lf2

BOOK REVIEW: The Science of Evil

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

Simon Baron-Cohen, author of The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, is a professor of Developmental Psychology in the department of Experimental psychology and psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. He is director of the University’s Autism Research Center and has endless awards for his research and writing.

If you only read one book about empathy, this book should be it! Baron-Cohen explores the definition of empathy, or the lack of it, in humans, to answer his own questions about the Nazi atrocities in Germany before and during World War II. He also, as a scientist, wanted to explore why some people treat other as objects and answer his questions about how a human being can treat another person with utter cruelty and lack of compassion. His definition of empathy is:

Empathy is our ability to identify what someone else is thinking or feeling and to respond to their thoughts and feelings with an appropriate emotion.

Empathy … requires not only that you can identify another person’s feelings and thoughts, but that you respond to those with an appropriate emotion.

 

He explains that lack of empathy can be a fleeting state, in which anger, drugs, alcohol, or distractions dampen our empathy temporarily, or it can be a life-long pattern from which there is no recovery. He goes on to show that there are medical conditions in which both parts of empathy are missing (recognition of another’s feelings as well as responding to those feelings.)

Like any good scientist who studies his subject in a scientific manner, Baron-Cohen actually measures empathy. He and his team devised a Empathy Quotient (EQ) in order to measure empathy on the standard bell curve, where the majority of humans are in the middle. Most people have a reasonable amount of empathy most of the time (both recognizing and responding to the feelings of others), with fewer people having a much greater amount of empathy, and others having a lesser amount of empathy.

When I meet someone with very little empathy, it is as if they lack the very apparatus to look inwards at themselves, as if they lack a reverse periscope that would enable them any vision of themselves.

 

He defines, for research purposes, empathy into six broad categories. He describes zero empathy as:

Individual has no empathy at all ”¦ at which level some people commit crimes and are violent, but ”¦ fortunately, not all people with zero empathy wish to harm others ”¦ they cannot experience remorse or guilt.

At level six are the hyper-empathetic people that he describes as:

Continually focused on other people’s feelings, and go out of their way to check on these and to be supportive. It is as if their empathy is in a constant state of hyper-arousal, such that other people are never off their radar.

 

Using both psychology and brain scans of the areas of the brain involved in empathy, Baron-Cohen explains how the various personality disorders, psychopathy he uses that word borderline and narcissism, overlap in empathy or lack of it. Other medical conditions, such as autism, also cause problems with empathy.

He shows that people with classic autism, while not having empathy, do not generally intend to cause harm to anyone. The book also explores the genetic links. as well as the environmental links. that can produce low or lacking empathy in a personality.

Appendix 1 is the Empathy Quotient self test. Appendix 2 is How to Spot Zero Degrees of Empathy (Negative). It discusses borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality, a young person with conduct disorder, and How to Recognize a Narcissist.

This is an excellent book for learning more about ourselves, as well as learning about people with low levels of empathy. I highly recommend this book for both scientific information and for common sense information that is useful day to day in dealing with others in our lives.

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 


Comment on this article

126 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: The Science of Evil"

Notify of

Oxy – I posted an article about Simon Baron Cohen before. Is this the same book?

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2011/04/13/debating-empathy-and-evil/

No, but it is the same guy….he is a very active researcher on empathy and the various individuals that have or don’t have empathy (Zero Degrees of Empathy) up to the very highly empathetic.

He divides “Zero empathy” into what he terms ZERO NEGATIVE (Psychopaths, Borderlines, and Narcisists) and ZERO POSITIVE to people with Autism, etc. but over all sees people’s empathy levels as on the standard “Bell Curve” with most people being in the middle.

One of the concepts he pointed out that I hadn’t ever thought about before though is that we are continually turning our empathy on or off. For example if you pass a homeless person on the street in a crowded city, you probably walk on by on your way to work….yet if you saw an old lady or a child fall down, you’d probably run to help her. Or you could be so distracted by thinking about the book you are writing, you might not even “see” the homeless person or the old lady fall down. None of those things mean that you have no empathy, just that if we were always focused on others emotions or needs, we wouldn’t leave much for ourselves. So empathy is a fluid thing rather than a solid, and it varies, rather than just being a HAS GOT IT or HASN’T GOT IT. There are degrees of empathy from Zero to VERY high.

Baron-Cohen has written other books and I am interested in reading them as well including that “Zero Degrees of Empathy” the ONE review of that book though doesn’t get the concept that Baron-Cohen makes though that thought socioipaths may not have the entire make up of empathy, it doesn’t mean they can’t figure out what YOU may be thinking in order to manipulate you.

Here is the REVIEW FROM AMAZON of tghe Zero Degrees of Empathy (which I have NOT read but would like to):

Zero Degrees of Empathy is 360 degrees of BS.
Simon-Cohen posits a very forced empathy-based construct, to explain Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorders, for example.
Those of us who have decades of clinical experience working with these disorders can readily see Cohen’s forumlations as far too simplistic, at best, and, at worst, ignorant!
For example, Cohen makes NO allowance for the fact that many (classical) sociopaths are exquisitely sensitive to every nuance of the feelings of others — which they then EXPLOIT with great skill.
Back to the drawing board, Dr. Cohen.

The “Zero Degrees of Empathy” book, though is $45 on Amazon so I will see if I can’t find a cheaper source.

As for the “Science of Evil” it is one of THE BEST BOOKS I’ve read and explains a lot about empathy and those who lack it as well as those who have a surplus of it, which I think is probably why some of us are victims in the first place.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

HAHa – THE REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BY A SPATH OXY!

GRANDIOSITY: ‘Those of us who have decades of clinical experience working with these disorders’

‘sociopaths are exquisitely sensitive to every nuance of the feelings of others which they then EXPLOIT with great skill.’

BTW, he is Sasha Baron-Cohens brother, who deals with anti-semitism in his movie ‘Borat’, in a way that shocked and awed me.

