By | May 6, 2011 401 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Cold-Blooded Kindness

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

Cold-Blooded Kindness: Neuroquirks of a Codependent Killer, or Just Give Me a Shot at Loving You, Dear, and Other Reflections on Helping That Hurts is the tongue-in-cheek title of this book by Barbara Oakley, with a foreword by David Sloan Wilson. It belies the serious research and investigation done by this remarkable, highly educated and acclaimed woman.

Oakley is associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, and her work focuses mainly on the complex relationship between neurocircuitry and social behavior. The list of her varied experiences reads like fiction ”¦ she worked for several years as a Russian language translator on Soviet fishing trawlers in the Bearing Sea during the height of the Cold War. She met her husband while working as a radio operator at the South Pole station in Antarctica. She went from private to Regular Army captain in the U.S. military, and is also a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

In Cold-Blooded Kindness, along with a project called Pathological Altruism (forthcoming book by the same name this year), Oakley was investigating if altruism could be taken to the extreme and become pathological and harmful.

Some “researchers” have, for what they thought was the “greater good,” slanted their research to show what they believed was an altruistic motive. For example, many people have heard about the “battered woman syndrome,” and how it is now incorporated into laws in many states as a mitigating factor in cases where women wound or kill the men who have battered (or supposedly battered) them. What isn’t known, though, is that the “research” into this “syndrome” was badly flawed. The researcher was a woman who was so intent on doing the “greater good” of protecting abused women, that her altruism caused her to slant her studies, and anyone who pointed out that her research was suspect, was in fact, “blaming the victim,” and therefore, evil.

Oakley points out that she started to seek out a person who appeared to be altruistic to the point that it became harmful, but her own research led her to see the situation differently than she had planned.

She started investigating a Utah woman and artist named Carole Alden, who had “been abused” and had killed that abusive husband, Marty Sessions. But the book really isn’t so much about Alden murdering Sessions, for which she ended up in prison, but about how Carole Alden, though presenting herself as the ultimate altruist (rescuing animals and people), was instead, the ultimate abuser.

The examination of the human brain, and the social interactions of children, and the development of empathy and altruism in children, are explored. Both the social and the genetic aspects of these are gone into in depth.

Oakley explores “co-dependency” and “enabling” behaviors and calls for more actual research into these areas, especially concerning possible sex hormone links and to genetics. She also points out while little, if any, real research has been done on “battered women syndrome,” and it is not accepted in the DSM-IV, it is accepted in many state statutes.

Oakley never comes out and actually says Carole Alden is a psychopath (though the word is used and described in the book itself), but Oakley’s book describes Carole Alden’s behavior relative to the Psychopathic Check List-Revised. It shows that while Carole presented herself to others as a victim of circumstances, and as altruistic to the nth degree, she was, in fact, a controlling, manipulative, using, abusing, pathological liar, who took in dozens, if not hundreds, of stray animals. She cared for them poorly in most cases, but better than she cared for her own children.

It is also possible that Carole is a serial killer, as there are two other deaths of men she was involved with that were “suspicious” in their very nature.

When Oakley was corresponding with Carole Alden, she was convinced by the letters that Carole Alden was the personality she was seeking for her thesis of “altruism gone too far,” and that Carole was indeed the victim of this. Upon meeting Carole though, in prison, Oakley began to see the real situation. When she investigated the family, the crime, the real history of Carole Alden, not just the self-serving tales of how everyone abused her, Oakley began to see the malignancy. Carole changed her story, came to believe her own lies, and slanted all aspects of “truth,” even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Not only is this a history of one pathological woman who murdered one man and possibly more, and who abused and neglected her children, it is about the personality disordered in general who present themselves as victims, when in fact, they are at best—co-victims/co-abusers with their partners.

Oakley is not “blaming” legitimate victim, but seeking to find the common thread in some partners (women and men) who participate to one degree or another with the abuse they endure. She is seeking a way to educate and warn these people so that the abuse can be prevented.

While Carole Alden took in a series of ex-convict men, who were addicts, to “cure” and “fix” them, which appeared to be altruistic in nature, in fact, it was anything but altruistic. It supplied Carole with her “professional victim” and “professional altruistic” persona that she was seeking to establish. What caused this in Carole, when her parents and other siblings were apparently normal and highly functioning members of society?

