The behaviors of sociopaths, psychopaths and any pathological persons are not fascinating to me and should be collectively judged as bad by society. Why?
We judge everything. Judgement isn’t as bad as people are led to believe.
Judgment encompasses three categories: good, bad and indifferent.
When we revere something, we are judging it as good. When we are indifferent to something, we are judging it as unimportant.
To me, indifference is the same thing as ignorance, and if we keep perpetuating ignorance about the real harm sociopaths, psychopaths and other pathological individuals are capable of inflicting, the problem just gets bigger and more difficult to manage.
So, I guess, I am not really judging anyone as being bad, am I? I am simply providing awareness based on facts and real-world experience.
The American Psychological Association will soon release the updated and revised 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM is basically a glossary of labels and behaviors related to mental health. It’s a glorified dictionary, in my opinion, but a necessary one. The DSM-IV is what I used to determine, once and for all, if the boy in my story was a narcissistic sociopath. That’s where the usefulness of the DSM ended for me.
The DSM stops at the diagnosis, the definition and label. And even the label isn’t easily justified.
Where are the blood tests? What about the standards for reading brain scans of those diagnosed? Are their genetic markers that support whether or not a patient was born that way or nurtured and conditioned to be that way? Or did other societal factors cause the disorder?
And there isn’t much in terms of how to treat the disorders, either.
The DSM does not provide personality disordered individuals with recommendations for healing and recovery. There are no treatment options to cure narcissists or sociopaths and other cluster B disordered individuals.
You laugh at the notion. So do I! We all know from experience that individuals who perpetually and instinctively repeat the behaviors characteristic of having a personality disorder or of being a sociopath or psychopath are, by their very nature, disordered and are not capable of change. Treatment for the personality disordered among us is a moot point.
To make matters worse for us lay persons (and for the inexperienced psychoanalysts and psychiatrists, for that matter), the DSM doesn’t even include a list of measurable effects that personality disordered behavior can have on non-disordered individuals and/or society.
And this is where the lines are blurred and the science behind psychiatry and neuroscience meet:
- There are sick people who are born sick and can’t be rewired or fixed. Psychiatry, as it is today, can not help these people. Neuroscience can help strengthen the definitions and classifications of these individuals but also can’t ethically help these people either.
- Then there are those individuals born with a healthy and productive mental capacity and balance who are acted upon and broken by individuals born sick and disordered. The people born healthy can be treated with psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Neuroscience can help pinpoint the areas of the brain that need “massaging,” so to say, and allow for complete and full recovery.
Therefore, why do we waste our time studying sociopaths like some newly discovered species of butterfly? The sociopath and the disordered have been around for centuries if not since the beginning of time. Why the fascination and investment?
They harm others. Period. End of story.
Who is going to have the guts to put personality disorders and pathology into a bucket outside of treatable mental health issues and disorders and classify these people instead as the cause of the majority of the harm inflicted upon others?
(Yes. Blame the monsters. Stop blaming the victims!)
Individuals acted upon by pathological people are the real patients who deserve more of our time and efforts. And the way we approach treating the real patients needs to change dramatically.
I don’t think I am alone on this one.
The following was pulled from an article published by The Guardian on Saturday, May 11, 2013: Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle: British Psychological Society to launch attack on rival profession, casting doubt on biomedical model of mental illness
“There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain’s clinical psychologists.”
“In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry’s predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out “reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems”, used by psychiatry.”
“Dr. Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the DCP’s statement, said it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes.”
‘On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse,’ Johnstone said.”
Although Johnstone’s statement doesn’t specifically list “exposure to disordered people” as one of the circumstances behind another person’s breakdown, I can’t help not making that connection when I read trauma and abuse.
Bad people are born. People who are born bad hurt others. They inflict trauma and pain on others.
We have this false sense of hope that the bad people can be fixed with medication or a 30-day rehab stint. They can’t. Those born sick will stay sick.
Would you send a child born with Down’s syndrome to a hospital hoping upon the child’s return the child will be cured? Of course not. So why do we think people born with the propensity to inflict physical, emotional and spiritual harm on another can be fixed?
Gone should be the days of saying, “Oh, he can’t help it, he was born that way.” Or “His father beat him when he was young and that’s why he beats his wife and kids.”
We need to stop having pity on these disordered individuals. We need to stop dismissing rapists and child molesters and murderesses who claim childhood trauma and severe mental anguish as the reason behind their behavior.
There are many, many people who have been abused, molested and assaulted as children who do not grow into monsters who prey on others. Assuming such things is highly destructive and counter-productive to the healing and recovery process of victimized individuals born healthy and without pathology.
The reason a person repeatedly hurts another and then another and then another is because that person was born to hurt people–emotionally, mentally spiritually and physically. They have no empathy or conscience. They are not able to be rehabilitated.
Society desperately wants to be fair and reasonable with offenders. Why? Because we know we are all fallible and make mistakes and would want mercy if we screwed up, right?
