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Finding meaning in life from tragedy

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning came to mind today. Dr. Frankl wrote his book after spending time in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. He lost his wife, his family and most of his friends. His book was not just another list of the atrocities done by the Nazis, but a look at the emotional toll taken by the hopeless situations in the camps and how different people responded differently. I learned a lot from this book, and I highly recommend it for those who have suffered “hopeless” situations.

“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation—just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer—we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Over the past few years, as my age and “decrepitude” creeps up on me and I am no longer able to do the more active things I used to do, sometimes I get so frustrated I could scream! I want to be out galloping across the fields on my horse ”¦ I can almost feel the wind in my hair as the horse moves beneath me.

The truth is, though, I’m sitting here with my leg up after surgery to replace my Achilles tendon. Though it is probable that I will be able to walk again, probably with a limp, I am never going to be running freely or galloping my horse across the pasture. I am no longer, as the above quote says, “able to change the situation.” I will continue to get older and less able to do the things I did in my youth. That is just the cycle of life, and no matter how I wish I could be young again, have the young, supple body I did then, those days are gone by.

My son, the psychopath

There are a lot of things in my life that are not what I wish they were. I can’t change these things. They just are what they are. One of my sons is a psychopath who is bent on killing me, or having someone kill me, if he can, and especially before my mother passes away, because that would give him some financial advantages that would not be possible were I to out-live her.

Patrick was one of the brightest, most lovable little boys I ever knew in my life. He loved to fish and fly kites and play with the farm animals and our pets. He was a standout at school, and the teachers and other kids loved him. Plus, he was cute as a doggone button. He was unusually responsible as a pre-teen and I really enjoyed being around him.

When he hit the “terrible teens,” though, I was frustrated beyond belief that I couldn’t get him to continue to be the kind of kid that had charmed his friends and his teachers. It happened suddenly, almost overnight. It seemed that he morphed into this teen-aged monster. Somehow I had to change what was happening to him. I had to save him before he did something that would ruin his bright life of the future. What college would accept him, or give him a scholarship, with a criminal record?

Then the next thing I know he was in prison for a felony. I couldn’t give up though. People had found Jesus in prison, and maybe he could get out and go to college anyway, and “straighten out.” I couldn’t believe it was hopeless.

Accepting the situation

But it was hopeless, because my son, my beloved son, Patrick, is a psychopath. No one can force anyone to change if they don’t want to. That is the hardest thing for the rest of us to accept: There is nothing we can do to help the person we love(d) stop hurting us or others. There is nothing we can do with the situation except accept it, and find meaning in our lives in spite of what it has cost us to be involved with a psychopath.

I also dated a man who I believe is high in psychopathic traits after my husband died. I was extremely needy and vulnerable to someone looking for a new “respectable wife” to cheat on, and I think that was what he had in mind. Breaking up with him was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I cried for months.

Accepting that my son is a psychopath and wants me dead, and accepting that the man I hoped to spend the rest of our lives together with was a cheat, a drunk, and not to be trusted, is all part of what I cannot change any more than I can change that I am 65 years old and not up to, and will never be up to, doing the things I have done in my youth!

Stages of life

Psychologist Erik Erikson’s “stages” of life is one of those interesting concepts that actually is quite simple. I am in the “integrity versus despair” stage of my life. This is the early end of “old age,” in which I, as entering old age, must review my life.

  • This phase occurs during old age and is focused on reflecting back on life.
  • Those who are unsuccessful during this stage will feel that their life has been wasted and will experience many regrets. The individual will be left with feelings of bitterness and despair.
  • Those who feel proud of their accomplishments will feel a sense of integrity. Successfully completing this phase means looking back with few regrets and a general feeling of satisfaction. These individuals will attain wisdom, even when confronting death.

Now I can’t say that I can look back entirely without some regrets, or without feeling that I might have done some things better, but I have made peace with those regrets. I don’t view every mistake I have made as “worthless,” because I have learned from those mistakes.

Mostly I am accepting me as what I am. I am working on finding that wisdom that Erikson talks about. Working on finding dignity and peace in what is left of my life. Not giving in to despair about things I cannot change. I would change Patrick if I could, but I can’t. That’s just the way things are. I am not going to hold out unreasonable hope and then feel despair because I can’t achieve that unrealistic hope of “escape” from the emotional bondage of loving my son. I have accepted and I have “escaped,” and I will live free from unreasonable expectations.


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((((((Joyce))))))
Big hugs, and thank you for a great article.

Words of wisdom for all of us to learn from.

A woman I used to know and who had recently contacted me on FB to reconnect (we still live close to each other) sent me a get well card and in it she mentioned that she had a “nervous break down” in June and was unable to work.

She has a son about the age of my two kids, maybe a year younger if I remember correctly. I lived close to her in the early 1980 and our kids played together. She was divorced at that time, though she has since remarried.

Her son, one of the sweetest, cutest kids, just like my Patrick, fun to have around in his pre-teen years is a chronic criminal as well as drug addict.

When she first contacted me, she really wasn’t able to even imagine the concept of NO CONTACT with her son. I’m not sure she is able to imagine that concept yet, but yesterday she drove him to the police station to turn himself back in. He had only been out three weeks.

She told me that he does well in prison, but doesn’t do well on the outside, but she just “can’t give up hope that he will change.”

This woman is hurting deeply, to the point her lilfe is falling apart by what is happening in her family. By what someone else is doing.

We can’t change what our sons are, or how they behave, THEY are the ones who determine what happens to them, but though she doesn’t know it and isn’t ready to realize it, SHE is the onnly one that can change her own life,, and to recover form her “nervous break down”

WE and only we can decide what our RESPONSE to the things that happen to us will be.

Viktor Frankl’s book helped me to see that. He went on to have a life even after losing ALL, including his wife. I’ve read the stories of many survivors of the Nazi camps, including the one from Corrie ten Boom, and many other less famous ones, and even the thrivers of the survivors tell of others who live sad unhappy lives after they were rescued.

Many victims of psychopaths and other domestic violence also live sad, lonely, distrusting, and unhappy lives, but we DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT, we can, and if we work at it, study about it, and learn what it takes we can become VICTORS not victims.

“Victim” is a state of mind, and so is VICTOR, so we must choose what one we want to live in and as we approach our own old age, and look back on our lives we can experience what Erikson calls “integrity” instead of “despair.”

Thanks for this great article. I know its different when I say this because I imagine that mourning the reality of your son is much harder than mourning the reality of an ex; however, it made me think about something.

While I realized quicker than most how bad my sons father was (and is), I still have moments when I find myself wishing he could be that person he is not and never will be – a good father.

I imagine that this pain is even greater when you can remember the child as “good” and then one day they weren’t.