I tend to underline and highlight important passages in my books as I read, and I finally gave up trying with this book, as the first 100 pages are almost all day-glow yellow.

This is a highly readable book, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of one of Oakley’s previous books. I will also be one of the first in line to buy her upcoming one Pathological Altruism. I highly recommend that anyone who is seriously trying to figure out how we (former victims) are alike, and how the fake altruism of some psychopaths works, read this book.

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Hi Ox,

I just picked up this book, yesterday. How apropos your post is. I haven’t had a chance to begin to read, as of yet, but I hope to get to start, tonight. Thank you for your great synopsis! Looking most forward to opening the pages!

Off the Subject, I wanted to share this link. I hope you do not mind me sharing it on this particular thread. It is beautiful and healing:

Love and Peace,

Ox Drover

Dear Eden,

I just got Oakley’s other book a couple of days ago, “Evil Genes” and guess what? SHE HAS A P SISTER!!!!!! Her P sister even stole her mom’s boy friend! WOW!!!!! She gets it!!!!! This second book is more about psychopaths and she calls them that! I’ll get the review of it done just as soon as I am done reading it! I can hardly put it down, but have so much work to do around the farm it may be a few days before I get it finished. I can’t wait for her new book in August—THIS WOMAN GETS IT FOLKS!!!!!!

Thanks for the link Eden! Glad you got the book….I really am excited about this woman’s work, and she has the PhD behind her name to be recognized as “legitimate.” It is unfortunate that many of us who are “personal experts” don’t have that “sheep skin” to get people to really listen to us and this woman DOES HAVE so that is even more impressive.

Eden did you read her resume? Quite impressive I would say too!
Her writing is so funny, and interesting too, but JAM PACKED WITH SCIENCE AS WELL….


Great review!

Oakley is DEAD ON. I hope she gets tremendous reviews. I think she can really push us all forward in this space. Fantastic understanding of the issues. Fantastic book. SHE GETS IT.



oxy – it’s nice to see your writing under your given name. Very interesting review, and very interesting subject.

i wonder if we will find that ‘pathological altruism’ is just a variant/ manifestation of spathy. to me it sounds like an extraordinarily well developed pity play (not having read the book yet). she’s used people and animals as props – the same way that most spaths arrange the ‘chess pieces’ in their lives.

i see that true altruism can become damaging to people, when they don’t know when to stop and are not able to take care of themselves as part of their way of being in the world. I have a friend who would mobilize to help someone in danger, but does not recognize that she too is in danger and/ or seem able to action to help herself. most of us who here have ‘givers’ that are out of whack; and have become prey because of it. but i don’t think that we are on the same spectrum as what you have described.

as ever, i think these folks are some sort of subset of the human species, but that is an intellectual argument. and you know, perhaps that’s the best way to look at them…but it sure as hell isn’t how we experience them.


Wow. Wow. Wow!

Oxy, how did you discover this book? What a brilliant synopsis of an all too common but definitly misunderstood dynamic. I’m definitely going to look up her books. And Oxy – you write a great review my good woman!

Interesting reading this thread after my comment on Donna’s post about the Mother’s Day march re: my mother. So many similarities re: finding an appropriately presentable victim as prop.

I *loved!* this comment in the reviews:
“This brave and important book reminds us that even our best intentioned assumptions become prejudices if they go too long unexamined. Truth and justice deserve our rigorously honest attention and we must trust that they will protect us better, in the long run, than convenient lies.” –Jennifer Michael Hecht

Can’t wait for your review on the next book.

Thanks for the review of an author I’d hereto not heard of, but whose works I’ll now seek.

There are striking similarities of Carol Alden to my sister, a perpetual victim, striving to appear unimaginably altruistic, and the animal-whisperer of all time. To my knowledge, she hasn’t yet killed a human, but there’s evidence that she has tried, and it’s probably just a matter of time before she actually does. The most likely targets are her daughter or myself, or both, unless she latches onto someone wealthy whose will she can wriggle into.

The real victims are those whom she’s “helped”.

Ox Drover

Thanks Annie and SocioSibs,

Yea, that CArole Alden was a real “piece of work” and it was interesting how Oakley’s image of her changed from writing to the woman and reading about her and then meeting her….etc.

