Revisiting Joe Paterno’s involvement in the Jerry Sandusky case

The Penn State bombshell exploded on November 4, 2011. That’s when court documents were posted online indicating that Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach, would be charged with 40 counts related to sex crimes involving minors.

Since then, Jerry Sandusky has been convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president, Gary Schultz, a vice president, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, were all charged with crimes related to an alleged cover-up of Sandusky’s predatory actions. They are awaiting trial.

Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State football coach, was not charged with anything. Paterno died on January 22, 2012.  Shortly before that, he gave an interview with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. After reading it, I posted an article on the Lovefraud Blog (Joe Paterno and ignorance of evil) stating that “yes, I can believe that Joe Paterno was clueless.” Many Lovefraud readers posted that I was wrong—that Paterno had to know what was going on.

Six months later, Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, was retained by Penn State  in an effort to discover what actually went wrong. On July 12, 2012, Freeh released a scathing report of his investigation into the sordid sex scandal. The executive summary stated;

Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University—President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno—failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. These men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities. They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001.

Wrong and wrong again

I posted an article about the report on the Lovefraud Blog (With the Penn State report, a public understanding of unbelievable betrayal). In it, I admitted that I was wrong about Joe Paterno. “Even I wanted to believe,” I wrote. “Six months ago, I wrote an article postulating that maybe Joe Paterno really didn’t know what Sandusky was doing, that he couldn’t conceive of such evil in his midst. Obviously, I was wrong.”

Well, now it seems that I may have been wrong when I said I was wrong.

The family of Joe Paterno released a report last week that blasted the Freeh report as “a rush to injustice.” This report, released on Paterno.com, had its own cast of heavyweights as contributing authors. In an overview, the law firm of King and Spalding wrote:

We conclude that the observations as to Joe Paterno in the Freeh report are unfounded, and have done a disservice not only to Joe Paterno and to the Penn State University community, but also to the victims of Jerry Sandusky and the critical mission of educating the public on the dangers of child sexual victimization.

Critique of Freeh report

I read the expert report contributed by Jim Clemente, a former FBI profiler and expert in sex crimes investigations, sex offender behavior, child sexual victimization and child pornography. He makes a very convincing argument that the Freeh report got it wrong.

Watch the Clemente video and download the report here

The full report is almost 100 pages long. I recommend that everyone read Section III, “Behavioral dynamics of acquaintance child sex offenders, which is seven pages long (pages 10 to 17 in the pdf). In it, Clemente explains:

  • “Nice-guy” child sex offenders are much more prevalent, effective, and prolific than the stereotypical “stranger danger” type offender.
  • Offenders who “groom” typically seek out needy, isolated, or disadvantaged children and provide both emotional and tangible things to fill the needs of those children.
  • Children who are groomed into sexual victimization typically do not call out to be rescued or disclose when questioned about possible victimization because of a complex set of social and psychological factors.
  • People tend to demonize the offenders to an extreme, calling them “evil,” “monsters,” and “predators,” such that they don’t want to believe that anyone they know could possibly be that evil.
  • The combination of nice-guy acquaintance offending, coupled with the “conspiracy of silence” by victims and “compliant victimization,” is why Paterno did not know that Sandusky was really a child molester

In a careful point-by-point analysis, Clemente explains why he believes Paterno did not know what Sandusky was really doing, and why he was not involved in a conspiracy. Clemente talks at length about the 2001 incident in which former quarterback Mike McQueary saw Sandusky in the shower with a boy and reported it to Paterno. Clemente basically says that McQueary—himself traumatized by what he saw—did not clearly articulate that he believed Sandusky was engaged in a sexual assault, and relied only on innuendo. And because Paterno had known Sandusky for 30 years, and was such a well-known prude (Paterno’s family reported that he thought the old TV show The Love Boat was too racy), the old guy didn’t get the hint.

In the end, the report points out the shortcomings of the Freeh investigation in order to clear Joe Paterno’s name. It says Paterno was not part of a cover-up, although it does not make that statement regarding Spanier, Schultz and Curley.

Flip flops

I’m not the only one doing flip flops about this case. Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, initially supported Joe Paterno. But after the Freeh report was released, he took Paterno’s name off of a child development center at Nike headquarters. Last week, Knight blasted the Freeh report. According to SportsIllustrated.cnn.com:

“When this tragic story first unfolded Joe cautioned all of us to slow down and carefully gather the facts before jumping to conclusions,” Knight said in the statement. “We owed it to the victims, he said, to get to the truth. It was counsel we all should have followed.”

