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Is your stonewaller a sociopath, or someone else? Stonewalling, Part II

I wrote in my last article about stonewalling, that nefarious process (and pattern) of shutting down a partner’s communication either aggressively, or passive aggressively, the effect of which is to leave the “stonewalled” partner feeling voiceless, alone, dismissed, negated as a person.

Many sociopathic personalities stonewall, but many stonewallers aren’t sociopaths, so how do you tell the difference? What are some signs that your partner’s stonewalling is an aspect of his “sociopathy” versus, say, his high “conflict-avoidant” personality?

Clearly some individuals are terrible at dealing with communication in general and conflict in particular. Their stonewalling may be mainly avoidant. Their wish to “deny” that trouble is afoot, their deep discomfort with emotional sensitivity and vulnerability, their high levels of defensiveness, their sense of incompetence and even hopelessness to contribute to the resolution of differences and meet confrontation effectively, may cause them to retreat, shut down, or “stonewall,” less from an attitude of indifference, disinterest and dismissiveness than from anxiety and fear.

Some individuals “freeze” in the face of perceived conflict and take “flight” literally in closing the communication hatches. Their intent may be less to hurt you than to protect themselves, and even you, fearing as they do that danger could ensue from an engagement of your concerns.

This is still stonewalling, and its effect is still perfidious, make no mistake. But its origins may come from a less malign place.

While stonewalling, then, can arise from less malign motives, sometimes, too often, it expresses serious pathological aggression, passive-aggression, hostility, contempt and callousness.

Clearly when “stonewalling” is accompanied by cold indifference—any form of cold indifference—to the stonewalled party’s wounded response to being “shut down,” this is a sign of serious insensitivity.

To state it differently: when the stonewaller, as a pattern, shows contempt towards the stonewalled party’s disturbed reaction to his stonewalling, this alerts us that we are dealing with a deficiently sensitive individual who almost certainly can be located high up on the narcissistic continuum, if not in the range of the “sociopath.”

This isn’t to say that the non-sociopathic stonewaller will react with sensitivity to your experience of his stonewalling. That’s a bit oxymoronic—if he were particularly sensitive to his stonewalling, by definition he wouldn’t be a stonewaller. But his reaction will typically express discomfort with the impact his stonewalling has on you.

He won’t, for instance, like the more sociopathic stonewaller, characteristically lash out at you with blatant hostility and nasty, hurtful, degrading accusations in response to your complaints of his stonewalling. He won’t typically blame you.

More likely he’ll shirk away, convey a perhaps somewhat sincere sense of helplessness to offer up anything more than the inadequate silence he’s offering up, as if to say, “What can I say? I have nothing to say. I’m not trying to hurt you. I just don’t want to, or can’t, deal with this. Leave me alone. Give me a break. I’m sorry you’re so exasperated and hurt. That’s the way it is.”

You will feel shut down, but you will feel shut down by someone who can’t deal, who himself seems, and perhaps is, in a sense, paralysed and helpless to deal responsibly, thoughtfully, engagingly.

In contrast, you will have a different feeling with the more sociopathic stonewaller. When he shuts down your communication, you will feel yourself—I can’t stress this enough—the object of his contempt.

You will feel palpably, viscerally, his indifference to the impact his stonewalling has on you; his indifference will feel as traumatizing as the stonewalling itself, leaving you, in effect, doubly traumatized by the interaction.

There is a sense of shock—that is, his emotional indifference, his callousness, his devaluation of your emotional experience will feel “shocking.”

As I suggested, you are likely to feel his scorn, his scoffing; are at high risk to endure his insulting, degrading comments, along the lines you are making trouble, talk too much, always looking for problems, don’t know when to “shut up,” always have to “over-analyse” everything; that you are mental, miserable; but the key thing that will accompany these, and similarly patronizing remarks, will be, as I keep emphasizing, the “contempt” for your experience that will be dripping shamelessly from his mouth.

