False Beliefs and Trust

I had just posted information in an article titled Reality vs Truth."  These are some of the opening ideas to my book "Reality is Social."  Let me go into my details about how this has and can continue to impact my life in the here and now and into the future.  I started out as a Social Worker with a positive attitude about people in general.  I still have that attitude but I know not everyone is good.  I learned that the hard way.  Back in 2000 with a wife who had Cystic Fibrosis getting suddenly worse in her health that year (this is a terminal disease) I was confronted with the demands o

Truth Vs. Reality

I am currently writing a book entitled "Reality is Social" which is inspired by many of my experiences and observations as a psychotherapist, philosopher, and an academic ( a person with a passion and commitment to education and knowledge).  I am influenced by the way in which reality is more often a matter of belief (or beliefs) than an expression of the facts.  Those situations in which beliefs exist and are at odds with the facts and the truth will be an important source of insight and exploration in this book.  I would argue that we are all social creatures and as such our reality is so

Toward Insanity - A Story of Trauma and Trying to Return to the Real World

This is a story about captivity.  I was a victim of a violent crime and instead of assistance, I was treated as if I was a criminal.  The fact that someone believed I was a criminal did not and cannot change reality.  Believing something doesn't make it true.  Ideas about what a person believes do not change the facts about what really happened.  Something happened in the past and the past cannot be changed.  A lie can cause others to believe something that is false.

Marriage and Religion Today

Back in 1994, I got engaged to Lynn and it was the happiest day of our lives.  Religion and circumstances made things less than perfect in the years that followed.  I was raised as a Christian and some of the teachings of Christianity can do harm when applied rigidly and without consideration for how we apply those ideas.  My mind was too immature back then, unfortunately.  Sometimes good intentions can be twisted.  There might be good intentions in preparing people for marriage and the seriousness of the commitment.  However, there is nothing that would have changed on the day of the marri

Innocence and Morality

Guilty or Innocent ( why it matters) In our society, it is appropriate and just that we think of people as innocent until proven guilty.  Most of the time the accused is arrested and assumed to be guilty.   Throw in politics and everything changes.  That was seen in the Kavanaugh hearings for Supreme Court Justice.  We lose sight of the fact that Brett Kavanaugh had a very prestigious job and career before this began.  Throw in politics and the entire matter is altered beyond recognition.  During the hearings, one side was so predictably the prosecution and the other the defense team.  The Senate, where the hearing was held, was controlled by one party that is a binary opposite of the other party, in the simplistic notion of understanding a matter of guilt and innocence in purely binary terms.  Most of the best defense arguments for the accused said: "you were not present when Dr. Ford was hurt.  You don't know what happened." 

Love and Empathy Part II

In the previous article titled "Love and Empathy", I discussed how one acts when you see a friend is upset, hurt or in danger.   This also extends to your neighbors as well, when they are hurt, scared or in danger, we sometimes find the courage to intervene and in most cases, we call the police if someone is in danger.  The bystander effect is a glitch in this normal way that people act.  I also talked about how a therapist uses empathy to help another person.  The person needs someone strong but also very empathetic.  A victim needs someone to console them as well as being a source of stre

Love and Empathy

In other stories or articles, I talked about how a therapist helps a client deal with trauma.  I found that even as a young adult, as an undergraduate, I felt with my roommate.  For example, during one quarter at college, he had Mononucletitus, aka Mono.  One day toward the end of that quarter, I developed the symptoms that my roommate had during the quarter.    They did pass relatively quickly, as in 12 hours later.  Obviously, the disease did not inhabit my body for a mere 12 hours.  I intuitively learned that this would not be the best strategy for experiencing empathy.  A female client

Dissociation and Trance - Detachment from emotions

When a person has been traumatized and develops a condition such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder they may dissociate in different ways.  One form of this is dissociating emotions, feelings from thoughts.  A person will appear robotic or with no expression (a flat affect is used by mental health professionals to describe this).  One can find this in meditative states as well as hypnotic trance states.  In this state, a person doesn't make a good liar.  The internal censor does not operate.   If you ask someone in this state a question they will answer in a matter of fact way.  In the movie

Drowning - how trauma is like a vicious spiral that pulls you down

Here is some insight I have gained. The vicious cycle (or vicious sinking spiral) around trauma. Imagine you have something bad happen to you at 15, for example. You fear for your safety and maybe your life. This starts the "butterfly effect," that you might have heard about from complexity theory. To illustrate... so at 25 some unexpected crime occurs and because of the trauma at age 15, you don't deal with being a victim of the crime (now while you are 25) because it triggers feelings from when you were 15. An observer, or friend, helps you feel safe while you heal from being victimized at age 25. Time passes and you have low self-esteem and maybe have good relationships and some bad ones. You find yourself at the age of 50 and you are trying to recover from a messy divorce where the marriage was very unhealthy and you wish you had gotten out sooner.

Pedophiles, Cults and a Cult Leader

I want to talk about three different types of groups that I discovered in Wilmington, NC.  To clarify, I was living in Wilmington, NC at the time and the groups are not the same.  They are all evil and have created victims with similar problems or have exploited the same vulnerable people.  In other places, I described my experiences and gave the impression that I was describing the same person or persons as well as the same groups.  My knowledge of these groups began in the late 1990s.  I was working in the mental health field and on different jobs, I would travel either to Sampson County