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What was Bernie Madoff thinking?

“It takes an extraordinarily heartless conman to swindle a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald and Nobel Peace Prize winner out of all his charitable funds.” Wrote James Bone in the Times Online.

“Yet that is exactly what Bernard “Bernie” Madoff is alleged to have done to Elie Wiesel, the author of the Holocaust classic Night and a friend from the Jewish community in south Florida.

According to the Times Online article, “The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity now admits that it invested $15.2 million (£10.1 million) with Mr Madoff that represented “substantially all of the foundation’s assets.” The charity of the Nobel laureate, in New York, will have to raise new funds if it is to maintain its two centers in Israel that help Ethiopian Jews and Darfuri refugees and continue its other work.”

Perhaps the person who lost the most by trusting Bernie Madoff is 95 year old Carl J. Shapiro, who has been a personal friend to Madoff for nearly 50 years. In addition to losing 500 million dollars in the relationship, Shapiro at 95 is confronted with the reality that someone he thought of as “a son” did this to him.

“All I can say is that this is an awful, awful time for us,” wife Ruth Shapiro told a reporter from The New York Times.

Mr. Shapiro started his fortune making women’s clothing company Kay Windsor Inc, in 1939. He sold the business to Vanity Fair Corp in 1971; it was one of the largest clothing manufacturers in America. Mr. Shapiro was reportedly introduced to Madoff by his own his son-in-law, Robert Jaffe. Following the introduction, Mr. Shapiro invested in Madoff’s company when it launched in 1960.

Mr. Shapiro and his wife set up their charitable foundation the following year, in 1961, and over the decades have been big donors to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Brandeis University in Boston which Mr Madoff also supported through his own charitable foundation, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center opened this spring.

Building work is due to start next week at Boston Medical Center on the Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center, a nine-floor, $135 million facility paid for in part with $15 million from the family foundation, according to the New York Times.

In March, the foundation pledged $27 million to DanaFarber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston. Brandeis has received $22 million from the Shapiros to build the campus centre building.

Mr. Shapiro issued a statement saying that he had been “stunned and saddened to learn about the allegations” against Madoff. He said the losses would have “an impact on our family as well as our family foundation.” and that watching the arrest of Madoff on television was “a knife in the heart.”

Bernie Madoff cheated a 95 year old man, a Holocaust survivor and many others. If you are like me, you are wondering, “What was he thinking?” Personally, I don’t find the “without conscience” explanation of this kind of behavior very satisfying. You can’t convince me that Madoff was without thoughts as he created false documents and told frank lies to people. He had to have been thinking something.

Just what was Madoff thinking? He hasn’t said yet, but I can give you an educated guess based on the seminal work of prison psychologist Glenn Walters, Ph.D. I also highly recommend that students, professionals and the public read his books, The Criminal Lifestyle and Criminal Belief Systems.

Dr. Walters began his work understanding criminal lifestyles at the same time Dr. Hare set out to define psychopathy. The lifestyle criminal that Dr. Walters describes is essentially a psychopath/sociopath. His Postulate #1 reads:

“Crime can be understood as a lifestyle characterized by a global sense of irresponsibility, self-indulgent interests, an intrusive approach to interpersonal relationships and chronic violation of social rules, laws and mores.”

Dr. Walters answers our “Just what was he thinking” question in Postulates #5 and 6:
“There is a distinctive thinking style that derives from the lifestyle criminal’s decision to engage in delinquent and criminal acts (5).

The content and process of criminologic thought are reflected in eight primary cognitive patterns (6).”

I will explain these eight patterns and you will see that although Dr. Walters studies criminality these patterns pertain to antisocial conduct in general. Note that sociopaths try to fool both themselves and others with these disordered thinking patterns.

Cognitive pattern #1 Molification: Molification refers to the thoughts sociopaths use to lay blame for their irresponsible antisocial behavior outside themselves. According to sociologists Sykes and Matza these justifications can be grouped into five major “neutralization techniques”:

1. Denial of responsibility. Sociopaths deny responsibility by claiming their behaviors are accidental or due to forces beyond their control. Perhaps Madoff was thinking “I am under pressure to deliver what people asked for.” i.e. “The investors made me do it.”
2. Denial of injury. No one got hurt, and therefore there’s no harm. “All these people are rich anyway.” Madoff reportedly did not take a client who had less than a million dollars to invest.
3. Denial of the victim. Sometimes sociopaths admit that their actions cause harm. In these cases they can justify their behavior by denying the victim. In this case Madoff was thinking “The rich deserve whatever they get.”
4. Condemnation of the condemners. Instead of focusing on their own actions, sociopaths focus on the motivations or behaviors of the people who disapprove of them. So Madoff was likely thinking “How do you think these rich people got their money anyway?” or “Everyone on Wall Street is just as corrupt as I am.”
5. Appeal to higher loyalties. Sociopaths claim that their behavior is consistent with the moral obligations to their group. Using this line of reasoning, Madoff would say, “I stole to provide for my family.”

