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What happens when we fail to take action against bad behavior

A few articles in the news recently illustrate a disturbing failure in that can be seen in a multitude of situations throughout society. These cases are from the U.S., but I imagine the pattern applies just about anywhere.

In Dallas, Texas, Antoine Flowers, hired for a top information technology post at Dallas City Hall, resigned after four months on the job. Two weeks later, he was arrested for stealing and pawning $10,000 worth of the city’s iPads.

The real question is how he got hired in the first place. Flowers’ resume stated that he’d worked as a software engineer at NASA, was a college education director and had served in the Army, with top-secret clearances. This did not raise any eyebrows at City Hall, even though he was only 26 years old, and no one checked his references. Needless to say, his entire resume was fabricated. Read:

Series of failures at Dallas City hall led to IT manager scandal, on DallasNews.com.

Rutgers basketball coach

Last week, ESPN aired videos showing the Rutgers University men’s basketball coach, Mike Rice, verbally and even physically abusing his players. The clips show him shoving players, throwing basketballs at them, and yelling homophobic slurs. (This is the same college where a student used a webcam to post video of his roommate kissing another man on the Internet. The roommate jumped off a bridge and died.)

What’s disturbing is that university officials knew about the coach’s abusive behavior long before last week. The video was compiled by a former assistant coach, Eric Murdock. Murdock’s lawyer sent a letter alleging the abusive behavior to Rutger’s officials last July. After repeated requests, Murdock was finally able to get officials to watch the video in November.

At that point, Rutgers commissioned lawyers to investigate and write a report. The lawyers found that Rice was indeed abusive. So the coach was fined, suspended for three games and ordered to attend anger management classes. He was not fired until last week, after the videos were broadcast on national television. Read:

Rutgers officials long knew of coach’s actions, on NYTimes.com.

Colorado theater shooting

On July 20, 2012, during the midnight showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman entered a packed movie theater with guns blazing. In the end, 12 people were dead and 58 injured. James Holmes was arrested outside the theater minutes later.

Court documents made public last week showed that a psychiatrist treating Holmes, Dr. Lynne Fenton, had warned campus police at the University of Colorado, Denver, a month before the shooting that Holmes was dangerous and had homicidal thoughts. A search warrant affidavit stated:

“Dr. Fenton advised that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made.”

Campus police deactivated Holmes’ university access card. It’s unclear if any other action was taken. Read:

Documents: Psychiatrist warned James Holmes was dangerous, on USAToday.com.

In each of these cases, not enough action was taken to address situations that needed to be addressed. Dallas city officials did not investigate an improbable resume and ended up hiring a thief. Rutgers officials did not fire a man who should not have been in a position of authority over students and it turned into a national scandal. No one reacted to a blunt warning about James Holmes and 12 people died.

Why was so little done?

The Dallas case is easiest to explain. If Antoine Flowers brazenly submitted a resume filled with outrageous lies, got the job, and within months stole from his employer, I’m willing to bet that he’s a sociopath. So he probably aced the interview, sweet talked any women involved in the process, and brown-nosed his superiors. We all know how sociopaths do it.

In the Rutgers case, university officials were more worried about lawsuits than protecting students. The lawyers investigated whether Coach Rice created a “hostile work environment,” which would mean that other Rutgers employees could sue and win. The college also wanted to know if the assistant coach had been wrongfully terminated. The lawyers cleared Rutgers on both of these issues, but added that Rice “did ‘cross the line.'”

“These improper actions,” the report added, “constitute grossly demeaning behavior directed at players, and occasionally at coaches, that do not appear necessary to build a high quality basketball program or to build a winning Division I basketball team.”

And the theater shooting? It seems to reflect the limitations of law enforcement in the U.S., and probably in other countries as well. As many Lovefraud readers have discovered, there’s little the police can do to prevent a crime, even when someone is known to be dangerous. Police can only act after a crime has been committed.

Reasons for failure to act

Failure to act in the face of wrongdoing, danger or evil is nothing new. For example, the fact that Adolph Hitler was rounding up Jews was widely reported by the media long before the U.S. entered World War II. Many people knew what was going on, but few took any action to either protect Jews or stop Hitler.

I believe there are basic reasons for our collective failure to act when action is appropriate.

First of all, as a society, we don’t acknowledge, or even recognize, that evil exists. We’re told that “there’s good in everyone,” “deep down we’re all the same,” “everyone makes mistakes,” “everyone deserves a second chance” and “we all just want to be loved.” Society does not tell us that there are exceptions to these platitudes. As many as 12 percent of the population are sociopaths—social predators who live their lives by exploiting others. Most of us didn’t know anything about sociopaths until we were personally targeted.

Secondly, taking action against bad behavior usually requires confrontation. Confrontation is at best, uncomfortable, and at worst, dangerous. Most of us would much rather avoid confrontation. In fact, probably the only people who enjoy confrontation are sociopaths.  They, of course, are the ones causing the problems.

