Relationship Analysis: Smile Again (Smile Donghae)

Smile-Dong-Hae Smile Again (Smile, Donghae) is a 2010-South Korean daily television drama, starring Ji Chang-Wook, Do Ji-won, Oh Ji-Eun, Park Jung-ah and Lee Jang-woo. It aired on Korean Broadcasting System’s premier channel KBS1 from October 4, 2010, to May 13, 2011, on Mondays to Fridays at 20:25 for 159 episodes. The majority of the articles and books say you have to write your characters where your readers or audiences will love them. I want to show some of the characters of a Korean drama called Smile Donghae.

I’m not a big fan of the show, but I’ve been watching some of the episodes with my Grandmother. It made me realize that the characters are perfect in showing how lovemap comes into play in people’s lives and why it is important. I am only going to talk about few of the characters in the show, and not talk about the story of the show.

WARNING: It may contain some spoilers.

Sofia In the show, Sofia Yoon is Donghae’s ex-girlfriend and Theo’s wife. In the show, she is the smartest and cunning person. She lied multiple times to get the life that she wants. First, she lied about being Carl’s lived in girlfriend in the US so she could be with Theo. James, Theo’s dad, is also Donghae’s dad, but at first he didn’t know it. Along the way, Sofia committed several mistakes to keep James identity from Anna, Donghae’s mom because she didn’t want Theo to lose his father. And last, she helped Theo’s mom to keep Anna’s identity, so they could get the hotel.

Mr. and Mrs. Cho owns a hotel. Theo’s mom, President Kim, is like a daughter to them, but they a daughter they’ve lost years ago, who is Anna. Somehow, the couple, sort of promised the hotel to President Kim and his son. But Sofia found out that the couple plans to give it to their missing daughter, if they find her. Sofia’s *lovemap is not healthy. Also, she said that she sees Theo as a perfect guy and his family is a perfect one too. She’s looking for a perfect family because after losing her father, she somehow became the breadwinner of the family. Her mom, Annette, is a good person, but she is an unstable and inappropriate mom. Aside from that, Sofia is a master manipulator. She used gas lighting and verbal abuse to Anna multiple times in the show.

Theo Theo Kim, Donghae’s younger brother, grew up as a spoiled brat by his mom. That is why when he realized that the hotel will go to Donghae, he and his mom did something to steal the hotel from Mr. and Mrs. Cho. He grew up in a pretense that his family is perfect, but the truth is his mom just forced his father to marry her because she got pregnant. James always loved Anna.

President KimPresident Kim – Theo’s mother, at first is a very kind, rational, and understanding woman, but when she starts losing her husband to another woman’s love, and the hotel she sacrificed her life to take care of, she conspired with Sofia. She also raised her son as a spoiled brat.

JamesJames – Donghae and Theo’s father and the husband of President Kim. James in the show is always been in love with Anna. He treats his wife more as a business associate. He is in love with Anna, but at the end of the show, he realized that he somehow already loved his wife. What he didn’t know is even though he was pinning for Anna all those years since he’s been living with his wife for more than twenty years, his *lovemap is at work. How? While spending more time with his wife, President Kim. She became someone familiar in his psychology. His wife’s essence is being deeply engraved in his system, all those years. That is why, it is not impossible for a person who is not in love to never fall in love for someone especially when they spend too much time together. In the end, he stayed with her to his wife’s surprise.

*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.

What Keeps A Person Sane

A/N: I wrote this post back in 2008, but that blog is not active anymore. This was the first post I’ve written where I did a lot of researching, studying, and relating my real life experience. I made this post when I was very stressed and it’s also because of this post that I told myself, I wanted to help people with my writing.

The person who created Sims is so brilliant. I’ve been playing Sims for years now, and I just understood the significance of sanity in the game and in real life. It is the same thing. A person has lots of wants and needs, but he can’t get all they want. In the game, if the Sim didn’t fulfill some of his wants and needs, he’ll end up in the mental institution. It’s the same thing in real life. Now I wanted to share information about what keeps a person sane, how you would know if a person is insane, how to detect if someone is becoming insane because a lot of people take these things for granted.

