Freedom’s Survival Depends on Character

This is the weekend we American’s celebrate the freedom to govern our own affairs.  Our nation was founded on a simple premise: Leave decent, noble people alone to pursue their dreams and they’ll inevitably not only prosper themselves but but also foster prosperity for their community.  But the framers of our constitution also knew that the whole idea of a free, limited-government society could only work when its citizens had a strong and healthy moral compass.

Regular blog readers will recall that I’ve written about this before (see, for example, Freedom and Character are Inseparable). But I’m doing so again and I will every year when we set aside time to contemplate and celebrate our freedoms – freedoms that have been under unprecedented assault because of the character crisis that’s crept into every aspect of our lives.  Our families, our businesses, our government, and our community relations all depend on us honoring the ideals and principles that made us great and because so many of us haven’t done so in recent years, our freedoms have steadily eroded and the burdens placed upon folks willing to be responsible have increased exponentially.  We all must do our part to reverse this trend.  My part has largely involved my books In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, The Judas Syndrome, and, of course, this anthem. Our socio-cultural climate must change because it so often promotes if not rewards character dysfunction.  But it’s the increase in character dysfunction that’s created the climate in which we live.  So, we’ll only reverse course by changing hearts, one at a time.

I’m not going to write a lengthy discourse on the threat to our freedoms the character crisis poses because you can read any of my many prior posts on the subject if you have a mind to.  Rather, once again I’m simply going to call your attention to the issue and invite you to listen to the song my wife and I were inspired to composed as we came to our own realizations about the vital relationship between freedom and character.  We hope it will inspire you to “pass the torch of freedom” by doing your part to make character cool again.  Share it with your friends, and, if you have a mind to be one of those performing it, or know someone who might, contact me in that regard.

What do you say we usher out the age of narcissistic self-indulgence, intolerance, bigotry, entitlement, abuse, and unscrupulous hedonism and usher in the era of character so that the blessings of liberty can be realized to the fullest and for generations to come?  I’ll be having more to say about this topic on the special Independence Day weekend presentation of Character Matters at 7 pm EDT on UCY.TV.  In the meantime, here, once again, in the link below (this year I’ve selected one of the video postings with fewer views but of higher audio quality), is “America, My Home!”:

http://youtu.be/IvlEHVa0SB4

107 thoughts on “Freedom’s Survival Depends on Character

  1. Dr Simon, I truly believe that the founding father’s of your nation were the one’s who tainted it in the first place. British Colonists who believed that one man’s freedom was built on another man’s status as a beast of burden. It was not until other noble men, whose steps you, yourself follow in, stood up and encouraged others to do so, that America started to ‘Leave decent noble people alone to pursue their dreams and prosper themselves and in their communities’. Now you have come the full circle in the US and are lead by and looking to a very Noble and Good man whose ancestry came from slavery to unite your people in collective identity, strength and good character. I feel sad for American’s, your song is beautiful and reminds me of the responsibility that American’s have to the world to lead the way. Thanks.

    1. Sorry Juliette, I think you are giving our current “leader” more credit than he deserves. Just my opinion, no offense towards you.

      Along the lines of loosing our freedoms, if you have not already watched this Frontline show, I suggest you do. It’s a two part documentary and it’s on youtube if anyone is interested.
      “United States of Secrets”

      1. No offense taken whatsoever Puddle, I’m sure I’m just an idealist as well as a consumer of whatever media propaganda gets thrown my way all the way down here in another hemisphere anyway and am way less qualified to comment than someone who lives in the US. He seems alot better than the last one that’s for sure. People overseas do look to the leaders of the US for a certain type of hope too because they are the big buddy of smaller nations, so to some degree we all have a stake in the politics of the US. I do have some opinions on the whole thing that are not appropriate to comment on here, especially on the day you celebrate how wonderful your country is. Speaking of covert aggression and all!

        1. ” He seems alot better than the last one that’s for sure. ”

          LOLOLOL!! Well, not that it’s funny because it’s certainly NOT! But having said that, there’s no where to go but up after that one…..or so I hoped or wanted to think or something.

          1. Hmmm, yes poor George, I’m sure he never had to wonder if he was a planned pregnancy or not!

          2. puppet. but a lot of the same carp that was going on then is still going on now, continued, tweaked to disguise and added on to. Quite honestly when it comes to government i live with my fingers crossed because it is as bizarre and perplexing as a lot of the ppath issues.

          3. he kind of reminds me of Spathtard now…..dufus, big guy physically but a little man boy who needs a strong mother figure to prop him up? funny, he is surrounded by women in his family, wife & two daughters,,,,,,,Spathtard…..two sisters, mommy, abusive dead father (supposedly abusive I should say, enter spate factor here).

    2. Character means holding every leader accountable. We are a nation of laws not men. Just because he came from slavery does not mean we can all put our feet up and rest because a “good man” is in charge.

      In fact it is in those moments – the temptation to rest because “finally” a “noble” leader is in charge – those are the moments when character deficiency can really take hold.

      We have to exercise small random acts of courage whenever we can.

      1. Hi Claire, I see the point you are making about being a nation of laws, not men..which is really relevant to this discussion, thankyou. I feel that the current leadership in the US is alot better than most of the ones that have been there in the past but that’s only a perception. It seems that freedom has come under threat, this has happened in Australia too and now our leaders are taking away many freedoms once though of as human rights, in order to ‘protect our freedom’, just as you are experiencing in the US. My point about coming the full circle was more of a compliment to the things that American’s fought for. Equality, education, dignity and opportunity for all people. Obama is living proof that American society has come a long way since it’s colonial days, is what I was trying to illustrate. As I said below to Puddle, people all over the world look to the leader of the US too, for direction, security and hope. We also only get fed what our leaders want us to know too. We all should live in a nation of laws and not men, in an ideal world. This is not how it works in reality I believe. We can go around in circles talking politics forever and end up ponder conspiracy theories in the end. Your comment ‘We have to exercise small random acts of courage whenever we can’, sums it up perfectly for me. We each can only do our bit on a daily basis and inspire others to do the same.