My ex has an older son who he has custody of. The child is officially turning a teenager this year. I worry about him because while seemed just “emotionally disturbed” but not the same as his father…I wonder if now is the time when he could turn into exactly what his father is. Not only does he have the genetic factor, but he has been living with this evil since his mother was murdered about 10 years ago. Ox Drover, I am curious on your thoughts on this and what sort of things you think might start happening with this kid. Unfortunately my son is forced to deal with both of them on a weekly basis so I want to be prepared for what we might have to deal with.

Joyce – this is soooo needed by me right now. Thank you !! I’ve been feeling this stage of life coming on – the reflection stage (I’m 57) – and I’ve been struggling with the despair vs. acceptance / dignity. So glad to know I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

I’ve sent letters to LF twice – once about my spath mother and then about my spath husband. I left the spath mother and now I’m needing to leave the spath husband after 30 years with him. But the good news is that I’m “gray rock” with him lately and he is talking of leaving. Hooray !! No – I don’t show my excitement to him, I just stay “gray rock.”

An employee assistance program counselor where I work said to me, “You have a lot of life left,” meaning that life does not end after the spath departure. It can actually be quite joyous and perhaps profound. Hearing these ideas from several sources, including you and Frankl, helps me reflect on what it is to be human and live our lives as they are. These gems help me through and keep the despair at bay. The perspective you give in sharing your choices to embrace dignity and acceptance is one I will carry with me through my choices.

My favorite from you, “Now you know better, so now you do better.” Thanks for the life example – it’s priceless. And thanks LF for the all the resources – so appreciated.

Dear OpalRose,

My late husband died when I was 57 and I went into the DESPAIR mode feeling like “oh, woe is me, I’m old, fat, no man will ever want me I will be AAAAALLLLOOOOOOOOONE and no one will love me” mode and guess what, a psychopath I had casually known for about 10 years presented himself as my savior. His wife had recently CAUGHT him after his 32 years of cheating and tossed his arse out…so he was looking for another “respectable” wife to cheat on. He kept his harem of women scattered all over several states.

After his retirement from work he spent great amounts of time goin all over the country to different living history events. His wife did not participate…and at each event he would have 1-2 women lined up.

Once when he and I and another friend and my son went to an event with him in Colorado he had a woman there and spent the day with her and then brought her into our campfire at night. She acted like an “egg sucking dog” when he introduced us, but then I KNEW….kicked him to the curb when we got back home…I did 6 or 8 more days in Colorado “gray rocking” and trying to pretend I didn’t know, and cried and cried.

I don’t “like” getting old, but it is a fact of life that we are born, mature and then grow old and die. We can’t change that. But what we CAN CHANGE is our attitude about it.

I do not want to be one of those bitter old women who look back on the failures in their lives and don’t resolve them.

I have had my share of “failures” and failed relationships, and tragedy and trauma and sometimes I handled those things well, and sometimes not. I have guilty feelings for the things I did wrong, but have made amends where I could do so, and I have also cut out of my life those “friends” and family who are dysfunctional and negative. I don’t need those people in my life.

The much fewer number of folks I associate with are all people who are a positive influence on me, not a negative one. I also no longer grieve over the loss of those people in my life. One of them was my best friend for 30 + years and I sometimes think oif the good times we had, but down dwell on the bad times. She isn’t a psychopath, but she has problems with dysfunction that I can’t heal and I can’t tolerate it when in her own dysfunction she “goes off on” me. I set boundaries about that, but she violated them again, and I cut off contact.

Learning to set boundaries that I will only associate with people who treat me as well as I treat them has been a big step for me. It eliminated 99.9% of the trouble makers in my life.

C-Queen,

Tell me more about the murder of the mother. Do they know who did it and why? Was the P connected or suspected?

I know there are people who still believe that a baby is born a blank slate upon which is written by environment what s/he will become. That was the “official” belief for many years.

How ever, as an animal breeder and raiser I saw from an early age that the “personality” of animals of many breeds seems to be determined more by the GENETICS than by how they are raised.

This is partly why different breeds of cattle and dogs (for example) are bred. The Spanish fightiing bulls are bred for aggression and willingness to attack a human on sight. The cows of that same breed are also aggressive and the most aggressive of the cows are picked to be the mothers of the next generation of bulls.

There are several breeds of dogs which are also bred for aggression and were used as war dogs for many years.

Sure you can “train” some dogs of “peaceful calm breeds” to bite and some dogs in the rougher breeds may be non aggressive, but then you may see a dog from an aggressive breed that is “sweet” TURN in an instant and eat someone alive. DNA over environment.

I also worked with wild animals, big cats, primates, and other large predators, and they are cute and cuddly when they are kittens, but when they grow up, no matter how much love you have given them they turn into PREDATORS, mored dangerous predators than their wild cousins, because they now have NO FEAR OF MAN. You can never trust them. EVER.

Mankinid is pretty much a mongrel breed…even people who thinkk they are of X race, usually find upon DNA testing that they have at least small amounts of other races in their mitacondrial DNA (from the mother).

It has been known for some time now that “alcoholism” is genetically passed down in the DNA. So a person with these genes is more likely to over indulge in alcohol than a person who doesn’t have these genes. It does not mean, however, that they have NO CHOICE about drinking or not drinking, they DO HAVE A CHOICE. Well, they have a choice up until their brains have been destroyed by the alcohol and they are no longer capable of a choice.

Psychopaths I don’t think is one gene, but there are GENES that seem to make a person likely to be a psychopath and the studies done using adoptive children (who usually come from disordered parents) it is shown that these children are much more likely to show high P traits than children from “normal” homes, even though those children have been raised in “normal” homes. It is called the Adoptive Child Syndrome, At first psychologists and other experts put the “cause” down as the kids felt “rejected” by their birth parents and that was why they acted out. BULL HOCKEY! It is now known that DNA plays a BIG part in psychopathy.

Studies done on identical twins (identical DNA) raised apart by different families are 50-80% more likely to BOTH be Ps if one is a P. So DNA isn’t 100% the cause, but couple the DNA with SOMETHING (we don’t know what) in the environment and presto! You get a psychopath or at least someone high in P traits.

My psychopathic son Patrick had both grandfathers I think qualifying as full fledged psychopaths. In addition,, I know that my sperm donor’s mother and her father as well were HIGH IN P TRAITS if they didn’t qualify as full-Ps On my egg donor’s side, her brother was a full fledged psychopath and her maternal grandfather was also a psychopath, and there are indications in court records in Tennessee that I found leading back to a man who was murdered in 1860, who was a psychopath, and several more on that side of the family that had 3 generations of murder-suicide.

If my son wasn’t programmed for psychopathy I can’t imagine which kid would be. He was an “angel” until he was 11, then one episode of theft, and denial in the face of being caught red-handed, but I thought that just a “kid” thing…heck I used to steal money out of my mom’s purse from time to time when I was little. When the testosterone hit though, and in his case fairly early at about 13 he had gotten man-sized and had to shave, it started. The rebellion. By age 15 it was becoming criminal, by 17 it was felonies and arrests and prison time by 18. By 20 it was murder.

