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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Self

Comments for Self-Proclaimed Sociopath

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyright© 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Larry-

Wow! You've sure been through a lot in the past few weeks. ANYONE in your position would be reeling right now. As you think about your relationship, with or without a therapist, remember that it takes two to tango! No matter what your wife says, she isn't all right, and you're not all wrong! Neither is the opposite true. Relationships are about working for the betterment of both people--- once someone tries to prove that they are right, they have already entered the treacherous ground of keeping score and holding grudges, not a healthy thing for anyone.

As for your comments about your antisocial, sociopathic disorder--Are you holding in horrible rage? What's going on? Please give us some more information! Remember, it's ok to vent on the page, and in your imagination, just not to real people and in real life. :):):)

As for your counseling----not all therapists are as cool as our good doc here;  :):) sadly you may have found one with an ax to grind, an agenda of his or her own, that prevents them from seeing the truth, or from saying things that are helpful, rather than throwing around phrases like "controlling" when they really have no idea what that means. What do you think Larry? Follow your instincts-- if you are wrong, you can try to change what you did. At least you know you are being yourself. The only exception is, never, ever, follow through on any impulses you may have to hurt somebody. Good for you for red flagging yourself, so to speak, when you feel the violence rising within you- as you write in your post, that you take timeouts, as you have trained yourself. However, when you feel that instant instinct to lash out, and you wisely suppress it, take a time out, like you do, ask yourself this---what genuinely disturbs me about this situation? It sounds like from your email, that you have started to do this with your wife. Keep up the good work! If you tell your wife what's bothering you, and she continues to accuse you of cowardice, withholding (maybe she wants a man to be abusive to her, sad as this sounds), you may just have to consider separating from her for a time OUCH! But it may just be what you'll have to do.

Now, what I just wrote may be helpful for you, or I may be off the mark. You, Larry, are the one to decide this. Just as you, Larry, are going to be the one to decide whether you like your marriage counselor, whether you and your wife can make it, how you want to try to cope or heal your sociopathic disorder, as you describe it. And if you make "mistakes", it will be you, Larry, who will hopefully decide to love yourself anyway, and move on. You can't cure anyone else--- No one! As for your wife, her illness is her illness, not yours..... God bless you and good luck! I have the weird feeling you'd like reading ", The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth" by M. Scott Peck. Cheers

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

I don't know Larry...something about your email makes me wonder if it isn't one of those hoax letters that Ann Landers sometimes gets from the students at Yale.

The red flag for me was how calm you where when your wife didn't come home for 36 hours and you had no idea where she was. I would think a normal reaction would be one of a frantic panicked worry that would leave one to frazzled and lathered to remain civil, never mind as calm you claim you where.

The other red flag is your background of the army requiring you to see a shrink....yet you are very sketchy as to why. Something is not quite right here. You've tried to make your behavior and responses seem to perfect. Uh...uh.....There's a lot more to your story than meets the eye.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

I agree with the previous post,

What gives Larry??? Tell us the whole story. Tell us the other side. Tim

  B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

You sound very "together" for someone with an anti-social personality. A disorder like that would take years of very hard work to overcome. I'm also curious as to who diagnosed you. As far as killing when you were a soldier; I can only relate to my father who was a paratrooper in World War II. He was in several horrible battles. Whenever he told war stories, he always said, "You wouldn't believe how easy it is to kill someone." He didn't enjoy killing, but. just that he felt nothing. After all, it was him or them. I don't know your circumstances of the killing in Somalia. Did you enjoy killing? Or just didn't feel remorse, which seems understandable for soldiers. Is this incident the reason why you believe you are an anti-social personality? Why did the V/A refer you to counseling?

What other problems have you had in your life? Anti-socials have very disruptive behavior at an early age. As Dr Irene pointed out, it's hard to tell if you are twisting the truth. If you heard my abusive brother talk about me, you would think I was some sort of psychotic monster because he lies and/or his perceptions are out of touch with reality. He believes his perceptions, that's why his stories can sound true. Also, if you are a true anti-social, then you would be very good at lying. On the other hand, living with someone who is bipolar is very stressful. I'm not sure what to think.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Hi everyone, Larry here. I read all your posts and thank you for the responses. I would like to address a few things from them but I'm not sure where to start. I guess I will start from the top.

First post -- From M. Scott. You're right. That was an excellent reply and I thank you for sharing it. It didn't happen over a few weeks though... This has been YEARS in the making. Also, I am fully aware that I am not innocent in all this. I did my fair share of dirty deeds to provoke her. I just can't find the wrong in some of the things I've been told I did wrong.

Second Post from anonymous -- Calm was not the word to describe me when she didn't come home. I was on the phone like a maniac calling hospitals, her friends, relatives, etc. I did finally figure out where she was but the fact is she just didn't come home or call. That was VERY wrong of her to do and I don't think I reacted out of line by telling her that I would have appreciated a call.

Also, as for my military background. I knew I should have left that part out! I did leave it vague on purpose. My data book was a little fuller than they expected, so my commander ordered me in for a psych-eval. I didn't commit any war crimes or anything so there is nothing to worry about.

Post 3 from Tim. Not sure what you mean "the other side".

Post 4 from anonymous: Thank you, I have been trying to get things "together" for quite a long time. I sound much more level than I really am though, I just got through needlessly biting one of my employees heads off for pestering me.

I wouldn't say I enjoyed killing, but the people on the receiving end meant nothing. They were just like the metal plates falling at the target range. I didn't pay them much attention actually. I guess that is why my data book was so chilling. I entered no description of the person just "combatant" and their approximate location relative to my position.

My psychologist later asked me to draw a picture of a person. The picture I drew was pretty plain. I put no face on it and gave it no gender. It was just an outline of a human form actually. I asked him about that sometime later and he never really did tell me whether it was right or wrong. He just asked "Is that how you see people? "

I was VERY disruptive at an early age. I was abused by a teacher and I swear that woman cut an evil streak through me. I was a rotten kid and had an uncontrolled rage that made people very afraid. You're also right about lying. I am very good at it.

But what benefit is lying to me? It would be a waste of time.

Thanks again, folks.

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Larry, thank you for your replies.

Also, look here: Larry answers some more questions...

Gang, our buddy Larry apparently meets criteria for anti social personality. And he seems to fit the bill for controlling abuser as well. Now, how to help explain to him what parts are controlling and why - without some concrete examples?  Help us Larry. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Wow. What a ride that must have been! I can sympathize (quite a bit, I might add) since my ex-gf is bipolar and was off her meds the last time she and I were back together. Stressful is an understatement, though I am thankful that things never got THAT bad between us. *sigh of relief*

It's good that you and your ex-wife are still talking. Sounds like you both have a lot to deal with, and if you can be helpful to each other without getting caught up in each other's problems (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm guilty of that myself :)) you've both got a distinct advantage.

Good luck! *hugs*

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Hi Larry,

I'm glad you cleared up a few things. From reading your reply what I pick up on is that you are like a duality. One one hand you wear your rage on your sleeve... on the other hand you demonstrate apathy. Which could be a way of coping. This may sound strange, but I get the impression from your posts you seem to describe your behavior in a detached almost third party way. Sort of like hearing a narration.

I understand from hearing many stories what the life a sniper is like. My dad was one in the Korean War. He was a Marine and was also a front line gunner. Even though this happened 10 years before I was born, he has never talked about it in the detached way I find you do. As a matter of fact he can still recall what some of the men he killed where doing just before he shot them. When he killed he did so because it was his job... and it was kill or be killed. He didn't like it... but he did what he had to do... and he had remorse, because they were still human beings, even thought they were the enemy. You have no remorse... this I have to say unnerves me about you. My dad is very open and honest about just what the hell really went on during that war. So I am well aware of many atrocities of war that are rarely ever written about.

The only thing I have to offer you in the way of help is to point out to you that I find from your posts that you are not in touch at all with your feelings. I am completely at a loss as to how to even begin to explain to you empathy and remorse. I know these things... I apply them all the time... yet I have no clue how to teach them. I now ask myself now can you teach someone to have remorse.. hmm.... I wonder if you really can? Maybe it's not learned maybe it's biological.

I wish I could be of more help to you. But I have no idea on how to advise you. Best of luck to you in your journey for answers. 

But I can help: You can practice empathy skills training. Each and every time you open your mouth or do something, ask yourself how you would feel if you were in the shoes of the person you are about to interact with. If you keep it up, after a while, it becomes habitual.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

Larry, Larry-

M. Scott here. Actually my name is Dan - M. Scott Peck is the name of a damn good author you might want to look into, in the self-help section of your local bookstore.

I must admit- I'm as confused as the rest about you, and I don't like being confused. I get nervous, insecure, angry, hesitant, unsure, ready to lash out. Yup, all this, Larry, just from a post like yours. Surprised? This is because you don't fit into my preconceived idea of reality. So I tell myself you must be a prankster trying to have some fun with us recovery saps. Hmmmmm.... do I talk more about myself, or about you? So I wonder, and I wonder, and I wonder, and I try to give you the benefit of the doubt, tell myself that you're writing us all on the up and up, and I try to get into your head, not to heal you, I cannot do this, just to understand, this perhaps I can do, or at least try. What is the problem here, Larry?

Do you know what the problem is? You are just not telling us anything about yourself, about your interior. You talk about yourself from a great distance, and use terms like "antisocial personality disorder". What does this mean? What does it mean, that you have no feelings? Is this how you feel? What do you feel, right now, as you read this? Rage, despair, nothing, blank, something that can't be explained in language, just some hazy images? It's ok, man, whatever it is, it's ok. Stay with whatever it is. :)

Allow me to "should" you, just once, and suggest something for you? My suggestion is--- forget about who's right, and who's wrong, as regards you and your wife, or ex-wife, I am not sure of her status. Just feel the pain behind these questions, the agony of trying to prove yourself. You see, those of us on the journey, that I pray you will join us on- we aint gonna judge you man. You wanna kill somebody? Been there. You wanna blow shit up sometimes? Done that. Join the club, bro. Get yourself out of that straightjacket they told you was being normal. Some big assholes who had the nerve to call themselves "adults" did you a whole lot of wrong at a time when you were very, very small. You deserve better dude. So does your ex-wife, incidentally, but that's got nothing to do with you, you've only been given you yourself on this earth to deal with. You deserve better. 

Stop defending yourself, stop defending yourself, stop defending yourself. You don't have to explain your actions to ANYONE. Do you see your ex-wife trying to justify her tirades? Not!!!!!! Stop trying to play the saint, man, stop being all "well I deserve credit because I'm so reasonable, and pity me, I'm with a woman with mental illness, and I try so hard, poor Me". This is what I'm reading from you dude. Just LET IT OUT!!! But not on other people, unless it's sanctioned, like in karate or boxing. Scream, yell, run, whatever!!!! Just do it!!! Write, rip notebooks, scrawl out illegible nonsense, rebel!!! Do it, you've been trapped for too long. Just make sure that you keep other people safe, and try not to scare anybody unnecessarily. Give yourself time!!! The time they never gave you as a child. Do what you need to do. Peace and love and anger and peace again and love again.

"It aint that good, but it's a whole lot better than it was" Hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(If you are a joker after all, what the hell, I had a lot of fun writing this one) -Big D Oh, good stuff!

And now, here's another email Larry sent after I asked him to give me information he apparently didn't have:

"The stuff I don't have.

Dear Dr Irene,

The last message I wrote filled in some of my background. The questions I answered said a lot about me, but they were things that I have already learned about myself. I realized them, accepted that I did them, apologized to my ex, forgave myself, and moved on to the next set of hurdles. I've also forgiven her for the things she has done, but again: Her problems aren't my problems. I still do have an issue here though... I'll get to it in a minute.

So what do I need in order to move on? First: I need to know how to switch it off. I run a fairly successful company and I manipulate and control people for a living. How do I go about controlling every aspect of my life from 9-5 and then NOT do it the other 16 hours of the day? Oh, but you do maintain control 24/7. You take control of yourself in each and every aspect of your life where it is to your advantage to do so. I'm not talking about running your life in a way where your objective is to gain momentary ego satisfaction. That's short-lived, temporary, and nowhere. I'm talking about running your life with your head in a way that maximizes the probability of getting what you want out of life - while enhancing your self-respect at the same time. The straight and narrow road.

You impose self-discipline on yourself because - why wouldn't you want to run your life? Why would  you want to walk around like a loose cannon that anybody can set off? Do you want people to be able to manipulate you by pushing your buttons? But you already know this, for you've already imposed self-discipline in many areas. You just haven't taken it far enough. The more self-control / self-discipline you impose, the stronger you become. In time, controlling yourself becomes second nature. It becomes the new habitual response. It's no longer hard to do; it just "happens". And, you have the pride and satisfaction of knowing that nobody but you runs your life. A really good sociopath - who runs a successful life - knows this. Only dumber types, like one President I love to hate, let their ego and physical wants override their objective.

Second: How do I keep from taking the abuse myself? Everyone is looking at this as the typical abuser/victim relationship. I assure you that is not the case. Sounds like 2 abusers, or she is a very angry victim who can behave abusively, or she is abusive when sick and emotionally out of it. I took every bit as much abuse as I gave. In fact the abuse I took was on a much grander scale because I was physically assaulted on several occasions. I also had personal property destroyed as punishment for not doing things her way. She was probably even more controlling than I was. If I wasn't home from work in 30 minutes my cell phone was ringing and she was mad. Ugh. If I played a gig on a weekend (I'm a guitarist), and she didn't go, (sometimes she went out on her own) I better be home right on time and better pass muster. Yuk. If she did go I had to dress in what she picked out, and I had better not go out into the crowd. I already mentioned about the grass having to be less than three inches tall or I was in for a chewing, so I won't go back into that. I also faced name-calling, slamming doors, throwing things, broken windows, and she even kicked one of the dogs! So how do I not do unto others as they are doing to me? This part is about self-caring... You use self-control to control your emotional life so that it does not override the objectives of the higher self. Mess with that higher self, and you pay big time emotionally and spiritually.

When I feel that I am being treated with disrespect I get angry. Sure. I can control my anger and it doesn't turn to rage like it used to, but I do have to remove myself from certain situations to maintain control. OK. I thought I did the right thing by making it perfectly clear that I have to do that. You did. Assuming you didn't do it with an attitude. And, if you did it with an attitude, it just means you need to get better at removing yourself.  Instead I heard comments like "Oh there he goes off to pout" or "Awwwww he's going to go throw a temper tantrum". I thought I explained a specific thing I needed to do to deal with things, but instead I just gave her ammo to shoot me in the @ss with. You also gifted her with the power to push your buttons and provoke you into dumb action that works against your stated objectives! If she's angrier than you are, perhaps you did give her ammo... Well, in the scheme of things, so what? On the other hand, stop acting out yourself. Maybe she'll wise up and self-correct.

If you stop it, and she doesn't, you don't need her in your life. On the other hand, if you are The Abuser, check yourself out: perhaps you subtly or not so subtly provoked her so that she lost it and her taunting, ugly side came out. Now you can point your finger and say, "See, she's crazy!" But, where will that get you? Feeling OK for a moment? And then what? More of the existential despair you know so well. You know, in most cases, victim and abuser are relative...

There was this one time when I let a pair of her dry clean only pants slip into the washing machine. She retaliated by putting my shoes in the microwave. Yuk. Vindictive little sweetheart, isn't she? Sure it ruined the shoes, but it also ruined the microwave and started a small fire. I heard her screaming and ran into the house. I put out the fire and asked what had happened. She just started screaming at me and flailing her shriveled pants around as if bees were attacking her. I looked into the microwave expecting to see some sort of charred foodstuff. Nope, there were my Nikes! I asked why she had put them in there, and she threw the pants at me. Actually it still didn't register what I had done, so I went on about my business thinking that she had burned up my shoes as some bizarre ritual. Perhaps my shoes offended her in some way? That made me an "insensitive uncaring lout" and I had no idea why until she sent me an email from work the next day saying that I must be an "illiterate dumbass" because I couldn't read laundry tags. Ooops! You let her push your buttons again and manipulate you into acting out.

How do I NOT get angry about things like that? Why wouldn't you feel angry? Anybody would - that's ridiculous behavior on her part! As always, it's what you do with the anger - how you behave, not how you feel. She did not handle her anger well; she behaved poorly. She mis-behaved. My question to you is: when somebody misbehaves like this, why the heck would you want to be with them? I don't think I can, and frankly I think I have a right to be angry about it. But when your partner is equally as unreasonable as you are, how do you communicate? How do I get through to her and make her understand? I saw no way; I still see no way. I worked around her as if she was an obstacle and in turn I controlled and manipulated her and forced her to submit to my will with trickery and deception. I shouldn't have done that, I shouldn't have HAD to do that, and more than likely I DIDN'T have to do that. I just knew no other way so I went with it. Whether it was right or wrong it was my path. She misbehaved and you dealt with it by misbehaving yourself. As though two wrongs somehow make a right. First, separate feeling angry from behaving angrily. The two are a world apart. Walk away and chill. Give her a chance to chill. If she doesn't approach you with some kind of explanation and apology, find a way to relate your outrage calmly. For example, "I'm sorry I washed your slacks; it was a mistake. I will replace them. There was no need for you to blast my sneakers." The end. The rest is up to her. Your only sane option is to accept whatever she does with it. If you don't like it, you are free to ask her to drop it, or to leave. (You can't ask her to drop it if you don't drop it. That's the pot calling the kettle black.)

How do you handle an abuser when it is so easy to abuse them back? Turnabout is NOT fair play in this situation.  Sometimes Larry, you don't handle them; they won't let you. Sometimes, you just walk away because there is no way you are going to get anywhere - unless you enjoy being engaged in constant battle. You don't seem to though. You certainly don't abuse them back! That's a virtual guarantee of more abuse in return. Simply tell the person calmly that you are not OK with their behavior and that you won't tolerate that kind of vindictive acting out. If the acting out continues despite your lack of same, you have to back off, perhaps permanently - unless your idea of fun is  being strapped in an emotional roller coaster. Each and every time you retaliate, you damage your own already lacking self-respect. While "getting" her may feel good momentarily, there is no lasting sense of I-am-OK that accompanies it. 