These are some of the red flags to heed that you aren’t dealing merely with an incompetent communicator who stonewalls, which is bad enough, but with a seriously, hostilely disturbed communicator from whom you need protection, and most likely, escape.

(This article is copyrighted © 2012 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is for convenience’s sake only, not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors and attitudes discussed.)


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59 Comments on "Is your stonewaller a sociopath, or someone else? Stonewalling, Part II"

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Excellent, Steve! Thank you so much for this explanation.

Steve, thank you SO much for continuing this discussion. The contempt that you speak of is almost tangible. Yes, there IS a difference between someone who just doesn’t have communicating skills and a sociopath. Contempt – the perfect description.

Thanks, again, Steve.

Steve,

I have heard of “withholding” as a form of emotional abuse. I see a lot of similarities to what you said about stonewalling.

Do you know if they are considered one and the same or are there differences?

Steve, while a person with ‘communication problems” may stone wall, even if they are not sociopathic, I’m not sure that there is a great deal of hope for improvement unless the person is willing to get some therapy for themselves.

Having dealt with people who stonewalled as a self protective mechanism, but who I don’t think were sociopathic, none-the-less were not likely to learn better communication skills until they were willing to engage in some vigorous therapy in order to learn to communicate.

I have not found it “worthwhile” to spend a lot of time trying to communicate with people of this “persuasion.”

For example, my egg donor is not a sociopath, but she is so entrenched in her family role of being the “family enabler” and protective of the “family bad boy” she frequently uses stonewalling as a method of protecting her position, but she is not willing to change, or even to speak about change, or to acknowledge that she has a communication problem.

She is only one example, I can think of many others in people I have known through out my life time. People I went to school with, people I have worked with or encountered in many different venues.

For me, this lack of communication, this lack of the ability to openly communicate about emotionally charged subjects (even lightly emotionally charged) precludes any kind of meaningful communication on anything deeper than “the weather.”

When I spot this kind of “stone wall” I turn and retreat. I have never been able to successfully scale this kind of battlement.

If you have been able to successfully engage some of these stone wallers in effective communication, I would really like some advice in how to proceed. Thanks. Great article.

I’m glad this discussion is continuing. I think there is a lot more to “stonewalling” than is usually thought. Or, many ways in which it can manifest. I am finding myself in agreement with everyone about it — there are many flavors of this.

G1S, I do think that “withholding” is a less-descriptive or fleshed-out way of saying this. Also, “the silent treatment” is another way I’ve heard it mentioned. But stonewalling, with all these descriptions, paints it most accurately.

Oxy, I agree with you that no matter what the cause, it is too frustrating to engage with.

Yes, the contempt IS palpable. I have been in relationships with stonewallers who are contemptuous, and with stonewallers who pretend that their stonewalling didn’t just happen, as though I imagined it. And with folks who just plain don’t want to address an issue directly, would rather avoid, and don’t even want to address their avoidant behavior directly. “What do you mean? There’s nothing wrong…” and I think they probably believe this. I have been in relationships with avoidant people who are not sadistic sociopaths, who are so avoidant that they make the communication problems all my fault — they see nothing wrong with sidestepping or not addressing issues, and I’m the crazy one for getting upset when they refuse to discuss. They get a hurt, bewildered expression on their face which I believe is genuine, and I find it MADDENING. (OK, I’m referring to a blood relative that I’m not willing to go “no contact” with because I do not believe they are a sociopath — just avoidant).

The results are NOT the same — I mean, I am frustrated no matter what. But the contemptuous ones who do it with obvious glee are the ones who really get under my skin and hurt me. The ones who stonewall , KNOW they are doing it, but refuse to admit it and try to get me thinking I imagined it, are the worst ones of all (because it is hard to get my mind around getting angry at someone who has the “nice” mask on all the time, and I keep doubting myself… and trying harder to communicate). The hurt, bewildered ones just exasperate me and I feel lonely that we cannot connect better. But in that case, I think they are disconnected from their avoidant behavior and truly DO believe that I am the nutty one.

