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How to clarify your thinking about disordered personalities

Editor’s note: The following guest post was written by Bruce Rubenstein, M.D., a psychiatrist based in New York City.

Knowing how I know myself, and others ”¦

By Bruce Rubenstein, M.D.

Introduction

In this piece, when referring to psychopaths, sociopaths, the personality disordered, malignant narcissists, etc, I shall refer to them as pronouns in italics, as I believe they are all one and the same on a continuum. The various widely used terms to designate them (e.g., sociopath, malignant narcissist, etc.), mostly all clinical in derivation, all carry with them associations and assumptions of which I believe much is incorrect and misleading. So rather than evoking those associations, I will just use italicized pronouns as a stylistic way to separate them from us.

Knowing

In the journey to understand ourselves and them, and in order to heal from relationships with them, one must go through an anguishing process of re-evaluating everything we thought to be true. We must transcend the chaos and confusion they infused through manipulation and distortion in order to attain clarity using our rational minds. As one very wise person who grew up with them as parents once remarked about the healing process: “Start with the head; the heart will catch up later.” We want to understand the TRUTH, but it is crucial to take a moment to contemplate how we know things. At first glance, the question may seem abstract and overly philosophical. However, it is not. Take a moment to think about your experiences with them. Once you thought you knew them. Now you know them differently. Which is the TRUTH? The answer is in understanding “how” we know things. In philosophy, this is called epistemology. Others study how we know things in the fields of consciousness, psychology and neuroscience. Let’s focus on two closely related aspects of how we know things.

The first is what we REALLY mean when we say, “I know.” What we REALLY mean is that we’ve made something or someone familiar to us. In other languages, there are distinct verbs that convey this difference: French connâitre or Spanish conocer”—to be familiar with,” such as a person, versus French savoir or Spanish saber, meaning “to know” intellectually. Thus, when we encounter something or someone new, we will frequently use metaphor or simile,  both ways of relating “new” to “familiar.” The first time you taste rabbit, for example, you might say, “It tastes just like chicken” (“rabbit” is new; “chicken” is familiar). Or, perhaps you might be walking down a Parisian street and comment, “This is sublime.” Here too you are relating something new, i.e., the sentient experience whilst walking in Paris, with a feeling with which you are already familiar: sublimity. So, too, of encounters with others. Upon perceiving various aspects of someone’s personality, you will frequently relate your responses to something familiar to you and then over time have the sense that you “know” that person. We all do it, but it is worthwhile to take a few moments to appreciate how frequently we take something/someone new, make it familiar to us, and then say to ourselves, “I know it,” or “I know him/her.”

The process by which we relate something or someone to the realm of familiarity is a product of consciousness. Consciousness is the state of being aware of what we are perceiving as opposed to other animals that, to the best of our knowledge, do not have consciousness. Whilst awake, we “live” in our conscious minds almost always. Ninety-nine percent of the time, after we perceive something, we “translate” it into something our consciousness understands. Here is a critical point: Our consciousness understands thoughts and their representation—words or symbols. We are quite sophisticated in that we have the ability to combine many words and many thoughts and string them together into theories, basic assumptions, narratives, and so on.

But this realm of consciousness is quite limited for several reasons. First, there is a limit to how many “things” it can contemplate and put together at one time. Let’s use a flower as an example of something we are contemplating. When we contemplate that flower in any one moment in time, there are lots of things going on in the roots, stem, petals, etc. In the non-visual realm, photosynthesis and metabolic processes are occurring. Our conscious brain, however, cannot “think” about everything going on in that flower at one time. We focus on one thing or the other, despite the fact that the actual flower’s existence is not broken down into parts—it is a complete, whole being. Our conscious mind’s process of breaking things down into parts thus creates an artificial sense of what the flower truly is. Of course, we can acknowledge this point but in truth, our limited conscious mind cannot contemplate the entire or whole existence of the flower at one point in time.

Moreover, even the notion of “time” is a product of the limitations of consciousness. For example, we cannot “think” about a flower’s entire lifecycle all at once: sprouting, growing, blooming and then fading. We break it down into chunks of time. But in reality, that flower’s “real existence” is not broken down into arbitrary or artificial time segments. It’s a continuum of life.

[To imagine what it would be like to not exist “consciously,” think about dreaming. In dreams everything is all jumbled. You are everyone in your dream and everyone is you. Time is relative. In the dream you had last night, perhaps you crossed the country in one minute. Perhaps you were in one place with one group of people and in the very next moment, you were somewhere else with entirely different people.]

Memory and concentration studies bear out this point by demonstrating that we can only reliably think about roughly six to eight things at one time. We have known this for quite some time, and it is the reason that your telephone number has seven digits. The telephone company did studies back in the 1950s to see how many digits an individual could remember as one “phone number” and the ideal number was seven. (Please remember that it was before area codes. In those days, if you wanted to phone a different “area code,” you’d have to phone the operator.) Today some countries, like France, have instituted eight digit numbers. However, the ideal number of digits is seven.

But life’s challenges obviously involve much more than recalling seven digits. We deal with more input or perception by creating “buckets” or “categories” in our minds. An example: living things. We have created “buckets” like animals, plants, micro-organisms, etc. But if you really think about it, no such buckets exist in nature, in reality. We simply categorize things in order for us to consciously digest them. An analogy might be our digestive systems—we eat “food,” but then break it down into “chunks” (i.e., fats, amino acids, etc.) that are digestible.

It’s crucial to consider this, to consider our own limitations. And consider the fact that each person will probably create different “buckets,” depending on that person’s nature, experiences, etc. For example, someone who is quite concrete and overwhelmed by too many choices will create fewer buckets, possibly even only two buckets, like “Good and Bad,” or “Pretty and Ugly.” The more buckets, though, the more variation based on individual factors. For example, you may have had a talk and shared your experience of them with a friend who is very concrete and never had such an unfortunate experience. That talk was probably unsatisfying and frustrating because your friend puts people into two buckets: “Good” and “Bad.” But after your terrible experience, you now know that it’s not quite so simple. You now have several buckets with varying degrees of “goodness” and “badness.” And not to complicate it even further, but consider the fact that nearly all those who read Lovefraud, and who have had similar experiences, likely have slightly different buckets. Therefore, the important point here is to keep in mind that we create buckets in order to be able to think about things in a distilled form.

As things get more complex, we create different levels or strata of buckets. This is where we get into organizing principles, theories, ways to see the world, and particularly how we experience other people. But these systems of buckets must change over time as we observe things that don’t “fit” with our underlying assumptions, our underlying “buckets.” As one example, Freud created an enormously complex theoretical base to explain all of human mental life and behavior. Frankly, it’s nearly impossible to integrate what we observe about them into Freud’s ideas. Hard core Freudians will go to great lengths to make this square peg fit into one of Freud’s round holes. The reason is that we get very attached to our basic assumptions. That’s human nature, to prefer the “known,” the “familiar,” or to stay in our comfort zone. And the more elaborate that base theoretical construct is, the more we can manipulate it and convince ourselves that it really does explain everything. I’m not picking on Freud, although his theory is quite elaborate. I could have chosen any theoretical approach to understanding human nature, e.g., object relations, Jungian theory, even what they call “strict neuroscience,” looking at neurons and neurotransmitters.

