Saturday, 11 July 2009

Swine flu, so named because as you lie in bed sweating through the night you wake up smelling like a pig. Vomit adds to this, as do the piggy eyes.

The teenager had a party last night and a lovelier group of teenagers you would be hard pushed to meet. It did occur to me that having a party when your mother is suffering a pig infection is a little less than thoughtful but everything has a silver lining and mine was that deep down he was concsious of the embarresment that was the garden. Three weeks of arguing about clearing it up and the only thing that was going to get him to do it was when he wanted to do something in it.

However, having a large group of teens in and out of the house until the small hours makes for a dirty floor, filthy sides and general disorder. Having another group cooking fried breakfast the next day makes for a greasy kitchen. Several hours of requesting it cleared got nowhere. Apparently this was unreasonable behaviour on my part since I done nothing myself 'having been in bed all day' By 6pm I booted him out lest I actually wring his neck

Quite right, how dare I be ill. On Weds I spent the night vomiting. On Thursday I woke the teenager and asked for help with the little ones

"Yeah sure" He said - got up, rubbed his eyes and went back to bed.

I am not impressed, I am not proud. He wasn't raised like this and if this is part of being a teenager I am not sure I shall stick around for the other three. I am sure that having your father walk out and no relationship with him must make for some pretty complex emotions but even so, I am not convinced this is a passport for treating others with such disregard. I have had to rally around the men in the family for male role models but all think that their quiet disapproval should suffice. Personally I feel that having lacked a firm male role model for some time, a sledgehammer may be more appropriate.

So I loafed in bed for the best part of the day and watched Jayne Eire. What a load of romantic tosh. The bit in which the vicar mentioned 'all my worldly goods' I thought particularly poignant. In another flurry of texts between 'It' and I, 'It pointed out that it was still 'his' house. I pondered this since when we married, we had nothing. Interesting wording, I thought. Mine, mine, mine

This got me thinking about the narcissistic approach to life. A was reading somewhere about psychopaths. Having always assumed that Psychopaths were simply cold blooded murderers - I thought I should investigate further. So I read about it, dismiss the murderers and look at the common all garden variety.

Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

Umm, interesting. What has really interested me recently is the continued games. 'It' turns up and takes his bike from the front of the house. He Say's nothing. I text to ask if he took it. He texts to say he took it the day before. He didn't because it turns out he was seen. He says he will bring it back. I say don't bother. He brings it back.

A chum once described this kind of interaction as cat and mouse. Lets say that I am the small squeaky one. So there I am reading about Psychopaths

This leads us to an important question: what does the psychopath REALLY get from their victims? It's easy to see what they are after when they lie and manipulate for money or material goods or power. But in many instances, such as love relationships or faked friendships, it is not so easy to see what thepsychopath is after. We can only say that it seems to be that the psychopath ENJOYS making others suffer.

Anyone who has ever observed a cat playing with a mouse before killing and eating it has probably explained to themselves that the cat is just "entertained" by the antics of the mouse and is unable to conceive of the terror and pain being experienced by the mouse, and the cat, therefore, is innocent of any evil intent. The mouse dies, the cat is fed, and that is nature. Psychopaths don't generally eat their victims.

Yes, in extreme cases the entire cat and mouse dynamic is carried out and cannibalism has a long history wherein it was assumed that certain powers of the victim could be assimilated by eating some particular part of them. But in ordinary life, psychopaths and narcissists don't go all the way, so to say. This causes us to look at the cat and mouse scenarios again with different eyes. Now we ask: is it too simplistic to think that the innocent cat is merely entertained by the mouse running about and frantically trying to escape? Is there something more to this dynamic than meets the eye? Is there something more than being "entertained" by the antics of the mouse trying to flee? After all, in terms of evolution, why would such behavior be hard-wired into the cat? Is the mouse tastier because of the chemicals of fear that flood his little body? Is a mouse frozen with terror more of a "gourmet" meal?

