How to Deal With Dysregulation


Some People May Find It Harder Than Others to Manage Their Emotions

By 

Arlin Cuncic, MA 

Updated on May 03, 2023

 Medically reviewed by 

Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOSPrint 

Signs of emotional dysregulation
Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

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What Is Dysregulation? 

Dysregulation, or emotional dysregulation, is an inability to control or regulate one’s emotional responses, which can lead to significant mood swings, significant changes in mood, or emotional lability. It can involve many emotions, including sadness, anger, irritability, and frustration.

While dysregulation is typically thought of as a childhood problem that usually resolves itself as a child learns proper emotional regulation skills and strategies, dysregulation may continue into adulthood.

For these individuals, emotional dysregulation can lead to a lifetime of struggles, including problems with interpersonal relationships, school performance, and the inability to function effectively in a job or at work.

Press Play for Advice On Regulating Your Emotions

Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how to deal with your emotions in any circumstance that may come your way. Click below to listen now.

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What Triggers Dysregulation? 

Why is it that some people have no trouble remaining calm, cool, and collected while others fall apart at the first instance of something going wrong in their life?

The answer is that there are likely multiple causes; however, there is one that has been consistently shown in the research literature. That cause is early psychological trauma resulting from abuse or neglect on the part of the caregiver.1 This results in something known as a reactive attachment disorder.

In addition, a parent who has emotional dysregulation will also struggle to teach their child how to regulate emotions. Since children are not naturally born with emotional regulation coping skills, having a parent who cannot model effective coping puts a child at risk for emotional dysregulation themselves.

Is Dysregulation a Mental Disorder? 

While dysregulation isn’t necessarily a mental disorder (or a sign of one), we know that emotional dysregulation in childhood can be a risk factor for later mental disorders. Some disorders are also more likely to involve emotional dysregulation.

Below is a list of the disorders most commonly associated with emotional dysregulation:2

When emotional dysregulation appears as part of a diagnosed mental disorder, it typically involves a heightened sensitivity to emotional stimuli and a lessened ability to return to a normal emotional state within a reasonable amount of time.

What Are Signs of Dysregulation? 

In general, emotional dysregulation involves having emotions that are overly intense in comparison to the situation that triggered them. This can mean not being able to calm down, avoiding difficult emotions, or focusing your attention on the negative. Most people with emotional dysregulation also behave in an impulsive manner when their emotions (fear, sadness, or anger) are out of control.

Below are some examples of what it looks like when someone is experiencing emotional dysregulation.

  • Your romantic partner cancels plans and you decide they must not love you and you end up crying all night and binging on junk food.
  • The bank teller says they can’t help you with a particular transaction and you’ll need to come back the next day. You have an angry outburst, yell at the teller, and throw a pen across the counter at them.
  • You attend a company dinner and everyone seems to be talking and having fun while you feel like an outsider. After the event, you go home and overeat to numb your emotional pain. This is also an example of poor coping mechanisms and emotional eating.

Emotional dysregulation can also mean that you have trouble recognizing the emotions that you are experiencing when you become upset. It might mean that you feel confused by your emotions, guilty about your emotions, or are overwhelmed by your emotions to the point that you can’t make decisions or manage your behavior.

Note that the behaviors of emotional dysregulation may show up differently in children, involving temper tantrums, outbursts, crying, refusing to make eye contact or speak, etc.

Impact of Emotional Dysregulation 

Being unable to manage your emotions and their effects on your behavior can have a range of negative effects on your adult life. For instance:

  • You might have trouble sleeping.
  • You might struggle to let experiences go or hold grudges longer than you should.
  • You might get into minor arguments that you blow out of proportion to the point that you end up ruining relationships.
  • You might experience negative effects on your social, work, or school functioning.
  • You might develop a mental disorder later in life because of a poor ability to regulate your emotions (e.g., depression)
  • You might develop a substance abuse problem or addiction such as smoking, drinking, or drugs.
  • You might engage in self-harm or other disordered behavior such as restrictive eating habits or binge eating.
  • You might have trouble resolving conflict.

A child with emotional dysregulation may experience the following outcomes:

  • A tendency to be defiant
  • Problems complying with requests from teachers or parents
  • Problems making and keeping friends
  • Reduced ability to focus on tasks

How Do You Fix Dysregulation? 

The two main options for treating emotion dysregulation are medication and therapy, depending on the individual situation. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

Medication 

Medication may be used to treat emotion dysregulation when it is part of a larger mental disorder. For example, ADHD will be treated with stimulants, depression will be treated with antidepressants, and other issues might be treated with antipsychotics.

Therapy 

In terms of therapy for emotional dysregulation, the main treatment method has been what is known as dialectical behavior therapy(DBT).3 This form of therapy was originally developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1980s to treat individuals experiencing BPD.4

In general, this type of therapy involves improving mindfulness, validating your emotions, and engaging in healthy habits. It also teaches the skills needed to regulate your emotions. Through DBT, you learn to focus on the present moment, how to become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and how to deal with stressful situations.

DBT argues that there are three “states of mind:”4

  • Reasonable mind refers to being logical and rational.
  • Emotional mind refers to your moods and sensations.
  • Wise mind refers to the combination of your reasonable mind and your emotional mind.

DBT is about showing you that you can see situations as shades of grey rather than all black and white (in other words, combining your emotional mind and logic mind).

Journaling 

If you’ve just experienced a stressful situation or crisis and want to try a little DBT at home, pull out a journal and answer these questions.

  • What was the event that caused you distress?
  • What did you think about in the situation? (Write down three main thoughts.)
  • How did these thoughts make you feel? (Write down any physical symptoms, things you did like crying, or feelings like being upset.)
  • What was the consequence of the thoughts you had?

The goal of DBT is to balance your emotions with logic to obtain more positive outcomes from the situations that you find stressful. The goal is also to teach you to become more aware of the connections between your thoughts, feelings, and actions. In this way, it’s expected that you will be able to better manage your emotions in your daily life.

 How to Deal With Negative Emotions

Parenting a Child with Emotion Dysregulation 

If you are a parent of a child who struggles with emotion dysregulation, you might be wondering what you can do to support your child. It is true that children learn emotion regulation skills from their parents. You have the ability to teach your child how to manage emotions rather than become overwhelmed by them. Here are some ways you can support them:

Your child also needs to know that they can reach out to you for help and comfort when needed. Having a supportive and reliable parent figure in their life will help to protect them against problems with emotional dysregulation.

  • Recognize your own limitations. Do you have a mental disorder or have you struggled with your own emotion regulation skills? If so, you and your child might benefit from you receiving treatment or therapy to build up your own resilience. When you are better able to manage your own distress, then you will be able to offer the most support to your child.
  • Lead by example. In addition, the best way to teach your child how to manage their emotions is not to demand that they behave in a certain way or punish them for acting out. Rather, the best option is to model the desired behavior yourself that you want them to adopt.
  • Adjust accordingly. It can be helpful to start to recognize triggers for your child’s behavior and have a back-up plan of effective ways to deal with acting out. For example, if your child always has a tantrum when you take them to buy shoes, try picking out a pair in their size and bringing them home for them to try on.
  • Maintain consistent routines. Children who struggle with emotion dysregulation benefit from predictability and consistency.5 Your child needs to know that you will be there for them when they need you and that they can rely on you to be the calming presence. When your own emotions are out of control, then it is much more likely that your child will be unable to manage their own emotions.
  • Seek accommodations or additional support. If your child is in school, it is also important that you talk to their teacher about their problems with emotion regulation. Talk about the strategies that you use at home and how your child might need extra help in the classroom or reminders on how to calm down. If your child has a diagnosed disorder, they may be on a special education plan that allows accommodations or gives them extra help. Be sure to take advantage of that.
  • Reward positive behavior. If you see your child acting in ways that are positive for emotion management, comment on those positive behaviors. Find ways to reward emotion management successes so that they will become more frequent.

 ADHD Symptom Spotlight: Emotional Dysregulation

Summary 

Whether it’s you, your child, or someone you know who struggles with emotion dysregulation, it is important to know that this is something that can improve over time. In fact, 88% of those diagnosed with BPD are not predicted to meet criteria 10 years down the road.6 This goes to show that emotion regulation strategies can be learned and are very helpful for improving your situation and living the best life possible.

