lf1

Archive for November, 2008

The Mask of a Sociopath

By Peggywhoever

All sociopaths wear a mask. The mask of kindness. The mask of generosity. The mask of romance. The mask of attraction. The mask of intimacy. The mask of seduction. And so on.

This is what reels us in. The pretense. The acting. The mask. The mask of perfection. And we, in our infinite loving goodness, reflect that mask back to them. The perfect mirrored reflection of beauty and adoration.

And then one day, that mask cracks. You remember the moment.. The moment when you look in their eyes and you KNOW the truth about them. The moment you recognize the pathological lies, the deception, the manipulation, the con. The game is up.

I am thankful

By BloggerT7165

I am a survivor. And I am thankful for that.

It’s not something I take for granted because I know there are many who do not survive the abuse that is inflicted by their loved ones, trusted spouses or friends or parents. This is a hurtful experience that literally kills people. And if the wound itself doesn’t kill, then the infection that follows from the collusion of friends, neighbors, confidants, professionals, and others will many times finish off the job.

Every abuse story is a tragic one, but the stories of those who successfully commit suicide are among the most heart-wrenching of all. Many abuse victims survive in body, but are lost in other ways. Lost to the pain. Lost to drugs or alcohol. Lost to self-destructive behaviors. Lost to depression. Lost to fear and isolation.

A Trip to Death Row

I had visited my father on Death Row before, but this trip was different. I was traveling to Union Correctional Institution with two homicide detectives with the intent to record a conversation with my father about two murders he described to me years earlier.

Actually the main purpose of this visit was to get him to tell me about another murder, one that he never confessed to me, but one that I know he committed. It was his first victim, but they still have not found the body. It was an old friend of my fathers that disappeared after meeting with my dad, but this is a story for another day. It is so hard to write about my father’s activities simply because of the number of victims and crimes. I mentioned this because I thought my father might talk about it if I asked him so that is why I went up there, to help solve another crime. The two murders I knew about were secondary.

Posted in: Cases, Travis Vining

Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo on trial for corruption

Daily newspaper accounts of two big trials currently underway in the Philadelphia area have put sociopaths on display for all to see, if only people knew what they were looking at.

In the first trial, Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo, a Democrat who represents Philadelphia, is accused of 139 counts of conspiracy, fraud, obstruction of justice and filing false tax returns. The testimony emanating from the Philadelphia courtroom is far more colorful than those charges sound, and we’ll get to that in a moment.

In the second trial, taking place across the river in Camden, New Jersey, five young men, all foreign-born Muslims who grew up nearby Cherry Hill, are accused of plotting a terrorist attack on United States soil. Prosecutors allege that they planned to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, a military base located only a few miles up the road. I’ll write about the “Fort Dix Five” case next week.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Pulled in by the child in the sociopath

By PressEject

It seems so odd. I wasn’t exactly in love with this person! But I was entirely caught up in his breath, his every sentence, his needs and desires. He charmed me into thinking it was so much more that we shared. I sensed early on he was not exactly mature in conducting a one-on-one relationship. But I assumed I could help guide him and show him how to trust and become closer. He came across as unique, at times humble and often very sweet to be with. I heard his “story” and understood how difficult it had been for him trying to feel close to others and I was honored he felt he could be close to me. The story, a true “pity ploy,” pulled me in. But I didn’t think twice. After all, didn’t I also share a similar story of having struggled to achieve deeper intimacy in my life? But the pace was quick, and it went from instant sexual attraction to having him call me almost every night. It felt wonderful but almost too good. Was I all of a sudden being looked after or being kept in a jar? Was I his focus of warm, kind attention or some kind of lab experiment, something he would slowly dissect each night, probing with questions, appearing to share a sincere interest in my life? At the time, I didn’t know to question this but instead sensed I had a man that truly thought so much of me. The compliments were lavish, his desire never hidden. I had a wealthy, accomplished, healthy, active and athletic man returning to me with an uncanny and precise regularity. I could almost sense when the phone would ring.

The psychopathic world of David Mamet’s plays

Hilton Als writes this in a recent New Yorker magazine:

Among the many terrible realities to which David Mamet exposes us in his exceptional, calculated work, one theme stands out: suckers will never get a break in this wretched world. In the sixty-year-old playwright’s fictional universe, the humane are too soft and dim-witted to survive; their tormentors chew them up with dry relish. Mamet treats the stage as a kind of bloody forum; the gladiators one finds there are skinny con artists, callow film producers, real-estate agents in cheap suits, and ghastly lovers who spar, using the author’s hyper-stylized language as both spear and shield. Even to refer to some of Mamet’s characters as “lovers” feels wrong—like calling a thief a victim. Mamet’s protagonists do not love; they size each other up and assess what they can extract from each other—and the answer is usually money. If they show any physical tenderness at all, it’s brief; they kiss, then withdraw, constantly reminding themselves of the primary rule of survival: Get or be gotten.

More confusion over antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy and psychopathy

This semester I taught both Forensic Psychology and Abnormal Psychology at the University of Bridgeport. The students there are an ethnically diverse group and I think are fairly representative of America’s young adult population. In both classes we discussed those individuals who have a “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.” I wrote antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy and psychopathy on the blackboard before we began our discussion. I then asked the students if they had heard of these terms and if they could tell me the definitions.

Only a small percentage had heard the term antisocial personality disorder, nearly everyone had heard the word sociopath, about a third had heard the word psychopath.

The next question to the students was, “What do all these terms mean?” Someone asked if antisocial personality referred to a person that didn’t like to be around others. Someone else said that psychopaths are “out of touch with reality, psychotic.” Most who heard the word sociopath associated it with criminality.

How a deficits disorder can cause so much grief and pain

Sociopathy, many experts agree, is a deficits disorder.

The sociopath, in this view, is missing something—things like empathy, remorse, and basic respect for the boundaries of others.

When you think of a deficit—something missing—you don’t necessarily think dire consequences.

You may think, instead, things like less…incomplete…limited.

For instance, the idea of intellectual deficit might spark the association, mental retardation.

Instead of invoking fear, this tends to elicit our understanding, even empathy. The mentally retarded individual is missing something that most of us have—a normal intellectual capacity. You think, this is unfortunate, for that person.

When you think of kids with attentional deficits, you’re likely to bring some extra patience toward the challenges their condition presents. Your accomodation is based on recognizing their behaviors as originating in a deficit.

Turning in My Father in 2004

My memory of the murders (Lost Memories of a Sociopathic Killer) my father committed came back to me on a Thursday. On Saturday morning I called information for retired homicide detective Dan Nazerchuk’s home phone number. He was the lead investigator that helped convict my father of murder 17 years earlier.

I was nervous about it but knew it was the right thing to do. My biggest fear was that news of this might get out and affect my family and career. I’m married with a beautiful daughter and heavily involved with the community and her school. I also own a small business and most people & associates around me knew nothing of my father.

Posted in: Cases, Travis Vining

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I have looked into the eyes of Satan

Editor’s note: A Lovefraud reader, we’ll call him Jeff, sent the following e-mail to tell his story.

In 1981, I met the woman who later became my wife when we worked together in a furniture factory. She was 44 and married and I was a 30-year-old single “Christian.” What started out as a frequently adversarial interaction became a friendship within a year, and by 1982, she was telling me how horrid her marriage was because her husband was so loveless and mistreated her. White knight that I thought I was, I let my sympathy turn into action and eventually was convinced I loved her, which led to her inviting me to her home on an evening when her youngest daughter and husband were gone. It now seems apropos that I became an adulterer on Halloween.