Understanding and Healing the Abusive Personality Syndrome Surrenderworks.com / DharmaTalks / Polishing the Pearl ~
Understanding and Healing the Abusive Personality

Columbine, etc. - a working Hypothesis

Without being cruel or blaming to the parents of the boys who committed the columbine crimes, I’m caused to call upon the Dharma of Compassion, Understanding and Forgiveness in an attempt to clarify their Karma. Otherwise, will no good at all come from it?

The New Bottom Line:

Everything we do, creative or destructive, is self-validating and self-affirming, be it thought negative or positive.


Columbine Kids - Alienation from Love

Absence of Substantiated Sense of Self creates an extreme need to assert presence, to substantiate (verify, validate) self existence.

Hypothesize - that parents gave no sense of control, or artificially gave a sense of control that was not real,with no real options.

No choice means no self - no opportunity to sense self-substance. Self must and will express itself at all costs. It rebels against oppression or supression. These children believed that they were saving their souls. They felt Real. They were driven by their own need for a sense of self-determination. Don’t you see how our habits are there to help us gratify that need? Especially in the face of being overwhelmed by what is not self-affirming?

Overwhelm itself is self-negating, self-denying. What is not self-affirming or is self-denying or self-negating is  what other people do to you or say to you. When you get so caught up in another’s Trauma Drama that you can no longer find any trace of yourself, then you will do anything, even self-destructive, to get back, to be in touch with your self again - to feel your own sense of self-existence rather that someone else’s. It’s the elemental survival tactic. We need our selves if we are to survive.

Seeking Comfort: Psycho-Spiritual Causes of Masochism and Sadism

Masochism is the craving and seeking of abuse for the reviving thrill of Thriving in Abusive Situations. It applies to seeking, causing or bringing back familiar feelings of ostracism as a means to express not wanting to be accepted, being more comfortable feeling unaccepted. This implies issues with acceptance. Acceptance (by others) is taken as a license for ‘unacceptable’ behavior, the acting out of which brings back the familiar feelings of rejection, ostracism and punishment.

Sadism is a desire for the comforting and replicative feeling of heartlessness (is this emotional freedom?) reinforced, substantiated, proved, comforted and confirmed by acts of cruelty, by exercising the ability to inflict cruelty on others without any feelings, regret or remorse - The comfort and reinforcing of heartlessness is what is sought in the desire to inflict cruelty, abuse and acts of revenge in the coldest and most ruthless way.

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Understanding and healing the abusive personality syndrome is a matter of forgiving the unforgivable. It requires healing the avenger or the secret abuser by transforming the avenger into the healer. Making a good guy out of a bad guy is not easy and requires a great deal of personal healing and insight through self-investigation, self-understanding, and self-transformation. Forgiving the intimidator by understanding the nature, cause, reason and purpose of intimidation does not come easy.

Healing is complete when neither villain nor villifier exists; when there is no accuser and no accused; when hostility is transformed into healing. Understanding the root causes of hostility is the first step and leads to healing everything. How to heal everything? Take your mind off your goal for a moment. Focus on helping me - on helping, not on being helped. Look at me. Imagine someone else in your very situation. What would you say to her?

First we need to calm you down, so take you mind off your goal (of calming down, being healed, getting help) for a moment. And focus on helping me. Focus on helping, not being helped (because you’re being helped now, so now you help me to help you instead of helping yourself to be helped), and look at me (not yourself). Am I distraught? No. So be with me for a moment. Just look at (hear) me. and relax your muscles and your body. Now hear me and look at yourself, and feel yourself, relaxing.

While relaxing your body and letting the tensions dissolve, continue to listen to my voice until I start to make sense - until I start to begin actually getting through to you listening to me. After you are completely calm (and with me), we can begin. But only then, so until then (just) continue relaxing and listen to me, talking to you and telling you (all about) what we’re going to do. How we doin’? Are we OK?

Now there is a reason for all this but it might not be what you think. So we’re going to suspend thinking for a moment and enter into the timeless zone. This is the space you know and love. So relax and let existence support you. Let go of all hopes dreams and responsibilities, just for the moment. Can you do that?

As you are calming down, allow yourself to feel your hostility. Imagine if there were just one single cause for all that hostility in you and if you could identify that cause and fix it, all that hostility would disappear and your life would be perfect bliss and happiness. One single cause for anger and grief - a single problem. Understanding it will heal it and make it go away. So let’s investigate this primal pain and your reaction to it.

Your feelings got hurt. You were rejected. Your mission was thwarted. You were frustrated in your ability to bring love and healing
to your parents, and to be accepted and rewarded for that,

You were rejected. And because of your belief in yourself, and your determination to complete your mission, you rejected that rejection as utterly unacceptable. You still don’t accept it.

Feel the truth of this! No matter how much the doctors tell you it is hopeless, you simply cannot accept that, and will continue trying - not to please, but to heal, your parents. So all your life is spent in the investigation of the primal question – “What in Heaven’s name is wrong with them?”

But, since the negative attention was diverted onto you, you
now believe that you must first figure out what’s wrong with you. But here’s what’s wrong with you - you cannot figure out what’s wrong with them. That’s what’s wrong with you. That is your primary dilemma. So you take on the dilemma by acting it out - by taking responsibility, or not, for pleasing them as they ask/request/demand/force you to - and then suffering all of the requisite consequences from the acquired stress.

So to complete your mission in healing yourself you must necessarily heal your parents. Or at least understand what’s going on with them. But it should be and is in reality the other way around. They should be healing themselves and explaining to you what’s gong on. But they don’t, and that’s what’s wrong.

