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SSSP meeting highlights: The psychopath’s inability to love

This week “Sarah” commenting on Lovefraud wrote:

What is the biggest difference between Narcissists/Psychopaths/Sociopaths and us? The ability to love!
What is one of the over-riding characteristics of the N/P/S? They are they are extremely jealous & envious and must WIN! We have something they will never have . . i.e., the ability to love.

In the Mask of Sanity, the first book to describe psychopathy, Hervey Cleckley wrote:

The psychopath seldom shows anything that, if the chief facts were known, would pass even in the eyes of lay observers as object love”¦ In a sense, it is absurd to maintain that the psychopath’s incapacity for object love is absolute, that is, to say he is (in)capable of affection for another ”¦ He is plainly capable of casual fondness, of likes and dislikes, and of reactions that, one might say, cause others to matter to him. These affective reactions are, however, always strictly limited in degree. In durability they also vary greatly from what is normal in mankind. The term absolute is, I believe, appropriate if we apply it to any affective attitude strong and meaningful enough to be called love, that is, anything that prevails in sufficient degree and over sufficient periods to exert a major influence on behavior.

In my opinion, perhaps the only flaw in our current measures of “psychopathy” is their failure to assess “ability to love.” Fortunately, that may soon change thanks to Donald Lynam, Ph.D. , Professor of Clinical Psychology at Perdue University. In his presentation, Interpersonal Antagonism as the Core Feature of Psychopathy Dr. Lynam presented evidence that inability to love is at the core of psychopathy.

I have long admired Dr. Lynam’s work, and his rather renegade status in the world of psychopathy research. During his presentation, I sat next to an accomplished psychopathy researcher, who has become a friend. After Dr. Lynam finished, I offered a public thanks to him for his presentation and brought up the issue that no one else is trying to measure and assess “ability to love” in psychopaths. The researcher sitting next to me said “You can have him as your Guru if you like, but there are problems with his work.” I did not ask my friend to elaborate because I already knew why he said that.

Dr. Lynam has challenged the status quo of psychopathy research because he says, “Factor analysis of the PCL-R (the most widely used rating scale) are unlikely to reveal the core personality components of psychopathy.” His making that statement at the SSSP meetings is kind of like a minister at a meeting of Southern Baptists saying that The Bible doesn’t necessarily have all the answers for modern humans.

Dr. Lynam says (and I very much agree) that if you analyze the PCL-R to understand “the psychopath” you run into circular arguments. How do we know this person is a psychopath? Because he/she has a high PCL-R score. How do we know the PCL-R symptoms reflect the psychopathy personality type? Because they belong to “psychopaths” as identified by the PCL-R. The way to get around these circular arguments is to separate diagnostic measures from personality measures. This is what Dr. Lynam has done.

The most accepted model of general personality posits five basic traits called the Big Five (OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism). Dr. Lynam has studied these traits in relation to psychopathy and he has found that “low agreeableness” explains a majority of individual differences in PCL-R scores. That means that the core of psychopathy is explained by low agreeableness.

What exactly is low agreeableness? Agreeableness has 6 parts to it: trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty and tender mindedness. The items on this list reflect a person’s tendency toward intimacy, needs balancing (ones own needs vs. other’s needs) and caretaking of others; core components of ability to love. Dr. Lynam also mentioned briefly that these are more than personality traits and instead seem to reflect “an ability.” I wrote about love as a developmentally acquired “ability” in Just Like His Father? nearly three years ago, and am glad to see this given more attention by scientists.

After I commented praising Dr. Lynam’s work, another researcher stood up and said, “There’s just something about this that bothers me”¦ my gut tells me it is off”¦ If psychopaths lack agreeableness, why do other people find them attractive?”

I talked with that researcher in private afterwards. Consider Dr. Cleckley’s statement about love and psychopathy. Since psychopaths appear to have fondness and affection, their inability to love is often hidden behind their “Mask of Sanity.” It is only when you really get to know them and you put yourself in a position of depending on them that you discover the importance of their inability to love. This is where victims have wisdom and understanding that many psychopathy researchers will never attain.

For more on Dr. Lynam’s work see: Are they just evil people?


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95 Comments on "SSSP meeting highlights: The psychopath’s inability to love"

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I found this to be especially true! The VALUE of anything was limited to time, a very short time! And people where no different than possesions! Replaceable as the daily paper! No value! Their Parents are no different as long as they are supplying a need, home, money , food, help! Friends where non-existant because they held no value in them if they did not supply a need! Regardless of the past exploites.

To throw away relationships like used toilet paper!

I believe this is truely what they think of themselves, that they are CHIT and everything about themselves is made up to cover this belief!
Without Love the mind is open to influences of an EVIL nature! ie: their behavior
Sincerely Vic

Absoluetly! And what is love, but God.

They are evil and in need of exorcism.

http://holywatersalt.blogspot.com/search/label/exorcisms

Oh I don’t think they’d ever PUBLICY admit it….no never, ever…but once you have delt with one of these creatures…I wonder what they really believe.

I don’t discount science at all, I think in many cases it just a proof.

And yes, the Church does do exorcisms. Every diocese must have an exorcist.

ps

Even traditional, conservative parishes are leery of exorcism….why?Well, because that’s the way the Devil works…think of the Screwtape Letters. We are too sophisticated, too educated, too evolved….really the same secular belief about psychopaths. You know if get them a program, more understanding etc. ….we can make the anew or heck most don’teven believe conscienceless people exist!

Few, secular or religious, believe psychopaths exist as everyday folks.

There is a very old saying!

Do not judge a book by its cover! The Wisdom in this is profound!

We can take from it , Do not judge a Person by their Words! Like a book , there has to be solid content inside! So “Hopefully” I won’t Fall for the beauty and wait to see that there is Truth in the Words by Their behavior and deeds! Sometimes we need to read a little deeper into the person before we believe what we are hearing!

Holywatersalt
Trying to persuade Psychologists that a Sociopaths healing is going to require an Exorcism! ? Ain’t gona go well! Not that I don’t agree! Does the Catholic Church still do Exorcisms? It has got to be Cheaper than Institutionalization or Prision!

holywatersalt and Vic, you had me chuckling about your exorcism discussion. since I originally attended the Catholic church for the first half of my life (don’t ask me how old I am now (LOL), I wanted to insert my two cents how I saw what was meant exorcising demons (aka sin) from the inflicted (aka sinner).