There are other reasons why we do not act. We may feel that the problem is too big, and we’re too small, so there’s nothing we can do. We may fear —legitimately fear—repercussions or retaliation. We may simply want to mind our own business.

Sooner rather than later

Unfortunately, not acting tends to enable bad behavior to grow. Ignoring or downplaying the first hints of a problem often means that when we finally have no choice but to take action, the situation is bigger, messier, more costly and even more dangerous.

Trying to overcome our tendency towards inaction is like trying to change basic human nature. Usually, we’d just rather not get involved. Unfortunately, this is what enables sociopaths to wreak so much destruction.

I’m not asking anyone to go out and change the world. But I think we should pay attention to our own little slivers of the world, to the people and events in our own lives. And when we see trouble, we should take action sooner rather than later—even if the action is simply to extricate ourselves from the situation.

Many of us probably wish we had done exactly that regarding our encounters with a sociopath. It may be too late to address the past, but I hope we can remember this lesson for the future.


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38 Comments on "What happens when we fail to take action against bad behavior"

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Thank You Donna for this reminder!!!! I feel VERY strongly about our need to become involved at whatever level we can to stop hurtful actions by others… with our time our talent and even though most of us dont have a lot of treasure, our ability to advocate with the voice of experience.
I have mentioned this before… I volanteer at the local DA’s office advocating for victims. Many times I have to clarify that an individual who is in the system for the fourth time for assault, does not need more resources to get thier life together…they need to be isolated from decent folk and assistance be granted to the actual victim. The only reason I am even given a little bit of credibility when I say that is because the police in my comunity have known me for 20+ years!!
I do believe there is greater awareness of the increase in psychopathic behaviours…all we can do is keep the flow of information about the disorder as front and center as we can. And avoid being NON judgemental…Heck I would say lets bring good old fashioned shame back into our societal fabric!!!

thank you so much for this article donna….really sends home the message that there are people out there who have no regard for human life or for how they treat their fellow human beings..

and yes your right…it may be too late for us to change our past…..but its not to late for us to effect the lives of others and send the message out there about sociopaths…

when you said donna………Unfortunately, not acting tends to enable bad behavior to grow. Ignoring or downplaying the first hints of a problem often means that when we finally have no choice but to take action, the situation is bigger, messier, more costly and even more dangerous…

your so right……….i wish i had done something at the very beginning when i noticed my ex was lying but i didnt so i excepted bad behaviour cause i didnt want a conflict..i didnt want to have to face the painful truth that i was being lied to….if a person will lie to you about small things…….how can you believe the big things ….and then if they lie to you about the big things you cant believe a word they ever say after that……

and yes donna i hope we can remember this lesson about the future.that we need to take action and not put up with bad behaviour of any kind in our life…..!

I was a whistleblower involving a dangerous national situation. I worked at a college. When I first began to notice problems, I had transferred from one campus to another. A sociopath administrative assistant was very open and flamboyant about the fact that she was breaking the law….every day all day. I spent months being terrorized literally. This woman did a kind of flirting with both men and women that I had never seen before. She would gush out compliments, practically lie the entire front of her body on men’s desks while taking “dictation.”

I had been sexually harassed when I was younger. I had witnessed both men and women behaving inappropriately at work. I had never seen anything like this woman. But, it didn’t take me long to see right through her. She would compliment all of the women in odd ways. IE: On my birthday, she asked how old I was. I told her 40 and she said, “OH! Don’t tell the other women. They would be so JEALOUS because you look so much younger.” I would overhear her giving everyone in the office this kind of phony nonsense. I also noticed that she spent hours away from her desk often in the office of our supervisor’s supervisor with the door closed. It was as though I was the only one who could see how phony she was. Maybe I am better at seeing it in women? I don’t know.

I was surrounded by people who considered themselves “good.” They seemed like nice enough people. They talked about the paperwork rules, they seemingly followed protocol at work and in life, they discussed their churches, etc. However, almost every single one of them took gifts from foreign students for questionable/illegal “favors” or to look the other way. When gifts were offered to me, I went to every office and tried to talk sense into people with golden camels, foreign jewelry, entire bookshelves and desks littered with “gifts” from these students who were seriously harmful people.

I am the one who gathered evidence. I am the one who talked to the news man (a spath who turned my life upside down!). I am the one who called the authorities even having one ask me “what my husband thought” when I told him I was scared to go to work.

Well, I was right. These men were killers and dangerous. The college made a lot of money off of them. I was terrorized until I demanded a transfer back to my old campus…where I was treated like a pariah. I was told my many nice people that I “caused trouble” in the nicest ways! A LOT of people who do the wrong thing, or nothing, in the face of evil, BELIEVE they are good people. They still have their jobs. They don’t have PTSD. They still believe THEY are good people. They could have saved lives if they had joined me on my quest to find out why these men were here. I am afraid to leave my own home because of all of the GOOD people out there.