      2. I would have to say that our current leader is somewhat lacking in the nobility department — as is, probably, 99% of our government. Money, and the personal power required to achieve it, is the driving force behind US politics, it hasn’t had anything to do with the people in a long, long time. The effect on the populace is something along the lines of ‘every man for himself’, which hardly benefits society.

        I think it takes a certain amount of character disorderedness to put your own selfish wants/needs/desired above those of an entire country.

      3. I might add that our current president did not come from slavery. His mother was white, and his father was Kenyan, not even from our nation, let alone descended from the slaves of our nation.

        1. Thankyou Lisa, major assumption based on ignorance on my part. I will rephrase that in light of that fact then….he is representing and elected to power by, a great deal of people who are the descendents of slaves and was elected by a great deal of non African-American people who in the old days would have like to lynch mob him. I suspect then after reading some of the latest comments regarding the current US government, that like Australia’s current leader, he was elected on the basis of being the lesser of two evils. That’s about all we have to motivate us to vote these days it seems.

          1. That’s the truth Juliette. I know many conservatives and liberals and I know that the conservatives were in more of a quandary when Obama was originally elected than any time I can remember in my life time. I think the liberals were under the impression that O was the answer to all their prayers and so far they MIGHT be only maybe partially right. BUT, I can tell you this,,,,,,if you lived here and had to get your health insurance switched around due to the new set up you would not be singing his praises. My accountant has a story about that travashamokery that I wish she would put in writing because she STILL hasn’t figured it all out and works with numbers like I breathe air.

      4. I will take a risk of offending and insert an important point here about being a “nation of laws.” Too many of us are of the insane belief that it’s the rule of law that protects and serves us. Every law that’s ever been passed depends entirely on the voluntary compliance of people of conscience. And there have been plenty of laws enacted that were born of the most ignoble intent and which did much damage when enforced. There have been laws that declared people of a certain color and race as “property” and laws that relegated people of a particular sex to second-class citizen status. No human law can supplant the more crucial law of love that must govern the human heart. Our survival and our greatness as a nation depend on character and character alone. Our laws will not save us. Character will. In character’s presence, no law is really needed. And in its absence, no amount of legislation can save us.

        1. Dr. Simon, would you say that in some cases the laws are a reflection of the character of the people who enacted them and who enforce them? If a law is unfair and as a judge you uphold that law or as a cop you enforce that law, don’t you either have to stand by the reasoning behind that law or take a stand against it?

          1. Some laws have been enacted in good faith and intent but have nonetheless visited upon us very unfortunate unintended consequences. Still others have been crafted for nefarious purposes. Again, the key issue is the character and conscientiousness of the law crafters. And until we DEMAND the utmost of character once again in our officials, we’ll remain in trouble and increasingly polarized. And as far as a judge or other official enforcing an unjust law, there are always responsible ways to dissent or advocate for change (or even recuse oneself) without unduly flouting or subverting the law. But again, that takes character and courage.

        2. That is such a good point Dr Simon, I’m so glad you pointed my mind in that direction. So many of our laws and they way they are interpreted make me feel like a second class citizen, like the maximum penalties for assault on a partner and every form of child abuse. Like the laws that exempt the church from disclosing the crimes of priests. What a travesty of love and justice that one is.

        3. “A Nation of Laws” – I so agree Dr. Simon! That saying, I think, could be re-framed to refer to the laws of inner character, well I wonder also if it derived from a reference to Common Law (which we borrowed from England.)

          “A Nation of Principles, Not of Men” is what that saying means to me.

          I get worried when we put too much faith in any one human.

        4. This is something of which I mourn the near loss. Very sadly for me, traits such as character, wisdom, fairness, trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, honesty, fortitude, courage, empathy have been mostly relegated to qualities that have no place in the modern world.
          No surprises that enter from stage to the right……the manipulative.

    3. None of the founders was without their own character flaws. Still, a free, independent society was a noble concept, and indeed it did take women and men of both character and courage to challenge us to live up to the ideals we claimed to embrace. That struggle still goes on, and is largely what inspires my work. If there’s beauty in my song, I’d like to think it’s because of how personal I try to make it. It’s my duty to honor and embrace the best of our values and to the extent I do that, perhaps others will be inspired to do the same!

      1. Dr Simon, I wrote this a few years ago and would like to say it to you and convey my respect to you for who you are and what you give freely.

        From the moment of our birth
        We are keepers of the earth
        People near and from far away
        We are proud of who we are

        Now is the time
        The past is gone and life
        Goes on, it’s up to you
        You and me
        Side by side

        Chorus
        Heaven knows, about the world
        And all it’s story
        How are we to know what lies ahead
        In all it’s glory
        Even when we sometimes
        Hurt each other in the fury

        Don’t…….. walk away
        This time we stand together
        Heroes as one

        Each and every single day
        All we do and what we say
        Echoes down into eternity
        Who will be…What we’ll see

        Rpt Chorus

  2. Your post hits home George. In my socio-cultural atmosphere, I see polycycles of relational aggression via vandalism by my peers. It’s up to people like us to keep ourselves in check to make sure such acts are channeled through a chain-of-command properly as a countermeasure to said nuisance value.

    1. Thanks for writing Juliet. America’s whole foundation is anti-colonialism, as I see it. Read our Declaration of Independence. Hopefully our next president will be more willing to share a spotlight and will shine a light on others who exercise character.