Oakley having a sister who is a psychopath (mentioned in the “Evil Genes” book but not so much in the one above) I think accounts for a lot of the understanding and the curiosity of Oakley in wanting to know how the brain works physically, chemically and effects behavior and thinking. This woman must be so incredibly bright and her CV is astounding! She’s very scientific in her research though, and lets the “chips fall where they may” even if it doesn’t uphold her theory when she starts.

I had intended to share this book with a friend by sending it to him, because I know he would enjoy it, but instead, I wrote him an e mail and told him to buy it for himself, I am NOT LETTING GO OF THIS BOOK, it is one I will reread several times.

lesson learned

Hey everyone.

I want to wish those of you who are Mama’s here a very special, very Happy Mother’s Day, surrounded by those that love you and hopefully will spoil you rotten.

For those of you Mom’s here still dealing with custody issues and spaths, my heart goes out especially to you. This day should be more than just a Mom’s holiday celebrated given all the crap you have to deal with. I understand it.

I wish you special peace, big time love, AND TONS OF HUGS from the kids you work so hard to love and protect from your spaths.

This day is especially meaningful for you.


lesson learned

(((( Ox ))))))

I loved your sharing about son D’s card. Having lost the bio kids, I hope your day with son D means tons more.

I think that’s pretty special. I was touched by your story.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ox.


Ox Drover

Dear LL,

Thank you sweetie, I have a wonderful mother’s day with him every day of the year, all 365! He shows me every day just how much he loves me both as a mom and as a friend.

Happy mother’s day to the rest of you guys, too!


I will be glad when mother day is done and over….please dont ask why, or I will tell ya.

Hope to heal

Hens ~ OK, I won’t ask why, but you can tell if you want to 🙂

I will be forever grateful for my MIL she is such a kind lady to me.
I wish that my husband had been so lucky with his. (my mother).

Wishing everyone a happy day tomorrow.


hens – me too. i have put off going to see my mom because i am so freaked out about seeing the n sire. but mom’s day is here and it hurts my heart not to see her, and freaks me out to think i have to deal with him over the house sale down south.

i wish you had gone out. i wish there were places where we could go and have REAL fun. 🙁


Hi Oxy,

Sorry I have not responded to your post (that had addressed me) above! I had not had a chance to return to the site until just now. Now that I have read what you have described above, regarding “Evil Genes”, I am anxious to read it as well, and no, I have not read her resume, as of yet, but I am looking most forward to it. I wound up choosing to purchase Cold Blooded Kindness, the other day, as someone on a thread here, on LF had mentioned that they were reading it, (Maybe Kim Frederick?) and the title alone inspired me to pick it up. The Psychopath that had over-taken me like Satan, himself for 10 months fed me just that.. “COLD BLOODED KINDNESS”. When I read the title I thought, “My Gosh, I have to read that book!”

Thank you LL and Oxy for the Mother’s Day wishes! I hope everyone’s Mother’s Day is filled with much Joy, Peace and Lots of Love!!




One Joy,
I wish you could come down here and we could go out and party. In my area, everyone gay, straight and in between goes to the same places. Nobody here cares about the differences. I’m north of seattle and haven’t really been out in seattle for many years but I’ll bet it’s even more like that in Seattle.


onestep – I mite get out tomorrow afternoon and do something different and interesting..There is this Green House place I love to browse, they have so many unique and different plant’s, I wish you could see this place, there are chickens everywhere, hens setting on eggs, little chicks chasing after bugs, and a pot bellied pig named Matilda that I bet is three feet wide, she is always laying in a wet spot under the racks, snoring. And I always buy something and bring it home. I wish you could see my little farmette, things are looking so pretty.
You know it sucks having N’s for parents, they get worse it seems when they know we have em figured out. It pisse’s them off that they cant control us anymore. And being around them is so unsafe, they can do so much damage with just a look or comment.
I have N client that I have talked about before and I just dont like being around her. One more narc word from her and I have my speech ready. Taking Her money is like blood money, she is a oil baroness, enuff said.
Anyway I am so sorry that assho sire of yours effect’s you that way, believe me I know the feeling.


h2h Happy Mother’s day to you and to all the good mothers here at love fraud.
THANX to all of you Moms for being here and sharing and listening…


sky – you and i could be a little further away if you lived in Mexico and i lived in hudson’s bay! We are over 2000 miles apart!

i have always been interested in your part of the country. I have been further north of you in Vancouver – too moldy for me though – wet all the time, although Vancouver island is something special. The spath vacations on Vachon – i’d like to go one fall and punch her both of her eyes in. you know, like a holiday. 🙂


looks like you and One and I are orphaned siblings.
mother’s day sucks.