Easy stuff, I think - easier said than done.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene- Re: you last response- great stuff! This makes a lot of sense to me and helps clarify an issue that a lot of victims have to deal with- our anger! :) In the beginning of my relationship with my boyfriend, he was controlling and abusive and angry - so I'd be angry back! We'd get in screaming matches and say horrible things to each other, and we'd only been dating a month! (actually, we had a fight like this before we were dating- when we were still just friends!) After a while this got old, though. I felt hurt by the things he'd said and done to me, and I felt guilty for the things I'd said and done to him. I knew that our behavior wasn't 'right'- normal couples don't interact like this! (However, he had been raised with this kind of interaction and didn't even recognize it as bad.) So we had a few discussions and we both agreed to 'fight fair' from now on. 

Well, I cleaned up my behavior real fast, and now instead of screaming matches, we had episodes where he screamed at me while I cried and cried. Not good. I had given up a lot of power in my attempt to 'fight fair' and became his verbal punching bag- each time I hoped he'd understand how much he hurt me, and wouldn't do it again, but that time never came. The fights got more and more frequent, and his abuse became worse, and I stared to lose control of my behavior too, except this time, it was worse. More screaming matches again, I had temper tantrum that I'd never known I was capable of before - serious stuff.

Unfortunately, as I learned, this stuff only gives him more reasons and excuses to abuse me, or for it to be 'our' problem, not his problem with abusiveness. So now I'm learning how NOT to act when I'm abused, and what's acceptable. One thing that seems common - victims, even abusive-acting-out ones will generally clean up their behavior when they realize that it's inappropriate or wrong, YES! Victims will clean up their act fast; abusers can't do this for long!  and never act out when they're not being abused. Yes. Victims want comeradie. Abusers will continue to abuse after they've been made aware of the abuse, and they will abuse with and without being 'provoked' by the victim. Thanks again for the insight, Dr. Irene! -SatokoGirl, ever struggling down the path... and doing quite well...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

Dan, thanks for the response, and for clearing up my name mix up.

I can understand how you are confused about me, as I am every bit as confused about myself. I'm not sure I understand why it makes you feel the way you do. Two passages from an ancient piece of Chinese philosophy come to mind. (The Art of War by Sun Tzu)

"Do not oppose those who would not contend."

Even if I am just pulling a hoax (A very time consuming hoax) it would mean no harm to you. He knows that. He is just trying to help you. Actually you would benefit from it either way because these are all learning experiences. Doctor Irene is giving very good advice that would benefit anyone who reads it, not just me. Also, my situation is of no consequence to your life whatsoever. 

Second:

"Make no travels without great benefit."

¡§Nervous, insecure, angry, hesitant, unsure, and ready to lash out. That's a long row to hoe, brother! That's a lot of needless stuff to be juggling around in your noggin too. Especially when it is over some anonymous dude on the net. What benefit is it to you to wonder, and wonder, and wonder? What benefit is it to anyone if you wonder about me? I think you miss the point.

What exactly is your preconceived notion of reality? What is reality for that matter? This perplexes me as well, as I wonder if the response to my situation would have been different had I done a switcheroo on the genders. What if I posed myself as a female and my ex-wife as a male? Reality is relative, and certainly is more so on the Internet where it can be easily manipulated. Oh please, don't go here. 

Now for some of your questions:

>Do you know what the problem is?

Obviously I know what some of my problems are. I've dealt with them and moved on. But I'm at the point now where I am not sure what is a problem and what is not. I've actually come a very long way with this. I'm not saying that I am at the end of my journey because I don't know where that is, but I am certainly a long way from the beginning.

I'm not sure what more there is to tell about myself that I haven't already told. I'm really not that complex,  and I think my only issue is that I am bad with relationships. I have one failed marriage to my discredit, a list of ex-girlfriends a mile long, and my only friends pretty much match the criteria for ASPD too!

I am detached with myself though. I guess it is a mechanism I use to keep my rage in control. I distance myself from everything, including myself. Yes. But, if you want to reach the end of this journey, you stop this. It is like I am running my life from the safety of my living room via a play station.

You can't hurt me, you can't anger me, you can't do anything because it's like I'm not really there. That leads right into the next question:

Well, first... Nobody can hurt you. Nobody can anger you. Nobody can do anything to you - because these are all things one can only do to oneself. But, you don't know this. And, empowering others with this great power to hurt you, anger you, trick you, etc., you defend yourself by cutting yourself off. Your disconnection strategy only hurts you... You are protecting yourself from imagined harm and don't see where the real power rests.

>What does this mean? What, does it mean that you have no feelings?

I do have feelings. I just have them differently than other people. If I win I'm happy, if I lose I try harder to win the next time. It's as if there are no negative consequences for me. That is a good thing sometimes, but it is a problem in certain situations. We live in a society of rules and regulations and I can't go running roughshod through the streets feeding whatever impulse comes to mind. I do have strong impulses and sometimes they do slip through... I own my behavior but I haven't completely mastered it yet. Yes, correct. And you cannot begin to master it without connecting first with the self.

„« What do you feel, right now, as you read this? Rage, despair, nothing, blank, something that can't be explained in language, just some hazy images? It's ok, man, whatever it is, it's ok. Stay with whatever it is.

I feel absolutely nothing. It just causes me to reflect inward and try to explain what I see. Not as proof that I am  "normal¨ or "abnormal" but rather to understand more about myself. You cannot understand as long as you remain disjointed.

>Do you see your ex-wife trying to justify her tirades?

Yeah, you should see the email I just got. She visited the board like I asked, but apparently has nothing constructive to add. I don't care though. Yes you do. Otherwise, you would not have asked. You would not have written the letter you wrote. Wake up. You do care, buddy. She can  rant and rave all she wants. Call me every name she can think of, it doesn't matter. This isn't about her and it is no longer "Our" dirty laundry I am airing. It's mine. 

>Just make sure that you keep other people safe, and try not to scare anybody unnecessarily. Hahahaha. 

Larry  The joke's on you kiddo.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

>Actually it still didn't register what I had done, so I went on about my business thinking that she had burned up my shoes as some bizarre ritual. Perhaps my shoes offended her in some way? That made me an "insensitive uncaring lout" and I had no idea why until she sent me an email from work the next day saying that I must be an "illiterate dumbass" because I couldn't read laundry tags. Ooops! You let her push your buttons again and manipulate you into acting out.

Now there is an example of what I am talking about. You said that I “let her” push my buttons. I don’t see how I let that happen in that situation. I was just doing what I do at work (nothing) This "(nothing)" is another of your disconnected, I-am-above-it-all-ness. But it is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. This one was thrown in to impress your audience.  and in comes this email telling me how stupid I am over a pair of stupid slacks! I didn’t draw any lines in the sand and dare her to cross it, I didn’t shrivel her pants on purpose, I don’t see how I provoked her or offered her a button to push. It seems to me that she snuck up on me and pushed a button before I could react. She let you push her own reaction buttons for sure. But we're not talking about her. This is about you, and you did react to her: with studied nonchalance and disconnection. And you were insensitive. Your provocation was your Sin of Omission: If you didn't know what was bugging her, did you bother asking?  A "normal" person would ask what's wrong... 

The buttons are already there and everyone has them. I wouldn’t be able to react to various situations in daily life if I didn’t have them. It certainly doesn’t make sense that I should walk through life ever vigilant of a sneaky button pusher sneaking up behind me either. If I have to do that I might as well move to an isolated mountain villa and let my faithful servant, Igor, do my bidding for me. Wrong again. The buttons are there and you should not walk through life vigilant, as you do now, which is evidenced by your need to cut yourself off. The goal is for you to pull your buttons in, as opposed to pretending you are above it all and that they don't affect you.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

One quick question-- have you ever posted under the Internet handle "shaman"?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

Hi folks, chatterbox Larry here again. This is a response to the above post about empathy.

A agree that I do talk about my behavior in a third party sense. As if I am really not the one behaving that way, but someone I am observing. But these are, after all, self-observations. I’m not sure how else they should sound. They "should" sound like they come from your perspective, whatever your heartfelt perspective is. That they don't just adds one more step to your recovery, since before you can begin to heal the inside, you have to own that you have it.

I hear what you are saying about your father in Korea. He was killing soldiers that were his counterparts. Every shot that he took could have effected a battle that saved thousands of lives on both sides. He was doing an honorable thing, but had to bear a heavy load to do it.

I wasn’t doing that. There is nothing wrong with not feeling remorse for killing Somalis. That may sound even more un-nerving but you said it yourself; your dad was killing human beings. We were cleaning stains off of the canvas of humanity. They ripped my friends head off and played soccer with it. They don't even qualify as animals. Don't you see you are doing the same exact thing "they" did? You view them as less than human because of what they did with your friend's head. They cut themselves off from any feelings of empathy with your friend's plight to be able to engage in such vile acts. Yet, you become exactly as savage and inhuman as they are when you cut off your own feelings of empathy for them and kill them as though they are insects - despite their heinous crimes. 

I can and do feel remorse; I can and do have empathy. It is just not as natural in me as it is in others. I have to do exactly as Dr Irene said, I have to consciously think about what I am going to do and how it would make me feel. Right. And don't start there, but at some point try and touch your empathy regarding the Somalis.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

I think I love you, Larry.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Will you marry me?

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

PSYCHE! (Sorry, bad pun.)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Actually, the sociopath is starting to bore me. I just want to hear more about that cute darn cat!  Gee, if I had a Meow mpg, I'd upload it. Will you settle for an autographed pix? 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Hi, Larry again. Responding to Dr Irene's comments above.

>I was just doing what I do at work (nothing) This "(nothing)" is another of your disconnected, I-am-above-it-all-ness. But it is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. This one was thrown in to impress your audience.

No, that seriously is a problem! This is another side of the coin and I wish I would have though of it earlier. I am overstaffed. I am so overstaffed that there is not enough work for everyone to do especially me. I sit on my ass all day watching other people work. Many people THINK they would love to do that. It is NOT fun, it is aggravating and makes you feel like you are not contributing to the success of your own company.

I have two options. Make the company grow or fire people. I don’t have the heart to fire people. I can’t even fire the employees that deserve fired because I know they have families and or separate dependants that would suffer. I know how I would feel if I was fired, especially if I had a family to support. What’s worse is that some of them WON’T support their family! I have to garnish their wages and send it off to social services. Is that not empathy? Why mention it Larry?

>She let you push her own reaction buttons for sure. But we're not talking about her. This is about you, and you did react to her: with studied nonchalance and disconnection. And you were insensitive. Your provocation was your Sin of Omission: If you didn't know what was bugging her, did you bother asking? A "normal" person would ask what's wrong...

That’s true. I would ask what’s wrong if it were anyone but her. I know her reactions and that would have led to a blow up. I see what you’re saying here. I kept a separate ruleset for dealing with her over other people. If my friends or family display anger towards me I make a point to find out why they are angry. With her I took the long way around because I knew the road would be rough. Yes.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

>Don't you see you are doing the same exact thing "they" did? You view them as less than human because of what they did with your friend's head. They cut themselves off from any feelings of empathy with your friend's plight to be able to engage in such vile acts. Yet, you become exactly as savage and inhuman as they are when you cut off your own feelings of empathy for them and kill them as though they are insects - despite their heinous crimes.

This is a tough one to stomach. This one hits me pretty hard and kind of rouses my inner monster. Yes.

A team of commandos was to storm a building and capture some faction leaders. Rangers were to rope in from choppers around the block and keep the crowd back while the prisoners were loaded into a convoy and hauled away. Fire teams were deployed to lay down harassing fire to keep the Somalis from lighting signal fires. I wasn’t there to kill any of them.

Someone from our embassy leaked word of the operation. The fires were lit well before dawn and just about every faction was already there hiding in wait for our guys. We were no threat to their way of life, we weren’t going to occupy their city and enslave them. They knew it perfectly well too, we were there on a relief mission! They were just there to kill us for shits and giggles. I didn’t cut any of their heads off. None of their body parts came home with me as a trophy. I didn’t pick any of them apart. I didn’t wound any of them. I didn’t wing any of them so they would flail around drawing out more targets. If I shot them it was clean and instantly lethal. I don’t celebrate October 3rd as the day we killed 1000 Somalis but they celebrate it as the day they killed 18 of us.

I have empathy. I sure wouldn’t like to be shot dead by someone I had no hope of shooting back at. I have more empathy for the American soldiers, who they were cutting to ribbons, than I do for the Somali gunmen. OK.

I just don’t feel guilty for it. Good! I don’t see how anyone could after that experience. If I had never seen total anarchy, and the complete lack of innocence, maybe I would.

Right. And don't start there, but at some point try and touch your empathy regarding the Somalis.

I’ve been thinking hard about this for a few hours now. The only empathy that I have for them is a direct rebound from myself. I wouldn’t like to be shot dead. Good. Should there be more? I hunt for food. I don’t eat commercially prepared meat because of all the toxic crap that is stuffed into it. I feel so much regret over shooting deer that I am selective over which ones I shoot. Anyone can have that empathy because they can picture a happy little deer frolicking in the grass. Perhaps you can do that for a Somali by picturing one of them hanging out by a campfire with their friends. Trust me, if you ever see the place you will never picture any of them in an innocent context again. The biblical description of hell doesn’t scare me, Mogadishu is far worse.

It's too soon for you to go here... Don't rush. Empathy is about being able to put yourself in another person's shoes, even if that person has hurt you - and does not take away from your anger towards them. You understand the hurt they create because deep down, you appreciate the hurt you inadvertently or purposefully put forth. 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

One quick question-- have you ever posted under the Internet handle "shaman"?

No. What does that have to do with this?

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

>”Actually, the sociopath is starting to bore me.”

This dismissive comment shows me that I am not really going in circles but making real progress toward where I want to be.

Last year I would have flamed the crap out of this person. They would have seen rage written in a way that they had never seen before. I would have insulted them, their family, their friends, and anyone that they had walked by on their way to wherever they were. I would have seriously lashed out with the most profane display of vulgarity you could imagine. They certainly would have regret their rudeness and in the end I may have regret making an ass of myself.

Six months ago I would have been verbally dismissive in return. I would have said something like “who gives a rat’s ass?” or “I’m not here to amuse you”. Perhaps I would have said something belittling to make the person feel as though their comment really didn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter, to be honest with you, but I don’t have to tell them that. :) Today, normally I would just ignore it. But it really does show me that I have made progress with my anger and that I can maintain my composure even when someone else is disrespectful or dismissive toward me.

The anonymous angry person didn’t intend to contribute but they certainly did. I thank them. :) :) Ps., You have no way of knowing whether or not they intended to contribute...

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Larry- Dan again. I am going to answer the questions that you posed to me, as well as add some comments which I think will be helpful. I would however, recommend that you reread the entirety of the posts that I sent you if you have not done so, not just the parts that cause you to react instantly. Good for you for questioning my post, by the way, that's what this process is all about, building a dialogue, and no one person is finally "right". Anyway, here we go.......

(Lined starting ">" are usually Larry's words that I (Dan) am responding to, and when there is ambiguity, because Larry left in my original questions, or I left in Dr. Irene's comments to Larry, I make every attempt to clarify who is talking. All my comments in this current post, me responding to Larry, are the lines starting without any ">". I apologize for any confusion, I don't know how to make the different comments different colors for greater ease of reading this.) You can't do the colors bit... Sorry.

 

>Dan, thanks for the response, and for clearing up >my name mix up.

Not a problem :)

>I can understand how you are confused about me, as >I am every bit as confused about myself. That's a start.

>I'm not sure I understand why it makes you feel the >way you do.

I claim no control over my feelings, only over my behaviors--- there is no why for me. Feelings happen to me...... I then react to them. If you wanna know the specifics, I'm a little scared of you. My feeling is that you have a lot of dangerous anger boiling up inside of you. Again, I have no control over my feelings whatsoever, I have a whole lot of control over how I convey them with my behaviors, or if I convey them at all. It's my judgment call. Read Dr. Irene's Turning Point, Giving Up Control, on the distinction between feelings and behaviors.

>Two passages from an ancient piece of Chinese >philosophy come to mind. (The Art of War by Sun >Tzu)

>"Do not oppose those who would not contend."

Again, the important thing for me is that I acknowledge that I have these things of opposition towards you, which are, as you point out, irrational. I can't do anything about it, Larry. It's like having a limp. My brain just reacts to things, and I just kinda sit there and watch the show. Learning to do just this has been a year and a half learning process for me, anchored by the principles in Jeffrey Schwartz's book "Brain Lock", which actually gives you a step by step method to accept what you cannot change about your thoughts and feelings. But now I delve into my personal story, let us continue..........

>Even if I am just pulling a hoax (A very time >consuming hoax) it would mean no harm to you.

>Dr. Irene responds: He knows that. He is just >trying to help you.

>Actually you would benefit from it either way >because these are all learning experiences.

Did you not read the last sentence I wrote in my last post, because what I said was that I had a lot of fun responding to you, Larry, whether your problem was real or fictional. From the ultimate standpoint, what are we all but narratives of our own making anyhow? (OK, I do fancy myself a writer, everyone can groan collectively at that last bit if they wish!!!!!)

>Doctor Irene is giving very good advice that would >benefit anyone who reads it, not just me.

This statement is true........Dr. Irene's advice to you would and does benefit anyone who reads it with an open mind.

>Also, my situation is of no consequence to your >life whatsoever.

Sorry pal, don't buy it. Especially since you run an office with lots of people, your behavior affects a lot of lives. And your employees' behaviors affects other peoples' lives, which leads to other people......eventually it gets to me, trust me. We are all tiny little pieces of one puzzle, the human puzzle.

>Second:

>"Make no travels without great benefit."

>¡§Nervous, insecure, angry, hesitant, unsure, and >ready to lash out. That's a long row to hoe, >brother! That's a lot of needless stuff to be >juggling around in your noggin too. Especially when >it is over some anonymous dude on the net. What >benefit is it to you to wonder, and wonder, and >wonder? What benefit is it to anyone if you wonder >about me?

>Dr. Irene responds to Larry with: I think you miss >the point.

Larry, I am a mess. But now I let myself be a mess. I used to always criticize myself for being a mess. Maybe someday I won't be a mess. But that day may never come. I was abused as a kid in a number of ways. It messed me up for a long while. Also, I just think differently than other people. Maybe because I'm left handed, I don't know. But for years I hated myself, thought no one understood etcetera. I only liked me when I was winning awards, when I was handsome, tall, good-looking. This equation worked till high school ended. Then in college, I wasn't the best anymore, and the bubble burst. Boy, did it burst. So I am a mess. Damnit, I love that mess :) :)

>What exactly is your preconceived notion of >reality? What is reality for that matter? This >perplexes me as well, as I wonder if the response >to my situation would have been different had I >done a switcheroo on the genders. What if I posed >myself as a female and my ex-wife as a male? >Reality is relative, and certainly is more so on >the Internet where it can be easily manipulated.