When healthy people screw up, we don’t weasel our way out of punishment. We say, “Yes, I did that. I am sorry. What is my punishment?”
We don’t blame our past or someone else for our bad decisions. We own our mistakes. We are accountable. We assume everyone is like us: good, fair and accountable.
People born without the capacity to empathize and who lack a conscience are not good, fair or accountable. They have nothing positive to contribute to society and have only the ability to destroy–people, families, institutions, organizations and governments.
(You could probably list a few. I could too.)
As a society and community of mindful thinkers and change agents, we need to stop focusing on fixing the unfixable and instead focus on helping those the unfixables have broken. Trauma patients can survive and they can be healed and society should want to help.
We need to stop putting our time and efforts and our money into research, drugs and facilities focused on understanding, medicating and housing the disordered and unfixable. How absurd!
All of those resources should be put into helping and healing the good people who can be fixed and who can be helped and whose temporary imbalance can be adjusted through mindful and natural approaches.
Stop blaming the trauma patients for their trauma and stop trying to help the disordered who inflict the trauma in the first place.
Trauma patients can be fixed. They can recover. But they can’t do it without our collective understanding and encouragement. They can’t do it if the source of their trauma is getting treated with more care, attention and fascination than they are.
Be fascinated with the people who walked away from the sick and disordered. There must be a super power in them that science has overlooked. I’d like to find out what that is and replicate it, wouldn’t you? A vaccine against the effects of pathology perhaps.
Prevention rather than the preservation of the sick and disordered due to society’s constant fascination. After all, when you pay attention to something, it never goes away.
Thank you for your comments Paula, Melanie, and skywander, and others, the victim is always over looked and blamed for the actions of others, it is reversed psychology and a game that has been played too long in the world. One day I hope that people change their ways of thinking and acting and start caring more. I am aware that misunderstandings occur but, without communication you have nothing nd sometimes people and their intentions are misunderstood!
Maybe I was being helped by some who got caught up some how, but it is hard to trust someone when they try to play tricks with your mind, money, life, home, things in your home, car, mail, bills, resources, insurance, 401ks, stocks,, or orthers for an organized group or to attain status, thinks waterboard, city, state, county, and federal. I am sure people tried to help but, this is absurd -Ruby’s play dad, Aitita, or blue truck, any man that live or prosper from my demised especially the older ones are truly a disgrace and set a horrible example for all and your children! There are still some good people out there that attempted to assist me but, they were few and out numbered, maybe I did not understand how people could stoop so low especially people that I used to go to school wirh or work with! A real live scandal with fake or unconcerned therapist!
Love and patience could cure this type of behavior with maybe positive therapy and interaction and relationships when someone forces you to be secluded and try to pretend like you are crazy when it is really them, that is horrible, when you have been betrayed on this level because of the abuse of power, position, greed, insecurities, or personal reasons even more when kids, other women, and the elderly are involved in this type of behavior with men for fame, funds, or material things! Crime and black lives do not matter especially, women when they speak up against injustices or inequalities !Who are protecting the innocent and the victims from these deceptive people when the government fights against you because you have been lied on and deceived by people who lack morals and standards! What image are you potraying to the public or youth when hair stylist to every aspect of your life was effected, this is not just a Michigan, Detroit , this is international injustices for greed and power from companies or organizations that live off people by manipulating them. Yes, my life was perserved for a little while but, look at how many people that they hurt because they did not want to be exposed! What do you do when people like these have power and use it for political gain at the expense of others especially our sugar law firm, focus hope, michigan works, state and house representatives, fireman, social workers, teachers, low or free legal aid clinics, broadcasting industry-news papers, reporters, radio personalities, or security guards, or Naccp !
Treating all psychopaths as Ted Bundy is ignorance at its finest. What if psychopaths suddenly made a decision to treat all neurotypicals as cattle? How would you feel if the people in power would rather kill you because you’d throw them in prison camps as has been suggested in both the UK and US by prominent psychologists?
Seems to me that the monster is the one lacking compassion and empathy for psychopaths. Every argument against psychopaths has been applied to any number of groups in the past, from blacks to Jews to Muslims.
Love the twisted logic you use to manipulate, shame and blame in order to save the psychopaths of the world from receiving their just consequences. It’s bevause we haven’t recognized that all are like Ted Bundy and Hitler that we find ourselves where we find ourselves today. So if you want to believe that it’s so unfair to ignore and “uninvite” evil into your life, by all means, hang out over THERE playing mind games with the pathological while the rest of us protect ourselves from their inevitable harm.
Sadly I’ve spent the last 10 months of my life in a crash course on liars, sociopaths and narcissists in an attempt to figure out what my husband of 22 years has done to my life. This is absolutely one of the best articles I’ve come across in my research. Thank you.
Thank you, Anonymous. I am glad this was helpful. I am sorry you that you find yourself here, though. Sending you lots of encouragement and hope.
Hang in there Paula! Been married 30 yrs with the last 2 in wkly counseling trying to understand it/my husband. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Be good to yourself, take excellent care of YOU-first and foremost!
