Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Is this an Epidemic?

I received this comment today and would like to respond in a post so this comment is not lost in an old post.

This is so heartbreaking but reality for many. For some it is easier and safer to stay. Without Jason to help me I don't know that I would've been safe to leave; danger of homicide or suicide. Without the tangible hope of a better life I don't know that I could have sustained hope on my own and the consequences of PTSD leave it hard for me to even now be alone. Jason is my rock; he is strong, safe consistent and loves me unconditionally. And anyone that struggles with PTSD knows that unconditional isn't always easy. Jason is my earthly guardian angle for whom I am thankful for every day. WE are something I had no idea could even exist...and the pure unadulterated joy he brings out of Warren simply heavenly.

Being married to a sociopath is a prison; an innocent person condemned to a murder sentence. Your rights are controlled as if by a warden. I understand, though, what you are doing. I offer this: keep your dream of escaping alive and slowly find ways to prove who he is.  Document any physical violence as this is really the only form of abuse that can be proven and try not to fear calling police. That is the best proof. If you are able see an attorney and start to get your story in front of his; the first person who goes aggressive has the advantage and if it's him it will be an incredibly difficult process to turn. You might lose your children, but they see how you are being treated and you run the risk of them finding themselves in the same relationship. Lastly, please be careful. These creatures can sense independence and their victim pulling away.  Good Bless You Anonymous.

"I am so glad I found this article....I have a long story about being married to a sociopath, which, after many years of reflection includes being isolated from my good family and friends, isolated from the city to the country, lost all my jobs quickly after I married him due to stress at home, and most of all, the emergence of suppressed immune system and constant physical illness including HPB, and pre-diabetic symptoms. The doctor says stress and bring it on...and kill you. Many people don't understand if Im so bad off being married to him, and if Im so unhappy...why not leave? I would say since I have lived with my sociopathic husband for 7 years, one thing I have learned as a problem solver, IF YOUR PLAN DOESNT SOLVE THE PROBLEM DONT MOVE UNTIL YOU FIND A SOLUTION THAT's where it gets husband has already done SUCH A GREAT JOB of turning my own family against me already that I can already foresee the court system manipulation and lies with lawyers and judges...same as now...I might even get my kids taken away he's such a liar. So for now, since he works out of town a lot I have just chosen to stay knowing that LEAVING WONT CHANGE HIS CHARACTER OR HIS BEHAVIOR...I WILL STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH HIM AS LONG AS WE HAVE THE CHILDREN (FOREVER). My plan has been to have the one person in my family still on my side (my brother) abreast to the situation and the prospect that he has an evil and possibly VERY dangerous side, as in the capacity to "flip out" or maybe poison me....I watch him very closely and took out a life insurance policy he knows nothing about so he doesn't have motivation to kill me on purpose (only my brother knows about the policy in case I die of natural causes) Also, since engaging him in ANY conversation is stressful and brings on physical illness and high blood pressure, I literally do not speak to him at all...when he comes home, I leave him with the kids and don't tell him where Im going. I try to interact with him as little as possible, if at all. I have one new friend after all these years I can vent to and she knows about my husband to, but HE WILL NEVER MEET HER AS EVERY PERSON I LET HIM MEET HE TURNS THEM AGAINST this new friend is a secret. I know it sounds crazy to most, but really if you divorce a sociopath you still have to deal with them and the stress doesn't go away, so for me and my situation the best thing to do is learn how to deal with stress in the home and take care of my self as much as possible, limit all non-essential communication and dealings, keep at least one close person informed of the situation in case things escalate or something least one person can look into it if you cant and have no one else...These are truly the most dangerous people on earth, like the devil walking among us."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

...They Will Try and Control How Others See You...

This is a comment from one of my posts. This is why I continue. This is why I am taking a month off with no pay to finish book #1. Thank you for taking the time "anonymous" to respond to this blog.

My thoughts are with you and all of the rest who thought they were just "crazy" and out of control...NO...WE were left unsettled, unprotected and were we supposed to find stability or find a way out? We stay BECAUSE they leave us with no opportunity to realize what's happening or be with others that can help us see....

