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By November 15, 2011 91 Comments Read More →

Sociopaths Can Only Talk The Walk

This week I have been reading Jon Ronson’s book The Psychopath Test. It’s been on my list of ”˜must reads’ since it came out earlier this year, and just a couple of days ago I downloaded it on to my Kindle. I finished it within 24hours.

Jon Ronson is a British journalist who, among many other things, wrote the film Men Who Stare At Goats, which was made in to a movie starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor. Jon interviewed my friend Mary Turner Thomson (author of “The Bigamist” detailing her marriage to the sociopath Will Jordan) and became fascinated with the subject of psychopaths. He subsequently attended Dr Robert Hare’s training programme to understand the PCL-R checklist that many of us on this site are only too familiar with. Ronson’s book explores the diagnostic methods for identifying personality disorders and details his own experiences interviewing people who scored highly on Dr Hare’s checklist scale. It’s a fascinating read — no surprises for those of us who have been there and seen it — and I am just glad that he has provided us with another resource that can be added to the list of useful educational tools.

I am delighted to tell you that I will be attending that very same course next week. I am hugely excited about the prospect and am very much looking forward to meeting Dr Hare himself so that I can thank him for helping me in my personal journey to reclaim my life while (just!) keeping my sanity. This is why I have once again been devouring further material on the subject. And this is how, on Dr Hare’s website, I came across a fascinating new film that explores psychopathy. It was released on 11th September this year and is called Fishead.

Fishead — The Movie

There is an ancient Chinese saying that says a fish rots and stinks from the head, which is how the makers of this movie settled on the name. It relates to the heads of industry, as well as to the human brain – which is arguably rotten in the case of psychopaths. The film explores the idea that our society is being progressively more controlled by sociopaths, as well as the suggestion that our increased use of medications such as anti-depressants is contributing to a manufactured set of psychopathic traits. Decreased empathy and reduction of emotional responses are, of course, side-effects of drugs that are designed to numb emotional pain — although I must say I had never thought about it in the way that the film portrays. If you are interested in exploring the movie and its makers, you’ll find all the details at www. www.fisheadmovie.com  The film is free to watch, you just send off to them for a password.

So, anyway, all this additional material has been sparking new thoughts and prodding at old ones as well. And I am reminded of the expression “walking the talk”. Yes, it may be said that it’s now a well-worn cliché, and, for me it is still a short accurate description of authenticity. I myself know full well when I am walking my talk — and over recent years, it has been that approach that has pulled me through some of the darkest periods of my life!

As I am now re-exploring the workings of antisocioal personality disorders, it struck me that the sociopath can only ever talk the walk. They can never, I repeat never, walk the talk in the way that you and I can. I’ve heard other phrases like “they know the words and not the music” and the idea that “they can only dream in black and white” — but to me, now, when I think of “talking the walk” it describes my own experiences absolutely to a tee.

Authenticity

Just last week I met up with a client I am now proud to call my friend. This lady came to the conclusion that she could no longer thrive in the company where I met and have been working with her. Describing the place as “somewhere that seeks out and silences of gets rid of people who care” she has now moved on to another company that communicates authenticity at a human soul level. Not through some well thought out set of words that purport to describe the company values. Not through a carefully crafted website. Not through flashy promises of a golden career. Not even through white-teethed hand-shakes and a swanky dinner to seal the deal.

No, this company has actually been walking the talk. My client (I’ll call her Sarah) has already experienced the heartache and frustration of working within an organization that says one thing and does another. She knows first hand what it feels like to be encouraged to stand up and stand out, and then be shot down for having an opinion. She knows the debilitating confusion of being undermined, undervalued and pushed to the limit — for me, it’s just a shame that she had to experience that in order to fully appreciate the difference. The good thing is, though, that from now on she will settle for nothing less than an environment where she is valued and can make a difference. Never again will she allow herself to be belittled or underestimated. I absolutely believe her, and I’m glad.

“Do you know what Mel?” she grinned after telling me a particularly shocking account of a senior director’s inability to demonstrate compassion for his team “this new bunch wanted to know my birthday just so that it could be marked off as a holiday — on top of the usual holiday allowances!”

It doesn’t take much to help a person feel motivated. It takes a whole heap more to knock a person down. And it can take a huge amount more until we are prepared to move on and walk away.

