The sneak attack, part 3 of 6

Uncle Henry’s letter, paragraph 2

I’m duplicating the Red Flags for Sociopaths list from the last post—The Sneak Attack, part 2—since we’ll be continuing our little matching game today. In part 2, we found examples of item 1, Forced Teaming; item 5, Typecasting; item 6, Loan Sharking; and item 8, Discounting the Word “No.” Not bad for one paragraph. Today, we’ll find examples of some more red flags for violence (i.e., sociopaths).

Peaceful Readers, if you’re already familiar with the current nicknames and the list of Red Flags for Sociopaths, jump on down to The Letter: Paragraph 2.


Nicknames
In this six-part post, I’ll continue using the new nicknames that go along with the analogy of war.

The Dictator = My sociopathic mother-in-law, Delia
(usually known as Her Majesty, the Sadistic Control Freak)
The Other General = My sociopathic father-in-law, Andrew
The New Recruit = Delia’s brother, Uncle Henry

Red flags for sociopaths
In her blog, “How to Spot—and Handle—a Sociopath,” Lisa Wolcott shares warning signs for violence… “a menu of sociopathic characteristics” from a book she recommends. I’ve summarized most of the descriptions below. We need to become really familiar with this list. Study it. Think about times when people have used these tactics against you.

1. Forced teaming (i.e., Crashing a problem)
Sociopaths lie to their victims, claiming to have a predicament or problem in common with them.

2. Speaking in “we” terms
Sociopaths use the word “we” to manipulate their victims and pretend to be connected in some way.

3. Charm and niceness
Sociopaths use charm/niceness to manipulate their victims and “to disarm their mistrust.”

4. Too many details
“If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.”

5. Typecasting
Sociopaths insult their intended victims to get them entangled in conversation to prove the sociopath wrong.

6. Loan sharking
Sociopaths will “help” victims even when they haven’t asked for help so victims will feel obligated to reciprocate. Sociopaths frequently say “You owe me” in various ways.

7. The unsolicited promise
“A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, “I promise I’ll leave you alone after this,” usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited “I promise I won’t hurt you” usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.”

8. Discounting the word “No”
“Refusing to accept rejection. “No thanks, I don’t need help,” the victim says. “Nonsense—it’s no trouble, we’re almost here!” says the sociopath.”


The letter: paragraph 2
To me, the first paragraph in The New Recruit’s sneak attack (i.e., letter) was the control freak part. This paragraph is the intellectual part. Let’s see how the second paragraph matches up with the Red Flags for Sociopaths list. I’ve numbered each sentence to prepare for today’s matching game (i.e., mission).

“(1) With all the complexities associated, you are forever a part of a community of the Douglas clan. (2) In every family, there are blessings and things that are not so blessed. (3) We are no different. (4) In your family of origin, you, personally, were challenged by having Shelly as a sister. (5) I choose to not be critical, but to state what I perceive to be facts. (6) Shelly had significant psychological pathology. (7) She was demanding and self-centered. (8) She used perceived and fantasized health issues as leverage in group/family and interpersonal settings. (9) Many times, I suspect you bore the brunt of this. (10) As the border between her psychologically induced and physical health became progressively blurred, her manipulative leverage increased. (11) Her commandeering of your parent’s home at the last exemplifies this. (12) I can only imagine the challenges, even sense of abandonment, you felt observing such dis-proportionate parental effort. (13) So, that happened, it hurt; let’s move forward.”


Match up
Like part 2 in this series, we have a complete match between the sentences in paragraph 2 and the Red Flags for Sociopaths list. Coincidence? Again, I think not.

2. Speaking in “we” terms
Sociopaths use the word “we” to manipulate their victims and pretend to be connected in some way.

I see item 2, Speaking in “We” Terms, in sentences 1 through 3. What do you think?  “(1) With all the complexities associated, you are forever a part of a community of the Douglas clan. (2) In every family, there are blessings and things that are not so blessed. (3) We are no different.”

I also see a textbook example of The Name Game. Do you remember that propaganda (i.e., mind control) from How a Sociopath’s Victim Feels, part 5? The New Recruit gets an A+ on his execution of that one.

Comments from Little Miss Sassy Pants
(i.e., Frankie Ann, yours truly, me)
(Sentence 1) …you are forever a part of a community of the Douglas clan.
Okay, Peaceful Readers, let’s put on our combat boots and start walking through this Sociopathic Mine Field; I mean this expressive, touching rendition of the song “We Are Family.” Forever a part = “You can’t leave and you have no choice or say about it” (i.e., sociopathic propaganda). Community implies being wanted, befriended, liked, known, cared about, etc. We don’t have any of those. We have these realities instead: tolerated, ignored and abused. The Douglas clan. Ding, ding, ding!!! Give that contestant The All-Expense-Paid Vacation to Europe behind Door Number 1. You, Uncle Henry, have just won the grand prize on “The Name Game,” better known by our faithful TV audience as “The Sociopath Is Right.”

