Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Ethics of Outing Secrets Within the Dysfunctional Family

At Palingates, a commenter posted this response to the photo comparison of Track Palin:

"I'm not a troll, I've speculated along with the best of 'em here. But Vera City, if you want to build readership for your blog, is this really the way you want to do it? These photos have been posted before, the point has been made. In our wildest fantasies, if presented with irrefutable evidence, what would $ ever say? "I was young, I made bad choices, I married the man I thought was the father." Yeah, even that would be a lie, one more in a continuing series. But think about it, people: there is really only one person who stands to ever be hurt by this."

This is an appropriate question to ask about what is happening here and one that I have thought about. First off, to answer him/her, I do not think that they are a troll. I think that they are speaking from a place of concern and decency. To discuss the various aspects of Sarah Palin's lies, hypocrisy, and indiscretions will make people feel uncomfortable. It seems unseemly and almost indecent. This is the feeling that Palin and those similar to her count on to keep people from asking questions.

However, when we don't ask questions and point out the lies, but instead stay quiet to not rock the boat, we are adding to the hell that those children are living in.

Many people who feel strongly about Sarah Palin, or want to know more about personality disorders, have personal experience growing up with at least one family member who has a personality disorder. It is not a good experience and it is a long and difficult journey to recover from, if the person is ever able to do it. The effects of such a childhood have devastating consequences for the individual not just emotionally, but also inducing lasting health issues, which in extreme cases can severely shorten life expectancy.

Outside of the family situation itself, I believe that one of the more damaging aspects is having the child's reality denied because they are told that, "people aren't like that." How many of these children, when they have tried to describe what went on in their household have, rather then being believed, been told that they must be getting it wrong and that the perpetrator really loves them. This is especially damaging because it reinforces what the perpetrator is telling, often demanding, the child to believe. These children are punished within their family for telling the truth and, sadly, mostly disbelieved or dismissed when they tell someone outside.

The closest equivalent to understand the horrible harm done to these children and their resulting difficulties with integration into normal society, is the work done with children who grew up in abusive cults.

Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, Trig, and Tripp are growing up in an abusive environment where, because of their mother's power, they are forced to obey, lie, coverup and live under their mother's control. Their view of the world has been distorted. In the Vanity Fair article, Levi spoke of being stunned when Sarah referred to Trig as the retarded baby and that no one in the family reacted to it, because they were used to it. In this incident, what I noticed is that he was so offended, having come from a loving family, that he did what I described just now: he could only make sense of it by thinking that Sarah had a weird sense of humour. He downplayed and made an excuse for Sarah's cavalier, callous, abusive behaviour to her children. He could not acknowledge the reality of what he had witnessed because it was outside his experience of human behaviour. Sadly for the Palin children, and now his own child, it is their experience and they are trapped there.

These children are troubled. Their mother will never act in their best interests (or in their interest at all) instead she will demand that they lie to maintain the illusion that they are a happy family. Because that is what is good for Sarah - for now. And when they outlive their usefulness, she will discard them. They haven't just been thrown under the bus; they were born there.

Right now Bristol is coming under a lot of criticism because of the custody case with Levi. I think that Levi appraisal of the matter is correct. He knows that Sarah is the one making Bristol do this. Bristol has very little choice. To expect her to stand up to her mother is to blame the victim. To judge Bristol on the same standards as we would expect someone with a normal upbringing is cruel. However, the environment that she is rising Tripp in is one of abuse, even though I am sure she is not knowingly abusing him herself. It is not in Tripp's best interest to be there.

Here is where the blogs come in. Palin's lawyer argues that it would harm Tripp to read about the custody case when he is older. Why is that? Why will it harm Tripp to know that his father and paternal family wanted desperately to be part of his life. That they gave up opportunities and suffered to fight for him. The only people it will hurt is the Palins, who will be trying to turn Tripp against his father. If the Palins have their way, they will cut the Johnstons out of Tripp's life completely and convince him that they don't care for him. (That lie is unfolding throughout the court documents and the In Touch article.) If they succeed, they will estrange Tripp from the family that loves him. But when he is older and starts to question what is going on, the blogs can help lead him back to that family again. Think of the blogs as the white pebbles that Hansel drops as he and his sister are lead into the forest. It is a way for him to find his way home to his father.

I believe, however, that the commenter above is referring to Track as the one person that stands to get hurt by finding out who his biological father is. If the photo comparisons, which seem to make a strong case that he is biologically related to the Menards, turns out to be true, what are the detrimental effects? Finding out that the well regarded family who came to your hockey games, took an active role as your godfather, intwined themselves into your life growing up did it because they considered you to be one of them. That Todd Palin, even though he probably knew, still brought you up as his son while allowing the other family to be part of your life. That you have four half siblings who can now be part of your life. That everyone no longer has to live a lie, but can acknowledge their relationship to you.

