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Book review: Antisocial Personality Disorder A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments

I had a nice conversation with a friend today. She said that part of healing from a relationship with a sociopath is getting to the point where one realizes that sociopaths deserve pity for being disordered. In that regard, we both hope that science will progress to the point where sociopathy is preventable and fully treatable. In this blog I will discuss treatment options for those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Following the format of the book I am reviewing, this disorder is called sociopathy or ASPD and the personality traits that give rise to the disorder are called “psychopathic personality traits.”

Regarding whether sociopathy and psychopathic personality traits are currently treatable, Sandy Brown and I had a bit of a disagreement when we wrote Women Who Love Psychopaths. Although I told her the literature indicates sociopathic behaviors are to some degree treatable she was very insistent we emphasize that psychopathic personality traits are not treatable. She won out because she convinced me of the need to communicate to women that men with these personality traits usually do not change. In her experience, giving a woman any hope her man could improve, discourages her from leaving the relationship. I offer this book review and discussion of treatment of sociopathy/psychopathy to keep you informed, NOT to encourage you to stay.

I also recognize that spouses may choose to stay married to those with ASPD for any number of legitimate reasons. There are also people who have sons, daughters, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins with ASPD. All want to know if there is any effective treatment for the disorder. People want to know what treatment gives their loved one the best shot at improving.

If you have a close family member who is a sociopath and are involved in that person’s treatment, I strongly recommend you read Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments. Although the book is written for mental health professionals, I believe any person with some background in psychology can understand most of it. What you don’t understand, you can look up and so become better able to communicate with therapists. This book is an absolute must read for all professionals who deal with sociopaths and their families.

To give you an idea of why I give this book 5 stars, I will describe it and discuss the content. The book is edited by two psychologists experienced in the treatment of sociopaths, Drs. Rotgers and Maniacci. In the second chapter, they give detail s of the case of Frank a classic sociopath. Although they do not say so in the book, Dr. Rotgers told me that Frank was an actual person he evaluated.

I was very impressed with the way the authors presented Frank and his history. In particular, the clinicians interviewed Frank’s wife. Her statements about him and their relationship are characteristic of the kinds of things spouses of sociopaths say. Frank’s aunt and brother were also interviewed. The editors agree with me that the best sources of information regarding the nature of sociopaths and sociopathy are the family members of the disordered person.

Frank’s wife Jennifer says the following, “ The most exciting year of my life (was the first year of our relationship). He was so spontaneous and full of energy. His charm and good looks just swept me off my feet. Being with him was just so exhilarating. “ and later, “it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t know anything about him.”

Having presented the case of Frank, the editors then invited 8 professionals representing 8 different treatment approaches to answer a series of explicit questions about their formulation of the case, understanding of the disorder and approach to treatment. The contributors were as follows:

1. Debra Benveniste, MA., MSW; Putnam, CT-Psychodynamic Approach
2. Michael Maniacci, Psy.D.; Chicago, IL-Adlerian Psychotherapy
3. Darwin Dorr, Ph.D.; Wichita, KS-Million’s Biosocial Learning Perspective: Personologic Psychotherapy
4. Glenn D. Walters, Ph.D.: Schuylkill, PA-Lifestyle Approach to Substance Abuse and Crime
5. Arthur Freeman, Ed.D. & Brian Eig; Fort Wayne, IN and Philadelphia, PA-Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) Approach
6. Robin A. McCann, Ph.D., Katherin Ann Comtots, Ph.D., & Elissa M.Ball, M.D.; Denver, CO-Dialectical Behavior Therapy
7. Joel I. Ginsberg, Ph.D., C.A. Farbring, M.A., & L. Forsberg, Ph.D.; Stockholm, Sweden-Motivational Interviewing
8. Sharon Morgillo Freeman, Ph.D., MSN, RN-CS, & John M. Rathbun, M.D.; Fort Wayne, IN- Integrating Psychotherapy and Medication

In the last chapters the editors compare and contrast the different treatment approaches. Family members of sociopaths should be aware of two important points. First all but one of the therapeutic approaches (psychodynamic) involves family members in the treatment. Family members are considered by the 7 to be important sources of information. Given the importance of family to the treatment, do not expect therapists to discourage you from being involved in a sociopath’s life. Therapists often encourage family members to stay with the sociopath and support him/her. This may benefit the sociopath at the expense of his/her family.

The chapter on medication discusses medication that can help the poor impulse control and aggression seen in sociopaths. I completely agree with the recommendations made and think that if a person with ASPD is willing medication should be tried.

What about prognosis then, and how long does it take to treat a sociopath? The CBT chapter gives some interesting statistics. The authors state, ”Psychotherapy is associated with a sevenfold faster rate of recovery compared to the naturalistic studies”¦ Without treatment, estimated recovery rates are about 3.7% per year, and with active treatment the rates increase to 25.8% per year.” Also the longer the treatment continues the more improvement there is. They also say, “Unfortunately, people with ASPD have a very high drop out rate.” It makes sense then for family member to encourage those with ASPD to stay in treatment. Don’t expect that treatment to turn a sociopath into a loving, empathetic person, though. All of the authors say that is not a realistic treatment goal. When professionals say a sociopath “has improved,” they mean he/she is not as dangerous and is less impulsive. As Dr. Rotgers’ email to me said, “Harm Reduction: ‘80% of something is better than 100% of nothing’ Alex Wodak”

Adendum

Donna sent me the following comment. Your post today leaves a huge question in the mind of a reader: What can treatment accomplish? Can you please address this?

I will address this question in detail next week. For now I wanted to introduce the names of the psychotherapies. To cover all in one week would have been too much.


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60 Comments on "Book review: Antisocial Personality Disorder A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments"

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If sociopathy and psychopathic personality traits are treatable, I think that is great. There would be more caring in this world and less people getting hurt.

But. how can they get treatment for something they don’t admit they have? My ex nsb once told me he was so perfect, he was almost Godlike. I thought he was joking, when I told him his arrogance was not a good trait to have, he became enraged. They can’t help who they are, and yes, I do have compassion for what kind of childhood he had, but that is no excuse for what he did. Sorry, today is one of my feeling very bitter days.

I think this book proves professionals can have malignant optimism too… I think physicians are famous for esp. with cancer patients. They mean well,hope and care but…their txt fails.

We can drug them up, to stupetfy them…but without a firm resolve ” to go and sin no more” nope….they need exorcism.

It’s a personality disorder NOT mental illness– we may dangle a persuasive carrot like free room and board or drugs they liek to take…but until you change their choices…they are just doped up sociopaths. Or even better trained at conning.

I do think this post is misleading, and will re-egnite hope that needs to be doused.

Thanks for bringing this book up, Liane.

I am in the middle of re-reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Dr.Daniel Coleman. In it he quotes from Garners’s book in 1983, “Frames of Mind” definiing Interpersonal intelligence as

“the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, how to work cooperatively with them…..leaders are all likely to be indificuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence.”

He goes on to define INTRApersonal intelligence as “is a correlative ability, turned inward. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life.”

Coleman also cites a research project on impulsivity done with 4 year olds and followed up when they were adults.

Children age 4 were presented with a marshmellow. They could have it right then, OR they could not eat it until a few minutes later when the tester returned from an “errand” they could have TWO marshmellows.

The children who grabbed the presented marshmellow (lack of impusle control) vs the ones who waited (more impusle control) so they could have two, were looked at years down the road.

Those children who had waited (demonstrated more impulse control) were much more likely to be successful in school and in life, there was much less delinquiency, drug use, etc.

As adults after school, these children demonstrating more impulse control had much more satisfying personal relationships as well.

This “impulse control” study was also more predictive of “success” than the SAT scores or any other indicator of “success” currently used. Interesting, I thought.

I also highly recommend “Emotional INtelligence” as a book to help victims heal after the P-experience. Though it is not specifically about Psychopaths, yet it gives medical and research information about how and why various emotions effect us and ways to counter them in a beneficial way.

This book was probably one of the best things I did for my son C after his now X-wife and her BF-P tried to kill him.

