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By | December 24, 2014 33 Comments

Sociopaths and Christmas

guy with gifts 250x293In your dreams and desires, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. You spend time with family and friends. You give and receive thoughtful gifts. If you are religious, you renew your faith.

Christmas is supposed to be special. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but at least that’s your goal.

So how do sociopaths view Christmas?

In my opinion, sociopaths view Christmas simply as another tool in their manipulation toolbox. They know that Christmas is important to their targets that would be you so they figure out how to use Christmas to advance their agendas.

So, if sociopaths are in the love bombing stage, they may shower you with gifts and create unbelievably magical moments.

If they’re in the exploitation stage, they may convince you to pay for gifts for them, the kids, or other people that they’re trying to take advantage of.

If they’re in the devalue and discard stage, they may ignore you at Christmas, or even let you know that they’re spending the holidays with someone else.

If they’re in the vindictive stage, they may intentionally think of ways to ruin Christmas for you, the kids, or other friends and family.

What to do

So how do you cope with the sociopath at Christmas, or your memories of the sociopath at Christmas?

I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize the truth of what the sociopath is a hollow, empty shell of a human being. This person is not capable of experiencing any kind of Christmas spirit. If you remember seeing behavior that seemed to express love and good cheer, know that it was an act.

If the sociopath is still in your life in any way, lower your expectations. Do not wish that maybe this Christmas he or she will be different. It will not happen, and you will be disappointed.

The gift of healing

The sociopath will never give you closure. The sociopath will never sincerely apologize. If you receive an apology, that, too, is manipulation.

Healing, therefore, will be a gift you give yourself.

You are a good, caring person who was deceived. The sociopath targeted you, and there is nothing you could have done to make him or her treat you any better.

So how do you recover? Here is the process, in three steps:

  1. Accept that what happened really did happen.
  2. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
  3. Let it go.

Of course, the description of these steps is oversimplified, and all steps require a lot of time, work and patience.

But if you can take the three steps, you’ll give yourself the best Christmas gift imaginable.

 

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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teepee1124

That is what I’m doing this Christmas. I am recalling different things that had happened over my 30 years marriage to a sociopath. I’m reviewing them with the knowledge that none of the feelings/emotions he professed were real. I’m also replaying the cruel and hurtful things and recognizing them for the attempts at increasing control over me and the family. I’m also recalling the aftermath, the months later, where he did gain control, or increased his manipulations until he got what he desired.
It’s like adding the ‘rest of the story’.
I made an appoint yesterday with a therapist that specializes in domestic abuse, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Will have my first appointment the second week in Jan.
And finally, I’ll be joining a gym just up the road so that I can get stronger and healthy, physically. 2015 is all about me, what I need, and what I want. I’ve spend 30 years in survival mode, and I think it’s time to be able to look to the future and lay a course for my own life.
Finally.

Jan7

Hi Teepee, you are doing amazing things to regain your life! You should be so proud of yourself hon. Look at the site adrenalfatigue. org take the quiz/read/see the symptoms list, DrLam.com see the symptoms list/read, Mialundin. com read her book. Most victims of abuse have PTSD and one of the biggest issues with PTSD according to Adrenal Expert Dr Wilson (author) is adrenal fatigue.

Find a good hormonal specialist to get tested for cortisol levels (see adrenalfatigue. org for info), hormonal imbalance, vitamin/mineral deficiency etc all issues of PTSD/adrenal fatigue.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep issues, panic attacks, hair loss, weight gain or loss etc etc it’s a long list.

Wishing you a Happy & Healthy 2015!!

still-in-shock

Hi Teepee. I am desperate tonight for relief from my severe heartache over recently (almost four weeks ago) discovering my ‘True Love’ of thirteen intense months, is a Sociopath. The realization that everything, what I thought was an incredible deep love, was just an illusion, is still overwhelming to me, and I am an intelligent professional mature woman (51) who is still in shock that this could all have been so fake (on his part). I am still reeling from this discovery, am having a tremendously hard time coping, and your post has been most inspiring and uplifting to me. I am going to do my best to ‘think like you’, and make 2015 about re-building my life. I want to thank you for writing and sharing, you just can’t imagine. I am also proud of you for your great attitude and perseverance. You have inspired me, and as I fall asleep in tears again tonight, I will think of your words when I wake up in the morning, and hopefully will have a bit more strength too!

cannh

Still-in-shock…

I’m so sorry for how you’re feeling right now. It was three years ago that I went through the same pain. I shall never forget…the pain was almost unbearable at times. And I was a few years older that you when this happened to me. I was so in love with who I thought this guy was, but realize what I felt as love meant nothing to him. My relationship lasted almost four years. The reality is there were so many red flags that I simply overlooked because I thought “he was better than that”. Nope, I was really way off base on that one.

