Short idea (46): An abusive episode is like a tornado. Once it passes there is a calm just like on any other day. The only sign of what happened is what is left behind. — The weather is normal 99.9% of the time. Then along comes a tornado and kills a lot of people.
Short idea (76): To give in to impulses or to resist them? Everything depends on learning which to give into and when.
Short idea (83): Without feeling disrespectful in any way, it is useful for a psychologist to think of the impulse to spiritual beliefs as an instinct. If it is, it is as deep rooted as the impulse to eat and the impulse to sex. Some ascetics have tried to cut their eating down to a bare minimum. Other ascetics have tried to eradicate all traces of their sexuality. Ascetics of a different kind try to eradicate all spiritual impulses in themselves. On the other extreme, some dissolute people brag they give into all impulses to eat or to engage in sex. Others, of a different type, are proud they believe in the reality of every visionary experience of every person who reports them ("If a person feels there's a ghost in their house, sure, there must be one"). — Extreme positions with respect to spiritual realities are similar to extreme positions with respect to the other instincts. They have their places in the history of the world and in the history of each individual's life, but, for most people, in the end, they are impossible or near impossible to sustain. It usually doesn't work to give into them all or to try to get rid of them all.
Short idea (91): There's a parallel between the passion of sex and and the passion of anger. I think almost every human being in the world would agree that there should be some limitation and restraint on the expression of sexual impulses and angry impulses (both for themselves and for others). It would be impossible for all humans to agree on just where the lines should be drawn, but pretend we all could agree. Pretend we all went to a big conference and could all agree that people, from now on, can express their sexual and angry impulses up to a certain boundary line but no further, that certain sexual and angry behaviors are totally unacceptable. Then, we might also agree that, as long as people do not step over the lines, everyone is free to express their sexual and angry impulses any way they see fit in accordance with their own individual styles. The points I am making are: 1) every human being has sexual and angry impulses; 2) every human being has to limit them; 3) every human being needs to express them in some way; 4) and people have just as much variation in their preferred ways of controlling and expressing their anger as they do in their preferred ways of controlling and expressing their loving feelings.
Impulse, Control, Balance, Etc.:
Psychologists now talk about people with impulse control problems or people with addictive personalities. We all know people who fit these descriptions, and we ourselves may have this problem, at least at times.
Dear Reader who is a Batterer,
(This note is definitely not meant as a replaced for psychotherapy! It is a thought that might possible be useful for some people, some of the time, who are already working on this problem in psychotherapy.)
This is a note to people who:
1) have impulses to assault and battery
2) struggle with these impulses, because they think they are bad, and still have trouble controlling them, and
3) whose abuses are minor on a scale of 1-10 —
(There are many degrees of abuse. Some abuse is tolerated by society and is not illegal. Some is socially acceptable and even encouraged. In this last class are some forms of emotional and verbal abuse that people feel is funny or strong. People who stand up to these "minor" forms of abuse are often considered to be "overly sensitive." —
(This note to batterers assumes the reader will feel it is morally correct for him or her to seek help now and immediately with any abuse that even hints at severity to him or herself and/or others.)