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By September 13, 2014 9 Comments Read More →

The Decision’s In on Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius

Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of “Carnal Abuse by Deceit — How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape.

By Joyce M. Short 

I watched the final decision on the cases against Oscar Pistorius at the ungodly hour of 3:30 this morning. The trial took place in South Africa, so my head bobbed as I struggled to remain conscious enough to deal with the time zone difference between Cape Town and New York City, where I live. To me, this case’s importance was just too relevant to miss!

The Judge, Thokozile Matilda Masipa, had already decided to find Pistorius not guilty of the two most serious murder offenses he was charged with. There is no jury trial for murder in South Africa. It’s all up to the Judge and her two advisers. Her determination was based on intent, one of the most difficult characteristics to prove in a crime. Doing so requires getting into the mindset of the offender, something that no one can accomplish with exact certainty.

But surely, the story from Pistorius was riddled with unbelievability. For one thing, he claimed he thought he was shooting at an intruder that was behind the closed bathroom door. If he truly felt an intruder was in the house, he would have turned to the person lying next to him in the middle of the night to say something like, “Did you hear that?” The brief encounter, that would be normal for any reasonable person, would have made him notice that Reeva was not tucked into bed beside him, and would have caused him to consider whether the noise was from Reeva, herself, rather than an intruder.

A reasonable person would have thought first about what action would protect his loved one. Instead, he wants us to believe that his lack of consideration for her unknown whereabouts, before he fired into a closed door, was an effort to create protection for them both. Fifteen years is the maximum sentence he could receive for the reckless endangerment that the court has acknowledged cost Reeva her life. Can’t think of a solitary reason why he should receive any less than the maximum sentence.

And why shoot without warning? Why four bullets through a closed door?

Court cases hinge on proof, not accuracy or even truth. Although we can all contemplate that what likely happened was a contentious argument in which Reeva threatened to leave, and that Pistorius was so enraged, he picked up the gun and showed her that she could only leave on his power-crazed terms the Judge found that the Prosecutor’s case was simply not compelling enough. That does not mean it didn’t happen that way, but simply that it was not proven to be so.

Today’s health professionals tell us that high testosterone levels can undermine the brain’s production or receptiveness to oxytocin, the neurotransmitter that promotes our sense of humanity, love, trust and caring. People who have soaring achievements can also have a very high level of testosterone. Without appropriate oxytocin and oxytocin responses, a person’s character develops without affective empathy and conscience. Those of us who have fallen victim to psychopaths all know the impact of lack of conscience. Reeva Steenkamp paid the ultimate price for not knowing.

Editor’s note: Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of murder, but found guilty of “culpable homicide,” which is similar to the American charge of manslaughter. Here’s more on the case:

Oscar Pistorius culpable homicide verdict causes uproar in South Africa, on TheGuardian.com.

Pistorius verdict: judgment seemed to support charge of ‘dolus eventualis’, on TheGuardian.com.

 

 

 



9 Comments on "The Decision’s In on Oscar Pistorius"

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  1. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    I read that the judge was supposed to be really tough. In this article, all we have is the reporter’s perspective and there’s never been a time lately when I thought a reporter had integrity and credibility. When it comes to human beings, there’s no such thing as fair and unbiased reporting. So… Mr Pister Or Us… were you a paranoid reactive freak or a controlling abusive cheating thrillseeking A? Or something not reported at all because it wouldn’t sell newspapers?

    Lately seem too many abuse murders, and many of them are where they kill the children in order to inflict as much hurt as possible on the (ex?) partner who refused to submit. I know my ex used my child to control and hurt me. And I have no doubt that my child will always be in danger because that’s the way he is. But… try to convince someone who is being LOVEBOMBED that he will murder them in order to settle a score? Only people who understand about sociopaths are able to comprehend the danger. All others say, “she’s (he’s) just bitter, trying to stir up trouble, won’t accept being dumped.”

    What has brought on my most recent rant? I’ve read the comments under the stories about the NFL and sport stars who commit assaults. MOST people actually think there’s no reason women stay except that they are weak, or gold diggers. I know I stayed to protect my daughter, who was of age to choose. She chose HIM, the daddy who lovebombed her, triangulated her with her own mother, encouraged her to do some pretty low life carp (tried to get me arrested for child abuse), all because I refused to set her aside after we got married. He HATED that I loved her.

