One thing that’s certain about sociopaths and exploitive personalities generally: when it comes to relationships, they are the worst historians.
They are chronic historical revisionists—that is, they are constantly revising history.
And their revisions are headed in predictable directions—to make them look good, unguilty, unresponsible for the damage they’ve caused and, of course, whenever possible, to position themselves as the true victims of the circumstances.
And that’s, of course, when history interests them. And history will interest them, but only when they can use it against you. If it suits their need, say, to punish you for a decision you made in the past, even before you met them, abusers may use this knowledge of your history as a weapon of attack or control in perpetuity.
The issue on which they fixate, for instance, may pertain to a sexual relationship that predated your knowing them; they may have coaxed, if not coerced, this information from you, perhaps in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, on the pretext of their wanting to know, preciously, everything about you.
They will not have hinted at their truer, underlying motive: to stumble upon eternally damning evidence of your corruption for future, endless punitive purposes.
On the other hand, when history obstructs, rather than enables, the exploiter’s self-centered agenda, then surprise surprise, he will have no use for, or interest in, it whatsoever.
History (accurate history, that is) will instead loom as a great annoyance to be ignored, if not aggressively suppressed. In such cases, the exploiter is likely to frame your interest in the history of his exploitation of you as off-limits.
How ironic—suddenly the self-centered, chronic boundary violator invokes the sanctitude of his boundaries, fingering you as lacking respect for his space. This would be funny, if it wasn’t so not-funny.
The problem of the exploiter’s manipulation or censorship of relationship history is grave inasmuch as healthy relationships depend on partners processing their history together with integrity; and also with the aim of deepening their intimate connection through joint efforts to understand, and make mutual meaning, of their shared history.
When this process is corrupted, there is no chance for a healthy relationship.
The exploiter, by virtue of his underlying disdain of your integrity, boundaries and individuality, makes this vital collaborative process impossible. This is not a process he will ever feel motivated to engage; and it’s a process, in any case, that will overwhelm his deficient capacity for true intimacy.
(My use of “he” in this post was for convenience’s sake. This article is
copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)
It’s ok, Oxy. 🙂 I confess I spend a lot of time on “news” sites that seem to feel that celebrity is news too…but that’s another topic. Chris Brown spent time at the forefront for beating the bejeezus out of his also famous girlfriend the day of some award show or another and therefore they didn’t make an appearance. The pictures of her bruised and battered face also made the headlines. I couldn’t name any of his songs (until that really cute wedding process went viral and the song was identified as Chris Brown’s.) I do, however, have a Rhianna cd in the player in my car. (Oxy- Rhianna was the aforementioned girlfriend.) While I try to avoid the overall soap opera too, this instance was a LITTLE different in that many of the news shows were talking about domestic violence and that it exists at all levels of socio-economics and not all beaters are drunken cheeto junkies living in trailer parks. In that capacity, it being “news-worthy” means it got people talking about it.
And that Titans’ player’s wife behaved in a very classy manner in regards to the funeral and her children than that trashy bastard deserved. When I read about all the accolades heaped upon him during the funeral, I really felt sad for her. I just “LOVE” it when people, in light of evidence that someone is a POS, jump up and down claiming how great a person is…when their actions clearly demonstrate otherwise.
I don’t believe for a moment that Chris Brown “forgot” about beating his gf and I’m sure he’s VERY SORRY- very sorry he got caught and its’ affecting his record sales.
I saw transcripts of Chris Brown’s Interview and this part jumped out at me:
“I feel like with what I’m capable of doing as far as influencing people, influencing kids, I could do a lot more to help the community other than picking up trash. I’m not saying it’s something wrong … but there’s a lot more that I could do, inside of our community,” Brown said.
The singer also spoke of a comeback.
“I don’t think, at the end of the day, my career’s over. I just need to prove to people I can be a role model,” Brown said.
You what?? yeah I guess picking up trash is not a worthy pass time for a scum bag woman beater, with so much to offer our young people…as a role model??? So glad you still think you have a career ahead of you…you are after all so special, you are ENTITLED to being forgiven and adored…knowing the ‘public’ (Jackson a fine example) you may well be right….sigh.
so we have;
* EGO the size of a planet
* Violent and abusive towards women
* immature mummy’s boy
*Unable to accept responsibility for what he’s done
*Feels himself above his sentence(because he is so special, he’s a different ‘calibre’ of woman beater than your average Joe and should therefore get preferential treatment!)
GUH! I hope he ends up cleaning public toilets for a living and this is the last we hear of him…
sounds like the dog killer Vick.
Vick apologized to everyone for “letting them down”.
NEVER did he say he was sorry for hurting the dogs. NEVER did he say that what he did was evil. NEVER did he say “I need to make it up to the dogs of this world”
He has still not touched the subject of the suffering of animals.
