Hello to you folks out there in Internetland. I apologize in advance for today’s blog post. This is a tough time of year, though, when there are narcissists in your life… even if they are just on the periphery. Writing about this bizarre stuff is useful for me. It helps me process. I suspect some other people are helped by it, as well. Dealing with a personality disordered narcissistic type is jarring and isolating, at best.
Yesterday, I wrote about my father. In that post, I wrote that I don’t think he was a narcissist. I still don’t think he was. He had issues with alcoholism and PTSD, but there were many times when he had compassion and empathy. He also didn’t deliberately do things to stir up shit, especially during the holidays. It’s just that things would happen frequently in his watch, usually because of his irritability and short fuse, and shenanigans from one of my sisters. If he weren’t an alcoholic and had a chance to work on his demons, I don’t think he would have been who he frequently was. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Ex.
Recently, I wrote a post about Christmas time approaching. In that post, I wrote about how narcissists LOVE to ruin holidays. That wasn’t a new topic for me. I’ve written plenty of times about how Ex has screwed up people’s abilities to enjoy celebrations. Sure enough, it happened again this year.
Yesterday, we received a box from younger daughter. In it, there was a stocking for the dogs. It was full of rawhide treats and a toy. They went nuts for it, although we don’t give them rawhides. I used to give them to our dogs, but have since stopped, because they can break teeth and cause intestinal blockages. Still, I got some really adorable shots of their reactions to the gift. She also sent a framed photo of her family, which delighted both of us– especially Bill. It’s just so nice to finally have one of his kids back in our lives. Just talking to her brings him joy.
Of course, Ex isn’t very happy about younger daughter’s reconciliation with her father. She’s upset that younger daughter lives so far away, and resists her attempts to maintain control of her. Recently, younger daughter celebrated her birthday. Ex contacted her at midnight Ex’s time, which is two hours later than where younger daughter lives. Ex wrote that she hoped younger daughter had a good birthday, then wrote a lengthy screed about her life. It was full of the usual complaints and insults, which younger daughter wrote that she could barely stand to read.
Then she went on Facebook and liked every photo in which younger daughter was tagged, leaving her with about 35 notifications on her account. Younger daughter wisely wrote that it looked like Ex was trying to look like she was being a “good mother”. As Christmas day is approaching, I’m betting there will soon be more of the same behavior… lots of drama and actions that are designed to maintain appearances for onlookers.
Younger daughter also had a discussion with older daughter, and my suspicions about her motivation for going back to school were confirmed. It’s for the loan money… although I’m not sure Ex really thought this idea through very well. The program that older daughter is entering will introduce her to courses in psychology that may ring a bell of recognition pertaining to her own fucked up situation. I’m sure Ex will do her best to encourage older daughter not to expose herself in person to people who might recognize her plight and offer to help her escape. That could, however, wind up being exactly what happens. Who knows?
Older daughter also made it clear that she won’t leave her mother’s home, because she’s too worried about what would happen to her little brother with severe autism. If that isn’t a damning statement, I don’t know what is. Here she is, sacrificing her life to make sure her brother is taken care of. Part of me wonders, though, if she’s made this her mission in life because she’s afraid to try living on her own. I’m sure fear is a big part of it– she’s afraid for her brother, and rightfully so. But I think she’s also afraid for herself– engaging in a little “learned helplessness”. So she stays in a hellish situation, living with her narcissistic mother under the guise of “protecting” her brother, who will soon be an adult. Does she plan to stay there for the rest of her life? I don’t know… but sooner or later, she’s going to be on her own. I hope it’s not when she’s middle-aged.
Also… if her brother’s well-being would really be in jeopardy if he was left alone with Ex, perhaps it’s time for authorities to intervene. It would make sense to get him out of the home, too. Older daughter is certainly old enough to file for legal custody of her brother, if she really thinks he’s in danger, although it might not be feasible for her to care for him alone. She’d have to get a job. But there are programs and schools for people like him. It sounds like she’ll probably be taking care of him, anyway. Anyway… it’s not my business… but I do wonder. I know Bill worries about his older daughter, too.
