By Ox Drover
I got to thinking today about being stronger now than I was prior to the last experience with the psychopaths in my life … but when I really got to thinking about it, I realized I have actually always been as strong as I am now, I just didn’t know it or take advantage of it.
One of the reasons that humans are able to work horses, mules and oxen to pull heavy loads is because the beasts we use for our labor do not realize their strength. They don’t realize the absolute brute force power they have over us. We “control” them because they allow it.
Why do they allow it? The answer is because they are not aware of the strength and power that they have, so they allow us to take it from them and use it for our own benefit. We may “give back” something to them, like food and care for what they give us in the form of their obedience and labors, but the bottom line is that any time they realize that they have the power and strength to break away they could do it. Even if we were to abuse them, not feed them, they would still allow us to use their labor until they dropped over dead of starvation, because they don’t know any better. They don’t recognize that they don’t really “need” us to furnish feed, they could run away and find grass to fill their bellies and not labor for us. They just don’t know it. Even the fences I have around my farm are not strong enough to hold them if they really want through them, but merely “suggestions” for them to stay on this side of it. If they wanted through, the wire and posts would topple.
When we start training oxen, which are really nothing but baby calves (no special breed of animal just cattle), we are stronger than they are, and if necessary, we could wrestle them to the ground, and we also teach them that we are the “food gods” and that ALL GOOD things come from us, as well as some pretty painful ones if they do not conform to our alpha position in the “herd.” When you get right down to it, in many ways we (humans) control animals the way that psychopaths control their victims. The only difference is that I actually care about my animal’s welfare and am emotionally attached to them, whereas a psychopath really doesn’t care much about their victim’s welfare or health.
In training animals, trainers use “intermittent reinforcement.” The psychologist B. F. Skinner wrote that this brings on a stronger “bond” with a given behavior than if you rewarded them every time they did the behavior. That’s why a “slot machine” will keep someone stuffing money into it, because gamblers are just sure that “NEXT time” it will give them the jackpot. Psychopaths also use the intermittent reward system with us, and we keep hoping that by doing what they want, the NEXT TIME we will get the “jackpot” reward from them.
We could rebel and tell them to take their intermittent rewards and shove them, that we are not going to knuckle down and be their victims, to “pull their plows” by going to work and giving them our money, but we don’t rebel against them. We are unaware that we have the strength and power to rebel, to stand up on our own. If we are earning the living and giving them the money, why do we need them? If s/he is earning the living and we are staying home taking care of the kids all the time, still, what do we need them for?
Power and strength
We have the power and strength to take care of ourselves if we will just recognize it, acknowledge it and then use it. One working parent, taking care of the children and still making a living and a home, is still a “better deal” for children than one good, nurturing parent who is stressed and depressed most or all of the time because of the drama and abuse from a psychopathic partner.
I really am no stronger today than I was back in the midst of the psychopathic chaos, when I was literally huddled on the floor in the fetal position, emotionally “sucking my thumb,” fearing I would be killed by my psychopathic stalkers any minute.
My psychopathic son doesn’t hate me any less, most of my other relatives are no more supportive than they were back then, but I feel stronger. I feel safer. I feel better, because I recognize that I am strong enough to protect myself as much as anyone can. I can live a good life, a happy life, a healthy life, and take control of my own life. I don’t have to give that control and strength and power to anyone.
I can reward and reinforce my own good behavior, I can exercise my power, my strength and my autonomy to be what I want to be, to be the best that I can make myself.