It wasn’t anything like the movie, spinning one’s head and spitting pea soup. Very vivid imagination of the writer. It was the congregation coming together and correcting the sinner (aka explaining their sinful nature to them) and asking them if they were willing to repent (aka, work the person back through the process of breaking their sinful nature to where they were not sinning). The Catholics do this because they love all their brothers and sisters and realize that every one of is a sinner.

It also depends on what the sin is. Some sins (see the 10 commandments) are easy to work backwards to the beginning of not having this lust for an earthly affliction, others are more entangled and take years to work backwards.

Success depended mostly on the willingness of the sinner … and the church community who were willing to be there for the individual (sort of like the AA community were they have a sponsor).

It’s doable to work a person back through their sinful nature. Like I said, the sinner has to admit the sin bothers him (acknowledgment) and secondly, they have to be willing to work on this sinful nature.

The reason sin is so prevalent today is because people don’t even realize what sin is anymore.

Peace.

Dear Liane,

Thank you so much for this article! I think your friend is right, and I also think that the “mainstream” researchers may indeed think he is a rebel against “sicience”—-describing “love” much less measuring it is difficult, like “how high is UP?” LOL

Wini, Vic and HSW I agree, they are EVIL creatures, and as far as I am concerned, Satan has their hearts and minds, but they were given willingly to Satan, not unwillingly, and an UNrepentent “sinner” isn’t going to be helped by ANYthing.

It has been proven time and time again that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion, still.” (don’t know who said that but it is defintely true!)

I also agree with Liane that WE, former victims, probably know more about Ps than most of the “researchers”—and especially the ones who have never met a psychopath that they know of! LOL

The fact that there IS scientific researchh going on concerning Ps is a good thing! I would love to be around in 100 years to see the outcome of some of the research!

Oxy, what I find amazing is if you talk about Ps with people they want to stick their heads in the sand and blame the P on us. An attitude like there is something wrong with you … get away from me, like we are contagious. Yet, these same people will tell you about the show they saw the other night about a P or the book they read. It’s like if they see/read/hear about the P from the news media or a mental health professional it’s OK, but to actually talk with a person (us) that had first hand knowledge of the destruction is till a non issue with most people.

I hope I got my thoughts out on this.

Peace.

Interesting, but IMHO, I still think ability to love is lower on the list of priorities (for lack of a better word). By the time the victims of a sociopath discovers that they are just a source of supply and there never has been any love, way too much time has gone by.

I still think the manipulation and exploitation are the key elements in the toxic brew that is a sociopathy. Manipulation and exploitation manifest themselves far earlier than “love” or the lack thereof. Personally, manipulation and expliotation are the red flags that I’m looking for right up front.

We lost yesterday’s comments. someone posted about ignoring not just red flags but a 76 trombone big parade! Wanted to say the same was true for me too. In the words of the Betrayal Bond book, it was because we believed so strongly (or wanted to) in the person, the promise, the mission and the story. (And I would add, that it was also that we had no idea someone could be so evil to us, as an adult, and we weren’t on the look out.) And if we have had a bond like that before…where we loved or sought love from someone abusing us like a parent….then it is more likely to happen again. There are lots of things that the book lists that can make it more likely for us to believe the highly improbable and reject the obvious. But I always add, that the MAIN reason we got hurt was that we were with a BAD PERSON….and we can respond by learning ways to be stronger, learning situations to avoid, just like a victim of a physical rape….but we were emotionally raped (and sometimes that was just one aspect of what happened) and we are not to blame for that. But still, I can guarantee that NOW even a tiny red speck, let alone a flag, now gets my full attention and response and the particular type P who got to me wouldn’t even be able to buy me a cup of coffee now, and I hope I can spot most types now…though we know some are very slick.

I agree Matt….I look for that “WHAT!!” experience that Steve described in his post on radar for the wrong person. I had signs that my P COULD love…that is too easy to fake. But he couldn’t quite hide his willingness to exploit, so that is, I think, a better red flag. It seems the inability to love and the willingness to exploit are closely aligned, but the latter is easier to spot.

justabouthealed:

I would submit that the inability to love and the willingness to exploit are indicative that some lacks the ability to love.

End of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the problem is — these creatures are toxic for anybody who gets involved with them.

justabouthealed:

I mean to say that the willingness to exploit is indictive that someone lacks the ability to love.

hey guys, was out cruising in my car today with top down and met headon the s and his biker chick and a friend. Murphys’ law everywhere i seem to go and this town is over 50, 000 . I think it might be getting easier only thing that is hurting is the fact that he is spending more time with her than he did me but then again it’s early. He alwasy has to bring along one of his cronnies and i hated that. Hope it gets easier and i find someone that i can at least be remotely interested in. I went out with a gf last night and i tolerated the night but same old bunch of singles, depressing. Im starting to feel a little healthier and hopefully will put some weight on soon. love kh

Dear KH,

This may not be what you want to hear, but your comment about “Hope it gets easier and I find someone that I can at least be remotely interested in.” Sort of makes me wonder if you are thinking that a new “love interest” will help you get over this X-jerk creep. In my experience, that is the “cart before the jack ass”—we need to GET OVER THE CREEP FIRST and HEAL and THEN look for a new love interest. If Prince CHARMING himself came along with a glass slipper, the problem is that in the “INJURED” STATE we are in post-P, we don’t have the true energy to focus on a new relationship inorder to make it successful, because we haven’t focused on HEALING OURSELVES FIRST.

It would be wonderful if we could just find “mr. perfect” and hook up with him and live “happily ever after” but the problem is that WE aren’t able to do that, to give to a relationship what it takes it to be successful bec ause WE are the ones off kilter.

