Archives for 2011

E-Course, Class 1

“Stop Dragging My Heart Around”
(Song by Tom Petty)

E-Course 1, Class 1

Women spend years and thousands of dollars trying to heal from dangerous and pathological men. If they are lucky, they only encounter one in their life times. If they aren’t, there are many more…

That’s because women haven’t really verbalized what they think constitutes a dangerous man or what pathology actually ‘is’. When I interviewed women most of them thought that the ONLY thing that made men dangerous, or not dangerous, was the issue of violence. If there was no violence, well then…he was probably ‘fixable’ in the long run.

For 20 years I have been the not-so-silent witness to women’s choices. As a therapist, I watched women whose childhood included abuse grew up into adults who were abused. I watched adult women choose over and over again one version or another of a dangerous and pathological man. Often only the face changed but since there are 8 types of dangerous men, often women would move all over the continuum dating men from all categories.

The end result was always the same:

  •   Misery
  •   Pain
  •   Took a long time to heal, if ever
  •   Often went on to do it all over again

Before we go any further, answer these questions:

1. __ I believe a dangerous man will eventually be violent.

2. __I believe that if I was hurt by one I would be able to spot him the next time and avoid him.

3. __I believe that dangerous men are notably gregarious, aggressive, narcissistic and abusive.

4. __I don’t believe that anything in my past has predisposed me to dating dangerous men.

If you answered ‘YES’ to the above, you are indeed at-risk of dating ‘a’ dangerous man or ‘more’ dangerous men, which ever the case may be for you.

(Although number 3 can often be ‘yes’ it is not only ‘yes’ and we will cover that in more detail later.)

The lack of a solid definition of what constitutes ‘dangerous’ for women is probably at the heart of what keeps us in these dangerous relationships. So let’s nail down what ‘is’ dangerous.

The word danger means ‘the state of being exposed to injury, pain, or loss.’

Synonyms for the word include

  •   Hazard
  •   Jeopardy
  •   Peril
  •   Risk
  •   Menace
  •   Threat
  •   Emergency

Notice the word doesn’t merely mean ‘when someone is violent towards you’ nor do the synonyms indicate this is strictly limited to violent behavior. Yet, women let lots of men and their behavior off the hook simply because ‘well, he never hit me so I didn’t feel like I could say he was abusive.’

Year after year my practice filled up with women who would never ‘label’ or ‘define’ the men in their lives. When asked if he was dangerous, they would hem-haw around looking for loopholes to say he wasn’t dangerous, but not really knowing what ‘dangerous was’ or behaved like. Women are most at-risk for picking, marrying, or staying with dangerous men when they don’t have a concrete idea of what dangerous and pathological would be like. The words listed above give good clues to what dangerous would be like “injury, pain, loss, hazard, jeopardy, risk…”

So let’s define that for you: “A dangerous man is any who harms a woman,

  •   Emotionally
  •   Physically
  •   Sexually
  •   Financially
  •   Spiritually

This definition immediately broadened the field experience of dangerousness. It added emotionally, financially and spiritually—three areas that women often let men off the hook from being labeled as ‘dangerous’ to a woman’s well-being.

But we already determined that the word danger means ‘the state of being exposed to injury, pain, or loss.’ Simply being ‘exposed’ to the possibility of being injured, experiencing pain or going thru loss IS dangerous to a woman’s mental health. Women often discount that just the exposure to the possibility really constitutes ‘danger.’ Later on in some of the E-courses (if you continue on with them) we will talk about why women discount that and just what the exposure really leads to.

But let me suffice it to say that any exposure to dangerousness has an effect of a woman’s:

  •   Self Esteem
  •   Ability to disconnect and move on
  •   Future relationships
  •   Trust
  •   Fear
  •   Intimacy issues
  •   Depression & anxiety

…just to name a few.

Women who came into counseling were often women who had only ONE exposure to a dangerous man and yet the after-effect warranted psychological help in order to heal. Other women had multiple exposures to dangerous and pathological men, choosing one after the other not spotting the signs. They spent years in therapy.

Dangerous men are not just the psychopaths you see on the nightly news, although it could be him. But a dangerous man is just as likely to be the ‘nice man at church,’ ‘the smooth boss at work,’ or ‘the girlfriend’s athletic trophy-winning brother.’ He is just as likely to be a social worker, cop, doctor, or mechanic. The fact is, he could be ANYBODY.

The only defense is self defense. And the only self defense is knowledge. This E-course will teach help you realize your potential need (or not) for future insight into the area of dangerousness. Perhaps it will illuminate areas that you need more knowledge about, more insight, or just information.

If after reading this first installment of the E-course, you recognize your own patterns, please avail yourself to more information through our products, or through your local women’s organizations and counseling programs.

Our hope is that this information is used for a woman’s relational harm reduction and education for healthier relationships. Please pass this on to other women who need this life-saving information. Be the beacon to other women…

This information is a companion and support material to the media-attracting book ‘How To Spot a Dangerous Man BEFORE You Get Involved.’ You can order the book, our companion work book and our ‘How To Break Up With a Dangerous Man e-Book’ at www.saferelationshipsmagazine.com.

**Workbooks are on back order. In the meantime, you can order them at Amazon.com or HunterHouse.com

Stay TUNED for the next installment Class 2 of our E-course coming to you next week!

Starve The Vampire

Pathological persons are energy and emotional vampires. They live off of your emotional content. Part of their personality deficit is the lack of a stable and consistent inner core of a self concept so they need constant attention, distraction, and identity management from which they draw their identity.

Lots of their identity is acquired from their relationships since internally there is so little core self to draw from. This is part of the reason they are so exhausting. In order to get their emotional ‘blood supply’ from you, they ‘hook you’ into conversations, arguments, or any other kind of response they can get from you. They live vicariously thru your own emotional expressions of love, frustration, confusion, etc. It doesn’t always matter ‘what’ emotion is fed to the vampire (although narcissists like adoration) but just that there is SOME content is enough for them–even your tears, or your screams, or your insults. It doesn’t matter…they just ‘need’ something, anything from you in the way of content. If they don’t get the blood supply/emotional content from you, they will seek it elsewhere. (Remember Dracula? He just moved from town to town taking it where he could get it?)

When you begin to break up (read my How to Break Up With a Dangerous Man E-book) he will fear the loss of emotional supply. He won’t fear losing you so much as he will fear not getting his identity and his sense of self from you and/or the relationship. He fears the loss of self or ‘who am I without her?’ This is a very fragmented ego state –one which only exists thru relationships with others.

So when you try to break up, he will continue to contact you which is why they are hard to break up with (read my break up book). They are predictable in their approaches to get you to respond to them (you are feeding the vampire his emotional blood supply every time you talk to him). These are some of his approaches and if you can get a bag of popcorn and just watch it like it was a LifeTime for Women movie and detach from it, you will see a whole movie pan out like this:

* One contact he’s angry, blaming, shaming

When you don’t respond to that verbally or emotionally (think like you are lobotomized with no facial expression…that’s what I want women to do with these men)

When you don’t respond….

* Then one contact will be sweet, loving, buy you things or sending you things

When you don’t respond…

* He will promise to do what you’ve asked for years..go to counseling, church, take meds, be nice, go to anger management
When you don’t respond…

* He will get angry again–say you aren’t working on the relationship which is why it’s gonna fail
When you don’t respond…

* He will accuse you of having sex with someone else and he’s gonna go do the same thing
When you don’t respond…

* He will quit calling for a while to make it look like he’s moved on (They are boomerangs, they ALWAYS come back a few times.)
When you dont’ respond…

* He will indicate he found someone else or had sex with someone else
When you don’t respond…

(Are you enjoying the popcorn and movie about now??)

* He becomes ‘sick’ — he doesn’t know what this mysterious illness is, or he has prostate cancer, MS, some other lethal disease
When you don’t respond…

* He will just go back to drinking/drugging/dealing/driving too fast/etc.
When you don’t respond…

* He will kill himself, leave the area, never see you again
When you don’t respond…

* He will take the kids, drag you thru court, threaten to physically harm you
When you don’t respond…

* He will tell you he’s dating someone you hate or his previous girlfriend/wife
When you don’t respond…

* He will tell you he will kill your pet he has custody of if you don’t talk to him
When you don’t respond…

* It will come full circle and will begin again, at the top of this list.

When I do phone sessions it’s all the same stories. I know that women think that their experiences are unique. But pathology is all the same–these people aren’t very creative and don’t deviate much from the strict internal structure that is associated with pathology. They ONLY react in certain ways so for me, it’s pretty easy to predict. Once you are able to understand this, you can predict his sad/silly/stupid reactions to a break up.

