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Psychopaths and predatory memory

When I was married to James Montgomery, who I believe is a psychopath, we once attended a local trade show together. We ran into a woman whom I didn’t know at all and James barely knew. After about one minute of conversation, James started offering to help her with some project that she was working on.

“What did you do that for?” I asked James after we continued on our way.

“What?”

“Offer to help that woman. You hardly know her.”

“Do you know who she’s married to?” James asked. It was a man that he believed could possibly be useful to his plans.

Psychopaths are always on the lookout for people they might be able to manipulate. A study published last year by Canadian researchers seems to indicate they have an enhanced ability to spot and remember potential targets.

The study was called A pawn by any other name? Social information processing as a function of psychopathic traits. It was conducted by Kevin Wilson and Sabrina Demetrioff, of Dalhousie University, and Stephen Porter of the University of British Columbia-Okanagan.

The study

The researchers created a series of fictional characters using photographs of men and women with expressions conveying that they were happy or sad. They assigned biographical traits to the characters indicating that some were successful and some were not, along with other details such as “likes skydiving.”

Forty-four male undergraduate students participated in the study. They were first given a personality test to determine their level of psychopathic traits. Then they were shown the photos and biographical information about the fictional characters. Afterwards, they were asked to recall the characters.

The researchers anticipated that the study participants with high psychopathic traits would best remember useful or vulnerable individuals—the happy, successful male was probably most useful, and the unhappy, unsuccessful female was probably most vulnerable.

The results

Study results indicated that they were partially correct. “Participants with high levels of psychopathic traits demonstrated enhanced recognition for the unhappy, unsuccessful female character; arguably the most vulnerable individual presented in our study,” they wrote. “In fact, the high-psychopathy participants demonstrated near-perfect recognition for this character.”

The researchers called this “predatory memory.”

“Psychopathic traits, even in the absence of overt criminality, are associated with a cognitive style that is predatory in nature,” the researchers concluded. “In extreme cases, this may allow individuals with clinically diagnosable levels of psychopathy to spot vulnerable individuals for future exploitation.”

Remember—the study subjects were not criminals in jail, they were college students. The conclusion we can draw is that people with psychopathic traits are out in the world, spotting potential victims and filing the information away for future use. It’s frightening.


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It’s normal and healthy for professionals to seek out opportunities to build mutually beneficial relationships. We wouldn’t succeed without networking and partnering.

The way sociopaths go about it is bit different, however. It reminds me of the Aesop’s Fable where the Fox invites the Stork to supper. The Fox offers all the food in low, flat dishes, which the Stork cannot eat from. (The Stork later retaliates by inviting the Fox to dinner, and serving everything from tall, narrow jars. ) Anyway, a relationship with the Sociopath inevitably turns out to be less than mutually beneficial. It seems good in the beginning, but in the end it turns out the Sociopath returns less than nothing in exchange for the benefits s/he gains from the relationship.

We can’t go around treating everyone who seeks to network and partner as if this behavior was a sign of sociopathy. We need to do a little research, and find out what the individual’s past professional relationships have been like.

Most people who network and partner successfully are simply psychosocially gifted. Cranky hermits like myself have a lot to learn from these people. I have quite a few friends who are social network builders, and I really appreciate them. My life has been enhanced due to the formal and informal social groups they’ve built.

(For me, their skill has always seemed magical. I chuckle, shake my head and call it “that crazy-beautiful thing you do – Thanx Bro!”)

The Sociopaths are different. Their social networks are marked by several distinct traits. 1. Everything centers on the S. Each person in their network has a relationship with the S, and does not like or trust the other people who are also connected to the S. The S does not foster relationships between individuals in the group. Rather, s/he deliberately sows mistrust. 2. Targets (groups or individuals) are selected by the S and demonized, in order to provide cohesion. The social network of the S is kept continually busy attacking some perceived external threat.

A psychosocially gifted social networker doesn’t operate that way. S/he tends to serve as a matchmaker, deliberately introducing people who can benefit each other. A gifted social networker appears almost oblivious of divisive elements. S/he isn’t, of course. S/he simply works to downplay these issues.