I suggest strongly that you focus on YOURSELF and don’t even think about a NEW relationship for quite some time. YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for you to focus on. When you HEAL YOURSELF then you will be Ms. Perfect when you do meet Mr. Perfect! (((((hugs))))))

Ox i know what you say is the truth, it s just that with so many years wasted on the s and now to be in a state where as you said Mr. Perfect could come along and i’d be well i’d be like i am, absolutely not interested in even talking to men much. Don’t find any attractive and wonder if i ever really will but i don’t want to completely give up hope of ever finding someone. I’ve decided one thing, i want one at leaast as decent as my ex husband. I havn’t got a clue what im looking for in a man anyway, im just getting older and 5.5 years without sex is really a long time but i am used to it by now. Cuddling is all i really wanted from the asshole, but he had to make me pay for the little cuddling with lies and more abuse. I did a silly thing last night, i went out with a g f to a local club (same old place with same old people) and stopped at my male friends house that i was fixed up with around time i met the s. He’s a great guy but alcoholic and involved with a ver y toxic woman, that i introduced him to. She verbally attacked me about nonsense , convinced her guya nd i were lovers (joke sa we are like bro and sister more) . This woman is alcoholic too and she just went on a rampage and for once after i initially tried to be nice offering her some clothes that didn’t fit me. Then when she started on me being old and botoxed and who knows what, i let her have it. So opposite to my normal response of letting it go over. and guess what i feel dam good. I said for one thing missy” if i had wanted Ron i would have had him long before you” . She was so vindictive, calling mymohter and alcoholic all kinds of vile things and i just laughed it off. Ron was pretty upset , told her she’s crazy but i gave it back with both guns. At one point i thought there was a chance she may hit me and i thought go right ahead. I think i needed to react the way i did and after all the times i’ve tried to be kind and decent to this wh*** i had had enough. No intimidation anymore. Before i left i made sure to tell her that she had no respect for my friend Ron at all considering he has helped support her and she should be ashamed of herself. Not an ounce of regret from me today. I could have walked away as i usually would hve but this time i thought no, im Ron’s guest , bring it on cookie. love kindheart

Dear Kindheart,

I don’t want you to think I am “down on” you right now, but you keep talking about people you know “he’s a GREAT GUY…but ALCOHOLIC and involved with a VERY TOXIC WOMAN…”

“At one point I thought she may hit me…..”

” I could have walked awayt……bring it on cookie”

KH, this is DRAMA. What do you mean about your friend Ron? He’s a great guy….DUH? What is so great about being an ALCOHOLIC ? That is like saying “He’s a good husband when he is not beating his wife!”

“I could have walked away?” WHY didn’t you? What did you accomplish by “letting her have it” and “telling her off?” DRAMA, nothing but DRAMA AND MORE DRAMA!

Kindheart, ask yourself (you don’t have to answer me, it is yourself who needs to know the answer to this question) WHY do you keep hanging around with TRASHY ALCOHOLIC and TOXIC PEOPLE and engaging in DRAMA and verbal battles with them? What do YOU get out of this?

Human beings don’t engage in behavior that doesn’t give them some kind of “pay off”—-even people who cut themselves and self harm get a pay off in endorphins being released…..there is SOMETHING you are getting out of all this drama because you keep repeating it….then you get depressed, then start to feel better and the CYCLE CONTINUES.

The healing process isn’t about engaging in more drama, it is about stopping engaging in DRAMA all together.

Remember back when the druggie was wanting a ride and you gave her one, and all the other dramas you have engaged in that have brought you back DOWN? Every time you get involved in more drama you hit bottom. Then it seems as soon as you start to feel better and things are on the upswing you engage in more of it with more of these toxic people you seem to be hanging with.

As long as I continued to hang with TOXIC people, whether they were Ps or not is beside the point, as long as I kept interacting with toxic people I was in a blue FUNK! Now that I have truly decided to step away from these people I don’t have that DRAMA in my life. I am not mad all the time, not being injured, I am FOCUSING on healing ME and they can go on with their little dramas, getting drunk or drugging or criminal acts or whatever their dramas are but I am NOT INVOLVED WITH TOXIC PEOPLE. My life is calm and peaceful. No adrenaline rushes, but PEACE and a good life with JOY.

Hun, I am NOT DOWN ON YOU, but sometimes it takes someone “viewing things from the outside” to see what we are TOO CLOSE TO THE TREES TO SEE THE FOREST. (((((hugs)))) and you are in my prayers!!!! xoxoxox Oxy

Dear KindHeart,
I don’t have the past experience with an s in a romantic relationship. BUT I do have history of knowing many toxic people. And healing after a heartbreak.

Sweetie, Oxy is right on…..Correct me if I am wrong but I thought I heard you say that you were in a 12 step program? If so, isn’t there someone in this program that you can be-friend that is getting healthy? NOT the people in the program that keep “going back out” (you don’t need their DRAMA either). But someone who is really got some sobriety and WORKING the program?

When my husband died I couldn’t deal with all these people who stayed in the NEVER ending cycles….Alcohol, drugs, abusive relationships etc……

I think I was like a MAGNET to these people…..I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, and why these people appeared in my life wasn’t by accident…..I was evidently putting out the vibes…

I’m a nice person, tell me your problems, I’ll be there for you….WHATEVER I did I did….AND I had to STOP. I had girlfriends that went from ONE abusive guy to the next abusive guy, to yet another abusive guy….PATTERN.
The truth is these women thought they NEEDED a guy in their lives, and that is EXACTLY what they didn’t need at the time. They needed to heal. AND so DID I……
I not only didn’t want to attract the alcoholic men into my life I didn’t want to attract the “drama queen” girlfriends into my life either. And maybe that is something you want to think about as well.

At some point I had to look at MYSELF. NOT at the alcoholic, and drug addicts, and abusive people. WHAT do I need to change to NOT attract these people?

I have some great friends, they are mostly married, so I wanted some “single” girlfriends back then….But I just coudn’t deal with the never ending cycle they had going on….So for the last 10 years, I “hang” with my married friends and keep my “circle” to include healthy people, not the crazies.

Yeah…. I do often find myself on Friday and Saturday nights, to be by myself. BUT I figure it is better to be in NO relationship than to be in a toxic one.