Regardless of your current circumstances, you can make changes that will result in improved social, school, and work functioning. You can learn to manage the stressful situations that cause you pain and work through past hurts or mistreatment that led you to where you are today.

6 Sources

By Arlin Cuncic, MA 
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of “Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder” and “7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety.” She has a Master’s degree in psychology.

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RETRIEVED https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-dysregulation-5073868

Refund of Fees

Amongst the growing amount of public acknowledgment, that ‘those foreign cases of #childabuse’ are in fact happening within their own neighbourhood, at their own school, or ‘worst still’ to their own children – it’s understandable that some parent’s concerns won’t be for that safety of their own victimised child, but for themselves to be able to reclaim “wasted monies”. As we now live in a consumerist society, occasionally we hear of broken families, where their sole-concern is in filling their own hip pockets with some of that 💰, as fractures often occur in these horse-or-cart structures. (Experienced Satire)

As examples of some Private/Elite schools in Brisbane who’ve offered out some damages-compensation-(not hush money), here are some examples + links:

Header of CARC | Schools https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/schools

As these were just a handful of examples of how a church-founded country of Australia, can be dealing with immersed control of a tax-free body, whilst still battling for equal rights of colonial-Indigenous after-effects – there are many more layers to unpack!

The Long-Lasting Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse


Elizabeth L. Jeglic Ph.D.
Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

SEXUAL ABUSE

Psychological, physical, social and economic impacts of childhood sexual abuse.

Posted May 6, 2021 |  Reviewed by Chloe Williams

KEY POINTS

  • A quarter of girls and 1 in 13 boys will experience sexual abuse before they are 18 years old, according to CDC estimates.
  • People who have experienced child sexual abuse (CSA) are more likely to experience disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.
  • CSA can also have long-term impacts on physical health, with people being more likely to report pain, gastrointestinal symptoms and obesity.
  • In addition, CSA is linked to negative social effects, such as sexual or relationship problems, and socioeconomic outcomes, such as lower income.

Source: Lisa Punnels Pixabay Licence. No attribution required.

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is an adverse childhood experience (ACE) that has serious long-term consequences for those who have been victimized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys will experience sexualabuse before they are 18. Not only are there psychological consequences to CSA, but longitudinal research has also found that CSA results in negative health, psychosocial, and socioeconomic outcomes for those who have been abused.


The Psychological Consequences of CSA

Many studies have examined the long-term psychological impact of CSA. A recent research review of over four million people found that those who experienced CSA are between two and three times more likely to experience the following disorders compared to adults who were not abused:

CSA is also strongly linked to drug and alcohol use, and those who experienced CSA are about 2.5 times more likely to make a suicide attempt than people who have not been abused.

It should be noted that many of the psychological consequences of CSA can take years to develop as the abuse is thought to alter brain structure and chemistry during its developmental period. For example, one study found that the average time between the abuse and the onset of depression was 11.5 years, while another studyfound an average of 9.2 years from the time of abuse to the onset of depression and 8 years until the onset of PTSD.

The Physical Consequences of CSA

Numerous studies have also shown that there are long-term impacts to the physical health of those who experienced CSA. Across studies, adults who experienced CSA were 1.35 to 2.12 times more likely to report health problems such as:

  • Poorer overall health
  • Pain/fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Gynecological symptoms
  • Cardiopulmonary symptoms
  • Obesity

As a result of these health problems, adults with a history of CSA use health care more frequently than those without a history of CSA, spending on average 16% more per year. Notably, however, a history of CSA is also associated with lower odds of having health insurance and receiving a general check-up (preventative care) in the past year.

The Psychosocial Impacts of CSA

Researchers have also documented many negative social consequences of CSA including:

  • Relationship disruption (break-up/divorce)
  • Dissatisfaction with their relationships
  • Sexual unfaithfulness/promiscuity
  • Increased sexual dysfunction

Sadly, there is considerable evidence to suggest that those who have experienced CSA are also likely to be revictimized. A recent study involving 12,252 survivors found that 47.5% were sexually victimized again later in life. Similarly, there is also evidence to suggest that the children of women who have been abused are also more likely to be abused themselves, suggesting that the cycle of abuse may continue into the next generation.

The Socioeconomic Consequences of CSA

From an economic perspective, it is estimated the average lifetime cost of child maltreatment (including CSA) per survivor is $830,928. Compared to adults who had not been abused, survivors of CSA were found to:

  • Earn on average $8,000 less per year
  • Be less likely to have a bank account, or own stock, a vehicle, or home
  • Be three times more likely to be out of work due to sickness and disability
  • Be 14% more likely to be unemployed in general
  • Be less likely to go to, or graduate from college
  • Be less likely to have a skilled job

As is clear from the research, CSA significantly negatively impacts all facets of life — not only for those who experience childhood sexual abuse themselves, but also for their loved ones and society at large. Thus, we must all do what we can to prevent sexual abuse before it happens, and provide support and services to those who have already experienced CSA.

References

For more information, see: Jeglic, E.L., & Calkins, C.A. (2018). Protecting Your Child from Sexual Abuse: What you Need to Know to Keep your Kids Safe. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.



RETRIEVED https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/protecting-children-sexual-abuse/202105/the-long-lasting-consequences-child-sexual-abuse

‘Is My Partner Gaslighting Me, or Am I Being Overly Sensitive?’

By Esther Perel

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Esther Perel is a psychotherapist, a best-selling author, and the host of the podcast Where Should We Begin? — she’s also a leading expert on contemporary relationships. Every other week on the show, Perel plays a voice-mail from a listener who has reached out with a specific problem, then returns their call to offer advice. This column is adapted from the podcast transcript — the show is now part of the Vox Media Podcast Network — and you can listen and follow for free on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen.

The Message

Simply put, I can’t tell if I’m being gaslit and this is having a very negative effect on my well-being, or if I’m just an overly sensitive person. 

Anytime I put up a boundary, my partner freaks out and makes a huge deal, telling me I’m being insensitive to him. He has a big personality, is very quick-thinking and articulate, while I often find it hard to communicate. The arguments are very dramatic and intense and he never lets things go no matter how much I ask him to give me a break. He reminds me during these arguments that I’m ruining the relationship. We broke up over these arguments a few months ago, only to get back together after he assured me they wouldn’t continue.

The Phone Call

Esther Perel: So, you wrote the question, but if you could ask it to me again as we speak today?

A newsletter about modern family life by Kathryn Jezer-Morton.

Caller: I am wondering if I’m being gaslit by my partner or if it’s a case that I’m just being overly sensitive. I feel that I get certain treatment, when we’re alone, that feels very hidden, but in speaking to him, he says I’m overly sensitive, that I’m overly boundaried and that, actually, it’s more that I’m treating him badly, and he gets angry at me for me being bad.
And he admits that sometimes his behavior isn’t great and he’s working on it. And he’s worked a lot on it. I just have no idea if I’m basically a bad person and if I’m treating him like crap and not being sensitive to him, because that’s what it sounds like.

Esther: So, tell me something — let’s just go a bit back. How did you come to formulate the question the way you do? What is the history of your relationship that led you to this question, “Am I being gaslit or am I overly sensitive?”

Caller: So, he has a tendency —  for example, over New Year’s, we went away together, we were in the car and I wasn’t feeling well, and he just kept on shouting at me that I wasn’t being nice to him. And he was shouting at me. And originally, I thought he was joking. And I was like, “Yeah, I know I am.” But I was quite premenstrual at the time, or I was menstruating and I felt awful, so I was just a bit of a curmudgeon.

And I was like, “Yeah, I know. I feel bad. Just let me feel bad.” And he just kept on shouting, “You’re not being nice to me! You’re not being nice to me! Ooh!” And we were literally going to our friend’s doorstep, and he just left me there and just acted like everything was perfectly normal. And it seems to often be, as well with social settings, that we’ll be going out and he’ll do something to pull the rug out from underneath me and be like, “What’s your problem?”

Another example is, I was at therapy, and I came back and I wasn’t feeling particularly great. We had been talking about boundaries, because I do have concerns that my boundaries aren’t very good and it’s something that I work on.

