Opinion on the viewpoint 'there are two sides to every story' - Is my reaction is part of my PTSD?

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
i think this was the core of what i was getting at. for me i interpret that statement as a statement made by someone who is intending to be impartial (because i would intend to be impartial if i made that statement-stunning use of theory of mind, griefy. lol.)


i don't believe corax was saying that the person who makes an accusation must automatically believed.

she is saying, correct me if i am wrong, that assuming there is a victim and an abuser-and assuming we know conclusively which one is which-the correct place to put the weight of validity is on the victim's side.

(which, for the record, i agree with.) there are contexts where having an impartial account of what actually happened from both perspectives, is necessary. which is justice. which is history. which is science.


in my experience this is not generally the case. sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. sometimes people straight up lie, but often times people just don't know what the truth is and they are filling in the details.

if you go based on what you've experienced, and not based on how humans behave, you will start running into problems the more frequently you engage with these types of situations.
Well, I think it a little arrogant to think I have a deep onus on knowing how humans behave, as there is sooooooooo much diversity among humans and human cultures and often times, we are a mystery, even.unto ourselves, so if we don't even understand ourselves, how in heaven are we to assume we know how humans behave generally????

So, let me get this right, if someone doesn't remember but they say things that sound like they do, that's not called lying thats called not remembering and filling in gaps?
That can't be considered truthful though can it?
Being truthful would be, in that instance, saying "I don't remember" or "I'm not sure if this happened like this". Just my take on the matter.

But look, I took the OP's need as a need for empathy, understanding and perspective, not necessarily a deep analysis of courtroom dynamics or the perp/victim dynamic.

Perp/victim dynamics can be very complicated and there can be loads of grey areas.

Lies are easier and easier to detect the more one commits to wanting truth, truthfulness and honesty in one's life.

Blanket claims without details or evidence to back it up can be suspect, not always, but certainly need to be taken note of. Of evidence needed before minds are made up.

Evasive answers, as I already mentioned, also need to be carefully taken note of. "The truth is somewhere in the middle" can be one such evasive, vague, prescriptive pat answer and not necessarily helpful, at all.
 

internal

Sponsor
if someone doesn't remember but they say things that sound like they do, that's not called lying thats called not remembering and filling in gaps?
in some cases yes. a lot of the time that's how our memories actually work. we don't remember things like watching a television show that is recording what is happening.

so when we recollect them-especially with scenarios that may include trauma (which already encode in the brain much differently and often non-linearly to non-traumatic memories) those breakdowns can start to occur.

where we believe we're telling things that are true but they actually may not align with what actually happened. this is commonly known as eyewitness recollection reliability.

so if we don't even understand ourselves, how in heaven are we to assume we know how humans behave generally?
typically we use behavioral and neurological science to generalize and then specify from there, pinpointing what is happening based on what the available factual information is.

But look, I took the OP's need as a need for empathy, understanding and perspective, not necessarily a deep analysis of courtroom dynamics or the perp/victim dynamic.
i am not sure what the purpose of this statement is, but that is valid. we're more or less just talking about all of it, because it's a generalized thread asking for people's opinions on a very broad subject.
 

LittleBigFoot

Confident
Okay I’m going to try this again. My brains being a bit funky with its point making skills today so forgive me if I just don’t make sense. My reasoning for saying three stories:

Story 1:
Moms perspective- I’m trying to be a good mother but I’m so tired. My hormones have been crazy since having the baby 3 weeks ago and I just can’t produce enough milk, I’m irritated at everything around me, I need help, I’m so overwhelmed and I just want to escape. I’m trying to be here for my baby but I just can’t do it right now.

Baby’s perspective- I’m alone, I’m alone all the time and I’m scared and I’m hungry and everything feels so angry and so I cry. I’m terrified of this new world. Can someone please hold me and feed me?

The truth- Mom is battling severe postpartum depression and her hubby is gone all the time for work so he can’t help in the day to day. She has an appointment in 1 more week for the checkup. She hears the baby crying and she attempts to feed the baby but is largely unsuccessful. She knows she should go to the store to get a formula supplement but all she can manage to do is go back to bed and sleep.

All are true and valid and need attention and help.

Story 2:
Sally’s perspective- my daddy hurt me again today. Every time we take a bath he hurts me down there. He says it’s our little game. Does he play this game with my sister Amy too?

Amy’s perspective- Yes! We’re going out for ice cream for our daddy daughter date! I’m going to get the mint chocolate chip this time and tell dad all about the whales I learned about in school today. He’ll probably help me with my homework later after he gives sally her bath.