People like you and me, you see, will automatically judge other people by the same set of values and behaviours that are naturally to us. Like us, people by nature tend to be forgiving “Oh, that’s ok, it’s just the way s/he is sometimes. It’s no big deal!” we might say when somebody does something that is upsetting to us or to others. “S/he’ll get over it, let’s just give them a chance!” And this is how the deliberate manipulator continues to win their games. This is how they keep on going, parasitically sucking the lifeblood from people (and organizations) just to fuel their personal whim — whatever that may be at the time. And because we naturally judge others by how we are ourselves, we cannot begin to comprehend that somebody else is playing by a whole different set of rules.

Powerful Experiences

The sociopath may be an expert at mimicking and manipulation, but s/he will never ever have the same richness of experiences that we can enjoy on a daily basis. They will never know what it feels like, what it really feels like to fall in love for example. To feel genuine friendship and connection with another human being. To experience joy, fear, sadness, peace, excitement and the myriad of other emotions that are at our disposal.

They may well think they are clever. I’m sure they think that they have one over on us because they can talk the walk to such a professional degree that they continue to control their willing targets. But you know what? Once we know what we’re dealing with, once we recognize the subtle gaps in their shows of emotion and understanding, then they have lost their power.

Yes, it’s a living nightmare working through the pain and confusion that is the aftermath of a sociopath’s influences. But you know what? So far as I’m concerned, I’d walk my talk a million times over rather than be doomed to the sociopath’s empty existence of gray numbness. And the more people who experience that void — through work, relationships, family, friends, or the growing educational resources — the more of us can join together and make a stand against these empty souls.

I don’t doubt there’s a battle ahead. And at the same time I am  filled with confidence that together we can make a difference. I’m ready, and looking forward to exploring opportunities to increase our army. I’ll let you know how I get on with Dr Hare”¦

 


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91 Comments on "Sociopaths Can Only Talk The Walk"

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THANK YOU MEL!!
“Yes, it’s a living nightmare working through the pain and confusion that is the aftermath of a sociopath’s influences. But you know what? So far as I’m concerned, I’d walk my talk a million times over rather than be doomed to the sociopath’s empty existence of gray numbness. And the more people who experience that void ”“ through work, relationships, family, friends, or the growing educational resources ”“ the more of us can join together and make a stand against these empty souls.”

This is a jewel! A pearl of wisdom and truth that those of us who are in the battle can treasure! Sign me up! I will enlist!

Mel!
After so many years of trying to nail jello to the wall, (the sky is BLUE. I EXIST!), I get such pleasure reading empowering words which validate that I am not over-reacting, I’m not too demanding, I am not crazy, but that I lived in a crazymaking situation.

More and more I read words that describe the previously undescribable. How do you explain to someone what is happening to you when the biggest evidence is how it makes you feel b/c on the surface, quite a bit of it can be construed as interpretation. Except we know we did not misunderstand. Just like children KNOW when an adult is icky to them, we KNOW we were slimed.

LOVE your phrase: Spaths can only talk the walk, they can not WALK THE TALK. SO SO true and serves as a point of reference for their behavior.

Mel, I also read and reviewed this book, and I think Donna did as well, I’m glad to have another “take” on this book—that’s the wonderful thing about LoveFraud is we each see something different even looking at the same “picture” or reading the same book. “two (or three or four) heads are better than one!” Thanks for your views on this book. GREAT!!!!!

I watched the fishead movie today and was extremely impressed. The part of the movie that addresses “happy pills” really hit home. I’ve been taking anti-depressants since August and they sure haven’t made me happy at all. I feel the emotional flattening-out that the movie describes. I can’t experience pure joy right now, nor can I feel deep sorrow when I should. I haven’t cried in two months, and I don’t think that’s healthy. I should have cried when I finally accepted the truth of my situation and I didn’t! The movie also talks about anti-depressants and the loss of empathy. I can’t tell if I have lost empathy or not – all I know is that I’ve gotten to a point that I can’t tolerate what I see is BS from people in any form, and I have expressed my intolerance very harshly a time or two and felt regret and shame later.

I was not able to watch the movie since I have limited access to the internet (5 gig per month) but reading Dawn’s post above makes me wonder if this movie is One that is blanketly against the use of antidepressants.

