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By March 4, 2008 89 Comments Read More →

It’s not that the psychopath’s beliefs are awry (they are); it’s that his desires are too perverse and too uninhibited

I was recently reading a 2003 paper in the journal Nature called Forensic psychology: Violence viewed by psychopathic murderers which is both interesting and frustrating. Interesting because it demonstrates that, even amongst murderers, psychopathic murderers are different. Frustrating because the authors extrapolate their finding in a way that is ultimately misleading being so narrow as to completely miss the point.

I pick this particular study only because it is rather typical of scientific studies in the field: 1. it neglects to consider what the psychopath gets out of behaving the way he does, and 2. it let’s the psychopath off the hook.

The study
13 psychopathic murderers, 17 non-psychopathic murderers, 39 psychopathic other offenders and 52 non-psychopathic other offenders were given the Implicit Association Test (IAT) .

Briefly, uppercase words (for example, ‘UGLY’) are classified as being ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’, and lowercase words (for example, ‘kill’) are classified as ‘violent’ or ‘peaceful’, by pressing corresponding buttons. When the same response key is assigned for both the unpleasant and violent words (this is termed the congruent condition), most people find the task easy. But when pleasant and violent words share the same response key (the incongruent condition), most people find this confusing. The association between ‘pleasant—unpleasant’ and ‘violent—peaceful’ is indexed by means of the IAT effect (reaction time for the incongruent condition minus reaction time for the congruent condition).

Result
The psychopathic murderers showed a much lower IAT effect than the non-psychopathic murderers or the other psychopaths in the study.

The researchers’ conclusion

They conclude that there are two groups of psychopaths, one of which has an increased disposition towards extreme violence. So far so good. They also claim the following:

Our results indicate that the reduced violent-IAT effect seen in psychopathic murderers is likely to be due to their abnormal beliefs about violence, rather than to some other nonspecific effect such as poor impulse control and/or deficits in decision-making. Psychopathic murderers have diminished negative reactions to violence compared with non-psychopathic murderers and other offenders.

The fallacy
The great sociologist C. Wright Mills once said: “Every cobbler thinks leather is the only thing,” by which he meant ‘read what I write critically; I’m a sociologist and so I tend to have a sociological explanation for everything.’ Well, our researchers have done something similar. Because their test has found abnormal cognitive associations regarding violence among psychopathic murderers, they take it that this accounts for the psychopathic murderers’ predisposition to extreme violence. The authors’ speak of psychopaths having “deficient social beliefs” and “negative beliefs”, and it is these “abnormal beliefs about violence” (and not poor impulse control and/or deficits in decesion-making) that make them disposed towards extreme violence.

But this factor just happens to be what the researcher’s have been testing; just because they found it doesn’t mean that it is THE predisposing factor. Presumably if they had been testing, say, cholesterol-levels and found a difference they’d say that’s they key.

But it’s worse that that. Something in they way they phrase the matter concerns me. They say (with my reworkings in bold):

  • “…due to their abnormal beliefs about violence”.
    …due to their pleasure in violence (which is, of course accompanied by abnormal beliefs).
  • “Psychopathic murderers have diminished negative reactions to violence compared with non-psychopathic murderers and other offenders.”
    They have increased positive reactions to violence.

In the British TV show Cracker, the main character, Dr. Fitzgerald is asked why he drinks and smokes so much. “Because I like it!”, he says defiantly. This precisely the point. Maybe Fitz could be shown to have abonormal beliefs about drinking and smoking (he’s a gambler too), but he’s insightful enough to know that it’s not the beliefs that cause the behaviour – he does them because he wants to.

Psychopaths enjoy doing evil; they do it not despite the pain it cause others but because that pain increases their enjoyment.

Leave pleasure out of the picture and we missed an awful lot. Or am I wrong?


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89 Comments on "It’s not that the psychopath’s beliefs are awry (they are); it’s that his desires are too perverse and too uninhibited"

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Bingo!

Thanks for the reminder—they pass because normal people do not realize, fathom this point. A psycho (psycho A)I know psycho would up the ante by setting himself up to get caught by inviting the other woman to a function with his wife, ideally there’d be more than two women present he was “seeing.”

Another paraded his through church and made her look like his children’s mother though everyone knew she wasn’t and was actually a lay minister. He did this over and over with women.

It was all about the sick prank, that’s it.

My son who is a P-murderer, ENJOYED not only the murder, but still to this day nearly 2 decades later, enjoys bragging about “how much more horrible my crime was than the cops even knew.”

They do what they do because they not only enjoy doing it, but enjoy remembering it, bragging about it later. Impressing their friends with what “bad A$$es they are”—many serial killers actually keep items to remind themselves of the murders.

I liked your analogy tha tif they had been testing for cholesterol they would have decided that was the key—so much for “scientific” causality. John was a soldier, John was 6 ft. tall, therefore all soldiers are named John and are 6 ft tall.

once i asked someone i knew what compelled her to be cruel and do the things she did and she said “because i want to and because i can.” and that really haunted me for years. they do it because the enjoy the process and the results and because they know how.

Dr. Steve, I think you nailed it on the head, it isn’t about “impulse control” to me either, I think that like you said, if there had been a police cruiser outside the motel he would have driven on by, they CAN control their impulses unless they are so enraged that they are literally “out of control” with the rage, but under normal circumstances they CAN control but CHOSE NOT to control their impulses.

