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By September 20, 2011 55 Comments Read More →

Cigarettes And Sociopaths – Stop The Insanity

This week I am inspired to write following another intensely personal experience that happened to me the weekend before last. I was in London, attending Allen Carr’s workshop “Easyway To Stop Smoking”. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that for most of my adult life I have been an on-off smoker.  I have had countless long periods of non-smoking (six months, eighteen months”¦ two years was the longest) and I have never classed myself as a ”˜proper’ smoker as I rarely exceeded ten a day. But I had been fooling myself. Because the fact is, as I learned last week, that I was an addict and I had been hooked right from the very start.

During the course of the workshop, I came to the conclusion that addiction to cigarettes bears a striking resemblance to being hooked by a sociopath. The cravings. The misguided love for something that is actually causing harm. And the slow but certain promise of serious disease or disorder. The similarities kept on coming, and I’d like to explain myself in more detail. But first of all, how did I find my way to an Easyway clinic in the first place?

Well, my last period of freedom from the dreaded weed only ended this year. I had been free for many months until I picked it up again at the end of April. I had just broken up with someone I’d cared for and, knowing how much he hates smoking, my immediate act of defiance when we finished was to smoke a cigarette — quite a few in quick succession actually.

“Pah!” I smirked, lighting the first cigarette and inhaling deeply. “That’ll show you!” I added, throwing my head back and noisily exhaling a plume of smoke for extra effect. Hmmm”¦ but of course it didn’t “show him” anything at all. Quite the contrary in fact. Blissfully unaware of my metamorphosis in to an archetypal “Rebel Without A Clue” there I was thinking I was getting at my newly appointed ex, when in actual fact, the only person I was damaging was myself. Doh!

De-Programming

It was only as my smoking habit gradually increased over the next few months — intensified through a new friendship with a ”˜proper’ smoker who gets through two or three packets a day (a feat which, thank goodness, I have never achieved — nowhere near!) that I finally decided to do something about it once and for all. Spurred on by encouragement from my sister, who successfully kicked her 40-a-day habit six years ago using the same method, I found myself on Saturday morning in a circle of 17 people (16 women, one man) all desperately keen to join the growing band of happy non-smokers.

It was interesting for me to be a delegate for a change, since in my professional capacity I am always the trainer or workshop leader. So as I relaxed in to the reclining chair, I opened my ears and mind, and prepared myself to soak up everything our therapist, Rob, had to say. Right from the first few minutes he made absolute perfect sense — and the more he explained, the more I understood. Giving us a series of new perspectives on why people become hooked on nicotine, it suddenly struck me that the cigarette works in much the same way as the sociopath. I immediately sat upright in my chair and started paying even more attention to what was being said.

Rob explained that fear is the only thing that keeps people hooked on nicotine. “Smokers” he said, himself free for nine years from a 60-a-day habit, “will think of the cigarette as their friend. They consider it a crutch, something that gives them confidence when they need it. Something that relieves tension — or boredom — and either relaxes or gives energy to the smoker, depending on their need and the situation.”

I noticed how we were all nodding along with everything he said. Each one of us could identify with a situation where we had used a cigarette to give us exactly the response he was describing. Rob had also been there seen it and got the T-shirt, so he knew what he was talking about — oh yes, we were all in this together!

But then he invited us to consider something that came as a bit of a surprise. He pointed out something that, in hindsight, is blatantly obvious — but to which we had all been totally blind.

“How come” he asked “smokers can experience a burst of energy or confidence, an immediate soothing of stress, the relief from boredom, and a sense of relaxation — all from the same drug?”

Hmmm”¦. The room was silent as brows furrowed and chins were rubbed. He was right. It was impossible. The nicotine wasn’t doing any of this — how could it? How could one drug alone achieve so many varied and contradicting sensations? Simple — it can’t. So it had to be something else.

It’s All In The Mind

Rob then went on to explain how the tobacco companies’ only aim is to get people hooked — and that is exactly what the nicotine drug does. It is so effective that it can create a physical need right from the first time you try a cigarette. Yes, the physical desire can be created almost immediately, but it’s the mental control and manipulation that keeps people stuck in the cycle of being an addict. The subtle advertising messages and subliminal promotion of tobacco, many of which people will already have identified with before they taste their first cigarette, makes us think that we’re free, confident, full of choice and happy. In actual fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re caught in a trap. We’re fearful of living without our packet of ”˜little friends’. We’re totally hooked because we’ve been duped by deliberately deceptive influences — and we didn’t notice it happening in the first place. Even worse, none of us in the room had any idea that it was still going on, even up to the very moment when Rob explained the truth!

