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Observing a Psychopath — 91 Comments

  1. Slim, yea your example is perfect, when someone lights their “house” on fire and refuses to leave it, even as it burns them up as well, there is no way we can “save” them, and if by some chance we dragged them kicking and screaming out of that house, they would build another one and set it on fire too….and maybe chaining us inside it as it burned down.

    I saw what Patrick’s behaviors (theft etc) as a teenager as him building a prison around himself. It wasn’t like he was some kid who grew up iin the hood and “needed” the things he stole…he stole for the FUN of it, the adrenaline rush…I kept trying to stop him from constructing the prison around himself before it was complete and locked around him forever. I HAD to save him from himself, I thought. I also thought that he didn’t know what he was doing, and you know he KNEW EXACTLY what he was doing and he was NOT afraid of the consequences. He had NO fear of consequences, he thought he was way tooo smart to have any consequences so did his adrenaline junky fixes with impunity.

    My ex father in law, I think a psychopath himself, said “you can give people things but you can’t HELP them, they have to help themselves” which is actually a pretty profound statement, but the thing is he was the one who lit the match to my marriage, who had burned down every relationship his son and daughter had….and it didn’t matter to him just how much damage he did to them or their children or their spouses.

    What he said though is so true…which is why our “welfare” system doesn’t work…we feel sorry for some young mother with two kids she can’t support because she dropped out of school, isn’t literate, so we support them at least in a basic life, food shelter, etc. but then the mother goes on to have 4 more children without knowing who the fathers are, uses drugs herself, neglects those children, who start having babies of their own and drop out of school, illiterate, and we support those…I personally know some 5th generation welfare recipents.

    The people I had who did some salvage work for me, tearing down an old mobile home here…they received every kind of “welfare” payment you can imagine, and they still worked some at menial jobs like that, but they sold their food stamps for cash, getting 1 dollar cash for each two dollars in food stamps…and then they went to the food pantry to get groceries. I tried to help them by finding work for them, giving them work, but come to find out they had “burned” everyone they worked for in the past, and the pile of debris they left for me proves only that I couldn’t “help” them because they didn’t want “help” they would have just thrown it away on cigarettes and food for the pack o f large dogs they kept….I did get some benefit out of giving them a “job” and that was, I got the mobile home torn down, but now I have to clean up the mess.

  2. There is so much deception in their words and actions, that we can never be certain that anything is what it appears to be. They may say that they are burning down their own house, screaming for someone to save them, but then it turns out that the house isn’t even theirs and they purchased life insurance on you, so they really intend to kill you. Nothing is what it seems with spaths.

    Spath and I knew a man, many years ago. He was one of many of spath’s friends who died in plane crash “accidents”. At first glance it may not appear that spath had any reason to kill this friend, but over the years, I can see that he gained A LOT from this man’s death. This man was best friends with a millionaire. He was also an engineer who worked for the millionaire and had many patents they filed together. Once the engineer was gone, guess who became the millionaire’s best friend? And that millionaire has been cash cow for the spath.

    That’s the kind of long con that makes it difficult to see exactly what the spaths are up to when they repeatedly seem to be sabotaging themselves. Everyone is a rival in their minds and the game is all that matters.

  3. I don’t know if it’s entirely intuitive Skylar. I think it involves some very specific kinds of behaviors, handling of the infant, eye contact, certain types of verbalizations, and responses. I imagine, given the personalities of your parents, they interacted with you as if you were a mere extension of them.

    This is not mirroring. It is interaction based on the parent’s needs, and projected feelings.

    As you may recall my mother was an extroverted, uneducated, teenage mother. She married an abuser. She was quite wounded herself in the area of infantile mirroring, and as a result behaved very selfishly. I do not think she is disordered…but she certainly has struggled to find connection with others’.

    She was unable to mirror me much. And never got much better at it.

    Let me say I do not think this kind of wounding causes individual personality disorders. If that were true, MOST of us would be disordered. This is very much tied into the work of L. Demause (I think that’s how you spell it. Right? I first learned of him from one of your older posts, on another site).

    But I do wonder if historical (as in since the dawn-of -man kind of history) lack of infant mirroring has contributed to the overall genetic predispostion toward PD’s.