Esther: What do you mean by that? That’s a big statement.

Caller: Yeah. So, I know that I don’t necessarily know how to put up boundaries. I was in a job before where, basically, I worked myself to a state of very poor health, and a lot of that had to do with working with someone who wouldn’t let me say no. So, no matter how much I was like, “I’m not available,” they just kept on pushing me.

Also, that particular industry, in that particular job, there was a real need for me. There was nobody else to do the job. I had to travel and move, and I was exhausted, but because there was such a need for me, I felt I didn’t have a choice. I let myself just get torn into that and away from my life and away from the people that I care about. And eventually, I got to a point where I completely burnt out.

Esther: And you are telling me this also because in some way something parallel is happening between you and your boyfriend?
Caller: Yeah, exactly.

Esther: Right? You are on the verge of burnout. If I ask you — because you say, am I being gaslit or am I overly sensitive, which of course is what people who are gaslit often end up feeling is that they are being overly sensitive, that they are not clear, that they’re doubting themselves, that they’re confused, that they no longer trust their own sanity — you went to look for the definition of what being gaslit means?

Caller: I definitely looked it up at some point, but I don’t quite remember it at this moment.

Esther: Right. So, without even defining the term, if you are telling me, “I’m in a relationship where I don’t trust that what I think has validity. I find myself often saying I feel something and then I’m being blamed for the very thing that I just uttered. The blame is constantly shifting. I am accused of being the gaslighter, and then I end up completely confused, and it makes me question the situation.” It’s like what we call in my field, projective identification, “You are telling me that I’m doing to you what you’re exactly doing to me,” and I distrust myself. I begin to question my mental health because you keep telling me that my mental health is not steady, or something happens and you tell me that’s not what happened, or that “It is your fault” if it happened, or that “I’m doing these things and I’m saying these mean things because I actually am trying to help you,” or that “It’s not such a big deal. So what if you’re menstruating? That shouldn’t explain why you’re treating me the way you are,” or that “You are overthinking it,” or that “When I’m mean, I was just joking,” or that “You’re too emotional.”

These are seven common gaslighting phrases. If any of these are continuously occurring to you or if you simply, even without that, say, “I am constantly questioning myself, I’m constantly doubting myself, I’m constantly in a state of confusion,” et cetera, et cetera, then the answer to your question doesn’t really matter. What you know is that this is not a good situation.

Caller: But that’s the thing is … I don’t know.

Esther: Now you’re going to give me the other side, “But we also have nice times. But when I’m about to pull away, he apologizes profusely and he promises that he will change, that he’s working on it and that this will never be happening again,” until two hours later.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: Now, you’re going to seesaw back and forth in the ambivalence, “Here are all these things, but maybe what if he what says has validity and is true?”

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: “And maybe I am indeed so insecure, and maybe I do indeed have a problem with boundaries, which, of course, I’m having with him too. So, in the end, maybe he knows me better than I know myself.”

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: And when I say, “I’m hungry,” he says, “No, you’re not really hungry. You shouldn’t be hungry right now.” And I’m beginning to wonder, “Well, maybe then I’m not hungry.”

Caller: Yeah, that’s literally what happens. I’ll be like, “Oh, let’s get some food,” and he’ll be like, “No, no.” I’m like, “Well, I’m, I need something.” And I’ll end up getting a protein bar, something to tide me over until we’re eating, and then he’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, by the way, while you went into the shop to get a protein bar, I got a chicken sandwich.” Then, I’m just like, “What?” Yeah, it comes from everywhere. It feels very controlling.

Esther: It’s either reality manipulation, scapegoating, coercion, or straight-up lying. Those are probably four of the main gaslighting tactics. Shifting blames would be another. And the interesting thing, as I listen to you, is, you have the answer to your question every time you give me another example to reinforce that you actually know what’s happening.

Caller: But the thing is that he has shown me, in so many ways, that he does love me and … We have, honestly, the best time. He’s my best friend in the world. I don’t know how to lose him. And that’s the thing is, I see him as a really good person, as a really kind and warm and friendly… And if you see him with his friends, he is incredible, incredible. It’s so confusing. Exactly, again. But then he turns around and does that to me.

Esther: Now, a question I would ask him is, “Who did this to you and nobody stopped them? Who did you see do this in your family and nobody stopped them?”

Caller: I feel that would be really hard for him. And I would be worried about, not challenging, I think, for him, something like that would be —

Esther: But do you know?

Caller: I’d imagine I have an idea.

Esther: That’s my question. He may be a wonderful friend, but that does not dictate how he’s going to be with his girlfriends. Those two things don’t necessarily always go in sync. I would ask him, where did he learn this, and who did he see do this, and who never stopped it? And I would then ask you this parallel question — this of course is not a question you’re going to ask him, but I’m asking that to you because you probably know him … how long are you together?

Caller: Two years.

Esther: Okay. Then, I’m going to ask you, who did you see in such a dynamic? Where did you learn not to be able to say no? Because this is not about “Am I being gaslit or am I being overly sensitive?” Without defining, without focusing just on these two terms, you’ve described the reality. Then, you say, “But he loves me,” and that may very much be the case as well. But he also needs to control you, but he’s also intensely insecure and therefore he needs you to be one down, but he also has a hard time hearing you say “I’m hungry” without instantly denying it or defying you or qualifying it or deciding if you have a right to be hungry at this moment or not because he knows better than you what your stomach needs.

So, regardless of how much he loves you, he still would need to learn to differentiate and to be able to let you have an experience, and respond caringly and compassionately to it without having to decide if your experience is valid or not before he decides how he wants to respond because he’s the master and the judge.

Caller: Oh my God, yeah. That is qualifying my experience. That’s it. It’s like every single experience I have, all of my friendships, all of my work, it’s being qualified. That’s exactly it, and being like, “You’re doing this right and you’re doing that wrong.” It’s like being stuck in a box. And the thing is that I know that I am brilliant and I have beautiful friendships and I was excellent at that job and I’m excellent at most things that you put in front of me, and I feel that really deeply.

I know what I’m doing, and I care about myself, and I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself, and I’m continuing to learn, and I’m conscious of where I go up and where I go down, but …

Esther: And if you had a friend, since you have very good friends, if one of your friends was in a situation that is similar to yours, what would you say?

Caller: Just step away. It’s just not that easy. We’re completely entwined in each other’s lives as well.

Esther: And then, what would you say to your friend who says, “It’s not that easy. We’ve got our lives completely intertwined with each other. I have invested two years of my life here. I know he loves me, but I’m being obliterated, I’m losing my mind, I’m continuously put in a situation where I have to doubt myself”?

Caller: Yeah, I’d be like, “I’ll take care of you.” I don’t know.

Esther: Have you spoken with your friends?

Caller: Yeah, a bit. I don’t like to speak badly about him because they all know him. So I want to honor the relationship, in a way. I’ve spoken to my sister a bit.

Esther: And has anybody said, “Keep going”?

Caller: Yeah. Then, I had one friend who had flagged it early, and when she flagged it, that was also the time, literally the same day when I had the breakdown for work, or the day that I literally just heard from my doctor being like, “You can’t do that job anymore.” And I was not sleeping through the night.

And I was literally talking to him about it, and he was like, “Well, I’m thinking about maybe we should break up.” So, he, nearly always, when I’m at a level of peak stress, he’ll put something else on top. Then I never went back to work after that.

Esther: So, if you are struggling with something, he will trump you? If you bring up a feeling, he’ll bring up another one that he thinks, in that moment, is more important than the one you just brought up?

Caller: Yeah, every single time. So when I was talking about that boundaries thing, he flipped. When I was back from the therapist and I was just literally standing in the kitchen being, “I just need to eat some dinner.” So I was like, “Right, I’m just going to make myself some food. I’m gonna take care of myself, I’m gonna nourish my body.”

And I was like, “Okay, I just need … I’m a bit weird right now, I just need a little bit of space because I,” blah, blah, blah. Then, he started at me, and I was like, “No, I can’t handle this right now. I’ve explained the fact that I’m feeling very vulnerable. I’m just like letting you know that.” And he was in a great mood when I came in, and then, suddenly, he turned, and then he started shouting at me and shouting at me, and I was like, “Stop shouting at me.”