Since they live off of your emotion and NEED it, the sooner you starve him out by having no contact (unless you have to because of your kids) but you adhere to no words exchanged and no emotional content on your face, the vampire will flee to the next available source to be fed.

When women don’t disconnect once they understand the feeding and maintenance of pathologicals, they are doing it because SHE wants to remain. The ball is then in your court to figure out where you are still hung up so you can disconnect. This is not a judgment about women not being able to leave. It is a POINTER to a place where the dis-engagment has hit a snag. Simply notice where the snag IS so that something can be done.

Everything Is One

 

Joan-Marie Lartiin, PhD, RN

Have you heard this one?  What did the Buddhist master say to the hot dog vendor?  “Make me one with everything.”

 

That sums up the topic of this column.  The connections between and among the nervous, immune, and endocrine (i.e. thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries) systems have been explored by Western medicine for over 40 years.  Chinese medicine has made these connections for centuries, if not millennia.

 

We now know that the body’s biochemical messengers are both produced and received by cells in the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems.  This means that these systems talk with one another all the time and are very intricately interwoven.

 

In practical terms, what this means is that when there is an imbalance in one system there is almost certainly going to be an imbalance in the others.  In this sense, it is almost too simplistic to think about any of them as separate systems, rather the whole (nervous, immune, and endocrine) together is more logically thought of as a super-system.

 

The implications, and the clinical applications of these discoveries are enormous.  A relatively new field says this fast 5 times psychoneuroimmunology has arisen to delve into these interdependent functions.  (This term was coined a few decades ago and many in the field now wish they had found a way to include the endocrine system.) http://www.immunecliniclondon.com/5/PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY.html.

 

The validation that the mind-body connection is powerful is extensive.  There is now abundant, factual support for the impact of acute and sustained stress on health.  In other words, it is not all in your head, and hopefully the days of take a pill and call me in the morning, are receding into the past.

 

The purpose of these columns is to empower traumatized women by providing relevant information about advances in health care.  If your health care provider is unaware of other options, as an educated consumer you can find substantive solutions for your health problems and enjoy strong, robust health.

 

So if you are aware that problems such as arthritis, asthma, irritable bowel, chronic headaches, hypertension, frequent infections, allergies, weight gain, irregular or heavy periods, thyroid issues, fatigue, etc., have a mind/body component, you will look for providers who share this perspective.

This not only validates your experience of emotional trauma—no small matter—it opens up options for health care at a more deep level than previously possible.

 

Here is a clinical example from my practice that I think illustrates these ideas effectively.  A woman coming out of 22 years of marriage to a psychopathic individual suffered from:

 

  • Severe menstrual bleeding and severe secondary anemia
  • Low thyroid (weight gain, brain fuzz, cold intolerance, hair loss)
  • Adrenal fatigue (no energy, extreme startle reflex)
  • Frequent bouts of sinusitis and sinus infections

 

Five traditionally oriented physicians strongly suggested a hysterectomy, and prescription drugs for the thyroid and sinus conditions.  None of them diagnosed the adrenal failure.  A naturopathic physician tested her for adrenal fatigue, provided recommendations for natural remedies and supplements, and subsequently evaluated her immune functioning.  Her neurotransmitters were also found to be seriously out of balance (a serotonin level of 57 vs. 140).  She started a course of targeted amino acid therapy.  Subsequently, she was also diagnosed with:

 

  • Intestinal problems related to a yeast overgrowth, and therefore
  • Numerous food sensitivities, which presumably fueled sinus problems and signs of early arthritis, both indications of an over-active immune system.

 

Today, as she says, she is still the proud possessor of a uterus, avoids certain foods, is energetic and upbeat, and well on her way to a new life.  Her thyroid and adrenal functioning are completely normal and she has lost her middle-aged spread.  She accomplished all this without recourse to surgery or prescription medications.  Psychotherapy and neurofeedback training played a big part of her overall healing as well.

Needless to say, there were many postponed vacations and sacrifices made to pay for aspects of her health care that were not covered by insurance.  She is clear that the sacrifices she made for her health have been worth it.

 

I look forward to the day when her story, as inspiring and hopeful as it is, is the norm and not the exception.

Who Does That? Part 2

(Last week we began discussing the ‘who’ of certain behaviors and crimes often perpetrated by Cluster Bs and how the various systems who come in contact with Cluster Bs have differing names, thus views, of their destructive patterns. You can read last weeks newsletter on our magazine site under Sandra Says).

How convenient for pathologicals that each system is only focused on it’s identified behavior which helps the pathological continue to fly under the radar. Instead of seeing the big picture of pathological disorders in action, the systems are focused on the sub-directory of behaviors associated with their system and one small aspect of the pathologicals destructive nature.

When teaching on Public Pathology I always teach about the pathological disorders of Cluster B (Borderlines, Narcissists, Anti-socials, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths). No matter who hires me to speak, they all get the training on Cluster B. I teach this to nurses, the military, to therapists (who seem to have forgotten), to the criminal justice system, to law enforcement, to judges, custody evaluators, prosecutors/lawyers, and mediators. I teach it to clergy, addiction professionals, and social workers. To victim advocates, and DV programs. I teach it to every front line ‘system’ that is likely to be encountering various forms of behaviors that fall under the category of Cluster B but are referred to within the systems own labeling vernacular.

All these systems have been dealing with the same disorder, with different faces, different statuses in life, different careers and titles, with money or no money, different crimes and different charges against them, different social service requests, different spiritual confessions, different storylines, different excuses, different projections of their behavior onto societal causations. But in the end, the same disorder over and over again.

When I teach about Cluster B, I see the moment of ‘aha’ that comes across their faces when they recognize their own clients within this cluster of disorders. Learning the emotional, physical, psychological, behavioral, financial, sexual, and spiritual behaviors of these disorders quickly helps them to affirm ‘who’ does that. Looking across the room and seeing law enforcement, judges, therapists, and mediators all nodding in agreement rushes them into the center of reality that we are all dealing with the same disorder in our offices, court rooms, therapy offices and pews. That whether they are a defamer, cyber stalker, repeat domestic violence offender, a financial con artist, or a killer, we are still talking about the Cluster B of disorders.

When asking my audience of sexual offender therapists if any of the pedophiles AREN’T within Cluster B, no one disagrees. When asking Batterer Intervention programs if the chronic repeaters aren’t Cluster B, no one balks.  When asking Forensic Computer professionals if trolls, cyber stalkers, defamers or bullies aren’t Cluster B, they readily affirm it.  Sexual Assault counselors don’t argue that rapists are largely Cluster B.Judges don’t rush to defend that high conflict cases (those people who file case after case, as many as 60 times to court) aren’t Cluster B. Mediators don’t disagree that those most likely to fail mediation is a Cluster B. Custody Evaluators affirm that those most likely to tamper with evidence, perpetrate parental alienation and require supervised visitation are Cluster Bs. Stalking programs can easily see that stalking is primarily committed by Cluster Bs.

Repeat criminals clogging up jail, probation, parole, and prison programs are often diagnosed within jail as a Cluster B disorder. Terrorists, school shooters, and bombers are easily identified as Cluster B. Those who stay for years and years in counseling using up mental health resources without ever being able to sustain positive change are Cluster Bs (excluding here the chronic mental illness of schizophrenia or developmental disabilities).Those prematurely discharged from military service are often Cluster B.
The over use and misuse of most major societal services and systems are related to Cluster B.  Some of the most brilliantly contrived inside trading crimes of the century has been planned and executed by Cluster Bs. Are there many murderers that don’t have Cluster B?

WHO does that? If we take all the behaviors listed above (and often crimes from those behaviors), put them in an analyzer funnel and watch the behaviors clink and clunk down the spiral DSM Identifier, it would spit them out in an Axis II file with Cluster B printed on the front.

Cluster B’s behaviors are generated out of a complex interweaving of emotional, developmental, neuro, biochemical, and even genetic abnormalities. Obviously, this is not a ‘simple’ disorder or there would be less ‘inevitable harm’ associated with everyone and everything they touch and they would be cured or even managed consistently and well.

This complicated group of disorders single-handedly sets society on edge. It keeps us in court, in therapy, in prayer, in the lawyer’s office, in depression, in anxiety, on edge, on the offense, ready to off ourselves to simply be away from such menacing (yet often normal appearing) deviancy.

