for the child. The realization that you have a living human being in front of you, with own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions.

Violence is more than “just” physical.

Alice Miller on Frank McCourt in her book “The Truth Will Set You Free – Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Self” ISBN 0-465-04585-5 pages 100-103:

“Protection and respect for the needs of a child – this is surely something we ought to be able to take for granted. But we live in a world full of people who have grown up deprived of their rights, deprived of respect /…/

Also, there is less of a tendency today to idealize and romanticize childhood; the misery frequently comes across in all its starkness.

But in most autobiographies I have read the authors still maintain an emotional distance from the suffering they went through as children. Little empathy and an astounding absence of rebellion are the rule.

There is no inquiry into the whys and wherefores behind the injustice, the emotional blindness and the resulting cruelty displayed by the adults, whether teachers or parents. Description is all.

On every page of the brilliant book Angela’s Ashes, for example, Frank McCourt describes such cruelties in gruesome detail.

But even as he recalls his childhood, he never rises up against his tormentors, attempting instead to remain living and tolerance and seeking salvation in humor. And it is for this humor that he has been celebrated by millions of readers the world over.

But how are we to stand up for children in our society and improve their situation if we laugh at and tolerate cruelty, arrogance, and dangerous stupidity? /…/

Humor saved Frank McCourt’s life and enabled him to write his book. His readers are grateful to him for it. Many of them have shared the same fate and they want nothing more dearly than to be able to laugh it off.

Laughter is good for you, so they say, and it certainly helps you survive. But laughter can also entice you to be blind. You may be able to laugh at the fact that someone has forbidden you to eat of the tree of knowledge, but that laughter will not really wake you up from the sleep.

You must learn to understand the difference between good and evil if you want to understand yourself and change anything in the world as it is.

Laughter is good for you, but only when there is reason to laugh. Laughing away one’s own suffering is a form of fending off, a response that can prevent us from seeing and tapping the sources of understanding around.

If biographers were better informed about the details and consequences of what some indifferently call as a normal strict upbringing, they could provide us with precious material for better understanding our world.

But there are not many who try to figure out how such upbringing was experienced by their subject as child.”

I discovered that McCourt died almost one year ago, just before he turned 79 in the after-effects of malign melanoma. Something that felt so sad when I now finally have started to read his book and in curiosity started to read more about him, and listen to him.

On violence…

April 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

In a short paragraph in a paper distributed to all the residents in the municipality where I live I read something interesting about two male counselors/therapists helping men at a centre in the neighbor city.

I have tried to translate the notice to English:

Aggression and violence destroy many people’s relations. In most cases it is men that exercise the violence (not women) and up to now there have not been any offers concerning help to changes to these men.

And violent behavior is not only physical but also emotional/psychological and of course also sexual (in form of impropriate touching too). In disrespect for the other person (child).

A man using violence against his partner (kids and other people) needs help to get in contact with the emotions and experiences that make him use violence. I think all this can be dated back to early life. See what Alice Miller has written for instance.

Using violence leads to failures and damages both for the man himself and for other people (not least his children).

What these men need is courage to admit that they are exercising violence, and help not to blame other people, and they also need will to change their behavior.

However, it is important to emphasize that it is only the practiser of violence who is responsible for the violence he exposes other people to.

To help the man to analyze what is happening in his life, and to analyze how different occurrences stick together with his behavior, can be a step in the right direction towards a change.

Men using violence basically don’t feel so well.

And then I happened to read something from the American neurologist Jonathan H. Pincus’ book “Base Instinct – What Makes Killers Kill.”

My further reflections on what I read were:

People have tried to find genetic explanations to tendencies to violent behavior. Pincus refers to the Richard Speck case (see the picture above, click on them to make them bigger).

If you believe or presuppose that (small) boys have inherited tendencies to anger, fury, outbursts of rage, maybe even violence, maybe you believe you  need to stifle those traits and treat them “accordingly.” In a belief that this maybe will stop them from further developing those traits.

However, is it this that in reality makes small boys and latter grown up men violent – and more violent than women, who were less roughly treated when they were small girls (but they were treated in other ways, which in turn caused them problems, but of other sorts)?

On top, small boys were also often handled more roughly than small girls to make the small boys tougher and not girl-like.

We can see remnants of this in our treatment of small boys and girls, in our attitudes towards them, in our expectations, or lack of expectations, on them. The reasons for this is that we in turned were taught this very early in life; how we are and (thus) also how other people were. Behaviors and attitudes that are difficult to shake off, and things we many times are not even aware of because we learned them so early in life.

With great difficuly, and probably a lot of pain, we can change though. If we are allowed to admit to  and acknowledge what caused all this in the first place. For this we need a therapist that is not in denial him or herself.

Read the article “Frenzy” by Thomas Gruner about Pincus’ book.

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