That was my “ah-ha” moment. Because it was at that point that everything tumbled in to place and, while our therapist continued talking about nicotine addiction, I could see so clearly how the same process happens when we are conned by a sociopath.

Brainwashing

In the case of cigarettes, we are lulled in to the idea that they are somehow sophisticated. They make us cool, grown-up, or part of the in-crowd. Think of some of the publicity shots of early Hollywood stars. Think of the way they exuded style and glamour — and I’ll bet you’ll also be able to recall images of them with a cigarette, cigar or pipe. Sensual, heavy-lidded eyes beguiling our senses, while wispy plumes of white smoke weave their way through the background. Subconsciously we fall for the con that the cigarette is cool — and because of that we ignore the dangers. Rob called it brainwashing.

How does that relate to the sociopath? Well, in my particular case, I believed in fairy tales and magic. I fell for the whole idea of a knight in shining armor and of living happily ever after. I don’t believe there’s necessarily anything wrong in that. But I do believe that the sociopath hijacks these romantic notions, twisting their nature and turning them in to weapons of destruction that are used against us to beat us down and bleed us dry. Tobacco companies deliberately set up seductive subliminal messages to promote the coolness of cigarettes so that people ignore the dangers. Sociopaths deliberately play on the inherent good nature and desire for happy endings that are nurtured by most people. Like the cigarette, sociopaths mask their intentions by tapping in to some of our most deeply held beliefs and values — often from childhood.

Now, OK, I know that it was my own choice and many would say my own fault for getting hooked on cigarettes. It wasn’t easy you know”¦when I first started in my late teens, it took a whole heap of determination to push through my natural instinct to gag on the choking fumes! Yes, it took focus, dedication and months of practice to perfect the art of smoking — and for years afterwards I felt stupid, guilty and disgusted with myself for allowing myself to get hooked in the first place. But there was something about the way Rob described the malevolent nature of nicotine as a drug, coupled with the years of deliberate and sophisticated misrepresentation that there is something cool and hip about smoking, that suddenly caused my guilt-trip guy-ropes to snap free and release me from their grip.

Deliberate Duplicity

It was exactly the same feeling I had when I finally understood that the person I had called my soul mate for ten years was nothing but a cold, heartless sociopath who had deliberately conned me. Exactly the same as the nicotine (and more to the point the tobacco companies who promote the drug), his only intention had been to get me hooked. To have me believe that he was my friend — the only person who truly understood me. To make me feel that with him I could feel safe, special, loved and protected. That he could give me confidence and energy, as well as make me feel relaxed and at ease. In short, to believe that my life was not, and could never be, complete without him. Bingo! Exactly the same methods used by the tobacco companies! Methods that allow the cigarette to masquerade as an enhancer, an enabler, a friend — rather than the killer we all know it to be.

Rob went on to explain that when we have the first cigarette, our energy goes down because it’s so horrid and alien to our body. But then we get a boost from the drug (and from the sense it’s naughty, rebellious, the beginning of sophistication — or whatever other thought processes we might have adopted) and we associate that boost with the cigarette. Then, as the nicotine leaves our body, we start going down again until the next cigarette gives us the next boost. But the thing is, we can never ever get back to the ”˜normal’ feeling we had before we took our first puff — the nicotine denies us that sensation. All we can ever do is to get ”˜nearly there’ and become more and more dependent on the rush that we get from the cigarette. Over time, the cigarette wears us down — but it’s so slow that we don’t notice the steady decline in our energy. The graying of our skin. The unhealthy changes to our appetite. The increasing feelings of emptiness and isolation. The steady lowering of self-esteem. But we still cling to it because we think it’s our friend. We believe that the only thing giving us a boost is the cigarette, whereas in actual fact it’s the very thing that is killing us!

Of course I don’t know how many of you are or have ever been smokers. I would guess it’s not many, since America has been much quicker and more efficient than Europe in catching on to the dangers of smoking! So it may be that there are only a few of you who identify with process Rob described as an addiction to cigarettes — but I have a sneaky suspicion that there are many of you who recognize those same symptoms from your experiences of being in an abusive relationship?

If It Can Work For Smokers”¦

For me, it has been hugely helpful to see the cigarette as a sociopath. To realize that far from it being a crutch, it was causing me more damage than I could possibly imagine — on more levels than I had previously understood. The funny thing is, although I’ve ”˜given up’ before, I had never before fully comprehended the severity of the trap I was in. Now that I do, I know for certain that I am now a 100% confirmed happy non-smoker, just like the countless thousands of other people who have been through Allen Carr’s process.

