When Your Father Is A Sociopath

I am re-blogging this mainly because I have only touched on sociopaths from a romantic perspective, but not so much from a relative/family viewpoint. Plus, I think it is very well written…

Thought Catalog

When people ask about your family, you try to not mention him. You describe your beloved siblings and your outstanding mother in elaborate and adoring detail and you try to glide effortlessly into asking them about their family. If you’re lucky, they don’t catch it. They don’t ask “Well, what about your dad?” You never know how to answer. Even a decade later, you’re still caught off guard.

For us, the children of sociopaths, the tales of drunks and addicts and abusers are a fantasy. Granted, a disgustingly twisted one, but a fantasy nonetheless. In the “perfect” world of primetime dramas, the deadbeat dad is just trying to figure himself out. He’s trying to get clean or sober or work through his haunting past. It’s almost no one’s fault. A third-party is involved. Everyone wishes that the father had been better or stronger, but the neglect, the absence, is a…

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Something to think about: “Walls were Made to be Broken” (part 4) The Demolition Process

Hopefully by now, you have uncovered which walls need your immediate attention and which walls do not. I would suggest beginning the demolition process on any wall that is causing an immediate hindrance to your daily living, such as anything that is interfering with your peace of mind. Nothing compares to enjoying life with a healthy state of mind. Remember – you only get one life; it is better to make the most of the time you have to spend on this earth than to waste it and regret it later.

So on to the demolition…

The demolition process basically starts off following the same procedures for both Conscious and Unconscious Walls. The only difference is the amount of time it takes to completely destroy them. That time is determined by factors such as when that wall was placed there and who put it there. For example: an Unconscious Wall that has been built by an authority figure, such as a parental figure, a lover, or whomever you have depended on for emotional support and approval, may take years to demolish simply because it has been ingrained inside your heart and mind as a necessity for survival. Let’s say, for instance, a child who grows up in an environment that is unsympathetic and is full of callousness may have had to learn to adapt to that kind of situation by becoming so thick-skinned that they do not know how to love or be loved. They reject anyone who comes across as caring and sympathetic, or the total opposite, because they do not recognize that real love and are only receptive to people who resemble the authority figures of the environment they have grown up in. They will recreate their childhood environment because that IS their comfort zone. It may take years before this person can make a successful personal transformation, but it is not impossible.

So let’s begin with a less challenging wall to destroy: the Conscious Wall. Just a quick recall, a Conscious Wall is one that is derived from a realistic fear stemmed from an illogical belief. Examples of this would be along the lines of stereotyping: ALL marriages end in divorce, ALL blondes are dimwitted, ALL males are cheaters, and ALL women are not as intelligent as a man, and so on. Plenty can be said about the stereotyping of gender, sexual preference, and races but I will not get too deep into those details. When stereotype a person, place or thing, we will react to them according to what we feel is appropriate, and that includes avoidance. Keep in mind it is healthy and wise to avoid something or someone we know for a fact is not in our best interest. However, stereotyping is not based on facts. Stereotyping is based on opinion and does not necessarily mean one part applies to the whole, if you catch my drift.

But how do we debunk any hypothetical stereotyping beliefs we may have?

Get out there and find out for yourself. Be realistic; nobody is perfect. We all have flaws, hang-ups, etc., but is that not what makes us all unique? None of our personal flaws may have anything to do with our gender, our cultural background, or our sexual preference.  The funny thing about social networking, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc., is we all can be whoever we want to be behind the screen, but it is the words that we speak that will be noticed by others first. We do not see a face, a race, or a gender unless we post a profile picture, and even that sometimes is not always truthful. The bottom line is: you will never know what you are missing until you get to know the character of a person. Drop everything that you have heard and read about a gender, a culture, or a sexual preference and just meet a variety of people from all, and I do mean ALL, walks of life and from any and every category. Remember, you yourself fall into one or more categories. Would you want someone to discriminate against you without giving you a fair chance?

 

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

The Realization Of Character

Everything we do starts with words. Words will determine who we are. Whatever we think we are, we will become. It is no wonder why we see so many people who struggle with low self-esteem, but that is such an extensive topic that I will save for a later discussion.

I am sure you all have heard the “formula” for how one’s character comes into fruition and the end result of where our character will lead us. If not, I will briefly go over the famous formula in order of importance:

“Words = Thoughts”

“Thoughts = Actions”

“Actions = Habits”

“Habits = Behaviors”

“Behaviors = Character”

“Character = Our Destiny”

“Words = Thoughts”: Words will determine your thoughts. Words are very powerful. Like it says in the Bible, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). When we insult someone, we are killing them figuratively. When we compliment someone, we are giving them life. It does not matter if words are spoken or written; they will have the same affect on the listener and/or reader. We begin to think exactly what words tell us to think. We should be aware of what we say to one another as well as what we hear and read because once we let those words take root into our minds, we become those words.