Rperk,

I started to answer your question about how do you trust yourself to knwo the differences between “normal” people and the psychopaths, but thought I would do it here. Learning the RED FLAGS is a matter of educating yourself, reading the PATTERNS that they all seem to have, and being able to set boundaries of the way you will allow people to treat you. If you see that the person is a LIAR, that is a BIG RED FLAG, etc. so when you see red flags waving in behavior, you put up a GUARDIAN WALL of suspicion between you and that person. You watch them to see if there are more red flags waving.

My personal boundary is that I will allow NO liars into my circle of trust. I may be friendly with these people on a superfiscial level, but I will NEVER TRUST them. I will never be in any kind oif an intimate friendship with them, because I know you cannot depend on someone who is a liar. Another one is people who are easily provoked to anger and rage, or rudeness to others. If they will be rude to others they will be rude (eventually) to me, etc. Slowly you will begin to trust your own judgment. You won’t be paranoid of everyone, but you will be REALISTIC and CAUTIOUS about people. (((hugs)))

HWS,

My take on this is not that they can make the psychopath NON-psychopath, but hopefully make them at least LESS DANGEROUS by changing their behavior. Of course there are those like my P-son, that I truly feel that there is NO WAY to make him “less” dangerous than to keep him locked up safely behind bars for the rest of his life.

There are others who would be “high in psychopathic traits” but might be able to alter their behavior to at least make them hurt others less.

Believe me, I do NOT have the “malignant” hope for my son any longer. I have NO hope for him. He is so much like my P-bio-father that the genetics are without dispute, and he never met my P-bio-father except for what he read about him or heard about him.

I think there are “degrees” of “danger” in the psychopaths, some are not physically or criminally dangerous and maybe they could be redirected to better live in society. If only THAT would be possible, then it might be a benefit to society as a whole. Getting these people to PARTICIPATE in therapy would be difficult at best though. I don’t think they are going to be able to make a “silk purse” (caring individual) out of a “sow’s ear” (full blown psychopath) but if they could at least make a person who was not dangerous out of one who was, it might help some poor souls that come into contact with them.

It has not been so long ago that people with schizophrenia were thought to be the result of poor parenting. I just finished reading a book written in the 1980s by professionals who still “blamed” the parents for creating this illness in these poor people. Now, we know that there is medication and therapy that can make these people in many cases, live good lives. Not perfect maybe, but function in society in a form that is good for society and good for the people themselves.

Schizophrenia is known now to be an inherited problem, not caused by “poor potty training” as previously believed, and there is some hope. Hopefully, there will be eventually some way to treat the personality disordered as well. If medical science had “given up on” schizophrenia back when it was thought by all scientists that it was “totally environmental” no one today who has this terrible mental illness would have any treatment available.

I’ll reveal this story about my Dad, such a loving man, loved unconditionally. There were times when I was growing up my father would ask “Wini, what’s the matter with you today”, knowing I was off balance (aka pi–ed off) emotionally that day. My father would take the time to talk with me, not talk at me or lecture me, just take time for one of his four children to discuss the day’s events with him. I told my father that I was in an argument with this or that friend and I was feed up and tired with her selfishness. My father would say “what else is going on besides what you think is the obvious?”. I would answer, no, it’s just she’s very selfish and I’m tired of her trampling on my emotions. My father would give me maybe 45 minutes to an hour, maybe longer, depending how long it took me to calm down and get out of my sour mood … while I told him my story (yes, we’re very emotional growing up). Then my dad (very wise man) would say “Wini, I can tell that you are very upset with this incident. I want you to step back a few paces, think about the bigger picture of what else is going on. Tonight, write down all the specifics, put it on a list (good and bad) about the situation with your friend and we will talk more tomorrow when I get home. I agreed. What my father was teaching me (and all his children, but some of them didn’t listen … they too, living from their big egos) was to step back, take a deep breath, look at the bigger picture of what was happening, not just my myopic viewpoint of where pain was occurring in my life with this particular friend, take the subconscious from the background and bring it to the foreground (conscious), realize that I already learned this lesson and it was just disguised in another form, remember and reflect on lessons already learned prior and so and so forth. When I talk with my father the following evening I was better prepared, put my emotions in check, had a bigger view on the issue, could now see clearly the situation for what is was instead of mixing my emotions that got carried away with me. Adding, another tool to my tool belt of life.

Peace as you step back to view from another perspective.

Wini, I have been appreciating your insights a lot in the last few weeks of posts. And Oxy D, always with a thoughtful take.

What you said about schizophrenia, etc, very true. What is so DIFFERENT abaout the PSN’s is that they do NOT SUFFER. They learn to fake suffering, and feelings, and so on. Schizo’s are tormented, bi-polars are tormented. They seek help, often.

PSN’s just game the system. If there was a drug they would only pretend to take it and fake it’s results. Taking it might put them off their game. Not to stretch the analogy, but it is a bit like a giant pinball game to them, others are only targets or levers. Why would they want a cure? They see us caring empathetic types as patsies, hopelessly caught up in stuff that has no reward. Helpless victims of their take on what really matters.

Sorry to be so cynical, but I have talk therapied, and dragged to therapy, and discussed and agreed and sworn, together with my ex P, and he faked every single ethic and emotion.

The worst part is he is proud of himself. He thinks he is smart and victorious. I now know for a fact that he scorned every aspect of my being, which is one of caring and truthfulness and ethics.

There is no drug or therapy to fix that. If their whole lives they could not find meaning in a sunrise or a thunderstorm, or a peal of children’s laughter, this can not be medicated or implanted.

It is simply lacking.

I have recently met a family heavily impacted by a P, but they do not understand yet. So hard to watch. They are explaining and taking the blame, in terms of our reality. They believe that every one has a soft squishy middle somewhere. So hard to watch. Not much to say until they are ready.

Hugs to all,

DEar Eyeswideshut,

In the main, I absolutely agree with you–it is back to the old “you can lead a horse to water” routine as far as treatment is concerned. That said, I do hope that medicine and psychotherapy don’t “give up” on the Ps, at least to MODIFY BEHAVIOR with some form of treatment at some point in the future.

As things stand now medically, you are so right, and statistics apparently show that “therapy” ujst makes them worse! By giving them new “tools” in the tool belt of “things to fake.”

Right after my P-son was arrested for murder, I’d say 4 or 5 months after, I took a job at a psych hospital and one of my jobs was to do intake interviews with parents of “budding Ps” who were bringing them there for inpatient treatment. In a way that was a Godsend job for me, because as I did intakes I found out that my murdering little P was NOT the worst case in the world. There ARE things worse than murder.

While I could not of course let these parents know that I TRULY knew the depth of grief that they were experiencing with their own children, I DID know. To this day I believe that job saved my sanity after my son was arrested. At that point I hadn’t worked in psych any, but that job gave me an “education”–looking back now, I just wish I had applied more of it to my own situation and walked away from my son 20 years ago. I would have saved myself a lot of grief.

With the human genome project having identified the genes that cause various emotional or mental problems and with the chemical changes being noted which are indicitive of various things like depression, bi-polar etc. I am hopeful that at some time there will be something found that can help or modify the behavior of these people–whether or not it is chemical, therapy by talk, or intervention at an early age environmentally. We know they don’t “bond” right/adequately but is the lack of bonding the CAUSE or is it a sympton? How much is genetic and how much is environmental?

We already know that there are some genetic defects like PKU that are tested for in every baby born in the US and if the kid tests + their diet is changed and presto, a normal kid. If the chld is not immediately started on the altered diet at birth, bingo, irreversable retardation. Who the heck at this point in time knows if something like that may turn up? I pray that it does.

I’m so glad that Wini got so much out of Tolle and his writings, and I am a much more spiritual person than I was before all this happened, but no matter HOW good the Bible is or Tolle, trying to force-feed any kind of behavior modification or spriitual modification to anyone is a lost cause, much less to the psychopaths. They might fake it if the electric prods the “teachers” had were high enough voltage, but that would be the extent of their “learning”—and none of it would get past the ear drums because the Ps aren’t as open as our Wini to hearing the lessons.

It’s kind of like taking a snake and thinking that if you are kind enough and loving enough that some how it will grow fur and love you back like a puppy. It just ain’t gonna happen.