Dad’s perspective- I’m going to finish up homework with Amy and then get back to sally before it gets too late and mom comes home. I can’t wait for my special time with sally, I know I’ll need to stop soon, she’s getting to the age where she’ll remember our game and could tell someone. I don’t know what I’m going to do after that. My father used to play this very game with me and

The truth- both girls were molested by their father. He stopped with Amy when she was barely 3 years old and she has since blocked it completely out. She only sees the dad who has since become her hero in everything he does. Sally is 3.5 and his youngest. She is his last safe opportunity and so he has stretched his time with her. He will continue until she’s 4.5 and she does remember later on. She comes to Amy about it but Amy genuinely does not remember her father ever being capable of something like that. In her eyes, he was the one who took her to the hospital when she fell out of a tree and broke her arm, helped her with her math homework, and etc.

Story 3:
Mary’s perspective- I’m just waking up in some shack out in the woods. I know I’ve been raped. I vaguely remember the person being darkskinned but not much more than that. When I manage to get the police this is what I tell them.

James perspective- I’m walking along the road right next to the woods, next thing I know the police have me in handcuffs.

The truth- some other person hurt her and dropped her off there. But given what she could remember and James location at the time, the police banked on her being absolutely correct and arrest and try him.

Obviously the justice system should be more nuanced then that but in the past it wasn’t. In Jame’s case we’ve taken her word for it and tried an innocent man. In the case of Sally and Amy, Amy just taking Sally’s word for it challenges everything she knows of her father and while Sally is telling the truth and he’s clearly a predator in this case, I can understand why she wouldn’t automatically take Sally’s accusation to heart. Because in her memory nothing like that happened.

Everyone in these stories (except perhaps the dad in story 2- though I could add a backstory of him acting out his own abuse) deserves as much empathy as the next person. You can have a grey area truth and still carry empathy for the people involved.

Anyway thank you for the awesome discourse @ruborcoraxxx and @grief I definitely appreciate being able to talk about this without being insulted. I have to back out now though as my brains just not here today.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
in some cases yes. a lot of the time that's how our memories actually work. we don't remember things like watching a television show that is recording what is happening.

so when we recollect them-especially with scenarios that may include trauma (which already encode in the brain much differently and often non-linearly to non-traumatic memories) those breakdowns can start to occur.

where we believe we're telling things that are true but they actually may not align with what actually happened. this is commonly known as eyewitness recollection reliability.


typically we use behavioral and neurological science to generalize and then specify from there, pinpointing what is happening based on what the available factual information is.


i am not sure what the purpose of this statement is, but that is valid. we're more or less just talking about all of it, because it's a generalized thread asking for people's opinions on a very broad subject.
Oh the statement was in response to how I'd been recieved.
I was trying to be empathetic and understanding of the OP, not trying to dissect the dynamics of truthtelling and somebody took offence. Somebody other than the OP who I was addressing. Which actually really frustrates and ailienates me, but, I guess they are feeling ailienated too. I rarely post on this forum because it's so difficult to avoid stepping on delicate toes and mine are delicate too, and I'm just a bit communicatively clumsy in this context sometimes.

Anyway, I think I'll go back to being super quiet and generally avoidant of this forum.
I have a fitteen year old in crisis right now. Much better to just focus on addressing what only I can address and leave the delicate toes to heal. All of ours, who're now hurt.
 

internal

Sponsor
Everyone in these stories (except perhaps the dad in story 2- though I could add a backstory of him acting out his own abuse) deserves as much empathy as the next person. You can have a grey area truth and still carry empathy for the people involved.
this is ultimetely where i tend to go with how i conceptuelize these concepts as well. what is often very difficult for civilians (including my self as i am a civilian-i'm a forensic analyst.) i really value this breakdown because it shows very organically exactly the kinds of situations that realistically arise.

what i've tended to notice is that within these circumstaces: what tends to happen is that people get very emotional. and that is not wrong. these subjects are incredibly emotional and very difficult to interact with. that is not wrong and it is not bad. it is normal.

but when you work in this environment you are required to be completely objective. and a lot of people will interpret that objectivity as having sympathy for the wrong person. when the ultimate goal of a healthy justice system should be (but not always is) empathy for everyone.

but i suppose that gets into more elevated details of the justice system itself, prison, and whatnot, that are far beyond the scope of this thread (but which interest me a lot! so i am super happy to keep talking about this with you somewhere else.)

I was trying to be empathetic and understanding of the OP, not trying to dissect the dynamics of truthtelling and somebody took offence.
i did see that conflict with you and little.

which ultimately i believe arose out of a erroneous impression that you were discussing something broader than you were. i took your statements as very general, actually, which was why i replied to you in the first place.

(but i was not offended-i am just interested in this discussion and was curious about your statements and what they meant. but i understand that my communication style can be very jarring to people so i apolegize for upsetting you.)

I rarely post on this forum because it's so difficult to avoid stepping on delicate toes and mine are delicate too, and I'm just a bit communicatively clumsy in this context sometimes.
i don't see that anyone here did any thing wrong, just a bit of heightened reactivity on all sides. i hope that you are able to calm down your friend/family member and have a great rest of your day.
 

grit

Not Active
This is quite thought provoking post. It reminds me the whole premise of "Me2' movement. I think this is where we all differ individually even though we are all human and collectively similar than huge differences. I think our differences show up in such delicate, vulnerable states of mind.

