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By | December 8, 2014 70 Comments

Do psychopaths know what they are?

Lovefraud recently received this e-mail from the reader who posts as “Flicka.”

Most experts seem to say that psychotics know what/who they are”¦different from the rest of society. However, I question whether or not this is true. My experience has been that they SEEM to sincerely believe they are a superior group of humans, intellectually, physically, emotionally and the ultimate future of the human race. I.e. when confronted with their outright lies, accusations, priorities, misjudgments, lack of morals, compassion, they either sincerely defend their lack of emotionalism as a sign of their superiority or call you absolutely “crazy”. If this response is part of their “act,” they must realize they’re different from the rest of us”¦not just mentally and emotionally superior.

What is your opinion?

Sincerely,

Flicka

P.S. In my personal case, my 5 children defend their psychotic traits with what appears to be complete sincerity.

Psychotic vs. psychopathic

First of all, I’d like to clarify the difference between “psychotic” and “psychopathic.”

People suffering from psychotic disorders lose contact with reality. Here’s the definition from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the TV is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not there.

Schizophrenia is one type of psychotic disorder. People with bipolar disorder may also have psychotic symptoms. Other problems that can cause psychosis include alcohol and some drugs, brain tumors, brain infections, and stroke.

Treatment depends on the cause of the psychosis. It might involve drugs to control symptoms and talk therapy. Hospitalization is an option for serious cases where a person might be dangerous to himself or others.

Psychopathy

Interestingly, there is no concise definition of psychopathy. Even in Without Conscience, the classic book by Robert Hare, Ph.D., here’s the shortest description I could find:

A self-centered, callous, and remorseless person profoundly lacking in empathy and the ability to form warm emotional relationships with others, a person who functions without the restraints of a conscience.

Dr. Hare doesn’t believe anyone should be called “a psychopath.” Instead, he says a person with this disorder should be described according to his or her score on the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), the test he developed to measure an individual’s traits and symptoms.

For more, see the Key Symptoms page on Lovefraud.com.

Here’s the key point: Psychopathy is not an illness; it is a personality disorder. As Dr. Hare says in Without Conscience:

Psychopaths are not disoriented or out of touch with reality, nor do they experience the delusions, hallucinations, or intense subjective distress that characterize most other mental disorders. Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised.

Awareness of the disorder

Another helpful book is Character Disorder, by George K. Simon Jr., Ph.D. Dr. Simon explains how traditional views of psychology simply don’t work very well in dealing with personality disorders, or as he calls them, character disorders.

Classical theories, Simon explains, regard basic human needs and emotions to be universal, and people develop psychological problems because they fear or experience their needs being thwarted. In his training, he was taught never to ask a client why he or she did something, because it would put the client on the defensive.

But in working with people who have character disordered, Simon eventually learned that they know exactly what they are doing, and why. When these people say they don’t understand their own motivations, they’re playing dumb.

In Character Disturbance, Simon writes,

Most of the time “I don’t know” doesn’t really mean the disturbed character is oblivious about his actions. It almost always means something else. It can mean:

• “I never really think about it that much.”

• “I don’t like to think about it.”

• “I don’t want to talk to you about it.”

• “I know very well why I did it, but I certainly don’t want you to know. That would put you in a position of equal advantage over me having my number, so to speak and I won’t be able to manipulate you as easily or manage your impression of me.”

• “I hope you’ll buythe notion that I’m basically a good person whose intentions were benign. That I simply made an unwitting mistake, oblivious about the harm I caused; and that I am willing to increase my awareness with your guidance.”

Knowing they are different

In answer to Flicka’s question, most psychopaths likely know that they are different. Some have been professionally diagnosed, after being dragged into therapy by family members or the court. They certainly didn’t go for treatment on their own, because they do not experience distress due to their disorder.

Or, even if psychopaths don’t know their diagnosis, they realize that they have an innate ability to manipulate, deceive and control others. They know that other people have these pesky things called “emotions” and “conscience,” which make for easy exploitation.

But psychopaths do not really understand what they lack, because they’ve never experienced real love or closeness. Remember, there is a very strong genetic component to psychopathy, so many of these individuals are the way they are from a very young age. It’s not like psychopaths were able to love, care and act with morality, and then stopped. They never had the abilities to begin with.

You can’t explain the difference between the colors red and blue to a person who has been blind since birth. Likewise, you can’t explain the value of “love” and “shame” to people who have never had the capacity to experience these emotions.

How one psychopath puts it

Last year, I received an email from a self-proclaimed psychopath. It sums up the psychopathic perspective:

I would like to thank you for making your videos they have given me an insight into how you people recognize us. WE are not to blame for your short comings because you are weak minded and foolish enough to be taken advantage of. We are evolutions next step we don’t allow silly emotions to cloud our judgments. In fact we use our advantage for survival because we are natures next course. I know I sound very narcissistic and apologize for that but if you are so proud and concerned and attached to your emotions why not allow someone to make you feel like a queen for something as worldly as money? We give you what you are missing just as all of the world ecosystem has since the beginning of time. It’s funny how we have been so easily classified and even now as I attempt to alter myself in order to become unparallel to descriptions of us, I find it very difficult to even perceive. I would like to boast of my strategic victories over hearts but I would fear you making another video and making this game more difficult, of course it would make it much more challenging and pleasurable when enjoying the hunt.

 


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AnnettePK

Chilling word salad from that psychopath.

I concluded, based on my experience with my ex Psychopath, that he KNEW the truth but didn’t BELIEVE it. When one believes something, one acts as if it’s true. They know what is right and wrong and why, and they know they aren’t ultimately going to ‘win’ doing things their way, but they don’t believe it. They believe they are right and will win. Moral Insanity, the 19th century term for the disorder, sums it up well.

cherry

The self-proclaimed psychopath above blames others for his lifestyle. It is as if he is the answer to the void in their life.
My opinion to this question whether the psychopath knows who they are is “no.” Our adopted son is a psychopath. He became very angry when I tried to connect his actions to the symptoms of a psychopath when he was 17. He put all the blame for his actions on me, saying if I didn’t do or say such and such then he would not do what he did. He blames others too. I don’t believe he can wrap the concept around his mind to understand it. He doesn’t believe me anyway when I tried to talk to him. His narcissism prevents him from believing he has a flaw.

AnnettePK

My ex P used anger, blame, and ‘not understanding’ as tactics to turn the focus away from his harmful behavior to others so that he could keep doing what he was doing. He knew and knows exactly what he is doing and why. He just doesn’t care.

davedal

I dated a woman for almost a year two years younger than myself. I can tell you from my own careful thought of her actions with myself and others that she dated that she knew exactly what she was doing , but just didn’t care. It wasn’t just me she told half truths and lies to to get her way. She did this to everybody. Telling lies to get their selfish ways served is nothing but normal to them. They just do not care who they hurt. As a matter of fact they enjoy hurting you. They enjoy watching you emotionally suffer. Its like they need this to survive . I contacted one of her other victims two months after I left contact with her. He said the same thing about her. This woman was nothing short of pure evil. No female friends at all. She worshipped pagan goddesses sick in the head. When I tried to confront her with a normal rational discussion , she put that off for three months. I ended it before we could have my discussion.

