“As time passed. I learned how to see psychopaths. It was as if a sixth sense had been awakened”

Ah Lovefraud — the gift to the lazy blogger.  “Borrowing” from a post, the above quote is from LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD  ‘O like Umbrella,’ and the shut down mechanism.  I’d like to focus on a few passages here and there (emphases added).  Please visit the original for the full context, it’s written by Quest, a 55 year old male after the disaster of a relationship with a psychopath.

Two weeks after leaving I realised that I was now damaged goods.  Many times I found myself asking myself, what had this woman done to me and how did she do it??? . . .

So what were my symptoms?  . . .  I was in a state of awareness that I can only describe as being hypervigilant for other psychopaths, or the possibility of them. Basically everyone I met was a potential psychopath until proven otherwise. Paranoia was rampant.

As time passed. I learned how to see psychopaths. It was as if a sixth sense had been awakened and I was wired to the symptoms of psychopathy. Any symptom set the alarm bells ringing in my mind. Well, all this knowledge and awareness was great, but I still could not fix the damage. . . .

. . .

Anyone who has spent any time in an intimate relationship with a psychopath knows that things get very confusing at times. What appears to happen to the victim is a kind of mental shut down that seems to happen at a subconscious level, beyond the normal conscious awareness of the victim. The victim, not realising what is happening, slowly gets lulled into an almost vegetative state where they can hardly recognise themselves. It feels like their very essence or soul has been sucked right out of them, leaving a confused, rudderless entity, almost a zombie.

. . .

The victim tries to make sense of what is going on around them. What they don’t realise is, nothing is supposed to make sense. The psychopath is in full attack mode on the victim’s sanity. The psychopath is basically talking nonsense, but the victim is not aware that it is nonsense, or that they are under premeditated attack. As the victim’s mind tries to make sense of the babble, not realising that its not supposed to make sense, because it almost does make sense, some part of the persons thinking processes shuts down. How this really works I am not sure, but I feel as if I am getting close to the realisation of it.

. . .

If it doesn’t make sense it’s probably nonsense and you are probably dealing with a psychopath. Because a psychopath is so good at hiding nonsense in amongst sense, most people miss the nonsense. Being aware of this puts the power in the hands of the victim or potential victim. . . .

So gaslighting shuts the victim down mentally. I feel it is important to realise this, because once a victim is shut down, it will take a long time to wake them up again. I guess the revelation here is realising the relationship between gaslighting and the shut down mechanism. It’s all in the nonsense.

Apparently he developed the ability to ‘see psychopaths.’  I once knew a woman, a coworker, who claimed to be able to do this.  She said that while standing at street corners waiting to cross she’d start recognizing the psychopaths around her.  She said they were all over.  Concerning coworkers that she claimed to be psychopathic, once I got to know them, I never knew her to be wrong.  That’s one reason I always try to post images of my possible psychopaths/sociopaths — I’ll stare at them to see if I can see anything, or see if my subconscious sees anything.

Also note the full court press Quest’s psychopathic partner mounted on his personality.  Long term partners of psychopaths often end up with severely degraded personalities.

Regarding his “sixth sense”, obviously it’s not actually a sixth sense, it’s not a sense that only sharks usually have, it’s not information from a multi-dimensional portal, it’s a turning loose, a turning on of his subconscious’s abilities.  As a trained actor, I very strongly believe the greatest abilities and perceptions are all rooted in the subconscious.  In my own dealing with possible sociopaths, I pay attention to check list items, to behaviors and thought patterns that I consider often sociopathic, to eyes, to a particular type of arrogance and to small behaviors consistent with arrested development and then wait for “a click”, i.e., acknowledgment from my subconscious that yes indeed the particular individual is a sociopath — until then, I don’t “know”, I only suspect.  I do realize that this is against the tradition of the scientific method which states all knowledge is knowable by all, and accessible by following the 4 step nonemotional understanding method — step, 2, 3, understand — however this doesn’t work for dealing with sociopaths.  My recommendation is that we should all work to develop Quest’s sixth sense.

Since my opinions are not based on the scientific method, I understand that I have no proof to offer a third party.  So be it.  I can only offer “flags of possible sociopathy”.  But if someone asked me, “OK, I see those flags.  Are you saying they are proof of sociopathy?”  Me, “No, those plus everything else is the proof.”  I couldn’t even prove that someone was a sociopath to my earlier self.  I would have responded, “Well, I see those behaviors and flags you mention, but why should I believe they mean anything deep, let alone prove of sociopathy?”  My subconscious had no knowledge of sociopathy, no way to translate the cues.