In the final analysis, Jerry Sandusky was proven a predator in this case—but beyond that, I’m not sure of anything. And I think that’s the takeaway lesson for all of us.

“Nice guy” sex offenders and other sociopaths are all master manipulators. They manipulate not only their victims, but the people around the victims, law enforcement and other authorities, institutions and the media. When sociopaths are involved, figuring out the truth is always going to be difficult.

Finding the truth

The truth is hard to find when we are directly involved in a case. When we are only reading about situations, either in the mainstream media or here on the Lovefraud Blog, there are endless opportunities for misinformation and misinterpretation. When reading an article, for example, the information we get is limited by what the reporter decided to include. Our opinions can also be influenced by how a reporter slants a story.

We always need to be cognizant of the fact that reading words on a page or screen is an extremely limited form of communication. Experts know that 65% to 90% of the meaning of human communication is nonverbal—body language, tone of voice, facial expressions. When you’re reading information, therefore, 65% to 90% of the meaning of the communication is missing. So what do we do? We fill in the blanks with what we want the communication to mean.

After having been burned by a sociopath, and determined not to be fooled or conned again, we are likely to see more evil intentions than we did in the past. In fact, we may see evil intentions where none exist. Yes, approximately 12% of the population have serious personality disorders that make them exploiters. But that still means 88% of the population is not disordered.

Now we know that sociopaths exist. So now, I think it’s important to stay alert, but be cautious in passing judgment. There may be many facts that are unreported. There may be reasons for any situation. Unless we are directly involved, and sometimes even when we are directly involved, we may not have all the information we need to evaluate the truth of any given story. It’s a good idea to pause before reacting.

Comment on this article

67 Comments on "Revisiting Joe Paterno’s involvement in the Jerry Sandusky case"

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Donna, thank you for this article and the extensive research that you put into fact-finding.

There’s really only one thing that I can say about this whole, ugly, sordid, sick mess: we’ll never know the full extent of the truths and facts. We just won’t.

Is Sandspathsky a predator? He sure is. Did he abuse his position to secure targets? Yep, he did that, too. Were high-level colleagues participating in a cover-up? It would seem so, but we’ll never know the facts about that.

We know that one assistant coach made a report and that there was no follow-up. We also know that anyone who is even remotely associated with Sandspathsky is “suspect,” regardless. This was a high-profile case with the sort of ugly subject matter that rivets an entire planet. This case also had dire consequences for Penn State, as an institution, and I don’t believe that the general public will ever know why and how Sandspathsky was able to continue decades of abuse under the proverbial noses of everyone around him. We’re just never going to know the truths.

Again, thank you for this article, the research, and discussion.

Brightest blessings

I read Dr. Anna Salter’s book on predators. She is one of the top experts on “groomers” and gives some good advice on how to spot a “nice guy groomer” Having Been acquainted with on of the most prolific pedophiles ever myself (Charles “Jackie” Walls III) who molested over 1500 kids over 20 years while in Scouting, and several other pedophiles, while I “liked” a couple, and didn’t like a couple but didn’t know why particularly but NEVER did I suspect any of them for being pedophiles…until after they were arrested.

As for Paterno…and him not responding to the assistant coach’s report…I can see both sides of the issue, but in either case, he enabled a pedophile to continue to molest. Enablers, be they “knowing” or “Unknowing” are necessary for a great deal of the evil in the world to flourish. The evil accomplished by many psychopaths could not continue without these “assistants.”

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a saying most of us are familiar with. and a set of “facts” can be looked at from several different angles. Apparently the people making the Freech and Clemente reports looked at the same set of FACTS and came to different conclusions.

That’s why when someone is accused of a crime we have a trial and the prosecution and the defense make their arguments for and against the guilt of the person and a jury of 12 people decide the guilt or innocence…and we know that there are lots of miscarriages of justice and people who are innocent go to prison, or even death row or the death chamber for crimes they did not do, and then there are the O J’s who walk on murder.

It is not within our power to know a person’s heart, mind, thoughts, or intentions, all we can do is observe what someone DOES.

If someone reports to us or shows us “EVIDENCE” that someone else has done or said this or that, we can form an opinion on the validity of the evidence and the truthfulness of the person reporting the story. We can also form an opinion of the person’s intent in their behavior, for example if a man goes into a bank with a gun and wearing a mask we may think he intended to rob the bank.