Now at age 41, he sits in prison, blaming his problems on me. I was the first woman who turned him in to the cops for theft and got him arrested (at age 17, I thought it might teach him a lesson so he wouldn’t do it after age 18 and have an adult criminal record. All it did was make him hate me more.

It took me almost 20 years to realize Patrick is a psychopath and that he is a dangerous one. Realizing that he had sent someone to kill me, to inviltrate my family to gain control over the family assets when I was dead was sure a kicker to me.

I had cut off contract with him prior to that when he litterally BRAGGED about how violent his crime (murder was) “worse than the cops even know) and a passage from one of Bob Hare’s books about how the left brain and the right brain of the psychopath don’t communicate and they don’t have ANY idea what emotions we will feel. So I saw that day the TRUTH about my son and I have never seen or communicated with him since then. My “son” is dead, the little boy I loved and the man in the cell is a complete stranger to me. I know he is dangerous and I don’t doubt he hates me or why or what he will try to do if he can fiind another con to send after me, and I don’t doubt what he will do if and when he gets out. “Life” doesn’t mean REAL LIFE. Unfortunately.

Joyce, thank you for your profound article. I am needing to read this, as well.

I want to share that “acceptance” is something that I’ve done, and that accepting a situation as being beyond my ability to “fix” isn’t necessarily pleasant. What I “want” and what “is” are two different things, entirely, and neither of these will ever cross paths.

We’re all struggling with acceptance – it’s not easy, simple, or remotely comfortable. It can be painful beyond description. But, with acceptance comes an understanding that we are simply mortal human beings that have control over only one thing: our individual selves.

I may be down, but I’m not out, and my energies are for my own healing, now, and not for spending on wishful thinking.

The old saw goes like this: If wishes were fishes, nobody would ever go hungry.

Thanks, again, and brightest blessings

Dear Ox Drover, Appreciate your insightful post! Although I’m headed into my mid-fifties (52), I already feel what you wrote. As a matter of fact, am going to print a copy, that I can refer to in the future….thank you so very much. Also, as I sat reading, fighting back the tears of grief, pain and sorrow for my own son as well. Although he is not in prison, he may as well be; for the things and choices he has/is making. While reading your post, I drifted back, somewhere in time, where my son Jason, was the sweetest, happiest little boy who always smiled, never cried, (only when he was hungry)….cheerful, playful, considerate of his sisters, just a very happy disposition! One day in Oct. of 1993, there was a knock at the door. It was the police, with a warrant for his father’s arrest. It was in the afternoon, the kids were at home, but as Jason’s father was being arrested’ hand-cuffed, and put in the cruiser, for the charge of aggravated rape, (which he did 8 yrs. for). Jason stood at the window…and watched it unfold. On that day, in Oct. of 1993…..I also stood there and watched my son,”unfold”, and that day, my sweet son Jason…died. For after this event, Jason changed at 10 yrs. old, and was never the same. As a mother of four (3 girls 1boy), I tried my best, and hardest under the circumstances, to do the best I could to be BOTH parents, however for a boy, a Mom can’t fill that “male role model”. As the days and months turned into years, I was always there for my son, as well as my girls. It was soooooo hard! My kids are in their late 20″s and early 30’s now and Jason will turn 30 next year. The girls are doing good, but Jason is on street drugs, and alcohol. He is a “floater”, actually a bum, drifting from person to person, who’ll ever feel sorry and take him in. I live in Ohio, but he lives in Texas somewhere. Don’t really talk to him much anymore, for there is nothing much else I can say to him. I’ve done and said all I can do! He is the product of a extremely traumatic event in his life, BUT…….he is also a sum total of his choices as an adult…..just as we all are! At times, I drift back and wish things would have/ could have been different for my kids, especially my son. Once in a great while, I will pull out pictures of when they were little….and just sit there as a Mom, grieving for the pain of loss, loss of their innocence, loss of their childhood….and just cry. My son Jason, is my “biological” son, however I don’t know who he is, don’t know the “person” he has grown up to be. Unfortunately, he followed in his father’s footsteps. He fathered 2 children that he neither sees, or supports. I have a grandson, and a granddaughter that I know of, but grieve over the fact that I will NEVER know them…let alone, have them in my life. I’ve told my daughters, from time to time, that I will go to my grave…wondering what kind of man Jason……could’ve been. I know, I know….it matters not, now. But still, to this day, I miss my little boy. Also to the day I die, I will despise my ex-husband, (the father of my kids) for the chaos, pain and carnage…he inflicted on all of us. OX DROVER, I do appreciate your pain, and do so very much empathize with you! Again, thank you for giving of yourself here, and sharing your pain, and loss. I’ve learned the best way to help us through our pain, is to allow our pain to be purposeful. If we can help each other, even in some small way, whether in word or deed…to use what we’ve been through, to help and encourage one another; then our trials and testings and pain, will not be in vain. Wishing everybody here the best!

Ox Drover,

I won’t get into too many details, but to make a long story short – everyone who knows anything about his son’s mother’s murder knows that my ex did it. It’s a cold case….remains unsolved. It is not the only one he is a suspect in. The case for that child’s mother actually reminds me a lot of the Drew Peterson situation. There is A LOT of circumstantial evidence but no smoking gun. Unfortunately, the girl who is dead…wasn’t rich…and wasn’t of the right ethnicity for the locals in that area to pay enough attention. I hate to go there, but I really think it has a lot to do with it.

Dear Radar, I wept as I read your story about your son. It hurts when the DNA wins….but it is important that we do not “blame ourselves” Your girls had much the same DNA and they didn’t make those same choices. Accepting that your son made those choices, spread the DNA even further (as far as I know I don’t have any biological grandchildrn) and I don’t wish for any, that’s for sure. I hope the stops withh the current geneeration. My son C has decided not to have any kids, but I know if Patrick gets out he will spread his sperm far and wide if he can.

You did not “fail” your son, he failed himself. Maybe seeing his father arrested tripped the trigger, or maybe it would have tripped at puberty anyway. Who knows? But we just have to ACCEPT what is, not grieve over what we wish Was.

The hardest part is not giving in when they come to you for “help”—-or pretend to have changed and you get your hopes up only to have them dashed down again.

I’ve accepted what Patrick is….I’ve accepted that my egg donor doesn’t love me, probably never was able to in the structure of our family, and even indivdually, these thins are hard, but all together, they are monumental. Sometimes I have felt like Job (the man in the Bible that God let Satan attack and took everything but his life and his nagging wife! But in the end, Job found peace and that’s what I would like to do. I’m working on it.