(Sentence 2) In every family…. Ditto. In this sentence (based on what follows in Sentence 3), The New Recruit is clearly referring to the extended family, not the current, individual family households. The use of the word family implies good family-like things like love, trust, genuine caring, affection, meaningful connections, etc. We don’t have any of those. (Am I beating a dead horse? Sorry, Flicka.)

(Sentence 3) We…. ‘Nuff said. The New Recruit just used The Magic Word for Sociopaths. Saying it doesn’t make it so. There’s no “we” because there’s no relationship. As Uncle Si from “Duck Dynasty” would say: “That’s a fact, Jack.”

(Sentence 13) …let’s move forward. That tiny word us is hiding in let’s. “Us,” “we,” “our”…. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Same concept, different words. There’s no “us,” just like there’s no “we.” Maybe this sentence should go with the Typecasting examples from the last post. It sure sounds like an insult to me. Personally, I translate “let’s move forward” into this kick-in-the-teeth: “Get over it.” That’s rude, recruit. Really rude, especially since you have no earthly idea what actually happened during Brandon’s childhood. More importantly, it’s vastly off-topic and incorrect, like all Typecasting. The New Recruit decided to go fishing yet again, but we’re not in the pond anymore. (For more on the fishing and bait analogy, see part 1.) Nothing that happened at the family reunion had anything to do with Sadistic Shelly. She’s dead. Our newly-fortified boundaries aren’t about Sadistic Shelly. They’re about The Dictator and The Other General—my in-laws—and their recruits; I mean accomplices.

My combat boots sure are filthy and my feet hurt. I need a foot massage. Am I being a total whiner? Sorry. I guess I need to “get over” that too, huh? Let’s march on to the next item on the Red Flags for Sociopaths list.


4. Too many details
“If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.”

Talk about a bull’s-eye. Check out this example of Too Many Details. “(4) In your family of origin, you, personally, were challenged by having Shelly as a sister. (5) I choose to not be critical, but to state what I perceive to be facts. (6) Shelly had significant psychological pathology. (7) She was demanding and self-centered. (8) She used perceived and fantasized health issues as leverage in group/family and interpersonal settings. (9) Many times, I suspect you bore the brunt of this. (10) As the border between her psychologically induced and physical health became progressively blurred, her manipulative leverage increased. (11) Her commandeering of your parent’s home at the last exemplifies this. (12) I can only imagine the challenges, even sense of abandonment, you felt observing such dis-proportionate parental effort.”

Comments from Little Miss Sassy Pants
(i.e., Frankie Ann, yours truly, me)

(Sentences 4 through 12)
What we have here, Peaceful Readers, is 109 words of blah, blah, blah, which earns a well-deserved Are you kidding me?

After re-reading the definition of this red flag (“If a person is lying…), the question is this. In what way is this impressive yammering actually lying? Hmmm. It’s obviously Too Many Details. It’s obviously off-topic. But is the retired physician—Uncle Henry/The New Recruit—lying? I need to think about that…. Are The New Recruit’s words false? No. Are they relevant to the issues at hand? No. Clearly, this is a very impressive professional assessment characterized by adding “excessive details to make [himself] sound more credible….” We’ve got that part of the Too Many Details definition in the bag. But what about the lying part?

Who is he lying to?

I figured it out (i.e., I asked God to show me and he did). The New Recruit has certainly been lying to himself; and now he’s lying to us too. How so? The New Recruit waxed eloquently about the “family fabric” in the first paragraph that we examined in the last post, implying poetically that the extended family is something to be preserved, protected and cherished. And that’s where the army’s roadblock stops us dead in our tracks. If “the family” is worthy of preserving, protecting and cherishing, why wasn’t Brandon worthy of those things? That is the lie. The lie that “the family” fabric or system has value, but the people in it don’t. The New Recruit’s lie takes us back very nostalgically to the propaganda we discussed in How a Sociopath’s Victim Feels, part 2 (remember Bubba Goes Shopping?) and part 5 (The Name Game).

(Sentence 12) I can only imagine the challenges, even sense of abandonment, you felt…. The family physician has to imagine how his nephew Brandon felt because he never bothered to ask. Yes, the doctor in the family knew that his nephew was growing up in a family that contained a violent, disturbed sister; and yet, he never asked Brandon how things were going, if he was okay, if he needed anything, if he’d been hurt. Never a question. Because he didn’t want to know the truth. Pretending that it was none of his business or simply not caring was a lot easier. I understand that. I do. He didn’t want to set foot anywhere near The War Zone that included his own violent father (Brandon’s grandfather, who lived next door). I get that. But don’t start pulling this “family” stuff on the nephew that you ignored his whole life and left unprotected in the middle of The War Zone. Don’t. You. Dare.

Uncle Henry is not on my Happy List. Can you tell? He’s on my Don’t You Dare List, better known as Frankie Ann’s No-Sociopaths-Allowed List.


Coming next: In part 4 of this post, we’ll move on to the third and final paragraph as we continue our analysis of the attack vectors (i.e., tactics) in The New Recruit’s sneak attack/letter. You be the judge. Sociopath or not?

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 26:7-13

Song for Healing: “Ever Be” by Aaron Shust

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