So what keeps a person sane? First, let’s keep it simple. Wants and Needs keep a person sane. But right now, I’ll focus on the most important thing a person needs. Like how really important it is for a person to have his needs fulfilled.

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Alright, now those are the needs that should be fulfilled in a person’s life at the right time.

The deficiency needs should be accomplished first before the growth needs. Because by meeting those needs, it reduces psychological tension and restore our equilibrium (homeostasis), but the tension experienced in growth needs seems to add to the zest of life. In English, it means it reduces the risk of the person of having psychological problems in the future. (Colliers Encyclopedia, Humanistic Theories of Personality 19-469)

The growth needs are also important. Why? It is the criterion for Mental Health. It is very important to fulfill the needs of a person, especially when he is still young. Why? Before establishing adult identity, childhood conflicts will come back. It is a second attempt to master conflicts over childhood drives. If this is not resolved, the child remains vulnerable to psychopathology. So for example, if some deficiency and growth needs are not fulfilled in a person’s life. Then you are screwed. It is either you are living your life mentally ill for years. It will take a matter of time until he snaps or finally loses control. Depending on the needs that he lacks, it’s just two things. He’ll either hurt someone or himself.

Here are some things that could help monitor if a parent has raised his child right. So we can tell that this person will grow mentally and psychologically well.

Erik Erikson 8 stages of development 

  • Trust vs. Mistrust – learns to love & be loved.
  • Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt – learns independence
  • Initiative vs. Guilt – learns basic problem-solving
  • Industry vs. Inferiority – learns how to do things well

  • Identity vs. Role confusion – learns who he/she is and adjusts to body image

  • Intimacy vs. Isolation

  • Generativity vs. Stagnation

  • Integrity vs. Despair

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Sources of maladaptive mechanism according to Erik Erikson’s 8 stages of development

– Unreliable provision of basic needs of caregiver.

– Overcontrolling, neglecting/ rejecting parents or caregiver.

– Failure to develop trust and self-esteem

– Poor self-esteem

– Peer pressure, divorce, lack of empathy, inconsistencies

– Lack of validation from early caregivers

– Divorce, Emptiness syndrome, Menopause, and retirement

– Death

Now if anyone of you has experienced anything from the maladaptive mechanisms, then you are at risk for mental and psychological disorders. Because you are vulnerable to being sick doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Since a child rarely speaks and I am sure you won’t hear a child saying “I have a problem. I am experiencing this and that and its affecting me too much. I encourage parents to give time to listen to their child has to say. If you can’t do that then you can’t assure him anything. Even if you try to assure him, your child won’t believe you because he doesn’t trust you. There are children who speak about their problems, but they get ignored and misunderstood. Parents now don’t understand what the importance of some things in their child’s life no matter how small it is. Because they are the adults, their way is always the best one.

The way a child is raised can also affect how he is going to develop in the future. The importance of infantile experience for certain personal characteristics has been confirmed by studying the child rearing methods of various primitive cultures. Typical adult personalities are aggressive and acquisitive; infants are submitted to considerate nursing frustration and given little affection and attention. Where the typical adult personalities are friendly and properties are willingly shared, infants are nursed when they wish and as long as they wish and are given ample evidence of continuous affection. (Colliers Encyclopedia, Basic Principles of Psychoanalysis 19-453)

To a grown-up, if he is experiencing any of the maladaptive mechanisms or let’s say there are problems that affects them so much, that is where interpersonal relationship comes in, friends, parents, and spouses that’s what they do in a person’s life. They help them get through those hardships in life. They give them complete assurance, comfort and hold them at their weakest. So a person shouldn’t go through problems or hardships in life alone, no matter how petty or pathetic it is they always need someone. An independent person can solve his problems alone, but what if that person becomes vulnerable. Do you really think, he will still have a clear, level head to make the right decisions? If he didn’t make the right decisions things in their life will fall apart.