Deflect and twist the issues. That’s what they do.
And in the end, they want a reward, “I think I can be someone to look up to.”
Fantastic article as always – I have been reading for a while and love how all the authors hit the nail completely on the head with regard to these sick individuals in their own unique style around their own areas of interest. It allows me to recognise my own experience for the last ten years married to one. I am yet to get him out of my life though we have been ‘sep’ in same house for several years now. It is so hard to cut loose from them – I have tried many times.
Regular counsellors just don’t get it – but of course they got my excusing soft version of the history rather than the truth – that I was being abused in a multitude of ways that I always suspected but couldn’t articulate. I am finding surviving really hard right now – crying lots and have been for years. Please pray for me if you are stronger and further along than me. I am dreadfully wounded.
I wanted to add my little two cents worth to Blogger T’s comments about genetics being altered by environmental factors. This is a significant finding – for a long time genetics and environment were distinctly separated in fields such as education and psychology. Certain elements were inherited but mostly anything else could be caused by environment. I am useless at explaining it despite my advanced education qualifications but the field of science is termed epigenetics – the science of ‘switch flicking’ in DNA.
For example we know some people get cancer – breast for example. It seems to show a strong family trait but some women might get missed – epigenetics is used to describe this phenomenon – that all have the marker for cancer but it needs to be ‘switched on’. Epigenetics states that the cancer can be turned on in the grand daughter by something the grandmother was exposed to in her life BUT THE GRAND DAUGHTER NEVER WAS EXPOSED TO. In other words, what happens in the grandma’s life permanently alters the DNA of her daughter and then herdaughter’s daughter.
Studies were done in a small Finnish village that held exquisite records of all births, deaths and marriages but also intricate records of all harvests and food supplies. The town was isolated and it was proven that if there was a harvest disaster while the grandmother was pregnant with the mother, then the mother and HER daughter had more likelihood of cancer despite the fact neither of those generations had been exposed to the famine. It is fascinating stuff.
Despite the complexity of the topic I can heartily recommend this documentary that explains the whole process …
On a related note, I found a statement about this inheritance factor on the Cassiopeaia (spelling is wrong!) Psychopath pages. I am sorry to cut and paste so much but I didn’t record the website where it appeared. It blew my mind when I first read it so I copied it and pasted it. He is exactly like his mother with the lying, lack of emotion and remorse, repeated bad acts and broken promises. I always suspected it was inherited – the whole family are weird. So the interviewer I think it Laura and the person being interviewed is Dr. Andrzej M. Åobaczewski who wrote a book called of Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes.
So here is the cut and paste – sure hope it works and that it might resonate with some of you also searching for answers …
Q: So, how does transferring of psychopathy through genetics relate to it?
A: It means that respective forms of psychopathy are transferred in different ways and I personally propose certain hypotheses with respect to inheritance of psychopathy, but very cautious ones. That means that in my experience, I have not seen a case where the mother was entirely normal, the father was a psychopath, and the son was a psychopath, too.
Q: Not this way? So, how?
A: It is inherited via mother, the same as Daltonism or hemophilia. One is inheriting it via the mother. This is the case as far as the essential psychopathy is concerned. Schizoidia is probably inherited autosomally, through non-sex chromosomes, not via chromosomes X and Y, but via certain series of autosomal chromosomes. Therefore, the inheriting process differs. Finally, psychiatrists of the past mention the asthenic psychopathy as the most numerous. It is generally a broad category full of somewhat different conditions, difficult to differentiate, because these are results of fetal deprivation, therefore, it can be hereditary in nature or not. So, researching exactly the biological properties of psychopathy, the genetic properties of psychopathy, is very much needed in order to understand exactly this aspect of genesis of evil.
Q: Well, this genetic anomaly appeared from somewhere…
A: Well, this is already only philosophy. What was earlier, when it was created? Do mutations occur in modern times? Certainly, it happens in modern times that the gene falls out, “checks itself out”, and the son of a famous psychopath is a normal person and gravitates towards the world of normal men, and he, let’s say, revolts against the party until he finally lands behind bars with others like me.
Q: And can one manage to overcome psychopathy alone, for example, when one is afflicted with it?
A: Dear Madam, well, can one manage to overcome it? No. This is a para-Homo sapiens. He feels otherwise, thinks otherwise and he cannot overcome himself… For example, in case of characteropathy, psychotherapy and the good will of the patient may help a great deal.
Q: Whereas not in the case of psychopathy.
A: In case of characteropathy, the first thing that the psychotherapist does is to make the patient realize that the condition is not hereditary. This immediately helps the patient somewhat. That his children do not inherit the condition, that he did not inherit the condition from his parents…
Q: In other words, it is something one can manage.
A: Yes, and with this it is much easier for him to manage the condition. So…
Q: In other words, somebody afflicted with the psychopathy finds himself essentially in a situation with no exit?