And it got me thinking. I know how hard it can be to maintain the no contact rule with a sociopathic ex. I understand that the temptation, the pull, can be so very strong that we are often in danger of giving in — just like me when I said to myself “just one cigarette — one can’t hurt!” even though my conscious mind knew the dangers.  Surely it’s the same with the sociopath when we are tempted to give in, saying to ourselves “Just one phone call” “Just one cup of coffee” “Just five minutes””¦ isn’t it?

So I’m now wondering whether it might be possible to create a process, similar to the workshop I’ve just attended, where people like us can learn how to break free from abusive relationships for good. Where we can learn to reclaim our lives and feel good about ourselves. A workshop that follows such a well-researched, carefully designed robust process that can guarantee delegates get their freedom back, right there and then, or your money back.

Well, the Easyway process is already successful in helping people kick tobacco, alcohol, drug abuse and eating disorders”¦. Complete with full money back guarantees. So you know what? I have a deliciously niggling feeling that with enough research and determination, it just might be possible to develop a similar process for people like us.

Hmmmm”¦. Now that’s given me food for thought”¦.

 


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55 Comments on "Cigarettes And Sociopaths – Stop The Insanity"

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Mel, as a health care professional, I have been a HYPOCRITE for decades—spending my time telling others how to quit smoking, while I smoked myself. I can so relate to your post. I quit smoking about two years ago now, after many other “successful” (for a while) attempts to quit.

Each time I would “quit” though in the past, I knew in the back of my mind it was NOT “forever” and that I would eventually smoke again.

This time, however, I actually made up my mind to REALLY QUIT, not for anyone else but for ME. I used some chemical help in the first part of it, using the nicotine replacements, and that helped I think in kicking the physical craving for the nicotine, but after a few weeks, I stopped the nicotine replacement.

I still have the temptations from time to time when I am around someone who smokes, but I wont’ let myself do it. I think the worst single incident was in january when a friend had left a pack of smokes and I actually picked them up, thinking “he won’t know.” But then I put them down and said to myself, “Yes, but I will know.”

It has been difficult I admit, but self satisfying at the same time. It has been one of the several changes I have made in my life—including a better diet, weight loss, and exercise program. I am doing now what I have advised others to do for so long. Putting myself first, taking my own welfare seriously, has been a step by step process over a period of several years now, but each step has led to another, and more confidence in my ability to do what I KNOW is the right thing to do…whether it is give up smoking and other unhealthy habits, or to go NC with people who are unhealthy in my life, it is for my own health.

Congratulations and TOWANDA for you!!!!

Congrats to both of you!!! I feel like an expert at quitting smoking. lol. I cannot even begin to count how many times I quit, but I feel in my heart that this time was the last. I am not going back to those nasty killing sticks, again! I do get to thank seriously bad morning sickness for it this time. It was such a cure! Without it, I do not know if I could have totally quit for real this time. I hated smoking so very much, but was just like a junkie needing a fix. My brain would get so illogical at times in justifying having just one.
I do still feel half dead, and I have an awful time trying to get the right words out when talking to people or typing for that matter. It is frustrating, but I am hoping in another year, I might make more sense.
Quitting smoking is something to be proud of as it is so very hard to do! Oxy, you are doing such a good thing for yourself! You seem like you are really doing great and making wonderful changes in your life. That is definitely something to feel very good about.

Dear TruthB,

Congratulations to you as well for quitting smoking! Putting yourself and your health first is a good start in loving yourself!

Yea, I’ve spent my life taking care of others, now I am taking care of ME! Wish I’d started doing that sooner, but can’t change the past…only the future! I’m fortunate I have really good medical genes and so actually am pretty healthy considering how I have abused my physical self with ciagarettes and eating a poor diet…but have just taken it one step at a time, lost some weight about a year ago, but haven’t gained it back. I need to lose some more and need to get serious about that, but have kept my sodium intake VERY low which required re-learning to cook all over again! I’ve quit whinning about that and am actually enjoying cooking again and have the food back where it tastes good again!

Putting myself first and doing what I know is good for me is getting easier as I go along.

puff puff, they say when smoker’s stop smoking their personalities change – they say smoker’s are neurotic and have mental health issue’s – puff puff, this is something I need to address…This is an eye opening acrticle Mel and I will finish reading it as soon as I finish this carton of cigerspaths…

Hens, darling, if I can stop smoking and stop eating salt, for goodness sakes you CAN stop smoking so you will be around a long time to enjoy those wonderful grandkids. You need to set a good example for them while they are young and haven’t taken up the habit YET. I puffed like a chimney when my kids were little and some how neither of the, even the psychopath, smoked. Son D has quit smoking cigarettes and now smokes a pipe some, mostly just carries it around as a pacifier I think. I wish he’d quit entirely but not going to nag him, 20+ years of nagging by my husband for me to quit didn’t do any good, it was only when I MADE UP MY MIND to do it that I actually did it. I also reallize I can relapse if I don’t keep myself determined. I AM determined to not let something that is NOT good for me rule my life…be that a substance or a some body!