As parents learn to heal themselves the overwhelming responsibility for healing them and themselves is lifted off of the children, so that they are
then no longer required to suffer the illnesses of their parents simply to discover the healing necessary to help them.

So there you have it. The bottom line is simple and proven if not easy. As parents learn to heal themselves, their children will respond accordingly. Just think about how it would make you feel to see your parents both happy and healed.

And that (healing parents) is the cause and cure of the abusive personality syndrome!

So how does knowing this work? It’s not what you do, it’s what you know! What does that mean?

Pleasing Papa – It’s all about seeking paternal love. The abused child surrenders to codependency outwardly while maintaining (a violent, even vengeful) independence inwardly.

The issue to be investigated today is:

vengeful hostility as a manifestation of frustration in reaction to a rejection of love.

Dealing with vengeance is hostility, hostility is a manifestation, frustration is a reaction, reaction is to an action, the action is rejection, rejection is an acting-out of another frustration-precipitated hostility so we’re stuck with hostility creating hostility. Hostility is a reaction-causing reaction. Like a row of dominos rejection causes rejection. Except that babies are not born with rejection, they learn it and in doing so forget their Primary Mission - to bring love and healing to their parents!

A Working Hypothesis

I believe we need a Working Hypothesis, A context into which we can place a series of events and from which we can make sense of them and which offers the possibility of an optimistic, positive outcome. This “Working Hypothesis" I call “The Primary Mission Theory.” Briefly summarized, because it is written about in depth in another paper of the same name, it assets that “children are sent to bring love and healing to their parents”, and when that does not work - is rejected, frustrated or abused in any way - children will go to whatever ends to accomplish it. And until they do, they will never know and have true peace and happiness.

Roots of Hostility

Accepting and understanding rebellion as an act of hostility and rejection of rejection - “It’s simply unacceptable and I rebel against it” - leads to an understanding of aberrant behavior and its cause. Rebellion is a coping mechanism for dealing with the unacceptable, the unchangable and the unintelligible. It is a means of accomplishing the impossible task of accomplishing the impossible. It is saying NO to impossibility. And what then is the impossible? That I will ever be able to bring the love and healing to my parents. We simply give up. Hence the underlying frustration.

It is however not impossible; we only think that it is. We have been forced to accept it, but our unbelief of their unbelief and rejection of us as such manifests as rebellion. When we have brought the love and the healing to our parents through recognizing it as an integral part of the continuing search for healing ourselves which must be completed, we will be free and happy - and not until then.

Healing Abandonment and Identifying the Primal Separation

We revert to our habits and addictions because we fear the feeling of loneliness and separation. But even lost and hopeless, it’s not our abandonment that hurts, or even the loneliness. What we fear is - that sinking feeling - of reaching out and finding no one there. The sinking feeling is the feeling that you are going to die, alone. Wanting to die is the hostile reaction to that fear – “I’d rather die than feel this.” So rather than experience our primal fear (hopelessness), we choose our addiction because it brings us out of our fear.

The urge to practice any addiction is simply our desire to avoid dealing with what we’re afraid of. If we can identify what we’re afraid of and courageously allow it to overcome us (preferably in the presence of a friend), we will eventually experience the peace and the healing. This is the process we call “going down the rabbit hole”. And it can only be experienced if we are willing to pass through our “Chamber of Demons”. This is the true 'Journey To The Gods' that the ancient Greeks and Mystic Seekers speak of.

Fathers reject children because they feel unworthy of giving them anything but rejection. They learned to adjust and “make it” in a rejecting world, and therefore their children will also. “Mind my own business (hostility) and let nature take its course” is the essential belief structure underlying rejection. It is a manifestation of love! “It’s the ‘best’ I can do in the circumstances”, he deeply believes. And there IS Wisdom in that. The difficulty is that he is not recognizing that the children are there to bring love and healing to that very feeling of unworthiness that motivates the rejection. So his “not giving to” and “rejecting” the child is based on his own hostility, and instead of being the “wisdom of univolvement” which he believes it is, it becomes the hostility of univolvement, based on his own rejection of rejection, which impedes his feeling of anything, especially the receiving of the love and healing brought to him by his child. Since his hostility is toward himself in his own deep seated belief in his own unworthiness of love, he is not able (unwilling) to receive the love and healing that his child brings. This frustrates the hell out of his child, who then picks up on “rejection as a way of life”, and manifests it right back at him, along with all the concomitant sickness, frustration and hostility. But now that we see and understand that, it can be healed and our primary mission accomplished.

The question now is not “how”, but “are we willing?”

SO.... What Are we Praying for? Should we not know what we are asking for? Praying as ritual serves the purpose of learning how to pray. But once we have learned to pray, should we not then be able to identify our true needs and desires and ask that they be fulfilled with full assurance that they will? We need to know what we are asking for! God is in our Knowing! So we just Think! "What, exactly, are we asking for?"

What if the dead controlled the lives of the living? The ancient form of ancestor worship was, in simplest terms, nothing more than praying for their salvation. And why should we not do that, including and specifically our fathers. Would that not release the control that their memories have over you? See your father as happy and healed and see how that makes you feel.

According to Vedic legend, King Bhagirath left his kingdom to meditate for the salvation of his ancestors’ souls.
Why was that? Salvation, Liberation, Enlightenment - it all means entrance into a life beyond the one from which we are praying. When we are sending love and healing to our fathers, is it not exactly that? That we are in effect praying for their salvation from the bonds of darkness? And if we believe that our prayers are answered, could we not simply say “Be!” and it is? How long will it take us to see that? How does this not apply to and directly affect our own personal healing, since sending love and healing to our fathers is the penetration and breaking of our own self-imposed barriers which are causing us this intolerable feeling of separation?