Ted Bundy, as I understand it, had a great social personality, and great social skills which he used to lure his victims to him and play on their sympathy for his “wounds” —Charlie manson on the other hand used his sick charisma to persuade others to do his bidding, but most “normal” people would not have fallen for his “charm” (for lack of a better word) LOL

My son has good social skills, but at first he was more like Manson, getting others to do his bidding, later he developed more social skills and cunning and manipulation with our family at least…he learned to quote scripture like a priest, but his paramoralisms in the end were so shallow that after the mask was off they were fairly easily seen through.

It did not stop him from trying again and again in his letters to others (family friends, ministers etc) and letters to my mother to get us to let him renew his con job, though.

It was very interesting to see the panic in his correspondence after NC was instituted and his commissary money was cut off–which was his life-line in prison. He was frantic to regain control over the family, and to dictate how we responded to him. I may be somewhat preverse in my enjoyment of that, because that apparently is the only way to “punish” a psychopath, and even then I am not sure that “losing” in their games is actually punishment, because they get the same “high” from risktaking that loses as they do from risk taking that is successful.

Winning and losing seem to be the same to them it is the”high” of the risk, the thrill of the chase, even if the prey gets away that seems to be the “reward” for them.

Sometimes though, I feel like a person who has actually been “abducted by aliens” because the “normal” person who has never had a personal, up close encounter with a genuine psychopath has NO idea what kind of EVIL there are in people. They have read about hitler, and other psychopaths on a grand scale, but somehow it never really sinks in that the PSYCHOPATH NEXT DOOR is as real as Hitler.

years ago I knew Charles “Jackie” Walls III from Lonoke, Arkansas, who was convicted of 1,500 child sexual abuses over a 20 year period (he is now in Arknasas prisons doing life wihtout parole) I Knew Jackie was a jerk, and I didn’t like him, I knew his wife, kids, parents, etc. and they were all fine folks. I had NO idea what kind of a monster he was until one of the boys he molested killed his parents and sister and then eventually told what had happened. He had confessed about Jackie’s abuse, and Jackie had instructed him to kill his family so the story wouldn’t get out.

This man devestated a wonderful family, his nephew whom he had molested killed himself, a young boy went to prison for life, 3 members of that family were dead, and Jackie to this day is totally unrepentent. The prosecutor said that if she could have asked for the death penalty she would have.

Jackie sat in the court room with a smirk on his face. I have seen that smirk on the faces of my son and his friend that he recruited to kill our family. I’m sure that my life has changed and my outlook has changed from seeing that smirk, from seeing TRUE EVIL in the face of the other Ps and also in myh own son’s eyes. I BELIEVE. But if you try to share this information with other “normal” people, they look at you like you have told the you were abducted by aliens from Mars. They can’t really BELIEVE. Not truly.

It’s been hard for me to see that my P husband enjoys hurting people. I think his focus is mainly self-gratification; the pain he causes others is merely incidental.

But maybe I’m still in denial. I certainly have been about other things, which I have since come to accept as the truth. His lack of conscience for one. When I think back over the years we’ve been together, I realize there were many times that, had the facts been known to me, his behavior would have been a blatant, in-your-face outrage. Perhaps knowing that gave him pleasure.

For instance, years ago he and I went to one of his company Christmas parties on board a yacht in Newport Harbor. Also attending the party was a gorgeous woman he had convinced me he hated–she was plastic, phony, a bitch–but with whom he was actually having an affair. She sat on the opposite end of the boat from us. I don’t think he introduced us, but I vaguely remember her walking about, getting on the dance floor with her husband. I’m sure she and my husband got a big charge out of the whole situation, stealing glances, secret smiles, while their spouses sat stupidly by.

I also now know he had sex with many other women in our house. In our bed. Once or twice a month I would go to my mom’s, spend a few days helping out with my grandson who lived nearby. Then I’d come home to a bed on which my husband f****d another woman but a few hours before.

Recently I asked him if that gave him some sort of thrill. He said, no, actually, it was kind of chilling.

Well, I don’t believe that. Most everything he says is a lie; this probably is too.

The other day I asked him (after he admitted many women he met on an “adult” website were at our house) how he dealt with all the evidence. He said, he did all the vacuuming, remember? I said, yeah, but he didn’t vacuum that often. He said he did it more than I realized.

I have to think that the danger involved, the possibility that I might come home early or might come across some evidence (which in fact did happen–two times–but he offered plausible explanations, of course), all added to the adrenaline rush or whatever it is he gets out of his behavior.

In terms of how he acts with other people, I don’t see that he gets enjoyment out of hurting them, but he definitely likes to be dominant. He can’t stand to appear unknowledgeable about anything. He will bullshit and lie before he’ll admit he doesn’t know as much as somebody else. I hate that. He always acts so superior. He actually is superior in many ways, so to some extent his behavior is understandable. But, still, he has a way of making others feel inadequate or uncomfortable. He has to be the top dog. He was always telling me how he, an ER nurse, was a far better diagnostician than many of the doctors.

I don’t know. I don’t see him as a sadist. Although he definitely does cause pain. More than anyone else I have ever known in my life.

Gillian,

Why would a man who “loved” you treat you this way if he wasn’t “getting something” out of it? He KNOWS this causes you pain, and he continues to do it.

gillian, i empathize with you about your P husband’s sneaky behavior. My xS was an expert at sneaking and thievery and would gloat about it as well in order to demonstrate what he could get away with without me knowing. i don’t know if you are like me but you sound a apathetic about it almost and that is like me. it makes you a more defenseless because they take away predictability.

something i noticed sociopaths do is brag and play a “big man” or actually “greater [than in actuality] man.” that is to make up fr his inadequacies (via a big mouth) in either his or your eyes. bragging that an ER nurse is more knowledgeable than a doctor? well i think most patients would readily disregard that idea. the superiority thing is like a mask and behind that mask lies the goofiest most inept inferior face you have ever seen. you would be surprised at how ugly and stupid he is capable of looking. you wouldn’t even recognize him. i doubt he is as superior as he has told you he is.

just because he seems like my xS in a lot of ways i wonder if he fails to do his share on a basic necessity level. paying the rent, paying the bills, taking care of the kids. these things can seriously tell you what kind of man you are dealing.