      1. Hi Claire, I went on to Wikipedia and read the whole thing. It’s funny you should say that because I have thought so many times over the last few years ‘I must read that’ but never quite seem to get around to doing it. The preamble at the beginning is so inspiring and moving. So idealist and full of hope. You can feel the values of the people that wrote it. When I read the middle part, the rationale for the severing of ties or divorce from England, I was thinking how much of what people feel today is written in between those lines. Of course the King of England was running right over the people in obvious ways and actively hindering their efforts to thrive. Today we have a similar thing, especially for poorer people, we also have no one to excommunicate ourselves from and a much more difficult task mobilizing a nation together for the common good. The persecution has to be overwhelming for people to feel this.

    2. Maverick, would you shed more light on “polycycles of relational aggression via vandalism by my peers”? Do you mean things like bullying, harassment, rumour mills, gossiping, two-facedness(“hey, you’re amazing/Wow, I hate that guy”) and diminishing others’ social status by underhanded means?

  3. I’ve wanted to ask this of Dr. Simon: sometimes I see the tide turning, of people being fed up with narcissism, and more talk about us being nice to each other.

    I wonder if in your career, you’ve seen a hopeful sign of the tide turning only to see it die again. It’s clear lying was not invented in the last 30 years.

    I also still see people over a certain age — this is not a critique on the elderly, more critique of people born in a certain time bracket — not seeing lies and scam artists and subtle manipulation taking place right under their eyes. Like they’ve lived such a secure life and have not seen the rampant increase in underhanded manipulation taking place.

    But to close on a more positive note, I see people trying to connect here and there. People cannot live and thrive for very long when everyone around them is lying and manipulating.

    1. “not seeing scam artists and subtle manipulation taking place right under their eyes” — I so agree with you Claire, and that’s the question I would ask Dr. Simon. Why do some continue to believe everything someone SAYS and that they are acting out of pure benevolence when there is SO much evidence to the contrary? Oh wait…never mind – it’s the same phenomenon that brought us here.

      1. I think often times it’s just SO hard to believe that someone would do things that you would never do yourself. Our brain defaults to,,,,there must me a misunderstanding or I must be taking or interpreting this wrong…..surely it couldn’t be THAT!

    2. I do believe the tide is turning, albeit slowly. The impetus for this is largely that those who’ve always carried the “weight” of making this all work are getting weary of being neglected, dismissed, abused, etc., and are wanting to make accountability and responsibility – in short, character – “cool” again. But I don’t sense enough righteous indignation just yet to spark a mass movement.

        1. Very funny and great satire on many levels Claire, I have seen some of his work on tv in Australia before now I recognize his face.

      1. A little late to the conversation here but speaking of seeing the tide turn, I hope readers here will check out Philip Zimbardo’s work. He has been interviewed in films about his work with the famous Stanford Prison Experiments, and analysis of the Abu Ghraib situation. He is now promoting a new program for kids called Everyday Heroism. His work helps to open our eyes to question so-called authority that pretends to act out of nobleness and honor, but really seeks to harm someone. And how to not be a bystander to bullying. One of his most valuable comments I remember assessing the SPE, was that if a single person who is in a role of authority or a small group of like-minded people not in authority will act to challenge an aggression that is actually harming someone, the tide can change. That is the thread of hope in his work, one he says is too often forgotten. He hopes to spread this idea more with Everyday Heroism. The problem for most people and what powerful bullies sense intuitively is that folks not in power are afraid or apathetic about speaking out when they witness aggression. We need to work on our critical mass of indignation.

        1. Anon, great post yet i find myself thinking about how hard it is to see the truth sometimes, even for the victims, because the manipulative bully is so skilled at hiding it and twisting it and the less people involved, the less witnesses and in my case there literally are no witnesses. He is absolutely free to manufacture ANY cover story he wants and there is nothing I can do about it. I’m 100% sure he has painted himself as the poor victim of Puddle who he tried so hard to love and who broke his heart and is crazy. it’s pathetically disgusting.
          But your thoughts are noble.

  4. Is freedom really doing whatever you want? It isn’t really, it does mean having the choice to do what you want and choosing to do the things that are for the good of the whole. I just can’t help seeing western societies as an ideology gone wrong. We have rampant freedom which has turned into overindulgence and imbalance. How can we have Glitz and Glamour and Homelessness in the same cities? Where obese people walk past beggars asking for money. Where advertisers pay millions of dollars for a few minutes at half time in a sports game and people cant access basic health care. Where a bag of reconstituted high fructose corn syrup and some potatoes is cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables. Where a cow eats enough grain to feed a family in the third world for a year so people can eat burgers? Where one in three people have diabetes and spend more money on medicine than they do food? Where a government funds sport before it funds accommodation for women and children to escape domestic violence. Where a teacher and a policeman, who are the real heroes of our societies are among the lowest paid civil servants. Where the planet is dying and our leaders are more worried about the economy. This is not what any of our founding leaders envisioned when they looked to the mighty socialist democracies of the future. We are an unruly mob like the Romans and we have had our freedom far too long, it’s time we started thinking beyond freedom and submitted to our duty to the future of mankind. Duty.

    1. I agree with you Juliette, but I don’t think it’s rampant freedom which has torn this country apart. I think it’s Capitalism-run-amok, better known as unbridled greed, where money is god. All those problems you mention, are the results of decisions which impact the country being made based on the interests of the monied elite. What is happening in this country now is the result of decades of this practice — we have hit some kind of critical mass, and I personally see things getting worse before they get better.

      From a societal standpoint, the power structure is full of the nastiest CDs on the planet. That’s a terrifying thought.

          1. Well this wave may have started with counter-culture. But that is not entirely correct, counter-culture trends of the 1960’s also dovetailed with calling many traditions into question. It perhaps was a reaction to things like the Civil Rights movement, gay rights, women’s rights. But it can go too far in throwing too many social norms into question. Oddly the teens of the Counter Culture wave grew up in a timespan of long economic growth in this country.