“The saddest word of tongue or pen, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.” And it IS sad that there is no treatment for the adult psychopath and I have seen very little successful treatment of the younger “budding” psychopaths, although legally and medically you can’t “label” one a psychopath until they are 18 at least, so they call it oppositional definace behavior or 50 other things until they turn 18, then they can have the “label” on their way to jail or prison much of the time, and unfortunately, while they are in prison they can get a Ph.D in psychopathic behavior, if my son is any indication of the “education” there.

Eyeswideshut, I just finished reading a book written in the 1980s “explaining” how poor family dynamics produces schizrophrenia (which we know now is mostly genetic) and how all we had to do to prevent this terrible disease was to do xyz in family dynamics and presto–no more problem. It seems to me that laymen seem to think that just about any “psychological” problem can be cured and the patient “fixed.” I’m not sure that the practitioners sometimes don’t think almost the same thing. Of course we DO have much better medication for schizrophrenia, depression, bi-polar etc. but about zip for any of the personality disorders.

I’ve seen families in our community financially and emotionally “ruin” themselves trying to “save” a psychopathic member of the family. Some very close neighbors are and have been for years doing just that, and are now raising five of the offspring from this female P and her numerous boy friends. The woman’s 4th child was born in prison and her father and step mother tried to talk her into getting her tubes tied, and she refused because “I might want to have another baby some day.” HUH?? Four children that someone else is raising and she MIGHT WANT MORE? Well, she did have the 5th child which her father and step mother are raising as well. She’s back in jail, but, she did get her tubes tied when her father finally laid down the “law” to her and told her that any more she had would be turned over to the state. It is sad to see this, and sad for the children as well and the family trying to “help”—anything to save their loved one from themselves.

I’m sure that Tolle’s book (I do have a copy by the way Wini) has done many people good, but people who are RECEPTIVE to the message.

eyeswideshut I haven’t been focusing on the absolutes of diagnosis. I’m working from the spiritual level you reach after you work through the pain, frustration and all the other emotions that come into our paths after dealing with them … getting to forgiveness … from forgiveness to compassion and love … healing ourself as we excel higher and higher into God’s virtues … seeing it from our spiritual perspective, not human perspective. Thinking from our Right side of the brain.

Another thing is having the knowledge from Tolle’s book “A New Earth”. This guy hit rock bottom … as he was working through his pain he asked God to help him understand (wisdom) … God guided him. I did the same thing when I hit rock bottom in pain … I asked God to guide me. God does the rest … he opens the doors … so you can get where he knows you need to be. Oh, and knowing him as YHVH … there’s more to this too. When you give it over to God, he’ll lead you to uncovering this too.

Peace.

how do you guys feel about forgiveness? im not sure what i expect from myself. do u ever forgive them for what they did to you and all the pain they caused? just thinking about how much time and energy and love you put into someone and they are sitting there not giving a damn about you. it wasnt a normal relationship where u break up bc it didt work anymore and you can be civil and be friends. to me you have to run away from these evil people or they will continue to hurt you. what do u forgive? the person they are, or what they did? in time in might now hurt anymore, but you will never forget what they did and how foolish you felt.

Blondie,

I believe as Oxy says, as the bible states to rid yourself of the bitterness in your heart caused by nefarious people so as to not cause eternal suffering, consuming anger and vengence seeking for yourself.

I have forgiven all of the PDIs in my life. Not for them, but for me, so I can focus on my own spiritual, intellectual, emotional growth. So I can strive to be a better person.

But will I forget the hard earned, painful lessons I was forced to learn? Heck no! I will not allow myself to be a victim of abuse ever again. I think I may be one of the lucky ones in regards to being an introvert. I simply don’t need a man in my life to feel content, fulfilled but it is very NICE to be with one. I enjoy the sharing of ourselves, being together physically as well as emotionally.

And I also would like to quote Irina Dunn’s cheeky expression..”that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” No. We don’t NEED them per se. We can accomplish anything we set our minds, hearts to without needing validation, support from men. But, boy, they are such fun to be around (the mentally heatlhy ones, that is)

You’re doing wonderful, blondie. You have come so far in such a short amount of time. Which amazes me as it’s taken me 20 plus years to “get with the program” and realize I am a good woman and I deserve the best in life without suffering abuse. **hug**

What we need to remember is to ask God to handle our problems for us. God – then guides us to where we need to go. Ask God to guide you to forgiveness. He takes it from there … guides you on the path to forgiveness. There are many lesson to learn on any path you ask God to take you through.

Everything we do in life is a learning lesson. How we learn those lessons is to ask God for guidance.

As for Jane Smith figuring how to stay away from the spiritually stunted. Good luck. They, like us, are God’s children. For every thing we think we (in human form) figures out … God’s puzzle is still in our path to unravel.

Enjoy your journey. I for one am glad I got to chat and travel this path with everyone’s heart being so open. I will continue to do so. It’s nice to have company as we travel. I hope you agree?

Peace.

OK I admit I haven’t read the posts yet. I am consumed with what was written about the book review. I am intrigued to read it. I have been aware of pyschodynamic therapy but the problems I have are the S client’s who won’t bring family in or give consent to even contact them. That is like working in the dark with these folks. I’ve tried other modalities but have not reallly had any success.

I know my previous posts about not pitying them have been direct. I say that for much the same reason that Sandy Brown held to her argument to say they’re untreatable. I want people out that to understand that their love CANNNOT effect change going at it on their own and even with therapy the drop out rate is high, the damage done to others is great and the ability to teach empathy or compassion to these folks goes wanting. To live with these individuals is to sacrifice yourself and your needs in many ways….as we all know too well.

At times therapy teaches Ss how to be better at manipulating others and feigning emotions to con others as well so it’s a catch 22. I do want people to be weary. There is ongoing research and more stuff developing but it’s something to be managed by and with professionals and not alone. I have seen the damage it’s done to me and others who were conned in relationships and sucked in before knowing who and what they were dealing with.

I’ve said that this is the Lord’s battle and I primarily see it as such as I don’t know any human (including professionals) who has been able to break through an egosyntonic personality disorder to effect the type of change that makes these individuals less dangerous to others…even to themselves. I’m not saying one can’t modify behavior but the commitment is often lacking unless there is a strong motivation on behalf of the S. I have yet to see that motivation last long enough to truly explore themselves and to stop blaming and projecting or to create lasting change. It’s incredibly hard work for therapists and family members. I have not given up and won’t give up. BUT that’s what I do professionally. In my personal life I have a chance to walk away. Especially when the S has no insight into their illness and, even when they do, choose not to do anything about it. That was my ex.

I also say the battle is the Lord’s because I do believe that we are more than just our thoughts as we are spiritual beings. Ss are spiritually lost. They do not trust or believe in God. They are fighting to have control in a worldly way that constitutes the essence of evil. To say they have no conscience is to say they have no spirit. It is not alive in them or acknowledged by them. Though some do pretend. I think psychology can only go so far looking at this from a scientific perspective and leaving out the spiritual component. Although the field is coming closer to accepting spirituality in counseling (as it should) it is still very far away from merging the two into treatment. There are counselors out there who’s practices are more spiritually based in the private sector. In the public sector where I work, it is not fondly looked upon to discuss spiritual matters with clients. Recently I had a co-worker point out that she’s surprised I haven’t gotten into trouble for having a cross on my shelf in my office. I also have a Bible on that shelf. I believe it is unethical not to discuss one’s spirituality be it whether their belief is Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or any other religion. It is part of who we are. Moreso, not what belief system we have regarding church doctrine but the belief in a higher power beyond ourselves, connecting us all to each other spiritually.

On a separate note, I have to say that the names of the couple in the case study are freaking me out.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. God bless.