yes you guys are right and i have been reaching out to some of my married friends as they are more balanced but also busy with children and grandchildren and last night was just a repeat of many nights where i chose to go out and endure when i prob should have stayed home and watched a movie. I will be glad when maybe i can get back on some med for adhd, this new med is not covered so i’m off of it but going to try switching to concerta. I get this crazy thinking that i’m missing something or i’d like to dress up and go somewhere but end up in the same stupid places with the same singles and i swear they all just get recylcled. I am trying to stay away from the toxic people and trust me i won’t be headed there for more of the drama but at least im not letting it get to me this time. I’ve been hurt so much , im not going to let some drunken bimbo bring me down. Seeing the s again to day with his biker babe and a friend , i feel like im being slapped in the face left and right. Nothing i can do to really avoid it other than ignore it as best i can. I’ve cut back on my AA meetings and i know that’s not good , so many sick people there , but i know i need the meetings. I’ve got my youngest coming home so that will keep me pretty occupied as he’s quite high maintenance, lots of stress but on ly temporary. I guess i backslidded last night just even going out to the bar but i get so dam bored and restless sitting home and not working gives me too much time to think. Im going to call ins. and try and get back at least a day a week. Im not looking for a relationship with a man at all, furthest thing from my mind, really. I just want my life back and my mind freee of obsessing over the s and i know i can’t make it happen overnight. Im tired of people thinking that i can just act as if nothing happened and move on . My trust with men has been affected to the point where to be honest i don’t even care to talk to them when im in the bar. So im pretty far from any relationship and this friend i went to visit although alkie and toxic , he was not a threat but too much drama with his woman. I have one drama queen gf that i’ve distanced myself from quite a bit so i have improved somewhat and i know now when people are out to use me, i feel the dependency and i don’t like the feeling. Thanks to you all for your advise and i agree with it all . love kindheart

Oxy- excellent advice you gave KH- I think its good for all of us to realize any “drama cycles” are dangerous to us and potentially could find ourselves in a repeat cycle.

KH – A friend told me once that we- as an individual, are the sumation of our 5 closest friends/contacts. We absorb rather willing or unwilling a bit of their personalities, motivation-or lack thereof,and attitudes because this is with whom we share the majority of our time. Sometimes even family members, long time friends, etc must be visited only in small doses to keep “toxic” out of our system or even deliberately removed from our circle altogether.

I constantly evaluate by this concept of “show me your friends, and I will show you who you are.” Surround yourself with motivated, up beat, spiritual and for God’s sake HEALTHY people-OR none at all.
Being at a bar, as you mentioned is not good. You get the worst of all worlds, risk drinking, and crap just happens in those places.
Renew your spirit, renew your mind- You will never get that at a bar. To “do life” in a productive,healthy way you must have your cup filled. Find friends whom you can mutually help each other accomplish this. ANYONE that can’t join you in your life goals dosen’t belong there. Take care darlin.

Dear Kindheart,

Surround your self with people that are the mirror of who you want to be. Think healthy thoughts and be with healthy people….so shall you be.

To all of us….Dare I say we are suffering from severe “love addiction”???? Could we be people who “loves too much”? we who love S seem to be. “Women who love too much” is the tittle of a great book by the way.

Love is such a powerful word….many people use it so casually that it looses it’s meaning when it should be used for a special bond between people. what is love? what is addiction to love? Love and being an addict to it when it’s with someone who is controlling, manipulating and toxic is very confusing….I am continuously exploring this myself as I get repeadedly sucked in by my X-S…whten he leaves me messages to say he “loves me like no other” and “I’m trully the only one he wants”….on and on…all the while he cheats and exploits and manipulates to get what he wants. The sick part is that on and off I fall for this insanity because I am “addicted to love” . Period. Recognize that what you are going through is an addiction and 1st and foremost you have to learn to recover from this addiction and learn to love your self again.

Low self esteem. # 1 reason we fall pray to the manipulating exploiting S. Learn to build your self esteem….I fight for mine every day.

I dont mean to get down on anybody here…only know that I suffer from the same addiction, and despite all my best effort to have NC and “learn to love myself 1st”…..the LOVE gets in the way.

Wini:
Your comment about talking to people about S’s is spot on!
My family abandoned me for the S and all his cons. He would show up at their house in another state and cook fabulous meals….to gain supply. They all turned into food whores along with his ‘whore’…. It was sickening to me to be abandoned by my own family during a major illness and divorce.
I tried to show them the truth, and throughout the years I was married to the S there was plenty of red flag behaviors they witnessed and questioned, but now chose to ignore. He had them believing I was faking cancer! How bizaar was that! He said I was mentally Ill instead…..so they all ran as far as he would take them.
My children and I were in great need of support and not only did they not support us on any level, they hindered us by feeding him information and support via supply.
WELL…..last week i got a call……it is suspected he broke into my family’s home and stole some items. All things he has currently. It was made to look like a true burglery, but what was taken was obviously needed and wanted by him.
NOW they are wanting to talk to me. I am so angry with them and I expressed my anger and the reality of all we have gone through…they seemed mortified.
BUT….it was only when THEY WERE VICTIMIZED did they wish to gain info. We were now in the same boat.
I think for most people, it’s just way to overwhelming to put their minds around. It’s usually SO outlandish, our stories and pain are questionable.
I also think that Sociopathy is portrayed as something only KILLERS have. And then there is Psychopathy…..that’s only something a movie is made of.
Too harsh and portrayed as something none of us know or have present in OUR lives in small town America.
I think it would help if the media did shows showing the non killing S or P. So the everyday human can relate on a downhome level, to see what WE live with.
I believe it’s all about raising awareness and educating society.
We are all touched by S’s in our lives at some point or another.

Aeylah Ditto on the addiction thing – be it love booze drugs or sex. And we that fight daily to keep our self esteem out of the gutter have to look at the cause and reason of that low self esteem before we can really begin to heal. Numbing ourselves with past behaviors and patterns – like another toxic love addiction – only keeps us low – I think most of us that end up here at lovefraud know that we must stop the madness and take a hard look at our futures. Whats out there? How do we find it? If we look too ourselves we are half way there. Some of us struggle so hard to overcome our past. How do we do that? Start from scratch and stop the addictions and patterns that keeps us standing still. Good post aeylah

Kindheart:
All the above advice is great…..
Here’s my 2cents.
My GF’s say I am a ’23 year old virgin’. I was with my ex S for almost 3 decades and never dated anyone else. Put that way, with an ‘adult’ mind….that scared the crap out of me to date. My head would like the companionship (my body too at times), but not having the confidence in myself to guarentee that I won’t land up with another S….keeps me from looking. I am spending this time learning about myself and what it was in ME that I was okay being treated and sucked in like I voluntarily did.
I know I am a great person. I do have a desire to trust again. I do want to be in a happy relationship at some point in my life, I have a lot to offer…..But I AM NOT READY NOW!
It also helps knowing that I’m in the middle of my divorce and consumed….what the heck do i have to talk about. How I did recon, what I dug up and that I was divorcing a S and have an extended order of protection??? That makes good first date stories!
So take the time for YOU….whatever time YOU need. Stay away from unhealthies…..As I say “shake it up girl” Meaning change your surroundings and allow yourself to do and attract people into your life you never would before. Then…..learn from them too. Take notes from people in your life that are healthy thinkers….what you admire about them…..and walk the walk.
Good luck, your looking for help……your heading in the right direction!