There may be some anger and hurt at first, but in the long run I think Track comes out ahead. Secrets do horrible things to people.

The person who I thought could be hurt by this is Carole Menard, Curtis Jr.'s wife. Because of the way she spoke to the author of Trailblazer, I am not sure that she knew the possible relationship between her husband and his godson. There could be a few painful memories and realizations that could surface. Although I would fully support her decision if she decided to not have Sarah Palin in her life, I think that she would accept Track and have a better understanding of her husband. After all, it seems that he had a strong sense of responsibility and cared for the welfare of children. He seemed to be a decent human being who very briefly was caught up with a manipulative person, but didn't back away from the consequences. I think she will be able to forgive.

If eventually Tripp or any of the Palin children read this, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many people who understand what you are going through and feel for you.


  1. Vera,
    Good post. I've struggled with some of the directions the various blogs (including my own sometimes) have taken and the comments I have made. On the one hand, I want to respect someone's privacy, on the other, I think it is important that we hold Sarah Palin accountable. I have been concerned from the beginning, and have said so, about the effect on the children. I am troubled at the attacks beginning now against Bristol and now Willow as they grow older. Bristol may be an adult, but she is still very much a victim and still very much under the control of her family. Perhaps when she has lived on her own for awhile without daily contact (and perhaps some intense counseling), then her current actions would be deserving of attack.

  2. Kyra,

    Thank you. I had planned to write a post based on your last comment to me, but this demanded to be written about. I can understand the outrage towards Bristol and she does have to be accountable for her actions, but I think it would serve her, Levi and Tripp if there was more compassion towards her. Attacking her strengthens the hold that her mother has over her.

    I think I am going to take a wonder through my books about children raised in cults.

  3. anonymous for this post cause its personalJanuary 14, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    you are exactly right that children raised in a mentally abusive environment take years to overcome the negative impacts to their thought processes, decision-making skills, health, and ability to form lasting, loving relationships.

    thank you for your gentle and strong insights and commentary. this is truly one of the most important parts of learning about sarah palin - to understand and appreciate the life that the children are living and to reach out to them and save them. be it today or ten years from today - they need to know that their family life is not healthy, and that all of us strangers out here in blogland care about that.

    i was raised in a mentally abusive environment (someone that was very controlling and that hid that pschosis very well from other adults) and it took nearly 10 years to get right in my head......maybe even 20 years. that is just the plain truth.

    i also have experience with a highly narcisstic person in my family. she lied for no reason and spent all her waking hours causing trouble and discord with only one aim in mind - to get what she wanted. the sad part is that she never really knew what she wanted or wanted things that were not especially good for her.......and she ripped through dozens of friendships over the years without remorse, always blaming the other guy. to this day she is in complete denial of her destructive nature. i have not spoken to her in 10 years and am the better for it. just writing about it in these vague terms makes me feel some of the pain all over again. a narcissist's web of control is as bad as a control-freak's in my opinion. they both entrap you and wear you down - especially if you are the type of person that needs love (don't we all).....yuck.

    i am happy now with a fairly healthy relationship with the remainder of my family and hope to never meet or come under the control of someone like that ever again.

    i feel deep sorrow for the palin children. but what they need is immediate intervention.

    and i mean that with all my heart. they are probably sitting in their rooms this very minute wondering why no one in the world is helping them, especially when we all seem to be so acutely aware of their problem and the trap that they are in.

  4. Vera, you have gone from speculation to proclaiming now and that's disappointing. I'm sorry but I don't think you care in the least about the Palin children. In fact you really don't know yet that Sarah Palin is not loved by her children and she in turn loves her children. For you, someone who claims to be a professional, you have jumped the gun and gone too far.

    Don't get me wrong, I dislike Palin as much as anyone, but I do because she is so lamely ignorant.

    I hope that following comments in this vein that are going to come from your peers are in private. Mine would be too and it would be stated in much stronger language but I just thought something had to be said publicly.

  5. Maybe I am not following all of the conversation. I have seen the pictures that compare Curtis Menard Jr., Track and Todd Palin when they are all around the same age. Menard and Track look like brothers. Curtis Jr. looks very much like his father, and Curtis Jr.looks like the father of his three sons. Track's face looks as if he could be one of the family. But looks alone are not proof.

    We know that Sarah was pregnant when she married Todd. From the math, it appears that she was around a month to six weeks along, and according to "Trailblazer," she and Todd lived next door to Curtis Jr. When she was 13, Sarah had a school girl crush on Curtis Jr.

    There was speculation that pregnant Sarah Heath may have had an active social life. We can even make the wild guess that when Curtis was told about her situtation, his dentist father had other plans for him. Todd must have believed that the kid that Sarah was expecting was his in order for him to marry her.