A person who loses it does different things. They could regress to childhood behavior. An example of that is a person who has outgrown his favorite toy and starts to play it again because when his young, playing that toy makes him happy. Some people cry in a fetal position. The fetal position itself indicates that his vulnerable and he needs to be nurtured, to be held by anyone who can provide him comfort and assurance

You know in the past, I got tired of men hating whiny talkative women because they don’t understand why women do that. Women do that to cope with frustrations. They tell their girlfriends a story or a problem that had arisen at home, in school, or in the workplace. Then they tell them how it is affecting them and how much they hate something or they show you how mad or angry they are. Before I could almost hate my best friend because I thought, she is projecting her anger on me. Which she is but she is not doing it intentionally. It is her defense mechanism, which is called displacement to be able to cope with her frustration.

*Defense mechanisms are thought to safeguard the mind against feelings and thoughts that are too difficult for the conscious mind to cope with. In some instances, defense mechanisms are thought to keep inappropriate or unwanted thoughts and impulses from entering the conscious mind. (What Is a Defense Mechanism? By Kendra Van Wagner, About.com)

There are a lot of defense mechanisms that could explain a person’s behavior. Everyone can be mentally ill in a moment of their life once they’ve used defense mechanisms in their everyday life. Actually defense mechanisms are normal, but once you use them too often, they become unhealthy for the person using it.

Some of the *defense mechanisms are *denial, *projection, *introjection, *rationalization, *intellectualization, *repression, *regression, *displacement, *resistance, *withdrawal, and *fantasy.

Remember, excessive imagination may lead to a delusion of grandeur. So be careful not to fantasize a lot. It will hurt you. Remember that person who uses introjection as a defense mechanism has suicidal tendencies due to depression.

That is why it is important for a person to have someone who will care for him no matter what. One person could provide everything. I really believe in that. But it’s nicer if a child’s parent would provide him all of that. So he will grow up the right way and with a right mind.

*Thusly marked words are defined on this LINK.

Bullying is a form of Psychological Abuse

PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE

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My family raised us with nannies for almost for twenty-two or so. They should have taught us how to be responsible when we are little, even we’re seven.

Just like the mom, in the movie, The Incredibles. They told their children never to use their powers. Then the day came, that they were all in danger, the mom suddenly expected Violet and Dash to just do it right.

According to a research, you can teach the children concepts as early as the age of three. For example, a child can learn the concept of responsibility by picking up their toys at a certain age. As they grew older, add something to that like putting dishes in the sink, then help in preparing food on the table, and washing dishes. As they reached puberty, they may be capable to do some of the household chores, just those that are safe and they can do. When they reach 18, they are already capable of taking care of themselves and handling the household chores.

My parents expected me to act as an adult just like that without teaching and preparing me for it and also because of their strict upbringing. I don’t know how to clean, cook, and information about sex. I learned them all on my own. I have several regrets in my life because I never got the chance to do them.

At home, my Aunt’s personality terrorized and traumatized me.

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According to article, Trauma resets personality, by Nigel Barber Ph.D, research showed that

Fear of physical harm is one important source of psychological problems. Fear of social rejection is less obvious but potentially just as important. A great deal of evidence suggests that corporal punishment  and scolding, make children turn out more aggressive and antisocial (3).

Interestingly, the effects of different kinds of unpleasant experiences on the brain are equivalent because they are mediated by the same stress hormones. Such effects involve an alteration in the brain anatomy and function (4,5). They include intellectual stunting; delinquency, poor impulse control; lack of work motivation; and precocious sexuality (3).

It is as though a stressful childhood primes people to focus on immediate gains to themselves regardless of the consequences (3).

In grade school, high school, and college, a bunch of my classmates bully me. They call me names behind my back, they make fun of me so they could feel good about themselves, they call my home and swore at me. My parents didn’t know any of that happening, my teachers didn’t do anything about that.

BULLYING

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THE CYCLES OF BULLYING

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TYPES OF BULLY BEING REPORTED

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it isn't big to make others feel small

Anti-Bullying slogan

So what are the signs of a traumatized child?