I realize that I am coming from a medical back ground so am somewhat prejudiced in my views, but at the same time, antidepressants are NOT supposed to be nor are they “happy pills.” Tranqualizers such as Valium may make one feel “happy” or “giddy” for a short time and that is one reason that they are used “recreationally” but antidepressants as a group (which work in several different ways) are simply to raise the levels of various chemical transmitters to elevate the mood, to keep a person from being so depressed that they cannot function.

I am not, and have never been, in favor of people who are experiencing a NORMAL reaction/sadness/grief to a death or loss being put on antidepressants to “help them cope” with that event. That is one reason I never recommend here that people go and see their family doctor if they have signs of depression for a lengthy period, but to go to a MEDICAL PRACTITIONER for diagnosis and Rx if any for antidepressants.

Anti-depression medication if properly prescribed does not flatten out your moods or preclude empathy, rage or any other emotion.

One of the reasons I suggest that people go to a mental health specialist for mental health problems is that ONE of the side effects of IMPROPERLY RX’D ANTIDEPRESSANTS to Severely depressed people is that it will help their depression enough that they GET ENOUGH ENERGY TO KILL THEMSELVES. A SEVERELY depressed person may actually NOT have enough “energy” to kill themselves, but if they take antidepressants that “help” them some, and energize them some, they may have the strength to kill themselves.

One of my former foster kids, as an adult, was severely depressed and went to his family doctor for medication (but no therapy) and he “got better” and had enough energy to kill himself….and he did. So I take this possible side effect very seriously indeed.

Also, because different antidepresssants work differently, sometimes it takes one or two different doses or a different medication.

There are some genetic components to depression as well, and to bi-polar. It is also common for someone who is bi-polar to go to the doctor for DEPRESSIVE symptoms, and if they are given ONLY an antidepressant it can precipitate a MANIC PHASE. So just like you wouldn’t say to a person who had high blood sugar (diabetes) DON’T TAKE INSULIN, BECAUSE IT MIGHT MAKE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR GO TOO LOW….saying that all anti-depressents under all circumstances will do X is just as dangerous.

ANY medication, including a Tylenol or a TUMS can have a bad side effect if not taken correctly—-

Dawn,, as far as expressing your dissatisfaction and intolerance “very harshly” I had to laugh actually because “being a biatch” for a while I think is part of the NORMAL RECOVERY PROCESS, because we are “touchy” and “sore” and “raw” and things sort of set us off (trigger us) so don’t let that worry you, you will NORMAL DOWN as you heal. I have gotten to the point NOW after several YEARS that I don’t let these things bother me much any more and I don’t react like I did because I just am looking at the REAL IMPORTANT things and letting the rest roll off my back.

Oxy,

The movie specifically addresses the boom of Valium and Prozac, and people (specifically college students) who were prescribed such drugs for relatively simple things like being shy at parties. I don’t feel it was particularly and virulently anti- anti-depressants, but that medicating persons who dont *really* need may be causing us to lose important parts of ourselves.

I should also say that I was correctly prescribed medications at the time. Absolutely without a doubt. I was a freaking basket case when the sociopath’s web of lies began untangling. It’s just that now I feel like I’m over that big hump and maybe don’t need the meds so much anymore but my therapist and psychiatrist tell me I’ll be using them for longer than I want or feel that I need to.

Dawn, Oh, I definitely agree with the “over medication” of people who do not really have anything wrong with them, which is why I STRESS TO PEOPLE who think they are depressed to see a MENTAL HEALTH professional. It is unfortunate but most family practice doctors who spend an average 6 MINUTES with a patient are not qualified to diagnose or prescribe anti-depressant medication, and especially when the patient may actually be bi-polar and the LAST thing you want to do is to precipitate an manic episode, or give a VERY depressed patient enough medication to energize him where he will have enough energy to kill himself.

When I was in family practice, I would not Rx an antidepressant unless the person also was seeing a therapist at least for a while so I could keep a good finger on what the response was to the medication. Also, many times, medication ALONE isn’t going to be enough to help the person work through their problems.

Also, way too many folks “borrow” medication from others or “share” medication, or get it off the street and “self medicate” or use alcohol or illegal drugs as well.