Then he freaked out about me not understanding what a boundary was, me turning my boundaries against him. Then we had this long discussion about what qualifies shouting or not, and then we literally got into the depths of what the semiotics of the word shouting is to both of us. Then he made me say that he hadn’t been shouting at me in terms of the way that he understands the word “shouting.”

Esther: So, you covered all four, right?

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: You covered the coercive strategies, you covered the shifting of the blame, you covered the questioning of your reality, you covered the manipulation, the disqualifying. So, you’ve answered your question.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: What has made it so difficult for you to know that you have to go or to act on it? Where does your challenge come from in terms of saying no, in terms of saying, “This is what I know I need to do, and I’ll deal with the consequences. In fact, I’ll be liberated. I’ll suddenly realize how much I’ve been hijacked and what kind of a hostage situation this has been. And I will be able to, once again, liberate myself with my friends, and then my friends are going to start telling me how they had noticed it, that and the other, and I’m going to say, ‘How come you never told me?’ And they’ll tell me, ‘We kept trying to tell you but you couldn’t hear it because you were completely enveloped in this saga.’”

Caller: Yeah, it’s bizarre. I know that you’re right, I know that.

Esther: You are brilliant. You’ve answered your questions. You have your answer. This is not a question of discernment, this is a question of, you’ve tried it before, you may try it again, he’s going to beg you, he’s going to plead with you, he’s going to be his best self for half an hour, and he may be a perfectly good, kind person, but he’s got some things to deal with if he’s going to be in a relationship.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: And so do you.

Caller: Yeah. Well, yeah, I think that’s the thing — if I’ve tried so hard, and I’m 35, I’ve been in enough relationships, and he genuinely has worked a lot on himself, and I can see how he’s come along in a big way.

Esther: Do you know what?

Caller: What?

Esther: I don’t know what you mean, because every example you’ve given shows me somebody who has very little ability to see what he does. And, of course, for any gaslighter there must be a person that is letting themselves be gaslit. These two go together.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: But there hasn’t been a situation where you describe him saying, “I realize, I notice, I take responsibility, I’m sorry, I was projecting, I was dumping.”

Caller: Well, he has done that.

Esther: When? When you leave?

Caller: No. We do talk after these things happen. I’ve been listening to you forever. I never knew that he knew about you, and he sent me something, one of your YouTube videos about when couples get to an impasse, and he was like, “Let’s look at this and let’s talk about this based on the tools that are there.” And I really appreciate that.

I can see him trying. But the thing is, we’re actually at a point right now where we’re not really speaking, and I asked for the keys back for my flat after everything that happened that I’ve been talking about recently. It was too much.

Esther: That piece of your excusing him and analyzing and justifying and excusing his behavior is part of the gaslit cycle.

Caller: Okay.

Esther: “He’s doing this but he doesn’t really mean to do this, he feels bad about it afterwards, and so, now, I need to make him feel better about him making me feel bad.”

Caller: Yeah, yes. Yes.

Esther: This is twisted.

Caller: Completely twisted. Because I was on the phone to him yesterday. I wanted to let him know that I was going to be speaking to you because I thought that that was respectful. I also was like, “Look, in the long run, I feel we’ve been running on what I want. I just want to know what you want.”
Then, of course, it came back around to how much all of his friends told him that he’s great, and then I, of course, was like, “Well, you’re a great person, and I want you to know that you’re a good person.” And I do think that, but it still comes around to having this treatment, and I still seem to be the person going to him telling him that he’s good, and then I’m the bad guy again.

Esther: And does that come from him as well, “You’re a wonderful person”?

Caller: No. I get, “You’re a lovely person.”

Esther: “You’re a lovely person,” okay. If you are indeed such close friends, and if he’s indeed such a wonderful person, then you may want to find this relational structure that will actually highlight that. Being his friend may give you much more of the wonderful qualities that he has than being his girlfriend.

Caller: Yeah, that’s true.

Esther: At least for right now. So, he can stay in your life. It’s not clear that he will. Generally, when that dynamic occurs, it’s more common that the person will be more vindictive and not want anything to do with you. They’ll try, they’ll come back, they’ll come back until they finally realize that maybe they’re not going to get what they want, and then they’ll say, “Fuck you.”

But if he does stay, have him in your life, but have him in the structure of a relationship that gives you access to the best qualities that he has. If he’s such a wonderful friend, be a friend.

Caller: But I love him.

Esther: That is a wonderful thing, but that doesn’t mean you need to make a life in that dynamic.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: It doesn’t change if people don’t actively take ownership over what they do to create this kind of dynamic, and that means you and him.

Caller: Yeah. One of the reasons that I contacted you is, I know that I’m autonomous in this relationship, but it’s really hard to admit that I’ve let somebody walk all over me and that I haven’t been strong enough to tell them to piss off. It makes me question myself so much more.

Esther: Which is one of the reasons why these dynamics sometimes go on for a long time, because he has his denial. His denial is to shift the blame on you. But you have your denial, which is, “This isn’t really happening. I could walk away at any time. I am a strong woman, I am autonomous. Nobody tells me what to do.” But in fact, that’s not what’s happening. So, it’s one denial meeting another denial, so to speak.

Caller: Yeah. I hear you.

Esther: And what you just said, “But I love him,” so what? I hear you, it’s a deep feeling, but the question remains, and what do you want to do? That your feelings of love are mired into a relationship that is ultimately going to make you lose your entire sense of yourself.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: So, you will continue to say, “I love him,” but the “I” will have dissolved in the process.

It’s not easy. You’re going to surround yourself with friends, and you’re going to have to be honest with your friends and let them know what’s going on, not by blaming him, but by telling them that you found yourself in a relationship where instead of increasingly becoming bolder and stronger and more recognized, it’s all the reverse that is happening.

And that’s not because of what he does only. If, on the other end, you say, “I want to do some couples work and I want us to both go and deal with this dynamic,” go ahead. It won’t change alone. Somebody has to see this in action to be able to intervene. Each of you will make perfect sense when you talk alone to your own respective therapists.

Caller: Yeah. Couples counseling is on the cards right now. We’ve seen a couples counselor before and it didn’t … she wasn’t great. And my concern is that he’s going to charm them, and he is not going to show the truth of the dynamic when there’s another person present.

Esther: Then, you’ll put that on the table too.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: A good clinician sees the invisible and sometimes hears the inaudible.

Caller: Thank goodness for you, and thank goodness for this phone call, It’s just like clearing the clouds from my brain.

Esther: Look, I’m going to ask the question again, and then we are going to say good-bye. But it is the question that you didn’t answer, which is, where does your challenge come from? Because you couldn’t say, “Saying no is difficult for me, so I found a person with whom I can practice that muscle.” These things are a mindfuck.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: But you may want to say, “I wanna practice my no, and I found the best place to do so because here is a person who doesn’t hear any of them. So, I practice boundaries with somebody who doesn’t respect any of them or sees them all as an attack on him or sees them as a weakness of mine, but they’re all qualified.”

Or you may say, “That doesn’t have to be the way I’m looking for a relationship.” I know you’re 35 and I know that you love him and I know that you think you’ve had your share, but maybe that should bring you also a level of awareness that says, “Is this how I want to live?”

Caller: But I think that’s the thing, it’s, I don’t know how I’ll have a healthy and wholesome relationship. I just keep on seeming to get battered or something.

Esther: “Why do I, a smart, accomplished, professional, insightful, autonomous woman, find myself in relationships with men where I end up in this kind of battered position?” That is a very powerful question.

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: “And how do I learn to see it sooner rather than later?”

Caller: Yeah.

Esther: “And how do I say, ‘I’m breaking the cycle,’ and then act on it?” Is this a good place to stop?

Caller: In my head, I’m only just beginning.

Esther: Because I’m leaving you with some big questions rather than slap answers, because you have the answer. To the question that you came with, you know the answer before you came. To what is the cycle that you are repeating, we didn’t get to, but we suspect there is one because this is not your first time. Different melodies for the same dance.

If we were seeing each other regularly, this would be the moment where I say, “To be continued.” But it will be continued, but without me. But I’m inviting you to take this and do something with it.

