[This article by Bro. Ryan was originally written and published December of 2010 -11 images]
Psychopaths don't wear warning labels to warn us of what it is they are concealing from us about themselves and their agendas.
"Psychopathic Love", the title of this article, seems like an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Well as one who has had the displeasurable life experience of being with a true psychopathic personality, it is quite the fitting phrase. It expresses the chaos of the whole experience. The craziness of it all, the total insanity. As I later would read on the website Lovefraud.com my experience with a former "significant other" was not the unheard of nightmare I originally thought. Through that website I discovered my experience was not so uncommon. I only wish I had discovered this website before I went through what I went through. Sure, many of us have had relationships that went awry. Many of us of had relationships with people who did not do their part to make the relationship work. We adults go into, or should go into, relationships that we plan on lasting the rest of our natural lives upon this earth, knowing they take work. Personal sacrifice of things we would not normally deny ourselves if we were single. A relationship, a healthy one, is a work of compromise. Compromise on both sides, that is. But a true loving relationship is worth the compromises, concessions and sacrifices. In the end it all balances out and both sides receive the love, assurance and security they need. I heard a psychologist and marriage counselor once say that in a relationship some times it is 50/50, sometimes it is 60/40, some times it is 80/20. It all depends on where that relationship is at a particular time period. Relationships, like the two individual people involved, are constantly in flux, moving and hopefully growing. Sometimes they get stagnate and are stuck in the proverbial "rut". It may take the person who is pulling a little more, or at times a lot more, than the other to get the "wheel unstuck" in that rut. At other times it is the other partner doing the pushing or pulling. What matters is the relationship get out of the rut and continue moving forward. In relationships we look to each other for strength. Especially when we are weak at the moment. As a well known psychologist has said sometimes relationships that are stuck or going in the wrong direction need a "hero". One of the two partners needs to "step up to the plate" if you will. We can't always depend on our spouses, or significant others, to do "their part". Perhaps they don't know they need to or don't know what to do, or just are waiting for the other to "do something" to fix whatever problem(s) there is (are) in the relationship at that time. When one of us in a relationship simply steps up and "takes the reigns" when something has to improve, the other will, if they are mentally healthy, eventually "catch on" and get in step.
When one is in love with a psychopath, or sociopath, (the terms are interchangeable, according to clinical psychology) there is no "give and take" in the relationship. Well, let me qualify that statement. There is plenty of "give" and plenty of "take". 100% giving by one person in the relationship and 100% take by the other.
A TRUE "psychopath" is not just a "user". Oh no, they are much more, much worse, than just a parasitical type personality. They are tornadoes, hurricanes of destruction. Dare I say demons of destruction. They are "psychic vampires" on steroids. They drain you of all your life's blood, even your soul. But unlike vampires of fiction you don't "live forever" once they sink their fangs into your jugular. You do become the "living dead", an emotional and mental zombie though. Like the shock of victims of a tornado that tears up their homes and property, or a flood event, you walk out of the relationship in total and absolute despair. You can loose not only your physical possessions, you can loose your own since of self worth, your own since of self. During a relationship with a sociopath you begin to doubt your own sanity. After such a relationship you struggle to regain sanity of mind and sanity in your personal life.
Most people don't understand what a sociopath/psychopath really is. In a way, being a victim of such a personality, I wish I didn't, but I do, now. For those of us unfortunate to of been intimately tied to a true clinically defined sociopathic person it is so hard to explain it to others who haven't. Even among psychologists, a clear, definite definition of a psychopath seems to escape a hard and fast one. There are, however, agreed upon general traits that are universally accepted. I am not a psychologist, nor do I play one on television, but I am an expert on my own personal experience with a sociopath. Lessons hard learned and my "degree" is well deserved. In my own personal reading of what both psychologists and victims have written about psychopaths I have found that not only have many gone through what I did but that there seems to run a constant pattern. I have been asked by others what I would suggest to look for in a suspected individual to detect a psychopath. The first thing I do is refer them to the website lovefraud.com. Then I tell them my own formula I have come up for helping to detect a suspected sociopathic psychopath. I will get to that in a minute. First let me explain some things. We all have heard the terms "pyscho", "psychopath" and "sociopath" in fictional television shows and movies. Remember that those are sources of entertainment and the script writers take artistic license. Kind of like the Rambo movies and the whole "Green Beret" thing. No real-life Green Beret, presently or veteran, will tell you that they are "Rambos". Rambo is a fictional character. He is also nothing like a real wearer of the Green Beret of that particular segment of the Army Special Forces. As in all myths, fables and fictional stories, there is some truth in them, somewhere. Hey, lets face it Green Berets, as a character says in the first Rambo movie, "First Blood" (Rambo Part I), "those Green Berets, they're some real badasses", and they are. But they are nothing like the fictional character John J. Rambo. The same goes for the "psychos" betrayed on the big and little screens we all stare at for entertainment. The psychopaths portrayed on t.v. and in the movies do have some things in common. They, true psychos, have no emotional connection to others, except where it suits them, and only on that basis. They can be as horrific as the fictional ones and sure some psychopaths can be murders, serial killers and even cannibals. Yet the majority of persons that are psychopaths do not go "that far". Many are fascinated with the taboo, socially unacceptable, macabre, and anti-social things in this life. I know from my own personal experience with a psychopath that person was, in my estimation, just a little to into horror movies. I certainly do not mean to insinuate that those who are fans of horror flicks have psychopathic tendencies. I personally enjoy action movies, that does not mean I am overly fascinated with violence.
