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By | June 7, 2012 55 Comments

Lessons from Jurassic Park: Sociopaths simply are

Editor’s note: The following article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Adelade.” She previously wrote “12 steps of recovery from love fraud.”

I very much enjoy reading, especially those fictitious works that cause me to think and learn. Without a doubt, nearly everyone has seen the movie, Jurassic Park, based upon a book that was written by Michael Crichton over 20 years ago. Well, I re-read the book over the long Memorial Day weekend. It is far, far different from the movie, and drives home the ramifications of the human myth of “control.” If you haven’t read the book, I would urge you to do so, simply because it speaks to a part of the human condition that is inherent in each of us: the need for control.

In reading Jurassic Park, the character of Dr. Ian Malcolm is a naysayer with regard to the Park’s subject matter, from the first page. Malcolm espouses “Chaos Theory” and seems beyond arrogant. As the story unfolds, the reader eventually rejects the perception that Malcolm is just an arrogant ass and realizes that he’s just speaking truthfully.

Well, that’s all very interesting (yawn) and zippety-doo-dah, what does any of that have to do with surviving sociopathy? Okay ”¦ hang with me for a second. Where I am concerned, many of the discussions in this book caused a personal epiphany.

Knowledge vs. control

Malcolm goes on to discuss how science has only focused upon “control” as the driving forces behind scientific discoveries. If something can be scientifically proven (or, discovered), human beings have been under the false assumption that we will have the ability to control whatever it is, whether it’s nuclear physics or human behavior. Knowledge about something does not signify control over something. This is where the fallacy of science vs. life is exposed, and that simple truth rocked my world.

The arrogance of science is very clear: there are many diseases, disorders, and deformities that cannot be altered even if science can explain what they are or why they occur. Genetic research has been in full swing for nearly 80 years and the one thing that has been proven through generations of hybridization and engineering is that anomalies will randomly occur regardless of how a genome is tweaked. This is an inevitability – when a string of DNA is hybridized or altered, it is impossible to weed out defects and anomalies, even if the geneticist believes that he/she has taken every possible variable into account. Nature has the final say in all things, period.

Sociopaths are what they are

So, once again, what does all of this gibberish and ranting have to do with surviving sociopath entanglements? It means just this: defining sociopathy/psychopathy, pigeonholing assessments, and all of the psych-speak in every human language will not alter the fact that sociopaths simply “are.” Regardless of the label, the acronym, the bell curve, the paradigm, or the nodding of educated heads and “harrumphing” in unison, what is not going to change is the fact that sociopaths are what they are, do what they do, and will always remain a factor of the human condition.

Without a doubt, this is the singular truth with regard to our survival, recovery, and emergence: We don’t really need to understand sociopathy. We don’t need to define whether it’s “nature vs. nurture.” We don’t need to construct parameters for an individual to be stuffed into. No amount of data is going to prevent sociopath and psychopath developments ever. What we “need” is to alter our own choices, behaviors, and perceptions and adapt so that we won’t be easy targets, again. What we “need,” more than anything, is to accept our human limitations with respect to “control,” and adapt.

Plants and animals have adapted to develop numerous strategies with regard to defense, propagation, and survival. Unfortunately (or not), human beings have come to the point in their perceptions that all we need is to “control” everything on earth from cellular mitosis to comet trajectories, and that Science and “The Experts” can accomplish this. And, this just isn’t so. We cannot stop earthquakes, though we can attempt to predict them. We cannot control where/when tornadoes will develop, though we can observe Doppler radar and blare out klaxon warnings if data suggests a threat. We cannot control whether an expensive show-quality heifer will produce a conjoined calf or not, but we can conduct amniocentesis in an attempt to intervene. We cannot control whether a human being is born as (or, develops into) a sociopath or not, but we attempt to construct parameters so as to avoid those who fit the profile.

We can adapt

What we can do is adapt. If our system of beliefs is flawed, we can change them. If our perceptions about human nature are flawed, we can alter them. If we leave ourselves open to repeated targeting and victimization, we can alter those things that make us attractive to sociopaths. We have the capacity to adapt, to heal, to emerge, and to progress. Now, I’m not saying that adaptation is smooth, painless, or instantaneous. Adaptation requires time ”¦ good, long time. Mistakes must be made along the way in order to develop “permanent” personal changes that are beneficial. The work that goes into adaptation is going to be intense, challenging, and demanding.

I’m taking this and I’m running with it as if my backside is on fire. I don’t need anyone in any professional capacity to tell me what I need to understand in the false assumption that “understanding will bring healing.” For me, that assumption is pure rubbish and simply not true. My healing, and the desire to heal, must come from within me, alone. No pill, no suggestion, no philosophy, no data, no acronym, and no religious ritual is going to cause me to adapt sufficiently enough to make myself safer from future victimization. So, I’m going to prioritize my “emotional hybridization,” and begin the long, slow processes of healing and emerging. I’m making the choice to accept this emergence as it is: a necessity of survival, on every level.


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Gia

Donna,

I felt the strong urge to reply to your post because I respectfully disagree with your premise that we don’t really have to understand psychopathy. I believe it is crucial for readers who come here to understand this fundamental truth so they can learn to heal. I think it is imperative that we do understand psychopathy. I say this not because I expect the psychopath to change, rather for ourselves, for at least two essential reasons:

• It helps us heal
• It helps us to better protect ourselves

You mention in your post that we must adapt, change our flawed belief systems, and flawed perceptions of human nature. I wholeheartedly agree.

* However, we cannot change and adapt in a vacuum.*

In order to accomplish these goals we need tools. Knowledge is key. Studying psychopathy gives us the tools we need to adapt. We learn about specific behavior patterns in people that signal a red flag. Knowledge is power. We learn the warning signs that tell us this person is dangerous. Unfortunately, this learning doesn’t happen overnight, like any subject. I believe that one cannot learn enough and that learning is an ongoing process.

The more we learn, the more the old layers peel away and new ones grow in their place. Our brains begin to make new neuro-pathways. Changing our thinking is a long process and it takes time for the neuro-pathways to become entrenched. It shouldn’t be thought of as a task since learning is tremendously rewarding. And, it helps restore our self-esteem.

For these reasons I am very grateful to those who create websites like Lovefraud and all those who have written books on the topic. They have opened my eyes and helped me on a continuing path to recovery.

I also continue to review to keep these ideas fresh and updated. Learning brings enlightenment. It’s very exciting. The more we learn, the more we grow.

Gia

Learning about psychopaths helps us to better understand ourselves and gives us *validation* by not blaming ourselves, and not allowing others to victim-blame ourselves and others.

Truthspeak

Gia, I’ve devoted too much time focusing on “labels” and what I feel to be an endless loop of energy being spent on defining sociopath/psychopath. When I said that “we don’t need” to know, I meant that precious healing energy might be better spent focusing on ourselves.

I do agree that knowledge is power, to a degree. But, I’ve also seen in myself that the search for knowledge can become an enormous distraction from personal healing and growth. I’ve done little of either, lately, and a great deal of energy that I could be putting into myself has been devoted to a vain attempt at “understanding” sociopathy. I don’t think that anyone in any capacity will ever truly “understand” this personality disorder. For me, it suffices to recognize that it simply exists, what the symptoms are, and how to better construct personal boundaries so that I’m not such an easy target, again.

As for blaming victims of sociopathy, my personal feeling is that this is part of cognitive dissonance – people don’t just “do bad things” to other people for their own entertainment, or so we’ve been taught. Well, they do harm others for entertainment, gratification, sex, money, power, attention, and accolades. Once a person has experienced a sociopathic entanglement, they’ll be very slow to blame another victim for being duped by a sociopath.