          2. Thanks Claire I understand what you’re defining now. I’m a child of counter culture parents, who turned into the selfish baby boomers of the 80’s who put their kids in day care and pursued their dreams of wealth, who divorced at a huge rate and who reaped the benefits of the women’s rights movement that fought for these rights before them. The women who were told you could have it all only to find that they couldn’t and at huge expense to the development of their children. The young people who experimented with drugs when they were relatively safe and brought up children who lived in a world that was saturated in them and became addicts. People whose parents fought in WW2 and Vietnam who were anti war and whose parents returned with ptsd and children who rejected/disrespected them and their generation. People who played Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Joan Baez, Neil Young and later Pink Floyd to their children whilst they lay in bed at night wondering if the world was going to be destroyed by nuclear holocaust and wondered why they were the most lonely, isolated and depressed generation to ever evolve. Yes I am a child of counter culture parents.

      1. Yes, it’s not just in your nation it’s in all capitalist societies. Every man for himself. We consume the fear we are fed too by the media, with high doses of said corn syrup to soothe us all the same. I hope that climate change will continue to force us all to rethink our boundaries. A kind of revolution needs to happen. That critical mass you describe, I have considered similar thoughts myself. The ageing populations are being replaced with a generation suffering the developmental disaster that capitalism has created too. It seems the human race has reached a time where it must have a quantum leap if it is to survive. As Puddle has said below, it is changing in the grand scheme of things…from the bottom upwards. If we each change our own way of doing things in our own lives and participate in something greater than ourselves we will continue to power the momentum of change. Somewhere out there on the causal plane the universe is obediently building our thought-forms into reality I believe.

        1. The character crisis knows no particular political ideology. There are plenty of greedy, abusing, exploiting, tyrannical characters in other systems as well. And, perhaps the most insidious crimes against humanity occur in those societies that purport to serve the common good while enslaving and impoverishing all equally.

    2. Hey, Juliette, that’s well-described and very sad it’s come to this.

      Come to think of it, have you got ’round to reading Moore’s Facing the Dragon yet? His views touch on many of the same aspects you and many other commenters touch on here.

      1. Hi J, I’m still waiting for the book to arrive in the mail. Goodness anyone would think I’m living in Antarctica and the whales were bringing it on their annual migration!

    3. the reality is this though……you can not mandate morals or character and adults only learn the hard way as a rule. Right now is one tick in the pendulums swing.
      Someone told me something today that was really interesting……..If you really look at society/ the world/ humans/ all of it, and look at it from a proportional and relative point of view, the world is actually getting better, is more peaceful, more prosperous, etc. Like we are in reality on a serious up turn relative to the past. I don’t know….the person who was saying this is pretty on target and well read and studied.

      1. I hope so Puddle, if we look back hundreds and thousands of years, we have evolved…from the days of slavery all over the world for example. We have stopped thinking in terms of every nation for itself and instead realized our global responsibilities.

        1. I will ask her tomorrow when she comes for a visit…where she is getting this information and what exactly she told me….but it had something to do with comparison and proportion. That it LOOKS like things are worse now but if you put it all on paper and figure it out, it is NOT worse it’s actually better. It seems impossible to me but I can also see how it could be true. We tend to think about things in time spans that are relative to our frame of reference. Ancient history is out of that frame of reference. VERY hard for me to explain! To be continued…………

          1. Puddle, I kind of think along similar lines, what I truly believe is that now that we are in the information age…the internet and access to it has changed everything. We are experiencing this huge ability to mobilize and effect each other on a grand scale. So we have all these revolutions happening everywhere too. We are so much more empowered and less at the mercy of our socioeconomic status to be educated and informed. There is also the misuse or unhealthy use of the same, like the percentage of internet traffic dedicated to pornography and video games. This is growing the divide between those people who are expanding their awareness and those that are shrinking theirs. I don’t feel that I have a nice rounded off conclusion to that observation but I think we are witnessing a time of exponential growth in awareness in some and exponential sinking into base desires in others that will have long reaching consequences for humanity. The divide between different types of people is getting bigger. It’s about time the Messiah hurried up! lol (not)

          2. Juliette, you have an amazing way of expanding on my simplistic way of saying thing, basically putting into words the things I don’t have the attention span or words to put my thoughts into words!! 🙂 But I think it began before the technology aspect came into play,,,,,,but it would, wouldn’t it. Things don’t just HAPPEN……there are lead in’s, the approach, the crime and the getaway. Something is always happening that sets the stage for something else to happen, eh?

          3. Yes Puddle, that’s a great way of putting it, ie things evolving from the stage that’s been set before them. That’s the only influence we ever have on the future, is how we set the stage today. Kinda what Dr Simon is saying by power of the moment.

    4. I think real freedom involves being who you really are instead of doing what ever you want. I also think psychopaths are human doings rather than human beings with a true, in tune and balanced sense of self, a human being that is able to be there self while at the same time respect other human beings and the greater good.
      Spathtard could NOT be by himself, had never even been to a restaurant by him self…..why?? Because he HAS no sense of self…..just a false mask that he changes at the drop of a hat. And empty shell, a fake, a fraud and a loser.

      1. That’s an interesting view there. I think it ties to another pondering I have in mind.

        Time ago someone here posted about PUA-community, men that have want to bed women to satisfy their lust. It has that ring. It’s like these men, outright predators or not, just follow animal instincts of sorts. Deeper reflection of life? What’s that? That’s no fun. Self-respect? Fool’s talk, let’s throw that to trashbin, who does anything with that anyway? Let’s just follow base instincts.

        Also, I’ve read and heard about certain types of “nice” guys. Everyone has, probably. These are not genuinely kind guys, who’d wish you well. They’re superficially placid and friendly guys, who are in reality very entitled, with no self-respect, either.

        I guess Spathtards are another breed.

        No real values to live by, can anyone call that satisfying by any stretch?