Interesting question? What to look for first?

A inability to love or
Their nature of manipulation and exploitation

I would also have to go with Matt’s comment on this one.

These people are great actors and can fake emotions like love. But one can see their nature of manipulation and exploitation not only with us but also those that they know or should I say have known.

There would be a clear pattern of this type of abuse with family members friends and business partners. Being manipulative and being able to exploit others also means not caring for these same people. If we love someone or even care about them it’s harder to exploit them without the aftereffect of guilt and shame. So if one does and/or has the ability to manipulate and exploit others that in itself show us they lack the ability to love bond with others. Or is this too much rationalization on my part?

Anyway, both of these traits (manipulation and exploitation} would be something they would be proud of so therefore would slip up and talk about telling someone how they “put the bag over” that person. What does the bible tell us? “Pride cometh before a fall“.

Thanks Henry. It takes a tremendous amount of self reflection to see how and why we stay addicted to anything and attract sociopaths into our lives.

Co dependance is one character trait that I identify with. It’s part of the caring, nurturing and foregiving part of the personality, and in doing so we try to “fix” the S ….as we all know this is impossible to do, but in the co-dependant characteristic we are putting too much energy focusing on their behaviour, because in doing so you displace the energy from looking at your own behaviour and issues.

also agree with Matt, James and all others who post here and who have articulated so well the S inability to love and be exemplerary actors at it.

on of my favorite statements and tests for truth and honesty…especially when someone like our S claims love is
“actions speack louder than words”.

Dear Kindheart,

At this point in time, sweetie, I would DISTANCE COMPLETELY myself from anyone who is NOT HEALTHY….if that means you distance yourself from EVERYONE, that is okay too.

People who are alcoholic, druggies, or living disordered lives are TOXIC for you right now.

First, you went around these people (the toxic man and toxic woman) and when they did what THEY DO, verbally attacked you, YOU FOUGHT BACK which = drama “I’m not gonna let this bimbo….ya da ya da” LOOK at what YOU DID, first, you went around someone TOXIC, knowing she was toxic, you MINIMIZED the man’s “problems” (“he’s a great guy, BUT AN ALCOHOLIC) and then when she verbally attacked you, which you KNEW IN ADVANCE SHE WOULD out of her jealousy, you came back at her verbally, risking a fist fight (“I thought she might hit me”) and then JUSTIFIED your behavior in verbally bashing her by saying “after all I had done to try to help her.”

Kindheart, this is typical PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE behavior on YOUR PART. Putting youself in a situation that is going to explode then trying to justify why you did it.

To some extent all of us here have done some of these things, but LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE that “good guys” are NOT also alcoholics, drug addicts, bank robbers, thieves, con men etc. even if they are “good guys” 99% of the time and the “bad” things only 1% of the time.

RAT POISON is 99% PURE CORN MEAL and only 1% poison, so what does that mean? It means it will STILL KILL YOU.

As long as you continue to associate with these people and to engage in passive aggressive and self destructive behavior, you will not be able to make progress toward healing youself and your life. It means that YOU must make a COMPLETE turn around in YOUR behavior and in YOUR REACTION to these other people. Until you do that, you will never lfeel better….and it isn’t about the ADHD or any medication, it is about HOW YOU ACT. ADHD does NOT “make” you behave this way, you are CHOOSING TO BEHAVE THIS WAY….you need, in MY opinion, to CHOOSE to behave in a healthy way.

I know this is some difficult knowledge to accept, I had to accept this same knowledge but it is the TRUTH….and the truth will set you free, but it most likely will piss you off first.

I am not trying to piss you off but I am trying to make plain the TRUTH. I am speaking to you a truth that may “taste bad” because in order to accept it, you must also accept that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR. ((((hugs))))))

Thanks, Erin Brok and you are right on. I need t venture out of this town and the same haunts i’ve been going to for years, just hard knowing where to head to and find someone willing to go . I don’t mind cruising around alone in my convertible so that’s good but i do oneed to get out of Dodge so to speak. My youngest is coing home tom from Banff alberta so he’ll keep me busy. You are right too, all these people who came into my life after my separation, i never would have been with any of them when married. I just let everyone in and accepted them all , got me into a lot of trouble and heartache. Like you im not remotely interested in men other than for friendship and that’s the problem, have a few int but they always want more. Deep down i think i have intimacy issues myself as the only two i let in were the one i mentioned in earlier post(alcholic but kind) and th e s, i’ve been told it was because they were safe, no chance of relationships with them but i still got my heart slammed with the s . It’s going to take some work figuring out what i want for sure and what made me suceptible to the s, alot of things, my father, childhood, great qualities that worked against me, i am just kind of stuck in a place that is not even comfortable any more. I want to live life i just need to find some things to do. thanks again for your 2cents it’s greatly appreciated. I will keep you posted and if you have any more suggestions as to what to do for excitment let me know kh

Kindheart:
I have a few pennies left from my nickle.
I don’t mean to hammer you,….and like Oxy, I am speaking my truth out of caring.
I think you need to concentrate on YOU….not your desires. What I mean is, you need to ‘shake it up’ from your normal routine. I didn’t mean by that, go to another dig with a different person….I meant REALLY shake it up….Stop going out, spend time by yourself, get to know what makes YOU tick without relying on people and places. Your passing the buck onto those things to provide you happiness, it is an endless chase.
Go on a self impossed quarenteen, read, knit, color or do a home improvement….something you are never likely to have done before. Make yourself reflect on YOU. Clean out every closet in your home, and as you do it think about an area in your life/mind that needs cleaning out and work on that.
I think you are concerned with keeping busy, and I get the impression you are running and dodging.
Boredom is not your enemy.
Go for a drive with the top down…BY YOURSELF! Have a picnic, BY YOURSELF. Shake up your whole routine, for an extended period.
Re-introduce the new and aware you into ‘society’, via small contacts….test yourself conversing with the person at the 7-11 as you get coffee. Do and say things you would NEVER had done….like maybe commenting on someones big smile and letting them know they have brought some sunshine into your day and smile back, see how you feel inside…..I did this to test peoples responses to me and I was so shocked, it was contagious and it grew on me, it brings awareness to our behaviors. (I am not suggesting being a people pleaser, it’s more of a test for your own awareness of behaviors in yourself)
I am becoming the person I want to be, comfortable in myself. I hid behind my S for almost 30 years! Who the hell am I. The best part of my battle, is I hold my head high and I know I am a good person and I genuinly like myself. One of the things I like about ME is I smile and laugh, against MAJOR adversity.
Growth is good, but you must seek it, it will not be handed to you. When you are ready, you will go after it.
Life has a way of churning back at you what you don’t get the first time.
As Henry Ford said: Whether you think you can or think you can’t…..your right.
This may take months, (i’m on 2.5 years) but you must know and like yourself before you can be happy in any relationship (friend, lover, mother, sister etc). You have a good start by exploring your intimacy issues….that will keep you busy for a while. Dig in, feel the pain, work through and you will be amazed at who comes out the other side.
You’ll be hangin in places and with people you currently would never imagine, having the time of your life….with quality and happiness.
It’s all worth the work and wait….IT”S YOU!!!
Have a beautiful day….