you mean vashon island. LOL!
just give me her address…. whooooohoooo!
I’ll pass it on to the spathinator.


hens – that place sounds right up my alley! the thing is to find people who like what we find interesting. I met a woman once who was from a ranch background, who was into textiles (my schooling), and who taught american lit. in new mexico….(i have a serious thing for english majors)…and she was SO not available.

the spath made someone i was VERY interested in, too. but she made him out of lies and stolen photos, and bits and pieces of other’s stolen lives. bless her heart.


sky – haha, no she vacations on those little chocolate covered, caramel filled vanilla cakes!


p.s. i doooo have her address in her home state if you are up for a road trip….just sayin’.


Hey Sky – Well for most of my life I kept my mother up on that pedastle. Well she has been dethroned and now she is old and alone and I dont give a f— I mean to hear ME, the biggest mommas boy of all say that about her.And ya know what else? Nobody thinks bad about me for that – they all knew it long before I did…


1step – I want to go on THAT road trip..count me in toot’s….


hens – i think people would see my situation with my dad that way, too. my poor demented (and in deep denial for years before dementia) mom is probably one of 2 people on the planet that doesn’t see his narcissism.


ya know hens, i keep rolling the idea around of going to her trial. but first, i have to send things to the ADA – i never did, because it freaked me out too much when i worked on it. but i think i am getting closer to picking it up again. I have been thinking about it for a few weeks – seems it takes that long to mull it over, and figure out that i am ready to pick it up again.

i still miss ‘him’…(before all the fake dying and suicide attempts started), and working on that stuff stirs that up for me, but i am also getting closer to do some rituals to help let go of my hate, and whatever else is lurking inside wanting to see the light of day.

super chic

Oxy, loved the card your son gave to you!
Made me tear up a bit, in a good way! 😀


1step – we all talk about them being fakes and illusions, but bless your heart Yours was ‘made up’ by a monster…well bury the boy and lets hope the monster gets hers…but no one can stop her as long as she breathes she is still a monster


amen hens!

Ox Drover

You know guys, I have no bad feelings about mother’s day…..or any other holiday….my egg donor’s birthday just passed two or three weeks ago and it was just another day….as far as missing her, I don’t any more. As far as bio-sons, I did my mothering when they were little and I loved them dearly, they were the lights of my life….but don’t like either of them as men…don’t miss either of them being in my life. I realized when son C was here the other day to pick up some of his stuff he had left here….I just don’t miss a relationship with him….don’t want one. I’ll be cordial to him, but not gonna invite him for dinner. We can cooperate on the things we have to do about his X brother and x grandmother…but that is the extent of the interaction I want or need with him. Can’t trust him and don’t need to interact with people I can’t trust.

As far as my adopted son is concerned I trust him 110% and he is a man I am proud to call son, proud to call friend…and I’d stand him up against any other person in the world for smart and a good heart. Trustworthy, kind, caring and compassionate. What else could you want in a person you love? Nothing that I can think of.

My step father was a wonderful man and his “essence” is still in my heart and mind, and though he is passed on, and not of this earth any more, his spirit and his love is in me still.

One/Joy think of your mother’s dementia as a blessing for her. I know that you wish she still was mentally “with you” but the spirit is still there….and will be even after she has passed on physically. Savor the sweet memories of her and celebrate that on Mother’s day. Those sweet memories are not something that anyone can take away from you. They are yours forever.

I sometimes think that God is good to us in that sometimes when we get older and get wrinkles is when our eyes go bad, and when you get to the point that you can’t remember that you are old, you can’t be sad about it….or can’t remember that those you loved have passed away or are not around (for whatever reason) so just remember and “commune” with the mother you had. At least you had that and that’s more than Hens and I can say….and a lot of others here as well. So be thankful for the nurturing you had from her, it is part of what makes YOU special and caring…part of her that lives on in you. (((hugs))))

lesson learned

MOther’s Day sucks for me in a way too.

But tonight, after my daughter’s b’day party and my grandchildren were here, I realized that while I wish I had a mother to wish a Happy Mother’s Day, I AM a mother to my daughter’s, sons and grandchildren.

Maybe my youngest IS a spath. But I’m blessed that the rest aren’t. ONe out of six isn’t so bad and my grandchildren are a major blessing to me.