Cherry, reacting with severe anger is a typical response of a P in order to get you to back off, they always blame others, they want you to feel guilty and responsible for their actions. It is all part of the manipulation they use to get what they want. Narcissism is part of being a Psychopath all psychopaths are narcissistic and one of the number one traits is they are pathological liars. He would never admit it, he may not want to call it psychopath because that connotes a flaw but he knows he is different, and he feels he is superior because he is not influenced by a conscience, guilt or empathy. He uses those emotions to manipulate the people around him, he sees those with empathy as the ones who are flaws.
I would also caution against trying to “force” him to admit he is a psychopath, the last thing they want is to be exposed for what they are and seeing as they have no conscience would think nothing of doing whatever it takes to shut you up and keep you from exposing him.

davedal

The sad part of a relationship with a man or a woman like this is that you will not know it until its too late. I feel for anyone who has gone through what I did as a man with a HPD NPD woman myself. I do my best to educate anyone about these kind of people. To me if they are so tough as they claim they are and so right about the way they treat people then why can they not take it when you throw it back in their faces. It sounds like a real coward inside to me, with real poor self esteem. I also think they operate off of more than one personality to achieve their goals of hurting people.

kellymill

Kelly says:

I agree with you. And it needs to be on record “they know exactly who they are”. Each of us are at different stages with our P, so I understand the original question. Depending on logistics and other various elements, some victims may be unable to decipher it in their lifetime. There is so much I want the world at large to KNOW and ACKNOWLEDGE these are one of the most dangerous individuals. Think about this: they know because they are doing such a superb job of it…a superb job in covering up the cruel mental manipulation. That takes skill! When we are watching a movie, if a lead actor is not able to play the part well enough to make it credible or realistic, it is often shared by the critics as such. Ps are masterminded at appearing convincing and anything less than credible. It’s their primary mind tool. The official term is “crazymaking”. Regardless of any abuse suffered in childhood, this is a choice made willfully. Image is VIP. They are often soft spoken by choice. They will not be a disruptive person in public, as in…expressing opinions, having more than 1 or 2 cocktails, using any lewd language. Anything that would be a tip off is ultimate image control “masking the reality” in action. Mine is 63, I am the first to crack this. He has never wanted to end a relationship so quickly as ours. When they realize you know, and you REALLY know…a plot is slowly formed. Tedious beyond belief. A story unfolds as to why he has to protect himself from a “crazy” woman. I’m entering the next difficult step…the legal system. He served me with divorce papers and TRO! He is a high profile path, a physician and connections. I do want justice for myself, but just as much, I also want this to be brought to light. This is not “tit for tat”. This is evil and criminal cruelty. My mind has suffered greatly, my life has been wrecked…no one sees this abuse. It’s invisible, and most days are “walking ICU”. I need to add, mine is also a SA. He went through “recovery”, did not miss “a” meeting. Why? Because he KNOWS that would be a red flag. Not missing a class or meeting was his intentional external cover. No one can question a person who exhibits cooperation. On the inside he was filled with rage for having to attend these meetings. But his skillful mind allowed him to release his anger through a way that he could conceal and enjoy: “I’m going to portray the good guy”. As far as “forcing” them to admit…that is an oxymoron. Short of confessing by genuine choice, choosing the road less traveled or divine intervention…sadly a transformation will not take place. This must be seen for what it is. There is a huge learning curve simply because of their CONVINCING ability. It’s a process that is so hard for us to grasp, and we are married/joined to them. This is not something you have experience with, and its the last person you expect to be a monster. So by the time we realize what this is, we are in a dangerous compromising state. To then encounter 99% of the people you share it with, for supportive purpose; they don’t believe it and definitely think you need medication. How can this be catapulted in the awareness arena, and justice systems?

flicka

Kelly, You sound terribly angry, as well you should be. Just remember that as long as he stirs such strong emotions in you, shows him you are still in his power/control….exactly what he wants. I suggest you leave the educating to those of us whose lives have been equally devastated, feel exactly as you do but because of age, have nothing more to lose. Your greatest revenge would be to find a happy life with no more strings attached to him. One of my P sons is also a high profiled East Coast pediatrician.

kellymill

I appreciate your concern and sharing. It’s good to hear an objective view. I’m not stirred by him as far as any connection emotionally. I’ve long since been disconnected. I’m not going to go in to details on that for the sake of time. If I sounded surprised by his latest actions in my my post, I wasn’t surprised…or devastated. I too have nothing more to lose. Thankfully we have no children or assets. The strings will be cut completely after this next step.

My life will be better and happier, no doubt there. I’m not one for revenge. In my mind it is vindication for justice. I’m thankful you gave your opinion as to how I sound, I welcome it. Its coming from my passion for those who are in the place we all go through. That “crazy making” place. To me it is similar to hearing of animal abuse. I’m not comparing humans to animals, I’m referring to the helplessness. It makes my stomach knot up. The contribution I can continue to give is sharing. It feels like a one woman army, but I know one by one we can make a difference. Thank God for Donna! A true “beauty for ashes” created from her pain.

AnnettePK

Kelly,

I can relate to a lot of what you describe about your experience. My ex P was like yours – powerful and is now operating a mostly successful in some circles smear campaign against me, as he did to his first ex wife about 10 years ago. Mine is also a sex addict (cross dresser, child porn, lots of porn), and attended SA for awhile. He’s 61.

I also relate to your desire for justice and the anguish of the betrayal and smear campaign and people just not getting it and thinking we victims are the crazy ones. It bothers me a lot, but I don’t think that anything much can be done about it. They are so clever in presenting such a great image to the world. I was deceived enough to marry my exP. I am working on accepting what I can’t change, accepting that I’ve suffered an injustice (like a lot of people on this planet), accepting that some people will always wrongly think bad of me and good of the exP, and trying to be gracious to everyone so that maybe a few people will learn the truth because of who I am when they get to know me rather than me trying to explain the impossible.
Wishing you peace.

kellymill

Thank you Annette! Well said! “Trying to explain the impossible”. I did that the first go round, naturally, as in…this is what the situation is. My take away from that was I don’t need to do it, it’s useless and I literally have no desire. I’m glad to be free from it. I’m not engaging with anyone in his circle, even those that I could. I want no outside interference. Wishing you peace as well.

flicka

Dear Kelly, Please stay SAFE. Once you enter the court system, be prepared for set-backs; I’ve found most judges to be anti female and politically influenced…they have all kinds of influences and low on most of their totem pole is justice. As you well know, any challenge to the P is met with war!

kellymill

Thank you Flicka! I’m in the midst of staying safe, self care so I can be as focused as necessary. All I can do in court is tell the truth, beyond that, it is out of my control. It will be incredibly painful and traumatic, but it brings me closer to the end. The PTSD shocked me, early on…I couldn’t fathom that I could be affected to this degree. That made it worse, it was a cycle. Until I was able to grasp the reality of this wrecking a stable and strong person, it was difficult to let my mind process and heal. I have gone through so much throughout my lifetime, this caught me off guard in regards to being strong. It doesn’t matter how strong, independent, grounded, etc. a person is! Who wouldn’t be wrecked by the “unexplainable”!!!

star_al

If I can explain my family, they absolutely know they are different. As mentioned, they do not experience distress from not being morally correct as we do. Rather, they observe that meeting their needs is difficult because they seem to continually say the wrong thing or create a drama and attract disapproval from society. They have impulses and they know if they act naturally then they will lose power and image. So, they hide a lot and hence the need for a very small circle of control and a “lair”. They might look like big, fearless risk takers but they have a very tight web around them. When you are out of the web, you have power over them. It is their mission to avoid that, and if it looks like they will lose, they pretend they don’t care.

It was very confusing for me to watch because sometimes reputation would be everything to them and then in the next breath, they didn’t care what anyone thought. They don’t have the same ratings of success as we do – being a good person, having fair and healthy relationships. Rather, they see that they are missing something and are therefore entitled to take.

Think about it, if you were missing something since birth (such as sight) then you would develop ways to get your needs met. It’s just that with psychopaths, their lack is so awful and so completely destructive that it’s difficult to feel compassion.

I will say that there are scales of awareness for sure and I think it depends on the psychopath’s self esteem and sense of self. My father never took pleasure in hurting people without being pre-empted. He didn’t mind if someone was hurt who had already done wrong. Contrarily, my brother sought to hurt others because he had poorer self esteem. He was unable to concentrate and find quiet achievement in work whereas my Dad could. So, he took out his poor self esteem on women. He even treated me as a toy to use whereas I never saw my Dad treat women this way.

