Where'd Todd Go?...
On Dealing With Psychopaths and Stalking
Chapter 3 - WHAT IS A PSYCHOPATH?
All this talk about "psychopaths". What IS a "psychopath", anyway?
Might as well be asking "What is a bully?" Answer? ...They're one and the same, really. If he's a bully, good chance is he/she's probably a psychopath.
Some commonalities among stalkers/psychopaths that I have noted from personal experience:
They usually to refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem and tend to blame everything that they do to you on you.
They very often cannot stop their bad behavior.
They won't take 'no'.
They won't go away when told. (When they do, they keep coming back. They may disappear for a while, but when they come back they're usually much worse because they've had time to stew and plot.)
They often tend to have a "If I can't have/play with him/her, then no one can" attitude.
Then they rage on you - either to show you who is boss or to get revenge, or both.
They may attempt to make false accusations against you.
They may attempt to get you in trouble with officials and authorities.
With lies expressed in campaigns via emails, letters, phone calls, and face-to-face contacts, they may attempt to disrupt/destroy:
Your personal relationships.
Your professional contacts.
Your employment (your source of income).
One psychopath, so enamored with my best friend, lied to her and told her that I'd actually hit him and threatened him - apparently because he was jealous of me and he thought that I wanted more than just a friendship out of her. (That part was actually true.) He imagined me to be the competition who could take her away from him. (He wasn't aware that she wasn't interested in that kind of a relationship with me.) It caused a big problem between my friend and I for a while until she finally finagled an admission out of him some time later. In the meantime however, my best friend found it kinda difficult to believe that a guy whom she had known and been good friends with for four years would just lie to her. That's what I was up against. She truly believed the things that he was telling her and I could do absolutely nothing about it. For quite a while I had to deal with being blamed for something that I had not done and it hurt very badly because she meant a lot, and her friendship was important to me. It bothered me to no end. It was such a surreal situation and feeling, really. I couldn't believe that my friendship had just been so easily tarnished because someone had actually lied about me physically harming him. Harm and threats towards others just wasn't something that I was capable of and it was such an utterly ludicrous accusation. There was nothing that I could do until she figured it out completely on her own. But because he had pulled it during her OCS graduation party, he'd now permanently and forever destroyed what was supposed to be a very important day for her with a really disappointing memory of a totally needless act which served no real, useful purpose, on a day which was supposed to be so joyous and proud. ...All because he wanted something. It couldnt' be taken back and redone again. The memory was permanently blemished with that. ...The accusation was a means to an end...to a prize...to her...in total disregard to what it did to an innocent person.
And it wasn't the first time that had happened, either. In the early 90's, I actually lost another best friend because his new wife, again...jealous over the amount of time spent with me, claimed that I was calling her up and threatening her, and making theats of physical violence. I was rendered absolutely incredulous when my then best friend, whom I had known for about 16 years or so at the time, believed her and actually told me to stop. I felt like I had been slapped in the face. It sounds so cliche, but it hit me like a brick. I couldn't believe he'd just accused me of that. I was so caught off guard. She cried, she ranted, and she put on a good show that was very convincing to him. She made it a "test" of his love and loyalty to her. She threw ultimatums at him. You know...the old "Who do you love more...me or him?" sort of thing. She played the guilt and loyalty cards, and put him on the spot. There was just no convincing him that his wife could actually be lieing and that I was in fact not doing any of the things that she was claiming. Among his reasonings for trusting her over me was 1) that she was his wife and he was supposed to back her up, and 2) the question that always gets thrown at you: "Why would she DO that?" That question...(sigh!)... It's a logic that leaves you no defense, really. It's a logic that is rhetorical. It's one that really will entertain no answer from you. Anything that you might say in defense of yourself isn't going to be paid much attention to because the mind is already made up. To him, it didn't make sense that she would lie about someone threatening and hitting, and his wife put him in that position. To me, it didn't make sense that my best friend would just throw away 16 years of trust in an instant and just outright accuse me of something so utterly unbelievable and ridiculous. ...Especially where there was no previously existing precedent to match that behavior...ever. Our friendship ended with my jaw dropped and some really hurt feelings because my most trusted friend was actually accusing me of having done something that never, ever happened. Ironically, he later divorced her. Among his complaints was that she claimed similar things about other friends too. (sigh) By then though, the damage had already been done, really. That woman tried to completely obliterate and destroy anyone whom she thought was in the way. As for that particular friendship...unfortunately, we don't speak anymore today. She may have succeeded in breaking up the friendship but, in the end, she also spent so much effort trying to isolate her prize that she eventually lost it, too. But that brings me absolutely no comfort or solace. He was my best friend. Then he wasn't...because someone lied. After that, he found it difficult to trust me. Think of it from his point of view. Who was telling the truth? Who was lieing? He really didn't know. But I was damaged too, just like him. From that point on, I could never look at him the same way, either. There would be no way to continue the friendship in the manner that it used to be conducted after all of this...damage...that was done.