All it took was charm, flattery, smiling faces, and gifts to make these good people do everything a large group of sociopaths told them to do…and they continue to live their lives and believe they are good and plan their church picnics when what they really did is aid and abet evil.

I would like to add that colleges are among the most dangerous places in our country. When people get out of prison, they are told they must either go to college or get a job. If your kids are in ANY college or technical school, let them know that they could be sitting right next to an ex-con and no one can tell them. These can include sex offenders. The college doesn’t have to tell you they are there. Campus Police are considered the “jurisdiction” police at a college campus. THEY are not required to contact the real police. Only a victim can contact the real police on his/her own and the campus police will do anything they can to talk your kid out of telling you or the real police. When my niece and nephew went to college, I told them all of this and I told them if anything is suspicious, get out and head out the door to your car. While walking to their cars, students should be aware that there are probably more criminals walking in that parking lot with them than if they were in the toughest side of town. This is especially so with community colleges and tech schools.

Thank you for listening. I grieve all of the time for the safe part of my brain I have lost to a bunch of sociopaths and the “good” people who did nothing or abused me for telling the truth. There really are a lot of them in every area of society and when we stand up to them, even the 99.9% of the “good” ones will watch the evil ones stab you in the back. I think people who are sure they are good, should always look around them and ask themselves, “What am I letting go that is wrong?”

A great reminder for all of us to be vigilant and take steps to remove ourselves from danger and report what we can to protect others! Helping other victims of sociopaths, too, has been a good thing to do. What concerns me is the number of other victims, like myself, who have had no recourse when the paths are protected by the system! One, Rosemary LG, frequently called tip hotlines, buddied up to law enforcement all the time she was stealing from others. One victim was rebuffed rudely by law enforcement for asking for help! So, now the victims won’t come forward because “they believe” the thief!
We sure would appreciate some advice regarding how to manage this type of con/path!

Over the last several months, I have been reaching out to my local domestic violence shelters. I have a new job and cannot take off the mandatory 40 hours for the week long training. I have asked if there is anything else I could do. I have given them my name, contact, and my background.

Instead of allowing me to assist on any level, I have received push back. I have reached out to other domestic abuse shelters TWO hundred miles away and received the same response.

There are times that I feel that folks that are “helping” are actually perpetuating the violence and abuse in our culture. As Imara states above many in within our legal system are interested in giving someone a “pass” that has been convicted four times!

My passion is work within the domestic violence community someday, but my interst is totally in prevention. After my 30 years of suffering in abusive relationships, I have discovered that my first husband suffers from borderline personality disorder and my second is a sociopath. These are both Cluster B personality disorders. My feeling is that the majority of men in our abusive relationships have a Cluster B personality disorder. Mental illness is just not on the radar in our society. Our courts lock them up and then let them out to only commit another offense.

It’s time for more awareness of the role mental illness plays with our violent criminals and abusive marriages. Obviously, collecting shoes and more clothes for women running from these men is a catch 22.

Let’s hope that relating the tales of abuse by psychopaths and others with disordered moral reasoning, and emphasizing the characteristic inherent in all forms of anti-social personality disorder, lack of empathy, will begin to form a societal consciousness about the problem.

By writing about her personal experience, Donna brought the concept into the public eye.

John Quinones’ show, “What Would You Do?” is all about stopping bad behavior. The folks who pass by the problem simply don’t relate, probably because their empathy level is not high enough to cause them concern. Folks who jump in to stop the wrong doing happening in front of them are likely to do so because they empathize with the pain that they witness and wish to bring it to an end.

I was on a plane once in which a father took off his belt and struck his 3 year old child across the face with it. I was the only person in a packed plane that yelled at him to stop. The steward told me to mind my own business and the people around me looked at me like I was nuts.

The wife screamed “He can do anything he wants, he’s his father,” and the man threatened to hit me with the belt. Finally the staff of the plane stepped in, told him to put his belt on, and a sit down.

If there is a specific clue that keeps us safe from people with disordered moral reasoning, it’s their lack of empathy. It’s become the characteristic I look for when befriending a person. The kindness and concern they extend to others, when not receiving reward or attention for doing so, is an indication of how morally intact they are.

janmc,
Law enforcement complains that citizens do not speak up with their knowledge about crimes.It is so sad,but the situation is as you stated,people have lost trust in the so-called ‘law and justice systems’ that have been set up for their protection.Because of this many victims are hurt and lost.An essential question for these systems is “just who are we protecting here?”Until that question is successfully resolved,there will be no trust;no change in the situation.

hope52,
I agree with you that prevention is better than having to take care of the battered and abused.Unfortunately,the grants they receive only cover caring for the abused.For instance,when I left my husband,they regettably told me they could not put me up in the shelter,because the grants they received covered only taking in the physically battered and endangered.They recognized that I was emotionally abused,as well as in other ways,so they invited me back for counseling.I took them up on the offer.They have been so supportive!