My mother’s concern was with her social status as she is a psychopath who comes from a wealthy family. So she never went out of her way to hurt others either but was paranoid and narcissistic and me being there and caring for her made me a weak target for her poor self esteem also. My Dad was never targeting me in this way, again because I believe his self esteem was higher. He had an alcoholic father and negligent mother so I am not sure about the nurturing argument. He tried to hide his psychopathy whereas my brother acted proud of it, but I know he is not. He sees himself as having a certain range of abilities that are useful in some situations and he doesn’t have the values to make that an enjoyable life.

When psychopaths say “I don’t think about it” or “I don’t want to think about it”, they really do think about it a lot. They obsess and hide. That is really just to guilt someone into not challenging them. Their ultimate goal is to avoid being challenged because it’s a dog-eat-dog world and they know they have nothing.

A boyfriend I had who is a psychopath trusted me a lot because I was so used to it (unknowingly at the time) and I treated him with a lot of respect. He said “we have nothing”. He would obsess about things that he had done and the reaction to those things that a normal person would forget. He remembered EVERYTHING despite his nonchalant manner. Often they sit at home, miserable, obsessing, and then cover it up with the carefree act. They are very sensitive to rejection and thrive on domination. When they express themselves freely they are rejected. So the confidence is just a pretense to make themselves feel better about being rejected. They just don’t want to face that flaw because it means someone can “get” them where it hurts. They are really rebelling against their own horrible state inside.

They know everything because they are always ready with a defence in case they are exposed.

So, what you see is the cover. And if they are lacking things so completely, I guess I understand why they turn to ‘hunting’ because truly, they’ve got nothing to offer. They regularly remind us of the benefits of acting and thinking without fear, which yes, are advantageous because a lot of us overreact. But they often lose motivation to do anything sustainable and so they are actually more afraid than us in the end.

I know it sounds like a harsh thing to say, but when you see them, think primitive, childish ape. That is how they think. It’s eat or be eaten in an environment where they don’t know how to function. I guess that’s why they pull at our heartstrings because their adaptive skills can make them seem cute. But nothing really changes what they are missing.

I hope that helps.

AnnettePK

This is a very interesting analysis, and very sad that you have encountered so many disordered people in your life.

My experience with my ex P was not that he lacks self esteem or that his behavior is a defense against his deficiency. He simply wants power and control, to feed his sadism, and to exploit others for what he wants (to look good, control people, control organizations, porn, free place to live, etc.). He does what he does to get what he wants. He varies his behavior towards people from being ‘nice’ to total abuse; but it is based only on what he thinks will work to get what he wants at any given time. That is the only context that affects him – what he thinks will work for him.

Lack of fear caused my ex P to take physical risks that are kind of dumb to do. He was always accusing me of ‘over reacting’ when I was responding in a normal way to his abuse. It was a tactic to blame me for my response to his bad behavior, and to take the focus off his bad behavior and focus on my response to it. He wanted me to change my response to his abuse, because that would be more convenient to him.

My ex P did things that he knew pulled at my heartstrings because he thought it was the best way to deceive me and thus exploit me. I liken him to a snake and a predatory animal like a lion.

jlartin

Thank you for sharing your observations and insights. I have been a personal and professional (therapist) student of psychopathology for over 5 years. I think I know a lot about this but I found your comment about color blindness and the phenomenon of psychopaths seeking what they don’t have particularly insightful.

Someone I know s very successfully disordered in that very few people have a clue about the extent of his perfidy, and he’s 65 and been at this for a very long time. He once said to me that doubted he had the capacity to love anyone. I asked if this included his children and he said yes. He is -this is rich given his outsized ego- a typical psychopath-married many times, lies, cheats, steals, is a brilliant manipulator/victim/white knight.
Your spelling (‘defence”) suggests that you are British; I have been to the UK many times and am impressed by the extent the British public is so much more aware of psychopathy that we Americans seem to be. I assume that is in part tot he work of Robert Hare who tirelessly teaches in the UK, Canada and I believe in the US. But it seems to me that we Americans have our heads in the sand on this one.
Hats off to Donna for providing this site and forum. Knowledge is power, in the feminist sense of personal power rather than power “over” another.

flicka

What I believe is so commendable about Donna is, having once been a victim herself, she now dedicates her life to helping other victims in every manner possible (advice, books, lectures, facts as well as an important venting place for victims. This is entirely different from other intellectual experts, such as Dr. Robert Hare, who basically have little first-hand practical experience with the illness beyond testing theories on a very limited population of convicts. I personally feel that this limitation may exclude his knowledge of the growing prevalence of the illness in our current society. We presently exalt all the traits of sociopathy.

msconfused

star_al
”They are very sensitive to rejection and thrive on domination. When they express themselves freely they are rejected. So the confidence is just a pretense to make themselves feel better about being rejected. They just don’t want to face that flaw because it means someone can “get” them where it hurts. They are really rebelling against their own horrible state inside.
They know everything because they are always ready with a defence in case they are exposed.”

That’s EXACTLY how this man I’m with is like! (including my own mother and his own mother too..).
Come to think of it, now I’m thinking, whether his withdrawal from sex is his way to ‘punish’ me each time I nail him. I also think these types are sexists. They believe women are inferior to the male gender.

msconfused

I was so shocked after reading this article in my search for answers and complelled to post my story. If you have any advice at all please share it with me.

I am with this man for 4 years now-we’re both same age(38). I am divorced and he has never been married. He lives with his mother because he is unemployed…He had a good amount of money in the bank which he inherited after his father died, but he spent most of it buying things like elecrtic guitars, amplifiers, hunting knives, expensive designer clothes and buying a dog which is a very crazy dog (a very active and non-disciplined bull terrier)- a lot like him actually…He also spends most of his time locked up in his room with his computer and he cannot live without one. He gets high by spending money otherwise he gets depressed. Recently, he sold an expensive electric guitar online and as soon as he got the money he went and bought another guitar!

Now here comes the other strange part which has confused the hell out of me..we don’t have sex! It’s been almost a year without sex..He likes to cuddle and kiss me but that’s as far as it goes. He frustrates me so much both sexually and emotionally. He is a megamaniac-he talks highly of himself and thinks he is a gift to humanity. He is an artist (a starving artist) and always has an excuse under the sun for everything going wrong in his life. He treats his mother with disrespect yet his mother is like him too! Or vice versa-he took after his mother.

I decided I want to finish this platonic relationship but I feel sorry for him. Each time I tried to put an end he either cries and tells me he won’t be able to live without me or that he will start killing anyone he finds on his site!…..
He says things like ‘slash off so and so’s throat’ or that he’ll ‘let his dog kill his mother because she deserves it’…

Sex with him was good only at the start of the relationship and within about 4 months he had sex with me once a month, then once every 2 months ending up to 4 times a year to none at all. He does not have sex with anyone else and that I know for sure though I think I would be better off if he found someone else. I think he sees me as his sister or something. He did tell me he gets bored very easily and that he likes provocative women. This makes me feel insecure because my body has its imperfections though I am not overweight. Can anyone tell me please, is this guy a sociopath, a narcissist or a psychopath??? Why do I feel sorry for him??
He says he doesnt care about the future – he cares only about the present. He also says that he wants to go and live in Europe where people are smarter and he feels he will be appreciated there for his intellectuality and talent…….

AnnettePK

My ex P gave that exact excuse – he said he knew everything would be ok, he trusted God, etc. He was a preacher in a Baptist church for awhile.

Linette

Wow, Annette. I figured there were many others. It’s something that would easily impress someone who TRULY worships and trusts God and wants a man/woman who is strong in their faith!

