“Tough Love” is a legacy of the Reagan years. It should have died in the 90’s. But it intruded upon my consciousness the other day when ifonlymommy commented on the mean-spirited expression of some “victims” of the ever-awful psychopaths by saying, “I think tough love is what they were advising even with the harsh words of throw them into an institution and forget about them.” Harsh is exactly what it is. In the book, Toughlove by Phyllis and David York and Ted Wachtel (1982, New York), the chapter entitled Toughlove Is Tough says, “Yes, you do want to abandon that hurtful, rejecting, uncooperative, irresponsible, blaming child who just got himself committed hoping that you’ll pick up the bill. That irresponsible child who held a job for over a year but at Thanksgiving chose to skip his medication, smoke dope, and launch himself into a rage. That rejecting child who lost his job because he would no longer do the work, thinking he was too good for everyone in the office, although other Toughlove parents helped him get the job in the first place when he was desperate for employment.” This is the soul of Toughlove.
Yes, Toughlove is tough. But I don’t accept that it is love. It seems to only be directed at those who don’t have much power but who rebel against the rules. In other words, soft targets.
Blaming someone for being committed to a mental hospital as if serious professionals were mere stooges of the family scapegoat in this charming little fantasy. Assuming he lost his job through his own fault when we all know how shitty people can get at a work place. What the victims-movement has in common with Toughlove is a deep anger that completely dehumanizes its object. “Like clones stamped out in some satanic laboratory, they share an underlying selfishness and similar ways of demonstrating it.”
People who feel victimized by their exes, whether they consider them narcissists or psychopaths, have one “solution” they resort to most often: no contact. There are thousands of websites advising victims of how to go “no contact.” They are discussed in A Psychopath’s Guide to Haters. But I guess it was inevitable that someone would start a site directed at the object of this “no contact” thing. Ask the Love Doctor has a page on How to Respond to Your Ex’s No Contact Rule: How to Respond to Your Ex’s No Contact Rule. The author of this page takes a dim view of no contact. “It’s immature, manipulative and undermines any efforts to have a healthy relationship. If he/she doesn’t see what’s wrong with this approach to resolving conflict, then it’s best that you both move on.” This blog also offers coaching sessions for $70 to help people reconnect with their “ex.” The things we do for love.
Thomas Sheridan, who has said some of the most outrageous things about psychopaths and who has a page on my blog just for him, has actually shown originality and stepped up to the plate big time in exposing some of the illogic of the usual victims’ pages. Here, he says, “These self-proclaimed ’empaths’ have just found a new slur to compensate for their own life of failure and poor choices. Many (not all) ‘recovery’ forums are filled these anonymous ‘unhinged’ misery mongers who love throwing terms such as ‘psychopath’, ‘spath’ and ‘narc’ around at real people as their own hidden (and devious) identity allows them to indulge their own psychotic delusions/unresolved vendettas without direct consequences.” I am so loving it!
A blog called The Culture of False Oppression — A modern snare: A critical view of unprofessional “abuse recovery” material and “progressive” agenda includes an article called, “No Victim Blaming” Vs “Tough Love.” Thoughtful examination of both sides of the issues.
I, myself, have written a hard-hitting indictment of the whole Tough Love phenomena, not only the organization but it’s presentation in the media, the cultural mentality and the rotten fruit that has grown on the poisonous tree which I consider tough love to be. I’m speaking especially of the centers meant for rehabilitation of kids gone “bad.” Especially disturbing are the “wilderness camps” run by non-professionals with unbelievable cruelty and leading to death in some cases. Tough Love in the Media and Society.