The thing that comes to me is that of the range of emotions the pathological are capable of experiencing is anger.

So, if they come up with a reason to be angry and then stonewall (esp the silent treatment which is akin to violence as I understand it) then are they achieving a satisfying emotional experience for themselves?

Maybe.

The only way I could deal with it is to give them a real good reason to turn away. (old horse wisdom- if a horse turns it back on you, send them away).

In the long run, the strategy failed. So did the anti depressants. It all failed including my health and the marriage. The thing was doomed because there was no way to succeed.

In the longer run, letting go of all of it works because not figuring it out is a lot easier and healthier for me.

20 years, I am perfectly willing to go NO (or very limited and superficial) contact with someone who is a “problematic” relationship even if they are NOT psychopathic. Just because someone is not a psychopath pure and clean does not mean that they add anything positive to my life.

I am not willing to engage with anyone who is more of a problem than they are a joy….whatever their “problem” is. And whatever their blood relationship is. I am getting so “picky” in my old age that I only want to associate with folks who are fun, kind, honest and a joy to my life.

Um, I know men who are emotionally unavailable. They are not mean or malicious people.

They can’t handle intimacy. They don’t know what to say.

Women are better at communicating and sharing emotions because we are socialized that way. I believe there have also been studies that show women are born that way. I can’t remember the specifics, but I think the skill has something to do with ensuring that the young offspring’s needs are adequately identified and met.

How often is social ineptness misconstrued as stonewalling?

G1S:

To me anyway, it is obvious when someone is only socially inept and when they are being malicious. I can tell the difference right away. Usually the socially inept person has other characteristics that go along with that type of personality…shy, quiet, etc. I can just tell. To me, it is obvious when I am being stonewalled.

I’ve always thought of stonewalling as a tactic, often used in business or politics. It’s short term used for a specific objective.

It’s not obvious to me always when withholding is going on. It is much more subtle, I think, than stonewalling. Withholding is part of a game/emotional torture or it could be used as punishment (silent treatment.)

To me, stonewalling is obvious. It’s a negotiation skill. Sometimes you give in negotiations, sometimes you pull, and sometimes you stonewall.

Maybe I’ve been working in corporations for too long or maybe it has to do with your point of reference.

G1S:

Oooops, sorry, I didn’t realize we were talking about withholding? I don’t know…but I do know that spath definitely has done the withholding on me and stonewalling, too 🙁

No, no, no, Louise. I think we were discussing both.

I was just trying to explain how I saw them differ.

G1S,
stonewalling can be disguised as social ineptness.

My spath, after being particularly callous that day, said, “Do you think I’m thoughtless?”

I know another one who pretends to be selfish. In itself, being selfish is bad enough. The truth is though that his selfishness is a disguise for a very well thought out attack on other peoples’ self-esteem. He is not selfish because being selfish makes him feel better, he is selfish because seeing other people hurt makes him feel better.

They are tricky and conniving. We don’t have to take anything at face value. In time, if we stay out of denial, we can see the truth.

I have a friend who was attacked by a female spath who pretended to be “a bit thoughtless” just to have an excuse for her predatory behaviors. As it so happened, I heard through the grapevine from another spath that this was her plan all along. If it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t ever have imagined that it was all an act.

It blows the mind. Who thinks like this?

Let me get your take on this, LF. What about the guy who poo-pooes your concerns; who blows them off like you’re being silly; who makes you feel like you’re way off base and shames you for being sooooo ridiculious?