        1. J, I think that they do operate from a very limbic structure without a refined brain to modify and control the strong limbic drives. They were never socialized or acculturated properly either. These men certainly do follow their animal instincts, not just sexually. All their drives and desires are at a very base level. Shelter, food, power, sexual release. They are pleasure seeking…hedonistic. They manipulate all the objects in their world to suit these drives and basic needs. It’s just that with them it’s people that are objects too. Everything relates to them and their needs. They only have empathy for themselves. Which is an oxymoron really because empathy is ‘other’ directed not self directed. Here’s a classic example. A few days ago Bambam saw my tremors in my hand when I was putting a sugar in a coffee. He said ‘have you got the shakes?” I briefly put my hand in front of me for a few seconds which was shaking and showed him without saying anything. I looked at him and nodded. The first words that came out of his mouth were…’I’ve shot myself in the foot haven’t I?’ This is an expression he uses often in relation to my suffering. He sees me shaking and thinks of the consequences to himself immediately. He thinks ‘I’ve traumatized her and now she’s no good to me’. He doesn’t get a feeling of guilt or remorse or god forbid empathy, he immediately thinks of the consequences to himself. It’s all he is capable of I’ve come to believe. The only satisfaction they are capable of is to their own base desires. They are too shallow and impoverished in emotions to even realize what they are missing out on. They live in a black, grey and white world and will never experience the subtle tones and vibrant colours that saturate the world the rest of us know. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually or anythingly. They are quite happy with that I believe. They don’t feel it, therefore it doesn’t exist in others. Ignorance is bliss.

          1. A lot of it really sounds “right” Juliette. I once heard it described as them being two dimensional beings in a three dimensional world. And OK…..that makes me sad in a way for Spathtardx, like seriously sad with tears and a lump in my throat. Bsaically it boils down to a no win situation……it’s not safe to love him and “he” isn’t even real so how can I love him…..talk about a circular mind’f.

      2. Puddle, what you have said here touches on something I had forgotten about. I have noticed that many times in my life. All paths hate being by themselves and can’t tolerate it for very long and if they do they must be entertained some other way. They avoid being alone like the plague. I wonder why that really is. I think it’s as close to anxiety they will ever get.

        1. because when they are alone, they are really alone. When they are by themselves there is NO one there and it’s sad in a way. screw them.

          1. Screw them….maybe…..How many does it take to wallpaper a lounge room…depends on how thinly you slice them.

        2. “They avoid being alone like the plague. I wonder why that really is. I think it’s as close to anxiety they will ever get.”

          Boredom? Lack of stimulation?

          1. J, possibly, though it’s like they would rather have people for entertainment than something inanimate shared in their own company. They’ve usually got a current ‘project’ they are working on. A person they are schmoozing, not necessarily a member of the opp sex, just someone they are idealizing. There is a drive there to do that especially, in them I think, then the devaluing one too. They’ve usually got a few on the go in different stages I believe when I look at all the paths I’ve known. The need is to stay meddling and entertaining themselves with their human interactions, keep being the puppet master. Makes them feel more human or something? Maybe when they’re alone, there really is no one there, like Puddle says. Or maybe they don’t like the voices in their head and need to see themselves reflected in the impressions of others to get a genuine sense of themselves. I don’t know but it’s an interesting obvservation and I’ve heard lots of abused women say the same things about their abusers. The separation of the precious when it happens (to the ones that are very attached to keeping the relationship) can cause them to become frantic with the need to keep that control. I’ve been on the receiving end of psychopathic obsession a few times. Like rage, separation ‘anxiety’ (not quite the word though), ambivalence, big attachment/loss problems in some of them. They feel they would rather destroy you than ‘lose’ you. You have to ‘pay’ some way in their eyes for rejecting them. This is what scares me with BB, he has the potential to be like this, I’ve seen it before but always backed down on the separation and gotten sucked back in with idealization again once he senses I’m back in the ring for a grain of hope.

          2. I think maybe seeing themselves reflected in the impressions of others is a way they maintain grandiosity.

          3. That’s all very interesting and creepy. If we could see into their exact thoughtscapes, I guess we’d be reeling on the floor shaking and vomiting from the sights.

    5. Juliette!!! I just found out something about CA Woodsman today from a person in common sort of (hard to explain). Anyhow, apparently a long time ago in his younger years, CA Woodsman basically tried to rape or molest a woman who the person who told me this’s ex wife? sister? exgirlfriend? I can’t remember what he said his relation to the woman was but hmmmmmmm……….and INTERESTING bit of information, yeah?

      1. Wow!!! Fits the profile totally. Hmmmm alright. Normal people don’t act that way. That’s the one you know about. Goodness knows what we never find out with these paths.

        1. The woman, girl at the time, was “traumatized”, his word. That’s a pretty powerful word. this would probably have been 40+ years ago because CA Woodsman is older than I am and this supposedly happened when CA Wodsman was a teenager. The story goes, they were out riding around in a car, drinking I’m sure, and CA Woodsman basically accosted her. I was telling this person in common the CA Woodsman story and i barely got started but had mentioned CA Woodsman’s first name. Once I started into the story, this guy asked me, “was it CA Woodsman”? and I said yes (most people around her know him just by his first name, in woodsman context), then he basically interrupted my story to tell me the story about this girl he knew and what had happened to her. I just said…..”reeeeeeealllly”!!!
          Why does that not surprise me?? Kind of makes his comment at the time about my opinion about what Spathtard did to me being rape make sense. He said….”so was it that he raped you or that you went along with it at the time but are calling it rape now”? He threw down the gauntlet with that smart a** question/ comment because I lost it and it was all down hill from there.