Cognitive Pattern #2 Cut-off: Cut-off refers to the techniques sociopaths use to avoid thinking about negative consequences. They cut themselves off from any worry or guilt they might be inclined to feel. In this pattern Madoff who is 70 now was likely thinking, “I’ll be dead before they figure out what I’ve done.”

Cognitive Pattern #3 Entitlement: According to Dr. Walters most sociopaths believe that laws and social rules are necessary. “However they also believe that they are somehow personally exempt from the rules that govern the rest of us. This sense of entitlement is what provides the (sociopath) with permission to violate societal laws and the personal rights of others.” He is, after all the great, lovable, charming and exceedingly brilliant Bernie Madoff!

Cognitive Pattern #4 Power Orientation: There are those who are strong and those who are weak. The weak are prey for the taking. “If a person is stupid enough to fall for my con then he doesn’t deserve his money anyway.”

Cognitive Pattern#5 Sentimentality: Sentimentality involves an attempt by the sociopath to present himself in as favorable a light as possible. How much money did Madoff give to charity so that other people would see him as kind and generous?

Cognitive Pattern#6 Superoptimism: The sociopath’s tendency to be extremely optimistic and self-confident about not getting caught is referred to as superoptimism. According to Walters, “Experience has taught (sociopaths) that the many crimes they get away with greatly outnumber the crimes for which they have been caught.” The SEC did investigate Madoff 10 years ago as he continued his fraud. I think beating that investigation likely made him feel even more invincible.

Cognitive Pattern #7 Cognitive Indolence (laziness): According to Walters, “Like water running downhill, the (sociopath’s) thinking takes the path of least resistance.” Why should Madoff do all that investing? It’s too much like work, when you can simply take money from one guy and give it to another. It is much more fun to schmooze and play golf.

Cognitive Pattern #8 Discontinuity: The sociopath fails to follow through on commitments, carry out intentions, or remain focused on goals over time. Discontinuity is reflected by the fact that Madoff at 70 will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Though I think so-called successful psychopaths have lives marked by less discontinuity than the unsuccessful ones.

If you have examples of sociopaths using these thinking styles to justify outrageous acts, please share them in comments. Remember since the inner world of sociopaths is relatively shallow, they are most concerned with convincing others to use these perverted thought processes to make sense of their behavior. It is relatively easy for them to convince themselves that their antisocial behavior makes sense and is fully justified.


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32 Comments on "What was Bernie Madoff thinking?"

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Cognitive Pattern #7: “Why actually work when you can just take money from one person and give it to another?”

I actually wondered if the P I was involved with would RATHER avoid actually accomplishing anything — that somehow it was more “fun” for him to disrupt any real effort. That he would prefer to do something fraudulent even if it took a little more work. I don’t know if Bernie Madoff fits that profile; perhaps he wasn’t that consciously malevolent, but with the scale of this devastation, who knows?

I appreciate this different approach to understanding the sociopath. I certainly have examples of outrageous acts — I’ll think about them in this context and share in another comment.

I’m printing this post for my N/P/S/ info file! I also want to read it more thoughtfully. It’s a good summary and primer on the patterns.

This column asked a similar question about Madoff…..what makes him tick?
http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=65884

I have been thinking about the amount of low level crime that goes on among “nice” people…..people who do things that are illegal, bragging and laughing about it as though it elevates them to a special strata of society because they are smart enough to get away with it.

I’m thinking of a woman’s husband who brags about tearing up his numerous speeding tickets because he “knows the right people.” He also brags about not paying any property taxes on his very spacious elegant home (complete with hollow columns) because he “knows the right people”.

His wife used to receive an executive salary in cash to avoid paying income tax. They would brag about it and about how smart they were to outsmart everything and everybody. Are they low-level sociopaths? There was a pattern of chronic violations of rules and laws, along with the pattern of thinking that entitled them these exemptions. Superoptimisim and a sense of invincibility along with justifications such as “everybody is doing it” often accompanied their bragging.

He won’t ever get caught or be forced to do the right thing because he knows all the right people! The “right people” are dispensing favors to receive favors from another group of “right people”. The city in which all this occurs is rife with corruption and such practices are common.