I found your blog yesterday. I feel like I am reading a large portion of my own story. I was married 20 years as well and have been divorced for 3 years...not much has changed. It has bothered me that the divorce trauma has not ended so I have been searching for answers. I have always known my ex-husband has control problems. About 5 days ago I stumbled onto an article that prompted me to research psychopathy. I have been reeling every since. I can't believe I finally have an answer for all of those years. The most frightening thing, however, is not knowing how serious the situation actually was. It will take me a while to organize the puzzle of my thoughts and know where to go from here. This post hit every nerve in my body. I can honestly say in 20 years of marriage I was never given the gift of an ACTUAL RESOLUTION to any argument or fight that we ever had. It all went under the proverbial rug (I have a mental image of that rug still) I wish I had known how deep the pit was dug under that rug. I internalized every single last unresolved issue as my own knowing he would never change and if I ever wanted things to be different it would up to me. I wish I had known that NOTHING I could do would have ever been enough. Well, unless I just died, I guess.

I'm on the tip of my iceberg and shaking all over. So much to process. Thank you for your words. I wish you knew how much they mean to me.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

You know what I love?

I absolutely LOVE it when lies get told over and over, so much that they get old and those that initially listened get tired. I love it when, after everything gets still and quiet..... the truth can slowly start to come out, like an introvert answering a question.....

Book II: Gone Girl

The movie adaptation of the novel “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn is a powerful depiction of the manipulation of common sense. There’s no doubt that Ben Affleck’s character, Nick, is a grade A ass. And all of us women can relate to that kind of betrayal because that’s what guys do (re-use the same card that worked in the past) so for a minute we’re cheering for the Amy character. Then common sense kicks in and WHOA, hold on Amy, divorce happens, he’s allowed to leave and cheating often happens when there is no intimacy; nothing new under the sun. And then the end where she has a situation better than what she planned, in her mind, carrying on like she is exactly where she wants to be with a perfect life. Her false “Amazing Amy” childhood comes full circle here with, her, a cinematic picture of her grown children’s book character. Then my favorite Nick line, “Why do you want this?” Amy is stunted at Maslow’s love/belongingness stage and to her the appearance of is enough. Well, no, it’s everything.

I’ve always been baffled at this singularity in Jo, and then I saw this movie and I got it. If only Jason had died in battle, then Jo could have created the story of a perfect marriage, family, life OR her a victim of Jason's abuses; no one to dispute anything, much like what happened when Jason was deployed. Jason would've been a prisoner to whatever and whoever Jo wanted to create.... forever.

Jo preferred Jason be deployed or on the road. When Jason was transferred to Alaska, she wanted to stay at her current location but remain married. Jason left in 2004, but her threats were so tangible Jason went back and in doing so gave her the control she sought. Miserable, he finally asked her if she was happy the way their marriage was and she responded yes. All the while she was telling everyone who would listen what a horribly abusive man he was. Most, finding her stories outlandish, would shut down disparagement of Jason, but some did not giving her enough oxygen and confidence to ignite a firestorm of false allegations, which nearly destroyed him. In Alaska, the day before she was leaving, the military having already packed her house, she told “a friend” that Jason would never leave her. The friend was in disbelief; that didn’t even make sense.

By the time Jason was formally accused of beating Jo, the train had already left the station, and he didn’t even know how to defend himself. It’s very difficult to anticipate the next chess move when nothing is real and what’s real exaggerated, making it impossible to anticipate what’s coming next. Kind of like Nick coming home to the disheveled house not realizing what was happening until at the police station.

Remember the eerie statement about the false domestic violence accusation? “All of this can go away if you come back.” A threat had worked before, why not turn it up and try again. And then the NCIS investigation. Years later a call to Homeland Security at our current location to shut down Jason’s plans to work with the state police. Years and years of thinking about us, plotting, and talking about all of it to whomever would listen. Finally, the false sexual abuse allegation against me. She really thought that would unite her and Jason against me. Both sons admitted she thought I was the only thing standing in the way of re-unification. So Jo, as with Amy, spent years plotting, disparaging both Jason and me, trying to destroy our lives, all with the hope of having Jason back and under her control. That doesn’t even make sense Amy…I mean Jo…

Saturday, January 23, 2016

But there will always be those who judge us from where we parted, not looking for where we are in the distance.