Let me say that you will get better. It takes time, and different amounts of time for each individual. Just allow yourself to work through this pain, as hard as that can be.

At this point in time I will tell you that I am a much stronger, wiser version of myself. It took time to heal, but it’s so well worth it.

Stay strong my friend. We’re all here to help!

carolann

Jan7

Dear Donna & Terry,

Thank you for all of your incredible hard work that both of you do throughout the year to educate victims about sociopathic abuse. You both have done a amazing job helping so many victims.

Merry Christmas & Happy News years, may 2015 be filled with joy & love for you both!

(On a side note Donna did you watch the 20/20 Katie Couric interview with 7th Heaven Actor Steven Collins? Collins soon to be ex wife put in their divorce papers that Steven Collins has “Narcissistic personality disorder with sociopathic traits” and Couric asked him about this…Collins uses classic pity play, blame shifting etc during their interview while explaining away that he molested several children years ago. His interview will make your skin crawl classic sociopathic behavior. You can still find the interview on 20/20. com just do a search “Steven Collins”)

still-in-shock

Ps. Donna, thank you SO MUCH for writing this great article, I couldn’t get to sleep for my deep heartbreak so in desperation I did a Google search on something like Sociopath at Christmas and your article came up. You have no idea how much this helped me. Merry Christmas and thank you again.

star_al

Christmas is hard as everyone asks, “what are you doing?” and I say, “nothing.” And feel guilty for wanting time to heal. But this morning was an advance. I have stopped giving credit to the sociopaths’ arguments. I looked at a photograph of myself as a five-year-old and stared at her hard. I then thought of the ways I had been treated. I then realised I was punishing myself so hard for ordeals I went through that were COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. All of the ‘love’ and ‘friendship’ and ‘boyfriends’ I’ve believed in my whole life were fake!

It is a nice exercise if you feel like doing it. Look at the photo of yourself as a child and tell him/her that they are good and did not deserve the years of abuse and fake problems. I told her the sort of Christmas and the sort of family she deserved and that she had done nothing wrong.

I read back through the emails from my family and I now realise they never intended to make peace, although they said they were. It’s a big thing to say something you loved was harmful. All the adrenalin, anxiety, worry of childhood was for no reason. But at least you EXPERIENCED love. Even though it was not returned, you loved another being and that shows who you are. I also thnk they distort the image of ourselves so I recommend writing down your great qualities without guilt. Be proud of yourself. We have BIG holes but how we handle the problem shows our true souls. Something they won’t have. Let’s give thanks this Christmas for the good inside of us they will never experience.
Peace and love (and no more magical deluded thinking) to all survivors. You are by no means alone. And one day, everybody will know what we know and it will get easier.

heart1

The very last Christmas spent with my spath I felt at the devalue, discard stage. We had Christmas dinner with my relatives couple days before hand and everything was good. Christmas day I planned a nice dinner with just our immediate family (he agreed,everything good). Almost finished cooking meal and he was gone,nowhere to be found. 500pm I text ‘suppers ready’. (I thought he maybe had slipped out to do small errand). He text back, B home 1/2 hr. I waited. I called him, no answer. Waited, then we went ahead and ate supper. Still wasn’t home. I got one of his friends to call him, see where he was, but not on my behalf. The friend called me back and said he was at a friends Christmas dinner party.
When he came home, you think I could engage in an argument of how devalued we felt, nope…
Spaths don’t respond to reprisal. And I did let it go. Waste your emotions and put yourself in a state of despair Christmas Day.
His behavior was like he just didn’t care about anything.
And made you wonder, Why did he treat us as less important?

I enjoyed the love and Christmas spirit that I shared with my children and the rest of my family/relatives and it compensated fairly well. And I knew that soon, I will be the discarder.
***Merry Christmas
***Season Greetings

mothercline

Does anyone who has been horribly victimized by a spath ever trust again and meet anyone they can grow a loving relationship with?