The current case in the news right now about the South African “Blade Runner” who shot his girlfriend claiming he thought she was an intruder–but then it turns out she had a fractured skull, was wearing her night clothes and was cowering in the bathroom and he shot her through the door four times. Sure “he is innocent until proven guilty” but it sure sounds to me like he murdered her with premeditation. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but if I believe the news reports of the autopsy, and I do, then I may be right in my assumptions about what happened.

Joe is dead and his family loved him and I have no doubt that they have valid reasons for wanting to believe that Joe did not know or try to cover up. Because Joe died there will never be a trial. All we have in the end are competing “expert witnesses” looking at the same set of facts and drawing different conclusions, so “we the jury” of public opinion can decide which “expert witness” to believe or not believe, or we can say “we don’t know” and have a “hung jury” of public opinion.

In ANY case, if Joe had ACTED APPROPRIATELY by calling the police when he was first given information, things might have been different. But he didn’t, and that’s a fact. WHY not? What was his intent? What did he believe or not believe? No way to tell, so intentionally or UNintentionally, Joe was at least partly responsible for Sandusky continuing to molest boys at the campus.


Is Salter’s book only about child molester type predators or all predators?

Child molesters but in many ways it also is about PREDATORS who “love bomb” although she calls it “grooming” it is about the same thing and the ARROGANCE and sense of entitlement and lack of remorse etc so there are “cross over” red flags for sure.


Thanks. I need to check it out. Have a good day…hope you are well.


Thanks so much!

That book will “curl your hair” without a Toni for sure! It is very informative as well as will make you grind your teeth at the injustices of children being given back to abusive parents. I like the way she writes but it is a terrible subject.


I’m sure it will be a tough read, but very informative…information we ALL need. Thanks.

I agree with Oxy.I’m sure Paterno’s family wants to believe the best;keep only the good memories strong.Just as Pistorius’family is supporting him 100%.But I wonder how that makes Reeva’s family feel?!!

From a child’s viewpoint,if something suspicious had been reported;even if it seemed to be a “innuendo”….if you truly care….you will investigate!Then,no matter who is involved,if the investigation proves that a crime has been carried out,then you will do your part to see that justice is done!You don’t turn your head or cover your eyes!

blossom4th, and still some mothers do “get it”. Like Oxy, who even if Patrick hadn’t sent someone after her to kill her, would not have condoned stand with him for 100%. Just like the mother of serial child molestor and killer Marc Dutroux hopes he’ll NEVER get out, because she knows he’ll NEVER change.

I saw that Darwin’s mom, TOWANDA for her, my offspring is bad, her’s is worse. (Sigh) I feel sorry for her.


He managed to kill more innocent lives than yours. But they’re both as bad I think. Dutroux thinks he’s a winner too. Doesn’t shave his beard anymore or have his hair cut, because he thinks WE should pay his 15 € for the prison hairdresser (typical entitlement). And of course he had to use his opportunity for media attention and victim taunting, by requesting for an ankle bracelet, just like he taunted everybody for getting penitantionary leave. He feels like a winner, just like Patrick.

I still imagine if you saw the interview with her, you could very much identify with her.

Hello lovefraud! Please excuse me in advance for my random commenting, but I must share some good news! I was offered the job I interviewed for a few weeks back. They even offered me more money than I was initially told. Its not a huge amount, but it will enable me to put my precious girl into a great daycare and work on getting out of transitional housing and back on our own again. Some of the wreckage of tangling with spathy is smoothing out… FIANALLY! I was also able to get back into the Army reserve, though have had some struggles trying to find safe, reliable childcare and may end up needing to get right back out. Getting back in even briefly may have served its purpose, though, because I learned about the job position through a contact I met through the reserves in January. Im trying to stay encouraged. I hate the idea of the peanut in daycare for 50 hours a week once more, but I also feel like taking the job will move us forward and away from this living situation with disordered roommate…

LP Marie!!!! WHOOP!!!!! WHOOP!!!! TOWANDA!!!!! Yippeeeee!!!! Great! I know it is tough putting the peanut into day care but you got a JOB!!!!! *J*O*B* Yea!!!! It won’t take you long to get into a place of your own, even if it is a cracker box to start with, that’s okay as long as it is dry and safe! I’m so proud of you and proud FOR you! I TOLD YOU SO!!!! I knew you could do it!!!! See how strong you are!!!


Congrats to you! So glad to hear this good news!!! 🙂

Hooray for you LPMarie……clever girl!I’m so pleased for you and the little one. The only way is up now love. Towanda !!!!! 😆

LPMarie…..oh, what wonderful news!!!! And, all things happen as they do and you’ve taken some really strong steps! WHAT an inspiration, LPMarie!!!!