    Slim

  4. Slim,
    They didn’t really interact with me at all. It was like being a knick knack placed on a shelf in the living room.

    I got only as much attention as was necessary. My little spath sister, on the other hand, got lots and lots of attention. She got all the pet names: “darling, princess, precious…etc…” It seems to have backfired. You’re right, I suppose, that even that kind of attention is not proper infant mirroring. Some people just can’t do it, I guess, since they never experienced it as children.

    I wonder if I would have been able to do it correctly. Probably not. Certainly not when I was younger.

  5. Slim, current research is showing that personality disorders are based more on GENETICS than on environment, BUT DNA is not destiny. Environment plays a role in personality disorders. Back in the `1960s when my first son was born, the common medical and psychological opinions were that a baby was born a BLANK SLATE on which environment ALONE wrote. It took a while for this to change and for people to recognize what every farmer and animal breeder knew—-that attitude and personaliy can be bred into dogs, cattle, horses, and gosh, GASP PEOPLE!!! Sure you can take a dog that is bred for aggression and tame it down some, but you know the number of news articles about Pit Bull dogs killing children, other dogs, and even adults, sometimes their owner only speaks to the fact that while there may be SOME Pits that are not aggressive, some of those “NON” aggrerssive dogs have TURNED in a flash and become aggressive.

    How many articles have you read about a Beagle attacking and killing their owner or a child, or blood hounds, or….any other breed.

    Sure you can MAKE some dogs more aggressive, or more cowed down…by environment and the same with humans. Infants who are not cuddled, talked to and held will literally “shut down” and die. This was noted in WWII when kids in London were sent to “care centers” to get them out of the way of bombings. The kids got adequate food and cleaning, but no cuddling or talking to, there were just too few people to care for them to give time to just cuddling them. The babies started to die…and eventually it was figured out WHY! It is called “failure to thrive” syndrome and I’ve seen one case of it in a 3 month old with a 14 year old mother who was afraid to hold the baby.

    So the bottom line is that it takes both genetics and environment to produce a psychopath or borderline or any other personality disorder. My biological sperm donor was a big time psychopath, but of his four children there was only one who was a psychopath, and my son’s father’s father was also a psychopath, and of our two sons, one was a psychopath.

  6. Oxy

    I know you’re not looking for sympathy, but when I read your words it rocks my world. I can’t imagine being so close to so many spaths. Holy shiat. That must have just shaken your world. I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have kids with my spath and that the worst I can say is that I have an “N” mother and had a relationship with a spath.

    I am sure the experience made you stronger, and you taught me tons from what you learned, so you’re paying it forward.

    Still – ((((hugs Oxy ))))

    Athena

    • Slim, You’re right about environment effecting changes in our DNA, it turns on and turns off various genes….llike the lack of touch causes the baby to have low oxytocin which in turn changes the way the baby responds physically and psychologically. There are built in things in our DNA that will cause a kitten or a puppy to die quickly if the mother fails to take care of them…for starters just like baby humans their butt is not hooked up to their gut, so their butts have to be stroked or licked in order to move bowels and feces, this I think is so that the mother eats their waste to keep the nest from becoming foul. but babies humans are not too different because the lack of stroking causes low oxytocin levels and without enough oxytoxin they have slow guts and constipation, and they literally “shut” down. They just “give up and die.”

      Humans of all ages though require touch….I am fascinated by what all oxytocin does…and if you do not have a partner, touch yourself…it works. Stroke your arms and face and actually it is good for the body, mind and spirit. Also that is one reason that solitary confinement is so “painful” to inmates…it cuts off interactions not just touch, but human interactions, exchanges of thoughts etc.

      Athena, I think some of us are psychopath magnets LOL and there is something about them that they can SMELL “SUCKER” ON ME….they test your boundaries and when you don’t raise up and protest they just get worse and worse until you finally realize I’VE BEEN HAD. LOL It partly comes from being raised in a family where I was not allowed an opinion or a boundary….so I didn’t learn how to make or enforce them I was always trying to make others happy….even at my own expense.

      But I’m learning now, and it is an uphill battle sometimes because when you have been one way your entire life then try to be different, it takes relearning your “knee jerk” responses. “some days are magic and some days are tragic” and we just have to keep on trying to improve.