There are things Sociopaths do, like recognizing people with whom they might benefit from associating with, which we would all benefit from doing. The trick is to recognize the difference between ethical and unethical beneficial relationships.

Elizabeth Conley:

“The Sociopaths are different. Their social networks are marked by several distinct traits. 1. Everything centers on the S. Each person in their network has a relationship with the S, and does not like or trust the other people who are also connected to the S. The S does not foster relationships between individuals in the group. Rather, s/he deliberately sows mistrust. 2. Targets (groups or individuals) are selected by the S and demonized, in order to provide cohesion. The social network of the S is kept continually busy attacking some perceived external threat.”

So true.

Elizabeth Conley:

That post flew away.

I wanted to say “so true.” When I first met S, he used to not invite me to parties where his ex would be because he wanted us to meet on “neutral ground” first. I now see that tis was pure, unadulterated crap. He was, in my opinion, laying the groundwork to get the two of us at each other’s throats for his own amusement.

Then came the infamous New Year’s Eve where he told his friends we would go with them to an inn for the weekend. They couldn’t reach him so they called me to get the okay to reserve the rooms. Since it was my credit card I said go ahead, and if S doesn’t want to go, we won’t. YOu would have thought I shot the president for his reaction — how dare I contact his friends behind his back, yada, yada, yada.

Once again we went down that path when I bought a table to a benefit and invited a few of his friends to fill the table. I got the “how dare you invite my friends, the invite should have come from BOTH (I know, I did pay) of us, etc, etc, etc.

They would shoot me an email with a question, and I would get blasted if I didn’t cc him on it.

Any time they would reach out to me, I braced myself for the inevitable tirade. It was exhausting. I was also about control.

As for the external threat, by the end I suspect that threat was me.

Elizabeth Conley:

“The S does not foster relationships between individuals in the group. Rather, s/he deliberately sows mistrust. 2. Targets (groups or individuals) are selected by the S and demonized, in order to provide cohesion.

A psychosocially gifted social networker doesn’t operate that way. S/he tends to serve as a matchmaker, deliberately introducing people who can benefit each other.”

This jumped out at me as I’d only registered it subconsciously before. We were all ‘a cult of one’ to the S, each being compared to and kept alert to the threat of the other.

Well Bro,

I think we’ve both seen the pattern. Me, I had to have my nose rubbed in poopie before I saw the difference between the S pattern and the healthy networking pattern.

I don’t mind being thwacked over the snout with a rolled up newspaper, but I hate getting my schnoz rubbed in poopie!

We had a bunch of friends over for supper Saturday. The socially gifted talked in clusters for the entire evening. Our friend the brilliant physicist silently slipped away and took a nap in my quiet, dimly lit and never used formal parlor. I enjoyed making supper, but it was largely a solitary event, despite offers to help. Later in the evening, after the dishes were cleared and the after dinner drinks were served, the group fell to watching a James Bond flick together. I squirmed a bit, wandered over to my computer and did a bit of work on the kid’s curriculum, then drifted off the the parlor to read my new Sci-fi book. When the party broke up, I was there to make the obligatory goodbyes. In decades past my socially gifted spouse would have urged me to sit through the James Bond movie. Now he just lets me wander off. He knows I can’t stand to just sit and veg.

I know there are at least two socially gifted networkers in my life who make all the connections, and effortlessly keep the connections alive. Thank God for those people. They would never wander off to the parlor for a nap before supper. They would “make supper” by cheerfully orchestrating the action from a stool in the corner. I love those people. They are so cool.

…not putting down the physicist either. He’s patient, generous and kind. He is always willing to help out. That being said, he tends to wear roman sandals and rumpled Hawaiian shirts as “Western Casual”. Then there’s those inopportune “power naps”.

Matt,

Once again we went down that path when I bought a table to a benefit and invited a few of his friends to fill the table. I got the “how dare you invite my friends, the invite should have come from BOTH (I know, I did pay) of us, etc, etc, etc.

They would shoot me an email with a question, and I would get blasted if I didn’t cc him on it.

Any time they would reach out to me, I braced myself for the inevitable tirade. It was exhausting. I was also about control.

As for the external threat, by the end I suspect that threat was me.”

