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Part 2 of the Trilogy Modum Series

Part 1 | Part 3

How Child Abuse, Drug Abuse, and Porn Addiction Wreaks Havoc.

In my blogs and upcoming podcast, I discuss extensively the problem of physical & sexual abuse, the damage adult children of alcoholics experience after the fact, and the major devastating impact in all facets of life that pornography has instilled on society.

In this series, I discuss a theory I came up with several years ago. It relates to the practice of law and why I believe there is such a plethora or epidemic of child pornography and sex offenses in this country, among other crimes. Remember this information is coming from a 32-year experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled thousands of these cases.

I call this theory the “Trilogy Modum” and I write about it extensively in my latest book, An American Lawyer where I get into detail about how this thought process has been created in society and how to walk yourself or a loved one out of that trap. I also delve into it extensively in my upcoming podcast. (Stay tuned for updates)

The Trilogy Modum consists of three dysfunctional attitudes and abuses that formulate a kind of “super germ”.

  1. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  2. Adult Children of Alcoholics (or any substance abuse)
  3. Pornography Addiction

It’s important that parents in our society understand what their kids are looking at without their knowledge and what activities it could lead to.

Below I have inserted some background from my book explaining my state of mind when I wrote about this type of emotion or love. I was taught that anger is the first way to deal with any issue and that affection and intimacy showed weakness. As a result, I believe I missed out on many years of understanding how my actions affected others. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that my actions and mindset are very good in some ways, but very bad in others.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

The second part of the trilogy is the patterned behavior known as adult children of alcoholics. It is estimated that millions of households have someone in the family who could be labeled as an alcoholic or a drug abuser. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 19.7 million Americans aged twelve and older have battled a substance use disorder in 2017. In that same year, about 30 percent of adults reported battling some sort of illicit drug use disorder. That survey also indicated that in 2017, 8.5 million Americans had both a mental health disorder and/or a substance use disorder, better labeled as co-occurring disorders.

It was well established by Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell that adult children of an alcoholic or a drug abuser developed certain characteristics as a result of living in the same household with an individual or individuals who exhibit true alcoholic and/or substance abuse tendencies. Many of those characteristics are listed in their book, After the Tears. Every individual exposed may or may not develop some of these characteristics. Some of them don’t make sense to people who did not experience these traumas.

Other characteristics are completely obvious. Characteristics such as:

  • Fear of trust,
  • Debilitating guilt,
  • Loyalty to a fault,
  • Hyper-responsibility or sometimes chronic responsibility,
  • The need to be perfect,
  • Counter dependency or the fear of dependency,
  • Need to be in control,
  • Trying to guess what normal is,
  • Hating criticism about oneself,
  • Always tried to please others,
  • Overachievement or underachievement,
  • Poor self-worth,
  • Compulsive behaviors,
  • Continual trigger responses,
  • Addictions,
  • Living in anxiety and fear,
  • The need to be right all the time,
  • Fear of conflict and normal anger,
  • Fear of feeling,
  • Frequent periods of depression,
  • Fear and avoidance of intimacy,
  • Fears of incompetency,
  • Hypersensitivity to the needs of others,
  • Fatalistic outlook,
  • Difficulty relaxing or having fun,
  • Discounting and minimizing pain, and
  • Possessing great resiliency.

Every person, depending upon the trauma and experience they had, may or may not develop some of these characteristics. Because of my experience, I developed debilitating guilt, loyalty to a fault, fear of trust, hyper-responsibility, the need to be perfect, the need to be in control, always trying to guess what normal is, poor self-worth, overachievement, compulsive behaviors, the need to be right, living in anxiety and fear, difficulty relaxing or having fun, fear of feeling, fear of intimacy, hypersensitivity to the needs of others, and yes, I would argue that I have much resiliency and strength. The list seems long, but they are there. They also tend to morph as life progresses.

Some characteristics may be much more prominent than others. For instance, one of the common attributes of an adult child surviving an alcoholic is the need to be in control. That was one of my bigger issues along with my inability to allow intimacy into my life. Lying in bed late at night waiting for the hammer to fall, for years, forced me to put myself in a situation where I desensitized all feelings and thoughts of anxiety. That is a very normal precursor for someone in that situation. After all, wouldn’t any person start to believe behavior such as punching, hitting, or being aggressive with another family member is normal behavior after experiencing it for years? Of course. At some point in time, it becomes just another day.