Working on being grateful for the things and the many blessings that I have, and for my adopted son D who is the light of my life as well as my closest friend. God has blessed me beyond belief and I am grateful for that.

I’ve made some horrible mistakes in my life, done some really stoooopid things, but through it all, I’ve been able to some how with the grace of God make it through it all.

However long the rest of my life is (no one has any guarantee how long they have) I will be grateful each day for the love of those friends that I do have. I’m not alone in my losses, and there are people whose sons have done worse things than mine has done, other parents hurting. Right now this minute there are 2 million men and women in prison and 5 million on parole or probation. Each of those people has two parents so there are many milliions of parents who are heart broken because one of their kids is in prison or on parole or they have given up on them.

I know several kids who are now grown and in prison that I knew as sweet little kids, and I know their mothers are hurting so badly, but just can’t accept what IS, but keep on hoping against hope that the kid will change for the better. I wish I could give some comfort to these parents, but they are not in a place emotionally that they can hear what I have to say. They are still in the “he’s my son, I just can’t give up on him.” stage.

I know acceptance is hard, and the road to get there is twisting and turning with hills and pot holes but keep your nose pointed toward the goal, and you will get there. (((hugs))) and God bless.

C’queen, that was what I figured but just had to ask. Thanks.

Ox Drover, Your article is a blessing to me, given circumstances of my own, and my present state of mind. Most grateful to you, for sharing it. Many thanks ~

RadarOn, if I could reach out and hug you tight, I would do it. OxD’s experiences have been a tremendous help to me in dealing with my eldest son. He was diagnosed as “Borderline Personality Disorder Cluster B” and is 100% spath. His father was an abusive, violent spath, so he probably didn’t have a hope of growing up as “normal.” The abusive dynamics in our “family” made a huge impact on his predisposition to be spath, and reconciling the beautiful (he really was) infant and child that he was with the spath adult that he is was the hardest thing I’ve ever done up to that point of my life.

I blamed myself, accepted blame from others, and it took some time for me to process the awful truths about what my son is. He nearly choked his first preganant wife to death and abused her badly enough so that she chose to terminate her pregnancy. I don’t know anything about what happened in his second marriage, but it was also doomed from the beginning. He broke his own wrists so that he would be “excused” from combat and collects a lovely disability income from the military. He forged military documentation to paint himself as a decorated combat veteran – even going so far as to claim a combat injury that never happened. He has abused steroids to become “a beast” in bodybuilding. He has deliberately scarred his face to give a more menacing facade. He is violent, abusive, and manipulative. He is a liar, a cheat, a thief, and violently abusive against women – he hates women.

Since my youngest son, “Mike,” has come to live with me, the eldest son has been playing cat-and-mouse with Mike’s emotions. Because Mike is an adult, I can’t very well “forbid” him from contacting his older brother, and he has done this on a very frequent basis. Sadly, he does this when he’s feeling desperate or sad, and Mike’s brother often won’t answer his phone.

Accepting that my eldest son was not a candidate, on any level, for human redemption was a horse-pill to swallow. I didn’t want to believe that truth. I wanted a loving “family” that spent holidays together, called on birthdays, and shared in triumphs and tragedies. I wanted a family. And, it just isn’t going to happen.

DNA does not make “family.” I have learned that truth through bitter experiences. Marriage vows do not create “family.” “Family” are those people who encourage, support, and love us wihout demands or conditions. “Family” are those people who accept our love without an agenda.

Whenever I read (or, hear) about a parent whose child has jumped their rails and is clearly toxic, I am so saddened for them. It is a painful process to accept the truths and facts as they are and most parents NEVER “get it” and continue to enable a child that clearly exhibits sociopathic tendencies. What they mean to be as “helpful” actually translates as willful enabling and pathological denial simply because the Truth That Jr/JrEtte cannot be saved is more painful than being manipulated and abused by their own offspring.

My most brightest and comforting blessings to you

Dear Truthspeak, and Ox Drover…Thank you for your kind words and words of wisdom and encouragement, many hugs back to you! The things that we have lived through, and survived, I think “normal” people only have nightmares about! (LOL!, but then again…define normal?) I do appreciate this forum “family” immensely, and have gleaned much insight from everyone here. Really don’t have any out-lets to talk about experiences with, most people in my “circle” are kind, and listen…however, cannot relate. Truthspeak, my heart goes out to you and your sons as well. You said: “Accepting that my eldest son was not a candidate, on any level, for human redemption was a horse-pill to swallow. I didn’t want to believe that truth. Agreeing with you, I have to come to these terms as well. Having to accept my son, “is what it is”…until he chooses to make changes in his life. Yes, acceptance can be most challenging on many levels! Thank you, Truthspeak. Thank you, Joyce. Wishing you the best

Thank you Ox Drover for your wonderful and informative post.

You meantioned “left brain and the right brain of the psychopath don’t communicate and they don’t have ANY idea what emotions we will feel.” Can you please elaborate further on what you’ve learned regarding the brain of a spath?

Finding truth,

In Dr. Robert Hare’s book “Without Conscience” (and I strongly suggest you get a copy and read it, they are cheap and available on used books on Amazon.com) he talks about how a psychopath’s brain doesn’t communicate the way normal brains do on emotions.

His examples are a psychopathic mother says “of course I LOVE MY KIDS” BUT she doesn’t feed or care for them.

Another example of my own in working with young adults (in patient medical mental health facilities) who are high in psychopathic traits is one will try to stab or hit you and do you serious harm, then five minutes later they will have their arms around your shoulders telling you how much they care about you. They don’t “get it” that when they try to do you bodily harm that 5 minutes later you are not going to “be their best friend.”

My son, on one occasion when I was visiting him in prison and he was trying to convince me to do something fo rhim that I did not want to do and he was going on about “but mommm, what would Jezzzus do?” and when that didn’t work, he stopped that and looked at me with a Charlie Manson look of evil in his eyes and said “You wouldn’t like me very much if you knew hhow bad my crime (murder) really was, it was worse than the cops even knew” Then when I didn’t respond to that, with fear or whatever it was he was trying to accomplish, he IMMEDIATELY went back to the “but mommmm, what would Jezussss do?”

He did not get it that there was any thing in the two approaches that would have been an incongruity.

They don’t get it that saying “I hate you, I want to kill you” one minute and then “oh, I lovvvvve you” the next minute is not normal communication/interaction.

I hope that answers your question, finding truth. Robert Hare’s book is a great place to start on learning about psychopaths. “The Sociopath Next door” is another good book on learning about psycho/sociio-paths in our society. Not all of them are “criminals” but may be the man next door, the teacher iin your kid’s school, the minister at your church. The judge you face in family court. The cop that stops you for running a stop sign.