My family doctor initially prescribed meds because I was on the verge of utter collapse, both mentally and physically. She saw the hot mess I was and must have known something had to give. I’m grateful for that because I would have done stupid things — probably stalking and harassing the ex in a desperate need for answers and that surely would have ended in more physical abuse. The medication made me sleep a lot and I needed that. She gave me a list of mental health professionals and I got an appointment with a therapist within 10 days (a miracle around here to get an appointment that quickly). The therapist referred me to the psychiatrist who adjusted the medication. It all worked, got me through the very worst of it. I still see all three with regularity. My physical health also took quite a hit in 16 short months with him. I was so beaten down by the constant stress that I was self-medicating with insane amounts of caffeine drinks to get through the day and OTC sleep aids just to get a little bit of rest at night.

DawnG,

Sounds like your family dock is a smart cookie, and got you not only medication but mental health professional follow up. Good for her! Good for you on following up!

Some AD medications do help you sleep better and some actually make it more difficult to sleep. I have sleep apnea and so have a sleep machine at night and restless legs syndrome as well, so between the kicking all night, the apnea and the antidepressant medication keeping me awake I had to make some adjustments in my medications that was well above the pay grade of my family doctor even though she is quite good…so having multiple things wrong can cause side effects, thank goodness my sleep doctor figured it out and we got everything adjusted so now I sleep like a baby AND have the antidepressant needs met as well. Part of it was the TIMING of the medication I take for depression, though it is a long acting pill, I take it in the early AM and it doesn’t interfere with my sleeping at night. So little adjustments sometimes make a big difference.

Part of the problem with the stress I think IS the lack of sleep we get when we are upset. Lack of sleep is used as TORTURE in prisons so it is important that we are able to sleep. Caffine, nicotine, alcohol, even over the counter medications, and adrenaline can all interfere with sleep cycles if not the number of hours as well. That is why it is so important that we decrease the amount of stress we are going through, and are GOOD TO OURSELVES. The psychopaths try to keep us stirred up and in chaos, and it warps our entire systems.

Mel,
EXCELLENT post!!!! I can’t wait to watch the movie. I sent for a password.
THANKS AGAIN!!
too many people medicated for way too long…. numbness! Pharm Co’s love people hooked in their web for life $$$$$, that may only need it temporarily. It’s called “situational” depression or anxiety etc. There are many PHYSICAL issues/vitamin defeciencies that can cause symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, fatigue etc. All it takes is a few blood tests. They need to be ruled out before taking psych… numbing meds. I KNOW!!! My thyroid had me on the verge of a coma and I thought it was PTSD. Thank God for my FAMILY DOCTOR!!! He saved my life.
My rule of thumb… if you were not a psych medicated person prior to this s/paths stress, you are probably in a a “situational” need for meds. ( get a thorough blood physical) and talk to your docs to weane you off and find out, when you are ready. Listen to your body and brain…. they throw out flags to you also, just like the spaths did… don’t ignore them too. Its sad to see overmedicated and under physical treated people! Just as sad as it is to see undermedicated psychs that really need it!!!

soimnotthecrazee1:

Yep, that’s EXACTLY what my doctor told me last year when I was in the throes of this with my X spath…that it was “situational.” So true. Get away from the “situation” and be better! 🙂

Louise, if you are reading, I finally got the name of the type of trauma therapy my therapist is doing with me that she feels is better than EMDR. It’s called “cellular release” therapy.

Sleep is my saving grace when I’m depressed and overwhelmed. And so I have made it the #1 priority. It’s more important than getting to work on time or even getting to work at all. I’ve been known to call in sick because I didn’t sleep the night before. I have been on many antidepressants in the past, with mixed results. Mostly, the side effect were much worse than any benefit I may have gotten.

So I have opted to be completely med-free for many years now. I sometimes wonder if that’s the best choice because I’m so prone to depression. I go through periods of being overwhelmed with anger or grief and don’t seem to be able to process it well. But my insurance isn’t great, and the cost of the meds, the doctor to monitor them, and ongoing weekly therapy is way out of my budget anyway, so I do the best I can without any kind of chemical intervention. I have not taken so much as an aspirin in many years, and I can’t even handle caffeine. But I do wonder if I found the right antidepressant if it wouldn’t help normalize my moods. Because I don’t have the option of meds, I try to shift my moods through my mind. I am working on just changing the way I think. Sometimes, surprisingly, it works, and it changes my entire mood for the day. Sometimes, it feels like putting a bandaid on a broken leg.