          1. Puddle, unlike the girl in the CA early life story, you didn’t go along with it when he violated your property boundaries. The thing about CA’s is that they perfect their art over time. He learned that if you push a woman’s boundaries she will often go along with it. How cruel and insensitive his comment was too but I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone like that. You must feel weird after knowing this now. Does it feel kinda good that you trusted yourself and stood up for yourself, now that you know that about him and have the hindsight to put the pieces together? It’s a double edged sword though isn’t it. You must also be knowing that you sat there and opened up to him about Spathard and he was enjoying it all the same, before the incident when you called the Sheriff. I’m starting to form a belief that there is such a thing as ‘consensual rape’, I know it is an oxymoron and I’m not claiming it is a crime necessarily but I think that it goes on a great deal more than women talk about in relationships. We consent to the act on a physical level (for a multitude of various reasons) but the spirit is being protected and is not participating. We allow ourselves to be the object, knowing so. In other words it’s the spirit being raped. A splitting or compartmentalization of the self is necessary to allow this and therefore we experience trauma about this much later on when it is safe to do so.

          2. Juliette, CA Woodsman has been testing my boundaries for quite a while! Now that he mask has slipped and he took it to the in your face realm I can see it all in retrospect. Sounds familiar, eh? The difference between Spathtard and CA Woodsman it that CA Woodsman didn’t have an in road to my deepest vulnerabilities and I was not bonded to him in any way shape or form so I could drop the hammer on him. I have been “”friends”” with CA Woodsman for YEARS! Like 5-6 years! And I leaned on him during the spathcapade. Funny,,,,,,towards the beginning of that he told me that he had seen Spathtard but didn’t connect that it was him until he had passed him so by the time he waved to him he had passed him. I was appalled and asked him why in the world he would wave to him!! He said “well, I can’t snub him”! I said, you most certainly CAN snub the POS! I asked him, if someone broke into your house and shot your dog and stole your most valuable possessions and I knew who did it, how would YOU feel if I waved to him?? He acknowledged my point but I’m sure in his mind he also had a whole different answer. Also interesting…….when this whole mess with CA Woodsman was taking place and I confronted his boundary violations with him, he spun it every which way but straight. One, skewed version after another, one line of BS after another, one side step and spin after another. I finally said, CA Woodsman,,,,,your arguments don’t even make SENSE! What are you even talking about?? It was amazing and I could probably retell it better if I wasn’t so crushed and freaked out by the whole thing at the time.

          3. I don’t think the girl in the story did “go along with it” Juliette, I think she fought him off or at least resisted to the best of her ability. I don’t know what exactly happened or what exactly the outcome was but for someone to be traumatized……it says a lot.

          4. Juliette, I totally understand what you are so eloquently saying about “consensual rape” but I would take the word consensual out of there….it’s too misleading. In my past I have been exactly there though. In the moment I “””agreed”””, more like allowed, something to happen that I was really NOT ok with but allowed to happen. in my mind i have a picture of myself…..my body kind of ridged and my eyes open and staring. it’s not a good feeling what that image brings up in me. Not being really ok with what is happening but so many things going on in my head about it and not finding the right words and time keeps going by and the situation keeps developing and then, there you have it. done. awful Juliette……and some weird feeling after. Honestly I think I did this a couple times with Spathtardx. I know I did.

          5. Puddle, it’s the moment when you have fully submitted to being an object, that’s why it feels so bad.

          6. My counselor said today that it is more appropriate to call it complicit victimization and it’s what happen when a paralyzing confusion sets in,,,,your voice is gone and you feel insignificant almost. it’s really NOT consensual.

          7. Puddle, I like that term better ‘complicit victimization’ that describes it perfectly. That’s maybe why I’ve got this ego state that is angry at myself. The part of me that says to me, ‘your an idiot for letting this happen to yourself all this time’.

        2. in the entire time I was in High school/ a teenager……out of all the guys I dated, hung out with, partied with, etc…….I only had ONE guy ever do anything that was what I would call forceful and I semi remember it but don’t remember how I got out of it. That does not include the drugs I’ve been given or tried to be given. I had one other weird, very weird, encounter with some dude as an adult but weaseled my way out of that too somehow. The details of the rest of the mess are not particularly always squeaky clean but I have been around an extraordinarily huge amount of males, in various ways so what I’m saying is that it most definitely is not normal behavior IMO, based on my experience.

          1. Mmm, yes just because something happens a lot doesn’t make it normal. Like 30-60 percent of women have a cesarean depending on the doctor but it’s definitely not normal. It’s supposed to be around 3 percent like it was in Holland in the 70’s where everyone gave birth at home unless you were sick. So just because we see and hear and experience this stuff from men all the time, even though we’ve come to expect it…doesn’t make it normal. Sexual freedom, now there’s a great topic for an article. The effects on society, men, women and children of the so called sexual freedom, yet another example of how lack of reverence for a higher power has turned against humans.

          2. Juliette, reread my comment. I think you may have taken what I said differently than I meant it?

          3. Puddle, I’m agreeing with you that it’s definitely not normal, just highlighting that because it’s common to get abnormal behaviour thrown at us, doesn’t make it normal 🙂

    1. Thankyou Puddle, I read the inside glimpse of the book on amazon. It looks very insightful. I had a few aha… moments already just reading that, about how we rationalize the things that start disappointing us in the beginning. I’m trying to limit the amount of things that trigger me at the moment because I’m having unmanageable pts and tremors and it has a life of it’s own. So I’m not going to read it just yet. The recommendation by Donna Anderson is pretty convincing too.

