Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about bad people doing good things, which I know is a complicated and loaded topic on its own, but under our circumstances it turns into a complete mine field. And also I am not talking about Stockholm syndrome - maybe another time.
I am talking about the person who causes so much suffering doing good things. Sometimes even great things. It is a taboo we need to talk about, as we have to properly sort it out before we can move on - as conflicting as it can be.
So let us talk about it.
I found this topic really well summarized with the yin and yang image. As in there isn’t something good without something bad and there isn’t something bad without something good. That has always been the truth of life as far as I witnessed it.
I mean we can use the most vile people in history and they will have good aspects about them and will have done good things. Maybe not much, but it is definitely there. To my knowledge there is no 100% evil person.
That is hard enough to swallow when it is just a very nasty coworker, but it even goes so far that there might be a genuine good moment or a humane moment with those that are torturing you and make you go through unspeakable things.
Not the ones they use for of the procedure. Genuine ones. Which makes what happens otherwise so much worse and definitely makes accepting what happened to you so much harder. No matter what it was that happened to you.
It just messes with your head. Which is why it is so important that we talk about it - to break the silenc and the taboo and because we need to to heal and leave it all behind us.
So let us take a closer look with first talking about bad people doing good things in general and then good moments with someone bad.
Bad people doing good things in general
The first point - about bad people doing good things in general - which is more or less a completely normal and general thing. There are several reason why dealing with bad people doing good things is problematic.
One the public opinion - as it can be used as an excuse to dismiss the claims and the victims. Once in claiming a person doing good couldn’t be doing what is claimed or that the good things the person did somehow negates the negatives ones.
But it doesn’t only affect outside opinions - many people struggle to attribute their abuse when their abuser does also a lot of good things. There is doubt, self gas lightning and questioning your own memory. Which is understandable, but unnecessary.
Even if he did good things, even if it is was directly for you - that makes the abuse suffered not less valid. Abuse isn’t a math problem - good things don’t take the bad things away.
Good moments with bad people (need for connection)
To the second point - the genuine good moments with your abuser - it is crucial to understand that we are social beings with a need for connection. So especially if you spend a long time - and especially if it is isolated - with your abuser - it is basically bound to happen.
One of the biggest struggle people have who suffered extreme abuse is: How could another person - another human - do this to me? Having such a connecting moment makes everything so much worse. That moment doesn’t need to be long or intense.
Just a moment of familiarity or humanity shown by the abuser is enough. Shortly afterwards everything goes back to normal. You might even had several of those moments - and/or long ones. They change everything and nothing at the same time.
But how can you admit to those moments? Where you felt for or with them? Where there was a connection? It makes separating so much harder. While that is the case - it is key to accept that these moments happened and not bury them.
While they don’t change anything about the abuse you suffered - if we ignore them we are just planting problems to keep haunting us. And we need to deal with it to move on. There are a lot of emotions connected to this - especially shame.
Survival is never pretty. Most of the things one does to survive is best never said out loud. Even things you do to survive that only affect you. Its embarrassing and dehumanizing. It is completely normal to feel shame. But it is also important to forgive yourself.
It might take a while… maybe a long while - as this is a very hard pill to swallow. The important thing is to not just bury it. In some situations you don’t really have a choice. What else could you have done? Realistically? With your knowledge at the time?
With the options that you had? With the needs you had? Take your time… this won’t be an easy or fast solution… and a hard and rough journey. So take your time and go at your own pace.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at email@example.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/podcast/, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/therapy/ and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.