I think that’s as far as I can take it right now.

But tomorrow, instead of being in so much pain, I’ll try to focus on the good things in my life, even if they feel so very few.


lesson learned

(((((((((((((( Hens ))))))))))))))))))))

Happy “Mother’s Day” to you too. For you are BOTH Mom AND Dad, grandpa too and a “mother” to your wieners!




oxy – think of my mom’s dementia as a blessing for her? you have GOT to be kidding. i wonder if you actually READ what I wrote, or if you just started riffing. MY issue is with my father, and i really really don’t want your pollyanna advice about how to commemorate mother’s day. I find what you have written to be really offensive.


peace out all.


((((((((LL)))))))) Happy MO-Day to you’ is your wiener feeling? This is ‘frog season’ for my two girls, they catch em and put em in my bed under the covers…

Ox Drover

Dear One/Joy,

Well, excuse me— it was not meant in any offensive way at all….in my many years of working with demented elderly, I have found a way to see that it is not all bad for the demented…sometimes that dementia smooths over painful memories for them….keeps them from remembering the sadness of losing a loved one because they still remember that person alive…just not there at that moment.

I realize the PROBLEM you have is with your sperm donor, not with your mother, but I know you are not able to see her because of him, but maybe her dementia keeps her at least from feeling sad that you aren’t able to visit like you would like (and like she would like if she were more “with it” in the Now)

None the less, the mother she was for you is still INSIDE YOUR MEMORIES….and that is something I would think you would want to cherish….just as I cherish the memory of my “daddy”—if that offends you, then I’m sorry.


Well excuse me but I am going to bed..Quacky Mudder’s Day Oxy..gnite

lesson learned


Eeeeewwwww!!!!! My wiener has currently taken on Judas status and is happily licking the feet of my son in the other room. Instead, I have the chee wow wow who snores. Yes, that’s what I said, she snores. LOUDLY.

Actuallly Hens, I had another scare this week with the wiener. He’s gettin tired with his illness ups and downs. I worry about him a lot, but just enjoy every minute that I have him. He still loves his toys, chases them, then burns out. Gets sick sometimes.

The time is approaching. Just day by day. Sure love him though. I try not to think about life without him right now.

Hugs to your wieners, but NOT the frogs Blech!


super chic

Happy Mother’s Day!!!! 😀


Hope its not too late to wish all you Moms on LF happy Mothers Day!
Off To N.Zealand early Tuesday morning, and looking forward to being with Daves sisters,and their families, who are nice and NORMAL! {NON spath}.
Praise de Lawd!!
Love also to you Hens, you didnt get the Mom you wanted or needed, Onejoy and Sky,EB, and LL didnt get the parents they needed either.I got 2 spath kids.Sometimes life just SUCKS!!
But hey WE all love each OTHER, how good is that, guys?Lets celebrate THAT!!
Mama GemXX


Yes, Happy Mother’s Day!

After reading the positive reviews for “Cold Blooded Kindness, it got me to thinking how few genuinely good books there are on Sociopathy/Psychopathy. Stout, Hare, Donna’s book (the latter I haven’t read yet – but when time permits…), etc., are quite first rate and informative. However, my own opinion is that this site itself is BY FAR the best place to come for a truly integral understanding of this personality disorder (i.e., if human evil can be so classified). That, and the people here are significantly more insightful and agreeable than what one is likely to encounter in everyday life.

That being said, I would like to point out two things. First, if you haven’t already read it, Hervey Cleckley’s brilliant “The Mask of Sanity” can now be read in full online. (I’m not good at making links, but you can just google it hopefully.) Of all the books I’ve encountered dealing with psychopathy, I’d say that Cleckley’s work is unequivocally the best. (It’s also a riveting page-turner once the momentum gets going.) He writes a somewhat antiquated, though highly literate style, and his fine sense of language is second to none. But more to the point, he has a remarkable level of insight regarding these people that one is unlikely to find elsewhere. It’s a profound shame that this book is out of print!

