By Sandra L. Brown, M.A.
The month of May, at least in my mind, marks the fairly 'official' date that I was thrust into the field of pathology- May 13, 1983. I was thrust forward--totally without consent, without warning and without return to the normal life I knew before that day. 28 years ago, my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati. A psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside my father's jazz club. I was initiated into a victim-hood that would turn my life and career toward a direction I hadn't much interest in on May 12, 1983.
Much like pathology in anyone else's life, you don't get to pick how it plays out. The best you can do is to learn how to ride the rollercoaster that goes along with the serious group of disorders in pathology. And so I did.
28 years later I still feel like I am just skimming the surface of what can and should be done in education, awareness, survivor services, and advocacy. Thousands of pages later of writings (books, newsletters, websites, workbooks, e-books, quizzes), hours and hours of lectures ad nauseum, over a thousand hours in broadcasts (radio and TV), stacks of CDs and DVDs created-and still we are in the infancy of a new understanding about pathology--the virtual edge of just starting what one day will be a momentum marker that shows "when" the world turned a corner in a better and very public understanding of pathology.
We're not there yet, but the day IS coming. Every new blog that goes up, every newsletter, every website, every talk, every social networking post, every private moment of your knowledge shared with another victim, every coaching session, every class taught, every therapy hour, every group gathering, every prayer muttered, every radio show aired, every celebrity living it and bringing notice, every TV show about it, every newspaper or women's magazine article taunting it, is another message to another ear that has heard the message. You learned it because someone cared enough to make sure you learned it.
Every May 13 for the past 28 years I have halted my life to remember that life-altering second. In that second, my life shifted forever from ordinary person to homicide survivor. My reality was ripped through by pathology-a disorder with no conscience. Altering history is just another day in the life of a pathological. While my story of pathology includes a brutal ending, yours no doubt includes a similar element--all the things we lost in the moment of deep betrayal. This betrayal is the kind of betrayal only pathology can bring.
(If I don't brighten this article, I'll get complaints about 'too much reality' or 'too much negativity') So, I will say this--while none of us 'choose' to become survivors at the hands of very disordered pathologicals, what we 'do' with what we were dealt is up to us. Periodically I like to send a message to you that encourages you to 'pass it forward.' Whatever you have learned from reading our magazine, our newsletters, or our books is probably more than the woman sitting next to you knows. You don't need to wait until you understand pathology more, take a class, get a degree, read one more of our books, take our training. That doesn't help the woman you sit next to at work. The knowledge in your head is lifesaving to her. Next year--'when you get better trained'--isn't the year to share what you know. Today is!
If we want to move forward with changing pathology education in the world, we have to open our mouths and share what we know. Every pathological hopes you DON'T share what you know-they hope you keep your knowledge to yourself. Shared knowledge helps peel away the pathological's mask, so women can see the true nature of the person behind it. So many women with so many tears have said "If I had only known...
· I would have left earlier
· I wouldn't have left my children with him
· I wouldn't have _______."
Every May I renew my commitment to what changed me. Every May I bother people with my message and prod them and push them to make victims' rights and survivor education important in the world. If I don't, the image of my Dad laying in that gutter haunts me. His death should never have been for nothing--and as long as people have been helped, it hasn't. Frankie Brown has touched so many lives with his death through the message of psychopathy. You're one of them! Help me celebrate the anniversary of my Father's death in a way that brings meaning and hope to many. Tomorrow, share what you know with just ONE person--someone that you have felt in your gut needs to know about the permanence and the pain of pathological relationships. Then email me and say "I passed it forward" so I can count up how many people celebrated Frankie! If this article offends you, I'm sorry. Pathology offended my entire life.
Thank you for growing in the knowledge of pathology so you are prepared for the day when you can share with someone the life changing information that you've come to know!