Where I am and who I am is the totality of where I've been and who I was. Those in my past do not know me though, I am not there anymore. But there will always be those who judge me from where we parted, not looking for where I am in the distance.
My life is so different than what I knew before Jason that if feels like I’m living an entirely different life. Where before I knew despair, emptiness, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, self-loathing, now I know intimacy so deep it heals me from my core. I never knew I could love and be loved so completely. Jason is the most psychologically strong person I’ve ever known, the most accepting, patient, warm and uncomplaining. To a point though, once you cross the line and the switch is flipped, there is no going back with him. Other team guys I’ve met have the same personality traits so it’s either that “type” is drawn to the SEALS or the teams create these personality traits. I’ve watched and learned from him; by the way he lives; wondering how he is so positive, joyful, grateful and so present focused, even under foul circumstances where us “normal” folks would cave into a pity party. He attributes it to “not being shot at in that moment and no life threatening issues, so what’s problem?”  
I believe a truly loving relationship is when both bring out the best in each other. Here are some life lessons Jason brings out in me:  1) I can live with much less 2) live in each moment and experience my surroundings 3) the problem can be fixed just slow down and figure it out, and, most importantly and difficult to accomplish, 4) don’t think about or talk about people or situations that don’t make me feel good and especially if I can’t do anything about it.
After the holidays Jason went on a Wounded Warrior trip and Warren and I were left to keep up the ranch. One night, out for dinner, I asked Warren how the holidays were and how he felt about not having “dad Canada” or his sisters in his life, especially during the holidays. He said “they don’t make me feel good so I don’t think about them. When I do I change my thought.” He then looked at me as if to say “mom, we can talk about this if YOU need to, but I’d rather talk about today.” He then proceeded to talk about his school teachers and his science fair project (that happened to win, with his own very unique idea about friction fires). Warren has learned lesson #4 at age 12 and what a powerful skill; to train one’s own mind to deal with enormous grief. He’s also learned #3 as I watch him do odd jobs around the house (i.e. hanging curtain rods), getting frustrated, overcoming the frustration, solving the problem and finishing. It’s remarkable to observe his development under the fathering of Jason.

So when I’m slapped in the face with yet another “Walton intrusion” I’m at first surprised they even consider me; I certainly don’t any of them. This blog is the only place where I re-visit the past or speak to it. So now here’s where I go back and remember and realize that where I left them on the path is where they remain. They’ve camped out, huddled together, hashing out all the evils that have been done to them by all the evil people….I have to go back very far to find them….. I remember sitting in the living room discussing whatever the current drama to ad nauseam. It didn't matter if children were crying because of the stress or daily events were missed or dismissed, what mattered was keeping the family focused on the enemy at hand. They won’t know exactly what the trigger was that sent me back this time, but they should know by now that every time they do, I have a renewed motivation to finish this book. It’s very difficult to go back to a life that seems nothing more or less than a nightmare so I actually appreciate being called back to my important life’s work.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Good Place to Finish Book I: The Sociopath and the Essence of Evil

