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More and less judgmental after the sociopath

Before my run-in with a sociopath, my philosophy was pretty simple: Do what you’re supposed to do, and you’ll stay out of trouble.

It worked when I was younger. I studied hard in school, did my chores around the house and earned lots of Girl Scout merit badges. As a teenager and young adult, I never ran with a fast crowd. My cousin did, and I saw what happened to her.

She should have known better, I thought. Those kids were nothing but trouble. They were hanging out and smoking dope. What did she expect?

Fast forward 20 years. I’m a single professional with a profitable small business. My philosophy seemed to be working out—I’d never been in any serious trouble. Then the sociopath swept into my life.

James Montgomery certainly didn’t look like trouble. He didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. He often wore a sport coat with a handkerchief in the pocket. He hung around with local business leaders. But in two and a half years, this man destroyed my life as I knew it.

Montgomery spent all my money, distracted me from my business, and left me in serious debt. I was no longer independent and self-sufficient. I was shaken to my core. Obviously, my simplistic philosophy had failed me.

Now, 10 years after I left Montgomery, I am more judgmental—and less judgmental.

I am more judgmental because I know, through hard experience, that trouble in life is not always easy to identify. Trouble can come in seemingly harmless, even promising, packages. I have learned that I cannot necessarily take people at face value; I must exercise discernment before believing or trusting anyone.

And I am less judgmental because I realize that people can get into trouble, even though they didn’t mean to. You never really know the circumstances that lead to the decisions people make. Maybe, given the same situation, my choices wouldn’t be any better.

It seems that, after the sociopath shattered my black-and-white view of the world, I’ve acquired some wisdom. For that, I am grateful.


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Donna…Thanks for hanging in there with all of us. It is so refreshing to know I am not alone. I was involved with the Sociopath physically for 24 years, and emotionally for 42 years – didn’t know I needed de-programming until I had the “aha” moment years later. Just this morning I realized that my reality was my reality during the past 42 years. Although I have come to see that what I THOUGHT was real with him (the years spent with him, our two children, etc.), was in fact an illusion of reality, it was MY reality at the time. I have had to grieve that what I perceived as one thing was really something entirely different. I believed what I needed to believe in order to survive. I was only 19 when I met him on the beach at Waikiki, and I am sure he thought I had
money. I was merely a nanny living with a family who took me to Hawaii to tend to the children while they were there. I have had to look at my part eventually, and have come up with the fact that I was extremely naive. I grew up in a Catholic school and attended private school all of my life up to that point. I was not street smart. I grew up with a Bi-Polar rageaholic father who wasn’t there for me growing up, and I was a prime candidate for a man to pay attention to me. Even at that young age, I still remember having a check in my gut as he approached me, but I ignored it. That was a costly mistake. As you, now I am more discerning and a lot wiser. Gifts have come as a result of this experience. I have had to go back and face the events in my past that I have tried to run from for these many years. This involves re-visiting my childhood and the trauma of those young years. I believe life is a journey, and this has been part of my path. Hopefully, now it will be traversed with better choices.

Wow! Donna, I can really relate.

I spent most of my life thinking judging other people was presumtuous, but judging myself was a duty. Now I struggle to like the new me, who is so…

emphasis added

…judgmental.

Have you had this problem?

For that matter, has anyone else dealt with this? How do you feel about having become (gasp!) judgmental?

PS. There’s a really lovely divorcee who’s come into our social circle recently. She tells horror stories about her X. He sounds like an S. I want to believe her, and more importantly to believe IN her, because one of our best friends is falling for her. I want there to be a happily ever to this story, but I don’t trust my own judgement.

Dan and I deliberately introduced them. Really and truly, we played matchmakers for the first time ever!

I confided in my husband. “I want her to be a good person. I like her, but I don’t trust my own ability to see when someone’s bad, at least not until they’ve done considerable harm.”

He pointed out that she has great kids, which is absolutely true. I noticed this, and thought it was a good sign.

This new behavior I’m engaging in, this judging, just doesn’t sit comfortably with me yet. I don’t feel competant, but I’m afraid not to try. It’s an uneasy feeling. I hope it gets easier.

Dear Donna,

Another great article! Short but with many good “thinking points.”

Yes, I have become MORE judgmental in many ways….I no longer am tolerant of “bad behavior” and lies or liars….I am more tolerant and less judgmental of people in pain….but even those people in pain, I do my best not to “take care of” them, but to only be supportive, caring, and kind to them, but NOT enabling.

I no longer dispense trust to new people I meet as soon as I meet them. My trust is earned, easily lost by any sign of deception, and rarely restorable once lost. I no longer feel guilty about not trusting someone, or not giving them a “second chance” after trust has been destroyed through lies or manipulations. I also watch how people treat others and if they are treating me as “special” and not treating me badly, but are treating others badly, I assume that sooner or later they will be dishonest with me as well, and they are not able to gain my trust by this “special” treatment.

People who steal, lie, mistreat anyone or any thing, and do not keep their promises without a “darned good reason” are not people I want in my life or my “circle of trust.”.

Me too. I’m not sure if judgmental is the word. But more cautious. I know now that I can get into serious trouble in a way I didn’t know before. So I’m paying more attention to my environment and to my gut reactions. And I’m withholding, really withholding commitment, trust, buying in until time has passed and I’ve had an opportunity to gather a lot of data.

Like you, I’m not sure that if the same situation reappeared, I wouldn’t do the same thing. So I’m trying to ensure that the same situation doesn’t appear. That means changing myself so I don’t NEED anyone to get into my life that deeply. The loss is that I’ll probably never have another big, crazy, flaming love affair. There are too many internal checks in place now; I’m not attracted to getting so out of control. I realize, finally, that I’ve got a lot to lose.

