The M+G+R Foundation

Psychological Dysfunction

Could very well be the result of...

Spiritual Dysfunction

Its Identification, Treatment and Cure


NOTE - January 29, 2009: It is rewarding to see that little by little science is slowly opening its eyes to the spiritual realities. According to Dr. Jose Luis Gonzáles de Rivera, Head of Psychiatry of the Fundación Jiménez Diaz (Madrid, Spain) as well as President of the Spanish Society of Psychotherapy (Asociación Española de Psicoterapia) (1):

 "It is not that antidepressants are not effective; it is that they are very effective in certain cases of depression and not very effective in others.  Antidepressants  could be considered miraculous in the case when the individual in question has a genetic deficiency in the generation of neurotransmitters; however, the patients who fit that profile are a minority.  Most of the depression disorders are the result of a loss,  continuous pressure, lack of affection or interpersonal relations...." 
 
  INTRODUCTION

This document is written for an audience who acknowledges: (a) The absolute supremacy of God as Creator and Sustainer of His Creation; and (b) The manifestation of evil in satan and his fallen angels. However, if you do not subscribe to such beliefs, you may substitute them for whatever you see good and evil manifested in; the message we are attempting to convey, will be exactly the same.


PREMISES of DOCUMENT

 There are three basic premises on which we will base the following treatise:

(1) Man was created in the Image of God; [Genesis 1:26-27, Wisdom 2:23]

 (2) Illnesses and, ultimately, death are direct or indirect consequences of the original and subsequent sins of self and others; [Genesis 2:17, 3:16-19, Wisdom 2:24, Romans 6:23] and

 (3) What takes place in the spiritual domain is manifested, one way or another, in the physical world. [Genesis 1:3-27]

There are three additional premises on which the following treatise will also be based:
(1) When God created the Universe with all it contains, the laws, physical and spiritual, also came into being simultaneously. Laws which are immutable and will not be changed, not even by God, since what He creates is by nature perfect and does not need changing;

 (2) Individuals are only responsible for their own sins and not for the sins of others. If we sin as a consequence of the sinful influence of others, we are still responsible for the sin we committed. [Genesis 3:16-19] ; and

(3) The debts that we accrue with God as a result of our violations of the immutable Divine Laws can only be attenuated, that is, reduced, by the liberal action of the Divine Mercy of God. [Wisdom 3:1-9, 11:21-26]

Finally...

The liberality of the Divine Mercy of God is determined by:

(1) The level of our Faith in God and His Mercy. [ Luke 11:9-13, 16:10-13]

 (2) The intensity of our desire to do His Will. [Luke 12:35-38, 22:46]

 (3) The level of exposure we have had to His Divine Word and the Sacraments. [Matthew 11:20-24]

 (4) The level of abandonment to His Will (different than No. 1 above). [ Luke 12:22-34, 23:39-43]

 (5) The level of purity of our intentions. [Mark 10:15-16, Luke 16:15]

Since God can truly read our hearts, He continually monitors our spiritual disposition [Nos. 1 through 5 above, for example] and shields us accordingly from the full brunt of the consequences of each and every one of our transgressions with the action of His Mercy . [Wisdom 1:6, Luke 5:22, 6:8, 11:7, 24:38, Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21]

With the above as the backdrop for our discussion we may now proceed.
 

A SAMPLE CASE OF A DYSFUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP

[NOTE: We shall take, as an illustrative instrument for our discussion, the case of a female who was raised amongst alcoholics.]

The first step such an individual must take is to realize that alcoholism is a psychosomatic disease. A spiritual dysfunction which coincided with a body which has a natural, chemically driven, disposition to excessive consumption of alcohol.

With such dysfunctional options, satan goes to work attempting to cause as much harm as he can to the individuals who come in contact with the alcoholic or alcoholic behaving individual.

For this to be truly effective, the master of deceit needs to create one key illusion: Implant in the mind of his victim(s) that the dysfunctional behavior of the alcoholic is the victim's fault and that it is the victim's responsibility to acquiesce to the alcoholic demands to make up for causing such behavior in the alcoholic and to appease him. Here is where satan brings into play profound and destructive feelings of guilt.

A key point of clarification - a non drinking individual may exhibit the psychological behavior of an alcoholic [except for the drunkenness] and inflict as much suffering on his victims as he would if he were drinking a liter of hard liquor a day.
 

HOW IT DESTROYS

Love is a God-given attribute which is nourished as humans are loved by other humans (2). As love develops, negative spiritual/psychological characteristics such as egocentrism, the "I" syndrome, start to lose ground and humans become loving, caring and truly selfless individuals. That was the original plan of God, Who entrusted such teaching of love, by word and deed, to the parents of the newly created human. [Mark 9:41, Matthew 18:4-5]

What happens when a child does not encounter the nurturing environment for love to develop? They subconsciously interpret whatever else they may experience as an expression of love, warped as it may be.

They may be conscious that abusive behavior is not love but they are still subconsciously drawn to it.

