I had a lightbulb moment of realisation, about why other people denying the full extent of my trauma is so painful, very triggering and feels re-traumatising.
My own trauma history includes suffering ongoing severe deliberate and intentionally inflicted pain and suffering. My abusers displayed a full capacity for comprehending right from wrong and a very competent capacity for self control.
I have no doubt that all my abusers would be diagnosed with a range of mental illness disorders including: narcissistic personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, psychopathy, paedophilia and others.
Every abuser knew the abuse they inflicted was wrong, because they hid it, lied about it, threatened and intimidated me and tried to stop me from speaking of it to others. They would not have needed to do that – if they didn’t know it was wrong.
Every abuser displayed self control, in being able to pick and choose when they would be abusive and whom they would be abusive to. They were not out abusing people in front of witnesses, again displaying self control and cognitive capacity for knowing abuse is wrong.
I’ve encountered attitudes from people during my healing process that have minimized, trivialised, justified and excused my abuser’s behaviour. One being that they probably had ‘mental illness’. With a very black and white view that mental illness fully incapacitates cognitive capacity and self control. But, that is not correct.
A ‘mental illness disorder’ simply means a collective set of symptoms/ behaviours/ thinking that is considered outside of the norm and negatively impacts their life, or those around them.
A mental illness does not mean they are insane, or they are all psychotic, or severely dissociated. It means they have non-normal behaviour.
A mental illness does not mean the person is unable to control themselves, or unable to manage their ‘symptoms’. Most with mental illness can and choose to, as I can manage my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, because I choose to and I don’t allow it to impact those around me.
A personality disorder is different to other mental illness, in that it is about the person’s character and personality traits, as described by psychiatrist Dr George K Simon…. who describes personality disorders as character disturbance. You can see more of his insightful work athttps://www.drgeorgesimon.com/ .