But I think (hope?) that there is potential for another kind of relationship. One that grows naturally, while I’m doing something else. What is it they say about life? Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans. I suspect that real love happens when you’re not really looking for it, and discover that you’ve become more and more fond of someone you’re used to seeing.

Your post made me think of Myers-Briggs. I keep taking that test every few years, hoping that I’m moving a little more over to the judgmental side. I’ve always been off the charts on the perceptive side of the J-P continuum. Too understanding. Too aware of the circumstantial problems that people face. So far, there hasn’t been any movement. But I have learned how to say, “That doesn’t work for me” and mean it.

Elizabeth…Donna, Housie and all…I’ve always faced this, my stepfather never allowed us to express an opinion or talk back or there would be punishment. So naturally if you’re a ‘nice’ girl and that leads into being a
‘nice’ woman, you overthink your natural, individual reactions to things or
better yet, your JUDGMENTS of people and situations . And as I read book recommended here – How We Choose to be Happy, it’s timely that I’m making myself be less judgmental of others
and not just react (and sometimes OVERreact) to them and their actions
as well as be kinder and less judgmental of myself as I get clear about
what makes me happy. I ‘ve become more judgmental of people’s agendas and their characters from the very beginning now. It’s really a matter of letting people be who they are, observing, not judging or pointing fingers but having DISCERNMENT about who we choose to associate with in our lives. Many of our families have contributed to our tendencies to be attracted to dysfunctional relationships but now, in the present we can choose our own friends and lovers.

Right next to these entries are the ads about how women can “catch and
keep a man”…isn’t it ironic (or something) to see those ads when alot of
us have tried too hard to be the perfect mate or put men (or women) on
such a pedestal of power that we forget that basic skill of making ourselves happy first? Why in society are women especially coached
and almost shamed if they don’t ‘have a man’ and there are so many books, movies, you name it – trying to help us mold ourselves – both
in body and behavior to make sure we attract and continue to attract that ‘other’ who will supposedly complete us.

I just know I want MORE – I want to go after happiness in a healthy way now so it doesn’t just fall into my lap like a stray puppy – that somehow I feel obligated to adopt…And the two times I felt that ‘gut check’ that Housie mentioned, I got the two emotional/financial rollercoaster rides of my life…you can almost feel the wave coming…

Donna, Awesome article, and to all those who have posted, excellent dead on commentaries!
Persephone7- you said “why are women especially coached and almost shamed if they dont “have a man”… I dont understand either, and hope we are beginning to change that unrealistic propaganda. I’ve seen that millionaires club for dating show on tv. Like an alien of sorts, I sit there bewildered and frankly stunned at the desparation people are feeling to get ‘hooked up’ with someone- any one. No one (on those shows) seems to fathom that happiness begins within yourself. You must be happy within yourself or you will NEVER be happy with someone else. Another human being CANNOT and never will be able to fill all the voids that a happy, and spiritually contented person possesses.

I meant that a happy contented person does “not” possess- sorry.

Yes, I think about this a lot too. I was a fairly quiet, reserved yet strong and self sufficient person before the s. Almost too self sufficient. I have been on my own since age 16, mainly due to dysfunctional family dynamics. When I met the s, I have talked myself into liking him, even though something was really not right from moment one. He was so relentless and pushy in his courting, he said all the right things; I felt brainwashed and swept off in a current. Many times I have reasoned with myself: how could I not like all the attention? Maybe I just needed to open myself to other people etc, etc….quieting and rationalizing my own discomfort.

He came into my life projecting this upstanding, too-good-to-be true-all-understanding, humble, hardworking, feminist, punk-rock, tortured artist- genius persona.

Then during the 7 years I have found out the hard way that it was all a lie. I started becoming “one” with him, thought and judged people harshly like him. I was mean and tough, abrasive and condescending. I have turned away from good friends because the s did not like them, made fun of them. The s preached endless about how stupid all people were, how the two of us were special “we were the cult of two” and lived outside the realm if normal society.

He grew marijuana, smoked marijuana, constantly pressured me to partake in drug use, drinking, smoking and other unhealthy behavior.

To the outside world he was this upstanding, super helpful college professor.

He stole, lied, hated and felt completely justified and entitled about it. I felt his world view crept under my skin, invaded part of my self like cancer. I treated people like the s, so that I would be strong and cool in his eyes, although deep down I felt differently. He needed me to agree with all, and he would make these pep-speeches about anger and having anger fuel you “whatever does not kill you make you stronger” and such quotes. He had control over most of my life, he checked the garbage to see what I ate, he dictated when we ate meals, he checked the phone log to see what call I made. I had no idea at that point who I really was and how I could get out of this relationship. I wanted it to go away, but did not know how. I felt like it was somehow my fault because I could not keep up the fantasy woman role he has projected onto me. I felt worthless, but enough of my spirit inside deep down remained to know that there is more out there and not get married to him.
It is an ongoing project to eliminate the s’s voice from my reasoning. I often hear echoes of it. I realize how much his voice has controlled my life. For instance it took me a long time to go buy something (especially clothing) without thinking if the s would approve it. I know, I know, it sounds so weird. It was very liberating the first few time I answered that negative controling voice with “I don’t care…I like this and I will buy it.

greenfern, you’re not alone. I was 49 when I met mine, and he sounds like a carbon-copy of yours, persona and everything. Like you, I was heavily influenced by him, and tried to be like him. I live with a lot of regrets because of it, but I’m not like that anymore.

I don’t know how long it took for me to get his voice out of my head, stop looking at myself through his eyes every time I looked in the mirror, picked out what I was going to wear, or bought anything new for myself. I heard him criticizing the way I thought, how I talked, how I drove, where I went. I swear I was colonized.