I think a lot of this goes on. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the earth a long time and I’ve seen a lot, but I think sociopaths, Ns, and Ps are more common than we would like to think. I don’t agree with the statistics commonly quoted, but that’s just my unscientific personal opinion. The sociopath who puts their spouse, friend, neighbor, relative, or employee, through hell will be the guy others know superficially or in some incidental capacity. They might see signs and patterns, but short of some violent criminal act personally involving them, they will move on to the demands of the day and dismiss it.

I think the country is in a psychological depression over the economy, and the war…Christmas seems so plastic and commercial in the face of all our national and personal issues… I am just going to try to be grateful to God for all His blessings everyday and not get sucked into the commercial bull crap…. One of the things I am very grateful for is the Lovefraud community, something so good that came out of something so EVIL in my life…
God Bless….

It’s hard to understand what Madoff is about, because this guy has been secretive for a long time. He managed other people’s money from a private floor in his building that none of the traders ever entered. The article about the Palm Beach investors talked about how hard he was to simply meet. Another article I read talks about a European analyst who advised people not to invest with Madoff because the firm would not explain how they made money.

In other words, there is no evidence of any personality characteristics, because the man seems like a ghost. We don’t even know where the money went, or how long it was going on. Everything now is speculation.

And yet he clearly created an aura around himself of high intelligence, credibility and dependability. Which seemed valid considering that he was paying investors dividends. No one knew he was making those payments with new investors’ money.

My first impression on reading this story is that he got in trouble at some point, and then just kept throwing good money after bad. Like the rogue traders that created massive losses at several European banks. Everyone’s portfolio value has nosedived in the last few years. It would not be a big surprise if his clients’ investments did too.

But then why didn’t he tell them? That’s the big question mark for me. Why try to hide the fact, when the entire market is tanking? It doesn’t make sense, and it makes me wonder if he was going senile and there was no one powerful enough in the firm to remove him.

We don’t know. And we won’t know until the SEC’s forensic accountants go through his books, and discover how long this has been going on. And where the money went.

I’m with eyeofthestorm and the opinion that there are many many more genuine “card carrying” psychopaths than we realize and there are even more that are “low level” psychopaths that cheat at any and every opportunity and seem to enjoy being crooked.

Cheating on taxes is considered a “sport” by many people I know, who will very willingly tell you how they did it and got away with it. Look at the people who took advantage of others during Hurricaine Katrina, lookk at the con artists who got the “help” money who did not deserve it. Look at the number of people who fake illnesses to get disability pensions, etc etc.

Look at the many large corporations who knowingly hire illegal aliens to work for their companies for less than they would have to pay others. I have a friend who used to work for INS and he was told that he had to stay AWAY from TYSON even though it was common knowledge in Arkansas that they hired THOUSANDS of illegal aliens. A year or so ago they did get raided by the INS and thousands of illegal aliens were deported and the company fined. What happened? Did they quit paying their bribes to which ever official was over theh INS agents?

How about in Texas where the just “locked down” all the prisons because an inmate on DEATH ROW which is supposed to be the most secure area had an inmate CALL an official on a smuggled in cell phone? The guards are corrupt and apparently easily bribed. You can get any kind of dope or a cell phone inside a prison if you have enough money. What about selling a senate seat to the highest bidder? What about the Alaskan Senator who was convicted for FAILING TO REPORT BRIBES of over a quarter of a million dollars. NOT convicted for TAKING them but for failing to REPORT them?

The moral compass of our country’s leaders seems to be way off target, and the population as well seems to be going along with it as well. They say a people get the kind of government they DESERVE and I think our country has got what we deserve, and I think it is only going to get worse not better, until there is some moral underpinning in our leaders and in the population. It is DEPRESSING, as Stormee pointed out.

Right ! So much for the Moral Majority or the Religious Rike!

khatalyst: Madoff is the firm ,.. that’s why no one was more powerful than him. What, was he to turn himself in? LOL!!!! It took the Feds going after his sons and they turned him in. Other than that, they would have gladly played the stupid part for all it was worth!

Cognitive Pattern #2 Cut-off: Cut-off refers to the techniques sociopaths use to avoid thinking about negative consequences. They cut themselves off from any worry or guilt they might be inclined to feel. In this pattern Madoff who is 70 now was likely thinking, “I’ll be dead before they figure out what I’ve done.”

My S definetly used this method. He has gotten away with hurting so many women that he never imagined that I would be the one to expose his many evil deeds and make him pay for what he did to me. He confided alot of his wrongdoings to me. I was initially very hurt and found peace in exposing all of his evil works. For example taking social security benefits from his disabled mom for his benefit and not taking care of her as agreed with social security (called adult protective services). His mother had no food, clothes, and no permanent place to stay. He just kept moving her around to keep her benefits. He never even took her to see a doctor and not only was she mentally ill (Schizophrenia) but she also had Diabetes, Hepatitis C, and was anemic.