Blossom4th,

I understand that that they are 501C organziations, but I am FREE to offer my services to become a speaker for educating women about abusive relationships.

They have not showed any interest. I dont think they are assertive enough with their awareness and education programs. For example, most of the local programs where I live target high school students.

My experience has taught me that most high school students could careless when some 30 something or older person speaks to them about abusive relationships. They are much too busy with their Iphone.

I even reached out to my local University to speak. She told me I was too “old.”

Yeah, there are times when I do believe women are our worst enemy against our fight with abusive men.

Minchoff, I dont know what airline you were travelling on but that passenger was committing a felony onboard.

ANY type of assualt on an American airline is breaking FEDERAL law. Airspace is considered a federal jurisdiction.

I know because I worked for American Airlines for 25 years – first job was a flight attendant.

Federal Marshalls should have met the flight. You did the right thing! I too always speak out about abuse and I have gotten the “looks”. The hell with them. I will always speak out.

in defence of DVRCs( domestic violence resource centers)… Please know that the reason they may not allow you to participate with their clients on a volunteer basis is that as we all know they deal with a very vulnerable population. Thus they carry huge liability. Our local DVRC has a volunteer coordinator who conducts extensive training that all volunteers who work there go through.
Our main responsibility as good citizens is to never ignore overt abuse and to step in to activate a response even at the cost of sounding crazy!!! WE have been conditioned by our experiences to be extra cautious of the “LOOKS”…. The hell with that is right. And I still believe that the concept of shame is an important mechanism of social control.Yes granted the sociopaths do not feel shame, but in order to blend into a kinder society they would have to atleast fake it?? They are the minority of the populous…lets use that to the advancement of the greater good. This cultural norm that we have subscribed to that each person needs only to mind their own business has got us into a lot of hurt. It does take a village to raise a child.

hope52,
I’m truly surprised that the DV shelters didn’t grab you up! I know sometimes people can’t see beyond credentials such as “training”,but I can’t think of any training that’s more superior than the SCHOOL of HARD KNOCKS-LIVING THROUGH ABUSE!

I know that the DV shelter here has gone to the local HS and spoke to them about domestic abuse and date rape.I don’t know what the response was.I think that’s one time when teachers ought to gather up cell phones and Ipads and Iphones.My neice who was a Jr in HS (another state),was almost strangled by her boyfriend.My brother pressed charges and the boy later committed suicide because none of his family wanted him.

Just read Imara’s post and the training does make sense.

Minchoff Joyce,
I’m shocked by what was allowed to occur on that airline!To think that the airline staff “minded their own business” above the welfare of that poor child!!! You certainly were not the nut! Everyone around you was!I hope that child is able to remember what you did that day!

Imara, I understand that local domestic abuse centers must be careful.

If there is some “special” censorship involved in speaking to women or groups about what “abuse” looks like, they have never articulated that policy.

Understand, they wont even TALK to me. I have been to both centers as a client so they have my ENTIRE life on paper. I know they still must be careful, but 911 should get a local officer there pretty quickly.

It has been very disappointing. I have 30 years experience with abuse and I survived to become this incredible wealth of support and knowledge. I am so discouraged that I have asked God to guide me along this path that seems pointless.

I dont know how many of the women that work at these shelters have been in abusive relationships themselves, but they appear to have college degrees in sociology and psychology. Living it is different.

I am now just planning trips with my family to Europe and enjoying my life.

I’ll bet it is a legal thing. They are liable for the lives of abused people and they probably have to enforce the training for all volunteers, even speakers, and have you sign paperwork so they carry no liability. You may have to take a week of vacation and go through their training before you can volunteer.

In the city closest to me, the domestic violence program has teamed up with a program for homeless families and they have included “emotional” and “verbal” abuse on their website. They get all of my donated household goods now. Many experts say that emotional and verbal abuse are just as damaging physically as physical abuse, if not more. I hope you get the training and volunteer. You could save lives.

Hey keep a bag for me to crawl into to go to Europe with you!!( you might have a slight extra weight problem)
But on a more serious note the only way we can really make a difference is with the each one teach one policy. If we have been victimised lets make that commitment to do our best to speak up against control, manipulation, and plain HURTFULNESS.I can just hear OXY saying that just keeping our own boundries tight and effective will further our cause!!!!

Yes! And even if it might cost us our job, we need to always speak up against wrong before moving on to the next job.

Hello: Most of the older LF people know who I am.
I have had a stalker (a dangerous one) for the past 13 years.
I have had my life in danger so many times: I shiver to think.
There has been attempts on my life and so many threats, a person
couldn’t imagine.

I ‘met’ my stalker online. He was in the service, doing 3 back to backs, in the Middle East and Yes:
I am sure he was in the military. And a shame to the unit in which he served, as well. I bet none of them came home and turned into psychopathic stalkers online…

The past four years have been the worse.
I had a near fatal heart attack and two subsequent surgeries in that same time frame, that “IT” was still stalking me, threatening me, etc. I am not one to throw stones at anyone. But I was completely overtaken by the ‘sense of responsibility’ he instilled in me during the mind conditioning. Just amazing that I never saw it coming. Just amazing. I never would, in my wildest imagination, believe that pure evil exists in another human being, until I am past it and looking back: now I see it all and it’s probably more shocking the second time around.