Same dysfunctional family background as you. Same excessive self-sufficiency. Same surrender to a come-on that was all wrong but somehow won me over.

The good news is that he doesn’t live inside my head anymore. He actually taught me some useful things, and I’ve tried to hold onto that. But most of it was his mean-spirited, insecure, rude, anti-social crap. And it’s a great relief to have found myself again underneath all that noise.

I think that getting rid of him helped me to discover myself in a way I didn’t know me before. I remember a day, when I was still with him, when I started thinking “I couldn’t be that bad” when I started to crumble (as usual) under his scorn. That was the beginning, a very slow beginning and it took a long time because I didn’t get him out of my life for another two and half years, and then I had to get over him. But I got to know me finally.

I love the way you say it’s a “project” to get his voice out of your reasoning. It’s an expensive lesson, but isn’t it cool learning to please yourself? I really liked it.

Kathleen Hawk says:

I don’t NEED anyone to get into my life that deeply.

I like That!

Not right now Kat. Nice to be free to be where and when we want to be. We don’t need an S we need peace and alone for a bit is what the doctor orders.

Greenfern, I think we can all relate to the brainwashing, as we all experienced it in varying degrees or we would never have stayed with such bad people. After I got rid of my x n/P , I paniced when I left things out on kitchen counters, whenever I had a messy,unorganized refrigerator and franticly tried to keep pantry, etc. in order. I realized only then, what a job the N/P had done on me! It was almost fear when I saw myself doing things he adamently “disapproved” of OR made fun of me in cruel ways to his family for. It took a few months to get rid of the thought ‘ he would be so mad about if he saw…. I never thought of myself as a person to let someone contol me this way.

Now I am have no tolerance for people trying to control, make me feel guilty for not living up to “their” expectations of me-which is always about their selfish needs, not mine. I prefer to give up these so called friends to not to have the pressure cooker life with them.

I am afraid if I allow any tolerance of manipulation, I could be victim again, I dont completely trust my judgement to the degree of dangling a S in front of me. I cant imagine being sexual with another man at this point in my life. For me, intimacy means tolerating more than I should in order to save a “relationship” that may should have never been in the first place.
Now I would want LOADS of time to evaluate IF this person is worthy of any connection with me . Trauma bonds are real and too hard to break free of.

The beautiful people in my life have shown me that real respect and kindness are the only healthy ways to live.

My one friend has such a sweet spirit to be around. She exemplifies “allowing others to be who they are”. As with the P’s in my life- I was used to them getting angry, causing me all sorts of grief if something simple such as a small change in plans occurred. I would feel beat up and dreaded making plans b/c if legitamate reasons to change plans such as work or sick children came up, these people made you want to shoot yourself for “inconviencing them” or Making plans and not keeping it, BUT no issue if they changed anything at a whim.
Greenfern, your feelings weren’t weird. We are just de-toxing from a toxic dark entity in our lives. I can soooo identify with you. As far as what you said about changing into unbecoming characteristics like his, I always say garbage IN, garbage Out- if you surround yourself with trash and destruction, and put unhealthy things in your life, Unhealthy and destruction comes out. Now we can be what God intended us to be, without the demononic influence!

I’ve grown to accept, even like, the obvious screwballs, cranky farts, nervous wrecks, dweeby geeks, “the quiet ones”, abrasive taskmasters… “odd” people I come across, more than I did before I became S-perienced. I accept them because I find they’re usually real, with real feelings, honesty and predictable habits.

It’s never been the odd ones or the “quiet ones” who’ve caused me major pain, but the perfect ones, the oily ones, the ones who adapted quickly to my quirks, laughed at my stupid jokes, were overly friendly, stared at me at first meeting then looked away when they sensed I was noticing…

I’ve become much more aware of how each personality reacts to others, and then me, under particular circumstances. If anything is ’out of tolerance’, if something doesn’t jive, if they do something questionable more than once, I take note. And then I begin to plan NC escapes or strategies for battle, which is implemented the third time they do the questionable thing.

Has anyone here ever felt they’re not sure ‘which’ person they are judging in dealing with a person. I still am in denial probably about calling the man I’ve been with an ‘S’. But he’s why I’m even here because I just could not figure out how he could be so extreme in his behavior, as though he could even be a true split personality(and why would you judge someone like that too harshly…) It’s why I’ve felt a bit crazy myself and I know having the experience of that Jekyll and Hyde behavior comes back to me from my days with a man who was an alcoholic as well as probably bi-polar. All I know is how tired I am at trying to be non-judgmental, more Buddhist in my approach to accept him as he is – I have to essentially let him go as he impacts my life so negatively…when he came back into my life 3 months ago, my daughter (when asked by him in my presence) said he could come to her wedding – then within the week, she took me aside and said she was sorry – that though she could accept it if I went back into a relationship with him, he was not invited to the wedding. She didn’t want to take the chance of him being a no-show, that it would only be a source of pain for me if he did that and I agreed with her – and that though he’s been better and says he’s changed – he’s really earned that status of being incredibly unreliable. Sometimes I’ve laughed it off as him just ‘going awol’ on me but it’s never been fun and having her say this to me (and I haven’t told him yet) just underlines how badly I’ve let him treat me – even my grown son would only give him one chance and now says he doesn’t want to be in the same room with him.

Both my kids love and admire me for my other qualities as a person and their mother – and I’m so glad for them that they have both grown up to be such wonderful, sensitive people
with good relationships themselves. I do want that for myself – I wish it for this other person and at times, still think it could be between us. But today he is AWOL again and it’s just
so disrespectful – bottom line – and excuse me if I just put this in writing – it just makes it more concrete to say it to all of you, more than just journalling – which I got tired of reading
the same old sh– from myself. I called the phone company the other day to see what my options were for getting new number – how about a new life…one I can be proud of in every
facet.