They are everywhere, and especially like positions of power. Learning how to spot them will help you. Most of them are difficult to spot unless you spend considerable time with that person. Knowledge is power though,, and the more we learn, the more powerful we become. God bless.

Thank you, Ox Drover. I get it now! 🙂

When we bought a house and were ready to sign the final documents, he told me I just took up space in his life, that he didn’t know if he could be faithful, etc. and then, when I grabbed my keys and purse to leave, he broke my fingers, smashed my toe and dislocated my wrist. Not two minutes later he was grabbing me to kiss me and telling me how much he loved me. I did leave, went to my son’s for the weekend. He sent me 18 emails telling me how much he loved me. I saved them and came across the other day. This scenario applies to what you noted above.

You have such insight into this and I appreciate your comments! Some day my head and heart will be in the same place, understanding that he isn’t real.

I did buy “Without Conscience” a few days ago and plan to read it soon!

Findingtruth,

“When people SHOW you what they are, BELIEVE them.”

I’m not sure which wise person said that, but it is so true. If people hurt you and then the next second tell you they love you, and then hurt you again….rinse and repeat. You must believe what they DO not what they say.

My son doesn’t bother trying to con me any more, he knows I know what he is, but he does con my egg donor. She FORGETS that he is a cold blooded killer who put a gun to a 17 year old girl’s head and pulled the trigger without remorse. She falls for the con, the fantasy. She would rather have the fantasy grandson than her real grandsons and her real daBECAUSE THEY AREughter. She has sold her soul for a “mess of pottage” like Esau in the Bible story.

Finding truth,, DON’T EVER FOR GET THOSE BROKEN FINGERS, AND DONT EVER BELIEVE THOSE “I LOVE YOUS”

It was Maya Angelou. “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them”. One of my very favorite quotes…

Shane, thanks for telling me who said that I have CRS (can’t remember stuff! LOL) I think the trick is to do it the FIRST time they show us who they are. I’m learning that slowly, and getting better at it.

Thank you, ladies!

I was doing so much better before he appeared again. My worst fear now is what he will do next. I have a very hard time being mean or unkind to people and I don’t want to be that way to him, but I also don’t want him to ever come near me again. I want to tell him that he needs to call it a day, but I don’t think he will listen and continue to try making my life miserable.

OxD, I am so very sorry to what happened with your son. You are truly a strong lady and there is a special place for you in heaven!

Findingtruth, your “worst fear” is an attempt to predict – we do not have that power. But, what you DO have the ability to do is determine whether or not you are safe.

That you have a very hard time being mean or unkind to people are just the human qualities that spath abusers love to take advantage of. Your kind and gentle spirit is a QUALITY – something that is valuable. But, to spaths and abusers, it is a VULNERABILITY to be exploited.

Any attempt that you make to tell him anything is an exercise in futility. He is not going to hear you because he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He simply does not (and, never did) care. He is a predator and he most certainly will continue making your life a living hell – that’s not an attempt to predict, Findingtruth. That is a fact.

Brightest blessings to you

OxD, the CRS(can’t remember stuff) support group meets every Thursday at…..oh, crap….I can’t remember what time……

Brightest blessings

You are very welcome, Ox Drover. I have the CRS’s left from my P experience, so I understand.

I know we have different situations/are in diferent stages of the game, so to speak, however, I am in the “just comining out of the fog” stage of my recovery, and in turn having memories and flash backs. I remember the P ALWAYS carries a pad of paper and a pen, in his shirt pocket.. He only bought shirts with pockets for this reason. He used the pen and paper to write things down that people would say, then used those words of others, to write (unauthentic) poems with. He said he had always written poems but had to use this method, because he “Has Asperger’s Syndrome” LOL. He also incorporated quotes from famous poets, musicians, U.S. Presidents, etc. He blamed all of his (VERY BAD) behaviors on being Autistic and thinks he can get away with this, due to some similarities he has read about, regarding empathy and emotion. Unfortunately for him, I do Swim Therapy with children and adults who are on all different levels of the A spectrum, including those how are Aspies, and in addition I have friends that are Aspies. In the end I assured him that weather or not he has Asperger’s, he is a disordered pathalogical abuser and has at least one personality disorder, and told him to depart, imediately. What a Bastard he was. CanNOT wait to be rid my aftermath symptoms… Thanks for listening…

Finding truth,

You say you have a hard time “being mean” or “rude” to anyone…..

What you are saying is that you do not know how to SET BOUNDARIES.

Boundaries are the limits that you will allow others to be mean and rude to you.

Saying to someone who has hurt you “I do not want to be around you right now, please LEAVE” IS NOT BEING “RUDE” it is setting boundaries.

Going to your local police department and filing a STALKING order or whatever is filed in your area to keep them away (because THEY WILL NOT RESPECT YOUR BOUNDARY BUT WILL CONTINUE TO VIOLATE IT)

People who respect others respect the boundaries others set.

People who do NOT respect others do not respect their boundaries either.

You have a perfect right to NOT SEE OR SPEAK WITH ANYONE that you dont’ want to see or speak with AND THAT IS NOT BEING RULE.

They know thhis about you and are using this “I can’t be rude” thing against you…what you need is a NEW DEFINITION OF WHHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT “RUDE”

THEY SKEW OUR DEFINITIONS—my egg donor’s definition of “forgiveness” meant that I had to pretend that the person never hurt me and that they would not do it again (when I knew they would) but I realized HER DEFINITION WAS WRONG, “forgiveness” is in my mind now, simply getting the BITTERNESS about them out of my heart, but it does NOT include pretending it didn’t happen or trusting them again. (unless they ahve shown LONG TERM PROGRESS IN REPENTING AND BEING TRUST WORTHY.

So hang in their girl fiend, you gonna make it….

Thanks, OxD.

I am having another sad day and I hate that I feel this way.

I just returned from church where I prayed, as I do every day, for a miracle regarding him.

I don’t know how to just let go.

He told me in the past that he knows there is something wrong with him, but with him people can either take it or leave it. That is his philosophy and he stands firm with it.

I read Joel Osteen’s word every day and he says to pray big, that things cannot happen in the natural, but God is supernatural and can make anything happen. Working in medicine for most of my life, I have seen miracles, many of them, where the physicians treating patients (cardiology and cardiovascular) have said there is no way a patient should have lived, and yet they pulled through, without lasting effects. Those physicians all attributed to a higher power.

What are your thoughts on prayer and sociopaths?

Shane: Oh my gosh, my spath always has paper and a pen, too, forever writing things. If he had something to say to me, he always had notes, like he prepared a speech.

Truthspeak: Thank you for reminding me that telling him anything is futile. You were reading my mind, in that I have gone over and over what I would like to say to him and I know in my heart he would just be amused.

