Do boys ever have fantasies about girls
The girls shoot
A few days after the rampage in Winnenden, he had sent an email to "Dear Prof. Dr. Pfeiffer", "I'm 28 years old today and thank God I'm back or for the first time in the middle of life," it said. But it was not so long ago that he and his friends met "all night to play" and "talked about rampages". The "central problem", wrote Sven (Name changed), "was our utter failure with the opposite sex. Through which we developed an irrepressible hatred of women." Sven had noticed Prof. Pfeiffer through his television appearances, in which he presented his studies on youth violence and urged that people no longer turn a blind eye to this development. Sven now wondered why one had never tried to speak to a man who has or had such fantasies. "You can't ask a dead gunman," he writes. He, Sven, is alive. - Christian Pfeiffer, with whom EMMA has been working for many years, sent us this letter and arranged the contact. Sven came to the EMMA editorial office in Cologne and told us impressively openly how he too almost became a rampage - and why he did manage to take a different path after all.
Sven, why did you actually write to Prof. Pfeiffer?
Well, that was the second rampage in Germany. But when I saw the broadcasts about it on TV, I had the feeling that the real causes were not recognized at all. Sure, tougher gun laws and the ban on first-person shooters ... Everything is correct. But the question is: How can it even come to this?
And how did you - almost - get to this point?
It started a year or two before I graduated from high school. I was kicked out at home when I was 18. But I had two friends who were just as outsiders as I was, and they had very similar problems: with their parents and with the women. None of us had a stab with women. And that's what we've just talked about.
That we found women stupid. Superficially and totally fixated on externals. We also found the television with the many inhuman programs - comparable to today, for example, DSDS - total scrap. People were judged there, judged and left behind as losers. We were really frustrated and envious and had a total hatred of society as a whole. Then it started with the first first person shooters. The very first was Wolfenstein, in which you would always run around in the corridors of a building and shoot down guys in Nazi uniforms.
And what was so great about it?
That you could relieve pressure. You could play all the hatred off your body. Now you might think that it would be a valve and not dangerous. But the problem was that it gave me the idea: What if I did it for real? The special thing about first person shooters is that you always run through some corridors and shoot everyone who comes out of the doors. That's when we got the idea that it would be great to go to our school and get real revenge on everyone! That was long before there was the first rampage in Germany.
Did you talk to each other about it too?
Absolutely! Which teacher and which students we shoot! And where you could hide in our winding school.
We always just wanted to shoot women
Stop! You were just talking about teachers and students. Did you only want to shoot women?
Yes, that's exactly the point. We always just wanted to shoot women. Maybe a couple of alpha males too. But the women were really interesting. The women who made you feel humiliated and repulsed.
Well, because the girls put you down. Or teachers who ... yes ... these very tough, so'n a bit masculine ... so the classic emancies. They were also a thorn in our side. In the case of the schoolgirls, it was more the unemancipated that we had in our sights, those who only stood on the strong and ran around with huge necklines and super minis. In the case of teachers, on the contrary, it was rather the particularly emancipated, those who put you in your place. You hated them too. With the kinds of women you didn't feel that you were being taken seriously.
Have your murder fantasies always revolved around school?
Sure, that was the perfect place. The supermarket or the train were of no interest. School was the center of our life at the time, we knew many people there. And I went to school every morning with a stomach ache. Especially when the graduation was approaching and the general pressure to perform increased.
Did the frustration also have something to do with the pressure to perform?
Sure, in all areas. And these fantasies, they gave such a total feeling of omnipotence, because you knew exactly: the others have no chance. It would be boring to throw yourself in front of the train, nobody sees that. Such a rampage, that's just the final settlement. Later on I had such fixed ideas with churches because I hated my religious upbringing.
Have you actually watched porn as well?
No, that came later for me, in the Bundeswehr. My very Catholic mother raised us to be very prudish. She even cut out the bikini photos from the Neckermann catalogs and the sexual representations from the medical books. It was totally hostile to the body and lust.
Did you three also have real guns?
We all had weapons: killers, switchblades, and gas pistols.
I don't see them as people, they are pigs!
Didn't you get scruples when you indulged in murder fantasies?
