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Parents Think I’m a Psychopath Because an Armed Home Invasion Didn’t Affect Me

Recently i experienced a home invasion by two men with machetes while i was home with my dad only, i experienced the most as i saw them jump over our fence, had the machete held against me, was chased from outside to inside the house etc and i’m not traumatised by the incident whereas my dad was around the other side of the backyard when he came into the house to see them before running back out to get help, hes traumatised {mainly angry}, even though like explained he didn’t experience soomething as traumatic he’s still feeling worse after the incident happened i was completely normal, after the police had left i went to the mall with my friend and her mum who came to my house after the incident to check on me, i was laughing and nothing seemed off with me,  I didn’t think anything of it until her mum mentioned my behaviour was odd considering what had just happened, the police had said this too. Now my parents are angry at me saying im either a psychopath because I’m not fazed by the events or the people who broke in were my friends which would be why im not fazed and why i wasn’t hurt especially because they said they were looking for my dad it seems like i set up the situation which is also what the police insinuated, and even though they were masked we know they were teenagers which is also another factor to add as to why my parents think they were my friends. All of this has made me think about my own mental health, i’ve read alot about resilience being the reason as to why im not traumatised and how i bounced back quickly but the factors that would lead up to me being resilient doesnt add up. Considering my past, it would be stereotyped for me to be non resilient which is why i dont feel me just being generally resilient is correct, making me think something worse is wrong with me. Please clear my confusion. (From Australia)

A:  First let me say that I am sorry this happened to you and your dad. Any type of threatened violence and invasion can very hard on an individual or a family.

When something traumatic happens the range of responses to it are almost as varied as the individuals. There is also the issue of a time delay and interpretation of what happened.
I think it would be helpful for you and your dad to see a family trauma therapist together. The way to understand this is that the invasion has disrupted the normal pattern of interaction between you and your dad — and within the family. I would start here, and perhaps invite your mom in if she wants.

The disruption it has caused in your family is reason enough to go to a family therapist with training in trauma. This will begin the process of healing for all of you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Parents Think I’m a Psychopath Because an Armed Home Invasion Didn’t Affect Me

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2017). Parents Think I’m a Psychopath Because an Armed Home Invasion Didn’t Affect Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/10/12/parents-think-im-a-psychopath-because-an-armed-home-invasion-didnt-affect-me/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Oct 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.