Dr. Saltzman asked me to post my question for him here and get your opinions before he would answer it, so....
Dear Dr. Saltzman,
Ever since I was a really little kid, I've felt these urges to hurt or kill people. I tried to talk to my father, but he's a Baptist minister... so all he ever does is tell me that it's bad and wrong to feel this way. Once or twice, he's even called me a monster to my face. Is he right? I know feeling this way isn't right, but I can't seem to help it. I'm a good kid every other way. I've never stolen anything--never had sex. I don't even want to have sex. I never get those urges. But sometimes I just want to hurt someone--anyone--and I don't know why. I just want somebody to tell me that it's not all bad--that I can do something with it. I mean, people want to have sex a lot of the time, and if you channel that desire properly a whole lot of good can come of it. But I don't have that kind of desire--I have this kind. And I really want someone to tell me it's all right, it can be turned into something good. Can it? Because I've been trying my best to kill these urges for almost seventeen years now and it hasn't worked.... if my dad's right and I am a monster, what should I do?
If i was raised by a closeminded, religious nutjob, i would sure as hell want to kill people too, violently. You can dedicate your first victim to your father, like carve "thanks dad" to his/her chest with a knife. (this was a joke, incase the retard squad is on patrol again.)
You could join the army. There you get to kill the evil bad men who plot to take over ther western civilization in a cave, with walkie-talkies.
Honestly though, i don't see how destructive energy can be used in any other way than to destroy. Everyone gets urges to kill and hurt others, it's human nature, we are killers. You want someone to tell you it's not bad? So you want people to lie to you? If wanting to kill others makes you a monster then we are all monsters.
My apologies, i had to prod a bit to get something out of you.
The fact that you consider having sex a bad thing, or something a "good person" wouldn't do untill a certain age suggests a terribly skewed view, one influenced by a close-minded nutjob, like i said. Seriously... he hates violence yet has a house full of guns? Can you see how illogical that is?
Does the thought of violence excite you to a point of a hard-on? Be honest here. Have you ever killed a living being? Something humans relate to, like a dog or something? If so, how did that make you feel?
Prodding is much better than simply asking something. You get a honest answer to a question the other person didn't even know you asked. Anyway, i suggest you seek a psychiatrist for professional help. I'm not sure if it's just adrenaline or something deeper in you that makes you feel that way. Many get very excited by violence and the prospect of violence so you're not some crazy monster that needs to be put down but still, you should see a real doctor, face to face, to get help in your problem. Yours is an isssue that cannot be solved with an exchange like this.
I didn't mean to imply that weapons are bad, just the logic of condemning violence by your fathers part while having many weapons in the house that have been designed to kill stuff. Don't take it too deeply, it just seems hypocritical.
I don't think you are a monster but then again, i'm not "normal" either.
A psychiatrist would help you understand WHERE these feelings and desires come from, not to ask if you're some sort of a "monster". You seem obsessed over what others think about you when in fact you should be concerned what you yourself think and work to understand your urges, not look for others approval because every single person is an immoral monster according to someone, somewhere.
Also, the fact that you post here, seeking advice, you recognize there is problems with your behaviour and urges, not just what your father may think about them. Again, i suggest you try to get a professional to help you with these urges. Even though you might say "i don't think there is anything wron" i know you're lying.
EDIT: I didn't mean one condones homocidal urges if they have guns. That would be totally stupid. Oh, and i said those things to see how you defend your father to gauge the relationship you have, which seems quite normal and the other thing was to see what you think about killing humans in general, which you didn't respond to so i can't say anything about that.
Hexi's right, you know. You're contradicting yourself. Look.
Hexi: I know that a psychiatrist wouldn't straight out ask if I'm a monster or not. But if it turned out that these urges are inborn, just part of who I naturally am, not something I can change and not something I can supress and keep myself from acting on all the time, then wouldn't I be a monster? Also, if I got labeled as a psychopath or something, I'm sure that wouldn't help me get jobs or anything.
I'm not obsessed over what everyone else in the world thinks of me. If I'm obsessed over anyone's opinion, it's my dad's. And shouldn't I care what he thinks? He's my dad. That's why I want advice - because I want my dad not to think bad things about me.
It would be totally stupid to say that one condones homicidal urges if they have guns, but that was what it looked like you were saying to me. I never said my dad "hates violence". I said he hates violence directed against human beings. It's nice to know I wasn't completely off about what you were asking. "What do you think of your father?" and "What sort of relationship do you have with your father?" are pretty close. I skipped the war one because I don't really care about the army or the war very much. I think it's okay to kill murderers as long as it's done by the proper authorities (otherwise the general public would just see it as another murder). I don't know what to think about war. It would be nice if we didn't have them at all, but fighting seems to be human nature so I guess there's no getting away from it... if someone tries to kill you I think you can kill them, but you shouldn't start it.