Dear takingmeback: I suggest that you read Tolle’s book “A New Earth”. This man hits the nail right on the head what is going on with EGOs in this world. Incredible insight. He also explains how a person can go into a humble space and be in the “now”. Also, incredible insight. I think learning what this man has to offer … mixing it with the psychology concepts … hand in hand, we can get through to the spiritually challenged of the world. The have to be incarcerated though because everyone knows their egos won’t do this theory on their own. Of course, expect them to fight it – that’s the ego roaring it’s ugly head. With practice, by being spoon fed the techniques they can get comfortable with the changes … gradually, step by step. The have to be watched and analyzed as they are going through the process. Then into group therapy, so they too, can brain storm and get through their pain (it’s buried so deep within them that they don’t even realize there is pain … but their pain is projecting them along in life along with living in their egos). Group therapy takes thoughts from your subconscious into the conscious. Their new location could be called … going to SPIRITUAL AWAKENING CLASSES – for x amount of years. Depending how hard a nut they are to crack (sorry for the pun). Then gradually … work them back into society … and none of this out on the street … a gradual process because they are children … step by step, halfway house after half way house. Each halfway house is reinforcing what they learned via Tolle’s, other techniques and of course the Word of God (no matter what the book is called).

P.S. If you read as many different books by God, you’ll find more of the puzzles. Each piece, step by step as you journey and search for Truth. Talking with the “Elders” in different communities is also a plus.

Peace.

Takingmeback,

I too agree that humans have seemed to always, regardless of how widely separated they developed in culture, had some form of “higher power” and sprititual aspect. Like some how it is a necessary part to our “selves.” I believe that a spiritual aspect to life gives “meaning” to life.

I just finshed reading Plato’s Republic, in which the “arguments” and “logic’ of whether justice or injustice in a person or a community (city, state, etc) is more beneficial and why. It is of course a long, convoluted argument and at times boring and repetative, and other times appears overly simplistic. Back to the “what is success” what is “good” etc. But it boils down to the fact that the psychpath or personality disordered person or totally egocentric person does not have the SAME VALUE SYSTEM that we have.

How can any two people, or any two countries for that matter, who do not have the same “value system” function together without one taking advantage of the other?

How can anyone who has become a victim of a person with a totally egocentric value system recover? It must be in the spritual aspect as well as the logical one, and the emotional one. Otherwise, the exchange will lead US to become bitter and angry at the unjust injury done to us, and we will become no “better” than them, turning our bitterness into hate, which in my estimation poisons us like a toxin, depriving us of peace within ourselves.

“Forgiving” them is cleansing our systems of the toxins. Forgetting the lesson is “stupidity!”

Hey Oxy: When you get through reading about the Greeks and the Romans (beautiful countries too) … read anything you can get your hands about “YHVH” … keep searching until you see it.

Peace.

Oxy and Wini,

I agree that healing requires many aspects of ourselves. The emotional, rational/logical, physical and spiritual. It reminds me of DBT where the focus is on merging the emotional and rational minds to the “wise mind”. It feels like teaching someone about intuition-to tap into what is beyond our obvious thoughts into a realm where we cease to function strictly in one “mind” or the other. Mindfulness is a large part of that and it’s taught through meditation.

What I personally find so awesome is every time I read a post about someone who’s found healing by turning to God. That was such a pivotal point in my recovery. As you said Oxy, spirituality gives us meaning (go Victor Frankyl!). I believe that meaning is recognizing that we’re not here for ourselves and our own agendas. For you Wini that would be like tapping into the one universal conscience or however Tolle describes it. Basically moving beyond the big E for ego. There is a part of us that is beyond the physical we see and the thoughts in our heads. One of my favorite plaques I picked up right after the S experience last year says, “Don’t believe everything you think”. It’s a favorite!

I do believe that aside from the spiritual, the emotional component of recovery is very important and very physiological in nature. Our minds have that instinct to send us into fight or flight mode from the abuse and the reality of what occured. It’s nice to know that we have an internal mechanism designed to ultimately protect us but ouch is it painful when it gets stuck! Hence the common dx of PTSD following the abuse of an S. To manage emotions we need to figure out how to settle that amygdala down so we can process and function while managing the various emotions and recurrent, often obsessive, thoughts stemmed from triggers and such.

What I’ve recently found helpful is being prescribed medication for ADD. Anti-anxiolytics didn’t help but a stimulant calms me down, keeps my mind on the here and now and not on the past. I just recently started it but I can’t believe how much it’s helped. I am finally able to do things I had no patience for before as I couldn’t sit still and my thoughts were all over the place. The anxiety I felt is virtually gone.

This is NOT a recommendation for anyone. My doctor, therapist and I look at it as treating the symptoms so I can function. AND what works for me isn’t necessarily what will work for others. I was diagnosed with PTSD two years before the relationship with the S. I have experienced multiple traumas from being carjacked at gunpoint to shockingly finding a client dead from ODing to the mental and emotional abuse of an S. Who knows how this has affected my brain chemistry over time. I look at the medication as an aid to the work I do in therapy which I consider the “undoing” of the result of trauma.

I do want to say something about anger and it’s role in recovery as well. I whole-heartedly believe that it’s important to ultimately get to the place of understanding that the S is ill. For me this helped me through my anger. What happened was not OK but to be bitter forever would harm me more than help me. We’ve dealt with seriously disordered folks who unfortunately can pull off “normalcy as we consider it” and blend in. But as we know stuffing anger leads to depression (another common dx following interactions with Ss). It leads to all kinds of chronic health problems and it can very dangerously lead one to become more like the S. I believe that’s why they say narcissism can be somewhat contagious.

S’s, themselves, who are narcissitic by nature of the disorder, are full of pain and anger suppressed at their very core. I believe it is what drives them to do what they do. They pick the loving and caring people to prey on (those whom they wish they could be but resent that they aren’t) and exploit them and turn them into enemies in their game of war. Gosh, I remember how mind-numbing it was when my ex started to talk about sides and tell me who I could “have” as they were on “my side”. I had no idea that a war had begun. He was in it by himself and I refused to play so he flat out called it.

The bottom line is if I engage in that war I am no better than him. At my core is love and forgiveness not anger and hatred and jealousy. The Ss projection onto me had me feeling horrid about myself. I didn’t want to live anymore. I can say I have a taste of what his life is like and what he feels about himself as he accused me of being and doing exactly what he is and does in reality. He was a master manipulator and gaslighted me to keep me ever confused and distort my reality. Although I wouldn’t wish his life on anyone that does not excuse him for what he did. He chooses to live in darkness as he knows what’s wrong with him. I, however, choose to live in light and to walk in the Truth. I lost myself momentarily in this lifetime but I’m finding myself again day by day.

Bottomline, I am not now, never was and never will be like him. None of us are like them or else we wouldn’t be on here seeking healing and anwers. As for forgiving them- that has been a challenge for me. But that’s where God’s grace kicks in. What I can’t do alone He can do. But through forgiveness I do not pity my ex even knowing how truly miserable he is. It is not my fault that he is pathologically ill and I did not deserve what he did. None of us has deserved what was done to us. None of us should let our guards down in a moment of compassion and forgiveness either. Instead I think we should be aware of the Ss that exist out there and not be paranoid but more confident in seeing the pathology and not being sucked into to their vortex of madness.

Anyhow, to end my thoughts on anger, I believe that we are socialized that anger is bad. Expressed and dealt with in a healthy way is freeing. I remember reading that denial in mentally healthy people quickly turns to rage. I laughed so hard I cried because I thought, “Sweet! I’m mentally healthy”. I was so angry at what had happened. I am thankful to be further and further away from that each day. I recognize the opportunity I have to not only get back to a life I loved before the S but to have a more abundant one indeed!

OK, I’m done with my novel for tonight. Gosh I write a lot! As always I appreciate you all for sharing your discoveries and thoughts along the way. It has been so healing to be able to chime in and share as I make my way through this journey. Not that I’d wish the S experience on anyone but it’s so great to have food for thought from your posts and to know that I’m not alone. Thanks everyone.

Well said takingmeback: Now concentrate of your breathing. In-hale listen to the air going into your lungs, exhale … listen to the air coming out from your lungs. Do this for at least 5 minutes. You will go into the “now”. Practice this technique of just listening to your breathing. The more you practice it, the more comfortable you get with it … the quicker you will get into the “now”. When you are in the “now”, you’ll have everything you need, you and God.

P.S. We blogged some pretty interesting concepts in all these blogs … if you care to find them. I forgot which sites there on … but they are there.

Peace.

Thinking out loud again..What do (I) believe? What do (I) know for sure?