Every MONTH on the anniversary of our first dinner, at 5:17 p.m., which is when I walked across the parking lot to meet him, regardless of where we were, together or apart, he would make it a point of saying the most beautiful, loving things to me. When we had been together five months, we went to Toronto and then Niagara Falls. In NF, he knelt down, and for 10 minutes, with so much feeling, told me what his life meant with me back in it, that he had loved me for 30 years and he never wanted to lose what we had.

He is very good with money, manages it well. He is not a druggy, nor does he drink.

He has an aunt that is my age. She has told me some disturbing things about him from the past, but she stays true to him because he pays a lot of her bills. Whenever I needed to be alone after one of his tirades, he would get his aunt to call me to tell me how much he loved me. Keep in mind, his is almost 53-years-old! I had contacted her a few months back as her husband, a carpenter, had my mother’s vanity that he was restoring and I wanted to make arrangements to pick it up. She did not return my call. I then sent her a letter with this info, along with a self-addressed, stamped, envelope to write back to me, which she did. She noted she felt “awkward” talking with me. That told me that he obviously lied to the family about me yet again.

I don’t know how I would get through this without all of you wise folks. Love you all!

Findingtruth, this may come across harsh and it’s not my intention to hurt your feelings. “Miracles” happen – they do. But, they don’t happen because we want them to, and there is no prayer in any language in any religion that is going to make a “miracle” change from a sociopath to an empath. It won’t. Sociopaths are sociopaths until the day that they die. They will glom onto religion, spiritualy, or drinking their own urine if it means that they can exploit and harm empathetic, caring, kind, and good human beings Period.

I’ve typed this, before, but whomever you hold to be your Higher Power has already granted empathetic human beings everything that they’ll ever need to “make it.” It’s up to US whether or not we use our instincts, talents, gifts, and qualities in a positive, meanigful way.

Sociopaths aren’t all addicted to alcohol, drugs, or money. What they ARE all addicted to is using and discarding. Everyone and everything is disposable. Human emotions are to be eploited to their advantage. Money will be spent upon what THEY want or “need.” Religion will be practiced in the manner of THEIR choosing – people actually change religious beliefs FOR other people!

As long as No Contact is continued, each day is a day of forward momentum. Moving further and further from the source of our negative experiences and closer and closer to ourselves is the most positive aspect of NC, IMHO.

Sure, he lied to his family – he’s a “nice guy” that could probably be nominated for an award if he were a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild. He’s an consumate actor, and that is all that he is.

You will be fine, in due time. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you are a priceless part of this vast and mysterious Universe. You have value WITHOUT him.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak: You are definitely making me see the light. I have read so many blogs on LF over the past months and I understood and applied everything being said. Then he showed up. I was so proud that I was 4-1/2 months NC and then I opened the door for him. It won’t happen again. I was healing prior to this and, within minutes after he left, all the terrible old feelings came back. No more.

Thank you!

Blessings to you.

My thoughts on prayer and sociopaths…….Pray BIG that they drive off a BIG cliff! 🙂

Oxy,

It’s rough to retrain my brain in remembering stuff. I will have to redo most of the subjects that I had to do of my first bachelors physics. I understand the stuff, but they require me to remember all those formulas (for the theory and the exercise parts). I’m thinking of hiring a repetitor in helping my brain to memorize them. It’s horribly frustrating when you get a question where you know what to answer if only I could remember that formula (though I could write the derivations down by heart)…

Oh well, I hope to get it memorized for the whole redo.

EB,

You know I voiced something similar tonight. I told my mom over the phone that I think it wouldn’t be so bad if ex-spath would get some run in with another Nicaraguan drug dealer who wielded a knife and plants it in between his ribs and rids this world of an incurable parasite. I’m not praying or wishing for it. But I wouldn’t mind it if such a thing were to happen, because I do think the world would be a little bit of a better place without him.

FindingTruth:
Having been through hell….and come back….. It is up to US to rescue ourselves.
If your waiting for a miracle, you will accept any ‘little’ gesture he makes towards you….as that miracle.

Part of our problems are/were that we believed in the fantasy.
There ARE no fairytales……cinderella, snow white etc….do NOT exist.
We are the Rupunzelles of the world….until we choose to come down.

You can pray all you need to……but it’s going to have to be YOU that get’s up and makes the move to have the life you desire, have the safety you deserve and the peace you need!

I remember people saying to me when life was bleak…..God will provide- have faith.
And my thoughts being…..yeah, so what, do I keep my ars on this couch and wait for something to fall outa the sky?
NO….God helps those who help themselves.

A spath will never help themselves…..because they “Don’t have the problems’ (it’s us) they place the blame, with all the issues.

Don’t hold onto false hope……someone coming back from death is NOT the same miracle as a spath seeing the light!

A medical miracle is possible……a spath miracle is NOT!

EB,

You are so right that hoping for a miracle with a spath only sets you up for the little gesture he makes towards you.

My friend tonight was chatting about marriage. I told her that while I wouldn’t mind a relationship I’ve decided that I do not plan to marry in my life. She asked me why. I told her, that’s one less trap I can get romanticised into.

Findingthruth,

Neurology can do a lot of stuff, but they can’t undo brain damage. A sociopath’s brain is comparable to that of someone with brain damage. It can’t be undone.

Darwinsmom;
I’ve told my GF that WHY would i marry again?
I don’t want anymore kids…..I have a house of my own, I am financially stable and own a successful business….so why would I jeopardize any of that and have to start over again.
My commitment to myself is to always remain self supporting.
My fear is going back to ‘that place’. I made it out….I’m NOT being put back there!
I’m certainly open to a partnership…..but lets keep the legalities out of it….it’s just too messy!

Only time I can see myself being married is if I’ve lived years and years together with someone and it wouldn’t make much of a difference anyway anymore. Anyway, we have legal living together contracts, and it’s cheaper and less messy to dissolve.

Finding truth,

As for prayer and sociopaths, God COULD make us all be “good people” and obey him, but He has chosen to give us free will. Even Satan was beloved of God, but he chose to rebel and fight God even though he was an angel.

Psychopaths are like the rest of us, they have CHOICES and like a person who has the genes to be an alcoholic may be MORE TEMPTED to drink than say one person without those genes, THERE IS STILL THE CHOICE. NO one is compelled to be an alcoholic. No one is, I think compelled to be a psychopath and to do things they know are “wrong.”

Praying for the psychopath will do YOU some good, but you must still let go and realize that THEY HAVE A CHOICE. At the Last Supper, Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, but JUDAS HAD A CHOICE. Jesus nor God forced Judas to do what he did, he CHOSE to do what he did.

I pray for those who have hurt or abandoned me, but I don’t expect God to FORCe them to change their hearts and minds and make better choices.