As each of us gets older, we have epiphanies that may push us in certain directions or at least help us understand how we got to where we are emotionally. What has been important to me is trying to figure out why I did some of the things that I did behaviorally and why I have certain traits that seem to be integrated into my soul. I don’t think it’s a waste of time to try and figure out one’s background and why decisions are made. I relate it to the medical field where people get sick from disease and either recover or they die. The medical field has painstakingly tried to discover and label every illness and disease that could affect humans. I think it’s worthwhile to try to logically look at and figure out the human condition and why people are programmed the way they are. Why was I programmed the way I was? Just like in the poem by Lewis Carroll, I feel as if “the time has come to talk of many things.”

My situation of how I grew up is extremely common in this country. I believe there are countless men and women who have reached an age at which they are truly trying to figure out why they feel and behave as they do. Our society tries to minimize abuse. Everyday life continues, and the show must go on, so to speak, so such occurrences are simply swept under the rug, and last a lifetime. That is, unless it is understood and fixed.

I believe this “tonic” or “elixir” has caused many people, primarily men, to not reach their potential in life on many diverse levels. It’s one thing to experience abuse, as the statistics show millions of people have experienced, but it is wholly another issue to understand it. How can we heal from the trauma if we don’t? Many times, we don’t even believe the abuse is bad, and sometimes it may even be something we liked or felt we deserved at the moment. But no matter how prevalent the abuse is, it almost always has consequences of some type on the individual.

This book is not designed or intended to put me or anyone else in the “victim” category. Yes, many people in this situation are victims. I never saw myself as a victim. I now see myself as someone who experienced these things protractedly, and it helped to shape my brain into a methodology of thinking and solving problems. As a result, I used the same thought process over and over again in my young adult years and even as an older man. Many decisions were based upon that flawed pattern of thinking. Repeated processes naturally flowed together because they were burned into my head.

There was no chance of me stepping out of that thought process or “system” when making important decisions in life. How could I when I didn’t even understand what created it in the first place? The same bad decisions were made one after another. A person who is programmed like that then wonders why we can’t be successful. It could be because of a personal relationship, business, or life in general. It’s as if we are blind, deaf, and dumb to what makes us tick. If the computer program in your brain spits out a decision based upon the same old flawed data over and over again, nothing will change.

Some abuse arguably can be much worse than others, but all of it has some sort of effect on a person’s mindset, whether they like it or not. As males, we are consonantly told not to be a coward or a “pussy” by expressing ourselves when we are hurt. Traditional society has said that a man is not supposed to express or discuss abuse and injury as a result of alcoholism. I certainly did not for years, and to this very day,

I still feel extremely uncomfortable talking about this subject. It is not necessarily the abuse that is deafening, but the admission that as a man I was somehow injured.

Society sometimes makes a man feel flawed or “less than” a man for these things. After all, men have to be tough and ignore pain, right? Isn’t that what we are told? If you don’t, then you are not a man. What I’ve learned and strongly believe is very important and should be made prevalent in society. The fact is that most men refuse to talk about these things. But the reality is, it’s about truth and trying to become the person you desire to be. To do that, sometimes we need to dissect ourselves.

I felt I had a duty to understand what occurred to me for not just myself but those around me—to allow others to see what I have understood about my evolution that encompassed so many years of pain and frustration, to see it and learn so that quite possibly that pain could be avoided for them. The bottom line is that any type of abuse can create a major mental schism on all levels of life.

A major fatality these two systems of abuse caused me was difficulty with intimacy. I didn’t know how to “feel.” Yes, intellectually I understood the need for intimacy, and I had emotions, but many things were glossed over because I didn’t “feel” they were important. I only saw achievement and work habits as important. By focusing on achievement, I was able to provide financially for those around me. I saw it as my life duty. Succeed or die. I believed that for years: “I will achieve this or die in the process.” I literally meant it. I killed myself with eighteen-hour days, on average. My job was to “take care of the family,” and I did just that.

I didn’t allow or have time for real intimacy. I didn’t permit myself to deeply feel and experience love, to live in the moment.

I only knew how to take on more and more responsibility, to live for the future only. That’s how I proved my self-value and worth. That’s the same value I was taught as a kid. My value was to keep things going, to put a positive spin on the chaos. But it was a bottomless pit that could never be filled. I never saw my mother and father hold hands or show any type of emotion or love. I was taught that anger is the first way to deal with any issue and that affection and intimacy showed weakness. As a result, I believe I missed out on many years of understanding how my actions affected others. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that my actions and mindset are very good in some ways, but very bad in others.

James Crawford

Continue to Part 3