abuse

Don’t smack your kids: Research into teenage football concussions

Several years ago, I ran posts showing that smacking kids on the back of the head is not good “discipline,” but physical abuse.  These posts have been some of my most-read ever, still getting hits every day.

I became so passionate about the subject after being emotionally traumatized by a couple who pretended to be my friends, but were really narcissists using me: Story here.  One of the traumatizing things they did, was to smack one of their kids–a toddler who was small for her age–on the back of the head, then laugh about it later.

I wrote about it on my website as a way to vent and purge the trauma.  They found it and accused me of defamation and “false facts,” even threatened to sue….So I ran several posts showing that smacking kids on the head is not only physical abuse, but harmful to the brain.  I haven’t seen any more threats from these people.

Now, I haven’t seen them on my blog for three months now, so I don’t know if they’ll ever be back here again.  But the question of brain injury from smacking is still important to me.

Now we have new evidence that yes, hard knocks to a child’s or teenager’s head are indeed harmful, even if they don’t lead to more than a “bell ringer.”  For one thing, the term “bell ringer” is no longer used medically, being replaced with the term “concussion.”  No longer do they speak of “mild concussions.”  You either have a concussion, or you don’t.  Bell ringer, mild concussion, it’s all a concussion now.

But does this apply to smacking a kid on the head as punishment?  It’s not a 200-pound linebacker slamming into your head, but think about the size of an adult vs. the size of a toddler, and how hard that adult could potentially hit the kid.  Isn’t it possible that a large adult could easily hit a child far harder than intended?  Or if the adult is furious–just how hard might that adult hit?

Then there’s the size of the couple who traumatized me.  Both were large people–the man was 6’4 and 400 pounds–and I got the impression that both of them smacked their little kids.  Imagine the force one of them could easily put into a smack.

Not only this, but an article in today’s newspaper explains that even small hits that don’t lead to concussions can lead, when repeated over time, to brain injury:

In an interview, Omalu said even hits not deemed to be concussions can be dangerous. Every time there is a blow to the head, he said, the brain suffers microscopic injuries. The brain does not have a built-in capacity to repair these injuries, meaning such “subconcussive blows” can accumulate.

There is no safe blow to the human head,” Omalu said. “Every impact to your head can be dangerous. That is why you need to protect your head from all types of blunt force trauma. A helmet does not make a difference.”

Research released this month from Boston University confirms Omalu’s worries about subconcussive blows. By studying the brains of deceased teenagers who had played football or other contact sports, researchers found that blows to the head — even if there were no symptoms of a concussion — can lead to the early stages of CTE, a degenerative brain disease. Signs of CTE were detected in the brains of three of the four research subjects.

…CTE has been linked to memory loss, impaired judgment and impulse control, aggression, depression, increased risk of suicide, Parkinson’s and dementia, according to the Boston University CTE Research Center.

…Borland believes the study’s focus on diagnosed concussions also will not account for subconcussive hits, which have been found to have negative effects on the brain. Nor will it yield the true number of concussions in the sport, given estimates developed by researchers in 2014 that less than one in every 20 concussions is reported by college football players.

No Such Thing as a Bell Ringer: UW players downplay concussions as evidence of trauma aftermath mounts

Another reason this issue is important to me has nothing to do with the abusive couple.  This goes back to college, and an abusive fiance, who was my spiritual husband.  No, he didn’t abuse me physically, though there were signs that would happen if we stayed together longer.  He did slap the girl who came after me.

But one day, he, his brother and his brother’s fiance, took me to the county fair.  One of the first rides we went on, was a spinning box.  I don’t remember how it happened, or even if I knew, but somehow, I hit my head while it was spinning.  Then, of course, the ride was still going, so the box kept spinning for a minute or two.  Finally, it ended, we got off–and I had a terrible headache.  I felt nauseated, and asked my fiance to take me back to his house to rest.

On the way past a first aid station, I asked if we could stop there, but he laughed at me like I was being ridiculous.  On the way home, everybody talked about going dancing that night.  They invited me along, but I said no, and I got upset that my fiance would even think about going there without me when I’d been injured.  I felt like I needed someone to care for me.

What response did I get to this?  That I was being unreasonable.  A party pooper.  That I didn’t want my fiance to have fun.  And no, this didn’t just come from my fiance: All three of them accused me of this.  Said I never wanted to go dancing with him (which was a lie, because I went to several dances with him, and liked dancing).  Said that because of me, he stopped going dancing every weekend–even though he never asked me to go dancing on the weekend, except for a few school dances, and he never even mentioned that he did this every weekend.  And of course, my fiance reported back to me what all they had said.  All three of them made me feel like an abusive, controlling bitch who didn’t want my fiance to have any fun at all–all because I had hit my head on a ride.  And what did his brother say?  He blamed me for getting hurt.