Dear Janetf,

Has his mother been adequately cared for at this point in time? I’ve had very little luck with Adult Protective Service with abusive children as unless they SEE the child setting fire to the bed AT THE TIME THEY VISIT they won’t do a darned thing! That is a bit of a hyperbole, but not a great deal of hyperbole.

I’ve been around the financial world long and its crimes long enough that I can say one thing with certainty — there is no way in hell Bernie Madoff pulled this off by himself.

There’s a old saying in law “he who wins the race to the courthouse wins.” Any odds you want to give, I’ll cover that his sons saw what was coming down and ran as fast as they could to the SEC to cut their own deals while the cutting was good.

What do the French call it? Oh yeah, folie a familie (family madness). When all is said and done we’re going to learn the entire Madoff clan was in on it.

Dear OxDrover:

You make a valid point. Although I tried to help with Adult Protective Services they seemed more concerned with what the “S” was saying rather than doing. They unfounded the case and told him that if he feels I was being vandictive he can pursue charges against me.

Of course he continues to mistreat his mother and has no intentions on having her seen in a mental or medical health institution. It will take her death for this organization to act. I am out of the loop now because I try to stay away from “S” but some of my inside associates tell me that everything is more of the same.

I am the one trying to help and I am viewed as the crazy x-girlfriend. Go figure….

Dear Matt:

“there is no way in hell Bernie Madoff pulled this off by himself.”

Are you saying this because you do not believe that one person could be so evil?

He may have had accomplices but I also believe that he is capable of such mayhem.

I met an “S” who called himself the Prelate of a huge religious organization. He convinced many churches that he was part of the Arch Diocese. Anyway, to make a long story short he convinced a Toyota Dealer in the Bronx, NY to order a fleet of 300 cars and SUV’s for his church and that the ticket would be paid for by his organization. He also convinced 400 people (including myself) that they were going to receive high salaries ($100,000 or more) for working with him and that everyone would get their own house. This man was so good that he convinced 200 illegal aliens that he had a connection with INS and if they gave him all their financial documents and $1000 each that they would receive their American Citizenship. He got $200,000 out of the deal and skipped town with these peoples money and identification. There is no telling how many other schemes he committed. He travels all over the world and reinvents himself. He has been to jail but always found a loop hole to get out. I don’t know his real name but believe his alias is Bernard Bertrand.

He came into our lives like a whirlwind and silently disappeared into the night.
This was one of my worse experiences with S’s because he took my time, energy, money, and played with my emotions. We weren’t even romantically involved. I feel sorry for the people who were even closer to him than I was.

He may have even made it on America’s Most Wanted because the authorities are very familiar with this monster.

Janetf,

I can’t remember who said it but there is an old quote I recall that says “You can’t cheat an honest man”—–I don’t think that means entirely that we (victims) are ALWAYS “dishonest” but I do think it means that we have to think THERE IS SOMETHING IN IT FOR US.

Some of the old tried and true con games, like the Pigeon Drop and others like that are a bit on the “shady” side so the victim is pulled in by thinking they are going to get some “slightly ill gotten gains” without any risk at all. They fall for it like a ton of bricks because they are “slightly shady.”

The old saying “if it’s too good to be true, it is.” Again, the same thing, our (victims) GREED hooks us iinto the scene.

Maybe that “greed” is only GREEDY FOR LOVE, but we are hooked by OUR DESIRES for something. Those desires may be a legitimate desire for family, friends, affection, love, security, but we are HOOKED BY A FALSE PROMISE OF fulfilling that desire and BAM! We are conned.

The Victims in Bernie’s con were hooked by a promise of GOOD INVESTMENT RETURNS. That’s why the old ponzi scheme works. There wasn’t a thing wrong with them wanting good investment returns on their money. I would like good iinvestment returns on mine….but ANY investment is a RISK and anyone smart enough to have that much money had to know that. “You pays yer muny an’ ya takes yer chances.”

My 401K is in mutual funds tied to the stock market. I should have taken it out in cash a year ago and buried it in the back yard, but I didn’t. Now I have half or less than what I did. I procrastinated to my sorrow.

There is apparently no end of “small time” Madoff’s in this world from the guy who pretends to be a paving comapny with a bit of “leftover asphalt” from a bigger job who will repave your drive way for half price (and then only pours oil on your drive and leaves with your money and leaves you a mess) to the Madoff’s of this world. LOTS of people are out to get your money and anything else with trickery if you don’t watch out. Jesus’ advice to be WISE, CUNNING and use your head was GOOD ADVICE. Just because we don’t have guile in our hearts doesn’t mean we should be aware that others DO.