You will find that this is a constantly recurring theme with psychopaths...how they're able to convince people whom you'd think would know far better into believing in the most irrational and ridiculous of lies, and causing you so much pain, suffering, and havoc. It is, in fact, incredible just how well that damned strategy works when it just shouldn't, at all.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: "The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.
Here's is what I have learned about psychopaths from actual personal experiences...
Psychopaths con. Psychopaths manipulate. Psychopaths lie. Psychopaths cheat. Psychopaths want something from you, but you rarely ever know it until it's too late. They're good at hiding their secret motives from you. If caught in a lie, they brush it off with a very quickly answered denial and something just as nonsensical and just as confident-sounding as the original lie, which often either sounds good enough to throw you off again, or at least leaves you feeling just as frustratingly confused as when you began. Usually though, most people never even catch the nonsense in the words because people like to listen more to the SOUND of confidence in someone's voice, rather than for the logic. Psychopaths know this, and they use it as a tool with a mastered excellence. They're good at using you without you ever figuring it out until it doesn't matter to them anymore. But by the time you figure it out, it's usually not before they brought some extreme damage to your life. Psychopaths always have an ulterior motive. If they are hovering around you, you have something they want, or they think that you can be utilized like a tool to GET what they want. They almost "woo" you when they think they need you. They impress you with their knowledge and abilities. They may do you lots of favors to try to win you over. They may immerse themselves in lots of public service work to hide behind and give themselves a seeming "alibi" if their personality is ever challenged. With psychopaths, it's always "a means to some end." When they're done with you, they discard you like so much trash. They always try to make you do things which can be used against you later, for the "just in case". Psychopaths never share information that you want without getting something in return, now or later. They never really give anything away "for free". There WILL come a time when they want your favors in return...and it's always something inconvenient. If you figure them out and get in their way, they will destroy you. They know everyone, have more friends than you, know more people up high than you do, can curry more favors and power than you, and have a way of making everyone trust and believe in them, while making you look like an idiot and a nutcase.
Psychopaths are very often very highly intelligent. They are good at what they do. Experts, in fact. Unless you know what you're doing, it is very dangerous to attempt to fight them publicly.
They don't understand the "good" emotions, and yet they know very well the "dark side" emotions. They have no conscience. And this is hard for the rest of us "normals" to understand...like fully comprehending what "endless space" really means. It's foreign to us. We want to apply normal psychology to them, but that's not possible. We want to apply normal human thinking and reasoning to them. We want to forgive them and to help "rehabilitate" them; but that's dangerous because it can't be done - because they're genetically or sociologically predisposed to be what they are, and to do what they do. To try to rehabilitate them usually results in our own destruction in the end. God, Jesus, Allah...they are tools to the psychopaths. They'll only use them to make you think they've "seen the light" so as to buy themselves time to formulate their next plan. Do they understand the meaning of God's teachings? No. To them, God was just some idiot whose sole purpose is to create sheep prey for them.
Psychopaths can easily be detected if people would just listen. Often psychopaths say things which are highly contradictory, and/or which make no sense. But they HIDE their deceit behind carefully constructed intonation and inflection designed to sound exceptionally confident; so much so that no one ever dares challenge them, even when what they're saying is obviously flawed. No one challenges their contradictions because no one wants to end up in a publicly loud verbal fight with them, and risk looking or sounding stupid in front of them. For this reason, no one usually makes any accusations against the psychopath. No one ever wants to publicly call them OUT, because no one wants to face it if they happen to be wrong. It's not something most are willing to stand up and do. It could be dangerous like that. Thus, this is also how psychopaths are able to get away with what they do, and why they're able to get away with it for so LONG.