I have been COMPLETELY NC for almost a year now although the stalking only stopped a few weeks ago. He has been spotted in my neighborhood and that’s funny because he doesn’t even live here! He lives far away from me. I have never in my life seen a psychopath before. I used to think my heroin addicted mother, while I was growing up, was a psychopath/sociopath but I don’t think so anymore. She was a drug addict but in every other way normal, although at the time, “I” sure didn’t think so. Knowing “IT” and coming through the experience I have, I absolutely BELIEVE that there ARE people in our world who are spawns of the devil itself. It is up to us to learn how to distinguish them. They come in pretty packages; say all the right things – just don’t ever forget, they are minions of the devil itself.

I am not trying to rain on anyone’s parade: if you are happy and you find happy, that’s great – as for me, this experience has left me completely agoraphobic, to the point I almost can’t function. It has pushed me over the ‘stress’ threshold to the point where I had a VERY SERIOUS HEART ATTACK and almost died.

AND: “IT” gets to walk away laughing?
I don’t think so. For the past year, I have concentrated all my
efforts, strength and energy, on ‘getting better’ and having this become an ‘ugly forgotten part’ of my life. We all make mistakes and get hooked up with the wrong people, from time to time, but, well, THIS ONE – this one, has given me IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE to the point MY LIFE will NEVER be the same again.

My eldest Grand Daughter flew out to visit me, for a week, last week, while on Spring Break. So lovely!!! Haven’t seen her since she was 3 years old and she is now 17! And, just before I hugged her, good bye, it dawned on me, that “I” may never see her again, in this lifetime, although I know she is going to be just fine in life…

I DO directly attribute my shortened lifespan to “IT” – I got all the ’emotional’ and psychological abuse, while his wife (unknown to me at the time..like THE WHOLE TIME) got all the physical battering….

So, I dropped my Grand Daughter off at the airport last Saturday and I came home and balled my eyes out and when I got up, I sat down and filed a complain against “IT” with IC3 which is the Federal Government Bureau for internet safety/threats/complaints..

I didn’t do it with a mean bone in my body.
I did it because IT NEEDED TO BE DONE and I told them I would make available to them, every single shred of proof and all information available and at my disposal.

How’s that for making things right?
Hm?

I am doing fine…still fighting the medical battle and still praying for all of you and wishing you all well.

If you have a creep like this slime bag manipulating your emotions…watch out…
that’s only the beginning of a long and very torturous time period for you UNLESS YOU GET RID OF IT. “Loving It” is not a good enough reason to BLINDSIDE YOUR OWN INTELLIGENCE.

And when you kick it to the curb, do: MAKE A HUGE NOISE: THE BIGGER THE BETTER…THEY ARE BANKING ON OUR FAILURE TO TAKE ACTION: REMEMBER THAT. FLOOD THE AUTHORITIES & DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER, unless you want to end up like me: LOSING THE LAST FIVE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE to ‘something’ and you aren’t even sure “WHAT” that was…

I feel a ‘little’ justification filing my report.
Now maybe we’ll be SOMEWHERE CLOSER TO EVEN.

Please take care of yourselves and do the right things.
Keeping safe and in one piece is of the highest importance
and that also includes your state of mind.

Love to you all ~ Dupey

Dupey,
You’ve been through a harrowing experience!I wish you the best!And it’s heartwarming to read of your reunion with your granddaughter!Think positive of future reunions!

Dupey – wow! Sorry, you have been going thru such a horrible experience! All the more reason for more to speak up and out about mental illness! Best of luck to you!

Fight, you are so right!

I went to a rally in Dallas two weeks ago sponsered by the local abuse center and the Dallas Polic Dept. The purpose of the rally was to bring men into the mix of the struggle against domestic abuse.

Dallas PD receives 13,000 calls per year for domestic abuse. yep, I said 13,000.

The frustration that I feel for our DV folks is that the awareness campaing “sugar coats” some of the red flags of abuse.

ALL abuse first starts with verbal and emotional abuse. Then, after you finally get smacked, all that person really has to do is keep up the emotional abuse. It’s an urban myth that most abusers beat you every day.

I beat that little boy on the airplane didnt utter a word for days. his “daddy” showed him.

Thank you posters for the long distance hugs re: my post.
Just so you can appreciate the ‘amusement’ behind all this:
for the second time since November, I have received a call from
a prison facility. Just after I wrote that post up there…this morning,
in fact…..the crap just never stops; does it?

And..for the second time in equally as long,
I have requested my phone number be taken OFF access.
It has been now blocked in all local county and state prisons.
In my state.

Just one more hole that was trying to spring a leak that I managed
to get sealed up before the dam breaks.

