Ah Lovefraud — the gift to the lazy blogger. “Borrowing” a post, the above quote is from LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD ‘O like Umbrella,’ and the shut down mechanism. I’m going to take a few passages here and there from the post, under fair use (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.