Back when I left academics to start my private practice (this would have been around 1992), I filled in some vacant days at county mental health clinics until I could fill my private office schedule.
From the very first, I was exposed to mentally ill patients who lived in boarding homes. Some of them were reasonable – I wouldn’t say any were good – but some were tragic situations and the residents were basically trapped. They needed somebody to take care of them, and in many cases they were taken advantage of.
I just kind of tripped over this recent report of abuses in the board-and-care homes. The hard thing for me is that it is so easy to believe. I am glad the video was not released to the public because I am certain that it would be the most popular “viral video” on the internet.
The number of people in any world — mine in particular — who get off on physical cruelty is beyond mind-boggling. Since we are dealing with “care homes” I will avoid diving into what family members do to each other. In California, private homes can be licensed for “non-medical custodial care.” I have avoided setting foot in these facilities for a number of reasons, but let us say simply that the laws here permit the licensure of facilities as small as single family homes, with six guests or less living like a surrogate family, to bigger facilities that look for all the world like nursing homes. The tinier facilities account for 90% of the lot, or about 8100 facilities. Read more on Nursing Homes and Care Homes Should Not Be For Abuse…
She was twenty four, and beautiful – magazine cover, MTV video beautiful — with long black hair and exotic features. She was telling me about her childhood abuse, her drug abuse, and how she left childhood for pregnancy and married a husband who was in many ways more abusive than her own parents had been with her.
Although the precise details do not matter, this woman gradually revealed herself to be a victim of physical, emotional, and sexual battering so severe that that she actually looked back fondly on her time spent in a variety of foster homes. I rarely hear this. She told about her abuse with a certain flatness of facial expression and vocal tone, a certain acceptance. This is not uncommon in those who have survived a lot of emotional abuse. It is a survival mechanism; a way to put up a wall. I could understand that.
She was actually a fairly reasonable person to interview. She did not have many holes in her memory and managed to answer most of my questions with believable facts. I had to ask about her education. She had been doing well in school when she dropped out because of pregnancy. She had not used contraception then, still didn’t. When I asked her, she told me simply that since her family was Christian, such topics were not discussed. Read more on The Harm Done By NOT Providing Sex Education…
People get abused a lot. More than anybody wants to believe and certainly more than anybody could ever justify as necessary. Here are a few facts. Yes, facts.
1. My own brother of blessed memory, above average IQ and (later, I believe to be accurate) diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, did not tell me until eight years afterward that as a student in a school for the emotionally disturbed, with an older headmistress who was renowned for her knowledgeable treatment of children, an internship program with a famous teacher’s college, and many awards, beat him with a belt when she was sure there were no witnesses, in order to “help” him behave. She told him to tell nobody. By the time that he discussed it with me, he said he did not want to think of it ever again, and that the famous headmistress had died and she was probably in Hell anyway. Read more on How Can We Stop All The Abuse?…