DR. Steve-
It is IMPOSSIBLE because they are not contrite- I think you meant impossible. Psycho A ( I need nicknames!) used confession to act out.

And I have thought of this a lot- it contributes much to my belief they are evil.

Oh, in my first reply I realize now I was talking more about their joy of duping, but I experienced their sadism too. I do not cry easily and I recall often my psycho saying some horrible thing and staring at me. Once I KNOW that were waiting on the tears, said: OOOOOOh, you’re not going to cry, are you? In a voice that was their best attempt at sincere, but loaded with anticipation. That time I recall they insisted on driving me home- I wanted a cab- but no they had to take in my pain. I gave them little satisfaction : )

Psycho A- the psycho I knew the best- retold his treacheries now that I think back and often shared in a semi-veiled way the current deceptions and cruelties they were up to. I recall I heard one version of a story from psycho a and then another from a mutual friend..Psycho a had been sharing his act with all he knew.

I have often pondered why my X P, after two months into the ‘relationship’, after he had gained my trust, allowed my to make the fatal mistake of having unprotected sex. I realize my part in this- dont get me wrong, but he knew and did not tell me. I thought it was our relationship progressing. I never in a million years would have thought he would be capable of doing that – at that time.

So, I wonder, did he allow that mistake to happen, because he figured I would eventually find out of his status- and then I would be devastated? Causing me much hurt and pain? To which he would enjoy?

Or was it simply poor impulse control- he wanted the sex, and wasnt about to stop me to use protection?

Either way, I realize it was RECKLESS with my life. A characteristic of a sociopath.

It just seems so carless, reckless, and I can’t help but to think maybe itentional. After all, at that poing the ‘relationship’ was at it’s end. That same night I had drew a boundry with him. I let him know I did not want to be cleaning up after all his ‘messes’ (financial) and he wasn’t going to be able to ‘use’ me. I made it very clear. It was at that point that he changed. We had the unprotected sex that night.
During the 5 days that followed, I was devalued and discarded. But the break was not a ‘bad one’. He seemed to be very honest about his reasons for not wanting the relationship- he admitted being mean to me for no reason, and that he didnt feel good about himself in that he couldnt pull his own weight in the relationship. I told him I understood. We said we still loved each other and would remain good friends. It was sad, but I knew it was for the best.

It was in the two weeks that followed that I began to see something mean and sadistic in his personality. We still had to be around each other at a social event (that’s where we met). I started noticing his flirting and saying things infront of me that were very hurtful- and he knew it would be- and he would look right at me when he would do it, as to gauge my reaction. I later found saw were he reffered to me as ‘luggage to be dumped’ on a forum he posted to.

It seemed as if all my worst fears were coming true: That he never did give a shit, and WAS using me the whole time. I didnt think it could get any worse.

Unfortunately, it did. I found out he is HIV+.
Did I confront him? Yes.
Did he admit it? In a roundabout way, yes, but at the same time- no. (typical of P to skirt around the question.)
It was all about him, and how he hadnt’ done anything wrong, and didnt deserve to be treating this way, blah blah blah…..
It was appartent after a few email and phone conversations that I was chasing my tail in trying to get the truth. As hard as it was, I had to let it go. The anger nearly distroyed me. And I still deal with the issue.

bottom line: He did it. And he walked away. No accountability. No remorse. No guilt.

he basically laughed in my face.

Dodged-
You should press charges, he attempted to killyou. And yeah, he planned it. I am so sorry. That is a horrible experience, BUT there is NO way you have sex with someone (protected or not) knowing you are HIV+ and NOT tell your partner, that is a crime as you know.

Gillian:
“I wasn’t his soulmate. He doesn’t have a soul to mate with.”
— that’s sociopaths in a nutshell.

And to address the pain the sociopath causes, I liken it to being frost bitten. Everything they touch, goes dead; only when we remove tehm do we get better. We are objectified by someone with no soul–it’s a stupetfying experience to be manipulated like a chess piece,makes the world look different, makes all irrational fears seem very probable.

Living through such a relationship is the same as escaping a serial killer’s cage.

I’m starting to think my experience is like having been a brainwashed member of a cult.

I was looking for love, I was vulnerable. I had just come out of a loveless 17-year marriage when my S and I met. He led me to think he was in the process of breaking up with his girlfriend. (I since have found out he left her under false pretenses, the only m.o. he knows. He was telling everyone, including me, that she had asked him to leave 6 months prior, when in fact that never happened at all. When he left he led her to believe he’d come back. He never did. He never had any such intention.)

He was everything I’d ever dreamed of. He was intelligent, handsome, seemed to be caring, compassionate, protective and kind. Even one of his ex-wives told me to treat him nice, he was such a great guy.

His mom told me he was her favorite (although she has since told me she and her husband basically gave up on him during his teenage years; he was incorrigably defiant, a liar).

And he was so affectionate. My friends said he was a keeper. They envied our relationship. They only wished they had a man who cherished them so much.

And so I tossed away good sense, got involved way too fast, got pregnant immediately, and, yet, even if I had taken more time I don’t see how I could have seen the signs. There were no obvious signs.

Not even any ominous intuition. No underlying rumble or warning that something was wrong. My dad never liked him though, but he was just about the only one.

