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#631 - 04/29/05 01:57 PM Re: The Mask of a Psychopath [Re: MoreCautiousNow]
sylvie25 Offline
member

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
I'm curious - has anyone run into the problem of righteous lawyers who react like its an affront to their sensibilities for instance when you say that a signature was very likely forged, or there were financial improprieties at a particular company (with the intent of supporting that assertion obviously). It's as if they can't conceive that those kinds of things happen, never mind that they do (have they watched the news in the last 4 years?!!). I must say, psychopaths have it made all the way, small wonder that they do those kinds of things. The chances of them getting caught much less punished are slim to none.

I asked if anyone has encountered this kind of thing but I presume people have.

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#632 - 05/01/05 02:08 PM Re: The Mask of a Psychopath [Re: significantother]
sylvie25 Offline
member

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
Hi SO,

You're very welcome. That's what I found when I joined the forum last year as well, that it was a relief to be among people who got it. Prior to that, it felt as if I was speaking in tongues, because for the most part, people simply can't relate. I mean just the term "sociopath" seems so dramatic. With all the talk about domestic abuse etc. in the media you would think the term sociopath would come up more often, because surely some of those men are exactly that. But it just doesn't. Even during the Peterson trial, it was mentioned, but only a few times. I was disappointed about that. In fact I was tempted to call the Larry King Show a number of times just to get that going. That was a perfect opportunity to educate people, that even an outwardly charming, seemingly "perfect", all-American kind of guy could be a veneer for such evil.

You mentioned seeing a pattern/a well travelled road. If by that you're mean several relationships like that, no I can't say the same. The guys I dated before that were terrific, well bred guys who truly liked women. That's the difference they LIKED women. As opposing to Ps who need to use and abuse women, but certainly don't like them. Actually they usually loathe them (mommie issues!).

If a picture tells a thousand words, some of the photographs of him are sooo telling! The antisocial glare is just striking - I guess those are the times the mask slipped.

Take care,

Sylvie

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#633 - 05/03/05 12:44 PM Re: The Mask of a Psychopath [Re: sylvie25]
significantother Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 9
Hi sylvie,
Well I work with lawyers occassionally and most come across as pompous and arrogant if that is what you are meaning. Are you tangled in a court pursuit with a psycho? I do not envy you if so. I have been to other forums and this is the only one that gave me an easy feeling. There are a couple, and I don't mean to belittle, but they focus more on 'woe'. I like the intelligent discussions here. This has been a busy week for me, which is good, and another coming as well, but just wanted to pop in and say hello, thanks again, and keep the faith.
~ So

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#634 - 05/04/05 03:49 PM Re: The Mask of a Psychopath [Re: significantother]
sylvie25 Offline
member

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
Hi there SO,

YVW. Yeah, lawyers come in all stripes, that's for sure - just think people who aren't psychopaths or familiar with their tactics get bamboozled easily. Not really tangled as such right now, just making enquiries because of outstanding compensation owed by company where psycho ex-boss worked. Well I'm saying "worked" but believe he's still consulting for them so he'll probably make things difficult. We'll have to see. I feel for people who have to go up against psychos for divorces, custody of kids, etc. I mean this isn't fun, but that must be a nightmare.

Yes, there's a lot of interesting discussion/debate here. Sometimes woe as well (from myself included) - I guess it's a given in a forum about psychopaths.

Thanks for your encouraging note.

Sylvie


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#635 - 05/07/05 01:43 AM Re: The Mask of a Psychopath
Adrienne Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/05
Posts: 6
I am so lucky to have gotten out without this... children and abuse and... well. Then to have everyone turn on YOU. How maddening. You are an inspiration

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#636 - 12/31/05 07:27 AM Re: The Mask of a Psycho
Diane1969 Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 147
I've been wanting to share my own experiences of this for a while, since it is the one thing that I find the most horrifying about being involved with a P. When that final mask slips and you see standing before you someone that looks, feels, and acts like the very definition of evil, you really feel like you have slipped out of reality and are standing on the lip of hell.

Below is part of my journal that I just recently wrote trying to make sense of all of this.

_______________
So, what would scare you? What would make your breath catch, your eyes go wide in shock, you whole body tremble in the instant NOW of the locomotive hurling toward you that you recognize in that instant as unstoppable danger? Would it surprise you to find out that what scared me the most in my entire adult life was my heart’s desire unmasked in a hideous moment of stark truth?

My boyfriend was planning a trip to Boston where he was scheduled to give a talk on self improvement, or the upliftment of the spirit, or quantum psychology, or some other new age, pseudo-psychology topic. He had done this, traveling across the US several times a year at the invitations of people he had met at functions similar to the one at which he was scheduled to speak, for as long as I had known him. I had known him by this time for a little over seven years.