This is probably the most destructive tool of satan. He has short-circuited the psychological mechanism which God implanted in His creatures. Therefore, the woman who was nurtured amidst the dysfunctional atmosphere created by an alcoholic parent will continue to seek such environment in her life while feeding her destructive guilt feelings.

This short-circuiting mechanism manifest itself in the same way whether the individual lived in an environment of physical abuse, sexual abuse (3), or verbal abuse.

Since part of the deadly psychological poison given to the victim is the feeling of guilt (the feeling of responsibility for the dysfunctional behavior of the other individual) the victim will in essence become unconscious enablers and perpetuators of such dysfunction while they desperately try to make up for causing such problems to their "loved" ones. A vicious self feeding and destructive cycle - the masterpiece of satan. [Exodus 20:5-6]

Many victims cannot see this in themselves because they are blinded to it. satan knows that a blind soul cannot find the way out. The key for self identification for an enabler is: guilt. If destructive and crippling guilt is present in an individual, they most likely are enablers.

Such feeling is not the same as salutary guilt, which helps us recognize our real shortcomings and, without destructive feelings and behavior, propels us to take the appropriate steps to correct whatever is wrong with us and/or our behavior.

Example of salutary guilt - We recognize that knowingly or unknowingly we have offended someone. Salutary guilt propels us to approach the offended party and apologize from the heart. If the offended party takes an upper handed attitude and does not accept the apology or wants to hold the offense "over the offender's head", the offender goes no further and walks away.

Why? Because such behavior by the offended party is just another manipulative evil trap. When we sincerely apologize to someone whom we have offended - we are really apologizing to God. The condition of humility and contrition is fulfilled by confessing it to the individual we offended. [For Catholics, such action does not preempt the need for Sacramental Reconciliation.]

Thus, the case must be considered closed by the apologizing party. If the offended party continues to make an issue of the offense, that becomes his/her problem and a matter for which he/she will have to account to God.
 

THE DAWNING OF THE SOLUTION

Is there a way out? No, not for man; but it is possible for God since for God all is possible. [Matthew 19:24-26, Luke 1:35-37]

"What does that mean?", the victim may ask. "I am the one living with the abusive individual. God isn't!", she may then add.

That logic would be valid if we did not understand what Jesus Christ meant when He said that all is possible for God. [Mark 9:23, 10:27, 14:36] What Our Lord meant was precisely that when invested with the Grace of God, for Whom all is possible, a Grace which is available to all, a human can overcome everything in accordance to the Will of God.

If the reader does not believe this, then the reader does not believe that there is salvation for mankind because that was precisely the issue which triggered such statement by Our Lord. [Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 19:25, John 19:30]

"Fine," the victim may say, "what can I do with that Grace? And for that matter, which Grace are we talking about, anyway?"

It is truly quite simple once is given by the Holy Spirit of God. 

1. God is truly Almighty - nothing is impossible for Him. [Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37]

 2. God loves each one of us with intensity and desires not to punish us but that we live a full and love-filled life. [Luke 10:25-28, 15:4-7; 11-32]

 3. We are to live in partnership with God; a partnership in which man does whatever is possible for him, within reason, in whatever situation he is facing; then, God will do the rest. That is, whatever is beyond man's limited capabilities, God will achieve for man. [Genesis 2:15-17, Luke 18:6-8, Matthew 9:35, 19:26, Acts 9:36-41]

"Yes, that is all good and well but I still have an abusive husband. How do I break the cycle?", the victim may sill add.

First of all the individual must realize that whatever ails the aggressor is not her fault. "I am not responsible for his behavior." must become like a mantra until it finally sinks in.

When the aggressor sees that such behavior controlling link has been broken he will try to reestablish it through different (but equivalent) channels; all based on some form of guilt and/or fear.

Now, the victim begins to spiritually rise free of guilt. The aggressor finally realizes that the manipulative link is permanently severed and he will finally realize that he is the one who has the problem and finds himself facing two options: (1) Seek help; or (2) Find someone else who will continue to enable his destructive behavior.

As the reader can see, the choice is between good and evil; and that is a choice that the offending party will have to make and the victim must stay out of it. If the victim fears to be abandoned by the spouse and returns to the old destructive pattern, not only life will be miserable, but accounting must be made to God for being an enabler. [Matthew 2:12, 10:34-39, 18:15-17]

If the victim hold on tight to God by placing her trust in Him, God will work out the solution which may include up to starting life anew (4). Should the victim fear that? Starting life anew? Why should she fear that? She never had a life before; now she has a chance to have one. [Genesis 12:1-3, Wisdom 1:12-16, 6:11-16, Matthew 10:26-33]

 

THE "WHY ME?" SYNDROME

In this section we will explore, and perhaps answer, the often heard question: "Why do I always get drawn to the same type of dysfunctional people."

"Experts" and other "luminaries" make millions writing and selling thick books and giving conferences attempting to answer such question. It is never quite answered since that would dry their source of income.

The answer is one and is simple: The abused individual was psychologically conditioned, probably since birth, to such behavior by her parent(s) and/or siblings. Thus it represents a "comfort zone." We must remember, such individual may even equate such dysfunctional behavior as "love". After all, that is all she knew from birth.