Oh, I love “Borat!” My son D turned me on to Borat!

I think you are right, One, that might have been written by someone high in P-traits for sure, the person didn’t seem to “get” what I i”got” from Baron-Cohen’s writing which I thought was brilliant actually. Very science based but also COMMON SENSE based as well (and the two are not always found together).

Actually I agree with the person who did the review to the extent that sociopaths SOMETIMES do have an ability to “read” people, but that does NOT equal “empathy” according to Baron-Cohen’s definition or to my definition either. Cohen’s definition and his theory that we turn our normal level of empathy on and off or dampen it down depending on circumstances, is not the same as the sociopath’s very low level of empathy or even total lack of empathy.

It answered a question that has been in my mind for a couple of years about the day that I told the “homeless” psychopath I had taken in (fell for her pity play) that she had to leaver. When I told her this she went into psychopathic-OVER-DRIVE and started crying and telling me how pitiful she was and how I had ABUSED her, destroyed her trust in people, ya da ya da, but I stood there totally without empathy for her plight—-I gave her $150 for gas for her vehicle and told her she must leave but NOTHING SHE SAID pierced my heart, and at the time it FELT SO STRANGE—-and I wondered afterward if that is how the psychopaths feel when we cry and beg them to stop hurting us. When we beg them to have compassion on us. That was the first time in my life I can remember feeling NO EMPATHY for someone who was “obviously” suffering and crying. I do believe she was “suffering” I do believe that when they are found out some of them feel GREAT PAIN at losing. But I had no empathy for her that day. Now I understand why, and I understand that I can turn my empathy on and off with my LOGICAL MIND and not let my “emotional” Hook over come my GOOD SENSE.

Just like I had no empathy for the poison snake I killed this summer as it slithered across my driveway. It was just looking for a place to hide and something to eat…..but living in the woods I don’t want any more poison snakes around than are already here, so I killed it without a second thought. If it had been a lost kitten hungry and looking for something to eat, I would have had empathy for it and would have picked it up. Knowing now that I can pick and choose who to extend empathy toward and that it is OKAY to limit my empathy —in reality I had been doing this just not realizing what I was doing—but not limiting my empathy ENOUGH….so now I have BOUNDARIES and am exercising my good sense along with the empathy.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh i agree about the studying us to exploit us, and that this isn’t based in their ability to relate to our experience. they are just reading our behaviours. like we have learned and are learning to read theirs. there is just a whole lot more of us than them, so they get better at it, especially as they don’t get emotionally involved with our traits and behaviours. oh so easy for them. that said; they must have absolute shit lives.

I was looking at the book you recommended (figuring out if i wanted to buy the book or the CD, and the first pages draw heavily on the experience of concentration camp survivors. Both Baron Cohen brothers deal with the horrors of anti-semitism and what they mean to humanity and our capacity and lack of capacity for empathy, but through vastly different professions and mediums.

One/Joy, I was SO IMPRESSED with this book, and the man’s research into autism and other conditions in which there is little or no empathy…also that he takes the “empathy” study to the point that he shows how it is on the BELL CURVE and not an IS OR AIN’T situation. We all have empathy to one degree or another, from very low to very high, but most people are in the “center” of the Bell Curve,, and I hadn’t thought about empathy that way before. It answered a LOT of my own questions about my own empathy, or lack of it at times.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Oxy – looking at our own ability to turn our empathy on or off (and resetting the point at which we do!) is really important. We are in trouble with ourselves if all there is is ‘them and us’. I truly used to have empathy for everyone, to some degree or another. Before the spath.

I think the least emapthy I have had (and where i probably discovered my ‘switch’) was with my n sire’s father. he grabbed my breast during a ‘hug’ at an airport when i was 21 and I was DONE with him. When i got settled on the plane I was in shock at first, then i had a 1 minute conversation with myself that went like this: that didn’t just happen!?….yes, it did! DONE. I just never talked to him again. Huge rifts and problems in the family when i went to my gm funeral 5 years later and EVERYONE wanted to know why i wasn’t talking to him. Well, I told some of them to mind their own business (the ones who were going to ‘protect’ the old man) and my parents and sib I told a couple of months later. Major denial came down the pipe. My father has NEVER forgiven me for that, and I feel a lot of his shit around MY money is directly linked to the n injury HE suffered because i called out his father. stupid fucking men in my family. All of my male blood relatives are disordered or severely dysfunctional.

Now of course, i am on a journey to see what setting my toogle off switch is set to. I have to tell everyone – my Executive Director, who told me he is a ‘reformed N’ resigned this past week. My VP told me and my response was HALLELUJAH! She said she expected me to be a bit more demure in my response. Hell no! 🙂

I am going out to see my mom today – so will no doubt come back traumatized from n sire interaction and being in deep contact with the loss of what i know and cherish (my history and the property – i lived in this house for a few years when they were out of the country, so it was my ‘winter house’, and i deeply miss it. It’s not the farm i grew up on, but i have roots there, too. It has a great woods along a beautiful creek. I am still gimpy, so can’t go for a walk out there. i wish i could be out there to help mom with her beds – they are a mess, as the n is too fucking cheap to get her some help…..but anyway…) I am REALLY looking forward to seeing her. I bought her some little things – just some nice soap and a lovely ‘donnut peach and a tiny milk organic chocolate bar (she’s diabetic – so only 4 pieces of choco and one peach!), and a nice small mixed bouquet with asiatic lilies – oh shit they are white. I forgot that white lilies remind her of her dad’s funeral…hopefully there are enough other flowers (it’s just a bit bigger than a posie) for it to be okay.

I think I will buy the book on CD – then I can share it with other people more easily. I found his writing style to be quite conversational, which i like on tape, and not so much in writing.

best,
one joy

Okay: I am having a bad ‘moment’. I want to send it a text and tell it exactly what I think and that it should go straight to the very hell it came from…somebody going to talk to me?? Constantine? I am right on the verge of an outburst and just telling it everything all over again. What an ugly, vile, disgusting person I think it is. How it deserves to burn in hell for all of it’s ugliness and the rotten things it does to people without any consideration nor forethought. If I break NC it will be the first time in over 3 months. JUST SO I CAN SCREAM AND HOLLAR AT IT.