And my part in this, which I hate to admit, is that I wholeheartedly believed in this “cult leader,” this charasmatic character, my savior. Any time I had a flicker of suspicion, which was rare, he emphatically insisted he was innocent. I could never see, and still have a hard time seeing, how anyone could be guilty as hell and yet sound so innocent. So indignant.

No trembling, no perspiration, no shifty glances. Look you right in the eye and lie lie lie lie lie.

It’s as if I am being deprogrammed; I’ve been kidnapped out of a cult.

Bit by bit, I am examining my beliefs. I thought he loved me; he didn’t. I thought he cherished me; he didn’t. I thought he wanted to grow old with me; he didn’t. I thought he thought our marriage was sacred; he didn’t. I thought he adored me no matter how many wrinkles I had; he didn’t. I thought he needed me, he couldn’t live without me; he didn’t. I thought, I thought, I thought; and he never did, never could, never will.

Having been so profoundly deceived it is a slow, excruciating process, one shock wave to be absorbed after another, to think of times together, things he said, where you went what you did what he said how he held you how you kissed, how all of that all of that was a lie.

He didn’t love me. He wasn’t a nice person He wasn’t kind or compassionate or selfless or sweet. He used me. I was his toaster, the fridge, a “useful appliance that he somehow misplaced.”

I wasn’t his soulmate. He doesn’t have a soul to mate with.

And from the outside, it is easy for others, and I don’t mean other victims of sociopaths, to say: you’re lucky, good riddance to him, you need to move on.

But from the inside it’s not so easy. To fill this big gaping wound that was left not by the absence of a man who adored me, but a man who deceived me in the most despicable way imagineable.

Gillian-

A psycho ex-husband of a friend ( I knew them both well) OMG–
he did the same crap. He actually admitted to using their child to attract women. Yes, family is a cover. Surreal.
He played at allowing his wife to be all she wanted, while he cared for hearth,home and worked minimally. Of course, he needed his timeout with his female friends, but took their child…Yuck.

gennyrabbit,

My S husband was responsible in some (very few) areas and irresponsible in most others. And now that I think about it, it is only because I managed his life so wonderfully that he appeared responsible at all.

He did hold down a job, although if he could have found a way around that I’m sure he would have. And he is intelligent enough to realize he needs to have a job to provide him with the means–and opportunities–to pursue his real interests.

And he appeared to be a good father. He was an involved dad. Back in the early days he and I worked opposite shifts so our daughter wouldn’t have to be with babysitters (and so he’d have oodles of free time after she was asleep, which of course I didn’t realize at the time).

See, everything he did that seemed good, actually had a sinister, ulterior motive. He was a magician. He was home taking care of our daughter. He acted so loving toward her that naturally I assumed that was all he was doing. Why would I think anything else?

He was the typical devoted sports dad. Attended every game he could.

But now I realize he was using her too. To give him cover, make him appear normal, and hopefully bask in her glory.

In other ways he was obviously irresponsible. He took care of the cars, sort of, but that’s about all. He would occasionally help out with yard work and take on various projects, but always in a half-assed, ultimately more costly way.

He was always looking for the shortcut. He was always convinced he found the one way to do things that would save all kinds of time, work and money. I would suggest that if he were right, why didn’t the experts use those methods too. Where they masochistic?

Of course he thought he was way smarter than any expert. He didn’t need to consult anyone or refer to a book.

There was an enormous hole in our downstairs bathroom ceiling for years. He only repaired it when we were wanting to put the house on the market for sale.

The house is in desperate need of painting. Always gobs of chores undone.

But at least he did vacuum! And swiffer! (And now I know why.)

I did everything else. I helped him pass for normal, I thought he was normal, I didn’t even realize what I was doing.

I did all the laundry, most of the cooking, paid all the bills, took care of the taxes, scheduled appointments, balanced the books. He went to work, came home, played the part, then betrayed his family at every opportunity.

holywatersalt,

Yes, like escaping from a serial killer’s cage. I think of my husband as being no better than a rapist. Instead of force, he uses charm.

And actually, being the victim of a rapist is probably easier. At least you know you’ve been a victim, and you know to get away.

you are right. we become part of their deception. they use us to appear normal to others so they can get away with more things.

i think my xS would use me as a defense as well. you can’t judge her so you can’t judge me. that definitely wasn’t true. it was like i was a barrier he used to deflect suspicion and doubt from him.

You are not wrong. The psychopath I knew clearly took great pleasure in seeing his victims suffer. In retrospect I saw that many of his actions were motivated by the desire for that particular pleasure.

Knowing that someone hurt because of him seemed to bring on or enhance the sense of power and control that he craved. Feeling control over others is what they live for, and nothing provides that feeling for them as efficiently as obvious pain in others.

It is a “belief” only in the sense that they correctly “believe” they will get a thrill out of inflicting physical or psychic pain.

I would like to thank Ms. Andersen for creating this blog for us. My last encounter with the “P” was devastating. After he tried to hit me with a golf club, he called 911 and told the police that I had a gun. The police responded with full force-3 police cars were dispatched to investigate a woman with a gun. I was humiliated. Eventually, the policemen realized that I was the victim: They took his golf club into custody as evidence.

I wanted to find out if my S was the only one who was an outrageous flirt. My S flirted with about any woman that he came in contact with. He was always touching and complimenting the women in our office. When I made comments about his behavior, he said that I was insecure.

hummingbird,

That flirting is SOP for a P (standard operating procedure). Because they have trouble bonding with another person for a “pair bonding” they are continually seeking additional sources of sex and adoration in case the one (or two or three) that they have on the string currently drops out.