I would predict that many visitors to this blog think that they have never met any sociopaths.  I would bet my 401K this is not true.  Rather most people do not pay any attention to the cues that are actually there.  Once I became aware of sociopaths in my own life and gained some ability to recognize them I realized that I had known quite a few throughout my life.  I am quite confident that all middle-aged visitors who work outside a small family-run business and live in cities have easily known over a dozen sociopaths, sometimes quite a few more.

31 thoughts on ““As time passed. I learned how to see psychopaths. It was as if a sixth sense had been awakened”

  1. ‘obviously it’s not actually a sixth sense,’

    Brilliant article at LF, but yes, sixth senses exist. As an example when our child or partner comes downstairs in the morning we can take one glance at them and know what mood they’re going to be in for the rest of the day. I can look across a training hall at someone and see/’feel’ them and just KNOW the mood they’re in.

    ‘The victim, not realising what is happening, slowly gets lulled into an almost vegetative state where they can hardly recognise themselves. ‘

    There’s a hypnotic technique where someone touches our hand and then withdraws it away unexpectedly, because we’re trained by social custom to expect a certain movement. The target goes into immediate trance. It’s occured to me reading this man’s words – very evocative – that this is what gaslighting is all about. And this might be one more reason (there’s many) why Ps target empaths in particular – because they can be easily ‘hypnotised’.

    • Perhaps we agree on the meaning of a ‘sixth sense’, I see it as being ‘clued in’ subconsciously to others, as one would be to family members. You seem to be using it the same way. I would say that the subconscious uses the same five senses that the conscious mind uses but is much, much more perceptive and powerful than the conscious mind.

      In terms of ‘seeing psychopaths’ or recognizing them (some of them) instantaneously I find very few references. Indeed in the comments at LF to the original article there don’t seem to be any that state they have the same ability. I find that surprising. There are only two or three people in the world who can do this?

      Psychopaths recognize each other, mostly instantaneously, from my experience. If they can do it, we can do it.

    • “There’s a hypnotic technique where someone touches our hand and then withdraws it away unexpectedly”

      I heard about that in this Rolling Stone article about Charlie Manson. Manson reaches out and touches the interviewer’s nose, really fast, and says, “If I can touch you, I can kill you.” Then Manson starts rubbing the interviewer’s hand/arm, and the interviewer likes it. And admits it! He must be so embarrassed, looking back.

      http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/charles-manson-today-the-final-confessions-of-a-psychopath-20131121

      I’m pushing 50 and can’t recall ever meeting any psychopaths. But possibly I have, immediately decided I didn’t like them, and walked the other way. I don’t think a psychopath could ever get over on me. Unless it was a situation where I was trapped in a workplace with them.

      • I’d predict you’ve met quite a few. They don’t wear neon signs. Did you ever meet people with any of the following traits: totally amoral, pansexual, guiltless, arrogant for no apparent reason (though even if accomplished psychopathic arrogance is still distinct), extremely Machiavellian, and more?

        Most people think a psychopath couldn’t get over on them until that actually happens.

        • I’ve posted quite a bit today so this will be my last. I think I had a run in with a psychopath on eBay once, but nipped that in the bud before it could escalate, and he tried. And yes, now that I think of it. Aside from the stalker guy, a man named David K________ [PW: I can’t include the names of private individuals, whom I have no way to judge. You could include links that refer to him/her, if you want to], VERY charming. If you’re bored, you can read a bit about him on line. His tiff with Anne Rice is illustrative. He was renting space in our offices.

          btw, Gavin deBecker’s book should probably be on that book list on the left: The Gift of Fear.

          Have a nice day!

          • OK, fair enough. David K functioned as cats paw to the guy who ruined me. But anyway I found this comment by a commenter called LApundit, under an article about David, to be the savviest evaluation of David K I’ve seen:

            lapundit • on Nov 24, 2009 4:25 pm

            I, too, know David K___. Very well. Sadly, he cannot help himself. In his process of ‘being David’ he has helped a few, to be sure, but decimated so many more. Past former executives (some he still calls ‘friends’) have said the following: 1) One must never walk out on David. He will try and destroy you. You must exit backwards, bowing as you do, and hoping he will forget you exist. 2) David, having a little knowledge of legal process, but not enough, is legally dangerous. He will sue or threaten police action at the drop of a hat, without cause or moral reservation. His dishonest and immoral practice of calling the police and making false reports (of theft, for example) when annoyed is notorious. Read the Anne Rice email if you want to see what he is capable of in this respect. You will note she refers to possible ‘criminal’ behaviour on his part. Read her email carefully. She is a smart person and a gifted writer. Her email speaks volumes. Being a con-artist, David is, ironically, an easy mark for other con-artists. In Hollywood he often dealt with shifty ‘investors’ just like those described in the article. David is incapable of due-diligence because, it would seem, he is afraid of it being conducted on himself. For the eleven lawsuits against David referred to in the article, like the tip of an iceberg, there are likely scores contemplated but abandoned (see the comment above re avoiding David and walking backwards.) Regarding his creative ‘talents’, recall Dawn Steele’s printed comments re David’s ‘teflon-like’ qualities towards creative material. He simply didn’t know good from bad. His entire reputation at Paramount was based on handling Eddie Murphy. His absolute charm makes him capable for that. He utilized the same with the likes of Shirley MacLaine and Roland Joffe. The Boston Globe should interview them regarding their history (and the deception and later pain). It is similar to that experienced by Anne Rice.