Anyone???
Any suggestions???
Quick???

Dupey

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Duped – I have only a few minutes – but can you get someplace and YELL? also write at the stuff down you want to say to him and BURN IT or rip it up. It’s not about him, k? It’s about you – and what is filling you up to the point of boiling over.

Dear One/Joy,

I know it is hard but I hope you can center yourself on the visit with your mom and not let the N-sperm donor get inside your head. I know it is difficult, believe me I do….I made the mistake of inviting my son C to dinner when my husband’s grandkids came here for a visit. They are here so rarely and I really didn’t want to go into the entire “thing” with them….I gave in and invited him here and “pretended everything is lovely”—but it WAS NOT lovely.

Afterward, though when son C seemed to think “all is well” because I invited him to dinner with them, I sat him down and told him, VERY UP FRONT but not nasty, “I can NEVER trust you again” and proceeded to let him know that the BETRAYALS he had done in the past had precluded me having a relationship with him that was more than the two of us having to cooperate in order to fight our COMMON ENEMY. I’m sorry for that, I wish it was different, but it is what it IS.

Cousin was over today (the one who is egg donor’s POA) he was working at the rent house that used to be my son C’s that egg donor had rented to TRASH who had TRASHED the house. Son D took our tractor over with the front end loader to haul off heavy trash they had left. She has hired cousin to fix holes in the wall, and clean up the place…..I took photos of the place it looked like a garbage dump and the lawn hadn’t been mowed in two years or more and they had a yard broom/rake on top of the house for the red-neck version of a TV antenna. I sent her the photos to make sure she had seen the condition it was in and offered (since I am a trustee) to get the place cleaned up. That was a few months ago so she is doing it now, hiring cousin to do it. LOL I hope she is paying him well, it is a MESS with holes in the wall and doors.

I can’t let it upset me though, as I can only do what I can do….I keep the rest of the farm looking well and keep my renters on their toes, they got a bit slack about fixing fences etc and so I told them that they had six months to “make me happy” with how they took care of the place or move their stock….they have made me happy. If I get “unhappy” again about how they take care of the place I will just tell them to move their stock. They keep their place neat as a pin and I expect them to keep mine that way too. If I have to keep the fences up then I might as well not have them here. I sold my own rental houses a few years ago (thankfully before the RE market tanked!) because I got tired of renters messing up the place and continual work because people were lazy or dirty.

I do not doubt that you are right about your N sperm donor punishing you for the N-injury you did to his sire…but his apple didn’t fall far from that N-tree did it? I know it must hurt to have to have contact with him in order to see your mom, but as your mom’s mind goes further and further away she will become less and less aware of the physical distance between you. That is the GOOD part of dementia is that people forget the future or even the present and live in the past. I wish blessings of forgetfulness on your mother, and peace for you! (((hugs)))

Dupey! DON’T DO IT!!!! Sing, chant, count, scream, but DO NOT text it! You will ONLY FEED ITS EGO IF YOU DO. STARVE it to death! NO ATTENTION! (((HUGS)))

DUPED:

HUH????? No way!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t do it!!

Dupey ~ NOOOOOOOOOOOOO you don’t really want to feed “IT”, do you? You’ve been doing so well on your NC. Sit here and type a long post. Let it all out, but DO NOT send a text to it.

Or do as One/Joy suggested. Write a long letter of everything you want to say & then TEAR IT UP, you could even have a little bonfire of it outside. Please don’t, under any circumstances contact “IT”. Love and Hugs to you!! h2h

Dupey,
Hope to Heal is right. Any communication just feeds it. Don’t feed the spaths. He WANTS your emotions. Your anger is proof that he can control you. When you tell him how vile he is, he loves to hear it.

My spath actually asked me to tell it what he had done to me. As if he didn’t know. But he wanted to hear me vocalize it and he wanted to hear the tone of outrage in my voice. And the hurt. I did not comply.

Instead I said, “You have done NOTHING to me, compared to what you have done to yourself.” He has chosen to live in hell and he wanted me to live there with him. Ain’t gonna happen. My perspective is so different from his, I could never become what he is.

Oxy,
thanks for another wonderful review. I haven’t read any of his books but I went ahead and googled his name. Plenty of interesting hits came up. He appears to be the lead researcher of autism in the UK. So that is his field and the focus of his research.

Without having read the book, it’s hard to judge, but I don’t think he gets spaths. There is a huge, huge difference between an unempathetic Asperger’s person and an unempathetic spath. That difference is that the spath is ADDICTED to emotions. But since he doesn’t seem to have any, he needs ours to “feel alive”. Hence his need to create pain and suffering. The spath has no empathy but he is an expert at manipulating ours. Whereas the Aspie would just as soon avoid people all together because of the emotional drama. They are both “control” freaks, in a sense. The Aspie really likes order and organization of his environment, and the spath just wants to control people.

Sometimes, I think the spath doesn’t lack emotions at all, but is just reacting 180 degrees the opposite of normal, to our emotions. For example, when we tell it we love it, the spath begins to really hate us. If we tell it we hate it, the spath is happy to see us angry. Everything is backward in the spath and I believe the root cause is envy, not lack of empathy. The other amazing thing about the spaths is how contagious their evil is. They love to spread it. They want us to feel it. It’s their primary mission. Truly, the spath is a person in a hell of their own making because he would rather rule in his own hell than serve in God’s heaven.

Dupey,

My good lady – everyone who said “NOOOOOOOOOOOO”! is entirely right. What you have to remember is that these “flare ups” will come and go for a long time, but you must NEVER ACT ON THEM! And it doesn’t matter if you are calling him “vile” and “disgusting” and “hideous” – not in the least: they crave negative attention as much as positive attention! (Maybe even more because they see it as an amusing “challenge,” whereas positive attention deprives them of much of the “thrill of the chase” element.)

