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By | September 22, 2009 44 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Taking the red flags seriously

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received this e-mail from a reader who we’ll call “Edna.”

I just had a two-month experience with a guy who, I am convinced, was grooming me for “the big scam.” I had been vigilant after a financial scourge from an ex who was an alcoholic/addict. Recently, however, grieving my mother’s ailing health and in a growing panic from the fires that raged in close proximity to my home, I sought some semblance of levity and allowed myself intimacy with a man, even after becoming very aware of several red flags. He seemed respectable, kind, and generous, was a friend of a friend and he loved the sun, the beach, nice dinners and good music.

I finally ended things last week because I could no longer deny that increasingly tumultuous feeling in my gut. Thankfully, it was soon enough to avoid any financial or emotional fall out. Hopefully this will help your readers.

THE RED FLAGS

  1. Over the top, grandiose gestures of flattery. Helicopter ride, flowers, wining and dining, wanting to whisk me off to the coast within the first week of dating.
  2. Tried to move the relationship too fast. He wanted to know if I was his girl within the first week.
  3. Needy and possessive. He seemed to want to spend all his time with me. Did not seem to have many friends.
  4. Lied about his financial condition. Bragged about his “properties” in Hawaii and elsewhere, his travels worldwide, how he paid cash for his fancy car. Found out later the properties all belonged to the “soon to be ex” and that she carried the mortgages. All that after claiming honesty was the most important thing to him.
  5. Called in a crisis. A week into dating, called to tell me he had no one else to talk to, but was in a panic because the “ex” cut off all his cards. I asked how she was in a position to do this. He said she was the primary cardholder. Sensing an imminent request for cash, I ditched him but resumed the connection a week later.
  6. Overly available – seemed to be available most days during work hours. He claimed to be an investigator who worked on a project basis. I noted that he didn’t return work calls promptly, hence the availability.
  7. No permanent place of residence. Claimed to be staying at his sister’s place (since 12/08) which was 3 hours in traffic from my place and 2 hours from his “work” place, had no discernable plans to move out (he had four pets and no landlord would take him), called me twice around 8 am from a Motel 6, had an inordinate amount of clothes in his car trunk, and once asked if he could do laundry at my place. His driver’s license was from Hawaii, and still listed the old address from 2008.
  8. No ATM card. He said he didn’t want one because it was too easy to spend money with it.
  9. Possible addictions – chainsmoker, potsmoker, binge drinker and lied about not using cocaine. I asked if he ever used cocaine and he said he used to but no longer did. One night after several beers, he wanted to make coffee because “he had no coke here”.
  10. Attempts to move in. He would leave articles of clothing, dirty laundry next to mine, or his toiletry case in my bathroom when he stayed over. He’d always try to stay “one more night” and would act like a banished peasant when I told him I needed my space. I’d bag his stuff after each stay and made sure he took it with him each time.
  11. Illegal activity. He tried to get me to stash his pot at my place or break into a vacant beach house and make love by their ocean view living room. I refused.
  12. Credit Card ploy. He tried to get me to place the b&b room reservations for our trip up the coast on my credit cards, saying he’d pay me later. When I refused, he gave the b&b his credit card number but my home and email address.
  13. Intrusive requests for confidential information. He asked me twice in different ways, what my mother’s maiden name was. I did not divulge her name. He asked what my billable rates were (I am a professional) and how long the next contract was for.

WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY

This time around, I did not keep his atrocious requests and behavior a secret. I talked to my friends about it and journalled with rigorous honesty each day, confronting my own behaviors, without judgement. This helped me remain grounded when I’d start floating into romantic fantasy. I continued to read your blogs and website, as well as other books on spotting dangerous men, during those two months. I averted any requests for cash or use of my credit and set boundaries on how much time I spent with him. I continued to include other activites and friends in my life. I did not provide confidential financial information, although I checked my bank and credit card activity daily for fear he may have obtained it surreptitiously. Finally, amazed by the absurdity of having to protect myself from my lover, I ended it.


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recovering

Excellent overview — shows “Edna” was paying attention. Although I did get emotionally involved and hurt during my 1.5-year relationship, I was paying attention as things evolved, and better able to set boundaries sooner than I had in my previous 10-year relationship. So progress, not perfection, is the goal.