Light moments? Yes, there was. That people thought: You really can't do that. But then you said to yourself again: The others are not people at all. They didn't feel sorry for me, so now I don't feel sorry for them either. They treated me like a monster ... so I don't see them as humans either! They are pigs!
Didn't all three of you have a girlfriend at that time?
Nah, none of us.
And you all had problems with your parents?
Yes. My two pals grew up without a father. One's mother was an alcoholic, the other's mother was extremely mothering. That really disgusted him!
But you have a father and mother. You come from an academic family and have five siblings.
But my parents both had a drinking problem and were totally overwhelmed. My mother had serious psychological problems and extreme mood swings: from super nice to extremely authoritarian. She wasn't violent, she always delegated that to my father. Well, and he beat up a lot. And when I came home from school in the afternoon, I never knew: is she in a good mood or a bad mood? And from six o'clock in the evening people were drinking.
Was your mother employed?
No, she had enough to do with seven children. My father was self-employed, and she did her job as an engineer much later, as a hobby. As long as we were little, our mother kept us totally isolated and controlled. I wasn't allowed to go to kindergarten, because there were only the poor children of the wicked mothers. We weren't allowed to go to the football club either, because you had to go to church on Sundays. And we weren't allowed to go on school trips either - we could have talked about what's going on at home.
And your father?
My father? He was very successful professionally, but absent from the family. To this day I don't really know what interests him - apart from work and the garden: I hated my mother when I was little, later it was more my father. When I hit puberty, I started to despise him. Because he did everything she said. He was a pushover. I didn't want to be one of those.
When did you become aware of your problems?
From elementary school. As a boy, I was a total outsider. I actually only played with girls, at least they accepted me. Girls games that seemed totally suspect to me ...
What kind of games?
Oh, that's really embarrassing ...
We're only girls here. You can tell us.
Well, like rubber hopping and catching games in the playground. I would have much rather played soccer. The boys found me even more funny because of that, abused me as a "womanizer" and so on. I didn't feel like that at all.
We were just made fun of
And when did you start joining the men?
From high school. For the whole of the first year I had no contacts at all, because the girls from my elementary school didn't go to high school. But then I teamed up with a few other outsiders. It was pretty quickly clear who the alpha males in the class were: who were good at sport, had cool clothes and always had something to say about it. They then had the great, good-looking girls around them. We were just made fun of ...
And your underdog clique?
We mostly met at home and played computers. But we also talked a lot. In such a situation you become a thoughtful person. Outsiders are guys who worry a lot about the world but can't cope with it.
And when did the situation start to get tricky?
So from the seventh or eighth grade. After getting the first baskets from girls. That's when I realized that as a man I didn't even arrive. That others are in demand. I started to get frustrated and feel humiliated and rejected. At some point, my failure with girls was my main problem.
Were friendly rejections also a problem for you?
Clear! I didn't really like it when someone said: You're nice and nice, a good buddy, but not my type. But there were also really contemptuous ones, like: What do you actually want? Look in the mirror!
Failure in girls was my main problem
Wasn't the shy hero type popular at all? Like James Dean?
That's exactly what I always wanted to be: a shy hero! But I didn't succeed. I wasn't without self-confidence. I knew I wasn't stupid and I tried to impress women with things of character. Failure.
And when did it work for the first time?
When I was 19. I was really in love for the first time, wanted to have a relationship. I wasn't even looking for sex. But that only lasted six weeks. I came to the Bund, we didn't see each other for a few weeks and suddenly they said: I've actually always been interested in someone else, and I'm with them now; I'm sorry, but we can still be good friends. I didn't know then that I would hear this sentence more often ...
Did you join the armed forces after graduating from high school?
I got along well! That was such a very archaic thing. I was totally challenged, and I was criticized, but also praised. We all wore uniforms and were all the same. Our only enemy was our superiors, we totally stuck together with each other. At that time I didn't have these amok fantasies any more.
But now was the porn trending?
Right. When I was on night duty for the first time, the sergeant came and said: Here's something to read for tonight. And then he gave me a huge pile of playboys. Even the conversations among buddies were mostly about sex. I just listened, I didn't have much to show in that field. But I didn't want anyone to notice that, of course, the louder I bragged about the porn.