One more important point on consciousness—it tends to either exclude or metaphorize any perception that cannot be put into a thought or word. Thus, everything that deals with intuition is immediately either dismissed or shoved into another construct. But intuition is very real. Think about how many aspects of them you perceive and then make you say to yourself, “What the hell is this?” Well, so much of what we see in them is utterly irrational, unthinkable and indescribable. Our conscious mind, that “tool” we use to think about EVERYTHING, including ourselves and others, doesn’t do well in the realm of irrationality. What then drives us crazy is that despite the irrational nature of their behavior, they all behave in a similar, predictable manner (i.e., lying, cheating, etc.). That is one reason that trying to understand them is so crazy making. The fact that you can predict and observe consistent behaviors in them suggests a cause-effect or rational template to them. We “should” be able to create “buckets” to understand. But it’s NOT rational. Rather, we have all of these other observations about them—those that are more “intuitive,” but for which we lack the words or we lack the ability to incorporate those perceptions in our “rational” conscious mind. The result is confusion—that anguishing confusion every person experiences after interaction with them.

No matter which basic assumptions or theories you use, even a combination of theories, understanding them and how we get involved with them is elusive. We don’t realize how much of our thinking is based on years and years and years of all sorts of basic assumptions, or “buckets,” that we automatically invoke in order to understand or make them familiar to how we are USED to thinking about ourselves, others, goodness and even evil. You may not even have had an “evil” bucket at all. Trying to fit the square pegs of our observations of them into our pre-existing round holes requires far too much time and energy. The healing process, therefore, involves the very difficult and frequently anguishing journey of getting rid of pre-existing “buckets” and creating new ones. By the way, one could call this process, “Personal Growth” or the “Search for Truth.”

As I mentioned at the beginning, the healing process necessarily requires achieving clarity using our rational minds. It is thus helpful to begin with only two buckets, and they are:

1) This makes sense

2) This doesn’t make sense

At first this simple binary delineation may prove harder than you think. This is because you are so used to your old “buckets” that you will find yourself tempted by them. Try to resist the temptation. Try to tolerate the discomfort of not knowing “right now.” To quote a colleague of mine, the process is “tolerating discomfort for the sake of growth.” Over time it will get easier. But even initially, you will begin to feel a certain freedom that will arise as a result of you beginning to trust yourself again. At the core, all good people have good instincts.

There is another important point to make in this regard: Never throw out a perception, even if it doesn’t make sense right now. Many people run into problems by equating a perception that doesn’t make sense with something that is not true. For example, one frequently hears, “I loved him/her.” That observation will go into bucket #2: “It doesn’t make sense to love someone who is not reciprocal, who is hurting me.” But it doesn’t mean it is not true, rather, it doesn’t make sense now. As an alternative, spend some time thinking about what it means when we say, “I love someone.” It turns out it can mean many things to many people. Then keep the observation (“I loved him/her“) on hold. Don’t discard it as not true just because now it isn’t making sense to you. Allow for the possibility that it doesn’t make “rational” sense right now, but at one time it did make sense. It doesn’t change the reality of your clearer mind today that it doesn’t make sense. You can come back to it later. In the meanwhile, without you even noticing, you are learning to be more accepting of what you do not “know,” or of what is not familiar to you. Clearly mistreating others should NEVER be familiar to you. Learning to accept that which we do not understand right now is not only crucial to healing, but also exigent to what it means to be most human throughout our lives. Patience and acceptance bring peace.

Postscript

After letting the ideas presented here percolate for a while, it may be clear to you why I use the “buckets” of italicized pronouns (e.g., he, she, them) rather than using terms such as sociopath, narcissist, etc. Even the way in which we write or read about them is part of how we “know” them.


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208 Comments on "How to clarify your thinking about disordered personalities"

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This post makes so much sense to me in so many ways. He caused my mind to melt down because my reaction to everything he did was, “This does not compute.” I had no frame of reference, no language, no experience (even my father didn’t come close) with which to make any sense of what happened.

“Well, so much of what we see in them is utterly irrational, unthinkable and indescribable.”

“Rather, we have all of these other observations about them—those that are more “intuitive,” but for which we lack the words or we lack the ability to incorporate those perceptions in our “rational” conscious mind. The result is confusion—that anguishing confusion every person experiences after interaction with them.”

It’s beyond that which we can explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. It’s a *known sense* (gut/intuition) of something wrong which we cannot understand, which is on top of the behaviours we’re seeing. It’s true that the best you can do at the start, and maybe for the first year or so, is put it ‘on hold’ and sit it out until acceptance comes.

“Trying to fit the square pegs of our observations of them into our pre-existing round holes requires far too much time and energy.”

It certainly does. It takes so long to get over this because there’s no template. Who knew there were people walking around that could do this? But it’s true that time and patience do bring peace.

Dr. Rubenstein, thank you for this. It explains the process we go through while we’re healing so well. And I agree with you that they’re all on a continuum. I don’t care about the label any more. By their fruit you will recognise them.

Dr. Rubenstein,

Thank you so much for this very very good article, and for the concepts about “them.”

Your writing is very clear and makes so much sense in a rational way. I think so many of us have driven ourselves crazy by trying to pound square pegs into round holes for so much of our lives.

I think that we are taught so many false “truths” from childhood, that contaminate our buckets and our thinking…like “there is good in everyone” or “it takes two to fight” or “there are two (valid) sides to every story.” In fact, so many of these “truths” are completely false, but if all other things are judged by these “truths” it throws our intuition off and confuses us and things don’t make sense.

If it is TRUE that “there is good in everyone” or “no mother (fill in the blank with a relationship) would deliberately hurt a child” why is someone who has good in them deliberately hurting me?

That does not make sense NOW, but that does not mean it is not true that they are deliberately hurting me.

I also agree with Verity that “by their fruit (actions) we will recognize THEM.”

So here’s the entire verse :

Matthew 7:15-20
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

I love when I have an Ah-ha moment with biblical verses. That analogy makes perfect sense. Fruits = Actions!

Dear dancingnancies,

Yep, people who are “false christians” frequently use the “thou shalt not judge” verse—meaning that we are not supposed to think we know what is someone’s motivation by reading their mind which of course we can’t do, but we can sure SEE THEIR FRUITS and we may not be judges but we can sure be FRUIT INSPECTORS. It doesn’t take mind reading or a rocket scientist to know when an APPLE IS BAD, and if a tree bears only bad fruit, chop that sucker down it isn’t worth keeping.