ABSOLUTE TOWANDA-AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LPMarie ~ I’m doing a little happy dance here !!!!!!!


Thank u all for the support and encouragement. I did not sleep a wink last night, realizing a few serious risks to taking this position. The area that im in has outrageous childcare costs and I did not consider the fact that I will lose our current medical coverage and have to pay for an expensive policy. Once we leave transitional housing I will not be able to afford housing and daycare. Im bummed, but I dont want to make a fast decision out of fear and end up in a worse space. Sometimes I really regret leaving hawaii, because I had a really good set up with my job and reserve career and a great daycare that was lisenced, accredited, safe, clean, etc. I had my own place, a regular routine, friendly acquaintences, a beautiful valley that we would take long walks and runs in. I miss my life so much. The only thing jamming life up was a 3 hour round trip commute and the constant threat of spathy. Im feeling pretty discouraged. I wish I had made some better choices, but I was so alarmed with the detective inte

Interview regarding the missing person case and his stalking and keying my car, etc. I was leary of continuing to bring my little one to his supervised visits, furious about the performance he was putting on and afraid that his grand performance would lend him credibility WHEN he decided to take me to court to revise custody agreement. I made some quick decisions out of fear and im so exhausted that im merely trudging through life trying to keep a brave face on for my daughter. She sees me cry every single day. This cant be good for her. I wanted to protect her from my/his sick family, but with my ineffective coping and growing irritability and impatience, am I any better for her to be around. I try to remember all the nastiness ive experienced with him and his family, because lately I have been tempted to “reach out” to them for help. And then I think of cappuccino queen and the tradgedy she and prince suffered, knowing my ex spath is capable of similar horror. Please pray for me if u r at all inclined toward prayer. Im feeling pretty desperate and hopeless right now. Im holding on for better days but some times it feels like this can of worms is too tangled to ever straighten out. I feel like the worst mother to have turned her/our life into this.

LPMarie ~

Take a deep breath, honey. Me thinks you are having anxiety over yet another change coming into your life.

I can only imagine how much you miss your former life, but that “constant threat of spathy” was a HUGE threat to baby girl’s safety for the next 17 YEARS. You did the right thing, the only thing you could.

I’m confused, can’t you get VA health insurance? I’m sure you have looked into that. I don’t know a whole lot about it, hubby just now is looking into some benefits that he didn’t realize he was entitled to through VA.

I know with day care, if you have NOTHING, you get help, otherwise it seems like you are on your own, just not right. Maybe you could find something with a sliding scale as far as costs ???

You are right, take your time, consider all your options. Get your calculator out and do a “what is best”. AND – get some sleep.

Thank u MiLo. I can get VA healthcare, but peanut will not be eligible. Im stressed bc I have to accept or decline by 12 today. If I take this job, it will bump me just above the cut off for daycare and healthcare assistance. It seems like in this state, the thing to do is soak up state benefits and I have a hard time doing that. I miss my independence and security. Maybe I should just decline this particular position and get back into a graduate program and live off of student loans. In the long run it would likely benefit us the most. My anxiety disorder is damn near crippling at present. Im seeing a psychologist at the VA next week for an assessment. Maybe I gotta do some more intense therapy so I can cope more effectively and move on. I could likely get childcare assistance to attend an outpatient program, like respite. I already did an impatient program when I was pregnant with peanut. It was pretty helpful and I believe it enabled me to leave spathy after my daughter was born. I hope ur hibby gets the VA bebefits he is entitled to. Best of luck with it.

LPMarie, I made nearly every decision and choice during my lifetime as a result of FEAR. Fear creates an atmosphere of panic that creates a “feeling” that something needs to be done, immediately, and that simply isn’t usually the case. So, I completely identify with the fear-factor.

MiLo is spot-on: breathe and slow down. Then, consider what all of your options are, today. Not tomorrow or next week, but today. If you are eligible for public assistance, USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE – caps are not meant to convey yelling, but emphasis, only. I believe that your daughter would certainly be eligible for health coverage as being a dependent, though I could very well be wrong about that – it’s definitely something worth looking into, deeper.

As for daycare, etc…..there are alternatives to expensive day care that include hiring a live-in nanny at a reasonable rate. Of course, this would require interviews, background checks (criminal, civil, and credit – ALL 3), and the “nanny” would receive room and board, with a reasonable salary. Research this option, LPMarie.

