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Listen to your intuition — 13 Comments

  1. Joyce,
    Since learning about spaths the question I ask has changed.
    I used to ask, “how could I have known?”
    Now I ask myself, “how could anyone NOT know?”

    The problem is not that we don’t have the self-protective instincts to SEE toxic people, the problem is that we are TAUGHT to accept abuse. This is sooooo backward. Schools should be teaching kids to recognize abuse and resist it, but instead, it’s all about parental rights. Kids don’t have rights. So those kids grow up to be abused or abusive adults.

    The links you put up didn’t work for me but I did a search and found one link that works for me.
    http://www.thv11.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=86448

    It has a picture and when I looked at it, I thought. “Geez, how could anyone NOT know?”

  2. Well, Sky, he didn’t always look that bad. LOL Not that he was handsome. A few yars ago my son Michael worked for an independent film company making a film about someone about 1840 which is the era we portray in our living history. They used the block house on the river as a shooting site and Mark showed up with his muzzle loader and acted the fool. He was very homophobic and there are lots of gays that walk in that park and he would point his gun at any man walking in the park and make “boom” sounds, he did this in front of 50 people and no one said a word to him.

    For a while he was the buddy buddy with our Prez and we have a keel boat that the group built and Mark was SMOKING over a barrel of powder with a boat load of cub scouts. Again no one said a word but the group was asked not to come back to that park on the river.

    Later he and the Prez had a fight I never did know what over but there was lots of shouting and cuzzin’ I heard from someone who witnessed it.

    It was a classic case of two Ps buddy buddying up to accomplish their mutual goals until they got mad at each other.

    After the time Mark pointed the gun at me, I got elected to the board of directors and raised holy hades for a couple of years and got some gun use and safety policies in place and some other improvements in the group, but unfortunately, until the mommy’s corpse incident I was looked at by the highly disordered members as a trouble maker.

    Now, I was a “prophet” LOL

    Yes it is difficult to stand up, in a group especially where there are “factions” that don’t want you to stand up, but I have learned that I WILL AND CAN STAND UP and I DO.

    I’m just a cranky old woman like Maxine! CRABBY RULES!!!!

  3. ps he was prosecuted I think for “abuse of a corpse” but not sure if he got any significant jail time. Probably not.

    I always wondered though if she really died of “natural causes” or if she may have been helped along. It doesn’t make sense for him to leave her there in the house until she decomposed unless he had caused the death some how and wanted the evidence to decompose with her body and after two weeks she was rather decomposed. The neighbors were smellling her.
    But the ME said “natural causes” and he may be right, but I always “just wondered.”

  4. Joyce,
    it seems to me that he may have been hoping to continue collecting off her social security or some other benefits. As long as she was alive he could continue skimming off of her. But once she died, it’s possible that her will would have divided her assets among her kids.

    Who knows. The dude is obviously not right in the head.

  5. Sky, that may be possible, but Social Security isn’t much and he couldn’t live with a dead body forever to get her checks, it might be that the house would have been sold, I think it was HER home, and apparently Mark didn’t have a job and was living there…when he worked he worked day labor as a carpenter.

    There was a college professor in our group who dated him for quite some time, we never could see what she saw in him or why she hung out with him, she seemed like “a lady” and Mark was CRUDE to use the best word I can find.

    Whatever it was I am sure it entailed some benefit to him to delay the “death” but you know I’m just glad he is out of our group. I guess “there is one in every group” though.

  6. Joyce & Sky, I’ve been learning a GREAT deal about intuition in counseling sessions and WHY I have always negated those “feelings” throughout my lifetime. Flawed beliefs, core-issues, and trauma have all contributed to this inability to trust my own judgment, and I’m feeling slightly more confident at “seeing” people that I formerly have.

    Joyce’s suggestion to observe people FIRST has resonated ever since she typed it, many months ago. Sometimes, these people turn out to be offenders, absolutely! Other times, they’re predators that manage to avoid being charged with any allegations. Other times, they’re GOOD people that are trustworthy. But, the thing that I am learning is that my GUT is the first line of defense – even if my “gut” feeling turns out to be incorrect, I’m learning to TRUST myself more.

    GOOD article and excellent discussion!

  7. Truthy one of the worst things for me was when I was betrayed, and hurt, was LEARNING TO TRUST MYSELF…trust myself to figure out who was OK and who was NOT OK. I used to think I was a “pretty good judge of people” but when multiple people that I loved and trusted turned out to be users and abusers, thieves and liars, not just my son, I realized that I was actually EASILY deceived by the “love bomb”–by having these people tell me how wonderful I was and I liked hearing that, and then BOOM they started to screw me over.

    Learning to trust ME was hard. Now I look at people and stand back and observe and at the FIRST sign of dishonesty, etc. I back away and do not trust these people or allow them to get close enough to me to hurt me.

    Even the most poison snake in the world can’t hurt you if you don’t let him get too close.

    If someone is dishonest, or abusive to anyoone, or irresponsible and won’t work, want someone else to take care of them, etc. then these are not people I want in my “inner circle of trust.”

    Also, many times these UNtrustworthy ones will PRETEND TO BE A VICTIM themselves, and tell you all kinds of tales of how they are broke because x,y or z, but as you get to know them you realize that they are LYING and in fact, they are a victimiZER who got kicked to the curb by their last victim and then they engage in the “smear campaign” against this poor victim. The REAL victim, so I am cautious when new people come into my life.