Thank you, Dee!!
Reblogged this on justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis.
I have a true story about sociopaths. I grew up in a middle class family. Father and mother good, old fashioned jobs and hard workers. I valued every life lesson from my father, loved my mother. Was a christian. I did unto others as I would have wanted done to me. I was on the honor roll. But in 2008 the suburbs of Baltimore MD, as you might have heard have turned bad and dangerous. Baltimore MD, is now more like Hondorus. In fact Baltimore, MD is the 41st most dangerous place to live on planet earth. Hondorus is 42nd. The doctors are corrupt. They will make a threat to harm patient with real injuries. They are violent.
I’ve had more than 15 socipaths of all shapes and sizes try to kill me, attack, and ruin my life. I live in constant fear of being killed by sociopaths. Just like in the movies. If you escape them. They will get revenge. I had never in my life encountered such a horrifying event as being attacked by a serial sociopaths.
From my experiences, sociopaths want to yes do bodily harm, and get revenge on any person they meet. The reason has become clearer. They feel that surivival depends on revenge.
Even avoidance of sociopaths brings no relief.
Its as if God himself got up and left when sociopaths were born.
Heaven help you if you meet up with one. They are not remarkable people. Many of the police department, liberals, politicians in Maryland are true sociopaths.
They want revenge and they will go about seeking the means to do it.
America is a very sad place.
I only hope the people in the rest of the country wake up and stop glorifying sociopaths. And begin to care about one another again. Before its too late.
I live in Maryland. I agree with you…the people in power here are corrupt and sociopathic. Especially the courts. Thank you for sharing your insight.
As a survivor of a sadistic psychopath who kept me in captivity as an adolescent as his sex toy and abused me severely for years, a sociopath step father who was in a ring of paedophiles/sex offenders – one of his friends being a paedophile (psychopath), who abused me as a child, and a narcissistic mother, I can say without doubt – unless you have experienced their severe abuse and the devastating harm they cause – then you don’t know evil at work.
Yes, they can be monsters and many are.
Does that mean I hate them no.
But the evil acts they can make innocent people endure, can cause people to commit suicide, can cause life long painfully impacting consequences.
To minimize this – as I see in other comments (not the original blogger) – is very invalidating, to those of us who have suffered the painful trauma they can inflict, with absolutely no remorse.
They are morally insane, and that can absolutely make them monsters.
Reblogged this on Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD.
paula…..right on girl! Wonderful post. I agree with you 1million percent!
Both my parents are sociopaths and because of that I am not that okay, to put it very mildly.
The worst thing is because I am so broken as a person I can not defend my self in the World. I keep getting attacted by other people that injoy projecting and harming others to preserve them selves.
I havent survived.
Maria, I am really sorry you are feeling this way. Have you found a counselor or trusted guide who has experience with the type of trauma and difficulties you face? There is a site I have referred others to that offers support, professional support, for those who feel lost, alone and stuck. It’s called Sociopathic Style and I believe the site offers many avenues for support like one-on-one and group counseling.
Thank you! Maria
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Positivagirl, I’m so glad for you! That you are so open-minded and thoughtful of psychopaths! You are just the sort of person we are looking for. Now, since you’re so up for it, we are gonna start protecting the non-psychopaths with education, free genetic testing etc. and we are gonna give them a chance to live in a society free of these people, if that’s their choice. We are gonna start places for psychopaths as well, and we’d like to hire you. Now, you will live with only people like yourself (those who think being positive and loving can help or cure psychopaths) and then the psychopaths themselves, and once you agree to this job, you will not be able to go back. You can choose to foster or adopt children who are genetic psychopaths. You will be completely responsible and completely to blame for them, just like the natural parents who unfortunately (unlike you), didn’t have the chance to know it was nothing more than a genetic/chromosomal trait, but you will have the advantage upfront and I’m sure your unconditional love will fix them. I mean, science can prove that they will never feel love, empathy, shame, guilt, gratefulness etc. (so you will never get any gratitude for your efforts), but you will be able to show those meanies who have been so abused by psychopaths that if THEY were only as thoughtful as you are, they could have such good results!