Caller: I will. Thank you.

Child sexual abuse survivors promised less traumatic route to compensation

By political reporter Matthew Doran

Posted Wed 3 May 2023 at 10:34pmWednesday 3 May 2023 at 10:34pm

The silhouette of a child sitting on a bed with an adult sitting alongside them.
The federal government acknowledges it has taken longer than expected to carefully consider all review recommendations and their implications.(ABC News)

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Survivors of horrific child sexual abuse are being promised an easier and less traumatic route to getting compensation, while some people currently in jail will soon be allowed access to financial support.

Key points:

  • The federal government wholly or partially supports 34 of 38 recommendations to improve the way the National Redress Scheme operates
  • An earlier review found it was an overly complicated process which regularly caused distress for victims
  • The government says more than $1 billion has been paid in redress payments since 2018

The federal government has released its response to a review of the National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse, wholly or partially supporting 34 of 38 recommendations to improve the way it operates.

The review, led by former senior public servant Robyn Kruk, echoed the sentiments of many who had made applications for redress over the course of its existence – that it was an overly complicated process which regularly caused distress for victims forced to recount their experiences in terrible graphic detail.

Survivors and advocates have complained the scheme is a bureaucratic nightmare, and there is a lack of consistency in judging claims for redress and providing payments.

Amanda Rishworth wearing a pink blazer and white blouse, looking to the right
Amanda Rishworth says the government is forging ahead with improvements to the National Redress Scheme.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

The maximum amount of compensation remains at $150,000, with some critical that few applications are ever deemed to be worthy of such a payment.

Restrictions on some people serving jail terms from accessing the scheme will be eased, and the eligibility rules for people with criminal records will be tweaked.

Abuse victims convicted for serious offences, such as murder or sexual assault, will still have to go through a separate application process “to ensure public confidence in the Scheme is maintained”.

“Better targeting would see fewer survivors undergo the special assessment process before a decision on their eligibility for redress is made, which is currently leading to unnecessary delays in survivors accessing their redress outcome,” the response stated.

Greater guidance will be given to staff at the scheme on how to assess child sexual abuse stemming from medical procedures, after concerns some claims were dismissed because the abuse was dressed up as legitimate treatment for health conditions.

But the federal government has rejected calls to remove references to “penetrative sexual abuse” when making calls on the severity of claims.

“Making broad changes to the Assessment Framework at this point in the Scheme would constitute a fundamental change to the Scheme’s design and operation, risking the viability of institutional participation which is essential for survivors being able to access redress,” the report said.

“Such major changes would also introduce complex issues of equity and re-traumatisation risks, noting the Scheme has issued over 12,000 outcomes to redress applicants.”

It has also refused to make the framework public, because it said there was a “risk of re-traumatising survivors because of the necessarily descriptive content”.

Eligibility to apply for redress will be extended to former child migrants, who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents.

No ‘faceless’ staff

Extra staff hired to clear backlog in child sexual abuse redress scheme

The scheme has been widely criticised for being painstakingly slow and re-traumatising for those forced to relive their abuse.

A shot of a busy Melbourne street with pedestrians in front of a tram.

Read more

The names of senior officials involved in considering redress claims are now provided to applicants when their case is finalised, to allay concerns from some abuse survivors their cases are being considered by “faceless” staff.

A proposal to change the way redress claims are considered – that a “reasonable likelihood” abuse occurred be enough to prove a claim – has also been rejected by the government.

Extra support services for survivors, and for staff poring over the details of their abuse, will also be provided.

The response argued the legislation is already prescriptive in the way claims should be judged.

“While it has taken longer than expected to carefully consider all Review recommendations and their implications, we have still been forging ahead with improvements,” Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

“The Government’s main concern is the wellbeing of survivors, and ensuring the Redress process is as smooth as possible.”

The cost of the changes remains unclear, with the details to be revealed in next Tuesday’s budget.

Other recommendations from the review have already been acted on.

They include the proposal for advance payments of $10,000 to be made to Indigenous applicants and people making claims who are terminally ill, and changes to the indexation rules for payments.

The minister said more than $1 billion had been paid in redress payments since 2018, and that more than 600 institutions have signed up to the national redress scheme.

Posted 3 May 2023

RETRIEVED https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-03/child-sexual-abuse-survivors-offered-easier-way-of-compensation/102298104

Marist Brothers lose bid to use paedophile’s death as shield against child abuse claims

This article is more than 3 months old

Judge finds Australian Catholic order should not benefit from its ‘own inaction’ in not speaking to known abuser before he died

Christopher Knaus

@knauscFri 5 May 2023 12.56 AEST

The Marist Brothers argued that the death of paedophile Brother Francis ‘Romuald’ Cable rendered it unable to fairly defend itself from a civil claim by a survivor. Photograph: Getty Images

A Catholic order has lost its latest attempt to use the death of a known paedophile clergy member to shield itself from allegations of child sexual abuse after a judge found that allowing such a course would “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.

In recent months, the Guardian has revealed how the Catholic church, in particular its Marist Brothers and Christian Brothers orders, is increasingly using the deaths of clergy members to argue for permanent stays of cases brought by abuse survivors in the civil courts.

The church, which for decades covered up sexual abuse and thwarted justice for victims and survivors, has been emboldened by a win in New South Wales’s highest court last year, which found a perpetrator’s death made a fair trial impossible.

In a more recent case, the Marist Brothers argued that the death of notorious paedophile Brother Francis “Romuald” Cable rendered it unable to fairly defend itself from a civil claim by a survivor known by the pseudonym of Mark Peters, because it can no longer call Cable as a witness.

Audrey Nash
Its gutless clergy abuse survivors and their families outraged by legal stays that thwart cases https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/mar/27/its-gutless-clergy-abuse-survivors-and-their-families-outraged-by-legal-stays-that-thwart-cases

The Marist Brothers made that argument despite the fact that Cable was alive for 22 months after Peters first notified it of his claim. After learning of Peters’s claim in October 2020, it did nothing to seek a response from Cable before he died in September 2022. Cable was 88 years old and behind bars when the Marist Brothers learned of the impending case.

On Friday, the NSW supreme court rejected the church’s attempts to use Cable’s death to justify a permanent stay.

“The defendant should not, in my view, have the benefit of its own inaction,” justice Nicholas Chen found.

“The defendant’s alleged inability to meaningfully deal with the claim is, I find, a product of its own unreasonable failure to attempt to make contact with Cable, and to take steps to secure his evidence.

“In my view, to accept otherwise would, adopting what was said by [former chief justice Thomas Bathurst], ‘itself bring the administration of justice into disrepute’.”

Court documents allege the Marist Brothers have known of abuse complaints against Cable since 1967, but concealed his crimes from police and other authorities for decades and instead shuffled him between its schools, where he continued to abuse children.

The Marist Brothers argued to the court that it didn’t seek a response from Cable to Peters’s allegations while he was alive because he had earlier rebuffed them in 2015 and said he did not want to have any more contact with the order’s leadership team.

But the court rejected that submission for five separate reasons. It found that 2015 was a particularly sensitive time for Cable, given he had just been convicted for child abuse and was awaiting sentence, meaning he may have been more likely to want to talk five years later, if the Marist Brothers had attempted to contact him again.

Our Australian afternoon update email breaks down the key national and international stories of the day and why they matter

The court also found that Cable may have been willing to talk to a lawyer or investigator, rather than a member of Marist’s leadership team.

Cable had also subsequently pleaded guilty to a raft of other child abuse charges in the period after the Marist Brothers approached him in 2015. He knew he would likely be in jail until he died, the court found. That “suggests that Cable, if contacted, may well have agreed to discuss what happened to the plaintiff”.

“At an absolute minimum, I consider that the defendant should have attempted – on an ongoing basis – contact with Cable following the letter notifying the defendant of the plaintiff’s intent to commence proceedings in 2020, and those steps should have been intensified once proceedings had been commenced,” Chen ruled.

Hands holding rosary beads
Australian Catholic Order accused of waiting for paedophile to die and using death to shield it from abuse claims https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/11/australian-catholic-order-accused-of-waiting-for-paedophile-to-die-and-using-death-to-shield-it-from-abuse-claims

“As it happens, nothing was done by the defendant to ascertain whether Cable would speak to them, their lawyers or investigators about the plaintiff’s claim.