Who wreaks more emotional havoc than Cluster B’s? 60 million persons in the US alone are negatively impacted by someone else’s pathology. It drives people to therapy, to commit their own petty acts of revenge to avenge their own powerlessness, drives people to drink, to run away, to take their children and run, and sadly leads to uncountable amounts of suicides every year.

They single-handedly cause financial disruptions to the working class who are demoted or go on disability because of scrambed-eggs for brains they now have due to too much Cluster B exposure.

It drives the legal market by keeping attorneys in business through never-ending court cases, child custody, and restraining orders.

It employs judges and prison systems. And keeps forensic computer and forensic accountants frantically busy.

It funds domestic violence shelters, rape centers, and children’s therapy programs.

Pathology is big business. It is what our large service systems in almost every field are driven by…the need to protect, defend, prosecute, or treat the effects of Cluster Bs.

It employs threat assessment professionals to ward off stalkers and reputation defenders online programs to repair cyber attacks on people that Cluster B’s rarely even know.

It employs social workers and halfway houses trying to get Cluster B’s ‘the help they need to turn their lives around.’

It drives the media of TV, radio, and talk shows. Who DO we think are often the persons on daytime TV and reality shows? Cluster B’s. WHO do the media often want to talk about in the celebrity world? The Cluster B’s. What kinds of crimes does the media flock to? The crimes often perpetrated by Cluster B’s.

It drives the medical field due to stress related disorders and diseases normal people develop as a reaction to the abnormal pathology of Cluster B.

Surely pharmacology is partially driven by medications for depression and anxiety perpetrated by the no-conscience disorders of Cluster B.

It generates new products every year to track, expose and identify Cluster B’s who are hacking computers, sending viruses, or putting chips on phones and cars to invade others lives.

While clearly pathology generates jobs for many, it is still the single most destructive group of disorders that exist.  And until all the major systems: judicial, legal, and mental health get on the same page about ‘Who’ does that, we will be stuck in this maze of pathologicals flying under the radar, undiagnosed, unrealized and wreaking havoc in millions of people’s lives.

Wake up Law Enforcement, Positive Psychology Therapists, Judges, Custody Evaluators, Mediators, DV Batterer Intervention, Lawyers!  Who Does That?

I’m Not What You Say I Am

I’m Not What You Say I Am

 “We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.”  ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Life isn’t all about appearances.  Life is about movement, awareness, insight, change, compassion.  Life is about interactions with others.  As we move through the world we move through it together.  Whether we accept it or not we impact each other.  Conversely, we are impacted by others.  Our impact on others is often a concern…it is a part of our conscious awareness.  We wonder (and sometimes obsess) about how others regard us.  Alfred Adler describes this trait of how people regard us in terms of “social interest,” our ability or potential for living “cooperatively and contributing to the good of others.”  We learn to adopt this trait early on the playground.  As children we were taught to be aware of others feelings and to be nice to others.  We learned that words do hurt (in spite of the childhood lesson regarding sticks and stones!)  We learned lessons like “make a good first impression” and “do unto others…”  All of these childhood (and adult) lessons teach us that what others think is important.  Now, this isn’t all bad.  Considering we are social creatures and knowing that we impact each other, it is pretty important to be concerned with how other people regard us.  Possessing this trait means that we have compassion and empathy…it means that we want to play well with others.  But this trait, like all the others in excess, can be dangerous.  It can be especially dangerous for someone who finds their way to a playground with a psychopath.

Herein lies the risk:  Psychopaths lack concern for others…real, empathetic concern.  They can fake it well, but deep down they move through the world not concerned about their impact, but concerned about having control and power.  So, being concerned about how other people regard them is twisted.  It isn’t so much about positive regard as it is negative regard…they want people to believe they are in control, powerful, smart, and likeable, etc.  They want to cover up who they really are…manipulative, dangerous, callous, superficial, glib, and controlling.  (Writing those words reminds me why they HAVE to develop a mask…it would be hard to spend two minutes with someone if we saw those traits).  So, they move through the world, mask firmly in place…covering who they are with what they want you to believe.

For the woman in a relationship with a psychopath it’s the trait of how people regard you that keeps you stuck.  You are concerned with the feelings of others, you are concerned about your impact on other people (and a psychopath will remind you all day about your impact on him!)  As long as you believe you are having a negative impact…you will stay until your impact becomes positive. Sad part is…it never does.  He knows you need to be seen as kind, compassionate, loyal and honest and he also knows that you don’t give up.  So as long as he can make you believe your impact is negative…then give you a glimmer of hope that he can change…he’s got you.  You stay because you must be seen by him and others as having a positive impact…a high concern for how others regard you.  This concept works well in all other areas of your life, but with a psychopath it’s the thing that puts you at risk and the thing that keeps you there.

Herein lies the benefit: When you realize that he cannot change…you’re out.  When you fully and completely come to believe that he is only motivated by power and control, you know that it is no longer about what he thinks or how he sees you…in fact, this flips.  You begin to realize that he sees you as a sucker.  He has used everything good about you to fill up his empty cup.  He has taken what is good and right and manipulated it (and you) for his own agenda. You also realize that he is not only hurting you but he is having a negative impact on others…most likely people you care about.  Knowing this becomes your strength…it becomes the fuel to the fire that burns the relationship to ruin…you will not play with others who have no regard.  Think about it…would you allow an employee, client, friend, your child to manipulate your good nature this way…not a chance.  You’re out.  No more playing with a psychopath; time to take your toys and go home.

So, when all is said and done you have way too much concern for how other people regard you, and in the context of a pathological relationship that is really, really dangerous.  So, how do you put a lid on that trait?  First, be concerned about this trait only when it comes to your pathological.  Chances are this trait has served you well in other areas of your life…so don’t be overwhelmed with having to “change” everything about you.  This trait is appealing to psychopaths, so just put a lid on it in the context of your relationship.  Next, be aware of your thoughts and actions when he persecutes you…when he calls you stupid or crazy, calls you irresponsible and uncaring, attacks your skills as a mother or tells you that you are being “mean.” When he does this he is seeking to control you through this trait.  HE IS CONTROLLING YOU THROUGH YOUR TRAIT.  Allow this thought to come into your awareness and then challenge it. Who is doing this???  A psychopath.  Allow the truth to come into your awareness and you will be compelled to accept it.  Additionally, with that knowledge you can counter any thought with a true thought.  You might begin to remind yourself that what he says about you is part of his mask…part of the fantasy that he is creating to keep you in the relationship…fantasy is not reality.  You know who you are…and you are not who he says you are!

 

Who Does That? Part 1

Part of our goal at The Institute is not only to help survivors heal from the aftermath of a PLR (Pathological Love Relationship), but it is also to help prevent future relationships with pathologicals. In prevention, The Institute helps survivors to spot overt glaring pathology. The overt pathology is easy to identify.

* Few would argue that mothers who drown their children like Susan Smith or Andrea Yates aren’t terribly disordered.

* Those that shoot people they don’t know or commit a drive by shooting like the Beltway Snipers Muhammad and Malvo in the Washington D.C. and Virginia areas clearly have pathological motives.

* Those that sexually abuse children and hide the sexual offender like the Catholic Church are the face of evil.

* Horrendous hate crimes that torture hundreds, thousands, or millions of people like war crimes or the Holocaust are pretty easy to figure that severe pathology is behind the motivation of hate like that.

* Or the deranged that break into homes to beat the elderly for money like Phillip Garrett who terrorized those in assisted living facilities have a notable bent of sheer brutality.

* Terrorists who commit the taking of hostages and psychological torture like the infamous Stockholm Bank Robbery (resulting in the term Stockholm Syndrome) are identifiable as probable psychopaths.

* The rapist who preys on the vulnerable or the type of rapist who rapes a wife in front of her own husband is overtly vile.

* Or the violent anti-socials that are frequent gang members or thugs like James Manley who murdered my father.

* Serial killers like Ted Bundy who raped and killed at least 36 women leave no doubt that he was the worst of the worst psychopaths.

* Or the ordering of killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child like schizophrenic/psychopathic Charlie Manson makes our blood run cold.

* Cult leaders who lead hundreds to death like Jim Jones remind us of the power and persuasion of pathology.

* Chronic re-offending domestic violence abusers like O.J. and Mike Tyson convince us that all DV is not treatable and some abuser brutality increases with each crime and are obviously disordered.

* The babbling grandiosity of narcissism as seen in Charlie Sheen reminds us that even the rich and famous carry and display their pack of pathology for all to see.

* Or the robbing of millions of dollars from thousands of people like Bernie Madoff reminds us that not all pathology is physically violent, some do it with panache and a tie on.