Bear with us as we know that YOU know that each psychopath is different and that some are aggressive or sneaky and/or creepy, but I have the utmost confidence in your capabilities. Day after day, year after year, with all blaming you, including you in the guilt of the problems of the child, I’m sure that you will not give up and say that there is no help for these people or ever regret your decision to blame the victims and not weep for them instead. Perhaps you would like to have several of these children. Never mind that they all know curse words without ever hearing them, they also seem to have the know-how to molest at a young age even when they’ve never been molested, so you may have your hands full keeping safe from this. You also know that psychopaths can work together and gang up on a person, and it usually happens to be the one person who can feel emotions such as love etc. so you could end up being gang-raped emotionally etc. by young children. I’m sure you will find a way to justify it. But again, you will only be with those like yourself and psychopaths. There will be no others who have been damaged by evil psychopaths and KNOW the torment they inflict and who will then be able to help you heal. Oh no. These mean people will be together, learning to love again, knowing that all they live with know the truth about psychopathy and know that because science REFUSED to admit it was nothing more than another birth effect, denied them the right and choice to get involved with or to get away from psychopaths. They will be glorying in each new day, each new sound and thought, now that they aren’t forced to pretend that all are born as a blank slate. They will have the chance to find out who they were created to be because all will know that each person is born with inherent traits and temperaments and we are not trying to force everyone into the same mold, (which psychopaths have little problem with as they ALWAYS believe they are unique). The meanie society will know that some psychopaths use whatever the social norms are in order to present the façade of normalcy, all the while violating it in every way. (That, depending on the type of psychopath they are, they may choose to be the most conventional looking people on the outside, but on the inside they are sizing everyone up to see their weak spots and exploit them. Or they may be sexual deviants who love raping in broad day light.) We don’t know for sure how these separate societies will turn out in the end, but we can guess that when psychopaths know that those who are around them aren’t fooled by the mask they put on, well, I’m afraid that they may not even bother with social norms. As they always think others are stupid, weak and worthless (ESPECIALLY non-psychopaths), so you may be raped and demeaned or killed right away. We’ll see how it all plays out though. Oh, don’t forget, the pay is GREAT! (Non-psychopaths who unknowingly, due to science refusing to let them know the truth, are often financially, emotionally and physically destroyed for life). Again, you will not be able to leave once you’ve made the choice (just like parents who were never given this as a choice when their child was born a psychopath, or a spouse who kept being thrown back into the ring by therapists who never told them their mate could be a psychopath etc.) as these are all the things that were foisted off on those of us who, too late, discovered the truth. No worries. You sound like someone who, through the sheer force of your convictions, can solve ALL of life’s little problems. (I’m sure this is after years of abuse by a psychopathic mate, child or parent. And with all telling you that you’re part of the problem.)
Does this sound mean? Well positivagirl, this is EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU CLAIM TO BE A “BETTER PERSON” because you are so accommodating to psychopaths. Have you been having your boundaries violated since birth? I doubt it as you sound like you have some reserve, like you’ve been perhaps loved or listened to by at least one person in your life. I’m sure because you’re so smart and so educated on psychopathy that you realize that many people raised by psychopaths and alongside psychopathic siblings, have NEVER been loved or helped or believed and guess what (this should come as no surprise to you as you are the expert), that these people are now more susceptible to psychopaths, so they are abused for years. Now, because psychopathy is genetic and runs in families and oftentimes these are families of religions that don’t allow or encourage birth control, and because these religious people hang out together, they also intermarry or force their children to intermarry and voila! You have families of mostly psychopaths, societies of large amounts of psychopaths, so the few non-psychopaths are taught to feel that it is THEM that are wrong or odd or different. I’m SURE positivagirl, that YOU YOURSELF are NOT a psychopath, and since you’re not, you can feel empathy. Well, it’ll come in handy when you’re stuck with mostly psychopaths, as you will need this empathy for yourself.
Tired yet? I’m sure you aren’t, and don’t fret. The psychopaths won’t really CARE if you’re tired nor will they CARE if you gave up your life/ career/ hopes for the future/ meaningful relationships with others who could SHARE your love, YOU will get no rest or recourse. You will be told you are lazy no matter that your fingers are bleeding from work. You will be told you are fat, ugly, dumb and worthless even though you may be deathly anorexic, still attractive (just superficially as your soul will be destroyed, oh what the hell, you’ll end up looking like you’re fifty when in actuality, you’re only twenty!), and have several college degrees. Although you gave up all, you will be considered rubbish in the psychopath’s eyes.
Now, I’m sure none of this is not a problem for you, as you really have it on the ball. So might I suggest that you get a good rest (perhaps a holiday), before you sign your life away? You are at least armed with the knowledge and genetics of psychopathy (unlike those of us forced into these relationships due to birth families, children, non-education about psychopathy, and people like you who denied us the ability to learn the truth about them or speak about it afterwards), so you will go in equipped with this knowledge.
I doubt you’ll be able to see my point as people like you really buy your own crap. Os Guinness wrote in one of his books about evil, that it’s usually the philosophers who lose their ideals first, when faced with the truth of evil. (I think he was talking about the Nazi prison camps but you are too smart to learn from the wisdom of others.) You sound like the perfect contender for our proposal. So what do you think? (See, all your bull**** ideals ONLY WORK if there are people who CAN feel empathy around you, otherwise all your crap is just that, a big pile of BULL****. Good luck though, you’re a treasure!)
Mike, thank you for taking the time to write this. Positivagirl and I (and many others for that matter) clearly disagree on the idea of treating psychopaths/sociopaths/PDs, etc. But you illustrated exactly why it’s a dangerous idea to use our empathy on them. Where does it lead us? It leads us back to the hell we were once able to escape. Who wants to go back to that place?!?