OxDrover:

It’s funny the situation with the prelate happened to me over 6 years ago. At the time I didn’t have any knowledge of Sociopaths and it took research for me to find out that this kind evil exists.

Being here I feel (LoveFraud) that I am equiping myself with the necessary armor to protect myself from these con artist or “S’s”.

Your right, everything I have ever acheived in life came with much hardwork and I cheerish them more. Being a single parent of 5 I was able to stay in school and get a certificate in computer applications, Associate -Computer Informations, and a Bachelor in Information Technology. The degrees took many late hours of study, traveling in inclement weather and foregoing other activities that I loved.

I recall a saying now that says “if it seems to good to be true, it usually is”.

My getting a house and a car without even breaking a sweat is a stretch and I should have thought of that then. the thought of making $100,000 a year without years of experience in a field that I had no knowledge was also reaching for the stars.

You make a good point.

My question is: In the case of Madoff, how did all the professionals get sucked into a false dream? Aren’t they trained to know better in the financial arena? All their education, experience, and good ole common sense went out the window for what? A dream?

Dear Janet,

In a word, YES!

That is the mark of a GOOD CON, is to make them believe.

I think it was P. T. Barnham who said “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

The idea is to CREATE a desire and make it look like you can come through. Once they take the bait, they are on the hook.

After my divorce I was the single mother of two, and I too went back to school with a “kid on each hip” got my degree and though I never made the kind of money you did, I worked hard and “made it.” I remarried to a man with whom I had a great relationship until his death. I don’t owe a soul a dime and at the end of each month I pay all my bills.

It was a long hard struggle and I worked hard. I’ve made some good decisions and I’ve made some bad ones, but I find that in most cases if people will “put their noses to the grind stone” and keep pushing they will eventually succeed in their goals. It is the “get rich quick” without any effort on your part that brings MOST people down. The Bernie Madoffs of this world may “succeed” for a while if you count money as a measure of “success” but frankly to me, it isn’t the most important thing in the world. And, for what it’s worth, I would rather be me than Bernie Madoff, EVEN IF HE HAD NEVER BEEN CAUGHT.

Congratulations, Janet, on the success of your hard work and staying focused. Going back to school as an adult is a difficult task (been there and done it) but you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you earned what you have, and that is worth a lot I think.

Oxy – interesting what you wrote about the pigeon drop – and if there is some shadiness in the victim. I believe my ex S duped me in large part because I am (was) naive, trusting, and forgiving. But there was definitely a “what’s in it for me” during those first few months – from me. He was outrageously adoring and always demonstrative, and wanting to be with me, help me, even serve me. And I loved it. And I knew, on some level that it wasn’t healthy, and that I was taking “a shortcut to happiness” by letting him lavish me with love and approval rather on working on gaining those things for myself – which is much harder. I do not blame myself, or anyone else conned by a S for their experience, but there is something about allowing and encouraging the lavish attention in the beginning that is like the pigeon drop. It’s too much, you know it, but you keep taking it. With an ENORMOUS price. If only we knew….

Yea, HH, that is the thing that made me KICK MYSELF over and over and over about it all. I KNEW it was “too good to be true” but I fell for it anyway. I can laugh about it now because I am and have worked very hard on FORGIVING myself.

Yea, there ARE predators out there in the world and they WILL take advantage ofyou if you “limp” or have a wound of some kind. It is what predators do, they seek out the weakest member of the herd and they creep up, appearing “harmless” until they can “reach out and GRAB YA!” Gottya!!!!

What we have to work on is to stop blaming them for doing what they do, and stop blaming ourselves for having an emotional “limp” from a childhood or other “thorn” in our emotional feet, and pull that thorn out and next time we can run like hell when the predator approaches! Plus, we will know what he/she/it looks like and how they act.

It was very hard for me to get over the worst of the anger and bitterness at THEM…then, I was left with no one but MYSELF to be angry and bitter at, …so getting that out of the way and working on getting the thorns out of my feet so that I don’t “emotinally” limp or let them approach. I figure maybe but the tiime I’m 80 I’ll have it “down pat” but in the meantime, I am going to try to live life to its fullest AND BE HAPPY—AS SOON AS THIS FREAKING COLD MISERABLE, RAINING, ICING, BONE CHILLING CRAPPY WEATHER GETS OVER WITH! There, I feel better now, thank you for letting me vent about this CRAPPY HATEFUL NASTY WEATHER THAT IS OUT TO GET ME! Merry Christmas everyone. Nothing wrong with me, with me, with me! LOL

That’s so beautifully put, and it just feels right. I know that someday I will forgive him – I think he (almost) couldn’t help himself -he is what he is. A predator. And I was prey. And admittedly, despite my act and at times, bravado, I have a pretty sizable limp going on. I have a sense that this experience will make the limp worse for a little while, and then much better. You know, like how a doctor breaks a bone to reset it properly.