These forms of pathology are recognizable by most of society and many would agree that these people are horribly disordered and probably dangerous for life.

But being able to spot pathology in less overt and even frequently hid, yet equally as damaging acts, is where most of us fall short—even professionals in the criminal justice and mental health systems. It’s also where survivors of PLR’s are likely to trip up yet again since the ‘types’ of behaviors pathologicals perpetrate can vary causing confusion to the unsuspecting, highly tolerant and emotionally understanding survivor.

Low empathy is at the core of a cluster of pathological disorders that correlates to ‘inevitable harm’ when it crosses the paths of others.  Low empathy has its roots in reduced conscience, remorse, and guilt. Without empathy pathologicals find pleasure in harming others. While they might not cackle aloud in public when a dog is hit by a car, they no less live in the shadows of enjoying the physical or emotional destruction of others.

Sadistic, absolutely. But often sadistic behind closed doors, or sheltered reputations, behind factitious names, or online identities.

Why aren’t these pathological disorders better identified? That is the million dollar question since the main judicial, social, and mental systems of our society deal with this particular cluster of pathological disorders day in and day out. Why are they actively dealing with cluster bs? Because these disorders represent the majority of white and blue collar crimes that cataclysmically smash in our lives even if they are never identified as crimes.  The reason society has not cohesively named this cluster of disorders as the center of their focus, is each system has their own view of the ‘behavior’ associated with the pathological’s disorders.

  • Law enforcement calls them the bad guys (if they are even caught)
  • Mental health systems call them patients
  • Domestic violence organizations call them abusers
  • Batterer intervention programs call them perpetrators
  • Criminal defense attorneys call them clients
  • Sexual Assault centers call them rapists or sexual offenders
  • Financial structures call them swindlers
  • The online world calls them trolls
  • Victims call them predators
  • Children and adolescents call them cyber bullies
  • The swindled call them con artists
  • The judicial system calls them criminals (or not, if they are never identified)
  • The church calls them evil or unredeemed
  • The website owner calls them hackers
  • The defamed call them cyber stalkers
  • Parents call them pedophiles
  • Jails calls them inmates
  • Prison calls them high security risks
  • FBI calls them targets and terrorists

As each system deals with their own view of a specific act the person has done, we miss the wide broad category that these people fall under. We miss the bigger implication of what goes with that category. We miss the fact that those who fall under these pathological disorders have largely low, or no, positive treatment outcomes. Each system dealing with a behavior, only sees the person through their own behavioral specialty. Yet we are all talking about the same disorders in action.

When we ask ‘WHO does that?’ we immediately become brothers and sisters in the same battle against pathology. We begin to see the ‘who’ within the act, the disorder that perpetrates these same acts, behaviors, or crimes. It’s the same sub-set of disorders that have different focuses but the same outcome: inevitable harm.

Health Care – Beyond the Quick Fix

Health care professionals and researchers report that traumatized women have more than their share of a variety of chronic diseases and health problems.  Sadly, it is all too common that many of these health issues are either not addressed and/or focused on symptom relief. I think that there are at least two reasons for this.

For starters, there is a woefully limited perception and understanding in this country about the extent and impact of people with personality disorders. In the UK and Canada, there seems to be more awareness, perhaps due to the work of Robert Hare, who is based in British Columbia and has done a great deal of training in Canada and the UK. Therefore, most primary health care providers in the US do not have a clue about a) the existence and prevalence of successful psychopaths and therefore b) the impact of these relationships on a woman’s health. Understandably, these providers attribute stress and or genetics as causes for the women’s physical symptoms.

The second problem, IMO, is that the current paradigm of health care is symptom focused. Diagnostic tests, medications and other treatments are primarily “targeted” at symptom relief. All you have to do is watch TV for a few minutes and there it is: Advertisements for medications-prescriptions and over the counter drugs for colds and the flu, hypertension, allergies, headaches, insomnia, fatigue and low energy, acne, constipation, muscle aches and pains, it is endless.

Yes, we all want a quick fix. But all too often the fix itself is either ineffective and or laden with serious side effects. The alternative health industry sometimes falls into this category, and many of these options are heaven-sent. We now know about the use of Arnica for bruises, Valerian for sleep, and echinacea and high does of Vitamin D for building up the immune system. These alternatives are frequently more effective and less toxic than artificial chemicals, but the focus can remain on treating the symptom, not the underlying causes.

Why is there such an emphasis on symptom reduction? Perhaps because, coming from inside the current medical paradigm, there are very few answers to questions like “Why is my blood pressure so high?” or “Why do I have such bad heart disease?” While there are obviously genetic components, most genetic predispositions require the presence of certain environmental factors before a disease process is triggered.

Readers of this column know the real answer to these questions-because the woman with the symptoms is or has been in a relationship with a disordered person. And that her neurotransmitters, immune and endocrine systems are probably way out of balance. We know that when one or more of these systems is out of balance-(due to stress, diet, environmental factors such as metal allergies, and or genetics) that there is a very high likelihood that one, the other or both are also out of balance. These imbalances are now being considered the primary causes of everything from insomnia to autoimmune disease. Look for further discussion of this topic in my next column.

Most practitioners think inside, and there are exceptions-the current educational, diagnostic and treatment systems which are locked into the old paradigm. It is very, very difficult to find a way out or around that from the inside out. One cannot see what one does not see.

Additionally, to make matters worse, often one treatment leads to another so that the side effects of a surgery, radiation treatment, or a pharmacological intervention snowball. The cycle perpetuates itself. Rarely do you hear the question-what is driving this arthritis? The hypertension?

I think that we are experiencing the beginning of the end of the power of traditional medicine to improve our health. For women who are healing from disordered relationships the need for answers and solutions to health care problems, some of which are very serious-

  • self-doubt about the reasons for health problems
  • feelings of unworthiness rated to seeking care, and/or
  • child-like dependency on health care providers

no longer serve your best interests.

What then? Knowledge is power. Read. Ask questions. The incredible rise in the last decade of alternative healthcare-integrative medicine, holistic care, demonstrates both the waning utility of the old paradigm and willingness to take responsibility for one’s own health care. I can think of no greater empowerment for women formally in disordered relationships than their taking charge of their emotional and physical health.

Political Ponerology 101: The Dangers of Pit Bulls and Climate Control

Political Ponerology 101: The Dangers of Pit Bulls and Climate Control
by Harrison Koehli

So, I think you all are getting the point of this series so far: psychopaths are a big problem in our world! But it’s not that simple. Take an analogy. Timmy is sick. He caught a bug at school the other week and is down for the count. Thankfully for his parents, they’re somewhat eccentrically obsessed with health and cleanliness and had immediately placed Timmy in a microbiologically sterile bubble in their guest bedroom, before proceeding to decontaminate the entire house and its occupants. The pathogen that threatens the health of those he might come in contact with is successfully locked in. (Unfortunately for Timmy, so is he!) However, Timmy’s parents didn’t factor Sunshine, the family’s pet pit-bull, into their anti-infection equation.

So, one afternoon, while Timmy is reminiscing about his former life outside the bubble, along comes Sunshine who pokes a hole in the bubble’s protective layer with his favorite stick. The highly contagious, airborne infection is now free to surf the air waves of 21st century climate control, and through a series of highly improbable events, Timmy’s sister, parents, dog and goldfish all come down with the nasty bug. The infection then spreads throughout the neighborhood, city, and eventually, the world, as local businessmen who don’t mind an aggressive pat down from the TSA and exposing their genitals to puerile airport security personnel via Peeping-Tom-Technology travel to very serious and important business meetings. So, what’s the point of this? Simply put, psychopaths need a number of things to have their effect in lieu of the direct interaction of personal relationships. Among a psychopath’s best tools to spread his malevolence are fanatic bulldogs and the cold theories of human nature that determine the intellectual climate of a society. It’s through these intermediaries that our bodies and minds are systematically infected – ponerized.

In this article I’ll focus on the latter of these tools. For now, all that needs to be said of the fanatics is that the tenacity of true believers (whether paranoid or just lacking important functionality of the prefrontal lobes) is what keeps pathological social systems in action. Just think of Internet trolls with religion and guns, seeing a Communist or terrorist behind every even slightly ‘liberal’ blogger, and you’ll get the picture. As for the second type of psycho-puppet, they’re a bit trickier to spot. Often intelligent, and highly influential in society, the pervasiveness of their theories in modern Western culture offers them some degree of camouflage. But when those theories are put to the test, they don’t fare too well. Unfortunately for us, very few actually question them, and they’re the cause of many of the world’s biggest problems.