Several years later, when researching concussions, I realized what had happened to me was a concussion.  All the literature I read, a medical professional I consulted, and my now-husband, agreed that these people had treated me abominably.  That I had a concussion which needed to be properly tended to, but nobody bothered, nobody cared.  (I was two states away from home, so couldn’t go to my parents.)

The whole story of that episode is here.

So yeah, I have a personal interest in this.  It doesn’t matter to me if you’re dealing with teenagers playing football, or kids getting smacked by their parents, or somebody getting hurt on a ride: Concussions matter.  The brain has to be protected.  But even with such a high-impact and dangerous sport as football, the risk and treatment of concussions is being treated like it’s nothing.  So you have people like my ex-friends, thinking they can smack kids around and it’s not abuse.

This crap needs to stop.

For my other research on this, see Child Abuse, Examples of Child Abuse, Hitting Kids Upside the Head is ABUSE, Slapping Kids Upside the Head Causes Traumatic Brain Injury, Another site giving the dangers of slapping kids upside the head, and  …Because slapping kids on the head is ABUSE!  STOP THE VIOLENCE!.

 

 

 

 

 

Some good links on Narcissism

This one questions whether or not a narcissist is doing it on purpose–saying that if he really means to hurt somebody, it’s probably anti-social (sociopath), not narcissistic.  I found this interesting because it counters the common claim on many sites that the narcissist does it all on purpose to hurt and use you.  Maybe the Narcissist Sociopath does, or the Malignant Narcissist (basically the same thing), since narcissism there co-exists with sociopathy/anti-social disorder.  But lower-level narcissists would basically be highly sensitive–at least, to their own needs, not to yours:

The way a narcissist’s brain works can help unravel whether they mean to hurt their partners or not

There is disagreement in the comment section over the advice in the following article, because you basically stop standing up for yourself, and commenters believe this will make you lose your self-esteem.  I did have a similar thought.  But the writer says the advice is meant to de-escalate fights with someone you can’t or don’t want to just leave.  So use your own judgment:

How to De-Escalate a Fight with a Narcissist

This one explains why people like me stay in friendships or relationships with abusers.  Firstly: because they’re not the Lifetime Movie Abuser all the time, knocking you around and kicking your pets:

People often stay in abusive relationships because of something called ‘trauma bonding’ — here are the signs it’s happening to you

 

The pain of losing a best friend who turned out be a narcissist: Repost from 2011

[Originally posted here: https://nyssashobbithole.com/main/tracy-part-93/.  This started out as a Facebook note posted in December 2011, meant to explain to my friends (including mutual ones with my abusers) why it was so hard for me to just forget Richard and move on.  It turned into a much larger blog post when I began adding more and more to the note.  At that time, my blog did not have the details of my story publicly posted, as it does now.  Written Tuesday, December 27, 2011.]

Some friends just drift in and out of your life.  Some hurt when they drift away, but you deal with it and move on.  Some may anger you so much that losing them doesn’t bother you.  Losing a friend is not easy in any case, but it’s far more difficult when it was that one extra-special friend, the kind that’s so rare.

All my life I had wanted the elusive bosom friend that Anne Shirley spoke of.  The friend who sticks with you for life, not a romance, not sex or marriage, which I already have, but a platonic friend.  Frodo/Sam.

I’ve made close friends, but then somebody would move away, or classes/lunch periods would change.  I wanted such a friend right here in my own town, not many miles away, separated for so many years that the friendship remains, but the closeness inevitably suffers.

I thought I finally found that friend when this one moved to my town.  I had just prayed for a friend a few months before.  Jeff and I both liked him and I thought he was that friend, an answer to prayer.

I considered him my best and closest friend.  He’s the one who helped light my way when I searched for the True Church, the original doctrines.  He had already found it before I did.

We had similar backgrounds, and similar views of the various churches.  We could sympathize with each other about going through contemporary church services.

We could discuss Orthodox theology with a similar base knowledge and interest; we could discuss the meaning of original sin, or whether River of Fire is a good source of Orthodox doctrine;

we could discuss what it means to experience the Holy Spirit;

I could ask him about various things, such as why the English translations of the Latin and Greek versions of the Nicene Creed are so different, even the parts that come from the original Ecumenical Council that produced them;

I could share with him Orthodox writings, and give him Orthodox books and icons for Christmas or birthdays.

I could tell him what led me away from Western doctrines, without feeling judged for turning to “heresies.”  I simply don’t have another friend with whom I can discuss all these things, at least not from the same background, baseline knowledge, amount of interest and same denomination.

I asked him about difficult points of Orthodox doctrine or practices; I asked him how to forgive people who had hurt me years before; I lamented to him about Net Orthodoxy and its legalism.