“I do not accept that the defendant can simply stand back and do nothing, which is what has occurred here.”

It is unclear whether the Marist Brothers will attempt to appeal the ruling. But the win allows Peters to proceed with his case and either agree to a settlement or take it to trial.


RETRIEVED https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/may/05/marist-brothers-lose-bid-to-use-paedophiles-death-as-shield-against-child-abuse-claims?CMP=share_btn_link

Brisbane Boys’ College students calls on peers to ‘stop being boys, be human’ in wake of national sexual assault conversation

ABC Radio Brisbane, By Antonia O’Flaherty

Posted Fri 19 Mar 2021 at 12:33pmFriday 19 Mar 2021 at 12:33pm, updated Fri 19 Mar 2021 at 11:30pmFriday 19 Mar 2021 at 11:30pm

An image of a Brisbane Boys' College student Mason Black with his mother with leafy background.
Brisbane Boys’ College Captain Mason Black with his mother Michelle Monsur.(Supplied: Brisbane Boys’ College)

The school captain of one of Brisbane’s top private boys’ schools has called on his peers to put an end to rape culture and be proactive in stopping the sexual assault and harassment of women.

Key points:

  • Brisbane Boys’ College captain Mason Black made a powerful speech to his peers
  • The Queensland government has ordered a review of how sexual consent is taught in both independent and state schools
  • Queensland public and private schools were named in anonymous testimonies about sexual assault in an online viral petition

Brisbane Boys College (BBC) captain Mason Black made the resounding speech in front of peers on Thursday, calling on them to “accept this injustice against women and stand up for what is right”.

It follows thousands of Australian students anonymously detailing harrowing accounts of rape and sexual assault on a viral petition calling for sexual consent to be taught earlier in schools.

The petition was launched by former Kamabala student Chanel Contos.

BBC was among the Queensland public and private schools identified on the petition in testimonies from young women.

A video of Mr Black’s speech calling for a change in culture at the college and broader society, has attracted about 260,000 views on Instagram and tens of thousands on Facebook. 

A woman silhouetted against a white wall sits with her head in her hands.

In his speech, Mr Black revealed his mother had been sexually abused at just 10-years of age. 

“Are you brave enough to ask your mum about her experiences? What about your sisters? Friends?” he said.

“I wish I grew up in an Australia where the narrative that one in three women will be physically or sexually abused at some point in their life wasn’t true, but it is.”

It comes as the Queensland government undertakes a review of sexual consent education in both public and independent schools across the state.

‘It’s on all of us’

Teaching children about consent

Hear Natalie Hamam’s interview with Life Matters’ Amanda Smith

Read more

Mr Black also made reference to NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s idea for an app to record sexual consent.

“What you really need is a basic acceptance and respect, and that, boys, is on all of us,” he said. 

“Boys, if a woman wants to say ‘no’, and she says ‘no’, we have to listen, understand and accept this.”

Mr Black said the deeply-ingrained rape culture within society needed to be addressed.

“As good as this message is coming from public speakers or staff, it’s up to us, the boys.

“They need to accept this injustice against women and stand up for what is right.”

‘You are part of the problem’

He said it made him feel “sick” and “embarrassed” that the school had been named in the testimonies.

Sexual assault support services:

“I feel so ashamed that this issue is a part of our history and our culture.

“I feel ashamed that the action of some reflects poorly on us all, but realistically it isn’t just those who are mentioned in the media.

“If you have ever objectified a woman based on her looks, talked about females in a misogynistic way, or taken advantage without consent, you are part of the problem.

“Seemingly harmless comments can have such devastating effects.”

He called on his peers to “stop being boys” and “be human”.

“Every person in this room must not just be an advocate for equality, but in our every action and deed we have to be proactive in stopping the abuse.”

‘Keep your mates accountable’

Find more local news

The student called on his peers to put an end to slurs and derogatory comments, to stand up to “any man” if they see it happening, and keep their mates accountable.

“Each and every one of us have an obligation to each other to not follow the ways of the past, and to take our future on a new path,” he said.

The speech was lauded on social media for inspiring a change in culture but drew some criticism that the same attitudes were not held among his peers.

One 16-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl, Anya, voiced her frustration that the speech had received so much praise “over the voices of millions of women around the world, some of whom in recent weeks have had the courage to be vulnerable when sharing their past experiences with sexual assault”.

“It’s been widely recognised a massive part of the problem is the way men are praised for doing the bare minimum yet women are compelled to overcompensate for their lack to “keep them safe”, her post on Instagram said. 


RETRIEVED https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-19/brisbane-boys-college-issues-plea-to-peers-to-end-rape-culture/13261790

Posted 19 Mar 202119 Mar 2021, updated 19 Mar 2021

Australia child abuse: Police arrest 44 suspects and rescue 16 children

  • Published23 October 2020

Shared from

Police arresting a man in Sydney escort him into a police car
Image caption, Police in Sydney arrest a man suspected of possessing child abuse material

Australian police have arrested 44 men across the nation on suspicion of possessing and producing child abuse material.

Sixteen children had been “removed from harm” in the process, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said.

The arrests followed a year-long investigation into images and videos that were shared online.

Arrests of the suspects – all aged between 19 and 57 – were made in every Australian state.

Police laid a total of 350 charges, all related to possessing or producing child exploitation material.

The men had allegedly used a cloud storage platform to share the abuse. The AFP described some evidence as among “the most abhorrent produced”.

Commissioner Reece Kershaw said identifying and rescuing victims was a “race against time” in such cases.

“Pixel by pixel, our investigators painstakingly look for clues and never give up,” he said.

Two police officers with a man in Adelaide
Image caption, An arrest in Adelaide

Hundreds of police and other specialists worked on the operation across Australia’s states and territories. 

The arrests numbered 11 in Victoria, 11 in Queensland, nine in South Australia, eight in New South Wales, seven in Western Australia, five in Tasmania and one in the Australian Capital Territory.

The suspects worked in industries including construction, transport, law enforcement and hospitality.

Various electronic devices including USB sticks
Image caption, Police raided houses and seized electronics

“Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders,” Mr Kershaw said.

The AFP said it had rescued 134 children from child exploitation this year, including 67 who were not in Australia.


RETRIEVED https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-54654645

Elite Sydney teacher Cody Reynolds jailed for child abuse cache

A teacher at an elite school viewed “sadistic” videos for sexual gratification, including children forced into sexual acts under gunpoint.

Nathan Schmidt@Nate_R_Schmidty

May 11, 2023 – 3:29PM NCA NewsWire

WARNING: Distressing

A senior teacher at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools used his work laptop to access a stash of “depraved” child abuse images.

Cody Michael Reynolds, 37, will spend the next 18 months behind bars after being sentenced at Downing Centre Court on Tuesday, more than a year after he was stood down from a prestigious role at Moriah College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where parents pay about $35,000 a year. 

Police arrested Reynolds following a raid of his inner city home in March 2022. Officers uncovered a cache of child abuse material on multiple devices and online storage service Megalcoud, including at least 1000 child abuse images and 50 videos.

Investigators uncovered a further 111 images and six videos on Reynolds’ iPhone in a folder hidden on the phone’s camera roll as well as nine images and two videos on his work-assigned laptop.

Cody Michael Reynolds, the former head of English at Moriah College, arrives for sentencing on child abuse material charges. Picture: Simon Bullard

Cody Michael Reynolds, the former head of English at Moriah College, arrives for sentencing on child abuse material charges. Picture: Simon Bullard

Judge Phillip Mahoney told the court the material was “depraved” and showed mostly pre-pubescent males and females aged between 9-16 masturbating or performing sex acts, including with adults.

“The material included sadistic material where children are engaged in sexual activity under gunpoint,” Justice Mahoney said. “In another, a four year old was forced to put his hand on the penis of an older boy.”

The court was told Reynolds used multiple aliases to share child abuse material with users through a concealed WhatsApp application, including an explicit conversation with a user called Xavier about “playing with young boys”.

“The offender transferred videos to a like-minded user encouraging their own gratification,” Justice Mahoney said.

