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Archive for January, 2009

Sociopaths, words and sharing

Old time psychoanalysts connect a young child’s desire to share experiences with caregivers to the development of a healthy personality. The idea that any pleasure is better if we share it starts shortly after the first birthday. That is also the time language starts to develop. Words then become a way to share experiences. Healthy people use words to share their feelings, interests and desires. A little child who has just learned to walk will bring her toy over to dad to share it. She is delighted when he makes some comment about it. We take for granted that everyone has this desire to share and take mutual delight.

Can I Have A Witness?

For purposes of simplicity I will be using “he” throughout this post to designate the abuser and “she” to designate the abuse victim. We can all agree that males are also abused in relationships by females.

One of the insidious (and enabling) aspects of abuse is that the abuse victim often lacks a credible witness to the abuse that is occurring (or has occurred).

“Witnessing” is the act of validating, of believing, the victim’s presentation of her trauma. It is the willingness to face, not turn away from, the victim’s experience of her experience.

Another Way of Looking at Things

By OxDrover

In the book Games People Play, by Dr. Erick Berne, M.D., he explains what he calls “strokes,” or social exchanges. It has long been known that people require social interaction with other people and that this is a biological requirement for life itself in some cases. In orphanages, children whose basic physical needs are met, but who are not held and cuddled, literally die from a condition called “failure to thrive.”

The term “stroke” can be used as a general term for any intimate physical contact, but in practice it may take many forms, including conversation and recognition of another’s presence. In Dr. Berne’s opinion, “any social intercourse (even negative intercourse) is better than no intercourse at all.” [Parenthetical explanation added.]

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: It did not feel right, but I dismissed my discomfort

Editor’s note: The following story was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Greenfern.” It is a classic story of sociopathic seduction.

When I first met the S, I was very young, 22, and in a pretty bad spot. I come from a broken, abusive family and I have been pretty much on my own since 16. I was managing by putting myself through college, working full time, step by step. A year before I met the S, I was hit by a car and the recovery from that sent me into a depression and hardship. I had no family support or insurance, so I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and tried not falling behind. I felt alone and struggling, but managed. I feel like I was a strong young person considering the circumstances.

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 2-Painful Shock

Imagine a book, a novel, that begins with an explosion on the first page. The explosion disintegrates big things into fragments moving away faster than the eye can follow. There is no way to understand what it means, or know what the world is becoming. The people in the book are either immobilized, their stunned brains on autopilot, trying to gather information. Or they are rushing everywhere, trying to find something to save before the dust even settles. In the background, other people may be fainting or crying. But this book is about the people who are alert, struggling to maintain their identities in a falling-apart world.

Realities only family members know

Research into sociopathy/psychopathy has made a great deal of progress over the last 30 years. Even so, there is much that research does not address. For example, sociopaths are described as callous, lacking in empathy and without remorse for their hurtful actions. These sterile descriptors always fall short of really conveying the evil of the disordered.

A good 6 months before the Madoff story broke, I began a project to connect with the family members of professional con artists. The purpose of this project is to document the within family behavior of con artists and to link that “profession” to psychopathic personality traits. I have had good success connecting with family members and the exchange of information has been healing all around.

The gift of forgiveness

By Peggy Whoever

Today I had an epiphany, certainly my first, and perhaps the only one I shall receive in this lifetime. I consider myself blessed.

I equate this epiphany, an almost supernatural experience, as being akin to what someone on LSD may have experienced, whereby every nerve ending, and the synapses within every cell is felt at a deep sensory level, where there is a oneness and synchronicity within me and outside of me, a oneness with the universe. (No, I have never experimented with drugs!)

Who stands in the way of the new America? Sociopaths.

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I made a point of watching television as a new American president took his oath of office. I wanted to hear what Barak Obama had to say in his inaugural address.

The new president’s message was a recognition of the problems confronting this country, and optimism that, through dedication and hard work, they can be overcome.

“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America—they will be met.”

BOOK REVIEW: Hi Gorgeous! The first words of sociopathic seduction

Melissa K. Dean was a new lawyer in a new job. All she needed was a new romantic interest. So she posted her profile in Match.com, and received more than 30 responses in the first two days. One of the men started began his message boldly, writing, “Hi Gorgeous!”

For a woman who had long doubted her feminine appeal, the words were irresistible. More words followed—words that seemed to indicate mutual interests and goals, words that appealed to the woman’s sympathies.

Melissa K. Dean tells the story of being seduced by, married to, and then abused by, Jack Cass, a man who claimed to be a former Navy SEAL. It’s a classic story of sociopathic victimization.

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 1-The Path

A relationship with a sociopath is a traumatic experience. The definition of physical trauma is a serious injury or shock to the body, as with a car accident or major surgery. It requires healing.

On an emotional level, a trauma is wound or shock that causes lasting damage to the psychological development of a person. It also requires healing.

To some degree, we can depend on our natural ability to heal. But just as an untreated broken bone can mend crooked, our emotional systems may become “stuck” in an intermediate stage of healing. For example we may get stuck in anger, bitterness, or even earlier stages of healing, such as fear and confusion.

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