He was my spiritual mentor.  He was the one I always wrote to with details of church meetings or services which had been especially interesting.  Who else can I write these things to, who has the same level of interest?  I wrote to him about my church because he was the one who led me there.  And these things led to sharing about our life experiences and troubles.

I told him my secrets, and he told me his.  He was my counselor, as I poured out my heart to him about various issues I was dealing with, and details of how I’d been bullied growing up, and how I’d been used and abused by college exes, including private details which I did not normally tell anyone, because of their nature.  I told him these things because I trusted him completely, was comfortable with telling him.

I told him funny stories of things that happened day-to-day, or dreams.  I shared with him thoughts about movies I watched, books I read, life stories.  We talked for hours at a time.

He lived with us for a time, so became like part of the family, like an adopted brother, so I could tell him things I didn’t tell other people.  We could joke back and forth with each other and play off each other so easily that one guy once said, “I love it when you guys are here!”

He and I went on religious websites together and defended Orthodoxy.  And he and I also had similar tastes in music, both loving the obscure Goth genres, 80s, New Wave–and yet knowing some of the same Christian artists as well.  He had actually been a Goth, while I was interested in Goth culture, did as much “Gothyness” as I could do in a small city in the Midwest.

Because of our similar backgrounds, we both knew about the Thief in the Night series, Left Behind, and other such things.  We were even the same age, so had the same nostalgia for TV shows or movies we grew up with.  We both liked watching EWTN.  We were both interested in paranormal investigations.

It just seems impossible to replace him.  These were elements of our friendship which I found especially valuable and important, especially appealing, and these were the reasons I was so attached to his friendship.

Every time something comes up that before I would write in a quick e-mail to him, I wonder, Is there anyone I can tell this to?  Sometimes I can, but many times, I can’t.  So I start wishing I could write that e-mail to him, because nobody else would understand, or nobody else is privy to those things.

Where else am I to find someone like this?  I try to remind myself of all the violence, the self-seeking, the betrayal, yet I’m left with this gaping hole that it’s impossible to fill with anyone else, as if he were a car or a computer that can just be exchanged for something new and better.

And that, more than anything, is why I just have not been able to get over our friendship.

That’s why I still haven’t let go of the hope that one day, somehow, some way, he will repent and come back to my husband and me, ready to abandon the violence and arrogance that pushed Jeff and me away, ready to start anew.

That’s why I’m filled anew with grief every time I see him at church, he says not a word to me, and I feel I must avoid him, push him away, because of his violence and betrayal, because I can’t trust him.

I barely make it through the service without collapsing in a puddle of tears.  Trying to keep in Orthodoxy, also, has become very difficult, because everything about it reminds me of him.  Sometimes I’m tempted to just give all of it up.

Nobody can help me because the friendship I had was so rare, so hard to find again, and not something you ever get over.  You can’t just go out and find another one just like it; it takes time and coming across just the right person at just the right time.

And I don’t even know if he misses us or regrets what happened, if he only keeps away because he’s (justifiably) afraid of my husband’s anger at him over all the things he did, or if he just doesn’t care.  If he truly misses us, or just misses playing D&D with Jeff.  If he remembers all the kind things we did for him.

And the most tragic thing is, I have no clue what happened.  The winter of 2009-2010, everything was fine between us all.  I don’t recall much bullying of me going on at that time, I was led to believe that the wife had long since stopped holding her inexplicable and irrational grudges against me, and everything was fine. 

But somehow, over the spring of 2010, for no reason I ever knew, they just both started being mean to me.

But as for him–I don’t know that I’ll ever get over what he did, unless he stops justifying his behavior and comes to me, and repents.  Forgive perhaps, eventually, but lose the hurt feelings?  Stop feeling betrayed by my best friend?  Stop wishing that he would do the right thing?  Probably never.

For the time being, I feel like I’ve gone back into the shell which I had been emerging from, afraid to share too much, afraid that I’ll make new friends and love them only to find that they’re abusive as well, afraid about every move I make because maybe they’ll think I’m horrible for being so quiet, or they’ll accuse me of stalking or being annoying or some other horrible thing.  I didn’t use to be so scared of these things.

And I’m also afraid every week of seeing Richard and/or his wife at church, because they do show up on occasion, leaving me nervous, shaken and afraid of what rumors they might try to spread, or of them wanting to make some sort of confrontation. 

Church used to be my refuge, but because they are so close to it, I fear they will show up in my life again some time in the future in some way.  I stay away from their church, and wish they would stay away from mine.

Every day, I’m haunted by the memory of how they bullied me, how a trusted and beloved friend betrayed me, the abuses that I witnessed.

[The original of this post is here.]

 

“The violent intimidate the gentle”: I found this poem on “my” narcissists

Every week, I back up my files onto an external drive called a My Book.  I just finished backing up my word processor files.  While scrolling through them, I found a forgotten little file which I last modified on September 27, 2010.  I opened it up to find out what it was.