    Do you believe that Track is Curtis Jr.'s kid, and that Curtis Jr. found out about it? Did Todd find out about it? It sounds like a TV soap opera.

    As for Tripp, those ridiculous articles that Bristol did, along with her lame TV interviews are damaging enough. What a thing for a young man to google (or for his school mates to know about) in years to come. The Palins have done their own damage; Levi has been a gentleman. Sarah's comments have been so hurtful that we are reminded of her sister's divorce proceedings when the judge admonished Sarah and Todd to stop saying terrible things about their former brother-in-law in front of his children, since their comments amounted to child abuse.

    There is no question; Sarah has created her own monster. The Palins are a Tabloid Family.

  6. I know Carole Menard and you are right, she very well would accept Track into the fold. She is an extremely doting mother.She still wears her wedding ring around her neck and has not dated since her husband's death. She is French Canadian actually, English is her second language if I am not mistaken. She is a wonderful woman.Track would do well to be a welcome part of her family. Her children truly loved and honored- something the Palin children, sadly, know nothing about.

  7. @ Straight Goods:
    "In fact you really don't know yet that Sarah Palin is not loved by her children and she in turn loves her children."

    Have you ever read a Child Called It? Its about a boy who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of his mother- nothing close to what Palin is doing to her children, and yet that child "loved" his mother, often blaming himself for the abuse because he must have deserved it somehow. I'm sure SP "loves" her kids and they "love" her, but it's not a healthy love. It's destructive and crippling and dysfunctional.

  8. Actually, let me rephrase that as it is unclear. Palin's abuse is not nearly as severe as what the boy in the book dealt with. My point being, that if someone could be treated like that by a parent and still love them, I have no reason to doubt that Palin's children love their mother as well.

  9. It is sad, and it is strange that we are witnessing this families problems in plain view. And, I think it is sick of Sarah Palin to be thriving on it. I don't blame her children for one moment. I feel badly for them and I'm sure all of this public attention is very hard on them. But I agree with Vera that ignoring this is only letting the sick abuse go on longer.

    Palin kids, if you read this, all this mess is NOT your fault. And please know, there is a far better life meant for you. Also, what you are going through, and your family life, is NOT what happens in most families.

    I rememeber disclosing something that happened to me in childhood, it was molestation from siblings. Hell, I thought is was normal and was what just happened in families. Well it is not. I was fooled into thinking it was normal by my own mind and my siblings. It was not okay, it should not have happened and I should not have had to grow up with it or had to deal with it emotionally.

    This is just an example of what goes on in dysfunctional families and an example of the type of thought processes that occur. I love my siblings, I've forgiven them, we were children although they were older teens and I was the youngest.

    But as a middle aged adult I have never spoke of it to my elderly parents who would be udderly devastated by this information. And, I have never spoke of it to my grown siblings. Which is possibly a mistake, I don't know. I just accept that it happened and am glad to know it is not normal.

    My point is, Palin children, what we think is normal is not always true. And I want you to know that you are innocent victims, you are not to blame for how you are raised. I am also sorry all this is so public. I am sorry for the pain you feel. But please get some help for yourselves, please.

  10. Sorry, but I will continue to hold Bristol accountable for what she is doing to her son and to Levi. She brags about making the choice to have him, but with that choice came responsibilities to put his needs first. She is a failure as a mother and a human being. Her mother's wealth and power have cushioned her and her siblings from the consequences of their actions time and time again. We're not doing Bristol et al any favors by now saying, "Aw, we can't blame them for being assholes; look at the mother they had."

    No, I didn't grow up with a parent with a personality disorder, but my dad was a raging alcoholic. I think children of alcoholics are very much like the children of parents with personality disorders, as they also grow up keeping secrets and thinking that abnormal behavior is normal. Perhaps the difference is that alcoholics frequently do love their children--when they are sober-- which is perhaps even more disruptive in its own way.

    Yeah, I acted out as a teenager, but I stopped short of vandalism. It wasn't so much a cry for help as an expression of anger and a search for oblivion. I never hurt another human being. That's where Bristol and Willow lose my support. They are their mother's daughters. No free pass--they've already been given too many.

  11. This was an interesting and thoughtful post, Vera, but then they all are. I really enjoy reading your take on the Palin train wreck.

  12. Anon @ 12:10, Yes I have read the book and I hope that you are not trying to make a comparison to Palin on what you know.

    What do we know? We know for sure that Sarah carries Trig around like a sack of potatoes with his face toward the audience. Should we interpret that as unloving or should we interpret that as being proud to show him off? Many mothers are not proud to show off their DS children and that could be for the child's sake.

    So do we know that Levi is telling the truth when he says that Sarah called Trig the retarded child? It may be true but I wouldn't place a lot on it even if it was true because it doesn't tell us much. And let's not forget that Levi is part of the deception too so let's not put a lot of trust in him.