Dear Persephone,

You must be a great person, you raised great kids. If you’re ready to start over, I’m sure they’ll let you lean on them a bit. Go ahead and tell the confused fellow with the confusing personality who’s been hurting you that it’s over. Then go NC.

There are some smart ladies here who can tell you how it’s done.

this is so crazy. you are all telling my story.

my son is 27 and thank god i raised him to have self esteem and he is wonderful and has none of my issues, thank god!!! i had him at 17 and raised him alone so i am proud of that. he and i were so close.

he gave my ex another chance too but hated him very quickly and i kept taking him back so my son lost a lot of respect for me.

my ex is an alcoholic too and he used to go AWOL all the time. it devastated me.

that was nothing compared to how it eventually got. the silent treatment was a piece of cake compared to his punishments and other women etc…

at that point i was begging for the silent treatment or to just kill me and get it over with.

please be careful and i pray you don’t have to endure what i did.

Judging –

Today I listened to a young Jehovah’s Witness trying to “get her foot in the door” talking about how “We’re not supposed to judge people.”

It’s a good line. Every time I hear it, I know someone’s trying to sell me on something that’s fundamentally flawed. It’s just a matter of time before they’ll reach into my wallet, attempt to dominate my every waking hour or abandon rational thought for goofy rhetoric.

I may not be entirely comfortable judging yet, but listening to that sweet, naive girl trying to get her foot in the door with her Watchtower tracts makes it easier. She’s not evil, but her organization is.

Elizabeth and awakening: Thanks for both your responses – Elizabeth, you stated it so simply and well. One of Katherine Hawk’s posts about ‘loving from a distance’ is the answer – it does me no good to be confused myself and in truth, at this point I cannot say I’m naive or have not had enough red flags to carpet every house I’ve ever lived in…

Awakening, my son is 27 too and I think he’s always wanted to support me in his own way if I make the commitment to get healthy – so I’ll be careful because this time around
I almost feel excited and enthusiastic to get on with life without any one’s energy dragging me down.

And the Jehovah’s Witnesses – I remember how I used to talk to a few of them, just because I’ve always been curious about people’s different outlooks and what makes them tick. I don’t think it’s a bad trait – to be curious – but it can also put you in situations for being taken advantage of, even when you think you have your wits about you!

I also think I’ve been attracted to selfish and occasionally unreliable men – who have anger issues – as I’ve squashed even healthy levels of those traits in myself and in a way,
I’ve wanted to know what that feels like – to not be ‘perfect’, to be more authentic with wanting what I want, doing what I feel like – and expressing anger when it comes up
and not always tamping it down – I remember a drama teacher in high school even telling my mother I needed to let go and ‘throw a tantrum’ sometime, that I could be a
good actress…and my mother getting this shocked look and saying – my daughter would NEVER throw a tantrum!

Well, guess what…

Awakening: ‘It devastated me.’ That just says it all. I’m sorry you did have to endure that pain you described. I remember days of feeling that way with my second husband – It felt like I was being
terrorized. Maybe I just got emotionally tired of being self-sufficient when I let this new person into my life – I’d kind of prided myself on ‘never again’ – it does haunt you and you really need to
not get lazy about your resolve to stay true and strong within yourself.

I really need to hear what you and Elizabeth said, thank you again.

Devastated or nuked, wiped out, blown away, flattened, broken. I thought that was gonna be IT, until I came here.

Instead, nowadays doors are opening inside. I realized I’d been too needy and vulnerable : that was the main thing that set me up for the n/p. So I decided to become my own best friend: carefully, lovingly, with much nurturing, plus a good swift kick in the butt when needed. I stopped having secret “romantic” thoughts about my close male friend, and just let him be. I accept him “as is,” which is the only way to be a real friend anyway. I realize that in each romantic relationship, I’d always selected someone a bit weaker than me, so they’d rely on me (cause who could love me if they didn’t need me?) and of course eventually, they’d tire me out, and I’d look down on them for not showing more “backbone” and carrying their weight in the relationship.

I realize now that those choices were made from poor self-confidence. I’m more confident now, and more relaxed inside myself. I laugh a lot. And I hang with much less dramatic people, too. Very nice, kind, funny people — but ones that face the drama life sends, and aren’t into creating additional unnecessary drama. Not everything I learned about my new best friend (me) was flattering or nice. But if you don’t learn, you can’t grow.

I’m kinder to myself, and instead of being as self-absorbed and braced for the worst possible outcome, I’m self-observant. I tell myself the truth with a great deal of compassion. I’ve become gentle, that is, my strength is controlled and focused. Somehow this spills over into my dealings with other people. I’m a much better listener now, and I enjoy it, those glimpses into other lives that I’m not trying to change or fix.

I love me enough now to look at all my shadows and light spots, and to change what I need to change. I’m discovering so much about what I actually like doing, now that I’m not always trying to please others. These days, I can now say, “No, thank you,” “Hell, no!” and yesterday when they rang the bell in the middle of a big family dinner, apropos of nothing, I told the third group of Jehovah’s Witnesses to called that afternoon, “No, sorry: I’m a Druid.” Felt good.

Persephone,

Jehovah’s Witnesses –

“We’re not supposed to judge people.” is a thought terminating cliché used to quell cognitive dissonance and protect fallacious arguments from close examination.

Like I said, the sweet young thing wasn’t evil, she was just well indoctrinated. She didn’t have to understand the ploys of her cult in order to use them. T

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a “successful” cult. The naiveté of their rank and file is part of their success. They’re dead set against their rank and file acquiring education sufficient to analyze what they’re doing or what’s happened to their lives since joining.