>Dr. Irene responds to Larry with: Oh please, don't >go here.

WOW! EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT POINT! It just so happens that today, as I was reading one of your follow-up posts, it clicked in my head "Gee, Larry sounds like........the stereotypically abused woman! Apparently, according to his posts, he does virtually nothing wrong, his wife is the prototypical monstrous man, straight out of Patricia Evans "Power Over" abuser mold! Larry claims that he "abuses" his wife by "controlling" her, but it sounds like that's just another thing his wife accused him of, as Larry can give us no concrete examples whatsoever of his EVER having actually tried to control his ex-wife. It sounds like poor Larry is completely dominated by her, up to the point where she even convinces him that HE IS THE ONE BEING ABUSIVE, WHEN HE IS DOING NOTHING ABUSIVE WHATSOEVER"! Sounds like she is even distorting his own reality, the poor guy" LARRY IS THIS TRUE? Are you really a saint, trying to hold everything together, even taking on the role of "abuser" in order to keep the peace? If so, and you buy into this, you were and are abused far more severely than you realize!!!!!!! Deal with this immediately, really! I don't mean run to the nearest shrink, I mean stay on the website with us, read "Facing CoDependence" by Pia Mellody, (good stuff about reality distortion there) please help yourself!

But, as you so aptly point out, so much is unknown, especially in the cyber world. I really do not have enough information. However, if I am right, please keep in touch with Dr. Irene (perhaps you are already) and help yourself, help yourself, help yourself.

>Now for some of your questions:

>Dan had asked:Do you know what the problem is?

Sorry, my bad, this question was a rhetorical device. What I meant was, "Do you know what my problem is, in trying to get a read on you?"

>Obviously I know what some of my problems are. I've >dealt with them and moved on. But I'm at the point >now where I am not sure what is a problem and what >is not. I've actually come a very long way with >this. I'm not saying that I am at the end of my >journey because I don't know where that is, but I >am certainly a long way from the beginning.

I like to hear this......Is there an end to the journey?

>I'm not sure what more there is to tell about >myself that I haven't already told. I'm really not >that complex, and I think my only issue is that I >am bad with relationships.

Well, to me relationships are very, very important. How about you?

>I have one failed marriage to my discredit,

Another way of putting it: You had a life lesson, you did the best you could at the time, now you are going to try to do WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU, from now on :)

>a list of ex-girlfriends a mile long, and my only >friends pretty much match the criteria for ASPD too!

THAT'S RIGHT, LOOK THE EVIDENCE SHOWS YOU'RE LOUSY, YOU HAVE LOUSY FRIENDS, YOU'RE A FLOP WITH GIRLFRIENDS, YOU'LL NEVER CHANGE! YOU HAVE A LIFELONG "REPRESSED SOCIOPATH" LABEL STAMPED ON YOUR FOREHEAD IN PERMANENT INK, A SCARLET LETTER! LET'S JUST WRITE YOU OFF! do you believe what you just read? Do you criticize yourself for the past? You don't have to! That's a choice you make, believe it or not.

>I am detached with myself though. I guess it is a >mechanism I use to keep my rage in control. I >distance myself from everything, including myself.

>Dr. Irene responds to Larry with:Yes. But, if you >want to reach the end of this journey, you stop >this

>It is like I am running my life from the safety of >my living room via a play station.

Ouch. I've been there. It is painful. Do you think you could sit down for a few minutes, and ask yourself what it is your afraid of? Be careful, and it's ok to stop if it gets too painful. But this might help...... although this is exactly the sort of thing that a lot of people like to do with a trusted therapist. I, personally, have such severe trust issues, that I am only able to do this by myself.....it's only far later I tell anyone else. But that's me.

>You can't hurt me, you can't anger me, you can't do >anything because it's like I'm not really there.

What kind of life is this? I used to read constantly, so I have a book to recommend for this comment as well. Try reading Alexander Lowen's "Narcissism"....... he really goes into detail on people who feel emotionally dead......

 

>That leads right into the next question:

>Dr. Irene responds to Larry with: Well, first... >Nobody can hurt you. Nobody can anger you. Nobody >can do anything to you - because these are all >things one can only do to oneself. But, you don't >know this. And, empowering others with this great >power to hurt you, anger you, trick you, etc., you >defend yourself by cutting yourself off. Your >disconnection strategy only hurts you... You are >protecting yourself from imagined harm and don't >see where the real power rests.) Right on!!!

>Dan's had asked: What does this mean? What, >does it mean that you have no feelings?

> I do have feelings. I just have them differently >than other people. If I win I'm happy, if I lose I >try harder to win the next time. It's as if there >are no negative consequences for me. That is a good >thing sometimes, but it is a problem in certain >situations. We live in a society of rules and >regulations and I can't go running roughshod >through the streets feeding whatever impulse comes >to mind. I do have strong impulses and sometimes >they do slip through... I own my behavior but I >haven't completely mastered it yet.

>Dr. Irene responds with: Yes, correct. And you >cannot begin to master it without connecting first >with the self.

Jeez, Larry, what is it you want to do? What deadly destructive urges are you holding back? It's ok to write it down, you know. Writing and doing are not the same thing. Look at Stephen King, he has all these sick, bizarre thoughts, but he gets it out on the page, and people love it! Look, we're a weird species, man, there's a lot of good and a lot of bad in all of us! IN OUR THOUGHTS, we can be murderers, and we can be saviors! But it's what we do, actually do that counts.

>Dan had asked: What do you feel, right now, as you read this? Rage, despair, nothing, blank, something that can't be explained in language, just some hazy >images? It's ok, man, whatever it is, it's ok. Stay >with whatever it is. (Dr. Irene says :) )

>I feel absolutely nothing. It just causes me to >reflect inward and try to explain what I see. Not >as proof that I am "normal¨ or "abnormal" but >rather to understand more about myself.

>Dr. Irene responds with: You cannot understand as long as you remain disjointed.)

Confusion......are you explaining things away, or are you being honest? Perhaps you aren't looking in the right direction--- ever tried Insight Meditation?

>Dan had asked: Do you see your ex-wife trying to justify her tirades?

>Yeah, you should see the email I just got. She >visited the board like I asked, but apparently has >nothing constructive to add. I don't care though.

>Dr. Irene responds: Yes you do. Otherwise, you >would not have asked. You would not have written >the letter you wrote. Wake up. You do care, buddy.

>Larry: She can rant and rave all she wants. Call >me every name she can think of, it doesn't matter. >This isn't about her and it is no longer "Our" >dirty laundry I am airing. It's mine.

>Dan had said: Just make sure that you keep other >people safe, and try not to scare anybody >unnecessarily.

>Larry had responded: Hahahaha.

Larry, what's that supposed to mean? Again, what are you holding back?

> Dr. Irene: Larry The joke's on you kiddo. 

Indeed.

Keep working at all this, Larry. The only fight lost is the fight not fought. Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Dan: thanks for the response. Next to Dr. Irene your posts cause me to reflect inward on myself the most. They also sort of force me to be in touch with myself otherwise I would just laugh and fluff some of the stuff off.

I pose a few questions and comments in return:

>My feeling is that you have a lot of dangerous anger boiling up inside of you.

The human is the most dangerous animal on the planet. There is nothing alive that we can’t kill and nothing inanimate that we can’t destroy. We’re all dangerous and everyone has anger inside of them. I know better than to let it boil though. I exercise, I train, I involve myself in a lot of hobbies where I can take out my aggressive tendencies in a positive manner. I’ve used my negative energy to my advantage and I am proud of some of my accomplishments. Unfortunately I have also let some of that energy cause harm to both others and myself. The accomplishment that I will be most proud of is to overcome that very tendency.

>>Also, my situation is of no consequence to your life whatsoever. >Sorry pal, don't buy it. Especially since you run an office with lots of people, your behavior affects a lot of lives. And your employees' behaviors affects other peoples' lives, which leads to other people... eventually it gets to me, trust me. We are all tiny little pieces of one puzzle, the human puzzle.

**Stands up to see if Dan is really Ray, his employee who spends as much time on the net as him**

No, that can’t be. If you did work for me you would know that the inmates run this prison. That’s a bad word to use because this place is a prison for no one. I have a very unique and very effective method of managing my best people. Leave them alone. They are responsible for their own destiny here. They have their own clients, if they lose them then they suffer the consequences. You know what Dan? They perform flawlessly. A few of them are monsters out there, they don’t just perform their duties they conquer them! I developed this method through EMPATHY. I would hate to have a boss nagging over me, tugging my reigns, telling me be here at 8am and don’t leave until 5pm. They come in when they want, they leave when they want, they wear what they want. As long as they don’t embarrass the company I don’t say a word about it.

I have a few bad seeds but I have an issue with tossing them out.

>This equation worked till high school ended. Then in college, I wasn't the best anymore, and the bubble burst. Boy, did it burst. So I am a mess. Damn it, I love that mess :)

I know that feeling all too well. When you are in that much of a structured environment it is easy to stroke your ego or have it stroked for you. It seems that once you hit the streets and the cold cruel world gets a whack at you that you suddenly realize that you’re not in Kansas anymore. When it happened to me I overcompensated. I picked up so many hobbies and activities that I ran myself ragged. If I didn’t succeed in all of them I became frustrated. I was like a tree that had so many branches that I couldn’t see the trunk anymore. I’ve “pruned” myself quite a bit.

Loving the mess is an important part. I don’t dislike myself. If I could come back as anyone or anything I would come back as me.

 

>… HE IS THE ONE BEING ABUSIVE, WHEN HE IS DOING NOTHING ABUSIVE WHATSOEVER"! Sounds like she is even distorting his own reality, the poor guy" LARRY IS THIS TRUE?

No Dan, you’re actually way off base. I’d like to call your attention to http://www.drirene.com/self_proclaimed_answers_questions.htm I’ve been a bad bad boy.

>I like to hear this......Is there an end to the journey?

We’re mortal. Everything comes to an end.

>Well, to me relationships are very, very important. How about you?

Of course they are. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here... I’d be living in a mountain villa letting my trusty servant, Igor, tend to my affairs.

>>I have one failed marriage to my discredit, >Another way of putting it: You had a life lesson, you did the best you could at the time, now you are going to try to do WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU, from now on :)

True. But I married some who is probably MORE messed up than I am and I ended up doing more damage to her. One should tread lightly on the roads that he travels. I left my footprints all over that poor girl, and yes I do feel REMORSE for doing it. Not only does she have to deal with her childhood issues that messed her up to begin with, but she has to deal with the damage I caused. I have to accept some culpability for the things I have done. I can’t just clean up my mess and have no one be the wiser. It’s my responsibility to make sure I realize exactly what I did and to make sure I don’t do it again. I’m not just doing this because I feel guilty because, as you’ve seen, I have hundreds of half-assed methods of whisking guilt right under the rug.

>THAT'S RIGHT, LOOK THE EVIDENCE SHOWS YOU'RE LOUSY, YOU HAVE LOUSY FRIENDS, YOU'RE A FLOP WITH GIRLFRIENDS, YOU'LL NEVER CHANGE! YOU HAVE A LIFELONG "REPRESSED SOCIOPATH" LABEL STAMPED ON YOUR FOREHEAD IN PERMANENT INK, A SCARLET LETTER! LET'S JUST WRITE YOU OFF! do you believe what you just read? Do you criticize yourself for the past? You don't have to! That's a choice you make, believe it or not.

And I know it! That stuff is my evidence which only I have the power to influence, and on the same token, no one has the power to “write me off”.

>Ouch. I've been there. It is painful. Do you think you could sit down for a few minutes, and ask yourself what it is you’re afraid of?

Yeah, actually I did it last night while I was out cycling. I have to admit that I really don’t have anything to be afraid of. I can’t come up with one valid answer! The closest I got was that I am afraid of what I don’t know. But I have the power to learn and to know whatever I want.

>What kind of life is this?

It’s a false shelter. It’s an act. The more I think about it the more needless it seems. I can’t explain it very well right now but I will figure it out after my ride tonight. Dr. Irene’s comment about “pulling in my buttons” suddenly became so obvious just now.

>Jeez, Larry, what is it you want to do? What deadly destructive urges are you holding back?

I’m planning on building a death ray on the moon and holding the world hostage until they pay me the sum of ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Okay, that wasn’t too original but it’s all I can come up with.

I have no deadly destructive urges, Dan. Just building a better beast. (me)

 

Confusion......are you explaining things away, or are you being honest? Perhaps you aren't looking in the right direction--- ever tried Insight Meditation?

>>Larry had responded: Hahahaha. >Larry, what's that supposed to mean? Again, what are you holding back?

No, it struck me as funny.

>Dr. Irene: Larry The joke's on you kiddo. 

Indeed.

I must have missed this joke. I really didn’t get this part. There is nothing funny about this stuff Larry. Absolutely nothing. That's why the joke's on you.

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Larry- Dan Here.

Hmmm......... You know Larry, I read the answers to the questions, and I'm still like that commercial in the 80's, except instead of "Where's the beef?" it's like "Where's the abuse?".

Maybe I am too much like you, so I have my own blind spots, my own antisocial, or whatever, but based on your follow-up...... You acted normally, normally, normally! Certainly within the range of normality. If your emails about your ex are accurate, she has a mental illness, man. A mental illness. This has got ZERO to do with you. But you keep going and blaming yourself. Brother, you don't make that much of a difference!!! Listen, if you weren't in her life all these years, where do you think she'd have been? In some sort of healthy relationship? NOT!!!!   :)

Larry- Dan Here.

Scuse Me- Listbot cut off my eloquence here, gotta go from here again. This girl you love, for all you know, you could have been the best thing for her through the years.... sure you're not truly healthy.....but if you had been, you wouldn't have gone near her!!!!!!!! Listen, she may have ended up with an abuser who slapped her silly, and don't scoff because believe me this could have happened! She has a poor sense of boundaries. You, Larry, may have SAVED her from that fate, and you actually may have SPARED her suffering, in contrast to your feeling that you ADDED to your suffering. :)

You keep comparing yourself to the absolute best, as I used to! What about the worst? You know better than most humans, what the worst is. You have seen "men" play fucking volleyball, with the severed head of your friend in Somalia. You have actually been in hell. And as you say, you splattered that hell, blew them away. No judgment from me on that, either way. I'm a young punk--- Uncle Sam never made me put on a uniform, and grandpa had enough dough that I didn't have to go for financial reasons, or to afford college, whatever. So I'm not gonna judge where I haven't been, alright? My question to you, however, is this: Are you willing to realize, that you are not those men who were playing with your friends fucking severed head, that you are better than that? But are you willing to realize, also, that that could have been you, using EMPATHY as you say, and insofar as those soldiers were a part of our human race, that any of us could be in their says, given the right conditioning, the right training, the right pain? Are you willing to realize both these things? But why do I suspect that you know all these things already, Larry? Why do I suspect that this whole exercise with Dr. Irene, and now with me, is just one more game for you to declare victory in? Same here, Dan. I mean, you are obviously massively intelligent, and no matter what I tell you, you seem to already know and understand what I was going to say. I really like how you talk and write. But I just disagree with your basic premise for being here on the site. You say you are here because you have crummy relationships. I'm sure this is true, but I look at you and I see a brilliant, intellectual, athletic man who stakes his life on being correct. ????????

My theory, take it or leave it: If we weren't taken care of adequately as children, we have a neglected inner child inside of us forever, that is screaming at us, raging to get out. If we don't let it out, that child will punish us, and punish us, and punish us, just as we have punished him or her by trapping him or her.

All fine and well, and I'm full of crap, right? Well, no, actually......but the hard part is realizing that........the inner child is not who we think he (in your case) is!!!! In actuality, he is all the parts of us that were forced to shut off through the years! In many ways, the inner child is a photo negative of our idealized self. Example: do you think you're really smart, read Sun Tzu and all? Well, your inner child HATES Sun Tzu, and would rather go out and play. You wish you hadn't "hurt" your ex, or whatever? Well, your inner child wants to last out at your ex-wife so badly, it can't see straight!! Inner child knows what it wants to do, trust me. It goes on and on and on...... the trick is, really finding inner child, your own. You may want to call him "Little Larry", or whatever, but it's gotta be your find. You gotta harness that energy, make it work for you instead of against you.

I am impressed by your abilities handling an office. No, I am not Ray. This exercise is getting stranger and stranger, as you pointed out, we are both just writing into the ether. I have my own unabashed agenda, to work in what I have been through, because it worked so well for me in my life. And to me, you Larry are just random bits of data, out of which I am cobbling together an identity. Likewise am I to you. For all you know I could be the world's first sentient machine. Anyway, the point is that I've written myself out about "you" (my image of you!), and you don't need any more help from me, you can just read my old emails. I'll keep checking the board, so if you have any new questions I'll be happy to answer, but I think we're done for now. Again, great luck, warrior!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See the film "Gladiator", if you haven't yet! D.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Dan, Larry here. Thanks for that last post. I’ve just spent the last hour and a half riding 1-mile loops while totally wrapped up in this. Suddenly I looked down and I had gone 21 miles in a damn circle. My mind was so caught up in this I don’t remember one of them. The abuse I’m guilty of can happen the same way. I didn’t set out with some malicious agenda to cause my ex grief, I just did it while not paying attention to my own behavior. I didn’t think about how my actions would make her feel. Just because she did it too doesn’t make it okay.

Yeah, I still think I am the best thing that ever happened to her. Unfortunately, at the time I thought I was so damn great that her sheer luck in landing a guy of my caliber would wash away the pain of her crappy childhood. I was an idiot! I didn’t understand anything about myself at the time so how could I expect to understand her? I will never know what is best for another adult. I may know what’s best for a child about to stick their tongue in a light socket but that’s as far as my omnipotence goes.

You’re right. She has never been in a healthy relationship. The guy before me beat her, the guy after me beat her. The guy she was dating until a week ago committed a federal felony against her and she won’t press charges! Those are the facts; I’ll spare you my speculation on the subject. (I know she’s reading this BTW)

Dan, the point is that this is not about her. This is about me and my bad behavior. Just because your ship is sinking doesn’t mean you should ram another iceberg!