Imara

Wishing my LF family the VERY BEST in healing and good health and Happier days for 2015!!!!
With TONS of love and good wishes!!!!

donewiththat

Donna is absolutely correct. You CAN have a normal supportive and cooperative relationship after a lousy time with a sociopath. It’s important to heal yourself up first so you are an intact, confident and happy person. Then see where life takes you.

Older and wiser, we are less likely to misjudge a sociopath as a nice person, and less likely to move too fast into a relationship. The perfect prey for a sociopath is an empathetic, giving, nurturing person. And the perfect mate for the former victim of a sociopath is the same sort of empathetic, giving and nurturing person. Two givers in a relationship are happy, happy people. Their voices are heard. Their needs are met. Their concerns are understood. They are valued and respected.

I’m 11 years now with my current husband after 16 years with the sociopath ex. There were some years in between that were just about healing and growing and learning to give myself some priority, but it was worth the wait.

Hope the New Year is a great adventure for all!

Kay

Having a sociopath in your life ruins all holidays. My husbands vicious ex wife whom he shares children with, ruins Christmas for her entire family and mine. She ruins birthdays, all holidays that are meant to be enjoyed. My husband has no contact with her now that children are older.
Her own family is afraid of her. They call and confide in me about her tantrums and drug use. She is so hateful. She hates me and my husband (her ex) more than she cares for her children’s happiness or safety. She is dangerous. My husband feels guilty for getting me involved in his situation. But I am strong. I am not afraid of her. I keep my distance. Even her current husband has now been secretly contacting me and my husband because of her psychotic behaviors. He doesn’t know if it is the drugs causing it or if she is just insane. I think both.

This Christmas was better than most. She didn’t contact us any. She didn’t try to sabotage anything. Which is unlike her. We found out yesterday she has been sleeping for the past 5 days. It’s so sad. It’s so sad for the kids. Everyone involved is so hurt by this woman

aintgonnatakeitnomore

I want to sleep for 5 days!!
Seriously, how can these scums get to SLEEP and I get no solid, restful sleep, esp on a consistent basis??
It’s one of the most unfair things of NOT being a PSYCHO I can think of!!

I would pay to get a motel, get a sitter (I have absolutely no family who helps me) and SLEEP for just T.W.O. days if I could do it.
I wouldn’t regret the money spent either!

20years

Thank you for this article, Donna. I haven’t been active on lovefraud for awhile, but I used to post frequently.

I am writing because I’m in the process of ending a 4-year relationship that followed this pattern of lovebombing (which feels so great! blinding me to any red flags), happiness and relief that maybe I’d finally found someone wonderful (feels great!), then up and down devaluing/reconciling (didn’t feel great but I was trying very hard to be assertive in the relationship and also not give up easily — relationships have ups and downs, right?), and then devaluing/threatening to discard (whereupon I began cajoling and begging and placating because I still couldn’t believe I’d done this to myself again; being as kind as possible but also trying hard to have a mutual discussion with him — backfired big time), then intensive silent treatment on his part, interspersed with “making up” (happy again!) and finally I felt I’d invested so much time, I found it even harder to let go. Oh, the shame of it all! Here I am 52 years old and I have had a string of narcissistic men/relationships lasting between 4 and 8 years, and will I NEVER learn? It is so embarrassing and shameful. Out of pride even, I have wanted to keep trying, to demonstrate to the world and to myself that I could stay the course, stick with a commitment, not “give up” but work it out, work things through. Oh, how I worked! At least I think I have. I’m a very strong, positive person, a problem solver, I have longstanding friendships that work (no drama there!), I have longstanding employment relationships that work (no drama there!) and even my family of origin, flawed as it is, I am at peace and there are no feuds going on — we generally accept each other and get along — no drama. [EDIT: I am fully aware that my family of origin is conflict avoidant with passive aggressive behaviors, and I am certain I got “trained” there as my role was the diplomat or family peacemaker. I was definitely trained to not make waves of any sort nor to speak up for myself if I were unhappy. Also, expressions of anger were frowned upon.] Things are great between me and all of my kids, too. [EDIT: this is true; I have taken what I have learned from childhood and the abusive marriage and worked very hard on being a loving and truthful, “real” parent, and my kids are all young adults now and we get along great and deal with conflict openly and respectfully — no passive aggressiveness]