And Mr. Guinness totally gets it and understands that everything we learned about ethics and goodness flies out the window once we have experienced evil. Before leaving the sociopath, I became engrossed in all things related to Nazi’s, Hitler and WWII. I live in DC and wanted to visit the Holocaust Museum but felt I needed to be prepared. So, I read and watched as much as I could on the subject. When it came time to visit the museum, the sociopath tagged along and treated the experience as if it were like visiting a park or a portrait gallery in Paris–trying to take pictures of me walking through the place. Luckily, someone immediately stopped him the first time he whipped out his camera. And after the visit? Nothing! He had no reaction. He would not share anything about how he felt or what he thought of any of it! I felt numb at his lack of interest. I honestly did not understand how he couldn’t be affected.
Now I get it, though. The sociopath would have made a great Nazi. And after the war, he would have denied involvement and escaped to Argentina like the rest of the cowards.
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Reblogged this on Family Hurts Inc – Inquiry, News & Critique.
I copy a recent comment from you as another amazingly well-articulated and spot-on summary:
“I didn’t say that your blog defends them. I’m saying mine doesn’t, not even with regards to them getting “fixed” or being treated. One of the main reasons people don’t leave these types of abusers is because they think there is hope for them to change. If they have an inkling of a doubt, they won’t be able to leave the relationship and will have to suffer through until they die or the abuser leaves them. Claiming we should have pity or sympathy for them as humans is why we stay too long in the first place. Being able to define them as evil or as monsters and as unfixable and/or untreatable is VITAL to being able to let go and move on. And by calling them monsters or evil isn’t indicative of any hate I have toward them that may be hindering my recovery. Calling them what they are is calling them what they are. period. No emotions attached.”
Exactly as you said. This reminds me of a witty e-postcard I have recently seen: “I don’t insult you; I merely describe you.”
Yet, in many cases when we simply describe the abusers as they are with the appropriate terms, it is interpreted as our hatred for them, therefore our evils.
On one hand, if you keep silent or use moderate politically correct terms about these abusers, no one even hears you, let alone liberate you. But if you rebel, get angry and call the abusers what they are, evil, monstrous and the sort, then the abused are called hateful. How else can one respond to these abuses if not with anger? To disallow anger against the evil is a cognitive trap, a psychological torture, a philosophical-moral mistake, and in fact such prohibition may be at the root of all evils.
On the other hand, the abusers are often acquitted as “fallible human beings”, while in fact the abusers (psychopaths, narcissists,) are quite infallible in their evil perfection – that’s why they never change and that’s why they don’t even think they should change. Yet, the ongoing projection and truth-reversal favouring the abusers has been extensively used all over the place.
I applaud your ability to discern, your wisdom and integrity to stay firm against this fallacious trend.
Thank you, Skywanderer. “..the abusers are quite infallible in their evil perfection…” So true!
Our happiness is easily accepted but our anger isn’t? It makes no sense. It causes so much confusion and desperation. We need to allow people to express their anger. How else can we work through it? And how else can we let go and release the anger and transform that energy into good? Life is filled with dichotomies: good and evil; happy and sad; fear and bravery. We need to accept and acknowledge both to validate both. Otherwise, we begin to question our happiness, too, I think.
I just finished reading the comments and I can see postistivegirls point and congratulate her on being able to view things in the positive manner she does. It sounds like you have had s challenging life and have found a way to accept and grow from your experiences.
I have always viewed life’s challenges as an opportunity to learn and then help others; otherwise what was the point. You have to learn from life and take what you can from all of Life’s experiences.
I have my own blog about the 10 years I spend with a narcissist/psychopath and although I have been away from him 2 1/2 years and really don’t hate him or wish him ill. I can’t honestly say I forgive him. I don’t wish him ill bbecause I am not vindictive or hateful and I don’t spend time thinking about him and what he is doing. I spend my time trying to raise awareness about these type of people and hopefully save some women from experiencing the pain of being involved with one.
I do not believe they can change; I do believe they are evil monsters, I think they are born disabled; not their fault but none the less dangerous like Paula said, “you wouldn’t let a person with Down’s drive”. I understand the analogy perfectly.
These monsters are almost always highly intelligent, just because they have no conscience or empathy does not mean they do not know right from wrong. They are self serving and telling them,” Please stop that hurts me” motivates them to ramp up the abuse not stop it. They purposely look for a person’s sensitive spot and then use it to inflict pain, to destroy a person emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically is an ultimate high for many of these monsters. Only a monster seeks to destroy a person, in the animal kingdom like species band together and support each other, protect each other and the young. It is a natural instinct; these monsters don’t even have that basic instinct.
Just my opinion but as Paula said, any glimmer pf hope that there people can be rehabilitated will keep women (and men) in dangerous relationships. I thought I could love my ex enough to save him from himself and in the process almost lost my life.
Will that was more then 2 cents worth!!”
I am not going to buy it that there are a group of people who can’t be treated. Perhaps the problem is that there are a group of people who work in treatment who define them as ‘monsters’…. I find that really crazy!