One of the most ugly aspects of healing from spaths’ carnages is that our self-esteem, self-assuranc, self-worth, and every other heatlhy “Self-ism” was damaged or destroyed. So, of course, I’m going to focus on the most negative aspects of whatever I’m facing simply because I am accustomed to failure, dismissal, and even self-sabotage.

You have made your way with incredible courage, dignity, and positive recovery. Whichever decision you make, you’re going to be just fine, in due time. Try to avoid focusing on regrets, or “what ifs,” because that only feeds the most negative apsects. We cannot change the past. We only have what’s going on, right now, and we can’t predict what’s going to happen, tomorrow.

Brightest and most encouraging blessings to you

LPMarie ~ Just a thought here, I do not know if this would work at all, just a thought for you to check out if you have time and are interested.

Could you make a payroll deduction into a college savings account for peanut or a payroll deduction into an IRA or health savings plan that could LEGALLY – OFFICIALLY reduce your pay so that you are eligible.

Again, not at all sure of the legalities of this, just a thought.

LPMarie, I suggest that as a combat veteran you go back to the VA and check about SERVICE CONNECTED PTSD disability. This high level of FEAR and ANXIETY, depression and crying all the time can very well be combat connected…I suggest you do this ASAP. The PTSD from THAT could be keeping you from being able to handle the stress you are experiencing with “life” issues.

It saps our ability to cope with other issues as they come up. We can do okay as long as the road is smooth but if there are any pot holes or rocks along the way, we fall down. Believe me, sugar, I know from experience on this. (((Hugs))) and my prayers always.

Please do not think of state assistance as taking your independance away.I know it can be a pain,keeping up with the interviews and paperwork.But it’s there to HELP YOU WHEN YOU NEED THE HELPING HAND.You’ve already come a long way;you can feel proud of what you’ve accomplished!You’re not a ‘deadbeat’ parent because you are trying to cope with so many difficult problems at once!Right now,just take care of yourself and peanut!Towanda to you! (((Hugs)))

MiLo and Ox Drover,

I had to decline that job. I am truly realizing how much of a toll the past few years, and especially the last year has taken on me mentally and emotionally. I am meeting with a VA counselor next week for an assessment. I am service connected for PTSD and went through an inpatient program for 9 weeks while I was pregnant with baby girl. Unfortunately, I was still with Spathy and still under the spell, believing I was the one abusing him, etc. But I do believe some of the skills I learned there and also becoming a mother and wanting to protect my daughter enabled me to get together the strength to leave him.

As much as I hate to admit it, after another sleepless night riddled with anxiety, I am thinking I am not quite ready to reenter the work force. Although I have been receiving counseling, I’m not sure anyone really “gets” what happened to me with Spathy. I struggle to cope. Two out of state moves and associated challenges have not helped the stress, either, but we are better off no where near my or his family.

I feel like a flake for doing a complete 180 overnight, but I think I need to sllloooowwww way down like all of you are suggesting. I’m still really beating myself up for allowing all of this to happen. I need some help processing all of this grief and change. Sorry if I have rambled on here… (((HUGS))) to you all. Thank you for supporting me.

Marie, STRESS takes time to overcome….and PEACE…and you have had neither the TIME or peace to process all the stress you’ve had. Here is a partial list of the stress you’ve had. COMBAT. Having a baby, having a relationship with a P. THREE cross country moves, moving in with your P family, being homeless with a baby…and I am sure you could add to the list. ANY THREE of those things in a 3 year period put you OVER THE TOP on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale….so sweetie, you have PLENTY OF REASON TO BE ANXIOUS AND FEARFUL, DEPRESSED AND NOT READY TO ENTER THE WORK FORCE….so, I realize that where you are in the shelter is putting you up against some women who sound to me like BPD, you can handle that in order to buy yourself some tiime to HEAL and get some counseling etc.

Hang in there girlfriend! You can do this. I think you made a good decision to decline the job for now. There was a time when I scored 1500 on the Holmes and Rahe (300 is top out for “crazy”) and I was crazy as a shiat house rat! Looking back I don’t know how I managed to brush my teeth much less anything else. So just take care of YOU and the PEANUT! (((HUGS AND PRAYERS))))

LPMarie ~

Don’t you dare call yourself a flake in front of me, got that?

We are here to support any decision you make, and I don’t care how many times you change your mind. Your decisions ALWAYS take the little bubble blowing peanut into consideration 1st and foremost.

Take your time, get the help and keep putting one foot in front of another.

I agree with Oxy – you can do this and you will do this.