    These judgmental readers don’t get that SOME people can fool SOME people ALL the time, and that their partners don’t find out who they really are until the sociopath has control over their children. I didn’t stay FOR the children, I stayed to Protect the innocent vulnerable children who thought their daddy loved them… and I was the only one who knew he didn’t. (until later when he showed THEM his self UNMASKED)



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  2. jm_short says:

    Not-

    I can appreciate your heartache with your daughter.

    My ex was a total deadbeat and didn’t so much as send a birthday card to my son for over 12 years. He had kidnapped his two children by a previous marriage and taken them to Argentina. I was afraid that if I made waves, he’d do the same with my little guy.

    When my son became old enough, he decided to pursue his father who had aligned himself with one of the wealthiest women on the planet. (Not every psychopath self destructs.) Between his father’s vilification, lies, blaming, etc, and all the perks he threw at my son, he convinced him that his absence was all my fault…. that I’d “driven” him away. My son told me I was a “heathen liar” and that he never wanted to see me again. It’s been over 6 years.

    At this point, I can understand that he has Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that results from genetics and a terrible fear of abandonment. I never stop missing him none-the-less.

    Joyce



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  3. jm_short says:

    Unfortunately Not, what I understand about empathy and caring is that they can’t be taught. They’re either part of their personality or not. Dr. Liane Leedom’s book, “Just Like His Father” conveys how to attempt instilling empathy in at-risk children, but once they’re past a certain age, they either have it or they don’t.

    I didn’t have that knowledge as my son was developing, and I’m sure you didn’t know it either. I’m also sure you didn’t know that your disordered husband’s genetics put your daughter at-risk for having a character disorder with no empathy or sincere caring. My son’s behavior was called a “conduct” disorder when he was small. Nobody warned me, “by the way, his conduct disorder will likely become a full-blown character disorder as he ages!” Not all kids without empathy have a conduct disorder, but its a pretty good indication of things to come when they do.

    Psychopaths attempt to turn a child into a “golden child,” that they spoil and make their special BFF. My ex did that with his eldest son when he was little. He had a second child who became the scapegoat who he and his golden child used to pick on. As they aged, the older boy got wise to his father and the younger one was wise to him all along.

    My son, who wasn’t exposed to his father’s “crazy making” became the golden child for his “old age.” As psychopaths get older, they want to insure a familial connection so they latch onto a child who is gullible and love-bomb them, just like they’d love-bombed us. A kid who felt abandoned by him in the past is easy pickings for this kind of manipulation. And since my ex has the financial where-with-all to provide him with the connection to super affluence that far exceeds my simple means, it was a slam-dunk for him.

    My ex is connected to all the royalties from Elvis Presley’s music as well as 75% of the music coming out of Nashville and a hefty share of all the music hits of the 50s and the 60s. I wrote about it in my book. While he claimed to be unemployed and homeless, he was really the boy-toy of one of the largest music publishers in the world. Their relationship made it possible for him to live in a 22 room mansion and ignore that his son needed to eat every day.

    It took me several years to figure out what happened, and writing my book was how I did so. It literally forced me to research and discover what hadn’t made any sense and tore me apart. Now that I can understand it, I can accept it. It’s not what I’d want for my child, but under the circumstances, I can understand that it is what it is and that I did the very best I could for my son, regardless that he doesn’t think so. What goes on in his brain is the result of the cruel machinations of genetics, abandonment. and the vilification of a psychopath.

    Growing up in an abusive home can turn a disordered child into a Ted Bundy. Such kids from more structured environments take their penchant for cruelty out in less heinous ways, like marital infidelity, domestic abuse and white collar crime. I gain some solace by knowing that he’s not a ghoul and that I did what was needed for him to grow up without a criminal record. My little angel was quite a handful. Having him in my life was constant heartache, and having him out of my life is constant heartache. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am with it, but at this point, I prefer the peace.