My current therapist is through the employee assistance program at my work. I only get her for 6 sessions at a time. Then I have to take a break and start again. It’s not the most ideal, but it has helped.

Password to watch the movie is fhmovie. I REALLY liked this movie. SO informative, validating, and Empowering. Explains to ordinary people what spaths and Ppaths are! It’s a gem and gets the message out there. The A* don’t have to win if we don’t LET THEM and there IS something we can do about it! hmmmm that poem is SO applicable. Hosanna posted it under Lessons from Penn State.

There’s so much info in this movie I think I will have to watch it again.

The movie says 6% informed populace can change the world. We can make this an inhospitable place for psychopaths, especially those in the corporate world.

It also talks about courage to stand up and uses the former Czech Republic president as an excellent example.

Darn! I wish I had enough gigs to watch the movie!!!! Sounds good.

Here’s the wiki entry for Vaclav Havel. He became politically active in 1968 following the Warsaw Pact invasion, and was imprisoned multiple times as a dissident.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A1clav_Havel

“There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.”
Vaclav Havel

Stargazer I really identify with what you say. Sleep is the elixir of life. It’s like oxygen or water to the body. I had a melt down 6 months into the relationship with my ex spath. It started with not sleeping well followed by losing my appetite. Things got bad. Rapidly. Mainly caused by my frantic need for sleep coupled with symptoms of stress. I was very ill. I took antidepressants and was prescribed sleeping pills but got addicted to them in that I couldn’t sleep without them! It was a horrific time of my life and one I wouldn’t want to repeat or watch a loved one endure.
I just felt for you when I read your post. Wishing you strength and love from a fellow survivor. X

Things were very bad for me too. I had stomach ailments frequently. I couldn’t eat past 7pm because I had reflux and aspirated it in my sleep. I was wrapped tight 24/7 – in sleep I couldn’t relax and tucked my arms up tight against my body and my hands were in fists. All this went away about 8 weeks after I left him.

I’m going to watch the movie, now 😀

Stargazer:

Thank you so much for the name of the treatment. I will look into it.

I also sleep when I get down or depressed. It always refreshes me. We are so much alike 🙂

Thanks, strongawoman. One of the side effects of antidepressants was that I would be up all night. I also couldn’t handle the sexual side effects. This just seemed to defeat the purpose, which is to relax and enjoy life. It did help me to feel anger, though, which is what I have trouble with when I’m depressed. But without a good way to get the anger out, it would turn back into depression and then the meds just didn’t work anymore. I don’t think there is any magic bullet to fixing depression. You have to be willing to face your demons – accept your anger and rage and feel the deep grief. I have struggled with this so much. It doesn’t seem to get easier.

I see that you are a teacher. I am looking into volunteer jobs teaching English to refugee women from other countries like Bhutan and Congo. Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with this who has never done it before?

Oxy
I’m not tech savvy enough to understand what you mean by not having enough gigs to watch the movie. They do have a slow internet connection. this is the link to the slow connection movie http://vimeo.com/29036894 and the password is fhmovie

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Star – hands down the best thing I ever did for the depression that came with fibromyalgia was diamond way meditation. i tried 7, count ’em, 7 anti-d’s…they didn’t work for me and effed me up very much. But, i believe that there are many diff biological causes of depression and they all have to be treated correctly. SSRIs and other anti’d’s were not the way for me. Meditation is what broke it for me (and i am not talking about new age visualizations, but hardcore Buddhist practice). It took many many hours on the cushion, and a 3 day conscious dying practice meditation and it completely broke the depression i had been slinging around for 7 years. Booya!

Katy, it is the total amount of information that is beamed to my computer, even one movie would put me over for the month. One month I went over a tiny bit over the allotment and they DOUBLED my cost….so I am VERY CAREFUL not to go over now.

I liked it. Thought it was a good spin on the sociopaths/psychopaths. I liked how it put the responsibility in our hands. That we ultimately can control how we respond to the 1 – 3%, and how we better the lives of each other.

One of the best blessings of encountering a sociopath was that I realized (through meditating on the behaviors and being able to sense them and identify sociopaths, now) I was able to see how the MAJORITY of people are OK. It’s just the smaller percentage of people who really mess it up for everyone.