It is the old shoe syndrome - "It is painful but I am used to it, thus it is comfortable." To reinforce such destructive attitude a "consoling" proverb has been composed: "A known evil is better than good yet to know." A version of this dysfunctional saying manifests itself in many cultures.

What is then the solution for an individual in such a destructive pattern of behavior?

It is also quite simple. Break the vicious cycle!

How? Identifying it, facing it and seeking interaction with support groups while embarking on a prayerful journey to draw closer to God, thus, His powerful assistance.

A victim, say of an alcoholic husband, when meeting with a support group like Al Anon for the first time, after hearing a few testimonials from the other wives, will believe that all of them are married to the same man! Why? Because the behavior's root is in the supernatural domain and its father is only one - satan.; and although he is bad, he is consistent!

 If you are one of the ones who has tried a support group just a few times and stopped going - the first question that you may ask yourself is: "Why did I stopped going?"

There is a great possibility that down deep the victim is not willing to make the effort to change from the status quo. From prior conditioning, she may think that she is not worth it or she may think that she deserves it. There is also the possibility that the support group has an incapable moderator. If after a few weeks the victim sees no spiritual and psychological progress, then she should seek another group.

We must acknowledge that in some cases the spiritual wounds are so deep that, like deep and festering wounds in the physical body, even when healed, the individual will be spiritually disfigured in that particular area. However, such cross will now become lighter to carry until the end of the victims life. Otherwise the weight of the cross would be so heavy that it may even lead to suicide (5) .

A very timely example. The psychological wounds of a terrified Kosovars fleeing Yugoslavia will disfigure their souls for life and only God can help them lighten such overwhelming cross. No psychologist nor psychiatrist will be able to do that. At best they can give first aid to the psyche. We are dealing, to the chagrin of psychologists and psychiatrist, with a wounded soul which can only be nurtured back to some semblance of health by God.

This lightening of the cross, that changing to the lighter yoke, is precisely what Jesus spoke about when He said: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I well give you rest."  (6)
 
 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOLUTION

In this last section we will discuss how can the victim, of an individual exhibiting the alcoholic personality, endure the period of healing .

The only way is: With discipline and support group assistance/spiritual guidance, both of which must be enhanced by enriching her relationship with God.

Believe it or not, the offender is really weak and fearful - no matter what a tough front he will try to project. When he realizes that he can no longer manipulate her with fear and that he is risking losing her, he will most likely be motivated to be healed very quickly.

If not, God will see, of His own accord and without the victim's physical intervention, that she becomes free of him. (4)

A key procedure to remember is to pray for your enemies and persecutors [Luke 6:35-36]. Jesus taught that and, like everything else He taught us, it does not fail. It is a tragedy that the clergy does not promote such healing attitude.

Fear of physical abuse up to and including death? See the paragraph above. Without confrontation, but with diligence, follow it. In very short order the victim will start seeing the results. It does not fail.

"Why has the Church always told the wife to stay in an abusive home?" someone has asked us.

The faithful must realize that neither the local priest nor the local Bishop can be considered "the Church" if the advise is destructive to the body and/or soul. Do not forget that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve Apostles, until he betrayed the Word of God.

We cannot, and will not, allow a man to clearly contravene Divine Law and use his ecclesiastical position to harm a soul. Even if he occupies the highest office of a particular religious organization which, in the Roman Catholic Church would be the Pope.

If the reader doubts this, consider the following.

Should we submit our children to the sexual abuses (3) of some members of the clergy who are in turn shielded from exposure and prosecution by the local Bishop, including the Bishop of Rome? (7) After all, they are "the Church" by such broad definition. A thousand times: No! [1 Corinthians 5:9-13, John 5:24, Acts 4:19-20]

Should a faithful find himself/herself in such quandary, we recommend them to seek the counsel of another member of the clergy. There still is a small number of priests who are truly worthy to exercise the priestly function and who could rightfully be called Spiritual Fathers. If that fails, a good attorney will be of great assistance. It seems that nowadays the Church of Rome carries its ear in its purse, therefore its hearing is greatly improved when said purse needs to be opened to pay damages to those they were entrusted to guide and protect.


NOTES
                     

(1)  Más Allá de la Ciencia, No. 239 / Año XXI  [Translation by The M+G+R Foundation´]
(2) How love empowers a soul
(3) About sexual abuse
(4)  We are not encouraging Divorce. When all else fails Separation from an abusive spouse is certainly a viable option. Separation is NOT against the Law of God; willfully submitting to the designs of the evil one, through a dysfunctional human being, IS against the Law of God.
(5) Do not despair - Do not give up.
(6) Take up your cross and follow Me
(7) Wolves passing themselves as sheep 


Originally issued only for Worldwide Ecclesiastical Distribution. Spring 1999

© Copyright 1999  - 2016 by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved. However, you may freely reproduce and distribute this document as long as: (1) Appropriate credit is given as to its source; (2) No changes are made in the text without prior written consent; and (3) No charge is made for it.


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The Spiritual World - How It Influences Our Behavior

Why Do Some of God's Chosen Ones Must Suffer? - Redemptive Suffering



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