A: Well, this is a story basically without a way out.
Q: And in this case, what do you think, how one should behave towards such psychopaths? Should one fight psychopathy in general, or should one strive to avoid it in their own life, simply staying as far away from a person like this as possible?
A: Well, one should rather keep away from him as far as possible, because psychopathy… the first thing that is claimed, the American sources claim that it occurs three times more rarely among women than among men. In my opinion this is not so. It is inherited equally often. However, there is the second allele, the second chromosome X, which hides the condition to a great degree.
Q: In other words, it is more difficult to diagnose?
A: Yes, it is so that the condition does not manifest itself so much. As a result the woman is more normal, although these psychopathic qualities can be noticed and sensed. So, what is going on here? One may… psychopaths have this dream that they would like to govern. “We want to be the government,” they think, and this dream is realized from time to time in the human history and this is a gruesome time. Yes?
Q: So, you consider that this occurs somewhat spontaneously… the striving towards power?
A: Yes, the dream of power occurs among psychopaths in groups, since they recognize each other in the crowd perfectly. A group is formed and within that group the dream of power appears as a rule, almost.
Q: And do you think that psychopaths feel for example threatened in some way, because…
A: They do feel threatened. Not only threatened… It is not only the fact that they are threatened. They are removed, “oppressed” by the society.
Q: That’s why they think that they have to rule over this society…
A: They must either fight the society or acquire power, and this is so, exactly because they are “oppressed”. And on the other hand they are displaced, because as far as essential psychopathy is concerned, they are incapable of manual work. Technically, they are unable to perform technical works. They chatter a lot, spoil the work, so the foreman says, “Get out of here, I don’t need a person like you”. They are discriminated against by the society of normal people everywhere, really discriminated, and here one should seek a solution.
Q: Is it a rule that they are so technically incapable?
A: In case of the essential psychopathy, yes, but schizoids, for example, sometimes happen to be technically inclined.
Q: So, to certain degree they must rely on others to survive, because alone…
A: They strive to feed on others. There is a variety of essential psychopathy which takes a slightly lighter form… These individuals are relatively modest and harmless. They only know how to milk various institutions and live without work, because work for them is something onerous, something that gives them a feeling of lower value and lack of resourcefulness.
Comment: Dabrowski points out that a psychopath may feel inferiority, but it is a strictly hierarchical inferiority. This awareness of a ‘pecking order’ only inspires a desire to somehow surpass the other individual. In the case of work, a psychopath may feel envious of another’s position and prestige, but will not actually work to achieve that position. Instead he will brutally manipulate and exploit the work of others in order to achieve domination. Hare and Babiak describe this phenomenon in their book, Snakes In Suits.
I hope this is ok to post – please edit as you see fit or paraphrase it – I am not smart enough! But for me it links in with your thinking of inherited conditions and what this means for us as targets of these people.
Many thanks for the wonderful reading you provide – it is healing me slowly 🙂
Thanks, Pollyannanomore. very interesting, indeed.
Yes.. with mine.. all his ex-wives had horrilbe flaws and poor him. He tried so hard to help them to see the light, but they just weren’t brave enough, strong enough or something enough to heal and come up to ‘his’ standards… LOLOLOLO…
They are remarried in long term relationships and taking care of his children in homes and what appears stable lives and he is still roaming the earth looking for prey. And here when he met me I was perfect.. his true soul mate that he was going to love forever. But soon, I didn’t say ‘you’re welcome’ .. I didn’t want to meditate and take on his spiritual beliefs or to sing hymns while in the car doing errands.. so I became flawed like the others…While he is the perfect specimen of a man… just looking or the ‘right’ woman…. LOLOLOLOLOL!
Thank you, Pollyannanomore.
What is the Cassiopeaia psychopath pages?
the site you quoted is somewhat suspect in their rendering of “science” so you might want to confirm some of the finding that they quote. There seems to be a financial aspect behind that site. There is another site, linked here to “Aftermath surviving psychopathy, which is a non profit funded by Dr. robert hare’s foundation.
I agree tht there are some indications that environment of ancestors does effect several generations. I don’t have time now to discuss it but you might go to Aftermath and look around, there are many professionals there who are “into” some good scientific research. Also links to some good groups. Oxy
Mine actually revises women out of his blog. When I was with him, I was mentioned all over it, and commented on posts. When he was cultivating his next victim (yet still with me), he revised me completely out of it, so there was no mention of me, and the comments were deleted. I can only imagine that he did this with women before me, because I never saw any other comments from girlfriends who pre-dated me, even though he told me he’d been in several relationships. He also erased all my pictures from his Flickr account. Once he’s “done” with a woman (whether they’ve broken up or not), he erases her from his life. It took me a while to realize that normal guys acknowledge their past relationships and move on – they don’t erase them.