            David’s last 6 productions were all unreleased (including the children’s video mentioned in the article unless you want to call 23 copies sold on Amazon.com a ‘release’.) The disposition of these six productions is easily fact-checked by checking imdb.com The millions of dollars lost to investors on those projects should not be ignored. Paramount considered suing him on the Boneco fitness video based on serious misrepresentations (read ‘fraud’) by David to induce them to invest in it. You will not see that product sold on any shelf, not even via informercial, it is so bad.

            In short, David is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. He is also desperate, desperate, desperate. Plymouth should exit quickly and backwards before it’s too late.

            I suspect I know “LA pundit” personally. Hey how come no new posts. My new favorite blogger is feeling under the weather?

          • It’s called having to make a living, pay rent, etc. I’d love to do this full-time. I suppose you are not a billionaire. We seem to be in a latterday age of the Medicis, independent thinkers, writers, artists, etc. need patrons.

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  4. I have just left one of them. I have been “there” hopefully only for one month – that was not the first time I met a person like this, so I hope I will get over fast and smooth from that – some confusion is still in my head, I hope no harm will be left, just some experience gained.

    So first HE was so nice and the perfect guy – as you have written here – he was like – i am the fulfillment of your dreams, and he really was for those first few days/weeks. So handsome, knowledgable, experienced, great lover and friend. He asked me to travel with him and work together on a project which literally was what I so really wanted to do that time.

    As we travelled together further visiting my friends’ homes i started to notice some sociopathic traits in him, but i tried to explain myself that i was oversensitive and that it is all ok. He sometimes talked bad about people to whom he was so nice in their presence, like wearing this perfect nice guy mask, he would get moods I couldn’t explain the reasons of (subconsciouslly knowing that something is not right here), he would change his mind on some slight things very often, but still he was nice to me, and I was so in love with him.

    When it finally blew out, about two-three weeks together – the hell started – Few times a day I was told that I am so bad, and I ruined his plans, when I tried to be nice to him, he would use this arrogant ways being rude, hmmm – then – when I read here – He would tell me many times in angry voice “You just do not understand” – when I asked what was the thing I do not understand, he answered – “You will not understand that” and loop it all over – I really felt confused and it did not make any sense – I started to SEE him – There came this shut down period – even my friend who knows me as a cheerfull person once asked “Why have you shut down so suddenly?” In the beginning I would still believe that maybe I really did something wrong, but still – why would he keep on doing this over and over?, Maybe it will pass and we will be this happy people again?

    When I tried to explain myself to him, ask any questions or get any explanation what is wrong, why he treats me like that, that I feel bad with it he would always shut my mouth by this or that way – and never let me defend myslef against him – getting all the bads on my back, he kept repeating that I am stupid, that I know knothing, that people do not like me, because I am bad to them, he even started threatening that he will hit me or he can demand money from me, he called cursed words on me. When I tried to talk about my feelings he would repeat that I imagine things, that I am wrong etc…

    It seemed to me that the only thing I did wrong according to him that time was trying to explain myslef – and probably, in his opinion, I did not have any right to do that – so he would got angry at me and it all started again – anything I would say was wrong, anything he said was right, when he asked me a question I did not have any chance to answer, or any answer from me would be wrong, and of course I didn’t have the slightest chance or right to ask him any questions.
    After a few days more he did not even need any trigger any more and he would start it without any reason, anytime – even if I tried not to talk to him or avoid him, or even was nice to him. And yes – he almost always did that when there were no other people around.