Again, once you acknowledge ITS existence, IT will start salivating and rubbing ITS hands together, all while thinking “HAHAHAHAHAHA! – I KNEW she would never be able to forget ME!!!!!”

You don’t want to give him that satisfaction, do you?

Skylar, without reading the book, it is difficult for me to explain in only a few paragraphs, that YES HE DOES GET IT! Empathy is not a Yes or No proposition, there are degrees (which his research shows) and people with autism and aspergers may not have empathy but they also do not generally deliberately enjoy hurting others as he shows in his research. Their lack of empathy is not the same as a psychopaths, and he calls it Zero-Positive, where the psychopaths are Zero-negative to distinguish the two different ways of acting without empathy.

He doesn’t use the term but the “duping delight” is the psychopath’s version of zero empathy, and HE GETS THAT….I do think this book is AWESOME and his research is not just limited to autism spectrum, but into the origins of EVIL….the cruelty that is evident in the psychopaths because of their lack of empathy allows them to be cruel, whereas the person with normal empathy is unlikely to be cruel on a regular basis, or even to ignore suffering in others on a regular basis.

To whom it may concern: I somehow wounded up back at my abusive fathers home. I stayed with a woman over the summer who’s a close family friend and my dad persuaded her to drop me at his place. She said she was doing the “right” thing cause her childrens father is the same way and they all stay with their dad. She believes that I’m still a child even though I’m well over the legal adult age. My dad has been staging arguments in front of people to try and “expose” me as a disrespectful daughter. He thinks it’s my duty to pick up after him and clean up after him like a baby. I had planned to stay with the family friend but she feels she isn’t doing the right thing. I called my counselor and he spoke to housing on campus and I’m now allowed to get on campus early. The woman originally agreed to take me to school but she feels that she would be doing wrong if she proceeds to help me. So I looked on the website to see if anybody was going to school early as well. My dad acts and pretends that something is wrong in front of people. Then people try to give us advice. It’s so annoying. He yelled at me this morning because I hadnt clean his room or help put on his socks. I just wanna know what strategies to help ease this sociopath of a father.

Dear Hurtnomore,

I am glad to see that you are going back to college this summer/fall.

In order to be INDEPENDENT and not to have to depend on others (your family “friend”) or your father, you must be financially independent, and get away from him and STAY AWAY from him. That may also mean that you do not associate with others (the “friend”) who in their misguided idea of “helping” the situation actually aid and abet him.

I suggest that you start now to find another place for next summer to stay that is maybe an internship or some way that you do not have to go to your father or anyone else for a roof over your head.

I know your culture is a hinderence to your independence, but only YOU can decide for yourself what you will allow your father to do or not to do. You are an “adult” legally and you must take responsibility for protecting yourself from ANYONE who abuses you verbally or physically, but in order to do this, you must become financially independent. It was a good move to call your school and get them to allow you to return early to get away from him. You may have to hire a taxi or bus to get back to school if no one can or will drive you, but that is part of being independent and making your own decisions and arrangements.

Good luck, sweetie and congratulations on finishing your first year at college. (((hugs)))

OxDrover- the funny thing is I had plans this summer to work at a girl scout camp but I had to get an immediate eye surgery. I was so upset cause I had to be stationery most of the summer. I had it all planned out and everything. It just ruined my summer and I had to stay with the woman’s family until my dad manipulated her into letting me come back here. All my things are still where she lives and i want to get up there soon. I’m sitting here getting a lecture on “obedience”. Its not registering. But I’m happy to hear your encouragement. I really need it.

Dear hurtnomore,

Well I am sorry that you missed your summer at the girl scout camp, my son works at a boy scout camp every summer since he was a kid, it is hard work but fun too. I hope you can do it next summer.

I know it must be frustrating to have that woman do you that way, but keep on working toward your financial independence and spend as little time with him as humanly possible. He may think he has a right to treat you poorly and order you around, but he does NOT have that right.

When you are able you can keep away from him completely. No one can make you talk to him or listen to him if you don’t want to. He obviously thinks that he can force you to “obey” him, but you are not obligated by man or God to allow yourself to be abused or to associate with someone you don’t want to just because you are related by blood. I have nothing to do with my “egg donor” (mother) and saw the last of my “sperm donor” when I was 19, I never spoke to him again as long as he lived (40+ years) he told people lies about me, bad mouthed me to everyone who would listen, but those people who knew me and loved me did not believe a word he said. So keep your chin up and keep studying hard in school, you are on your way!

Stop by and visit more often here at LF! (((hugs)))

I just wanted to come here and say ‘thank you’ to all of you who responded to me earlier. I have had a really bad day today. I have been working sort of too much and am tired. I have been tired the past two days.

You will all be happy to know I did NOT break NC. I chose to bury myself, instead, in busy work needing to be done. The whole time, I was shouting and yelling at him and telling him what a jerk he truly is. You are right, Constantine: positive or negative attention, it’s all the same to them. They find it humorous.

Love you all for your support.
Talk soon – I just need to clam up to myself for a while…

I can’t eat from 1pm tomorrow, for 24 hrs. I can have NOTHING except for water. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Hmm? xxoo

Dupey Doo

DUPED NO MORE:

Sorry to hear you had a bad day.

So glad to hear you did NOT break NC.

Hugs to you x

Dupey – Have that water on the rocks ~! Tomorrow will be a better day….:)

Dupey, sounds like a medical prep—sorry about that! That’s enough to make anyone have a bad day!

A poster here when I came here 4 years ago (gosh it has been a long time!) named Aloha and I used to talk about how we drove down the highways and SCREAMED at the P’s like they were in the car with us, telling them everything in the world we wanted to tell them at FULL VOLUME….pounding on the steering wheel! I used to write letters to them and NOT MAIL THEM….when I DID (at first) mail them they were used against me later…they sounded crazy, believe me I WAS crazy…but the Ps have a way of making the victim appear crazy while they are calm and collected.