In his book, Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (New York: Norton, 2009), professor of psychology at the University of California, Dacher Keltner lists some depressing figures. In the last fifteen years, levels of trust among Americans have dropped 15%; feelings of social anomie, loneliness, and unhappy marriages are on the rise; people have fewer close friends, babies have less physical contact with their parents, and American children’s well-being ranks twentieth in a list of 21 nations. Keltner traces this overall decline in social well-being to what he calls the Homo economicus ideology of human nature. He writes:
This ideology has influential advocates from Sigmund Freud to evolutionary theorists. The strongest proponents of this view are found in the halls of economics departments. Their characterization of human nature [is] known widely as rational choice theory … First and foremost, Homo economicus is selfish. Every action of Homo economicus is designed to maximize self-interest, in the form of experienced pleasure, advances in material wealth, or, in evolutionist thought, the propagation of genes. … Competition is a natural and normative state of affairs. … Cooperation and kindness are, by implication, cultural conventions or deceptive acts masking deeper self-interest. … The conclusion: These generous acts are evolutionary “misfires” or “strategic errors” … (pp. 8 – 9)
Keltner mentions just a few such theorizers: the already-mentioned Freud, Ayn Rand, Machiavelli (“in general [mankind] are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain”), and George C. Williams (Natural selection “can honestly be described as a process for maximizing short-sighted selfishness”). To this list we may add Karl Marx (for whom material conditions shape consciousness) and Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679), who thought that so long as there were no strong authority to keep them in line, humans were naturally “in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man” (quoted in Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: Penguin, 2002), p. 7). In other words, human nature is so wretched (i.e. self-serving, distrustful, malicious) that a strong authority (i.e. church or state) is needed to keep society from descending into social chaos. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. As Keltner describes it, such a view of human nature offers only part of the picture. Without the very real qualities of equality, compassion, cooperation, gratitude, love, laughter and nurture, our families and societies would fall apart. These emotions and values are what bring, and keep, people together, and coincidentally (or not), they are the very qualities lacking in psychopaths.

In fact, some big clues to this can be found in Adam Curtis’ 2007 documentary The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom . In it, Curtis shows the influence of “simplistic model[s] of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures” on modern economics and politics (are we seeing a pattern here?). One such model is the “Game Theory” of mathematician and Nobel Prize winner in Economics John Nash, whose life was whitewashed in the Hollywood film A Beautiful Mind. Importantly, Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, although in my opinion “schizoidal psychopathy” is a better fit. His arrogant, cold-hearted, and disturbed mind is dealt with at length in Sylvia Nasar’s biography of the same name. Nash’s view of human nature influenced the development of his “game” scenarios, which in turn greatly influenced official Cold War policies.

According to Nash, human beings are selfish and distrustful by nature, and the only way to create social stability is through the cultivation of suspicion and self-interest. In one of his games, players must choose to trust or betray their gaming partner in order to either lose or gain benefits. Trust only works if both sides choose to do so. If your opponent “screws you”, however, you lose more than you would if you screwed him as well. The choice with the greatest payoff is thus to betray your partner, who in turn betrays you. According to Nash, as well as other economic theorists like Friedrich von Hayek and James M. Buchanan, this is how humans actually operate: motivated entirely by self-interest and constantly calculating and anticipating the malicious intentions of all others. Homo economicus. Life is one big game of screwing others over, and coming out on top.

That’s great in theory, I suppose. However, in practice, the only individuals who consistently played the games in such a manner were psychopaths and economists (!). When the games were played by the experimenters’ secretaries, they always chose the mutually beneficial trust scenario, that is, the normal, human response. And while these theories of economic and political “freedom” were embraced by politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and continue to determine economic and government policies in Western societies, as Curtis concludes, when they are put into practice they actually lead to “corruption, rigidity, inequality.” See how far Timmy’s bug can spread?

As can be seen by the names mentioned above (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Marx, etc.), the view of humanity as nothing but selfish imps has long held sway. Religious traditions have taught their believers to view themselves as “special” and set apart from the rest of humanity, which is seen as wretched, brutish, amoral, and Godless. (In other words, Homo economicus-lite; only the others are evil.) It is so universal that it seems to be a rule among religious sects, whether in the Talmudic view of goyim, the Christian view of the “un-saved”, or the Muslim view of the kafir. So, too, in political theories. As the game theory tests showed in The Trap, normal people tend trust one another. It is “intra-species predators” such as psychopaths who are themselves distrustful by nature, and who then inspire distrust in others; who are selfish, and inspire selfishness in others; and who wish to be the ones controlling the rabble of humanity.

And when we take a hard look at the laws and cultural norms that these pseudo-people promote (and which we take for granted), we see that they’re most often based on this imaginary, invented, simplified view of human nature. it’s everywhere we look. In his book Lie Detectors: A Social History, Kerry Segrave documents some of the absurd methods of lie detection used in our history. For example, from ancient India and Iran to Europe of the Middle Ages, methods such as the “red-hot iron ordeal”, where the accused is found guilty if he suffers burns from a red-hot piece of metal, have been used as methods for lie detection. Obviously both the guilty and innocent will be burned, but authorities defended their techniques with any number of cockamamie explanations. In the present day, torture techniques whose true nature is softened by euphemisms such as “advanced interrogation techniques” are used to break down the accused to the point where they will confess to anything, as was the case with alleged 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times in a single month. Mohammed confessed to a litany of crimes, which included targeting a bank founded four years after his arrest. The applications aren’t always so extreme, however. In court, jurors easily doubt the testimony of a seemingly ‘mentally-imbalanced’ (i.e. emotional) person, especially when it is his or her word against a cool-headed, well-respected psychopath who lies with ease and absolute certitude. The injustice of the situation, and the unbelievable chutzpah displayed by the psychopath, is enough to drive an innocent party into an emotional fit, ruining their so-called credibility.

We’ve largely inherited our legal system from the Romans. While the Greeks were more concerned with literature, mythology, and strictly philosophical philosophizing (among other more questionable activities), the Romans took a more utilitarian approach. With large populations to control and a deficit in understanding of human nature (what is it with half-wits ruling vast portions of the globe, anyways?!), the administrative and political practicalities of empire outweighed the Greek ideals of sober reflection and discovery. Their legal system became a ‘one-size-fits-all’ enterprise conceived for the “statistically average” (and equally non-existent) human. Not even the Jesus peoples’ notion of the “kingdom of God” – which caused quite a stir among the plebes in the first century after Jesus, basing itself on natural human relationships of respect, love, and understanding – managed to temper the Roman mentality when Christianity was assimilated into the empire’s political machine in the fourth century. In short, we inherited this Roman tendency to submit human nature to The Law and not vice versa.

For millennia these culturally ingrained blind spots have hindered our ability to comprehend human and social reality in all its complexity, making us individually and collectively vulnerable to psychopathic influences. The reason for this is that the roots of human evil are found within the very human variety and complexity that is denied by commonly promoted beliefs about humanity. By our ignorance of their existence, they remain hidden in plain sight. In fact, humans are not all the same. Psychopaths have very little in common with the rest of humanity, and it is them who exploit the gap between our unrealistic beliefs and the actual truth of the matter, as in the legal cases mentioned above.

The funny thing about these theories is that they end up revealing more about the nature of those making the theories than about humanity in general. ?obaczewski provides the key to this puzzle. According to him, schizoid individuals (think Robert DeNiro’s character Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, or Rorschach in Watchmen) as a rule have such a misanthropic view of human nature. Because of their own shallow emotions and unstable personalities, they have trouble ascribing to others qualities that they themselves lack, like true empathy, altruism, and cooperation. Instead, they tend to create baroque and icy theories with no basis in reality. They project their own limitations into self-evident, ‘universal’ values, and when their books are mass-produced, and their ideas spread throughout the public, academia, economics, and politics, that means trouble.

