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@critic
attempted interpretation

OK... not sure how deep to go with discussions here since it's all in public. I'm not a trained therapist anyway, just read a bunch of stuff and try to apply it in anarchist settings. I'm prepared to move to email if you want.

I don't think there's any inevitability to abused children going on to abuse others in similar ways, any more than there is about children copying any other specific aspect of their parents. If someone identifies with the abusive parent they are more likely to repeat the same pattern, but most people will hate and fear this parent (in the same way someone with a very authoritarian parent might become very authoritarian or they might become very anti-authoritarian). They will have an introjected part based on the parent (which also happens in everyone) and there will be particular issues around fearing this "internal object", rejecting it particularly radically (e.g. the persecutor in paranoia), or yeah... fearing you are "really" like that or destined to become like that, which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I doubt you will go on to abuse anyone, but some of your previous comments about feeling you've done things when manic that are unforgiveable or feeling you will do these things, do sound like they might actually refer to your father doing abusive things when he was drunk, or you're afraid you might do similar things when manic. Though this kind of thing (i.e. worrying about doing bad things when manic) is also quite common in manic-depressive cycles because of the oscillation between not-giving-a-fuck and self-hate. ... A lot of the notorious "psychopaths" have a particular background where their father is abusive, and their mother is very loving to the child but is a pushover with the father and is also heavily abused; boys in particular can take away from this that being good or "nice" means being fucked-over, and try to be like the father, even though they hate him. This leads to a weird situation where their superego (moral ideal part) is identified with being evil. I suspect the people who systematically sexually abuse children are of the perverse type as theorised by Lacan: they're caught in a strange worldview where they're actually acting on behalf of "the big Other" (the social or cosmic order; the all-powerful parent...) and are governed by a kind of fatalism. This is the same personality-type that gives us Stalinist apparatchiks, technocrats, bullying managers, and probably a lot of the idpols. You might well have been dealing with something completely different though. An impulsive person who does abusive things in out-of-control states so to speak. Which of course overlaps a lot with your own worries about being out-of-control, doing unforgiveable things, accountability, etc.

You say you "went still", this sounds like a freeze response. This is quite common in traumatic situations, it's a variant of fight-flight and it's the one which most predisposes to developing trauma. Animals which freeze in this way tend to shake it off right after, but humans seem not to, and it gets stuck in the nervous/limbic system somehow as unresolved fear, sometimes held in tense muscles at particular points. Sometimes it means you've not fully felt whatever you were feeling at the time because the freeze-up blocked the other feelings. A lot of the short therapies for PTSD work with blocked content and look for full re-experiencing to get the experience into a person's main memory-system. Obviously this is an added layer of trauma but, unless this happened in infancy, your "bipolar" structure had probably formed already - this is usually a pre-Oedipal formation meaning you never resolved the stuff that was going on when you were a toddler, and you didn't develop a stable ego so the later traumas hurt you more than they would have. Hope this helps a bit.

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