Sure even the best tree will occasionally have a bad fruit here and there, but the majority of the crop will be good….so when we see THEIR fruits, we will see the rotten fruits of illegal, immoral, dishonest and hateful behaviors.

One bad apple will spoil the barrel is also true. So if we associate with these bad apples from bad trees, we will ruin our own good fruit and become rotten as well.

Evil companions corrupt good morals. When we associate with them they ruin everything about us. One GOOD apple will NOT fix a whole barrel of bad ones, but ONE BAD one will spoil a whole barrel of good ones. Not fair, but that’s the way it works.

I’ve just re-read this article again….and the more I read it, ponder it, the more profound I think it is. I realize that any time one group (Us) vilifies another group (them) there is always the danger of attributing bad characters to “the others” that they do not deserve, but at the same time, getting a conceptual handle on “them” I think has been a big problem in educating ourselves (Us) about what hit us, so that in the future we can avoid getting clobbered by the same thing.

Various people have called it, this or that, and described it as that or this, but it really isn’t all that complex, it is, simply put, US and THEM. Simple. Easy to understand.

I had the largest bucket for things that didn’t make sense. Just kept piling more and more stuff in there. When his mask came off, I emptied the bucket. It all made perfect sense. the things he did were things only someone who despised me would do. the show of love was fake. it was that simple really. but it was beyond my imagination. Who could fake it for 25 years?

dancingnancies,
fruit = actions and = the results of the action too.
Having been raised by narcissists, I could not see their actions as bad. It’s what I was used to. but when i look at my sociopathic brother and sister and I look at my own dysfunction, I realize that a good tree could not have produced so much bad fruit. The tree was their actions: the way they spoiled my sister and brother, their baby fruit.

I would throw things in one of the buckets and then pretend they weren’t there.
My head hurts.

Either I had 1000 little buckets b/c nothing fit anywhere else, OR I had a HUGE container sized bucket labeled “Exceptions to the rules”. See? All this time, I had the label wrong! It should have been “Crazy Making Logic” and that bucket never filled up.

I had a hole in that bucket elijah. MY God.

Cognitive dissonance. It’s an uncomfortable feeling when what you thought you knew about the world and the person you’re interacting with clearly isn’t right. You have something wrong and must review everything in order to make things fit.

I had trouble categorising things as either positive or negative and so had trouble with any reliable filing system. I blame this behaviour on the tendency to aim to see the positives in people and to give the benefit of the doubt. I applied standards I use professionally to my personal relationship and it really doesn’t work.

So as an example – he would do something distressing to me – something he could have done differently. Let’s say he’d promised we’d go out together on a particular night. For the week before he’d make out how stressed he was and snap and then apologise and tell me he was just stressed and wouldn’t it be nice when we had our relaxing night together? He’d then encourage or tell me to leave him alone so he could work on whatever top secret project he was working on (He was an artistic type who sabotaged his own work and left himself no time by taking on crappy favour projects for other struggling artists).

So he’d lock himself away and I’d tell myself “Oh he’s working so hard and we’re going to do something nice – so I’ll do sometthing nice for him to make this time easier”

I’d cook him food or iron his shirts or just quietly clean and organise the house or buy him small gifts.

And then the cycle would go again and he’d be nasty. This time he might blame me for starting it and with no witnesses to it – who was I to argue?

Again I’d have to capitulate to the silent demands he made – never knowing what he really wanted.

Then we’d get close to the day and some pressing crisis would threaten the outing – he’d been asked to work for example. So it was cancelled and if I got upset then he’d angrily point out it wasn’t his fault and I was putting too much pressure on him when he was already pressuring himself.

Then I’d cry and be upset and say “If I was a priority to you then you would make time.” I’d point out how much time he spent on favours for friends and how little with me.

Then at the eleventh hour he’d pull a superman and brag about how much effort he’d had to put into getting the time to spend with me.

I’d be expected to be grateful and on ‘my best behaviour’ – dressed for a special occasion, smiling and contrite. It actually didn’t matter how nice I was – he always seemed to find a way to provoke an argument or upset while out. He’d accuse me of flirting with someone in our vicinity or he’d complain he had a headache but was soldiering on out of a sense of duty as a husband – how admirable.

This is just one tiny broken down example of a chain of events and there were hundreds of these negotiations happening at the same time – no wonder I became depressed. He blocked and actively thwarted me by any means necessary to silence and subjugate me as a person.

In filing those experiences – they are ambiguous and don’t fit cleanly into either positive or negative buckets. I could file his shitty behaviour into a negative bucket, but what to do with the ‘honest and rational explanation of why he acted the way he did’ ie “Poor him – he only snapped because he had a headache – life has been so stressful for him lately.”

I blocked out the awareness of what was happening and tried to focus on the good as my panic initially rose and was battered to submission. I couldn’t add up all the bad things because it could then only mean one thing – he was bad and I had to leave. And I wasn’t strong enough to leave because he had ground me down so low over the years.

It was a horrible catch 22 – I knew I had to get away from him to get better, but I honestly felt like I might die away from him even though my mind knew he was treating me very poorly. I was stuck. Taking the plunge to leave him was terrifying. We had a separation two years before the final separation. And it was awful – it only lasted a few days before I was weeping my apologies and making ridiculous promises to be better to him. So he came back scowling and blaming as they always do.

Recovering from this injury has been horrific and empowering – yet another dichotomy. To realise how black and white his thinking was in his treatment of me is just mind blowing. Especially when I compare it to my ambiguous and soft thinking that could see logical contradictions and mitigating factors and contextual stressors. He just wanted to use me. He just wanted to win. At everything. No matter what.

That realisation of his true nature both shatters and reintegrates the pieces of me. I can come back together now as I understand and work through that which broke me and broke the spell I was under that the world is an all good place and all people have some good in them and all people are redeemable and people can be loved better.

It is a clear sight now of the world. As it is. Like in the Matrix. I see so much evidence of the psychopathic way in the world. In big business and big pharma, in governments that are corrupted and rotten, in bad people who do get ahead by squashing others. It’s not just seeing one psychopath – it’s seeing all of them.

Once your eyes are open you cannot ever close them again.

Great article – it really made me think about how I thought back then. Thankyou 🙂

Dear Polly,

Cognitive dissonance of course!!! Word finding difficulty, that is the phrase I have been trying to think of—and it was on the tip of my tongue!!! Just couldn’t get it off there!

“Once your eyes are open, you cannot ever close them again”

I agree so much with the above statement, but I would add, that we SHOULD not close them again, but unfortunately, mine were opened and I purposely closed them again, in denial because I think I REFUSED to see what I knew to be TRUE because if I admitted it was true, like you I would have had to ACT on it and I did not want to act on it, so I denied it was true. I actually LIED TO MYSELF. (Now that’s a TRICK pony fore sure!) LOL

Very true Oxy – I closed mine in denial too – not wanting what I thought was happening to really be true. I think that’s natural when you’re beaten low by the P. You’re so busy putting out fires that you desperately hope no more drama comes your way and put off anything that requires you to change.