    All the best-
    Joyce



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    • flicka says:

      Dear Joyce,
      I too spent decades of confusion and agony trying to figure out the inexplicable. I too finally wrote my memoires which brought to the surface many long forgotten memories and together with reading this site and study, it became instantly clear to me and all the past confusing details finally fit perfectly. Like fitting the pieces of a puzzle, all instantly fell into place and former tortuous feelings of confusion were answered. ‘Though this knowledge was most difficult to accept, it did free my conscience of and culpability. What will, however, last forever is the sadness of recognizing that my children were never the free souls that I had mistakenly thought they were. The emotional loss of all one’s children is worse than a death for they all still live and perpetrate their mental illness. Thanks for your insight; you certainly have my compassion! I have to live with the eternal heartbreak do aptly described by NottWhatHeSaidofMe.



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  4. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    Joyce
    Sounds like I need to get your book. I know my problem. I don’t want to accept what she is. It breaks my heart.

    I see the curse in her way of being, the emptiness, the doors closed to her because she behaves in such a blaming, vengeful way. Although, I will say, she has been professionally successful, as long as her bosses handle her right.

    What you describe for your son is much the same as my daughter. She had her odd moments as a child but she was an only child and I thought she’d grow out of it. My ex abandoned her when he dumped me. As the years went on, she cut off his ability to ever find her. But two years ago, he deviously did. And since then, she has been in full rage against me. I don’t know what he told her, but I am sure he blamed me for his abandonment of her. Her contempt of me matches HIS contempt of me, and HIS contempt led to nearly successfully murdering me. So. I can not trust her ever, because I am afraid she would get her revenge on MADE UP incidents.

    She has MADE UP, complete LIES and accusations. She would accuse and I’d think, “she won’t let me defend myself how that accusation can’t possibly be true, and surely she knows that’s not true”, but she’d get into such a rage that she acts like it is true and hates me for what, in fact, NEVER HAPPENED.

    I need to find a way to peace. As it is, whenever I think of her, I feel such self loathing. I knew there were indicators when she was little, but I didn’t get her help. I didn’t trust therapists. I tried to find one for myself and went through several really awful people before I found my jewel. I thought I couldn’t turn my child’s delicate emotional needs over to someone who could make things worse. I did keep things somewhat structured for her growing up. She’s very intelligent so I kept her in science clubs, Shakespeare Club, French Club, and soccer, lots of soccer. And Lots of community service projects.

    I recently thought, I’d done the best I could with what I had (my ex underminded me a lot). I can’t live her life for her or make her adult choices. So she has to live with her own consequences. ANd I have to live with an eternal heartbreak.

    I will look for your book. I need your guidance on how to find peace with my failure.

    Kind regards,
    Nwhat my child says of me either.



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  5. jm_short says:

    I hate to think how folks who have children who died will take this, but, in many ways, I think the deliberate abandonment by your child is every bit as excruciating or more. When someone dies, the end is finite. You know that the person can’t come back, ever. When a child you adore abandons you, you constantly, and repeatedly have to deal with the concept that it’s another day that they make a conscious decision to harm you, and the pain cuts deeply into your heart like a knife.

    When you deal with a loved one’s death, you can grieve and go forward. Dealing with abandonment is as if they died each and every day. You relive the drama, you ruminate, and their words play over and over, drowning out all the joy in your life. You heap blame on yourself. Everything she told you, all the manipulated accusations, are simply the weapons she has fashioned to separate herself.

    Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder. It is a wiring in the brain that was created by the impacts of genetics and abandonment. You did not abandon your daughter. She learned how to abandon from the heinous behavior of your ex. People with this disorder will latch onto anything and everything to condemn you once they are motivated to lose you. In a choice between losing her father (which she knows would ultimately happen if she didn’t turn on you,) and losing you, she makes that choice because she knows she can never really lose you. You are the only constant. You are the only parent that is capable of unconditional love toward her so you are the “safe” parent to be angry at.

    The nightmare of accusations you’re subjected to can be overwhelming. A daughter who was capable of caring would not treat you that way. A daughter who was capable of caring would not turn their back on you.

    As he grew, I knew there was something wrong with my son. I took him to at least 4 therapists. NONE of them told me what character disorder was or what conduct disorder could lead to. They all had an assortment of band-aid behavior modifications to manage him. Nothing worked. So the next time you fault yourself for not taking her to a therapist, let me assure you, the outcome would not have been likely to change.

