This morning I woke up real early, and couldn’t sleep. Lots going on lately, in my personal life, and I had some questions about some stuff. I’m trying to break habits, recognize patterns. So I guess it began with a search for the definition of Narcissism, and it just snowballed. That’s how I came across this article, and read the following:
People with this disorder appear to be charming at times, and make relationships, but to them, these are relationships in name only. They are ended whenever necessary or when it suits them, and the relationships are without depth or meaning, including marriages. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so.
They appear to be incapable of any true emotions, from love to shame to guilt. They are quick to anger but just as quick to let it go, without holding grudges. No matter what emotion they state they have, it has no bearing on their future actions or attitudes.
[Profile Of The Sociopath]
So I walked into the kitchen and I noticed that my hands shook as I poured another cup of coffee, and I looked at the clock to see how many hours I had till I had to go to work.
Do I have time? Am I ready, I thought.
Please don’t get me wrong, I loved Tim. In my own uniquely rose-coloured glasses, always see the good in people way. I did. At the end, it was a lot easier. Sure. He was not who he was at the beginning. I didn’t change him. The Pancreatic Cancer did.
THE MALIGNANT PERSONALITY:
These people are mentally ill and extremely dangerous! The following precautions will help to protect you from the destructive acts of which they are capable.
First, to recognize them, keep the following guidelines in mind.
(1) They are habitual liars. They seem incapable of either knowing or telling the truth about anything.
(2) They are egotistical to the point of narcissism. They really believe they are set apart from the rest of humanity by some special grace.
(3) They scapegoat; they are incapable of either having the insight or willingness to accept responsibility for anything they do. Whatever the problem, it is always someone else’s fault.
(4) They are remorselessly vindictive when thwarted or exposed.
(5) Genuine religious, moral, or other values play no part in their lives. They have no empathy for others and are capable of violence. Under older psychological terminology, they fall into the category of psychopath or sociopath, but unlike the typical psychopath, their behavior is masked by a superficial social facade.
I remember in the fall of 2010 when I left him that second, third time? But this time, I LEFT. Not just down the street, at night, to a friends house. No. I LEFT.
Supposedly for good. Yeah. I know.
Sitting on that long bus ride home to London, I decided to make a list of all the things about Tim I had to remember, had to remind myself for when he again tried to claw his way back. So when I read that above and every single one of the things I wrote that day is on that list. In one version or another. ALL of it.
But I went back. I don’t remember even anymore where that list went.
They play not just ON your weaknesses, but they play WITH them. Like a cat with a mouse. They toy with every flaw, every truth, every soul burning reality. They then store it all away for later; slowly accumulating an arsenal to use when required, so as to always know what buttons to push, and what you’ll do.
But not at first. No. At first, they charm and say the right thing. You open up to them. They make you feel special, say all the right things, do all the right things.
It makes me catch my breath, reading the things that website said. I can feel this tightness grabbing at my shoulders, how it clutches.
And I said to myself, what use is it to look at this? What good will it do? To know. To acknowledge, to say out loud. I read this article about 3 times this morning, and every single time I read it, I could not believe my eyes.
I mean, Tim was like a POSTER child. And I his hapless victim.
At his funeral, I remember hearing his Father talking to some relatives (that, of course, I’d never met), and he was saying something about Tim being the way he was cause he was Dyslexic. In his words, I could hear the guilt his Dad felt. I wish I could have said something, to let him know he did nothing wrong. But I admit I wondered myself, why? Why was he like this? What happened? Was just my imagination?
Think you can spot one? Think again. In general, psychopaths aren’t the product of broken homes or the casualties of a materialistic society. Rather they come from all walks of life and there is little evidence that their upbringing affects them. Elements of a psychopath’s personality first become evident at a very early age, due to biological or genetic factors. Explains Michael Seto, a psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health in Toronto, by the time that a person hits their late teens, the disorder is almost certainly permanent. Although many clinicians use the terms psychopath and sociopath interchangeably, writes psychopath expert Robert Hare on his book ‘Without Conscience’, a sociopath’s criminal behavior is shaped by social forces and is the result of a dysfunctional environment.
And, I kept reading, and read the following:
Psychopaths have only a shallow range of emotions and lack guilt, says Hare. They often see themselves as victims, and lack remorse or the ability to empathize with others. “Psychopaths play on the fact that most of us are trusting and forgiving people,” adds Seto. The warning signs are always there; it’s just difficult to see them because once we trust someone, the friendship becomes a blinder. IBID
Now isn’t that the rub, eh? That the one characteristic I have always been admired for, is the one trait that attracts the psychopaths, like bees to a flower. Perhaps my Achilles Heel.
Suppose it comes with age, this hardening of the defenses, and this mindset now that compels me to share what I know. What I learned from that four years with Tim.
If he had not died I can not say for certain that I could have ever really got away from him.
These experiences I had with him are not spoken of lightly. It’s not a conversation one has around the watercooler at work. You don’t often find yourself discussing the finer points of the traits of a Sociopath, or a Psychopath, with anyone. Doesn’t really often come up in polite chit chat.
If I’d known, though, in those first few weeks after I met Tim, would anything have been different? I don’t know.
No one wants to be the sucker, so how do we prevent ourselves from becoming close friends or getting into a relationship with a psychopath? It’s really almost impossible, say Seto and Willson. Unfortunately, laments Seto, one way is to become more suspicious and less trusting of others. Our tendency is to forgive when we catch a loved one in a lie. “Psychopaths play on this fact,” he says. “However, I’m certainly not advocating a world where if someone lies once or twice, you never speak to them again.” What you can do is look at how often someone lies and how they react when caught. Psychopaths will lie over and over again, and where other people would sincerely apologize, a psychopath may apologize but won’t stop. IBID
I am coming to terms with recognition, and that I can’t go back to who I was before Tim. Before he jaded me. Once bitten, twice shy.
So, how does one inoculate against that sort of parasite? My advice? KNOW THY SELF.
Suppose that’s the best any of us can do.