I worked for a long time alongside community mental health teams. Managing hostels. We would quite often get referrals for people diagnosed ‘psychopaths’… I would never judge anyone. People are different. Psychos are different. Some steal,. some do not, some cheat some do not, some are violent, others wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Imagine if you had an illness which defined you as a monster? Where nobody could understand you? Where you were judged – yet you were told there is no treatment you will always be like this? Where you were shunned from society and always having to move on, knowing that will likely fail too? How would you behave if that person was you? (there is nothing you can do if that is the way your brain is)
Historically this has been the thinking – lock them up, shoot them, bad evil people. Where has it got us? Nowhere…. maybe it is time for a change in thinking! 🙂 – when thinking is changed, perhaps treatment will start to be more effective?
Of course – I know you won’t agree with me! 🙂
Remember when someone acts out in a hatred way – they usually do because they hate themselves!!
I don’t have an illness that defines me and I am still defined as being uncaring because i don’t think evil people deserve the same chances as everyone else? Would you give a child with Down’s the opportunity to learn to drive and then run the risk of everyone else’s life on the road because that child should have the same opportunities? No. These people should not be given the same opportunities to abuse and hurt people. I have worked in community corrections. there are people who like hurting people. They like it. Why should I feel guilty for not liking people who like hurting others just because they were born not to like others? Normal ethics don’t work with these folks. I’m sorry. Rehabilitation is a joke for people who can’t be helped and who refuse to be helped.
We agree to disagree. A child with downs? I don’t understand what the analogy is there?
And it’s not my responsibility to make someone stop hating themselves. It’s my responsibility to preserve my dignity so I don’t hate so much that I want to see them dead.
Do you think that, you want to see them dead? Hatred attaches itself to you though.
When you get to acceptance. You just accept it, can laugh about it. Move on, realise that its not you that is disordered its them. Whilst you carry hate and resentment they are still getting to you 😦
You’re missing my point. If we stick around trying to “fix” them, we end up being abused more resulting in a deeper hatred. I’m not speaking for myself specifically. I am speaking for all people who have experienced this type of abuse. My blog is not to support people born to hurt others. My blog is in support of people who have been hurt by those people. You defend them because you are a counselor and see them as humans, too. That’s okay. I was once naive, too.
Where in my blog do I write about defending them? I don’t think I do. I think I write about healing and recovery and understanding?
By understanding what has happened – it is easier to heal, understand it, realise it wasn’t you, let go and move on.
I don’t think I have ever written a post about supporting sociopaths? I quite resent you suggesting that i do!
I didn’t say that your blog defends them. I’m saying mine doesn’t, not even with regards to them getting “fixed” or being treated. One of the main reasons people don’t leave these types of abusers is because they think there is hope for them to change. If they have an inkling of a doubt, they won’t be able to leave the relationship and will have to suffer through until they die or the abuser leaves them. Claiming we should have pity or sympathy for them as humans is why we stay too long in the first place. Being able to define them as evil or as monsters and as unfixable and/or untreatable is VITAL to being able to let go and move on. And by calling them monsters or evil isn’t indicative of any hate I have toward them that may be hindering my recovery. Calling them what they are is calling them what they are. period. No emotions attached.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE what you have contributed, PositivaGirl. Love It!! We differ in opinion on a couple of points. I do not hate my past abuser. I hate the actions he perpetrated against me and my son. I feel nothing for him, actually. It’s the actions I despise and wish no one to ever expereince. The emotions connected to the actions against me are what motivate me and propel me forward in a positive way. If I hated him, I wouldn’t be able to articulate what I need to say in any effective way. I am allowed to hate everything that happened to me and against my child. It keeps my boundaries from slipping. My hate and my joy. I need them both for discernment in my life.
It might be what I have been through in life?
I have had a very strange life. (my other blog is earthangelsdiary) that might explain me a bit more.
My whole life has been this way. I experience it, then I work with it. I never chose it, it chooses me. First of all I was homeless at 16, then I was offered a job working with youth homeless. My entire working history has been this way. As I went life and experienced events, I then worked with it.
After my daughter died, I thought no more…. i returned to work, first client and old lady (they thought that would be safe) but no, she had lost all her children, second client, 18 year old girl, anniversary of the day her mother was graphically murdered, third client, horrifically in trauma (as was I) – grieving and traumatised I would come home to a psycho breaking into my home, threatening to kill me, rape me,terrorise me and my family…. crazy stuff.
ALWAYS i worked with it, after I had experienced it.
I finished work at the end of October, ha I thought a breathing space. My cognitive processing still wasn’t working in my brain, by Feb I started to write. By March – i was connecting to the outside world again (I was left so traumatised that news politics world affairs didn’t exist).
I wasn’t meant to be writing about sociopaths, I was working on a project about stillbirth (and still am) working with 200 women to write a book to change perceptions about stillbirth. But the dating a sociopath took off, I was amazed.