“Thoughts = Actions”: Our thoughts have a heavy impact on the things we do. Most all of our actions start with our thoughts.  We can think ourselves into motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and so on. On the other hand, we can think ourselves into procrastination, depression, discouragement, and so on. Our thoughts will determine what we will do next.

“Actions = Habits”: Our actions will become our habits. Have you ever met someone who seemed impossible to change the way they think about themselves? They have learned to adapt to a particular way of thinking that their whole life is arranged around their thought processes.  They withdraw instead of socializing. They retreat when faced with challenges. They may have been told time and time again that they are stupid or a failure, and so they tend to believe those words without applying themselves to rise above the adversity of those words. That is because they have become so comfortable in thinking what they think is true, it has become a habit. Habits are hard to break.

“Habits = Behaviors”: Habits develop into behaviors. Hurting people hurt other people. It is just that simple. Very rarely have I come across an angry individual who goes out of their way to make others happy. In fact, I have seen hurting people deliberately hurt others to bring them down and have said this somehow makes them feel better knowing someone else is hurting just as much as they are. I suppose this would account for the numerous abuse  and murder cases in the world today because this seems to be the only outlet a hurting person knows, trusts, and feels comfortable in doing. It is a horrible habit that, unfortunately, has become a behavior that is justified in their minds.

“Behaviors = Character”: Our behavior determines our character. People are known for what they do. Someone who carries a reputation for lying, stealing and cheating has built that reputation centered around those actions. The same goes for someone who has proven to be trustworthy, honest and caring. People are more drawn to these traits. Our character derives from the behaviors we set forth and also determine the type of characters we draw to us.

“Character = Destiny”: The kind of character we build for ourselves will determine our destiny. For example, if we are a well disciplined individual, chances are we will go far in life. We will resist the temptation to procrastinate in order to get things done. However, if we are lazy, we may not accomplish much in life due to neglecting important responsibilities. This is why it is so important to take heed as to the people who you allow in your life because they, too, can determine your destiny…

(to be continued…)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

Something to think about: “Walls were Made to be Broken” (part 3)

After your list of fears have been created, review your list to see what is realistic and what is not…

All fears have an origin, and figuring out what that origin is requires reflecting on our past experiences and self-reflection in general as to how we perceived those experiences, whether or not we have decided to have closure about them, etc. We create unrealistic fears out of unnecessary worries. Unnecessary worries are our own excessive thoughts and concerns about how we can control things that we actually cannot change the outcome of yet somehow feel we must take the blame if things do go wrong.  If we can eliminate the need to control the things we cannot change, those unnecessary worries will vanish, and so will the unrealistic fears.

Speaking of things we cannot change, how many times have we blamed ourselves for things we think we should be in control of only to find out it was out of our hands to begin with? One of the most common examples of this kind of misdirected self-blame is when we experience a breakup or a divorce.  Self-blame creates fears that have no credibility. For example; if you have done the best that you are capable of doing to love someone properly and they still reject you in the end, that is not your fault. It’s either they are going to accept you for who you are, or they are not. Do not settle for any other alternative. Do not be afraid to take a chance on love again just because someone did not appreciate what you have to offer them. There are far too many people on this planet to think you will never cross paths with the right person who will appreciate you as you are. Believing in any other false perception of yourself will only re-enforce the fear of being emotionally hurt. When you do encounter another potential mate, you may misinterpret some of their behavior(s) as a warning and react according to your own fear of going through another heartbreak, except you will not be aware that you are literally punishing another innocent human being for what someone else did to you as well as punishing yourself. This is called an unrealistic fear. Unrealistic fears create  Unconscious Walls (See “Something to think about: Walls were Made to be Broken”).

Once you have distinguished the unrealistic fears on your list, all that should be left are the realistic ones.  A realistic fear is a fear of facing unpleasant consequences tomorrow due to lack of preventive actions today. Realistic fears have a legitimate purpose because we are aware of what needs to be done to control the desired outcome. Examples of this would be the student who neglects to study for an exam will likely fail the exam, or the spouse who is unfaithful in their marriage is likely to become divorced, and so on.

But what if a realistic fear originated from observing the consequences of someone else’s actions? Stereotyping is a common mistake when deciding what we want out of life and what we think of other people, places, and things. For example; there are some students who believe just because other students have struggled with an exam or a class and failed miserably that it also means they themselves will experience the same fate no matter what. Without ever considering what factors the other students have purposely contributed to cause their own failure, it is much easier for those students to just assume the exam and/or class is the problem and it is best to avoid the situation altogether.  The same principle goes for some people who are against marriage, although they have never been married and really have no legitimate reason to be against it.  They assume ALL marriages are doomed to fail because of the failed ones they have observed and the horror stories they have heard, therefore, they assume marriage in general is a bad idea and avoid it regardless of how much they desire it.  Having a feeling of inadequacy about your own ability to succeed in any area of your life based on someone else’s failure is a sure way to guarantee your own failure from the start. By deliberately avoiding situations only because you fear they will turn out to be the same like someone else’s, you have created a realistic fear. Realistic fears based on an illogical personal belief system creates Conscious Walls (See “Something to think about: Walls were Made to be Broken”). 