To the particulars of your sister in law saying well there is two sides to every story sounds to me personally that this SIL is closer to one of the two people involved and maybe is trying to protect that person by giving a benefit of thought. Personally I am split on what is social and what is political or justice system cause they are not supposed to be mirror to each other. Socially we evolve much faster than politics and making the law so they do not often coincide.
My feelings toward your own aghast with this phrase is that perhaps you were not believed at one time or witnessed gross injustice and you determined to agree with the person who is closely associated/affiliated to you rather than giving a benefit of thought regardless of familial connection. I could be wrong but this is how I perceived you.

To me when it is between two adults, I like to be more flexible in my assessment, and when it is a child versus adult, I am little more rigid.

I will provide a short example of the first.
There was a time when a woman said Biden hugged her and smelled her hair and that she felt violated. I remember taking both of their sides. That perhaps he smelt her hair (cause it smelt good or aroused him and he did it consciously or unconsciously) but obviously he said he did not so maybe it was unconscious or he did not smell at all. In comparison, she felt being smelled by him (consciously or unconsciously) since she cannot say 100% what his nose did..maybe her smell causes a certain movement of the olfactory system for both or that she really felt he was sniffing her and that did not arouse her but repulsed her. And this is not even at par for the law to get involved right...it is a matter of social or political.

Just writing this down now, I could feel myself seeing many perspectives and combinations of feelings and experiences. I think ultimately most people (as a result of reality today), believed his conscious explanation rather than giving him a culpability or sinister motive but that also invalidated her thought or experience in the process. This does not make it right or wrong to me but it shows something happened and it is hard to know the absolute truth.

I think in your situation, I would think it is OK to believe one that you think is telling the truth while also suspending 100% certainty since you were not there. The legal is more black and white and not always right either so that is another story.

Hope this makes sense about how I understood your post.
 

kiwibird

New Here
I did not intentionally mean to side with one party, but after reading responses to my post I did realise that I had unconsciously done so. I did not rule out the possibility that the father was telling the truth, but the possibility that concerned and upset me more was that the daughter might be telling the truth, and I can see now that that was biased. I do appreciate that people were able to critique my thinking without attacking me. And there have been a lot of good points made. I never actually said any of this to my sister-in-law. I kept silent through the entire discussions. I came from a family where speaking out wasn't a good idea, and even though I am now 51 it is still something ingrained.
 

kiwibird

New Here
In terms of my past, I can think of a few different things, both within my family and outside of it, which may have some bearing on why this feels personal to me, but no one thing that is the obvious explanation. I have not been in the exact same situation. I am now estranged from my own family, and I can imagine that they are spreading lies about me. It has happened before. They told people (including my friend's sister) that I had completely cut off all contact with the family at a time when I was actually in very regular and friendly contact with them, and nothing at all had changed at that particular point in time. I had emigrated a few months earlier, but I was emailing my mother and my sisters about two or three times a week and phoning my mother about once a week. I had a special international phone account purely for those calls. And when my friend called and asked if I was all right, I had no idea why she was asking, as nothing had happened. I have since become estranged from them, and I can imagine that they are now saying worse things about me. I can imagine my mother doing a pained voice and telling people she tried so hard with me.
 

internal

Sponsor
I have since become estranged from them, and I can imagine that they are now saying worse things about me. I can imagine my mother doing a pained voice and telling people she tried so hard with me.
it sounds like classic gaslighting and narcissistic abuse to me. i am real sorry that this happened with you. and yes of course your response makes perfect sense. you are not wrong and you do not need to apolegize.

all of the opinions on this thread are very theroetical. but as @mumstheword pointed out for you it is personal. of course you have been disbeliefed in your life and that you will naturelly gravetate towards those who you perceve is expernecing the same thing.

that is not wrong. it is just empathy. but being able to recognize that perhaps that strong reaction of yours is due to your own experiences and biases. this is good but also: you are allowed to do that! it is a personal situation. you have feelings about it. those feelings are okay.

but with regards to taking actions (what you say, what you do); my only advice is to try and gain as much informetion as possible so that you understand what actually happened, and remain impartial. it is not easy!

but it may assist a little bit with the emotionel reactivety of remembering that this is a situation which you are not a part of. you do not need to form judgments and opinions until you have the facts.

hugs if you exept them. all of this can be extceptionally difficult to get through and you are doing a very good job with starting to sift through every thing and explore it.
 

kiwibird

New Here
Thanks. That is kind of you. I also realise that I should be a bit more empathetic towards my SIL. I sometimes find her logic frustrating, but she's not a nasty person. I am able to see my own thinking patterns more clearly when someone gently points them out to me, and that is probably what I should try to do for her.
 
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