Literally my brain and cognitive processing is only just coming back, its relatively new for me. So I am overjoyed at this. It is a true gift of life for me again. I have been ‘gone’ for 3 years. It took a charismatic type to mirror me and pull me out, which undid the damage of the one before. Thank god. Money he took – ah its just money I got paid a years salary from work anyway – so no big deal. I was able to start again.
That’s how I ended up writing my blog. It got more attention than the stillbirth, as people seem to like it.(i didn’t know why) you know that lack of confidence after you have been smashed to pieces.
I started writing at the end of feb, so 2.5 months ago. yesterday nearly 3,000 hits and 1,200 visitors. Which to me, is crazy and each day as it increases it still amazes me (I hadn’t posted for a week). I just go with it, and be myself. Just go with the flow of it really. I know right now, for the first time in 3 years, I am back on the right path in life, doing what I should be doing.
If you read what i write on earthangelsdiaries, you might understand, that I am not defending sociopaths or anyone – i strongly believe that there are only two emotions in life, love and fear. Every other emotion comes back to those two. So, i share the love 🙂
I don’t know if that makes sense? I will do something with this. Am trying to put it into a book. Formatting is driving me crazy!! 🙂 … I know i have to keep going with it. I think my other blog might explain why i focus on healing and recovery – I am a healer I guess?
And just to add: When I realized I had let go of my hate for him, I was scared. I worried I just wasn’t able to feel anymore. I was worried I had become numb to the pain, like the pain was okay. But I finally realized that it was a freedom, not a numbness I was experiencing. And I was able to let it wash over me…peacefully.
Yes for sure!! That is how I feel – FREEDOM liberated!! Its a good feeling!! 🙂
I LOVE this http://earthangelsdiary.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/a-message-to-all-of-humanity/
Written such a long time ago. But so 100% true of today, its beautiful. Its not that long, but its powerful!
Positiveagirl, I understand what you are saying, and you are correct, it is wrong to label them all as monsters; afterall, we are all human. However, MOST diagnosed Narcissists or Borderlines DON’T CARE that they are being labeled, don’t believe it, or love the attention. And I dont see the Cluster B that was in my life feeling that he is being shunned in any way. He gets on great with society because of his superficial charm. But his true colors/honest behavior is deplorable. When they hurt you so callously, it can be hard to hold back anger, most of which is justifiable.
I disagree about narcissists. They don’t like the label, as they like to be seen as perfection. Sociopaths though they don’t care. You are quite right they love the attention. I was writing a blog whilst he was still in my life, and he honestly saw it that he was helping other people 🙂 have to laugh! To be honest, I can laugh about things. You have to really. Some of it, is really ridiculous behaviour. he was the same, gets on great with everyone due to superficial charm, he was life and soul of every party. Mr Charisma. He didn’t care. Not at all.
Would you call suspected psychopath Ariel Castro a monster? I certainly would. Can you just imagine being held captive for over 10 years, being beated, bruised, raped?
Yes, he is human; yes he’s had a painful past. And yes, his actions qualify him as a monster.
a person who excites horror by wickedness, cruelty, etc.
No. I would describe him as a dangerous man. I would describe him as a very sick individual who is dangerous to society and needs to be behind lock and key where he can do no further damage.
As realistically for anyone to do that, their mind is clearly not right.
But also, all sociopaths are not like that. The last one i was with wouldn’t hurt anyone in that way, he wasn’t violent, he was a scam artist a con man, after money.
The one before him was a sadistic horrible person. I still wouldn’t wish him dead. I am just relieved I am not with him anymore and he cant hurt me ever again. Freedom…. its a great feeling!
I’m pretty sure the girls held in captivity would call him a monster for what he had done to them. Even if they seek and find forgiveness, he would still be a monster for what he did at the time.
Mother Theresa is considered an angel by many. That is a label. Just because “monster” has a negative connotation, doesnt make it less true.
You can’t say that for sure. I know something that i went through which was so horrific my brain stayed in shock for 3 years. I never thought that I would come out the other side of it. Ever.
Today, I don’t even think of that person. Not in my thoughts. Not part of me. Not my life. His actions are his own. They belong to him. Not me. I am not prepared to carry that forever. it took a lot to come the other side to see that by letting go, I set myself free.
What would happen if he reached out and sent you a FB friend request today? Would you welcome it or delete it and move on? Would you think about that person as a result of the friend request even after deleting it? Would there only be nothing or would you experience an emotion?
t sounds good to forgive and not hate something that was done to you, but it’s not realistic and it’s not productive to deny someone the need to feel what they need to feel in order to get through an experience. I hate everything my abuser did to me and my son. Hate it. Does that mean I can’t recover and find peace? I don’t think so. It means I know my boundaries and what I will and will not allow in my life ever again.
Does this explain? http://earthangelsdiary.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/the-easiest-way-to-achieve-positive-thinking-and-positive-things-into-your-life/
I believe that there are only two real emotions in life
All other emotions come from either love or fear. I refuse to allow myself to live in fear (argh that would be like living with a psycho all over again) . As you know there are politicians in power who are forcing people to live in fear. So many psychopaths, doing mass destruction.
