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Advice to Doctor Irene

Advice to Doctor Irene

Readers: This email was written in response to My Story: Got Legal Advice for an Abused Dad?

Don't believe everything you hear, Dr. As a practicing attorney, I have heard horror stories like this too often. When more objective information is presented, the "deadly instrument" turns out to be nail clippers, and "the insanity" turns out to be fairly normal reactions to outrageous conduct on the part of the complainer. I seriously doubt the extent of this conduct, or "youth and children" (he means some type of state agency?) would act. The State really does respond to legitimate complaints. "Mom locked them in a bedroom all day"- may turn out she was attempting a 15 minute time out for misbehavior, Granny stuck her nose in, the kids expect fireworks because it's all they know, and voila! An all day lock up from a reasonable attempt at discipline. And multiple generations are involved! I expect you'll hear from the kids in a few years, and their spouses, and THEIR kids- think of it as job security. One sign is an assertion that "the courts already know of this horror and they let it go on!!!!!". Maybe this lady/Goddess just wouldn't stay up on her pedestal. It's all her fault, and the Courts, and the "youth and children". And when they become teens, it will be the kids fault- just ask him.

Dear Counselor,

I don't disagree with anything you say and I am fully aware of the types of claims people make. I have seen this in my practice. Parenthetically, I do not put up with this type of client and they find another therapist.  

On the contrary, I have also seen true legal system foul ups. I wrote up one such case, Delaney. I am considering writing up a second case concerning a male victim. This one is interesting: a truly off-the-wall abused-women's rights therapist and abused women's rights attorney teamed up to turn my client, the victim, into the abuser! This case, dragging on for years, got so crazy that when I asked the woman's therapist if perhaps she was not being over-protective of her client, she accused me of "verbally disrespecting" her and her client! Finally they ended up with a Judge who was sharp enough to see through the smoke. Truth is often stranger than fiction. I can cite more cases I've handled, but this was the most outrageous. 

Of course, I cannot vouch for individuals whom I have never met. The intention of this website is not to legitimatize false claims, though, some of this is bound to happen. One intention of this website is to educate consumers, therapists, and the system about verbal and emotional abuse issues. Too often, the victim person looks bad and the abuser person looks smooth and steady.

Verbal and emotional abuse issues are difficult to recognize. Just think, professionals routinely miss moderate to serious cases! Moreover, it is often hard to tell which person is the victim and which is the abuser, since they both often appear abusive! I do so much of this work, yet I sometimes find myself not entirely sure, especially if I have not met the partner.

Nevertheless, I thank you for your insightful commentary. Your email adds a necessary and balancing note of caution.  -Dr. Irene

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