In the beginning of Chapter 2 of Dr. Robert D. Hare's book, Without Conscience - The Disturbing World Of The Psychopaths Among Us is a quote:
"He will choose you, disarm you with his words, and control you with his presence. He will delight you with his wit and his plans. He will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. He will smile and deceive you, and he will scare you with his eyes. And when he is through with you, and he will be through with you, he will desert you and take with him your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what happened and what you did wrong. And if another of his kind comes knocking at your door, will you open it? --From an essay signed, 'A psychopath in prison.'"
Dr. Hare also states: "Lying, deceiving, and manipulation are natural talents for psychopaths. [...] When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they are seldom perplexed or embarrassed -- they simply change their stories or attempt to rework the facts so that they appear to be consistent with the lie. The results are a series of contradictory statements and a thoroughly confused listener." [Chapter 3, p. 46]
He also states:
"Often, their behaviour serves to confuse and repress their victims, or to influence anyone who might listen to the psychopath's side of the story. Manipulation is the key to their conquests, and lying is one way they achieve this."
"One almost amusing example of how psychopaths lie can be exemplified by a man who's footprint was discovered at the scene of the crime.
'No, that's not my foot' he said, even though everyone knew he was lying.
This is how psychopaths operate. They will deny reality until their victims have a nervous breakdown."
"The most amazing thing, however, is their selective memory. A psychopath might not remember the promises he made to you yesterday, but he will remember something from the past if it suits his purposes in some way. They often do this whenever they're confronted or caught in a lie."
Do I feel stupid for being so fooled by my psychopaths? No. In the case of my psychopaths, they fooled an awful lot of people. ...An awful lot. They fooled people in government, and in civilian organizations.
4 levels of government:
13 government agencies:
City of Gainesville
Gainesville Police Dept
County of Alachua
Alachua County Office of Emergency Mgmt
Alachua County Sheriffs Office
State of Florida
State Atty's Office - Gainesville
Florida Division of Emergency Mgmt
University of Florida
University Police Dept
Dept of Commerce
National Weather Service
National Weather Service Field Office - Jacksonville
7 law enforcement departments:
Gainesville Police Dept
Alachua County Sheriffs Office
Duval County Sheriff's Office
University of Florida Police Dept
Gainesville State Attorney's Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation (hit this blog for a week after a week-long series of immediately previous hits from NWS-JAX)
Naval Criminal Justice (these guys would hit this blog inbetween hits from NWS-JAX and the FBI, and sometimes by themselves)
4 civilian organizations:
Gainesville Amateur Radio Society (GARS)
Gator Amateur Radio Club (GARC)
ACOEM Amateur Radio Club (Alachua Co Ofc of Emer Mgmt)
National Association for Amateur Radio (once known as the American Radio Relay League, or ARRL)
So, again...do I feel stupid? No. Not at all. I mean yes, I do...but not because I was actually stupid. I was conned very badly by some very cunning people. ...And so were emergency managers, NWS meteorologists, and police officers in City, County, State, amd Federal levels of government. So if I'm a dumbass, so are they.
My psychopath ignored my pleadings for him to stop, and to leave me alone. He wouldn't take no for an answer, and did what he wanted to do in total disregard of my own wishes and without regard for my own personal feelings towards him. I'd tell him to stop contacting me and he'd go away for a few days, perhaps a few weeks, maybe a couple months at best. But to him, "don't ever contact me again" simply meant..."for now". To him, it meant, "I'll leave him alone for a couple of months and then try again when he's had a chance to cool down about me." And then he'd email, or call, or have one of his minions contact me, in a seemingly innocent manner, under the guise of something else, feeling me out. They'd share information back with Jeff about the conversation. Then Jeff could make his own contact...again.
So how do you win against the psychopath?
If the psychopath is targeting you, remember two words: "tunnel vision".