I’ve seen to much to find the Jehovah’s Witnesses interesting. They steal lives, one minute, one thought and one feeling at a time. The fact that it’s rarely the perpetrator class of Jehovah’s Witness on your doorstep, and almost always their victims, doesn’t mitigate the danger.

Their cult is a disease that strikes people when they’re made vulnerable by loneliness, ignorance or some harsh reality brought by random fate. The vulnerable drag their children and spouses into the cult with them. Once infected, few recover. Those who recover struggle for decades to become whole.

Dear Betty,

I love your “Druid” comment. A friend of mine had them come every saturday morning and she was a night worker, so slept and they would always wake her up.

One Saturday morning she was, however, cleaning a deer before she went to sleep, and when they pounded on the door, she went around the house with a bloody apron and a knife and said sweetly, “I don’t have time right now, I am in the MIDDLE OF A SACRIFICE!” ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

They never came back!

Ox Drover,

That sounds like a great idea. We Conley’s are polite to a fault, and scrupulously honest. It bites us in the backside a lot.

We’ve been trying to get rid of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for years, but “Please don’t visit this household again.” results in their visiting every other Saturday AM.

We’re going to try “Please put us on your ‘do not call’ list.” If that doesn’t work, we may have to try something unorthodox. I like the live sacrifice idea.

Last week the kids tried smearing mud on our big dumb golden retriever and letting her loose, ’cause she has a gruff bark and tends to love people to death. Unfortunately, “Punkin, Punkin, don’t kill them Punkin!” wasn’t a very good line. I told the kids they should pretend her name was Fang, Chainsaw or Killer, but in the heat of the moment they forgot.

There are some Black Jehovah’s Witnesses in this area, 3 men. They came to my house once years ago when i had a German Shepherd which was very protective (but also obedient) I didn’t know these men, and they were in a van and slid the door open and Sam was in a mid air leap into their vehicle from my front porch (a good ways) when I yelled “Sam, Down!” Sam immediately hit the dirt (how I am not sure!) and lay there with a threatening growl. The first man asked “will he bite?” I said “what do you think?” and they drove off.

Years later I actually met these very nice men who had become acquainted with my husband and I got to tell them the “sacrifice” story, which they also thought was very very funny.

I admire the missionary spirit of these believers in their way, who actually practice their beliefs, but at the same time, they can have difficulty taking “No” for an answer.

Yea, I agree that “Punkin, Punkin, don’t kill them” is not a good line! LOL ROTFLMAO

Ox Drover,

“I admire the missionary spirit of these believers …” On a basic level, I like them too. I just don’t want their disease near my family.

Like victims of the S/P/N, victims of cults are usually exceptionally good people. For the most part, if these people were still using their energies to focus on their families, their communities and their careers, they would be leading amazingly productive, richly rewarding lives.

I am learning that being judgemental—or for a more positive word—being more selective about the people I associate with as well as listening to my gut feelings is helping me set boundaries to protect myself.

Dear Pesel,

I REALLY like that post of yours! It, in the most simply, easy way reminds me what its all about with toxic people or selfish people in general. When our gut speaks to us we need to listen to it first and foremost and STICK TO IT….and not let another try to manipulate us and twist our gut around and upside down! Nice choice of words above! Thanks for the reminder!

I recently read in a book about narcissism that we “need to be judgemental about what is good for us”.

I sincerely believe this now and recognize that judgement is not all guilt-inducing, or it shouldn’t be. We assess the situation, make conclusions and act accordingly. So we should be judgemental for our own good!

Kathleen:
I just realized I wrote your name in an earlier post as Katherine – sorry for the error!

Feel better today – still getting the ‘silent treatment’ which I could have predicted but yesterday just called up a friend and went and did a sport and got out in the sun – today I may call my son and go over and join the gym here – takes some discipline but it might be right time to get going with some different energy and literally stretch myself.

Hi to everyone – it’s nice to just know sometimes you’re here and we can all just be ourselves with one another – we GET IT without even an arched eyebrow and it feels safe.
Thanks to Donna for directing the pain she’s endured into something so positive for herself and others.

Here in lies another misconception about an important concept in the Christian Faith!

Judge not so you will not be Judged!

What about Judging the Tree by it’s Fruit?

We have to judge people by their actions/behavior and not just by the words they say! If you tell me you are a Christian , Great! I will believe you when I see you act like I think a Christian should act, not just because you say so!
Actions speak louder than words!

I can forgive my P! I cannot forget the lessons learnd! I cannot Forget the injustess and the torture!

Oxy:

“…but at the same time, they can have difficulty taking “NO for an answer.”

And anyone who cannot take “NO” for an answer is trying to control you.

I totally agree, IT…(you’re not an it by the way but a living, breathing valuable human person. Please remember that, ok?)

I’m a spiritual Christian. I read the Gospel, being truly receptive and open with the Holy Spirit striving to understand and then implement such wisdom into my daily life.

But the Bible is literally filled with verses denouncing any and all actions, personalities, negative character traits that are realistically defined as evil.

I focus on these verses sometimes to remind myself that, yes, these actions are determined to be evil as written in the Holy Bible. That, yes, I should emphatically learn them so as to protect myself from exploitive, vile people.

Jesus hates evil. So do I. With a scarlet passion the power of our blazing sun.

Evil people have loathing and contempt for good folks, so I consider it normal, beneficial, righteous for me to have loathing and contempt for them. It doesn’t harm me in any way to to feel the way I do.

In fact, it is galvanizing for me to constantly remind myself that there is a plague, an epidemic of evil people walking amongst us and I should most certainly be a discerning, judging woman.