This was reflected in what they said in the movie, that most people are passively ok – not super hero good people, and not bad.

One joy, I keep meaning to look into Diamond Way. Thanks for the reminder. Did your depression disappear permanently? I go through bouts of it when I’m struggling with anger.

Oxy
They don’t sound very fair. They should give you unlimited access. It’s not like they have to pay for access based on Gigs. They pay for bandwidth. Well, for others in the same basket, the library has unlimited internet. Might need your own headphones. Or maybe they have loaners.

purewater4
They validated my theory about the norm of the curve being all people who don’t get involved, don’t FEEL – yet those are the ones who are CAPABLE of feeling and acting. We just have to be the ones to inspire them. And I think that takes telling them it’s more than okay, it’s a GOOD thing to choose morally good behavior. It’s almost like they need permission? bbbaaaaaaaaaaaa. (btw, my dog is a herd breed.)

Katy,

Hahaha

One person can effect a lot, so you’re right.

We just need people to band together in important matters, but also handle daily matters with courtesy and integrity in the meantime, because it has a widespread blessing of peace and prosperity for all.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Star – i do have times situational depression at times, and def in response to anything that suppresses my adrenal or immune system. but that grinding unrelenting depression is gone. i am fairly certain that if i meditated the way i used to that the situational depression would go also.

Katy, it is part of the price I pay for living in the boonies….am working on seeing if I can’t improve my internet access….the library is 25 miles away and you only get 1 hour on the internet hook up etc. so is more trouble than it is worth, and costs more in gas money than it is worth, so I just do the best I can with what I have.

They will get DSL out here eventually….soo in the meantime, I use an aircard and am just grateful to get on at all.

MEL,
What a great movie experience! I can’t wait to watch it again! Empty souls/ no empathy/ narcisissim caused by happy pills… we have enough of those “mentally ill/empty” people ruining our streets/lives, without giving the pharm co’s more profits.

“Life stabs me with a steak knife and it feels like a butter knife!!”
Brain chemical altering, numbing drugs!
What countries are they made in? and sold in the US? What kind of quality control? Consistency? Potency? Inactive ingredients?
All of a sudden everybody is mentally ill and has to take thier bag of skittles everyday….. a pill to go to sleep…. a pill to wake up… a pill to poop…. a pill to not poop…. a pill to eat… a pill not to eat…. a pill to feel happy… a pill to feel sad etc.. etc.. Pharm co’s stop the insanity!!!

What ever happened to these meds treating the truly “insane” that need it? Not just the stressed out. Has the definition of “insane” changed with this change in times? We have “insane” people living free amoungst us that should really be in a sanitarium… thanks to the pharm co’s. These people have their bag of “skittles” to eat everyday.
I wonder what the pharm co’s exec’s are doing on this fine Saturday night with their bonuses and benies?

Albert Einstein:
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Edmund Burke :
All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.

As far as the pharmaceuticals numbing our brains…IMnotsohumbleO, ( 🙂 ) the pharmas are run by spaths who are envious of our “highly sensitive” abilities. So they freak us out until we can’t take it anymore and then offer us a pill to become just like them – unfeeling. That’s what some spaths do.

My ex-spath, on the other hand, was very angry when he thought that his friend was taking prozac. He said, “I can tell, even though he denies it, I can tell that he’s taking it.” It drove him crazy because his friend emotes through his facial expressions – A LOT. Spath was addicted to it and pissed off when he thought he was being cheated out of his emotional allotment.

😛

He also hated it when I drank wine. No matter how much the spath tried to gaslight me, I just laughed and laughed because I was drunk. LOL! He hated that. That’s why he told everyone that I was a drunk and he was planning on killing me with sleeping pills in my wine.

OOOPS it’s not Saturday night ( Friday night)…. Brain fog still from thyroid med getting my body back in line.

sky,
of course they hate it when we find whatever way to be relaxed and “laugh” at them during their mental beatings…. that means they are not in control of us…. they hate not having control… escpecially while their mask is melting! LOL
They have no “bond” with us and they just move on to the next victim they can control. onto the next gme…. as stated in the wonderful fishhead movie.

Thank you Mel for this post. Reading it was like a ‘hug’. 🙂
You have a way of expressing things so accurately and clearly and I am grateful for the voice you share.

