Archives for April 2012

When Others Don’t Like The ‘P’ Word

I was recently asked to be on a national TV show to discuss the issue of psychopathy in relationships based on my book ‘Women Who Love Psychopaths.’
They had looked at the website, read information about the book, discussed what the rest of the show was going to be about, and booked me for the show.
They didn’t invite me based on my other book (although equally as informational) How to Spot a Dangerous Man, they booked me to discuss and showed
the book cover of, Women Who Love Psychopaths.

However, 20 minutes before going on air a producer told me ‘they’ (whoever that is in TV world) was uncomfortable using the ‘p’ word–psychopath. They
found the word to be ‘controversial’ and ‘sensationalistic’ and that my example of probably well known public psychopaths who are not recognized as
psychopathic was too debatable and unproveable to discuss.

This was of course sad for me to hear since so much of what The Institute attempts to provide is public pathology education. Truly the only way for people
to avoid psychopathy is to develop the ability to understand the traits and learn to spot it in others. All which is why our goal for this agency is public education.
This is of course, not our first time to hear that the ‘p’ word is offensive, debatable, controversial, or judgmental, and it will not be the last time, unfortunately.

Several victims of incredible psychopathic abuse were also on the show and I was asked to comment on their cases but also asked to not use the
‘p’ word.  I asked the producer what she thought those perpetrator’s behaviors should be called, or what disorders would motivate their behavior….or
what was she suggesting I ‘should’ call them? I told her I was at a loss to pick another label or motivation behind their lethal behaviors that would
come close to helping others understand ‘who does that?’.  I told her that psychopathy was a diagnosis, not merely a political argument, a theoretical
ideology, or even a criminal judgment of character. I was confused as to why I was there when what I do, what I write about, who I help, and who I help
convict are overtly obvious from my professional background and from our website.

I was reminded again when I heard ‘the p word’ is controversial, that public pathology education is still in it’s infancy. I know that victims face this all
the time when they struggle to figure out what is wrong with the pathological person, only to discover the shocking revelation of the person’s disorder. But
the victim trying to teach others what is wrong with the pathological is counteracted when others find the information to be disputable, distasteful, unproveable, unlikely,
and un-spiritual to even suggest.

The ‘p’ word is now viewed as the new psychlogical slur of the 21st century. It’s correlated with the devastating racial slurs of the 1950’s, the cultural slurs of the
60’s-70’s, and the gay/lesbian slurs of the 80’s-90’s.  Now, we face the ‘p’ word the way we faced the ‘n’ of the 50’s and the ‘f’ or the 60’70’s and the ‘q’
of the 80-90s. But with a huge difference! There is nothing wrong with the ‘p’ word the way it was intensely wrong with the ‘n,’ ‘f,’ and ‘q’ words of
decades gone by.

But it is treated as if we are being racially insensitive, culturally inappropriate, or gender ignorant. We are looked at as the skin-heads of the
Diagnostic Statistical Manual that we would ‘dare’ to ‘call someone’ a psychopath.  We are viewed as the rock throwers at the psychologically-disabled
people with pathology, the Bible thumpers of the poor spiritually disenfranchised psychopath, and the socially clueless that we would spew a
power-packing psychological label like ‘psychopathy’ around that might actually strike and land on a human being.

I know, I know….afterall, it’s daytime TV which we all recognize is about ratings and keeping pace with society’s Attention-Deficit-Disordered need
for topics to be covered in three minutes no matter how riveting the storyline is.  Daytime TV covers tsunamis of natural science as well as the
tsunamis of psychological trauma in the same fast fall swoop of selling hair dye and lipstick in the same 30 minute segment. What did I expect afterall?

…Well, I always hope that a victim’s trauma is recognized and embraced for the emotional and spiritual strength it took to not only survive, but to show up
on that TV stage to tell their story to help others. …Well, I always hope that the need to teach others ‘how to spot’ the devastating disorders that created the
victims trauma is the guiding motivation behind why TV shows exist and supercedes the mere ‘storyline-as-business’ of TV.

Yes, I recognize that daytime TV is not the spokes person for the planet–that there ARE those who really want to hear more of the victims story and learn more
about ‘how to spot’ them in their own lives….but I have to tell you, it IS a ‘cold-water-splash-in-the-face’, like a ‘wake-up-Sandra-we-aren’t-as-far-as-you-think’
call that we are whispering the ‘p’ word behind stage and off camera and are ‘editing it out’ for public viewing. The whole segment of discussion about
low empathy, no conscience and who does that was removed. Not one word that explained the behavior of those lethal people was ‘leaked’ to
the viewing audience for public pathology education. We still have miles and miles to go in educating the public that psychopathy is a disorder
not a verbal tyriad.

