Linda Hartoonian Almas

Revenge stalking, psychopathy, and the children

I have access to some of the greatest minds in the world of psychopathy. For years, these individuals have studied, taught, researched, and written. Yet, when they have certain questions that they just don’t understand, they ask me. At times, I sit back and think about how amazing that is. At others, I genuinely wish I had no clue about this subject.

I lived with psychopathy. I watched it, learned, and put all of the pieces of this very complex puzzle together. Then, I spent a significant amount of time doubting whether or not it could be. But it was. It is. When I realized this, I set out to educate the world. I was on a mission that caused our worlds to collide. Before long, I came to a place where I grew tired of talking about it. Its toxicity became too great for me to continue to recount. However, in truth, once we are touched by it, it is ever-present. So here’s round two.

Do you speak psychopath? navigating and exposing disordered communication

Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of disordered communication knows that it can produce an array of madness and negativity. That’s the point, after all. But, the more experience we have with it, the more we learn that it is all the same. The players may change, but the messages remain identical. Identifying the fact that the correspondence is, in fact, disordered is the first step to handling it positively. The next is to learn to read between the lines of the written word vomit to understand the actual meaning. When we can, it’s liberating.

Individuals high in psychopathic traits want no one to be happy. They are easily set off by the most minor of circumstances. They torture their own children, or anyone they view as a potential threat, to facilitate their agendas. They shoot blindly in the dark, hoping to hit upon something that may have an ounce of truth.

Struggling with no contact?

No contact is of the utmost importance when it comes to recovering from any unhealthy relationship.  Why, then, can it be so hard to maintain?  How is it that we can do so well for long stretches and then become instant Jell-O with seemingly little warning?

Of the myriad of struggles we may experience during recovery, this seems to be one of the most common snags.  The cold reality is that we are going through withdrawal and there is no methadone to ease the pain of this addiction.  Making matters worse, each and every time we break it, the clock starts over, feeling worse than we did previously.

However, from experience, I know that we do get to the point where we truly do not care to emotionally interact with our past counterparts.  We also genuinely get to the point where their attempts yield little or no emotional response from us.  At the same time, I also know that the road to that place can be quite long and challenging.

He thought I had beautiful eyes…

As if being a first year law student isn’t hard enough, enter a new dating relationship.  Under the best of circumstances, this would be a challenge, but when your gut is screaming at you, it’s even more interesting.

Let’s start with law school.  I was slow to admit it, but yes, that is what I have been doing since last I wrote.  Years ago, after my all consuming experience with psychopathy, I promised myself that I would rise from the ashes, turn the bad into good, and help others recover from abusive relationships with psychopaths or those high in psychopathic features.  It is my turn to pay it forward.

This promise has evolved slowly and its shape has changed over the years, but thus far, I am holding true to my word.  I wanted, and on some level, needed to make meaning from what I had lived and bring what I had learned regarding psychopathy to a place most in need:  our court system.  Thus, my adventure began.  I am taking it day by day, working hard, and hoping for the best.

Seasons of change

I would like to thank the Lovefraud community for allowing me to be part of your journey.  It is with sadness that I am announcing my departure from regular contributions, at least for the time being.  However, I promise to check in from time to time with articles, as I am able.

I am about to embark on a new path, one which I must dedicate myself to fully, in an effort to further our cause and others equally as important.  Back in 1829, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story asserted, “The law is a jealous mistress and requires a long and constant courtship.”  I suppose I concur.  Therefore, I must go tend to that relationship.

Finding strength and surprises  

Communicating with disorder

Trying to solve problems or make any type of progress with individuals with personality disorders can be very difficult.  Virtually every communication is insulting, repetitive, and circular.  They are seemingly unable to stay on topic and have propensities for driving others off topic.  Covering the same ground to no avail can be exhausting for the non-disordered participants, as they tend to push relentlessly for our participation in their arguments.

It is easy to fall into their communication traps and become engaged in their attempts for power.  However, with knowledge and diligence, we can re-train ourselves to successfully stand our ground by controlling our own behaviors.

A few simple steps 

1.  Eliminate emotion from the communication

Intermittent reinforcement: conditioning helps explain why we stay with abusive individuals

An overview of conditioning from a behavior specialist’s perspective

I will not get too specific regarding behavior reinforcement schedules, but I will ask you to follow me through a brief overview of some of the basics.  While I cannot do the explanation justice in a few paragraphs, I can present enough background to facilitate an understanding of why this matters to us.

When studying behavior analysis, most programs, at least at some point, look to the work of B.F. Skinner, the 20th century developer of operant conditioning.  Very simply, operant conditioning subscribes to the belief that learning is modified by consequences.  The learner is motivated by reinforcement and punishment alike.

If a behavior is being reinforced, it will occur with increased frequency.  This reinforcement can be either positive or negative.  In other words, there can be either a reward given (positive) or an adverse stimulus presented (negative.)  Either way, the result is the same; the desired behavior increases.

“You should leave now. If you don’t, I will ruin your life.”

The following unfolded after she witnessed the first “slip of the mask.”  She questioned what had just happened, since at the time, she did not understand.  However, she quickly learned that she was not allowed to have thoughts or ask questions.  Doing so constituted “interrogation” or the “the third degree.”  He became angrier and angrier, blaming her for the mood shifts she observed.

Confused, she noted that they had not seen or spoken to each other in days and asked what she did to cause such upset.  The exchange was out of control, and like nothing she had ever seen before.  Things were wrong and she wanted out.  She pulled her luggage from the apartment’s outside storage closet, with the intent to backtrack the 1500 miles she had just moved to be with him.  What came next is uncommon, unless, of course, we are dealing with disorder.

Psychopaths everywhere?

I have heard it suggested that there may be those who “attract” psychopaths.  It does not matter what the relationship.  Some feel that there are people who are simply prone to involvement with individuals with psychopathic features.  Is this true?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Why do they feel this way?

Talk to victims.  There are many who have been involved with psychopaths who feel that they are “everywhere.”  The same story keeps happening over and over.  It’s like Ground Hog Day or Fifty First Dates.  Perhaps these victims have had several romantic experiences with psychopaths.  Perhaps they feel many of their family members are psychopaths.  Others report experiencing a variety of different encounters in various areas of life.

On the surface, it may seem like an easy conclusion to come to.  I, on the other hand, believe that we have not even begun to understand just how complicated an issue this really is, which may be influenced by many different factors.  Here are some of my thoughts.

“White hats, black hats,” and the dissenting opinion

Many of us here have had experiences in court where we were less than satisfied with the outcomes.  I feel mainly fortunate in that respect.  For the most part, those I dealt with understood enough about personality disorders to act accordingly.

However, in one case I am familiar with, that clarity was somewhat lacking.  In the end, things worked out fine because the judge followed the laws of the land explicitly.  Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning because, in my opinion, his attitude and belief system could have been of serious concern had different issues (in the same court) been at stake.  As long as there are those who believe as he does, and he is not unique in this way, justice may not be served in some instances.

A very brief background