Ox Drover

Dear Edna,

I’m glad that you paid attention to the RED FLAGS and used REASONABLE caution with the man you dated.

You noticed and paid attention to the things that many of us have also “noticed” and then “explained away” those things because we did not want to believe that those FLAGS waving told us.

Congratulations!!!! TOWANDA!!!

skylar

Wow! good job Edna.
The journaling is a good idea because you CAN delude yourself.

BlackDeer

Congrats Edna–you kept a good head on your shoulders and good people in your life to support you. Huge kudos to you.

super chic

Edna, thanks for writing this article! I need some serious lessons in red flags, this really helps. I journaled for a year with someone I feel is an S, typed up every conversation, typed screaming at myself to stop, finally did… several thousand dollars later. I just didn’t want to face it, the lies, my pathetic bahavior… tough lession I don’t ever want to forget.

Easy

This is a very sad truth about our legal system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR7mno6p9iQ

skylar

Easy,

that was heart wrenching. The very end, though, just hit me right in the gut.

breckgirl

This is such a phenomenally valuable post.
When I review the progression of my last relationship with the now in jail N – I recognize too many of these red flags – or ones similar enough that I am just sickened and at the same time so very grateful for the recognition.

Reading here and knowing I am not alone and seeing others make healthy choices helps me to develop my backbone and ability to recognize nonsense and 86 it from my life.

I notice the most helpful toll people mention is the keeping of a written record, a journal. I really need to begin that again – I used to do it years and years ago. I really believe it is a key tool.

The mention of talking to friends about what he is doing/saying etc… and making sure to add the relationship to your life as a piece of it instead of letting it take over and replace your life is also a biggie for me – predators want to take over your life – healthy people don’t.

Thank you Edna and Donna for posting this.

Easy

Skylar

It makes No sence!
What would have put this degenerate away for years, ends up putting the victim away for life? Was the Judge some how beniffiting from this unrightous judgement? how could he sleep at night? I tell you Karama is not going to favor this judge! Thank God!

Easy

It is an endless sea of exasporation!

Just for example in the Health care distraction! Vetrans HC?
Who needs HC when 10 hudreds of thousands are being killed in a war for alterior motives? hello ! They do not show the dead affgans, iroques, iranians and Us soldiers on world news do they?

NO Fear! For all these things must happen! as is fortold!

skylar

Sure it makes sense, think about it: if all the prostitutes start murdering their pimps and getting away from prostitution, WHO WILL BE LEFT TO HAVE SEX WITH THE JUDGE?!

The facts that are staring us right in the face are scary. You know that the judge cannot be so stupid as to believe that pimps are “good people too”. He must know that they are akin to slave owners. If he doesn’t, he shouldn’t be a judge.

There is no difference between Phillip Garrido and this pimp. Both women could have left at any time. Both had the opportunity to call for help. If Jaycee had become a prostitute instead of an office worker, would Phillip be off the hook today? Is the entire case against him depended on the first few moments of contact? The moments when Jaycee was grabbed and thrown into a truck? What if she had been lured with money and then lured into prostitution. Would Phil and his wife be allowed to go free now?

We need to EDUCATE PEOPLE about narcissism. But we can’t if we don’t invest the time and energy to educate ourselves first. This is crucial. The better you understand the complete picture, the more you can explain it to others. This information has to go viral.

PInow

Edna, Poor guy. Bet, he did not know what hit him. Must be wondering if he is losing his touch, LOL Have you no heart? (LOL). You must be all wrong to not appreciate him the way you did.

This made my day. Not only that you were able to stay grounded, but the fact that you learned from previous mistakes and applied the knowledge. This gives me hope. As I ever so slowly decide to venture outside (and my friends here on LF say it’s too soon for me), I now have hope that I’d be able to spot a con when I see one. Thank you for sharing

neveragain

Edna…dodged a bullet! GREAT JOB!