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I just restrained some parts of my personality at home especially in front of my Aunt. I detached myself from the situation. I was too ashamed to tell my parents what was happening in school. So I ignored them instead.  I didn’t learn from my parents any way to cope with what I’m feeling and experiencing. I didn’t have proper coping, and defense mechanisms to handle a situation. That is why it’s very hard for me to let go of my dreams and people I couldn’t have in my life. They’re my only source of comfort and they assure me that my situation will get better, and I’m going to be happy.

Instead of handling it properly, if I’m not reading or writing, I’ve spent my time fantasizing and daydreaming for a life with my mom where my Aunt is not there yelling and controlling everything I do. My classmates won’t be there to bully me.

In college, things were different. My best friend and my other friends comforted me and defended me from those bullies. I have another friend who comforted me because of the way my Aunt treats me. Being in college, that’s where I started to learn how to handle things, how to defend myself, learn more about myself, and where I finally understood my personality. My strengths, my weaknesses, and my rights as a person.

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When it hurts too much, I cried for my mom who was working out of the country, and I cried for my Dad I didn’t know. Eventually, I realized that no matter how I cried for them, they’re never going to materialized in front of me to comfort me.
Whenever I wanted something, my parents would always say no. So I stopped voicing out what I want and need. I grew up like that not voicing anything, and I also don’t know how to open up.

Back then, I was just so good in pretending everything is fine in front of everyone. Deep inside, I was depressed about my situation, and I was waiting for my mom to take me away from this hell hole and she didn’t. She never did. It was so sad and very disappointing. I was expecting her to save me, but she never came. She thought that if I go to US, I will end up pregnant as a teenager.

I know what I want, but since I was a little girl and when I’m high school, I didn’t pursue it because I was trying to please them, to make them happy. They got used to it, and they started to continue deciding for me. It’s too late before I realized that I wanted to become a writer and a broadway actor. My Aunt and Grandmother believes, their way is the best way.

The problem with them, I have another uncle who also have issues growing up. They made a mistake in how they raised him, and still they made the same mistake with me. My cousins, my Uncle and I don’t have the same personality, and the same circumstances, so don’t expect us to act react the same way.

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According to James Lehman, MSW, child behavior therapist, “These are people who grow up willing to accept higher levels of abuse in their marriages and their friendships.  They become desensitized to disrespect and abuse. They become numb to how it really feels to be called a name. They tolerate higher levels of disrespect and abuse in other areas of their life once they become adults.  Their ability to be assertive also diminishes.

They learn not to assert themselves.  They learn how to avoid people and situations, and it can hamper their social skills.  In our world, a certain degree of assertiveness is necessary to communicate in a way that gets your needs met, and these kids don’t learn how to do that“.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent and child.
I just want someone who will listen, make me feel loved, comforted and safe.

That’s why I want to desperately finish my book, The Guardian Program, where parents and children could have better, and close relationships at home and in school.

Is that too much to ask?

How can you trust someone when you’re afraid of them?

How can you think clearly, do the right thing, be smart, and if you’re standing where you are paralyzed?

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Abuse and Sexual Assault

April is the National Child Abuse Prevention Month and also the Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I know this post is late, but I want to give my two cents

I’ve always been passionate about the topic Abuse ever since we reported it in class back in 2006 on our Ethics class. I saved all the information, outline and PowerPoint to this day, thinking that it might help me someday to do something about the victims and people who might still be in an abusive relationship.

Even if the matter focuses on children, I will, however, focus on adults as well.

So what is abuse?

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Abuse is about power and control, the betrayal of trust, and lack of respect. It’s about using force or threats to make you afraid. It’s about using fear to control. It’s about a Man’s effort to exert control in a relationship. It’s also a way to break someone’s confidence and self-esteem.

In our time now, I know that the majority of the people are aware, but there are those who still aren’t aware. They don’t know that their actions toward someone is an abuse itself, because of them “abuse” is merely physically hitting someone.

I, myself, had received verbal and emotional abuse for more than a decade of my life and I only realized it in 2006. At some point, I was aware because I was traumatized by this relative and I exhibited the symptoms of trauma, especially when I was with this person even now. It was unfortunate, I’ve only taken an action in 2009.