Even my new therapist thought I was a NUT JOB and I was a paranoid nut job at that…..he asked nicely, but I had to take in a witness to prove that “everyone in my family IS OUT TO GET ME!” The lawyer I hired to fight my son’s parole I hired by telephone and he didn’t believe me either until I sent him the documentation.

It is all “crazeeeee” and we get these ideas to do things like BREAK NC, but it is not okay to break NC except when in a court or in case of a custody/co-parent thing….so stiff upper lip my dear and drink lots of water on the rocks like Henry said! (((hugs))))

Dear Dupey,

No, I don’t think you should call this a bad day at all! You were tempted to call him and DIDN’T, so I believe that you need to classify this as a most undeniably GOOD day! In the final analysis, it’s the little “smart but tough” decisions that make the will strong. So if you keep going in this direction (i.e., where more wise/difficult decisions = an overall increase in will-power), before long it will be impossible for you to even THINK of calling him. So GOOD JOB, that’s what I say!

Yes, there is no other way of seeing this except as a victory. Whoever said that breaking an addiciton was easy?

Good for you, Dupey, you did the right thing! (Now go and have a nice rest, and recuperate from your triumph!)

Love,

C.

On a lighter note, since there seem to be a lot of Sacha Cohen fans here, this is a link that some of you might find amusing:

http://youtu.be/P1EFyyoxa4k

I feel guilty for finding this so funny, because he really is obnoxious! (And I sort of sympathize with poor Andy!). At any rate, I had no idea that “Ali G” was actually Sacha Cohen, but I have to say that after someone explained it to me, I was pretty impressed! Anyhow, it’s probably my quirky sense of humor, but the first time I saw this video I simply couldn’t stop laughing!

oxy, joyce- fascinating premise! I really want to read this book now. The point about autistics not having empathy yet still not being motivated to hurt anyone is very enlightening, i think.

Free will, anyone?

Yes, I have medical tests everyday this next week. I am SICK of being prodded and pulled upon! I think I have endured ENOUGH already! One good thing about having this all done at once, all at the same time, by the time I get all the reports and results, it should be over with for another 3 months! yay! 🙂

In 3 months, we get to talk about further heart surgery again. And that piece of garbage had the audacity to call itself MY FRIEND?! With friends like that, who needs enemies. Right?

One thing I have noticed about evil people, it may not ‘seem’ like they are getting what they deserve but they are, if you really stop and think about it…THEY are the ones living their pointless lives and the whole time they are breathing, there is that quality and human-ness that they lack and don’t know how to ‘get it’ – they can’t take our souls and that is really what they want and despise. I think that is what makes them so despicable = they want to suck our souls out when they realize they can’t have the things we do inside.

NOBODY could ever possibly conceive how desperately I wanted to RUIN HIS SMUG LITTLE DAY yesterday! I hadn’t slept well for a couple days by the time I got to yesterday, so I was especially grouchy and out of sorts – Maybe it was the for no reason, all of a sudden, SOB SESSION I had all day, a couple days ago, for no reason, that infuriates me so!

WHO IS THIS PERSON THAT I SHOULD FEEL ALL OF THIS?
This person is nobody to me. You know, I told “IT” the last time I saw “IT”, “I don’t even know you anymore. I don’t even recognize you anymore. You are someone I don’t know anymore.” And it’s true. That is how drastic the change was.

There is NO CONCEIVABLE WAY I am going to live with an insane person who purposely tried to harm me and laughed about it. Does “IT” really think I am so stupid that I will fall right back into all of that after it and the OW tried to purposely harm me? I don’t think so. Oh yes, NC is exactly the thing.

You are right, Constantine, it’s an addiction. I had a habit, once upon a time, while hanging out in all the ‘fun places’, 2 fifths of Black Velvet a day, straight-up, on the rocks, please, DAILY. I kicked it the next morning after the most horrid hangover I have ever encountered! ahahaha “Instant cure!” 🙂 THIS IS NO WHERE NEAR AS EASY and most people would think the booze would be harder. 😉 Some nasty and rude chemicals at work inside our bodies that needs to calm down. I keep telling myself: “The fire only hurts walking through it; once you get to the other side you will find peace.” While pounding myself on my shoulders, simultaneously, with my fists! You know how Tarzan used to pound his chest? That released adrenalin which is a natural healer within us. I have pounded on that adrenalin gland on my chest, so hard, once, I gave myself a nasty bruise! hahahaha (One must remember to be careful with their tapping!) hahahaha

Anyways, “thank you” with HUGE HUGS to all of you who responded to my ‘help alert’ yesterday. I have never encountered such a thing in my life! How you can be, one moment, offering unconditional friendship and concern and the next, they are literally trying to kill you. Unbelievable. And that’s just it, though; huh?

A slow release time bomb and they are hoping we self destruct in the process, through our minds. THAT is how you KNOW you have been touched by a psychopath because it’s all about the ‘lasting’ harm they do to us. They truly do find it amusing. They really do. Every foul, ugly thing that happens to you, they so delight in.

HA: FREE WILL. Why, yes, thanks, dancingnancies, I will have a double order, please?

Today is another day, hens – let’s see what this one brings. 🙂 3 months 6 days = not a peep from Dupey!!!! I am going to call up the Marine Band and have a parade when I reach one year. 🙂

Thank you all for being my shoulder –
You all take a pretty good ‘lean’……..

xxoo

Dupity Doo Duh

I was at an outdoor event last night with 150,000 other human beings. It was site to behold.

There was a couple that was near us, a handsome guy and a pretty girl, and it was so interesting to watch him. He hugged his girlfriend, he laughed, he showed empathy and emotion, he was a normal, kind guy. I watched with amazement, thinking “this is what normal is” This is it.