Dragontongue: I don't mean to contradict myself. It's just... even though the Bible says that even thinking of doing something wrong is almost or exactly as bad as actually doing it, I can't really believe it. So... when I think of killing someone and enjoy the thought, it's as bad for my soul as if I'd actually killed them. But I can't see how that can be, so in my heart of hearts I believe that as long as I don't actually hurt or kill anyone, it's okay. But if I can't help myself and I do (like when the urges got too much and I killed the cat), then I'm in trouble. So I guess what I want to know is if I can control these desires well enough to not actually hurt anyone even once my whole life and if I can't then what should I do?
Let me jump in here real quick like...
You have taken on the name "monster" as a means of identifying yourself. You have expressed the fear that this label is who you are. I am suggesting you reexamine the assumptions that give rise to this fear.
The label monster is not one that is affixed to an objective fact or set of facts, like the labels boy and girl are. It is a perjorative term, steeped in unexamined moralistic beliefs. To call a human a monster is to interpret, not to name a fact.
My previous comments presuppose that you will want to take a step back, sit down, and examine for yourself what you mean by the terms you use to understand yourself. Question yourself, your assumptions and those of your father.
By the way, it's one thing to care about your father's opinion. It's quite another to allow it to dictate your self image. You say you understand that, but if you did, you wouldn't have asked the question in your original post to begin with.
What a pleasure to read this thread so filled with acute analysis and real-world wisdom. This is what I imagined when the idea for this forum came to my awareness. Good work Hexi, good work Dragontongue: meaningful words, and some therapeutic dexterity too: "My apologies, i had to prod a bit to get something out of you." --Hexi
Daniel, what can I say? Your last post was simply brilliant, and goes right to the heart of the necessary inner work as I see it.
Monster, I told you I would reply eventually, but the treatment here by Dragontongue, Hexi, and Daniel really goes so directly to the crux of it that I don't need to say much.
In my opinion, when your father told you that your feelings were "bad and wrong," he made a mistake—perhaps a habitual mistake of his that has something to do with the constant tension between good and evil which characterizes the Baptist theology he professes. Feelings simply are. They simply exist apart from what anyone thinks about them. We do not choose our feelings, and so we are not responsible for them. Since feelings and desires come and go just like the wind in the trees, we need not banish them, nor hold on to them. We can watch them as they arise if we like, and watch them fade away. You might as well say a cloud in the sky is bad as to say your feelings are bad. Both are just there for awhile, and then fade away no matter what.
The first step towards coming to peace within yourself is to make a habit of openly and freely acknowledging your feelings to yourself without labeling them. Simply notice what you feel without judging good or bad. This does not mean acting on every feeling, but just that you allow yourself to feel what you feel.
I understand that you have violent urges, and are frightened about acting on them—frightened that you may not be able to control your urges, and so perhaps do harm to someone. That is why I recommend that you try to find help—some understanding person who can hear your concerns without judging you. That is the kind of thing that happens in psychotherapy, but I don't know if a therapist would be available to you at this point in your life—probably not. If I am wrong, and you can get some personal help right now, please do it.
At least you have opened up here on this forum, and I imagine that the words of Dragontongue, Hexi, and Daniel have been helpful. They all seem to be people who are in touch with their own feelings, and who are actively engaged in accepting their feelings and dealing with them. As human beings, this accepting and dealing is part of our ordinary inner housekeeping, as I see it. At some point along the way, if not at present, you will be able to get some in-person help. I think you will need it in order to find peace of mind, which, in my experience, is the deepest desire of all human beings, whether they know it or not.
I haven't had the time to properly go forward with this but Daniel picked up where i was going with it, it seems. You are already doubting your previous assertions of yourself and stepped back to think about it. You've realised that blanket statesments like "you're a monster!" hold very little water, this is the right direction. In your view, enjoying violence, specifically inflicting it, makes you a monster which is quite subjective in my opinion. You are not sure about your own views so you cling to your fathers, which is understandable i suppose but consider this; your father is a monster according to some for having guns in the house with children.
Anyways. the real issue, in my opinion, is that you should focus on yourself. If you go and rip someones face off and stuff them in a box, it's you who will deal with the consequences, not your father. The real focus should be if you can master the impulses or not. If you doubt for a minute that you can't, you need psychological help because the alternative will ruin your life for sure. Forget the definitions of monster and the bible, when you're sitting in a cell for life because you couldn't hanlde it, none of it matters squat. Remember, you need to control the urge not only when in a stable state but when angry aswell. Can you deal with the urge to hurt while enraged? That is the question you need to consider for yourself because there will become a time when you have to face it. This is an issue which cannot be solved via a discussion forum, you need to either handle it or find someone you are comfortable with to help you handle it. Not a judgemental, self-imporant priest but a real person with real interest in helping YOU, not your soul nor your fathers reputation, you.
Something that has helped me is drilling it to my head that whatever i do in life, i will have to deal with the consequences and are my actions truly worth the risks. Satisfying my urges will only be temporary, just like the urges themselves.