Monday, 19 August 2013

Prone to Violence

I consider myself to be a logical person and a rational thinker.  For example, I usually keep things in the same place and so if I can’t find an item, I retrace my steps and hopefully soon find the object I’ve misplaced.  If my search is unsuccessful, I won’t rest until I discover it.   My logic tells me that the object I seek is exactly in the same place where I left it.  Most of the time, this approach works for me.  If it doesn’t, I can never rest until the search is over. My logical thinking always telling me that it’s exactly where I last placed it.  

However, if my ex-wife had misplaced something (losing her keys/purse etc.), I was always blamed for taking it (or moving it) .  This would then always seem to provide an excuse for yet another violent outburst. Having gained some insight from the excellent  ‘Prone to Violence’ by Erin Pizzey and Jeff Shapiro, I can now understand where her approach comes from.

When I was assaulted by my ex-wife, a similar thought pattern kicked in.  I ended up making excuses for her behaviour because that was the only way I could make logical sense of the abuse.

Looking back, I still struggle about how my ex-wife can portray herself as a pillar of the local community when I and our children know the real truth about her.  When challenged about her behaviour towards us, she either denies or waters down the severity of the offence.  Recently, she did admit to our daughter that she had had ‘anger issues in the past’ which is the first time she’s acknowledged anything.

I have reflected over these feelings before and my online friend, Andy Thomas of ‘A Voice for Men’, suggested I read Erin Pizzey and Jeff Shapiro’s ‘Prone to Violence.’  This was a most insightful book and is being featured on ‘A Voice for Men’s’ website currently. 

Erin Pizzey founded the first refuge for all victims of domestic violence in the 1970’s.  She discovered that out of the many women coming to her refuge, most were as violent (if not more so) than the partners they were leaving behind.  ‘Prone to Violence’ is an account of the real truth about Domestic Violence. However, it can be a disturbing read because its message is one that the Governmental Policy Makers don’t want you to hear. 

I count it a real honour that some of my blogs are included along Erin Pizzey’s articles on ‘A Voice for Men’ website.  Erin’s latest article is well worth a read as she writes about how Domestic Violence policy developed to the detriment of men and their rights:

Reading ‘Prone to Violence’ has given me some of the answers I’ve been seeking for a long time about my ex-wife’s abusive behaviour.  The book is based on experience and observation and lays out how Domestic Violence victims fall into two camps:  Battered Spouses and those Prone to Violence.  

The battered spouses tend to have grown up in emotionally-enabled families and fall victim to violent partners.  However, the ‘Prone to Violence’ types come from emotionally-disabled families, never knowing the proper love, care and nurture as young children that so many of us take for granted. As a result, these ‘Prone to Violence’ people learn from an early age that the only time they are noticed and given attention is when anger manifests itself and so they become addicted to that emotion/pain, even creating situations so that they can feel the buzz that the violent reaction gives them. 

The following excerpt seemed to be written for me and, at the very least, gives me some comfort of explanation that I have been searching for:

Prone to Violence, Chapter Five

……If you accept, as we do, that you are both emotionally and chemically bonded to your parenting, then it becomes so much easier to understand your own addiction. In a healthy family, that bonding plays its part while a child grows and learns. Then, when the child is ready to turn outwards, the bonds are slowly loosened, while the parents readjust their lives to use their time for themselves and enjoy their future with each other. The child meanwhile seeks to recreate the good, warm, loving  relationships and home environment that it experienced in its own home. Usually, this child will succeed. An emotionally and chemically synthesised maturing adult will seek the same relationship  with its partner. 

 On the whole, the emotionally able will avoid the discomfort and turmoil of the emotionally disabled. If by chance they do attempt to form a relationship with an emotionally disabled person, they will then find themselves in the position of a battered woman or battered man. Confused and bewildered, they continually misunderstand the messages they get from their partners. It is very rare  that they can actually do very much to change their partner. If their partner will not seek help, their best bet is to get out before children are born and they become the unwitting parents of another generation of damage. 

 Children born into violent homes will usually express the violence and betrayal of their childhood according to how it personally affects them, their position in the family, and their genetic inheritance. Instead of flowing with the warmth and the love of a happy family, they have had to survive against the violent and often incestuous onslaughts of their parents. Violent and incestuous families do not let each other go. The parents take little pleasure in each other's company, and use one or all of the children in the highly complex emotional theatre and battleground of the family.

Betrayal is the key word in these families. Betrayed parents in turn betray their children. They rob them of their childhoods. They exploit them physically. They exploit them emotionally. They keep them on edge in a jealous rage for attention. Then when the children do finally break away, the rest of their lives are spent in reaction against their parents. 

 Should a girl from a non-violent home marry a boy from such a family, the chances are that no amount of reassurance will ever convince him that she will be faithful to him. That primary betrayal of a faithless or promiscuous mother will make him morbidly jealous for life. His only hope is that he can find someone who can help him not only to come to terms emotionally with the damage, but also to be able to identify the moment when an event can trigger a chemical reaction in him that sets  off the emotion of jealousy, and then to relate it to the past, not the present. Sometimes it can be a smell, a perfume, an inflection in a voice, which can stimulate the feelings of betrayal, and bring the rage flooding back into the present. He then behaves in such a way that it is out of proportion with the current event. 

 Unfortunately, so far, very little work has been done in this field in Britain, where there is noticeable resistance to any attempt to understand why human beings behave as they do In other countries where I lecture, I find a great deal of interest and research going on. 

Thank you Erin Pizzey.

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