Genevieve79

Wow Edna thank you so much for your story! And journalling it too – something I will do next time I date a man.
Pretty much every single one of those I consider a red flag, except for maybe 3 or 8. With regard to number (8) on the list, some people just don’t like dealing with banks. My dad is one of them, he has no ATM card of his own – my mum has always handled their banking – and he’s a nice normal guy lol and has always worked. They’ve been together since they were 14 and 16, married since 1975! Also as regards (3) I know myself that when I met my ex I didn’t have many friends due to anxiety issues. Nothing to do with me being weird, lots of people wanted to be my friend but I don’t trust too easily after bad experiences. I have more now lol!
So those two I think we can kinda hold fire on a little bit but I feel that if just one of the other red flags is on the list either alone or along with (3) and/or (8) we definitely have a problem…
With my ex, I had 2 and 7 to deal with from the outset, number 3 came later. As far as number 2 goes, within two weeks/ around the second or third date he wanted to be exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend. I now realise I shouldn’t have consented to this as quickly. My experience with number 7 is a slightly different one to Edna’s but with the same elements of dependency and lack of maturity/responsibility – he still lived with his parents (in his 30s) with no intention of leaving. He still lives with them to my knowledge, 3 years on.
Number 3 came later, became more intense as time went on, but in a way the neediness and possessiveness had already shown itself in 2 within the first couple of weeks/dates lol! I guess I must have chosen to ignore it on some level…. The fact that he had lots of friends when we met (more than I did) probably served to blind me to this character flaw within him.
Definitely an incredibly helpful article this one though, thank you!! xxx

Fleeced Ewe

The REASON that it takes so much energy from us to identify and act upon the Red Flags is that, the RED FLAGS are usually things that people with good motives do as well, but with different end results.
To say that (some of these) are “bad” things to do, and anyone who does them is “bad” may be condemning someone who has pure motives.

This is why these people are evil. Read the account of the Serpent with Eve-pay close attention to his friendly behavior and her trusting spirit.

Fleeced Ewe

Also, in all my years of research, I have found that people with a history of excessive drug and/or alcohol use, tend to be sociopaths and/or narcissists.
They used chemicals to push out all of the ‘feel good” emotions in their brain and these do not replenish. Sometimes, these people did not use chemicals, but, sadly, were exposed to them:
http://www.brainplace.com/

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OF THESE PEOPLE AROUND US?
We are now living in a generation of ex-drug/alcohol abusers (add that to those who were exposed accidentally) and they are not stable.

Recently a new woman friend of mine and I were discussing her abusive husband who was a drug dealer, I explained the above to her. She said, “but I used a LOT of coke in m 20’s and I’m not like that…”
This woman INSISTED that we were BFF’s the day we met.

Three weeks later, she turned on me over something stupid and THAT SAME DAY tried to damage me in the community and to close friends.
I dropped her like a hot potato and also, our shared girlfriend who helped her to bash me.
Because it is a small community, she is still “in” with a mutual close friend. She works at finding out when I have time with this friend, then she suddenly has “emergencies” where he has to drop everything, leave me, and go help her. I’ve had to babysit his kids (on ‘our’ weekend) so that he could go help her.

I warned him that she is going to be a constant thorn- but he laughs about it and thinks I will “get over it”. It is not something I have to get over, it is something I have learned to stay away from (the hard way).

He is nothing like her, but has zero experience in these people. He is really sweet and is very easily manipulated-exactly the way that I USED to be.

This week, I’m having a talk with him. Unfortunately, he will have to decide who he wants in his life, me, or her, because I am not sharing someone who is involved with a mean-spirited person. I want them ALL out of my life. Any connection is too much contact.

One thing about going through 40+ years of abuse, you kinda get to a point where severing relationships is not the end of your world, it is actually, a renewing of my world every time I have to do it.
It is a freedom I have earned, through blood, sweat, and tears! and I appreciate this freedom!

kim frederick

Fleeced Ewe, I would agree that many, many alcoholics, and addicts display the characteristic of sociopaths. I’m sure that many are full-blown, but many more, can and do recover, “if” as AA’s big book tells us, “they have the capacity to be honest”.

This is why the 12 steps are so importand for poeple recovering from addictions.

It is also said in AA, that our drinking was merely a symptom of some other problem.

My point is this: Alcoholics who work a program and get better, are not Psychopaths. If they were, they might be able to quit drinking, but they’d still display all those despicable behaviors. Some of the kindest most caring people I’ve ever met are recovering! I just had to throw in my 2 cents. Hope you’re having a great day!

