Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update From the Wolf Den: Victim-"Dance"

One of the interesting manifestations of Asperger Syndrome and other impulse-control disorders is the perpetual and ever-irritating thinking error of 'victim-stance'.

Thinking errors and their consequences are drilled into kids' heads at CHYC, and thus, ours as well. The list of 13 errors covers a gamut of ways people fall into patterns of un-communication as it suits their needs, and the victim-stance error is almost always inherent in the "world revolves around me" Asperger's mind.

Wolf has struggled with playing the victim ever since grade school, when he found that being bullied had one (and small) advantage: someone is the victim. A victim is attended, comforted, and sometimes rewarded, so a natural progression of victimization now is as firmly entrenched in Wolf's mind as a defense mechanism. But now, as he and his peers grow into young adults, it is much harder to play a victim, especially when everybody is onto the victim role thing.

Daily group sessions at CHYC are integral to solving the thinking error processes. If nothing else, the sheer accountability of peers in a group setting leaves no room to hide an action, and the kids are very good at pointing out each others' failings in this area. Nowhere to run, if you will, but the kids on the receiving end still try to bob and weave and dodge the issue, creating an interesting dance of denial that leaves Therapist B. (the group leader) to bob and weave with them. He rarely, if ever, lets anyone off the hook, and always follows up in a family session later, where the dance usually ends in one of two ways: stony silence or grudging admittance.

Victim-stance is one of the most difficult thinking errors to manage, as a lifetime of scenarios that could, in fact, lead to Wolf actually being a victim will occur. The trick is knowing when to cut in on the dance and start again with a new partner, Personal Responsibility.

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