This might be a self protection tactic – the human being can after all only handle so much stress, upset, disappointment and pain. It’s so interesting now to look back on all the mental processes going on back then and how I justified things to myself to allow myself to remain. Guess most of us were trick ponies – well I was more of a performing seal really!

Dear Polly,

BELLY LAUGH!!!!! “performing seal!” ROTFLMAO yea, right on!!!

Yes, if we were to admit the truth and stop lying to ourselves (I think I PASSED “DENIAL” and went directly to KNOWINGLY LYING TO MYSELF) we would have to ACT on the truth and we do NOT want to act on the truth, so we either stay in denial or if that is not possible, move on to LYING TO OURSELVES in order to “justify” NOT doing something about the situation. LOL

I look back at my own denial, lying to myself, etc. and I think “MY God woman, how in the world could anyone be so blind?” DUH! People “believe” what they WANT to believe. What FITS with the way they want things to BE.

Think about it.

It is SOOOOO comforting to think that “there is good in everyone”—duh! How much safer our world would be if that were true.

How much “safer we feel” if we can BELIEVE that even if it isn’t true. LOL

“I will be happy when ______________ (fill in the blank) happens.”

I have to say that this is the most confusing blog for me. I have read it over and over and I don’t get the buckets? Always been independent so maybe I did not have ‘buckets’? just read it again, and still don’t understand what the concept is?

Hi Jazzy
Buckets are categories. I think he is saying that humans naturally understand the world around us by categorizing things. But we also categorize behaviors by putting behaviors that look similar into 1 group. the psychopaths know that we do this, so they behave in ways to make a think the opposite of their true intentions. We were not instructed or informed about that category. For us crying means sad, it doesn’t mean evil lies. When we see stuff that doesn’t make sense, we say WTF and put it in the WTF bucket. I think that previous generations had a bucket called witchcraft, and they burned them at the stake. That was removed from our world view, but nothing replaced it -until now.

Wow! skylar I just could not wrap my head around this. I’m not a stupid person, but i could not make heads or tails of the bucket theory. Perhaps because I am an artist I have always been open to new media and don’t think like this?

Well, I guess I should take what I need from Lovefraud, and leave the rest. But…I think I will be able to laugh at buckets from now on! I am bringing 2 buckets (laugh) to my town dump tomorrow to fill with salt sand. I will chuckle as I fill. Hello, Winter!

I just got off the phone with a good friend who ‘gets it’…..we have the BEST conversations……

She was telling me about this guy (I didn’t realize they were ‘aquantances’)…..that we both know.
He’s at very least an N……and I don’t know him well enough, but wouldn’t be surprised if his personality went further…..he’s a high powered exec….yadayadayada…..

She’s felt jilted and called bullshit recently on him and his wife for rsvp’ing yes to 3 parties they had and were no shows…..
The guy acted shocked and confused, didn’t remember any invites blah, blah, blah…..
My Gf is trying to build her business…..and as she’s telling me this story of being ‘done’ with HP N and wifey…..i’m thinking…..

I said, you know GF…..there are 3 types of relationships….Friends, family and steps on a ladder.

I’m not so sure i’d burn the bridge on this step…..just realize he’s only another step on your ladder and don’t let him use YOU as a step. (a friendly version of counter control). Don’t disguise his nice as friendship…..

She pondered this thought…….and said, well it’s frustrating….because he asks about the kids and other personal stuff and I really thought we were friends all these years…..but I got tired of when we invited him and wifey to our home…..they were so blatant and no showed, and it didn’t phase him.
I said…..yes…..but a person with this many hangers on….that’s all they have…..they don’t connect like ‘normal’ peeps…..they construe being surrounded by lot’s of peeps as they have good friends……and you fall under that catagory…..to them!
So…..pull back from thinkingthey are your friends and know they don’t have’friends’ like you and I have…..and just place him on the stepladder of your life…..because he could help your businesss………

This might have surfaced from the spathy side of my brain…..but……tough times call for tough measures……

Does this make sense….or have I lost my reality in spathyville?

Jazzy:
Think of it like this. Your art studio.
You have paper, canvas, watercolor paints, oils, different types/size brushs.
How do you set that up.
You put your brushs in a certain way, you store your canvas’s a certain way, your watercolor paints over there, and your oils over here…….
Now, go into a different artists studio……(or better yet, loan your studio to another artist)……
each person set’s it (thier life) up differently.
I’d keep my oils in a drawer with the palate on top.
You like to keep your palate out so it’s always handy.
I keep my canvas’s on a wooden rack, you stack them flat on top of each other with a foam cushion inbetween.
Does that make sense…..
This is how we all think…..differently…..even though the subject may be the same.

OR go into someones office and try to find the phone number to their boss.
you open the file cabinet…..and rummage through…….you can’t find anything…..
you go through the computer phone contacts……you know the boss’s name is joe smith…..so you look under S for Smith….logical to you….
It’s not there.
You look under J maybe for Joe?…..not there…..
Your perplexed…..
Out of the blue you try B for Boss…..Boom, Joe Smith Boss……
You’d never think of filing it under B??????
You call the persons office your in…..and to them…..they look at you as…..well, why wouldn’t you look under B? He’s my boss???????

We all have ways of relating to things in life….
Hope this makes a bit of sense and doesn’t confuse you more?!?!

First I wish to thank everyone who commented on this piece. The observations and thoughts of those who have “been there” are extremely helpful.

Verity – Your saying, “This does not compute” and “Who knew there were people walking around that could do this?” demonstrate that you’ve done a good deal of work in gaining clarity. Our “guts and intuition” perceive their irrationality and then this perception is at odds with our more rational “buckets.” Decent people don’t, and should not have a rational bucket for irrational, volitional malice.

Ox Drover – It’s not only what we’re taught in our lives. We also make assumptions about others based on our own character. It’s my impression that the sayings such as “There’s good in everyone” need the modifier, “potential.” People have the potential to be good, mothers have the potential to love their children, and two individuals have the potential to respectfully disagree. That potential becomes fact by consciously making the decision to do the right thing. Your comment nicely underscores the element of choice and how we can at least be clear that they chose a dark path even if the motivation is irrational. And yes, the simple “Us” and “Them” differentiation is a very helpful way to think about it and greatly decreases the chances of getting involved with one of them again.

Dancingnancies – Your analogy that “Fruit = Actions” seems right on target. Your citation of the biblical verse is spot on in regard to how we know things. It is my impression that in other parts of the bible, particularly in the story of Adam and Eve, the notion of tasting the fruit is a way of describing “knowing” something, or making something “familiar to us.” Once we “taste” it, we make it familiar to us by putting it inside of us; making it part of us.