      1. yes, I saw that Donna had recomended it as well.
        Hope you are feeling better soon Juliette. {{Internet Hug to you}}

        1. Thanks Puddle, so do I. I’m going round in the circular mind fuddle at the moment. I think I keep logging on here and talking to you and anyone else who wants to as a reality check and a life line to my knowing and determination. He is being Mr nice guy impression manager. I have to keep staying in the power of the moment and notice the path that is there underneath the impression, seeing and hearing the little clues that demonstrate he still has no empathy for me, I’m still an object, even when he is being Mr Wonderful. I’ve seen, been, done, heard it so many times before and have to keep reminding myself that this time is no different to the other times, except that now he has engaged me in counselling, which I have decided I’m going to use to my advantage somehow. Either to feel safer or to validate my knowing that he is not capable of any form of true intimacy. He can muster this enormous amount of motivation, self sacrifice and energy to save his own neck ie not end up losing the precious, then soon goes back to his usual unmotivated and self concerned, selfish agenda when he has ‘won’ the struggle not to lose me. It’s so hard to not get blinded by that fog. Not so hard in the early days of a relationship but after five years of repeat cycles it’s still difficult to pull the final hook out when he does this. I said to his therapist last week, it’s like when you buy a lemon car. First the motor blows up and you go ‘oh I might as well put a new motor in it…then you spend all that money on a new motor and dratz! the gearbox breaks…then you think..well I’ve spent all that money on a new motor I might as well put a new gear box in it and I’ve virtually got a new car!..so you invest some more and low and behold the auto electric system breaks down! You start thinking you bought the wrong car and have wasted so much money that you could have bought a much better car in the first place but you have already invested so much by now you realize you might as well fix the electrics as well. By the time you find that the suspension is broken now, you are tearing your hair out and realizing that you should have thrown it away as soon as they engine broke but it’s too late, your almost broke and you can’t afford to take a risk on buying another car in case that one is a lemon too…so you pay to fix the electrics…by that time you start noticing the rust breaking out from underneath the dodgy paint job that the seller gave it to suck you in and now you’re broke and don’t have enough money to even put petrol in it let alone repaint it. The car was a curse from the beginning, you got sucked in by the new paint job….

          1. What a perfect analogy Juliette, only add in the driver getting verry very sick somewhere along this process and can’t GET to the doctor because the car is always broken down.

          2. Juliette, I keep thinking how weird it would have been to have still been with him when I found out all of this. I was only in the process of figuring it all out while we were still together and under love’s sedation and cog/dis. I don’t think I could have stomached being around such a pig as he really turned out to be. And knowing me, I would not have been able to keep my mouth shut and not call his bluff and number, expose him to his F##*### face and in public. That just made me madder than a bald faced hornet typing it. For all the Jollys he got out of me, he has no real clue how much damage he wrought. how deeply he really hurt me and I’m sure that if he knew now it would just be even more satisfaction to him, his mother and his twisted sister. And typically, as soon as I feel anger over it all, the tears come. This is the first time in my life I’ve had my heart broken, nothing even comes close. To think that he did it intentionally is just unimaginable to me. to face the bizarre reality that people do this to other people intentionally is just so disturbing.

          3. It’s funny you say that because I’ve been thinking how harder it would have been if I hadn’t! I read But He Says He Loves Me in 2010 though, so I’ve been somewhat aware although I’ve only recently come to understand he is a narcissist on the spectrum somewhere. I think when you first come to a realization or a radical change in your thinking, it takes time to sink in and for us to reflect on the facts and come to a realistic conclusion. Then you reflect that new understanding onto their behaviour and see if it fits the picture. When you are still together you can test your new understanding, when you are apart you only have your memories to go on, so you try to remember things that happened and whether you are right or not. At the same time I’ve been doing this for BB, I’ve been reflecting back to the other two nutters and realizing the instrumental aggression and manipulation tactics they both used too. It feels more certain with BB because I can see it right in front of my face in real time. Then I’ve got the support from staying connected to taking part on here, which is validating my observations and knowing…so overall I would guess it’s actually better for me anyway, it helps with the fog of confusion to have all this information and other survivors to remind you that you are sane. It’s understandable why you feel so angry, he really violated you in some deep ways and I can sense there is so much you can’t really explain on this site and that makes me shudder for you too. We fell in love with an illusion not something real, therefore we only thought we were in love. I fell like this for the PPD ex, completely and utterly but it was a total illusion. We also read things into their good behaviour and give them alot more credit for having certain motivation for it, than they deserve. Quite often they are just so basic and doing things for themselves and we feel all grateful and attribute their ‘giving’ actions to the fact they are a truly good person and deserve our love. That’s the part of the illusion we paint ourselves. Anger is the hard shell that surrounds and protects the soft yolk of damaged capacity for vulnerability. In serves us for a while until we feel strong enough to protect ourselves with something else again. You know the stages of the grief cycle. Denial, bargaining, anger, depression, bit more bargaining, bit more depression, acceptance. Normal grief doesn’t involve getting wounded at the same time though, so this type of grief involves something internalized not just something lost. I didn’t start having automatic trauma responses relatively out of proportion to the stress until this relationship with BB. The big damage was done with the PPD ex I’ve come to realize. It’s really important to consider what going through long term trauma does to your nervous system later on. You are having a long period of intense grief and the longer it goes the more your nervous system gets imprinted with the emotions you are going through. I was so stupid really not to realize I should have been doing therapy like you are now and I was so busy with the children, I just shoved it all down I think as well as the fact I was still going through it, picking up the pieces for years with the kids, I still am.

          4. My thought for today. Trauma involving a lifepartner is grief/loss that must be internalized not just moved on from as in the usual kind of loss of attachment. The world view has not just experienced a void or loss (as in normal grieving) of an object/person… it has internalized and built a new concept/developmental task to be integrated and at the same time experienced a further loss of integrity/safety in relation to this developmental task. Trauma stunts a person’s normal development as it progresses which results in failure to move properley to the stages of life that follow. The self loses integrity because one of the concepts internalized with trauma with a partner is that the self was the cause of the trauma, it was the self that made the wrong decisions leading to the trauma. The once dependable self gets relegated to the not to be trusted department.

          5. Juliette, the self did not make the wrong decisions, the self made a choice that turned out to be wrong because it involved a manipulator but we didn’t CHOOSE a manipulator, we were manipulated into a deadly bond with a manipulator because we didn’t know what a deadly manipulator was.