PS: I am no longer neurotic, I an mo longer neurotic, I am no longer neurotic, I am no longer neurotic–I am no longer filled with rage—and if you argue with me I will get the BIG SKILLET out and boink you a good one! LOL 🙂

:)~!

What are you grinnin’ about–huh?

you an mo longer what?

Haha, this post got funny right away.

So I guess with smoking (I quit 2 weeks after leaving the spath) we need to think of it as going NC with cigarettes, not quitting.

That’s right. If we’ve managed to get away from a spath, then we can take on cigarettes!

Smokers: It’s time to go NC with cigarettes!!! And NO CONTACT means NO CONTACT.

Good point, Panther!!!! If we can do NC with the P then NC with cigs is a skate!

Mel,

I think the parallels of cigarette addiction and the process of being ‘conditioned’ by a disordered individual are really similar, and I would guess affect the same parts of the brain. I remember feeling high around several disordered people, even as I felt the opposing feeling of danger. And I have read books that refer to people who, for all intents and purposes, have ‘relationship addiction’, or addiction to ‘love’. Though I never completely identified with all the characteristics of a love addict, I felt it was a generally apt description of my ‘need’ for ‘deep and intoxicating’ intimacy, at the time.

I think my experience fits with your description of believing in the fairy tale love of children’s books, and romance novels. The whole knight in shining armor thing. Every single disordered person I have come in contact with, especially those quite high in narcissistic traits have ‘registered’ for me as stronger, more capable, and more desirable/popular. Even though part of me was afraid of all of them.

My mother was a wild, unavailable, inconsistent, and neglectful teenager. Though I have no doubt that she loves me, she was ill equipped for motherhood. She is not disordered, but she was in a very narcissistic phase of her life, and an extrovert, and I think this had the same affect, since I was in my most impressionable years, of having been raised by someone disordered.

This created a very negative attachment toward my mother. It was an attached based in childhood fear of abandonment and punishment. I tried so hard to be a perfect little girl, but always ‘failed’ (ie, she always abandoned me, or hit me).

I think as a result of this (and other things too) I was ripe for the conditioning- the inconsistent rewards and punishments of an abusive partner. And it triggered a deep longing in me to ‘turn’ that abusive partner into a good and loving partner. Like I tried to turn my mother into one who would love and nurture me.

I have never, however, had addiction issues outside of relationships. I only got that high, and that confusion about something rotten being good for me in dysfunctional relationships. They got my dopamine going!

It is an interesting thing that we humans take bad stuff, cigarettes and abusive people and drugs and gambling and lying politicians and wacky spirituality, and try to make them our protector and supporter. And when we are ‘doing’ these things, I think many of us, on some level, are quite aware of deep unrest during our participation. We just don’t know what the heck that niggling (I like your word!) feeling is. We don’t consciously know that ‘this isn’t the answer….it is a symptom of a bigger problem’.

As for a program to rid ourselves of our addiction to psychopaths? Well…..first people have to wake up from the delusion that all people are, given the chance, good. And I don’t think that is an issue for cigarettes. Most people know they are not good. But if the general population could become aware of spaths and malignant narcissists and borderlines, then perhaps it would be possible to un-brainwash them with a straight forward approach like you describe.

I hope you stay away from those nasty cigs. They will kill you, slowly and without malice. It’s just what they do. The tobacco companies are totally psychopathic in their attempts to create new smokers and keep old ones hooked. Just like any psychopath they see only what serves their interest.

Just as an aside there is a very satirical and funny movie titled ‘Thank you for Smoking’, that shows The psychopathy of cigarette marketing, and specifically an individual who is hired by the industry for his double speak and manipulation. It is a perfect representation of psychopathy both individual and corporate.

slim

Dear Slim,

WELL SAID, SISTA!!!!!

“first people have to wake up from the delusion that all people are, given the chance, good.”

You above quoted sentence from your post is great. DELUSION is right when you are talkin about “all people are, given the chance GOOD” MYTH!!!! TOTAL MYTH! Yet we are sold that myth as TRUTH from the day we are born, in about every facet of our lives and in school..

Along with “it takes two to fight” NO! IT ONLY TAKES AN AGGRESSOR AND A VICTIM.

“There are two (valid) sides to every story” NO! There are NOT two valid sides to every story, there are rights and wrongs that are absolute, just like GRAVITY does not depend on what you BELIEVE, it just IS what it is.