The silent treatment started up again this month, as it has been for the last 3 Christmases. I truly do not know how to deal with the silent treatment in a constructive way. I have tried all sorts of things. “Hey, something on your mind? you seem a bit withdrawn, dear.” I’ve tried giving him space to just pass through the mood. I’ve tried seducing him out of it with suggestions of fun activities together, special meal, etc. I HAVE TRIED. (emphasis on me being the one who is trying — not him as far as I can see, looking back) (the first year, he seemed very happy to partake in my Christmas traditions with my family and kids. After that, he started “mentioning” that my traditions weren’t quite his traditions, and maybe I could add in some of his? I tried that the second year, and I got criticized for doing it “wrong.” The third year, he just got grumpy in early December and this lasted through until January 1 when he began a 3 week silent treatment (with no explanation of course, as that is how it goes, leaving you guessing).

This year, again the grumpiness started up and he declared, “I no longer observe Christmas. It is depressing to me.” He is a widower and so he misses very much the way things had been with his family, or so he says. (and I am apparently not providing what he needs). So I said, “OK, I won’t bring it up again.” So I carried on with my Christmas, but this was a real downer, casting a pall on the season for me.

To cut to the chase, he stopped responding to my texts and blew off a planned date, the day after Christmas. This time, I didn’t chase after him as I had in the past. When he eventually contacted me, I told him it was clear to me that he is not interested in a relationship with me, and it’s done.

But I’m really sad, I’m really torn apart, this is so hard for me, and I have tons of self doubt mixed in with the knowledge that this is for the best. It is also lonely.

Today I am trying hard to learn my lessons, what was my part in this, and sad with wondering if a healthy relationship will ever be possible for me. I find myself fantasizing about the good times and wondering if we could have that magical, breakthrough conversation, then we would finally transform into a happy couple and this roller coaster would stop. I know I am one of those empathetic, nice women who lets things go. I am not afraid of being assertive, but my asserting myself in this relationship was always met with hostility and baseless accusations and nothing resembling a healthy discussion. I can’t handle that kind of pain anymore(the cold shoulder, silent treatment, seething hostility with a happy fake smile pasted on his face but not admitting he is angry or explaining why). I also can’t just go along with it, pretending he is not behaving as he is behaving. Hoping to wait his mood out, let it go, wait for that smile to return to his face. I am tugged in his direction by the strong bond, and my spirit is telling me it’s no good, it’s no use, it’s time to leave.

So please, those of you who are in healthy post-spath relationships, I would love to hear — even in a lengthy article — how you are different in this relationship. What I mean is, are you the same person in this relationship (how do you handle conflict) as you were in your spath relationship? I’m trying to find out if I have handled conflict badly, I have tried so hard over these years to find a healthy, constructive, mutually respectful way of approaching conflict with a partner, and so far I have failed, and I cannot sort out my part in it that might be counterproductive, from my part in it which is a perfectly fine way to handle things — but doesn’t work with an immature narcissist who is unwilling to meet me halfway. So I’m trying to figure out NOT who is to blame, but what is my part in it, and if there is anything at all I could have done differently or if I ever get the opportunity again with a healthy man, how is it different? If that makes sense. I just want to learn and stop this awful pattern. I want to know if I am healthy in my dealings with people/men, and if there is anything I need to work on, or will I keep screwing things up unwittingly, should I be fortunate enough to ever have an opportunity with a nice guy.

Does this make sense? I’m having trouble putting it into words.

Merry Christmas to all, Happy Holidays.

undertheradar

20years

I’ve learned that if a “real” person is in a relationship then they live in the present. If they choose you tgen they display the loyalty and commitment of enjoying the festive season with the one they love. Real people don’t live in the past, making excuses for their misery to ruin everyones experience – they are either with you or against you!

Your spath sounds like a spoilt brat that needs to be kicked to the kurb so you did the right thing! You’ll know when you are in the right relationship when you are both on the same page and enjoying the opportunities together – it you’re constantly fixing him, walking on egg shells and trying everything in your power to make tgem happy then it’s the wrong relationship…

Good luck with the next one

20years

@undertheradar, that is a really good way of putting it, with regard to whether a person lives in the present, or is living in the past. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but you are right. Thank you.

undertheradar

20years
Wow! I should have put my glasses on before I posted that last response….sorry for the typos 😉

Escapefor1

I am in a very strong new relationship. It has been a learning experience after 25 years in a dysfunctional one with a sociopath whom I divorced 3 years prior. Let me share a couple of things that might be some answers to what you ask.