He was always a bit of an enigma to me, a mixture of vulnerability and need for love and yet totally independent and untouchable. I mostly kept a light touch with our relationship during those early years. He was charming, a sensitive type, not terribly attractive physically, but with boyish high spirits, and a tendency to want to enjoy the good things in life. He always gave me the impression of extreme fragility, as though if I blew too hard his way he would shatter into a million dust particles and blow away on the wind of my breath. I cherished him like a flower made of spun glass and treated him as gently. I never tried to analyze or judge him in any way during these early years, and this was so unlike me. I instinctively knew that with this person those activities were futile.

We had been dating on and off for those first seven years, and they were years of disappointment for me and years of painful awareness that he was not the type of person who could ever give anything of substance to me. And yet, I wanted him, the ultimate unattainable bit of candy so high out of my reach.

There were times when he just disappeared without a word, without a whisper, and I never knew during those times if he would reappear at some point in the future or not, and I was left hanging and forgotten like a garment that was once loved and is now out of fashion and so is left to the dust and to the spiders in the back of the closet.

There were times when the memories of cutting my self to shreds on the edges of his needs were so vivid that I could not date him when he returned to lift me back into the light of his dazzling smile.

But on this day, in November, 2002, all of that was behind us. This was the start of a real relationship with him, the first. We had been dating again for two months, and my heart was soaring. I was so in love with him, and all I wanted to do was devote my life to his care and well-being, this precious man.

He was very ill with the flu that day, running a fever and in bed all day, and I was worried. He had to cancel his trip; he was too ill to go on it. We lived in different cities and as I spoke to him on the phone I commiserated with him and I felt so much compassion for him. I asked him if he would let me make home-made chicken soup and bring it to him, and he said that would be nice. So I did this, made chicken soup from scratch, boiling the meat from a whole chicken with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and the secret ingredient, turnips sliced so thin they dissolved in the soup. It is not a small task to do this, making chicken soup from scratch, and it took several hours. When it was done and still boiling hot, I put it in a large container and wrapped it in towels to keep it hot, and I drove the 47 miles to his house to bring it to him. It was raining and foggy that night and the traffic was thick.

He met me at the door in his robe and he looked awful. I was carrying the hot container and he followed me into the kitchen. As I busied myself finding a place to put the container on the counter, I told him it was still hot and asked him if I could go ahead and serve him some. I said, “This will make you feel so much better.”

He didn’t answer. I turned and he was standing by the sink, leaning on it, and I reached up to feel his forehead to see if he was still feverish.

And then it happened, the thing that still haunts me three years later. He jerked violently away from my reaching hand. It came over him in a split second, less than a blink of an eye. The outer edges of his mouth turned downward and his upper lip rose in a snarl with his lips still closed. His normally hazel eyes turned hard and completely black and his features rearranged into an aspect that made him look dead and possessed of a malevolent force, as though all the warmth in the world had fled before it, leaving only wastelands of destruction and the hunger to kill and devour, to tear me where I stood. Toxic, poisonous hatred flowed from him in waves; the desire to hurt me, to utterly destroy me was evident in every single bit of him. He had become a thing that with its very gaze stripped all joy and goodness from the world and made everything nothing.

I went into shock and froze for a moment that stretched out before me and I knew in that moment that I was about to die a horrible death. Then I turned and fled, shutting down all of my emotions, shutting off everything except my instinct for danger and my need to escape. He followed me to the front door, leaning over me and holding the door closed, and said in a calm and controlled voice, “Do you have to leave so soon?”

I made quiet excuses for my need to leave, keeping my arms and hands at my sides and my head down, and refusing to look at him again, not daring to risk anything, any small movement that might trigger him into carrying out the threat he had showed me under the bright halogen lights in the kitchen. I tried my best to become small and insignificant and disappear. He let me go.

What on earth is this? I had nightmares about it. What had I done to trigger this in him? I didn’t know.

This had not been the first time I had seen this on him, this possession by cold rage, nor would it be the last. It was not the first, nor the last time that I would suddenly and inexplicably find myself fearing for my life in his presence. But this was the first time I saw it in bright light and the first time I saw it come over him, and I could not mistake it for anything else.

Other times this had come over him, I had not been looking until the split second it disappeared, or it had happened in places that were darkened, like in his bedroom, or in the hot tub, or in the car driving at night. And these episodes were always fleeting, and so these other times it was easier to mistrust my instincts, to blow them off as just my wild imagination, or to recast them as something other than what they were.

This time I could not lie to myself about what I saw or what I experienced standing there before his gaze in that kitchen.

These episodes were always accompanied by either stony silence, or by the most hateful words that were so out of place for the circumstances. But they were always in response to me doing something for him out of the goodness of my heart.

My reactions to each of these episodes have been the same, to shut down and try to escape if I could, or to become small and disappear if there was no way to flee.