    Once in the morning when I had already decided to leave him I told him that I would go buy some breakfast for us – he asked to join me and go talk. I was full of hope that maybe he wants to sum up our days, spend some nice time with me in our last moments together, but when we sat down he started his song again, but this time, even if it hurt me a little bit, I recognized that “non-sense” and did not really care. The same happened again that afternoon – this time I just sat by silently observing and saw it clearly – him showing his true, disgusting self out, shouting, repeating in loops his well learnt verses and trying to manipulate me expecting I would react in an emotional way – he started asking questions – I just went out. He had some wrongs to me that evening also, and two times he got on my nervers the next morning, when he already knew it is sure I am leaving, but those two last times were really ridiculous – really he behaved like a 5 year older who is crying about not being able to get a candy he wants stomping his foot:)

    When I travelled home in a bus that afternoon he called me and said let’s forget about bad stuff and wished me luck…. Again today writing some bullshits on my FB and threatening me.

    After I read some posts here I see the mechanism. “Ok let’s forget about bad times – for a few minutes I will be nice to you so that you can open to me again, so I can suck you out when you will not even be aware what is going on”.
    This wonderful man who I happened to fall in love with after such a short time became an ugly monster… Still there is this feeling of dissapointment, some regret, still I question myself “why?, it could have been so beautiful together” or “Maybe that was really my fault”…

    This way or that way (I hope) it is over. This is my story, nice to have found this blog, Thanks for the support – that a person who is in this peculiar situation will know that he/she is not imagining things, and is not alone in this hard position.

      • As some time have passed now, I think, I am oversenstitive of sociopaths. As I am not the perfect, still – in my partner I see this sick traits. I am not sure I am right or wrong, sometime getting insane about the matter…

        Somehow I try to make the relation perfect – and that is also not possible.

        • I have just left my next sociopath (1.5 year together). Read a lot. Wish U luck. Sorry to be pessimistic, but they do not change. Make a calendar – when the partner is “bad” for you make some signs on the calendar. If it is not nice – just try to prepare for the new life…

  5. I can spot them. I’ve read a lot about them in my psychology course but it’s only recently that this started. At first people just thought I was paranoid and being a weirdo since these people were sooo popular and loved. However, I accurately predicted a few of these people would do bad things to those around them (including my family), despite external evidence to the contrary, I just had no idea how bad these people could be. Quite shocking. And they’re always a hit with everyone around them, people really love these guys and just take them at face value. I’ve learned to keep far away, but the truth is… far away is not far away enough from these people.

    I also believe there is such a thing as “benign” psychopathy, where these people use and manipulate others but don’t commit crimes and can live a relatively peaceful life, provided they charm the right people and get them to do what they want. It’s a continuum, I believe, with extreme psychopaths and more conscientious ones. But they all lack empathy, have no morality and can really see people’s weaknesses. That impresses me and freaks me out.

    I think I seem useless to psychopaths (not that I don’t have many faults they could easily explore, but I just don’t have much need for external/social validation and I’ve learned to trust what I know to be true until proven otherwise). Their manipulations are so incredibly visible to me. I am not, however, one of them. So it’s very weird to me that I can see them. Maybe I’m just more open and accepting of the fact that, yes, some people are not like me and some people really do bad things. Most people are good (or at least don’t do outright harm to others, like benign psychopaths), but some people really are wolves in sheep’s clothing. That’s just a fact. And I don’t trust anyone until I know where they’ve been and what they’ve done in their lives.

    • “…I also believe there is such a thing as “benign” psychopathy, where these people use and manipulate others but don’t commit crimes…”

      I know one like this. I would have never guessed it unless if hadn’t read about psychopaths. I still may be wrong about him but he fits so many of the patterns. I can see him manipulating others as he tried to do to me. He doesn’t do that with me so much as it doesn’t work. I try to stay away from him but on occasion due to circumstances I’m around him.

      I do believe that the benign ones would kill you in heartbeat if there were no repercussions and they felt there was a pay off in some way so never let them be alone with you if possible.

  6. A psychopath is an intellectually developed adult with the social and emotional needs of a child. They are socially and emotionally disabled and cannot assume responsibility for anything. They intellectually create false realities to control others because they need to use other people’s social and emotional attributes to survive. (If a teapot is hot you’ll need feelings to tell you not to touch it or you’ll get burned) A psychopath will have to copy you to not get burned so they are extremely dependant.This gives them an insatiable need for control and power. Unfortunately it causes others that succumb to their false realities to commit crimes against themselves or others.
    There is no scientific diagnoses or proof that a person is a psychopath because it’s usually their motives that are destructive rather than their behaviour, which is unseen. The only way to deal with psychopaths is to educate people about the reality of their existence without instilling fear because fear will make them more vulnerable to a psychopath. A psychopath lies and their existence is a lie. It’s to mask who they are so they can live off others.The only way a psychopath can destroy your life is by not seeing who they are and understanding them.