The point about a true psychopathic personality to keep in mind is they are extremists, extreme in what suits their mood at the moment. As my present lady, who also, as fate would have it, was a victim of a sociopath in her past, puts it, "they live in the moment". That is a great way to explain a psychopath/sociopath. They are very impulsive, very emotionally driven if you will. Yet, at the same time they are very calculating, and cold-heartedly so. Very methodical in their madness. A psychopath fits the old saying "crazy like a fox" to a t, or should I say a c, as in crazy. Crazy, but calculating is what a psychopath/sociopath is. The "mad genius" of a psychopathic personality is that they are masters of deception (at least masters at deceiving their victims, those they are able to manipulate) and misdirection. They are exceptional actors.
Stage and movie actors have to "get into character", but a psychopath IS that character at that moment. It is this element that makes them so believable, and seem so honest.
They are con-men, or con-women, yet unlike a person who runs a confidence game, they are not simply "putting up a front" like a confidence trickster. Undercover investigators and undercover cops have to put on a mask of sorts, and work at maintaining the "person" they are claiming to be to gain information and conduct surveillance, but the sociopath/psychopath has no such inner struggle to maintain their fronts. Psychopaths live 24/7 as "con-men", they never stop running games on their victims. The one thing that is a main tool, or I should say, weapon, that a psychopath uses is lying. They can lie with great skill and at the drop of a hat. Basically their whole lives are lies.
Now you must understand that there are many pathological liars out there, but being such a personality does not mean they are actual psychopaths. Matter-a-fact there are many traits that are displayed by many people with anti-social personalities and traits that are shared by psychopaths but that does not mean the anti-social persons are true psychopaths. For instance psychopaths lie, but that doesn't mean a habitual liar is a sociopath. Psychopaths steal, but thieves, not even those who suffer from the mental condition of kleptomania (the irresistible urge to steal) are psychopaths. Psychopaths as I mentioned above have an excessive draw to what general society would call "sick", "taboo" or "perverted". Yet there are those who have that excessive draw to the grossly taboo, but that certainly does not make them psychopaths.
Sociopaths (remember I am using the two terms of psychopath and sociopath, which mean the same, interchangeably in this article) have a collection of negative traits like no other anti-social personality.
Murders, thieves, and all other types of destructive persons are not all totally psychopaths, though some are for sure. According to psychologists the major percentage of psychopaths never commit crimes that gain them hard time in a prison cell. These are termed the "functional psychopaths". These are the psychopaths that seem to get away with their immoral lifestyles without having to enter a criminal courtroom. Some may have minor run ins with the legal system, but don't quite commit the major crimes. But trust me, it is not because they are moral people. Psychopaths by very definition follow no moral codes, ethic system or guides of conscious. If they don't commit a heinous act of crime it is not from lack of desire to do so, it is simply that their self-preservation desire is stronger.
Psychopaths operate purely out of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement only. Sociopaths care nothing about "doing the right thing".
Sociopaths/Psychopaths do not care about social norms and can not comprehend them for that matter. They can not understand why they can not help themselves to other people's things, especially relatives and loved ones. They are incapable of loving anyone, literally. The Golden Rule of "do to others as you would have them do to you" is no where in their black hearts. I don't say that to be insultive, nor to be sarcastic, I say that to be factual. Sociopaths have absolutely no conscious, thus to say they have "black hearts" is not just meant to be poetic.
It is said by psychologists that study sociopaths that there is no cure for their mental condition. It is permanent and they are what we that are Biblically atuned people would term "reprobates" -as Romans 1:28 speaks of, having no conscience, suffering no guilt, never feeling remorse. 1st Timothy 4:2 speaks of the reprobate being a hypocrite (which comes form the Greek term for "actor", and psychopaths are in deed actors) and a liar (something else psychopaths indeed are).