His saying that YOU were insecure was just his way of projecting back to you, what he felt about his relationships, or just a nasty remark to make you feel bad. They are pretty good at turning things around and making them “OUR” fault.

This is a good thread though, isn’t it!

Dr. Steve:

I am currently reading a book “Violence Risk and Threat Assessment, A Practical Guide for Mental Health and Criminal Justice Professionals” written by J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D., who specializes is threat and risk of violence assessment.

One of the critical things that he mentions in his book is the “Joyful glee” in getting away with crimes that psychopaths feel. Even if they are “caught” (and are therefore being evaluated for future risk) they still have the glee about accomplishing their previous crimes, even if that crime led to a conviction.

He also talks about and explains very clearly the difference in the kinds of violence, the affective violence, which is accomplished in either a state of rage or fear, and is highly emotional, vs the predatory violence which is cold, calculating and well planned in advance.

Another concept that he talked about in this book is something I had never thought about, but I think he is right. Is that we assume that the psychopath is psychologically complex, but in his view, this is not so. He states that we tend to assume that they are more mature and have more developed emotions that we want to see, but don’t, but we presume is there. That the psychopath’s personality is less complex and is more dangerous than he appears, especially if he is of a brighter IQ. He says “remember there is less there than meets the eye.”

Very interesting book on the prediction of future violence with the psychopath. But the bottom line still seems to be that “past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.”

Dear Free,

In reading the letters my P-son wrote to the Trojan-Horse-P, I saw the glee with which he was plotting the entire plan of getting rid of me and controlling tings. The arrogance of it all, that HE, sitting in a prison cell for the lat 17 years, should be the “leader” of the family, telling US how to run our business. Like he was such a “success” that we would automatically seek his “wise” advice. LOL ROTHLMBO

We established the family trust before either my husband or my step father died JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTECTING the family assets from my son C’s wife (the DIL that tried to kill him!) and from the P-son. Little did I ever DREAM that in an effort to thwart the intentions of the trust that either of them would actually try to MURDER for the money! Now, I would put NOTHING PAST A P. They will do whatever is necessary to get what they think is THEIRS, to have CONTROL.

The frustration with me retaining control was what actually pushed my P-son to “drop the mask” and let me really SEE behind his eyes, the REAL MONSTER that lurked there with sweet words of caring which were fake. It eventually brought down the house of cards he had built because his TH-P wasn’t able to control his own desires long enough to successfully pull off the ruse without giving me a clue. THANK YOU GOD!

Even though P-son and the others “lost this battle” they do not perceive that they have ‘LOST THE WAR” and they very well may be prepared to regroup and fight another day, but this time, I will definitely be PREPARED and will not under estimate them again. I don’t live in terror, but I am prepared and cautious.

I guess my biggest “message” to others is that you MUST not under estimate then, or trust that you know what is going on in their evil minds. There is nothing too low for them to stoop to, or too evil to comprehend for them. If they “go away” and chortle about “getting to you” and never bother you again, YOU ARE VERY FORTUNATE, and if they go away “mad” they may come back for revenge–whether it is burning your house down, hacking your computer, stealing your financial identity, vandalizing your house, poisoning your cat or dog, breaking your windshield, taking the lug nuts loose on your car, cutting the brake lines, or any other form of potential harm…be prepared and keep your eyes open. Don’t go into denial or terror either, hit a middle road of “good sense caution.”

Oxdrover,

I think you are right on. If they think they’ve won (even if they are rotting in jail thinking it lol) that is a very good thing. Then they are likely to leave you alone. The thing is, I think that just like they CAN’T be the one to blame, they CAN’T lose. They always think they’ve won because they are delusional. So no matter how many times they got caught or left by victims who’ve had enough, they revel in the fact that they did something like not give you your mail. Tee hee you never found out about that!

But what is the definition of winning? If you recover from their abuse and manipulation and live a good life full of love and happiness and they are left sneaking around like rats, lying and loosening lug nuts in the middle of the night, then who is the winner?

So we felt some pain because of them, so what? That means WE ARE HUMAN. We have the ability to love another person and be generous and kind. And the sooner we begin seeking people who deserve our love and loving them, and loving ourselves, the sooner we win the war. Because yes, they might move on to a more beautiful/wealthier/younger partner. But does that mean they will ever be happy in the truest sense of the word? Their constant drive to put others down, to cause pain and suffering, and to control others is just a way to try to win a war that they can never win. We win simply because we can love, because we are real humans with real feelings. Because we have things that no matter how much they abuse us and try to steal those things from us, they can never ever possess. So we come away perhaps a little sadder, but wiser. And they come away with their black hole of a heart and still no ability to feel the most wonderful emotion on the face of the planet: love. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.

An old friend sent me this, it is funny, but it isn’t…I thought it kinda went hand and hand with this topic “Pshycopaths beliefs are awry”……

Psychopath test

Read this question, come up with an answer, and then scroll to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.
No one I know has gotten it right.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?
(Give this some thought before you answer)
Then see below

Answer:
She was hoping the guy would appear at the funeral again. If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly. If you didn’t answer the question correctly, good for you. If you got the answer correct, please let me know so I can take you off my email list, unless that will tick you off, then I’ll just be extra nice to you.

rperk… how funny! Thanks for sharing that.