Oh, I love your user name. Very clever!

BloggerT7165

Something to consider in regards to the brainplace link:

http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/16-06/mf_neurohacks?currentPage=1

witsend

kim frederick,

I agree with you Kim. For those who really work a 12 step program, there can be amazing results.

I was very fortunate to live in a small town that held alot of “open” AA meetings and was able to attend them even though I wasn’t an alcoholic, when I was struggling with family members alcohol abuse. And I learned ALOT. The 12 steps can be used to apply to so many things in life for ALL of us.

I think many times AA gets a bad rapp because you have so many court appointed people that don’t want to be there, and also some that claim years of “sobriety” but they are just as abusive and toxic as when they were drinking and using.

However that is certainly not the “whole” of the AA family. I met many wonderful, sincere, and kind people. Many who rose up from the absolute bottom and started a new life.

Ox Drover

TOWANDA EWE!!!!!

kim frederick

Oxy, have you got any new news about Lilly? Please let us know.

Vision

Dear Kim,

I agree with you also on the point that “Alcoholics who work a program and get better, are not Psychopaths.”

My ex of 3 year relationship was an alcoholic. He was waving some of the red flags above but none of the illegal activity. I didn’t get the most important flag which was the drinking. I didn’t have much experience with this but I learned how he kept it hidden…..At least the amount…

I read once you need to take the alcohol out of the alcoholic and then see what you got…..the reasons….But some are brain damaged with what they call “wet brain” and my ex displayed this damage. He was a bit of a narcissistic as well…..He really was not a sociopath…..But I didn’t know whether the drink made him the narcissistic……..He did try to to the right things….He was very capable of kindness and compassion…..Knowing what the alcoholic is and why are the key to understanding how to deal with the whole situation….

The next guy I dated didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs but was a sociopath and a sex addict….I thought I was doing so well with a man who didn’t have any addictions……so I thought…..

At times, I wished I was back with the alcoholic boyfriend since he was at least “human” and could feel……

Hey everyone: I am reaching my nirvana……After repeating my mantras regarding “its not love, honey, its co-dependency” and my little old lady guarding the door, throwing iron love clunks on the side of my thick skull, (thanks Oxy)…I have finally reached the point of not caring anymore…..I don’t care anymore about him…..Any feelings remaining just left me and I feel soooooo at peace……All the feeling of “love” drained out of me and I just didn’t care anymore….WOW…..

I made some brownies to celebrate….with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream….Life can be good…….

kim frederick

Vision, YUMMMM!

Vision

Kim, And a vanilla lavender soak in the tub with a candle will send my to nirvana a lot quicker!! So glad to have this site….If I am lonely, I post and feel so good….thanks!!

ErinBrock

Vision….
Excellent news…..and I love your mantra!
Keep on moving girl…Life IS GOOD!
Enjoy your brownies and ice cream….
I’m with Kim….YUMMMMMMM!!!

Vision

Thanks Erin!!

ErinBrock

a vanilla lavendar soak in the tub……WITH BROWNIES…….OH STOP!

Enjoy yourself….and continue to be good to yourself Vision!

recovering

Responding to Fleeced Ewe, who said: “in all my years of research, I have found that people with a history of excessive drug and/or alcohol use, tend to be sociopaths and/or narcissists…They used chemicals to push out all of the ’feel good” emotions in their brain and these do not replenish.”

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH — ADDING TO YOUR POINT:
I had a recent phone conversation with my ex — he said many revealing things about some of his family members (and by extension, himself), including the comment: “whenever you find a narcissist, you will find someone who abuses substances.”

He also provided an overview of the culture (non-American) that he grew up — said it bred narcissism because life was so hard and people had little choice but to engage in manipulation just to get basic needs met.

My boundaries remain intact for the most part, but I found it interesting he would get so in-depth about this condition since I consider him to be a N.

skylar

very interesting recovering.
So much food for thought. Mine is also very self-aware but not very culturally aware (everything is always about him).

He grew up poor but i think his mom spoiled him and his father beat him.