Lots of great comments again today,

I would like to believe that you can heal these people….that there is some tiney thread of hope….but I think that hope is a miracle and that it should be left to God….because as Oxdrover said you sometimes give them more amunition with therapy….they can become more manipulitive.

I am a Reiki practioner…on my way to a master practioner….and we learn that humans have the physical body, the mental body, the emotional body and the spiritual body. In healing a person you are dealing with the mental emotional and spiritual body in the “Aura” of the person which can be extended 4 feet or more from the physical body. They believe a sociopath can be healed in the emotional mental and spiritual body. I know this can be way out there for alot of people. But what is not way out there is the power of prayer and the power of miracles.

How many times have you heard about or seen miracles! Believe in them. The lessons I have learned from these P’s, N’s and S’s is to be strong in life. Live with the conviction of my faith in God yet be strong enough to know what is what.

You may ask for miracles all your life and for some reason God doesn’t give it to you. God was listening….you were learning….but you didn’t receive that shiny blue bicycle…the miracle you were asking for…..why? Because you didn’t understand how to ask for a miracle. You have work to do….you just don’t get to walk through your life without making changes in yourself. Sometimes you have to have that blind faith that God will answer your prayers….and if you have been walking in your convictions with God he sometimes shows you the miracles. When I don’t see the miracles….I have learned it is usually because I am too attached with my ego and than I am not supposed to….and God knows when you get it and you are being “real”….Business always gets taken care of. It is what it is.

My point is that I have learned that I must always pray daily for others…even the “bad” ones…..probably moreso. Have I…not alot! Sometimes it is hard. I know how difficult it is to pray for the P’s…etc. I just left it to God….but I realize now, after reading this post, that was my anger in the way of healing. Maybe our prays to God about the tread of life that may be there for them…that through that thread Gods light can enter them and expand them and change them in a way they cannot recognize who they were and are now becoming through God. That they can receive healing through our prayers with God. They may turn it away and choose their evil ways….and that is why you don’t see the miracle….but they may wake up and smell the coffee.

You don’t get to see everything because it’s not possible….if you think about it….but you can learn from everything “good or bad” and you can walk away a better stronger person with a stronger faith and conviction in God.

You know I moved away from where I lived past and moved into a city area…and I have seen more “phoney” people here than where I used to live…and it bothers me….It’s all about money, how you look and present yourself, how you talk, what you have, and how positive you are!

“POSITIVE”…..like everyone here has read the book “The Secret”…let me tell you how taken out of text that can be by people….Yes, it is great to be positive in life…..but P’s and N’s and S’s know that better than anyone how great it is….but what is beneath that act. And I mean “act”…because most people are not “being” positive they are acting positive for a desired result.

“Being” positive entails so much more than the smile on your face and speaking in a sweet tone of voice and politely asking for what you want from someone. What is underneath all of that is who you are being.

It is a state of Being….it takes sheding your ego….becoming all or some of the following….

being strong
being happy
being joyful
being playful
being transformational
being assertive
being intelligent
being great

and I am sure you can add to that list

what I am trying to say is that regular people are getting lost in the ACT. Then they go home and wonder why it is that they are not happy. They can have many things….but they do not have themselves because they are living in the Act of being rather than “being”.

Here is a simple tool to change it. When you are upset about something…ask yourself what am I upset at. You are being upset…you are being angry…or being resentful….all the negatives….so what do you do to change it….instantly for healing!

LOOK at yourself for that moment…without feeling anything take a birds eye view of yourself and ask yourself how other people may be looking at you….don’t make them right or wrong….leave that to God….Tell yourself at that moment that you are Great! What does it take to be great…to be positive…what it takes is something you may be lacking in. Maybe it takes being compasionate….maybe something else. Be in the suffering at the time it began…sometimes it flashes way back to other circumstances. But at least be in the circumstance that caused your being Off…and float above it and ask yourself how you have been. Alot of times being great or being positive means being understanding and compassionate when someone is being bad to you.

I had a russian boss who was not easy to work for…but she did have a sweet side to her…but because there was so much ACt going on I couldn’t take it. I believe, after looking at all of it in hindsite…she was suffering from her background. Working for her was like stepping into Russia past…if you can imagine what I mean…she was molding everyone like they were puppets….and she held your job over your head….she didn’t pay you for training….she changed her mind a ton of times….and when she was working on molding you if you stood up to her you got fired…which is what I did….I stood up for myself and what was right….while another girl would take a different approach with her and joke and call it the torcher chamber and tell her we are not in Russia anymore and they would laugh….but her approach seemed to heal the situation. Mine might have later…but I will never know….I was fired…..

But when I look at the bigger picture I could have been more compassionate. Yes strong but also with compassion. That might have worked better…for all. Life is not perfect and she was not that bad a person.

Got to go to work now. Thanks for all your thoughts and wonderful insight. It does help me so much to read and sometimes to post to you all.

takingmeback: As you practice remember all about everyone:

head, arms, torso, legs,. mind, emotions, life energy, body, intellect, desire, animation, matter,
human world, animal world, plant world, physical world, creator/consciousness of creation, impulse of creation, immaterial created universe, material created universe.

“that is so”.

Peace.

I do not believe they are ill. In secular terms- that make bad choices on purpose. Why are they not impulsively kind?

Knowledge is power … is that why ALL isn’t being revealed?

God reveals ALL to any ONE that is hungry for his knowledge.

Some Humans seem to always be playing the “power” game with knowledge … leaving many ingredients out.

Peace

takingmeback: Good post.

Peace.

WOW! What phenomenal posts! What deep thought! What intelligent, thinking people! You guys are awesome! I don’t know where to start.

Takingmeback, your ability to work with these people as clients, under what you know will be “not helpful” circumstances must be very frustrating to you. I worked at a psych hospital with adolescents who were “budding Ps” for quite some time (a year and a half) after my P-son murdered the girl and went to jail awaiting trial. I don’t think I did much good for the kids themselves, except I did teach them that I was consistent with boundaries and that I would enforce those boundaries and that I had (in that inpatient setting) the “power and control” to effectively enforce those boundaries. In other words our unit was effectively a jail venue.

It was a joke to them. It was a game to them. They spent every day all day figuring out ways around the rules. We spent every day all day trying to enforce the rules. At the end of the day, the kids tallied up the “score”—“Kids 5, Staff 3” or “Kids 0, Staff 6” That was all it amounted to. Who could “score” and “How”—They were so creative!—-

It almost mirrored my “home life” when my P-son was between puberty and arrest. He spent all his time getting around the rules, and I spent all my time trying to find out how he got around the rules and re-inforcing the “walls” of rules around him to try to keep him from going to jail.

I look back now and laugh at the futility of trying to enforce boundaries with a psychopath who is intent on breaking the rules and getting away with it. It is like the more rules and the more supervision you have the more determined they are to “score” on you. Just like a game. And to them it IS A GAME. It is a challenge to “break the rules” to “not follow the rules” because “rules are made to be broken” “rules are only there for the stupid” “rules are not for me” “i am above the rules” etc etc.

One of the interesting things with cattle is that once they are allowed to find out that a fence is merely a “suggestion” for them to stay on one side of it, you can rebuild that fence out of concrete blocks, or like the Great Wall of China, and they will keep working on it to break it down, and will eventually succeed.

Psychopaths seem to be like that. Once they find a “chink” in the rules, no matter how you reinforce that chink to shore up your boundaries or the rules, they will keep on keeping on until they break through it. No matter how severe the consequences become, they keep on.

It is like the more supervision they have to monitor their behavior the harder they will try to do something dishonest.

If you caught your BF flirting with another girl and start “watching” him, he starts having affairs with THREE other women, not just one. Of course WE take this kind of behavior “seriously” not as a “game,” but they (well most of the time anyway) seem to take it without more seriousness than a baseball game score.

Sometimes, though, if they see you as a “possession,” then for them, the game becomes quite “serious” as you are not allowed to “escape” their control. This can lead, as a friend of mine says, to “tissue damage” where they beat or kill their victim rather than let the victim escape their control.