Ability to love vs. manipulation/exploitation

Matt & Sarah’s theories are both correct.

Matt is correct in that, as adults, manipulative and exploitative traits are what we should be looking for UNLESS there is a small child in the equation (age 0-5yrs). NOTHING WILL EXPOSE A PSYCHOPATH’S INABILITY TO LOVE FASTER THAN A BABY WITH A PSYCHOPATHIC MOTHER!!

So, Sarah’s theory, ability to love, is what you look for if there is a small child in the equation.

I know this first-hand. My brother’s wife is a psychopath and she has been abusing my niece since birth. I am “Rosalyn” from the post: “When Relatives Suspect Child Abuse”.

hey guys, going through some pain today. Wondering what it is that i wasn’t enough when i know it’s not me, but it still hurts. my life will never move forward if i don’t deal with the pain i know. It hasn’t been that long with the no contact maybe a month but i waffle from reality to illusion and missing and hating. love kh

Dear Kindheart,

I am with Erin on this one too, sweetie, you need to BE BY YOURSELF, other people’s problems DISTRACT you from what is going on with YOU.

Getting to KNOW OURSELVES without anyone else around is a big BIG BIG!!!! step. It may seem really strange at first to just be BY YOURSELF. NO TV, “no phone, no pool, no pets”…just YOU….and LISTEN to what goes on inside your head. What are the “voices” in there telling you?

Get comfortable with KH before you start interacting with others and “keeping busy”—Keeping busy distracts you from the THINKING you need to do about yourself. Peace and happiness is INTERNAL, no one else can give it to you, you must find it in the QUIET meditation of your own soul!

((((hugs))))) Oxy

Kindheart,
HUGS. It’s so painful healing from this. Let it out. You have so much support here. There’s a point after going back and forth where you just get to rock bottom, when you realize there is no hope whatsoever. It’s a very painful realization. The pain is overwhelming and nothing can stop it. That’s a turning point in your healing.

And when you have a minute, go back and read my UPDATE on the “Recovering from a Sociopath” thread. I hope it will give you the slightest hope that justice can be served with these bastards.

Kindheart48:

It sounds like your pain is still really new and that is the toughest place to be. Just know that time heals all wounds.

I don’t know your religious background, but whoever your GOD is, START PRAYING. THERE IS COMFORT IN PRAYER.

A strong relationship with God will pull you through anything. God has a plan for all of us. And he will bring the right man into your life when the time is right.

When I was really young, someone told me, “Rejection is God’s protection.” That really stuck with me. When a relationship (or anything) does not work out, just know that is not what God has planned for you. There is something better waiting just around the corner, probably when you least expect it!!

But you have to be open to it.

Your best days are ahead of you, not behind you!!!

Oxy, did you see my update?

Im defintiely feeling KH right now…..no contact…but the feelings are overwhelming..started having anxiety again today…I go from hating to missing..I have spent alot of time in the last few days remembering all that was there and it was all pretty bad…I dont miss the feelings..I miss the illusion…I know now it was never real..but boy the pain and the aftermath sure is….not sure about medication as I have said before….just trying to deal with all of this and Im sooooooooo tired and mentally drained

Sorry to read that KH is still reeling, but it does take time and it is important to give this to ourselves.

When I got away from my S, I got close again to another old drama queen friend, probably another S who I’d stayed away from for a few years. Then a man pursued me relentlessly, I told him I was not ready but he pushed his way into my life. Looking back I realize it was the S traits that attracted me and like with any S, the first 3 or 4 months were terrific.

Then he managed to move in here without any real discussion, when I tried he said “you’re hurting my feelings.” And he proceeded to take over my home and my life. But he never really had my heart, the whole time I was burning in anger but had never forgotten the other S. Then his lies, temper tantrums, unscrupulous deals (even ripped friends of mine), turned me cold. One day I said to myself “I wish this were his house so I could just leave” — that’s how I knew how I felt.

It was only about 3 weeks after that, but did not know how to do it without risk of violence, injury, the old S shows back up. Left the one he left me for. By then, the sight of the man I was living with made me sick, we were hardly speaking to each other. There was no emotional sadness when I finally got him out, if I was an acrobat I would have turned cartwheels.

I was so desperate to get out of that situation that I completely forgot the pain my S had put me through less than a year before. Ran back to him (now in another city) as soon as I could arrange it and while we agreed to “take it slow” he swindled me out of about thousands before I learned the truth. He had called me because he was in a money jam.

What I learned here was that he was not only not in love, but not even attracted to me. He was ruthlessly saying whatever he needed to to get me to pay his bills. That’s all it ever was. I cannot describe how that hurts. And he wanted me to be OK with it, made jokes about it no matter how many times I told him not to. That if the situation made me the breadwinner so be it but don’t make jokes about it. Kept it up. I left a few times because of these jokes.

But my point is that I knew that about a year before I took him back. If I had taken the time to really get over him, to understand what had happened, learned to see him for the S that he is, “round two” would never have happened. The way it went down, he was around and I had no chance to grieve until I moved, then the other marched in and took over.

So when he called, my heart leaped out in joy. I was still in love with him. Nothing had changed.

With S # 2, he’s tried to see me, emailed. The thought makes me ill. I just wish I felt the same about the other.

This time I’m taking the time. This site is so comforting. Today, I was missing him so bad I was starting to tell myself maybe I was wrong about him. By the time I broke it off, they really had broken up and he was ready to make an honest try with me, but I had already visited this site and knew he could never change.