>But are you willing to realize, also, that that could have been you, using EMPATHY as you say, and insofar as those soldiers were a part of our human race, that any of us could be in their says, given the right conditioning, the right training, the right pain?

I’ll give you that any man can be turned into a vicious animal given their surroundings and conditioning. I’ll never call them soldiers though.

So okay, I shot a whole bunch of humans that day. I admit it, I did it, they aren’t coming back, and they’re gone. But if I could pull those bullets back out of the air and give them their lives back; I wouldn’t. I don’t feel bad for doing it, I really think they deserved it, and I would do it again with the same machine-like efficiency. Dan, you aren’t asking me to have respect for them are you?

>But why do I suspect that you know all these things already, Larry?

Possibly because you know that I am putting a lot into this and making progress.

>Why do I suspect that this whole exercise with Dr. Irene, and now with me, is just one more game for you to declare victory in?

Maybe you are viewing me through your own contentious streak. I think you've missed the point. Bye Larry. Dr. Irene In order for there to be victory the chance of defeat must be present. There is no defeat in this.

>My theory, take it or leave it: If we weren't taken care of adequately as children, we have a neglected inner child inside of us forever, that is screaming at us, raging to get out. If we don't let it out, that child will punish us, and punish us, and punish us, just as we have punished him or her by trapping him or her. All fine and well, and I'm full of crap, right?

Oh no, not at all. Believe me, my counselor and I have had epic battles about the inner child. I used to cry bullshit and tell him he was dead-assed wrong. I challenged him to find one shred of abuse in my childhood. I figured he would go right for my parents and run into brick wall. I am lucky as hell in the parent department and I knew damn well that he wouldn’t find shit. Low and behold he found it. My mom whipped out letters, court documents, police reports, the whole nine yards. My negative conditioning had come from a teacher. I remember that she used to paddle me daily but I could also remember my bad behavior in return. I remember challenging her to hit me harder because the last strike was sub par. She would call me stupid and I would call her names right back. Send me to the principle and I’d give her the finger and not go. Other kids would bring her an apple, I’d bring her a dead bird.

At the beginning of the year I was afraid of her and she would break me down until I cried. Calling me “stupid”, “idiot”, telling me I should be in the class with the kids wearing the foam hats. I just couldn’t pay attention! That woman bent me into a sick little unit and by the end of the year I was her worst nightmare. I had to go confront her about a year ago. I did it with the principle present and I did it with all the stuff my mom had collected. The woman was still abusing kids and she had actually been fired and rehired after the teachers union sued. As I recounted the whole story she sat there with this horrified look on her face, It thought she was about to cry. I apologized for my bad behavior toward her and she thanked me, excused herself and hauled ass.

That pissed me off! The house she was living in was for sale. I thought about buying it just so I could evict her ass. I got over it.

Anyways, I get what you’re saying and I thank you. I’ve learned a lot from this.

Now go take care of that inner child and remember we’re all here talking about our bad points. Before you go telling anyone else that you are messed up think about how the good things outweigh the things you consider messed up. I’m sure you’ll find that they do.

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Hi Larry,

I'm sorry you had to experience the atrocities of war. What the Somalis did to your friend is beyond awful....but it's all part of war.....and war is a living hell. My dad saw that kind of horror to. He lived in fox holes for 6 weeks at a time. He used to worry he wouldn't be able to stop scratching from the lice long enough to fire his guns. He did that for 2 years. He also experienced having his best friends brains brownout and landing all over him.. and not realizing it for 15 minutes cause he couldn't take his eyes off what he was aiming at. He also would perform euthanasia on his own men. That isn't ever written about. But it is done. Seeing men with their arms and legs blown off begging you to shot and put them out their misery...some of them are your buddies. He did it...but he hated the fact that it was necessary. He tells me each company had a few men who did this Of course no one ever admits to it or reports it...but they know it goes on.

At times he was constantly wet and stuck in mud during monsoon reason. Your are constantly uncomfortable and you always worry when your number is up next. Seeing all those god awful things is very hard on the psyche. The one thing I do notice about my dad is that if you touch him to wake him up...he jumps up startled. My mom says this is an improvement...he used to wake up ready to swing at you.

I could be wrong, but I think part of your healing will require coming to terms with having had to witness these horrors and with having to kill. For I believe anyone who has no remorse whatsoever for taking a human life lacks a conscience.. and those that don't have one are beyond help in my opinion. But I don't think you lack a conscience. I don't think the average person of your generation understands just what you went through.. of course I am guessing you are about 30. Good luck with dealing with the demons of having participated in war. Personally I think the horrors of war are ineffable. But others have to come to terms with it, so it is doable.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

All right, I’m detecting more and more hostility here so I am going to say this and bail before you guys crush my groove here. I wondered what the hell some of these comments that were out of the blue were about. I happened across the links to the other boards in the index.

I guess that some of you suspect that I am someone else who has been making rude comments. Even Dr. Irene agreed with Dan’s comment that she believes I have some other agenda here, as if this were a game. Whatever, I’ll move on.

But I still don’t get this: “ Blah blah blah... I can’t fire people... blah blah blah... It makes me feel bad... blah blah blah... Is that not Empathy?” I said I can’t do something because it makes me feel bad, then asked if it was no empathy.

Dr. Irene replied “Why mention it Larry?”

Huh? That doesn’t register as an appropriate response.

“It's too soon for you to go here... Don't rush. Empathy is about being able to put yourself in another person's shoes, even if that person has hurt you - and does not take away from your anger towards them. You understand the hurt they create because deep down, you appreciate the hurt you inadvertently or purposefully put forth. “

This goes right back to exactly what I was ASKING. I do have empathy. I don’t run amok each day hurting people just to please some inner demon. I shot a bunch of pricks, who deserved it, way back in 1993 and this makes me a monster? I think not. If I hurt somebody I feel bad. I do make an effort not to hurt people! I admit that I haven’t always been this way but people DO change. Even us MEN can change.

So then I see these comments posted from someone obviously trolling for a negative response. They are clearly being an ass-plug but it doesn’t get to me. I think cool. I make a comment about it that is probably one of the first POSITIVE things in this thread.

What’s the response?

“ :) :) Ps., You have no way of knowing whether or not they intended to contribute...”

Come on Doc, I wasn’t born yesterday! They were being asshole, and we all know it.

Then we have this exchange:

Dan: Just make sure that you keep other people safe, and try not to scare anybody UNNECESSARILY. Larry: Hahahaha. Dr. Irene: Larry The joke's on you kiddo.

Is it ever necessary to scare someone? Would it really be constructive of me to throw a fit, scream, yell, break things, just as long as everyone is safe and no one is scared UNNECESSARILY?

Get it? Is it really a joke? Am I really laughing?

This feels just like my “marriage counseling” session. The counselor took two factors into consideration. 1. I’m a man 2. I had been previously diagnosed as anti-social, so I automatically must be bad. Wow, those two aspects plus a bad relationship and I am suddenly a scary monster. Get the net, and call the circus! That kind of thinking is ludicrous!

So where does that leave us? It brings us full circle and drops us back off at:

“Why mention it Larry?”

I can’t offer you a single good reason. I don’t have a damn thing to prove.

I thank you all for your time. You’ve really helped me a lot and I appreciate it. Dr Irene, it’s a great site you run here.

-Larry

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

This is getting ridiculous. It's been real everyone. -Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

Dr Irene,

I am interested in finding healthful recipes online. I've always been a little scared of things like tofu and bean sprouts but I'm willing to give them a try. Standard cookbooks intimidate me (I'm not much of a cook to begin with). Do you know of any recipes/ sites that would help me out? Thanks.

Timid in Tulsa

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

I'm lost. Maybe I'm just a naive codependent, but I don't get why Dr Irene said good-bye to Larry. Apparently, Dan sees the same thing. I've learned something on all of these sites, but feel lost about what's happening with Larry. Can someone explain? Thanks. Sis

Sis, You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

This Larry guy isn't paying for his email advice, right? Nope. Free.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

>This Larry guy isn't paying for his email advice, right? Nope. Free.

Well, you get what you pay for, it seems...

I was just wondering if he would have been dismissed so easily if he was a paying customer. Apparently he wouldn't have been. It's understandable-- capitalism in action, one could surmise. Actually, he would have been "dismissed" a long time ago. The email advice option limits the writer to just a few pages...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

>Sis, You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink...

Bro, You can lead a cliché to water, but you can't make the level-headed buy it...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

I wondered the same thing. Dr Irene invited Larry to chat all he wants but as soon as he started to chat about what she didn't want, she dismissed him. No. Only when it became evident he was not interested in learning. I boot clients who are not ready to learn out of my practice too. Even though I get paid whether they learn or not. Imagine that!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

Isn't extortion illegal in New York and New Jersey? It seems like this "Dr. Irene" of yours has a pretty good racket - lure in troubled people with the offer of freebies (kinda like a drug dealer...) and then urge them to pay $50 in "hush money" for each very personal email advice - giving the person doesn't want plastered all over the web. A mere $50 bribe for each email seems to ensure that the already emotionally needy and scarred person even gets a reply at all. Gee, Irene, why don't you just take your "patient's" money, drown their puppies, and kick their grandmothers? Actually Larry, its now $100, about the price of a therapy session, which the email takes more time than. I imagine you work for free?

Not only does this cyber-practice seem blatantly unethical, but the fact that the webmaster (Dr. Irene) profits monetarily from each and every Amazon book referral is also troubling. You bet! Not only do books yield a small percentage, but so does anything else bought on their site when having entered through this site. 

So make sure you buy those books and get that virtual advice because "baby needs a new pair of shoes"... (remember, all major credit cards accepted) Thanks for the plug Larry!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

Larry, did you post the above about extortion? If you did, I'm starting to understand why Dr Irene said you can lead a horse to water, etc.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Larry is looking for someone to debate his favorite topic with. That topic being...himself. His posts are extremely long winded... repetitive.... sarcastic.. and argumentative. Given the opportunity he will bore everyone to tears but himself. ENOUGH OF YOUR BORING BS ALREADY!!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Yes, he throws a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Hello all. Amy here (you may know me from the yak boards). Just to clear up any confusion, I was the one who posted the post about Irene's extortion. I acted alone. I expressed my opinion. My opinion, not necessarily anyone else's. Before you accuse me of being Larry, well, I'm not. My name is Amy and I have never posted under anything but my real name.

I was curious so I counted the number of books on Irene's kickback Amazon links. Isn't eighty-five a bit greedy, Irene? It is actually quite sickening (in addition to certainly being a conflict of interest). Gee, Irene, why don't you ALSO drown your "patients", kick their puppies, and take their grandmothers' money to boot?

Sure, this is rather hostile of me but somebody had to say it. Dr. Irene's reign of terror and "patient" fleecing surely must be harming the general public at large. Trubble would NOT approve of this mockery of the mental health profession known as drirene.com. Viva la resistance!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Amy, we know you from the Yak Boards. You have displayed the same behavior there that you are showing here. There is something seriously flawed with your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. My suggestion is to look inside yourself and begin your own healing. Your life will be peaceful, instead of angry and miserable. Good luck.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

You've only posted as "honest Amy?" Don't think so. You might be Larry, shaman, maybe even the sick spams on the Yak Boards. But if you're really not those "others," it only shows how similar abusive behaviors are among people, and and how transparent the behavior is.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Yes, it was rather hostile of you, Amy. Have you considered treatment for this abusive tendency? Or for irrationality? Some of us can't see how you hallucinated a "conflict of interest" in selling books along with counseling, which is no different from selling oil along with cars.

P.S. If you think Dr. Irene's advice isn't worth the going rate, we'd all like to hear what you as a psychology grad would have said to Larry instead.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

At least we all seem to be having a good time expressing ourselves. Like Madonna said,

"Express yoself!"

Love Y'all

Big Dan back in the house just for a bit more fun...................... OK, Done

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

Amy, if you're good at psychology, you ought to ask yourself a question. What precisely did you hope to achieve by posting that protest?

If it was just to discharge some anger about something that's been bothering you, whether it's about Dr. Irene, about the mental health profession, or about life at large, then fine, you achieved that for yourself.

But if your goal was to influence other people's opinions, to get them to understand what your real objections are--and even agree with you--then you fell far short of succeeding. You undermined your own influence further by the way you expressed your anger. In my mind I said "This is just someone who's angry about something--heaven knows what it is, I'm sure there are plenty of things wrong with the mental health profession, or with commercial exploitation of any kind--to be angry about, but I don't see they apply here. This is just someone who's blinded by a generalized anger"--an impression that would lead me to discount the possibility that what you said was true.

If I were Dr. Irene, of course, I'd be even less likely to listen after you'd insulted me, and if I were somebody who had placed faith in Dr. Irene, you wouldn't woo me away from this faith by insulting her. You'd only antagonize me and drive me further into her camp. Do you think anger is "powerful," however misdirected? No, it's just counterproductive to your goals.

So go ahead, convince me. Tell me how Dr. Irene's advertising of books, from whose sales she gets a tiny kickback, is a conflict of interest. OK, if she were a shrink pushing Prozac because it was more profitable than listening to her clients and helping them work out their problems, I'd call that a conflict of interest, because profit would influence her treatment to her clients' detriment. But I fail to see how selling books along with advice is a conflict of interest. It doesn't influence her advice for the worse. It's a win-win-win-win proposition, from which everybody benefits. The client benefits from the wisdom in the books. Amazon.com benefits. The author benefits. And Dr. Irene benefits. Why do you begrudge her that? Do you not believe that life should be a mutual exchange for the benefit of all?

And please explain to me how Dr. Irene is kicking her patients and drowning their puppies--or was it the other way around? :-) Do you think counseling is not worth the money--even when it's free? Do you disagree violently with the advice? Do you think it's damaging clients more than it's helping them? If so, please explain why.

Please explain what's so bad about selling advice online compared with selling it in an office. Yes, there are advantages to seeing clients in person: voice tone and body language transmit far more information than the written word alone. But don't forget how many bad therapists there are, regardless of how people find them. Clients are always advised to ask in advance: "What's your approach to therapy? What are your values?" How many of them do? Not many, I'll bet. At least an online environment gives the client an opportunity to see in advance what the therapist's approach and values are. They know what they're paying for, which most people don't.

Please explain how Dr. Irene is reigning over her clients with "terror." I don't feel any terror here; do you? I admit there is a tendency for women in situations that frighten them to get together and drive one another into hysteria, rather than calming one another down and reinforcing the voice of reason. But don't blame Dr. Irene for that. Blame normal human psychology instead. The same people would do the same thing no matter who or what drew them together. Don't blame a person who is trying to make the voice of reason heard among them. Take that person away, and the same people would find ways to get together online and scream one another into real hysteria and heaven knows what paranoid beliefs. They've already done that in other places, without even the benefit of the Internet. It's called "gender feminism."

Please yourself, Amy. Chuck a load of insults around, or talk to us in ways people will understand. We're all listening.

- Gordon

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

Gordon-

You started off fine-- but hey, us men are just as guilty of the hysteria mentality as women! Sheesh!

Amy, or whoever you are, I know you were just looking to vent, so I hesitate to tell you what you already know.......but...

Dr. Irene is a flesh and blood person who has to make money to get by in our society, just like you and me. Have you looked at her resume, or looked at her picture? She's a real person, not a magical psychology computer that can help us all at will. She has limited time, just as we do, bills to pay, mortgage to pay, and a child to put through college. Who cares if she's got a small deal with Amazon! That's normal with the Internet! Maybe she spends those pennies on herself, maybe they go to charity, maybe they go to her little granny back in an olive grove in Greece. It doesn't matter!!! You don't have to link to amazon from this site, you don't have to buy the books from amazon at all! Heck, I know I'm so backwards, I'm petrified of putting my credit card numbers online!

Folks, everybody, not singling out Amy.......

Dr. Irene is offering a free service here. She puts tremendous time, and effort into this site. The more pennies that roll her way from this site, the more rewarded she'll be for the site, and the better it will be. Remember, it's all FREE. Yeah, she charges for therapy letters, $50, whatever it is. That's an agreement people come to, Dr. Irene says right out front, "If you want email therapy, it'll cost you $50 dollars". And people do, or they don't. Dr. Irene has time to take on new email clients, or she doesn't. Clients listen to her advice, or they don't. There will always be a decision in therapy to terminate at some point, whether after two weeks, two months, years, decades. This is an important part of the therapy itself.

Dr. Irene, even in saying goodbye to Larry, did it for the best of reasons. She told Larry what he needed to hear, at that time. Saying goodbye is also an important part of therapy! I have followed Dr. Irene for a year and a half, her advice, and I have disagreed with her, maybe twice, out of thousands and thousands of sentences. She can be confusing at first, I'll admit, and I don't always understand, but then I keep reading, reread, and you know what? It eventually makes sense. Again, I might phrase the same concept differently, but that's a part of what OWNING YOUR STUFF means. You don't say things because you are supposed to, even if your therapist says you're supposed to, you say WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND, and you explain concepts of victimhood and abuser AS YOU UNDERSTAND THEM.

I don't want to preach anymore people. Just hopefully disseminating some knowledge on anyone with whom this piece happens to click.

Love

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

Hi folks. Larry here. Well, actually my real name is Lou but Dr Irene tagged me with Larry for privacy reasons. Frankly I don’t really feel that I have to hide.

I had a pretty decent weekend and learned a lot about myself. I figured I would come back here and re-read some of the messages as I figured this thread was dead. NOPE, it seems some of you, including Dr. Irene decided to have a battle royale. People, that’s pathetic!

Dr Irene even accused ME of being the one attacking her! Doctor, you can hawk for money all you want... I don’t give a rat’s ass. Lou, I apologize for jumping to conclusions. I have the money and if you want some of it just yell. I’ll mail you a check. I concern myself with my own living and do my very own money grubbing... You won’t hear a comment from me over yours. No, I certainly DO NOT work for free and I certainly don’t expect doctors, who have to pay a damn fortune for their education, to work for free.