I wouldn’t say that my case is already resolved and I’m okay. It still bothers me to this day, although that relative had changed because of what I did in 2009, she tries to control her anger with me, but somehow she still hasn’t changed completely, her words put me down, she underestimates me, and I can’t be myself around her. Somehow she hadn’t realized that her personality traumatized and terrorized me since I was a little girl and most of the time, she will only get mad and shout at me when she had enough and when my grandfather would stop her.

My family had turned a blind eye on what happen, especially when a counsellor contacted one my Aunts and told her about my concerns. My relative’s personality continues to traumatize me, that person didn’t do anything to reverse what I felt. I’m still afraid of her, I don’t trust her that much, my fear of her paralyses me and makes me act stupid or dumb in front of her, I still walk on eggshells whenever she’s there and the worst part is I can’t be myself when she’s around. My family, including her thinks it’s tough love and it’s the right way to discipline. She told me herself that she had no regrets in raising us the way they did.

The worst part is when it comes to my dream of becoming a writer, she is instead forcing me to do something else. My whole family were belittling my dream as a writer. They are putting me down and they have complete disregard when it comes to my dream. Is it so wrong of me to share this? I was eleven years old when I realized I love to write.

Since I grasped that my family is trying to control me, as my counsellor had advised years ago, I’m asserting myself. I’m doing what I love to do, I refuse to conform to her rules, and I refuse to compromise my personality and individuality to please her or anyone at all. It’s my way of showing them, they can’t control me. Nobody can control me. What they didn’t know is, the more they force their way of life and their will on me, the more they make me angry and desperate to make my dreams come true, and the more I want to rebel against them. The day I will give up on writing is the day I will cease living, but I would never let that happen.

When my Grandfather died, I promised him I would protect myself from everyone around me. He is the only person who made me feel loved, safe, and protected. My Grandfather was a retired military officer. He raised my Aunts and Uncles the military way. He may be strict, but he knows how to show me love and he also became a soft person when I was born. My Aunt only knew how to be mean, strict and cold toward us. She loves being right and because she’s right and she’s got good credentials, she’s not going to listen to people who are below her. She told me that too.

With what I’ve experienced, I want to emphasize other forms of abuse and the consequences. Consequences that could last a lifetime unless the person receives counselling sessions or talks to someone that will make them realize they are in an abusive relationship and they don’t deserve how they are being treated by a friend, partner, spouse, colleague or family member.

Aside from this, I was bullied in grade school, high school, and college. It stopped because I learned how to defend myself and I have friends and teachers who supported me.

Cycles of Abuse

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Relationship of Abuser

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Forms of Abuse

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  • Sexual assault: threatening to harm your reputation; putting you down or comparing you sexually to others; getting back at you for refusing to have sex, sleeping around; or treating you as a sex object; forcing you to look at pornography; hounding you for sex or forcing certain positions; forcing you to have sex (rape).

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  • Verbal: verbally threatening you (telling you to stop crying… or else); calling you names (stupid, slut, crazy, bitch…); yelling, shouting; abusing your children; being sarcastic or critical; always blaming you for things that go wrong; insulting you/your family; laughing in your face; verbal.

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  • Financial/economic: controlling you by not paying the bills; refusing to give you money for groceries, clothing, things you need; spending all the money on things he wants (alcohol, trips, cars, sports); forbidding you to work outside the home; taking your money or your paycheck; not letting you take part in financial decisions.
  • Emotional/psychological: making you afraid; playing ‘mind games’; not telling you what he is doing; lying; ignoring you; being silent; walking away from you in discussion (unless both of you have agreed to taking a ‘time-out’ period when arguments become heated); refusing to deal with issues; putting you down; finding fault in your behavior; brainwashing; refusing to do things with you or for you; always getting his own way; criticizing how you look or act.