Adaptation is a personal exercise, I believe. No single formula, diet, regimen, or ritual works for the whole of human kind. Whatever works for me to get up that mountain of recovery is fine by me, and the same holds true with what may work for others. And, I hope to goodness gracious that I can figure out a way to get myself going, again. I don’t like being stuck on that mountainside in the rain.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak

To clarify “victim-blame,” I was once one of “those people” who believed that domestic violence and abuse was committed by the ignorant and uneducated. Strictly “low-class.” Imagine my surprise when I began learning Truths about DV&A! It’s all about preconceived notions, misinformation, and stereotyping. That’s what I feel goes forth with sociopathy/psychopathy – perceptions that are generated based upon misinformation and stereotyping.

We rarely hear or read about a garden-variety sociopath in publications or news broadcasts. Only the most notorious, shocking, and marketable examples of sociopaths/psychopaths are reported. Perhaps, this is why Courts and profesisonals in the psychiatric/psychological fields cannot (or, will not) connect the dots to make the image whole: one need not be a serial killer to be a sociopath.

Ox Drover

Adelade, Great article! I am looking forward to your next ones as well….and I have enjoyed this and your past ones. I am so glad to see other lovefraud bloggers starting to write articles and making LF more and more inclusive as far as authors go. Thanks for your contribution.

I just finished reading a (true) book about a NY city policeman and the problems he had in his unit with crooked cops in high places covering up for their kids who were also crooked cops. The evidence was so OPEN and OBVIOUS and the crooked cops described were so obviously high in P traits if not fully psychopaths…and the honest cop had his life on the line as he was undercover and the crooked cop was tipping off the bad guys…people died as a result.

Abuse is not limited to one strata of society, but is all throughout, and it comes in different forms from wife beating to political corruption.

Thanks Adelade! Interesting read. We can learn about psychopathy from many different subjects. We can learn about healin from many as well.

Adelade,
I have to agree with Gia. Understanding psychopathy is critical to healing, not just ourselves but also the effect of spaths on humanity. Zooming out to see the big picture using anthropological lenses, has allowed me to RECOGNIZE psychopathy in all its forms through time and various cultures.

Psychopathy is not like a species that pops up out of nowhere. It is a disease, it is contagious. Like love, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is a disease that occurs in relation to humanity. When spaths slime us, that’s contagion. Violence is contagious. Human beings are mimetic, we become like the people around us. To say that you can protect yourself without understanding the thing you are protecting yourself from is naive. This is especially pertinent to something like scapegoating, since it is hidden and when it is unveiled, it morphs to hide itself again. Abuse is that way too.

I never even KNEW I was being abused because I thought it had to involve physical violence. At the end, spath became so abusive to everyone and then cried saying that it was all because of stress from his job. boohoo. Abusers hide what they do.

Domestic violence gets you put in jail, so it has morphed. What was once physical abuse is now emotional, financial, and legal abuse. Nobody recognizes it. It’s not illegal and you don’t go to jail for it.

The bankers cried in 2008 about needing money because they were too big to fail. “It would hurt the PEOPLE if we fail! They’ll lose their houses and businesses!” Well, as soon as they got their money, they went off on luxury spa vacations and then said they had used “other money!” The taxpayers still lost houses and businesses after we gave the bankers billions. How are you going to single handedly heal from that kind of abuse if you don’t understand it?

Gray rock and decoy gray rock are products of studying the spaths. There is much more to know. They watch and study us. We are at a disadvantage if we don’t watch and study them.

This perspective also frees us from feeling the slime of the spath as a narcissistic injury. Once we understand their way of thinking, we stop taking it personally. It was never personal, it was never about you. He’s just attempting to regulate his own dysfunctional emotions.

G1S

I agree that we need to know about psychopathy.

I’ve mentioned a few times here how angry I’ve been that I have wasted so many years in therapy attempting to reconcile and heal relationships with Ps that had no hope of ever happening.

Without knowing what Ps are, what they are capable of doing, and why psychopathy exists, I would have continued to have been a square peg being forced through therapy’s round hole.

Therapists not knowing was far from healing for me; the lack of knowledge contributed substantially to my continued abuse and misery. And since I cannot be in two places at once, wasting time and effort in therapy meant that I was deprived of time and opportunities to positively develop myself, making myself less of a burden on others, and even possibly doing or saying something that might have benefitted others.

The courts do not understand psychopathy or why else would they have rulings that prior acts cannot be considered in a crime because they are too prejudicial? Or why do judges keep sending powerless, innocent children back to parents who will continue to abuse them?

Society in general doesn’t get psychopathy. We keep electing leaders or admiring business people who will stab us in the back.

We keep being urged to forgive or overlook Ps. Kids are up against bullying in school from fellow students, teachers, and other staff.

I think we need to know, and we need to know fully, so we can modify our society, laws, and practices that will protect and benefit the most people.

We need to throw out misleading presumptions like, “What mother doesn’t love her child?” or “How could anybody so charming and pleasant be capable of anything like that?”

We need to distinguish a token statement of “I’m sorry” from genuine remorse and personal insight into one’s character. We need not be sitting ducks for predators. We need to know how the predators groom and prey.

We need to know so that we can develop training programs for children and adults in all types of situations and walks in life.

How did I heal?

A large part of that came from understanding what was going on with the other side and that everything was not my fault. With that knowledge, I was empowered and no longer at the mercy of the Ps.

G1S,
for me it was doctors giving me SSRI’s, prozac and paxil and lexapro etc…

Not one asked me about my relationshits. Not one imagined that I was being poisoned.

There will come a day when we stop treating human beings as individuals and start treating them in the context of their lives and relationships. These things, our environment, affects us as much or more than our genetics.

One doctor, a naturopath, did suspect something. She said, “Were you sexually abused as a child? You seem like you’re suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.” When I indignantly denied that my parents could ever do that, she suggested a psychic healer. I didn’t go. Maybe I should have?

There was another doctor, an osteopath. He was obsessed with the stock market and his Eli Lilly stock. He had a huge bigscreen tv on in the exam room so he could watch the stock market while treating patients. He loved prozac so much that he took it himself. He said it “makes me a better me.”

Despite himself, he had some insight. He put all my problems down to stress. I denied that too. This was in the early 80’s and I said, “stress? no-I-don’t-have-stress-stress-is-not-the-problem-I can-handle-stress.” Obviously I lacked self-knowledge and the quack did have some insight, but his solution was prozac.

Finally, in 2009, after I left the freak I talked to a security guard at the local tv station. I wanted to know what the spath had done to be banned from the premises. He wouldn’t tell me, but he did say that his wife was a therapist. She had told him that almost all the patients she has, come in thinking there is something wrong with them and then it turns out that there is a toxic person sabotaging their lives.

So, yeah, people are starting to get it. But it’s still hard to see. Abusers hide what they are. If they didn’t, supply would run.

I think that it’s important to recognize victim-blaming as a RED FLAG. I’ve noticed on several news articles about sociopaths and their victims, that the comment sections are filled with quotes like, “well she should have known.”, “She believed what she wanted to believe.”, “This is what happens when you’re greedy.” etc…

Well, I’d like to believe that these commenters really are just stupid, BUT I’ve learned a few things from studying psychopaths and the phenomena of scapegoating. What I learned is that the victim must be blamed so that the spath feels better and so that the community feels safe and so that catharsis can occur and order restored. Blaming the victim is PART OF THE PROCESS of scapegoating. In every mythology, the sacrificed victim is guilty and that’s WHY they are killed and that’s why they become a god, because they have the power to restore order through their death.

The only one that is different, is the story of Jesus, who is known to be innocent.

I don’t believe the commenters are stupid, though some might be. I know for a fact that psychopaths feel compelled to spread their way of thinking by planting seeds. My own spath would say, “Anyone who would fall for a scam deserves to lose their money.” I had NO CLUE that he was talking about me and about all his other victims. He said it with such certainty and authority that I actually saw the logic in his statement. After all, haven’t we all heard the wise old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”?