What do you mean I wasn’t learning? I learned a hell of a lot in just a few days. Yes. I resolved more in the past two days with my ex than I ever thought possible. Good! You should give people more of a chance... Why should I anything? I don't owe you anything. I give what I give, which is as much as feels OK for me. What were you assuming that you got so insulted? That was really lousy judgment you passed on me and I hope you’ve learned some kind of lesson from it. I understand your position, though I don't agree with you and see it as part of what gets you into trouble. What was that you were saying about empathy? Perhaps. But, why do you expect people to be OK towards you, even when you're not towards them? That's part of the lesson. You just did "it" again here by letting your anger get the best of you... Nobody likes being cut off, granted. While I cut you off, I did not see the point of continuing in that vein. 

I’m not going to stoop to the level of being judgmental here but I sincerely hope that it was just a misunderstanding that led you to behave that way. I swear to you that I was NOT joking about the comment that seems to have offended you. Lou, I was not offended. I did feel there was no point in continuing to knock my head against the wall. I will not fight you to help you get some point. I give what I can; the rest is up to you. Why do you assume it is my job to make you "get it?" Why do you think I owe you anything?

But that’s enough about you. I’ve printed out this entire thread and will deal with it with my Dr. this afternoon. Perfect! This is exactly how I would hope you would use this feedback! I apologize if I have somehow wronged you and I promise you that it is not me who is attacking you anonymously. If I have something to say to you I will address you directly and appropriately. That is a courtesy that you did not bother to extend to me. Again, you were not cut off because I became angry or offended; I hope you begin to get that. 

As for those other dandelions floating around here taking pot shots at me. F&^k em! They have their own problems to deal with and I have mine. I didn’t really even read all those posts. I read some of Amy’s stuff though, and she actually makes some sense. I think she's got mega problems and only makes sense if you want to find a venue for your anger... Those of you that think she is harsh obviously haven’t dealt with Britons before. Wow, is your anger getting the best of you... Try sitting with it before you shoot your mouth off; this is what gets you in trouble!

Anyhow, the real purpose of this is Dan. Yeah, Dan said some things that made me stop thinking about everything at once and start focusing on bits and pieces. It was as if someone had crumpled up all the pieces to my puzzle and I was trying to flatten them all out at once by jumping up and down on the entire box. I was just crumpling them worse. When I took each piece individually I got somewhere and suddenly had a bunch of pieces that would fit together.

Thanks Dan. I owe ya!    Yes. Dan is quite gifted at this. I thank you too. Gotta go; I'll be back to finish. OK. Now I finished with this post.

 

Lou AKA Larry

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Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

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Gordon: I have to half-heartedly agree with Amy. I felt no terror but I can see why some that are dependent on this site could. Imagine if this was your only outlet, your only contact with people in the same boat. The only place where you could feel free to express your troubles in an open manner. Then imagine if you saw Dr Irene cutting someone else's head off without good reason. That could be terrifying for some. For you and I, it may be no big deal... We just click off the power switch and we’re outta here. It’s not that easy for everyone. So what's the option? Have people pass a mental health check before they can log onto the site? That would be nice, and I guess internet ethics are still getting set. You expect me to take responsibility for how my readers experience this site? I can't do that. Even if I really, really tried to do that, I could not direct another person's experience. Perhaps I should just pull the site. 

Don't people have free will? Isn't the goal of this site to help people take responsibility for themselves? 

I feel I did contribute to my own demise here. I didn’t see the link to the message boards and I used this forum to chitchat with Dan. It was on topic but it was direct to him. It was one of those messages that Dr. Irene became angry over and dismissed me. Dan helped me a lot and I connected with more that he said than what she did. I’m not knocking her advice, it was certainly excellent, but Dan’s comments hit the sore spots and brought me back down to Earth. Perhaps it was jealousy, perhaps it was the money (which I did not know was an issue; I would have paid happily). Either way it is of no benefit for me to decide and it may anger her more if I were to be judgmental. You don't get it.

Lou AKA Larry.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

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"Dr. Irene, even in saying goodbye to Larry, did it for the best of reasons. She told Larry what he needed to hear, at that time. "

I have to disagree with you here. There was something dismissive and angry about how she said Goodbye to me. If you re-read Dan's post beforehand she makes a comment that would lead one to believe that she is suspicious of me. As if I had some secret agenda here. As if this was a silly game.

This isn't a game. Chess is a game. Football is a game. Baseball is a game. This is me taking some time out of my, already short enough as it is, life to sort out some problems before moving on.

It insulted me that she mocked me with that "same here" and "the jokes on you" crap. It offended me that she dismissed me, which very well could have pulled the rug out from under me, just hours after I had made, what I felt, was the most important breakthrough in this whole experience.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

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Lou- Dan here. Actually, my real name is John F&*&^n Wayne, but I don't wanna brag.

I'm so f&(*&in happy for ya, man!!!! You're on the right track.

Why do we resonate so well, Lou? Because I used to be just like you! I am the chief of all f**#ng sinners, bro, I used to hate myself, now I love myself, and I gotta spread the word!

Lou, I was cringing when I saw what you did with your emails. You email Dr. Irene, you said, "I am an abuser". Lou, abusers don't come up and say "I am an abuser". True sociopaths don't say "I am a sociopath". A real abuser thinks they're right, all the time, and never want to be corrected, and yell at people who dare to correct them. You, Lou, already have a million percent more insight than abusers.

And then, when you looked at that list of controlling behaviors, to "prove" you were an abuser, I was like "oh boy, what we have here is a masochist". Lou, again, an abuser would angrily deny his actions--- you instead jumped to Dr. Irene's Manalive list, which is accurate but unfortunately calls the abuser "he" when the abuser could be either, in order to CONFIRM your actions! This is not the work of an abuser, this is the work of someone eager to please.

You were always so eager to please your ex-wife....no matter what she did, you tried to excuse her behavior, no matter how horribly she treated you, you kept saying, "Yeah, but I, like, have faults, too" Such bullshit!! Your ex warped your mind, Lou, that fucking sadist teacher warped your mind, Lou! So you're like (in a timid voice) "Yeah, but I did abusive things, like, uh, uh, go to bed at 10:00pm, instead of stay up and get beaten by my ex-wife, the way she wanted me to". Do you get my point? Do I have to f%^&ng spell it out for you?

YOU ARE A VICTIM!

This is why I was so "mysteriously" getting angry at you earlier, and why I thought you're email was a fake! Because you couldn't see how abused you really were!

A word about Dr. Irene. She is trying her very best to help many, many, many people. Keep her perspective in mind, Lou, even as you criticize her. It felt like, to me as well Lou, that you were not listening to what she had to tell you. It felt like you were reading about 20% of what was being said, and making up the other 80% in your head! Reread your posts, if you doubt me! Who the hell were you responding to, half the time? If you noticed, Dr. Irene kept reading all the posts, even after she said "Goodbye" she stayed in the game, as proven by her comments in BLUE, after she supposedly said "goodbye" She is still there for you Lou. It's just that she has dozens and dozens of clients, in the physical and in the cyber world. And she has a full life, to boot, just like you and me. She has to make a JUDGMENT CALL, and really can't take more time than is necessary doing it. Her judgment call, at that point in time, was that it was a waste of her time, AND YOUR TIME, to continue with the interactive emails. Because you quite simply were not listening. She knew this, and cut off communication----SO YOU WOULD START LISTENING TO YOURSELF. And yes, it was me who anonymously posted that she stopped with you for the best of reasons. You kept fixating on that one joke, that you thought prompted her to "cut you off", or whatever you think she was doing, and you couldn't see the larger picture.

The larger picture is this: You came across as a man withholding an incredible amount of rage, which was just so obvious.

I HAVE BEEN THERE!

What has helped me, when I was in that position, was, frankly, to break shit, to throw things at the wall, to scribble out obscenities in huge letters in my notebook, to eventually destroy that notebook, to sometimes drool on that notebook, whatever!

The inner child isn't looking so cuddly anymore, is it?

So.......... I thought maybe you could get into this mode as well. Maybe! I don't know who you are, it was a hunch! And I thought, if you do this, try not to do it around other people, don't scare the shit out of them. But I added "unnecessarily", because sometimes people get scared, and that's life, and you don't have to go blaming yourself, just because someone gets scared and says "Well, I thought you were going to hurt me". There's a big difference between someone thinking you are going to hurt them, and you actually hurting them! If you throw a shitfit, and someone witnesses it, and you do nothing to them, just throw your shitfit, and they turn around and say "You shouldn't have done that, I was scared" I suggest you say "I acknowledge that you were scared, I also acknowledge that I had to throw my shitfit, and I made sure that you were not in any real danger. It was only the appearance of danger. I would never, never strike you, it's just that I have all this anger inside of me that has to get out. In fact, if I get the anger out, I will be a happier, healthier, more peaceful person." Additionally, this person, Jane let's call her, may have issues in her own past, which make her more sensitive to THE APPEARANCE OF VIOLENCE, and Jane has every right to be scared, if she is scared. You could help her with her problems, even as you are helping yourself! Whew, hypotheticals.

So that's what I meant by unnecessarily.. And when you said, "hahahahah" I was just like, could this guy miss the point any more? But you know what, Lou? I may have f%^%ed up there. You could have gotten the point, but just not have expressed it to us. You see, those of us who are veterans to this page, and use email a lot in general, have developed a certain way of speaking, with which you may not be familiar yet. You see, when you say "hahahaha" we take that as an INAPPROPRIATE RESPONSE, rather than just, "Oh, Larry (Lou) just had an immediate response to what I said, which he expressed in this reply." You just gave us your frank response, which was "HaHaHa", and in your mind, we jumped all over you. The more I think about it, this was just a matter of miscommunication. It happens, lets move on.

What else?

I felt shitty, because I felt like when you said "You take care of that inner child", you were belittling me. The feeling passed. Look, Lou, I consider feelings a part of health, not illness-including negative feelings! Again, read Dr. Irene's Turning Point, Giving Up Control, on this very webpage. It is a masterpiece, and the distinction between feelings and behavior is made crystal clear. I don't care how angry you are at me, Dr. Irene, your ex, please read Turning Point: Giving Up Control. And then read it 20 more times.

That will also help you understand what I mean when I say, "I am a mess". Lou, it is my opinion that the human condition is being a mess, and there is no end to this mess. What I have learned to do, is revel in the mess.

LOOK, I HAVE JUST DROPPED A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE ON YOU. THERE IS NOTHING PERSONAL MEANT WHAT SO EVER. I JUST WANT TO HELP YOU FREE YOUR MIND AND FEEL AWESOME AS I DO. YOU ARE ON THE PATH. YOU ARE ALWAYS ON THE PATH, IT JUST TAKES WORK!!!!!

Dan

Neo: What are you saying, when I've figured out the matrix, I'll be able to dodge bullets?

Morpheus: No, what I'm saying is, that when you've figured out the matrix, you won't have to [dodge bullets, you can let them come right at you].

-The Matrix

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

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Lou, Dan again-

Correction to my first paragraph: You do not hate yourself. I made a mistake in writing that, I should have said:

We have experiences in common. I started off hating myself, etc.

Sorry. My mistake. discount what I said about you hating yourself. Clearly you do not hate yourself.

Dan

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Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

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Gordon, no one here is hysterical. Come on. I hope "AMY" hears what we're all saying. Sis

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Dr. Irene, help me! I feel the need to toss my Anger Management Therapy out the window momentarily as I am rather upset.

Well, this is for you, Amy and whoever else has been so hostile about DR Irene's services. You are entitled to your opinion, but I am overwhelmed by that lack of gratitude. To me this is like a starving person going to a soup kitchen and spitting the free food back at the server!

Verbally abused people (and some abusive persons) are starving for help; for information, for a place to vent, learn, grow, share and DR Irene provides that forum - FREE! There are options to purchase books and services, but it is an OPTION.

I was here for months before I even knew she offered paid for consultations, and all I thought was, "Thank goodness. I don't know how that lady can cover the cost of the domain name, web space, the time, the hard work (and smiles!) she pours into responding to posts." It must take a great deal of time and effort to just read the posts, let alone respond to so many and provide such encouragement and enlightenment.

Oh my goodness, there are links for books back to Amazon.com where she may make a small profit? Heaven forbid. To sound redundant - I wonder how many of you could buy a domain name, rent web space, spend hours reading and replying to posts - and do all of that for free? Or do your job for free? Are you independently wealthy?

My feeling is that no one sucked anyone or misled anyone into anything here. You know what the best thing about the site is? You get out of it what you put into it! You don't have to read what you don't want to read, you don't have buy anything you don't want to buy, and you don't have to stay either. It's called FREE CHOICE.

Now I get off of my soapbox, lol. Terri  Thanx Terri.

 

Hello all,

Dan emailed me wondering if Lou/Larry was a real person. I wrote back saying I thought Larry was real because of the thinking behind the responses. There was real pathological distortion I didn't think a bunch of kids could make up. Whatever. Anyway, his email made me wonder about the effects the cloak of anonymity and accountability have in what's being said. I've decided to balance the scales just a little. Fair warning: Posters will have their IP address posted along with their messages, just like on the Yak Boards. At least that will prevent the kind of mixup seen earlier where I accused someone else of being Larry. 

Background: This site has taken many precautions to veil people's identities because most of the people are (or at least at one time were) victims in fear of their abuser. But, that rationale does not hold in abuser boards like this. So, I'm trying an experiment. Only victim boards will remain totally cloaked. Let's see what happens.

I'm still not done. Lots of stuff above I can't get to just yet. Thanx to all for this fascinating thread. Dr. Irene 

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Here is an example of what info will be included. Dr. Irene (see "remote name" etc.)

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Right, Sis, no-one here is "hysterical," though I have seen anger being reinforced, a concern Dr. Irene has mentioned. But as I judge from Amy's other posts, Amy has some concern about what she sees as the unhealthiness, or anyway the futility, of women getting together and encouraging one another to act like victims--rather than just "acting" for themselves. Her use of the word "terror" was suggestive. Perhaps I should have said "victim feminism" rather than using Christina Hoff Sommers's term, but they're essentially the same thing. It's true as the anonymous earlier poster mentioned that "men can be just as guilty of the hysteria mentality as women," but that's a somewhat more fragmented phenomenon, though for the same reason it often stands out all the more starkly. It's the group dynamics that seem to concern Amy. But it's no use blaming one person, or a thing (the Internet), for normal human psychology; or exaggerating emotions into "terror" (any "terror" is due to outside events anyway); or, of course, discounting the very real value of this site to its participants.

- Gordon

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Lou, it looks as though this post just got wiped off while Dr. Irene was editing the page, so I'll post it again. If this comes out as a duplicate anyway, ignore it. Oooops! You're not the first. Sorry. Anybody who posts while I'm editing may get their post wiped. PLEASE repost!

Lou, I guess the answer is that sometimes men need to talk to other men to get a perspective. Not that I've been where you've been, or Dan's been. But I did see a lot of crossed wires in this discussion. There's lots of crossed wires on a board like this; not that I don't see them in other places too; but if I notice one I can often figure out who meant what and why someone else took it the wrong way. Here though I found myself getting confused now and then, just as you did.

The intent behind what people say can often be interpreted in more than one way, and somebody who's abusive or angry can be going around with a belief that other people are hostile to him. So he "sees what he expects to see"; he can interpret what other people say or do *as if* they intended it in a hostile way, when a (hypothetical) "reasonable" person most likely wouldn't see it that way. But I didn't see you doing any of that. All I saw was some ordinary miscommunication, some of which, as I said, I had occasional difficulty figuring out myself.

OK, the joke. I'm guessing if you're told "not to go scaring people unnecessarily," and you've already got this Big Bad Scary Sociopath label hung on you, that must be funny in a bitter sort of way, right? Only if somebody misses that point and says "the joke's on you," that sounds like they're rubbing it in. Correct. My intent was not to rub it in; I didn't think there was anything funny about any of this.

Empathy. If somebody asks "Why mention it, Larry?" what *is* the point of the question? It could be taken as dismissive of what you were saying. You didn't fly to that interpretation. You just weren't sure of the point; you just sort of said "Huh?" I'd say it's a genuine question, meant for you to answer for yourself. But was there already an answer in Dr. Irene's mind? Maybe, or maybe not; I can't guess. The answer could be "to try to prove you're empathetic when you're not, much of the time." But the answer could also be the opposite: to draw your attention to the possibility that you have more empathy than you give yourself credit for. Why should Lou/Larry mention that he hardly works? There was no point letting his audience know that. I found that comment arrogant. The  value in all this is  not in how I felt - Dr. Irene is absolutely nobody in Lou's world. The value is that I am a mirror. From a perspective of being "detached" as opposed to "angry," if Lou's comments elicit these feelings in me, it is likely he is eliciting similar feelings in the world. Lou may take this info and use it.

And hey, you were able to see that someone dependent on this board might feel terrified if she saw someone else (you) "having their head cut off." Now I didn't think of that myself. I focused on the discussion as being about you; and at least Dr. Irene knew you weren't someone who was going to fall in a heap or go home and off yourself just because she cut you off. But to imagine how somebody else *could* feel about it--isn't that empathy? Yes!

"Maybe you are viewing me through your own contentious streak." That's what triggered the "Bye Larry." Some people might see this as "projection" or something, and a way to blow off Dan's challenge. But why isn't it a reasonable interpretation--of someone who has already shown that he sees life as a fight? It's not the deluded ecofeminist mush that Patricia Evans comes up with about how "life always supports life," tra-la-la; as if life, all life, by its very nature were not contentious as well as cooperative. But it often seems to be men who are more explicit about this reality. I dismissed Lou at this point because - I've got better things to do than knock my head against the wall correcting obviously erroneous conclusions, especially since I've already spent time trying. Sorry if that sounds cruel; it is simply true.  I had hoped that Lou would have thought about what he did to cause another person to dismiss him. That would have been therapeutic for him; he would learn about himself; perhaps take responsibility for his actions - which he's trying to dump on me. To continue to engage in this vein with Lou is to play his game. It becomes "my job" somehow to convince him - simply because he's asking for help and because he doesn't get it. WRONG!  Life just doesn't work that way. But, the good news is that he does have lots of info on these pages to work with. And bravo to him for printing out these pages and taking them to his doc!

I didn't see anything odd on your part about the deal with the microwave oven either; not even from the beginning. A weird incident, sure; but if you did ask once what happened, and got no answer, and if it was obvious from the context that you were used to putting up with crazy behavior and getting no answers about it, what was the point in pursuing it?