One year Xhub bought me a beautiful Valentines Day card…it was nice, but I already knew there was trouble afloat…just a nagging feeling, but the card helped me set all that aside, until I found a box of childrens valentines…you know the one’s…the one’s we pass out in school…I asked, “who are these for” already knowing he had a harem of teen-age girls that liked to hang around his office. He admitted they were for the girls, but when I acted like I thought it was really inappropriate, he scoffed at me. How very silly I was to think it meant anything at all. Two years later he had one pregnant and was thinking of leaving me in Pa, and bringing another to Fl. with him.

Is that stonewalling? And what responsibility did I have in buying it, even though I knew there was something NOT RIGHT about it?

Kim,
excellent question.
It brings up the premise of “stonewalling part 2” that there are some stonewallers who are just avoiding conflict.

Yes, sometimes we can use stonewalling to avoid an aggressive personality intent on creating conflict. So we need to ask ourselves, “am I being so aggressive as to create a defensive tactic in my partner?”

Yes, they want us to think we are the aggressive, paranoids who are jealous. Once we know the tactics, though, it is enough. We know when we are being f’ed with. no need to wonder.

This is why I use the “rope method”, so there will be no doubt.
I put up with the bullshit and let them have all the rope they need to prove what they are. Why play games? let them play and just watch.

Frankly, you did the only thing you could do. You gave him rope so you could watch. You were at a disadvantage, you didn’t know how to judge. Then you learned.

Have you ever seen the movie “Doubt”? Awesome movie.
When Meryl Streep is asked how she knew without doubt, her answer was, “Experience.” Experience is the key because they are all the same.

Skylar, That’s true. That’s whatI did. I detached and went about my life, but now I kind of blame myself…it’s sick, I know, and I’m sure it was all a punishment for me not worshipping him anymore, and staying put and being his adoring audience…I was getting well and finding myself and he had to sabatouge it…but, the self doubt still lingers…
I have a different take on the movie “doubt”. I think it’s point is to leave the audience in doubt. There is no real evidence that the preist molested any body only circumstantial…and the old nun could be seen as bitter and self-serving…we never really know, but are left to decide for ourselves who is guilty and of what. Jusrt my take.

Yes, Kim,
you are right about Doubt. That’s what you are supposed to be left thinking.. unless… you have had the experience too.

Then you know because there is a pattern.

When she bluffed him and told him that she knew, that’s when he backed down and went away. All spaths slither away when unmasked. It turned out that she didn’t have any evidence, but she knew in her heart so she could bluff him and she was right.

The young nun asked her how she knew. Experience.

That’s how I know too. They are all the same. Just as infants are all the same.

Kim, don’t blame yourself. He would have abused you the same no matter what. It was always his intent to abuse you. In his mind you deserved it for being innocent. They hate innocence because it has so much power.

Doubt…love that movie.

But, skylar, she planted seeds of doubt. Remember his sermon about that..in the beginning of the movie, before there was even any suspicion of anything…this complicates everything because the whole movie revolves around this idea of planting seeds of doubt against another and getting joy from watching it flourish….and that’s evil.

OxD, I believe that your approach to toxic relationships or associations is very healthy and wise. There is NO reason to attempt to FORCE any relationship to grow when it clearly is a one-sided effort. I have no problem walking away from people who are “problematic,” either.

Life is entirely too short to waste time with people who are DRAINING and GREEDY. They want, they take, they dramatize, and they engage in their crazymaking. Who has time for that, and who really wants to expend the energy to sort it all out?

Hello all and thanks Steve for writing on this. It took me years to recognize the stonewalling as what it was. A sadistic pleasure in as Dr. Steve expressed it, “negating” me.

What boggles my mind is that I was so deep in denial, had made an imaginary construct of the kind of man he was- to translate his stonewalling into “stoicism”. He was strong, and accepted whatever crisis we were in with dignity. I was weak and needy.

He encouraged this take on his silences of course. He would listen for hours, and I was usually desperate to talk about whatever it was at hand, but sit silently, expressionless, with that cold stare and frequent scowls, always a scowl when he asked a question. Ughhh. It was crazy making.