I wish you all love, happiness and endless blessings…

Where are MY HUMAN RIGHTS?

Dupey

A stalker would be the worst I think. Even the newest laws aren’t strong enough. These spaths do shorten our lives. Stress does and they are nothing but stress. I am glad you continue to barrage him with paperwork. You made me laugh a little when yous said to throw them to the curb and “Make A huge noise!” You have a strong spirit. It is just is true that bad things happen to good people and it helps to have our fellow good people offer support and encouragement here.

Dupey,
The stress is just never ending!You must feel like the little Dutch boy who plugged the hole in the dike up with his thumb! ((( Hugs)))

Thanks you guys for your (((support))) I have had just a terrible week so far…I feel so very all alone right now and I am fighting off the urge to just run and never stop running.

I cry and cry and cry just like before and I don’t know why.
The stress of all this is just way too much for me. I don’t know how much longer I can handle it.

Yes: I have wonderful family. My children are the best thing since the invention of electricity; however – you give your whole life to their welfare and good and in the end, you are still alone….

I lost my job (because of spath) just before my heart attack…
Lost all my friends; nobody wants a depressed person around them who cries all the time….so now I have no purpose any more. I am trying really hard to rebuild myself and it seems I take a huge bounding leap forward and then I fall back to a couple years ago.

I am just not a well person and this crap doesn’t help but,
that is the intent, isn’t it? Making it worse. Do you see
how ugly they can realllllly be? And, all I did was ‘care’
for “IT”….beware the smooth tongues of ‘love’. Not many
know what the definition of that word is ~ I am now convinced.

Thanks you guys for making me feel not so all alone tonight.

Gratefully,

Dupey

Keep on having the courage to cry. Crying will save your life. I reached a point where I couldn’t cry and it was terrible. I had to go to therapy to figure out how to let myself cry. They have done studies that the chemicals in our tears are different for joy, stress, grief, anger, etc. When you cry, you are releasing toxins that can’t go to your heart.

I have lost my friends, and worst of all, my family. As I studied Narcissists and Sociopaths, I realized my family was filled with them. If I can’t help them, they have no time for me. I have no children and took care of my sisters and all of their kids and grandkids for decades. Once I got sick, I began to see that my family had been sucking the life out of me. I have an ex-husband who is volatile and an ex-boyfriend is the current spath. Those are my two helpers right now! It’s not much. Finding this website and reading all the books about them I can find has kept me going and knowing that it is not me, it is them.

We aren’t alone here. I wish I could cry every day and release it no matter what.

Mine comes back from the VA hospital today. And another surgery to repair the leg because the screw came loose. Yes! I can say it! The spath has a LOOSE SCREW! It looks like the other surgery will be in May. I am scared, but I can make ends meet for another month. I must have the courage and tenacity to give him consequences for bad behavior. I have found potential homelessness one that works to an extent. But, we all know, I need to stay away from him as much as possible.

Dupey, sending protective wishes your way your resilience will triumph peace and love to you stay safe and stay as strong as you are

Thanks ((Tea Light)) for your support and wishes.
I was reading this morning about techniques to alleviate strong
and or overwhelming emotions regarding PTSD and I found this article REALLY REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT to those of you who are having a difficult time. Please read this article.

I am leaving it here, at LF, with love, wishes and prayers.
Today is another day…

Dupey

http://specials.about.com/service/newsletters/ptsd/1365688800.htm

Thanks for the link Dupey! I’ll certainly read that! More hugs and take care of yourself!

fight,
What did you learn in therapy to help you release the tears?! I have that problem too.It takes a sad movie and then they just gush forth unbidded,lol!

fight,
Did spath make it home tonight? (Loose Screw :)) How are things going?!

Hi Blossom: Thank you for checking on me. Yes, he made it home, so am doing laundry and setting up things better. Part of the extra work for the extra pay so to speak.

He started in very quickly with a big grin and he had missed me and I was his home. It was hard not to laugh. While in the hospital, he had called me every name in the book becoming enraged when I told him what the rules would be.

He keeps wanting to watch TV with me….I’ve tried not to much. I’m already tired and he has to have a surgery to fix the last one. One thing that is strange is he keeps doing things he should not be doing to his own detrimental physical health. I am moving canned goods up to where he can reach them and he sits on the floor without his walker close by so he has to lift himself up. He turned out hideous music while I was doing it and seems to be overexcited and I guess he thinks I feel the same when I don’t. I want my money. He is a good talker and we talked some after he got home yesterday. I found myself thinking, “Why can’t you be a real boy?” He really doesn’t know how transparent he is. Missed me? Really? A couple of days ago, he was calling me bi-polar! The phony just makes me laugh later.