Over the last three years when I have questioned him about this and other episodes that have happened he has consistently made up conflicting reasons, stories, or denied that they happened at all.
__________

Diane1969

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#637 - 12/31/05 03:22 PM Re: The Mask of a Psycho [Re: Diane1969]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Hi Diane, thank you for sharing this portion of your "relationship". I have always been interested in the eyes when the mask drops since I have heard it from most victims. I wonder if the more socialized Psychopath's are the more likey he/she can catch themselves in this evil state and get it "under control".

Without conducting any kind of personality profile, it seems as though you are a perfect example of how a successful person can end up in the trap of a Psychopath. I think and have read Dr. Hare on the subject that really nice people are more likely to get involved. I guess that is the good news (that you are a truly nice person) based on the situation you have described here.

I have also heard many times from victims who say that they had instincts something wasn't right but pushed them out of mind.

I wonder if all Psychopaths get this look of evil in their eyes when the mask drops?

Di

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#638 - 12/31/05 05:54 PM Re: The Mask of a Psycho [Re: Dianne E.]
Diane1969 Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 147
Thank you, Dianne. I've wondered if that is the case too, that they all exhibit this cold rage at some point or another.

I have talked with another woman who was involved with him in the past. She never saw this side of him. The mask never slipped to that extent with her. But then again, he was pursuing her and she wanted very little to do with him, since she knew his family and how very messed up they all were.

Another interesting thing about this that makes me pause is that my ex-P was very harsh, controlling, and abusive to my children, to the point that I couldn't allow him to have dinner with us or to allow him to spend the night. This other woman had a son, and my ex-P doted on this child and never even once treated this child the way he treated mine.

I think had she ever really fallen in love with him that at that point this child would have suffered the same abuse, and I'm sure she would have then also seen this lizard-like countenance on him. It was only in the last three years, while we were together in this closer relationship that his abusiveness became so apparent. Before then, he hid it very well.

Diane1969

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#639 - 01/01/06 07:42 AM Re: The Mask of a Psycho [Re: Dianne E.]
Diane1969 Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 147
Dianne,

you wrote:

___________
"I have also heard many times from victims who say that they had instincts something wasn't right but pushed them out of mind."
___________

This is very interesting... during the early years of dating this man there were warning signs, many of them. If I'd heeded even one of them, I would have run far and fast from this man. I used to have a kind of on-going argument in my journals putting all the warning signs and bad stuff on one side of the argument and all the illusions of relationship on the other.

The truth is that the illusion is so good, so supportive, so nurturing, so charming and sweet, that it is very hard to let it go for the awful reality that the warning flags give you. And these things were so diametrically opposed and so very bad, it is also very hard to let go of what you fell in love with. So, there is some partnering in crime, if you will, because you choose which "reality" to accept.

And then there is all the emotional and verbal abuse that happens in the relationship that wears you down and makes it harder to get away. They are so good with the carrot and stick routine. They really do choose you at a low point in your life when your esteem is at its lowest, and they spin you around and fill your head with dreams and then they withhold those dreams and blame you for it because of whatever esteem issues you had when you met (mine was a spectacularly failed abusive relationship and a history of extreme child abuse).

My biggest challenge (and it took me 11 years to do it) was to put all these things, the illusions and the truths together into one whole objective picture that made any kind of sense and that looked only at him and his behaviors, not my emotional stuff. And what enabled me to do that, in the end, was giving up any and all belief that I had any responsibility for his behavior.

Finally everything did make sense, and the only "truth" that could come out of that process was that I was dealing with a psychopath.

But even now I find myself ocassionally falling into the trap of believing that maybe he was trying... until I remember that the things I was thinking about happened while he was simultaneously dating me and pursuing marriage with another woman at the same time and how good he was at hiding that from me, and how good he was at being a completely different person with me than he was with her.

These guys are chameleons.

Oh, but I did learn a very valuable lesson from dealing with this guy for so long. You can't have a good relationship with anyone based on lies and secrecy. If someone is hiding something from you it will never get better. And the more stuff that is hidden the worse the abusiveness of the relationship. This is all foundational stuff.

Diane1969

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#640 - 01/01/06 08:39 AM Re: The Mask of a Psycho [Re: Diane1969]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Hi Diane,

I think there is always a part of us as caring people to not think the worst of someone even when it is staring us in the face.

My observation is that in the early courtship days a Psychopath extracts a great deal of information in general and discovers soft spots to then use those very elements to create a victim, all the while claiming they are the victim. Sometimes when things are really bad we cling to the good times and turn a blind eye to the rest.

How do these Psychopaths (many of then not even decent looking or have a decent living) trap their victims? I suspect it is because the Psychopath portrays themself as a victim, lousy childhood (my personal opinion is I would have to see a video of the P's childhood before believing it). My guess is the more "socialized" Psychopaths are able to hold the mask on longer and better than let's say someone in the prison system.

I think it also comes down to the "spell" that Psychopaths seem to cast over their victim to make them do things they would not in any other situation agree to or go along with?

Di

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