Helplessness and PTSD
A comment posted at an announcement for a new book by Rolf Nelson, who wrote the amazing (if a bit oddly formatted as screenplay, but it works) The Stars Came Back and the prose version of the first half, Back From the Dead.
As a note on one of the first chapters. I taught for a very short time at a community college branch on a military base teaching the warrior transition unit soldiers. My students confirmed that being able to fight back has a huge effect on PTSD. Changes in ROE restricted their ability to return fire from one deployment to the next, even in obviously hostile situations. Not being allowed to defend themselves contributed significantly to their distress.
From what I recall, it’s also true of rape victims – those who fight back have an easier time coming to terms with it.
What came to mind for me though when I read that was one thing I’ve seen in descriptions of people who’ve dealt with abuse, either by parents as children, or by spouses, which they’ve been blue-pilled into accepting. Yes, I’m talking husbands being nagged, browbeaten, manipulated, and even physically attacked by women and borderlines, the constant head games, and catch-22’s that blue-pill culture enables even as it excuses horrible behavior.
By accepting I do not mean liking. Taught either in childhood, raised by single or manipulative mothers, combined with both societal “don’t hit a girl” (more properly, don’t hit a lady) and the feminist attitude toward anything that offends, much less harms a woman, that abusive and manipulative behavior is OK or normal, and keeping one’s word and boundaries are not to be expected of women and that’s ok.
Because if you get mad, you’re the monster. If you try to keep them to a budget, you’re the monster. If you demand time to yourself, or with friends, that isn’t paying attention to her (one case I know, even when he wanted to take care of a household project she wanted, but involved him doing it alone…), you’re neglectful, abusive, not putting effort in the relationship.
Peterson, with Pagalia, discussed how men don’t have the social mean-girl warfare experience, but cannot reply using their own strengths. That doing so renders them monsters in the eyes of society, and thus they are shackled into impotence while their abusers and manipulators are not only not called out, but cheered on. That until women are called out on their behavior, these men are often trapped, and the process of breaking free of the position that, while often in their ignorance, they put themselves in, is one that frequently destroys what life and value they have built around themselves.
If having a ROE that prevents you from defending yourself is bad, stressful, and results in neurotic behavior, imagine, if less immediately existentially threatening, how being trapped like that for years, with no escape as the society around you is part of the prison, and trying to accommodate and walk on eggshells, can be.
That is why we need our spaces.