  7. Oxy,

    I totally get what you are referring to. We are not tabula rasa (blank slates), nor are we ‘pure’ products of our environment. That does seem to be the prevailing agreement these days. I have read about failure to thrive (a nurse too), and worked with babies in the burn unit. That immediate need for human connection is really clear for us now.

    What I understand of L. Demause, is that he refers to the possibility that thousands of years of humans not knowing how to care, lovingly, for their own offspring has over the looooooong haul, affected our genetic pool. There is some speculation that this may be a part of the cause for the genetic predisposition toward some human behavior ‘diseases’. I don’t know why this fascinates me so much. I think it may be some shred of hope (I know!) that we might influence the future levels of disordered individuals, if we learn to care for ourselves properly. He seems to say that our immediate behaviors, when taken into account over extreme periods of time do two things.

    1. They have an immediate influence (like babies not thriving)

    2. They have an affect on the changes in our genetics

    However, it’s a really long shot. Like saving our environment. We would have to change the consciousness of billions of people for either to happen.

    Slim

    • Slim and Oxy,
      Although it does seem like genetics plays a large role in behavior, we have to take into account that humans are the MOST adaptable creature on the planet. Unlike dogs and cats, we can adapt ourselves to any environment just by using our brains and changing the environment to suit us better.

      The psychopath is certainly doing that when he is conning and playing games.Psychopaths start wars for this very reason.

      Over time, the psychopath creates an environment of mistrust and fear. They want all human beings to be like them and play their rivalry games.

      If this is changing our genome or the expression of our genome, what hope is there? Spaths can just breed and breed and breed because they don’t care. Even if we refuse to breed with them, they’ll just breed with each other and overrun the planet.

      What’s the answer? There must be some kind of switch to save the human race from becoming like the zombies in the show “The Walking Dead”.

      Truthy, speaking of that show… you said you were looking forward to watching the next season so I started to watch it on netflix. Big Mistake. It made me a nervous wreck. Every other minute of that show is a bloody disaster of zombies. I’m jumping out of my skin each time a zombie pops up.

      I’m curious what it is you like about that show.
      ???

  8. Skylar,

    I guess I accept the inevitability that spaths will ‘always’ exist, at least in terms of any ‘always’ that is relevant to me. So in those terms acceptance is the best, most protective strategy we can employ. And I would assume humans will need to employ it for many many many…..generations to come.

    But, by the same token that you refer to, that spaths can just keep breeding and breeding. The REST of us can also continue to become more and more actualized as human beings. As loving, kind, empathic, trustworthy, self-aware human beings. This could have some very profound effects for humanity, and the planet. Likely this will take thousands of years. I don’t know if we have thousands of years left in us, at the rate we’re devouring our environment.

    And, it is a pretty abstract and far-reaching hope. Not very practical in terms of just learning to handle our present reality. I just find it interesting…..

    And, Oxy…I also find the Oxytocin business very interesting.

    Slim

  9. Slim,
    The only thing that might be able to speed up the process is education and knowledge. Learning how to spot a spath starts the snowball rolling on so many different levels. Most especially, it teaches us about ourselves because it sets a perfect example of how NOT to be.

    Learning about how they hide in plain sight and how they disguise themselves as exactly 180° the opposite of their intent can protect us from some of the trauma of knowing them.

    Learning how to diffuse their power by not giving them attention or emotions can also protect us somewhat.

    Spaths like to divide and conquer, so they create red herring issues to divert responsibility. They will blame the government, the corporations, women, men, whites, blacks.

    I’ve seen spaths doing this in order to create animosity, when in fact, most problems can be traced to psychopaths within these (and other) groups.

    You are right that we can only be responsible for our own behavior, since we can’t fix anyone else. And one other thing we can do is to teach, spread information and refute misinformation.

  10. I believe very much in educating people if they are willing to listen, but unfortunately, too many people don’t “get it” that what we are saying is true…they deny that there is a problem because they ahve not been personally attacked, or because the P is their ___________(fill in the blank) and they can’t deal with admitting that ______ is a monster. I’ve been there and done that and I think we all have to one extent or another.

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