:o)

Rperk—I DID get the answer right, but in my own defense let me say this, I have gotten to where I can almost ANTICIPATE how my P-son, my P-X-DIL, and the Trojan-Horse P will act/react in almost any situation. My son C who was married to the X-DIL says “Mom, you’re a PROPHET, how can you figure these things out?” Well, if you have enough experience dealing with them, seeing that if A then they do B, or if C they do D, it doesn’t take you long before you can anticipate how they will behave.
LUS
That “anticipatory” idea of how they were going to act next I think SAVED MY LIFE—and possibly the lives of other members of my family. Some people thought I was crazy when I told them what was GOING TO HAPPEN, and that I was some kind of paranoid delusional nut case, but you know what, it was ALMOST LIKE I SAID, PLUS EVEN WORSE—but I don’t think I can ALWAYS out thinkk them, or out guess them, and I am NOT a prophet, regardless of what my son thinks, but I do kind of know how they think and am getting better and better—I am FINALLY learning what kind of creature I am dealing with.

In retrospect I can examine the evidence that was involved with the “chaos” this past year and see how it all played together, what their goal was and how it was all put together. I can see clues I missed at the time, and errors I made, but I am a LOT WISER and more cunning too now. By anticipating their moves I am able to take PROACTIVE action to insure that they are not successful in any future attacks.

Yes, they do think they have “won” even when they are arrested and sent to prison because they did get away with some things and not get caught, like someone mentioned, they didn’t give you your mail, and you didn’t find out, Tee Hee Tee Hee.

I am a pretty resourceful old bat, and I knew that my P-son was hoping that I would be dead before he came up for parole again so that I could not be there to speak to the parole board about him getting out. Threfore I made a DVD of me speaking to the parole board, and left enough money in my will that attorneys could be hired to present this to the parole board EVERY time he came up for parole until he was 75 years old. I realized that VERY few (if any) parents of inmates speak to the parole baord and beg them NOT to let their son out. This in itself would make them listen. I am also a very effective public speaker, so my DVD is quite compelling. My other sons also made DVDs as well.

My son may still try to have me killed simply for “revenge” purposes and I know this, but without monetary resources (which I have made sure he will NEVER have) he will be severely limited in his ability to find another inmate/friend to carry out his plot with him still in prison.

If you are forced to walk in an area where there is wild life and snakes, you better learn what kind of wild life there is in that area, how they hunt, what the chances of encountering one is, and how to avoid being bitten/attacked. I have no choice about having my son hate me, and he has the obvious potential to mount an attack—but thank God’s grace, that this one failed. I won’t be caught off guard again. “Know your enemy” is good advice.

My X-BF P burned another X-GF’s house, but he won’t burn mine because he knows I know he did the other one, and he has been “warned up front” that if my house burns for ANY reason he will have consequences. He did a bit of smear campagin verbally, but that too back fired on him. I know I will never be able to truly under stand how they think, any more than I can tell you how a cougar or bear thinks, but I do know how to be proactive about not being attacked, so I can anticipate how they hunt and what their intentions are, what will provoke them, and what will scare them off—at least with THESE particular Ps.

I won’t live in terror like I did for a while before I fled, but neither will I become complacent and open myself to being vulnerable. Their schemes may be somewhat complex, but their goals aren’t.

OxDrover-I sincerely apologize, I meant no disrepect to anyone.

OxDrover-I sincerely apologize, I did not mean to offend anyone.

H

I apologize. Did not mean to offend.

This may be an older post, but it is so helpful for me. These people…these creatures…inflict pain and anguish deliberately, and with MALICE because they can.

One of the things that I find so compelling about typical spath psych studies is that they usually involve inmates and ex-cons. Until the spath does something that lands them in The Stir, they move through the general population like a defoliant leaving a swath of destruction behind them.

Thanks for this article.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

the research that shows brain activity in response to similar categories of words as used in this study, show very different activity for ppaths and non ppaths. the ppaths DO NOT respond with much brain activity or in the same parts of the brain as we would to words like ‘kill’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-X_GFOKtDM&feature=related

most of us have noticed the unusual ways that ppaths use speech. it is rather unordinary in many ways. read Hare’s book, Without Conscience, for more information.

And quite a while ago I posted some ‘ppath quotes’ here (from ppath serial killers), which both illustrate their unusual use of words and their lack of remorse, and dare i say their satisfaction with what they have done in their lives.

“I was completely swept along with my own compulsion. I don’t know how else to put it. It didn’t satisfy me completely so maybe I was thinking another one will. Maybe this one will, and the numbers started growing and growing and just got out of control, as you can see.”-Jeffrey Dahmer

“I haven’t blocked out the past. I wouldn’t trade the person I am, or what I’ve done – or the people I’ve known – for anything. So I do think about it. And at times it’s a rather mellow trip to lay back and remember.” ”“ Ted Bundy

“I want to be hanged and I dont want any interference by you or your filthy kind. I just know the more about the world and the essential evil nature of man and dont play the hypocrite. I am proud of having killed off a few and regret that I didnt kill more!” -Carl Panzram

After my divorce, I remember looking back in, still not understanding why but with a somewhat clearer head and I realized that the guy had the psyche of a serial killer only he acted on his dark side in small ways, mostly, aimed towards me, the children and the family pet. I always felt that he was too big a coward to kill someone but that the necessary make up to become a serial killer was there. Of course, I wasn’t until very recently that I came to the realization that the guy was a malignant Narcissist/Sociopath and that put everything into context for me. Even the smallest and most puzzling of things the individual did and continues to do are explained by this illness. I also used to be able to predict to the most minute detail what the guys actions and steps would be but couldn’t figure out why he would do such things. Again, after my ‘discovery’ I know how and why.