Older daughter also used to enjoy going to meetings at the LDS church. Younger daughter said that she stopped attending, though, because people in the church were trying to help her, and that upset Ex. It was church members who helped younger daughter escape Ex, so now Ex wants no part of the religion, even though she was the one who brought them to church in the first place. The church is a source of outside influence, friends, significant others, and prying eyes that might get Ex in trouble or cause her to lose resources. I often see Ex posting about protecting children, liberal causes, autism awareness, and other “woke” stuff. But the reality is, she doesn’t even take care of her own son, let alone actually do any work that would further the causes she claims to support. Taking care of her son is her older daughter’s job. Ex doesn’t want her to leave, because she’s basically convinced her to be her slave and allow her to exploit her own child. Older daughter is a “stay at home daughter”, not unlike the unmarried daughters in large fundie families who stay home to raise their parents’ children and do chores.
I would stake money on Ex being involved in something illegal. I would not be surprised, for instance, if she’s engaged in identity theft, or something of that nature. She has a history of doing sketchy things, particularly regarding money, especially with those who get closed to her. Unfortunately, no one has ever held her legally accountable. At least not yet. Hopefully, her meeting with karma is upcoming. I certainly pray for it.
Today’s featured photo also made an appearance in my repost of my review of The Sociopath Next Door. I’m reposting it again, because Ex ticks all of the boxes. I hope younger daughter decides to block her mom soon. She deserves to enjoy her holidays in peace.
I wrote this post for my original Blogger version of The Overeducated Housewife on February 4, 2016. I’m reposting it today, because it included an old Epinions review of a very good book I read years ago. I anticipate that this post will be mostly reposted as/is– that is, minimal or no editing of the original content. At the time I wrote this piece, we were living in Stuttgart, and I noticed someone who appeared to be a bit of a sociopath. That hunch was confirmed the following year. I’m no longer in the Facebook group I mentioned.
A few years ago, I read a fascinating book by Dr. Martha Stout called The Sociopath Next Door. I reviewed the book on Epinions and have included my review at the bottom of this page for your perusal. It’s a very good book and I wish I had brought my copy of it with me to Germany. I am reminded of it this morning as I consider something that happened in our local community the other day.
A father posted about a scary incident involving his daughter. She was walking home alone when she was confronted by a strange man who said he wanted to talk to her. The girl said no and kept walking. The man continued to try to engage her, so she ran from him. He chased her. Fortunately, she was able to escape.
The father of this girl was very upset– livid, actually– that his daughter would be harassed this way on a military installation. Most people who were responding to his post were very kind and comforting. They commented on how scary the situation must have been for the girl and expressed happiness and relief that she was okay. The vast majority of commenters were outraged that this had happened in our community and were very supportive.
There was one commenter, though, who seemed to be taking a rather adversarial view. He questioned the father’s version of events. At one point, he even called the father a nasty euphemism referring to a certain part of the female anatomy. When he was called out for being so contentious, the trollish commenter changed his tone to one that was superficially more supportive. He commented that he himself has daughters and would be concerned about their welfare. Then, curiously, he asked the father if his daughter had been able to tell if the person who had confronted her was a grown man or a kid.
I had noticed this particular commenter before. He struck me as being intelligent, charming, and even funny. My initial impressions of him were somewhat positive to neutral. He didn’t make me suspicious. In fact, at first blush, he seemed likable. But then I saw him in action last night and my mind changed.
I’ll be honest. I hadn’t been paying strict attention to this guy’s comments, other than noticing that they had turned the mood of that thread noticeably pissy. The father whose daughter was confronted responded in a hostile way when the commenter asked him to clarify his daughter’s story. Then I saw the way he changed his tone and it seemed to me that he was trying to knock the father off guard.
A couple of ladies in another local group noticed some sketchy posts the commenter had put up in a different private group. The posts did not suggest that he was a concerned father of three girls or even someone who respects women. He posted a joke about how all of Taylor Swift’s songs are about guys leaving her and none were about blowjobs. He also posted a picture of a woman in tiny bootie shorts and no top. On the very tiny shorts was written “Fuck me like you hate me.” I took a look at the man’s Facebook page and the photo that appears at the top of this post was once used as his cover photo.
One of the ladies dared to ask, “Do you think maybe the commenter is the one who harassed that guy’s daughter?” I have to admit, after weighing the evidence and taking a good look at the guy’s comments, I kind of wonder that myself.
Let me be very clear. I have no idea if the commenter was the guy who harassed the girl who was trying to walk home. I also don’t know if he’s a sociopath or a narcissist. However, the things he’s posted are very suspicious. One thing I’ve noticed about narcissistic types is that they usually don’t really hide. They thrive on drama and get off on seeing what kind of havoc they wreak. All sociopaths are narcissists, but not all narcissists are sociopaths. The fact that the commenter had once used a photo with a caption about sociopaths is very telling, even if it could be explained away. Bill looked up the photo and said it came from Sherlock Holmes. Even so, my question is why would a normal person even want to suggest that they might be a sociopath?