Feeling better now, thanks, everyone, maybe I can now get some work done.

thanks guys for all the support and i am sitting here and i go back to when i first met the s and how hurt i was that my husband and i had separated. He was so responsible and took care of me and i was so lost , hurt, relapsed in sobriety , as one male friend said i was literally traumatized already when the s came up my driveway and yes i see how i was targeted. Six years is a long time to live in Oz and not reality , no wonder we are so wounded. I was out cleaning my windows today and the s. best buddies went by and waved and you know i’m learning alot about men in general. got down off the ladder and started to was h my car windows and sure enough he came driving by again and pulled in driveway. This guy is on his third marriage and has tried to be supportive in telling me to stay away from the s but i see how he bats both sides. Didn’t want to admit it but they are cut from the same cloth. He sat in my driveway , paranoid i think that the s would driveby . Didn’t mention his name at all but is acting like he’s my friend. I m not so naive anymore and he should be paranoid, if his wife ever found out im sure she wouldn’t appreciate it. What a bunch i’ve met, lately a slew of married but not to each other men, i just can’t beleive it . I would have killed or castarated my husband if he carried on like these idiots. Do they think i can’t find a single man? (i can’t but that’s beside the point hahah). It would look good on the s if he saw him at my house but it would stir up trouble and i’ve had enough to last me a long time. Im still hurt and would love to put him in his place but not worth it. His loss. Usedabused i feel what you are feeling , he could be very nice but in such small intervals, we have what they call “thank god for small graces” attitude and tha’ts not love. My husband loved me unconditionally, when i gained weight, and it was consistent. I know the difference but i invested so much in the s , everything is so onesided. Very hard lesson that i wouldn’t want anyone to go through. I’ve decided im going to try and just plain ignore him, doesn’t exist, no response. It goes against the grain but it’s the only payback that they get. I owe him NOTHING at all. NOTHING. iF HE were on the side of the road injured, (remember this is not my nature) i would hope that i would drive right on by as i said earlier, i owe him NOTHING. I at times wonder if it was me too USED but i know it wasn’t . My expectations of him were so low and he couldn’t even meet them . They would rather start with someone new than work on anything, path of least resistance, they have no fortitude or determination. Without a doubt he has been the biggest mistake of my life but i can’t change it and have it not be a mistake but i can work on not letting it ruin anymore of my life. love to you all. kindheart

KindHeart, UsedAbused, EndthePain:

Darlings, all I can tell you is that in today’s society, you have to kiss a HELL of a lot of FROGS before you get your prince.

But the Prince will come.

Just Believe!!

KH –

I’m consoling myself that not hearing from me, not getting the “I’m so sorry can we talk” messages he got from the other when we were together is the only thing that hurts him even a little. Not an ouch hurt like we feel, just the loss of power.

If I were to call or email, it would just give him another chance to hurt me. Hang up. Tell him I had abused his trust. Start punishing me. Not giving him the chance is best. Thanks for understanding.

Hello Everyone Here,

I have not posted much because, get this, I don’t feel ‘helpful’. Instead I feel like I need from others, and this makes me so uncomfortable I can hardly work up the nerve to write anything here. Well, forget that…here goes.

And the other truth is I relate to SO much of what I read here, I can hardly gather my responses into a cohesive sentence or idea. This place is a hotbed of kindness, intelligence, and wisdom.

I have only (in the last two years) just discovered that I have been in friendships and relationships (in the last 35 years) with about 8-10 of these creatures. Interesting though it wasn’t till this last one that I really hit the bottom. The last few left me reeling, but it wasn’t until I found out WHAT they were that my heart completely felt shattered. And that I became afraid.

Plus this last time around I forfeited much more of my security, heart, and resources.

It has been 20 months since the last. It was a ‘love’ relationship. 10 months. A ‘speedball’ of a relationship. I lost some money, a car, my innocence, and my belief in the power of ‘you name it’.

I have had zero contact.

I saw him for the first time in 20 months and I had a physical reaction that ruined my day. I would have thought after all this time, all my knowledge, my commitment to being out of any other relationship, my sleeping/eating/yoga, hanging only with good and true folks, that I would have been spared the PTSD response.

But I wasn’t. I shrank, my head throbbed, my heart beat like a racehorse’, my thoughts became fragmented and disordered, and I felt SO sad. So out of my life. And it has persisted now since Saturday. I feel a ‘renewed’ sense of loss and failure and anger and hopelessness. This morning, as I drove to see my first patient, I thought ‘why is he still alive?……How can it be that he GETS TO BE ALIVE?’

I felt just like the smallest and most unwanted speck. I cannot seem to be able to find, and hold onto, my SELF.

Is this OK? Am I still healing or am I stuck? I cannot tell. I know none of you can actually answer this question. However, I cannot help but ask it.

I barely saw the man out of my peripheral vision and my whole body went berserk! I feel betrayed by my own body. I tried so hard to stay with my understanding, connected to my friends I was with, to focus on the art and conversation. Instead, I felt like puking and crying.

Have others of you felt this? Should there ever be a time when he wouldn’t have this effect on me? Just seeing him left me drained, small, and lonely.

It’s good to know what I know. But I gotta be honest and say it hasn’t, as yet, made me FEEL all that great knowing it.

I want a partner. I want my power back, for good. I want to enjoy what is in front of me, those I love, myself.

Thanks for listening. Slim

Yes, I have. I’ve seen so much here tonight I can relate to.

There was a place I used to see my S during the “good days” the first few months, even year of our attachment.

A few weeks ago, I rode past the sign for the place! Just the sign on the highway. And my body was tingling like I was about to see him.

They programmed us. For you, seeing him brought back the ugliness. My signal was something I associated with good times.

And I did see him, for just a moment, through a door the night I broke it off by phone. I instinctively turned around towards my friend, I was so afraid he would derail what I was doing. That night I was broken up. It was sad, he was waiting by the door for me.

Slimone:

I dated a sociopathic bad boy in my 20’s, and I could not get him out of my system for the longest time. He was like a drug.

I have not seen this guy in 14 years.

His father passed away 6 weeks ago. When I saw his name listed as a “survivor” in the obituary, my stomach turned again.

Just at the sight of his name in the newspaper!