Finally he would dismiss me and retreat to watching violent television, and I would retreat into a glass of scotch.

It took six more long years for me to leave him after a stonewalling incident that was so in my face there could be no denying it. But even then, rather than accept that he cared not a rat’s ass about me- I took it as a lapse in judgement, I didn’t forgive it, but I buried it.

It is only now that I am out of the blind anger stage that I can begin to unravel all the myriad ways I helped him hurt me. That realization brings its own kind of pain. The pain of realizing how little I cared about myself, how little i thought I deserved, how much I lied to myself about what I “had”.

Which brings me to the hardest part, i think. learning to trust myself and my perceptions after being so far off side for so very long. It is a journey.

Thank you for the clarification in this article. I can add another trait to my list of red flags. I now know I was stonewalled when I told charming I was getting an HIV test because of his past (or should i say ongoing) risky sexual practices. He insisted on putting me at risk and wouldn’t get tested. When I asked him to think about getting tested, he abandoned me for days while I anxiously waited for the results. When he finally contacted me he said I was rude because I brought it up!

…and he was mad at me for asking him to get tested and that’s why he stopped contacting me

Kim, what you described is the emotional abuse tactic of withholding.

The socially inept men that I know, the ones genuinely uncomfortable with emotional intimacy, would never ask if I thought they were being thoughtless. Heaven forbid that they open that conversation. Their depth of topics is limited to asking what’s for dinner.

Kim,

I didn’t see the start of the movie, but saw a large part of it… All of the priest’s behaviour was exactly that of a spath, including his sermon after the confrontation with him in her office and the young nun.. while the principal nun was respecting his privacy at first, he tried to get the whole community against her. The red flags were all over the place. The movie was constructed well, that someone unfamiliar with the red flags would remain in doubt. For anyone with “experience” though imo the red flags were ALL OVER the movie, and it was enough to not want him to be near children. Plus, she was working from a point of view to protect the children. He worked only to save himself.

Regarding the contemptive attitude:
Yes, this rang so true for me. At one point near the end of our 30 yr marriage, I told him he should refer to me by the name “Pebbles,” because I was like a pebble in his shoe — a constant source of irritation…

Kim and Darwinsmom,
The beginning of the movie starts with a sermon about doubt.

What do you do when you’re not sure?

That’s the topic of my sermon today.
Last year when President Kennedy was assassinated, who among us did not experience the most profound disorientation?

Despair? Which way? What now?
What do I say to my kids? What do I tell myself?
It was a time of people sitting together, bound together by a common feeling of hopelessness.

But think of that. Your bond with your fellow being was your despair. It was a public experience. It was awful, but we were in it together.

How much worse is it then for the lone man, the lone woman,
stricken by a private calamity?

“No one knows I’m sick. ” “No one knows I’ve lost my last real friend. ”

“No one knows I’ve done something wrong. ”
Imagine the isolation. Now you see the world as through a window.
On one side of the glass, happy untroubled people, and on the other side, you.

I wanna tell you a story.

A cargo ship sank one night. It caught fire and went down, and only this one sailor survived. He found a lifeboat, rigged a sail, and being of a nautical discipline turned his eyes to the heavens and read the stars.

He set a course for his home, and, exhausted, fell asleep.
Just keeps going on. Clouds rolled in, and for the next 20 nights, he could no longer see the stars.

He thought he was on course, but there was no way to be certain. And as the days rolled on, and the sailor wasted away, he began to have doubts.

Was he still going on towards his home?
Or was he horribly lost and doomed to a terrible death?
No way to know.

The message of the constellations, had he imagined it because
of his desperate circumstance?

… and now had to hold on to it without further reassurance?

There are those of you in church today who know exactly
the crisis of faith I describe, and I wanna say to you, doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.

When you are lost, you are not alone.

The nun began to have doubts about the priest from this sermon about doubt.