Since educating myself on the prevalence of pathological personality disorders, I no longer SEE people the way I once did. I’m not paranoid, of course, but I no longer believe in the foolish notion that all people are inherently good.

If I would have been diligently reading my Bible over the years, especially the verses giving detailed accounts of evil actions and behaviors, I probably would have been viewing people the way I do now.

I’m no longer a sucker easily swayed by pity stories created to elicit sympathy from me. I’m no longer seduced by a carefully crafted illusion of benevolency, of generosity, of kindness, of spiritual enlightenment.

Let’s just say…..I no longer pay strict attention to flowery words but carefully, closely observe body language, most of this intuitively, and I watch for consistency in actions and behavior.

Screw words. Words are words are words. Especially words from strangers. In one ear and out the other if I could care a less about cultivating an interest with said person. (Not on LF, of course. I read and care on here. Speaking about shallow, social interractions in meat space)

Being a discerning, judging person is imperative to our survival. To the maintaining of our safety and sanity.

Predators are some serious chit and I will not ever underestimate them. Ever. The best that I can do for myself is to cloak myself in aloofness, studied indifference and split.

But thankfully, gratefully there are more good guys than evil guys on the planet so I can still be my friendly, easy going, silly, happy, joyful person and I can still live life with an enthusiastic gusto!!

Only now…I’m forewarned and armed. That’s the way it should be and I’m grateful to the authors of PD books and to the countless, beautiful, loving folks on LoveFraud.

Peace, Love and Joy to/for all….

In answer to Sabrina’s question about why do women need men. Well I was of the similar mind set….young, smart, made a lot of money, over came great obstacles, raised a family as single parent. Then I developed a rare disorder, could not work, lost health insurance, eventually spent most of the money that wasn’t lost in the stock market crash. My mother suddenly dies, my sister goes into downward spiral of depression, and Dad developes bad case of Alzheimer/Parkinsons, and the evil stepmother takes over all of his assets……….I had a choice of becoming homeless and independent…..or find a husband, have health insurance, and a home. Not any part of my 5 year plan for sure.

OxDrover,
I so love your story about Sam leaping through the air, then hitting the dirt growling! It made my day. I have decided to save up for a home and a “Sam” to accompany my “EasyOff”. It makes it easier to let go of my dog who had great ears, but was too little to do much damage.

P.S. How come I can cry over losing my little dog, but I can’t cry over my daughters morph?

Being a person whose religious beliefs are deeply rooted in Christianity, I struggle with my faith and people in my life who suffer from personality disorders.

The psychopaths that I have encountered in my life are EVIL. Guilty of unthinkable acts, not only to other adults, but to innocent children, as well.

And yet, the scripture tells us to “Love one another as I have loved you.” We are told to “turn the other cheek”. We are supposed to pray for our enemies, and above all, FORGIVE.

For the first time in my life, I am having a very difficult time doing these basic acts of love, that should come so naturally to someone like myself, who has a strong Christian faith.

I do not want to love someone who is incapable of love. I do not want to forgive or pray for someone who seems to have no soul.

I feel that my love, prayers, and forgiveness are not only being wasted on these disordered people, they only have contempt for me anyway. The effort seems futile, and I don’t want to do it.

Do I say a small prayer for these evil, loveless, soul-less individuals anyway because that is God’s wish?

Or do I leave it up to God to deal with these evil-doers, which is what I really want to do?

God knows me, and he will know when my prayers are not sincere, and yet I still want to do the will of God.

This is my struggle. I have prayed on it, but I cannot seem to find peace on this one.

P.S. I am even questioning whether “We are all God’s Children”!!!!! I NEVER thought I would ever say that and, it SCARES ME TO DEATH that I have actually written it. But, are we really ALL GOD”S CHILDREN, or are some of us SATAN’S CHILDREN???

Dear Rosa,

Part of the problem with the Bible is that the ENGLISH klanguage is so poor in some cases. It only has ONE word for “love”—I LOVE peanut butter. I LOVE my dog. I LOVE my child.—see what I mean?

Love, in the sense that “love your neighbor” means, I think, to DO GOOD to them.

Pray for those that persecute you and despitefully use you.

Hard to do, but actually very beneficial to YOU…I prayed form my egg donor. I did NOT mean a word of teh prayers, and I know God knew that, but I said them out loud, and eventually I igot to where I did mean them. It helped me to “forgive” her….now WHAT DOES FORGIVENESS MEAN? I did a blog article about it, but in short, it means to me “to get the bitterness toward them out of my heart” For MY benefit.

Harboring anger and bitterness hurts US, not them.

However, forgiving does NOT mean “restoring trust” or pretending what they did never happened. Read the story of Joseph, he had forgiven his berothers for selling him as a slave, but when they showed up 20 or 30 years later, he did NOT trust them until he TESTEd them to see what kind of men they ahd become…were they the same mean selfish and jealous men they had been, or had they learned, repented?

Once he saw that they would have given their own lives to keep their father from losing Benjamin, then he knew they were not the same men who sold him out of jealousy and sent his father into deep grief over his “death.”

As far as the “evil ones”—I think they know right from wrong, and though they have a genetic pre-disposition to be psychopaths, just like an alocholic has a pre-disposition genetically to be an alcoholic, the alcoholic can CHOOSE to not drink, and the psychopath CAN, I think Choose to not harm others, but just like the drunk, they CHOOSE to drink/harm because they like the way it makes them feel.

At one point, Satan himself, according to scriptures, was an “angel”—but he chose to rebel, to do evil, he is the ultimate psychoopath I think. I think those that are evil have chosen to follow Satan whether or not they even believe in a “satan” or not. Those that have chosen to follow a faith in God or a higher power, made that choice freely as well.