Skylar – Your comment, “Who could fake it for 25 years?” cuts right to the heart of what I tried to convey. How can any normal individual conceive of existing as that type of deception for all that time? It reflects a profound, dark emptiness in them. What kind of “bucket” can we have to make that kind of emptiness “familiar” to us? How can we “know” that or what that is? We cannot, even though we are perceiving that darkness in our “guts.” Hence the massive confusion.

Shabbychic – Pretending that something isn’t there is a process of “un-knowing.” You “un-knew” things because they did not fit in a bucket, and for good reasons. The “un-knowing” process is what I meant by discarding a perception.

KatyDid – Many do identify the irrationalities, what you called “Crazy Making Logic.” However in part to retain one’s sanity, one usually ignores or discards those perceptions.

Pollyannanomore – Your story underscores how difficult it is to gain clarity when you are being gas-lit. Your last comment, “…it really made me think about how I thought back then…” reflects the fact that you have already invested a good deal of effort in re-working your “buckets” to be much clearer and to keep your “eyes open.” The open eyes you are referring to are your eyes of intuition. Indeed they will protect you. Don’t forget that now you can use THOSE eyes to also see the beauty in the world and in good people more deeply.

Jazzy129 – I’m sorry you found the piece confusing. Indeed the topic of how we know things is very complex for most people. And many of us think in different ways. Professionally I have found that certain individuals understand things in very different ways. Perhaps the following will be helpful to you. A researcher in Boston found that people have a strong preference to draw lines around things that they are trying to represent. In drawing a person for example, we use a line to outline someone’s body. But think about that for a minute. When you look at someone, there’s no line around him/her. That line is a representation. You need that line to differentiate that person from everything else in the illustration. But that line doesn’t exist in reality. Even if you don’t use a line, you may use color in an abstract painting or perhaps shape in a sculpture. Our conscious mind, what we usually use to think about things, is a medium just like drawing or sculpture. The conscious mind also has lines or colors. These are “buckets” to let us represent something. My main point was remind people that how we think about things is in the end, a representation and is thus limited by the medium. You can change the medium, i.e., change how you think about things, so that your representation is a closer approximation to reality. I hope this helped. Perhaps the ideas here can just percolate for a while; perhaps it will be much clearer to you at another time; or perhaps it’s not particularly helpful to you. As you stated, one can take what one needs. That’s the important thing.

Dr. Rubenstein:
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and provoking contribution to LF.
It’s nice to have another professional who ‘gets it’….(I KNOW!) 🙂
I appreciate your time and energy to offer us another spectrum of guidance and education and support through this very thorny road we travel towards healing.

Once again…..THANK YOU…..and I hope we will hear more from you!!!!

Jr said to me…..how do you ‘know’ that YY (spath) won’t change.
You can’t predict the future.

Well….he’s right there…..i’m predicting the future based on past behaviors and quite frankly……i don’t want to find out either way if he can/will change.

That’s my thoughts on ‘knowing’ he won’t change…..been there, done that.

Jr wasn’t defending him, (he likes to debate) and Jr wasn’t saying that one day he’ll be back with his father……he was calling BS on my statement of “I KNOW”.

For me, “i know’ is a safety net of providing myself emotional space from the fall. Once again.
So if I say….I KNOW……then I can divert trouble.

Now…..as my healing progresses…..I’m going to have to open up…..OR better yet, I want to be more open to trusting and loving and seeing more good in others…..so i’m going to have to put that ‘I KNOW” into a bucket and be open to the vulnerabilities of life….
But….i’m not so sure i’d throw out my spath bucket and ever be vulnerable to that again!

EB, Ask Junior how he KNOWS if he sticks his hand in the fire it will burn him! LOL ROTFLMAO Yea, at that age they have to challenge everything! LOL

one/joy_step_at_a_time

EB – never throw away the spath bucket; you may need it to hit someone on the head with.

it’s ‘easier’ (and isolating) to keep the fortifications up. but i know it will be freeing to lighten our hearts.

i put a message on fb today (where my little pod of old friend who are no longer my friends chat with each other; where a good friend recently sent me a message coming on to me (sigh. it freaked me out. i said, noooo. it may have taken me a while to get over it, but i said, in response to his asking, ‘of course it scared me. i am sacred, scarred and depleted…’and he never responded to that last message..??) i said, i am closing my account soon.

and i will.

and tonight, i spent about 15 minutes standing in front of the new ‘barter board’ at a local co-op cafe…figuring out what i wanted to barter and what tools i have that i would like to share with other people. i offered to show people how to make truffles, how to cook and offered to lend my silkscreens. it felt really good – REAL world.

today was hellishly stressful. my job, omg my job! i have been home for 2 hours, just sitting here, stunned from the stress. i have so little control – feels like i am in a big ball rolling down hill – so little control and a ton of responsibility. not good with that combo at the best of times. it’s been affecting my sleep the last couple of weeks. I will keep trying – it’s so overwhelming that i am just barreling through – i get an overview for a day and then i lose it. this is a hard hard big job.

keep that bucket well patched, and swing ‘er when needed…and carry around some little colanders, painted nice colours, for the good people.

THANK GOD YOU DIDN”T SAY BARTER SEX!!!!!! 🙂

Truffles is good!!!!!
I hope you get some response……and I (NO Doubt) know you have more talents to offer!!!!

Don’t ‘own’ that job stress…..do your best and taht’s ALL you can do!!!!!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

eb – omg – nevah! (and it’s not that kind of place) 😉

although i do have some mad skills (i’ve seen eyeballs spin!).

i listed things i don’t get to do much anymore, things i miss, things i want to do!

Shhhhhsh…..(i think i would have had to sneak sex in there in the margins somewhere) 🙂

Sorry…..I’m now cracking myself up……no nap today.

Dr. R,
Buckets!!! Yes! Buckets,,, that is such a good way to express this. I had the same bucket Skylar mentioned, the I don’t get this bucket and will make sense of it later. Then that bucket got full, so then came the.. I will tolerate this and not undertsand it bucket, then the… I will NOT tolerate this and don’t understand this bucket and before I knew I was running out of energy becuase I was running around trying to keep everything in a bucket. Bucket rollercoaster,,,, following his highs and lows and every time I turned around there was another darn bucket!! and he was breaking me down in mind, body and spirit and I was left with nothing but confusion and insanity and too many full buckets!!! That’s when I broke and left him. LF is giving me the validation and strength to take each bucket of “baggage” to the toilet and flush them one by one! One day at a time!
soimnotthecrazee1!!

Notcrazee:
I know whenever I feel confused by something to step back!

It’s a red flag I’m very aware of now.
Different story then…….