I’ve been down a similar road, and observed similar behavior. Generally what I saw was very covert. The divisive maneuvering would take place one person at a time. I would scratch me head and wonder, why doesn’t anyone around here like or trust anyone else? Why all the hostility? Why the backbiting? Why the knee-jerk tendency to place the worst possible interpretation on innocent behavior?

I had a queen bee in my family who operated as you described until about a decade ago. It ceased when her children and their spouses matured to the point where they saw the harm. Siblings wanted to have relationships with each other, as well as “Momma”. Spouses wanted to spend the occasional holiday with their side of the family. They began to see that their rivalries were artificial. She wasn’t an evil woman, she just wanted to be the center of attention. It appears she outgrew the worst of it after a while. I wouldn’t call her an S, more like a histrionic. She’s become bearable now that the rest of us have grown a spine.

I persued my Psychopath , I wanted Her ! She did not persue me! And because of my need for love and my desire to be loved and to take care of another! I fell for Her hook line and sinker! once She new I needed her it was a losing game. I became intraped in the crumbs of reward at my expence! All the Good I had to give was used and abused for little reward. I became accustumed to the chaos and abuse as if it was normal! I was tortured for being who I was and for my friends and family! She wanted all of me but was not really a friend or a lover. She became my enemy! And when confronted with the truth it would become violent.

Rest assured that they are not living it up without us on the next sucker! They are making that persons life miserable!

My Psycho will either spend her life in prision or she’ll be killed by someone who doesn’t take that *hit from another.

Addiction, love ? What possible addiction is better than being addicted to love and giving of your self.?
They just don’t get it! They want it but they have no clue what to do with it when we give it to them

Hospice–
Oh my gosh. I really like what you just wrote. Thank you.

Guys– I just bought the book Betrayal Bond yesterday b/c so many of you have suggested that I read it. Well I have read the back cover and the table of content and I am too scared to read the damn thing.
I start thinking of him and blah, blah.
should i read it anyway? maybe I will just imagine you guys are with me since I am such a baby right now.
Looking back on how exploited I was– unbeknownst to me at the time you guys– is evil!!! he was exploiting me in front of his family– his psychologist (who he has completely conned and who I just fantasized about sending the above article to.).
I now– if you were to go to his website– there are bunches of gorgeous photos of me on it– for advertisement of his photography and for sale!!!! I never, ever gave him the permission to do that. yeah– if yiou go to my perpetrator’s website– there is a gorgeous photo of me in a wedding dress– next to his name at the top of the page. It is almost like he enjoys that he can get away with this. It is really sick. And I look so sad in the photos. I was clinically depressed and did not really know it. HE SURE DID and jumped on it.
It is also sad how much my looks have changed in just one or two years from the stress. I am finally going to a med doc tomorrow. I have lost 20 pounds and eat the same as before!!! My hair has thinned. My muscles mass– gone. My energy– gone. Maybe it was all th stress hormones.

Love to all of you.

Hospice:

Welcome. Our stories of our relationships with an N/S/P are all similar, with variations on a theme.

I can relate to so much of what you said, with one exception. You said “They want it but they have no clue what to do with it when we give it to them.”

You made the same mistake I did, thinking that these non-human vehicles of discord actually want or need love. WRONG! With them it is all about supply and demand of tangible needs — money, sex, place to live. Nothing emotional.

I, too, pursued my S. Of course, that was after he “love-bombed” me up front. Once he had the hook in real good, then he started the devalue and discard. And then I pursued him for the remainer of our “relationship” because I was determined to win back the wonderful man I fell in love with.

He was an illusion. They don’t want love. They want supply — money, sex, whatever. They never love us, they never will.

S was a total loser — ex-con, didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together, drug-addicted. I am a successful professional, and the antethesis of him. But, he saw my need for love and need to take care of him.

And he bled me dry. Nothing was good enough. I kept giving and giving. I now see that I behaved exactly like an addict.

Like you, I suspect my S will be returning to prison — it’s only a matter of time before he gets arrested again. Or it is likely that somebody he burned, when they finally catch up with him, will finish him off. In the case of the former, I want to be sitting front row center the day he is convicted and sent back to the slammer. In the case of the latter, I will throw a parade for whomever rids the earth of his noxious presence.