That quote of Ted Bundy sounds so much like my P-son, who believes that his adult life (totally in prison) and his communication with people from the free world has given him the best education in which he is rendered THE BEST CHOICE for a person to run the entire world. He has no grasp that his life has not been a wonde4rful “success” or that he is just “another psychopathic convict low-life” to everyone except just ANOTHER convict psychopathic low life. He may be the smartest worm in the toilet, but that doesn’t make him a “big shot.”

I lost my dear kitty, a silverpoint Siamese, while I was with the sociopath. She was fine one day, the next I had to put her down with total organ failure. (yes, I stayed with her). I never found out what happened to her. I still wonder now if the sociopath poisoned her to beat me down.

Jazzy,

My bet would be on the poison. I wouldn’t put it past them. Thanks for you input on my other post. I seem to really need affirmation, even though I know instinctively he’s loco, so many things seem surreal.

Last year, around the same time, I asked my husband for a separation. His response was “I’ve taken care of you all this time, can’t you wait until the kids graduate from high school?” He was highly invested in the relationship, as you can tell. It’s been one year of hell and I can’t wait for it to be over.

I was the one who was paranoid for so long, knowing there was something terribly wrong by unable to escape the fog. He liked me to be in the fog. Used everthing in his manipulative arsonal to make me thing I was flawed, crazy, jealous, immature, paranoid. He said he was the most sensative guy he knows, he’s a saint compared to other guys, he has the best reputation at work-people loved working for him.

The fog takes over because you think this person who “loves you more than anyone else in the world”, only cares about themselves.

I have one of those key-loggers because I found porn on two computers, one was my laptop. I wanted to catch him in one of his lies. I found he was looking at mental institutions and psychiatric medications. I saved those images to a flash drive and gave copies to my lawyer. His little intervention he called my mom about was because he said I was acting strange and he was worried about me being around the kids. A-HOLE!!!!! He is the one I need to be worried about.

One good thing about this whole situation, I will be stronger and healthier in the long run. I will be a better friend, mom, daughter, lover (if ever again!), because I will have better boundaries.

The only real thing spath ever said to me was that I was the kindest person he had ever known. He actually had a real moment, it didn’t last long. His loss.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oxy – yah, that quote REALLY speaks to their living in a completely diff world, as does what you said about your son. how incredibly freaking odd they are.

Hi Guys:
Well…..today it came full circle…

There is a dude from Hawaii who was calling last summer…pretending to be my ‘new BFF”……badmouthing the spath etc…..claiming to have always like me….and his mother adores me????WTF? I met his mother for 10 min. years ago…
I knew something was up…..and then on Halloween he came by house, when he thought I was gonna be out of town….and he was shocked that there were lights on….i saw through my security cameras that he made a phone call…..then 15 sec. later….my house phone rings and it was spath, from a number he wouldn’t think I would know.
(but I did)…..
Then out my camera view…..the dude outside picks up his phone…..then drives off….
(hey….she’s home)…..

This is the same guy who wanted to ‘rent’ a place in my home….
As I said….somehting was fishy and it alerted me to something in my yard.

Okay,……so the past few weeks…..there has been this guy following us…..I take kids to school and this car is right behind me…..I pull in and the car is sitting on the roadside outside my house and the dude….was rubbernecking at me….
(I’m not so cute these days…..so it’s not often I get guys rubbernecking ol mom)….
I didn’t recognize this guy…..but I have been VERY aware of him following me.
Oldest said he saw him yesterday in the deli, and the guy stared at him and walked away and came back….over and over ….the course of an hour.
He was creepy.

SO……this morning….the kids walk out hte door…..and guess who pulls up….and stops and talks to them……
His car was full of spaths crap….(he stored it)….he was telling kids, he lived around the corner now…..(hmmmmm…in the same house as spath hid out in for several years)……
He went on and on…and the kids said they were so stunned they froze….he put the car in park and reached into the back and tossed out a bag and said,,,,hey this was your dads….you can have this…..BUT….knowing what your dad has been up to recently, you better go through it and make sure he didnt stache anything in there…haahhahaha…..
He said to them….yeah….let’s get togethre for dinner….isn’t it a coincidence WE live in the same town now?
(kids knew of him from Hawaii, years ago).
they said…..NO….we are too busy….
He said……well your dad..blah, blah….and they stopped him and said…..he’s NOT our dad!
They said they reiterated this….over nad over….
and the guy drove off.

I WAS PISSED!!!!!

Not only is he stalking us, he’s aproaching my kids ON MY PROPERTY!!! uh…NO!!!!
So….I called the police, and had them come over and get the damn bag and take it back to him and warn him NOT to ever approach my children again……

HE KNOWS we want NOTHING to do with SPATH or anyone who has anything to do with spath…….
I TOLD HIM THIS LAST YEAR….CLEARLY!!!!! and I didn’t stutter!!!!

So…..with the drug bust and his dupes approaching us and stalking us…..I will apply for the order to be extended.

The cops couldn’t find him at that house, so they took his licence # and make/model/color and the car is unusual in our area, so they will chat with him when he’s pulled over…..
I have no DOUBT hes part of the BIG PICTURE…..and maybe one day…..they will ALL go down!!!
Cuz i’m taken names…..

HOW WEIRD IS THAT……

Oh yea….btw….He’s gonna skip and no show the drug charges……
He’s got plans to go back to the east coast…..
for several years….for ‘a new adventure’…..
as he puts it!!! The beauty of what peeps say online….

Hmmmm……he’s NOT stopped……NOT!