This suggests that we ought to revisit our ideas about psychopaths with a slightly different perspective. One thing we do know is this: many people who experience interactions with psychopaths and narcissists report feeling "drained" and confused and often subsequently experience deteriorating health. Does this mean that part of the dynamic, part of the explanation for why psychopaths will pursue "love relationships" and "friendships" that ostensibly can result in no observable material gain, is because there is an actual energy consumption?

We do not know the answer to this question. We observe, we theorize, we speculate and hypothesize. But in the end, only the individual victim can determine what they have lost in the dynamic - and it is often far more than material goods. In a certain sense, it seems that psychopaths are soul eaters or "Psychophagic."

Conscience seems to depend on the ability to imagine consequences. But most "consequences" relate to pain in some way, and psychopaths really don't understand pain in the emotional sense. They understand frustration of not getting what they want, and to them, that is pain. But the fact seems to be that they act based solely on a sort of Game Theory evaluation of a situation: what will they get out of it, and what will it cost? And these "costs" have nothing to do with being humiliated, causing pain, sabotaging the future, or any of the other possibilities that normal people consider when making a choice. In short, it is almost impossible for normal people to even imagine the inner life of the psychopath.

This leads us to what psychopaths DO have that is truly outstanding: an ability to give their undivided attention to something that interests them intensely.

Manipulation is the key to the psychopath's conquests. Initially, the psychopathwill feign false emotions to create empathy, and many of them study the tricks that can be employed by the empathy technique. Psychopaths are often able to incite pity from people because they seem like "lost souls" as Guggenbuhl-Craig writes. So the pity factor is one reason why victims often fall for these "poor" people.

Now I recognise that this is far more fascinating for me than it is for anyone reading this but since most of my recent outpourings have been a cathartic vomit than an entertaining script - bear wiith me. And fascinating it is since 'It's" nickname was in fact 'Poor It' - so now I search for my part in this drama

Even more amazing is the fact that when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopathis a master at painting their victims as the "real culprits."

Psychopaths just have what it takes to defraud and bilk others. And even when they are exposed, they can carry on as if nothing has happened, often making their accusers the targets of accusations of being victimized by THEM.

The victims keep asking: "How could I have been so stupid? How could I have fallen for that incredible line of baloney?" And, of course, if they don't ask it of themselves, you can be sure that their friends and associates will ask "How on earth could you have been taken in to that extent?"

The usual answer: "You had to be there" simply does not convey the whole thing. Hare writes:

What makes psychopaths different from all others is the remarkable ease with which they lie, the pervasiveness of their deception, and the callousness with which they carry it out.

But there is something else about the speech of psychopaths that is equally puzzling: their frequent use of contradictory and logically inconsistent statements that usually escape detection. Recent research on the language of psychopaths provides us with some important clues to this puzzle, as well as to the uncanny ability psychopaths have to move words - and people- around so easily. […]

Here are some examples:

When asked if he had ever committed a violent offense, a man serving time for theft answered, "No, but I once had to kill someone."

A woman with a staggering record of fraud, deceit, lies, and broken promises concluded a letter to the parole board with, "I've let a lot of people down… One is only as good as her reputation and name. My word is as good as gold."

A man serving a term for armed robbery replied to the testimony of an eyewitness, "He's lying. I wasn't there. I should have blown his fucking head off."

I love this bit. I always assumed it was just the lack of ability to articulate at speed.

So what does all this mean. Nothing really, except that in terms of turning my life into a sitcom - it gets better and more dramatic every day. The fodder for future royalty is huge.

On a sadder note, how must all this seem through the eyes of a child. How do they see life when one day Dad walks out and Mummy and Daddy never exchange a word again. How surreal must that be? How must it be when one day when you are older you realise that Daddies mobile only works when Mummy sends a text saying if signal is bad, she can come over in the car to say goodnight?

On another note - I am going on a date with a total stranger. The only thing I know is his name. In reality - isn't this the only thing you truly ever know?

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