Hi Matt–
I can so relate to your post. It makes me so sick that I was just supply. How do they know exactly what to do what to say, and when to say it– tears and all– to get the supply—

You are lucky in the fact that your S has been caught/has a record. Mine has been sheltered by his wealthy family and looks like the sweetest guy. He got in trouble at work once for putting his hand on a nurse who did not do what he said.
when she offered to sue– his mommie and daddy paid her off an then get this guys–
INSTEAD OF SENDING HIM TO A PSYCH WARD OR REHAB OR WHATEVER–
THEY SENT HIM TO A GORGEOUS– Monk Monastary in the Mountains of NY for one month.
It was a way to get him off pot for a month– without having a record.
Evil or what?
and then he even looks better cuz he brags to people about his month at a monestary like he is some deep, medativite, disciplined, God fearing man!!!!!

akitameg:

Read the book. Knowledge = power.

As far as your ex — mommy and daddy won’t be around to save his sorry ass forever. And a couple of million bucks doesn’t go as far as it used to in buying your way out of trouble.

Regarding the way you are feeling — you are describing typical stress symptoms. I’m starting to feel a bit better physically, but am going in for a battery of blood tests tomorrow to see if there is something else going on with me.

Matt-
i am going to ask for the battery of blood tests too.
I’ll be thinking of you! I know– I often wonder if my thyroid has gone out of whack–

Wow Akitameg,

“Mine has been sheltered by his wealthy family and looks like the sweetest guy. He got in trouble at work once for putting his hand on a nurse who did not do what he said.
when she offered to sue”“ his mommie and daddy paid her off an then get this guys”“
INSTEAD OF SENDING HIM TO A PSYCH WARD OR REHAB OR WHATEVER”“
THEY SENT HIM TO A GORGEOUS”“ Monk Monastary in the Mountains of NY for one month.
It was a way to get him off pot for a month”“ without having a record.

I thought that stuff only happened in victorian novels. It boggles my mind that anyone would have sufficient “stupid money” to waste any of it protecting themselves from the discomfort of having a con family member.

Can you imagine what that cost?

Elizabeth-
Have you read, “Betrayal Bond”?

Akitameg:
They know because they are tuned actors, mimes of society.
I can relate to your anger on the coverups….
Mine has been successful at conning and manipulating our clients and wealthy community members…..
BUT….it’s all coming to a head for him now!!!! He has exposed himself. And it’s crashing in around him.
I can soooo relate to the portrayal of a fancy whatever….my self professed, willfully unemployed (drug dealing) S bragged in the deposition about living in an 8500 sq ft. estate and all he did was Jacuzzi and Sauna, “all day, every day”.
When he get’s cut off from his current supply, he might need that Montastary’s contact info. 🙂
We couldn’t send them to rehab or psych ward…..that would imply they had a problem.
Hang in there!

ERin–
thank you.
You know– every night I dream of telling his family, coworkers– having proof– whatever.
Have you ever tried to uncover him or like everyone says here– do I just let go??

Akitameg,

“Have you read…”

Nope. I read

http://books.google.com/books?id=pEdMu4JVsc8C&dq=Betrayal+Bond&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=UvP1SaL3AY7DtwfmrKW6Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#PPA8,M1

and

http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/stockholm/index.html

It seems like a good book, but I read a lot. I can’t read everything, nor do I want to.

About 3 months ago I decided to stop reading about the S/P/N or relationships with S/P/N. I wanted to read and think about healthy relationships, and I wanted to fill my time with productive and/or fun activities.

Thinking about relationships with cluster Bs was keeping me angry 24/7. The S/P/N don’t rate that kind of devotion.