But I’m admittedly still the place of blame. I hate him, I’m angry at him, and Im not a big fan of myself either. I go back and forth from being angry at myself to feeling self-pity. But I am trying to forge onward, trying to do healthy things and spend time with healthy people, and the truth is that I’ve improved considerably. And I’ve had some good times this fall/early winter. I was wreck in the spring and summer. I know this wasn’t my fault, and in some ways it wasn’t his. But he’s a mean bastard, and I never will be in the same room with him again, and I’ll be on the look out for new mean bastard predators.

Oh, nice Christmas spirit there on the weather! 😉 Your blog is very serene and buddha and then BAM! You go off on the weather. I love it.

HH,

Can you tell I am housebound by the weather!? Ha ha

It has been three days since I have been able to more than stick my head out as I throw the poor shivering dog out the door to do his thing! I am a solar powered person and I even like snow as long as it is not a gray, miserable COLD FREAKING RAINY crappy day! LOL

I’m only about two more days from pounding my head into the Wall! Ha ha

One year we had 31 days of gloom and cold in a row, never saw the sun and I was homicidal at the end of that period of time! Plus I worked in a clinic witout windows and I went to work in the dark and returned home in the dark and it was terrible!

I understand about the anger, rage, thoughts of revenge, etc. and also the self bashing. I can remember the rage I felt for the man who stole my husband’s gold watch off his arm as he lay dying, and you know, I pictured all kinds of things I would do to that man when I got my hands on him, how LOW can you go? But, you know what—it was a watch. A piece of metal. STUFF, that’s all. That raging against something I could not change was so futile and so counter productive in the long run. I’m glad it is over.

I’m not always serene and buddha, but I am sure not a rabid dog any more for sure.

Predators are predators and they attack the weak, and Ps are definitely predators and they troll until they find the one with the limp, so it is up to us to keep our emotional health good. I am no longer “blaming” them, or “blaming myself” either, and the anger is decreasing to the point that I hardly ever get upset over much, and it pretty well has to be a pretty big thing to get me upset any more. It is ust more accepting that what is IS.

I don’t know what your religion or spiritual thing is, but one of the things that DID help me was to pray for them.

At first I said the words out loud. I DID NOT MEAN THEM. And that was OK. Then as time went on I began to mean them a little bit, and so on. I still don’thave a squishy feeling for any of the Ps, but I would not hurt them if I could. I WILL protect myself, but I will NOT go out of my way to hunt them down and hurt them, even if I could.

I did send the warden of my son’s prison a copy of a letter my son sent my mother that indicated he might have access to a cell phone again (a very bad thing and a felony) and I imagine they will rake him over the coals pretty good, and maybe transfer him to another prison, but it wasn’t done for revenge or hurt to him, but for MY OWN SAFETY so that he would not have illegal means of communication which he would use to hurt me. I know if he finds out I did that, he will look at it as “revenge” but (shrugging shoulders here) that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I will do whatever “spying” I think I need to do to protect myself and take whatever safety measures I need to. If that means he gets the run around, he shouldn’t have broken the law or be indicating he is still breaking it.

He got busted with a cell phone a few years ago, so I imagine the officials will take my report seriously. (Plus the letter in his hand writing).

Hang in there HH, it does get better. I think the last 6 months of the two years of this chaos have been the most progress for me. Those first few months I was such a mess, plus so physically sick (tick fever) that I just didn’t have the energy to do anything. (((hugs)))))

Hey O…pray for him? Oh Boy. SIGH – Other people have suggested that, too. In fact, enough people that I have respect for have suggested that, so there must be something to it. But the thought of praying for his well-being makes me want to vomit. Seriously, I start to think about wishing him well in a prayer, and my stomach starts to turn. I want him to hurt like he hurt me. I don’t want him to be well.

AH! Am I cursing myself by saying those things? Am I bringing that energy back to myself by putting it out there?

Dear HH,

I don’t know why it works, and I do know it was THE hardest thing I ever did. I even wrote the prayers down on a piece ofpaper and read them aloud. Simple things. “God, bless him.” I did NOT mean it. I knew God knew I didn’t mean it. But somehow it helped ME. Eventually as the pain, the anger and the hate left my heart, I quit feeling the negative emotions that were CHOKING ME. It took tiime, it took energy, but the TOXIC HATE was gone.