Flush away darlen…….

one/joy_step_at_a_time

snort – didn’t realize how that post looked!

i want sex – that hasn’t changed, just not gonna get close enough to anyone to do it. (no commentsabout not needing peeps to complete EB! ;))

Thanks EB! I’m going to have to call the plumber soon if I don’t slow down on the flushing!!! LOLOLOL!!
I am going to surround my house with red flags!!! Maybe the spaths in this world will stay away from me!!!
I so wanted what I was promised, my rose colored glasses stopped me from seeing the “red flags”! Now I am the red flag!!! LOLOL! I have never been told what a horrible,bitchy, unappreciative, picky, lazy, jeaulous person I am before in my life. Lovely insults from the man that put a ring on my finger…. I didn’t ask for that!
Gotta go flush a bucket!
Thanks for sharing!
soimnotthecrazee1!!

No plumber necessary…..WE ARE WOMEN…..and can do anything…..toilets included….just ask Dancing Warrior…..she handles plumbing now. 🙂

Thanks to the good Dr. for a very thought provoking article. I hope to see more.

Trying to “know” them, before we have seen the slip of the mask is what is crazy making. Because we have them in the “he loves me “but” ” He is a good person “but”, he means well “but” I know he is trying ‘but”…bucket…until the “buts” become the thing we know, and we realize that he/she is one big but- one huge exception to our perception of their character, the quirky thing that always makes things go wrong.

For years I couldn’t figure out how a very successful man, who continued to make a great outward show of being a good family man, father and husband, provider, etc…could consistently go so wrong and get us into one pickle after another. I “knew” him to be wanting to make things right. I “knew” he was trying his hardest. I “knew” he only wanted the best for all of us. etc. etc.

I had a giant bucket labelled “he is doing his best” and I kept filling it for him (or me I guess).

When I finally began seeing a distinct pattern to this behaivor- big plans, big deals, big drama, big stress, big OMG what now, big hurry up and wait to see if he can pull it out of the bag, I still used the “trying his best” bucket to rationalize the crazy topsy turvy existence I was in.

It is STILL hard to fathom that all of that was simple deliberate, subtle and stealth ABUSE. Gaslighting. Manipulation. Power tripping. Control.
Polly- your quote :”He blocked and actively thwarted me by any means necessary to silence and subjugate me as a person.”

really sums it up.

Speaking of being silenced…

One thing I go back to in my head from time to time is how he – over a number of years – got me to stop singing. I always used to like to sing along to music- in the car- around the house whatever. And I have a decent voice. EVERY time I did, he would ignore the fact that I was just reaching the best part of the chorus or whatever, and interrupt me with a question- a pointless one- or make a statement that needed a response.

I tried ingoring him- or pointing it out, or saying why do you do that- but after a while gave up. Stopped singing.

This is how unbearably small they are inside. How petty and needy they are. Seeing me take pleasure in any little thing- especially if it was free and came from within, was something to be held in contempt and ended. It was not about “him”. He did not control it. And it gave me pleasure. Kill it.

And about how can they fake it for 25 years? Because we give them “supply”. They have the little mouse just where they want it. They have nothing but contempt for us, and ultimately for themselves. By keeping us around to “play with”, they can deflect and deny the shallow, hollowed out space where their soul should be, the big empty space where feelings for other beings whould be.

If they have buckets there would likely be two. One labelled “target” one labelled “mine”., maybe a third labelled ” I am the greatest and in total control”

Wow, well articulated Anita. Real sharp notes in there.. yep, they pump up themselves on the outside like peacocks, when in reality they are small and insignificant and hollow… which is why they need to bully someone to get their “fix”. They think that somehow that if they STOMP down on others like fleas, ticks, that in comparison THEY have power ( and so the self-masturbatory HIGH from abusing others – the false sense of power). But in reality they are cowards because they keep their prey attached by manipulating a healthy inclination in them : to love others. So not only are they cowards in that respect, but the scales are tipped in their favor because they always pretend to be the opposite of what they truly are ( again, cowardly ) and they go out of their way to keep their true motivations hidden. They hide behind illusions because the real nature is foul and rotten to the core, full of perversity and hatred of innocence.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

the number of flashbacks i am having have really gone down in the last three weeks. there is one that comes though – and it’s about what happened after the spath killed off the fake boy. i can forgive her many things, but that shit, no.

using another sock puppet she tried to hook me into believing that the fake boy was not really dead, but had run a fowl of some great conspiracy to spirit him away for any host of bullshit reasons. she tried so hard, using her many sock puppets – manipulating language to plant seeds of doubt, attacking me and my character with one sock puppet and then mediating with another, manipulating my grief and compassion. i think that last one is the thing is am still most pissed about. she’d always manipulated my compassion – but she manipulated my grief, and that makes me furious. grief is such a pure experience for me – and she messed with it. haven’t said this in a while (and i have said it a lot), but may she rot in hell with the rest of her ‘people’- sooner than later.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

anitasee – i hope that you have started singing again.

I agree with Jazzy129. I also found this blog article very intense, heavy, and unnecessarily complex. I am an artist also. Interesting! Maybe it is too early in the morning! I will read it again. Thank You to Dr. Rubenstein for addressing Jazzy129’s thoughts in your comment reply.

Artists use lines to define a 3-dimensional object on a two dimensional surface. They also are defining the positive and negative space….where something “is” as opposed to where it is not. The line also contains an expressive quality which conveys the artist’s emotional energy as well as other perceptions and interpretations about his subject. Compare Vermeer’s painting of the Girl With A Red Hat and De Kooning’s Woman Series …. it is clear both paintings are of women yet the interpretation is very different and personal for the artists.

IMO, one artist can focus on the truth he sees in his subject (a gifted portrait artist) and another artist, painting the same subject, will be expressing some truth about himself. DeKooning has been labeled a (super)narcissist by his critics and biographers.

It is my life experience that some people are more clear thinking than others and for them truth is simple.

I have not posted here in a while. “Hello” again to everyone who still posts and visits!

Eye

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i am an artist also – I find the article dense and complex, but i don’t find it confusing.

Hey there onestep!

“may she rot in hell with the rest of her ’people’- sooner than later”

You know, call me a biatch, but I’d really rather see them all rot on the spot. The Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic words used in the Bible and translated as “hell” literally mean mankind’s common grave – so they wouldn’t feel anything if they rotted there….. I would so very much prefer to think of them falling to bits while they are still breathing….

….and this from a self-confessed pacifist, a peaceful mediatrix and a warm-fuzzy-styled girl….dear me, how my standards have dropped….(NOT!!!)

Yeah. I had a huge wtf? bucket. I think this goes along with the idea that we expect them to think the same way we do, and they don’t, and we dont get it. We keep trying to get it, because there must be a rational explanation….he loves me but, and everything after but goes into the wtf? bucket.
I like that. Lets coin a phrase. Everything after but goes into the wtf? bucket. If you’ve got more that a few things in the wtf? bucket, transfer them to the trash can and run.