Stargazer

Vision,
I love your mantra. And here is a song to go with it “I don’t care any more” (wait for the chorus).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSQjcAxbR0

Vision

Stargazer,
I loved your song!! I bookmarked for my song sessions….Here is one I love too: Make sure to watch the end of the video when she sort of collapses into the waiting arms of her good friends, like here on this site!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3pC0hRyBK4

Stargazer

Vision,
LOVED the ending to that video! Very inspirational. I also wish I had her house!

emausner

There’s a guy in NJ who pretended to be single (divorced) and dated women for years while his wife (not an “ex”) lived right upstairs in the other apartment of their private home.
He brought single, marriage-hopeful women to his apartment and said he had a “tenant” upstairs whom the women never heard or saw. It turns out she was his wife, and they were still very much married, though living in separate apartments. They were sharing the raising of their five year old child, who he introduced to his dates and he played the con of being the “sensitive, single dad”. He had numerous affairs with single women who had no idea he was still married, and his wife – right upstiars – made sure the ladies never ran into her. He used women for months. One caught on and asked him thru emails for an apology. Guess what – he took her to court asking for a restraining order, claiming harassment. He lost.

ThornBud

Some of red flags i refused to see at the very begining:
– He asked some money to send him, but he did not state full addres (ommited the building number). Since i sent it in registered letter (with number), i told him to go to the post office and ask for it, presenting the number. I told him it was all i had spared. His answer was: No, i can’t, its raining outside. He never went to post office after.
– He asked 1000$ to get some tool (as he said he needed for work), i sent it same day. He did not appear whole week nor sent even a message he got it. After a week, he told me he bought PC instead of tool, cuz his old PC was not good enough
– My dear old friend died and i told him i am very sad. He asked me not to talk about “other” people, we are having enough of our problems to deal with and he doesnt need to get depressed from someone he never knew
– He asked 300$ for “personal need”, i sent it. Later i asked what was that urgent? He said he helped some friend to go to himenoplastic
– He asked to “borrow” 300$ to pay telephone bill, later i got to know he rented chalet in the mountains to celebrate some friends birthday (btw, later i got to know it was a friend with benefits, and they celebrated her BD alone)
– i was in hospital for serious surgery, NOT A SINGLE SMS he sent. Later he said he had no credits
– first time we met in real, after one year of love relation over internet, FIRST DAY he took me to store to buy cloth, of course, exclusive one, and when i said i would like to get something for my daughter, he said – later we will have time. But, that later never came.
– not a single time he did not pay any restaurant bill
List goes on………..

ThornBud

– once, on the street, i gave some money to an very old, crippled beggar. He comented: 5$ ???? Let him work for his food. but same evening, he gave 5$ tip to a waiter in restaurant (of course, from my money) for the bill of 40$, just to leave good impression, although waiter was extremly rude.
– i traveled to his birthday. before travel, sent him money to book a restaurant and organize celebration. We were in hotel, it was 8PM, he told me: try to organize ur evening while i am at the party!!!! I couldnt believe. He went to party ALONE, telling me: i am sure u would not feel pleasant within my unknown friends. Next day he acted as nothing happened

skylar

Wow! thornbud, those are some huge red flags!
I guess in hindsight I had very huge ones too. I paid for everything, but it didn’t bother me because I felt my money should go to make him happy, because his happiness made me happy. SICK, SICK, SICK.

ThornBud

– every Christmas i used to send package with gifts for him and all the members of his familly. He never sent even a greeting card
– i sent him beautiful expensive leadder work bag, i payed 600$ plus 100$ shipping costs, black one, with wallet inside with 100$. His reply was: didnt u know i preffer dark blue?

ThornBud

– asked me money to pay his mother hospital bill. later he said she payed from her money, and he bought new tyres for car

ThornBud

– asked 3000$ to pay fee for University. I sent it, it took 5 days to appear to tell me he got it, but he will not attend tests, instead he wanna get a car (used ALL the money i gave him to finish his education and plus to rent a office), later asked money for general repair of car

ThornBud

Whenever i gave him money, he treated me like i did something wrong, and i always felt guilty, asking myself: maybe i did not give him enough.
During that time, i had no money to get medicines i needed, worked two jobs overtime, and was ruining my health.
Just a vent…i feel so stupid and foolish