I’d be interested in both your opinions on it.
To clarify, I did pull out the text where Meryl Streep whispers to herself “…Or had he seen truth once?” She is commenting about the lost sailor who has faith in his course.
http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/a1/doubt-script-transcript.html

I haven’t seen this movie but I MUST see it.

WOW, that sermon is awesome, and you know I have felt sometimes like I was in a life boat, alone and can’t see the stars. …sometimes I felt I had a few people in the boat with me and they were chopping holes in the boat!

Oxy,
yes, they were chopping holes in the boat!

As it turns out, the priest giving that sermon is a spath and the nun noticed it, initially, from this sermon.

I’m still trying to figure out how? where was the tell?

Perhaps the tell was that he was reaching out to people who were keeping secrets. He was encouraging to come to him and tell him their secrets. And that’s what spaths do, so she was seeing a potential red flag.

Sky,

I have only seen scenes from the movie but when I read the lines from it you just posted – and if the nun had experience with predators, as we have…that last line ‘When you are lost, you are not alone” – chilled me a bit. Because I think many of us were on a lost course, doubting the goodness of life or where we were headed about the time the predator/opportunist/spath – whatever, showed up – like the shark smelling blood in the water. We all want to have faith, but when you have doubt, you are so vulnerable to the person holding out what seems like a helping hand and comfort, and beware who you let steer your boat…

Thanks for the link, Skylar. I read the whole transcript and maintain my position. The movie, itself, leaves, one in doubt. That is it’s intention; to subvert our notions of good and evil and to leave us disturbed…just enough so we question what we think we know.
To me, this is a good example of Girards theory of the sacrificial victim who carries the sins of the community, so the community can live in harmony without ever having to find any evil in themselves.
The Nun is projecting onto the priest. He cuts his nails, she likes to keep hers long. Long, but clean.
This is symbolic of her predatory nature. She’s a cat, but her hands are clean. She is covert and under handed.
It is the knowledge of her own evil nature that makes her so suspicious, and she tears open the pillows on the roof and lets the feathers fly to the winds with relish that she has such power to destroy others.
The others are her flock. They are easily led, because they doubt themselves. The priest is not without sin, I’m sure, but let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right. He is human and has regrets, as we all do. That I think is the meaning of his sermon, and she, seeing this flaw in him and his moment of weakness seizes the opportunity, like any good spath would, to use it against him. Just my take.

Kim (and Sky),

I definitely (and obviously) have to see the movie.

Aaah, but the relief of some of those boys at his goodbye sermon. And about letting a kid get the blame for the mass wine, and the lies he makes about it.

As for the first stone… Jezus’ tale ends with him getting a judgement seat. No casting the first stone was how I used to think… but not after spath experience.

Sky,

Take a step back from that initial sermon. What is it about? Doubt, a human weakness (as we know all too well). What is it saying about doubt? What is it selling? That it’s ok to doubt and that people can bond in their weaknesses (we know how long doubt kept us bonded, don’t we?). Note how the sermon does not give a resolution to what happened to the sailor, no victory for certainty. It’s as if Satan’s having a speech up there, trying to tempt the parishioners, just like Satan tried with Jezus in the desert. Why does the priest use it? To get a welcome and sympathy from the community. The whole sermon is a tell, because it’s the sermon of a temptress, and it’s screaming “doubt me!”

That’s the tell!

I think, Kim that you misread that. The priest is the one who keeps the nails long and clean. I remember the scene, he is showing them to the boys who play basketball.

I have absolutely no doubt that he is a spath. She seems tough but has a soft compassion for the nun who goes blind. Her concern is for the moral fiber of her students. And she can read them. She says one of them got a nosebleed which he caused himself. The other nun can’t believe it, “who would do that to himself?” Streep answers, that the kid would set fire to his own foot to skip half day of class. (a spath would do that) She reads people, that is not what her doubt is about.