This is a time of awakening. I see the bigger picture. I am writing about sociopath – but the word is out people are waking up. Seeing what is going on. Being wise and seeing the bigger picture. its more than just the relationship, its bigger than that. its all around us. That is why people are searching for information about it?
As for the facebook. No. Because i have the right to protect myself. But that is only for one reason, that is because in the past he accessed my Facebook gained access to emails, and absolutely humiliated me. Sending emails to people. Even when I was with him he was blocked from my Facebook!
The one before him – my time with him is done. I don’t need to be in contact with him anymore. I never need to speak to him again. Perhaps that is fear? Probably? I don’t hate him, or what he did. I do feel pity for him though, as clearly he is mentally very sick and depraved to do what he did to me. Really sick. Because of that, I would have nothing to do with him ever. I just don’t really think about him. Its not a part of my life anymore? Its gone in the past? …. setting boundaries is good, its healthy. I do agree with that! 🙂 But I don’t hate, I feel nothing at all. Not even about the things that were done to me.I wont allow it define me. Or be a part of me 🙂 its their issues, not mine. it doesn’t belong to me.
Yep, I agere. not all sociopaths are alike- they vary by degrees of severity. My ex has hurt physically (to animals, and punching men), but emotionally is where he hits the most. I don’t wish him dead- I wish he would/could stay out of relationships so he stops the cycle. I realize it’s none of my business, but it is hard to know that he keeps hurting women over and over again. We need more relationship educaton so women (and men) stop falling for Cluster B’s. There are almost always red flags.
Yes 100% agree with you there Michelle.
An absolutely brilliant post – superbly written and conveying the most profound truths which are so often overlooked, misunderstood and/or distorted.
I can’t thank you enough for this article. This will make a huge difference for many of us who have been abused, then have been made double-victims by the lack of compassion and understanding that we face in society.
Thank you for the support, Skywanderer. It means so much to me. 🙂
Well said. Very well said indeed. Society does need to stop caring about the “poor sociopath” and start caring about the traumatized victims. There is something in the victim who turns survivor that is a superpower. To be able to fight the forces of evil and come out alive does indeed warrant study. What is it about us that we can do this? That would be a study well worth funding.
Wonderful post!!! So honest about what is and what is not effective!
My career for 30 years was in mental health case management. This is VERY impressive. And beyond important. You have accurately explained the problem so very clearly that I am in awe. The paradigm shift is essential to the healing and the negation of the allowance of abuse either through ignorance or focus on what is wrong with these monsters. Who cares what’s wrong with them!!? What is right with those of us who have survived and are lifted higher?? That is truly where our focus should be. THANK YOU!! You are brilliant!!
You’re too kind, Linda. Thank you for always being here with your support and love. XOXO
“A vaccine against the effects of pathology perhaps.” I’d go for that one!
Great post! Came here via ladywithatruck’s blog. Glad I stopped to read.
DSM is used for diagnosing, not for treatment plans. There are therapists that treat Narcissists/Borderlines/Cluster B’s- sometimes CBT works.
I recently asked my professor who has worked as a therapist for over 30 years if she has ever successfully treated a Narcissist, and she said no.
There certainly needs to be more research in this area.
Thank you, Michelle, for the clarification. I threw in the treatment plan idea because people too often have the wrong idea of what the DSM is. You read people referring to it as a bible or THE reference manual. It’s JUST a classification system that can change and does change, because it’s not really based on much other than observations. I think it’s a great point of reference to much bigger findings and understandings for lay people and professionals alike. NIMH would like it to go away, too. Too much focus on the “what” rather than the “why” according to its director.
I think your assertion that the psychiatric profession or law enforcement is in someway being soft on posy-sociopathic criminals is a case of erecting a straw man. Although there is discussion about the usefulness of labeling people which has a tendency to depersonalize people by identifying them with a fixed bias of pathology, there is no serious or impending movement toward giving such leniency to dangerous psychopaths. Nor, despite popular TV shows like “Hannibal” is
there a trend of sympathy toward them. As fascinating as Hannibal Lecter may be, no healthy viewer wants a real Hannibal in the world or preparing their meals for them. They may admire much about him, but not his cannibalism. Mobsters once grabbed America’s attention and even respect. This is the respect given to bold personalities who determine their own destiny-an attractive fantasy for work-a-day Americans struggling to make ends meet. Yet, these same citizens are glad to see them jailed in the end.
It is also important to note that not all sociopath types are murderers and may-hemmers. There are many ruthless business and military types who, unpleasant as they may be, provide some social good. Incidentally you may have my sympathy if you find this fact distasteful. I do too.
You also expanded your list of objectionals to schizophrena and other psychiatric categories. Your simple dualism of good and bad is oversimplified.
In short, your own pain has lead you to strike out in ways that are not in accord with the facts. I detect a good deal of sensitivity on your part and much good to say. But to continue like this is a road to demagoguery.
Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
Paula hit the ball right out of the park with this post!
I second that!!!