    I also back away from people who “love bomb” me and want to get too close too fast. If I am not careful, I will still fall for a “love bomb” and that is the way CULTS and gangs and cliques recruit new members by “love bombing them” and making them feel special. Well of course that “special” doesn’t last long but by then the person is hooked.

    If we don’t recognize what is going on when people try to con us, we fall for it every time.

    I don’t live in terror, but I do live cautiously. It pays big dividends in the end.,

    • Joyce, this article is extremely interesting because I have been learning about my own perceptions, etc., in counseling sessions. Apparently, anyone who has suffered repeated childhood traumas (alcoholism, molestation, dysfunction) NEVER LEARNED to trust their instincts! Particularly with regard to family molestation and dysfunction, the instincts in us as children were on high alert – we “knew” that certain people, family members, and situations were “BAD,” but the adults that we were obliged to trust taught us that we were “imagining things,” and our own instincts were dismissed, out of hand and across the boards.

      This, for me, personally, is why I was always such an easy spath target. It had been so ingrained into my head that my instincts were overblown, over-reacting, and outright “wrong,” and this flawed belief was carried for over 1/2 a century.

      Excellent discussion, here, because it truly, truly does come down to sorting ourselves out to recognize predators, EVEN when those predators are our own family members and following the most proper and prudent precautions.

    • Exactly Truthy. I’ve done several “experiments” on myself and have come to realize that it doesn’t matter how much I KNOW, I still react the same way to a predator: I trauma bond. This feels instinctive, but I know that it is NOT. It is IMPRINTED in me.

      Like a duck, that hatches from an egg and first lays eyes on a human, it will always follow that human. Well, people also imprint. We have a window of time where we learn how to stay safe. This is when we learn how to trauma bond.

      The key is to be aware of this and choose to BEHAVE differently despite how we feel. It’s hard. We usually go with our feelings, but knowing that our feelings are a deception, adds an interesting dimension.

      I’m not saying that managing our feelings always works. But it’s better than being unaware of WHY we feel how we do.

  8. Skylar, you are totally right, we must use our INTELLECT to manage our lives, not just our emotions. We have to be our own parent and say “Little Joyceie, I know you WANT that but it is bad for you so I am going to protect you and say NO!” We must take care of Little Skylar and Little Truthy and protect them like we would a small child that wants something that isn’t good for them.

  9. Joyce & Sky, YES!!!! That’s what I’ve been learning about during these past 2 years – feelings are NOT facts. Then, getting involved in that “inner child” work explained precisely how my intuition was so quickly ignored.

    Sky, I am prone to the pity-ploy, as well. I’ve recognized this as a quick in-road, and it’s a tremendous effort to follow Joyce’s suggestion to “watch, observe, wait….” to determine whether someone is simply sharing their experiences, asking for help, or setting out the baited lure. I’m aware that I “want” to respond, immediately and with compassion. Typically, when I begin to feel this urgent desire to offer endless compassion, I actually have to WORK to make myself stop, look, and listen.

    The female ex-con spath was extremely astute at “reading” her targets. It’s almost a morbid fascination to me that she was SO adept at this. She honed in on my grief as a parent, my sense of isolation, and “neediness” and used those vulnerabilities to generate sympathy and compassion from me. Her story was that she had been pregnant and discovered that her ex-husband-doctor had been having an affair and lost twins during her 8th month of pregnancy in a spontaneous miscarriage. She even had an ultrasound picture that she whipped out to support this story. I’ve typed about this, before, but I found it EXTREMELY ODD, at the time, that not one tear slid down her face, her vocal tone didn’t change, and her body language suggested not one iota of sadness – it was all business in producing this photograph and recollecting the event.

    Joyce, that “Little Truthy” is prone to react rather than think things through, and you are 100% spot-the-hayell-on that I need to squat down in front of her, gently take her shoulders into my hands, look her directly into her eyes, and speak to her calmly, rationally, and use words of understanding and common sense. I’m am finding that the more that I visualize myself doing this with the damaged “inner child,” the slower I’m apt to react to specific triggers that are either random or deliberate.

  10. Due to the life experiences that I’ve had in recent years, I don’t take people at face value, having learned that it’s easy for people to use and abuse. Due to D., his family-of-origin, and people that I’ve encountered at work, I have had plenty of opportunities to learn about spaths. It hasn’t been fun, but I now know better how to proceed with anyone that I meet – go slowly with people, letting each person prove himself or herself to you. One’s character reveals itself over time. I’m getting better at listening to my “gut,” heeding it’s signals.

  11. Blue and Truthy, I am totally in agreement with you both. We need to keep our “inner child” from responding emotionally before our “Adult” looks the situation over logically.

    I recommend “Games People Play” by Dr. Eric Berne as a good guide book to seeing our inner child, our adult, and the “rules” laid down by our Parents when we were growing up.

    He sorts the emotional us into “Parent” “Adult” and “Child” with the Parent (this does not have to be the real biological or adoptive parent, but can be a teacher or other person who taught us how we “should” behave. The Parent is further divided into “Nurturing” and “Critical” The “Adult” is the logical, rational part of us, has no emotions just logic. The “Child” is the part of us that is feeling,, emotional, etc and the Child can be very loving or very much a tantrum thrower or anything in between. It is also the part of us that enjoys things, laughs and has happy or sad FEELINGS.

    I highly recommend this older book in learning h ow to look at this inner child and to nurture it, and PROTECT it. It is an easy read and is usually available in used book stores for a buck or so, or for one cent plus shipping on amazon.

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