In the end she expresses doubt but it is only about her own morality because she lied in order to get the truth from the priest. She knows if he was innocent he would have stayed and fought, but what he showed was that his mask was more important. A spath can’t have anyone doubt his reputation because it’s what he works to gain trust.

The priest is portrayed as quite charming and ingratiating.
Reading the transcript, I get why she was suspicious of the sermon on doubt: she knew he was trying to get secrets.

Immediately after, she instructs her nuns to NOT share any doubts with the priest.

The nun knows that most people are not going to understand spaths by explaining the theoretical aspects. She knows you can only get it by experience, so she tries to protect the other nuns and the children through strict discipline.

She knows that if she can instill strong moral codes of behavior, she is saving them from paying the price of getting slimed by spaths in the future.

This story is about spaths, through and through. But even more it is about why nobody believes us. Spaths are more believable than we are. We are the ones who get doubted.

Darwinsmom,
we posted over each other.
yes, he is Satan saying, “come show me your weakness.” That is what the sister feared. She made it clear in her speech to the sisters later. She knows that showing your weakness can lead to being exploited. She was ALL ABOUT BOUNDARIES.

When I first read it, I was first caught up in the stories, but something just felt off (and I don’t know a thing about sermons, never sat through one in my life). I got into the shower, and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a very weird sermon. That’s when I realized what I wrote in the above post.

Boundaries are always about taking a step back, listen to your gut and look at the big picture of what’s being said or done. It is never about defending yourself to one word or sentence. It’s the whole slime feeling you get and becoming aware where it comes from. And well, that sermon sure is slimey!

I’ve got to see that movie!!!!! Meryl streep is my favorite FAVORITE!!!! She is sooooo goood.

I just ordered the movie “Doubt” I’ll let you guys know when I’ve watched it.

Oxy,

Yup! It’s a total MUST see!

I zapped into the movie in the first confrontation scene in the office, when he blames the boy for drinking wine. I was only half watching at that point, not really understanding or following the convo much.

Next he starts giving a sermon about gossip and telling what gossip looks like per his pillow and feathers example. I instantly sat up and thought, “Oooooooh, that’s a spath!” And then that icky scene where he talks to the younger nun. The last confrontation scene was so total spath – full of gaslighting and evasion and bullying and wanting to find out the sources so he could downtalk them, an attempt to slime her, and of course the pity play… one scene and the whole spath arsenal in a couple of minutes on dispay. That scene confirmed it all. I totally rooted for Streep to just stick to her guns.

Yay Oxy!
Do tell us your thoughts on it. Write an article.
It might end up being your favorite movie of all time. It’s definitely one of mine.

On the other hand…I wrote a book about my family of sociopaths and am only now getting the picture of NO CONTACT with sociopaths. I seem to be a sociopath magnet. No contact with sociopaths means just that…no engagement in conversation, no listening to their side of the story, notta, none.

Last week I made the mistake of visiting my psychopath father’s ex girlfriend for the night before driving four hours home. I knew she did drugs but did not know the extent of her problems. This woman was soon heavily drugged up on crack and herion and went on a psychotic rage…cutting the head off a stuffed doll, acting very bizarre with her motions and eyes – and then she started attacking me (verbally)! I was doing nothing but wondering how to get out of this overnight NIGHTMARE visit (I had my doggies with me and was worried about driving through the mountains at night).

It took me about 15 minutes of this craziness before I decided to pack my doggies up and run as fast as I could. I “unfriended” her on facebook without explanation…I have not picked up the phone to speak to her with her obsessive calls. I have not listened to her voice messages (I finally blocked her number). There is nothing she can say to excuse what she did and I want no part of that kind of sickness in my life anymore.

Am I “stonewalling?” No. I am doing what I preached in my book about my family…sometimes you need to RUN TO SAVE YOUR LIFE OR SOUL…and you need no explanation.