My P-son seems to view all family assets as “his” and me as his “enemy” that he must over come in order to secure what he is “entitled” to. While I think he viewed me as a “worthy” enemy and enjoyed “counting coup” on me as an American Indian warrior would view a brave enemy as “worthy,” he seemed to despise easily deceived people such as my mother (in a letter, he advised the Trojan Horse P that “grandma always takes my side”). Yet, even thinking I might be a “worthy” adversary, he felt rage at me for standing between him and what he wanted. CONTROL. POSSESSION. AUTOMOMY. So, he not only wanted to “count coup” on me, but to destroy me entirely.

Strangely enough, he seemed to admire my late husband’s abilities and to compare his own to my late husband’s, and to aspire to be admired by my husband. He reserved his rage for me for turning him in to the cops for being a thief, though it was my husband who made the suggestion and made the telephone call, the entire rage was centered on ME, and none on my husband.

Though my husband and I both were the ones that walked out of the police station when he was 17 and we had gone to get him (on release) and he had looked at us with a sneer and said “What the F took you so long?” I looked at the cop and said “There’s been a mistake, this young man isn’t MY son, he looks like him, but MY son wouldn’t talk to me like that. Take this young man back up stairs.” and WE left. Again, the rage was focused on ME. Looking back now, I realize that I should have cut the umbilical cord at that point. RIGHT there. Forever.

Knowing what I know NOW I would, but at that time I was not as knowledgeable as I am now. I still clung to the malignant hope.

Seeing parents and others today holding on to that malignant hope must be difficult for you, Takingmeback, as a professional.

In my last job before the PTSD got so bad that I just didn’t have enough short term memory to function, and didn’t have the patience and restraint to remain professionally detached, I saw such pain in the families, stress in the staff, and so much futility that I couldn’t do it any more. I admire you so much for being able to function in your role.

I think the “trick” for us is to not let the psychopaths’ injury to our minds, spirits, and emotions, drive us to become bitter and hateful. Anger is a normal response to injury from another. But holding on to that anger and nurturing it into “wrath” instead of finding meaning in the suffering (as per Dr. Frankl) and growth from that meaning, is the big trick, at least for me.

I think it is only after the fact (after total NC with ALL the Ps in my life) that I was able to have enough clearness of mind and cessation of acute pain in which to process ANY of this into anything meaningful. As long as I was dealing with my P-father the pain was too intense to process it. Even after NC with him, I didn’t have enough knowledge of Ps or even knowledge of my own spirituality etc or emotions (I was so young and naive) to process it then or afterwards, and then when the puberty and P-ness of my son hit, I still didn’t have enough Knowledge or resources to deal with it, the enabling of my mother at that time, years ago, still kept me from realizing where I was etc. and what I needed to do. Then there were the “dormant” years when I didn’t feel the pain so much, I ignored the signs and symptoms of the “chronic disease” of the Ps in my life and the enabling and cling to the malignant hope that the “disease” of my soul, emotions, and spirit would some how spontaneously “heal”—it was only when the malignant hope allowed my “untreated” disease to come into full “bloom” and threaten my very existence that I finally gave up the malignant hope and went for the “radical surgery” to remove the “cancer” of my life, my body, my mind and my soul. Surgery that left no time for anesthetic to ease the pain; surgery that radically altered me, yet saved my life, my soul and my entirety. Only now that the bleeding has stopped and the pain subsided, can I go back and look at the process that lead up to the “emergency surgery.”

Or to see where I might have seen the signs of the disease before the “radical solution” had become necessary.

Last summer when I was so stressed out with the threats to my life, and living in hiding. I kept having “hot flashes” (I thought anyway) and thought I SAW these, noticed these, I never once did anything but pass them off as “stress”—when in actual fact they were intermittent fevers caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a tick-borne disease that is 20% fatal in untreated patients, and 7% fatal in those that receive timely treatment. I obviously contracted it in early July from a tick bite that the tick stayed on me for a couple of days before being discovered (the tick must be on for more than 24 hours to transmit the disease) but it was in SEPTEMBER before I finally had the presence of mind to stick a thermometer into my mouth and discover I had 101 degrees of fever, and seek treatment.

The RED FLAGS of psychopathic behavior I had ignored, just like the RED FLAG of fever I had ignored. I saw both of these different types of red flags, but because of one thing or another, I IGNORED THEM or passed them off as something unimportant when in fact, they were VERY important warnings I should have heeded. Ignoring them was at my own peril.

Sometimes, but rarely, diseases have no “signs or symptoms” before disaster strikes in irreversible injury or death of a patient. Sometimes, but rarely, a psychopath waves NO red flags before some fluke reveals that they are psychopaths and the irreversible and/or fatal damage has been done. Most of the time though, when we in any way have “pain” or “signs or symptoms” of some dis-ease within our selves, we will do WELL to HEED those feelings, instincts, hunches, or whatever we are feeling. I think our society has trained us, however, to NOT heed these warning signs.

Sometimes, too, we can see the “signs” in others more easily than in ourselves. When I discovered by accident that my step father had been having intermittent fevers for several weeks, which he had essentially ignored, IMMEDIATELY RED FLAGS started to wave for me (an advance practitioner nurse) and I took him straight to the doctor, thinking of two things immediately, one being occult (hidden) cancer or tick fevers. Praying of course for it to be tick fever. Unfortunately, it was a very early cancer, but incurable.

PArt of finding “meaning” in our healing from the injury done to us by the Ps is to recognize and acknowledge these red flags when they are still in an “early stage” and we have not become deeply involved in the dis-ease of a relationship with the P. To enable us to get out relatively unscathed by injury from these types of people IN THE FUTURE, it is important that we are ABLE to acknowledge that in those cases where there WERE red flags with the Ps that we SEE what those flags were. If we can look back retroactively and SEE that there WERE flags, but we either didn’t recognize them for what they were (a sign or symptom) or that we saw it but “excused it” as something unimportant (like my dad did with his fevers, or like I did with my own fevers) then in the FUTURE we will not be as likely to ignore or excuse or not recognize a red flag for what it is.

In my step father’s case, recognising his “symptom” as significant wouldn’t have made a lot of difference in the outcome, his disease was fatal from the get go, but it did make a difference in the quality of his life because I did.

In my own case, my failure to recognize that I had a fever could have meant that I would have died or suffered irreversible damage. As it was, my treatment was delayed until I was so weak I could hardly stand up. It took me a lot longer to overcome the resulting weakness than if I had received treatment early on.

In the case of my failure to heed the “red flags” of psychopathic attacks over the years, I suffered much much more grief and pain than I would have if I had both recognized and acted to prevent further attacks. It isn’t about ‘blaming the victim” for the damage done either by disease or by failure to either know about the symptoms (red flags) or by failure to recognize or act on the significance of them, but to prevent FUTURE attacks by psychopaths.

I don’t blame myself for having tick fever. I didn’t “deserve” tick fever, and I wouldn’t have had it if I hadn’t been bitten by a diseased tick. I tried to stay out of the “way” of ticks, and I live in “tick country” so I tried to make sure I got them off promptly if I did get one, but as luck would have it, I got bitten by one, and I didn’t SEE it to remove it, so I got “blind sided” but I DID IGNORE THE FEVERS when they came. I explained them away as unimportant “hot flashes.”

Now, I do a daily “tick check” with a hand held mirror, I cover myself with tick repellent every time I go out, and if I were to run a fever, or even feel like it, I would stick a thermometer in my mouth immediately! I have learned a valuable lesson.

Now, I am learning to set boundaries with other people. I will enforce those boundaries, and if I see abusive red flags flying I will investigate those red flags, and I will act accordingly to prevent further dis-ease from “infected” people.

Takingmeback,

Yes, you do write quite a bit. But what you write is incredibly insightful, intelligent, wise as all get out! You being a mental health professional, as well as being a spiritual person, offers me valuable, priceless info from your own personal devestating experience with a PDI, formal education and experiences with PDI patients.

You are exactly the woman whose subject matter I most definitely need to read.

Thank you tremendously for your frank discussions regarding your personal history and your continuing work with understanding PDIs. Mucho appreciated!!

It’s crystal clear to me that I’m far removed from being the smartest kid in class, not even in the top 10%!