Ox Drover

Dear Thornbud,

But now you have learned, and I suggest that you “forgive yourself” fior not catching on sooner. You have caught ono NOW! (((hugs))))

onelukygurl

Im gonna join in on the “fun” as Ive got a shitload of ‘red flags’ I ignored…

*A week after we met, he wanted to see me and was on his way to my house BEFORE we even spoke. Once we spoke, I told him I was busy and could see him the next day. He told me he couldnt because he had his child…which he FORGOT he already told me he DIDNT have his child that weekend…and that he was ALREADY on his way to my house…I told him to turn around and go back home… 😛
*He asked me to go on a ‘trip’ with him a month after we met.
*He had no debit card/credit card until 2 years into our relationship when I told him he NEEDED to get one cause I was tired of using mine…when he didnt bring enough money to use for the weekends he stayed at my house…every weekend!
*He refused to talk about his past relationships.
*He refused to talk about his best friends death…circumstances around the death he witnessed.
*I never met his childs mother, although the child stayed with me every other weekend at my house…an hour and a half away from his moms. My ex would tell me ‘she just doenst want to meet you’ when asked why we havent met.
*He wanted ME to open up a cell phone package and put HIM on it…2 months after meeting…because it would ‘save us money’ if we were on the same plan THAT I PAID FOR…which he would reimburse me for.
*He lived with his parents from the time I met him…at 32 until we broke up…at 36.
*He wanted me to COSIGN a motorcycle for him…and when told no he suggested I just BUY it for him and he’d make ‘payments’ to me over a 6 month period.
*He would plan our weekends to a tee…even including WHEN we were gonna have sex…and how many times.

I could go on and on and on and on…and probably will, but not right now…

Any feedback?

Nicolaid

Hi Easy

I watched the video you linked. I was stunned by the severity of the penalty. In France, the worst serial killers get 30 years, with a security minimum of 22 years without parole.

However, I would like to make a comment. I don’t know the specifics of the case, but the end of the video gave me the creeps.

Consider what she says :

« My judge had told me I lacked moral scruples and I understand that. I had no clue what morals were and no clue what scruples meant. So I had to find that in the dictionary and put the two together. So “integrity” and “honesty” and all of these things i needed to learn. »

She talks of « moral scruples » as if it was an ordinary knowledge everyone would learn in a textbook or a dictionnary, like maths, the history of the USSR or german.

But moral scruples isn’t something you store in your neo-cortex as any ordinary memory. Moral scruples involve a complex set of neural circuits in your older brain, underpinning the moral emotions : empathy, guilt, remorse, anxiety.

Psychopaths lack this moral brain (or at least, i doesn’t work properly) and so far, we have been unable to improve this condition, we are unable to develop those feelings. Empathy or moral scruples aren’t just some kind of cognitive softwares you can download from a book in order to become a good person.

How would you react if I told you that I had no clue about what « homosexuality » means, but that I have read 20 books on the subject, and that it’s ok now, I am a new person now, I am attracted to men, I have great sex with male partners, I am a rehabilitated homosexual ? You would think I am joking, because things are not so simple.

If you educate a psychopath, says Gregg McCrary, all you get is an educated psychopath.

This convicted woman illustrates what psychologists mean when they say that psychopaths don’t seem to grasp the emotional meaning of words, that they have a dictionary-deep understanding of the emotions that regulate social interractions, what we call « moral scruples ». If she had no moral scruples, no honesty, no empathy 13 years ago ”“ that is, if she was psychopathic, I doubt her condition has improved dramatically, except on a superficial level : mimicking the language of conscience.

I don’t mean to claim the sentence was fair, I just want to signal what appears to be, in my opinion, a huge red flag.

I have the deep feeling that my conscience has always been there within me, as far as I remember. My earliest memory is related to conscience. I can still feel the guilt i felt that day.

I was in preschool, walking hand in hand with a younger girl, and for no reason, I started squeezing her little hand harder and harder, surprised that she didn’t seem to react. But suddenly she started crying, and i was overwhelmed by guilt, shame and fear that I would be punished for this callousness. This is my first memory as a human being.