Thanks for the great articles, Cherylann

Cherylann:

Well, of course there is a difference between what you did and “stonewalling.” To me, stonewalling is done to an INNOCENT person who did nothing wrong and is yet being ignored and given the silent treatment when trying to get answers or trying to communicate. What you had to do to survive or save yourself in my book is not stonewalling.

cherylann,

I agree with Louise, what you did was NO CONTACT and that is self preservation.

It is good sense. Plus, in the future you will not elect to spend the night with ANY “drug user”—you will sleep in your car if necessary.

Ox…LOL…yes, I wonder why sleeping in the car didn’t occur to me?…I was so bamboozled and overwhelmed with fear I didn’t think…I just ran Got home at 5:00 am by the grace of God I think.

I used to be great friends with one of my former college professors, at that hotbed of spathery, Penn State. (I’m sorry, but Sandusky — by statistical probability alone — CANNOT HAVE been the only rotten apple in the barrel, in order for his abuse to have gone on so long.)

In 2003, in the second week of December, my mother died. Shortly after, Professor Spath stopped speaking to me. Cold. He had told me intimate things about his wife, his sons, his dogs, his dad, his life. I thought we were friends. But I got cut off. He came to my mother’s funeral ten days before Christmas, and when I called him for support on Christmas day, he accused me of “whining.” He said that he had “real problems” (diarrhea from the antibiotics he was taking post-dental work) and coldly derided me for crying on the Christmas day two weeks after my mother died. I let him have it for that in an email later, and all communication stopped.

This year, my dad, who was innocent of the Christmas-day mistreatment, sent me an article from the local paper saying that Professor Spath had published a memoir of his life. To name his field would be to identify him, but the subtitle of his memoir includes the word “pioneer,” which is like declaring yourself a “hero” — that’s a word you reserve for praising somebody else, if you’re slightly normal.

So, for shits and giggles, I called up Prof. Spath and congratulated him on his memoir. It was actually hilarious. When I asked him about the book (I’m a writer, so it’s perfectly normal for me to ask people about their writing process), he said, “What do you REALLY want?”

I decided to “go there.” I said, “An apology.”

He claims not to remember the incident, and accused me of hallucinating it because I take psychiatric medications. Um… No. Psych meds STOP abnormal chemical interactions in the brain. He majored in chemistry and should have known that.

He did tell me the thing I had requested that was “inappropriate” and had caused him to stop talking to me. Wait for it… I asked him to take my dad a lasagna or something, as he was now alone in the house with his severe grief. (They lived in the same neighborhood at the time.) According to Professor Spath, since he didn’t know my dad well, it was “inappropriate” for me to ask him to support my dad with food once or twice, as other random neighbors were doing.

Well! I now know that Prof. Spath didn’t just HAVE explosive diarrhea, he IS explosive diarrhea! I actually started laughing. All of my suspicions about this guy were neatly confirmed. Case closed. I got stonewalled right after Mom’s death, and have been for these past eight-and-a-half years, for asking Prof. Spath to show empathy.

I just hope his two sons (who were both disowned at one point… I wonder if he re-owned them), who were very much involved in sports, never had to come in contact with the pedo network in that town. Greco-Roman wrestling must be like heaven for pedos who like boys. Because their dad is a spath from hell, I don’t think he would have believed them if they had to tell on a pedo. I pray they were unharmed and are safe today.

LadySweetG:

What a f*cking idiot!!!!

Louise…….well said! I hope you’re feeling better today. Big hugs to you, my dear.

LadySweetG, they’re the WORST!!! People who are in positions of Power and Control, and they use their vocabularies to alter our perceptions. I’m so sorry for your loss and for how horribly you were treated by Professor Spath when you just needed support – what an Ass Hat. I’m glad that you’ve confirmed what you suspected and no longer associate with that jackass.

Truthspeak:

Thanks. I am feeling a bit better.

Louise, I’m glad to read it – HUGS to you.

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