It was just written to vent privately about this, and most of it is just a rant I want to keep private.  But I also found this poem I want to share, because for a first draft of a rant-poem, it was better than I expected.  I suppose fellow abuse/narcissist victims can find something in it for themselves.  Also, it demonstrates the fear I was in during that time period, and the intense feeling of betrayal:

the violent intimidate the gentle
my idol has feet of clay
the hitting could turn on us
your threats have turned us away
betrayal by one who was dearly loved
you know what really happened
my gosh what is she doing to the children
if we report it we will be beaten
where is the love?
where is the Christian charity?
where is the fight against evil passions?
why must I take all the blame?
where is the friendship that was lost?
it’s all been blown away
you hurt the ones you love
and the ones you hate
and they need to grow up and take it

 

The weird world of online psychopathy

I think I am now starting to get back to a feeling of normalcy after a rather disturbing incident a couple of hours ago.

Some people apparently take reality shows way too seriously.

I’m not sure I want to describe the whole wretched incident.  I’ll just say:

There is an alleged case of catfishing involving a popular reality show.  Not only that, but there is also a whole mob of people who harass not only the alleged catfish, but anyone who thinks the alleged catfish is who he says he is.

Now I don’t know if he is who he says he is.  Reality TV is notorious for deceiving the public, but he also lacked a few key pieces of evidence.  All I wanted was to know the truth.  I do the same thing with my other favorite reality show.  (No, I don’t watch many of them, or much of anything.)  I check some websites, maybe ask some questions, then get back to other things.  When the show’s on, I’m interested; when the season ends, I lose interest.

However, a while back, a person connected to the alleged “catfish” bizarrely mistook me for some other person.  I am not that person, do not behave like that person, do not know that person, and set them straight.  I *thought* this had been cleared up months ago.  Yet all of a sudden, tonight they accused me again of being that other person.

The mob of harassing trolls then latched onto me and started checking me out.  I could see them in my stats, and got a couple of comments from them as well.  One was incredibly snarky.  I deleted the snark, blocked the person, and wondered why someone would say such a thing to a complete stranger they know nothing about.

The thing is, the troll mob is at least as disturbing as any alleged “catfish.”  They act obsessed, harassing not just the alleged “catfish” but anyone who’s just a bit nice to the “catfish” on Twitter.  And this has been going on for many months.

Is the “catfish” really a “catfish,” or is it an innocent person whose name has been dragged through the mud for ratings?  I haven’t a frickin’ clue, and I don’t need the trolls telling me what to think.  They have shot all their credibility to heck, not just with their harassment but with various hate sites they’ve posted around the Net.  I’ve seen both hate sites and legitimate abuse sites, and believe me, you can tell the difference right away.

If the “catfish” is indeed a “catfish,” then he/she would obviously be suffering from some kind of mental disorder to continue to insist that he/she is real.  But that would make absolutely no difference regarding the troll mob.

Whether the “catfish” is severely disturbed, or is an innocent person, the existence of this troll mob is still bizarre, its members act obsessive, and they are guilty of harassment.  There is no reason for these people–who appear to be mothers–to carry on like they do.  I’ve seen just a fraction of their tweets to various people, and they’re full of name-calling, ridicule, disgusting sexual comments, false accusations.  And when their accounts are shut down or blocked, they make new ones.

This has gone on for MONTHS.

And I wonder, don’t any of these people have lives?  Why are they so obsessed with a reality show?  Did they never learn that such behavior is wrong?  How would they react if one of their kids got treated this way at school?  Why don’t they spend all that time on something more productive–family, politics, charity, creativity, etc., etc.?  There’s a lot going on in the world that deserves their attention instead.

In any case, I was so angry at being accused yet again by the “catfish”‘s friend of being some other person, when I’m just an innocent viewer of the show examining the evidence I’ve been provided with, that I swore off the whole show.

There’s a darkness emanating from this whole thing.

Forget watching the show and wondering if it’s all lies.  Forget trying to sort out who’s telling the truth.  This is too much frickin’ drama and life is too short.  But I wonder how long it’ll take to shake off the trolls before I can feel safe checking my messages/stats again.

There is just so much psychopathy on the Net that it is insane!  I’ve been going online since it was a modem connected to the phone line and 300 baud was state-of-the-art, yet I’ve never seen it this bad.

And because of this crap, I’ve just lost several hours, full of angst, and also missed that a dear friend just turned his Facebook back on.  Ugh!

Comments are turned off in case the trolls come back here.

UPDATE 2020: I have proof that Sam is who he says he is, so the trolls can pound rocks.  He’s opened up more online publicly and to me.  I will NOT post private proofs here because it’s his business only to post these things and I will not violate his trust.  But publicly he now has a podcast with his girlfriend (who I’ve verified is a real person–and that she has visited him).