I know how it feels to hate, and it doesn’t hurt them, it hurts me. It is a normal, natural feeling to being inured. Being angry is okay. Even JESUS got angry. He said “be angry and sin not”—-so anger isn’t the “sin,” it is the things that we justify doing or thinking because we are angry. Jesus said “don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.” Wrath is not just ordinary anger but the kind of hateful, vengeful, nasty toxic anger. It is the kind of anger that eats US.

I think every one of us here has a RIGHT to be angry. There would be something wrong with us if we were NOT angry.

But harboring, nursing, stroking that anger will embitter us and not hurt the Ps at all. I still have episodes where the anger rears its ugly head but I try to work through it, and sometimes it is really difficult.

The last time I saw my mother face to face, I HATED HER. She must have seen something in my face too because she turned to me and asked me “You really hate me don’t you?” and I looked at her and I said “Yes, right now I truly hate you.” and I did. I REALLY hated her. For a long time I hated her, but it didn’t hurt her it was eating me. I had to work through it, not push it under the rug or pretend it wasn’t there, but work through it. I wish I had a “formula” that I could do it easily, or you could, but I don’t think there is an easy way, just day by day and inch by inch. Good luck, I think HH that you will make it just fine. Be nice to yourself, pamper yourself and be good to yourself every day. (((hugs)))

no offense, but i’ve been praying for ME, not for him.
there are no prayers that will ever help him. i feel that if i pray for him, the energy all goes to HIM … again.
nope, not me. god is hearing my prayers for myself. i’m praying about how grateful i am to be rid of him. how grateful i am that i am opening up to new people who may truly love me. how thankful i am that i am getting my spirit and self back.
i gave that spath from hell too much of my energy already. i just don’t want him to have one more SECOND of my precious being.
he doesn’t deserve it; he never did.
time for him to reap what he has sown, and deal with the consequences.

It never occurred to me to pray for the S and all of his friends who have betrayed me. I will actually sit down and do this tonight.

Dear LIG,

Whatever works for YOU, I was just suggesting what worked for me to get the anger out of ME. I had to do something to get that anger and hatred out of ME, and for me it worked. Different things work for different people and whatever helps you get the anger and bitterness out of YOU.

HE is NOT important, YOU are!

lostingrief,

I used to pray for Bad Man. I had a little spot on the beach where I began to pray that he would be released from the grips of whatever it was that was tormenting him… and then me. I knew it was something but I didn’t know what it was back then. It’s weird… that’s one of my strongest memories… pryaing for Bad Man on a beach in paradise.. my own HELL on earth. :o(

I don’t pray for him anymore. I pray a little now and then when it seems like a good idea… but I don’t pray for me.

I guess I am still stuck on that thing… to me, Prayer equals Hope and I don’t spend much time on hopes for myself anymore. I hate to admit that but I am still stuck in that place. I have healed a whole lot but I am kind of stuck.

Oh well.

Forgive us our trespass AS we forgive those who trespass against us!

This IS A BIG DEAL!

when I’m in prayer I’m thinking on a spiritual level ! The Force be with you! :)~

But My God s ways are not the same as human ways ! My God LOVES unconditionaly! despite our selves!

If this is True? Then it would stand to reason that God Forgives unconditionaly! despite our sin !

what I am trying to relate , we do not forgive the same way as God forgives.

Because we are in seperate realms , one Spiritual , ours is Physical !

So here I am trying to Forgive My P and LOVE unconditionaly like I was taught about the Force ! Right?

Then someone says WAIT !

Human Forgivness does not erase Accountability and Responcability ! BINGO ! LOVE JJ