First off, I think what you did in the circumstances you describe was just exactly right. You exerted boundaries actively, you told him why, and he chose not to respond in a helpful way, so you left him.

And secondly, sometimes people after a lot of life experiences do have past issues which still affect their present. My first Christmas with my new man was much more somber than I expected, including many periods of protracted silence, for him mourning a past he can not fully move on from. It wasn’t punitive towards me, just hard for him, and sad for me. So, that’s just the way it is sometimes. All is not Hollywood.

But what is different now? So much! One thing is with truly caring people, we both want to understand what the other needs and what is happening with the other. So we really communicate — about everything, and especially the hard stuff. We won’t let each other stonewall, we’ll ask what is wrong until we get an answer. That is new for me, because in my family of origin we denied, repressed, and avoided conflict like the plague. I would be afraid to ask, to insist on an answer, especially if I wasn’t sure I’d like it or it might lead to conflict. But when we disagree and either is truly upset, he does the best thing ever to end it! We end up in each other’s arms just talking it out and being affectionate, rebonding. Fights are not scary, they are nice. Calm, quite, back and forth talking — not one-way raging and screaming. We get to answers and solutions. One of the hallmarks of disagreeing or addressing problems with the sociopath is that you never get to any solutions, or at least not to any implemented. The problems just circulate and recirculate endlessly, to total frustration which escalates. Instead, we feel better having opened to each other and having gotten to some agreed resolution.

I also have had to learn what is “normal”. Accepting that my upbringing was not fully normal, how do normal people do things? I read to learn. I watch people while out. I ask him what he thinks would normally be done in this situation. There have been several times when I thought something was really out of line, but it has turned out to be pretty normal behavior. I have had to pull back too, because my sociopath ex was so insensitive that I had to go overboard to get him to listen, so now I have to be quieter and calmer to avoid overreacting and overwhelming my new man.

I think a period of not dating and working on yourself helps. Learn all about sociopaths and how to recognize them. Look for things in a new romantic prospect that might indicate they are a sociopath. Look for things they do (more than say) that a sociopath would not want to do, which may indicate that they are not one. Once you have made this determination, work on paying attention to the building blocks of strong normal relationsihps. And enjoy. Enjoy true caring and love.

WillGove

I am in the process of getting out of my first, true spath relationship. Previously I was not good at bringing up potentially hot topics of discussion (made me very anxious), so this time I told myself “I would be different, face issues head on regardless of the outcome” If I didn’t, I would regret it I just knew that.

So on I charged into discussions on potentially difficult topics in the relationship, no surprise it made no difference. Later I discovered it was immigration/marriage fraud (married a Cuban woman and brought her to Canada). She is in a relationship with another man in Cuba while being married to me.

My healing took the form of intellectualizing “their” behavior, studying what was different and how “they” saw the world and their victims. Without this and without Donna’s wonderful insights, I would still be confused and depressed. Now I understand how the spath, psychopath or narcissist can pretend to display appropriate emotion to manipulate (crocodile tears for example), but they do not “feel” it, they do it to manipulate, period. They are dysfunctional in a caring society. Educate yourself, read and understand you are a target because you appear as a caring person, the type they love to go after. Intellectualize their behavior just as they intellectualize and display fake emotions.

When they “appear upset” it is manipulation, they do not feel upset because they cannot “feel”. It takes a “fly on the wall” type of perspective to catch yourself before you fall for their traps.

When you encounter the red flags (such as contained in Donna’s book) be prepared to walk away, be ever cognizant 1 in 25 people (male or female) have this disability of no conscience, no guilt, no remorse and they know how to hook their victims.

It is NOT you, it is “them”, they do not experience joy, love, deep caring because of their brain pathology. Just as a person diagnosed with Bi-polar they have a disability. But these people walk around undetected because they act so convincingly.

WillGove

When you have no conscience, no guilt, no remorse etc. Nothing affects you, “they” have the “luxury” of not experience emotions, good bad or other. They pretend they do, only to manipulate, it is no different than AD/HD, Bi-Polar or any other mental condition except; they can hide it by play acting to get the reaction they want.

aaron

Thanks Donna,

It has been almost a year since I wrote and while convinced my ex-girlfriend was a psychopath this is more confirmation.