          6. yes Juliette. I compare it to being drugged and date raped. You may have made the choice INITIALLY to go to the bar and have a couple beers with some friends but someone slipped, WITHOUT YOU KNOWING, something in your beer that took you from a little bit tipsy to absolutely wasted. How much choice did you actually have after that?
            Unless you actually SAW them putting something in your drink, knew what it was and chose to drink it anyhow, you are 100% a victim ad the real you is not the one making any choices. I KNOW NOW what happened only because the illusion has been shattered and the truth of what he is has been revealed. During the fog of my evolvement I was upside down and inside out to the point that I didn’t know which end was up. So tell me, those that think,,,,that I “participated in my exploitation”. That’s what they want me to think and I say hogwash.

          7. Thank you, Puddle, for that analogue.

            Indeed, people also get tricked to cults by having information withheld(can you say “mental reversation technique” or “Depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is” ?) and critical thinking suspended.

            I know being in a destructive relationship and being in a cult are different things, but to me it seems to be sometimes the difference in methods and sometimes the difference in degree.

          8. J, there are all kinds of ways to trick the human mind, the human being. What if the vulnerability you have is really not an issue in your day to day encounters with people or in your normal friendships? what if this vulnerability is dormant until it’s triggered by a spathtard because they were so adept at spotting it as the best way to exploit you.
            Kind of like, not everyone who gets burgled left the back door or a window unlocked or, what if someone had been at your house that day and unlocked one of your windows and didn’t tell you. Like a window that is normally locked all the time, one that you would never even suspect? I’m just saying there are ways to subvert a persons defenses and instincts. Ways to muddle them up, throw them off balance, etc. and with a SPATH, the number one thing they use to their advantage is that you are not like them and therefore would not translate a variety of things to mean what it really means about them. How can you if you don’t even know they exist because you have never been through an entanglement with one!

          9. I have seen this experiment before so I knew what to expect, it is fascinating and I can’t remember what the statistics are but most people come up with a number and that’s all. It shows just how much we can perceive according to our expectations and yes Puddle is very well applied to our experiences in these relationships!

          10. J, you’ve got it. I sometimes think that some people even get chewed up and spat out by a spath and still don’t even know what happened. They just think they were discarded for some fault of their own. Or that it was their fault their partner cheated on them. Or their partner was too controlling, too jealous, violent, selfish instead of looking at the patterns of paths and seeing the whole picture from idealize to devalue to discard. People have a hard time coping with the fact they were just utilized and objectified too because they can’t relate to not having empathy in proper measure. Average people, me included, have a very hard time comprehending someone who doesn’t learn from mistakes or feel genuine remorse and contrition for hurting others. Your analogy about the house break in describes things perfectly.

          11. Juliette, As the friend who sent this to me said, it’s an example of how your mind works and consequently how a Spath works your mind, how they distract you from what turns out to be the gorilla in the middle of the room, under your nose, in your face, home, life, heart, bed. It blew me away! The first time I watched it I couldn’t even count the number of passes, my brain stopped at 3 or 4 because my mind and eyes couldn’t keep up. It was such a familiar feeling……I had to just stop counting. After the end I watched it again and only counted 12. but saw the gorilla. My mind was all over the place counting though…..was that a pass or a bounce? Do they count bounces as passes? etc…..it showed me so much.

  5. When today I had a normal conversation with two of my buddies during a pizza meeting, I noticed after a while how I had tuned out almost everything else in the entire Place. I was so focused on our conversation.

    What do you think of this? Can this info about narrow focus be applied in any way to getting caught up in manipulation? For example, does diversion tactic get extra-wind, when you are focused on the manipulator and not what they are doing per se?

    I’ve also read similar things in Albert Bernstein’s Emotional Vampires. Bernstein does mention that vampires have a feel for getting others see them and not what they are doing. Would these other breeds of vampires have such a feel for that, too?

    1. J, they certainly know how to distract their victims attention and spin the focus OFF of their wrongdoings.
      Spathtard zeroed in on my deepest deficit,,,,touch hunger……a gaping hole that has been there since I was a baby….OUCH!! Howwwll! And he made sure it was always available to me, it was my crack cocain in a way. so I was easily consoled, made up to, roped back in, softened, placated, with a hug. Give puddle a nice long hug and very soon she will be purring like a kitten who’s just been nursed…..all better Puddle?? Yes Spathtard, all better….purrrrrrrrr. I love you Spathtard, blink blink purrrrrrrrr. I love you to Puddle. Spathtard?? What were we just talking about? Nothing Puddle,,,,,,just put your head back down on my shoulder and relax, don’t you worry about anything, we are good together. Would you like a drink?? OK Spathtard, that sounds nice. Purrrrrrrrrrr………..

    2. Yeah J, to some degree that happens, esp in the beginning you focus on what they say, just like you do with normal people. They use tactics like in the PUA table of contents I related too. Approach and Open… (they are focused on you and you feel the charm, magic show, illusion and bathe in its glow), Demonstrate value…. (you are focused on how special and important they are and how this relates to you), Isolate the target… (there is only them to focus on), Extract to a Seduction Location (they lavish you with special attention, gifts, dates, restaurants, weekends away), Pump Buying Temperature (they put the pressure on for you to want to win by being afraid you could lose, like an auctioneer does)…They also wear you out by making you focus on them…ringing you all the time, expecting an answer, pushing you to agree to things and time sacrifices you didn’t really want to give/do. They further wear you out by getting you to talk endlessly about yourself and they appear to be listening and caring, so you feel you are the light at the end of their tunnel, but they are actually finding out how to better manipulate and control you. They actively make you be tunnel visioned as well as the fact you are tending to do this yourself. They apply blinkers if they think you might be looking sideways for a moment outside of the tunnel, by lying and distorting your sense of reality. It’s a great observation though and very true to some degree I think that they use more refined tactics to keep this happening and then when you start questioning what is going on, they throw a mirror up and give you a reflection of your own dysfunctional behaviour as a diversion to what you are saying. You’ve been focusing on them for so long that you don’t recognize yourself anymore and your reality is distorted so you start to question yourself and believe they may be right perhaps.

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