lf1

Archive for May, 2012

Spreading the word on domestic violence and personality disorders

By:  Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

This past month, I have had the honor of speaking about domestic violence at a training day for law enforcement administrative professionals, as well as at a continuing education program for a local judicial circuit.  Both were wonderful days, spent with many amazing men and women in the areas of law enforcement, advocacy, and  mental health, as well as those in the spiritual community.

My main goal was to raise awareness.  I could speak all day on the topic of domestic violence and its relation to personality disorders and still only scratch the surface of what I have to share.  With time constraints in place, I chose to  highlight some of the pressing issues surrounding the two and also further explained and defined the varieties of abuses that exist.  Further, I identified and described some of the behaviors abusive individuals often display, as well as some typical behavior patterns and personality traits of those who are abused.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This week finds me well and truly back on my soapbox. Because I am feeling suitably goaded to address the somewhat emotive subject of the lack of support and comprehension offered to victims of abuse. The fact that too many people in various circles (friends and family, law and order and other professionals) simply don’t ‘get’ what it means to be held captive in a manipulative relationship.

I know many of us here in the Lovefraud community have already experienced the indignity of having to convince people of the validity of what we know to be true. I’m of course familiar with the remarks from well-intentioned friends and relatives that go along the lines of “he/she always seemed such a nice person!” “Surely, if what you’re saying is true, you’d have noticed something beforehand?” “You must have got it wrong, all relationships have their ups and downs you know!” “You’re saying he/she is a what…? A psychopath…? Have you completely lost your mind…?”

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Mind the gap

Editor’s note: This artice was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “One/joy_step_at_a_time.”

I have been thinking a lot about Donna’s May 28 blog thread, If you feel an emotional void, the sociopath will step in, and the responses to it.

Tonight I took a long walk and sat down by the lake and thought about what the spath drew out in me. She showed me ‘the gap.’ It’s humourous to me to type the phrase ‘the gap.’ When I lived in Eastern Europe, I heard a phrase over the loud speakers at the train station, over and over again. I finally asked a friend the meaning of the phrase, and he told me it meant, ‘mind the gap between the platform and the train.’

If you feel an emotional void, the sociopath will step in

I recently received email from a woman whom we’ll call Adriana:

I am told I am a very beautiful, intelligent, fun, woman, but that is all subjective. I am 61 years old but pass for late 40’s; good genes. I have been divorced for 10 years and engaged once during that time. I have dated so many men and feel that I have no purpose because I can’t find “him.” I don’t find most men attractive don’t have chemistry with them and I don’t want to settle. I have not been successful in love at all and have tried to look within myself to see my faults but the truth is I just want to love and be loved.

Australian employers may refuse to hire school bullies

Social clubs in New South Wales, Australia, launched a new program last week that may mean serious consequences for school bullies. Under the BullyCheck program, which has government support, people aged 17 to 22 who apply for jobs at registered social clubs will be asked to submit to a character check. If they were bullies in high school, they will not be hired. Read:

Job ban on school bullies, on MyFoxPhilly.com.

School thugs risk job ban under BULLYCheck, on Fairfield-Advance.WhereILive.com.au.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

An MRI scan cannot diagnose psychopathy or identify sociopaths

This past week I was talking on the telephone with my student and research assistant when he was mugged by a group of 5-7 thugs. One hit him from behind, knocking him down and another punched him in the abdomen. Ironically, among the items stolen was a copy of “Without Conscience” by Robert Hare.

Yesterday, my student asked me, “Those guys in the group who do have empathy and guilt, how do they feel about doing this? What makes them do it?” To which I replied, “I don’t think they feel a thing. They are likely all psychopathic (sociopaths). No one wants to admit just how many of them there are. So they draw an artificial line based on the PCL-R (a psychopathy test) and say these thugs are psychopaths and these thugs are non-psychopaths. They call them non-psychopaths even though their scores on the test are far from normal. They do this because they want to hold on to hope that most of them can change.”

Life Happens

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

It’s recently been pretty trying around our little “hole in the woods.” A dog we loved dearly “disappeared” out of the yard, and we’ve been able to find neither “hide nor hair” of him, dead or alive. Not knowing what happened to him is sort of disturbing, but we are dealing with the thought that he got close to the road and someone picked him up, or that the plentiful packs of coyotes that circle our yard got him. He was brave enough (and dumb enough) to attack them if they came into his territory. Whatever happened to him, he is gone, and at this point not likely to return. His silly little ways are greatly missed, even by the other animals in the house.

Are clinical “continuums” silly?

The narcissistic continuum?  The psychopathic continuum? The sociopath explained as being someone located at the apex of the narcissistic continuum?

Are clinical continuums silly? Maybe they are.

How “nice” are you? Well, maybe you’re somewhere on a continuum of “niceness.” At the apex, you are a super-nice individual; in the middle, sometimes very nice, sometimes less so; at the nadir, you are just an incredibly “un-nice” (or “mean”) person.

Hmmm. Wow. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a newsflash.

How sloppy are you? Well, couldn’t Robert Hare have developed clinically a “sloppiness” (versus a psychopathic) measure that places all of us somewhere on a “sloppiness” continuum.

With a score of 40, you are an incorrigibly sloppy individual, so sloppy that maybe society needs protection from you; with a score of 1-5, you are seriously, anally “neat,” so pathologically neat that society will DEFINITELY need protection from you.

Posted in: Steve Becker, LCSW

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Partners in an unhealthy dance

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following article from a woman who posts as Willow888.

I recently started to work through the awful morass of feelings that follow an interaction with a disordered person. These people are such deceptive and expert manipulators they can apparently draw in even the healthiest of partners, partly because their behavior is beyond normal imagining and experience. Just as we’re taught to drive a car defensively, to suppose that every other driver is asleep at the wheel, we could still get taken unawares by a driver who aims at us head on, deliberately. That we wouldn’t necessarily be ready for. Information about toxic relationships often mentions typical victims as having codependent tendencies, but given that so many of us wrongly assume that pretty much anyone we meet who seems normal comes from the same emotional planet as we do… feels empathy, doesn’t mean to deceive and harm others, is “doing their best”… and that we all have needs and desires, which at some point in our lives might be going unmet, we can all be vulnerable sometime, somewhere. But I can only speak for myself and it does take two to tango, so what about my side of it?