Saturday, May 10, 2014
"I'm a Great Mother" in Statements
Mother's Day is upon us.
This is often a point of controversy for some readers: the self praise and terms of endearment in statement analysis.
Recently, in reviewing statements of methadone patients, a large majority of the statements including self praise of motherhood by those in treatment for substance abuse. Substance abuse and good parenting are mutually exclusive. Substance abuse, in the least, brings neglect to children while in the worst, brings death.
We flag both self praise and terms of endearment in Statement Analysis as troublesome points.
Why is this?
Why is "I love you" flagged in Statement Analysis as problematic?
Here are a few statements. Please remember the context: the subject (writer) is making a statement at the request of another (police/medical professional).
"I was getting ready for bed and put our kids to bed. I said "I love you" and kissed our daughter and went..."
This statement suggests that there is likely a problem in the relationship.
I've added no underlining to the pronouns, but seasoned readers will have noted:
"our kids" and "our daughter."
Both have the sharing pronoun, "our", which shows a sharing of ownership.
Humans are possessive creatures. The overwhelming number of biological parents say "my" unless speaking in the presence of the other. (Even then, we often hear "my" unless there is an issue of sensitivity to be addressed.) When "our" is used, there is a need to share. This could be a signal of:
or...if it comes from the biological parent, divorce may have been discussed. Yet, it is the "I love you" statement that is flagged for appropriate follow up questions.
Why? Don't you love your children? Don't you say "I love you" at night to them?
I do love my children and I tell them "I love you" when I say "goodnight" to them, as well as when I hang up the phone on them. I love them and I want them to not only know it, but for it to be rehearsed in their hearing often.
It is not the love that is in question, it is the context of a statement made for police or for intake screening.
It is the need to portray oneself as loving that brings the quality of the relationship into question.
In most statements where you have the expression of love, you will find trouble.
In Substance Abuse counseling, the subject (counselee, patient) is often asked to "Tell us about yourself" in an open statement. The Interviewer wants to learn about the subject, in depth, in order to better serve her.
"I am 31 years old, a really good mother, and..."
I instruct the Interviewer (counselor, therapist, doctor, nurse, screener, etc) to ask about "Child protective history" as they will often find that one who calls herself a good or great mother, without being asked, has likely been accused of being an abuser or neglectful parent.
They are often amazed just how many either have child protective history, or have been accused by family or ex husbands, of being an unfit mother. The topic of motherhood is often very sensitive.
Those not accused might write,
"I am 31 years old, a mother of two children, and like to..." without the need to emphasize quality of motherhood.
It is the need to persuade, that we often flag, for deception, and it is the "need to portray" that we highlight in our interviews.
I have shown, in a large quantity of analysis, that Billie Jean Dunn, mother of murdered 13 year old, Hailey Dunn, had guilty knowledge of Hailey's death even while reporting her "missing." Review her case to see the sensitivity connected to being accused of neglect in motherhood for a full sample of this principle in analysis. She, responsible for her daughter's death, first with drugs and then with inviting in the very man who threatened Hailey's life, described herself as a "great" mother.
I find that good mothers are often too tired to boast of being a "good" mother, and are often filled with knowledge of their own mistakes and frailties to describe themselves as "great" mothers.