AnnettePK

My ex P’s brother was in a serious motorcycle accident and was being airlifted to the hospital. My mother in law called us during dinner,she was extremely upset, I was upset. In the bustle of jumping up and getting ready to drive to the hospital (I offered to drive the ex P, as I assumed he would be too upset), my about 12 year old son asked the ex P, “xxx, you don’t seem to be too upset?” I missed it at the time, but son was not busy and just observing the scene with the eyes of a child and he noticed.
The ex P was totally calm during all crisis and dangerous situations, and he gave the ‘trust in God’ excuse. Well, I trust in God, whereas the ex P doesn’t believe anything God says because he doesn’t do it. He’s a pathological liar and a sexual pervert, which is not trusting in God.

Linette

Wow, I remember one night my ex step-daughter came and knocked on our door and my ex-spath was in bed asleep. She had news that they had found his father (who he was supposedly so closed to) dead in his chair. I asked her to go in the bedroom and tell him herself and when she did, he said nothing but, “Okay” and turned over and went to sleep.

AnnettePK

I can so relate.

flicka

Dear Donna, Many thanks for your expert clarification of the difference between pychotics and psychopaths as well as other expert opinions. Based on your definition of both conditions, my 5 children are probably (undiagnosed) psychopaths. I well recall asking my youngest son (at approximately 6 years of age) why the kids seemed to behave so much better with their father than with me and he answered, “Because we fear him, not out of love or respect”. This speaks worlds about what was probably going on in their immature minds. On the other hand, a certain amount of delusion exists as my oldest son once ran for his towns office and lost. This shows his persistent belief in his own superiority. Of course I realise that both conditions have many overlapping traits. Thanks again for your enlightenment!

Jeanie

This comment is to the 38yr.old who has been in an unusual relationship for four years. First, slowly, distance yourself from this person. There are possibilities that is deeply disturbed and do you know why you continue befriending him? The fact that he has verbalized homicide should be reported to law enforcement as well as your local mental health group — since you’ve witnessed his behavior, it sorta makes you responsible to keep others safe. I’m no expert but one thing I know and so do you – he is not a normal person – has no life plan and likely cares little for you – basically using you for company because probably he has no other friends. If you have other friends, let them know about him – for your safety and spend more time with them. Four years is a lifetime to a disturbed person and at some point, you will be his target when you decide to breakaway. He is angry with his Mother because he is blaming her for his inefficiencies or things he holds himself back from – he blames her. The best thing you can do for this friend is to get him help.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

msconfused
I can not help but chuckle at the convoluted logic of your disordered boychild. “wants to go live in Europe where people are smarter…”

…because he is flustrated by the people who are less smart (and able to figure out he’s a loser?)

My sociopath ex lived for “WINNING”. He does well in his small town where his family bullies their way around town, but not so well outside the sociopath nest where the cops don’t care who his family is.

You deserve WWWWwwaaaaayyyy better and I hope you choose better very soon. His comments about killing are scary because those are red flags about what he would do to YOU as well.

ps msconcerned: I never thought my ex would murder until the day he nearly did, and ONLY by luck did I escape. At core, anyone who is a sociopath has the ability to MURDER. It’s not that he Can’t or wouldn’t. Sociopaths may chose NOT to murder, but it’s a choice that can change with no forewarning.

AnnettePK

Ms. Confused,

I am sorry that you’ve been in this unsatisfying relationship. It makes sense that you would like to move on and that you are questioning his behavior. Usually when I am confused about something it’s because I’m being deceived on some level so I don’t have all the facts.

There are a lot of possibilities as to what is going on with him. Sex with my ex P quickly dwindled to next to nothing. After a few years I learned he is not heterosexual and was getting his sex from porn (child porn, cross dressing, and lots and lots of porn). It is possible your guy is making you feel insecure about your body to make you feel responsible (blame you) for the lack of sex.

Your description of him sounds like he is disordered, probably a spath. Here is an article on the checklist of traits that will help you answer your question. http://www.lovefraud.com/beware-the-sociopath/key-symptoms/

You may be feeling sorry for him because he is manipulating you to feel that way. He may be doing this so that he can exploit you for something he is getting out of your relationship.

His violent threats sound dangerous and serious. You don’t seem too concerned. I wonder if you have been conditioned by his behavior over time or maybe by previous experiences with others in your life, to perceive his scary and dangerous tactic as normal.

Whether he’s a psychopath or not, he sounds like he could be dangerous. Consider that he could have done and could be doing things you don’t know about, that is what is creating the confusion you feel. Here is a very good free online threat assessment questionnaire you could go through that might help you clarify your thoughts. https://www.mosaicmethod.com/

Whatever his disorder is, you are right to choose to move on from this unfulfilling, exploitative, disordered, and possibly dangerous relationship. Consider doing all that you can to keep yourself safe. The best advice and the only tactic that works when dealing with Psychopaths is the greyrock method here: http://www.lovefraud.com/2012/02/10/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

I hope some of this will be of help to you. Take care of yourself.

msconfused

Thank you very much Annette for your input and links you posted.
As far as his threats go, I am concerned but dont seem as concerned because I know they’re just ‘words’. This guy is all talk and nothing but-in reality he’s a chicken and proved it to me in many incidents..I am more concerned about his safety than mine. If he lays a hand on me he’ll be left with one….

Yes, I was gullible enough to fall for his tactics but once I realise something is not right I am the kind of person who will ‘change lanes’ fast. I wasted 4 years with this man and I am not about to waste anymore. Reading everyone’s comments on this site so far has been such an eye opener. Maybe all I needed was some kind of validation on my own perceptions about this man.
You also made another interesting observation- you wrote that ”He may be doing this so that he can exploit you for something he is getting out of your relationship.” – well, he knows I will be returning back to Europe where I’m originally from and he is glued to his delusional thoughts of coming with me and living together while we haven’t had sex for 1 whole year!!! What do you think of this insanity of his??

HanaleiMoon

msconfused, I am concerned that you say you are more concerned about his safety than your own”please don’t ever believe that threats are “just words”! They may be until that one time they are not – and then it is too late.

It sounds like you are taking steps to move away from this relationship where you are getting nothing and he is getting what he wants. Your well being and safety should be the most important thing to you, not your concern for him. I think all of us felt concern for the psychopath in our lives (they make sure of this), most of us to the point where we forgot about ourselves and our own well being. Make no mistake, regardless of appearances, actions, or words, the psychopath is just fine and dandy as they are.

msconfused

I was being ironic when I wrote that I’m more concerned for his safety 🙂
He has seen me angry and how to defend myself and he would not try anything with me BUT, yes, I do agree, you never know with these kind of men so I will carefully plan my escape out from this black hole relationship.

This is so right! ”Make no mistake, regardless of appearances, actions, or words, the psychopath is just fine and dandy as they are.”….you bet they are!!!
I do rememeber (and has proved to me) repeatedly no matter how many times he ‘cried and begged me’ to not leave him, how within just a few days he’d go back to his own ways again feeling dandy in his own world.

msconfused

Thank you very much Annette for your input and links you posted.
As far as his threats go, I am concerned but dont seem as concerned because I know they’re just ‘words’. This guy is all talk and nothing but-in reality he’s a chicken and proved it to me in many incidents..I am more concerned about his safety than mine. If he lays a hand on me he’ll be left with one….

Yes, I was gullible enough to fall for his tactics but once I realise something is not right I am the kind of person who will ‘change lanes’ fast. I wasted 4 years with this man and I am not about to waste anymore. Reading everyone’s comments on this site so far has been such an eye opener. Maybe all I needed was some kind of validation on my own perceptions about this man.
You also made another interesting observation- you wrote that ”He may be doing this so that he can exploit you for something he is getting out of your relationship.” – well, he knows I will be returning back to Europe where I’m originally from and he is glued to his delusional thoughts of coming with me and living together while we haven’t had sex for 1 whole year! What do you think of this insanity of his??