I read in the paper yesterday that there was a 4 TON pot bust in CA…..the guy was sentenced to 4 years and a few months….and never ratted anyone out…kept quiet!
FOR 4 TONS?????

one/joy_step_at_a_time

EB – yet another spathy stink is raised.

this guy been in jail? i am getting this feeling that your x met him somewhere like that. perhaps he was his partner from some scam and who is hoping to capitalize on what he sees as a once spathed, twice foolable family.

does one of your cameras point toward the street?

8 of them do!
I have the property surrounded!

No….this guys the ‘money laundering’ type…..
he’s a financial dude…..been involved with some shady, shady companies….i’ve researched….
I’m also bf’s with his ex, ex, ex ……and she’s given me the inside….

He saw ‘stupid’ and he is in town for the tax advantages….but it’s coming full circle with him at that house…..because the owners of that house who hid the spath during divorce in Fl and here……
didn’t know this guy and are sending out ‘messages’ that they have NOTHING to do with spath…..and they ahve ‘rented’ their home here.

This guy doesn’t have a job……and his company folded….(shell co. i’m sure)…..and now he’s connected with FL. dude?
who claims he has nothing to do with spath any longer….
FISHY!!!

He’s been associated with disbarred attorneys from FL…..SEC scandals and always seems to be in the center of the mix.
His former room mates are currently in prison in HI with 10 years ahead…convicted of large drug charges….pled guilty…..
The company he keeps is questionable…..
He’s a sheister type…..with a charm and look…..

Ex met him through a rental we rented years ago in HI…..
I suspect he’s in town because this is a weathy community and spath has pointed him towards his next cons…..
He’s a talker….rico soave type….
I think it’s a bonus we are right here, so he can ‘help’ the spath with harassment etc….keep an eye on him…..

I’m sure….he views me as a stupid woman that he can con……

one/joy_step_at_a_time

then the police on his doorstep might shift things a bit.

i can’t shake the feeling that the original ‘meet’ between your x and rico was not coincidental. things do reek.

carp, all you need, another rotten thing.

Oh….they have been friends since…..NOT coincidental!

Erin B, He sure picked the wrong gal to mess with! Loser!!
Love, and Towanda! MamaGem.

I want to address the subject of absolution of sins from a priest and sociopaths. My ex is christian (well pretends to be anyway!) Whilst it is true that being truly contrite and sorry for your sins is a precondition for receiving absolution, the priest has no idea that the sociopath is lying – let’s remember that they put on such a convincing show of remorse at times. So the priest has no idea that this is fake contrition – they grant absolution along with a requirement to say ten Our Fathers and Five Hail Mary’s.

Whilst in God’s eyes, this is false, in the sociopath’s eyes, he has managed to pull of yet another scam and has received absolution of sins from a priest. The sociopath has no worry about the life ever after – he just cares about the moment right now so in his eyes he IS absolved. This must be one of the best scams to pull off for a sociopath – to fool a man of God must be extremely satisfying.

I have looked into the topic of anulment of marriage, but with sociopaths, the problem is their lies and the fact they isolate victims so there are never any witnesses to back up the victim’s story of abuse. The thought of having a council of strangers rake through intimate details of my shame and humiliation and then having the power to pronounce whether it constitutes a fraud marriage, is a little to traumatic for me to think about. So the sociopath has not only cost me many years of my life, he has also cost me my place as a fully respected member of my faith based community. It’s quite a high price to pay. The damage doesn’t end when they walk out the door it seems.

Steve you mentioned that if someone proclaims to love you and continues to do things that hurt and upset – well it must be on purpose. I totally agree and this is the conclusion I came to towards the end. I couldn’t figure out what he was getting out of me being hurt and upset all the time though – it didn’t make sense. That’s because I was attributing to him qualities he didn’t possess. I was assuming he was like me – a person on a learning journey who tried to tread lightly through the lives of others. And of course I hadn’t taken the issue of power into consideration in trying to figure out the situation. Knowing what I now recognise about him makes all those extra pieces of the puzzle fall into place. He hurt me because he enjoyed submerging my life to make himself feel better. He enjoyed seeing me in pain because it gave him a feeling of absolute power.

It still makes me shudder to realise that another human being can be this way. It truly is a confrontation with pure evil. I will never be the same again.

Dear Polly,

A don’t think God can be “fooled” by fake repentence or that a priest can overrule God’s knowledge of your S’s unrepentent heart and mind….so just keep in mind that God will be the judge of your S, not the priest or the Pope or anyone else. GOD!

I am not Catholic so I am not convinced that anyone else can interpret scripture and tell me what is right and wrong definitively. I unfortunately DID allow my egg donor’s “interpretation” of some of the words like “forgiveness” to be skewed so it would back up HER way of controling me, with God, of course, as the ultimate punisher to send me to hell if I didn’t do what she wanted me to do. Now, I read and interpret scripture for myself.

I see God now as a genuine “heavenly father” a LOVING spiritual father, not as some old man with a long white beard and a bull whip! LOL I no longer Have a FEAR BASED religion or a FEAR BASED relationship with God, but one in which I feel comfort and caring, not rage and vengence directed toward a child that is trying the best they can to do right.

I wish you peace in your spiritual journey, love and comfort! (((Hugs))))

OxD, I agree with you, here. No man – man – priest – rabbi – holy person – etc. – has The Right to grant absolution. The Creator, God, Jehova, Allah, whomever you choose to call It, is the Higher Power and Ultimate Authority.

And, perhaps, “hell” could simply be a complete separation from God.

Whatever each of our spiritual beliefs are, it is my firm stand that spaths can’t even concern themselves with an afterlife, much less atoning for their sins, today. The Universe of Spathy has one Emperor and resident: the spath. In their vapid minds, they are the god of their universe. Otherwise, fear of retribution would surely make one reconsider their cruel paths.

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