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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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65 Comments on "More and less judgmental after the sociopath"

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I’m with you Ox Drover.

That’s why I think these terms are mutual exclusives.

This country has no right to place people in unreasonable situations and then condemn them for adapting and surviving.

“Situational Sociopath” – my Aunt Fannie!

On the light side:

Last night my husband and I were in Kmart, getting a little frustrated trying to buy the correct size of vacuum cleaner bags. I noted that although they did not carry the same size bag as our vacuum came equipped with, they did carry the identical vacuum. “Do you think it states somewhere on the box or directions what alternative sizes we might use?” my husband wondered.

We checked the box thoroughly, than asked an employee who wandered by. She didn’t know, but agreed that we should be able to figure it out from the information available at the vacuum sales display. “I’ll go ax the manager.” she stated, wandering off again.

Hubby and I collapsed in helpless laughter as soon as she turned her back. Between wheezes my husband gasped, “I think that axing the manager is pretty extreme, but who knows. Maybe this isn’t the first request for customer assistance!”

“Stop!” I moaned. “I’m gonna wet my undies.”

The gal finally wandered back, just as helpless and clueless as she was before “axing” the manager, and with no conspicuous blood spatters. We ended up buying a likely package of bags and hoping for the best.

It’s not easy being middle-aged country folk in a large southern metropolis. Our culture is all but extinct, along with our language and our quaint old-fashioned custom of pulling our pants up over our under-drawers. At least we can get a good laugh once in a while.

Elizabeth,

Accurate cockroach/sociopath analogy. Makes sense. I don’t either wish any harm on any person who in my past may or may not have been a PDI. But they were most certainly toxic to the max for me and I don’t have one iota regret for making the correct, life affirming choice of shooing them away.

“Uh…bye-bye and thanks for all the chaos and misery you unnecessarily brought into my otherwise peaceful existence.”

I’m too tired, too darn old and too darn intolerant of anyone who simply doesn’t fit in my solid, realistic expectations. I don’t ask for much and I never will because I’m self-sufficient as every single lovely LF tribe member has proven also.

Anyway, thought your little bug story was amusing and interesting. When I lived in Texas, we had the same kind of critter, except we called them tree roaches or water bugs. I think referring to them as Water bugs gives these cunning, clever, shudder inducing insects a much more fuzzy warm label than is true.

I’m a biophile; I love all varieties of life. But I will gladly admit to feeling big time relief and a little satisfaction when I would discover one of those ickies crushed under the paw of my ferocious hunter kitty Molly.

She so rocks and saved her Mommy from hiding under the blankets in terror of having one of those dinosaur sized bugs crawl up on my chest, staring at me with those black beady little eyes and sizing me up for future torment.

And they have wings! They fly! Egads! Kadjooks!!…….

Well, I’m safe up here in Idaho from a whole mess of scary type critters. But I do miss the lizards.

Rather not have lizards than those creepy crawlers invading my humble abode.

🙂

Jane Smith- “But I do miss the lizards.

Rather not have lizards than those creepy crawlers invading my humble abode.”

We lived in the tropics for a while. There was a little lizard apartment right under the dryer. One would move in, feast off all the bugs it could catch, then end up being a snack for our elderly golden retriever, Sweet Pea. Within a week the vacancy sign would go up and another would move in. Apparently the landlord never said a word about the fate of the previous tenants. I enjoyed the lizards, and did try to defend them from Sweet Pea.

Our children were very young, my husband traveled constantly, and my family and friends were on the other side of the world. Consequently, I was always exhausted. One morning I gaped in wide eyed wonder at the most amazing lizard I had ever seen. There, clinging to the wall was a two tailed, two headed, one-two-three…..eight legged liza- awwh GET A ROOM!

My did I feel dumb to have come within seconds of calling the National Enquirer over my “amazing lizard”!

Elizabeth,

Oh my gosh…if I would have been drinking a beverage while I read your post my monitor would now be soaked and dripping….Haha!

That was hilarious!..”get a room”….haha…still laughing super hard.

Please don’t stop posting on LF. I love reading what you write whether it is serious stuff or the adorable, giggle inducing post like the above.

Thanks!!

🙂

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