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zazen's Journal
zazen's Journal
January 14, 2014

complex ptsd, borderline personality disorder, generalizing personal abuse history to all

Like others here, I find some of her writing similar to other interesting "thought experiments," in that I do think there are elements of some heterosexual relationships in the context of 10,000 years of patriarchy (tracing back through this particular civilization, anyway) that congeal/eroticize power/submission dynamics into gender.

But then there's living in the bloomin', buzzin' confusion of the present, with complex human beings who are all born into conditioning and try to do all of the things humans do (love, hate, reproduce, protect our young, make meaning, serve others, control others) when we are limited by the language and limits of any given age.

The idealization/rejection splitting type behavior she's doing with her female friends screams borderline personality disorder, which is really better described as complex PTSD now, since it's generally a reaction to long-term childhood trauma where you had to bond with an abuser who repeatedly abused you in some way in order to survive. There _are_ people who understandably experience childhood as captivity, but it's truly sad that she can't imagine it otherwise.

Complex PTSD (and the conditions that breed it) look the same regardless of the genitalia of the actors in it. They aren't inherently patriarchal. She's taking a lot of examples of battering, rape, and sexual harassment that cross cultures and that tend to be male-on-female (in other words, patriarchy) and conflating the two. Men aren't born abusers, and women aren't born victims, but we're born into a gender system that eroticizes power and submission (that people with alternative sexualities have to struggle with as well). We're also born into a continuum of formative family situations where we may be subject to awful abuse (from women as much as from men) that lead us to a kind of borderline thinking where people are all good/all bad and where we voraciously search for patterns in others' behavior that might indicate danger.

She appears to be conflating her personal complex ptsd with the realities of patriarchy and then explaining the latter in terms of her desperate fear and paranoia from the former.

Does the drive from her complex ptsd lead her to make intelligent, thought experiment-like points about male dominance? Occasionally. But living with that level of hate, pre-judgement, self-certainty, and paranoia is just perpetuating whatever hell she came from and must prevent her from seeing love and beauty in the people around her when they don't fit into her pre-established terror-inspired categories of safe/unsafe.

As we say down here, bless her heart, and I mean that in a really nice way.

I also really, really hope she gets help before she has any children. God forbid.

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Member since: Tue Jul 13, 2004, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 2,978

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