  7. the thing is that successful psychopaths rely entirely on deception. So its fairly easy to throw them off balance by exposing them for who they are. Common street criminals don’t rely on deception. So when I sense thuggish street criminals I avoid them, because they are really dangerous. They are on a trajectoy of going to prison and I don’t want to be the one they kill to get there.

    White collar psychopaths have much more to lose.

  8. I think I can recognize them because I got abused by a couple of them as a child. So I think I developed a sixth sense. I think they have a certain energy signature. I give a lot of credence to chi gong. I feel that I can sense people’s chi or their aura. I didn’t know what this was until I read about auras and chi and so forth.

    One thing is they are control freaks. They are hyper aware of everyone around them and have a use for everyone in their environment. They have a way of manipulating everyone at once. For example if they are in a work place with a hundred people they will have a use for all 100.

    They have a lot of energy. Some people are attracted to this because it feels electric to have their attention.

    I freak them out because they can’t charm me. They can’t figure me out initially. They try different things and eventually avoid me.

  9. once you have been taken to the edge of sanity by a psychopath and had the strength of mind to escape thier vile games dangling your life like a demented puppetmaster thriving on the pain and utter destruction of your personality, it is essential you recognise any more of these freaks of nature for self preservation.Having been in this situation i can now spot one no matter how they try to conceal thier true nature and gild it with superficial cringe making charm.

    • I am sure that I am now enormously more sensitive and intuitive regarding deciphering a sociopath….like hypersensitive radar. I was only involved with one for five months, but the emotional effects were enormous. I realized toward the end that I was dealing with a sociopath (and in retrospect, could see more easily all the warning signs from the start). The gaslighting, the sudden cruelty when he had decided to abandon me–for no normal reason that I could see–the sadistic twisting of words and thoughts to make you feel as though there is something wrong with you and not him!!
      Left with utter emotional confusion because of leftover loving feelings when he had connected more than anyone else had ever connected with me before–like a true soul mate! Then, the cruel axe–sudden and for no normally apparent reason, combined with the verbal annhilations that made me feel as though I was losing my mind. It took me two months to get over the experience. I couldn’t function well and was unable to do even the simplest of things for quite some time. Nightmares, inability to clean my house and cook my meals–a form of paralysis.
      I am ok now, but now hypervigilant about the signs of sociopathy and find that I have a very difficult time trusting now.

      • The reason that he “had connected with [you] more than anyone else had ever . . . before” was that he had studied you and became your wants. You were literally in love with your own reflection — he was the mirror. You state that in hind sight that many warning signs were visible, perhaps his reaction time being a bit off (or a beat off as actors’ say) might have been one of them. If they gage their behavior by their target’s then they smile, after seeing your smile, they laugh after seeing you laugh — but it is a little slow.

        On top of everything else, we have no instincts for handling a romance broken by sociopathic fraud. It is almost like having a lover suddenly taken over by aliens. One can handle, perhaps with difficulty, ‘I guess I never knew who you really were’, but not ‘I guess I never knew what you were’.

      • We must not get so involved with someone we don’t know much about. If he was like this with you, he was like this with all his former lovers and god knows what else he has done in his life. You need to know his past, his long time friends, his parents, relatives and family. His former lovers. You need to listen when his former lovers tell you things, especially if it’s more than one. You need to keep your guard up. You need to really do your homework because the truth is, people are simply blinded by psychopaths.

        I was involved with one over ten years ago, but only recently put two and two together and realized he was a psychopath. Textbook psychopath. The good news is that I escaped relatively unharmed, but looking back I feel so sorry and scared for myself for having walked down that path. It could’ve ended so badly. I picture myself as a little child that I failed to protect. The confusion was insane, but I trusted myself down to the core. I hope my daughter never falls prey to this. The things I had to witness, hear, and live through were surreal. I am so glad I trusted myself despite being so young. And nothing he did stuck to me. I understand this was his pathology and acted more like an observer than a committed partner towards the end. Breaking up was hard and I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say I had to involve the police and he was arrested. When he realized I wouldn’t be manipulated or of any particular use to him, he simply fell off the radar.

  10. you are right on !
    _the biggest clue to knowing that yes you will come out of the fog is when you can conciously ask yourself
    ” does this makes sense?”
    now trust your gut.
    Does it make sense? yes or no.
    if it does not make sense then someone is trying to trick you.
    And the trick to getting away from the brainwashing devil is to first laugh at him and ask him why would i waste my time to even attempt to make sense outa nonsense ?
    Then Run

    I can spot one from afar.

    • “I can spot one from afar” — I wonder how many there are that can do this. Just knowing that some can do this is valuable knowledge, opening others to that possibility.

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