But I will confess that I’m that irritating brat who sits in the first seat at the beginning of the row, constantly raising my hand eagerly, with enthusiasm, asking questions of the instructor. While the egghead kids roll their eyes at me in exasperation….haha.

I was famous for it in High School and in college. The teachers/professors loved me for my knowledge hunger, but the kids/students probably thought I was a brown noser seeking attention. I wasn’t at all. Just inquisitive and hungry for an education. 🙂

Great posts by takingmeback and TrishNJ …..Both gave me lots to think about. I too found God after my socio. I was a widower by two and a half years before I met the socio, and during that time before the socio, many of my friends and family encouraged me to turn to God in my healing for the loss of my wife… but.. I was angry with God at that time, and blamed Him for her death. She was very young, 36 when first diagnosed and 39 when she died, leaving behind myself and our small son. During her illness, she was placed on huindreds of prayer lists nationwide and we received hundreds of cards and letters from people we never met. So, after her death, I was natually skeptical of God’s “purpose ” for me and that He even loved me…. Three and a half years later, after my year long socio relationship had ended, I was of course once again a broken man,….but.. I needed God.. I needed TRUTH since there had been none of that with the crazy…. My relationship with our Lord florished, and I eventually learned to TRUST Him with taking care of the socio.. meaning.. I gave her to Him….I had to go through the lengthy process of forgivenness, which as we all know is a DAILY process… Triggers come and the pain can come right back just as quickly…. I know that finding God and emersing myself in His word has been the foundation to my healing…. when ever I feel those triggers, or I am reminded of the darkness that comes with memories, or thoughts of “her”, I read in my bible…. Psalm 27 and Psalm 46 are favorites. In fact, stories of betrayal are all throughout the bible, and I am reminded at how people like Joseph, Jobe, Paul, and our Savoir delt with betrayal… and of course when I am reminded at the magnatude atjust how our Savoir was betrayed, I fell somewhat ashamed when I find myself focusing, not on him, but on the betrayal that was placed on me……

Wini…. I finished Tolle’s book, and will take many lessons from it…. I found it to be along the same lines as many of Jesus’s teachings of death to self (ego)…. I have started reading “The Shack” which is also good.. I don’t want to say what it is about, but through it I hope to understand a little more why bad things ahppen to good people, and what role God has in that.

Blessings to all…..

~Rick

myspace.com/southernman429

im angry today. i feel like the debt the ex has put me in will never end. i feel like im always going to have to pay on these bills. there is no point to ask him for money, he wont give it and i dont even want contact.

blonie: I don’t know your situation. If you were married to him or just dating him? If you were married and the bills are in both your name … then plug through the bills month by month, step by step. You’ll get them paid. If you weren’t married and the bills are in his name … I don’t believe you have a responsibility to pay them … that’s if your name isn’t attached to those bills. Let the chips fall were they may. If he was an EX boyfriend, go to your local police department and report what he’s done and they will assign a file # to your situation. Don’t expect them to do anything if he took off out of the area, but it is a report down at their station, it begins the paper trail for you documenting what this guy has done to you. If you were married to him … that’s a totally different ball game and you’d need professional help on the legal issues (aka retaining an attorney).

Good luck. Pray to God with your problems. He’d love to hear from you. Pray to God in Good time and Bad times. He’s never to busy for you.

Peace.

Dear southernman429: Tolle’s explanations about the EGOs is a major read for all of us going through devastation due to the Spiritually STUNTED of the world. There is so much to read in his book, it’s incredible. He states read the book cover to cover. Absorb what you can during the first reading. Put the book down, a few weeks or months later, pick the book up again and read through it. More info will pop out of the pages … the more you re-read the book, the more info comes out of the pages. It’s the same with the Bible. The more you read TRUTH, the more TRUTH comes out of the Bible.

My favorite about Tolle’s book is explaining how to go into the “now”. Be present, this minute, now. Incredible. The information in his book is taken from religious writings through the years and yes, our Lord and Savior’s writings. It’s how he puts the words on paper, that count. Allows everyone to go into “humble” mode and get out of your egos. Incredible, incredible, incredible. After you learn how to go into the “now”, your pain is gone and you can focus on forgiving your spiritually stunted EX. Pray that she goes into the light towards our Savior. That’s all we can do is pray for them. Someday, some how, God will thump them on their noggins and tell them to “wake up”. Until God takes over, let peace come back into your heart and soul. God wants us to ENJOY our lives as we travel this path. Look at your ex, not with your eyes, look at her with your heart. Now close your eyes and reflect on all the pain she caused you. Keeping your eyes closed, and not viewing her physically in your mind … you will see the little child that she really is. Not the chronological adult age … the stunted child not knowing the Lord. Not trusting and respecting the Lord. What confuses us is we assume our EXs were adults of their chronological age. They aren’t. They are children. If our hearts can see them as the children they truly are … then are hearts can heal and when our hearts heal … we can send them love and pray for them to find the Lord. Pray to God and give it over to him. Ask him how to forgive everyone who’s hurt you and he will guide you.

Peace. And read Tolle’s book throughout your life along with the word of God. Both books should be side by side as you read.

I’m sorry about your wife’s passing and you must miss her terribly… but her spirit has gone on to the next destination of her spiritual journey. My husband has passed over too along with both my parents. I know they have gone on …

JaneSmith: That’s what is know as dancing to your own beat. You made me smile while I read your post. You are suppose to be enjoying life.

Peace.

I still long to find someone caring and insightful someday, are they all sitting lonely somewhere afraid to get hurt again? I know I am.

Another thing TrishaNJ: People living from their egos will always warn you to stay away from others. Do NOT pay attention to humans coming from their egos. They are afraid and they mean well, but fear is guiding them. Everyone is God’s children. That’s the point. Fear keeps others away from other of God’s children. Fear condems others … we are to have compassion and love and faith in God. People attending church but still viewing life from their egos all mean well, but they aren’t getting the full picture. You have to pray to God that he guides you to the full picture.

Peace.

Wini,

Also I will say that my experience through the S’s in my life brought me to God. When I was in church studying the bible I was learning…but I was not healing. I knew the bible was good for me…but I was falling to pieces quickly. I was also in therapy. I went to Landmark education and I learned about our core being and started my healing….I even brought the one “criminal” S to an introduction and there one of the teachers who shared the same first name “Dennis” and the same height and size but who by coincidence shared my family last name…Duffy…..he happened to be the leader that night….talking about integrity and your word and the value of that and consequences if violated….and on and on…at the end the S Dennis spoke to the leader Dennis face to face and I was observing a miracle. Dennis asked Dennis if you don’t tell a person everything that is going on are you out of integrity? The other Dennis went to a space I never saw before and looked deep into his eyes (soul) and said “what do you think”….and S Dennis was taken aback like he just saw a ghost….I believe his soul was spoken to that day but he did not make the change needed….I continued my education which was amazing….than I hit a block…and that day I stopped the landmark education. I just couldn’t do it….I believed in the possibility of the miracle I needed…..but I have a health problem that was blocking it….I know God can change anything at anytime if he wishes…..maybe it wasn’t time for my miracle….I still have short term memory issues that make my life difficult at times….but that same day I left I receive a call from David at the Kabballah center and I learned more about transformation through them….not putting anything down at all….It was meant to be it was flowing the way God intended it to be and I was healing and mountains were moving….where before I was “dying”….now the investigation opened up and there was an arrest….and finally a plea of guilt and some resolution….and the fight was long and hard and I could not have done this the way I was left after being with Dennis….God moved me powerfully and in hindsite I know he did it because I was opening up to him in a way I never had before. And I am still healing. I had a man show up at my job one day, his name was Michael and he said his friend Steve from Bolgaria…who is also a healer told him to go to get a massage at the casino I was working at….he told him to make sure he has a conversation with the therapist….which was me….He started telling me that he had lost everything he owned due to this illness where his tissues are calcifying….like fibromyalgia or even worse….sceleroderma. It is an auto-immune disease. We talked and of course connected on a spiritual level….he came many times to see me and through that course of time he told me things that were going to happen and everyone of them came true. He said throough his healing with Steve he became close to God now who he calls “Father”…..and they are healers….He told me that Father was going to give me a little break….I was going to leave my job of 6 years in three months….he told me that my boss and the VP two married people who where having an open affair with each other were both going to loose their jobs….She would loose her job 3 months after I left and he the next year…It happened! He wanted me to become a healer too….He told me where I was moving….my boyfriend got a job in that area and we moved….I knew I had to persue healing work because God wanted me to. I had been dabling in it….but I never committed to it….I lost touch with Michael. But I did find Reiki….and I am on my way again.