HH
Yes

Should get up to 78 warm sunny degreeeeeees Today Girls! :)~ LOVE JJ

so the original argument was that our culture was inhaling the planet, the mass mediocre would never actually give up their lifestyle in order to save the species, and the end realization was, eat, drink and be merry…every man/woman for themself…
that definitely came into play after vietnam(the social contract was broken, you know?)…and from there the rules were just gradually bent more and more…madison avenue advertised, the colleges bent the moral rules that had always accompanied the soft sciences, the educated generations following were taught a more and more warped view of the ethical obligations and the very rules of scientific thought–and the hippies who originally were against it ended up finding a niche to hopefully ride it out..keep your head down, and your mouth shut..wasn’t that around the end of the seventies? when did people start realizing they were in the grasp of utilities, and huge corporations for their very survival…..end results were the loss of the compass, across the society….the winner loser mentality ruled…and here you go. everyone has to keep up with the rest of the dogeatdog platform everyone is on…you should have seen the numbers of rank and file hard working ethical people edged out of their jobs in the late 8o’s 90’s…simply because they just wouldn’t step into the role demanded ….fudge the paperwork, smile and go along, hide the facts and say what is politically correct, kiss the ass of the most sociopathic strongarm person around….(witness the unpreparedness of the military in iraq; the failure in katrina; the failure of the no child left behind program–all clear failures due to beauracracies operating with sociopathic procedures…damned & dysfunctional systems put to the test- after their actual functional people were mainly discarded–)
it isn’t a sociopathic personality, it is a cultural requirement, and the norm, now….hasn’t anyone considered the popularity of the big house, other reality tv shows? what else do they promote?…
am i the only one who has been watching this growing in our american society? it had to reach this dysfunctional cusp to become visible to ???whom? who has yet grasped the platform this whole country is operating on? other than the president of iran? you can tell by his interview with charlie rose….that was just really interesting….
and we watch the dominoes fall…..
Merry Xmas, everyone. & a very very happy new year….lol…

Dear Carriesguns,

I hear what you are saying and to a great extent I agree with you, unfortunately, having been a “child of the 60s” when the world was “turning upside down” at that time I thought I could and our generation “fix it all” just love everyone and work hard.

I remember with embarassment and evening when I was in my “prime” KNOW IT ALL STAGE of life (about 19) I was sitting with my friend (who later became my husband) and several of his and our friends in a place called Barnie’s Beanery on HOllywood Blvd, in california, and I was expounding in all my “KNOWNLEDGE” about the causes of everything from toe nail fungus to war, and I remember the very tolerant look my husband had on his face (he was 15 yrs older)=—looking back, I asked him many many years later why he didn’t slap me in the head andhe said “because you were so cute!” LOL Ah, how I wish I had the wisdom to solve even 1% of the problems of the world, and as I have gotten older I realize more and more each year that Iknow less and less than I thought I did.

I don’t doubt that our “leaders” are mostly self serving and/or out right crooks, but I also don’t think it has EVER been any different. From reading history I think all political leaders are Narcissistic or psychopathic to one degree or another at the least. In fact, I just read a book that basicly said they have to be or they wouldn’t get the job done, and I think to an extent that is true. A general can’t worry about every soldier out there or the war would not be won. A corporation president has to worry more about the company than the individual workers who get laid off to keep the company afloat.

But since I can’t “fix” the society that we live in, much less all the societies of the world, I realize the only thing I can do is to live MY OWN LIVE as well as I can and not contribute to the problem. I am only one of approximately 6 BILLION people on the earth.

I am the custodian of a 120 acres of farm land that has been in my family since 1833, and I take care of the land, keep it healthy and productive. Contribute to as little polluition as I can, and try to give back to my community in ways that I can do so. I served on the local volunteer fire department for over a decade, I’ve done community medical outreach and education, taken in foster kids, and paid my taxes and given full measure when I worked. Raised my children to be productive, educated citizens (got 2 out of 3 of those okay) and I vote, so I do my “part” and try not to fret about those things that I can’t control, or to despair TOO much about the state of the world and the US.

I’ve done a lot more “fretting” in the past about those things that I couldn’t control, but I don’t find it did me much good and sure didn’t change things much. LOL So I do try to stay prepared for “hard times” like my grandparents did from their brush with poverty during the depression. So, because of that, and the fact I have lived within my means, I am better prepared than many to weather the hard times in a depression.

OxD
Merry Christmass !
Your Spread Sounds Grand! 80 degrees in Orlando today! We should have Cypress tree as State Tree ! they are cone shaped like the northern pines.
I have been very hell bent on the system! But the more I fought it the harder I made it on my self!
No one is gona ever do anything constructive in their life till they rid themselves of Parasites! Never have I felt Dirtier than having a parasite attached to me!
This has been a very sucessfull year ! Any time we have shed our skin removed the old and crawled out from under the boulder to be NEW , Shinny , Fresh, rebirth and Wiser ! There is reason To Smile! LOVE JJ

merry Christmas to all……although i dont post much anymore, you all play quite a role in sustaining my mental health…….i feel the cypress trees are so gorgeous too, indigo…..was in celebration a few wks back…so festive…….

yes all you say is true about the me, me, me world taking over gang…….that is why i appreciate oprahs soul series……..i think she is doing what she can with her good fortune to try and help improve our world, one person at a time……..thats all we can do….i think she gets it too

bunches of love to all, terri

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