Dr. Bruce,

What an outstanding post. You understand what many do not.

I met HIM more than two years ago. My intuition was there, that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do with it, and I threw it away.

As time passed, the craziness grew exponentially. I couldn’t understand it at all. I tried and tried and tried. I researched everything about his life and became a total snoop to try to figure out the truth from the fiction. I read probably 30 books on personality disorders, psychology, sociopathy, schitzoid personality disorder, schitzophrenia. I spent most of my waking moments trying to understand WTF?

I sent into therapy, bawling, trying to understand why the guy I loved so much didn’t love me back. I went on antidepressents.

My therapist worked with me diligently. I realized I needed to learn why *I* picked this guy. What’s wrong with ME that I took this path?

I learned so much.

I learned (through Bonds of Betrayal) that I was repeating the past – my childhood – the abuse dished out by my mother. It was a familiar role for me.

My therapist and I spent maybe an entire year on me working out the “buckets”. That is the EXACT phase I used with her – that I needed to put things in buckets or frameworks so I could understand – and I couldn’t put HIM in a bucket. She worked with me, but kept trying to get me to stop trying. I don’t think she really understood the magnitutde of the confusion THEY cause. You realize that nothing fits. The world doesn’t make sense any more. And of course, I was still in a relationship with HIM. He treated me like a rag doll. He’d tell me I was great, and then leave me. We’d make fabulous plans, and then all of a sudden he would cancel out at the last minute. He would tell me something truthful, and then next thing was an outrageous lie that he didn’t even try to hide.

At the advice of the folks here, I’ve gone no contact several times, and every time I get further away, my perspective changes, and I am getting better and better at understanding that a bucket just won’t work, and that I just have to accept the bizarre, I have to accept that I can’t understand it, and I just have to remind myself it’s not about me, it’s not my fault.

Thank you Dr. B. for an absolutely amazing post. This is one of the best things I’ve read here so far. I wish it had appeared two years ago.

Best,

Superkid10

Good Morning Kim!
Great idea…. transfer to trash! At least it won’t clog my plumbing anymore!!!!LOLOL! I had so many full wtf? buckets!! I am emptying my buckets one at a time and of course with the wonderful help of our LF Land! I wish I had found this before I left him. Oh well, I have it now… gotta go empty another bucket!!!
Thanks for sharing!
soimnotthecrazee1!!!!

Yeah. I think it takes a long time to quit obsessing about wtf? NEEDING to figure it out and understand. Eventually we get to the point where we know we will never understand, and that’s when we can let it go. At least that’s how it’s worked for me. All that wasted time and energy trying to make sense of it. All the confusion and head shaking. All the sleepless nights, and mornings when he is the first thing on my mind. Too much work and totally not worth the effort. Futile.

Kim,
LF has given me the validation and understanding to be able to let go. The “truth” like Dr. R says, that’s all I wanted. I got it here in LF land. I may have 1,000 unanswered questions about his actions, BUT I understand the crazyness now and I really don’t care anymore where he was at or what he was doing while he was gaslighting me and D&D’ing me I know he will rot in hell!!!
Thanks to all here in LF Land!
soimnotthecrazee1!!!

I know what you mean. A lot of stuff fell into place when I read the checklist, and saw how many I checked off. I got it, in that sense, but I will never get it, as far as understanding the why he does what he does thing….so now, like you, I have an I don’t give a damn bucket, and it works well for me.

I like this…. take all the wtf? buckets to the trash and fill as many I don’t give a damn buckets as you can.!!! We all need to take stock in “Rubbermaid”! LOLOL

This is interesting! I have to be honest; the article held many valid points, but being a writer who likes things placed ‘on the bottom shelf’, I grazed the article and returned to pick the meat from it.

I especially liked the Dr’s reply to Skylar:

Skylar ”“ Your comment, “Who could fake it for 25 years?” cuts right to the heart of what I tried to convey. How can any normal individual conceive of existing as that type of deception for all that time? It reflects a profound, dark emptiness in them. What kind of “bucket” can we have to make that kind of emptiness “familiar” to us? How can we “know” that or what that is? We cannot, even though we are perceiving that darkness in our “guts.” Hence the massive confusion.

I would have to agree with this statement totally! I finally just came to the conclusion I do NOT understand and I will NOT make sense of it, because it does NOT make sense to the normal person. It’s as if they live/speak/function in a different world. Years ago, I would have to get my daughter to ‘translate’ what my X was saying/meaning frequently. She could do this. I just thought I was lacking in the ability to ‘understand’ him. Sadly, little did I know, she was progressing into the same world due to genetics, I believe. Certainly, actions do have influence on us, but only so far, as we do make up our own minds and have free choices. As an adult, she now has very similar thoughts and behaviors as he did/does. Just as my two older children do their P father and they were not even raised around him. He was totally absent from their lives, my son from before birth. Yet, there they both are, VERY much like their father.
*I awoke this morning asking myself: “Who are these people I raised? I don’t know them! I don’t understand them! I don’t relate to them!” VERY eerie feeling~

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hi aussie – hehee.

i did develop a preferred way of seeing her suffer in this world. took me a while to hit on the exact scenario, but once i found it my obsession with wanting to maim her slowed way down.

it’s been at least a month since i uttered,’spaths! can’t live with them, can’t kill them with impunity!’ and probably as long since i thought about taking a car ride and literally doing her in to save humanity from her evil doing and spend my rage

i have been a Buddhist meditator for over a decade – and it IS a long fall.

you characterized me as ‘edgy’ the other day. it strikes me that an observation like that may mean that you feel uncomfortable – have I said/ done something that upset you?

Dear Superkid10,

Welcome to LF and NO CONTACT is the only way, unfortunately, to be able to get far enough away to start to “see the trees for the forest!”

As long as you have contact with him, he will continue to injure you in one way or another, or to suck you back in closer to hurt you some more.

It is a “radical” choice and one that at the time we do not want to make because we are TRAUMA BONDED to them. Read about Stockholm syndrome and understand that the push-pull push-pull, that they do, the hurt-soothe, hurt-soothe routine that they do to us is what bonds us to them so tightly.

We become dependent on them, just as a child who is alternately soothed and punished by her mother becomes bonded to the mother, we become bonded to the person who SOOTHES us, even if in between they hurt us, but then they soothe the pain away, the pain of the very hurt they did to us.

NO CONTACT is the only way to break this bond, get away so that your brain can start to respond and heal from the dysfunctional bond it has formed with the abuser.

If you were abused as a child, abuse becomes “normal” behavior between you and those who “love” you—only YOU can break this cycle by NO CONTACT, and then learn to care for yourself, to love yourself, to care for yourself! And only associate with healthy caring adults, not abusers. Learn to set appropriate boundaries.

