High Conflict, Brain Science and Self Control
There are interesting scientific findings in high conflict, brain chemistry and ability to problem solve and engage in self control.
Based on the results of research by Teicher and several other scientists, they found that the corpus callosum for abused boys actually had a significantly smaller middle part, especially if they had been neglected. The corpus callosum for abused girls also had a significantly smaller middle part, especially if they had been sexually abused. Scientists found that the stress of any type of abuse, including repeated verbal and emotional abuse, could have a harmful impact. This could lead to long-term inability to manage emotions and relationships.
Teicher (2002) explains the effect of this damage to the bridge between hemispheres:
Reduced integration between the right and left hemispheres and a smaller corpus callosum may predispose these patients to shift abruptly from left- to right-dominated states with very different emotional perceptions and memories. Such polarized hemispheric dominance could cause a person to see friends, family and co-workers in an overly positive way in one state and in a resoundingly negative way in another – which is the hallmark of the disorder.
The result of this research is that there may actually be a physical barrier to self-awareness, self-control, and problem-solving for many high-conflict parents. This doesn’t mean that all were abused growing up, but they may not have developed these skills sufficiently.
The good news is that counseling and training that emphasize learning skills appear to help some people overcome these problems.