For example, in addition to the unfortunate influence of Freud on psychiatry, the behaviorists have largely dominated the field of psychology. Taking empiricism to its limits, they concluded that because mental processes could not be directly studied in the laboratory, the mind could not be said to exist at all – all there is is behavior! As anyone with a mind knows, this is patently absurd. Visualization, imagination, and higher emotions are just a few of the essential human qualities denied by behaviorism. Rather, the behaviorists attempted to extrapolate human qualities from the observation of animals – their reflexes, formed habits, and learning processes. While much was learned in the process, it led to a vicious circle within psychology. By denying truly human qualities and abilities, their ended up with grossly lobotomized theories of human nature. As John B. Watson infamously said:
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (quoted in Pinker, p. 19)
As was the case with Nash and Hobbes, these theories tell us more about the minds of the theorists themselves than about humanity as a whole. Taken as a group, behaviorists can actually tell us something about the true variety within human nature. Because psychology is the only discipline where both the subject and object of study are the same, it’s easy for subjective errors and faulty core assumptions to slip their way into the reasoning process. Studying the core assumptions about human nature present within the writings of influential scientific, economic, and religious thinkers is a powerful aid in beefing up our sense of smell. We might just catch a whiff of a truly pathological mindset. But such a keen sense can be a dangerous thing. Psychology, after all, is the first science to be outlawed and Stalinized in pathocracy, because of its potential to identify the true nature, causes, processes, and weaknesses of the system.

Psychopaths rely on the tacit acceptance of such theories by the masses of humanity. Think about it. In our daily lives, such ideas are mere “Sunday beliefs” – we may accept them in economics class, or the psychology lab, but when we get home to our families, social instinct is what drives us. We still hug and kiss our children before bed, worry about their futures, make sacrifices for their well-being. We want them to be happy, and we do what we can to make it a reality.

What does it matter that some strange, little economists hold such absurd beliefs? Oh, yeah… Inequality, social anomie, depression, poverty, economic shock treatment, computerized warfare, poisonous pharmaceuticals, non-food, pollution, corporate enslavement, and on and on and on. The fact is, even if we may tend to live our lives with some modicum of humanity, societal beliefs affect us all. Schizoidal misanthropy affects us all. But besides these very tangible effects, besides the fact that their ideals are spread and implemented by our leaders, belief systems limit the range of concepts with which our minds can ‘play’. They’re like blinders on a carriage-horse. When we leave out what is human, and forbid anything ponerological, we’ll be lucky if the carriage doesn’t smash to pieces when it is run off the cliff of time and history.

So, no, I’m not recommending we all start living in bubbles (analogies, mine at least, can only go so far). But just as our health depends on the functioning of our immune system, our psychological and societal well-being depends on the degree of our knowledge about ponerology. If the “trap” set by the theories mentioned above is the fact that they are speculative and divorced of any relation to human and social reality, the obvious solution is to come to a solid understanding of human nature – the human individual in all its scope and variety. So take off your blinders, give someone you love a hug, and let’s get down to exposing the individuals who have flushed our world down the drainpipe.

Male Survivors

Coming Soon

Rocking the Relationship Boat

With a month left to go before she graduated from the police academy in Florida, Kelly Rothwell, 35 was moving forward to a new chapter in her life.  Her plans included ending a volatile relationship with her dangerous boyfriend of over 3 years. The boyfriend controlled and monitored her cell phone and computer activity.  When she was out of his radar, the boyfriend stalked her.  Kelly’s training at the police academy would turn her fears and anxieties into strength.

On March 12, 2011, Kelly picked up her keys to her new residence then met with a friend for lunch before heading over to the boyfriends and announcing in person, the relationship was over.  Kelly Rothwell was never seen or heard from again.  Now she joins the thousands of other women who attempted to end the relationship without a solid plan of action.  Law enforcement has since named the boyfriend as a suspect in this case.  It is no surprise he was the last person to see Kelly.

Time and time again we read about women who were planning or have already ended their marriage or relationship, reported missing or discovered dead.  The abuser has a plan and so should you!  Prior to ending the relationship or rocking the boat in a court of law, follow the instructions provided in the book “Time’s Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships,” available here at the Institute or  at Amazon.com.   And if you do nothing else, before you announce the ending of your relationship be sure to prepare the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and video located in the book.

 

http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2011/03/intimate-partner-violence-ends-with-no_28.html

Your Medical Conditions–Is the Root Your Relationships?

Many women don’t know that ongoing stress (whether it is recognized or not) leads to very predictable medical conditions. Our mental state is our physical state so women with the worst health issues are often women with the worst emotional stressors.

Women who were raised in addicted, mentally ill, abusive, or pathological families often have the most severe and lingering of medical symptoms and diseases. One reason is that they have an accumulative effect of stress-related disorders because of the length of time they have been ‘stressed.’ Since many women who were in disordered families go on to pick disordered men, their stress simply rolls over into the next relationship. Or if she is able to avoid the disordered intimate relationship, her previous exposure to the disordered family or resulting stress may go untreated. In those cases, the stress is still stored in the body.

We now know that stress has to go somewhere. It goes into your body as deep as the cellular level as well into your muscles and tissues. This type of stress storage can result in diseases that effect the muscles and tissues like MS, Lupus, Fibromyialga.

Stress attacks the immune system and renders it ineffective. This can result in diseases like Chronic Fatigue, Epstein Bar, and other auto-immune disorders like Lupus and Fibro that end up moving from the immune system to the muscles and tissues. (Ever say ‘He’s wearing me out?’ He literally is!)

Stress negatively affects blood pressure–high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart disease, and other long term diseases. (Ever say, ‘He’s killing me?’)

Stress floods the body with cortisol that produces too much adrenaline in the body causing irritability, sleep disruptions, and fight/flight symptoms. Cortisol effects metabolism which produces weight loss or weight gain especially in the stomach area and blood sugar instability which can lead to hypo glycemia or diabetes. (Ever say “I just feel like I want to jump out of my skin”?)

Stress negatively affects hormones causing chronic menstruation problems, endometriosis, early menopause, PMS, and other female related disorders.

Stress causes inflammation in the body which we now know is the beginning of most disease processes. This can lead to arthritis and other inflammation-based diseases.

Stress causes tension which can be held almost anywhere in the body. This affects the skeletal system resulting in back or neck pain requiring chiropractic adjustments. Sometimes it’s stored in the face that produces TMJ or migranes.(Ever say, ‘He’s such a pain!’?)

Stress causes the release of gastric juices which inflame the throat,stomach and colon resulting in digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (Ever say he was a pain in your butt?)

Stress negatively affects certain vitamins in your body which get depleted during ongoing stress which can result in fatigue, hair loss, allergies, and skin problems. (Ever say ‘he really gets under my skin?’)

Stress screams to be managed which is why so many women end up with addictions trying to ‘manage’ the chronic stress condition–addictions with anxiety medication, pain meds, street drugs, alcohol, food, sex, religion, and overachieving. (Ever say ‘He is going to drive me to drink?’)

Over the past 20 years of treating women, I’ve seen everyone of these disease processes at work in women. PATHOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE A LEADING NEGATIVE CAUSE IN WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES ON EVERY LEVEL! If we want to improve women’s health in this country, we need to address these pathological relationships that are killing her!

Stress hides because we are adaptive in some ways and become ‘use to’  the level of stress we are currently under OR have ALWAYS been under since childhood. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t highly damaging our bodies with it. Some women only become aware of their stress if it jumps markedly. By then, you are in the severe category of stress disorders which by that point, you probably have several of the conditions listed above.

By far, the condition of the 21st century for most people is stress. Women with histories of abuse or current pathological relationships have even higher stress levels than people without these contributing factors.  Stress demands to be treated and then managed…either do it now or it will demand it in medical issues.

Many women say they don’t even know where to begin in managing the stress that is contributing to their medical conditions because they have had it so long. On our shopping cart is an mp3 download for Relaxation Techniques for Stress Disorders–that’s a good start. Consider physical exercise, yoga, pilates, some way of metabolizing all those stress hormones. Learn deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or quiet meditation. Find a counselor or a group in order to verbally express the underlying issues of your stress. (We offer phone sessions, tele-support group, retreats and 1:1s with Sandra). Manage addictions of sex, relationship-hopping, drugs even prescriptions, and alcohol.

When assessing your overall health, do consider the underlying possible reasons for your health issues–your emotional stressors and HIM!

(**Information about pathological love relationships is in our award winning book Women Who Love Psychopaths and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions)

Stress & Adrenal Fatigue

The last two weeks we have been discussing PTSD and it’s use in Legal Advocacy in court regarding
divorce, separation, rehabilitative alimony and child custody. You can read the last two weeks of
newsletters to see how using a PTSD Accommodations Report in Court can help you. And you can
also read up on the differences between PTSD and mental illness if you are concerned with getting
labeled ‘mentally ill’ (PTSD is a stress reaction not a mental illness.)

In many other newsletters I have written extensively about PTSD and recovery. Much of learning to
heal from or live with PTSD has to do with learning to ‘Live a Gentle Life’ that is less stressful. You
can read about PTSD and the Gentle Life coming up soon in the newsletter.