Secondly, I notice that many people on this site have favorable views of M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie.” Well, I am likewise guilty of having a high opinion of this book. However, I read a shocking article that features an interview with Peck (google, “Gin Cigarettes, women, The Sunday Times.” Again, sorry about having no link!) which has radically changed my opinion of the man. Really, I can’t believe that he was such a scoundrel! Some of you might disagree with that sentiment, but read the article – it’s quite harrowing, I can assure you. He comes across as being very close to being a socio. himself; the best case scenario I’d say is maybe he’s somewhere on the borderline between sociopathy and “malignant narcissism.” (I find the distinction laughable myself, but that’s neither here nor there.)

At any rate, it almost feels like a betrayal to discover that someone like Peck is a thorough fake. Indeed, look at how he treated his poor wife! Absolutely contemptible. And what bestial arrogance! Nevertheless, rather than be disheartened, I would say to Peck fans that there is a profound lesson to be learned here: most significantly is the manner in which the bad guys can abuse and manipulate language in order to gain people’s trust. All his crap about God and spirituality might be true in the abstract, but coming out of his mouth it becomes bile and poison. So be on guard my friends! The bad guys aren’t just the drooling idiots with bad credit and felonious prison records. They are the suave and well-spoken Scott Pecks of the world, who gain the confidence of good people and then systematically dismatle and destroy them over a period of decades. A “prophet” indeed!

Good grief – we really can’t trust anyone, can we?!



I really think you’re on to something. Here are the data points.deleted


Superkid, those are excellent insights about your ex spath. Your spath is just like mine, desiring to blend in, his facade was of a working class hero and he dressed in jeans and a t-shirt religiously. always wore a baseball cap. He was very self sufficient and was drawn to hoarders and survivalists.

I don’t agree with the negative assessment of Dr. Peck, though. He was controversial and he was called the anti-christ by some fundamentalists. There are spaths everywhere and they will slander anyone who threatens to expose them. Dr. Peck did that. He wasn’t a spath though because he never tried to hide what he did. Spaths hide their real selves. Sam V could be a sociopath, but in my eyes, he is too narcissistic to hide what he is. So he’s not a sociopath. The videos don’t seem that offensive to me but maybe that’s because I saw my spath go into rages that would make anyone shudder. And it was constant.

The article about Gin and cigs was extremely slanted, here’s a link to a more balanced article. which portrays him as a human with many faults.



Long time no speak! I have been reading here for a long time but have chosen to remain silent. Until now. Something you said got me off the fence!

“At any rate, it almost feels like a betrayal to discover that someone like Peck is a thorough fake. Indeed, look at how he treated his poor wife! Absolutely contemptible. And what bestial arrogance! Nevertheless, rather than be disheartened, I would say to Peck fans that there is a profound lesson to be learned here: most significantly is the manner in which the bad guys can abuse and manipulate language in order to gain people’s trust. All his crap about God and spirituality might be true in the abstract, but coming out of his mouth it becomes bile and poison. So be on guard my friends! The bad guys aren’t just the drooling idiots with bad credit and felonious prison records. They are the suave and well-spoken Scott Pecks of the world, who gain the confidence of good people and then systematically dismatle and destroy them over a period of decades. A “prophet” indeed!

Good grief ”“ we really can’t trust anyone, can we?!”

I can relate to this because I was involved with someone at one time who said this EXACT SAME THING to me over the decade that we have not been together (we have emailed over the years) even using the same phrases and words. What a coinkidink yah? :). The funny thing is I believe with all of my heart that he was projecting.

I was just telling Donna this week that I initially came to LoveFraud because of an involvement with a spath I had met last year but really it was meant for me to be here because of a psychologist from Ireland that I met online eleven years ago who I believe spathed me worse than my recent spath did! Irish guy was particularly insidious because he was so sweet, gentle, full of flowery language you know the type, moonbeams, soulmates, “i recognized you from another life” carp and the “cosmic” connection bit that Carnes describes in Betrayal Bond.

I am sure he is convinced that I am Lucy and he is Charlie Brown however as I said, I believe he is projecting.

James Taylor had a song “people will take your soul if you let them, but don’t you let them”. I believe he would say I was the baddie however after being on Lovefraud I have come to realize that he was the one who lovebombed me and started with the “you are my soulmate” very quickly and then discarded me after he precipitated a crisis.

Donna’s experience mirrors mine in that my encounter with Irish Guy led me to a spiritual awakening that is very, very profound and very real. I can relate to Liz in Eat, Pray, Love in her letting go of her man issues so she could find the Divine. Gawd it took me TEN YEARS (that I will never get back) but what a JOURNEY folks! It was the only time in my entire life that I wanted to die. I was so depressed..insidiously evil of him to do that to someone who loved him so.