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  • Social: putting you down; ignoring you; making a scene in public; embarrassing you in front of your children; not letting you see your friends or being rude to your friends; being nice to others but changing his personality when with you; not taking responsibility for the children; turning your children against you; choosing friends or family over you; comparing you unfavourably with other women; not allowing you to express your emotions (denying your feelings); taking your passport or threatening to have you deported.
  • Spiritual Abuse: May include preventing a woman from participating in spiritual or religious practices, ridiculing her beliefs, or using spiritual beliefs to justify controlling her.

Consequences of Abuse

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A person who experienced any form of abuse

  • Lives in constant fear, worry, guilt, and self-blame.
  • They may feel worthless and helpless or ashamed and may feel like a failure
  • Effects of emotional abuse/ psychological abuse can’t be seen, but it can be just as harmful and last much longer than injuries
  • Anyone experiencing abuse of any kind may feel that no one could ever love them.
  • They will feel stupid, ugly and all alone.
  • Being abused may undermine virtually every aspect of their life, their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health, their ability to work, their relationships with family members and friends, their self-efficacy and fundamental sense of self-worth.
  • The effects of physical abuse can be black eyes, broken bones, bruises, burns, concussions, cuts, scratches even death.

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  • The psychological effects include low self-esteem, self-degradation, self-abuse, difficulty with relationships.
  • Acute anxiety, frequent crying, unusual or pronounced fear responses, uncontrolled or rapid anger responses, chronic stress, phobias, flashback, sleep disturbances, nightmares, lack of appropriate boundaries, arrested development, passivity, memory loss, loss of concentration and productivity.

I had experienced majority of these things and I did my best to move on and stand up on my own. Most of the time, my writing and some of my friends helped me overcome those days where I felt down about myself, my dreams and I deserved how I was treated.

Even with those experiences, I’m aware that I have a strong personality and a strong will, and that helped me too. At the same time, I used what I learned in helping other people like me. However, my parents took my actions of asserting myself as a way of rebellion because I used to be the push-over kid who followed everything they say.

To anyone who is experiencing things I’ve mentioned above, please get a professional help or talk to a friend. And if you know anyone who is suffering from these experiences, talk to them and help them.

Stop-Abuse

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These experiences are not something anyone can joke about. It will affect someone’s life for a long time and nobody could reverse the effects of abuse and sexual assault overnight, or for a year or so. It takes a long time and it takes a lot of work and understanding.

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I may sound okay, but there are still days where I have to work on my own issues, cheer myself up and tell myself that everything is going to be alright. When I was a little girl, I loved the idea of being able to read someone’s mind, as I grew up I realized that the closest way for me to read someone is to learn about people, behavior, and their motivations. Due to my experiences I became a strong person and more careful in letting people in. I constantly read people’s personality around me and their actions to know if these people are someone I could trust or not.

There are different ways to know if you are in an abusive relationship. Complete the checklist below, and get a professional help or help from other friends, and family.

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To take this test, click here.

Teachers, parents, and experts need to teach the concept of Abuse in School because according to research from the Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring 1994, surveyed 644 high school students (351 males and 293 females). Of these respondents, 12.1% reported that they had an abuser or a victim of abuse in a dating relationship. The onset of violence in these relationships occured on the average when the students were 15.3 years of age.

Based on the victims’ reports, the violence entailed being pushed, grabbed or shoved (62.8%), slapped (50%), kicked, bitten, hit with fists (28.2%), being the target of a thrown object (15.4%), hit with an object (14.1%), beaten (3.8%), threatened with a knife (1.3%), or stabbed or shot (1.3%).

Yes, the result is old, so try to imagine or speculate what are the numbers now. We all know that even if there are several groups campaigning anti-abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault awareness, abuse is still prevalent everywhere.

If I could wish for anything, I wish that nobody will experience any form of abuse and sexual assault in any relationship and that everyone instead will have a close and loving relationship with everyone around them.

While I was looking for images to include in this post, it was so hard seeing other pictures of abuse because even if my experiences weren’t physical, they still hurt when I remember them. Deep inside I was thinking, maybe I shouldn’t post this or that I should never write about something like this. It’s heartbreaking and it gives me goosebumps, but I know what I want to do. I want to overcome my past for good and I want to use my voice and my writing to help.

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