Turning the other cheek, I also think means that when someone “loses it” and slaps you in anger, don’t immediately respond back…”a soft answer turneth away wrath.” But it doesn’t advise anyone to volunteer to get beat up. In fact, both jesus and St. Paul advise us to “talk to” a brother who is doing wrong, then go with witnesses, then to the church, and if that doesn’t work, to NOT EVEN EAT WITH THEM. that, to me, describes “No Contact”—-the point is to make them see the “error of their ways” but if you are talking to a fence post, and not getting any response, in short, stop wasting your time and breath. NO CONTACT. good advice, in myh opinion.

The Bible tells us that “Vengence belongs to God” and I believe that in one way or another HE will judge and sentence them. It also says that “ALL things work together for GOOD to those that Love the Lord.”

Sometimes something will happen that we think at the time is a “bad thing” but later, we find out that if the ‘bad thing” had not happened, a later victory would not have happened,. I have seen this so clearly with my Psychopathic son, and my egg donor. You know, if I had not “lost” the court case to get the Trojan Horse Psychopath out of her house permanently, then he and my son’s wife wouldnn”t hav ebeen caught in an affair, and gone to jail when they tried to kill my other son. You know, I am GLAD that I lost the battle, but GOD won the WAR!

My faith is much stronger now than ever before. I am far from a “perfect” Christian, but like Janie, I read the scriptures and try to read them with an open mind and with LOVE and to do what I think the scriptures advise or command. Being FREED from the psychopaths in my life, and the other toxic people that I have discarded has made me a bette5r person, a happier person and a more spiritual person.

Hang in there, I firmly believe that GOD IS LOVE, not the hateful vengeful nasty old man out to find something to burn me in hell for like my egg donor had me convinced of by teh time I was 4 or 5. Keep your faith strong and it will support you! ((((hugs)))) and my prayers for you.

Oxy:

I think our Bible interpretations are very similar.
I had “the fear of God” instilled me at a very early age, and I guess it still shows.

But, I think our perceptions of psychopaths are different. You compared the psychopath to an alchoholic.

I prefer to liken the psychopath to that chimp that ripped that lady’s face off recently. For years, the chimp was a tame and loving pet. And then one day, the chimp went crazy and attacked that poor lady and ripped her face off. And now, she will never be the same.

I think there are varying degrees of psychopathy. Don’t you?

Some, like the alchoholic, can control themselves better and hide their disorder well.

Others, like the chimp, have very poor impulse control, and they can go off at any moment. Those in this latter group are very dangerous. Very hard to live with, too.

Dear zuni281 i am sorry for your hardships, I know what you posted is probally a mere snapshot of your pain and suffering that you have endured. My main point on the previous posts is geared toward the belief that some adhere to, that women should somehow feel guilty or not whole without a partner, therefore causing some women to go on ridiculous quests to find mr. right now. AND ignore red flags in order to have the coveted RELATIONSHIP… you get my point which is not the purpose of this thread at all. . I agree to the benefits of men and women sharing financial burdens,child raising, and the beauty of a healthy, god fearing relationship, of course.

Dear rosa,

I agree there are “degrees” of Psychpathy, but there is definitely a GENETIC component to it. Also to alcoholism. Yet, there are STILL CHOICES. It may be more difficult for a person with teh alcoholic gene to put the bottle down and quit drinking than for someone who does NOT have that genetic make up, BUT, there are still choices. It may be more difficult for a Psychopath to not be evil, but I do believe they have a choice, up to a certain point, at which time, they have crossed over the line of “no return” and at that point, they CANNOT be reached by any form of therapy because they don’t want to be. they have completely given themselves over to their carnal nature (for lack of a better word.)

i speak from 1st hand experience that there is a huge difference between a simple addict/alcoholic and a psychopath. HUGE. i was in the program remained sober (in my 1st year he married me and then abandoned me just like that) and worked the steps thoroughly and honestly for 8 years.

my ex is a drug addict (but really he is a psychopath and his drug addiction gets him off the hook every-time) ! he uses AA for a place to sleep, eat and prowl for victims. he, and many others in the rooms, are another breed all together. i know many program people with horrible addictions that struggle and are far from perfect but even they would be shocked by the mind and behaviors of the psychopath.

they are being conned this very moment. opening their hearts, trusting him, buying his fake concern and desire to be sober. he is playing them like always so i don’t see how they compare? ( my sister just took 10 years so please know i am not judging them i hope i am taking up for them )

i do hate that so many invade the purpose and spiritual aspect of the program and can dismantle the recovery of many suffering souls. also i think they use AA to explain away their many crimes, “its my disease” please that does not make it okay to be a criminal!!!!

mine has been to the best treatment centers in the country, i think Hazleton like 10 times, and he has never done a 9th step, sincerely, never gotten even 1 year sober, and he doesn’t plan to either. it’s just another free ride.

it makes me sad for AA and yet angry at them for enabling the creeps. also the system for turning those criminals over to AA rather than putting them behind bars where they belong!

i was always against judging people (except myself!)
i always looked for the good side, ignored the bad. thought the best of others. gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. took people at their word, as i expected to be taken since i’m fairly direct & honest. though i always questioned myself, my viewpoints. i always gave other people more merit thatn i did myself. if there was a discrepancy between how i saw things & how someone else saw things, i usually accepted what they had to say about it & questioned my own judgement. i’m hoping to change that. though my confidence in my judgement has been damaged quite thoroughly since dealing with my S, it never was all that great (thanks to my possibly S father & using his belt to whip me into obedience & submission if i dared contradict anything or express my own POV).

hopefully i can become more judgemental of others & less judgemental of myself. i’m searching for a therapist and plan on working on myself before i even *think* about having another relationship, even another friendship. i sought out an old friend that had blew me off after my first divorce (abusive alcoholic, though not a sociopath). i had hoped to gain closure, maybe even be friends again. i asked her why she did what she did, and it was because of how i “treated him at the end”?!? she didn’t even care how he had treated me, never asked, refused my phone calls to talk to her. i htought she had been my best friend… but i finally realized that she must not have been my friend at all to have thought so little of me. my first judgemental victory!! i finally respected myself enough–judged myself worth enough!–not to meet her for lunch & waste my energies on someone who never had my well being in consideration.