In the long run I'm sure I would have walked out on stuff like that. You sure do like to live an exciting life, Lou! :) But how to handle it in the meantime? Some people might see the answer as a thing called "empathy." I see it more as *detachment*. Like shooting those Somali guys. If the thing has to be done, what kind of *feeling* is it done with? If it's done with rage, you not only lose your calm, but you become like them. It can only be done with detachment. And if you didn't learn to detach from something like that microwave incident, you could only become frustrated and angry.

I haven't had to deal with anything that crazy, but it made me think of something quite different: handling a crying baby. What if you can't stop the baby crying at that moment? It's no use focusing on the baby's feelings, frustration, discomfort, fear, whatever, poor thing. That would only get two people upset instead of one. I've found it best to detach from that. It doesn't mean lack of caring. It just means sitting there, radiating calmness, in defiance of any noise or "upsetness" that's going on. (It often stops the baby crying as well!) Very nice analogy.

Yet this notion of "detachment" is what some people seem to find scary about the "sociopath" label. Funnily enough, I didn't see you as "scary" (or a hoax for that matter). Nor I. Rage we can understand people worrying about; but what people often seem to be afraid of is not emotion, but the apparent lack of it; the idea that someone could do some dreadful act *without feeling*. As if we'd all do dreadful acts all the time if we didn't have feelings of remorse, or a conscience, to stop us. And I don't say you don't have a conscience, Lou. But is that the whole story? Why should we do dreadful acts if we didn't have other feelings that make us *want* to do them in the first place? And where's the role of reason in all this? Don't we also act in a moral manner because it doesn't "make sense" to do otherwise, either for ourselves or for anybody else? Lou, what gets in your way, I think, is your underlying assumption that somehow people owe you...

I'm hearing you say you have a lot of anger, which you've been learning to control, but I'm also seeing you turning a lot of that anger inwards, on yourself. I'm getting the same sense as Dan. You've been beating up on yourself, Lou. Big time. Dan talked about "masochism," and whether that's the right word or not, I'm hearing all these ideas that you "deserve punishment." You're saying your parents should have beaten the crap out of you for what you did. You ended up "inviting" even more punishment from that teacher who warped your mind in the first place. This has been going on a long time. Time to stop beating up on yourself, I'd say. Time to stop beating yourself up; time to stop inviting others to beat you up - at which point you cry "outrage"! Get it?

Good luck, Lou.

- Gordon

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Gordon: Thanks for the post. I printed out this entire thread and took it with me to my appointment yesterday afternoon. My doctor read it and he said just about the same things you did.

One thing he did point out though: The "joke" may have been misinterpreted because of the venue in which it was presented. My physical presence in this forum is nil; I'm just words on screen. But if it was presented in my physical presence "hahaha" would be an appropriate response. I'm 6'5 270 and I guess I carry a scowl from time to time... It's a little hard not to scare people unnecessarily. But that isn't joke, it's not funny to me at all. Good!  

-Lou

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Dan, thanks for the post man. That's a lot of stuff to swallow! I agree with you; I am too hard on myself. I'm not totally innocent in all this though. I know I'm asking for that hindsight cliché to be dropped on me but there are things I could have done differently which would have saved us both a lot grief. Amen.

-Lou

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Lou-

Dan Here.

I was emailing Doctor Irene, telling her how I think my own stuff really creeped into what I was telling you.

I told you a lot of good stuff but,

yeah, I also have a contentious streak, which I have had to come to grips with recently.

I think you're making good progress. It takes time.

Gordon-- my god, you da man. That was a truly awesome couple of posts.

Dan                              Good stuff!

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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One more thing from a newly chastened Dan-

Lou you mentioned that you were not totally innocent in the past. Me neither buddy. I have hurt a lot of people.

I am guilty.

So what is to be done, in the present?

OK, I still like to reference reading materials, I was a compulsive reader last year. Now I am going to reference Nathaniel Branden. He is an amazing writer, I recommend his book "How to Build Your Self-Esteem" without reservation.

Nathaniel's attitude is, always,

"OK, so you feel bad about what you have done. OK, so you are down on yourself. OK, so you have mistreated people, and are feeling guilty.

So what is to be done?"

Peace to everyone, I hope I really mean that this time.

Dan

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Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Gordon- >I admit there is a tendency for women in >situations that frighten them to get >together and drive one another into >hysteria, rather than calming one another >down and reinforcing the voice of reason.

>Victim Feminism

>It's not the deluded ecofeminist mush that >Patricia Evans comes up with about

Dude, your buttons are showing. In fact, I think they're big glowing neon! Of course, you're entitled to your opinions, but as the resident uppity feminist, I feel the need to point out your derogatory remarks towards women. You might wanna think about your views on women and how they in turn affect your life- you might also want to think about your view of gender roles. Why do 'women' have this 'hysterical tendency'? I can understand now why you defended John Gray "P.H.D" on another board- his views towards women seem similar the ones you express. People get hysterical- women are no more likely to than men- and this talk of a victim mentality- gee, if there's one group that I've seen have a misguided victim mentality, the 'poor me' whining of male abusers, not their victims who shoulder too much of the blame. -SatokoGirl

Let's please get away from feminism, schmeminism. The problem with going to these places is that they give us a nice fat hook to hang our anger on - even though our anger has much more to do with specific people in our life than with ideas and ideology. Go here, and you've lost your ability to clearly articulate and pinpoint your anger - and thus be in a position to deal with the core issues in your life.

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Three cheers for uppity feminism! Sis

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Satoko, Sis

Listen we're all on the same team here. C'mon now

Dan

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Every team player has a right to state their opinion. We have stated ours. Sis    And mine, once again at the risk of pounding it down people's throats: this site is not about victim power, abuser power, feminist power, etc., etc., etc. It is about each and every person taking responsibility for themselves and taking control of their lives. No groupthink. No siding.

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Then again, as the resident offend no one can't we all get along while at the same time respecting our own opinions guy of the group, I might add that I don't really agree with Gordon either on those two comments of his, but other than that, I found him right on! SatokoGirl, how did you feel about the rest of what Gordon had to say?

I just hope that you read his whole message, and didn't just focus on the part you disagreed with. You'll notice that while he said that women have a tendency toward hysteria, he didn't specifically say that men DON'T, I just thought he implied that men don't.

As for the Patricia Evans, I could see someone disagreeing with her. I liked the structure of her book, I just don't think that the power over/ personal power......Reality I/Reality II model is the only one out there with any legitimacy. I think there are other ways of looking at the world of relationships. Correct. I don't buy this stuff either. I also think she is too much in a place of victim-think, and I don't think she understands the abuser. But I also think she does the best darned job of articulating what verbal abuse is. She understands the victim well. That is why I recommend her books. Also, victim-think is a necessary place victims must initially go to to get out of denial. Hopefully this will be an interim stage the victim wants to be careful not to get stuck in. So, what am I trying to show here? That I can articulate my differences with her position as well as appreciate the value of her work - and I don't have to get into name calling. That's the lesson gang...

I think that we all are responsible for our own opinions. At least when we are grown. And anyone, male or female, who chooses to give up their judgment in favor of the herd mentality, well, that's their choice.

AND EVERYONE HAD BETTER LISTEN TO ME!   Yeah!  

Dan

Zen master Dan

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Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

Dan- I have agreed with Gordon in other discussions and have nothing personal against him, but I have a right to my opinions and feelings, and my feelings say that I definitely detect a tone of misogyny in his posts. I'm not going to break them apart or obsess over them, but I definitely think that someone who may be unaware that he's offending people be made aware, and choose whether he or she wants to continue to alienate some people in this way or not too. I think your response is a little overblown- why is it when a woman displays disagreement or anger people get so defensive? I've noticed the men in this board can sit and disagree all they want in a friendly way, but you seem to feel that I am being hostile or something- I hardly think that's the case. -Satokogirl, cute, loveable feminist

 

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Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Dr Irene, speaking for myself (and I suspect Satokagirl feels the same), I KNOW this site is for individuals. I have never responded to any post with pro-feminist ideology. I was simply responding to Gordon, who I felt raised the issue inappropriately. What does feminism have to do with abuse/victim issues? Why was that subject even raised to begin with? That's what I and Satokagirl responded to!

When I worked at a rape crisis center we had a policy that no ideology would be discussed with victims. No feminism, no Christianity, etc. The whole point was to deal with the dynamics of sexual assault, not to "convert" someone, or make the situation more confusing for the victim.

I have made positive comments about Gordon's posts. However, I find his references to "gender feminism," "ecofeminism," and the remarks about women's tendency toward hysteria, totally out of context for this site. Sis    Sis, I don't want to go here. This is off-topic. Everyone is entitled to whatever opinions they hold. I do ask that we try our best to keep these opinions at the personal level. Thanks for posting. Dr. Irene

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Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, I think your comments concerning feminism and Patricia Evans are showing your biases are getting out of whack. Patricia Evans is an awesome counselor with years of training and expertise in abuse issues. I know you have this site to help people, but I feel you come dangerously close to blaming the victim by not calling some men on their abuse. I understand that you want to support both sides- but isn't this site about taking responsibility?? There are some great female lawyers who do the same thing. They so badly want to keep from looking like a man-hater that they end up making their practice strong by slamming women. To me, and of course this is my opinion only, you seem to be sliding more and more into this type of support. I have seen this many times in the last six months on your site.

Stop trying to be completely fair in a very unfair situation. Start allowing women to rightfully call men on their negative comments about women. I don't want any slamming. Period.

Patricia Evans specializes in victim empowerment, so don't slam her for being in that frame of mind. Very weak and one-up feeling. I am not trying to be mean, because I like your site. But I do hope you will look closely at your opinions and feelings to see if there needs to be some adjustments. Please don't confuse a difference of ideology with slamming.

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Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

I always thought this site was about personal responsibility for victim and abuser alike. That's just my opinion. If a female attorney "slams" women for whatever reason, that is HER choice and HER responsibility, too.

I read Patricia Evan's and I thought she did a brilliant job at DEFINING verbal abuse, but had little in there at all on personal responsibility. Just a few weak paragraphs interspersed here and there about how some abusers don't change so you may need to move on more or less if the methods outlined in the book are not effective.

To me the entire premise was that the victim's reality is always right which I think is scary. Some "victims" are actually rather sick and abusive themselves. Some people will derive great benefit from reading her material, others like me got a lot more out of Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. Since the emphasis in not on changing the abuser but on changing YOU. Because if you are a healthy, strong, independent, informed person you won't tolerate abuse. I hope the day never comes when "fairness" is disregarded. That's another scary concept.

Terri

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Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

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Unfortunately, placing blame on the victim only victimizes the victim further. The victim needs to take responsibility, yes, but for what? How much? I think the issue here is a basically difference of ideology between Evans and Dr. Irene, and that's okay, it's good to disagree. You bet. I respect Dr. Irene and her advice, but I tend to feel that Evans is more helpful to me personally, and I prefer her viewpoints. People could say that that's because I'm a victim, and I just want to wallow in my own victimhood, but anyone who is familiar with my story knows that isn't true. Let's also note the difference in research- Dr. Irene and Patricia Evans both have personal experience as a therapist, but Patricia Evans has also done research on abuse, which is what her second book "Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out" is all about. And I think Evans doesn't encourage victim passiveness, she definitely encourages them to act! She basically tells victims how to get out, or how to deal with abuse if the can't or don't want to leave. I don't see how this is perpetuating their victim mentality. She makes them responsible for their own actions without judging or blaming them for being abused. BTW, I don't see where Evan's books are feminist, either. She writes books about verbally abused women, because that's where her experience and research lies, but she states that men can absolutely be abuse victims too- she just hasn't come into contact with very many. I've heard of so many male abusers who reject Evans as a 'feminist' (and I'm not saying Gordon is an abuser or trying to imply that, but I have heard that opinion stated by abusers and used as justification not to read it..) I think some people are trying to ignore this issue and sweep it under the rug, but I don't see how civilly discussing abuse dynamics is harmful. It may be inappropriate for this particular board, but is it inappropriate to the issue? Certainly not! It IS the issue! Maybe we should start another forum for this discussion? Anyone interested? Respectfully, SatokoGirl  

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Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

I've always said that I think "blame" is a useless word. It does not benefit anyone. That's wonderful that Evans has more information on personal responsibility in the book following the original. I wasn't interested in reading another after the first one. I was a victim, too, and I still didn't feel helped much by it other than I could define abuse more adequately which is extremely relevant, but limited nonetheless.

I still believe that if a person knows they are being abused, can't change the abuser, and they elect to stay - that person needs help. A lot of help. All the, "STOP IT!" and all the, "You are not to blame!" Is useless because their state of victim hood remains a constant since they are avoiding the real issue - that they are the creator of their own life. So, if any subsequent book(s) delve into that area and encourage the victim to get help for their own issues, in addition to addressing the issues of the abuser, more power to it!

I have not researched the backgrounds of either. The only thing I noticed in the original book was that it was based upon interviews with 40 abused women, and on the back it states that Evans is a speaker, consultant and founder of her own institute, so I had no clue she was even a therapist.

However, DR Irene's site really opened my eyes. I understand a lot better from being here: how abusers think and feel, why victims act out (like I did), where all the anger comes from and insight on how to address it, that I am responsible for my own life so if I don't like where I am at it's up to ME to alter that, etc., etc.

Such a wealth of information. And all of this has enabled me to better deal with an abusive, CONTROLLING relative while taking my own inventory, too, so mission accomplished. I hope she writes a slew of books on it! Have we gotten off topic here? I wasn't sure if the thread was being continued on the Sociopath or what by this point, lol.

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Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

S1

In critiquing Evans's first book (I haven't seen her second), I tried to look at it from the likely viewpoint of different classes of readers. Evans's personal research, as SatokoGirl mentioned elsewhere, is the book's greatest strength. I agree with Terri that Evans's description of the forms that verbal abuse can take, with clear examples, is invaluable to help recognize what's going on--along with her discussion of its effects on the victim. Suggestions for dealing with verbal abuse are also valuable, though there could have been a more flexible range of responses.

I think I agree with Dan; the book's structure is fine. The "Reality I/II" model is a fair attempt at describing effects due to two divergent belief systems. But it lost legitimacy by appearing as an artificial construct, which for me seemed to be anchored firmly somewhere in midair. The description of the cycle of anger was also useful.

Granted these merits, the book's flaws in my view arise chiefly from four biases.

The first is that the book's victim subjectivity, while essential in its place, is allowed to spill over and color the rest of the book, including the discussion of abusers. I call it "essential in its place" because it must be necessary to describe a person's subjectivity accurately to get them to recognize themselves in it. Evans sketches a useful enough view of what's going on with the abuser, but I doubt that she describes an abuser's subjectivity convincingly enough for such a person to recognize himself or herself in it. Among other things, the "Reality I/II" model is not anchored in any concrete narrative of what might have happened to either abusers or victims in their own family of origin. At the victim's end, there's no discussion of codependency as such.

Second, the book's sexism is woven throughout, sometimes extending to falsehood, though often subtly. It starts right on the cover, with a title which (quite unlike Engel's, say) is deceptive. I wonder how many readers noticed the ambiguous language by which this trap was sprung, three paragraphs into the Foreword. Elsewhere it's explicit. While not denying outright that "some" men are victims of verbal abuse, Evans consciously attempts to minimize both their numbers and the effects on them. Her speculative conclusions on this aspect clearly owe far less to any research than to her own biases. She needs training in survey techniques--preferably from someone like Straus, Gelles, or Steinmetz!--but that notable third paragraph also shows why she wouldn't do that.

Third is the book's absolutism. It describes only relationships where "abuser" and "victim" are clearcut. This wouldn't be as bad if Evans didn't effectively deny that a "victim" could ever be to blame for anything. She says nothing about retaliation that I can recall, and excludes any relationship--for all I know their numbers may be much larger--in which both partners abuse each other to one extent or another. She also fails to emphasize how victims can see themselves as abusers, and vice versa.

Fourth, amid all the discussion of Reality I and II, is the failure to center the book in a *typical* reality. Instead, it's baselined on a hypothetical ideal reality of perfect mutuality. This was the meaning behind my earlier remark. Experts will say that most marriages, however functional, invariably have a certain amount of conflict.

Any of these biases may mislead certain readers, or have the opposite effect: other readers may spot the bias and reject the book's message. Paradoxically, I don't think even the sexism should affect the book's usefulness to women or men alike--overall. Instead, both the first two biases together are what give the book its victim orientation. If it simply fails to reach the abuser, as difficult as that seems to be, that's just too bad. If it causes hardening of the abuser's position, which I'm hearing that it can, that's a more serious fault. "First, do no harm."

The victim subjectivity alone may seem harmless, but what happens when people give this book to an abuser whose problem already is an inability to see the validity of a partner's perspective or self-interest? At best it may not get through; at worst it may be seen as more "proof" that the partner "is always being attacked." We say the abuser has too much "power," while the abuser's problem is having too little, due to a counterproductive use of power. Neither does Evans use her power to influence the abuser for the better by appealing to his or her perspective or self-interest.

The sexism should make relatively little difference, in the balance, to acceptance by victims of either sex. But for the male abuser it risks being seen mainly as further "proof" of a preexisting belief in female hostility. For the female abuser it provides another excuse to blame her problems on her partner.

The absolutism will simply bog many people down in futile arguments over which of them is the "real" victim. To Terri's concern that "the victim perspective is always right," I'll add that it's worse: the perspective of any person who *thinks* they are a victim is "always right"! :) While there's a risk either way in pointing out that people's beliefs about their role--on either side--may not be right, the book fails to encourage self-examination.

While centering the book in a more typical reality of occasional conflict could provide an excuse for some to say "See? Everybody does it!" I don't doubt that both abusers and victims do this anyway, since they're both likely to share a belief that "chronic abuse is normal behavior." As it is, the book risks hooking people who are not in a chronically abusive relationship; but just as important, I'd expect some who are to reject its premise as unrealistic. I think it would be more effective to highlight the distinction instead.

About the ideology underlying all this, which seems to be a sensitive topic, I'll only say it's apparent to anyone aware of all the clues; but to Terri's wish for more on personal responsibility, I haven't learned to expect a lot about that from writers who introduce the P-word on the second page. Some of them, though, have been known to have a change of heart.