BTW Welcome to LF, there’s lots of good stuff here to learn, and I suggest you go back through the archives and read the articles! Knowledge is power! God bless.

perniciousfamilycourts

This is an excellent explanation of the frustration and denial we all go through, and how we heal ourselves. I can relate to many of the posts, but I feel apprehensive as a male reader. The Spath I married is female. She is all of the things many of you indicate are true of your S ex’s, but there is a difference between male and female Spath’s or similar Dsrdrd Persons. The gender differences that exist in healthy people also exist in dsrdrd people. The female, in my view tends to be far more passive aggressive, covert, manipulative, rather than “controlling” by use of intimidation, verbal abuse, and shaming. In my personal experience, the Fraud is just as pernicious, yet even more difficult to quantify and identify. This may be the reason why more men are labeled as Spaths and N’s, and women are more commonly labeled as Borderline. I disagree that there are more men who are Spaths. I fully support equality in all regards, of all people, based on race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc….. I also support the protections afforded women, from abusive men. The sad reality is that the Spathic female has taken this “Shield” of protection, and turned it into their sword. I was and am a great father, a good person, and a healthy man. I have lost my son completely to the abusive woman I married, as a result of her brainwashing and control/manipulation of his young mind. I have a very strong relationship with my daughter, yet see her only once or twice a week.When she spends more time with me, her mother chastises her and berates her. The latest threat was that she would not have the money to send her to Ballet or to College if she kept it up. My point is this, Love Fraud, as Donna intended, is meant to be unbiased and applies to both genders. Because of “Gender” differences, men in general, are not as inclined, willing, able, or genetically predisposed to group discussion, group support, and socializing on this type of medium. I think socially, in general, women are more inclined to reach out and form friendships and associations with other females. Men are not as likely. Some of this is genetic and some based on Societal practice and habits. Men having evolved for thousands of years as the primary hunter/gatherer, and women as the primary child rearing/homemaking role.I am fully in support of equality, but the psychological impact this has had on the role of the male has been greatly ignored, poorly addressed, and almost ignored. What the strength and goodness of the women’s movement has done is primarily all good, however, as we know from history, with every significant social restructuring process, there are some things that happen that are not all good. In essence, my Ex-wife who is a Spath (and the court has ample evidence from psyche evals that show it clearly), was and is provided with complete teflon protection from those who control and operate within the Family Court System, by simply playing the role of the “Femme Fatale”. With absolutely NO evidence or even accusations of abuse, she simply has to say, in just a few selective settings, that she is “afraid” of me. This invokes the massive machine that is the overzealous result of good intentions, but is motivated by financial incentives and, in my humble opinion, the fact that many off those individuals deemed as competent and objective decider’s of the fate of Dads all across this country, are in fact, Spaths and Borderlines. This system labels and persecutes men, it creates “abusive” men out of good men. As we all know, the “crazymaking” effect Spaths have on us, causes healthy men (and women) to attempt to defend themselves, & point out that the true “craziness” comes from the other party, but the “Liar’sCourt” (as I like to call it and many very highly respected and knowledgeable experts do as well) is quick to defame the parent who exhibits otherwise normal, healthy emotional reactions to the abusive beahavior. They like to feed the supporting and growing Domestic Abuse industry that is a capitalist driven industry, run by many disordered/abusive/angry people. They are drawn to this industry exactly because it provides a playing field that is ideal for their need to lie, manipulate, and abuse. NONE of these so-called professionals has ever been required to go through a psychological evaluation themselves. In other words, these abusive personalities are in fact enabling and supporting abusive mother’s (and in some cases fathers). More than 90% of the time, in custody trials, across the country, the mother is awarded full custody and control of the children. In recent years, the men who are awarded custody, are in my view, learning/adapting to the dysfunctional system that enables/supports the abusive/disordered parent. Men are in my view less likely to go to court to control the kids, if they are dysfunctional/disordered/narcissistic. (another gender difference, more Narcissistic, self absorbed, less likely to love anyone)The system also tends to implicate truly abusive men sooner in the process, whereas it does not implicate, and even enables abusive (more passive/covert, better liars/read Little White Lies, Deep dark Secrets by Susan Shapiro Barash) women who are more passive aggressive and manipulative in their efforts to control the children because of their disorder, as well as the financial incentives afforded them in doing so. Women also have an innate “maternal” instinct that, when it is excessive, feel they have more of a right to “parent”, “own”, and/or control the children’s lives. I realize I will get feedback that disagrees with my opinion. There are exceptions to the overwhelming majority of cases. In my view these are the men who are abusive, evolving and adapting to the opportunity that exists in family court. The better liar and storyteller usually wins. There is far more “understanding”, “Sympathy”, and deference given to a mother who claims the father is “abusive”, without a speck of evidence, based entirely on her claims, and/or the claims of a close “friend” or confidante. Many times that “Friend” (if they are otherwise mentally/psychologically healthy) is unaware they are being used, and sometimes that friend is of the same dysfunctional/abusive personality type.
Again, I think the post by Dr.B is fabulous. My concern’s are that we are enabling these abusive people as everyone acknowledges, in society. They are present in corporate government, and social leadership roles. This is also true in the Family Court System, where you have Judges, Lawyers, Guardians, and Social Workers that are industries that attract these abusive people. In the segments of this industry that include Social Workers, “Guardians”, and Child Support workers, they are dominated by the female gender. Many of these women are attracted to this because it gives them the ability to practice their hate by destroying Dads. Before I get bombarded with angry posts in reaction to this, please consider the fact that I married a Spath, spent 10 years in hell, did not realize it until many years into it, spent several years educating myself and coming to the realization, just like all of you, that I had been conned completely. I agreed to JT custody, then never saw my children on Father’s Day, Rarely on their Birthdays or mine (unless it was my regular week (even thought these dates were designated in our judge ordered custody schedule), and never could get agreement on a holiday schedule in order to work out a plan with my out of town families schedules, and constantly was left waiting for the children at her home, only to discover after great effort that mom had taken them somewhere that was supposed to be my time and my responsibility, ahead of time just to spite me. When I tried to stand up against the abuse, I was labeled an “angry” dad. The abuse of my time was well documented, but the women in the system completely ignored it, denigrated the professional evaluations done by psychologists that supported everything I had said was true of my ex, and took the children away from me. My Ex medicates our son for ADHD because she cannot parent him, his education is being destroyed by her, and she has escaped accountability in all regards. She has been rewarded for her abusive behavior, because the system is filled with people who are disordered liars, haters of men, and enablers to their own kind. The core root of the problem was created by the Lawyers/Judges, who are mostly men (more female Lawyers now) and this was financially motivated. These men are guilty of abusive power/control, and it has now created under it, a greed and hate driven industry that meets the needs of those who value money, control, and hate more than anything else.

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