Blossom, Oxy, and MiLo, thank u for the words of encouragement. I soak up all the positive energy I can get! I am trying so hard to consider all of the effects my choices will have on the peanut. I read Just Like His Father? And I try to adhere to Dr. Leedoms recommendations as much as I possibly can. Peanut is 2 years and almost 3 months and we are still nursing (one recommendation). I teach her about feelings and she understands and she displays empathy. I dont think its great for her to see me crying so frequently, but I tell her mommy just feels a little sad, but its not her fault and mommy is going to be ok. One day she was playing while I was straightening up and she was chattering on to herself and she said “something wrong with mommy.” I told her mommy is sometimes scared or sad, but she is still okay and will always take care of her. She said “Stop crying, mommy! Please!” and I asked her what she wanted mommy to do. She smiled and said “play!” shes really the sweetest little girl. Very strong willed and independent, but also attached well to mama. I feel like things must be going half way well enough for her to be developing the way she is. Of course, she is just blessed with intelligence and charm. Shes also stunningly beautiful! I have a lot to be grateful for. I just get caught up in the aftermathof emotional devastation. And I have been NC with spathy for over a year and a half except for one child support hearing, which I dont count as breaking NC. I think I was so busy surviving and doing the work/military/school/single mom thing that I didnt have time to process alot of the experiences, on top of all the new stress. But I so appreciate the understanding andsupport I get from the wonderful folks on this site. It truly helps. (((Hugs)))

It’s another report based on probabilities, possibilities, and OPINION. Done by a man with credentials who was hired by the family with an agenda. The “I didn’t know” excuse is such a cliche.

I don’t know what words were spoken to Mr Paterno. I do read this report that he was a prude and I am going to believe that characterization b/c it is corroborated by more than one witness. That tells me one thing for sure, “There are none so blind as those who WILL not see.”

Refusing to hear what is being said is NO excuse, it’s called AVOIDANCE. In fact, it is exactly that, MAKING AN EXCUSE.

“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

I want to say something b/c I know how much you love your baby and it would break your heart for her to miss even one ounce of your love. But what I have to say may be hurtful. I am sorry. I say this b/c what I have to say, I’d want to know if my baby was little.

Your daughter may be learning empathy. But what she is expressing is anxiety. And she is taking on responsibility for your feelings. Please don’t cry in front of her. I know it’s hard. Try to look at it as a sacrifice for her well being. Don’t be in a state where she has to make you, the adult, feel better. Take time for yourself when she is asleep. It’s a very sad reality that young moms don’t get the option to grieve. I am very sorry b/c I know this hurts you, but it would hurt you more to have her grow up and be conditioned to feel responsible for how someone feels. As adults, we are accountable for the consequences of our behaviors but we are not responsible for other’s feelings. There’s a difference. Does that make sense? Again, so sorry b/c what I wrote will likely make you sad, but as a mom, I’d want to know and I know a woman who loves her baby like you do would want to know too.

All my best, Katydid
ps Remember, you are the lioness, protecting her baby, and frankly doing a hell of a job under the circumstances. I so admire what you are doing. Smush the itty bitty cuties with Lots of hugs and kisses, but no more crying where she knows about it, okay?

I would like to respectfully disagree with KatyDid about letting your child see you cry as a bad thing.

My personal opinion is that pretending to be happy when we want to cry is counter productive and kids are very intuitive anyway and will pick up on something being wrong.

I think though that you need to get some regular counseling and maybe be evaluated for some medication, Marie, because DAILY crying shows that you are depressed/PTSD etc.

Also, keep in mind that the Peanut has experienced some stress too in many moves and many new people in and out of her life.

I really love the fact that you are still nursing her and I think that is wonderful.

I think when you do cry and reassure her that it is okay to cry and that you will be Okay you are teaching her empathy. I don’t think she is assuming responsibility for your crying, I think she is just displaying empathy. But you can tell her that you are sad but not at her, that she is not what made you sad, but that she is what makes you GLAD.

Then blow bubbles with the baby and be grateful you are away from the Ps in your life! (((hugs)))

I agree. Crying in front of a child is not necessarily a bad thing. But that’s not what I wrote about.

I wrote what I did about toddlers and small children acting out anxiety b/c they get their sense of security from their primary parent. There has been much upheaval for this family, for the mother and the child. That baby looks to mommy for her security. When she sees the heartbreak, children feel their security is threatened and they seek to sooth the parent and get their security back.

I am not advocating LPMarie13 to go around pretending to be happy, and in fact, NEVER said that nor did I imply that, I only advised she express her own intense emotions where her baby doesn’t directly experience it. A baby has no defense, no life experience and it will affect her strongly.