The only truly nerve wracking part so far is his need to take risks of falling or making the leg bone worse before the next surgery. I told him today if he keeps making me nervous, he won’t be coming back from the next surgery. Stay on the walker. It’s like he’s regressed even more and thinks he is a teenager. I have been practicing my Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness work and watching TV and luckily he is sleeping a lot. It’s too bad he really isn’t nice, really doesn’t miss anyone, and is a spath. But he is and I don’t forget it. He is money in the bank and I am looking forward to the next surgery so I will get to rest even more. He should know that one more stupid fall caused by his own self negligence is just going to land him in the VA shelter. Who knows what their neurons are doing?

Mine are thinking of saving as much money as I can, hoping he will be well enough to pay me a few more years, knowing I will cry when he dies, and wondering why I will.

About the crying: I read in a book by Judith Orloff that different tears for different emotions have different chemicals/toxins in them and we have to get them out. I had a lot of support from my second husband and the spath before I moved in. A “deal” where I found I absolutely could not cry on my own and I could call one of them and then the tears would flow. They were both very supportive and the exhusband is STILL very supportive. I did immersion therapy. I watch sad movies on purpose, and over time, I have been able to cry on my own. But, I still do call my exhusband and cry at times. I would get very frustrated and angry which made me hold the tears in even more. It was a defense mechanism from childhood….not to cry. One thing I did for a while was yell into a pillow that I wanted to go home. Even 36 years later, I finally cried about being moved as a teen. Now, I do a pretty good job of it. I got frustrated yesterday about something that made me feel nervous about him coming back, and I was working too hard in the yard, and I came in tired and really cried. I read some Peter Levine about trauma recovery. It took me probably about 2 or 3 years before I “trained” myself to cry. I talked to my therapist about not being able to cry for two years, got the help with people willing to stay on the phone with me, watched things on purpose that made me cry, and most of all, when I started cry, I kept going instead of stopping myself which had become my instinct.

fight,
I chuckled as I read of your spath’s “homecoming” and how he was trying to be charming and not act like an invalid!My spath liked getting pity!You asked a good question: “Who knows what their neurons are doing?” I often wondered the same thing!Perhaps they’re working on deliberate handicap/some type of sociopathic gain.But it doesn’t always work out the way they figured!For instance,my spath thought I’d take care of him until I died.Then he’d just find another victim.Instead,he is in a nursing home…..his very aversion!And it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting out anytime too soon.

When I think back to what started my problem with crying,I realize I can’t blame it all on spath.I kept my stubborness well hidden,but even as a child,I had a sense of justice,and there were a couple of times that I felt I was wrongly punished(once by a teacher),so I stubbornly held my head up high and refused to cry even though both my feelings and my backside hurt!Also,one of the tragic events in my life was the death of my brother who was 23 monthes older than me.My mother turned to me for consolation.I was already an adult.But I held my grief in.I was actually so sick afterwards with the flu that I was literally in bed for monthes!

But life with spath was so stressful….and he always told me he didn’t want to see me cry….SO!That’s my story!

Blossom: I am sorry about your brother. That must have been awful. I think being the eldest child also has a lot to do with it. We get all of the really bad/abusive parenting before they figure out a better way to do things. I can remember many situations, including the big one at work, where I would feel like I needed to cry and than was determined that if I did, I might not be able to keep going and would not stop crying. Now, both sad and happy things make me cry and I am so glad when I cry for the most part….I do still pick on myself for being a “baby” sometimes. But, I know it is best for my health to cry.

Last night, I told Loose Screw Spath that he must stop taking chances unless he wanted to end up at the Vet Center. He agreed. He then tried a tactic that has worked for him in the past by upsetting me. He is a dry alcoholic. I said, “Is there anything you need?” and he said, “Yeah, I would like a watermelon”…and I laughed because I thought he was trying to be funny because he rarely eats fruits and veggies and I’ve never seen him eat watermelon…and he continued, “and I want you to do is fill it with vodka and put a straw in it.” I said, “Well, if that is the life you want to live again, you do need to take that VA apartment in a couple of months. I can tell you you can’t drink here, but if drinking is the way you want to go, you need to make up your mind about leaving.

Then, he switched and said, “Could you put in some ear plugs because I’m going to get loud.” YES. He actually SAID that! I said, “If you are going to get loud, I am not going to need ear plugs because I won’t be in here and if it is loud enough to bother my neighbors, neither will you.” He said, “I am really upset and I want to say something.” I said, “Well, everyone gets really upset and they say things and no one has to wear ear plugs. That kind of behavior is not going to be happening in my home any more.” He then very quietly and calmly told me that he was feeling very bad and his ego was really bruised because he can’t do anything and has to use the walker, has to have another surgery, etc.

I am empathetic of course….to a degree. If you drink and smoke and eat nothing but pizza and hot dogs for 45 years, you can’t expect to be healthy at 57. I said, “Well, it does suck. I have a 26 year old nephew in kidney failure right now. He is a young man and having to accept that he won’t have a life without assistance from others. He is on dialysis and never smoked, drank much or did drugs because he has been seriously ill since he was 17 because of bad luck. I believe you can do it as long as you stop taking risks of falling and eat properly. It’s too bad that you feel bad about yourself. I ONLY feel bad about YOU when you are a jerk, when you call me names, when you are verbally and emotionally abusive. On a walker or off a walker, the ONLY thing that makes me think you are not a man is when you act ugly and evil towards me or others.”