Everything you said I have found is the truth.
It has been 6 months and 19 days no contact for me.
Just a little less than a couple of weeks ago, I had been stalked for a total of approximately three weeks prior. And it was the whole spath army about “IT” doing the calling and attempting to connect, as well as ITSELF. Our ‘anniversary’ of meeting is the week of Thanksgiving and I just wonder what that will bring!!!

If you have never been through a ‘spath attack’ before during NC, let me reassure you, it is something resembling a “HANNIBAL” attack from afar. They seem to forget what they are told and requested. They want a chance to love bomb again and get close enough so they can laugh at us and hurt us some more because they find it so amusing to them. You have to stay strong and mean what you say. You must not break NC no matter what they say or do. They need to KNOW they are NOT getting the attention. They so hate that: being ignored. They dislike not being in control.

They talk a good talk, mostly word salad…

Thanks Mel for the write…

Dupey

By the way: I would suggest EVERYONE see the movie, if you have not as yet. Share it with all your friends and families: education is the prevention.

Thanks again, Mel: excellent!

Dupey

One joy,
I always forget that when I’m depressed I can just go inside and reconnect, which is really what meditation is for me. My very early pattern since childhood is to shut down when I have very strong feelings like anger. So I have to physically do things to connect – like breathe, do physical exercise, and listen to music. Sometimes I just have to kick and hit, to get in touch with the feelings. Or just feel the fear and sit and shake for a while. It’s like pulling teeth for me sometimes, because when I go into fear, it’s hard to get past that. Things seem to be moving along, and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from this latest bout with depression. I sometimes forget I have the power to heal without props, drugs, and other people.

Stargazer
When I was going through my depressive cycles, I too forgot what it was like during the last depression. Who THINKS when they are depressed?! We go numb. It’s only when we’re better that we realize how much we lost. So I learned and wrote myself notes that I found when I was depressed b/c I hid them in my dvd that I watch, my soft blanket that I use to curl up in a ball on the sofa, the UGLY clothes that I’d wear day in and day out b/c they were easy to put on.

Maybe you could try the same. Put some notes from your good self to your sad self somewhere your depressed self would find them. I also bought encouraging cards and self addressed them. Sounds kinda weird but getting a caring card, even if from my happy self, felt really really good when I was very dark and numb, esp b/c when I was depressed, I wanted nobody yet NEEDED somebody to care and there wasn’t anyone.

Now that I’m not with my husband, I don’t get depressed except for times I’ve had to talk to him, and then it doesn’t last but a couple of days. Thank God. Contact with him is like getting sick and having to get over it…

Best
Katy

Just to chime in on the anti-depressants portion of the movie… I think healthy criticism is good in general for SSRI’s or any drugs for that matter, but I’m thankful that I was able to use a SSRI after the birth of my son (at about 4 months) because the pain, exhaustion, paranoia, fear etc. was so bad I felt I could literally die.

I was no stranger to depression and anxiety before, but the stuff I went through post-sociopath made all prior pains look like milktoast.

With the medication, I was able to balance myself out emotionally and give myself time to live my life, heal, etc. without being destroyed by the emotional avalanche that toppled down on me after the relationship ended.

So, yes, perhaps with people with moderate to low levels of emotional problems should be cautious. But, for others suffering through crippling depression, the option of having medication is really a good thing.

purewaters3
I too believe that anti anxiety meds were extremely beneficial to me. I read people’s post on here and KNOW that they would benefit but to accept the prescription, sometimes people think it’s like admitting that cliche CARP their spaths spout, that they are crazy unstable women, when in fact the SPATHS behaviors create Intense mindblowing drama and their LIVES were crazymaking, NOT THEM. Meds help get the chemistry in their brains back to normal levels after being triggered for so long.

I don’t think the film was against appropriate prescription use. Their point was the MIS use of meds, as in the example of passing out valium at the funeral b/c people were going to be sad. And have to say, my husbands mother is a Prozac monster. She hadn’t been seen by a doctor in over FIVE years yet they kept giving her those pills. She would NOT get counceling. And she IS a dominating pedophile B*. When she takes her prozac, everything is wonderful and we are just little people who are so silly in our lives. She talks baby talk to us and puts us down. She is also God’s servant and as such, nothing she does is wrong so all the mean things and setting people off against each other and the mindfarks, well that’s God working through her, NOT her being the town gossip and busybody ruining lives. FIVE years and NO monitoring? Feelings gotcha? Take a pill. That’s what they movie was talking about.