Well this article is fitting. Well I broke NC today…not in the traditional sence, no calls, ect, but I did check out out his social profile and company info….you know the job he doesn’t have.
Well as to be expected I got the typical heartbreak, anger, sence of injustice, ect. (insanity-doing the same thing expecting different results). I was feeling so proud of myself thinking I was moving past this and focusing more on myself.
I can’t figure out what triggered this except a direct feeling, a gut instinct that something seemed off.
Something very odd happened at Jr’s visitation that has been linguring in my head. Nothing bad…just very, very ood. It could be coincidental…who knows. I guess I just need to trust my gut on this one. I think I was again trying to get proof that he was getting away with something. Well of coarse he is…and theres not a damn thing I can do about it.
I didn’t see anything to directly link him to this oddness….but I did realize he knows I’m checking him out and continues to fuck with me. Again however this is my fault, I looked…
Ironically he looks so happy, successfull, and he wants me to know it. He’s throwing it in my face….either on purpose or by flaunting it to others. He’s laughing at me and I am again playing the fool.
Again I feel heartbroken…it just doesn’t seem fair. He will never see justice…what is justice anyway with a spath…I supposse getting free is the best we can do.

One step forward…3 steps back. Damn!!

Ahh, Coping. I understand. I did check ups too. Especially in the beginning. They just shred us all over again. Remember that it is a huge, giant, enormous, outrageous, over-the-top, ridiculous, scandalous, and pathetic LIE he is living. He is not happy and successful. He is deceitful, and lonely, and manipulative. He is only made ‘happy’, in whatever sense they can be, by knowing he is making other people sad and miserable.

Don’t supply him with any more spathappiness.

Take care…slim

Oxy, So many myths to bust, huh? One myth at a time 🙂

Coping ~

Sometimes, when you are in a situation like yours, it is necessary to break that part of NC (IMO). Social network sights, dating sights, online court records can be very helpful to prove or disprove what they are saying/doing. Like a conversation somewhere on here the other day, it can keep you from getting blindsided.

With that said, make sure he has no way of knowing you are snooping, don’t look anywhere that he can trace you. Just try and skim the sights, if something looks suspicious to you, print it out and stick it away in a file folder. Remember, you have no way of knowing what is going on behind that plastered on smile. You know better than to fall for his success stories, it is all an act – just ignore – get the dirt and get out. Keep in mind, they love to brag “the tell” and you can use the information down the line.

You are doing just fine as long as you don’t let what you see get “under your skin”. Evidence only. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Milo-
It’s that damn little case worker. He broke the rules…and got away with it. It’s like a condom, I’m 99.9% sure. I saw him go in the building…saw him leave the building before the visit. He must have come back in or the case worker told him I had arrived…she is now personally monitoring the case AND the visits. She was however very nice to me.? He’s got her good and getting away with murder.
No, he can’t prove I’m snooping (However he knows I must be or he’s REALLY, stupid) With him I can never tell…I do need to find freeze frame some of this stuff to at leaste prove his drug use, $, and business… it’s just too much for me at the moment

Anyway…the stuff I find out I can never really use anyway….what do I say… “Here’s a pic from FB”? He gets away with everything!! Balls of steel.

One more thing…Coping,

I saw a blog from the spath of years ago and he was putting things in that blog that were directly related to things we did, and ideas we exchanged. Things that happened YEARS ago. Things meant to hurt me, if I ever looked at his social network pages. This was last month.

I am sure there were things in there to hurt other victims as well. I am sure he went to Spain, because he probably had some connection with a past victim around Spain, and if she read that it would send a poison arrow her way.

They live totally and completely to damage people far and wide. Even people they never have contact with again. I think, in part, that is why reading some of the stuff feels so darn PERSONAL and intentional. Meant to hurt us. Because it IS.

I don’t know your personal story. Sounds like Milo does. So I hope I didn’t come off as condescending by telling you NC. I know some of us here keep track for safety and legal reasons. Just protect your heart and know that if you look he will have poison arrows just for you. Expect it and deflect it. Reject him and his toxic ways.

Thanks slim,
Actually you are right…in fact I made a personal VOW to myself NOT to do this….its been months…..I was doing so good. Can’t do this again!!
He LOVES to post pics of Jr at the visits…I just needed to verify I wasn’t crazy…I wanted to see what he was wearing. Nope not crazy….not crazy at all!!

Slim & Milo-
Thats the slippery part with these guys…. I saw him yet I needed to verify what he was wearing to make sure it was really him…Come on!!