Hospice – I agree with Matt, it isn’t love they want, they don’t really understand love at all. They parrot things that are said to them about love, or things they see in the movies. My ex-S loved movies, he filmed himself in these videos he made, one was him “looking cool” in his sports car, of course he only filmed the side of the car that wasn’t totalled in his DUI, and he filmed another in black and white where he gets drunk and puts a gun in his mouth then the screen goes black. Everything was about how cool he looked. Same thing went for “love.” When he bought flowers or gifts he always made sure there was an audience, he wanted the praise of being a “good boyfriend.” What we imagine is their desire for love is really more of a desire to be worshipped. It reminds me of the Goblin King’s line in the movie Labyrinth, “I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you can have everything you want. Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I’ll be your slave.” Give them their supply and they “love” you, but go off script and face the Devalue and Discard. Real love isn’t part of the script, real love has healthy boundaries, it isn’t “cool” enough, it isn’t the all-consuming fire of worship. I used to think that if it didn’t cause pain, it wasn’t True Love. Of course, part of that could have also come from my Catholic upbringing. When you’re fed messages about how unworthy you are and how you should both love and fear God and be thankful he loves you despite how much you suck….well, it kinda sets the stage for becoming a victim of someone with a God-complex.

akitameg:

It is well established — by both experts and bloggers on this site, that when provoked sociopaths are extremely vindictive if not downright dangerous. I have to remind myself of this whenever I’m ready to jab a stick into the hornets nest.

Maybe you need to approach your need to “out” your ex to his family and friends from a slightly different angle. Even if they can’t name to what he is — sociopath — because they are stuck/have chosen to be in a relationship with this creature, they have developed their own coping mechanisms. If your ex gets wind of what you are doing, you are putting both them and yourself at risk. Ask yourself, what is this going to gain you?

To paraphrase Elizabeth Conley — focus on you first, and then on healthy relationships.

Elizabeth Conley: I like your opening comment, but I want to add another level.

You said: “The Sociopaths . . . social networks are marked by several distinct traits. 1. Everything centers on the S. Each person in their network has a relationship with the S, and does not like or trust the other people who are also connected to the S. The S does not foster relationships between individuals in the group. Rather, s/he deliberately sows mistrust. 2. Targets (groups or individuals) are selected by the S and demonized, in order to provide cohesion. The social network of the S is kept continually busy attacking some perceived external threat.

“A psychosocially gifted social networker . . . tends to serve as a matchmaker, deliberately introducing people who can benefit each other. A gifted social networker appears almost oblivious of divisive elements. S/he isn’t, of course. S/he simply works to downplay these issues.”

However, of course, if you are a gifted social networker who also happens to be one of the former dupes of the sociopath and you try to blow the whistle, you appear to be the sower of divisiveness, once again playing into the hand of the skilled manipulator, adding more credibility to the S/P’s play by looking as if YOU are the problem.

As you say, “The trick is to recognize the difference between ethical and unethical beneficial relationships.” Interaction with these manipulative “geniuses” is like running in a nightmare “funhouse” hall of mirrors with no convenient “EXIT” signs!

Matt– that is EXACTLY what I needed to hear and I thank you!!!

Everyone, please read my update on the other thread. I finally got a response from the senator’s office, and it was the one I needed to hear.

Mine once told me the way he sold all his “investments” was not by talking, but by listening, so this made sense to me. I think he had targeted me for years, even while I was still married to someone else.

Sudy results indicated that they were partially correct. “Participants with high levels of psychopathic traits demonstrated enhanced recognition for the unhappy, unsuccessful female character; arguably the most vulnerable individual presented in our study,” they wrote. “In fact, the high-psychopathy participants demonstrated near-perfect recognition for this character.”

The researchers called this “predatory memory.”

Akitameg, this is actionable: I never, ever gave him the permission to do that. yeah”“ if yiou go to my perpetrator’s website”“ there is a gorgeous photo of me in a wedding dress”“ next to his name at the top of the page

It’s called misappropriation of name or likeness. You can get it down, if not through him through the web host. While there is a law absolving them of criminal liability, most are helpful if you tell them how their service is being misused.

I’m blue today, have to admit I miss him, and I’m trying very hard to think of the hurt as how I felt when I learned the truth, that my fears that it was all $$ not any love or even attraction were true exponentially. Spent 2 days in bed. I’m wanting to email and “let him have it” but I realize that it will only engage, and, more importantly, every day that he does not hear from me shows him that I know what he is about.

The only thing these guys fear is prison. And I agree with the others as to mine. His bunk is waiting. Will check out Stargazers other thread, hope to find it.