    You say that you're sure that Sarah loves her children but the love is an unhealthy love. How do you know that? Do you base your assumptions on what bloggers have said about the parent/child relationships in the Palin family? Do you have some evidence that shows Palin's children as being dysfunctional themselves due to their mother or father's influence?

    Do you know what normal is and what dysfunctional is? If we try hard enough and we have a good reason to hate a person or family we can find something dysfunctional about them 9 times out of 10. Is the molestation by siblings that anon @ 6:58 speaks about an extraordinary case or is it more representative of the dysfunctionality of the average child's early adolescent years? Did you know that that undetailed description could fit more than half of our childhood experiences? Do you know what normal is?

    Is Vera here to help the Palin children? Vera? Are you anon., concerned with helping the Palin children? Is the first concern of any of the bloggers to help the Palin children? Or are nearly all or all the people on these Palin blogs primarily concerned with destroying Palin?

    Let's not jump to any false conclusions when we are doing a public psychoanalysis of any person's children. It may not be in the child's best interests.

  13. Straight Goods,

    I find it difficult to respond to your comments because there is so much speculation and proclaiming in them. I am not anon nor have I claimed to be a professional. I would like to point out that your interpretation of this post, that I do not care about the Palin children, is contradicted by a number of other commenters who understood what I wrote. There are a number of points that you brought up that I will be writing about later. I do, however, want to point out that my blog is not about Sarah Palin being 'lamely ignorant.' If you are looking for that you will have to find another blog.

    I am being short with you right now because, in the spirit of Audrey, I want a certain sense of civility within the comment section. To disagree is fine, but there should be respect in responding to others. Anon comments at 12:10 and 12:12 are very relevant to the discussion set by this post and respectfully written in response to your comment. The tone of your response back and the selectiveness of what you choose to declare relevant or irrelevant serves to shut down any discussion instead of encouraging it.

    When you go on to suggest that anon @ 6:58's experience of sibling sexual molestation is normal you have crossed the line. What you have done is perfectly demonstrated what I wrote above which I shall reproduce here:

    "How many of these children, when they have tried to describe what went on in their household have, rather then being believed, been told that they must be getting it wrong and that the perpetrator really loves them. This is especially damaging because it reinforces what the perpetrator is telling, often demanding, the child to believe. These children are punished within their family for telling the truth and, sadly, mostly disbelieved or dismissed when they tell someone outside."

    Your response to anon saying that molestation by his/her siblings is not normal is to respond back that it quite possibly is. That happens to not be the case. The taboo against incest is one of the universal behaviours that anthropologists have discovered and there are not that many of them. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it does and frequently, but it is not normal. We will discuss incest within this blog (and NOT in connection with the Palins), but within context.

    When I set up this blog, I left the comment section unmoderated until I find the need to switch it over. I hope that will not be too soon.

  14. Anon@6:58

    You seem to have followed quite a bit of the Menard line of questions into the possibility of Track's biological father not being Todd Palin. I agree with you that looks alone are not proof nor the events as you outlined. There are, however, a few more pieces of information that have surfaced that strengthen that speculation.

    You are right it is like a soap opera. When I assumed that Todd was the biological father, I had developed a hypothesis around Track's conception and his parents elopement based on what we know, my experience, and Sarah Palin's patterns of behaviour. The possibility that Menard may be the father fell right into it - only adding a couple of very human twists to the plot. I have debated writing a post about. I believe that Palingates is going to do another post on it.

    No matter what the truth is, Todd Palin is more Track's father in raising him then Sarah Palin is Trig's mother - biological or otherwise.

    I agree with you that the Palins are a tabloid family. While I think that the rest of the family hates it, in a weird way Sarah would believe it means that she has arrived.

  15. Thanks for your comments Vera, and I'll respond to what I feel is important for now. The rest we can just agree to disagree perhaps.

    Are you perhaps feeling a little miffed because you say with credibility now that your interest is in the Palin children and not in destroying Palin? It seems to me that is the whole point of the blogs but I accept that you 'may' be the lone exception.

    As to the sexucal molestation, or more appropriately, molestation that was mentioned by anon 6:58: He/she (I would pretty safely assume she) did not mention whether or not it was anything more than playing doctor so therefore I think that we need to be cautious until he/she elaborates further. My intent there was to illustrate how a person's mind can form erroneous conclusions based on nothing factual. And if that was the situation, playing doctor with one's siblings at a prepubescent age then she suffers from nothing worse than very likely over 50% of us suffer. Due in large part from an overly puritanical upbringing that harmed the child more than the sexual advances of the siblings.

    Do you know what is normal and what is not normal. What is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable? I would suggest that your perception could be very different from mine. And further, I don't think you have anything at this point in time on Palin to say that her behavior with her children is anything but normal. As another poster suggested, be cautious of attempting to psychoanalyze a person if you have not met the person and aren't equipped with the information about the person that is required to do the job.