My guy is sooo disordered. He put on this physical show of being apparently BURSTING of emotion and love for me….then he’d disappear for a month, only sending emails…..then come back with the second act, same as the first….

No wonder I was confused, no wonder I hurt from it all.

I’m going back to read the PSYCHOPATH TEST today. It’s a really fun read. I like looking at things through the eyes of somebody else.

I wish I had done a better job listening to my spath. If I had REALLY LISTENED I might have figured things out faster.

Psychology Today online has some tips about being a better listener that I’m going to go read too.

Enjoy your Sunday.

SK

superkid – Listen to a parrot? I recommend following their foot tracks – that is where the truth is found.

Hens, “listening” isn’t just with with the ears….90% of “communication” is NON VERBAL. We should LOOK at what they are doing as MORE TRUTHFUL than what they SAY….”tracks” (you are right there)

If I SAY “I love you” while I am cheating on you, beating on you or something else that you can SEE, which is the TRUTH? Actions or Words? Well, DUH,, that’s a NO BRAINER, but for some reason we chose to listen to the WORDS and not LOOK AT THE ACTIONS.

Actually, though, my X BF P (I like Matt’s way of putting it with the P is an X but they are still a P) TOLD me in words that he was DISHONEST (he admitted cheating on his wife for 32 years with multiple women) and I did not listen to those words either, while he admitted being a CHEAT, I somehow figured he might cheat on HER (and even on his “girlfiends”) with other women, he would NOT cheat on ME! HOW ARROGANT OF ME! What made me think I was so “special” he wouldn’t cheat on me? ROTFLMAO If they will cheat/lie/steal from or on others, they will cheat/lie/steal from you!

When people TELL or SHOW you what they are….BELIEVE THEM.

GOOD JOB, DUPEY!!! TOWANDA!!!

I have a question/concern. So my dad thinks that I’m still a “child”. He thinks I’m obligated to clean his room and clean up after him. Personally, I think it’s insane and also its not my duty. According to him, he had to pick up after his dad when he was a child. Honestly, I find that hard to believe especially since my grandfather can tie his shoe. My father apparently was upset because the other day I didn’t unpack his suitcase for him. He apparently feels that it’s my job to be his “wife” role until he finds a new spouse. He told me the other day that he needs a companion and that it was my job to take that place. It’s almost like in his mind because I’m a woman I have to automatically take the “wife” role. I just feel that because this feels both wrong and unnatural that we fight on a daily basis. So my question in this situation spaths feel that it is their entitlement for anybody to serve them? Am I right for feeling wierd and examining the way he treats me? Is it right for him to take me on a wife role? Also, he likes to play favorites as well. For example, he brags that he’s spends time with his gf not ME. She gets a present and chocolates and not ME. I’m like that’s what boyfriends are for duh..

Dear Hurtnomore,

No, it is not your duty to act as a “wife” role to take care of your father’s needs, even a WIFE is not a SERVANT….or should not be.

Yes, people can feel entitled for others to wait on them hand and foot, it may be somewhat a CULTURAL thing with your father, but in any case, you are not obligated to be his SERVANT….I think the quicker you can get away from this man the better off you will be. Whether it is a cultural thing (how he was taught to view females) or whether it is that he is ALSO a psychopath I have no way of telling, but it is obvious that you and your father do not get along, that he wants you to wait on him like a SERVANT and feels it is his entitlement….I advise that you continue to educate yourself and become financially independent and as soon as possible get out of his house, next year get a summer job some where and on vacations arrange some other place to live or stay (not your family friends, as they seem to be sided with your father’s ideas of your obligations to him) and do not ever go back to his home.

This is not something new, but has been on going since before you were out of high school, I doubt that he is going to change whether it is a cultural thing or whether he is a psychopath, in any case, it is up to you to have the kind of life you want and to provide that life for yourself by becoming financially independent. That is one of the great things about America is that if you don’t like the way your family lives, you don’t have to put up with it, you can make your own life. With independence though comes responsibility, and when you accept their “help” you leave yourself open to them expecting “obedience” to their wishes in return. Accept as little help as possible until you get through school and then get away from this man and stay away. Keep on reading and learning here as well. The more you know, the more powerful you are. God bless.

OxDrover- I knew it. I just don’t feel like it’s my job to be his servant. I just got in trouble because my dad claims that I don’t “respect” him. He says that he supposedly told me to clean the living room but I didn’t clean it. He was like I think I’m an adult and I can make decisions for myself. Honestly, he does nothing for me. He has to pay for my college by law and he only pays the minimum. I have to make up the rest on my own. My dad tells people bad stuff about me and tries to show how horrible i am. He claims I tell people bad stuff about him and my family. He’s like it all come back to me. Honestly, the neighbors and people who come often can see his character. In fact a neighbor pull me aside and told me. I was surprised that she picked up his true colors. I’m just upset and tired of family friends trying to make me “work” on my relationship with my father. Especially since I know what to do in the end. Im going for no contact! Overall OxDrover, Im taking your advice and taking it seriously. Financial independence one step at a time.

Dear Hurtnomore,

Moving from being an adolescent, and becoming a financially independent adult is difficult at best. When there is family disruption, culture clashes, etc it only makes it more difficult.

It is normal for you to want to become independent and to make your own way in the world. It would of course be nice if your father was supportive of this but for cultural and/or other reasons he obviously does not agree with your becoming independent, or feels that because he does pay for some of your college that he has some right to your labor and “obedience” to his demands.

I realize that you are anxious for independence and to be away from the constant quarrels with your father. At this point it is I think kind of like I told you last year, just take it one day at a time, and keep in mind that it is ONLY A FEW DAYS/WEEKS until you will be out of his house and back at school.

What are you studying in college? What activities are you doing outside of the class room? Think about these things and maybe it will make the day to day existence better until you can get out of your father’s house.

