How to get a degree in psychopathy

Sara Strudwick, author of Dark Souls, lays out a step-by-step plan for learning about psychopaths. Read:

How to get a degree in psychology and psychopaths (the hard way!), on

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49 Comments on "How to get a degree in psychopathy"

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Thanks everyone for all the help. Many perspectives out there. I just want to call out and say thank you for helping me through a rough, rough time in my life and not getting angry with my selfishness right now. I just want to genuinely express my thanks for your *UN*selfishness and hope that as Strongawoman said (your posts lift me up SO high, thank you, thank you), some of what I express is helpful to others…..even if it’s, “Oh but for the grace of G-d (Nature, Universe, fill in the blank higher power) go I!”

Altho, I have to say Strong, I’m not sure I’m happy that my post helps you see your “inadequacies!” Oh no!! Hopefully there is something positive for you in that!

Dupey, I can’t thank you enough for your support and so much of what you said is helpful beyond words. I love this: “Don’t let the depression eat you up. Hear me?” That is SO kind and comforting.
“You have to fight it back sometimes. I know. But the less attention you give the hurts, the more they dull and someday, sooner or later, they just go away.”
You said a mouthful here. Thinking and re-living and analyzing and Googling and not helpful AT ALL. I think some of this depression, as I said above, is about the knowledge that nothing will ever happen with this person because he is not interested, nor was he ever. That’s a blow that’s hard for an obsessive like me to take.
Thanks for that and for everything in your posts. Hugs and xo!! You sound so great – just keep on truckin’ Dupey. Keep on truckin’.

Truth, as always, thx for the kind and spot on thoughts. I have to agree with you and Skylar about the suffering aspect. Not that we need go around sighing with our chins dragging the ground all the time or live in this horrible pity party I seem to be involved in a lot, but for me, I need to *feel* the pain in order to get past it. When I was in group therapy (7 yrs twice a week!) I learned that lesson so well. The worst, most personally devastating sessions ultimately turned out to be the most meaningful and helpful for growth and insight. I am hoping that something good will rise from the experience with this grave asshole. Only now am I really seeing the nightmare for what it was. Unfortunately, coupled with no job, aging, my horrible self-concept, (the “if they only knew how terrible I was” syndrome…”they” being *everyone*) it is much worse than it has to be.

Ox I hear you about the therapy and meds. I have a great therapist and I’ve had so much therapy in my life, even she says, “reeling, you should be writing, not reading self-help books.” She knows me and after each session, my head is back together. This past year has been so rough, there is no way I couldn’t have situational depression unless I was very very religious and sure it was G-d’s plan and that is not me. Oh that it were!!!!!
Ox thank you for caring.

I hope I didn’t leave anyone out. I am crazy for all of you wonderful people.

Strong, want to thank you for thinking well of me. I want to be up to your standards and hope that you are correct about me. Like I said, I do belong to that “If they only knew” club so it’s difficult to believe good stuff about myself. You are truly an angel and so good for my soul.

Loving friends, here is a little gift to you from me, with all my heart:

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

Lotsa hugs and thanks for blowing off that chaff for me.

Wish there was an Agree/Recommend button here!
Dupey, totally agree with Truth’s comments above. You are one strong and inspirational lady that I admire greatly.

And yes, Strong, I should change my screen name to Still Standing! Then hopefully Still Dancing! Endless possibilities. Thx.

Dear Truthspeak: Thank you for your very kind words.
I know they are meant with sincerity and understanding.
I appreciate your compassion.

It’s not often a ‘dupey’ is understood.
It has been such a very long, grueling, journey.
It was difficult enough before ppath came along and he only compounded it.
The best thing I ever did for myself was to cut it away and off me.

It was like literally severing my right arm off. That is how addicted to “IT” I became. And it was all done through conditioning and manipulation.
I honestly do believe he had me controlled to the point where I would have taken my own life, at his direction. That is how deep the abuse ran. Instead of giving in, I stood my ground and defended myself and put a stop to it, no matter how my heart felt. I did that because I knew if I hadn’t of, he would have murdered me. I still wonder.