Akitameg:
My S is really, really stupid. Yes, he’s vindictive and keeps score…..but I have way too much on him for him to scare me anymore and he knows it! He is scared sheetless to go to jail, he is way too cute for jail, and he would be there for a long time! He knows that too.
This is where it all paid off and continues to for me. Yeah, he still lies…..I expect that.
He made some fatal errors in his game!!!
In most cases, danger lurkes and it may not be worth the while.
I learned that when you get angry, do the OPPOSITE of what your natural reaction is…..Oh, that is priceless. It takes restraint, but it is soooooo worth it! They just don’t know how to react then.
This is where my ‘theme song’ helps me! I can sing along and get perky and laugh at him as I sing it! (my anger release).
If you have nothing to gain substantially…..walk away with your life, get your emotions back in order and know you know the truth! Thats good enough really.
They will mess up and expose themselves…..Karma, God, however you want to look at it. It never happens soon enough for us though.
Just stay safe!!! There is a lot of living to be had!

Usedabused:
Keep your strength, but allow for your grieving.
You know what you have to do…..so stay strong and find a way to your rainbow.

Dear Usedabused,

QUOTE: “the only thing these guys fear is Prison”

Sorry to burst your bubble, they DO NOT EVEN FEAR PRISON. First, they think they are too smart to ever get caught, and secondly, it never dawns on them that they WILL get caught, so even the “fear of prison” isn’t a problem for them.

In fact, they don’t acknowledge much in any way “fear” of anything, since, after all, they are SOOOOO much smarter than the rest of the world.

Wow! So many posts since mine, y’all must be back east.

Yes, Oxy, you are right. He just said he feared prison (had been in for years), it was how he got me to pay off some debts to people he said had threatened to call the authorities. An S does not experience fear the way we do. Mine is staying away not out of fear but a combination of knowing the jig is up and just the logical connection of learning I have a close friend in LE with the possibility of a call to his parole officer, nothing more.

It’s just so awful learning that the person who my world spun around for several years is not even human, it’s like he’s a robot or an alien, just a manipulative machine that drags people around by their emotions. Heard of another one who had talked a woman he was not even dating out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I asked her why, she waved her hand in the air and said “Magic.”

Akita, I had to string mine along for a few weeks to recoup some stuff. At the end, he said “you played me”, then started the tear jerk messages. Felt bad then but later realized he had played me for years, to get all sorts of stuff, mostly cash, that he had no claim to at all. What I got was mine. I knew if we talked face to face he would talk me out of taking it, convince me he could pay for it just not this week. I just wish I could laugh about it like you do, maybe one day.

I’m wanting to do something to help others before they get hurt as bad as we did, some sort of list of warning signs, maybe get Match.com or another dating site to publish it as a public service. There were so, so many early warnings that I ignored.

Hi Donna & Akitameg

Absolutely Akitameg can sue, and might not even need to. You cannot use a person’s name or likeness without permission unless they are celebrities out in public.

Many years ago, someone took a picture of my dog in the park and put it on the front page of a magazine. When I called, they were terrified, but all I wanted were copies. It was an adorable picture.

thanks you guys.
thanks Donna.

Meg

They compartmentalize so much in their lives it really isn’t surprising that they would do this with people and group of people. With these types of parasitic people if the person has no use and/or value to them these people in a way don’t even exist to them. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. I also see this in a black and white way of thinking. What really brings this to a new low is how they will treat their own children in this “value system”. If a child doesn’t do as they are told or disappoint them; they will just forget that child and then give more attention to the child that performs for them. If one even read the books written about Scott Peterson’s family you would see this happen to Scott’s half-brother. Both parent forgot about the half-brother and if I remember correctly threw him out and disowned him but they worshipped their golden boy Scott. Scott knew better then disappoints his parents knowing they would do the same as they did to his half-brother. Scott loved his parent because Scott feared his parents.

Usedabused said “I’m wanting to email and “let him have it” but I realize that it will only engage, and, more importantly, every day that he does not hear from me shows him that I know what he is about.”

Of all the posts on this thread, this really hit home. So many days I miss the S, the person I thought was my best friend- but the one who devalued and discarded me on whim because he was bored and found someone else to pursue.

