Daeren Alexander lent me a book to read the other day. It is one in the Darkover series of science-fiction/fantasy novels, of which he is quite fond. It concerns a woman named Marguerida Alton, who quite plainly suffers from the ravages of past mental trauma. At the point I have so far reached in the story, it is clear that the Keeper of Comyn Tower, a woman named Ashara, who projected her mind and soul into a matrix crystal and took up residence there in hopes of attaining immortality, overtook Marguerida's mind when she was a young child and has been residing there in secret ever since.
This is a problem because Marguerida posses the Alton Gift of forced rapport, which means she can force her thoughts and commands on anyone she pleases, even so far as being able to kill with a thought. This ability, combined with the suppressed rage Marguerida feels at having this invader in her mind, is dangerous, for reasons which should be obvious to any legilimens of intelligence.
I find the book horrifying because of the mind-control spell I cast on Seth--or, at least, what I could have done had I not taken rigourous precautions. It seems that Ashara did in Marguerida's past something akin to what I did to Seth--though I split my consciousness, whereas Ashara inserted her entire personality, it appears. She did not suffer the psychological and emotional schism I did, which forced me to relinquish the spell.
It is of no comfort at all to think, At least I wasn't as bad as she was. All that sort of thinking does is demonstrate to myself how much of a detestable hypocrite I am. It entirely ignores how I made my own son suffer under my control. Aside from ensuring at the outset that the spell would not harm him in and of itself, I was not gentle with him. He fought me tooth and nail, and I pushed back, hard. I felt I had to teach him a lesson--the lesson of how vile the Death Eaters were, how casually and viciously they would hurt him if he did not behave precisely as they would dictate, a fact he did not seem at the time to comprehend.
That still does not excuse it.