I propose to you all that a spath came up with that saying, just so we would all blame the victim.

G1S

Sky,

I agree.

They scapegoat the victim because the alternative is too horrendous to consider, i.e., that they walk among us in great numbers and that we are all fair targets.

I’m not so sure that they are getting it about the scapegoating that they are doing, but I do believe that it is no longer comfortable to write all these incidents off as “the exception.”

When the exceptions keep accumulating and there are too many of them, then what you have is the norm.

When reporters et al start to realize that this is the norm, they will start looking at other things and asking other questions.

Ox Drover

While many “victims” of psychopaths are perfectly innocent there is also the FREQUENT situation where two psychopaths (maybe of different levels) hook up and are each trying to con the other…and they of course get into a big FIGHT…and the loser then presents themselves as a victim….in order to suck in a new victim with their pity ploy.

How many times have YOU seen someone you KNEW WAS A PSYCHOPATH PRESENT THEMSELVES AS THE “VICTIM”?

Of course my egg donor does present herself as a victim (I don’t think she is a psychopath but she sure ain’t no victim!) and my P son has always presented himself since puberty as a VICTIM of this unreasonable mom, mean mommy wants him to quit stealing and stuff like that, to go to school, study, and stay out of trouble. [email protected] Poor baby! LOL

I have personally had two women who I later found out were HIGH FLYING PSYCHOPATHS who presented to me as VICTIMS and damned if I didn’t let them hook me into their pity ploy for a little while at least. Fortunately Ii got out of both situations without much in the way of injury and no emotional injury…but you know…Like Robert Hare said, the way you could tell which of the inmates were psychopaths (they all tried to get money from him) were the ones who GOT THE MONEY. LOL I’m getting better at spotting the PSEUDO VICTIMS but they are hard to spot at first…you have to carefully listen to their back story and keep your ears open and watch for red flags….watch for the differences between what they say and what they do. That “Hero” woman in the recent article here who was really a psychopath not a “hero” is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of a really good one. Most are NOT that good.

I finally picked them out of my “current” (or recently past) friends and tossed them, but with new people I just watch and see what happens. I don’t get involved with many new people any more, but do meet a few from time to time, but NO ONE gets my trust until they earn it and it may take a LONG TIME before they are under enough observation for me to see just how they will react.

I watch most for any signs of DISHONESTY…ANY.,,.signs of dishonesty and they are quietly pushed to the edge of my life or completely out of my universe which ever is appropriate given the person and situation. But they will never then get into my circle of intimacy. Dishonesty is a DEAL BREAKER.

W8ing4change

Truthspeak, I can certainly relate to your feelingof being stick on that mountainside. Many days, I cannot even find the courage to get out of bed and go to work. No interest in new friendships or new romance.
At least I’m no longer stranded and alone on that mountain as I now have all the wonderful people I’ve met on Lovefraud right there beside me. Helping me climb, ready to catch me if I fall.
I know eventually I need to get out and meet new people, but that will happen when the time is right. And finding this site and all the wonderful people here has given me a big push in that direction.
I’m so thankful to you all.
You’re also brought joy and humor back to my life which I’ve been missing for a long time. All of you here are like angels and best friends to me. God bless you all!
P.s. I’m also here to catch you if you fall, and help you up that mountain any way I can.
Take care y’all. 😉

Grace, I think that those commenters are a combination of spaths and fence sitters who like to join the victim-bashing.

By manipulating the perception that the “weak” deserve what they get, spaths create an environment of callousness.

For example: The “Darwin Award’s” is a website that makes fun of people who died because they did dumb things. Who among us hasn’t laughed? This is how they take us down the slippery slope. I know, I’ve watched my spath plant a harmless little seed in that way. He wants you to show just a tad lack of empathy. Once you’ve done that, he takes you a bit further, never past your comfort zone. Always lowering the bar just a little more.

They are slick. They know just how to introduce these concepts into our minds so that we accept this behavior as “the norm”. Before we know it, we think it’s all good and well that “a fool and his money are soon parted.” After all, a fool would only do foolish things anyway, right?

Ox Drover

Sky, I still think the phrase “a fool and his money are soon parted” because people who do foolish things usually spend their money foolishly…my son C is a perfect example…got to have the big toys and no reserve. I ‘ve seen that so much where people live the “high life” but they never have enough reserve to get a flat tire fixed. That IS FOOLISH…buy toys, but never a thought for a rainy day.

Lots of people who are NOT foolish and who do the best they can still end up broke and I don’t fault those people…but you know it is about priorities…. some people are “broke” and can’t feed their kids can still buy cigarettes and beer, or have 175 channels of cable TV. I used to get so mad when people would come in without insurance for their kids, but they had a $50,000 bass boat in their yard. “Couldn’t afford health insurance it was too high” YUK, sorry for the RANT! LOL

Oxy, of course it is C’s responsibility to choose to spend wisely. I’m not saying he isn’t foolish in that way. But think about the temptation that he has to spend it on. Every day we are barraged by advertisements and appeals to have more and do more to be happy.

Voters recently passed a law in our state that was promoted as good because it would “lower taxes, etc…” It did the opposite! We were all fooled –again.

C is a victim of believing that the things he buys will make him happy. Just as I was a victim of believing that giving my spath money would make us both happy. We are both guilty of not taking a better look at what we were promised. It’s so much work though, to constantly second guess every single thing that appeals to us.

Before my eyes were opened, I was guilty of thinking that a woman who stays with a man who beats her, is a fool. All the while I was staying with a man much, much more abusive than a wife beater. Who was the real fool? ME!

Erin

Hello, I am writing because I am struggling with what may be the end of a long time relationship with a man I believe to be, if not sociopathic, then definitely narcissistic. It would take much too long to go into everything that happened over the years.. but in summary we worked for the same organization but lived in different cities. It was one of those “instant attractions,” intense and wonderful, and lasted several years.. all the hallmarks of a spath now tha I look back, and then he broke my heart when he took up with another woman.

We were out of touch for a year but then saw each other a few times a year at business meetings. Gradually our relationship morphed into more of a platonic one except when we would see each other at the meetings, then it would flip back to “the way we were.” The sexual chemistry was powerful and we got along really well. It was wonderful and difficult at the same time, but I told myself I could still be his “friend with benefits” and compartmentalized my feelings. Not good, I know, but I did it anyway.

If made a list of the times I felt manipulated or found out he was not telling the truth about something, it would be pretty long. Yet I could never sever the ties completely because I genuinely found him interesting, smart and funny. He was a true “split.” I cared about him despite everything and we really seemed to “get” each other like no one else did.

Months went by and he was in my life nearly every day – mostly email and the occasional long phone conversation. Because he lived a good distance away and I only saw him three or four times a year, the relationship kept going longer than it would have otherwise.

Several times in the last two years I have stopped contact with him for periods of several weeks because something would be said that would remind me of the bad stuff.. then I would start thinking of him with someone else, and I just couldn’t stand it.. so I took a break. We would always resume contact, mostly be his initiation. After so much time I considered him a close friend and when we would see each other the chemistry changed a bit and we did not explore the physical part of the relationship anymore.

Even though I knew it was not the healthiest relationship for me, I couldn’t imagine not having that connection, even though at times my heart still ached for what I thought we could have had, if only..

What is happening now is over the last couple of months he has gradually reduced the amount of contact between us. Around the holidays he had some serious health problems and afterwards was struggling with serious depression. He said he just withdraws from people and can’t handle emotional issues. A month ago he told me that even if I didn’t hear from him, I should call him anytime I wanted to talk and get him out of his funk. Whatever!

We were in touch and he seemed more upbeat than usual and was writing me a lot, but then suddenly he stopped. I haven’t heard from him in nearly two weeks, which is very unusual. I wrote to ask if he had decided he didn’t want to be in touch anymore but received no response. I sent a second email and still no response. Today I left a message on his phone saying that I just wanted to know if he was okay, and he has not responded to that, either.

I have never been the type of person to act needy or be a pest, but suddenly I am feeling kinda desperate and invisible.. and it’s a maddening feeling because I can’t do anything about it. I also feel foolish because he is not really accountable to me in that way. But it feels like emotional abuse or manipulation. He has to know I am hurting over this. I have no way to find out what he is doing or thinking so I am STUCK.

I have read about stonewalling and the silent treatment but this has thrown me for a loop. Okay, so he may have decided he just doesn’t want to be in touch with me anymore, but all I ask is that he TELL me that. After so much time I think that is a fair thing to expect.

How do I get my mind off this, get pas it, and most of all, get my self-esteem back? It’s in the tank.. I hate feeling this way!!

breckgirl

Adelade – BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO – I love what you wrote and completely got it and I agree. (And please correct me if I am wrong in what follows…)

You wrote:
The arrogance of science is very clear: there are many diseases, disorders, and deformities that cannot be altered even if science can explain what they are or why they occur. …..

Nature has the final say in all things, period.

Sociopaths are what they are.

Beautifully put. Several of the comments above appear (to me) to disagree with your statement that we do not need to understand in order to learn to protect ourselves and heal. I agree with you that we do not need to understand – what I think is happening here is that your brilliant commentary is being misunderstood.

Do we need to understand what manipulation is? What the red flags of sociopathic behavior are? Understand what our own triggers for overlooking danger may be (may have been) and as you say ADAPT.

That is STOP allowing ourselves to be harmed by giving potentially dangerous people the benefit of the doubt… IE: If your gut says don’t get on that elevator with that strange man – or you think “he/she is lying” or “that doesn’t make sense” then don’t believe the obvious lie or purposeful crazy making and don’t try to understand it – WALK AWAY FROM IT AND DO NOT GIVE THAT PERSON AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO IT AGAIN* because you like the person.

Do not ignore your instincts. Stop thinking “I’m just being silly” and don’t get on the elevator….Run from “the friend” boyfriend / girlfriend / relative / boss that lies to you or worse tries to get you to lie for them.

We do not need to understand WHY they are like this or how they got this way. It will fix nothing. Why is not a spiritual question and truthfully that kind of “why” IS a waste of time.

It does not matter why the man I thought I loved and gave myself to completely – is as he is. No amount of knowing why will change the nature of that beast. I spent far too much time on “why thinking”. I hoped if I knew why I could somehow CHANGE (control) what is. I could go back and fix the basis of the why.

Some of you may know I am a sober person. I have over 20 years of recovery. I have read posts on this board that clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding of the AA program. It is a wonderful program if applied properly but like anything in life – not everyone understands or applies the tools of that program properly and a lot of confusion ensues. People also attach meaning to things that are different than they are intended- especially on written internet boards.

Some of the learning from AA that has really has made a difference for me –

“Why I am an alcoholic does not matter – what I do about it does.” This applies to every aspect of my life really. It definitely applies to the relationships I have had with N/P & S people. Educational understanding is key – to educate myself on the behaviors that will alert me to future danger. That is the understanding I need.

I do not need to understand them and know them in an effort to fix them or myself.

Too often – early in the shock stages – when we are receiving what appears to be irrational and cruel behavior and we do not yet know what they are we embark on a course of trying to understand why the cruelty and deceit – we want to know why?

I think the important question to ask ourselves is – and to answer this honestly – “Why do we want to know why?”
I believe we want to know why because somehow we hope if we know why (his mommy was mean to him – he just needs to be healed from that) – if we can name it we think we can control it or fix it. And boy do we get played with as a result of that.

All the illusions you point to that science has lead us to believe if we just understand it we can control it. We cannot control it or fix it and it is this pursuit of why that is an utter waste of our time and energy and is as much a heart break to me as anything as it kept me in the relationship longer. I believed him when he blamed me and I wanted to understand why so I could fix it.

Another learning in recovery – to know what I am responsible for and what I am not responsible for. Everything in my skin – my words, actions and feelings are mine. If someone else does not like what I choose or do (as long as it is morally sound and not causing them real physical harm) then their feelings about it are not really my problem. While it is nice to be supported – to be manipulated into giving up yourself is horrible and part of the “understanding” of the N/P/S.

In conversations with difficut people I remind myself as much as I can to make sure and stick to the topic. They love to drag you into tangents and distractions and attack you when it has nothing to do with the issue at hand and gets you off balance.

I love this: I don’t need anyone in any professional capacity to tell me what I need to understand in the false assumption that “understanding will bring healing.” For me, that assumption is pure rubbish and simply not true.

I agree. For me healing is found in recovering from drama withdrawals. In enjoying my time alone with a good book – a walk with my dogs in the sun – cooking dinner for people I love. Listening to my children laugh or even argue with each other over small things like a borrowed shirt getting stained.

I still remember when I stopped allowing my ex-N to keep me isolated. People would be kind to me and I was shocked by basic simple kindness. Somehow I had allowed the bar to be set lower and lower on how I should allow myself to be treated. Somehow I had been stripped of the idea I deserved consideration or kindness and to be spoken to even during a misunderstanding – to be spoken to with respect. And laughter – when I spent time with friends that made me laugh and forget – THAT IS HEALING. Waking up and recognizing all the perverted thinking I had developed about myself and releasing it – that healed me. To know the people in my life who are N/P/S are sick and I need not bother myself with them and what they think – their opinions will never be uplifting to me or others. To go stand next to the kind people – because selfish people, liars, are evil and it has nothing to do with me. Kind, honest, wonderful people are kind, honest and wonderful and that too has nothing to do with me. I just need to go stand next to the kind, honest and wonderful people and avoid the people of the lie.

I UNDERSTAND now that they are emotional vampires and …
I DON’T CARE WHY

– I just need to wear garlic and crosses and stand in the light…

Thank you for a wonderful post.

breckgirl

Oxy – This is how I think too:

I watch most for any signs of DISHONESTY”ANY.,,.signs of dishonesty and they are quietly pushed to the edge of my life or completely out of my universe which ever is appropriate given the person and situation. But they will never then get into my circle of intimacy. Dishonesty is a DEAL BREAKER.

My children if asked what the rules are at my house say – Mommy has one rule – NO LYING.

As I have told them over and over – don’t be afraid to tell me the truth – I may get upset but I cannot help you fix a problem if I don’t know the truth. Without truth there is no trust and with trust there is no real love.

My favorite quote: “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
”• Warren Wiersbe

breckgirl

Erin – just read your post. There is only one way in my opinion. No Contact. That means no texts- no phone calls – no email – no Facebooking him, no talking to mutual acquaintances and checking up on him.

No offense but this person is not someone who is integral to your life. He is an empty suit upon which you have pasted your dreams and hopes. You have to understand that someone who loves you truly does not treat you like this person has treated you and you have allowed yourself to be a side dish. You deserve to be the steak in your own life.

A quote I gave my daughter recently that I think applies:

If someone wants to be a part of your life, they’ll make an effort to be in it, so don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for someone who doesn’t make an effort to stay.

I wish you a speedy healing-
I recommend “What Smart Women Know” – a light read that has much wisdom. “The Grief Recovery Handbook” and also “Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You” by Susan Elliot – she has a fantastic website that really helps.

This man may not be a disordered personality but just someone who liked the extra sex and emotional content of a long distance and basically NSA relationship that you offered him. That chemistry thing kills us women.

The real reasons for not having sex with a man until you know him and his values and if he is a keeper in every other way is that we women bond chemically with a man through sex and once that happens we overlook behavior we might otherwise not tolerate. The chemical is oxytocin – it is the same chemical the floods us when we give birth so we can tolerate the incredibly taxing demands of a newborn and love the child instead of getting exhausted and walking away.

Ox Drover

Erin, Breck girl’s advice is right on! Wash that man right out of your hair. That is just sex, it is not a “relationship” and sure it feels good, otherwise we would never procreate! But you have been dumped, that’s the honest assessment. If he wanted to respond he would. He does not want you in his life because HE DOES NOT VALUE YOU. Why? No telling really, maybe he found someone else, maybe not. Doesn’t matter really.

It is NOT because you are not “good enough” it is because he does not want a RELATIONSHIP he only wants sex when he wants it on HIS TERMS. He wants to TAKE but not give.

Why have you allowed him to treat you this way? Only you can answer that. But I think you deserve to be treated better, but the truth is that people will treat us the way WE ALLOW THEM to.

Ox Drover

Sky,

Yea if a man had hit me he would have had to spend some time in ICU recovering, but I thought I was so great…I looked down my nose at women who went back to men who beat them. I was such a hypocrite.

I let my SON abuse me in ways I would never have let a man abuse me. I let my egg donor abuse me in ways I would never have let a man abuse me.

LOL So you are right! Who was the fool! LOL

Erin

Oxy and Breck Girl,

Of course you are both probably correct in your assessments but, as you know, it still hurts to be dumped regardless of the circumstances. Being dumped equals rejection which is difficult in love relationships, family relationships and friendships.

The curious thing is that we hadn’t seen each other for eight months and there was no relationship pressure. It was just a conversational kind of thing and I didn’t expect to see him again for quite some time. We are both with others but had kept the long distance connection because we enjoyed it, or so I thought. He was always the one wondering where I was if I didn’t respond for a few days.

It has been nearly 8 years since I met him so ending a relationship of that duration is pretty major. I need to step back from this, take a deep breath, and think about this. It really caught me off guard. I will certainly not contact him again, but if he should call I am not sure what I will do.
The healthiest thing for me is to go out of contact again.

Never in my life (and I am not young!) have I felt such a strong pull towards a person or had such a hard time getting over someone. That is why I think he is a narcissist.. there is something “not quite right” there and he still maintains relationships with ex girlfriends and his ex wife.

Thank you for your input. Feeling a little better thanks to your affirmations.

CHAT!

breckgirl

Erin,

I hope you don’t take offense as none is intended but I find it odd that you are in a relationship with someone (I assume a committed dating relationship) and yet this other man plays such a big role in your life that it feels like being dumped and you have tried to pin him down. I think you might need to examine what it is you expected from him and why the loss of someone who has not been a true partner is hurting you so much. Question yourself and your own motives and unconscious assumptions/wants/needs that you believe this relationship satisfied for you. Get the focus off of him and his behavior and on you and your behavior – behavior in terms of tolerating bad treatment. What is up with that? Ask yourself why you would choose to be in a relationship like this. It feels like you do not expect much for yourself. You cannot make a person who treats you badly treat you well – there is NOTHING you can do to change how they treat people – and believe me he treats other women the same as he treats you. Your only choice is to accept it or reject him and seek better quality people.

IMPORTANT QUESTION: Does the person you date know about this “relationship” of 8 years? If not then for me it feels inappropriate and maybe this is a gift as it is apparent you would not have ended it.

And if your current relationship doesn’t know about this man of 8 years, why not? If you expect to have a true loving relationship with someone you do not keep your other important relationships a secret.

If the “real relationship” is not satisfying to you (and in my opinion if it was this other guy would not be so important that you go chasing after him when he disappears) then you need to let go of it as well and get yourself right about your boundaries and the value you place on yourself and your quality of life.

Then you wait until the right person appears – do not fill the space with whatever shows up – keep clearing it out until someone worthy of your love and efforts shows up. I truly believe if you keep cleaning out the space in your life of the time wasters and not quite good enough friends and potential lovers that eventually people worth your time and effort will appear to fill that space.

I also do believe you will be tested with several “not good enough’s” until you figure it out – and figuring it out is that you have certain boundaries – deal breakers and when someone behaves in a dishonest or distancing manner then you cut them loose knowing they are not good enough for you. Only you can know what your deal breakers are (lying, drug use/abuse, criminal behavior, coldness/general insensitivity, cruelty or rudeness/vulagrity, selfish, impolite…you get the idea) – but you should know what they are, recognize when they are being violated and act accordingly. That means walk away.

My life is too valuable to me to waste it on anymore jerks or people who just need to get their act together or need some fixing – if they aren’t in good enough shape now it is no sense in me waiting around hoping that one day they will be as that is highly unlikely. My boundaries have gotten ever more rigid and my life is better and better quality people are in my life as a result.

There are very few reasons for such silencing behavior to ever happen – if you have allowed him back in the past after this type of thing – due to some apology or excuse for distancing behavior and it happens again you do have your answer about the person. I can allow in some instance for someone to be distant or unsure but if it is a repeated behavior then you know the truth whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

I have had girlfriends who are platonic friends who have behaved in ways that I have found so appalling or hurtful I have had to distance myself from all contact. I would be saddened over the loss, even cry but despite the years of friendship – but I also have grown to feel somewhat like what Oxy says – I’m just removing more deadwood or rubbish from my life.

Your intense attraction could be because of the intensity of this man’s charm and him being a narcissist or again it could be that you have built up a fantasy of what he is due to the “vacation romance” nature of your friendship.

When you do not have to deal with a person on day to day basis – not see their hair in the sink, toilet seat up or dirty socks on the floor as they “get comfortable” they stay more attractive and romantic. Long term daily or near daily contact wears away at that sheen – and that is where real love is tested and developed. A person who is kind, honest and considerate to you after daily contact for longer than 18 months is generally someone worth hanging onto (barring other major compatibility issues)….

The “relationship” you describe with this man is more like an acquaintance than a full fledged relationship. Most all of the men I know who have stayed in close contact with all of their exes did so out of ego and most of their relationships were fairly shallow. One in particular liked to see if he could still bed these women and loved to inspire jealousy among the older girlfriends by parading around new younger women. I was one of those new younger women for a short time and when I figured out his game I dumped him. He continued calling me for years saying things like “I miss our conjugal relations” thinking he was oh so sophisticated and impressing me. I said to him “the term conjugal pertains to marital relations – there is no ring on my finger and I have no interest in receiving one from you…” he continued to call until I got married and once he realized I was truly not available as a potential bedmate (even though I had made it clear before that that would not happen) he stopped calling.

I hope you understand what I mean when I say stop thinking about his behavior and start thinking about your own. That is the only place you will find the solutions you seek.

Seems like I am on a posting tear tonight. Forgive me – home sick and obviously the Chaos Theory struck home for me! xox ~ Breck

MoonDancer

BreckGirl – Thank you for the above post to Erin – I needed to read that tonite….

Erin

Breck,

Wow, what a post! I am flattered that you would take so much time to write all that. It’s almost as if you saw through my soul when writing it which speaks to your intuition and intelligence.

I have never found anyone that I enjoyed being with as much as this man. The three years we were together were some of the best times as my life. I think that’s why I had trouble letting go.. as did he! We talked about that all the time, even though we were in relationships with others. It’s back to the old feeling of being “soulmates” which I know is another RED FLAG of being with a sociopath, but the similarities in us were uncanny. Just last month he told me he “loved” me but I knew he meant more as a person than the kind of love we had before. It had changed into something different.

And to clarify, I have never “chased” this man. It was more the other way around. What happened this week was just a reaction to a feeling that he had probably made a decision to end our connection which surprised me.

I do deserve more than what he could give, and I wasn’t waiting around for him to come riding back on a horse – I think I stayed connected because of the “image” and the flirting which i enjoyed. Selfishly, I loved talking to him so much. He was interesting, listened well, made me laugh, and time would fly by. There’s never been anyone like that in my life, and it filled some kind of gap.

Yes, the guy I am with now knows I was good friends with this person but I don’t talk about it a lot because he might feel uncomfortable. I am not very happy in the current relationship and am thinking of clearing it out as well, as you said. As you said, it happens with girlfriends, too, and there have been a few of those in recent years. The losses mount up and it makes me said because I relish in connections with people and care about people deeply. The boundary setting deficiency comes from my childhood. My mother was very self-centered and my brother and sister are also. I was the “good egg” and the one concerned with others… basically brought up to be a people pleaser. I was in therapy for a couple of years and the therapist was delving into all that and it really hit a nerve. I stopped going because I didn’t want to pay to hash through all those chidhood scenarios.

So, I know I will be alright. As with any ending, we mourn, analyze, second guess ourselves, then each day gets a little easier. As you said, it could be a gift in disguise.

Again, thank you!

kim frederick

Bravo, shampoo lady.
Erin, Miss Breck said most everything I was thinking as I read your post. Except this: You said that in the past it was him who got upset if you didn’t respond to him for a day or two. So, I gather, there was no real urgency to engage with him, as long as he was pursuing you, and you felt secure and in control. You apparently didn’t feel you owed him any explanation or response. Okay. The two of you aren’t in any real relationship, anyway, right?
Now, he isn’t respnding to you, and this just fans the flames. Now you have the fear of rejection virus passed to you and it’s in your gut.
One of the things that is so intoxicating about this kind of a relationship is that the desire is never really fulfilled. Someone is always creating distance, so the relationship never reaches beyond the lovely fantasy…ie: it never has to withstand any kind of intimacy fears, or commitment fears, or any of the not so lovely things Breck spoke about…it is always only a dream. Both parties are often complicitious in this. When one gets too close, the other backs off. When one is in the “I need my space mode”, the other is in hot pursuit. The “relationship never moves forward but stays in the realm of fantasy, because neither partner is really equiped to be in an intimate, committed relationship. Triangulating is another means of creating distance in relationships. Adding a third party to obsess over pretty much insures there won’t be much intimacy in the primary relationship.
I am the survivor of a serial cheat, and I stuck around for a long time, bemoaning my fate. HE had a problem with intimacy. Til a therapist asked ME why I was involved with him. In a sick kind of way it allowed ME to be involved without any real closeness…just like it did him.
In relationships like this, there will never be a closing of the gap. There will always be an equilibrium…just about the same amount of distance, with one partner distancing and the other partner closing in, and then they swap positions, but never a true intimacy.
Just my two cents.

Erin

Kim,

Thanks, I am impressed with your insight and viewpoint. I think you’re right.. in a relationship that stays in the realm of fantasy, there is a kind of dance between the partners. The delicate balance is usually there but it’s unconscious then when one of the partners changes their behavior, everything feels out of balance. It’s a type of emotional crutch and a feeling of security.. and as you said, the commitment will never be made.

At one time I really wanted to commit to this man but after he took up with a much younger woman that was everything he said he DIDN’T want, I think he started that relationship to avoid commiting to me. It was at that point that I knew I would never go there. Of course I should have completely walked away then and never look back but because we work for the same company we were thrown together which was too tempting.

Erin

Feeling better after a good night’s sleep. Have been listening to a religious radio station this morning and just having quiet time to myself.. always helps.

I blocked his email address so that I won’t know if he writes or not. Nothing is harder than wondering when you go to your inbox if there will be a message there. This way I won’t know, period.

Just have to keep reminding myself of the dysfunctional parts of the relationship to get my mind off the time we spent together in those first few years and the wonderful trips we took.

Breck, thanks for the referral to Susan Elliott’s site.. there are some excellent and relevants posts there.

Have a good weekend, all.

Erin

Just saw this and had to share:

If you’re not being trated with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you’ve marked yourself down! It’s you who tell people what you’re worth by what you will accept. Get off the clearance rack and behind the glass where they keep the valuables. “Value” yourself more.

breckgirl

Love it Erin – that is another quote worth keeping on hand!

Truthspeak

Erin, I was sorry to read about your situation – sorry that you’ve been hurt, again. I’m happy to read that you’re feeling better, today, and I really like the quote.

I think self-value is precisely what spaths hone in on like a dog on point – if we have it, they desire to destroy it; if we DON’T have it, it’s just another tool in their belts.

Brightest blessings, Erin – one baby step at a time.

alivetoday

Truthspeak, I feel that I am being guided to an accelerated healing and your article addressed and validated my very “me to me” conversation I had today as I walked the dog in the park…Unbelievably, I came to the conclusion, after ALL the books and research I have read on psychopathy and narcissism that it seemed like all the experts had a different name for what traits were what…they crossed, changed, confused…I decided (TODAY) to do Away With All The Labels and to settle for “I knew what I knew” I knew what I had experienced, a Psychopath. The more I read, the more triggers and the more memories, tears, regret, sadness and in the long run gratitude for the eyeopener of what exist in the world. I decided that today, that I no longer want to keep reading about the “P” (although I may go back occasionally for a reread) but I NOW was ready and eager to know more about me…the “whys” about me, get out of the denial and shame and be willing to make the necessary changes to live a life of peace, understanding and acceptance. Knowing that I dont have to have all the answers but I can learn to love and protect myself and to love the people in my life with having self-respect and respecting them. I am very grateful for your most validating on-time article..Because I keep getting these confirmations is one of the reasons that I believe my healing is being accelerated..Thank you

On another article one of the commenters suggested I read the book, “The Betrayal Bond”, I did get it and I knew in reading the first pages that I will be having many epiphanies as I have had so many in the past 2 weeks…In between the sadness and yes, depression, I am actually excited about what will be coming next and what will be revealed to me about me and life! I’m ready to take a back seat, give up control and learn how to respond instead of react…I am sure this is a process but this is where I am on this very day, today…

Gia

Adelade”..

I understand your frustration with the psychopath dilemma. It seems from what you wrote that you need to take a breather from it for a while. I sense in your post that you are still angry and I get that. I think most of us are to varying degrees. Whatever works for you to heal is what you need to try. We all have to find our own paths. However, studying psychopathy does not preclude any of us from working on ourselves in other ways too. I agree with you”. it is also important to work on ourselves.

While perusing Lovefraud, I began to read a post of a woman going through a terrible divorce, and I was surprised to see that it was your post! I must tell you that what you wrote sounds like my experience almost verbatim. I don’t know how far along you are in the process or if it is finalized. If not, I want to warn you”.and anyone reading this ”. the legal system is completely corrupt. This includes judges, lawyers, (including your own), private detectives, forensic accountants” legal guardians”.(which luckily I did not have to deal with), court law secretaries, court clerks, court stenographers, etc.

But the list does not end here. There are lots of people looking to make money off your fear, desperation, frustration, vulnerability, etc. These people have been around for a while and they know how to con a victim who is extremely vulnerable. These also include; divorce coaching and groups that promise to give you legal help. Groups for legal reform are just crawling with predators who want to “help” you. Therapists can make out to….though some are helpful. Caveat emptor! Trust no one. These people will tell you what you want to hear and they know exactly what that is. You are not their first victim.

Once the judge is paid off ”.the fix is in. No matter what you do”.you cannot win.Unless one is savvy enough to beat the system. I learned that the hard way. If you knew the details of my story, there is only one conclusion—the judge was paid off. The rulings were totally against my legal rights and yet the two judges had no qualms in breaking the law. I counted on the legal system to get “justice” but only ended up worse off. It was obvious that the psychopath that I was married to embezzled at least a couple of million dollars from our business and the judges turned a blind eye. I went through almost a dozen lawyers. They took my money and stabbed me in the back”..including forensic accountants and a private detective. The psychopath had the money (mine) to pay off everyone and ruin me.

*Divorce is a con game where all the players make out (except the victim) and the players know who is the meal ticket.*

So as bad as things were with the psychopath, I believe I am even angrier and outraged with the US legal system. They were supposed to obey the law and they screwed me at every turn. He was in contempt of court on every count, yet the judges did nothing. What they did do was victimize the victim”.me.

The thing that really astounds me is that all of these people have to be psychopaths. None had any conscience. None seemed the least bit distressed, concerned, compassionate, or remorseful in ruining an innocent person’s life. I hear stories of how innocent people all over our country are thrown into prison just so a judge or prosecutor or whomever can further their career. What is happening? Innocent lives are being ruined. These people obviously have no conscience. As time goes on it seems to me that there are many more psychopaths in this world then the “experts” are saying. Everywhere you turn there is corruption.
It doesn’t look like we can fix it.

I realize that some of this post is off the original topic”..but since I saw your other post regarding your divorce”.I thought I’d add it here.

If you or anyone else would like to discuss divorce further, I’d be happy to. Maybe I should find a divorce discussion here on Lovefraud.

Gia

Gia

A great book…..”The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker.

In it he talks about how our reasoning overrides our gut instinct…..and that can be a dangerous thing. He says always trust your instinct. We are so prone to rationalizing away our fear or discomfort…..for example….he doesn’t look like the type to do any harm. Women are also programmed to be “nice”.

This is a very good book that could save your life.

Quote:

“People don’t just “snap” and become violent, says de Becker, whose clients include federal government agencies, celebrities, police departments, and shelters for battered women. “There is a process as observable, and often as predictable, as water coming to a boil.” Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to preventing it. De Becker is a master of the psychology of violence, and his advice may save your life. –Joan Price”

A Q&A with Gavin de Becker

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Fear-Gavin-Becker/dp/0440226198

Gia,
my experience has been the same as yours.
the spath had the police and the sherrif in 3 counties in his pocket BEFORE he instigated the last plot to kill me.
That’s why it took 18 years from beginning to end, from the moment he had me buy that house to the end when it was paid off and willed to him.

The only way to beat a spath is to do what he doesn’t expect. Divorce or justice must be in another jurisdiction, because he has already “gotten friendly” with the players where he expects to play.

The spath’s betrayal is complete. It starts on day 1 because his intent was to betray from the very beginning. In my case, I’ve realized that he had sabotaged my car BEFORE I met him. That was the ploy so that he could fix it for me and “earn” my trust. So that means that the long con was not 25.5 years, but at least a few months more than that.

You are so right about the corruption in the courts. Legal abuse is the way that domestic violence continues. What I’ve learned is that persecutors will hide their persecution by pretending to be victims and accusing YOU of what they’ve done. Remember that the pity ploy is the oldest trick in the book.

Being a good person just makes them attack us more, so it’s important to expect it. To them, kindness looks like weakness. It’s time to teach them differently.

Truthspeak

Gia, I’m familiar with divorce and how the Legal System works. I’m also prepared for gross injustice and copious victim-blame. Power corrupts, and what could be more powerful than “The Law?” I realize this, and I have no delusions of how this is going to unfold. I don’t even maintain a false hope that there will be anything resembling “justice,” because there can be no legal remedy for the carnage that has been done.

The divorce is not finalized, and you can bet the farm that I’m angry. And, as I see it, I have every right to be angry. This will pass, in due time, and I know this – this is the second sociopathic marriage that I’ve ended, and I know that I will emerge in a far better emotional state than I did from the last one, in due time. For the moment, I am renting a room in someone else’s home. I was relieved of my mode of transportation as per the spath’s machinations. I am managing a painful and progressive disease and am unable to get to appointments with my physician and counseling therapist. I am sporadically employed with very minimal pay when I do work. I receive (by Court Order) a sum of “spousal support” that adds up to 2 tanks of gas per week. Meanwhile, the exspath is enjoying a very healthy State paycheck and entertaining his wildest deviant fantasies, at will, and still having the best life that a sociopath can. You bet I’m angry.

As far as my original post goes, I stand by my assertion that attempting to engage in defining the parameters of what constitutes a sociopath/psychopath, and what doesn’t is a tremendous waste of vital energy for ME. Knowing what sociopaths do, what their modus operandii are, and how to construct strict and solid boundaries are primary to my healing process, absolutely. But, as I said, the quibbling about acronyms, research results, and the like are complete distractions for me. My personal feeling is that I don’t care whether it’s nature vs. nurture or what the most recent research data shows. None of that factors into my recovery, at all. What does factor in will be my ability to overcome my current situation and adapt to a new one, regardless of what it turns out to be. The “experts” are not living in my skin, nor are their pontifications relevent to my pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving on with my life.

The whole of my life has been spent seeking approval, acceptance, and leaving myself open to harm (on every level) as a result of my fears and shame-core. These are the issues that I will focus my energies on, and I pat myself on the back for getting this far. Several months ago, I simply wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I don’t feel that way, anymore. But, you are absolutely spot-on to recognize my anger, and I won’t apologize for feeling angry, nor should anyone else who has survived any type of association with a sociopath.

I think a lot of survivors end up feeling GUILTY for being angry at the sociopaths that victimized them. Even my counseling therapist said, “Well, don’t you think you have a RIGHT to feel angry?” Anger is not a “bad thing,” unless it’s misdirected. In the cases of spath survivors, the shame of being duped is compounded by the shame of feeling angry ABOUT being duped, and it’s utterly incongruous – probably a huge contributor to cognitive dissonance, I imagine.

But, however anyone wishes to read the original post, it’s about me and my feelings about what works best for me. I simply choose to avoid discussing research data, psychological test results, and whether or not sociopathy is inherited. My focus is recognizing the symptoms, avoiding spath entanglements, and constructing strict, unmovable, and harsh boundaries.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak

AliveToday, I’m happy that you found something helpful in the article. I began to recognize this insatiable need to “define” and set parameters….and, it was simply a distraction for me. I’ve read many, many books about one view or another, but most of those “expert” views had nothing to do with HEALING from the carnages. It was all about the author’s perception, labels, etc…

The one book that had the greatest impact, lately, was (someone correct me if the title’s wrong!) “Healing The Shame That Binds (You? Us? Them?)” Although a lot of the writing went into some intense directions, the basis was that I could identify with HOW I developed into such a pliable target. I was finally able to “see” how I was programmed to be a victim, even if that programming was not intentional. It simply changed the course of my perceptions, and I’m running with it.

So, keep at it, AliveToday! It’s a long path with many potholes, pitfalls, and sidetracks, but we all get there in our own ways!

Brightest blessings

Victorian12

What happens is that we have an insatiable desire to comprehend why the sociopath is what he is and why he acts like he does (female included, though they are less in numbers). We should focus on our perception of what’s happened and what made us feel attracted to this person in the first place rather than on the disordered person, which is perhaps what Donna means to say in her article. She is right in that it shouldn’t be our problem what makes a person a sociopath, what matters is what we can do about it, now that we know that they exist. It goes without saying that one needs to get oneself informed about what the antisocial personality disorder is but wihout dwelling too much on it. In other words, read about it and focus on yourself, on your perceptions and behaviors to change the pattern in yourself which makes you attract this type of personality and get a move on. Courage and Blessings.

Truthspeak

Victor12, what attracted me to this type of person was 100% illusion. The exspath built a persona based upon my personal issues, and capitalized on it in every way imaginable. I was deliberately targeted for my money, and that’s the bottom line. Everything else that went with the exspath’s betrayals were just part and parcel of what he really is.

The pattern that I can clearly recognize involves my own shame-core and failure to construct boundaries. Boundaries always seemed to be extreme to me – it kept people OUT, and that’s not what a damaged person wants. Today, just about everyone is kept out, and I don’t feel one bit guilty about this, either. 😀

Truthspeak

To clarify about reading, I think that it’s an extremely valuable tool to access the experiences of EVERYDAY human beings who were victimized by a sociopath. Donna’s books, Mel’s work, and others are not based upon their most recent research findings. Their stories are personal – real – and not attempts to get their names in some psychological journal.

Each and every survivor who has posted on this site about their personal experiences andtheir individual roads to recovery and healing are 145% VALID to me. The non-professional survivor speaks plainly, honestly, and without the flurry of psychspeak that confounds most laypeople. I am in awe of the articles and posts that I have read on this site, and they have been a source of inspiration, hope, and healing for me.

Having said that, the professionals that post on this site speak plainly, as well, and make no attempts to rock in a LayZBoy, stroke their chins, and clear their throats before launching into a pointless essay that strokes their own egos. The professionals on this site are gems of unique structure, and their insight is priceless.

Quite frankly, had it not been for this site and Donna’s initial courage to take her experiences to the proverbial street, I cannot (and, WILL not) imagine where I would be at this very moment.

Shelley

I just wanted to mention a book that I recently read. I guess because I still struggle with denial – setting those firm boundaries…liars out! lol – thanks Oxy.

I just finished reading “The Serial Killer Whisperer”. A young man with severe brain injury becomes penpals with many serial killers.
There are two stories woven in – that of the killers…and that of the young man coping with his brain injury. Half way through the book, I could no longer read the letters from the serial killers…it was that disturbing to me…but I wanted to finish the young man’s story.

When I finished the book, I had to get out of bed and take it into the living room. I didn’t want it near me.

It truly helped with the denial. Many of us won’t meet people as extreme as these serial killers – in that they kill – but the traits…they’re there and everywhere.

It’s a true story and recently published. And it’s got one monster who has been on death row for 30+ years (can you believe that)…a date with the executioner very soon.

How soon the monsters and the tragedy they leave in their wake forgotten.

Shelley

Ox Drover

Shelly,

I just started reading the book by Peter Maas about Sammy the Bull, the Mafia snitch that turned state’s evidence and got John Gotti and dozens of other Mafia dons and killers put in prison….and he was telling his life story….how he came from a good hard working family but he was dyslexic and couldn’t read so he became a thug, and I got as far as the first killing (in cold blood) he was ordered to do and how he and his 2 friends lured this guy to go clubbing with them and he got in the back seat behind this guy and just put two bullets in his friend’s head. He had been ordered by the Don to kill this guy because the guy was doing someone’s wife.

He said that HE DIDN’T FEEL ANY REMORSE OR GUILT when he did it or afterward. He killed he admitted 18 more people in cold blood. He ended up only getting 5 years instead of life without parole or the death penalty because he snitched and cooperated.

His wife knew he was a mobster but she didn’t “want to know the details” and she refused to go into witness protection with him. He eventually quit the protection program. He is about my age, maybe a year older (65-6) and still lives in hiding. His wife divorced him though.

He tried to come up with excuses of why he didn’t want his son to be a mobster, etc. and come up with things that made him “be honest” WTF???? He was AN HONEST SERIAL KILLER????

Yea, serial killers get lots of mail in prison from women who want to marry them and others who are interested in how they think or want to be “friends” with them, or show that they can be real nice guys. WTF???

My daughter in law KNEW that our Trojan Horse psychopath was a pedopile X3 and had spent 20 years in prison and she still had an affair with him, still used him to try to kill her husband (my son C) and even after they both went to jail/prison she “still cared about him” she wrote in a letter to her daughter. Then she turned on him and cleaned out his bank account of the stolen money she had given him. My son Patrick knew this woman (his brother’s wife) was having an affair with his buddy but he didn’t warn his brother—LOL There is NO honor among thieves no matter what Sammy the Bull says. He also talked about the Dons and what great guys they were (even though they had killed and ordered killings) how HONEST they were as they tended their tomato gardens behind false business fronts.

Robbing was no big deal, people had insurance so they didn’t get hurt…only the insurance companies. He stole a car once and the owner shot him and his friend…so he was going to kill the guy, because the guy shot at them JUST FOR A CAR. DUH?

I couldn’t read the entire book either, I read just the first part then the last chapter about Gotti’s trial and the epilog about what happened to Sammy. He is so much a psychopath….it sounds like the book my son Patrick would write about how he was only a thug because his mother was such a biatch and wanted him to study in school.

I don’t feel like though that The convict in the prison cell is my son Patrick…my son “died” when he was a teenager, and that man in the cell, the killer, is a STRANGER to me. But by understanding Sammy the bull I do understand that stranger, and I know that he will kill me if he ever gets the chance. It is my job to see he never gets the chance if I can.

Louise

Shelley:

I will definitely get this book…thank you for the suggestion.

Shelley and Louise,
I didn’t buy the book, but I read a few pages on amazon.

The letter I read, struck me as a lie from the spath. The boy later found that he told the police a completely different story.

I think forensics would be able to tell the truth better than a spath can.

What I’ve come to realize is that they truly cannot open their mouths without lying. I don’t think they could, even to save their lives.

Just from the letter to the boy, I got the impression he was writing about how he fantasizes killing people, rather than how he actually did. He said that the woman kept begging him for sex whenever he revived her from choking her.

Not saying the spath isn’t pure evil and capable of what he describes, just saying that the letters are more likely to be fantasy than truth. I think that if what he describes in those letters had ACTUALLY happened — he would have written something else. The truth is never good enough for them.

Truthspeak

OxD, I have a difficult time reading those types of books, anymore. Time was, I was thoroughly interested in reading Ann Rule books, and other “true crime” accounts because, I suppose, I was morbidly fascinated as to HOW a person goes from eating strained spinach in a high-chair to committing multiple murders for entertainment, profit, or whatever. That female that shot her children (can’t remember her name) because her boyfriend didn’t want the responsibility of children? REALLY?

Today, I find it particularly difficult to read about these true-life wretches. It’s not a studio script. It’s not make-believe. I don’t have that “interest” in why or how they got behind bars, anymore. It’s too disturbing, especially when it comes to children. And, the enabling of “friends’ and family members is despicable – to “know” that “something doesn’t add up” about someone, but to pretend that something isn’t wrong just causes me to feel anxiety – if THAT makes any sense!

Louise

skylar:

Thanks for your great explanation as always. I also had gone on Amazon and read a little, but I didn’t read the letter to which you are referring.

Shelley

The story is about a young man who is trying to come to terms with his brain injury and his purpose in life – much like a coming of age story.

In order to understand his personality changes and most especially his sudden, uncontrollable rages, he does research online – finds a correlation between rage/serial kills (simplified)..and writes to ask them. The dialogue between goes on for many years….from his teen and he’s now in his early 30’s.

His vulnerability and naivety had me biting my nails, but his parents imposed some strict guidelines…although got a bit lax at some times (pictures of home etc).

Yes, spaths lie – that’s given. He was however given enough info that he was able to help law enforcement close some cold files. As the book progresses you can see the lies, the bragging…the occasional “hook”.

A major turning point came for him when he, his father and younger brother actually visited some of these ‘pen pals’ in prison. One of them was Shawcross.

Anyways, it was a disturbing read for me – not just the serial killer’s letters – the chilling randomness… but perhaps because of the polarities between this youth and these monsters. Just one of those books that left with me with a lot of food for thought.

I didn’t buy it – I got it from the library 😉

UnOccupy:Psycho:Paths

Good article. It has occurred to me that the physiological elements of people of the dark triad are simply a feature of the spread of DNA attributes that appear naturally in the human species. We must know enough about the subject to be able to understand and recognize the red flags. However, as most of us know, some of these individuals are able to fool even the professionals (i.e. Robert Hare). Combine that with the fence sitters, the prospects are just not good. There must be people out there who are not members of the triad, yet who can identify them and avoid them. We should try to identify these people and learn how they do it……if they are willing to give up their secrets.

I can do it!

😀

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