Kabballah is also about shedding “ego”….through work and pray and meditation…..and when you go there you do open up to Gods healing…it comes to you in many ways…..when you truly go there….when you get it…..it comes to you.

Here is another great healing book for you all

“In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant.

from the introduction

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

There will come a time in your life when all you can do is love. You will have done all you can do, tried all you can tary, hurt all you can hurt, given up so many times that love will be the only way in or out. That day will surely come. Jast as sure as you are reading this page. In the Meantime, here are a few things you can do to get ready to the most joyous day of your life: the day you experience true love.

Basically the MEANTIME is a place of learning….its a great read

TrishaNJ: There are several posts I wrote you. Where on this blog I don’t know now … they were listed on the left side but as others write – they bounce my message to you in other parts of this site. So, as you read this, scroll up to previous e-mails until you get to read everything I wrote.

Peace.

Dear Southernman,

I loved your myspace…very beautiful and inspirational…thank you

TrishNJ: The best way to shed your ego is to read Tolle’s new book “A New Earth”. He explains in detail how to go into the “now” which sheds your ego. If you would read this book, it will shed a new light on everything. Share this book with others that you know. As soon as people learn how to go into the “now”, the sooner they will heal from what is ailing them. Tolle explains “healing ourselves” too. The book is the most intense book I’ve read since reading the Bible. Actually, Tolle explains how to read the Bible from the “now” perspective not from ego. He explains how we all have an ego … some egos are in check “which we call normal” and others are out of control “which we list with a zillion names”. I like Tolle’s definition of “obnoxious” personalities. I call them “Surface Dwellers, SD for short” not going deep into the emotional/spiritual realm … skimming the surface of life due to fear, fear, fear. That’s my point here … once we can get folks to go humble, get through their fears in life … we are on a good track of healing souls in the world.

Peace and good luck in your career.

Peace.

Wini,

Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth” Awakening to your life’s purpose
Great book I read it. There are many good ways to heal oneself. It’s all a journey between you and God. And it is a daily one at that…because we are not perfect in this world.

Be Great
Be Beautiful
Be Kind

kat_o_nine_tales,

I can relate to that fear of being hurt soooo badly again. Hurt, betrayed, exploited, abused, slandered, conned…all of it. I have often wondered how I can trust again after all that. I hear that longing mixed with fear in your post. I am afraid too. Very afraid. I thought I’d finally met that caring, insightful man and he was the most abusive man I’ve met.

What I tell myself if that I can take my experience and all that I’ve learned about the “signs” and go forward in life. But I move with trepidation. I know that I can be conned despite all I now know and that “signs” are often not so obvious. I could fall in love with someone again and years later find out they’re not who they seemed. It is a scary reality.

But life requires risk. For me I know how important it is to know myself well, to walk closely with God and to move forward with my eyes WIDE open. I don’t want my experience to affect my life so greatly that I am too afraid to ever love or trust another man again. I won’t let that happen. I won’t give that power over to my ex S or anyone.

I don’t necessarily think it’s bad, at least for me, to be afraid. I was too trusting before and because a friend of mine knew my ex well I believed him to be trustworthy before making that decision on my own. I had known him as an acquaintance years ago and took that for granted too. We went to the same Christian College and I thought that made him a decent man as well. I will never base trust on any of those things again. I will be more careful next time.

I know there’s no guarantee in that. We don’t have control over everything in life. But if I don’t take chances I don’t have the opportunity to experience life at it’s fullest. I want an abundant life. So for me, I continue to work on my recovery and forge ahead as I return to LIVING life again.

TrishNJ… thank you for your kind words about my Myspace.. it is a reflection of who I have become since my socio relationship…. I am proud that I have risen above what was done to me and that I took the higher road….

This is for all here who in those dark moments of lonliness and when the tears come wihtout warning.. when you feel that you are all alone… you are never alone.. He is with you ALWAYS!

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=7312836

Dear Southernman,

I’m sorry you went through all the losses you did. I have cried for many people on this site…you are not alone…and I know God is with you and all who are hurting here. As time goes by you get stronger and stronger and healthier and you build a life with God right beside you. I know you know what I mean.

((hugs))

Trish

So funny,

I just listened to your song after I wrote you that note. ” I know you know what I mean” ….You’re not alone….God is amazing!

It’s my day off and I just turned on the TV and Today on the Mike and Juliet show is all about Narcisistic relationships with mother daughters. watch on M&Jshow.com

sorry thats mandjshow.com

Blondie, about forgiveness, there are two kinds, the dumb kind, where you ease your pain and “make it all go away” by letting them back into your life like nothing ever happened, and the good kind, where you just sort of walk away from the anger, but not from the memories.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to rush that kind, it’s gotta happen in it’s own time. I know if my exes had run up big debts for me it would be terribly hard to let my anger go. There are incidents in my past that make it hard to ever forgive some of the guys in my life. I guess it really depends on you, how quickly you heal and put it all behind you. Just remember when you do forgive, don’t forget. Keep the lessons you learned, even though they left scars on your soul.

Dear Takingmeback. I enjoyed reading your posts. There are so many numerous opportunities and people who will pick those with PDIs up, so many they can try their chances with, that rarely do they fall on their knees enough to break their egos. Especially if they spin their gifts with charm and seduction there will always be more prey to choose from. My ex was crafty, it took me a while to cotton onto the fact that the reason he wasnt inviting me to meet him at work, was that he had gotten me to give him a reference to a job where it is nearly all women in the caring jobs working in the entire building – he has a big pool of prey.

They probably seem seldom crushed enough to invite change. All the ingredients of how they are, are detrimental to them changing – their ego being the main quality

Bev!!

I miss you, sweets! And I also greatly miss Free, OxD, Wini, Lilygirl, Henry…

Don’t you folks disappear on me now. I told you that I am a devoted and loyal friend. Include determined and stubborn to the mix.

I have 0 qualms about visiting a travel agency, booking flights to you alls locations, begging my neighbor to feed and love on my cats, driving to the airport, slurping down jugs of delicious coffee, flying in a cramped airplane while sitting next to chatty cathy, getting lost in your airports and finally discovering the exit after two hours of stumbling around looking like a dufus while unsuccessfully dragging my luggage and developing a serious muscle strain in my shoulder, yelling for a cab, dropping in on a private detective to locate the addresses to your secret mysterious sanctuaries, driving all over the town while enjoying the new sights exclaiming…”ahh” and “wow!” enough times to annoy the cab driver, come to a screaching halt to your hideout, stand at your door, then knock….and greet you with a radiant smile and huge hug.

See? That’s detemination….haha.

Hiya JaneS. Missed you too sweet, but I have been looking in and watching things. Oxy posted today on another thread and well, I hope that sometime soon, Free will pop in to say Hi.

I think I may be one of the only ones posting from the UK? Dont know if the organisers have plans to arrange a ‘live’ meet or perhaps a facility to swap email addresses.

You are sounding soooo well, and that’s a good testimony to healing and evolving – wouldnt you say sweet? (((hugs)))

Hey, I think we should have the meetup in the UK, Bev.

I’ve never been there which is decidedly odd as I’m a huge anglophile; I love everything British, Irish, Scottish, Wal-ish?..haha.

You know all my favorite actors and actresses are originally from the UK, and Australia. And to visit the lovely town of W. Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon would be a true delight for me! And of course, visting with you would be a good, good thing most of all.

And yes, luv, I’m doing mahvelous, but I wish to share any comfort, solace, encouragement to the new members of Lovefraud that they need. None of us should be alone when confronting the devestating realization of loving a PDI and we all know that Donna’s generous concern and care in creating this awesome site proves beyond a shadow of doubt, that we are never alone.

We gots the Lord and each other!!! ***HUGGLES***

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