So, there you have it. I don’t know if the trauma ever goes away completely.

usedabused…as with most of these posts..I can relate to what you say….I know he doesnt hurt..but like you I know he expects..the Im sorry can we talk…messages..and they arent coming..at least not from me…I have taken away his power over (as far as he knows for now) I let him kow I wasnt going to be pit against the other woman while he aloows hetr to do HIS dirty work..I dont blame her..I pity her as he is in far deepr than I was and she is losing everyhting because of him and still back with him..she is still in misery..not me..however I will not allow their dysfunctionbal relationship to be played anywhere near my son…so I have chanhed my number he has no way to call me and he can deal with the courts regarding anmything pertaining to our son..the trauma of all of this has been so gut wrencing…as we all have said..and how I was feeling today..somedays I am strong as hell and other days so tired and emotionally drained!

You are doing right, I feel sorry for her too. Jane and I were talking very regularly, but not this weekend. Sometimes I wonder if they got back together and he was relaying messages to me through her. I’ll just give her a call tomorrow and see how she’s doing, sounded like an incredible woman who I would like to know, and we were like sisters there for awhile. I’ll always be grateful to her for calling me, even if it was just to get even with him and screw this up for him. It saved my life.

There were things I said in the last weeks that I wondered if he knew it was over. Exactly what you just said, “he’d lost his power over me, get over it” and “if I knew I was with someone who was after me for money I’d extricate myself.”

Then acted like all was well.

reading all the posts and i can’t help but feel pissed at how this effects us and how it (the ptsd) is always waiting in the wings. I know from talking to prior victims of the s. it does get better but it is the most awful feeling. When i read these posts i wish i could take away everyones pain and put it back on the person it belongs to the sociopaths but they never own anything. Pitiful creatures , empty, hollow nothing , can’t even call them beings. Boy i’m on a mad roll tonight. It’s so unfair that we have to bear the pain long after they are gone. Such toxic creatures to wreck such havoc on everyone they go near. I wish that i could forget the s for the rest of my life and not give him a shred of headspace but it is going to take some time to change the patterns of thinking but i know it can be done. He’s so not worth the energy. He’s one big Joke that doesn’t get it . love kindheart

This site has been amazing tonight, it’s like everyone is on at once, almost like we could all be in the same room.

KH, will we ever forget? I asked a friend that a few minutes ago and she told me to come over, she’s worried about me. The headspace is not for him but for me, I need to understand and get past it. He is lost. A robot, a hologram of a human.

I think Donna should get a Nobel Prize for this.

The feeling is like being raped though emotionally not physically. Robbed of the most precious gift we could ever give anyone, and not too many maybe 2 or 3, in our entire lives. And he stole those feelings. Gave us enough to think it was reciprocated for awhile and then exploited us.

Fraud on an emotional level is worse than business fraud. I told the S that and he kind of grumbled, like he knew.

Nobody will ever love him like I did, even his ex knew that, that she did not need him like I did.

And all he wanted was my money.

It’s sickening.

Thanks, KH. I need to check on Slimone, she’s not having a good night, and I’m getting out of the house for an hour.

Peace.

Sarah, they are not jealous of our ability to love..they see it as a weakness. They see us as vulnerable weak idiots, with no use except to provide them power, knowledge, sex, money or ego boosting and status.
Once they have taken all of that and devalued us to boost their status, we are thrown out and replaced. Period.

Thanks for your responses. I did some yoga, took a mg of Klonopin, and hit the sheets for a good night sleep. I think I am going to see a psychiatrist. I have been coping with this PTSD for 20+ years, and afer the s it has become, finally, maybe more than I can continue to bear. I would just like to see what a professional might have to say, in terms of medication. I have seen a therapist, a wonderful MSW, off and on for 18 years. But I think I might try a consultation with a psychiatrist. Just to see what they say.

I am just SO effing tired. Well this morning I am a bit groggy from the Klonopin, but at least I am not anxious. And maybe I can eat and add a few pounds on to this ‘slim one’.

I will check back later. I love this site!

Thanks again, Slim

As a GF and I describe our emotions…(we have walked the path of divorce together) It’s like a roller coaster of highs and lows….the key is to limit the highs and the lows and try to live on a more even keel.
I think we are so in need of the highs that we blow them higher, but as the old saying goes….what goes up must come down.
Try to keep it all in the midrange.
I have found this helpful.

ErinBrockovich and Oxdrover:

And to all users who expressed this or similar thoughts – I am looking back on my life (through a Gift received as a result of a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment) and I now realize one truth: the only person I can change is myself. That includes my actions, reactions, perceptions and pre-conceptions. I have encountered several sociopaths (probably undiagnosed) in my life. The one who had the biggest influence was my ex-husband. I was a classic target; programmed from a very early age to avoid open conflict at all cost, to believe in the potential “good” inherent in all human beings, to suppress anger, to doubt my instincts, intuition and knowledge and defer to “authority”, and to “put on my happy face” and present my best image, even when I knew IN MY SOUL, it was innately wrong to do so. It has cost me dearly, and incalculably, in terms of my self-esteem, physical health, financial stability, and overall ability to function as a healthy individual. However, there is a happy and continuing fundamental lesson I have learned from my “epiphany”: I have a choice. I can choose to continue ancient, crusty, molding, and disabling patterns of behavior and their associated consequences, (including self-destructive coping mechanisms) and suffer through life; or I can choose to learn and embrace new, healthy alternatives and establish a “re-birth”, so to speak, of myself. I have decided upon the latter. This isn’t easy. It is tedious at times, and completely antithetic with what I have ingrained in my brain through years of repetition. It requires discipline, meditation, isolation (for a time) to reassess my former “support system”, and most difficult, it requires the courage to take a leap of faith when choosing to actually step out there and put to use what I have learned. In short: awareness, acceptance, and finally – action. Let me add, action based upon careful consideration of the matter to be addressed. There’s no other way for me – my entire life depends upon this process. But guess what? It WORKS! I can change but one person: me. Simply said, but not easily done. I simply refuse to be a victim anymore. I am saddened at times, and I stumble like a child, but I keep on keeping on. It gets easier everyday. It also becomes more efficient and effective the more I try. Yes, I now firmly believe there is an active evil in this world, and not everybody is fundamentally good. It’s up to me (and my Protector) to make the discernment. It’s up to me to make the choice to change. And change, while painful in the process, has been a GOOD thing for me! This has been my first post, and I hope someone finds it useful. Itty-bitty steps, itty-bitty steps. Your blogs helped give me hope to just reach out and try – many thanks!

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