  16. Anon 12:05,

    Thank you for confirming that Carole Menard is the individual I thought she is. From what I gleaned they are a loving family and must miss their father and husband - he seemed to be a good man. If there is any validity in Track being Curtis Jr. biological son, Track is lucky to be a part of them.

  17. What makes a politician? Does it have to be anything more than good looks which come first of all, and a predisposition of talking the party line to enough people? GWB showed us all that high intelligence wasn't necessary, compared to his poliitcal perspective of what was good and right for America. Many of us would not agree with him but many did, and we know that he was popular enough with the people to be able to remain in office for 8 years.

    I wonder if Palin can be schooled enough before 2012 to make her acceptable to enough people so that she could become president? I wonder if an I.Q. in the neighbourhood of 100, + or - ten points is enough to let her scrape through if she is carefully schooled on the necessary talking points. And I wonder if the harm she could do isn't more because of her outrageous ideology than it is because of her ignorance or stupidity.

    I mean let's face it, she's no Bill Clinton or Adolph Hitler in the brains department.

  18. I think that Sarah Palin hates being a tabloid family just as much as her family hates it. But then on the other hand, the rest of the family may relish the tabloid exposure that Sarah is getting while it's Sarah alone that hates it.

    Do you think you're more right on that than I am Vera?

    I'm going to hold your feet to the fire now Vera because I think there is a purpose to be served on this blog. If you choose to change to moderated comments be forewarned that it will cause you more trouble than you will get by leaving it the way it is. Not to mention that it will kill this blog.

    It's interesting Vera, to exchange ideas on your blog without having the whining and crying, the profanity and the teeth gnashing, the hate and the vitriol, of the other blogs which serve no purpose in the least.

    You're entirely free to change that if you like.

  19. Straight Goods,

    I appreciate the shift in your tone and understand your position. I probably have more compassion for Sarah Palin then most people on the blogs. She is, however, dangerous and why she is dangerous should be talked about openly. I am only adding one perspective to that discussion.

    The person who earlier said I was publicly psychoanalysing Palin was actually you and that is definitely not what I am doing - publicly or privately.

    What I am miffed about is what you did again, in your third paragraph, publicly analyse and dismiss anon@6:58 experience. That is not respectful and if you do it again I will not accept comments from you. It appears that you do not know why this is an issue and this will have to be one of the areas where we agree to disagree and you continue commenting here while following that guideline.

  20. There are so many ways Sarah could have spared her children the media exposure they have experienced. If Sarah doesn't watch out, her family will disintegrate in front of the cameras. Her children are at the age where this type of media attention can cause so many problems.

    As a mother, I feel for those children and would just to provide a safe shelter for all of them.

  21. Straight Goods,

    First, many of the people who blog and comment on the blogs are concerned about the Palin children not because they know them or because they know for a fact that there are problems, but because of the evidence developed from observation. I became concerned over time with the wealth of video and still photographs of the family dynamics which, if you know how to read them, say a lot. People have also expressed a, to me valid, concern about Piper's almost non-stop presence wherever her mother is. Why isn't she in school? Why is she included in political, press, or governmental functions that are clearly inappropriate for a child?

    Regarding child molestation. What you call "playing doctor" is not what anon called it. Anon referred to it as molestation, which means anon felt molested. Anon felt as if their sibling had betrayed their trust. Anon felt as if their parent/s had not protected them. If two young children (toddler or preschool perhaps) "play doctor" as you suggest, it does not usually have any sexual connotations. If it does, I would look for sexual abuse. In older children, it very much depends on how many years difference in age there is between the children. Five or more? It's called assault and is a crime. Perception matters. And yes, I am a professional.

  22. Why the heck would moderated comments "kill this blog", etc?

    Mudflats is moderated and has flourished for quite some time.

  23. Straight Goods,

    Perhaps you might consider reasoned consideration before you post here. You're going to hold Vera's feet to the fire? You're going to ask if she's a professional? You haven't given any evidence to suggest that you know more than Vera, and her posts have a reasoned tone that is missing from yours. And you really aren't going to do anything about it, except write a response.

    This is Vera's blog, and she will post what she wants to post, and moderate it if she wants to, and if you don't like it, you are free to delete Vera City from your favelist.

    I find Vera's insights very interesting, and feasible, and they fit in with what I know- admittedly not much- with personality disorders and sociopathy. I would not accuse her of not caring about the Palin children, but I don't see any reason why she should, other than in a general sort of love-of-humanity not-wishing-any-harm-on-them way. Why should she? I don't wish any harm on the Palin kids, but the only one I feel sorry for is Piper, who seems to miss lots of school and have no friends. But I do not think that Vera is wrong when she suggests that addressing the family dysfunction should improve things for the kids in the long run. Ignoring the family dysfunction certainly won't do any good, and I do not believe there is any doubt that they are dysfunctional. They could hardly help be anything but. They have a parent who apparently goes catatonic when she's stressed, and whose willing and paid supporters think she's emotionally disturbed. Pretty much guarantees dysfunction.


