When I was diagnosed in 2009 I began posting information about DID to my Flickr stream.
In those early posts about DID I was trying to cling to some sense of worthiness as I began to lose everything I considered “me.”
To be sure, I had no real interest in blogging but I enjoy staging virtual photo shoots in Second Life and eventually I understood that I was using my avatars the way a child might use dolls when asked to describe a assault for which there are no words.
Many of the photos made in 2011 -2012 had to do with feelings of loss, of betrayal, of anger, of confusion, and of a deep and abiding sense of shame.
Most people are unable to comprehend a person whose different emotional states and memories emerge as separate people with different names, genders and world views.
To meet such a person is to see the truth of the human mind and its will to survive.
It’s easy to dismiss these confusing and unsettling expressions of the mind as attention seeking irresponsibility.
He addressed human evil in “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil“.
This description of evil as “militant ignorance” is crucial if we are to understand and heal the symptoms of trauma.
The most horrific aspect of child abuse is that it takes place in a community that chooses to ignore it.
The evil in the child’s world is so all-pervasive the adults blame the child if he reveals the abuse or the abuse becomes too obvious to ignore.
How does one cope the knowledge that one’s suffering could have been prevented by a neighbor with a conscience?
According to Peck an evil person is consistently self-deceiving to avoid guilt and to prop up an image of perfection.
- Deceive others as a consequence of their own self-deception
- Project his or her evils and sins onto very specific targets (scapegoats) while being apparently normal with everyone
- Commonly hates with the pretense of love, for the purposes of self-deception as much as deception of others.
- Abuses political (emotional) power (“the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion”)
- Maintains a high level of respectability based on lies.
- Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)
- Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)
- Has a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury
- According to Peck, evil people realize the evil deep within themselves but are unable to tolerate the pain of introspection, or admit to themselves that they are evil.
Willful cruelty against a person who cannot defend himself is an expression human evil.
A simple example of this kind of evil is refusing to feed a child when there is more than enough food.
To compound the cruelty force the hungry child to watch everyone else eat.
Add more trauma by savagely beating the child for crying because he is hungry and hurt and confused.
Then remove him from the table and lock him in his room for a week while you play computer games.
How would a four-year old escape the fear and loneliness of a situation that would instinctively feel like a death trap?
“Binker–what I call him–is a secret of my own,
And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.
Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,
Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,
And Mummy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan–
But they can’t
Evil instills fear by abusing power.
The difference between someone who abuses power and someone who doesn’t is the disciplined use of reason.
One does not have to empathize with an abused child to deduce by reason that all children deserve loving adult protection.
For most systematically abused children in the 21st Century our conservative state and federal governments are part of the abuse.
Any group of adults who reserve food and resources for themselves at the cost of children is a child abuser.
Any group of adults that place property above the safety and lives of our children are child abusers.
Any adult who scapegoats a child because of racial and intellectual differences is a child abuser.
Any adult who enables other adults to deprive children of the resources they need to thrive is a child abuser.
Therefore the adult who pathologically dissociates was a child whose mind shattered under the stress of a sustained confrontation with an all-pervasive cultural evil from which there was no physical escape.
And as I write this there are children in the United States whose first years of life are defined by relentless hunger, sexual assault and a sadistic political system rigged by abusive men and women who see fit to enrich themselves by cutting funds for public education, healthcare, housing and food.
The only way to protect our children is for every adult in the United States to stop pretending that it’s not their problem and that we don’t know what we must do.
I don’t have to tell you what evil looks like.
I don’t have to tell you how to fix the damage that was done to our nation and its children.
You know how to vote and you know why we expect everyone to pay his fair share of the taxes it takes to fund a large and complex Nation.
You know the difference between the truth and the cheap lies so many of us prefer to believe.
Start by turning off Fox News.
(c)Rob Goldstein 2015-2016