So, when I hear this convicted woman seriously stating that she first learnt about moral scruples in a dictionary at about the age of 17 or 18, it gives me the creeps. She may have a cute face, her story had been very moving up to that point, she was able to elicit my pity, but when I heard that, I froze on my seat.

autisticsouls

Nicolaid says:

“…This convicted woman illustrates what psychologists mean when they say that psychopaths don’t seem to grasp the emotional meaning of words, that they have a dictionary-deep understanding of the emotions that regulate social interractions, what we call « moral scruples ». If she had no moral scruples, no honesty, no empathy 13 years ago ”“ that is, if she was psychopathic, I doubt her condition has improved dramatically, except on a superficial level : mimicking the language of conscience…”

I would also expect her to be a better actress by now and more dangerous.

But I would also wonder if she had to learn to connect the emotional meanings to words to the ‘actual’ emotions themselves. Living in an autistic world here, not too many folks here ‘grasp’ the emotional meaning of words early on, although they do grasp (if not display) emotions and moral capacity, (and the two aren’t always the simultaneus)

Some low emotional autistic folks here still have a grand moral compass they follow. One autistic not so inclined to emotional reactions fell into an unexpected fit when he realized his mother lied to him. (The Tooth Fairy wasn’t real) and subsequently didn’t speak to her again for over a year, he would never forget that she lied. Which he reasoned that if it was so easy that she (one he considered a dependable source) could lie than how easy is it for others. He would since then always question everything. As he explained “her words can lie even though her actions do not.” Thus he was questioning everything, (I’m your mother, I love you.) with a “Is that fact or fiction?” response. He felt his birth certificate was suspect. After all babies could be switched. a DNA test was ordered simply to ease him, her words no longer had meaning to him, and he shut off from speaking to anyone for six months, for once she broke that rule she could no longer go back to a time where he could depend on what she said, or what words ‘meant’, to what actually ‘Was’.

He may have seemed to have had derailed from that episode very badly. i can understand that, though.

A ball I’m told is round. so when I think round, then I think the ball. But then when I’m later told the ball is really meaning ‘square’ than my whole world, my whole reality seems to fall apart and not make sense. Words connect to a visual part of me. So stating something is not what it is, i have a mental visual inside me regulating all my mental filing system collapse, flounder and then momentarily not work AT ALL. Even if but for a moment, that glitch is enough to derail me, enough for me to get physically sick about it. Since i have already attributed the word ‘square’ to mean something else appearing altogether something different. That’s what his mom did. To keep his reality intact he would protect himself from his mother and realize that all of what she says is not necassarily what ‘Is’ or his whole sense of reality can be shattered again. So even some of the most affected autistic with low level emotions, comes to a sense and drive of ‘What should be’. There is a need to have things go orderly in many of us and morality is order to us even while not always connected to an emotion. There is an ingrained moral sense of ‘what should be’ (it could also be a cold logical mental reasoning, as well as emotional reasoning) that keeps us grounded even if the world around us have tossed it all out the window.

Some grasping of connecting emotions or abstract concepts to the ‘actual words’ meaning them may take some time and then also how it relates to others around them (once we realize they exist) (maybe some time later for some) thus an an autistic may grasp what morality and integrity IS sometimes WAY before having connected the concept to an ‘actual’ word.

My world in the begining was labeling words to concrete physical objects, and it took far longer to understand ‘doing words’ or words attached to abstract entities. Once some of us got things to a certain extent, taking on the literal meaning of words was another arena we also had issues navigating from.

However by the age of sixteen, we sort of, most of us, got to that point already.

Speaking in comparison to just the autistics here, the convicted woman, (no longer a child), does not appear to be in any way affected with any sort of autism. It’s really not something you can hide, we can’t hide it. I have a ‘stone’ face and flat voice. i couldn’t feign those movements if i tried. I can feel the emotions, but displaying them is something else altogether, it takes effort. Unless there is some other condition other than psychopathy that she has, that she is not able to understand or conceptualize internally ‘what’ those emotions are but can still ‘display’ them out very well for the world to see, I don’t know what it is. but the fact that she said she had to ‘learn’ morality, left me cold. also the fact that she mentioned she was judged in the calculated way she killed. It wasn’t self defense or a crime of ‘in the moment’ rage, from what i understand here it was a preconceieved, planned out, calculated killing. The display of emotion, in and of itself, was but a distraction for me as I wanted to know what ‘actually’ happened. She killed someone, She is in jail, She wants out. That makes everything she says questionable to me so I distance myself from it.

Mike

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