I hope that answers your questions about prayer for psychopaths. If you keep on praying and ALSO keep on allowing them to use and abuse you, to lie to you…then you are allowing yourself to be abused…YOUR CHOICE. I don’t think God wants us to be abused or to allow someone we know has evil intentions to abuse us further. He gave you a brain. USE it! Make the smart choice. Get away from this person just like you would get away from a poison snake. God bless and give you wisdom.

Thank you all so very much for your wisdom!

I am starting my new job tomorrow and leaving early in the morning to fly to Chicago for two weeks of training. I will be here reading as much as I can while gone.

Blessings to all who are going through this struggle!

Much success with your new job, findingtruth! You deserve all the best!

Findingtruth, brightest blessings on your business trip. Perhaps, being away from the spath for a short time will give you a little space to clear some of the cobwebs.

EB….I almost laughed out loud when I read your response about praying big for spaths! LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO I didn’t want to wake anyone up, but that was epic! LMAOLMAO!!!!!!

Yeah…..they are what they choose to be, and I don’t care WHAT causes them to make the choices that they do. I was in discussion with a very good friend, yesterday, that reads self-help books, and books on psychopathology – it’s pretty much the only genre that she’ll read. Her assertion is the same belief that I had for so many years: if I know what causes these people to do the things that they do, maybe, there’s hope for them and I’ll have a better understanding of their “disorder.” My frank response was that I don’t have an interest in knowing WHY, anymore. I don’t need to “understand” sociopaths. They make their own choices, and their choices are made with intent to cause harm. No amount of knowledge, understanding, definitions, or compassion will ever, ever, EVER undo what they’ve done, nor will it STOP them from continuing to create carnage. My mission in this lifetime, at this point, is to recover, heal, educate, and experience true spiritual peace – in that order.

Brightest blessings

Finding meaning in life from tragedy is like finding one’s self. Both a misnomer. We are the one’s that give meaning to ourselves. We may accept what others think of us. Or decide for ourselves. But the choice is always ours to make. Same with any tragedy.

The spath either stole your life or showed some weakness that need to be strengthened. Just depends on how we choose to see it. With the fact that we “choose” what it means being an important part of the process.

We have a choice in how we feel, what we think, to be happy etc. It’s all in how and what we choose. It’s our main job.

The spath event can mean anything we want it to mean. Hopefully soon you’ll feel stronger, happy, not a survivor but that you overcame it — a Victor. The terminator – You crushed that event into one hell of a great life. So dance.

In the end it is always our choice.

My 2 Cents

T

Fantastic! what profound wisdom. Thank you for putting what you have, in writing for all of us to take in, spoon.

shane

Hi,

Thanks for the kind words.

“Reality is Plastic” [Not my phrase]

In life as far as we know, we all start off with only 2 fears. Fear of falling and loud noises. All the other fears we must learn. And the killer of “choice” is “Limiting beliefs and fears.” All that crap, we came to learn that locks us into, the graveyard of “No Choice.”

The old saying, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a life time.” – is widely known. When I first heard it I thought WOW. Then one day it hit me, it’s a half truth. The part that is left out? Does he have the ability to choose. To a man that is full of limiting beliefs, being taught to fish will do him little to no good. He’ll know how to catch fish. But he will probably not act upon it. Why, limiting beliefs. He believes he has “No Choice” – I’m a loser, nothing ever works out for me..a long list.- Add the wisdom of Anais Nin “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”- And he’ll most likely just go back to begging, stealing or whatever he was doing before he was taught to fish.

“No Choice”

I’m unlovable. My life is not complete without a partner. I can’t “X.” “Love trauma” a fear twisted into an illusion of love. A compulsion/addiction that was learned. Which gives a whole new meaning to we can’t live without them and we can’t live[survive] with them. I don’t deserve. I’ll be “X” when “Y” happens. A few examples of limiting beliefs that those that are coming out of a spath event may be facing. The present of limiting beliefs makes it hard to see that there are choices.

According to University of California psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, “happy people tend to have very similar experiences to unhappy people. The difference is unhappy people spend nearly twice as much time ruminating over disappointments than happy people.” I’ll disagree with her wording. Happy and unhappy people have similar “events” in their lives. But different “experiences.” The thing that happy people have is the ability to choose what the event means. [Event plus meaning gives us our experience] They are not locked into limiting beliefs which create “No Choice.” To take this a little further happy people see life as a process, a flow, not as an ending. The process is always moving them to be happy. And this is something they have learned to do.

The “Power of Choice” is an important power to have.

And fixing the problem doesn’t work.

My 2 Cents

T

Joyce – you are an incredible woman.

I was very moved and impressed with your incredible level of strength and courage.

The triumph in your life is obvious. You have faced your demons and made peace. Few are able to do this.

For some reason, I am seeing you galloping across your meadow on that fine stead…in time my friend, in time.

Peace and blessings to you always.

SPOON, I want to compliment you on the WISDOM of your post above….that is some mighty good insight.

Hope52, thank you…right now Ii am “riding” a knealing scooter or a rolling office chair or a pair of crutches for the next few weeks until I am out of the cast and into a walking boot, but “mentally” I am feeling brighter and more upbeat. The weather is wonderful where I am, perfect FALL weather, not to hot and not too cool…so am taking advantage of it as much as I can by being outside and doing some fun things. Getting out and socializing more, or just sitting outside in my yard in the shade and reading.

I HAVE come a long way from the summer of 2007 when I was “crazy as a sheet house rat” from stress and fear….and there have been times in the last year when I have “back slid” into fear and anxiety, but life is a daily event and so is healing, and we have changes that we have to cope with from birth to death and we have to face those changes and challenges.

What spoon wrote above your post is so right on! GOOD STUFF!

I have “known how to fish” (professionally) for a long time, but I DID NOT FISH. Just as I KNEW THAT SMOKING WAS BAD FOR ME and I advised my patients to stop smoking, but I continued to smoke….and a lot of other bad life style choices that I made, while advising my patients not to make those same choices.

My egg donor used to call me the ULTIMATE HYPOCRITE and she was right….and I told her so, but said “at least I get PAID for being a hypocrite”–which was also true. But I FINALLY took my knowledge of “how to fish” and APPLIED it to my life.

I quit smoking. I started eating more healthy, and lost some weight, and other HEALTHY CHOICES.

I also started learning to set boundaries and to enforce them where people around me were concerned. I quit being a DOOR MAT and quit being a VOLUNTEER VICTIM even though it was trained into me from birth. Just like I had watched my family smoke cigarettes and I smoked as soon as I could lay hands on cigarettes, and just as I watched my family behave in dysfunctional ways…but I DID LEARN TO FISH, along life’s road, and NOW I AM FISHING….fishing for myself.

We are all in the SAME BOAT…we have been “bitten” by a psychopath, but it is up to us whether we continue to stick our hands in their mouths again, or allow them to remain close enough to us to bite us again.

