Are all psychopaths batterers? Are all batterers psychopaths? There is an assumption that a batterer must have some type of psychopathy if they are to deliberately batter another human being. How does it begin and where does the pattern start? Is it genetic or is it environmental?
Battering takes on different forms. Physical abuse is one. Mental abuse is another. Verbal abuse is yet another. Most commonly, these abuses fall into the Domestic Abuse form. These abuses also happen in familial situations.
Very often, a child grows up to see their parents in domestic abuse situations. Growing up to watch parents fight on a daily basis, seeing either parent being hit regularly, or remonstrated unfortunately can interfere with a child’s developmental stages of life. These are not normal behaviours. However, if a child sees these actions daily, and believes these actions are normal, they become a daily part of normal interaction among family members. The child’s thinking becomes skewed.
As an example, imagine the child growing up with a parent staying home to take care of him. This parent is nurturing, attentive and caring. The parent seeks to find developmental activities for their child that are age proper and interacts with the child daily with loving activities. There is much loving verbal communication along with positive reinforcement such as hugging. From the environmental standpoint, this child should have a very good chance to grow and develop into a mentally healthy adult.
Whether in a two-parent or one parent home, with parental figures present that are loving and firm, a child sees boundaries. A child sees disciplined limits that are good. They see set limits, hopefully with openness to grow. They are given rules yet they are also given wings to grow and learn. Wings that will help them prove themselves later in life as solid personalities with comfortable cushions to reflect and make their decisions as they gain access to their worlds.
These are all positive activities that create a wholesome atmosphere for a human to develop normally. Happiness is a given in a child’s life. Food, water and basic sustenance are needs that we all take as basic givens. However, the nurturing and the love that we believe all children should receive are gifts that unfortunately not all parents are capable of giving freely. Some parents are not able to deliver these basic components to their children easily. Some parents don’t have the capacity to give of themselves. Some parents don’t have the want to give of themselves. And some parents feel their children aren’t deserving of these basic needs. The idea that a parent doesn’t feel their own child is deserving of basic wants and needs is a horrific thought.
This is the start of a dysfunctional family. The beginning of a black hole in the pit of the stomach of a child that grows into an adult that functions on the outside of normality. There are different schools of thought where children can develop into adolescence based on these beginnings. The question environment versus genetics comes into play. Which is more important and which cause plays a more significant role?
In looking back to how Sandra would talk about Daniel’s infancy and toddler days, I still shudder. When I first met him, I asked her for a few childhood pictures of him. I wanted to see what he looked like as a little boy. Typical woman’s curiosity, I would say. If I was attracted to him as an adult, then I would think any pictures of him as a child would be adorable.
The pictures she gave me would make any person go cold. After a few days, she handed me two pictures of a little boy, about two and a half years old. I still cannot fathom why she chose these two pictures in particular. Was she trying to show me his (in her eyes) bad side? Was she trying to deflect my interest in him from the very beginning? I find a child at the toddler stage very appealing and I cannot ever say that a decision made by a human being in that age group would be reflective of their future. Yet here she would be, attempting to place blame yet again away from herself for a near-tragedy that was indeed, her fault.
In the first picture, wearing nothing but a white tee-shirt and his undershorts, he sported bandages above his eyes on his forehead. His eyes were severely blackened. The most striking part of the photo was not the injuries, yes, that was horrible to see, but the little boy had a smile. That was odd to me.The second photo also had him dressed the same way, but without the head bandages. His eyes were a little more blackened, and he was eating a popsicle. His look at the camera was not too happy in this picture at all. Both of the pictures were black and white. He was obviously posed for the photos.
What was I to say? To think? Most mothers, in my opinion, happy mothers, would want to give a more cherished picture of their son to a woman asking to see what he looked like in his younger years. Then again, this was Sandra, the dysfunctional mother of Daniel, the diagnosed psychopath. How little I knew then.
She went on to explain to me about the two photographs. “Lester and I were building a basement to this house at the time,” she said. “Daniel was a toddler and I didn’t have anyone to watch him. Lester and I were in the dug-out part of the basement. I told Daniel to stay up above the ground. I gave him toys to play with on the lawn. But he continued to watch us in the dirt basement, ten feet below the ground. Eventually he fell in.” She continued this story calmly, as if this was a normal occurrence in a toddler’s life with his parents. As if any other parent would allow their 2 year-old to watch them from ten feet above the ground into a basement dug-out without any supervision. Just waiting for them to fall into the hole. And he did. That explained the head bandages and the black eyes. Or so she said.
In conversations to follow, she would tell me of her pregnancy with him. Of how nauseated she was, how she wasn’t able to keep any food down. Sandra told me her obstetrician advised her to drink beer and eat saltine crackers for the duration of her term. I asked her if this is what she actually did. She told me since her “doctor” told her that was the diet she should follow, of course she did. Imagine this mother, drinking beer through her pregnancy. In the 1960’s, medical evidence was not clear to the damage done to a fetus with alcohol abuse. But I still cannot believe that a doctor in good standing would actually prescribe “beer and saltines” to a pregnant woman.
I mention the photographs and Daniel’s mother’s drinking during her pregnancy for a specific reason. Did the drinking have a cause and effect on any of his behaviours later in his childhood, adolescence and adult life? FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) is not genetic, it is acquired solely through a mother’s drinking during her pregnancy. It is given to her baby during the pregnancy. The signs and symptoms are varied and wide, but some are:
Signs and Symptoms of FAS:
- Small head size
- Shorter-than-average height
- Low body weight
- Poor coördination
- Hyperactive behavior
- Difficulty paying attention
- Poor memory
- Difficulty in school (especially with math)
- Learning disabilities
- Speech and language delays
- Intellectual disability or low IQ
- Poor reasoning and judgment skills
- Sleep and sucking problems as a baby.
- Does lack of fear drive psychopaths? (news.bioscholar.com)
- Survival Of A Psychopath…(With Borderline Tendencies…Sandra And Lester) (sorceressofthedark.wordpress.com)
- Survivor Of A Psychopath(With Borderline Tendencies…Should I Have Allowed Him To Die?) (sorceressofthedark.wordpress.com)
- Is Fear Deficit a Harbinger of Future Psychopaths? (scienceblog.com)
- The Psychopath Test (politics.ie)
- Survivor Of A Psychopath(With Borderline Tendencies…Twice In One Night) (sorceressofthedark.wordpress.com)
- Fear deficit ‘an early omen of future psychopaths’ (news.bioscholar.com)
- Is fear deficit a harbinger of future psychopaths? (eurekalert.org)
- Schwarzenegger, DSK, and Gingrich: Do We Have Psychopaths Misruling Our World? (northernbarbarians.wordpress.com)
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