AnnettePK

Glad you found something helpful in my post.

It’s my understanding that intuition is often accurate in assessing danger so it may be he isn’t dangerous to you. Do you know about his background? Have you done any checking into his past? He may have targeted you because you were new to the area and wouldn’t know of his past nor know people who would tell you about him. I don’t know if you are in a small town nor how long you have been there, so this may not apply.

If he thinks you are his ticket to Europe and he wants it badly, he may intensify his manipulations. You sound level headed, but spaths can be very clever in underhanded ways. They use whatever our weaknesses are.

In the 19th century psychopathy was called ‘moral insanity.’ It is a totally insane way of thinking that we can’t really understand, and I don’t really want to understand them.

Best wishes, and hopefully you can ‘grey rock’ yourself back to Europe safely.

msconfused

Thank you again Annette for your genuine concern!
This man is unpredectable but he has, like everyone else, his weaknesses too. He trusts me…and I will play into his game now.. until I leave without a trace..
I also observed that he also seems to be comforted, (since he is delusional), with hopes and lots of ‘will’ words. Since he never follows what he says he’ll do and since he is so full of it, then I might give him what he thrives on. I might have to ‘pacify him’ with future tense words until I am ready to go.
I am more concerned about his elderly mother who has hit in the past and what he might do to her once he finds out I’m gone (‘coz he doesn’t like to lose..). He tends to fume out his anger on his mother all the time.

AnnettePK

If he has assaulted his mother, that is pretty bad. This guy is potentially dangerous to anyone if he assaults his mother.

Consider minimizing your contact with him, just say you’re busy or something. Also consider maintaining your own integrity; don’t lower yourself to his level by making promises you don’t intend to keep. It creates a weakness that can be exploited, and it’s bad karma anyway. Also, psychopaths want to manipulate us to act badly and to be evil to them. It can happen slowly if we open the door to it even just a little bit.

Linette

Very chilling letter from the spath for sure. Sounds just like my ex. The words that my ex used to justify his actions as opposed to others was different however. He said most people don’t have the “faith” that he does. He said he didn’t get upset over things the way others do because they don’t have “faith in God” like he does. He explained that the reason he didn’t worry about his kids when they got in really bad situations or when his father died was because he “trusted God” and WE were the ones who were weak because we didn’t have enough “faith”. I wonder if anyone else had this experience, that is the spaths convinced them or even themselves that they didn’t behave the way others do because they have that strong faith that others don’t. Or maybe they called it something else that seems appealing like, “strength” or something. Would love to know if anyone else has seen or experienced this.

msconfused

My whole family (mother, father and sisters) are like that in some way. They’re brainwashed Jehovah Witnesses. Especially my mother who ‘controls the family’s strings’ is a major narcissist who is never wrong and if proven wrong, she will do or say anything to prove herself right no matter how wrong it may be or seem.

Barb

If you knew the girl’s parents (the psychopath from my youth) it would not surprise you that she was callous and cruel.

Her father walked into her third grade classroom room, grabbed her hand, and walked her out of there. The third grade teacher was well known to me and my family, and she had related this story to my mother many many years ago. The girl’s family lived only three houses down from this teacher.

Did this father remove his daughter because he did not want said teacher to ‘figure out’ something…like about he and his wife? That they were very different and conniving people? That he was the ‘son of a bitch’ in that neighborhood? His daughter was too superior for the likes of said teacher?

Even when I examined seemingly innocent astrology reports on these people the results are ‘chilling’ (words like ‘cunning’, ‘manipulative’, ‘highly deductive reasoning…’) do not show up in other reports on more ‘normal’ people that I have seen.

This man was brilliant and knew it. He liked to remind you that it was a ‘good thing he was an engineer.’ Hello? Good thing to be a teacher too, buddy.

daughterofone

This is my first time posting here…so hello everyone!

The letter from the psychopath is chilling. I love how AnnettePK terms it “word salad.” Notice how P’s twist words or use a bunch of words to confuse and distract from the real issue. When this guy gets off on the tangent about money ”“ what does that have to do with the issue at hand? Word salad, for sure!

One thing is true with P’s ”“ there is always a disconnect between their words and their actions. Words are only used to manipulate and control others. They have no meaning to the P. Yet they know that to us normal, or gullible folks, words do matter. We expect actions to follow the words. And our emotions betray us and create the perfect environment in which they can inflict pain, hurt, guilt, and duty. That is how they hook us back into their lives. We just can’t believe this person is really “that bad” right? Surely there must be something redeeming about them.

My father (actually my adoptive father ”“ not blood related) is a psychopath. My mother divorced him when I was 15 ”“ oh happy day, we were finally free. Only later did I realize that she was free, but I was not. I’ve had to deal with him ever since. And now that he’s retired, he is particularly bored with life and coming around a lot more. I have no contact with him and it’s been that way for 8 years, except for a brief contact we had last summer. He had been hospitalized and had his girlfriend call me. He never allowed us to talk, so it surprised and alarmed me when she called. I figured this was “the” call. She is Pilipino with a strong accent that is hard to understand, so I never got the full picture of what was wrong with him. No one did. Dad was always weird about his health. It’s like it was a weakness to admit you had health issues. And now I see that as an older man, he has realized that he can use health issues to manipulate and control. But I soon realized after 3 phone calls that he did not want to talk about his health issues. To him, he won me back and that was all he was after. I quickly realized my mistake and went no contact again, this time even stricter. I blocked his phone number and will not open cards and letters from him.

Everyone that knew my father described him as odd, tense and detached. He always looked like he was somewhere else. He had an odd sense of humor too and forced his laughter. What he did find funny was usually very cruel types of things. Basically, no one really liked him or enjoyed being around him. My mom was wooed by him because he said all the right things. Then the day after the wedding, Mr. Hyde showed up. She tried to leave him when I was a year old and he won her back after relentless pursuits. He trapped her into staying by controlling the money and not letting her work for many years. She was his prisoner and it wasn’t until years later that she had to go work that she started to find her strength and voice and finally leave him for good.

Here’s an interesting story that happened when my brother and I were young adults. When my grandmother (dad’s mother) died, we flew to CA for the services. My brother and I and my husband stayed at a hotel and made arrangements to meet dad at a beautiful ocean view restaurant for dinner during our trip. He had not physically seen either of us kids in over 5 years. When we left the funeral, I told him he could come to the hotel at a given time and we could visit before dinner. But if we missed him, I would leave him a note at the hotel desk, explaining when to be at the restaurant on the arranged night. We had some site seeing to do and souvenirs to buy for my step-daughter. Dad even tried to control this. But we insisted on our plans, which I’m sure hacked him off. So, the next night came, he didn’t show, and I left the note with the desk clerk. My note was scribbled on a small scrap of paper and I had to abbreviate a lot. When he arrived late (he was never on time for anything), he was obviously mad. After we all sat down at our table, he pulls out the crumpled note and reads it to the whole table and tries to get my husband, whom he had just met for the first time, to agree that the note was confusing and that was why he was late. My husband just stated that it didn’t seem that confusing to him. Not the right response. So, he kept going on and on about it ad-nauseum and tried to get my brother to agree with him. Finally, I had had enough and spoke up and said it didn’t matter anymore and couldn’t we just move on and enjoy the evening. Basically, I shut him down. We all ordered wine, but he refused. He was struggling financially, so we offered to pay for his meal and told him to order whatever he wanted. He refused again and ordered the cheapest thing and would not let us pay. His pride had already been wounded and he would not allow it to happen again that evening. But during the meal we were laughing and telling stories and enjoying ourselves; that is, all of us but dad. I realized that his mind was reeling and that his far away look meant that he was trying to think 2 or 3 paces ahead of where we all were in the conversation of the moment. He had never dealt with us kids as adults and he soon came to realize he no longer had the upper hand. He was pissed off and was thinking of ways to get control. It never happened that night. But that didn’t stop him”he would later just regroup and figure out how to get it. He did so off and on for years until we had enough and we both have gone no contact.