Again, I don't say this to be hateful, nor bitter, but to simply lay out the facts. You see psychopaths have no regret, nor remorse for what they do wrong to others. The only time they express regret or sorrow is when they get caught. If caught lying to a loved one, for instance, they may put on a pity act or they may display the other and opposite reaction and express anger. They can even act out in anger physically. Yet anger is not the psychopaths favorite mode of operation and they will soon calm back down, and may even express sorrow, for "loosing their cool". ....But, they will always blame their anger fits on the person that has confronted them about a wrong they have done or lie they have told.
Another time they may display anger, albeit impulsively, is if they are having a hard time manipulating a person that is being resistant, who normally does the psycho's bidding. Again, anger is not their favorite tool and they do try to manipulate situations and victims so that they are always in control. Psychopaths are cold blooded beings and always seek to be in total control of their emotions and surroundings, and the people that are close to them.
Any emotions they display are one of two things: They are either feeling that emotion for that moment, or they know they must display a particular emotion at that moment. They really don't care either way.
For example a psychopath can cry at the sad news of the death of someone they know because they actually feel that emotion at that moment. The flip side to that psycho coin is they may not have any emotions towards that person but will display them because they know that is what they are to do to look right to those around them. Yet they always show emotion as a means to an end. A psychopath will feel happy and laugh at something they hear or see funny that the rest of us would, yet they are simply in the moment.
Psychopaths have absolutely no empathy for other human beings.
This is not to say they don't "feel" an emotional response to say a sad news story on the television news. It's just that psychopaths are only relating to their own personal feelings at the time and really don't care what tragedy others go through.
The way you gauge if a person really loves and cares is by their actions towards those they say they love. Love is about making sacrifices, compromise and compassion. Love is not selfish, but it is not a door mat.
Love is ACTION, not just a feeling.
"Love thy neighbor" is a Christian saying, but the principle is pretty universal in society to Christians and non-Christians alike. Sociopaths simply don't love their neighbor because the only person they really love is themselves and are incapable of acting out of, or being motivated by, love.
Psychopaths only act out in ways that suit their own, selfish, desires at the moment.
Even though I have had personal and intimate experience with a true psychopath writing this article to explain them is very difficult. Not that I don't have a way with words and can normally explain subjects I know well to others who don't know what I know about a given subject, and can explain in a way they can come to an understanding. It is difficult to write this article for this reason, well for a second reason too, that I will get to in a second. The first reason it is so difficult to write this article explaining to those who don't know about psychopaths/sociopaths is because they are just so hard to explain and define to those who have never been personally entangled with one. Even psychologists find it hard to explain. Many psychologists don't even totally agree 100% on all of the symptoms of psychopathy.
The second reason it is so hard for me to write this article is though I am known as a passionate writer, and even speaker, on the subjects I love to write and speak about, the passion, the emotion, I feel about this particular subject is very strong and can be overwhelming at times. There are even support groups for victims, such as myself, of psychopaths. To put it frankly you just don't know until you have been through it. Plus, I am a man, a middle-aged one, I would like to think I do have some sanity and am a well adjusted member of society in general. I also would like to think that I was not capable of being a victim of a sociopath/psychopath, much less fall in love with a woman that is one. I do have some street-smarts and am not, I thought, easily fooled or taken in by cons. But, alas, I was taken in and I am a victim of such a person. It, I admit, has wounded my ego. Here I was trying to be the loving, understanding gentleman we are encouraged to be in relationships and yet I was a fool. Okay, psychologists and my fellow victims of sociopaths would chastise me for calling myself a "fool", but I don't know how else to explain my feelings about it all. I will heal, in time. I hope that my writing this article for others to read, and gain insight on the psychopaths that walk among us, will help others....but that it will also serve as a therapy for me.
Psychopaths and sociopaths seem to have what I call a Triad of Behavior Traits. It seems from the information I have gained, first from my own personal experience, the experience and the writings of other victims, as well as psychologists, that true "bonafide" psychopaths/sociopaths have 3 main traits. Three main behaviors that are constant and continual. I put those traits in a Triad of Psychopathic Behavior Traits as follows:
1) CONSTANT LYING
2) UNPREDICTABLE MOOD/MIND CHANGES
3) PERPETUAL MANIPULATION
Now keep in mind these three traits are ALWAYS and consistently in operation in the daily life of the psychopath. Boy Scouts, and those who are being trained in wilderness survival and how to make a camp fire, as well as firefighters, are all taught about the "Triangle of Fire. The triangle, or tirad, of fire defines the 3 elements, or components, that are required for a fire exist. Those 3 things are: Oxygen, Heat & Fuel. In the Triangle of Fire the 3 essential elements are all needed, and no single element is more important than the other. The psychopath/sociopath also has a triangle of 3 components that are used to light, and keep burning, the "fires" that they set in the lives of their victims.