I’ve experienced the emotional “flat line” of SSRI’s but mostly towards the end of my use of the medication; I take it as a sign that my brain’s leveled out and no longer need the medication anymore.

If you’re using a medication that causes that feeling, you probably need to reduce the dose or (if you’re already on a low dose, like I was) just start weeing yourself off.

The way you “should” feel on an anti-depressant is that the crippling emotions you’re going through balance out (you feel them, you know they’re there, but you’re able to be functional). It’s a wonderful relief, honestly. Not feeling drugged, or strange, just OK in the midst of a bad period of time.

I guess hindsight, they work like morphine when you’ve just had major injury.

Katy,

The stigma of having depression and treating it is what concerns me… But, I realize they were talking about the misuse of meds. And, it IS a bad problem, with SSRI’s and pain meds, etc.

P.s. Your husband’s mother sounds scary.

I do feel healing is a process, and that if we can stay open and handle/manage the process, we will eventually recover. The only times I start to get depressed are when I feel stuck and things are not moving. That is when I feel like I need help. However, I’ve come to learn that it’s fear that keeps me stuck. It’s become such a habit that I can be afraid of being afraid of being afraid. Usually when I go inside and connect to whatever it is, I can process it. I seem to do better on my own than in therapy for this part. But sometimes talking it out helps, too. Most of what I’m going through these days is non-verbal – early abandonment. I need to do physical things to connect to it. I have to make direct eye contact and let the feeling come out through my eyes. I also have to do physical activities like walking or kicking and hitting.

I do see healing as peeling off the layers of an onion. I feel like I’m very close to the core of it, though when I get stuck, it can feel like I’m light years away.

It usually starts when something triggers me. If it’s someone from work, I must stay professional. I cannot always say what I want to say to them. So I come home and process it. If I get overwhelmed and don’t process it quickly, I go into depression. It’s gotten so much better over the years. I used to get triggered at work on a daily basis. My entire evenings would be sitting in my room and processing. Nowadays it only happens once in a while. But when it does, it really throws me. I wish I didn’t have to go through all of this in order to heal. I wish it could be more graceful sometimes.

I remember seeing a poster years ago of a guru with a long white beard in some sort of a yoga posture on a surfboard in the ocean. The caption said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” This is what I feel we are all learning to do – to surf, so to speak.

Stargazer,

I can relate to what you’re saying about work life and people doing something that bothers you, but you have to stay professional.

I definitely realized the connection to not saying what needs to be said, setting boundaries, and then feeling depressed and sick afterwards.

That’s why I’ve been trying to address things in the moment, as they happen, and allow myself to have boundaries and say what needs to be said, within reason, of course.

Believe it or not, being honest and using statements like: No, I want, and I do not want… has been ALMOST like a miracle cure for me in some ways 😀

And, I agree with you. Living life is a lot like learning to surf. We’re all just trying to learn to cope, heal and navigate in the best way possible.

Purewater, I definitely see the connection, and it troubles me. I know I need to speak up at all times to keep from getting depressed. And yet, when I’ve done it, the results have not always been good professionally for me. I have to pick and choose what I say and to whom. I especially don’t want to overreact when I get triggered into things that are not about the present moment. Ironically, I can be very upfront with my supervisors. They didn’t get to where they were by being indirect. They can usually handle my feelings. But the other girls in the office are very indirect. So I have to find politically acceptable ways to deal with them. It’s really one of the main things I dislike about working in offices. But maybe when I am more recovered and more in the present, this part will be easier for me.

Star,
if living is like surfing then here’s the sound track to go with your life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c1PML5kfbg

Star,

I wish you luck with your job. Skylar had a good idea. Surfing soundtracks… I like this one from Incubus:

Not really a “surfing” more like floating on the ocean in a raft…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlLCXiG4eD4

Stargazer, my advice is go for it. I love teaching. In my sixth year now and have never regretted it. Came to it fairly late. I’m 49. But it’s a good time of my life I reckon with all the experiences I’ve had. Some good and some not so good! Good luck with it……you will reap what you sow and never look back. X

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