  24. Vera City,
    I think Carol Menard would not be "hurt" by this coming out at all. She and Curtis met AFTER this and I wouldn't be surprised if she already knows. But if it is true , then her children with Curtis have every RIGHT to know their half brother. We adopted our son when he was 6, he has a half-sibling (same mother) that we have made a point of keeping in our sons life and her father made a point of it too. They are very close ( my son is now an adult). But who would we have been if we had not made sure they could have a sibling relationship. My sons sister, to this day, and her family are welcome in our home at any time. I have thanked my sons sister many times for allowing him and us to be in her life. And if she would not have had someone in her paternal family to take her we would have adopted her too.

  25. Julie (former Palintologist)January 17, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    I came to this thread late, so I have the benefit of reading it through its entirety. While reading through, I thought of how Sarah attacked a 19-year-old boy on national television. I thought of a 19-year-old unwed mother who was recently made to dress matronly for all the world to gawk. I also kept thinking about a 15-year-old girl screaming for help. The only people who seem to care about these teenagers are you bloggers.

    Discussing why a young man is clearly troubled is not the same as ridiculing him. In fact, I have read nothing but deep concern for him. The same holds true for Piper and Trig.

    I do not think you have been out of line in the least.

  26. Straight Goods,
    I would say your moniker is a misnomer. While you make some valid points, parts of your discourse are quite bizarre. Thus, for the sake of simplicity, I would ask one question of you. Do you think that Palin is a psychopath, or scores well above the threshold for psychopathic behavior?
    The answer would help us greatly in understanding your comments.
    While I don't want to speak for Vera, I think the purpose of this blog is to describe psychopathic PD, and the rippling effects it has on family members and society as a whole. Palin just happens to be the poster child for an endemic mental illness.
    The one thing that has always been apparent to me is the fact that Palin's lies are insulting to our intelligence and humanity. From the Wild Ride to answering a simple question with "all of them", her phony, fraudulent nature becomes obvious and the essence of her pathos.

  27. Oh, go Straight away. The Goods on this family has been in front of the Alaskan public and now the world for several years. Pure soap opera.
    Not Average Joes and Janes by a long shot. Not even before the undeserved attention and payouts resulting from fake book, fake credentials for Veep run, fake family values-role models, fake pregnancy and 'choice' taken of choosing life by the matriach (Sarah never carried Trig in her belly), fake reason for signing up for 9-11 army duty, fake dedication to schooling for kids...blah, blah endless.

    So far, I see Todd being the most authentic person in the clan-he did champion in the grueling Iron Dog several times! That is his claim to fame and distinction. And I don't even like fossil fuel guzzling sports. The rest of the family is mish-mash.
    Sarah can stay in the spotlight as she continually proves herself to those paying attention. She'll do herself in by her own hand in the end. Her words will be the irony. The tea-baggers will go down the drain with her.

    But the rest of her extended family should go back hidden in the outhouse. And not profit from public exposure, they contribute nothing and all are lousy role models and intellectually have nothing to share with the rest of us.Just go live your life, scarfing up undeserved donations, fake PR firm salaries and overpaid celebrity bucks while Haitians starve. Let the Biafra orphans eat cake says Queen TeaBagger mentality.
    The Menards (half-siblings, extended blood members) should sue to find out if they were denied their right by Sarah to know their family member; just like Levi should demand DNA for both babies. Keep it public. Calista Corporation (?) should sue to find out if Track is a real blood son of Todd, Tribal shareholder.

    Once a crook, liar and deceiver, always one...Sarah-we know your game. You appear to be teaching Bristol the same. She sure seems to be your clone on cover of In Touch (where is the vomit bag, that Utah cult hairdo is something else).

    Only green bucks talk to these gals and there sure ain't no bucks in her freezer shot by Sarah. Piper and Willow, unfortunately have been dragged onto the campaign trail and book tour, staged photo shoots, autograph signings, interview comments, hand shaking strangers and benefiting money wise as well as Trig and Tripp. Now we hear Track does as well, they are all fair game depending on the individual subject discussed. So was plenty of other child celebrities in their day.

    I wanna know the psychological profile and physical limitations (medical records) of my leaders and know what goes on behind closed doors (to a degree), especially, if the scheming idiots running the political campaigns are googling for Veeps on the web.

    Otherwise I'll take leaders who truly are 'Everyman,Anyman' any day with two term limits and see what a bunch of bus drivers, bakers, comedians, ski instructors, organic farmers, miners, professional students,truck drivers subsistence village dwellers and other 'rift raft and dirt-bags' can do in Congress and in the White House more than Sarah-Who/Where's Sarah anyday...especially with her past record has done nothin' FOR this nation!!.