Arguing with him is not a winning proposition for you either….even when he says something you know is untrue, because you are not going to convince him that he is either wrong or lying, so by arguing with him you are only going to get him madder and more inclined to try to control you. Maybe you can just keep out of his way as much as possible. ((hugs)))

Hurtnomore,
I’m sorry for the position you are in. Your father sounds like he resents being forced to pay your tuition so he is trying to make you work it off. No matter how much you do for him, it would never be enough, you can be sure of that.

I agree completely with Oxy’s advice, focus on becoming independant financially. Try to go NC as soon as possible. You cannot win in any argument with him. All you can do with a spath, narcissist or bully, is to try to appease them for as long as you must be in contact. Then fly away as quickly as you can. Gray rock, means NO DRAMA. Show him no anger or emotions. Be boring, never respond with any emotion whether postive or negative, because this just feeds him.

Do remember, however, to thank him for his financial support and tuition payments. It makes all the difference to a spath and how he perceives you.

OxDrover- I know it’s not easy being financially independent but I guess I feel like what needs to be done is what needs to be done. I guess I’m used to struggling considering all of last year. I mean I agree 100%. I take your advice and keep it in my mind.
Skylar- yeah he’s just really bad for me. I just want him out of my life. I mean I’m so sick of being pressured. They always say Honor your father and mother meaning obey and obey. I’m like ummmm… But on the other hand I see what you are saying. That’s what the lady says to sorta go with the flow til I’m at school.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Oxy – yesterday was really interesting. n sire was out when i got to my mom’s place. I got to talk to her for about 20 minutes before he came home. 🙂 It was great. Wish I had had an hour.

(Oxy – will you do me a favour and stop saying ‘when her mind goes further and further away…’ Please. Okay? She is far far from that. And you mention it often time and it’s painful. I need to be int he present with her, not the future. Thanks.)

….back to the story – he came home and had this big, ‘i am so happy look’ on his face. thinks the f day card meant something i think). I told mom i had better get going. she said (ever the enabler): ‘oh come on, just 5 minutes. I said, ‘no, he’s and asshole. he gets nothing from me.’ She was crestfallen.

(I turned and walked around the outside of the house and off through the woods (limping for it today).

It was very interesting. I feel somewhat emancipated. As I walked away, sorry for her crestfallen state, I rejoiced in the time i spent with her and that i wasn’t going to own her crestfallen state or feel bad for saying something that was hurtful for her. *HUGE step*. I will work toward saying nothing about him next time, just say I have to go – i don’t want to hurt her, but it takes some time to work through all of my reactions to seeing him. As I walked on I realized *I* am more important than either of them. whoa.

I’m sorry One, I thought your mom was very senile almost to the point of not knowing whether you were there or not, my comments were meant to be caring not upsetting at all.

Though in general I do think that some senile older people are better off than those who CAN remember….and when dealing with older adults who are senile and become “hateful” (my dear wonderful MIL became hateful after a couple of little strokes) it is good to remember that it is their damaged brain that is causing them to act that way, not “them.” My MIL went from being my “best friend” (she had lived with us at MY request for 10 years) to hating me because of the strokes, but I keep in mind that it was NOT HER that “hated” me, but her damaged brain. Unlike with my own egg donor who isn’t senile but has always been controlling, I have wonderful memories of my MIL before her strokes.

Actually, you sound stronger and like you had a better visit this time than you did last time.

In dealing with those we love who are in thrall to the psychopaths or the narcissists that we can’t tolerate it is always painful for us. We want to please those we love, but because of their attachment (enslavery to?) those Ps and Ns it comes between us and them. The fall out from the Ns and Ps.

I’m glad that you had the strength to walk out with your head high even though you knew it hurt your mom for you to do so. There comes a point that self protection, self conservation is more important than anything else. I think you have finally reached that point, and as sad as it is, and I can understand that it is SAD, TOWANDA for you. (((hugs)))

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Oxy – i can imagine how hard that must have been with your MIL. It’s tough to make the transition from a reciprocal relationship to dealing with the personality changes with stroke and dementia.

When I lived with mom she would accuse myself or others of stealing or moving things,and a host of other things – she was none too pleasant to deal with. but i had a LOT of patience for her, as I recognized it was the disease.

…just want you to know that I understand…

We have been VERY lucky with mom’s strokes and dementia – she has not become mean. a friend of my n sire’s once said, we’d have to ‘put him down’ if the n sire ever got dementia. 🙂

Howdy One Step,
I’m glad to see you had a nice visit with your mother 🙂

One of the sweetest patients I ever had in my clinic days was the mother of a friend of mine, and when she had a stroke she got hateful and would CUSS her daughter out and the daughter would CRY and CRY and I kept telling her that though the lights are on, no one is home any more and that is NOT HER MOTHER talking to her. I don’t know if she ever really got to where she could handle it when finally her mom died.

My MIL was sooo funny and we enjoyed each other so much but it just got to where I couldn’t handle her any more and she went to live with her granddaughters in Texas for the last years of her life. They ripped her off financially but they did keep her out of a nursing home so that is okay too.

For some reason men with dementia generally are more likely to be combative than women are. I used to run a dementia unit in Texas back in the 1980s it was one of the first in the Dallas area. I was only there about a year but I enjoyed it and we did some interesting things with the patients.

I’m glad your visit was better than the previous ones have been, and hopefully, your N sire will be gone for a longer time next time you visit. ((hugs)))

Oxy,
Yes, I stopped putting salt on my food. I notice that all I do is sweat now! I know you’ve mentioned statins are no good, I have to take it and I hate it. I’m trying to lower my high cholesterol and so far it’s gone down 16 points and I have far to go!

Best wishes to you on your weight loss! Tawonda back atcha for the low salt/low cholesterol.

HI Ana: I am on statins too. I am on 3 different heart medications along with aspirin. Just recently, I am allowed to take something like tylenol, aleve, etc., for aches and pains but the past 9 months, nothing. It has been a steady climb out of this, especially dealing with IDIOT SPATH! He certainly hasn’t helped much. In fact, he pushed me just a little closer to the grave and did so with much delight and glee.