But I know NC is best for me, And I will remember what usedabused said- EVERY DAY HE DOES NOT HEAR FROM ME SHOWS HIM I KNOW WHAT HE IS ABOUT- that is so great- may become my new mantra!!

I agree..it hit me too!! I actually posted it on my wall!! : )

Hey thanks! Did not see it as profound, just my way of dealing with NC.

No contact is our only weapon, the closest thing to revenge we will get. My X even tempted me six months after I kicked him to the curb by bringing me his new address, I guess hoping I would stalk him or something like that. It really deflate’s their ego when we have taken back our power and they dont have ‘power over us’ anymore. That was what it was all about, power to manipulate me like a puppet, he knew he had that ‘magic’ thing over me, it made him feel powerful and in control. No contact is hard for us, but it is our ultimate salvation. I am sure they forget about us real quick when they know they have lost that magic thing they do to us. But no contact on my part was taking back me…13 months and not counting anymore….

Hospice – I persued mine also and he showed no interest in me until he was homeless and in need. I would of helped him regardless. I just wish he had not played the love act with me, but he knew he could so he did and I fell for it, but was never convinced it was real, but continued to fall deeper and deeper into that horrible magical fog. But I can see cleary now.Really I can. I survived.

Akitameg – Read that book rat now~~!!!!

I did not like my last one one iota for six months! Then slowly, consistently and very surely he got me to feel sympathy and empathy for what his other ex’s had done to him. Next thing i was living with him and his sick dysfunctional vampire adult children, next thing I was the scapegoat, used, abused, devalued and hated by all. On top of that he was an alcoholic and defrauded the dental board (he was a dentist) out of over one hundred thousand dollars in insurance (for his “stress” ) and has been committing tax fraud his whole life. His a supreme con man, fraud, psychopath, sociopath narcissist, even with his alcoholism. Everyone enables him.
I pray that one day ( I have no faith that this will happen), he will be found out and punished severely in every way possible.
He has ruined my life and that of my son.
There is no justice in this world and I have lost complete faith in God, the justice system and basic humanity. My blood runs with hatred for what I have been through over and over again.

P.S. He has a new victim, I feel sorry for her and its easy for me to have no contact. The only thing I would want contact for is to kill him. And I am not going to prison for a waste of space like him.

Dear Donna,

The woman my son is still with has isolated him from me and my daughter and I’ve only seen him twice briefly in 2 years, what sort of disorder is commonly known for doing this, is it BPD?

Dear Rune,

“with no convenient “EXIT” signs”

Look for the blinking light that says “Don’t Give a Sh-hit”. It worked for me. I was stumbling through the chaos and haze of the Sociopath’s sphere of influence, then my son was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The Sociopath whined, tantrummed and drummed his heels because I was busy taking care of my child. I looked at the S, and saw him for what he was. I looked at my son, my husband, my daughter, my family and my friends, and realized every minute and every dime I gave to the S was stolen from those I loved.

I realized my old habit of caring too deeply was just so much excess baggage. I stumbled to the door and out into the light. I left a lot of stuff behind, and quite a few totally clueless people. Whatever. Investing in the S or his dupes was dumb, dumb, dumb!

Now, if there are legal entanglements, then breaking free takes a bit more time. Still, no S/P/N is entitled to rent free space in our heads. Not caring is freedom. Don’t care if the S lives or dies, don’t care if he stays or goes, don’t care if he is punished in this world, the next, or never. Don’t care.

Here’s another way of thinking about it:

In a physical combat situation, it is helpful to desire as little as possible. When under attack, do not desire to stay or to leave, to win or to defeat, to harm or to control. Do not commit to any particular offense. This is the quiet mind state that permits the combatant to reach the other side of the conflict with minimal strikes exchanged. This is an aspect of the much mysticized yet extraordinarily simple “mind like water” approach. It requires you to be keenly aware of what your true self values, and readily willing to discard the rest.

If you must duke it out with an S/P/N for any length of time, read The Art of War by Sun Tsu. Don’t bother with the expensive annotated editions. Pull it right off Gutenberg Books. It helps with perspective.