Slim- you are also right. I don’t believe it’s all about me or Jr., he’s hurting other women as well. It’s all an illusion…

I swear that man is pure evil and if there is a hell he will surely end up there.

As far as me, I will no longer allow him to make my life on this earth hell, not more than he already has.

This is actually a very small issue in the scheme of things…it’s just absolutely amazing to me how much they get away with. It boggles the mind.

Coping, their system of “keeping score” is sort of TWISTED too. For example….my son Patrick is in prison, has been all except about 12 months since he turned 17—he was born in 1971, so you do the math! LOL

He is quite smart, IQ wise, actually, and his days are taken up in doing things that are “illegal” or “break the rules” in the prison he is in….he views the guards and officers and the other inmates as bacteria-level IQ, so his “fun” is to smuggle things in, to get “one over on” a guard, or do something that breaks the rules.

Of course most of the time he succeeds, but sometimes he winds up in solitary confinement for a few days or a few weeks as punishment…so he doesn’t even “win” (in my view) all the time against these “stupid sub-human (in his view) guards.”

But still he sees himself as a WINNER– a person to be envied by others, a person who knows everything there is to know about being a “success” in life. He sees himself as DESIRABLE to women…DUH??? WTF???? How, you say, can a man who has NEVER OWNED ANYTHING in his life, never even had an apartment that he paid for or a vehicle, didn’t finish high school, etc.who has been in prison most of his life for crimes a 5 year old could have solved—HOW CAN HE THINK OF HIMSELF AS A WINNER? How can he think he has ACCOMPLISHED anything?

I read a letter he wrote to come girl once, when he accidently put it into an envelope with a letter he was mailing to me,, and he sounded like a 7th grade guy trying to “impress” his girlfriend….talking about juvenile pranks he had played on his GF in the 10th grade (like it was yesterday) and thinking it would be “interesting” to impress this 30 year old woman who was writing him. But you know, she probably wasn’t all that bright if she was writing a pen pal in prison. LOL But the point is that HE HAS NO IDEA OF WHAT “SUCCESS” IS, but “he THINKS he is one.” LOL

Coping ~

You have to do what is emotionally healthy for you. If not looking at his FB, etc. is what helps, then don’t look, because I know it can hurt. I remember seeing P/daughter had posted a picture of Grand on her FB page, I was literally screaming HOW DARE YOU.

You are probably on to something when you say,” or he is really stupid.” When it comes to bragging about their evil deeds, they are stupid.

For instance P/daughter once posted her income on her myspace page as 50,000 to 60,000 dollars. Then in court, she declared herself indigent. I sent the court a copy of her myspace page. . She had some explaining to do. I also sent a copy to city, state & federal tax officials. Later, she wrote a blog on myspace complaining about the fines the city income tax department had hit her with.

Sky taught me the phrase “the tell”. I think it is quite common, they are not satisfied to do the evil deed, they have to tell someone and social networks are where they blab.

Anyways, go with your gut feelings and do whatever keeps you sane.

Oxy ~ I used to say if P/daughter ended up living in her car she would brag about what a nice view she had. They really don’t have a clue.

Oxy,

The examples you give of your son’s overwhelming spathiness- the grandiosity, immaturity, entitlement, the sheer idiocy of his perception of himself has been a great way for me to frame the behaviors of the bad people I have wrangled with.

I think because his situation is SO blatant and extreme it makes his behaviors really scream PSYCHOPATH! This has helped me translate the intention behind the behaviors into some of the ‘less obvious’ behaviors of the spaths I’ve known.

The motivations are the same with each spath, but the actual lies and schemes can look quite different. Some are criminals, some ‘family men’, gurus, leaders, garbage men. No social place or persona is off limits.

I’ve said this before….they are like different flavors of ‘confection’, but all the flavors are disgusting. Crapsicles, vomit jellybeans, piss soda…..

I agree..I see those same qualities/characteristics in my spath. Success is different in their eyes. I also know that whereas my spath “looks” happy and successful right now he is not, its just a temporary illusion that will be short lived. It just really hurts nonetheless.
I do see the “benefits” of keeping tabs on the spath but must admit I did not do or handle this correctly. I looked to prove he was getting away with something while I was already upset and feeling the sence of unjustice. I did not look as a productive means to gather evidence against him with a clear head.
The funny thing is I actually thought I was moving forward…past him if you will…slowly starting to address the issues within me. I woke up today feeling productive and a little stronger.
Then bamn!!! 911!!! The house is on fire….all because he’s getting away some ridiculouse bs which at the end of the day really means nothing. Amazing really!! I guess its better to be here as oppossed to running around the courthouse yelling “He’s breaking the rules and you are allowing it…WTF is wrong with you…He’s not here because he such a great guy…he’s here so he can be MONITORED.
I do like “the tell” expression…seems very true and appropriate.
Ohh well one day at a time….