“He deliberately used a sophisticated method, including end-to-end inscription, to minimise detection.”

Cody Reynolds formerly served as head of English at Moriah College.

Cody Reynolds formerly served as head of English at Moriah College.

Reynolds pleaded guilty late last year to using a carriage service to transmit, publish, or promote child abuse material and using a carriage service to possess or control child abuse material.

At the time of his arrest, Reynolds was head of English at Moriah College, a coeducational Modern Jewish Orthodox private school, but was stood down by the elite school within 24-hours of his arrest at his Surry Hills home.

During sentencing, the court was told how Reynold went from being a high-flying teacher presenting his academic studies in Australia and overseas to consuming child abuse material.

“Reynolds would avoid going home to his partner and would instead sit in the storeroom of his apartment building drinking and viewing the child abuse material,” Justice Mahoney told the court. 

“He used it to cope with negative emotions (…) rather than develop healthy coping mechanisms.”

Justice Mahoney said Reynolds had “done everything” to seek out rehabilitation after being charged,

Cody Reynolds used his work laptop to access a stash of ‘depraved’ child abuse images. Picture: Damian Shaw

Cody Reynolds used his work laptop to access a stash of ‘depraved’ child abuse images. Picture: Damian Shaw

The 37-year-old was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at 21 and later with PTSD following his arrest.

Reynolds “acknowledged in hindsight” the emotional harm that the offending had caused to children depicted in the videos.

The court was also told Reynolds had not met the criteria for a pedophilic disorder and co-operated with police following his arrest.

He was joined in court by his family, who had relocated to Sydney to support him.

Reynolds was sentenced to a total prison term of two years and 10 months.

But Justice Mahoney ordered that he be eligible for release from November 2024.

After that time, he will be required to pay $1000 and continue with rehabilitation treatment.


RETRIEVED https://www.news.com.au/national/courts-law/elite-sydney-teacher-cody-reynolds-jailed-for-child-abuse-cache/news-story/ffbc5feb9d1e2934d1b9f1f6a2844276

Twelve Books at Herculaneum that could Change History (3 of 3)

Here’s the remainder of Richard Carrier’s Twelve Books at Herculaneum (nearby Pompeii), that is changing the history our world’s been tricked into thinking. In his own recent words “There is a fabulous ancient treasure still buried at Herculaneum in the Bay of Naples.” continued on to explain much of it has been covered by Mount Vesuvius volcanic ash, since 79ad. Various other documentaries have been made, yet Italian Government restrict further works to be performed, for fear of safety/destruction/landslides.

7. Ptolemaïs of Cyrene’s Two Treatises on Science

Ptolemais of Cyrene was in her own day a renowned scientist and expert in acoustics, harmonics, and music theory, sometime near the turn of the era. Authors who quote her treatise on that subject, Pythagorean Principles of Music, consistently regard it as renowned and authoritative. That makes this a known important-yet-lost work of the only known female research scientist in the Hellenistic era. That alone would make it a prize worth rescuing and having. But what we also know is that in her highly respected treatise on harmonics she sought to bring disparate doctrines into a single unified science, and she actually wrote another treatise generalizing that method to all the sciences—arguing the importance of combining empirical with rational methodology, rather than treating them as at odds or as different inquiries—an achievement that was influential not just in her own field, but in others. Eclecticism (the opposite of dogmatism) and unification (combining the best of different theorists and methodologies and scrapping the worst) begin to appear in all extant scientists after her date, making hers possibly a major contribution to the modernization of science. 

Again there is no telling what else she may have done. But these two works alone suggest a trend seen also in Galen a century or two later in the life sciences: seeking to unify a scientific field’s disparate theories and ideas, and establish the correct methods for pursuing it. We see evidence of this (merging atomism with Aristotelianism, for example; likewise empiricism and rationalism, experimental and theoretical science, mathematics and table-top instruments, and the like) in Ptolemy and Hero as well, bringing it into the fields of astronomy and the rest of physics. See my discussion of all these points in The Scientist in the Early Roman Empire. Given the Herculaneum magnate’s clear and deep interest in matters of science, logic, and mathematics (from his shelf full of books on the subject), and Ptolemaïs’s works’ clear and influential fame across the sciences, I think there are reasonable odds we can find it there, making hers the first extant scientific study published by a woman.

8. Pamphila’s Historical Notes or Agrippina’s Memoirs

Speaking of women as authors, there were many in antiquity, yet almost none preserved by patriarchal Christians in the Middle Ages. But two come particularly to mind whose lost books we would very much like to recover: Pamphila of Epidaurus wrote thirty-three volumes of Historical Notes on events up to her own time, which was around 60 A.D. So once again, contemporary accounts of events right during the dawn of Christianity. She wrote several other works (on famous women; on sex; and various miscellanies and epitomes). But having the first known female historian’s treatise on history would be a great find. More so as she was probably also Black—and thus would the be among the first extant Black historians (since sources describe her as Egyptian by descent, and not merely a Greek from Egypt); though she wouldn’t be the first altogether (earlier Africans we know wrote books; Juba, for example). 

Given the wide use later historians made of Pamphila’s Notes, and her just having published it not two decades before, it bears a reasonable probability our Herculaneum collector would have had a copy. There are other famous works from women we would like to have, such as Leontion’s treatise Against Theophrastus, which could be the first feminist treatise ever written. Given that she was a famous Epicurean philosopher—indeed, she was a student of Epicurus himself, and companion of Metrodorus, whose books were in the Herculaneum cache—someone, in fact, even Cicero had read and also assumed his readers would be well familiar with, and given that our Herculaneum collector was fond of works from Epicureans, it follows that her book, too, stands a reasonable chance of being there. 

Another likely find in this category:

The memoirs of Julia Agrippina (Nero’s mother, Caligula’s sister, and Claudius’s wife), which Tacitus employed as a source. She was assassinated by Nero in 59, too early to report on events of 64, but her work must have covered events up to at least 54 (Nero’s accession). She was born in 15, and her close position to Caligula and Claudius makes it reasonable to expect she might have mentioned Christianity if it were at all significant (e.g. if the Chrestus event under Claudius really did have anything to do with Christ).]OHJ, P. 295

Agrippina was a famous and important personage of the time, and it was particularly popular to spite Nero in the years after his death by supporting causes and authors he opposed. Agrippina’s Memoirs thus also stands a reasonable chance of being found at Herculaneum.

9. Petronius’s Satyricon or Against Nero

Petronius is renowned for being a prominent member of the senate and imperial court of Nero. The latter forced him to commit suicide in 66 A.D. yet he composed and published a damning treatise against Nero in revenge before completing the deed, which was referenced by other authors like Tacitus. This could hardly omit reflection on Nero’s murders of scapegoats for the burning of Rome—and thus revealing whether indeed it was any such group as the Christians, as the text of Tacitus now says. Petronius is also regarded as the author of the infamous Satyricon, which bears eerie similarities to stories in the New Testament, and whose date and authorship has been importantly challenged, which dispute really needs a resolution, because it affects a great deal about how we see what the Gospel authors are doing (see my discussion in Robyn Faith Walsh and the Gospels as Literature). Either of these would therefore be an important find. And as they fall into the category of recently popular “rage lit” against Nero, in Latin, and composed by a nearby notable, there’s a reasonable chance either could be at Herculaneum.

Important Writers Likely to Be Found There

After those nine or so titles of particular interest and likelihood, there are also many then-famous writers who wrote numerous books on many subjects, any of which would be a prize to recover. I’ll just name the top three in my areas of interest…

10. Agathinus

Agathinus was one of the most important medical theorists in the 1st century A.D. He might post-date Herculaneum or pre-date it. But he is of considerable historical significance as a Stoic who nevertheless established an “eclectic” medical sect called the Episynthetics, which specifically rejected the splitting of medical theory into sects and sought unification of theories under a common empirical regime (so, possibly another scientist influenced by Ptolemaïs). Which is important to the history of science because this sectarianism had become excessive over the preceding century, reminiscent of the sectarian divisions within 20th century psychology, and it is notable that deliberate efforts were beginning under the Romans to end this. Indeed Agathinus’s efforts would later inspire Galen.