An S is always at war with the rest of us. As soon as we recognize that it’s war, much of what we thought was real becomes false. People cope with the reality of war in all sorts of ways, most of them bad. Sun Tsu’s Way is better than most.

PS – Not caring is hard, if you’ve spent a lifetime caring too much.

A few days ago, I let the S’s ministry website expire, along with the web-mail and rights to the site name. I bought it, I built it and I maintained it. I funded it for years, and spent untold hours keeping it up. The S was and is in no way capable of this sort of work. If he hadn’t been incredibly cruel to me, my children, and a huge number of other naive people, I would still be taking care of this for him. As it is, I still feel guilty about dropping this burden.

Boy am I a dumb-bunny! Talk about misplaced guilt! Taking care of these things for him was ENABLING – on a grand scale! Supporting the activities of somebody who was mercilessly playing people was wrong.

I was caring all right – myopically, and about the wrong things!

Now I don’t give a “beep” about this S, and when I slip up and feel myself caring, I give myself a swift kick in the pants. The time and money spent babying the S is better spent on people who act decently.

henry,

“No contact is our only weapon, the closest thing to revenge we will get.”

I too believed this for the longest time (the part about NC, but sorry I disagree it should have anything to do with revenge) until one day I understood that exposure is also a tool we can use.

Exposure for me is a necessary part of the learning process I am going through. By exposure with these types of people, we will accomplish three things.

I call this type of exposure by the initials W.A.R

1) Warn: others about these types of dysfunctional and parasitic people.

If I only knew more about those that suffer from having a personality disorder before I met and started a family with my ex s/p I know things would have been different. I know I would have tried harder to save my children and I from years of verbal abuse by her. Even if I had to break the law I would have tried harder to protect my children. If only I knew about what a personality disorder was, I would at least had more options.

So now my life’s work is expositing these type of personality disorders and the risk one takes whenever we date marry or get involve in these types relationships albeit personal or business.

2) Aftermath: I am dealing with the after effect of my personal dysfunctional past relationship with my ex s/p. Now our mind have this ability to “forget” the really horrible and bad events in our lives. The reasons, I am sure there are many, but anyway by exposing these type of people we will remember and not naturally block out those EM (emotional memories) but instead deal with them and try to understand why this happen and how to prevent it from happening again.

3) Reaffirmation. Whenever we take the steps to exposure someone with a history of abuse and “bad” relationships, we confirm what we believe to be the truth, as we understand it. The only example I at the moment have is the holocaust and how we must never forget what happen during this war and those that for years suffered and die in silence. Many people would love to forget the holocaust but to do so would allow something like this to happen again. But by us remembering this horrible event and reaffirmation with ourselves of it’s reality, we can pray and hope it never happens again. The same applies to our past relationships with our s/p. By remembering and reaffirming what really did happen we can go on and let go of this past and leaving it when it belongs “in our past”. And then pray and hope it doesn’t happen again to someone else.

Lots of good nuggets in post and comments. I’m seriously considering that “hostility, mistrust, and backbiting” group dysfunction, is as likely an indicator that a sociopathic puppetmaster is at play, as it is what the ’common wisdom’ suggests – that stress, “personality conflicts”, or some ’sum total immaturity threshold’ is causing the hostility.

In addition, I’d say that if the person you’re about to have a relationship with appears to be the center focus of that kind of group, you’re quite possibly dealing with a sociopath.

“Sociopaths typically try to isolate their victims from others. I don’t know of people with BPD do this as well.

Donna”

LOL. So now I have to change my diagnosis (amateur) of my ex-tox from BPD to S? Yeah, couldn’t stand visiting my family on the holidays. Isolated me from them, especially after she got her mother in town from a neighboring state…twice the chaos then, and isolated me even more. They were two of a kind, whatever they were.

Jim:

“They were two of a kind, whatever they were.”

May I submit aliens? And not the illegal kind…

Matt…legal aliens? They need to be rounded up, put on the mother ship, and sent back from whence they came…then we might have “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men (and Women). We can dream….nearest black hole would be good…they’d fit in.

“Even the worst of us can serve, if only as a bad example.”

We need ’em. As long as they’re around, we can point to their train wrecks and say, “See, that’s how NOT to act!”

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