Ox- who the hell has a pen pal in prison?
Milo- Thats EXACTLY how I feel whenever he posts pics of him and my son. Idiot..how proud he must be they have to be taken under a court supervised setting.

Slimone,
hahaha! crapsicles! LOL!
that’s a very apt analogy because spaths do make us feel revulsion when we realize what they are.

You are so right about them being all the same, with just variations on the flavors. Once you see a poster child spath like Oxy’s p-kid, you begin to see that the pattern is repeated in all the other spaths. I wish someone would break the mold.

Coping,
You asked “who the hell has a pen pal in prison?”
Answer: someone who wants a captive audience. 😛
sorry, I just had to say it.
😉

LOL..good one. 🙂

There are prison pen pal sites all over the nets with the names and addresses and descriptions of people in prison who want a pen pal…to write them IN THE PEN, WITH A PEN. LOL

Coping, it’s becoming apparent that you’re a very funny person 😀

I love this: “…running around the courthouse yelling, ‘He’s breaking the rules and you are allowing it”WTF is wrong with you”'”

I am cracking up again.

Coping

Hugs to you, I struggle to not look too. NC is one thing, getting them out of your head is another. EVery day I’m successful I feel better.

Why are you beating yourself up? You say that you know that he knows that you’re looking at his “success” on line.

How would he know you’re looking?

Superkid

Hi SK-

No words could be more true!
The reason I thought/think he knows I’m looking is because of what appears to be oddities that make me feel uncomfortable.
For example while looking I noticied he used the “check in” app in what appeared to be only places that are within a 10 block radius of my home. I live in a central area with lots going on however I’m sure he parties elsewhere.
He keeps his wall open but all photos private with the exception of those of him and Jr. This appears to me to be a giant F-U.
I realize I’m not dealing with a “normal” person so this might not be the case at all…perhaphs this is tool used to “show” others he’s “winning his game” ? However all his photos are kept private…so his friends could actually see those anyway.
Regardless- “the tell” is very important so he must just be very stupid for other reasons.??

SK-
All I know is it’s not OK. Whatever his reasons…stupidy…manipulation of others…intimidation torwards me…It really doesn’t matter.
If I don’t look it wont bother me…theres a time and a place for all things. I will never understand his mind. I don’t know why I try. It serves no purpose and is not healthy.
It is just strange….but then again hes a spath!

This is a very good article. I have told people that I am addicted to my last boyfriend. I finally broke up with him a month ago, but have had on/off success at going no contact. I have not gone out with him since then, but have talked and texted with him a bit. I really have no idea why I am so hooked with this one. The others I gave up a lot easier, and I was married to the other ones.

I have gone into withdrawal, have had crushing chest pains, and more tears than I care to count. He is nothing special (he was to me, but in reality….he has very little to offer). He is alcoholic, lives with his mother, can’t hold a real job, and has a tendency to be abusive (not with me yet though.)

We were together 2 1/2 years, and he was fun and exciting and intense. He was also very broken and very hot. Dangerous combination for me.

I am totally committed to not contacting him at all any more, but my mind obsesses over him. I hope this gets easier soon!

Yes, Donna posted and said there were problems with the site.

I think it was a wider problem as one other forum that I frequent also had posting problems.

We did have a technical issue with the blog today. Is anyone still having problems? If so, please send me an email – [email protected]. Please describe the problem, tell me which article you were trying to post on, and the time that you experienced the problem.
Thanks

one/joy_step_at_a_time

yup, still messed up.

thanks one joy,
I’ll try that. For those who just want someone else’s post to appear so that they can read it, you might try clicking on the blog article title, instead of the blogger’s name. You get different results.

2nd post for good measure.

Just found this and wanted to bump it up into recent comments for anyone who finds the no contact no smoking analogy useful. Thanks Mel this is great! In the UK when I was a kid there was an anti smoking campaign featuring an evil Nick -O-Teen cartoon character who lied along the lines of ”Just one won’t hurt you! Just have a little puff!” That’s how I’ll visualise my abuser when I find No Contact tough.

Yea, Tea light, same thing, it IS AN ADDICTION, just like nicotine.

Thank you for bumping this article. It is exactly what I needed today.

I’m not having any problem going NC as in no contact with him personally but I am having a hard time staying away from the “back door” contact as OxD puts it? I think it is her that says that.
I find myself checking his facebook and I really want to stop and I tell myself “just this one last time” or “I’ll wean myself from doing it”

Why can’t I stop?