So, the disconnect between words and actions I was talking about earlier”..
He would use a method called “love bombing” with lots of flowery words and “I love yous” and such. Every card he sends is mushy and he underlines or double underlines the sentimental lines of the card. I would love to have a professional analysis of his cards done because not only does he underline words, the envelope is carefully put together too. He will take a ruler and draw lines to write on and he will print meticulously. He signs the cards the same way every time as well, whether the card is to me or my brother. And it’s more love bombing text ”“ “I’m so proud of you” “I love you” blah blah.

Then there were his voicemail messages. These would cycle from love bombing messages with about 6 or more “I love yous” in them, to the guilt message, “I don’t know what I’ve done and why you won’t call me back,” to demanding messages, “I am tired of this, I’ve called and called”call me back!” Then it would cycle back to love bombing.

I have so many stories that I could fill up my own blog with them. But the question of do they know what they are still remains. In my case, I don’t think my dad knows the official diagnosis of why he behaves and thinks the way he does. He’s been to counselors over the years and bragged to my mother that he was smarter than them and knew their tricks and fooled them. So, sometimes I wonder if maybe he does know or at least suspects his condition. I do believe that he (they) are fully aware of their actions and they are very calculated and intentional people. I’ve even suspected my dad of writing down details of conversations and keeping notes. His memory of past events was just too good. This would be in keeping with his law enforcement training. My dad told my brother one time that if people were stupid enough to be taken, then he would be stupid not to take them. Pretty telling, right?

Jay Em

Hi, although this is my first post here I have been reading Lovefraud for some time. I wonder if someone could clarify this statement for me, please – “Dr. Hare doesn’t believe anyone should be called “a psychopath.” Instead, he says a person with this disorder should be described according to his or her score on the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), the test he developed to measure an individual’s traits and symptoms” – I ask because my spath, upon self evaluation, rated a 32 out of 40 according to the PCL-R, which I understand is considered in the severe category. My question is if he is not called a severe spath what would he be called?

With thanks,
Jay

star_al

AnnettePK, I am in Australia, in a smaller city where there are many psychopaths. I think it’s because it’s easy to become powerful here and because it’s a family-centric, wholesome community, the masks are easy to wear.

It hasn’t just been my parents and brother. My grandparents, 7 aunties and uncles, many cousins. My entire female friendship group from school. Later my bosses and colleagues. Now in my dance groups. All craving attention and power.

So I have had few non-disordered people around me and am probably still somewhat in a state of denial about exactly who these people are because my bond to them formed my personality and coping skills, my own personal culture. But I can say that I’ve always felt alone and self-managing, and they always praised and encouraged me for that. It felt like they were helping but in reality were probably avoiding getting caught for what they were doing to me.

I think in the US, an extroverted persona is more expected and so masks are commonplace. The competition to sell etc. But psychopaths hide easily because in order to identify them, the observer needs to be extremely self aware. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you are not relying on them for any of your self-esteem. Then when they try, you will notice what they are doing. One of my dance instructors is very clever at being the motherly, non-judgemental type. Over time, I noticed she was encouraging us by “humourous” yet degrading comments to perform at a level lower than the dancers could. Her tactics are to use the “give to the community” mentality to make people do things for her for free. It’s all about family and love, yet she is giving nothing back.

We need to be people that are willing to challenge without guilt. When I have challenged what is happening with certain psychopaths, I am accused by them and others of being a troublemaker. I am told I’m paranoid, mentally ill and imagining things that aren’t there. So I don’t recommend too much of this if you are not sure of getting support. Just be aware of what’s going on but don’t stress yourself too much. Hang back and wait for others to notice the confusing parts of their behaviour. I have found those that brush it off are usually psychopaths too. Those that don’t question are usually living lives in which they are not being honest with themselves; they are putting on an act.

I will say the damage was done by me believing in spirituality, that all happens for a reason and trusing, and the self-help mentality of expecting nothing from anyone. Both of these philosophies were manipulated by these people to cover up what they were doing to me. To make me think I did not deserve to expect anything from them, these were all normal processes of becoming an independent adult, and I had to forgive them and accept what they had done. Our social norms allow psychopaths to thrive because we DON’T ASK QUESTIONS. We make far too many assumptions to keep the peace so as not to appear rude or judgemental. and the Ps PLAY ON THIS. We need to be proud to have standards. It’s important to be judgemental sometimes, because you simply can’t trust some people and you need to protect yourself. The psychopath knows what kind of life you are looking for and makes you think that the only thing standing between you and that reality is YOU. It’s not true! It’s THEM.

NOw I get delayed rushes of anger but they are short-lived, probably because in my childhood they were suppressed by all authorities I trusted. I am coming to terms with the fact that I still love my parents for what they helped me with. At times when the world was irrational and unfair, they provided a logical explanation to guide me so I could focus on what would bring me success. That is the best they could do. Any time it came to respecting my rights, if it clashed with their power, I had no chance. The only thing they truly care about is not being discovered.

Scientifically I think we need to advance and tackle this issue. Psychopathy is a disability. The kids need to be identified early and managed but people are just too afraid to be open about it. I say these people are ill and we may as well talk about it, but just don’t expect the psychopaths to help you. I think they can live lives where they are useful. But in the end, even they realise they probably should not be around anybody.

I think psychopathy is so common that many things we describe as “human nature” are probably attributable to under-cover psychopaths. The way you notice is that these people are focused on functioning and fun. Not values. A conversation with them never leads to true closeness. Life is an academic study to them and so they can talk but never experience. You always feel the pace is not like your own and you are always confused and slightly out of control. They cannot be relied on.

It is probably not helpful that we panic about the illness but just don’t feel guilty about walking away. All of the stuff they say is completely fake – they are just making life comfortable for themselves. It is hard to realise that the golden ticket they were offering away from life’s pain is not real. But it’s a relief to know that the things they dramatise as being faults of ours or threatening things about the world are really just life and we are not to blame and don’t need to fix them.

I’m glad for this website and I hope in the next decade that the word “psychopath” is as commonplace as “Down’s Syndrome” or any other disability, because that is exactly what it is. I hope for the time when I don’t have to (as I do now) defend myself or hide because I’ve spoken out. We as a society need to say “this is not acceptable” and “these people cannot be forgiven or remedied”.

AnnettePK

Thanks for sharing your observations, and your thoughts on solving the Psychopath problem. I think many victims are struggling so much with our individual problems we don’t look at the big picture on a global scale.

A big difference between the disorder of Psychopathy and something like Down’s or Autism, is that that Psychopath is a pathological liar on every level; and his motives differ from the rest of us. Someone with the diagnosis of Down’s or Autism is like everyone else but with a disability. Psychopaths are profoundly different than others at a deeper level. It makes a solution difficult.

You are capable of loving your parents, but so sad that you received no love from them. That is tough for a child to endure.

Delores

A great article and post. I agree that there are many more psychopaths than currently estimated. It took me a long, long time to see one for what he really was/is but now I can almost pick them out of a crowd. If they are smart, they can be very successful in government jobs, teachers, big business, law, politics and even the ministry. The usually look “too good to be true” because they are deliberate actors and can hide, deny or lie about their faults to friends, associates and the public. They belong to the Chamber of Commerce, go to church regularly and are socialites. Psychopathy is becoming more visible to society now with the finding out of “the good coach/child molester”, the holy man/child molester, the policeman/wife abuser, the lawyer/child abuser, the politician/rapist. Unfortunately, people do not want to believe it, law does not want to prosecute them and they still get away with it much of the time.

truth7

So true, the psychopath leads a double life. They are self aware and deliberate in their actions. Psychopaths have calculated agendas to manipulate good hearted and trusting people. One can present as a caring charitable good parent, and yet schemes and plans how to take advantage of others in hurtful ways. I caught my father in a web of deceit and lies. His criminal background and fraudulent behaviors were revealed. I poked holes in his “stories,” because I have documents stating the truth. He knew he could no longer con his loving and forgiving daughter. Once I exposed him and confronted him with the truth, he laughed then became enraged, and said he never wanted to talk again. He did me a favor!