And the training on weapons?
Well, of course you came up with fantasies: What if I'm serious now ...?
And after the Bundeswehr?
I did my apprenticeship as a businessman and came into an open-plan office with 40 women. That was a blatant break. In the Bundeswehr I was in a very male world - and now this women's world. Most of them weren't exactly emancipated, but had rather traditional ideas about what a man should be like. I didn't fit at all, I became a total outsider again. The women really bullied me, made mistakes. One even said in front of the boss that I had followed her. That was really fictional! I never wanted anything from her. People just let their frustrations go to the weaker ones. - Then I got really mad at women. It was no different for my two friends from back then, they mostly had trouble with women in management positions.
And how did you react?
Then I became a real chauvinist. I found all women inferior, really disgusted them. During that time I even had a couple of homosexual experiences. Today I realize that it had less to do with my interests in men and more to do with my disdain for women. Today it is clear that I like women.
How did you get back from your bad trip?
I got sick. And I got obsessive-compulsive disorder: counting compulsions, control compulsions, at some point I didn't even go out of the house. I was afraid of my whole life, a deep depression. Then I went to the psychologist and said: I can't anymore.
You just don't talk about that
And did you get help?
No, first of all I ended up with the wrong people. In a very traditional psychiatry where I got sicker and sicker. Then after a few months I ran away. And then I was incredibly lucky to find the right therapist in a specialist clinic, where I was treated as an inpatient for eight months.
And you told him about your amok fantasies?
No, even he doesn't know that to this day. That's the only thing I never said You just don't talk about that. It would be like telling someone that they are a pedophile. Both are the lowest level, the lowest that you can do.
Did you have a husband as a therapist?
Sure, I would never have accepted a woman at that point. The therapist noticed that immediately, my problem with women. But then I accepted him pretty quickly.
He was absolutely factual, strict and consistent, but never arbitrary. He respected me as a person and also had compassion - but no pity. Before the therapists, they all felt sorry for me, I always had the feeling that they would start crying when I told them about my life. I wrapped them all around my finger. But that didn't work with him. I also let him tell me what went wrong with myself - and thought about it. I found him admirable as a man too. He is my role model to this day.
What kind of man was your therapist?
When I always argued at the beginning: typically man, typically woman, it really got on his nerves. He provoked me and said: There is no difference at all between men and women. You only think that way because you really mean your mother.
And what did you learn from it?
My therapist has helped me see my own mistake. And also to develop a certain tolerance for frustration: I can't please everyone. I also have to be able to deal with rejections.
What are the two buddies from back then doing today?
One of them has a really great girlfriend who really accepts him for who he is. To be honest, I'm a little worried about the other. He dropped out of studies, is in debt - and two weeks ago he emailed me one night: "I'm fed up. I'll take revenge on everyone again ..." I called the next morning right away, but supposedly he didn't answer anything remind. I then organized friends. That was really great, a lot of solidarity. We gave him money too, and he was really touched. Now I want to hope ...
You were six siblings, including a younger sister. How is he today?
That has drifted completely off in the last three years.
She is extremely exhibitionistic, in a thousand online social networks, with a profile and nudes. They can see 80 million Germans naked. She also used drugs at times. And to this day she has subliminal eating disorders.
One family - but very different consequences for the boy and the girl.
That's the way it is.
Have you ever talked to your parents about any of this?
No. Since I've done the therapy, I've been more confident and know how to deal with my parents. The other day, late at night, my mother even took my hand and patted my cheek. And then she said: I am proud of you and I absolutely love you. It was the first time in my life that my mother said something like that to me. Since then I have let her hug me without finding it unbearable. But talking to my parents about my problems from before ... No. I don't think they would admit mistakes retrospectively.They pushed aside everything they did wrong. To admit that now - a world would collapse for them.
Do you have people today who you feel understood by?
Absolutely. I have a mixed group of friends, with really great women and great men. Today I don't have any more problems ... and when I do, I know that it is my responsibility to solve them.
The interview was conducted by Chantal Louis and Alice Schwarzer
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