Things aren’t always what they appear to be, Peaceful Readers. That goes for material things, it goes for places and it goes for people. It’s time to dig down deep into the dirt. No gloves. Let’s use our bare hands so we can feel what’s there.
The surface and the deep
First, let’s re-read the apology we first saw in part 1 of The Apology.
“Don’t know where to start except to ask forgiveness
for a presumptive email and intrusion.
Praying for your weekend meetings.”
On the outside—on the surface—Uncle Henry’s apology appeared to be sincere and lovely. But was it—sincere and lovely?
No, Peaceful Readers. It wasn’t. And it wasn’t until I dug deeply into it—while writing this post—that I realized the truth. Even though we knew that he’d used lots of violent sociopathic tactics in his sneak attack letter, even though I’d been given a warning dream, I still didn’t get it.
Who and why, with a little bit of when
I needed to reflect on who he was and why he wrote the apology (partially revealed by when he wrote the apology), without being misled by what he wrote—the actual words in the apology. Why? Because sociopaths can say the right things when they need to, can’t they. I needed to remember that sociopaths (and other flavors of control freaks) manipulate and lie to people for sport. My focus needed to be on who was doing the writing, not on what was or wasn’t written.
The typical sociopathic non-apology
Where apologies are concerned, a sociopath will usually spit out a blatant non-apology, like the one my mother-in-law issued in her summertime, post-reunion drama-fest email: “If this weekend is not good, just call your dad back. I can’t stand to see him so sad—especially if it is my fault.” If it is my fault…. Thus saith the catastrophically-guilty sociopath. ‘Nuff said.
Sociopaths and persons with other personality disorders project a persona to the world. They watch how other people live and interact, and the sociopaths mimic certain phrases, mannerisms and characteristics that will serve them well in a particular situation. They study their victims and use the words and techniques that will work best, as they craft their Role of Control in their victims’ lives. In the last post, I quoted information from Lisa Wolcott’s blog about sociopaths crying crocodile tears, evoking pity and being great actors.
Don’t be misled by the drama or by seemingly sincere words. Always remember who you’re dealing with—a sick, dangerous sociopath. Don’t be swayed by the smiles, the gifts, the compliments, the attention, the drama, the crying, the yelling, the attacks, the power/influence of the gang, the threats, the name-calling… or the apology. Don’t be swayed.
The power of journaling
This post shows the power of journaling—of writing what’s happening—and then taking the time to determine what it means. When we skip the analysis part—the thinking-it-through part—we miss the truth. We miss the teaching point. We miss the opportunity to make healthy changes.
Journaling what happens (daily)
+ Analyzing what it means/indicates
Insight… truth… opportunity for positive change
I think—more than anything I’ve written in this blog—this short section from How a Sociopath’s Victim Feels, part 5 captures the essence that we must remember when dealing with sociopaths and persons with other personality disorders.
The most notable characteristic of a sociopath-victim relationship, in my experience, is the chaotic, unpredictable nature of a sociopath’s interactions with his or her victims—from very attentive/doting (i.e., controlling) to very hostile to very complimentary (i.e., controlling) to very rude to very generous (i.e., controlling) to very detached.
Yes, whenever your sociopath is pretending to like you, via attention, compliments, gift-giving, etc., your sociopath is actually playing a skillful game to manipulate you into thinking the sociopath actually likes you.
Sociopaths don’t like people.
They control people.
They toy with people.
They get people to do what they want.
They use people as part of their public persona.
Let’s take another look at some Tools of the Trade in Sociopathville that we just read in the first paragraph under Skillful Manipulation (attentive/doting, hostile, complimentary, rude, etc.). Does Uncle Henry’s behavior match any of the items in the list? In the last two years, he’s shown all six behaviors/characteristics where we’re concerned (and we only see him once a year at the family reunion). Coincidence? I think not.
Let’s look at the six sociopathic behaviors/characteristics I listed. (There are many more.)
The big one
Which of those six behaviors/characteristics shows up with the greatest consistency? No doubt about it. Detached.
What does this mean? Detached = disinterested = uncaring = unfeeling = you are a thing, not a person = you are only interacted with when the sociopath/control freak wants something from you.
Uncle Henry showed us his true colors when he wrote his sneak attack letter to Brandon. It wasn’t a coincidence that he skillfully used seven out of the eight warning signs for violence (i.e., sociopaths) in that letter. He showed us—clearly and definitively—who he is. And we must remember that.
He wrote the sneak attack letter to control us. And he wrote the apology to control us (and to get himself out of hot water with his evil, sociopathic sister, Delia).
Always remember who and what you are dealing with. Always remember….
And remember the advice I gave in The Sneak Attack, part 6 right before The Testimony—the shocking, powerful testimony:
Stay away and pray.
A prayer of gratitude
Thank you for helping me to find and see the truth. Thank you for every good gift.
In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray.
Coming next: Dreams can be powerful, life-changing gifts. In the next post, you’ll read about a memorable dream I was given the night of Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday; and much more….
Healing through truth and music
Peaceful Readers, I’ve found great healing in my life through the beauty and truth of God’s word and through music. I hope the truths and songs that I share at the end of each post will bless you too.
Truth from The Word: Isaiah 51:12-16
Song for Healing: “We Won’t Be Shaken” by Building 429