I'm currently 69-years-old.  When I look back on my life to early childhood, I see that my life has been a research project in psychopathology.  A high school counselor told me I had the aptitude to be a special education teacher.  I didn't know what special education was at the time, nor did I do the lockstep of going to college straight out of high school.  I worked full-time, took a few night classes at a junior college, and got married.  My first husband was my first case study in psychopathology.  He said we shouldn't get divorced because I'd marry somebody just like him as soon as we did.  He was right, but he made the remark because he wanted to get the GI Bill stipend for married men.  He said he'd  give me the difference between the stipends for married and single veterans, but he didn't pay up.  At the beginning, he lied his way into the marriage.  He wanted somebody to pay the rent and buy groceries while he pursued his life-long career of getting what his older sister had, more of it, and sooner.  She was a social climber who valued wealth and status.  He eventually became a millionaire, and when her marriage to a stockbroker failed, he was able to dominate her, and his younger brother   He lied his way out of the marriage to me shortly after he lied his way in.  I'd caught on to a small part of his game.  He played the victim and everyone hated me.  Many men do the same to many women.


What I learned about my first husband played backwards and forwards to many other people who were part of my life.


While I endured the first marriage, I decided to become an English teacher so I could promote a specific work of idealistic fiction.  I was in my first year at a university when I ended the marriage.  There was an oversupply of English teachers when I graduated.  A friend got me a job as a special education teacher.  I then had to take a lot of graduate level courses at another university to qualify for and keep the job.  Many of the courses were psychology courses.  My specialties were learning disabilities and mild mental retardation.  Many of my students had physical disabilities and many had psychological problems.  I worked the 11 years of special education teaching in 3 periods of 6 years, 1 year, and 4 years over 31 years. 


I home educated my children for 12 years; and used my skills of observation and analysis in the neighborhood where I lived.  The neighborhood underwent an ugly transition from white non-Latino to Latino.  Latino patronage workers with law enforcement jobs led the attack on whites; and white police officers protected Latino officers and civilians from prosecution for their wrongs.  White flight ensued.  I stayed to document the lies and psychopathology of it all.  Between 1999-2003 I also had cause to blow the whistle on violations of the rights of special education students and their parents in the Chicago Public Schools.  The violations were systemic and devastating to regular as well as special education students.  The administrators and higher level officials who perpetrated the wrongs were yet another case study.  For one year, I worked with Latino and African American teenaged boys who'd spent time in psych wards and were discharged with medications. They didn't take their medications.  The principal wanted them out of school and hired me to be the fall guy for her plan.  Despite the intense sabotage of my work and even though the boys didn't take their meds, I was able to improve their skills and their behavior.  I knew how to separate the wheat from the chaff in course content on the various disabilities of my students.


In my opinion, there is only one mental illness and the terminology that mental health professionals use confuses and obfuscates the central facts of mental illness.  The conditions that create mental illness are the conditions that prevail on earth.  Mental health professionals are as likely to have serious issues as non-professionals; and might even get into the professions to avoid understanding what they do and why.  This was true of all but one of the mental health professionals with whom I interfaced during the 11 years my job included interfacing with mental health professionals.


Most of the terms that seem to describe different species of mental illness actually describe the various symptoms of one mental illness.  The symptoms appear in all people; and only the intensity of each symptom varies from person-to-person.  The mental illness of an individual can be visualized in a bar graph that shows the intensity of the symptoms for that person.


Personality disorder is far too polite a term for psychopathology.  A recent news item said that people who knew Charles Manson as a child thought of him as a spoiled brat.  Spoiled brats make life hell all day every day.  Whether you think of a child as a psychopath or an adult as a spoiled brat, you are thinking about the same uber-psychopathology.


The lower-brain, mid-brain, and higher-brain architecture of the central nervous system correspond well to the id, ego and super-ego that Freud saw as the architecture of personality.  Babies are all id.  They're all animal needs; and they're too helpless to fulfill their needs.  Narcissism is normal for infants.   It is also normal for infants to manipulate skilled people to do things for them.  But some people remain imperious babies all their lives.  The term ignorant bully works equally well to describe what they are; and so does manipulative psychopath. 


Terms like projection, transference, neurosis, psychosis, grandiose, and narcissistic fail to create an accurate picture of the acting out of psychopathology I deal with in daily life.  The term transposition works best to describe the process I see and endure day-after-day and  year-after-year of my life. 


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mental health

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A baby doesn't have a motive or intelligence to develop a conscience in the first months of his life.  Events in the lives of many babies retard or block the development of a conscience forever.  A psychopath is like an animal.  He has an id, which is a will to live that exists in all brains.  Like birds and squirrels, a psychopath also has an ego to strategize how to fulfill the wishes of his infantile id.  The selfish ego is a function of the mid-brain.  A psychopath has no high-level brain function to judge, modify and reject the clever output of his ego.  God etched the Ten Commandments in stone for psychopaths;.  God wasted His time.  People who don't learn right from wrong through the processes of their higher-intelligence won't learn right from wrong.