I have always spent Christmas eve with my children but was let know by my ex that she wanted to be special (of course). I was living out of state and came back for Christmas. To make it special I broke my lifelong tradition and rented a suite at a luxury hotel where I spent Christmas eve with her. I wanted her to know I loved more than anyone.

I also worked hard that next year to get back to California and managed by the end of the year. She let me know she didn’t care and not to come back with any expectations. I got back right after Christmas and I reminded her of our last Christmas only to have her tell me that she had spent this Christmas eve in a “one night stand with an ex boyfriend – a former volleyball player with a great body” – her words. OUCH – like you posted one year special – next year she’s with someone else and in my face about it.

Delores

WillGove, This is like comparing apples and cyanide tablets. The so called “diagnoses” you say are no different than psychopathy are merely a spec of a mental inconsistency in an otherwise normal person. And some, like ADHD are not even disorders but just failure to fit into an artificial society induced false norm. Albert Eisenstein is now suspected of being ADHD. Mozart was probably Bipolar. Bipolar is just a bit more up and down than the average bloke. Psychopaths are not normal in any way. They are unfeeling evil creatures pretending to be human and it is not treatable or curable. That is why it is called a personality disorder instead of a mental illness. The basics of psychological terminology need to be completely restructured to correctly define the new scientific data that has been discovered. It is no wonder people are so unaware of dangerous psychopaths, rapists and pedophiles in our midst when they are miss-classified and put in the same category as a rambunctious child or a genius. I am furious that you would lurk here and say such twisted things where we know one when we hear one. I give you a big F on that attempt to go under the radar.

Redwald

170 years ago today…

Quote: “WillGove, This is like comparing apples and cyanide tablets.”

I was amused by this choice of comparison. That’s because apple pips in fact are known to contain cyanide! Tiny quantities, to be sure, but cyanide all the same! So apples and cyanide tablets are not as completely different from one another as some people might imagine!

That’s appropriate too, since WillGove is not entirely wrong in bracketing conditions like bipolar disorder along with psychopathy. Fair enough, bipolar disorder doesn’t make anyone a psychopath; however, in some men and women bipolar disorder can indeed be a cause of chronically abusive behavior. It’s not necessarily a benign condition. Even ADHD appears to be a contributing factor to abusive behavior in some (probably overstressed) individuals.

But it’s the right day to talk about apples, because they featured in a notable murder case. 170 years ago today, on the first day of January 1845, John Tawell disposed of his unwanted mistress Sarah Hart by poisoning her with prussic acid in a glass of porter while visiting her at her home in Slough, England. Tawell has the distinction of being the first murderer to be caught with the help of modern (electrical) communication technology. A Quaker, he was noticed in his distinctive Quaker dress leaving Sarah’s home and later boarding a train in Slough. He might have gotten away unidentified, except that an electric telegraph had recently been installed, and authorities in Slough sent a message to Paddington station in London alerting police to watch out for this mysterious Quaker. When he arrived there on the train, Tawell was followed and later apprehended.

His trial was memorable for quite a different reason. Since Sarah was known to have been poisoned by a cyanide compound, Sir Fitzroy Kelly, the barrister defending Tawell, tried a novel defense. He argued that the cyanide Sarah was poisoned with was not administered by Tawell, but had come instead from apple pips! There was a large barrel of apples in Sarah’s home, and Kelly tried to convince the jury that Sarah had eaten too many of them over the holiday season, with fatal results.

Unfortunately for his client the jury wasn’t buying this explanation, and John Tawell ended his days at the end of a rope. The barrister meanwhile earned himself the nickname of “Apple Pip Kelly,” which stuck to him for the rest of his long career.

Redwald

100 years ago today

I was particularly annoyed three years ago to learn that over in England, the press baron Rupert Murdoch had summarily closed down the News of the World. That was apparently the only way he could find out of the mess of corruption in which he and his minions had embroiled this famous Sunday newspaper.

It’s not that the News of the World ever had the intellectual standing or prestige acoorded to more lordly journals—such as The Times, for instance. Indeed, the News of the World had always appealed to readers’ baser instincts, with scandals galore (particularly sex scandals) and sensationalism of every kind. Nevertheless, by exposing what it did, I’m sure the newspaper had done a lot of good in its day. And it was by no means a modern publication; on the contrary, this venerable news sheet was founded as far back as 1843. It was a thoroughgoing British institution; it even rated a mention in the very first paragraph of George Orwell’s essay The Decline of the English Murder, as preferred Sunday reading in millions of English homes. For this wretched foreigner Murdoch to march in, seize control of the newspaper after a vicious fight, then several decades later, after miring the newspaper in scandals of its own, simply shut it down after 168 years struck me as sheer wanton destruction, an unforgivable act of vandalism.