Delores

A great article and posts. I agree that there are many more psychopaths than currently estimated. It took me a long, long time to see one for what he really was/is but now I can almost pick them out of a crowd. If they are smart, they can be very successful in government jobs, teachers, big business, law, politics and even the ministry. The usually look “too good to be true” because they are deliberate actors and can hide, deny or lie about their faults to friends, associates and the public. They belong to the Chamber of Commerce, go to church regularly and are socialites. Psychopathy is becoming more visible to society now with the finding out of “the good coach/child molester”, the holy man/child molester, the policeman/wife abuser, the lawyer/child abuser, the politician/rapist. Unfortunately, people do not want to believe it, law does not want to prosecute them and they still get away with it much of the time.

catnoch

Recently I read an article that 1 in 25 are psychopathic. Also read an article by psychologists who declare those who hold positions as CEO’s and Politicians are mostly psychopathic. But nothing is worse than having your heart stomped on by a psychopath whether a lover or a parent. Because the Psychopath has no heart and lacks empathy the unsuspecting victim has no idea. The Psychopath acts without remorse leaving many injured parties.

Because I am just coming off a short lived relationship with a psychopath who I believe I studied fairly well, I am hoping to write a story and have it published to help others who may fall victim to a psychopath. I had originally diagnosed this individual as a sociopath until after a few weeks later I realized I was dealing with a psychopath. I had so many voicemail messages that could clearly determine his psychopathic behavior.

This individual wanted to take ownership over me without investing anything. He told me he loved me within a few days and this certainly a red flag. The entire time spent with this man was hideous whether on the telephone or in person. I was so taken in by his charm as he was extremely mesmerizing.

I too am glad this page exists to share information.

flicka

Excellent observations and suggestions, Star al. Peaceful holiday wishes to you.

Delores

Their cold inattention and lack of concern can be unfathomably painful even when they are not overtly curel. Like Flica, I am and many of us who are emapths, having heightened empathy. It makes us vulnerable and they know to target us for our loving goodness which they see as naivety and translate as TARGET. I notice some of you referring to a P as being mine or my. I learned not do that but use the term THE P and I often refer to them as creatures rather than human beings. It helps me separate myself from any connection whatsoever to him/them and that gives me some feeling of peace. They are not mine even if I married them or gave birth to them. I suggest we all disown them from our very being by never referring to them as ours.

still reeling

Delores, I agree and also use the term “creature”, as well monster, individual, thing, it, being, etc. If I say he or him or my, it’s by mistake. The creature I had the misery of knowing does not deserve to be known as he or him or my or person or anything vaguely human. As well, as you said, using “my” connects this hideous individual to me and that is an unhealthy thing for me and for any of us to do. Disconnect and disown and don’t bring them closer by inference. The spell they cast makes vulnerables want them to be what we thought they were, but in reality they are inhuman hunks of skin and blood and bone with a sick mind. If it were possible to “see” what they really looked like it would be like a sci fi flick where a normal or above average person yanks off their “costume” to reveal a hideous monster underneath. All should keep that in mind.

When I would react to some outrageous, inconsistent, incongruous, unfeeling thing the monster would say or do, it would say, “I’m complicated.” I would say, “Really? I was thinking more along the lines of psychotic.” This, of course, before I realized what was really going on. I had no idea what could cause this erratic, sick behavior and felt compelled to make excuse after excuse. It truly was like being in a trance.

catnoch

Remember to not take this behavior personally. We are dealing with an individual with a mental problem. Similar to dealing with someone who is drunk. Except most drunks have feelings and are caring. We just sometimes cannot communicate with them even if we believe we are. The psychopath is so narcissistic they seldom know you are even speaking let alone care what you are saying.

flicka

Yes, these people are sick but it’s very difficult not to take it personally when they wantonly and utterly DESTROY one life after another.

AnnettePK

What they do to us is extremely personal, yet I recognize that my ex P would have (and did) treat anyone else the same way he treated me if he had the opportunity and if it suited his exploitive purposes to do so. In that way, his abuse of me is because of who he is, not who I am. In that way, it wasn’t personal because to him I could have been anyone.

Erdelyi

Sociopaths often exclaim: “So…you think I’m a sociopath or something?” Or even “I’m sociopathic- I’m not Charlie Manson!” (Honest.) and even a flippant “big deal I’m sociopathic!” (Meaning: don’t expect me to change or do anything about it!) Some people substitute “borderline” and even the meaningless “crazy”.

MOST spaths KNOW. And they don’t CARE that YOU know either! Though they may loose you- they just move on to the next target.

Spaths really are PROUD of their accomplishments gained from their sociopathic behaviour. I think they all realize that their high opinion of themselves, of superiority to their victims at a very young age. Their obviousness is the only thing that changes as they get older. As they become “more successful” at targeting the right “victim” they grow bolder and the lies may get bigger and more unbelieveable.

One thing is true, sadly- if their routine didn’t work for them, if MOST potential targets told them to get lost and most “partners” dumped them at the very first discovered lie….they might go live in a cave (sic) and not bother anyone (since, emotionally, they don’t need anyone). This will never happen because “normal” people, even suspicious normal people will always give a spath the benefit of the doubt, and countless “second chances”.

BTW- ever see the battle between TWO spaths trying to get the better of each other? You never will. Spaths aren’t roosters- they won’t “fight” fair. Once a spath recognises another spath- they run like hell!

daughterofone

You are right, emotionally they don’t “need” anyone. But in order to practice their craft they need targets, toys, us. They become very bored and unsettled without their toys. We’d all be better off if they would go and form a commune in the mountains and stay there. That would be an implosion of egos, huh?

And yep, I’ve given countless second chances and benefit of the doubt. We all do, I suppose. I’ve never seen two of them come to blows though – that would be interesting to witness.

They do run for the hills when they’ve been discovered though. Or rather in my case, in dealing with a former pastor who was one, once he realized we knew his deal, he dismissed us (husband was on staff).

kellymill

They know because they know how to do it! They know because they do it in a manner which cant be detected. A normal human couldnt manage the crafted and cunning tactics of a Path for the longterm. When others say “how can that be true, he is so nice, intelligent, etc.” Therein lies the answer. Of course he is nice and appears so rational in public, anything else would appear less than perfection.

flicka

I like your reasoning regarding whether or not P’s know what they’re doing-what they are; it makes sense! Thank you Kellymill.

Linette

Absolutely the ONLY way I won even a 6 month restraining order against mine was because I documented and saved EVERYTHING. He was always sending emails and those were ultimately what won it for me. It is very true that a LOT of judges fall for their tactics in the same way others do, because they are so good at pretending to be what they are not.

sykntyrd

IMO, many judges ARE psychopaths – – their omnipotence and the fact they can’t be sued for willful and intentional misconduct etc., creates the perfect ‘hiding place’ to practice their craft.

star_al

MsConfused I’m glad you found the descriptions useful.

I have learned that I am very different to other people from having been raised and surrounded by psychopaths my whole life. Most people say I am very mature, calm, articulate and witty.

Most of these attributes are from intellectual psychopaths and also having been abused, having nobody sane around and having to grow up very fast.