All of those hours in court, phone, text, emails, money, time... what a waste. The whole time hearing how Peter knows what's in the best interest of Warren, like he has some supernatural psychic powers to communicate in an omnipresent, transcendent way that us minions could never understand. 
No, we are back in reality and grounded in reason. The Judge has ruled otherwise: Peter does not know what is in the best interest of Warren, in fact he doesn't even know when he is psychologically abusing him. So here we are again does he realize what he's doing or not? Does he know and doesn't care or is this evil and in doing evil he thinks it's good? I'll never know and he's not worth the energy.
Peter was questioned about the spring break episode again (during a trial he scheduled and failed to appear and later called in). He claimed to not be at the drop off during motion hour several months prior, but now, at the trial, he was there. He even challenged my attorney to check the border crossing records to prove he had indeed crossed the border to pick up Warren and I had, with "my usual histrionics" prevented him from seeing Warren. So he drove a day to pick up Warren, waited, and then drove all the way back to Canada. Poor Peter. Of course Peter tried to confuse the court with his "pass the hot potato" antics, but the Judge stayed resolutely on topic taking the conversation back to spring break over a dozen times. She finally stated that she was concerned about Peter's mental health and, wow, that did not go over well. Peter's anger was so tangible you could hear his clenched teeth! He without hesitation flipped back "but I'm not the one with the mental illness, she is the one with mental illnesses... she.... is a borderline." The Judge responded that she did not see any sign of mental illness with me but was so concerned about him she ordered a full psychological evaluation to be done here. Then therapy here and when the court ordered therapist determined Peter was ready then Warren would begin therapy and then......a re-introduction period between Warren and Peter always with the court ordered therapist present. Until all of these orders are met,
Peter is not allowed any communication with Warren.
This year we are celebrating Warren's 12th birthday with a huge party. We have invited all those (we could think of) that have supported us along the way and reasonable that they could come. We have a lot to celebrate. I began the process of trying to leave a sociopath when Warren was six so this is an important milestone for all of us. 
It's hard to understand why we go through terrible things and where God is in all of it. This road has been hard and life has not been fair, I won't forget the feelings of falling into a black hole with no hope of ever getting out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that when I gave birth and devoted decades to children that they would be taken from me. I never dreamed that my little six year old would be so close to being taken into foster care.....this road has been ugly and because of me at times. I wish I could have a few "do-overs" for sure.
Now I see more clearly. I believe in free will and evil in the world so bad things are going to happen to all of us. I also believe in redemption. And, if we can bear getting out of bed in those horrible times and look up with belief and patience, we can see God's beauty and good intentions everywhere. My best days are when I can pause and revel in the warmth of all the blessings and love surrounding me. Peace be with you. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A great post from a clinician..."Red Flags"
My clients often ask me to describe a "sociopath" and how they can learn how to spot one. What they're really asking is: how can I protect myself from one? Here are a few issues that should set off alarm bells. If your partner (or would-be partner) displays any of these traits, run the other way. Don't hesitate, don't prevaricate, it's time to get out of Dodge.
* Red Flag He knows your weak spots and has an uncanny way of sizig you up. Most criminals are students of human behvior and keen observers of body language. They know how to "profile the profiler" and can zero in on any weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Think of a lion and a herd of wildebeetsts. Wouldn't the lion go for the weakest of the pack?
* Red Flag He's narcissisistic, craves attention, apparently convinced he's the center of the universe. He talks about himself constantly, immediately becomes bored and disinterested when the conversation shifts away from him. He craves admiration the way a vampire craves blood.
*Red Flag He plays loose and fast with the truth. In other words, he lies. All the time. Little white lies, medium-sized fibs and giant whopprs. The interesting thing about sociopaths is that they lie even when it's not necessary. The like to exaggerate, embellish, make every story "bigger" than it has to be. Most sociopaths are known as "practiced liars." That simply means they're smooth, they're slick and yes, they can look you right in the eye and lie to your face. It's a common misconception that people can't look you in the eye and tell a lie, sociopaths do it all the time.
*Red Flag He's a control freak. He's overly concerned with his victim's whereabouts and his interest borders on the obsessive. He wants to know who she sees, what she talks about and what she's wearing. Think stalking behavior. Stalkers like to track their victims 24/7. I once had a client whose ex-husband calle and texted her over a hundred times a day. Classic stalking behavior. The only thing that stopped him was a restraining order.
*Red Flag He's angry, impatient, hostile, with a low tolerance for frustration. The tiniest thing can set him off and his anger is out of proportion to the situation. This is the kind of guy who may sideswipe a car because of road rage, curse at a waitress because she's too slow with his order, or kick the dog just for getting in his way.
*Red Flag He never takes responsibility for his bad behavior and always blames someone else. He is incapable of love, empathy, remorse or regret. The only thing he regrets is getting caught. This is why it is useless to do therapy with a sociopath. He will will try to con you every time and pretend to be "reformed," hoping to gain your trust.
We'll cover more sociopathic traits in next week's blog. And in case some of you are wondering if women can be sociopaths, the answer is yes. Think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She is usually singled out as the classic example of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. But many researchers believe that females with BPD are very close to male sociopaths in their thought patterns and behavior. If you come into contact with a sociopath, watch your back. They will hurt you, betray you and mentally and emotionally abuse you. stay tuned for more next week.
  Mary Kennedy is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the northeast, and the author of The Talk Radio Mysteries for Penguin. Visit her at