This third day of January is the right time to commemorate an occasion when the News of the World almost certainly saved someone’s life, and possibly several lives. The story began like this.

One hundred years ago today, much of the news was about World War I, which had started the previous year. The war that many believed would be “all over by Christmas” hadn’t even begun to reach its most terrible stages yet. But newspapers still found room, as always, for an ordinary human interest story, and the News of the World was no exception. On the very first Sunday in 1915, January the third, the following article appeared in that newspaper:

BRIDE’S TRAGIC FATE ON DAY AFTER WEDDING

Particularly sad circumstances under which a bride of a day met her
death were investigated at an Islington inquest on Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd,
thirty-eight, wife of a land agent of Holloway. The husband said he was
married to deceased at Bath. After travelling to London she complained
of headache and giddiness, and he took her to a medical man, who prescribed
for her. The following morning she said she felt much better, and during
the day she went out shopping. At 7.30 she said she would have a bath,
and she then appeared cheerful. A quarter of an hour later witness went
out, and returned at a quarter past eight, expecting to see her in the
sitting room. As she was not there he inquired of the landlady, and they
went to the bathroom, which was in darkness. He lit the gas, and then
found his wife under the water, the bath being three parts full. The next
day witness found a letter amongst deceased’s clothing, but there was
nothing in it to suggest that she was likely to take her life.

Dr. Bates said death was due to asphyxia from drowning. Influenza,
together with a hot bath, might have caused an attack of syncope. The
enquiry was adjourned for the attendance of the landlady, who, it was said,
had met with an accident.

A sad little story indeed. But that wasn’t quite all there was to it, as people were to discover after certain readers had seen this article.

[To be continued]

Redwald

Hey, what happened to my second post? The system seemed to accept it, but it never appeared. So I tried to repost it, and the system rejected it, saying it was detecting a duplicate post. Fair enough, but where did the first attempt go? It’s vanished into some kind of limbo…

I divorced the sociopath 18 years ago and he is still a thorn in my side. This year was no different. The kids usually come to my house for brunch and then head to their dads. This year he decided to do breakfast and got my grown girls to agree without saying a word to me (typical manipulation). I let it roll off and did a little time rearranging. As the day went on I realized that there was a good chance there would be no Christmas time for mom this year. A friend of mine called and said “did you hear”. I replied “hear what?” … your ex got engaged. My daughter had posted a picture of the two smiling people (an unemployed alcoholic – what a catch). That is so typical of him … mother’s day, Christmas, … you name it he is going to try and make it all about him. My heart goes out to his fiancee (poor thing). A week ago my youngest daughter, 25, called me hysterical … her dad had woke her up and hit her so hard that she still has a black eye today (a week later). His Fiancee told mye daughter … “well your dad was upset” – OMG makes my blood boil. Both of my girls have now seen first hand what I have been trying to tell them for a very long time. He is shallow, evil, manipulative, abusive, monster. Hopefully out of the trauma my girls will cut the cord and stop the abuse once and for all. Love and Light to all … a sociopath in your life is a veil of evil.

mcpsp

Hi,

First time posting here and I don’t really know if it’s the right place to post or what I’m looking for exactly but here it goes anyway. I am a sociopath! For me Christmas is a very odd experience every year, my family is large and complicated and none of them can even comprehend what it means to lean slightly towards sociopathic and if I told them it would not be beneficial. They would never be able to understand.

I’d like to start by pointing out that not everything for me at chistmas is purely to benefit myself, as a sociopath I can say that we do everything to benefit ourselves but not always only for ourselves and not always to make ourselves the person benefiting the most. I visit my parents and my siblings and I make them laugh, I help out and get on with everyone and this is by far more beneficial to them as it makes them happy. Were things stray for me is drama at Christmas, I deal with it too well and all it makes me think is “do I really love my family” it’s horrible to think that I could leave this place and not care, that I don’t really want to be here in the first place but it’s my family.

What I want to know is how do other people deal with their family at Christmas?

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