When I look at weaker, living things, I like to imagine how it’d feel to crush it in my hands, or how pleasurable it’d feel if I wrapped my hands around their necks. I desire to see their fear and pain; their eyes widening in terror, just to earn the euphoric feelings that come afterwards. I don’t like horror movies, but I find fictional gore/murderous/twisted/demented drawings and stories very appealing. I have had backgrounds of being emotionally harmed for 8 years in elementary. My negative parental influence includes the same, plus their in-accountability to be together, however, I perceive myself to be a rational person. They do love me and have gotten better over the years, but not with each other. I used to abuse the animals around me when I was around the ages of 8-13, pulling their fur/feathers off, tying them up, forcing them into small spaces, ect. Going into religion soothed me, but, around my third year of high school, I stopped trying to associate with my peers. In my mind, they are no different from all of my elementary classmates, and I’ve given up on them. A “friend” means someone who’s willing to sacrifice something for me, and me in turn; the rest that I associate can only be characterized by me as, ‘tolerable’ or ‘interesting’. I no longer trust anyone, and can’t seem to touch anyone without wanting to push them off or feel disgusted. I only love my family. I’m mostly silent and prefer not to look at anyone’s eyes unless they’re talking to me. They seem insignificant. I detest crowds and a few triggers are small things, like the sound of people’s breathing. I hate being looked at and have a severe inferiority complex. I try to seem shy and act helpful/polite, but it’s forced. My issues with this mindset is that it scares my parents as well as part of myself, but, a larger part of me enjoys it. Most of my art has become grotesque over the years. How do I stop myself from holding this ball of raging hatred/pain without directing it at those around me? Am I in risk of turning into a criminal, or is this some kind of mild disorder?
It’s not clear why you engage in this type of thinking and behavior. At the root of the issue might be your inferiority complex. People who feel inferior to others see themselves as incompetent, unworthy and weak. They lack a sense of power and control. You may be compensating for those unpleasant feelings by targeting animals in an attempt to gain a feeling of power and control. There may be other motivations as well.
You asked whether you are at risk of becoming a criminal. Hurting animals is a criminal act. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently classified animal cruelty as a felony offense, and considers it a “crime against humanity.”
Studies have also shown that cruelty to animals can lead to cruelty to human victims. A person might begin or practice with animals and then progress to people.
It’s good that you are aware of your problem and concerned enough to write. The fact that you have shared this information with your parents is also a positive sign. It shows that you had the insight to recognize that a problem exists and you want help. Your openness to treatment and motivation, significantly increases your chances of successfully correcting this problem.
Therapy is the ideal place to learn how to manage your strong emotions. Your therapist will teach you how to regulate your emotions and behavior. Counseling can be quite powerful especially if you are open to the process. I would recommend that you go to your parents and ask for their assistance in finding a therapist. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle