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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Are cats sociopaths?

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following from the Lovefraud reader who posts as NewLife43.

I not only read Lovefraud to help me with the backlash from my 8-year relationship with my spath. I also read an interesting blog written by and for sociopaths, answering some of their questions, presenting criteria about what makes a sociopath what s/he is. It’s very enlightening, particularly when I am sorely missing my ex-spath and need to remind myself why we are no longer together. Since it’s on the Internet, the spaths are surprisingly honest. Sometimes, the posts can be very chilling, when they are honestly posting about the way they think, causing a shiver to run down my spine that I escaped from such trauma. It helps me to have gratitude and a sense of good fortune I am no longer caught up in that mess. And I stop missing him, which was the whole point of reading the site.

An interesting question that came up on their board was: Do animals have a sense of morality?

This question was derived from one of the spaths reading an article that was printed in the British online publication, The Telegraph. That article was entitled, Animals can tell right from wrong

One of the spath responses to the article was that of course, evolution played a HUGE part in our human abilities to be empathetic and moral, citing dolphins, great apes and even elephants as being altruistic and helpful to other members of their flock, pack, herd, etc. with no apparent gain to themselves. They can even be helpful to other species. (For instance, dolphins protecting humans from sharks). But of course, sociopaths missed the boat when it came to empathy.

Another of the respondents said that cats were probably psychopathic. I beg to differ and told them so. Here is my response to the sociopath article:

Over the years, I’ve had several cats. Currently, I have a two-year-old little guy, who I can honestly say is sociopathic, intent only on himself and what I can do for him. He derives great pleasure from me, but shows no emotion or feelings back to me unless it can benefit him in some way. Then he can charm the pants off me. He is a great troublemaker to boot and plagues everyone in the household (animals included) with his actions! Lots of fights are started by this little cat, while he walks away smirking. Very smart, easily bored, destroys household items for the fun of it and targets others. He doesn’t have an altruistic bone in his body. HMMM…sounds sociopathic to me! He gets thrown outside A LOT but never seems to learn from the consequences of his bad behavior. Sigh!

I have another cat, whom I’ve had for 18 years; she wants to know the rules and not only follows them to a “T” but expects all the other cats in the household to follow them also…or she will beat the “carp” out of them. Routines are to be observed at all costs. She has to be let in and out at certain times, food and water have to be fresh and put down on a certain schedule, etc. Although she is very reserved, she can also be very loving on rare occasions (funnily enough, to me only, I suppose as the main caregiver), but it is genuine, as she never wastes time with false emotions. She is honest through and through. Definitely OCD, though, don’t you think? Think “Monk” here.

Finally, I have a very sweet, loving black cat who is 13 years old. His sole purpose in life is to find a way to spend all his time with me. If I sit down, he is in my lap; going to bed, he not only wants to sleep with me but also has to be as close as he can, preferably touching my skin in some way. He always stops and thanks me for his food, before he dives in to eat. Follows me everywhere. And he is incredibly empathetic, always knowing when I am sad and offering comfort to the best of his ability. My friends marvel at this loyal little cat, who pesters them to go home at the end of the evening, so that we can go to bed together! Apparently, he can’t go to bed without me. One friend said he was worse than her husband! No other creature in the world has ever loved me like this, including my kids and two ex-husbands. And I don’t treat him any differently than my other cats, so I don’t know why I deserve so much love. Empath, borderline…I don’t know. I just know he loves me very much and shows it. And he was born that way.

So, no, not all cats are sociopaths. But from my experience, I would have to say, all have different personality disorders/traits, just like humans. Certainly completely different from each other. Since I treat them all the same, I have to conclude that they are the product of their genetics, i.e., they came to me that way, I didn’t make them the way they are. Just like the world is not environmentally responsible for creating sociopaths; you were all born that way, and there is nothing we “NORMALS” can do about it, except to stay as far away from you as possible, for our own sakes. Surely, you spaths can understand self-protection and putting ourselves ahead of you. For once. And if you lack the ability to understand that, well, as my ex-spath was so fond of saying to me, “I DON’T CARE!” 🙂


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102 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Are cats sociopaths?"

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NewLife43, AWESOME POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have had cats as pets throughout my entire life. Even in retrospect, I don’t see any behaviors that would align their movements through life as sociopathic.

Because animals run mainly on instincts and survival, there are basic “needs” to be met that override emotional “wants.” The need for food, to reproduce, and to develop a “community” or herd. Dominance is determined by which individual(s) present the strongest skills at securing food, reproducing, and establishing cohesive group units. Ill-mannered members of the groups are either shunned or abandoned.

Cats are not, by any stretch of the imagination, similar to spaths. Every cat that I’ve ever had displayed affection, acceptance of affection, and the ability to comfort during illness or emotional trauma. Though they may appear aloof, it is the nature of cats. And, I have met the occasional monsterous feline, but they’ve been few and far between – and, they are typically monsterous because of the interactions with their owners.

What a wonderful article, NewLife43! THANK you so much for posting this, Donna!

Brightest blessings

Cats generally take good care of their offspring. So that’s not a psychopathic trait. It may be by INSTINCT but at least most cats h ave the insttinct to do so, Psychopaths dont’ even have that instinct.

Cats generally BOND to their family or “pride” and work for the greater good of that group. They share kills. Psychopaths are not big on sharing anything, and they sure do not work for the greater good of the family or group. So cats are well above psychopaths in that aspect.

Cats are predators….they kill to live. And sometimes they will “toy” with a victim in a way that seems to be “play” that they enjoy. Again I think while this may appear to be psychopathic because they sure don’t have empathy for their victim’s pain, it is more instinct than anything else.

A cat will PROTECT her offspring, which I have seen a cat attack a dog who was getting to near her half grown kittens to suit her. This could have been a self sacrificing move on the cat’s part if the dog had attacked her. Again, instinct I think, but still a step above the Ps as they don’t have this instinct.

Cats are not the same as dogs and I wouldn’t expect my cat to attack a person who was trying to harm me, as I would my dog that is specifically trained to protect, by using that dog’s play and protection instincts to train her.

But no, I don’t think cats are psychopaths. Just predators who have some bonding capabilities. That’s more than the human predators among us, the psychopaths.

Thank you, Truthspeak!

I sent this in a while ago, and would like to add a bit to it.

My other two cats hate the “sociopathic” one. They avoid him like the plague, but in different ways. The oldest one, when she is approached by the little guy, slowly turns her head and calmly stares him down. I don’t know what she is telepathically saying to him, but he freezes, then carefully backs away from her and runs as fast as he can in the other direction. She never moves a muscle. She is not a good source of “supply” to him, but that doesn’t seem to stop him when he is bored and looking for trouble. She reacts consistently the same way, each and every time. The point is, so does he. And so she controls the situation, not him.

But my loving black cat…totally different story. From day one, even though he is twice the size and much stronger than the youngest cat, he turns tail and runs away, EVERY SINGLE TIME! Then the little guy chases him and they tear through the house, knocking things down until I put a stop to it. The black one is all upset, breathing heavily, growling (something I never once heard from him until this little guy showed up) his fur standing on end, while the youngest one is just thrilled with the fun of the chase and quite satisfied at the outcome. This happens a lot. Just once if Blackie would stand up to him, it would put a stop to it, but he never does. I guess his personality is such, that because he would NEVER do that to anyone else in the house, he can’t understand why he is being targeted and stalked like prey! He is, in every sense of the word, a BIG PUSSY!

And then, of course, there’s me and my reactions to my little sociopath. He showed up at my house one day, a tiny kitten, demanding to be fed and petted. I tried to find him a home, since I didn’t want any more pets and I failed. So he was mine. I took him to the vet, got his shots, had him neutered at the appropriate time, hoping it would calm him down (no luck there!) and again, I treated him like I do all my other pets. I was responsible and ethical in my treatment of him. And because I was stuck with him, I loved him and delighted in his cuddliness and babyness. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, that’s for sure!

So now he is part of our household, tormenting everyone, making me the lunchroom monitor in his every interaction with others in the house. Yet, I still love him because he can be so charming and funny. Why does this sound so familiar to me? Because, guess what, I am who I am, too. I was born this way and probably will die this way. I am stuck with myself, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing, since writing this article reminds me that I really am a good person. Even though I fell for a sociopath, I can heal and protect myself from having it happen again. I CAN learn from what happened and avoid it. And I can stand up to bullies, (like my oldest cat does) calmly staring them down and not being a good source of supply to them. I am in charge of my life again.

I am also bigger and stronger than this little guy, I am the head of the house, and I will put him in his place every time he gets out of line, by removing him from the situation. Just like I did with the ex-spath. Only with him it was permanently. So now Spathy can go find his own food, bed, shots and maybe one day, someone else will neuter him. I can only hope!!

Good points, OxDrover!!

Great post Newlife. That’s funny that you have a spathy cat. I’ve had all types, and some were naughty but none were quite like the one you describe. What type of breed is he? what does he look like?

Oxy,
You will love this video of a cat attacking a mother because the cat thinks he needs to protect the mother’s baby from the mother. There is another cat that tries to protect the mother from the cat but he fails.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebJq3ILGB3Q

And really, the point to my “little parable” is that it’s not OUR fault that the spaths are the way they are. That’s what kept me in that relationship for so long, trying so hard, hoping for change…and I think others may be struggling with the same beliefs. It’s so important to help them realize there is nothing they can do to change such a fundamental personality disorder and just GET OUT! And never, ever go back! They won’t change. Since so many people have animals and recognize all the different personalities of their pets, maybe it will help someone “get it”.

Training a pet is one thing, changing their fundamental personalities is futile. That is where the greatest harm is done to us, in that period of waiting for things to get better. They never will.

new life said “So now Spathy can go find his own food, bed, shots and maybe one day, someone else will neuter him. I can only hope!! ”

ROTFLMAO CHOKE SNORT SNARF laugh til I puke!

That’s a great post, it almost brought tears to my eyes since I have been living with cats for most of my life.
I totally agree with Truthspeak and Ox Drover.
I own a cat now too and I wouldn’t say that cats are like spaths at all. My cat is nothing like a spath. My cat makes me happy, the spath made me sad. My cat is always there when I’m sad or sick, she somehow feels it and she gets close to me and touches me where I hurt. The spath was never there for me when I needed him and he is supposed to be a human.
I have never seen evil in the eyes of my cat even when she is annoyed or disappointed but I have seen pure evil in the eyes of the spath many times.
I don’t know it but I guess that most of spaths would probably prefer a dog over a cat. My spath used to like dogs. He never showed it but I somehow felt that he disliked cats. I think that’s because a cat wouldn’t obey him like a dog does. A dog would always love and admire his master no matter how bad he treats it, something that a cat won’t do.
I don’t know why but my spath often described himself as a wolf. That’s maybe because wolves are misunderstood from people and he feels that he is a misfit… Who knows!

Snowwhite, I think that spaths want to be “tough” and they view wolves as “tough”—actually, wolves have a very loving family system for the most part, but packs will hunt and kill out OTHER PACKS (which does seem to make them a bit like humans) and at times if a pup is uncontrollable and won’t follow the rules, the alpha male will kill it. The wolf pack rules are for the benefit of the survival of the pack, which by working together can survive. Not working together they can’t survive.

Wolves instinctively bond to their pack between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks, and even as an adult that may have moved on to another pack, they recognize one another. Just like some humans are “misfits” so there are wolf misfits as well…and sometimes a pack will pick out a zeta wolf which every member of the pack abuses until it dies or leaves. Even Zeta wolves who are abused are loath to leave the pack though…it is like they are trauma bonded to the pack, plus, it is difficult for a wolf to survive without a pack. Lots of interseting research on the lives and habits of wolves out there.

Skylar: In answer to your question, he’s a short-haired white and grey cat. He showed up in my garage one day while I was working on a project, literally screaming his little head off…wanting food and attention. I thought he was so cute and immediately did everything he wanted…look where that got me!

PS He brought a mouse into the house last night…a live one. And let it go. Under the hutch in the living room. Wasn’t that great!! Thanks a bunch!! Chaos was reigning, but my oldest cat herded it out from under there, I opened the back door and she guided it all the way until it was out of the house. Then she went back to bed. I love her so much! She is my hero!

Newlife,
it sounds like we have similar personalities in that we like it when cute baby types demand our attention.

I absolutely love being a cat servant. pathetic, I know, but I DO! I admit it and I think that this is why I’m attracted to narcissistic men. They act so helpless and demanding. The drama over nothing, reminds me of a little kitten spitting and hissing and getting all fluffed up over a piece of string.

Unfortunately, the spaths are more like lions than kittens and equally dangerous.

Most of the spaths that I’ve known have preferred cats over dogs. They identify with the cat’s predatory and solitary nature, as well as the charming aspects of the cat. One spath, I knew, told me that I was more like a dog and he was more like a cat. He said this because he knew how loyal I was — and he wasn’t loyal at all.

I have had dozens of cats over the years, they were all rescue cats and we only had one that could was not totally healed by care, love, food and affection. She was a calico we found at the Tulsa Airport abandoned, needy and howling for help. She became the feral cat that liked to live indoors. She would come to be petted or stand on me but she never could relax with anyone. I would never even consider her to be spathy. She was just damaged and could not recover from the fear. We loved her anyway and she lived a long happy life. Her best friend was our parakeet. She loved to sleep by his cage but acted friendly, not like a predator at all.

Even the “vicious” one we took in came t o be the most docile loving cat of them all. He had a purr like a freight train and was adored. I never met a cat who was like a spath. Cats are honest and straight forward and when you are loved by a cat, you know you are really loved.

I guess a person who never loved a cat might not understand. I feel very honored to have loved and been loved by many cats. I even had a couple of special ones who were like soul mates. Of course they picked me, not the other way around and they gave me more than most people ever have.

My question is are cat lovers more prone to be sociopaths?

My x-spath liked cats but disliked dogs. N=1 but I found that curious. Many people like cats and dogs. Many people like dogs but do not like cats. Few like cats but don’t like dogs.

Mine didn’t like dogs either. He tolerated the cats. They hated him.

BBE, I don’t think that spaths are “lovers” of ANY animals – they just collect them like baseball cards because it makes them appear to be empathetic.

The exspath and I found an abandoned kitten in a very, very remote area that was swarming with every manner of natural predator – from coyote to eagles. We adopted this tiny thing and she was a delightful addition – up until the spath began to torment her because her irritability amused him. Often, I would mention this to him that he was making her irritable, and he would insist that he was “just playing” with her. Of course, he NEVER stopped tormenting this poor cat and she went from being a delightful and affectionate pet to a grumpy and aggressive piece of work. And, it wasn’t HER fault.

I’ve met MANY people who were high in spath traits that had pets and were even involved with animal rescue, etc. It could simply be that owning pets not only provides a cloak of normalcy, but also that the unconditional love and tolerance of pets fills some type of vacuum in the World Of Spath.

So, SEASON’S GREETINGS and brightest and most sincere blessings to everyoe

How about a little “Simon’s Cat” as a holiday greeting card to all my friends at LF?
I love Simon’s cat because it so perfectly captures the spirit of cat. They do seem narcissistic, but all the cats who have owned me have loved me, as no narcissist ever did. When I was a child, my siamese jumped out of a closet and tore my Dad’s arms and hands up, because he was tickeling me, mercilessly and she was protecting me. I was her kitten.
When a cat loves you, you are loved completely.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all.
http://www.simonscat.com/Films/Santa-Claws/

kim:

OMG…I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! I didn’t watch the second one yet, but the first one was classic!!!!! I was cracking up! Reminded me of my cat sooooo much.

I hadn’t joined in on this conversation before, but I have had cats all my life. First living on a farm and then one of my own. I had a gorgeous Himalyan with those gorgeous blue eyes for 18 years. She died on August 4, 2005 and I have never replaced her. At first, it was because I just couldn’t…I wasn’t ready. Then after I healed, so much time had gone by without one that I just got used to life without a cat. And with traveling as much as I do, it was better to not have one, but I do miss it. I LOVE cats!!!! Always have. I love the purring. My cat was SUPER loyal to me. She would meet me at the door everyday when I came home just like a dog! And believe this or not, she would NOT let anyone else go near her…seriously!! NO ONE could even pet her let alone pick her up…she would literally try to attack them! But she loved me…unconditionally and totally. When I would pick her up, she would actually hug me around my neck…it was so precious…I loved that cat so much…she was my baby since I didn’t have any kids.

Thanks so much for these videos and Merry Christmas to you, kim!!!

kim:

Hahahahahaha!!! I was cackeling so loud at the second one, too!! Thank you so much for this much needed laughter. I haven’t laughed like that in a long, long time.

Lol! Kim! I watched several of the films. So cute!

I did not read the article but I saw the title and had to respond. Having lived with cats for 20 years, I will say that they are more narcissists. Especially if they are Siamese. The more Siamese they have in their blood, the more demanding they are. 🙂

Interesting subject. I don’t think cats are sociopathic, because even when they hunt, they’re just out to get food and not enjoying the torture they inflict (I assume).

My ex Psychopath told me he cried for the first time when his dog died, and that he cried like a baby, even though he never cried when friends or family died. When I started suspecting things weren’t right with him, I found the most interesting article…it said,

“Psychopaths gravitate toward dogs since they are obedient and easy to manipulate. Ronson says he spoke with individuals who would qualify as psychopaths who told him they aren’t sad when they hear about people dying. “But they get really upset when their dogs die because dogs offer unconditional love.”

http://research.personality-testing.info/are-psychopaths-dog-people/

Anyway, as we well know, psychopaths inflict plenty of pain and torture on dogs and other animals. I forgot where I found this piece that follows, but it moved me because dogs are so unconditionally loving:

God summoned the beast from the field and He said:
“Behold man is created in My image, Therefore adore him. You shall protect him in the wilderness,
shepherd his flocks, and watch over his children, accompany him wherever he may go, even into civilization.
You shall be his companion, his ally, his slave.
To do these things, I endow you with the instincts uncommon to other beasts; faithfulness, devotion, and
understanding, surpassing those of man himself. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.
Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of man. Lest it impair your understanding you are denied the power of words. Speak to your master only with your mind and through your honest eyes.
Walk by his side, sleep in his doorway, ward off his enemies, carry his burden, share his affections, love, and comfort him. And in return for this, man will fulfill your needs and wants, which will be only food, shelter and affection.
So be silent and be a friend to man. Guide him through the perils along the way to this land I have promised him. This shall be your destiny and immortality.”
The dog listened and was content.

Peace and Happy holidays to everyone here

My cat Remy is definitely not sociopathic or narcissistic. He is a totally sweet mamas boy who loves to snuggle and cuddle and play with his brother the German Shepherd. I do think my girl’s cat is very sociopathic. She’s beautiful but can be quite mean and nasty. She’ll cuddle up to me and want me to pet her and she turns in an instant and slaps me with her paw. She’s scratched me a couple times doing it.

Arianna:

Very interesting article. I have always loved cats and have never been a dog person (yay, I guess I am not a spath…haha). I like dogs because I love all animals, but I prefer cats and have never personally owned a dog by myself. We always had a dog when I was growing up on the farm, but it was never “my” dog and plus, the dogs we had were always outside dogs due to the farm.

Louise, I am a dog person (there’s a fluffy one with a big red bow in her hair sleeping next to me right now), but I have no aptitude to be a psychopath due to my conscience, empathy and stuff like that. I also love cats. But I did find the article interesting because of my ex’s comments and this thread.

May all animals be safe from those without a conscience.

Arianna:

Awwww, nice to know you have your dog by your side.

Yeah, your ex’s comments and the meshing with that article is uncanny…wow.

I love Simon’s Cat!

I get comparing kitties to spaths. Generally. They are little predators, and animals- despite domestication. Spaths are animal-like too. Only worse.

I like kitties independence, and have always had cats (vs. a dog) because they are easier, to me, to care for. I love that they sleep so much, let me know just what they need, and can go out and poop on their own.

But I have never had a cat try to make a fool of me, blame me for everything, steal from me, criticize me, bad mouth me to others’, gaslight me, or betray me in any way.

Cats, even the worst ones, are MUCH better behaved than any narcissist or spath i’ve ever encountered. The cat is more civilized than the spath. Wow! Sad. But so true.

Great article! I agree with you totally.

I had two cats, unrelated to each other, 5 years apart from each other, a male and a female, and they couldn’t be more different in personality and temperament from each other. They were born that way.

Like you, I treated my cats the same, but they had different interests and styles of relating to people, really much the same as two different unrelated people do. The older female cat was really much more like a dog than like a cat. She even learned to do some tricks. The younger male cat was intelligent but not at all interested in learning tricks; he was more what I think of as “pure cat.”

Example: I made it consistently clear in a gentle but firm way that I did not want cats on the dining room table; that was a “no-no”. My girl cat learned to abide by that rule, but my boy cat never did accept it. All he learned was to be deceptive: he learned that he could jump up on the table when I wasn’t around, and jump off again when he heard me coming. His telltale tufts of hair would be left on the top of the table, so I knew he was still jumping up there. ((((sigh))))

Cats evolved as a species to be highly successful predators; so predator behaviors are appropriate for a cat. I think we perceive some of these same predator behaviors in psychopaths and sociopaths where it is highly inappropriate, because they direct these predatory behaviors at members of their own species; at us! Bad ‘spath!! Bad!!!

I’ve had a lot of cats, and everyone has had a different personality, and some have been incredibly empathetic.

When I was 14, and my 16 year old spath sister was beating the ^*$$# out of me, banging my head on the floor (I dared to complain about her borrowing my sweater), our cats came to my rescue and tried to pull us apart by pulling on our clothes. It was so unexpected, even my jerk sister had to laugh and stop beating me.

Growing up, the cats were the nicest “people” in the house. I’ve always respected animals for this, and can’t help thinking people who belittle animals are a bit spath themselves.

Babs said: “All he learned was to be deceptive: he learned that he could jump up on the table when I wasn’t around, and jump off again when he heard me coming. His telltale tufts of hair would be left on the top of the table, so I knew he was still jumping up there. ((((sigh))))”

Exactly what my spath did, all he learned was how to be deceptive and trick me. He didn’t change, he just changed how he performed the same evil deeds. But like your cat, he still got caught, over and over. He really wasn’t very good at being a manipulative conman, he wasn’t very good at anything, come to think of it! Didn’t stop him from trying though.

Babs, I keep a bamboo back scratcher by my chair in the LR and onen night I heard my cat on the counter in the kitchen so I sneaked in there (she KNOWS it is a no no) and nailed her just as she jumped off, HOME RUN….and as far as Ii can tell, she as never done it again. She is no longer sure when I might materialize out of the dark with a bamboo back scratcher to wield like a base ball bat. (she was NOT injured, just scared very badly!) LOL Gotta be smarter than the animal you are trying to train, and with cats that is not always possible, they are sneaky little critters.

NewLife43,
LOVED your article!Also enjoyed the joke about hoping someone neuters the spath!Oh if only that would cure them!Then they should all be neutered,lol!
I’ve had cats in the past;I used to refer to myself as a ‘cat person’.My husband used to fuss & fuss about wanting a puppy…to which I always replied that I didn’t need ANYMORE work!
He FINALLY got a puppy this summer.She’s a chihuahua/pomeranian mix.But the puppy bonded with me!!! Because I was the one caring for her & loving her.My husband saw her as a POSSESSION.He often thought she should be put in her carrier….and he didn’t want her outside!I kept the puppy(my husband said I could keep her) and she is so loyal;one day she thought another puppy might hurt me and she snarled!She is like the black cat of yours;wants constant contact with me-skin contact if possible.She loves sleeping with me,but is getting too heavy to jump easily in & out of the bed.

hohoho very funny title but poor cats. Their way of looking when they see a little prey is very fixed but they’re just little predators, not wicked.

Ox, have you read this? http://www.amazon.com/Women-Wolves-Clarissa-Pinkola-Est%C3%A9s/dp/0345409876
It’s a little wonder (well, not so little because the book is thick, but when started one can’t leave it)) of beauty and wisdom. Very peculiar book mixture of literature and psychology.
In it the term “psychopath” doesn’t appear but they’re inside for sure under the name “predators of the psyche” of something similar (I read a Spanish translation).

this is a good one. my second oldest daughter has been an animal lover all her life. from an early age we knew she had an incredible bond with animals. and to a fault. i can still remember the image of our two or three year old daughter toddling down the sidewalk with a night crawler squirming out of her mouth! wow! now that’s acceptance! she always thought she knew what animals were thinking. and, as a father i naturally tried to convey to her that “no your cats don’t really love you they just want your affection and don’t really return anything.” we watched as she grew up with this self implied whispering notion and witnessed some really incredible stuff. for example, one day there was a weasle or ermin in the yard that ultimately sought refuge under the air conditioner unit on the south side of our house. our then adolescent daughter took it upon herself to “help” the animal by trieing to reach it with her hand and free it. guess what? it bit her. duh, animals don’t have the same kind of emotions and don’t behave the same way we humans do. about fourteen years ago, we had a female cat named alley who was not spayed and sure enough, nature had her way and soon we were blessed with four kittens which we looked for for days and feverishly in the end since poor alley was killed on the highway tragically presumably hunting to nourish her kittens which she had so carefully hidden in the attic insulation in our garage. yes we found them and as they were only days old, we found ourselves bottle feeding them and, hey! did ya all know that very young kittens need their privates stimulated in order to pee????? lmao now, not then!
so we are blessed with four cats from the same litter and one more from years later that was rescued by guess who? our daughter who has since become a very competent vet tech.
ok so ya all know that i have an intimate bond with our cats? even though i never liked cats. i always held a kind of disdain for the “way they are”…. gettin to it here… so in short the thing i wanted to convey here is that i know cats….. well… or so i might think…..
i do have a sort of bond though. and, ironically though the same thing that flags a narcissist or sociopath or pschyco boy is still coming from my gut, i still cut them a break. here’s why.
when i first found out about my wifes involvement with p-boy, i on one dark night was at my brothers house and as i was in an easy chair in bro’s living room, with my insides in a knot, his cat jumps up in my lap, and gets all slobbery up around my neck and i mean this is a cat who never liked me. bro says”see… even the cat knows your hurtin” ever since i have noticed how our cats have swarmed me in our garage. and, always when i am hurting. but something has changed. they now will come and sit by me, but they no longer jump into my lap and slobber over me. I think they may sense that i have an understanding and no longer hurt like i did. i don’t know if they really know. but i don’t anymore. hurt has been replaced by understanding. i understand finally how my dear wife went for p-boy. she needed understanding and even more, acceptance. she found it in the fake image he threw at her of herself. she took one look and fell. and never realized that what she saw was her own beautiful image! how wonderful that must have felt to feel finally accepted by someone who presumably would never be capable of anything but acceptance!
this is weird but i have finally come to accept the things that happened and see the beauty in them as well as emote for her pain as her gut made her get out. and to recognize that not a single thing that i said or did had so much as a tiny effect on her loyalty to him. in the end she would get out. and she would do it without my influence. sure she would tell herself that she was making a sacrifice for her kids or house or whatever. and in time she will forgive herself and see that though i failed to make her feel TOTALLY accepted, i through the years have been the one who has accepted her more than anyone before.
yah,,, ughhh,, well thats gonna be up to her.

my pain is done and over. i realize that under the circumstances, if this woman was gonna love, then she would do it with every fiber of her being! thats how she is. it is who she is. i have seen it with her children. with other peoples children.
I finally realize that she will have to come to know these things on her own, without me, and without the help of the cats! (no i dont think they are narcissistic, just animals. the comparison is good though in the other direction)
I think someday she will come to forgive herself and see that she needs to love herself before she can feel acceptance that is ADEQUATE, not total, and be reasonable about what is enough.
nuff for now. thanks truthy, and oxdrover, and snowy, and all the others on here who want to take themselves back. you taught me how to accept my pain and that though i may be able to lead her to water, she’ll have to drink on her own!

respect and sincerity always
rgc.

Hi rgc,

I’m sorry to hear of what happened to you.

You nailed it when you said “she needed understanding and even more, acceptance. she found it in the fake image he threw at her of herself. she took one look and fell. and never realized that what she saw was her own beautiful image! how wonderful that must have felt to feel finally accepted by someone who presumably would never be capable of anything but acceptance!”

I fell for a psycho because he truly seemed like my “soul mate.” If I ever meet anyone again who I think is my soul mate, I’m gonna run far and fast!

You reminded me of something I read on this blog about a woman who couldn’t love a man who loved her “normally” because of a psychopath:

“Jane was showered with attention”It was the type of attention that her psychologically normal husband was never able to match, but that she measured his love by. Her husband had loved her, but he loved her normally.

Jane came to realize that her first love was probably a psychopath. Shortly thereafter, she considered the possibility that her brush with psychopathy may have ruined her marriage” Nothing normal could ever measure up.”

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/11/29/another-reason-to-discuss-psychopathy-janes-story/

Arianna,
for me when a man desired to control me, it felt like love because that’s how my parents treated me. I honestly believed control = love. It’s sick to realize this. The spath didn’t even need to be my soul mate, he just had to want to own me.

Hi Skylar,

Yes, it seems there are endless vulnerabilities a psychopath can exploit…and they’re able to become whatever we need. Our soul mates, our owners, whatever we want.

One of the last things my ex-psycho said to me was “You were very vulnerable; that’s what enabled me to bond with you so quickly and so deeply.”

Being vulnerable is normal, yet because those exist who will take advantage of it, it’s dangerous. Vulnerability with normal people who truly care for us creates intimacy…but with the psychopath, it creates an opening for victimization and, further down the line, total disrespect and contempt for our “weaknesses.”

Here’s a great piece about vulnerability I found not long ago: http://www.onetaste.us/blog5/tag/women-turned-on/

Happy new year, everyone!

I read janes story and i know what it feels like to be measured by that standard. i was supposed to read her mind. hold her hand when she wanted, stay close when shopping, and all manner of totally unreasonable stuff. i at one point took a course on how to get women to fall in love and it turned out to be a crash course in this mirroring and keep two steps ahead of her crap. yeah i know how to do it but i wont. i’m who i am. period! and i couldnt bear to break her heart by fooling around in her head. i guess thats my conscience.

rgc

actually the course best served me as a bad example! LOL!

In hindsight I realize I volunteered to be his victim, I was ripe for the picken.
arianna said ” and, further down the line, total disrespect and contempt for our weaknesses”
Bingo. You nailed it.

RCG, I’m glad that you are doing better (from the sound of your post) I hope your wife will heal herself as well….we start out learning about them, but in the end is is about ourselves.

You don’t have to be a door mat because she volunteered to be a victim…just as I volunteered and Moon Dancer did as well. It was our own needs to be loved by them that they mirrored back at us.

Hope you have a wonderful and healthy new year!

Arianna,
thank you SO much for sharing that article. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for to inspire the direction I want to take in my healing. Yes, VULNERABILITY, is the key to living authentically, because we are all vulnerable and accepting that is freedom.

It is the exact opposite of what spaths do, that’s how I know that the article is spot on.

Spaths serve a function: an example of how not to be.

Ironically, I remember telling my mother, (before I knew that my spath was a spath), that I had figured out how to make fail proof decisions. I would simply ask spath what to do and then do the opposite. Everything would work out right. I didn’t know the reason for this, but I had noticed the pattern. What I didn’t know was that when I asked spath for advice, he would assume that I was following it and sabotage the results. If he assumed the opposite of what I really chose, then my plans would succeed. LOL!

The funny part is that unwittingly, he had played out the reality of what a spath is actually good for: to show us how not to be and what not to do.

Skylar, I’m glad you found the article so inspiring! It really is a gem. I came across it accidentally when I was looking for info on how NOT to be vulnerable, lol. What kind of a life would it be to batten down the hatches, live in an emotional bunker and never be open or trusting again? (although I will be a LOT more discerning about who will gain my trust in the future).

Ox Dover said “we start out learning about them, but in the end it is about ourselves.” So true!

rgc, you said “…she needs to love herself before she can feel acceptance that is ADEQUATE, not total, and be reasonable about what is enough.” Exactly. When I think back to how “over the top” my love was with the psychopath, I realize it was so absolutely UNREAL.

Now, I’ll be thrilled to have the REAL but imperfect love of an actual man…and I’ll know that my offering of real but imperfect love is quite a beautiful thing, whether I offer it to another or to myself.

Happy New Year

RGC are you and she still trying to make a go of the marriage?

Donna,

Darwin is exactly like the last cat you mentioned. If I go to the toilet, he must give me attention. In whichever room I am, he must be with me. Just today, while I was reading a book in a hot thub, he came to lie down next to the bath. And when I go to bed, he will snuggle close to my back, even if half the bed is his to use. Yes, I give him food, and yes I play with him (let him run from one end of the apartment to the other like a galoping horse), and I give him affectionate attention. But he is by my side as well, knowing full well he won’t get any of the above three because I’m busy with something else. If I go to another room and he has no clue which, he’ll do his peeping mauw (he has no other, was neutered before 3 months old by the cat-saving-lady) to find out where I am, so he can come to me. And though he’s curious, he’s not really mischievous. If he’s doing something I don’t like and say his name in a certain way to warn him, he’ll look at me and leave whatever he was doing. I never needed to train him in doing that even.

No wonder that the ex-spath was envious of the relationship Darwin had with me.

ox drover,
Yes we are. and some things (most) feel pretty good right now. then theres the big but. it has become apparent to us that she still tries to predict what i am feeling or thinking a lot. we stumbled on this the other day as we were together helping our son through his jaw surgery (or rather the recovery). the day we brought him home, we were both bustling around taking care of things and i had the feeling something was off. later in the day she let me have it. she felt that i was encroaching on her mothering and i guess looking back i was. i have become so accustomed to helping where i hadnt before. no i guess it would be more accurate to say that it feels good to me to help with things around the house that she found herself maybe feeling left out. and perhaps she should have said something sooner rather than allowing it to become an irritation. we talked of it and both agree that we both spend way too much time worrying what the other is thinking.

Darwinsmom – the author of this article – and the owner of the cats – is NewLife43. Sorry, I forgot to change the “written by” link.

Its gonna work. i just am waiting for her to realize that she can bring some of the positive things she learned into our marriage. i get the feeling she buried them because she is ashamed

RCG

PRESUMING TO KNOW WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS THINKING OR FEELING IS DANGEROUS. “I get the feeling she buried them because she is ashamed”

My guess from what little I know about your relationship with your wife is you have both PRESUMED to know what the other was feeling or thinking rather than talking about it.

I’m sorry about your son’s jaw surgery…hope he is improving. As for you helping out, I would expect you to, and expect you to WANT to.

If you two are not in counseling, I would STRONGLY suggest that you do that, both as a couple and as individuals. Good luck.

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