Psychopathology originates in early childhood for most or all the psychopaths I know personally.  Birth order is the most devastating factor.  Few parents manage multiple children in a way that prevents the second-born child from wanting what the first-born child has.  At the beginning, the second-born wants what the first-born has at the same time and in the same quantity and quality.  The second-born ego posits a twin-ship with the older sibling despite the age gap of nine months or more.  But the wish to be equal in all ways quickly devolves into a wish to be superior, to have been born first, to be first in the parents' eyes, and to get everything sooner and in greater quantity and quality than the true first-born gets it.  There is no remedy for the jealousy when it spirals out of control.  A typical second-born child claims to have the career talents of the first-born, and quickly eclipses the first-born in the career.  Many second-borns need a scapegoat for their parents' first-born to maintain a fašade of family unity.  They marry the first born of other parents, usually a person in the same career; and then make a huge effort to degrade and eclipse the spouse.  The birth order of parents is a formidable factor in the creation of psychopaths.  A second born parent is likely to side with a second born child and help him destroy the first born.  If the first-born is blind-sided and unwilling or unable to figure out what happened to him, he will also become violent and thieving.  But his grievances will be valid, even if he can't see them; and he won't be a psychopath.  He will have empathy, a conscience, and remorse.


A psychopath doesn't have the intelligence to develop a conscience.  His brain is fused on rage.  There is little to no cause for the rage and he doesn't know who he's angry at since he doesn't know why he's angry.  But he has an urge to act out the rage and no conscience to make him think twice and give up the idea.  When he acts out, and because he has no empathy, he doesn't understand at first that he could be caught and suffer consequences.  He doesn't understand because his rage is the size of a boulder and fills his skull.  When he does realize he might be caught, he tries to figure out a reason to have done what he did.  There's no room in his skull for remorse.


Mental health professionals know that bullies blame their victims.  Victims are often the only witness to the psychopath's wrongs; and psychopaths become skilled at discrediting witnesses as well as blaming victims.  I always join the word ignorant with bully because bullies are willfully ignorant of their psychopathology.  They refuse to observe and analyze their behavior.  They refuse to see wrong in themselves.  When they blame and discredit a victim, they do so by transposing personalities.  Somebody did wrong, and it must have been the victim because the bully never does wrong.  The bully denies having grievances against the key players in his childhood.  Usually, his only grievance is that he was born second instead of first.  It's a grievance that won't wash with even the most sympathetic people.   He has no grievance, but he carries a grudge and needs to act out a grievance anyway.  Obviously (to him), if he's acted out on his victim, the victim must have done something wrong.  Even though the only wrong in the room is the bully's wrong, the victim did it. And the victim did it to the bully.  Therefore, the bully is retaliating and getting righteous revenge, like he deserved it.   Psychopaths claim the innocence of their victims, and attribute their guilt to their victims.


Maintaining innocence while committing wrongs is a full-time job for a psychopath.  His lies stretch his ego further than it can go.  Psychopaths are clever to a certain point, but they aren't intelligent.  For bullies, it's easier to harass, intimidate and steal from people who have what they want than it is to figure out themselves how to create what they want and need.  Creative people tend to be independent  people.  They stand alone, if the size of their creative projects allows it.  Psychopaths are feeble.  They can't stand alone.  They recognize each other and cluster in gangs.  Even the biggest bullies see themselves as infants.  They need a half-dozen big bullies to attack a single victim, no matter how small the victim is. 


Psychopaths are more likely than their victims to dial 911.  Law enforcement and other government jobs attract psychopaths, especially at municipal and county levels where inappropriate state laws and lax federal supervision give government officials unbridled power.  Bullies cluster in government departments because the benefits package is better than it is for members of civilian gangs.  The potential to suffer consequences is also greatly reduced.  Bullies in government office can throw innocent civilians in jail to their hearts' content, and pretend that they've done a good day's work and earned their pay.  Not every innocent civilian figures this out during his time on earth.  Many civilians actually feel guilty.  They don't understand that they're victims of the blame-the-victim page in the Team Psychopath playbook.   Law enforcement officials become another spoke in the wheel of torture to which bullies tie their victims.  Teaching and school administration jobs also attract bullies.  In 2003, researchers at the Cook County jail found that 85% of inmates had been labeled learning disabled when they attended schools.  During my years as a professional teacher, I saw malicious and incompetent men and women blame the victims of their classroom bullying.  They defined criminality without implicating themselves as psychopaths.  For them criminality is disrespect for authority figures, though they shouldn't be in positions of authority.  If you feel like you're being robbed when you pay taxes to support government, it's because you are being robbed.  All you get for your money is official crime sprees and a resentful, dumbed-down public.

top illustration:

Bruegel (artist).  The Massacre of the Innocents

Kunsthistorisches Museum.  Vienna, Austria

http://static.flickr.com/60/212791695_70ac7e2ae5_b.

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Erik Erikson joined psychiatry with anthropology.  He determined that every person in every society must have a key experience at seven stages of development to get from infancy through maturity to wisdom.  Few people achieve maturity because most societies sabotage the natural development of human beings, and force their people off the straight and narrow.  The society then warps in its own peculiar way.  Throughout history and at present, the warped society functions as wish fulfillment for its leaders.  The leaders are often psychopaths and influence lesser people to commit unconscionable acts.