You know what….as  offensive, debatable, controversial, judgmental,  OR …. as disputable, distasteful, unproveable, unlikely and un-spiritual
as it felt to those merely producing a nano-second based TV show to say the ‘p’ word, the victims who have lived with the ‘p’ are the true
authorities here.  They would probably beg to disagree with the nay-sayers that the ‘p’ is a profound psychological slur. I am sure the victims
found the ‘p’s behavior to be more offensive than TV-land will ever understand. The victims surely wrestled with their own need to over come the
‘debatable-ness’ of the disorder, or the controversy that swirled around the lethal behaviors of the psychopath and I am sure the victim’s incured
their own judgmental views of outsiders. I doubt today the victim’s find their story to be un proveable or even disputable —after all,
some of these storys ended up in murder or attempted more. All adjectives that are associated with psychopathy.

As ‘controversial’ as TV-land felt  the ‘p’ word was, does not even compare to the victim’s overwhelming need to shout from the roof-tops
what the pathological IS….a psychopath.

Using the ‘p’ word of psychopathy is not a slur. It is a education, a prevention, a DIAGNOSIS, and the reality for millions of victims in
the world.

Am I Who He Says I Am?

One of the chief complaints of having been with a pathological is the ‘acquiring’ of his view of you. In previous newsletters I discussed the ‘pathological world view which is the ‘lens’ thru which he sees himself, others, and the world. This view of the world is processed through his own pathological disorder which is why his view of the world is not like normal people’s view. His is negative, self focused, grandiose, paranoid, critical, and self promoting. He sees others as always wrong, out to get him, stupid or inept. He sees himself as right, the victim, or the only one that knows anything at all.

He sees you as the ‘revictimizer’ of him, wonderful and yet horrible, needed and yet hated, smart yet dependent on him, in need of his brilliance, faulty without him, as pathological as he is …and the list goes on.

A lot of the work we do with women is for them to understand that what she is feeling is often the result of HIS pathological world view thrust upon her and used to define her.

Pathology is the inability to change and sustain change, grow in any meaningful way, or develop insight about how one’s behavior effects other. If he can’t change he projects his inability on you and makes it YOUR fault or YOUR inability to change that is the problem in the relationship. He acts as if he should not be asked to change or he has changed when he hasn’t. He makes you ‘think’ that you asked for something huge and wrong for him to change OR that what needs changing is only you and nothing in him.

If he can’t grow in any meaningful way, he projects his non-growth onto the relationship and suggests it’s the relationship stagnation you are really experiencing. If you could only GROW to accept him in all his pathology, then the relationship would thrive.

If he can’t develop insight about how his behavior affects others, he projects his undeveloped insight on you and says these are your traits. And you simply

don’t understand ‘what you are doing to him.’ All his anger is yours, all his deviancy is yours, you are just as sick as he is which is why you are a great match, all his lying is yours, all his manipulations are yours. That’s because in pathology they are MASTER PROJECTORS. It is in fact, one of the ‘symptoms’ of pathology. They take all their pathological attributes and say they are YOURS.

Over a period of time of this intense projection, several things happen:

* She begins to believe that these negative and disturbing attributes really are HER personality

* She normalizes these behaviors of his (and what he says are hers) so they are less disturbing to her

* Her self esteem drops and she no longer looks for ways to disbelieve him about these attributes

* And if her self esteem drops low enough, she no longer seeks to leave

Women who seek coaching through our phone support or retreat programs come in ‘programmed’ to believe HIS pathology is actually hers. Some of our treatment is much like the treatment cult survivors or hostages would receive when they have been ‘brainwashed’ to believe they were bad so they were taken hostage.

Coercion techniques, the Stockholm Syndrome and other psychological hostage-taking maneuvers are common with women who have been in severely pathological relationships.

Would you take someone who was held as a prisoner of war and just send them home and tell them they will be fine? Would you tell them they don’t need specialized help in order to reform their thinking to their former patterns of thought? Would you tell them to just go back to work or find someone else or go get on Match.com and all will be well?

In many cases, I have seen women come to our retreat program in the same ‘shape’ as people suffering from Stockholm Syndrome–they are emotionally, physically, financially, and sexually exhausted. They have tapes playing in their heads that he is normal and she is sick. She has been told for so long by a brilliant pathological that she is mentally ill and should seek treatment. She has been told that everything that is black is really white and that everything that is bad is really good.

The Master Projection he uses causes similar symptoms as people who have been held captive, thrust into cults, or held prisoner in other people’s belief systems. These are intensely programmed beliefs that are not ‘removed’ simply because you break up. Lingering effects means that specialized treatment is required.

But the first step is recognizing these symptoms in your self– that HIS pathological attributes have been assigned to you by him and quite possibly none of them are true.Learning to sustain that belief is where help is often needed. Just for today, allow the possibility that none of what he said is really about you. See if all those attributes aren’t really his…….

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 week’s newsletter HERE).

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 frontline ‘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, it’s 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 are Cluster B.

•    Custody Evaluators affirm that those most likely to tamper with evidence, perpetrate parental alienation, and require supervised visitation are Cluster Bs.

•    Programs that deal with stalking can easily see that stalking is primarily a Cluster B occurrence.

•    Repeat criminals clogging up jail, probation, parole, and prison programs are often diagnosed within jail as having 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 aren’t 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?  Sixty 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, and Lawyers!  Who Does That?