In summary, no-one will dispute that this a valuable book, all the more so because I'm hearing it's the only one of its particular scope so far. That's why I was disappointed that its value was "spoiled" by these biases. I'd like to see it rewritten in a more centered fashion. Maybe it's time Dr. Irene wrote a book! :)

I like all this controversy and analysis. Shows we're using the old frontal cortex! Meanwhile, Lou/Larry, you OK? Dr. Irene

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Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2000

S1

Having been through an abusive relationship for five years, I can honestly say that having read this letter, a lot of it doesn't ring true. I've literally grown "antennae" when it comes to picking up on abuse, and this guy is doing *something* to majorly make his wife go bonkers. People, even those with bi-polar disorder, do not attack, unprovoked, so I have been informed. Also, I'd be interested in finding out if this abuser just "thinks" his wife is bi-polar, or if it is indeed a psychiatric diagnosis. My husband used to claim that I was bi-polar and *forced* me to go see a psychiatrist; he told everyone he knew that I had a "severe mental illness." When the psychiatrist diagnosed me with Battered Wife Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, my husband was furious. Of course, I never saw *that* psychiatrist again.

I had to do extensive research into my husband's past and private life via an intense investigation. I found out that he is being treated for Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My impression is that the first person to accuse the other of being mentally ill is usually the one who is mentally ill. Or else they wouldn't bring it up at all.

I smell a lot of lying going on in this initial letter. Not so much in what was said, but what was left unsaid. My husband always used to tell other people how I'd "freak out" and cry and scream at him and make himself into a big martyr. What he neglected to tell people, however, was that my behavior (admittedly not very normal or pleasant) occured after he came home after an all-nighter with his mistress, a relationship he all but shoved in my face; or after he threw everything he could get his hands on at me; or after he poked me in the eyes or scratched me with his nails; or after he had yelled at me, military style, for over an hour while I just sat there and tried to take it. Until finally, I could no longer take it, and I reacted.

I think - no, I *know* - that there is far more going on here. I think that this initial letter is a scant millimeter on top of an iceberg of abuse. I think this guy's wife is not *acting* but *reacting.* This is a very distinct impression.

Melissa M.

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Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2000

S1

Hello. I may be only 13, but I've already been diagnosed with antisocial Personality disorder. As I read Larry's story, all the things he was talking about, like, having to go somewhere/get away when I got into a situation where I get angry. A 13 year old actually could do a lot of damage! I have before, but I'd rather not talk about it. About a year ago, I started doing a little research on antisocial personality disorder and thought I was gonna grow up to murder people because of some of the information sites gave you. "Sociopaths are causing more and more destruction" What else was I supposed to think? I didn't realize that 'destruction' doesn't necessarily mean physically. And sites like this helped me realize, also, that I wasn't the only one causing destruction. If there are any other people my age, dealing with the same thing please contact me at sinissta@aol.com. Thank you and good luck to everyone else!!!!!!!

Sweetie, a personality disorder cannot be diagnosed until age 18. So, cool it and stop living in the future. You are so young and malleable, you can go anywhere you want to go - like running IBM, being Mayor of Trenton, or being a happily married parent. OK? Dr. Irene

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Date: Thursday, June 15, 2000

S1

I read this and felt I understood what was going on here. My husband is 8 years older than me, we met 4 years ago and married 2 years ago. We just started marriage counseling. We have not had sex in over 1 year I think - this is a major problem. There is so much going on and I think that the passion in our relationship has stopped because there is a trust issue. I don't believe he tells me the truth, he has cheated on me once and I found out cause I did his expense report after a business trip and found a receipt for ky jelly and condoms. Big hint. he refuses to work and has been fired/quit at least 7 jobs in the past 2 years. We moved form the east coast to the west to be with his family and friends he grew up with and the dynamics there are strange. These are people he was close to - he has alienated them all and passes judgment on them all the time. He got upset when I called my mother and told her what was going on. he told the marriage counselor he doesn't repsect me cause I lied to him and told my parents that he wasn't working, contributing, paying bills etc. You understand why I would have no desire to have sex with him. I have read about abusive relationships etc and perceptions. I have read about addictions since he has been in rehab 3 times and never really took that seriously. He tells me I violated his trust by telling his mom the truth when she asked me flat out 'is he working' - I am not about to lie to his mom. This may be a mexican vs. american thing but I believe in both partners participating in bills, chores, work etc and on working on the relationship. I can't read him mind - i try to proove I am not lying and he doesn't listen - he already made up his mind. I don't pass judgement on people either which he accuses all his firends of doing. His friends have to reason to jst start something since they are bored. I don't believe that. I was in an abusive relationship before about 10 years ago and that ended forcibly and I learned alot from it. After being hospitalized for anorexia I went to counseling for 5 years to get me back in order. His last relationship the person died from an agonizing disease after 7 years, he ws in a position he couldn't not be sexual with that person. He tells me one thing, his friends have an entirely different recall of the events. When all his friends say "you should divorce him" and his parents (which I couldn't even fathom) and I get upset that they would even say that, well - I still stay cause I ave hope that one day our relationship can get back to where it used to be. THis is my own insecurity. Back when we first met he threatened to leave if he got bored, he says he's still here. All I want is for him to be the least bit interested in my interests and show some support. I can't make him understand I am not his "toy" or his mother, or his keeper. I can't make him work since he's above that. And I am not trying to change that - I accept that. I know I am being just as stubborn but I do love him, and so do all his friends. The counselor said he just needs to "wake up and be able to look at himself in the mirror" and deal with his inner demons and addictions before he can even go towards the light. - A part of me says, just make a clean break - divide all the debt I now have due to trying to make him happy - all in my name and just walk. I know I am being held back, but I love him - I just wish he could see that. His projecting hurts me and all hs friends. His shame and guilt have him backed into a corner and I am the closest thing to lash out at. I can't go back to that "sick" place I was in when I was in counseling for those 5 years. I know the sky is blue when he tells me its pink and no proof I give will make him admit he's in a different reality. I wish I knew why I keep holding on when it just hurts me. I love him and I can't change him and no matter what I give him its not the right thing. 18K debt later and giving him what he wants after he throws a tantrum - I'm tired of it. I really am. I wish I had the courage to confront, cut the tie and just walk on for my own sanity. My love for him contradicts me. - please help. I have learned helplessness again and have learned to question my sanity, at least I can still "see" what's up - I'm not so far gone that I don't even see it.

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Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

Hi: This post really isn't about me. It's about a friend of mine. This particular friend is a 19 year-old female. I think it's possible she is a sociopath. She randomly lies about a close mutual friend of both of ours. She has mood swings, and she has a habit of conveniently picking friends. For example, right now I am not "on the friend list" because she wants to get in good with someone who does not like me. She is a lesbian, and she keeps claiming that she has the same problem as Teena Brandon (Brandon Teena) since she saw the movie Boy's Don't Cry. Personally, I see problems with this because she has no problem putting on a dress or acting feminine when the times call for it. Since the summer began, all of our friends have noticed her becoming more and more "macho" (that is really the only way I know to put it). A little while back, she attempted to hit a friend of mine at her own birthday party over a totally harmless comment. On one occasion, just for the heck of it, she put on a kilt and posed as a male cousin just to see if she could pull it off. She has a violent temper. Things have reached the point that we are afraid of how she will react if she doesn't like what we say. She is causing all of us a lot of problems. We have suggested that she see someone, but it gets us nowhere. What do you think is going on? Who knows! I do know your so-called friend is no friend. She is a coo coo clock who has no clue who she is just yet. She will have the opportunity to fix it if and when she decides her life is a problem. Your best option is to stay out of coo coo clock's way for now. Surround yourself with people who know how to be friends and save yourself many headaches. Best wishes, Dr. Irene

 

 

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Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

Hi, I'm B. I just read the entire discussion, and I want to say something to Lou about what he wrote here: "I feel absolutely nothing. It just causes me to reflect inward and try to explain what I see. Not as proof that I am "normal¨ or "abnormal" but rather to understand more about myself". Dr. Irene told him: "You cannot understand as long as you remain disjointed".

I see what Lou is doing here, because I used to do that too, and I see why he does not understand. He says "reflect inwards" and he says "explain" and "prood" and "understand". So I use a bit of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) here and I listen to Lou and I see he has a major confusion between "think" and "feel". All his words come from the thinking department, one hints at his being a visual person (that he thinks mainly through visual images).

Lou does not (or at least did not then) even know what is this thing we call "feelings". He cannot access them and he feels trapped. He really does not know what we want from him. That reminds me of myself once.

I chose myself a teacher to help me learn to love myself. We once had an excercise. She asked me to describe how I felt the inside of my tummy. I told her what I saw (the colors, the shapes). She told me what I was doing. I suddenly got it - I got it that I go to these places with my BRAIN and with my inner EYE. But I still could not tell her what I FELT! I did not know how to do that. Now I do. This took me 10 years, dosens of books, lots of training and practice, and I don't know how i did it! I don't remember any one turning point from which I started to feel my feelings. I know NLP helped me, because I stopped going to the visual place all the time.

Visual thinking is the most detached there is. You are so "objective". I'm a scientist. I use and need objectivity. But this is not the right place to go to when you feel.

Dan, I think, asked Lou what he is so afraid of. Also, he asked him what is the terrible thing he might do.

I am not anti social. In fact I am a victim, a co dependent, and I sure act-out abusively when I get hurt. I am full of anger at my abusers, but I am not controlling any more.

I am not Lou, I am a rather small (1,65 meters and 50 kg) female, but it took me more than 35 years to realise that I really live with a belief that I'm very dangerous and that I have to protect other people from the fact that I "see" them (know they lie, hurt me, cheat, mess up). When I was 29 like Lou I still protected my abusers from myself. I am now 38 and I understand I have a lot of fear in me, that I still am afraid to feel.

Dr. Irene says "sit with your feelings". Yes, I start to catch them now when the happen. I am no longer "pulling out all the plugs between my stomach and my head, that is, my physical feelings and where I know and listen to them. Sometimes I pull out all of them but get it immediately after. Many times I feel them in "real time".

I have made a lot more progress after reading this site. I wish there was more advice about what to do in specific situations, but I really change. I see how this getting in touch with your feelings and stopping the "detached" mode is so difficult. And it is doubly difficult to my abusive husband. He is also a victim (but not of me), a codependent, a very hurt and defensive child whose ability to sit with his feelings is much worse than mine.

Empathy? I have a lot of that for him. But I am not sure I have enough empathy for myself... Thanks to Dr. Irene - and also to Lou's problem, which gave so much opportunity to learn - I started calling the abuse abuse, I started "getting" what was going on, I started seeing what my abusers were doing, that it was their stuff, I started learning to "hold a stop sign up" instead of getting hurt and angry and depressed, I own my stuff and try to clean up my act while at the same time not allowing my husband to get away with things. Thanks to this site, I also understand more how he feels, and that gives me the way to help him. Example:

We come home, both tired, but in harmony. I spot an empty parking space on the "good side" of the street. I tell my man: "I'll stand here with our daughter (2 years old) and guard this space, and you get our car from the bad side, because it will get scratched there".

He yells at me, out of the blue (rude for no apparent reason): "Nobody will scratch our car!!!".

My usual reaction: getting hurt from the rudeness (not knowing that, this is a stage I "skip"), getting angry at his obvious &%$#, shouting in hurt and anger "what do you mean! You know it gets scratched there all the time! Only last week you complained to me about two new damages!! Are you crazy??!" He would shout back, a major argument, in the end he will or will not move the car, but we would be angry all the rest of the day and our daughter will suffer too, from being witness to such bad athmosphere.

But this time it was after reading Dr. Irene. So instead I suddenly understood what he did - Instead of just reacting to my unfelt feelings, I saw his as "another person", different from me. I got it: He was tired. He did not want to move the car. He knew I was right, though, but he was afraid to tell me he did not want to do something that I asked him to and that was reasonable (he mixed me with his parents, because I would have respected an answer like: "I am tired and don't feel like moving the car, despite the scratches"). So, the only way he knew was to attack my facts. This is a red flag to me. I know my facts! I can't stand irrationality.

But this time I ignored his rudeness, turned to him and said in a matter-of-fact tone: "You are tired. You don't want to move the car. You stand here with our daughter and guard the space. I go get the car", and I did. He said, incredulous: "will you?"

And you know what? I felt so much power! All my tiredness disappeared. I felt strong, I felt good about myself. I felt wise. I felt great. I brought the car in a minute. He was standing there, obviously surprised, so pleased, so relieved, so happy. He felt so understood. He felt, probably for the first time in his life, that he was not punished for not wanting something that somebody else suggested (he does not differentiate between a suggestion, a command, a request etc. Since he does not feel he has a RIGHT to say NO, he attacks, abuses and refuses whenever he would have simply wanted to say "no").

We had a great evening after that.

Yes, I did not say "don't speak to me like that" or "you were rude to me". But I don't think it was a mistake. I think what I did - ignoring the rudeness at that point and reacting only to the feelings - was appropriate.

I hope what I wrote here helps somebody. B.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 147.233.132.153
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 95)
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

Hi, I'm B. I just read the entire discussion, and I want to say something to Lou about what he wrote here: "I feel absolutely nothing. It just causes me to reflect inward and try to explain what I see. Not as proof that I am "normal¨ or "abnormal" but rather to understand more about myself". Dr. Irene told him: "You cannot understand as long as you remain disjointed".

I see what Lou is doing here, because I used to do that too, and I see why he does not understand. He says "reflect inwards" and he says "explain" and "prood" and "understand". So I use a bit of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) here and I listen to Lou and I see he has a major confusion between "think" and "feel". All his words come from the thinking department, one hints at his being a visual person (that he thinks mainly through visual images).

Lou does not (or at least did not then) even know what is this thing we call "feelings". He cannot access them and he feels trapped. He really does not know what we want from him. That reminds me of myself once.

I chose myself a teacher to help me learn to love myself. We once had an excercise. She asked me to describe how I felt the inside of my tummy. I told her what I saw (the colors, the shapes). She told me what I was doing. I suddenly got it - I got it that I go to these places with my BRAIN and with my inner EYE. But I still could not tell her what I FELT! I did not know how to do that. Now I do. This took me 10 years, dosens of books, lots of training and practice, and I don't know how i did it! I don't remember any one turning point from which I started to feel my feelings. I know NLP helped me, because I stopped going to the visual place all the time.

Visual thinking is the most detached there is. You are so "objective". I'm a scientist. I use and need objectivity. But this is not the right place to go to when you feel.

Dan, I think, asked Lou what he is so afraid of. Also, he asked him what is the terrible thing he might do.

I am not anti social. In fact I am a victim, a co dependent, and I sure act-out abusively when I get hurt. I am full of anger at my abusers, but I am not controlling any more.

I am not Lou, I am a rather small (1,65 meters and 50 kg) female, but it took me more than 35 years to realise that I really live with a belief that I'm very dangerous and that I have to protect other people from the fact that I "see" them (know they lie, hurt me, cheat, mess up). When I was 29 like Lou I still protected my abusers from myself. I am now 38 and I understand I have a lot of fear in me, that I still am afraid to feel.

Dr. Irene says "sit with your feelings". Yes, I start to catch them now when the happen. I am no longer "pulling out all the plugs between my stomach and my head, that is, my physical feelings and where I know and listen to them. Sometimes I pull out all of them but get it immediately after. Many times I feel them in "real time".

I have made a lot more progress after reading this site. I wish there was more advice about what to do in specific situations, but I really change. I see how this getting in touch with your feelings and stopping the "detached" mode is so difficult. And it is doubly difficult to my abusive husband. He is also a victim (but not of me), a codependent, a very hurt and defensive child whose ability to sit with his feelings is much worse than mine.

Empathy? I have a lot of that for him. But I am not sure I have enough empathy for myself... Thanks to Dr. Irene - and also to Lou's problem, which gave so much opportunity to learn - I started calling the abuse abuse, I started "getting" what was going on, I started seeing what my abusers were doing, that it was their stuff, I started learning to "hold a stop sign up" instead of getting hurt and angry and depressed, I own my stuff and try to clean up my act while at the same time not allowing my husband to get away with things. Thanks to this site, I also understand more how he feels, and that gives me the way to help him. Example:

We come home, both tired, but in harmony. I spot an empty parking space on the "good side" of the street. I tell my man: "I'll stand here with our daughter (2 years old) and guard this space, and you get our car from the bad side, because it will get scratched there".

He yells at me, out of the blue (rude for no apparent reason): "Nobody will scratch our car!!!".

My usual reaction: getting hurt from the rudeness (not knowing that, this is a stage I "skip"), getting angry at his obvious &%$#, shouting in hurt and anger "what do you mean! You know it gets scratched there all the time! Only last week you complained to me about two new damages!! Are you crazy??!" He would shout back, a major argument, in the end he will or will not move the car, but we would be angry all the rest of the day and our daughter will suffer too, from being witness to such bad athmosphere.

But this time it was after reading Dr. Irene. So instead I suddenly understood what he did - Instead of just reacting to my unfelt feelings, I saw his as "another person", different from me. I got it: He was tired. He did not want to move the car. He knew I was right, though, but he was afraid to tell me he did not want to do something that I asked him to and that was reasonable (he mixed me with his parents, because I would have respected an answer like: "I am tired and don't feel like moving the car, despite the scratches"). So, the only way he knew was to attack my facts. This is a red flag to me. I know my facts! I can't stand irrationality.

But this time I ignored his rudeness, turned to him and said in a matter-of-fact tone: "You are tired. You don't want to move the car. You stand here with our daughter and guard the space. I go get the car", and I did. He said, incredulous: "will you?"

And you know what? I felt so much power! All my tiredness disappeared. I felt strong, I felt good about myself. I felt wise. I felt great. I brought the car in a minute. He was standing there, obviously surprised, so pleased, so relieved, so happy. He felt so understood. He felt, probably for the first time in his life, that he was not punished for not wanting something that somebody else suggested (he does not differentiate between a suggestion, a command, a request etc. Since he does not feel he has a RIGHT to say NO, he attacks, abuses and refuses whenever he would have simply wanted to say "no").

We had a great evening after that.

Yes, I did not say "don't speak to me like that" or "you were rude to me". But I don't think it was a mistake. I think what I did - ignoring the rudeness at that point and reacting only to the feelings - was appropriate.

I hope what I wrote here helps somebody. B.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 147.233.132.153
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 95)
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

Hi, I'm B.

I'm sending again (with a few corrections) because I think it got lost somehow.