However, PTSD as a stress disorder is an indicator of extreme stress. If you have it, that means you
have suffered an emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual, and/or psychological trauma that was severe
enough or long enough in duration to significantly impact you.

Having a Stress Disorder means two things:
1. You were significantly stressed or traumatized
2. The stress and/or trauma has effected your functioning level.

PTSD can be short term and resolved with treatment within a few months or it can be chronic and life
long, often reactivated by MORE stress or MORE trauma. In my case, I have chronic PTSD that is
reactivated when I am worn down, too stressed, not living a gentle life, or other life events that are
difficult (my mothers death) and reactivate it.

With PTSD, whether it’s short or long term, you are likely to have a reduced level of productivity.
Your concentration can be impaired, sleep is disrupted, you are hyper vigiliant and have an exaggerated
startle reflex, you have anxiety and a mixture of depression, intrusive thoughts,
emotional numbing, flashbacks and panic.

None of this lends itself to being able to work well, consistently, or productively. Even if you are
unemployed, the quality of your daily life is disrupted and your life productivity in your day to day
living is reduced. This is why people often need treatment for PTSD. That could be short or long
term treatment, individual weekly counseling, group counseling, inpatient treatment, or any combination
of those.

PTSD as a stress disorder has it’s long term outcomes in medical conditions as do many other stress
disorders. Unresolved stress and trauma (whether it’s PTSD or every day stress) can, and most often does,
end up in medical disorders. Part of seeking rehabilitative alimony in court with a PTSD diagnosis is because
of the loss of productivity AND because of the long term effects on your health. 25 years after the murder
of my father I am continuing to see the medical outcome of chronic PTSD in my health.

Often in court, women do not know to have their attorneys argue for rehab alimony or medical coverage for
treatment FOR THE FUTURE. So many don’t realize how their health could be impacted now and years
from now.  Stress and PTSD have many long term medical possibilities, including:

* Auto Immune Disorders: Fibromyalga, Chronic Fatigue, Epsteen Bar, Lupus, M.S.
* Various forms of arthritis
* Gastric problems
* Migranes and TMJ
* Female problems
* Ongoing anxiety and depression
* Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue
* Sleep disorders
* Diabetes
* And most commonly, a combination of these

Settling your divorce or court case with the pathological and NOT considering the future medical outcome
of the stress he produced in your BODY is unwise. Because we do know that many of these stress
disorders and/or PTSD will continue on long after he is gone and in the end, effect a person’s health in
some way. That’s because at the heart of the medical conditions that develop is adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue is the culprit must likely associated with medical disorders that go on to develop. Treating
and managing adrenal fatigue could actually prevent many of the disorders that will later develop because of
untreated and unmanaged adrenal fatigue.

Here is a link about it: www.adrenalfatigue.org and the book we took the adrenal fatigue questionnaire from.

Chronic stress wears out the adrenal glands that support other healthy functioning in your body. When
stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and unresolved problems wear out the gland, your body is in a down ward
spiral and cannot heal from stress or PTSD.  To find out if you have adrenal fatigue, we are attaching
a link to the quiz. If you do have adrenal fatigue, this is a stepping stone to other medical conditions if
not treated immediately. More importantly, your body has started down that path. If you are in a court case,
please advise your attorney of the disorder as it may be able to be argued regarding stress disorders
and your need for continued medical coverage and care.

LINK TO ADRENAL QUIZ: http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/adrenal-fatigue-quiz.html

If we can help you resolve your trauma so your body can heal, please let us know.

PTSD As Trauma Disorder Not Psychiatric Illness

Last week we began talking about ‘how’ women can level the playing field in court with a pathological. This could be related to a divorce, seperation, restraining order, or child custody. If you have PTSD, the courts are mandated to offer you special accommodations while in court to protect you and to help your level of functioning due to the PTSD.

As we mentioned, in order to do that you must legitimately have PTSD, be diagnosed and have an Accommodations Report prepared by a professional that is presented to The ADA (American Disability Act). From there, special accommodations are granted. The range and what the accommodations are were listed in last weeks newsletter.

Some people hestitate in getting diagnosed with PTSD because they are afraid of it’s implication to them, their functioning level, or related to a mental illness diagnosis.

First of all, PTSD is a trauma disorder. If you are diagnosed with it, it already implies you have been traumatized. You are going to court regarding your traumatized relationship so it fits and it supports your argument in court as well as the symptoms that have arisen because of this relationship. If he was trauma producing, we need to say so. If we want the court to understand pathology, we need to teach them through our own experiences and relationships if we want the court to change.

Secondly, PTSD does not necessarily have the type of stigma you fear. Our vets that come home from war often, and more often than not, have PTSD. Fighting for our country is honorable–they were doing a good thing and yet were damaged from their experience. The same is true for you.

One of our previous presidential candidates has PTSD. Firefighters and law enforcement who bravely saved many in 911 have PTSD. Missionarys helping the poor in other countries have PTSD. Social Workers working in dangerous situations have PTSD.

I have PTSD. I have lived for 25 years with it. I openly discuss having the disorder–through no fault of my own. I got PTSD from seeing my father’s murder scene. I have worked with others that have PTSD now for 20 years. And because I am a survivor, I live with the effects of chronic PTSD daily. I know how it has changed me, my life, my abilities, my health, and my endurance. I have seen in hundreds of others, how it has effected their lives–sometimes long term.

If you have it, say it. Nothing starts healing until we acknowledge it. It is what it is. Some worry that they will be labeled with mental illness if the court acknowledges their PTSD.

Well, let’s think about that…do you think a pathological is going to go into court and NOT say you are crazy? You don’t think he will argue every point of your illness, behavior, or symptoms (whether they are true or not) in order to win? You don’t think he’s GOING to use some kind of emotional disorder argument? OF COURSE HE IS–that’s what pathologicals DO!! So, in order to prevent being labeled something far worse than PTSD, if you have PTSD, let IT be the label instead of something else that can greatly impair your ability to get rehabilitative alimony, custody of your children, etc.

Having a PTSD diagnosis before court can greatly help HOW FAR the pathological can go in trying to make you look mentally ill. PTSD is NOT mental illness. Having a PTSD diagnosis may help prevent them from labeling you mentally ill with other more debilitating types of mental illness.  So don’t shun the PTSD diagnosis if you have it. It may prevent you from being labeled something far worse.

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery based services for survivors of pathological love relationships.Information about pathological love relationships is in our award winning book Women Who Love Psychopaths and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more info.)

Helping Women Find Effective Strategies For Court

Leaving a pathological is never easy—they aren’t wired to allow for easy separation and disengagement.  What they value most is drama, trauma, and the perpetuation of misery at any cost.  High on their entertainment list is any legal activity—especially divorces, separations, and custody battles. Pathologicals get bored easily and have a high need for entertainment. They are high excitement seekers and have low impulse control.  This all equals great legal combativeness coupled with great enjoyment of the process.

Pathologicals are highly litigious, meaning they LOVE to sue and go to court.  They are entertained by the drama of the court scene and love anything associated with being the victim in a legal process.  Therefore, they are different than normal people in that they will keep this process going as long as necessary.  They will even spend more money than they will ever recover JUST to be in court, JUST to be heard, and JUST so you won’t win.

There is no rationale when it comes to why they find court so enthralling.  It’s almost like “Legal Malingering.”  Malingering is a psychological disorder that means a person remains symptomatic because they get something out of it that we refer to as a “secondary gain.”  So it is true with the pathological in court—67 times to court for one case is not unheard of.

But the bottom line for you is that court is often traumatizing.  Facing him can bring on flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares and anxiety.  The faces he makes, his posturing and his stares often leave women highly ineffective on the witness stand.  Or she is unable to think in the courtroom in order to give her attorney correct input.

Some women are followed by the pathological after court.  He may stalk her in his car or call her cell phone, belittling her about the court proceedings.  Taunting her before the court date can bring a woman’s functioning level to an all time low.  She may miss work and as a result loses pay.  She may have to pay and repay court fees as he switches dates around just to make a show of power.

Women who already have PTSD, other chronic stress conditions, or autoimmune disorders like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Lupus can end up bed-bound from the stress of the court drama and him.  Since pathologicals love your debilitation, they are likely to stretch out the process by asking for more depositions, postponing court dates, adding more needed appearances, or even refusing a settled offer that is everything they asked for—anything to create more stress and havoc for you.  Women will often do ANYTHING to avoid this kind of exposure to further abuse.

Since the pathological is rarely acknowledged for what he is, the court is not likely to identify his manipulative behaviors and so his requests are granted.  You are tormented with more and more unproductive court appearances as he acts like the perpetual victim.