    Your daughter breaks your heart, but she’s not a ghoul. You must have done something very right because she could have become one. That she didn’t develop affective empathy has a great deal to do with her genes. And her abandonment of you is largely because she learned abandonment from her father. As peculiar as it seems, she is trying to suppress the pain she felt at his abandonment by crushing you this way. She would not be doing so if you were not the greatest and most enduring constant in her life.

    We are not promised good health for ourselves or our children throughout our lifetimes. You could think of your daughter as being born without a limb, but instead, she was born without the brain chemistry that would give her stable and caring emotions. It will free you to love her, forgive her, and look for joy in things that have nothing to do with her. It will free you to grieve your loss and go on with your life.

    She is as fine as she can be. You did the very best you could with the knowledge and resources you had at the time. You no longer have to be subjected to the pain her presence caused in your life- that’s the “silver lining” around your cloud. And you can live a rewarding life that does not include her.

    Although one day she may recognize what she lost, and that’s more likely for girls than boys, you will have a different sense of your relationship and your knowledge of her will provide you with the emotional armor to keep yourself safe. What children don’t recognize when they abandon us is that even though they can’t destroy our love for them, they can, and do, destroy our trust. Just as we practice with all the disordered people in our lives, having no contact is the most effective way to protect ourselves from disordered children.

    I know your pain is excruciating. I wish you abundant recovery and strength.

    Joyce



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      Thank you for your support Joyce.

      Ya know, once I finally figured out my ex, I didn’t have a problem leaving him or finding ways to stay away from him. But my daughter is catch22. I look for help to relieve the pain. Your insight comforts me some. I read through my journals and my ex had control of me through my daughter. Once she graduated high school and was off to university, he lost his leverage. I was gone.
      But… am trying to get over the pain of losing her and finding there is no reprieve. I have put away her things in the attic storage, and then feel like a louse for erasing her
      presence. But to leave them out is a reminder of all I miss about her… Certain days, Christmas, MothersDay, Her Birthday, I wish I could sleep clean through those days. To be awake is to be swamped with misery.

      God Bless you. I am sorry you’re in similar circumstances. I have nothing to offer you. I wish I did. But at least you’re a kind, feeling, giving person and this world needs just that sort of people.



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      • chickenlittle says:

        I first want to say that I feel for you all. I too have children that are scarred from growing up under the influence of someone that said and did horrible things to me and the children.. His target was me but he skillfully used the children to inflict additional injury onto me. It adds to my heartbreak of how they often view me today.. However I try to not show how I feel about what has happened,- because they are not ready for the shock of the reality yet. Let them get a bit further down the road. Maybe then they will start to see glimpses of the truth. Just you being there to support them and love them when they need it will let them know that you are there for them and instinctively they will come to understand it.
        When my kids are heartbroken they will come to me because I think they know this.
        Many of these abuse family victims have not come to terms with the real truth yet. They are in dissociation with the past.. Because it is too painful and confusing to sort it all out yet. I think that given time the things of the past will fall into the place of truth because they will have to eventually deal with their false reality or it will haunt them to the end. Please don’t give up hope yet, and also don’t blame yourself..You did your best under the circumstances. Be positive and even get a job if possible. Little steps in positive directions sometimes effect amazing consequences. Lastly don’t let what your abuser did stop you from enjoying life if you are free. Do Little things for yourself. You are worth it,- and always were.



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  6. jm_short says:

    Sometimes, just knowing we’re not alone in the way we feel can help us cope. When you need a shoulder on the holidays, trust that I’m here experiencing the same thing with you and don’t hesitate to reach out!

    At first, I’d accept invitations from my friends but found that if they were together with their families, it only made me more upset. Now, I make plans with my single friends. And I’ll try to get to something entertaining, a movie, a concert, whatever, to distract myself. I’ve tried to establish new traditions with my friends, and the ability to enjoy and appreciate their company, that we are all well and we’re there for each other, is a new found joy.

    The photos of my son are off my walls. Couldn’t deal with the reminders. Why should you? She wants to be out of your life. She has no empathy for the way she makes you feel. You are simply acting out the consequences of her decisions. Expecting you to live with the constant reminders of her would be an unreasonable expectation on her part. If you can’t have her love, you at least deserve peace.



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