In conclusion, Unconscious Walls are primarily based on unrealistic fears of the unknown, and Conscious Walls are primarily based on realistic fears of an illogical reality.

So now that you have a clear understanding of how Conscious and Unconscious Walls are made, I want to ask this question again:

Which wall was made to be broken?

The answer should be pretty easy now…. 😉

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

Something to think about: “Walls were Made to be Broken” (Part 2)

I’m assuming most of you have already read my previous blog entitled “Something to think about: Walls Were Made To Be Broken”. If not, please do go back and read it. It will help you understand what this blog is all about…

For those of you who have read it, hopefully you have a clear understanding of the difference between a Conscious and Unconscious Wall and have taken the time to do a self-evaluation to see whether or not your walls can be distinguished between the two. Naturally in order to do this, you have to be completely honest with yourself, and that can be pretty rough. I’m sure we all would like to think we are free and clear of any character flaws, but the truth of the matter is, we are not. All of us have some sort of wall built around our hearts and minds, whether we want to admit it or not. We may not have been aware of that wall’s existence, how it got there, or even how long it’s been there.

Not sure if you have a wall?

Make a list of your fears. Be honest.

Next, make a list of how you address, or don’t address, those fears. Be honest.

Still not clear yet? Note: Be honest.

The first step in identifying which wall was created to be demolished all goes back to what I said earlier… you have to be completely honest with yourself. Any self-evaluation or soul-searching is going to require complete honesty, no matter how painful it may feel. You need to know the truth. Without truth, there can be no remedy. Without a remedy, there can be no demolition…

Remember: 2013 is all about the year for creating a better Y.O.U.

So go, go now, and get busy writing that fear list so you can move on to the next highly recommended step…

(To be continued)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

“In My Jammies”

I miss my jammies
Every morning when I leave;
Sure wish I had my jammies
At work, at school, at league

Wanna take my jammies
Wherever I go;
But my jammies don’t like it
In rain, in sleet, in snow

Can’t wait to get my jammies
Back over my head
All it takes is three moves;
My shirt, my pants, my bed

That’s where my jammies
First fell in love with me;
All night we were one
With pillows, with blanket, with sheet

My jammies don’t need rest
They stay awake all night;
Protecting all around me
The left, the rear, the right

If I replaced my jammies
Sleep could never keep me sane;
‘Cause the kind of dreams they show me of
No worry, no fear, no pain

I’m gonna marry my jammies
As soon as it’s legal;
Maybe we can adopt kids named
Lil’ Snuggy, Lil’ Fleece, Lil’ Flannel

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

Something to think about: “Walls were Made to be Broken” (part 1)

I just want to take a moment to explain this statement. The word “walls” in reference to this statement means the invisible walls we put up around our hearts and minds. If we break down the general definition of the word, a wall is basically a solid mass used in many ways to protect, to connect, to enclose, to strengthen, and to defend. Buildings are infamous for containing walls for those obvious reasons, and also because they represent a sense of permanency. However, when the term “wall” is used when pertaining to people, it still serves the same purpose as it does in the literal sense… except for the permanency part.

But let’s face it… none of us are born with walls already placed around our hearts and minds. Walls are not genetic. We put those walls up ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously, because of some sort of dilemma we were faced with at some point in our lives. Consciously, we have strategically place them in areas where we are most vulnerable in order to keep from having to face the same dilemmas again. Unconsciously, we place them in areas where we are most vulnerable also, but are only aware they are there when faced with a familiar dilemma.

How to tell the difference between a conscious wall and an unconscious one?

One obvious difference is a conscious wall is built deliberately. A conscious wall coincides with purposeful avoidance. We want to alleviate any possible chances of feeling hurt, disappointment, angry, betrayed, injured, etc., so this kind of wall protects and encloses us from getting involved in situations that we feel will result in feeling certain emotions. They serve as a constant reminder to avoid situations whose criteria spells “injury to my well-being”. An unconscious wall is one that is not deliberately built, but is more or less triggered by a familiar event where our conscious mind takes over and says “Hey wait, this seems familiar. Even though all the facts are right there that this could be a great opportunity, let’s not take this chance again because it’s better to be safe than sorry.” So basically, an unconscious wall is an oblivious defense mechanism only triggered by the familiarity of a situation connected with a past catastrophic event.

The difference between the two types of walls is… one of them was made to be broken.

Can you tell which one?

(To be continued…)

© 2013 Learus Ohnine