LpMarie13 is dealing with a difficult situation but similar to one which I recently helped a newly returned military mom resolve. We followed the advice of a professional child therapist. And with that insight, I passed on what I learned about children, Especially how what looks like a child acting on empathy is actually an expression of anxiety and insecurity. Of course, a therapist is the best source for how to manage the emotional traumas, and hopefully one that is also well trained in child development.

All my Best,

Thanks for clarifying that KD.

Keep your head up and give yourself credit for all that you have accomplished in the past few years!
You’ve made decisions and executed them……you will continue to move forward and you will see the rays of sunshine come into your life through the clouds….soon!
Please….reflect on all that you have done, in a positive light, and realize just how strong you are.

Also, if you can ‘listen’ to what your very wise, beautiful little girl is telling you, she will lead you……and PLAY!
Allow yourself to ‘check out’ and just PLAY!
When you sit with her, it can be easy to let your mind wander……stay in the moment, with her and enjoy PLAY!
Now is not the time for work. She gave you your answer……go with it.

I see brighter days ahead for you LP!!! You will find them.



I think you’re doing an AMAZING job of taking care of yourself and your precious daughter. I have three kids and life is NOT perfect. They have seen me cry plenty of times, have meltdowns, etc (like you, everything is on my shoulders). The stresses that we face can do this to us. I have total respect for you. You are a wonderful PERSON and a great MOTHER. EB (and the other posters) are right – be sure to give yourself credit, lots of it! Peace to you. Your daughter has a beautiful mother (YOU) who KNOWS how to and is providing her child with GOOD, GENTLE, LOVING care. Give yourself a pat on the back. If you need someone to “talk” to, I recommend coming here. You’re in my thoughts and prayers today.

LPMarie, I agree with Bluejay that you’re wrestling this bull down in good order. DEFINITELY acknowledge all that you have accomplished, recognized, and addressed all on your own. It’s no easy task to recover from spath experiences, and you’re doing the best that anyone could. Your daughter will recognize these strengths and attributes that you have tapped into.

Brightest blessings

Wow, thank you everybody. I appreciate everyones thoughts and value all of everyones insight and encouagement. Its really hard to have any time away from her at all, because we do not have a support system here. And I see a social worker, case manager, and a lisenced professional counseler through a parenting organization. Unfortunately, she is always with me for these and every other appointment. Also, I am encouraged to think of something positive about her dad, because nobody is “all bad.” I dont have someone who “gets it.” Im going to see if I can get her into part time daycare maybe 4 days a week or so depending on what is recommended for follow on care next wwek. Thats when I do phase 2 of an assessment with the VA counselor and we have talked about an out patient ptsd program. I agree that her seeing me upset so much causes insecurity and I also agree that hiding emotions is unhealthy/pointless because even when I put on a brave face, if im truly upset, she knows anyway. Im doing the best I can and all of this upheaval and change truly was out of concern for both of us and our well being. Its just tough right now and im lonely alot of the time. But I do things like take her to the library, story time, the la leche leauge meetings (im a leader applicant!), we go to the free days at the zoo and the childrens museum. I honor her every request for chinese noodles for dinner 🙂 I am going to try my best to curb thenegative emotions in front of her. I definitely dont want her to feel unsafe or uncertain. She, too, as someone pointed out here, has been through massive changes and had a lot of familiar people disappear. She misses grandma and even though my mom is a raging N, I still let her talk to her bc she doesnt know grandmas evil side and I dont want to abruptly end that relationship for the peanut. Today is a better day, and we are going to go to the childrens museum after nap. I will focus more on the present moment, as suggested. I look at pictures of her from last year and know how short this time is.

LPMarie…..TOWANDA to you – it takes tremendous courage, resolve, and adamant to recover and you’re taking absolute control of your own recovery.

Yeah…..the “encouragement” to find something positive about the spath is foolish and whomever suggested that does not “get it.” UGH……

Have a BLAST at the children’s museum, LPMarie!

Brightest blessings

It sounds like you are filling your precious baby girl’s life with lots of good activities and good memories….those are the things she will remember-doing them with mom!

I would just like to add that while I can understand the view that mothers want to be careful of adding anxiety to their child’s life…that it is a lesson in life itself;life is full of anxiety-pretending that life is easy doesn’t prepare the child for what’s ahead,although it needs to be done in ‘doses’.Love is what gives your child security.And you are giving your child lots of lovin’!It is good that your peanut is learning empathy at a young age!