I just read the entire discussion, and I want to say something to Lou about what he wrote here: "I feel absolutely nothing. It just causes me to reflect inward and try to explain what I see. Not as proof that I am "normal¨ or "abnormal" but rather to understand more about myself". Dr. Irene told him: "You cannot understand as long as you remain disjointed".

I see what Lou is doing here, because I used to do that too, and I see why he does not understand. He says "reflect inwards" and he says "explain" and "proof" and "understand". So I use a bit of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) here and I listen to Lou and I see he has a major confusion between "think" and "feel". All his words come from the thinking department, one hints at his being a visual person (that he thinks mainly through visual images).

Lou does not (or at least did not then) even know what is this thing we call "feelings". He cannot access them and he feels trapped. He really does not know what we want from him. That reminds me of myself once.

I chose myself a teacher to help me learn to love myself. We once had an excercise. She asked me to describe how I felt the inside of my tummy. I told her what I saw (the colors, the shapes). She told me what I was doing. I suddenly got it - I got it that I go to these places with my BRAIN and with my inner EYE. But I still could not tell her what I FELT! I did not know how to do that. Now I do. This took me 10 years, dosens of books, lots of training and practice, and I don't know how i did it! I don't remember any one turning point from which I started to feel my feelings. I know NLP helped me, because I stopped going to the visual place all the time.

Visual thinking is the most detached there is. You are so "objective". I'm a scientist. I use and need objectivity. But this is not the right place to go to when you feel.

Dan, I think, asked Lou what he is so afraid of. Also, he asked him what is the terrible thing he might do.

I am not anti social. In fact I am a victim, a co dependent, and I sure act-out abusively when I get hurt. I am full of anger at my abusers, but I am not controlling any more.

I am not Lou, I am a rather small (1,65 meters and 50 kg) female, but it took me more than 35 years to realise that I really live with a belief that I'm very dangerous and that I have to protect other people from the fact that I "see" them (know they lie, hurt me, cheat, mess up). When I was 29 like Lou I still protected my abusers from myself. I am now 38 and I understand I have a lot of fear in me, that I still am afraid to feel. I am afraid of the pain of feeling how hurt, victimised and abused I really was, because one of my shields has always been feeling strong, powerful and dangerous to others. I don't want to know the truth, that I let people tread all over me, that I was hurt, humiliated, uncared for. This hurts too much. Let's go to reason, let's be rational, let's look at practical stuff, anything so that I won't have to sit there and feel these feelings that make me feel like I will DIE if I let them flood me. I don't want to die. I want to be strong.

Dr. Irene knows, that the way to being really strong and have a real power (as opposed to the pretence we have it now) goes through the jungle of sitting with the pain and the anger and the fear that makes you feel like you are going to die. Real power is on the other side. And Dan, you are right, most of us do need the therapist to hold our hand through this dangerous and fearful jungle. I know I did not trust my therapist when I started on this road, so I could not make enough progress. I could not really let go.

Dr. Irene says "sit with your feelings". Yes, I start to catch them now when they happen. I am no longer "pulling out all the plugs between my stomach and my head, that is, my physical feelings and where I know and listen to them. Sometimes I pull out all of them but get it immediately after. Many times I feel them in "real time".

I have made a lot more progress after reading this site. I wish there was more advice about what to do in specific situations, but I really change. I see how this getting in touch with your feelings and stopping the "detached" mode is so difficult. And it is doubly difficult to my abusive husband. He is also a victim (but not of me), a codependent, a very hurt and defensive child whose ability to sit with his feelings is much worse than mine.

Empathy? I have a lot of that for him. But I am not sure I have enough empathy for myself... Thanks to Dr. Irene - and also to Lou's problem, which gave so much opportunity to learn - I started calling the abuse abuse, I started "getting" what was going on, I started seeing what my abusers were doing, that it was their stuff, I started learning to "hold a stop sign up" instead of getting hurt and angry and depressed, I own my stuff and try to clean up my act while at the same time not allowing my husband to get away with things. Thanks to this site, I also understand more how he feels, and that gives me the way to help him at the same time that I help myself. Example:

We come home, both tired, but in harmony. I spot an empty parking space on the "good side" of the street. I tell my man: "I'll stand here with our daughter (2 years old) and guard this space, and you get our car from the bad side, because it will get scratched there".

He yells at me, out of the blue (rude for no apparent reason): "Nobody will scratch our car!!!".

My usual reaction: getting hurt from the rudeness (not knowing that, this is a stage I "skip"), getting angry at his obvious &%$#, shouting in hurt and anger "what do you mean! You know it gets scratched there all the time! Only last week you complained to me about two new damages!! Are you crazy??!" He would shout back, a major argument, in the end he will or will not move the car, but we would be angry all the rest of the day and our daughter will suffer too, from being witness to such bad athmosphere.

But this time it was after reading Dr. Irene. So instead I suddenly understood what he did - Instead of just reacting to my unfelt feelings, I saw him as "another person", different from me. I got it: He was tired. He did not want to move the car. He knew I was right, though, but he was afraid to tell me he did not want to do something that I asked him to and that was reasonable (he mixed me with his parents, because I would have respected an answer like: "I am tired and don't feel like moving the car, despite the scratches"). So, the only way he knew was to attack my facts. This is a red flag to me. I know my facts! I can't stand irrationality.

But this time I ignored his rudeness, turned to him and said in a matter-of-fact tone: "You are tired. You don't want to move the car. You stand here with our daughter and guard the space. I go get the car", and I did. He said, incredulous: "will you?"

And you know what? I felt so much power! All my tiredness disappeared. I felt strong, I felt good about myself. I felt wise. I felt great. I brought the car in a minute. He was standing there, obviously surprised, so pleased, so relieved, so happy. He felt so understood. He felt, probably for the first time in his life, that he was not punished for not wanting something that somebody else suggested (he does not differentiate between a suggestion, a command, a request etc. Since he does not feel he has a RIGHT to say NO, he attacks, abuses and refuses whenever he would have simply wanted to say "no"). Before you ask, I must also say that he did not say that to me. He does not understand how he feels. I can read him when I am not upset with him (and now sometimes when I am...), so I know what he felt. But he doesn't and obviously cannot even express it in words.

We had a great evening after that.

Yes, I did not say "don't speak to me like that" or "you were rude to me". But I don't think it was a mistake. I think what I did - ignoring the rudeness at that point and reacting only to the feelings - was appropriate.

I hope what I wrote here helps somebody. B.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 209.31.21.58
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.7 [en] (Win98; I)
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

I don't have a clue as to this guy's state of mind, but the part about him being a sniper is pure BS! I was an instructor at SOTIC (which REALLY stands for Special Operations Target Interdiction Course), and nothing in the training could be construed as building a sciopath. The training is all about teamwork. I also highly doubt this person would have passed the psychlogical screening required before entering sniper training. As I've seen time and again during my nearly 12 years in Special Forces, the pretenders always get the details wrong.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 12.77.73.68
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows 95)
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

S1

Dear Larry,

You don't sound like a true sociopath to me. I am not a doctor, however, just a person old enough to have been around. I have a sibling with bipolar disorder with depression and know from years of experience that this condition is disabling to spouses and families. Not many people could abide life with them for very long, especially untreated.

I don't think you were doing very much wrong here yourself, except beating yourself up for trying every way to help.

I am also divorced and know the guilt that comes from that.

So my two cents is try not to beat yourself up because life is so short. You must go on and find healthier relationships for yourself and your future happiness will be back under your control. Sounds like you feel out of control and vulnerable right now. That's okay. Hang in there and keep your chin up. RAL

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 209.226.14.124
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.5 [en] (Win95; I)/4.2.1.6
Date: Thursday, November 02, 2000

S1

What is the defnition of "sociopathic behaviour?"

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 24.24.129.230
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90; Compaq)
Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2000

S1

Larry,

Could you please send me an e-mail at Spider18E@aol.com with your full name, MOS, rank and last duty station?

I am an Active Duty Special Forces Communications SGT (18E4HW8) stationed at Ft Bragg, NC. Prior 11B, 3/75th Bravo Company (Wpns Platoon), Class 3-87.

I only know of one "Larry" off the bat who went thru SOTIC that was in Mogtown on 03OCT93 and you do not fit the profile. I would appreciate any info from your dossier that you find appropiate regarding this. This is of no offense to you, however those of us whom were there hold a close bond with one another and most of us stay in touch, and with the background you gave (SOTIC/Mog Vet/29yrs old etc.), it just does not click. I will be more than happy to pass the info around to Mog vets who I either still serve with to this day, or those who I keep in contact with via e-mail or phone to validate your claims and if they turn out positive, I will apologize in the open forums, until then I will take it as a grain of salt...

De Oppresso Liber,

SFC "Spider" Jones

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 207.70.218.44
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; MSN 2.5; Windows 98; DigExt; JUNO)
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

I'm a recovering alcoholic(only 2yrs sober) and was diagnosed as a sociopath at the ND State Hospital. I was resistant at 1st, but realized that I've always prefered dealing with my fellow man from the other end of a weapon of some sort,e.g., Viet Nam. The problem with "recovery" is that, irregardless of my past--or future--actions I feel quite comfortable with myself, & every day that I beat the bottle validates this. In short, I'm O.K., & if they don't like it, screw them! Matt kim28124@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 207.70.218.44
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; MSN 2.5; Windows 98; DigExt; JUNO)
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

I'm a recovering alcoholic(only 2yrs sober) and was diagnosed as a sociopath at the ND State Hospital. I was resistant at 1st, but realized that I've always prefered dealing with my fellow man from the other end of a weapon of some sort,e.g., Viet Nam. The problem with "recovery" is that, irregardless of my past--or future--actions I feel quite comfortable with myself, & every day that I beat the bottle validates this. In short, I'm O.K., & if they don't like it, screw them! Matt kim28124@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 207.70.218.44
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; MSN 2.5; Windows 98; DigExt; JUNO)
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

I'm a recovering alcoholic(only 2yrs sober) and was diagnosed as a sociopath at the ND State Hospital. I was resistant at 1st, but realized that I've always prefered dealing with my fellow man from the other end of a weapon of some sort,e.g., Viet Nam. The problem with "recovery" is that, irregardless of my past--or future--actions I feel quite comfortable with myself, & every day that I beat the bottle validates this. In short, I'm O.K., & if they don't like it, screw them! Matt kim28124@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 207.70.218.44
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; MSN 2.5; Windows 98; DigExt; JUNO)
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

I'm a recovering alcoholic(only 2yrs sober) and was diagnosed as a sociopath at the ND State Hospital. I was resistant at 1st, but realized that I've always prefered dealing with my fellow man from the other end of a weapon of some sort,e.g., Viet Nam. The problem with "recovery" is that, irregardless of my past--or future--actions I feel quite comfortable with myself, & every day that I beat the bottle validates this. In short, I'm O.K., & if they don't like it, screw them! Matt kim28124@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 205.188.197.188
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; AOL 5.0; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2001

S1

Very interesting--the only thing that comes to mind as I read, searching for "answers", that there is two sides to the story, but there is no "right" or "wrong". This is what really bothers me with my boyfriend?/ex, when we discuss things of concern in our relationship he always thinks I'm pointing the blame. Now, I haven't counted out the possibility, but I know I don't do it intentially. Thanks for making yourself available.........

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 66.66.201.238
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Mac_PowerPC)
Date: Saturday, December 08, 2001

S1

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 216.78.96.101
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)
Date: Friday, February 01, 2002

S1

Comment: I think that you can add delusional, too.

SOTIC hardly stands for Strategic Operations Target Interdiction Command. Rather, as a quick check of the web will tell you it standds for Special Operations target Interdiction Course. If this guy couldn't pick up what course he was attending in the 6 weeks that it runs you can chalk up another problem.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 152.163.204.193
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; AOL 6.0; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)
Date: Monday, February 11, 2002

S1

I have bipolar disorder..and I think he handled the situation very well..when someone is that depressed you cannot reason with them. He had to call for help..and name calling isn't the worst thing he could have done..he could'ave knocked the tee total crap out of her. That would'ave have been wrong! I think that she has to finally take some responsibilty for her mental health...as much as he has to for his disorder too. If they cannot accept that something is wrong and get help for it..then the relationship is the least of their worries..their whole lives are screwed!

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 152.163.197.82
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 5.0; Windows 95; DigExt)
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2002

S1

Even though he felt he was a psychopath before the Army, though he doesn't explain why, if all he states really occurred with no omissions, he doesn't fit the characteristics. A true psychopath doesn't feel remorse or regret or responsibility. He seems to have a conscience.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 152.163.197.82
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 5.0; Windows 95; DigExt)
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2002

S1

I don't think Larry should be treated for psychopathic personality as much as dealing with the people he's encountered in his early years which has brought him and his self esteem to the point he's at. It appears he agrees with getting help, but in helping him he has to also see and understand some of the injustices placed at an early age causing some of his hostility. That's where his control problem lies. As a child being defensless of the actions of others, you ward off hurt through hostility if there is no other way out.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 65.172.130.7
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98)
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2002

S1

I am in love with a sociopath and have not spoken to him in 6 months. He would never admit to his disorder. He began to complicate my life rather then compliment it. I think this website gives sociopaths a chance to work on themselves under comfortable circumstances. After all they are human too!

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 63.227.85.65
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

S1

Hi, Larry I am not sure if you checked this site recently-I am doing some research and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions- Would you please email me at: check@u.arizona.edu?

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 192.189.124.42
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 4.0)
Date: Monday, June 24, 2002

S1

You've missed it entirely. He is, to some degree, a sociopath, but more correctly a narcisist. Do you really think or beleive he has ever served in the United States Army, let alone an elite unit like the Airborne Rangers or any Special Operations forces? Trust me--he's not the type. He would never have had the discipline to handle US Army Sniper school. He's a pathalogical liar with fantasies.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 207.88.199.150
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2002

S1

You gotta be kidding. You want a psycho woman to come and explain why HE is abusive? Just what kind of mickey mouse education do you have?

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 142.173.198.209
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)
Date: Sunday, February 09, 2003

S1

yeah, self proclaimed isnt a real sociopath.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 204.188.2.1
Remote User:
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: Thursday, April 10, 2003

S1

Hello Larry; may I offer a few thoughts and opinions that may be useful; It is, most unfortunately, so easy to relate to your message, to your sad story. I naively spent six years with an extremely verbally abusive person. (And I moved myself into a very unhealthy place so that I could stay in that abusive relationship. Now, I want to thank you for sharing your experiences, so vividly and honestly, as I read it. And it is so good that you have this incredible forum for doing so. You articulate awareness and a handle, so to speak, even on all that you do not appear to understand. Your confusion and frustration do not completely de-rail you. I admire your ability to control your reactivity and to trust your decisions at critical times. I cannot say that you are or are not fortunate to be on speaking terms. Sometimes I wish the two of us were. After all this time (two years now) I still do not completely understand (or think I understand) all that transpired during our time together. Time may or may not heal us completely but over time my thinking became clearer (I also did a lot of reading) and I became less and less concerned with understanding what was "wrong with her". It is just my opinion anyway…useful only to myself really. I cannot say I wouldn't have had it any other way but I am quite pleased with my evolution since after all she turned out to be a good teacher. I thought in the beginning I was a good person (albeit with much to learn) then I allowed her to create confusion and doubt from within regarding my own judgment and self worth. Except for a couple of cautious but well intentioned attempts to at least get some closure I have left her alone though she lives only blocks from me. I doubt I'll ever hear anything I had previously had hoped to hear from her. She will likely never be able to explain, apologize or express regret over things that happened between us. I share your concern about having a healthy relationship with someone new. I went through a period of severe doubt myself. Eventually, I tried to date, with not a whole lot of success in the beginning, but I soon realized that at least I was not going to establish a pattern of involvement with emotionally unavailable, abusive partners. I had to learn to trust and believe in myself again. So, I decided to forget understanding (or fixing) her -instead I started really learning my own lessons, honestly improving what I felt I needed to. (Some of my closer friends gently (or not so gently!) shared their opinions and offered support here.) Now, over time things have returned to a new normal for me. All the dates that went nowhere were still useful . I began to get a consensus on what people liked and disliked about me. I made note of both.. Of course there was a little of both I felt I didn’t really deserve. It is no surprise either that the healthier I've become the healthier the people I'm meeting have become. I no longer worry about my ability to function as a partner in a new relationship or what I presumably “did wrong” in the past. I may never understand everything I had wanted to (not unlike yourself), but with a little effort I continue to gain an understanding on all that I need to. All I am hoping to convey here is the idea that having faith if not an understanding in the long process of becoming healthy again is well worth it. Best regards, Michael

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Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

S1

I am suspicious of the whole "Sniper" thing. According to a good source there where only 3 US Army snipers in Somolia. Two are dead and one had 0 kills. Here are the names of the ones on record for being there. John Henry Davis III 0 kills Gary I. Gordon ? kills Killed in action protecting a downed pilot. Randall D. Shughart ? Kills Killed in action protecting a downed pilot. What unit were you in Larry?

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Date: Friday, June 13, 2003

S1

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Date: Friday, June 20, 2003

S1

I have been reading a lot about Anti-Social Personaltiy Disorder and in my humble opnion, this guy really sounds like a sociopath to me. He blames his wife almost completly for the martial problems, and takes no responisbitie for them. Sociopaths are known for blaming other people for their problems. Any problems that have been attributed to him, are downplayed to an unrealistic degree. His account of his behavior doesn't match that of other people's, like the marriage counsler. This leads me to belive that he isn't telling the whole story and that he is manipulating the audience of this letter to think that he is at no fault. I am alarmed when near the end of the letter he says "i am a very good name caller and I am certain that she would have ALWAYS come out on the losing end." It is really strange that he is so focused on his abiltie to call someone names. Its also strange that he is so concered with the idea that she would certinly lose and he would win, as if that makes him better to her or something. He seams very focused on how great he is rather than the marriage problems. In fact, throught the whole letter he seams to glorify himeself and demonize his wife as the sole problem. I think that line shows evidence that he is very self-centered, and focused on proving his superiority. I don't trust him at all, He seems very manipulative to me. I would also say that I really don't know much about psychology. The man also behaves like a very upset divoreced person. It is typical for a person to blame their ex spouce for all martial problems, but I am concerned since he admits to beaing a sociopath, and others like the marriage counsler seem to agree. Take this letter with a grain of salt.