In my personal experience psychopaths are nearly always narcissists and pride themselves in being smarter than you. This egotistical superiority complex often gets them into big trouble in how they have an almost obsessive compulsive desire to prove to you just how much smarter they are than you; and that can be utilized. They often can have a tunnel vision focus on causing you pain and suffering in revenge, and they'll go out of their way to cause it. This too can also be used against them. It is up to you to figure out exactly how. HINT: They often forget to go too out of the way to cover their tracks, because they think that no one is smart enough to find them anyway, or they think that no one will even bother to look. (And they're usually right. Police departments can be very lazy - and may even act condescendingly to the victims.)
To this kind of die-hard type of psychopath, you have to get mean and hard. You have to call the police, file a real report, get a restraining order, file some official paperwork. You also have to back it up with notice to their friends, and in his case, to Dave Donnelly at the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management. Dave may have thought it a pain, and thought our argument petty, but Dave would have lectured him, told him to leave me alone, and it would have been an "authoritative" source which Jeff would have listened to because without the relationship with the Emergency Manager Jeff had no power to do anything WITH anything. You have to forcefully show the psychopath that "no" means "no". Otherwise, they will continue to test, and push it, and push it some more. It's what they do. But MY psychopaths were even harder-assed than that. To them, no was a challenge. It was a dare to keep going. I'd stop one, but another one would jump in in tag-team style.
See this blog? For me, this was my defense. It was the ONLY thing that was able to make them all stop.
You see...psychopaths HATE limelight, and being called attention to. They will always try to make you believe that your efforts to win against them are fruitless, and that you should give it up and let them be in control. That's what they WANT you to believe. They spend so much time studying us humans that they learn in us certain "patterns" that our weaknesses, called our "emotions", bring us. They learn how to manipulate our feelings and emotions to their advantage. While they may not understand our feelings, they know how to USE them to the fullest in order to get what they want. They use fear of embarrassment, or calling public attention to our fallacies to keep us in line. They humiliate and berate us constantly so that we don't have time to think, and so that we'll think that they are gods and the only thing that can save us. ...And in so doing, we very often actually believe them and fall prey to it. It takes us a long time to realize what's going on, and for that spell to be broken. But when it's broken, and they realize it, they become even worse.
If you want it all to stop, you have to think and react to everything in the complete opposite to what is normal. You can't cry when you're supposed to. You can't panic when you're supposed to. You can't break down when you're supposed to. You have to do everything in the opposite. This throws them off. Suddenly you become confusing to them. Suddenly, they don't know how to make you work in their favor. STAND UP to them. YELL at them. LEAVE them. MAKE the threats of calling the cops, if necessary. Then...ACTUALLY CALL THE COPS! Take away all of their points of control. Take away all of their previous confidence in being able to manipulate you. DON'T be predictable. Be completely UN-predictable. They don't know what to do with that. They don't know how to handle it. It throws them off, completely. You're no longer something they can manipulate and control. You're a liability, now. A risk. You're not something they can predict on anymore. It now becomes necessary to leave you alone, to get away, to run, to hide. They usually go bother someone else. This is the only way to defeat a psychopath. Note that I'm not advocating hitting, harming, or violence. I'm advocating non-violent means of protecting yourself. Use publicity AGAINST them. They don't like publicity. You'll learn this as you read more about my plight in this story.
IF, on the other hand, your particular psychopath happens to be a violent one, then I recommend making preparations secretly to run away, yourself. Leave. Don't stay. Get away...before something dreadful happens to you. In the case of the violent psychopaths, I do NOT recommend letting them know that you suddenly have more confidence. It is just way too dangerous. In that case, I instead recommend making them continue to BELIEVE that you have no confidence, and that you ARE just as stupid as they believe. USE that...to keep them off their guard. You can use that to get away. Make your plans. Tell no one. Get everything ready. And when they are least expecting it, make your move. Don't hide with people he knows, even if family. Hide with people he wouldn't expect. I don't know how to advise you there. In this case, you'll have to come up with your own plan. ...Perhaps advocacy groups, and/or shelters...in counties outside of the one you now reside in. Be ingenious. But be deliberately backwards in your thinking, so that he cannot predict you, or outsmart you. Randomness. It's a cipher to them. They can't decrypt that. That's your protection.