All this, ON TOP of everything that was there before “IT” came along. Oh it showed interest and learned all my vulnerabilities and how to best destroy me because “IT” was jealous that a woman could be stronger than “IT”. And, that was the whole premise of “IT” building the relationship in the first place. A scammer, a con artist, a manipulator and a liar. To only serve “ITS” own purpose and for no other reason. He wants and has always wanted to destroy me because I am stronger than “IT” is. I proved to him that YES, we all have choices.

A person, I think, stifles from reaching out because the trauma is so difficult to explain. For instance: My counselor gave me two books to read. So we could ‘talk about them’. I had them for perhaps a couple of months and only got half way through the first one and I returned them, primarily unread, and I explained to her that I do not have the patience to sit and read. Isn’t that strange?
Yet, I can sit here and talk and write with all of you.

She said that our blog, here, at Love Fraud, is a very important part of the structure of rebuilding ourselves.
It gives us that freedom of expression and acceptance and understanding that is difficult to find in the general world.

NOBODY wants to deal with the truth and the realization that YES: this ugliness DOES exist. It rattle and shakes their world. Their safe, little, head in the sand world. That is where the lack of understanding comes from and where the ppath/spath get their power from.

What do we do about it? I asked a young teenager what she thought should be done about this and she said that when people go get their drivers license’s they should be given a psycho test. I asked her how we would gauge that or define it? She had no answer. She said she couldn’t think of a way to accurately ‘judge’ someone like that. That’s the problem, there is no answer. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying to FIND ONE because the survival of good, upstanding, moral people’s lives depend on it.

The predators have too many ‘rights’, while their ‘victims’ are left holding the bag. This problem and THESE CRIMES and the basis from where they are coming from needs to be explored or we are just going to hear more and more of this and there will only be more and more victims.

The journey isn’t over yet.
It’s not over until we close our eyes and our soul leaves our bodies.

We must always be vigilant with ourselves but find that happy balance that prevents us from becoming just like them.

Thanks for the love and support today, Truthspeak…
you know it’s coming right back at ya; huh?


((still reeling)): I am so happy to hear you sounding so much better today.
That makes me want to go dancing!

It’s all about realizing who you are and what you have.
That the days come and go and that they should really mean something.
That we have a purpose and a right to make each one count, according to what WE choose.

US and our lives do not have to be dominated by these horrible experiences. But we have to choose to ‘move’ on these ‘inspirations’ and ‘aha’ moments when we have them because if we don’t, the days are just going to keep coming and going without meaning. Exactly where our predators want us to be. We have to break free from the mindset that we are ‘victims’ and move over into the STRONG REALM of “SURVIVORS”.

mwah!!!! ((still reeling))
You knows I lubs ya. xxoo


Stillreeling/Stilldancing (lol

Hmm, inadequacies was not the right word. Maybe weaknesses is better. I think I was trying to say that reading your post helped me because I identified with the whole guilt thing and the coming to terms with being lied to. It’s been a painful process… a painful process as so many here can testify. When you wrote about your pain and how you were feeling I thought, yes I know that pain. I’ve been there. It isn’t somewhere I wish to revisit, Still. But there’s an album by a British band Stereophonics. “You got to go there to come back”

I love the track “Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find my way home” btway, but I love the Album title especially.

We gotta go there to come back. yes seree bob

Still reeling: I don’t post here frequently either but happened to catch your comment. There were two different things about your post that resonated with me. One is your mentioning a lot of fear and insecurity. You reminded me of how I have been having a great week (and really a great life in general). I’ve been taking salsa dancing classes with a teacher that I’ve wanted to study from for a year. I’m doing Zumba almost every day and generally having a great life. Then today a stray thought crossed my mind – a paranoid thought about a possible event that could possibly happen with someone I know. I won’t go into details but it was a form of catastrophic thinking – worst case scenario. All of a sudden I went into fear. My energy just went down 10 notches. I went to a new salsa club tonight and was off my game which made me feel insecure with my dancing as well. Then I looked in the mirror and thought I looked fat….FEAR is that intangible state that kills joy. And the thing about it is that if you don’t recognize it for what it is, it will suck all the positive things out of your life. Know that your fears are only fears, and they are not the truth about your life. And the thing is that usually the thing you are afraid of is not true.