I am not sure about the not being loved Annette. They don’t feel a selfless love in the sense that they are naturally inclined to give without receiving. But whether they were acting or not, they would self-check and then check on me. Like a computer. In this way I at times had a lot of power. Things could be on my terms. I didn’t know they were psychopaths but the message I got was they are “different to me” they are “more mischievous than me” and “I am still respected for being who I am”.

The happy medium we reached was respecting each other as different but I had to take COMPLETE responsibility for my life and expect nothing from them other than food and shelter, at a very young age.

But when I am comparing psychopathy to a disability, it’s not not self-submerge in anger and angst over what is really out of their control. They are simply born without the tools to make what we have. And what is the point in getting angry? Yes it is important to get angry at abuse to validate yourself because it is wrong,and to not put yourself in harm’s way. BUT, psychopathy is still caused by a brain without the building blocks for empathy, emotion and love. So everything I received was done without those building blocks and so was unnatural for them. And this makes me appreciate it. Whether they were exploiting me, I’m not sure. But I really enjoyed a lot of our time together and what they were able to give. They will never be like me but they influenced me in really amazing ways. The awful thing to swallow is that I have holes inside because they cannot play traditional family roles that they should. But that is just what I got in life. The hardest thing as well is explaining why I’m an orphan now when they are still alive. I chose to leave because it was too hard to live my own truth and theirs at the same time. It’s easier when you’re a kid and you just want to have fun with no expectations.

I don’t want victims to go through what I did and think horrible thoughts for years and years and take on the psychopath’s view of the world. That’s what I did. I think they try to pull you down because they hate themselves so much that they want misery company. I am a person who doesn’t want to remain bitter because of this. And admitting to myself that they are ill helps a lot.

We don’t want to treat them as though they are healthy people who have made the choice to behave that way. Althought they do know right from wrong, they don’t truly know it as we do. If they had the full emotional experience, they would be deterred from behaving that way as we are. If we treat them as though they chose this life, it means we take the behaviour personally and it affects us badly. I know my personality and nature have changed for the worse because my expectation of the psychopaths were that they behave like empathic people. It’s just not possible for them.

It’s better to accept their limits. Horrible as the expression of this illness is, I really do not blame them anymore. What made it difficult was the firm authority they take when they speak and act. But they are just trying to get their needs met and to them it’s fine. It’s like if you’re in a foreign country and don’t understand the language or gestures, and were never going to be able to understand, you’d just give up with niceties and go straight for what you need. That’s what I think psychopaths are doing and they have no idea of the meaning of the pain they cause.

I know my mum knew I was in pain. But it was always a distant concept to her. She knew it was bad and she should help me. But she always had to ask how. And never knew how long I was going to take to get over it and why I might be tired and then happy. Emotional processes are total mysteries to them. I really think that when society is more open about psychopathy then they will have support to make some kind of social roles for them with boundaries. But it takes understanding them and doing so without taking the same meanings from their behaviour as if an empathic person behaved that way. Because they really do not assign meanings. They just want something when they want it and the hows and whys and meanings are all confusing for them. They actually become really distressed trying to work it all out.

I think I know about 50 psychopaths – non-criminals – with my ex-boyfriends being among the most hurtful. The reason I am so comfortable is of course because I continue playing the role of my childhood. I also like how they get straight to the point and we can have an open and honest conversation. While I don’t like their behaviour and don’t continue contact, psychopathy is a reality and panicking about it is not going to help. We need to arm ourselves with personal tools and I think this website is absolutely fantastic in sharing information about the traits and how to handle it. I don’t think anyone who has fallen in love should blame themselves. After all, many of them are loveable and hilarious and fun! But the experience does perhaps make you appreciate yourself a lot more. “Thank God I am not like that” and “Thank God I can love.”

I know my family have done atrocious things to me but even as a little girl I understood they were doing it because they felt pain and had to transfer it immediately. That was how they dealt with it. They also didn’t like me being different and therefore out of their control, so I had to act predictable to calm them down. The best thing to do is look objectively at how they think and accept you will never connect because it is so different.

daughterofone

I have seen a few posts in here where victims of P’s talk about being diagnosed with PTSD. My brother went through some therapy a few years ago and was told he had PTSD from our P father. I’ve not been through therapy myself, unless you count self-therapy. I am curious, how many of you have been told you have PTSD from your P experience? I am afraid this may be more common than I thought.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Donna,

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these line: “I would like to boast of my strategic victories over hearts but I would fear you making another video and making this game more difficult, of course it would make it much more challenging and pleasurable when enjoying the hunt.”

This is why we must have an online presence exposing pyschopathy. I am forever indebted to PB who exposed the spath of my aquaint’ online. I would NEVER have known who the spath really was, or have been able to put together th epieces of the grand con. I may have looked over my shoulder in fear for decades because I didn’t realize that the spath lived faraway from me and was a lazy/vastly superior person who was never going to come after me in 3D.

I also know that PB’s website has linked people and thwarted other other cons the spath has tried.

YAY US!!!

star_al

May I ask for your opinions.. do you think it is completely essential to cut off all psychopaths from your life?

I cut out my 15 close family and relatives because not expecting them to play real roles kept me angry, grief-stricken and vulnerable to more attacks. Every single boss I’ve had in 3 workplaces has been a psychopath. It is inherent in my field (media) and my second field (dance) in my city, basically the leader of every group I am a part of is a psychopath. I don’t know if it’s something in the water here but the seem to follow me.

I know experts say you can work with them with boundaries, but because I know how they work so well I know they already have me worked out in the first minutes. If I suddenly change my act then they’re on to me. I feel constantly on surveillance and so need to keep up my caffeine intake to have the energy to be on the defence.

A lot of my former friends were psychopaths too and I’ve cut them out, so it’s been traumatic. I feel like my world was wiped away by a tsunami and I’m an orphan and refugee with nothing to prove it. But that’s what has happened. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone close to me who wasn’t a psychopath. A lot of share houses I’ve been in have had psychos. I don’t know if I believe in God but if there is one, he wants me to suffer a hell of a lot!

Do you think a zero-contact policy is essential tot he point where you would avoid careers or career moves to avoid them? Or are they a fact of life and we have to accept they are all around but work hard to block them out?

flicka

Wonderful question! And one I have pondered myself. I feel that our compassionate characters do attract psychotics and therefore we must always be wary. For our own happiness we probably need to eliminate them completely from our lives. However, if climbing the ladder of success in our professions becomes a striving goal, then I do think we have to succumb to a certain extent to their power as they are very prominent in all walks of life. Exceptions do exist i.e. perhaps Mandela, Gates, SAS founder, Elizabeth Warren etc, but they are relatively few. Personally I would rather be surrounded by like minded people than reach for the heights in professions. So it may be up to you to answer your own question depending on where your happiness lies. May you find peace within yourself.

catnoch

For the last two months I was involved with what I determine a socio/psychopath. At first of course he was very charming as most psychopaths. But, after a few days I realized he was not right. Each time I resigned to move away and distance myself I found myself pulled in closer and closer. The roller-coaster ride was an experience that I simply could not easily walk away from. I wanted to take a closer look at this individual and see just how far he would go to try to get what he wanted. On the second date he asked if I could give him a million dollars. I was shocked and could not believe my ears. I told him I found that to be insulting and walked away from him. He then said he was joking of course.

I examined his behavior for two months and now of course I have had enough. Through all of this I had to question my behavior. Why did I not immediately walk away? Again because he was very charming, he knew how to smooth things over and I was very lonely. I knew he was manipulating me, but I knew I would only allow what I was willing to allow.

This psychopath I learned had a wife of 38 years and a girlfriend of 5 years. He wanted me to fit into that equation.

Reading the email from the client puts it into perspective nicely and a very clear assessment of the mind of a psychopath.

Catherine

skid

RE: personality disorders, or as he calls them, character disorders.

That is not correct. Dr. Simon makes a clear distinction between the two types of disorders.

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