The Deception of Perception

I run a transitional home for troubled young people who are facing unfavorable circumstances.  As inspiring as this may sound, our facility could be a toxic and dangerous environment if a system wasn’t in place to insure everyone’s success. So as you could imagine our first protocol is safety. 

I have interviewed hundreds of people, from all walks of life, who are destructive in nature to some degree—this is to be expected.  Therefore, my job is to determine whether or not the fires they start are vindictive or just collateral damage from a skewed worldview.  It’s not the lifestyles of homelessness, prostitution, or drug abuse that frighten me, it’s that dirty little secret floating around in one of their heads that no one figures out until it’s a propaganda piece on the six o’clock news.

For those who don’t check in, we have two groups of people that walk out of our doors after an interview.  One group are those who passed our screening process but haven’t hit rock bottom yet, and the other are those who are grooming themselves to become our future rapists, child molesters and murderers.  They have the profile, but are lacking in opportunity.  So be careful when you are trying to fabricate your own Blindside story, these sweet little narcissistic sociopaths prey on those who are blinded by mercy. 

So you might be wondering what a deception expert has to do with the matters of anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.  The short answer is that every one of these symptoms is a lie, and it’s my job to sniff it out in order to bring resolution.  Just like debris protects the clarity inside the eye of the storm, so it is with the life and lies of addictions and disorders.  The revolving wreckage is merely a diversion to mask the truth.  

I’ve always been a good read (most people are who have abuse in their backstory), but the education my job provides has taken my knowledge to another level.  I’ve had a Homicide Detective who has been in the business for over 30 years agree.  Profiling individuals is as much of an art as it is a science—this cocktail of natural intuition, books from experts, and field experience has made me a better sheepdog for those I love and care for.  It’s a blessing and a curse.

And no, I don’t sit around and squint at my friends trying to read their thoughts and motives— most people, even if they are hiding an agenda, are harmless.  Even those who are driven by jealousy, ambition, or control are usually just jockeying for a meaningless position.  If you were forced to dig into their matters, you wouldn’t find anything illegal, just unethical.  When I see these people walk into a room I stay off their radar—especially if they know you have a read on them.  However, from time to time there are wolves that find their way inside the pack, but this isn’t anything a good timeline, vocal shift, gesture or facial expression can’t expose.

So when our phone rings, there is usually someone on the other line in tears about their loved one.  The situation is as urgent as it is toxic.  They have been down every avenue by the time they’ve reached us.  It’s at this point I have seconds to determine whether or not to intervene—I cannot allow my willingness to help cloud my judgement.  The world of “addictions and disorders” doesn’t need a hero, it needs a vigilante.

Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves."
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