  28. Well, I wasn't going to comment on the story except for Staright Goods made that pretty impossible. I'll give you the "Straight Goods" now.

    I am deeply offended as a mother by comments made by "Straight Goods." And on behalf of the poster who was brave enough to share her experience w/molestation & messed up families, I am angry. I could care less if Straight Goods thinks Palin is an idiot or disagrees w/her politics, but talking to other posters and to you Vera the way he/she did is atrocious. Their "change in tone" was not a change in tone *at all*, except perhaps a worsening of it!

    The comment to be "forewarned that changing to moderated comments will cuase you trouble & kill this blog" is a dead giveaway. This person is a Palinbot, I'd bet my life on it. Either they are a Palinbot defending their girl or have allowed molestation or abuse or simple unloving parenting to occur in his/her family and are extremely touchy about the subject, or both. Someone who discounts the story of abuse shared by another poster as "misinterpreting what occurred," then questions your intentions and the intentions of other bloggers, then claims to "know" you don't actually care about the Palin kids but want to bring Palin down shows Straight Goods must have some omninscence we're not aware of. That they do not see the irony in telling you to not "assume" you recognize dysfunction when we have video and photo evidence of it, while they discount the molestation of a poster when they were NOT EVEN THERE?!! It makes absolutely no sense, and thus has all the markings of Palinbot stamped all over it.

    Then not to get banned they post they think Palin is dumb, yadda yadda. Palinbots have been trolling the blogs trying to swing the conversation in favor of their girl and get people off track (ha ha, made a pun-ny :D) IMHO, "our" people just don't behave the way this person has, with complete lack of feelings for other people or respect. Please don't fall for it, and out of respect for the above poster who was abused please ban this poster.

  29. The comments have been switched over to moderation. The comments left by Straight Goods that appeared, and those that were sent to me afterwards, make the case that I was stating in the post. It is hard for people to come forward about what happened in their childhood because they are discounted and disbelieved. This just happened to be a hurtful and abusive instance of this. I extend my apologies to anon for have this happen to him/her on this site and it will not happen again.

    Elliegrl, the last two comments by Straight Goods were put up while I was writing a response to him thus my comment that his tone had improved while it proved afterwards to definitely not be the case. He assured me afterwards that his tone had not changed at all.

    Joe Christmas, I mulling over right now about the direction this blog will take because there are two streams currently: information about the psychopathy checklist and observations on Sarah Palin. I want to be clear that I have not said that Sarah Palin is a psychopath. My position is she displays and demonstrates the traits on the checklist, as a significant part of the population does, and that this is worthy of discussion.

  30. Eileen, well said.

    Vera, I think that is what I was trying to say but my words got in the way. If you banned that callous troll, so be it.

  31. I would just like to point out...the type of person who would take someone's in depth account of obviously devastating MOLESTATION and dismiss it as 'playing doctor' the same type of person who would label innocent, mildly risqué photos as "porn".

    Just saying.

  32. I am the anon commenter who shared my childhood sexual abuse story. I can assure you, it did happen, for a long time beginning at age 6. I won't to go into sordid details. And no, straight good, I don't appreciate your caviler, inappropriate, judgmental and insensitive comments. My story is real.

    The point I was trying to make was to the Palin children or any child or person for that matter, to please get help. Abuse, be it mental, physical, verbal or sexual is not okay and I would certainly hope not normal or ever become more normal. What happened to me was over 45 years ago. I don't know any statistics for then and now. I just remember being a young adult in my mid 20's, I shared the story and was told no, it was not normal or nor was it okay.

    My point was was to encourage others to seek help and relief from the toxic thinking abuse does to ones thoughts and feelings about oneself. Thats what is most unfair about abuse, it robs people of self esteem, confidence and freedom to be who they are. It's cruel in so many ways.

    I think that is what I identify with and see in Sarah, the robbed identity and fear because of it, she does not know who she is, she's in a shut down stunted state of mind. I think people with personal experience or trained professionals see the red flags sooner than some.

    Also my point to those who have gone through abuse or are currently being abused is please put a stop to it. You have that right. Seek help to do so. It is not your fault and you deserve better.

    The Palin children also deserve better. It is easy to see that Sarah Palin puts herself before her children. Trigs health was at risk the whole time she had him on the book tour. It's completely obvious he is not being properly taken care of. Risking his health and neglecting his physical therapy is abuse in my opinion.

    Constantly exposing Piper to very adult matters that she has no business experiencing is abuse, using Piper as a spy or political tool is abuse. Disingenuously using all her children as props is abuse. Pimping them out to magazines for money is abuse.

    As for Todd, he seems to care for all the kids. But I question his behind the scenes lurking when it comes to Sarah. It feels wrong. He either does not trust her or respect her. She either cannot function without him or he is a quiet controller, a manipulator who influences how Sarah thinks and her decisions.