In trying to identify a person as a true psychopath/sociopath, you as a laymen in psychology and not a trained, professional and licensed psychologist still can identify them if you know the symptoms to look for. You don't have to be a medically licensed doctor to "diagnose" a loved one with a cold or flu and you don't have to be a psychologist to at least figure someone out enough to know that they may in fact be a psychopath.
If you have a loved one who may be in a relationship with someone you suspect being a psychopath, don't just come out and tell them that. Psychopaths have an uncanny way of mentally blinding their victims. Being a person who has been through it, a victim of a psycho, it is almost like some sort of "magic evil spell" they put on you. It is mind games they play with you. They are always scheming and plotting. They watch their victim and study them so as to know what to say to alleviate doubts that come up in the victim's mind. They always have an answer. They always have an explanation. And, they always use the guilt trip on their victims for "not trusting" them if all else fails.
The Triad of Psychopathic Behavior Traits I give above is a triangle, all sides lean on and depend on each other. Just like the triangle of fire, if one of the elements is removed you have no fire, if you remove one of the three traits I outlined above you may not be dealing with a true psychopath. You may have an anti-social person who has psychological issues, but they may not be a true and legit psychopath. They will constantly be doing all 3 behaviors, on a daily basis. Some days more than others, but they exhibit them every day. They will constantly use what ever means, and displays of emotions, to MANIPULATE their victim into doing what they want them to do. And thus, in the process, drawing that victim deeper into their web of deceit. They will constantly be LYING. Yes, they can be termed pathological liars. Yet they are not so much impulsive liars as pathological ones, but more calculating and methodical. They can lie on impulse too. Remember they are impulsive personalities as well, but they are also cold blooded and calculating too. They will constantly have MOOD and/or MIND CHANGES. This means their moods,and their minds, change constantly. It all depends on the situation. They will display a given mood to illicit a response from a victim in a cold and calculating planned out way. Yet they are impulsive too and can display a mood they feel at that moment. Like the mood or emotion of anger, they can loose control for a moment, but they soon will recover as they see that that particular display does not go with their over all plan of manipulation. They will change their minds on any given subject from day to day and even minute to minute. It will seem like dealing with a schizophrenic or person with multiple personalities at times, literally. Yet it is not the same as dealing with a true schizophrenic. It is the same personality you are dealing with, they just change their minds on things according to either how they feel at the moment, or according to a actual plan they have. The plan, the Grand Master Plan of a sociopath/psychopath is total control of their victim. They will use a victim, use them up, drain their blood if you will, for their own agendas and pleasure.
Psychopaths have no real capability for loving anyone. I am not just saying that, experts and psychologists say that as well. They see people as stepping stones in their lives to step on and use to bear their weight. Anytime they do something that appears to be love, or for someone elese's good, it is only for their own agenda. Oh, and they will throw up everything they have ever done "for" you too. Psychopaths do NOTHING out of pure, unselfish love, there is ALWAYS an agenda.
Since I broke up with my now ex, I have received multiple communications from others that have also been "played", suckered or manipulated and lied to by her. She will never stop because she can't. To get away from her and to make a clean break I ended up loosing almost all my personal possessions. Like a wife fleeing a physically abusive husband I had to run and not look back. Leave with the clothes I had with me, literally. If you have never dealt with a psychopath you just have no idea what they are capable of. They are capable and conniving enough to be the most wicked people you have had to deal with if you dare to get away from them. My, and others, advice to you if you think you have a loved one, or friend, trapped in the mind-wash of a relationship with a psycho is just be there if they are ready to leave. They will need emotional support, not judgment, and they may need a sanctuary and safe place to disappear from the psychopath. As some psychologists will tell you anyone can get caught up with a psychopath, especially if they don't know they exist (outside of the most extreme cases in the news media, or the fictional portrayals by the entertainment industry) and how to identify them. Even if a person is just a bad person and has psychological problems that prevent them from being a good loved-one or spouse and you suspect they are a psychopath, albeit incorrectly, I would suggest it is better to be safe than sorry and get way from, and stay away from, that person.
Men are from Mars and women from Venus they say, but I say the psychopath is from the outer dark reaches of the universe. They are not like any other person, even other psychologically demented persons. A psychopathic sociopath is like no other being on earth. It is almost as if they are from another planet. But, maybe they are from earth, the fabled center of the earth, Hell.