Agathinus wrote on numerous medical subjects, but most significantly including an empirical treatise on the dosage requirements of the poison hellebore, employed as an emetic (to induce vomiting) or (we also know) commonly as an abortifacient. Scholars argue his treatise was based on (and thus reported) his own dosage experiments performed on animals to tailor dose to body mass. This would reflect possibly the first controlled medical study; as well as the first formal medical study of chemical abortion and birth control. And the Herculaneum collector could have this, or other works of Agathinus, owing to his considerable fame and importance in that very century.

11. Posidonius

Posidonius was literally the greatest scientist of his century (the 1st century B.C.), with extraordinary fame and renown, yet nothing he wrote survives. As I wrote in Scientist:

Posidonius even built a machine that replicated the movement of the seven known planets. Cicero’s description of this device certifies it was a proper orrery (a luniplanetary armillary sphere)—a machine that represents the solar system in three dimensions, in rings that can be rotated to reproduce the actual relative motion and position of the seven planets over time. This was probably a significant improvement on a similar machine Archimedes had built over a century before; Posidonius would have known of important corrections and improvements to planetary theory developed after him. … 

It is also possible Posidonius constructed a dial computer, a kind of astronomical clock, which indicates planetary positions (and even lunar phases and other data) two-dimensionally, through a gear-driven dial readout [such as we actually found; in fact, its date and location are apposite enough that that might even be his; or one he built for a client].SCIENTIST, PP. 145-47

Overall, Posidonius wrote over thirty books on countless philosophical and scientific subjects, including books on astronomy, meteorology and climatology, earthquakes and lightning, seismology and volcanology, mathematics, geography, oceanography, zoology, botany, psychology, anthropology, ethnology and history, and beyond. He notably wrote up a study on flammable minerals (including varieties of petroleum and coal). He famously tried calculating the size of the Earth by a novel method—though erred, and his error was picked up by Ptolemy and eventually Christopher Columbus; though unlike Columbus, Ptolemy recognized its inaccuracy and developed the system of locating positions on Earth by degrees of latitude and longitude to overcome that problem. 

Posidonius also had some knowledge of lenses and magnification and may have begun research on the subject; but either way, he certainly had knowledge of lenses that magnify through refraction (as evinced in Strabo, Geography 3.1.5; Cleomedes, On the Heavens 2.6; Sextus Empiricus, Against the Professors 5.82; cf. Seneca, Natural Questions 1.6.5–7). Such work would bear comparison with later research by Ptolemy on exactly the same subject (Scientist, index, “lenses”). No scientific treatise on the subject survives from antiquity, although missing sections of Ptolemy’s Optics appear to have included it, and there is ample evidence its study predated Ptolemy (Ibid.). 

Given his fame and the importance of his books, recognized even in his own day, the probability is quite high that there will be works of Posidonius at Herculaneum. Any of them would be valuable to recover; but especially any that might have discussed the science of magnifying lenses, or petroleum or coal, or the sizes and distances of the planets.

12. Seleucus of Seleucia

Finally, of superlative importance would be recovering any of the lost works of the astronomer Seleucus, who lived in the 2nd century B.C. and was the student of Aristarchus—and actually the most famous heliocentrist in antiquity. We now enfame Aristarchus for being the first known heliocentrist, all but having forgotten Seleucus. But Plutarch, who read their works, says Aristarchus proposed heliocentrism as “only a hypothesis” but that Seleucus “demonstrated it” (Platonic Questions 8.1 = Moralia 1006c). That would actually make his work on the subject the more important; and ancient readers knew it. Plutarch does not say how Seleucus proved heliocentrism—indicating Plutarch could trust any reader already knew, which entails a rather considerable renown for the man and his achievement. We also know from elsewhere that Seleucus was famous for discovering lunisolar tide theory, recognizing that a form of universal gravitation from sun, moon, and Earth explains and predicts the behavior of ocean tides (e.g. Pliny the Elder, Natural History 2.99.212–218 and 2.102.221; Cicero, On Divination 2.34 and On the Nature of the Gods 2.7.15–16; Seneca, On Providence 1.4; Cleomedes, On the Heavens 156; Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 1.2.3–6; Strabo, Geography 3.5.8 and 1.1.8–12). 

We might infer Seleucus put this together as an explanation of a heliocentric solar system as well; certainly, Galileo thought so (see Galileo’s Goofs: Lessons We Can Learn from Failure). And Plutarch hints as much (see Ancient Theories of Gravity: What Was Lost?). And regardless, many Roman authors were quite familiar with his work. Direct and indirect attestations range from Seneca’s Natural Questions (which does not survive whole and the lost portions could indeed be at Herculaneum as well) to Plutarch’s On the Face in the Moon. Given that even Seneca, a major Latin author from Rome, includes mention of heliocentrism and debates surrounding it just a couple decades before the destruction of Herculaneum, and given how readily ancient authors knew Seleucus’s work and assumed everyone else did, it seems reasonable to expect we could find Seleucus’s “proof” of heliocentrism at Herculaneum, or at least his treatise on lunisolar tide theory or universal gravitation, which would be extraordinary.

And Much More

As I said, there could be other books by these authors, and so many authors and books we don’t even have a surviving mention of. Recovering their lost names and works for posterity would be an inestimable honor to them and an achievement for humanity. But there will also be works there of greater magnitude. 

This includes countless scientific treatises. Almost all of that genre was destroyed by medieval Christians—more out of mere disinterest than hostility, but sometimes, yes, hostility (I document in Ch. 5 of Scientist that even the liberal-minded Origen commanded the shunning, and thus discarding, of all scientific and philosophical works by ancient atomists, and even Aristotelians, which will have encompassed the majority of ancient science). Just one subdivision of that subject, life and mineral sciences, illustrates the point (see my article The Sociology of Ancient Scientists Cannot Be Based on Medieval Source Selection); likewise gravitation and dynamics (see Ancient Theories of Gravity: What Was Lost?); and more. In Scientist I mention a great deal else, from lost treatises on combinatorics and permutation theory, to studies of air pressure and magnetism. Any of this, too, could be there.

This also includes countless historical treatises. Besides the many examples I already mentioned, there are more. As I wrote in Historicity:

Marcus Velleius Paterculus sketched a history of the Romans from their mythic past up to the year 29 [A.D.] (of which parts survive) and [the native African] King Juba of Mauretania did the same up to around the year 20 (none of which survives) … [Likewise] Marcus Servilius Nonianus, who we know wrote a dedicated history of the first century up to at least the year 41 [and he wrote it in the late 50s]. … [And] Cluvius Rufus, ex-consul and Nero’s personal herald in the mid-first century, having served in the Senate since the 30s, wrote a detailed history of events during the reign of Nero, beginning with the reign of Caligula in the year 37, and continuing past Nero up to the reign of Otho in the year 69. This surely would have discussed Nero’s persecution of Christians in 64, which would have required a digression on Jesus and Christianity, which in turn would likely touch on the relevant details of the appellate case of Paul before Nero in 62 (if that even happened) and what was claimed in that case, and how it degenerated into the execution of scores if not hundreds of Christians just a couple years later for the crime of burning the city of Rome, surely the single most famous event of that or any adjacent year … [Likewise] Fabius Rusticus wrote a history during Nero’s reign that covered events up to his own time, which may have gotten as far as his death or at least the persecution [of Christians], and at any rate covered events under Augustus and Tiberius (and Claudius) and thus would very likely have noticed Christianity if it was notable at all. 

And that’s just of lost histories we know about, because someone else mentions them. So whether your jam is science or history (or any other subject of poetry or prose), you, too, should want Herculaneum to finally be excavated, to rescue this treasure hoard unparalleled in human value.

(Continued on from 1 of 2 and 2 of 3)


About The Author

Richard Carrier is the author of many books and numerous articles online and in print. His avid readers span the world from Hong Kong to Poland. With a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University, he specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism and humanism, and the origins of Christianity and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, with particular expertise in ancient philosophy, science and technology. He is also a noted defender of scientific and moral realism, Bayesian reasoning, and historical methods.


RETRIEVED Carrier, R. (2023). Twelve Books at Herculaneum That Could Change History. Retrieved via www.richardcarrier.info/archives/23380.