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On the last track, we discussed core beliefs that many pedophiles have internalized. These core beliefs included: unworthiness; unlovable; unrealized needs; and sexualization.
On this track, we will examine pedophilic clients who live with a co-addicts, or family member or loved one affected indirectly by behavior. We will examine several characteristics of co-addicts and the how they affect the client’s behavior. These characteristics include: distortion of reality; feelings of inadequacy and grandiosity; and enabling.
Technique: Co-Addict Quiz
This quiz consists of lists of core beliefs and behaviors in regards to the client. I ask the family member or loved one to look through this list and check off any behavior or belief that he or she may be experiencing. This list includes, but is not limited to, the following:
#1 Distortion of Reality
Forty-two year old Ruth was the wife of Andy, an internet pedophile. Prior to discovery, Andy spent hours on the computer surfing the net. Ruth, attempting to delude herself into believing that her husband’s behavior was anything but harmful, justified his behavior by reasoning that he was probably doing work or playing games. It had occurred to her that Andy’s job as a construction site worker did not require any off-the-job computation and also that he hated games of all kinds.
Ruth stated, “Sometimes, spam would pop up. Pornographic spam, of little children. I told myself that our computer had been bugged, so I wiped the hard drive. Even after that, the sites kept popping up. I think I let myself think that it was possible he was visiting porno sites, but not that kind of porno. It wasn’t until I looked at his site history that I learned the truth.” Think of your Ruth. Had he or she not distorted reality, could that have stopped the client’s behavior earlier on? What kind of justifications did your Ruth give for his or her loved one’s unusual actions?
#2 Feelings of Inadequacy and Grandiosity
Jerry age 39 lived with his mother Leigh. As a child, Jerry had been molested by his father Frank from the ages of seven to thirteen. Leigh had divorced Frank when Jerry was only two, and the two lived on opposite sides of the state. Because Jerry never told her about the abuse, Leigh had no way of knowing. Jerry, in the common cycle of sexual abuse, began to seek out young pre-teen boys on the internet, posing as a mature 18 year old girl willing to “school” boys in the ways of sex.
When Leigh discovered this and consequently later found out about Frank’s abuse of Jerry, she felt that she was somehow to blame. Leigh stated, “I knew Frank was an awful father, yet I kept letting him go over to his house. I should have listened to my instinct and gotten complete custody without visitation rights. I didn’t. It’s my fault, isn’t it? Oh my god, I’m an awful mother!” Leigh had translated her feelings of inadequacy as a mother into feelings of complete responsibility for the actions of her son and her ex-husband. Think of your Leigh. How does he or she incorporate feelings of inadequacy and grandiosity?
These controlling and enabling behaviors rest in the assumption that the co-addict has power over the addict. Jennifer, age 32, discovered that her husband Scott had been contacting young high school girls on the internet, luring them into meeting him in person, and then raping them. Jennifer had been brought up under an alcoholic father whose drunken beatings of her mother were kept “within the family.” From this, Jennifer had learned not to let the outside world into the problems of the family.
When she discovered Scott’s secret, she paid off the girls to keep quiet and even began to help Scott arrange meetings with the girls, giving him advice. By taking an active part in his addiction, Jennifer felt that she was controlling the situation and that eventually, Scott would become tired of these encounters and quit altogether.
On this track, we discussed several characteristics of co-addicts and the how they affect the client’s behavior. These characteristics included: distortion of reality; feelings of inadequacy and grandiosity; and enabling.
On the next track, we will break down the personality types of pedophiles in order to better educate the parents of victims and the victims themselves. These personality types include: the powerless personality; the antisocial personality; the sexually impotent personality; and the impulsive personality.
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