After all these years I am finally free from his grasp (lies, all of it) and like the Jackson Browne song “Birds of St. Mark’s”, it came time for me to call back all the birds I sent over his castle wall and I DO NOT SEND ANY MORE.. YeeHaw!!! But I do send him light and love. I had to forgive for my own sanity…

Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes Constantine!

Oxy/Joyce there are no words to describe how you help me in your MOST sage advise..more than you can ever know.. You, my friend are truly a MEDICINE WOMAN in all regards. Know that today and give yourself a huge hug for Mother’s Day.


lesson learned


I just read this article lol! Interesting perspective when the word altruism is combined with what is known as the pity play.

I never forgot about that in Martha Stout’s book. It is the NUMBER ONE thing to watch for in a psychopath, however, if altruism is in the mix, it would make the psychopath harder to recognize or uncover, particularly if their altruism is widely known by others and publicly “respected”.

To me it looks like the pity play on steroids 🙂




Oxy, my son just now (as I was writing to Constantine) gave me Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” as a Mother’s Day gift. I told him that is what I wanted. It was your mentioning of this book that made me want to read it. I see that Mr. Frankl dedicated this book to his mother!!



I really don’t want to keep posting here, just reading. Everyone is so helpful but I felt awhile back that some were suspecting that I am a “Vankinite” or some other covert Trojan. Maybe my own paranoia from my PTSD but I felt shamed and don’t wish to post regularly. Just had to come out of my hiding place today!! I will keep reading tho because I find tremendous support in everyone’s posts.

Ox Drover

First off, let me “attack” skylar’s post 🙂 Sky Sam Vankin IS A PSYCHHOPATH AND SCORES HIGH ON THE PCLR, the man is a monster…..just because they expose themselves doesn’t mean they are not one, they are not ALL sneaky and not all open. Your statement is waaaaay too broad.

Adams’ rib….if someone thought you were a troll, please forgive them, because some people come here soooooo very raw and see psychopaths behind every bush. Sometimes even posters that know us and know we aren’t trolls will strike out in their own pain (had that happen to me yesterday) but while it wasn’t what I wanted, of course, I do understand that this particular poster is in a great deal of pain. I am sorry if I caused her a “trigger” to make her pain worse, but it was unintentional and she I think knows me well enough that it will come round. IN the meantime, I will just back off interacting with her, but not caring about her.

So please, don’t let a misunderstanding come between you and this wonderful community here.

I had forgotten he dedicated it to his mother. That book was such a turning point in my healing and pain. I vote for Dr. Frankl for sainthood! He and Carrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman who wrote “the hiding place” about her time in the Nazi prison camps for hiding Jews in her home during the war. She went on to found camps for healing for these survivors of the concentration camps as the rest of her life’s work.

Those larger and many times more harsh terror camps in many ways are just like the “terror camps” of families and relationships, just larger in nature, but the damage that is done to the person “interred” in the “camp” is the same.

Hope you enjoy the book. Happy mother’s day (((hugs)))

Ox Drover


It is disppointing when someone who holds themselves up as a model of morality and “preaches” morals turns out to be themselves less than “holy.” The priest who molests kids, the deacon who steals from the church, the Nun who embezzles millions from the church coffers to gamble with…the preacher who beats his wife, or verbally abuses his family….we want to hold these people to a higher standard than the rest of humanity.

Of course they are “humans” like the rest of us, some good some not so good, but the fact is that they themselves fall short of the MESSAGE THEY PREACH doesn’t mean the message is necessarily bad.

I have read Peck’s people of the lie and there is some of it I do not agree with entirely, but in the main, I think there is helpful information there in dealing with the psychopaths and abusers of our lives.

The mask of sanity is also a good book and when you realize WHEN it was written, it is AMAZING really.

Superkid, thanks for reminding me where I heard about the Oakley books…I have CRS and couldn’t remember where I heard about them but I am SOOOOOO IMPRESSED BY THIS WOMAN’S WRITING—she gets it!

Interesting too about your X reading the 48 laws of Power, which I think is the “psychopath’s handbook” (see my book review of it) as well as the Art of War.

As Oakley says in “Evil Genes” the information about psychopathy is like widely scattered gems…we just have to search for them and put them together into a “picture” mosaic of what we are trying to learn.

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