Well, I am formally on my water only fast until tomorrow afternoon. I am only something like four hours into it and already want to run out and eat a big, fat, hot fudge sundae with whipping cream and cherries! ahahaha What do “I” get? WATER! I can’t even have it flavored. I am chewing gum. Gum and water; that’s it. I am going to be so hungry by the time tomorrow afternoon rolls around.

The medications I take make me sick to my stomach unless I take them with something to eat. This is going to be MISERABLE! Grrrrr! ahahahaaha Hope I make it. I am kind of weak with stuff like this. 🙂

Then, from so much blood thinners, I have a tendency to bleed out easily and quickly. I just can’t wait until they stick me tomorrow!!! THAT should be fun. NOT. The last time, I almost bled to death because they weren’t ready for it. I always have to warn them ahead of time and they treat me like I am a space cadet or something: “Be careful, it will spew and not stop!” They never listen and then the are shocked by all the blood. hahaha

Well, what do you know…it’s been quiet for a couple of days. I just can’t believe it. It’s wonderful not having a psycho in your life. I can’t explain nor adequately define to you all just exactly what his whole persona was like. Just an ugly, ugly, vile, person, in every way. It wasn’t always like that. For FIVE of the NINE years I knew him, he was a real ‘charmer’!

Then the mask started wearing off.
Then the abuse started. All of it emotional and mental.
It was horrid and none of it deserved.

I was thinking today how this could happen to anyone, really. In any kind of situation or relationship: mother, father, uncle, cousin, brother, friend, sister….it could be anyone. It doesn’t have to be in a ‘love type’ relationship. He and I were best friends for four years until he started his climb into the darkness. He truly thought he was going to take me with him but it didn’t work out that way for him. Somehow, things just always seem to go awry for it. I think it’s because he has no concept of forethought. He lives by instinct. No emotions. It’s the best he has –

He used to tell me what a ‘classy’ person he always thought I was. Always fair, honest and centered. He told me how he wished he could acquire that for himself but didn’t know how. He told me that the “HIM” I saw was the BEST of him and that nobody else has seen that. When the x wife and I started speaking, comparing stories, we hit upon something I found utterly amazing: there were things about her and his relationship that were nothing like ours. He was always the ‘master’ over her or trying to be – trying to force her into doing things she didn’t want and then beating her when she didn’t comply. He was a little more ‘reserved’ around me because he KNEW I would NOT stand for any hitting. EVER. He had his hands full with me. They don’t like it when you give them too much trouble – they would rather run away then stand up to their responsibilities and actually ADMIT they are wrong. They would rather die first.

I am grateful it is quiet – it gives my body time to heal without all the insanity and madness. I miss it less and less as time goes by and I can feel memories being ripped from my heart and my mind with each day that passes. Surely he can’t want me to just forget and put it all away – it will be back. It will.
And, I say: BRING IT ON. 🙂

TAWONDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Dupity Doo Duh

Well, I don’t like the statin drugs BUT fortunately the statistics and research show that in people with very high cholesterol they do help lower it and also the stroke/MI rates…I am fortunate that my cholesterol is not all that high so I have a CHOICE about taking them or not.

I was really SHOCKED when I started looking at labels and reading them that even if you threw the salt shaker away or quit cooking with it entirely, the foods we buy are LOADED WITH SODIUM (salt) so I had a lot to learn and totally change my diet. I find now that there ARE foods canned/frozen without salt added and things I like (Mexican food) has some spices that have NO added salt. I have had to learn to make my own salsas and so on but had tacos tonight with SALT FREE taco shells (ordered from a specialty store off the internet) with refried beans (home made) and great salsa that I made from scratch! Almost ZERO sodium, in fact my sodium intake for the day is still less than 300 mg. in ALL the food I have eaten….the American Heart Association recommends less than 1500 per day for EVERYONE….for heart patients less than 500 is ideal. So I am approaching ideal. It was NOT easy, but I realize that stress has taken a TOLL on my health in a serious way, along with carrying too much weight.

Focusing on doing good things for myself, taking care of myself FIRST has been good emotionally as well as physically I think. Decreasing stress, pulling myself up short and shouting “WHOA!” when I realize I am stressed has helped and when I do get “zinged” from the side lines, it doesn’t last as long as it used to, because I think I am building up EMOTIONAL strength as well as physical strength so that when there is a difficult task to do I have the reserve strength to do it.

Good luck tomorrow Dupity! Don’t spurt all over the lab when they draw your blood! (((hugs))))

Duped,
Thank God you did not contact IT!! If you are like me, when hungry I turn into a bear! Your emotions will go UP and down, UP and down just from not being able to eat! I had to fast also and I saw a hot dog eating contest on TV and boy did I want one! And I’m a vegetarian…lolol.

Hey, I meant to ask you; you said you drank a fifth of black velvet? What is that? I know it’s some kind of alchohol, but what?

I’ve been going to the MD as well just for the annual stuff. I’m sick of being prodded and poked too! I’m sure it’s nothing compared with what you have to go thru but it’s still invasive..I don’t like the doctors!

DON’T invite the spath to bring it on, cause IT will!!! Silence is golden isn’t it 🙂

Oxy,
Yes, I TRY really hard not to eat anything that comes in a box or a can. I just started reading labels…it’s gross isn’t it? Like they are trying to poisen people…ugh.

I pretty much gave up all carbs..my beloved potatoe’s, pasta, bread..all things “white” and an ice cream habit that was brutal..lol. Cholesterol went down a lot. Now, I’m hoping it’ll keep going down to get off that drug!

Wow, that salsa sounds great! My husband makes a mean guacomole 🙂 That’s great you are getting stronger in all ways. That’s what happens when you start looking out for yourself I guess and I’ll gladly follow that example.

Send this to a friend