Daisy, it is “contact” even if it is “back door” contact..it keeps you connected to him. It is difficult to give it up, but it is important that you do. It is like sneaking a cigarette when you are “quitting”–and you CAN control it, it is just a matter of doing it. May not be easy but you CAN.

Oxy! You’re right! It is still contact because of the connection. I don’t know why I delude myself into thinking it is not contact.

Just received a text message from the psycho. No contact day 13. Oxy everyone is right here he clearly hates it. I need to change my phone settings so a text alert with the first words of the text doesnt appear on the screen I saw a few words but don’t have the panic I have usually. Even after 13 days only I’m better able to detach and cope. LF – you rule. Oxy just laughed at PEN in the PEN thanks you are so great x

I, too, am grateful that this article has been bumped up.

I see the parallels that are outlined in the article.

I was ‘sold’ on my spathic ex-gf in part because she appeared sophisticated, classy, shy and feminine. Like an image from a slick piece of advertising. (Which is a component of the selling of cigarettes.) Actually that is her line of work – advertising – so, she of course has a good idea of what ‘sells’ and has learned alot from make-up artists.

But her image also clicked with the image of my ideal – that goes way back – almost to my childhood and the ad images and TV characters that I grew up with like Mary Tyler Moore through Pat Benatar, et al. Yep, to me my ex-gf was stunning and alluring and fit a fantasy image. It also helped that she still dresses and does her hair in the 80’s-early 90’s style.

“slimone’s” comments (Sept, 2011)we’re especially on-the-mark and struck a chord with me.

She wrote:
“I think the parallels of cigarette addiction and the process of being ’conditioned’ by a disordered individual are really similar, and I would guess affect the same parts of the brain. I remember feeling high around several disordered people, even as I felt the opposing feeling of danger.
….

….
My mother was a wild, unavailable, inconsistent, and neglectful teenager. Though I have no doubt that she loves me, she was ill equipped for motherhood. She is not disordered, but she was in a very narcissistic phase of her life, and an extrovert, and I think this had the same affect, since I was in my most impressionable years, of having been raised by someone disordered.

This created a very negative attachment toward my mother. It was an attached based in childhood fear of abandonment and punishment. I tried so hard to be a perfect little girl, but always ’failed’ (ie, she always abandoned me, or hit me).

I think as a result of this (and other things too) I was ripe for the conditioning- the inconsistent rewards and punishments of an abusive partner. And it triggered a deep longing in me to ’turn’ that abusive partner into a good and loving partner. Like I tried to turn my mother into one who would love and nurture me.

….
It is an interesting thing that we humans take bad stuff, cigarettes and abusive people and drugs and gambling and lying politicians and wacky spirituality, and try to make them our protector and supporter.
….
As for a program to rid ourselves of our addiction to psychopaths? Well”..first people have to wake up from the delusion that all people are, given the chance, good.
….
Just as an aside there is a very satirical and funny movie titled ’Thank you for Smoking’, that shows The psychopathy of cigarette marketing, and specifically an individual who is hired by the industry for his double speak and manipulation. It is a perfect representation of psychopathy both individual and corporate.”

slim’s comments about wanting to ‘change’ her mother into someone more nurturing and loving are especially true for me. I have found this happened in at least two long-term relationships that I have had – the most recent one and, another from over 20 years ago. Both ended in betrayal, lies and cheating. Both of these women were extremely beautiful (In my eyes – they fit an image.), and both came on strong in the early days of the relationship.

I have no doubt that my ex-gf has a place in my heart and has keyed into my ability to love and empathize. She ‘helped’ me to learn that I am capable of such emotions and devotion. She is just not capable of feeling or expressing these things and abused me. But the article and slim’s comments help to understand how things got screwed up and misdirected.

THANK YOU ‘slim’ – you’re awesome! And, Thank You LF and LF people!

Fixerupper, thanks for the ‘thank you for smoking’ recommendation I’m in a documentary binge at the moment and I’ll check that out. By the way I recommend Werner Herzog’s Into The Abyss , if noone’s seen it, two psychopaths murdered three people in Texas, Herzog does a wonderful job of interviewing them in jail, their relatives, the victims families, police involved with the case, the death row minister. It’s hard going emotionally ( well I found it so) but it shows the devastation these people caused. There is also a woman who fell in love with one of the psychopaths and they smuggled his sperm out of the jail so she could get pregnant with his child.

Hi, Tea Light!
You should thank slimone for the movie recommendation.
And, I Thank You for bumping the article.
I hope that you are having a much better day. Like you, I have had some days when I feel mentally immobilized and want only to crawl under my big new down comforter and hibernate.

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