Women can ‘get’ PTSD-like symptoms just from how she is treated in court or depositions.  The ‘criminal court’ is known for it’s favoring of criminals so anyone who is not criminal often finds the process abusive and traumatizing.  Women often give away their rights, property, and money just to avoid him and court all together.  She and her children are then exposed to poverty, marginal employment and a reduced quality of life ALL because she wants to avoid being traumatized by him and an unbalanced court system.

I have said for many years that the universe is strangely tilted to the benefit of the pathological.  They get away with more dirty deeds, especially in court, than any normal person would ever get away with.  For this reason, women come to know that their chances in court with a pathological who is so dramatic, convincing, and unnerved by the process is NIL.

Women have had very ineffective means for balancing the scales of Her-vs-The Psychopath in family court.  That’s because few women know about one VERY effective strategy that helps her regain her court composure—using a PTSD diagnosis to receive special accommodations during court proceedings.

As we have constantly mentioned, many of the women who come through our program have PTSD that was acquired during the pathological relationship OR was made worse by the relationship.  PTSD is a trauma disorder–meaning your were ‘traumatized’ in some way which is how you acquired it.

PTSD symptoms can last for short or long periods of time and are almost always increased by stress—such as stress by being in court or stress by his behavior while in court.  These types of reoccurring symptoms can negatively impact your effectiveness in court and can require ‘special accommodations’ so you are able to function during court.  Some of these special accommodations have included:

•    Having the woman speak over a speaker phone in another room so she doesn’t have to face him

•    Not having him in the courtroom

•    Having him detained so she can leave early from the courtroom

•    Call in to the courtroom from home so not to have to attend the hearing in person

•    If she has to attend—to have a disability advocate present with her

•    Having him not be allowed to speak directly to her when walking past him from the courtroom

All of these special accommodations can greatly ease the stress normally associated with court, but not granted unless a special ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accommodation is granted.

Accommodations can also be made for:

•    Emotional triggering caused by discussing the situation

•    Memory recall problems

•    Concentration problems

•    Flexibility with deadlines because of amnesic symptoms or reoccurring trauma when having to testify in front of him

•    Emergency hearing to enforce court orders

•    Rehabilitative alimony for treatment of PTSD for you or your children

PTSD is the disorder most associated with pathological love relationships.  A diagnosis of this can help women acquire accommodations that are associated with the ADA accommodations offered.  You simply have to have a diagnosis that requires special accommodations in order for you to function.  (Next week, we will discuss the difference between mental illnesses versus emotional, trauma-based disorders such as PTSD.  In case you are concerned you will be labeled mentally ill with a PTSD diagnosis—don’t worry, you won’t be!)

The Institute offers assistance in this regard—the ability to write your PTSD Accommodations Request Report for the court.  THIS IS A HUGE breakthrough for women because once you have received ADA Accommodations, the judges and attorneys MUST adhere to protocols developed for ADA which are federally-based and help accommodate your needs in order to function in court.  Protocols not followed are prosecutable, making the courts highly attentive to meeting federal protocols.  This could also apply to your children if they have PTSD, and could hopefully impact how they are to be treated in court and how their needs must be met.

Before we get a FLOOD of letters about this, here is what you need to know:

*   You must legitimately have PTSD. If you have already been diagnosed with
PTSD, you have already jumped one hurdle.

•    If you need to be diagnosed, you must be evaluated by a licensed professional—
such as a mental health professional or a psychiatrist.  If you would like to be evaluated by one of our staff, you can contact us.  (**All of our providers are in private practice which means they charge for their services.  We are NOT non-profit.)

*     Once you are diagnosed, one of our professionals can draft your PTSD
Accommodations Report.  This is a time consuming and lengthy report of
Approximately 10-15 pages.  It is a highly specialized report.   It is unlikely that
your doctor or health professional will construct something of this nature as it addresses specific areas  to meet the criteria for ADA.  (**The professionals, of course, charge for this report.  However, we believe that what the report renders to you is highly worth the investment.)

•    This is NOT the same thing as being declared ‘disabled’, and has nothing to do
with physical or mental disability or acquiring disability payments.

•    PTSD, if diagnosed, does become part of one’s medical and/or psychological
record.

We believe that these Accommodations Reports are the beginning of leveling the playing field when it comes to being in court with pathologicals.  We also believe that children who are diagnosed with PTSD and who have acquired it from the pathological, may have a far more arguable case about custody when courts try to mandate visitation with the very one who caused PTSD.

Email us if you would like an evaluation and if applicable, the PTSD Accommodations Report (and/or Child PTSD Report) on our website.

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know.  The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships.  Information about pathological love relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions.  See the website for more information.)

The Successful Pathological’s Evil Twin: The Parasite

The Successful Pathological’s Evil Twin: The Parasite

Last week we looked at The Successful Pathological and how he flies in under the radar while women are looking at his success and missing the red flags about his character or behavior. Women can get side tracked by his degree, a noble career like a doctor or blinded by his business bling.The Italian-made shoes aren’t the only thing that can be a loafer! (LOL!!)

Another form of pathology produces what we call ‘parasitic’ behavior which means, like a tick, they live off of others. In one of the pathological disorders,
sometimes they are underachievers and because they need gobs of financial assistance. But not always! Sometimes they AREN’t underemployed at all. In fact, in some of the pathological disorders they are successful AND parasitic.

Wealthy AND parasitic have all the radar busting combination’s to come gliding in under her relationship radar. Wealthy pathological’s may be as parasitic as the poor ones but are usually less identified. It’s not that the wealthy ones ‘need’ the housing assistance by living with you–it’s that they are ‘able’ to get you to let them. It’s a power game and when you say yes, he wins. It’s a ridiculous game that most women don’t even pay attention to in the beginning until it begins to happen over and over again. Most women don’t care about power struggles. But not him because it’s his source of entertainment.

Parasites can latch on for the ride, the entertainment, or to drain you dry. The ‘financially challenged’ ones either try to hide it that they are broke and underemployed until they are already living off of you OR they get in by playing the pity trump card. He just needs a ‘little time to get on his feet.’ Many of them appear to have “the worst luck” when it comes to getting or keeping a good job or manages (according to him) to find horrible bosses. In any case, it’s never his fault, and a new potential turn of events is ‘just around the corner’ if you will just wait it out with him.

The interesting thing about the parasitic life is that it is has more to do with conning than it does any legitimate need. The proof is that even the wealthy ones play the same game.

For the overt parasite, a red flag for women should be guys that always are living with someone else including family. Of course they have a ‘good’ reason usually associated with what appears to be ‘helping others’ (elderly parents, helping pay the rent of his single-mom sister, etc.).

Highly suspicious would be that you never see where they live or how they live. Why? That great condo with the roof deck is really a room in someone’s mobile home. Or there’s a wife and three kids at this house, which are his. Or his house is really a meth lab. Or pick a reason…. The bottom line is there is a reason why you don’t see it and it normally has to do with living different (or off others) that he hasn’t quite disclosed to you.

The big flag the size of the one on the White House would be they want to move in or marry quickly. Is it because they are so into you? Nope. Its because
he wants to betroath your check book before you can verify his income, his job status, his debt load or anything else. In a blink of an eye you are drinking
rum drinks with umbrellas in the Bahamas (oh, and did I mention, on your credit card?)

A flashing billboard would be when they ask you to invest in his potential (and your love bundle!) by going into business with him or helping him finance your ‘rest of your life together’ business. Here’s a clue: If he’s over 28 years old and not living any part of his potential…there’s a reason and it’s usually pathology or addiction or both. If you are over 30, don’t fall in love with anyone’s potential. Either they got the goods or they don’t. And if they don’t, there’s a reason bigger than that sad empathy-producing story they have.

The more covert parasite, if he’s a wealthy pathological story line might be he is ‘giving you an opportunity to invest in his business’ to make some of that return capital that you see him living off of. He’s successful–he must be doing something right? Do you remember Bernie Madoff?

Pete the Parasite also sometimes needs money for their ailing mother, to send out of the country to relatives, or to cover the costs of his children that the psycho-wife is not doing with his paid child support. (Uh, huh….)

If these tactics and lines didn’t work, they wouldn’t use them and I wouldn’t know them. Parasites need hosts.The body of where a parasite lands (like a tick on a dog) is called ‘the host.’ Here’s a time where being a BAD HOST is a good thing!

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery based services for survivors of pathological love relationships.  Information about pathological love relationships is in our award winning book Women Who Love Psychopaths and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more info.)