Sorry this is a bit now out of context but I do not agree with any individual in Paterno’s camp regarding his involvement, be they family, friends, legal counsel or Jim Clemente.

The following is a direct quote from the Freeh Report:

Curley emails Schultz and Spanier and says he [Curley] has changed his mind about the plan “after giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe [Paterno] yesterday.” Curley now proposes to tell Sandusky “we feel there is a problem” and offer him “professional help.” “If he is cooperative we would work with him to handle informing” the Second Mile; if Sandusky does not cooperate, “we don’t have a choice and will inform” DPW and the Second Mile. “Additionally, I will let him know that his guests are not permitted to use our facilities.”

Joe Paterno knew what was going on — he just refused to take proper action. The entire Penn State University sport program was his fiefdom, not just the Football. Nobody was hired, fired, promoted or demoted without his knowledge.

“After having been burned by a sociopath, and determined not to be fooled or conned again, we are likely to see more evil intentions than we did in the past. In fact, we may see evil intentions where none exist. Yes, approximately 12% of the population have serious personality disorders that make them exploiters. But that still means 88% of the population is not disordered.”

Donna makes a good point here but I take a slightly different view. First, I applaud the statement that 12% of the population have a serious personality disorder — too often the focus is upon the 4% who can be clinically diagnosed as having Anti-Personality Disorder.

Add in other “toxic” individuals such as alcohol and drug abusers and this number can easily rise to 33%.

Prior to my experience with a sociopath, I knew little of the disorder and generally had a positive attitude toward people, albeit a cautious one, mostly toward those who displayed outward signs of Narcissism or substance abuse. Still, I never thought that so many people are toxic.

I don’t believe I see evil where it does not exist; rather, I am knowledgeable of those traits that make people toxic and understand that many such people can be highly successful, even lauded by the public and media.

Regarding Paterno, the basis for my skepticism regarding Jim Clemente’s “expert opinion” is that Paterno demonstrated a life-long commitment first to himself has head coach, second Penn State University and PSU a distant third. He built a cult of personality whereby the growth and success of the University was seen primarily due to Joe Paterno and not the billions invested by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

He continually preached about “doing the right thing” and was quick to point out the failings of other football programs. As the father of three sons, I cannot accept that he would find it appropriate that a grown man would shower with young boys, during which have physical contact. Thus, when faced with a difficult situation, he fell back on his values: Joe Paterno first and Penn State Football second.

Jerry Sandusky’s crimes were enabled not by Joe Paterno’s naivety but by his narcissism.

BBE I pretty well go along with your reasoning and I can’t blow holes in it at all. I believe Paterno “knew” that inappropriate things were going on and he DID NOT ACT. WHY he did not act can only be surmised, but the fact is, he KNEW and he DID NOT ACT APPROPRIATELY according to every law in the universe, morally or legally.

We can only surmise that he did not act in order to protect the “good name” of the friend and the school…just like the Catholic church and many other religious groups and social groups have kept their mouths shut for centuries. Even the wives of some offenders knew and did nothing. A recent report on abuse inn Scouting in the 1960s showed that when the man was caught his wife was informed and he was sent to a mental institution for a few days and when he came home he started abusing his children, both male and female. His wife stayed with him.

So the covering up is nothing new, just a continuation of what has gone on for centuries.

That’s what I wrote here, last year:

Blue Jay and Louise,
I heard you were worried. I’m here. just been taking a break.

Louise, if you want I can help you register. Just email me using the contact form under the “About 180Rule.com” tab.


I’m glad you’re okay.

What bothers me about Paterno (and his supporters) is hiding behind a mask of grandfather-like charm and accomplishment.

If all this occurred in the 1970s or prior, I would give him some slack. But the Church abuse scandals were well-publicized throughout the 1990s; therefore, Paterno could hardly be “shocked” that such abuses could happen, even by supposedly “moral individuals of high standing in the community.

Since Jim Clemente was hired by Paterno’s family, his assessment cannot be viewed as objective.


I like this quote frm the article BBE linked too

Not that you can blame the family for trying. The legacy that Paterno so carefully built up over 46 years as head football coach at Penn State was left in tatters by the scandal, and they’re trying desperately to restore his good name.

What they don’t understand is that Joe Paterno is not the real victim here. What he lost in the final months of his life surely pains the family, but it was the cult of Paterno itself that created the atmosphere that allowed a monster like Sandusky to roam freely.

The young boys who were sexually abused by Sandusky are the true victims. They’re the ones who pay every day of their lives, while trying their best to erase terrible scars that just won’t go away.


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