The other response I had to your post was that if I were a coach or therapist for you, I would have you write down 10 things you love about yourself – 10 great qualities you have. Then read them to yourself until you start to “feel” those qualities. Let that feeling grow until you are starting to feel good about yourself. Knowing who you are and seeing your inner beauty is the best defense I know against fearful, anxious thoughts. They can still come in, but they won’t take hold.

I think – and you’ve said many times – that the spath had so much power over you because he was able to mirror back to you some good qualities you have. And now you are afraid that those qualities don’t really exist. They do. And even if they didn’t, they would if you said so. Those beautiful magical things the spath saw in you and made you feel is your inner beauty, which exists with or without a spath. If you can find it and feel it, you’re 90% recovered IMO.

What a great summary! I’m proud to say that I’ve completed my PHD in psychopathy, self-published my thesis (memoir) and am on my way to complete recovery! It’s nice finally to be able to read something intended to be humorous about psychopathy, and actually appreciate the humor it in…..

Strongawoman, thanks for your message. I was a kid during the British Invasion and the music from that era is and always be just a part of my heart and soul. You know how it is when you’re an impressionable kid, the great (and not so great) experiences you go through resonate strongly all through your life. I will go from here to google and listen to your song.

You said:
“coming to terms with being lied to. It’s been a painful process” a painful process as so many here can testify. When you wrote about your pain and how you were feeling I thought, yes I know that pain. I’ve been there.”

Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s so painful and where I’m glad you understand, which makes this forum so helpful, I’m sorry too. Sorry for both of us.

I know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I *well* know it was MY choice to fantacize a few comments, emails and convos into a possible beautiful mutually supportive friendship. Of course, that doesn’t help with the pain and lousy feelings and just emptiness. It isn’t *him*, it’s *me* and my guilt, shame, humiliation and the circumstances in my life intensifying my need for this fantasy. Aging, no job, feeling useless, purposeless, etc., puts me in a very bad state and it seems if I focus on him and what went down, that is the only thing that actually makes me feel better. It’s a huge catch 22 and a recipe for misery. I don’t even like the guy and think he’s a smarmy creep, but the fantasy was so lovely.
Strong, I so appreciate you and your warm, generous nature. May you continue to do well and to think back less and less until the thought of path just fades to nothingness or just maybe a lesson learned, no emotional response. Apathy.

Stargazer, gosh, you were up late. Hope you don’t have insomnia or were unsettled after last night. I so appreciate your post. And just let me say I’m very glad you are enjoying Zumba and also feeling well and strong and that life is great right now….very glad for you.

WOW-yes, I very much resonate as well to that stray thought, the worst case scenario, catastrophizing, jump to the bottom of the well thinking. Then obsessing about it till full blown panic takes over, which many of us understand is plain old fear. I can just absolutely feel how you felt…the energy drop, the insecurity at the club, the reflection in the mirror… does steal your joy and I truly hope you were able to float through it, snap it away or whatever tricks you use to step out of the fear state. Thank you for that reminder.

I so often watch people who aren’t affected in that way, and I’m so in awe. I know for me this is a wiring defect, supported by nurture, so it’s difficult to control at times, but again, it’s so helpful to know that there are folks like you out there who experience these same feelings and are doing so well. So again, I appreciate your sharing.
It really helps.

I love your suggestion about the “10 things” and I think I will also work into that a few about strength…I need so badly to feel strong and resilient. When I met path, even tho I HATE aging so much, I felt that being older had put me into a great position for accepting him as he was and being strong enough to appreciate his good qualities and accept his positive feelings about me, vague, cryptic and guarded though they were. So I know I have it in me to get back there to the strength.

Lastly, star, I hope you are right about the mirror. No matter what I read or try to understand about paths, I just find it hard to relate. I don’t even know what this creature wanted from me. I guess because he was getting into trouble, he just threw me under the bus so I’ll never know. It was that easy for him, but I just can’t accept it even tho I see how much he *didn’t* care. I so wish, so wish, I could get to a place where I truly felt in my gut what I know intellectually.

I have copied both your posts into an email to myself so that I can re and re-read and make my list.

Thank you both so much….

I wish you continued healing, comfort and that nurturing glow of well-being we all love and deserve.

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