He really didn’t know what to do with that,so he didn’t respond. I told him that I felt bad that he was having to go through this, and that he really needed to get some rest. I did stay with him until he fell asleep. Then I came in to the part of my house where I live and watched TV and enjoyed my leisure time.

He was very docile tonight. I made some food for him and some stuff for him to heat up tomorrow. Part of the “job” so I get my bills paid and he was quiet and appreciative. At one point, he was very upset about his computer while I was cooking. He became obsessed with something unimportant with his computer. He was in his chair and I was sitting on his bed in between stirring and cooking and cleaning. I just watched him get mad at his computer and realized that he is very addicted to that computer. After his last surgery, that is the first thing he did when he got here, he turned on his computer and began doing things as if I wasn’t in the room! Then, when I got ready to leave and come to my place and rest, he says, “What do you have to watch on TV?” I said, “I don’t have anything but TCM” which he doesn’t care for. He said, “Well can I just come over there and sit with you for a while?” I said, “I have been sitting in here for a while and you were upset about your computer and fiddling with it the whole time. I am tired and need to eat and rest. Maybe tomorrow, we can watch a show we enjoy together. But, tonight if you wanted to talk to me, I have been in the room here.” He tried to explain about the computer problem….as I was leaving….yes, consequences when handled calmly and appropriately DO make a difference.

fight,
Well,here I am finally!Things are getting busier now that the weather is getting nicer! 🙂 I also had my granddaughter Friday night and Saturday….BUT THINGS WENT WELL! I’m ok as long as I take my med daily!And I made sure she was kept busy with activities!We had a pillow fight Friday night!I surprised her!She told me that her friend had seen me and was expecting to see an “old woman”…she said,”I told her my grandma’s not an old woman!”The other day one of my neighbors told me she thought I was in my 30’s.WOWEEE! 🙂 I’m 53!I just came back from taking my puppy for a walk;it’s so nice today!I only made it 1/2 block before my back started hurting.By the time I got home I walked a block,lol!

I guess my husband will be showing up more frequently at congregation services.Today makes the second Sunday in a row.I can’t judge his motives.But he looks so sad that I don’t come over and talk to him;he’s probably wondering if I’m really serious about not talking.His voice isn’t as loud as it was.I don’t know if he’s doing that to make me feel sorry for him,or if he has actually suffered lung and/or heart damage,but I’m not gonna ask him!!!

Your spath does have similarities with my husband;yet another one…computer addiction!He would come in from town,etc and head first thing for the computer….while giving me a never ending list!And then when I was too exhausted to do anything but plop down and wish I could sleep,he wanted to converse!

It is very lucky to be able to make it financially without them in your home. I would have to switch from any situation where mine was going to possibly try to see me. No place is worth that.

That is interesting about the voice thing. The entire time mine was in the hospital his voice would falter and be weak….until he started raging….and then it was back to his old booming voice again! I was really surprised that they didn’t call security and tell him to knock off the yelling. There are other people there. When he came home, I told him he was too loud and to put in his hearing aids….and now, guess what? He LOST one the next day. He said he has looked everywhere. I have looked everywhere. I think it’s a game, but how can one tell any more? When I told him he was extremely loud at the hospital and I thought it was strange that they put up with it, he got this really weird, proud look on his face, grinned and said, “Oh, they put me in a room all to myself at the far corner of the hospital floor.” I said, “I don’t blame them. They should have moved you outside for making all of that noise screeching.” The smirky, proud grin went bye-bye! I don’t want to play games, but I have learned that observing them in their unnatural habitat can be quite illuminating.

I am so glad to hear you got to spend time with your granddaughter without an anxiety attack this time. I’m sure it is much more enjoyable with the spath in the nursing home. She may never say, but the kids often recognize who’s a jerk more than we do. I am also glad Spring has arrived. My trees and plants are flowering and wonderful green leaves again. I have a little fountain and I love to go out back at night when it is quiet and just look at the plants and I love to look at the stars. There is a great big universe out there and the spath is a speck in it.

fight,
oh yes!Spaths and their games!I always told my spath that I KNEW he was playing mind games with me!Your spath lost that hearing aid on purpose more than likely.Look for him to NEED YOUR HELP ALOT.That’s how he can still control you.He’s not happy that you’re telling him you know what’s going on!

My granddaughter always told me AND her her grandfather how things were,to our faces,even before I left him!It didn’t bother her that we were adults and that she’s a child!Not only does she look like me,she has many of my qualities,such as a sense of justice.She tells her mom everything!So not only would spath “get it” from her,he heard from me and her mom!He was very unhappy!Yes,things are much better without him in the picture!

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