    I have serious concerns about Chuck. I think much of Sarah's mindset is due to his parenting, to his exposing her to extreme experiences at too young an age. I believe he instilled in her an insensitivity towards animals and other people, a callousness that effects her thinking, her decisions and her treatment of people.

    The term "buck up" comes to mind when I think of Chuck. I also wonder about the other Health children. Molly's choice of husband, was there something about him that was similar to Chuck?

    To conclude this long post. I hope all, including Sarah Palin get the help they need. I hope Trig is taken away from Sarah, his needs are not being met. I know some people never get help, change or examine their life and thoughts. I'm sure the older a person gets the harder and more painful it would be.

  33. BTW, Vera I don't know that you have to switch to moderating comments. Had I know that jerk had said something like he did I would have responded. I just saw this today.

    It would not have stopped me from sharing.

  34. Anonymous,

    Thank you for responding back and giving us some more insight. When it comes to the behaviour of Sarah and Todd Palin and Chuck heath I have slightly different view on what is going on. For example, I do not see Todd as being the dominate person in the relationship, instead he strikes me as being Sarah Palin's caretaker. One of the traits on the psychopathy checklist is living a parasitical lifestyle. That seems to be what we are seeing in the relationship between the two of them. Todd has made sure that there was steady money coming in - needed because Sarah Palin can not hold down a job for long. Although she is the one dictating the direction, she can not cope and Todd has to provide support so she doesn't melt down. I have seen this dynamic many times. In this case we don't see it as clearly because traditional gender roles help mask what is going on.

    Hannah_bell, they can also describe porn as innocent, mildly risqué photos. The point is these people are contrary and offensive to get someone's goat. The playing of mind games is the driving force and, in this case, it falls more under the term gaslighting.

  35. Excellent article, Vera City.

    Your point was perfectly illustrated by Straight Goods attempt to trivialize and dismiss Anon 6:58 experience of abuse. It is never OK for a child to be exploited and manipulated for anothers benefit.

    I do think that Chuch Heath is part of the generational cycle of abuse we are seeing.

  36. Vera, I didn't read all the posts just want to say I miss your writings.

  37. Thank you anonymous 1:35. I have been doing research for another post, but have been waylaid investigating another matter that needed to be dealt with. That is now done and I can turn my attention back here once again. I tend to mull things over for a bit before I write. I do not think that I will ever be a prolific blog writer and am in awe of those I follow.

    Anonymous 6:03, I do see where you are coming from regarding Chuck Heath. I, however, am more cautious when looking for cause. Although there is a strong heritable aspect to the psychopathy checklist, it can also appear spontaneously. I touched on this in the earlier post about environment versus wiring:

  38. Say NO to Palin in PoliticsJanuary 31, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Vera, Whew, I spent a fair amount of time reading all of your posts today, I like what I read, you are officially one of my fav reads. We need to get more people reading your blog. Are you okay with that? I tend to get excited about good stuff and share about it.

    I notice there is as least one person who posts on 'other people's' blogs how the blogs should be run and what the content should be. Sheesh, how very rude. Control issues much?

    I look forward to your insight and help understanding people like Scarah.

    I am concerned about the damage she can wreak. I am concerned for a President I really like and believe in. I am concerned for our country.

    I hope there are more like you out there studying Scarah. Please stay safe.

    You wrote:

    "While there is no denying that she is cunning, she is not intelligent - a dangerous combination that causes people to underestimate the damage psychopaths are capable of until it is too late. A strong argument can be made that she is also delusional."

  39. I don't think any mother in their right mind would announce their 17 yr old's pregnancy in a defense that their child (Trig) was really hers. As it has been repeatedly said, all Sarah had to do was produce a birth certificate. But instead she chose to embarrass her daughter in front of the world. She also chose to announce threats of rape?? If she was so concerned she would have done something about it at the time. Just an excuse to leave Juneau. These facts have already been posted and commented on many times together with others so just a reminder. Sarah is about Sarah. She has been lying about everything and denying all.

  40. Bravo, Vera City! Bravo! What a beautiful piece of breadcrumb you have left.
    I do so feel for all of the children. Having been raised by a most charming borderline sociopathic parent, with a weak numb codependent other parent, and having known a few other people who are clearly sociopathing, this interests me greatly.

    Sarah is an extreme case. I have known two women in my life so similar to her, and their children in much the same shoes as the Palin children.

    as an example, one of them is now on the cusp of fame herself. She has pimped her clueless daughters into a reality program on E! which airs in March 2010 "Pretty Wild!"

    you can read about them in the March Vanity Fair. While I realize this is supposed to be a fluffy promo piece, it is not difficult to read between the lines and see the sociopathic mother Andrea for what she really is