WOW, me too same father and same trusting nature. i love this site!!!

awakening
I agree there is a huge difference between an addict and a psychopath…
I don’t think that is what oxy was saying. I think she was refering more to the genetic component.

And then ultimately that there still is a choice to take that drink or not in the alcoholics case or DO harm a person or NOT in the psychopaths case.

And regardless of label there is always a broad spectrum of where a person falls into. I have known some very functional alcoholics and some very disfunctional alcoholics. And the same would hold true for psychopaths as well. One end of the spectum you have murder and horrendous crimes and the other end some very high end professionals. And all those inbetween.

And you are right that the court system throws way to many into AA by a court order. Many just sit there quietly until meeting is over, to get their sheet signed however some these people might also “get it” and have a light bulb moment.
The true crime of the courts is when it orders crimminal behavior & the creeps into AA, and that creates turmoil for those who are there for the right purpose.

oh i see what you mean. sorry i guess i was a little fast to protect the alchy and still so close to the emotions of being smashed by a psychopath. thanks for clarifying that for me. so sorry if i offended anyone, wasn’t even thinking that way, promise.

i love this site i can’t pull myself away. you all make me feel so not alone and safe, its so weird to see the same exact stories and feeling. God i am so glad i found you!!!!!!! 🙂

Awakening:

I totally agree with your comment about psyopaths being a “different breed all together.”

I think of the psychopath as more of a freak or a wild animal. I feel my chimpanzee comparison is right on. Chimpanzees are cute, fun, cuddly, and a good time at parties. But, just below the surface, you know they are a wild animal and they can go off at any moment. And when they do, it is total devestation.

That is why I am having so much trouble reconciling all of these psychopaths within my faith.

I am not going to pray for a chimpanzee.

This is off topic, but I’m desperate. I was specifically hoping that Matt was on this morning or anyone with legal advice about if I can be charged for stalking my ex step child by reaching out to the school or social services to check on her. She knows that her Dad will not allow contact. He has his number unlisted and blocked as private but yesterday his daughter called and his name and number can up on caller ID. My daughter didn’t know what to do when she saw it so did not answer and called me. I thought it was his cell number so called back and left message that Lacey or he was trying to reach me and why. Was hoping that he finally had a hard and was letting the child talk me and her sister. I told him that I needed to know that Lacey was okay because the last time that I talked to her I promised her that I would be there for her if ever she were in danger or needed me and that I would go to jail to protect her. She said Mommy you would do that for me and I said Baby you have my word. I have feared for some time and convinced myself otherwise as all victims do that I was crazy. But in my heart I fear that he is molesting her. There are a lot of reasons for my fears but his recent vasectomy when he has always been opposed to birth control and his constant desire to spend only time with my daughter during our marriage and the fact that he still sleeps in the same bed with my stepdaughter all give me fear. It’s like now this child could start her period at any time I better make sure that I can’t make a baby. But refused to do it for me his wife who he refused to have sex with for 6 years and he still insists he is not having sex with his new girlfriend that he is having fun and as soon as shes says she loves him he is done with her. And that he is keeping Lacey away with no care to her wants because he can and therefore he will.

OOOPS MEANT TO SAY HEART TYPED HARD FREUDIAN SLIP

I called CPS and I made my report. I got a male worker and told him my whole story with no emotion and only the clinical insight of a trained nurse. He was awesome. Put me at ease and told me that I would be notified of their findings and that if it met criteria for abuse or neglect it would be investigated and that if it didn’t I would be contacted and told why it didn’t. In any case, years from now if she ever contacts me and says why didn’t you help, I will have a letter that proves that I did try my best and it didn’t work out as I intended. I offered my services as both a visitor with supervision with the child and as her foster parent if it comes to her being removed from the home. Please keep this in prayer and wish us luck. Thank God this man was familiar with the behavior and traits of a sociopath and told me that he knew the deal and understood my concerns and my reasons for being blind for so long and not wanting to believe the facts that were in my face due to how well they manipulate their victims. Wow! Validation. Towanda!

We had a cockroach in the Family Room today. I was busy grading papers when my daughter pointed it out. These bugs we get are huge. Some people call them Palmetto bugs. They’re the biggest dark brown roaches I’ve ever seen in North America. They tend to come into the house when there’s a significant change in barometric pressure.

“Dad will flip out if he sees it.”, my daughter warned.

I sighed and picked up several Kleenex. I hate touching them and I hate having them in the house, but squishing them is just too hard for me. He was a lively one, so by the time I had him wrapped in Kleenex and cupped tenderly in my hands I had done quite a bit of squealing, dancing and generally making a fool of myself.

I charged for the back door, because I could hear the garbage truck coming and I really wanted that bug to take the trip to the “Big House” right away. The truck’s mechanical lifter was already engaged with my pail, so I ended up running down the block and tucking the squirming roach and his Kleenex blanket into my neighbor’s trash.

Sociopaths and Psychopaths are like cockroaches. Your Christian Love is sufficient if you avoid harming them unnecessarily while getting free of them. You don’t have to feel guilty if they give you the creeps, or even if the bring out an urge to tap dance on their already squashed flat corpses. If you treat them humanely, don’t feel guilty.

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