Just as being bitten by one snake and getting away from it doesn’t exempt us from being bitten by another snake in another place, but it is a good LESSON for us…that maybe we should A) stay away from snakes B) stay away from areas where snakes might be likely to be and C) carry a stick!

Ox
Thanks for the compliment. The understanding about the fishing adage hit me one day during a discussion about politics, the poor and stuff. The guy quoted the saying and a light went off. The poor had a bigger problem beyond teaching them to fish. They needed the desire to fish for themselves. Later I came to see that it was limiting beliefs and the ability to see that there are choices as 2 important factors that went to what the bible calls a spirit of lack.

The smoking is a good example. Ye O’l hypocrite. And most of us are in some areas in our lives. Nice to hear you got that taken care of.

It’s all just information until we use it.

‘Bitten.” Yeah. But most that get bitten do so because they have many issues which leads them to see the snake as a good thing. It’s not blame. Just the reality of the situation. Nobody is broken. They are just trying to do what they can do. Try and fix the problem. And the problem is these issues can’t be fixed.

I figured someone would have jumped all over the statement “fixing the problem doesn’t work” that I wrote up above.

I like: C) carry a stick!…..and apply repeatedly.

My 2 Cents

T

Yea, Spoon, “apply repeatedly.”

I was talking to a diabetic patient one day, desperately trying to get her to limit what she ate, and to adjust WHEN she ate as well as how much, and what KINDs of foods she ate, etc. and she was NOT HEARING ME I could tell.

I was very frustrated that she was not listening to my teaching lecture/discussion and then finally she SCREAMED at me.

“I don’t want to hear about all that, just GIVE ME MORE INSULIN so I can EAT WHAT I WANT TO!!!”

And while I was sitting there so self righteously thinking how that patient wasn’t willing to alter her life style in order to be more healthy, I decided to go get a cigarette! LOL ROTFLMAO

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL

Motivating people not only to LEARN what they need to know, but to USE IT TO ACTIVELY CHANGE their lives is a big problem in health care, sociology and in many different aspects of our society as a whole.

It is difficult to get a kid to learn his multiplication tables or to think about getting a high school education so he can get a job and support himself when he can look out his school window and see kids 15 year old drop outs making hundreds of dollars a day selling dope on the street corners who are living EXCITING lives, FUN lives.

Doing what is “right” or what is “good” or what is the thing we ought to do isn’t always much fun, or excitiing, but in the end it is more beneficial I think than taking the other road. I thought that for my son to finish high school, then college and then get a job iin some exciting field would have been the best road for him to take, but HE DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT. He had no wish to delay gratification at all, and he wanted HIGH RISK, HIGH EXCITEMENT daily fare, not books and study. Robbing and stealing was more FUN and he wasn’t concerned about the future at all. MY idea of what he should do was not HIS idea. I was unable to get him to see my point of view. Well, what I foretold happened, he got involved in a “life of crime” got felony records, prison time, and then eventually killed a girl and has lived all but maybe 12 months of his adult life (since age 18) in prison (he’ll be 42 in the spring) when if he had taken my advice, finished high school, then college, he could have been filthy rich by now with his talents and IQ and been living the HIGH LIFE with all kinds of benefits. Instead he is in prison. Just another convict. But he doesn’t see that really, he still sees himself (BELIEVE IT OR NOT!) as a SUCCESS! LOL

Ox

And keep repeating until you think you’ve got it right. Then at least 2 more times just to make sure.

Hahaha. Always laugh when I go by a hospital and see them all huddled together puffing away. Even funnier when it’s freezing outside. Cigarette smoke always stops me up. So it was never a choice. I’m lucky that way.

Yep hard to get a kid to do what is good for them. The kid has a choice in what happens. If they are happy, healthy, taking care of themselves and not in prison then I always see it as a job well done.

Got a cousin that has spent his whole life in and out of prison. The strange part is he wasn’t mean. Never physically hurt anyone. Only stole from big companies or wealthy people. And most everybody likes him. If you asked him for anything he had. He’d gladly give it to you. The town he was from use to throw a party every time he got out. He told me one time that prison felt more like home then any place he had ever been. Nothing anyone can do.

“fixing the problem doesn’t work”

T

Spoon, a friend of miine has a son like your cousin, in fact, he just got out of prison recently and stayed clean a week or two then she took him back to turn himself in….he does fine in prison, but not on the outside. It is a shame. I knew him when he was a child and I loved him. Cute sweet kid. Now a thief and a junkie.

His mother suffers…she can’t let go. She keeps praying for a miracle. I did too. But now I know that no matter how hard you pray that someone will change their ways, they HAVE FREE WILL…and even God won’t MAKE someone change. We have OPPORTUNITIES but He won’t force us to act better. Even Judas had a free will….and Jesus loved Judas but He didn’t make him change.

Peter had free will and he denied Christ, but PETER repented and changed of his OWN FREE WILL, no one made him repent.

I think having FREE will over our choices…even the bad ones we made, should make us realize that when we ALLOW continued abuse…the thing is CONTINUED abuse from someone then we are the ones who need to do some changing.

Sometimes that abuse is we allow ourselves to abuse ourselves like me with the smoking. I abused myself. I finally chose to STOP abusing myself. I have also chosen to stop allowing others to abuse me. Wish I’d made these changes sooner, but I didn’t. But we can’t go back and undo what we did or didn’t do. We have to look forward and move forward from where we are today.

God bless.

Ox

Yes it can frustrate the love one’s. The family acted as if what he did was normal. Can’t speak for his parents they where gone before I was born. That was just him and that was OK.

He showed up at my house one night about 6 months after he was put back in prison for stealing a fleet of Roustabout rigs [oil]. Asked if he could stay the night. Made some phone calls, took a shower and to bed. He woke me up with breakfast made. Homemade biscuits, gravy – the works. Then cleaned it all up and left. Showed backup the next night same thing. He left that morning and never showed again. About 3 months later a Texas Ranger shows up and asks if he had been here. Yes. TR – well you where harboring a fugitive. I said got me, ain’t my job to keep him in prison. Besides how could I know if you had released him. TR laughed and said no big deal. Just checking his story. He was at the minimum security at Big Springs but did like it and wanted to be transferred to a maximum. TR goes on that they never put out an APB for him. They knew he’d be back. And he turned himself in the next day after he left my house. Got 5 more years added to his sentence and his wish of maximum.

Free will does make it messy. You can do whatever you like but so can I. And we have a tendency to do what we want to do and have expectation that don’t met our actions. When it all goes awry well somebody should fix this. Like the lady – GIVE ME MORE INSULIN.

Go back and undo.. sure would make it easy to clean this stuff up. Also we can’t start where we want to be. We can only begin where we are. Plus the other thing that can be annoying you can’t get away from yourself. Every where you go there you are. I mean really no vacation time.

“fixing the problem doesn’t work”

Take care

T

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