According to The Sociopath Next Door, one out of every twenty-five people is a sociopath. Our local Facebook group has over two thousand people in it. Chances are good that there are a bunch of sociopaths lurking around in there. I, for one, am going to keep my eyes peeled.
And below is a reposted Epinions review I wrote about Martha Stout’s excellent book, The Sociopath Next Door. I wrote the review on January 29, 2010.
Last week, while I was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee looking for ways to occupy my time, I stopped by a Books-A-Million. If all else fails when I’m killing time, I can usually find some books to read so that I don’t go crazy. My stop at the bookstore looked like it was going to be unsuccessful until I happened to wander into the psychology section. It was at that point that I found the three books that have kept me busy for the past week. There, on the shelf, nestled between books about borderline personality disorder and narcissism, was Martha Stout’s 2005 book, The Sociopath Next Door. Since I’ve been doing some research about narcissism, I thought it was only logical that I do some reading about the narcissist’s close cousin, the sociopath.
Martha Stout, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She has served on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard University for twenty-five years. Aside from being an experienced teacher and clinician, she’s also a very captivating writer. Using vivid examples presented in story form, she accurately presents a clear picture of what a sociopath is, constantly reminding her readers that they are much more common in our society than they might care to believe.
What is a sociopath?
Sociopaths are people who look just like you and me. The difference is, they have no conscience and no feelings, not even for their own psychological or emotional pain. They may be very good at acting like they have feelings, but acting is all they’re doing. They learn how to behave like a regular human being the way a normal person would learn a second language. Any tears they shed are “crocodile tears” and mean absolutely nothing other than to put on a convincing show. They’re somewhat similar to narcissists, except narcissists do have feelings for their own psychological pain and can get their feelings hurt. Sociopaths, by contrast, are completely cold and calculating. They will sell out their own mother or their children if it will help them get ahead.
How prevalent are sociopaths?
Martha Stout estimates that there’s one sociopath in every group of twenty-five people. That makes it more common than many major illnesses that we hear so much about in the media. And yet, a lot of people don’t know anything about this psychological phenomenon. Stout writes that we’re often too quick to dismiss antisocial behavior as a misunderstanding. Or we overlook it because we don’t want to “rock the boat”. Many Americans, as a whole, are often way too nice for their own good. Sociopaths count on that quality to further their agendas and get ahead.
Where can you find sociopaths?
Naturally, one can find sociopaths in prison, though Stout writes that most prisoners aren’t, in fact, sociopaths. The truth is, sociopaths really are everywhere. The ones that end up in prison are the ones who go too far with their aberrant behavior and get caught. Stout brilliantly provides examples that illustrate what typical garden variety sociopaths look like.
Take, for instance, that crotchety next door neighbor of yours who’s so mean to everyone and does everything in his or her power to make people miserable. Some people might dismiss that person as simply unlikeable. Stout demonstrates how, upon closer examination, that person might be a sociopath.
How about that spouse (or perhaps ex spouse) who is content to sit around all day and do nothing while you slave away at work and at home? Yes, it’s true that not everyone gets married for love. As Stout illustrates in another example, some people marry because it means they can stop pulling their own weight. If they have no appreciation for their partner’s work or conscience about their own sloth, they might be a sociopath.
What about that seemingly competent professional who is suddenly very publicly embroiled in a scandal over their credentials, or lack thereof? In one shocking example, Stout shows how a sociopath might get away with not quite being qualified for a job and how that person might use their position to belittle other people.
What causes sociopaths?
Stout explores what might cause someone to become a sociopath. Apparently, some factors are preventable while other factors aren’t.
My thoughts about this book
I really liked this book. Martha Stout has a very effective way of explaining the subject; it’s entertaining and informative. She not only explains what sociopaths are, she also explains how people might be able to spot narcissists and what they can do to protect themselves from them. Toward the end of the book, she also explains why it’s good to have a conscience. Sociopaths often die unpleasant deaths because of the terrible things they do to other people. They’re often either completely alone or they die violently, by murder or suicide. According to Stout, it’s somewhat rare for a true sociopath to leave this world in a mundane way, surrounded by friends and family. Strangely, I found some comfort in that revelation… wonder if that makes me a sociopath, too?
One negative I can come up with regarding this book is that there seemed to be a few sections in which Stout seemed to ramble a bit. A few paragraphs were a little longer than I thought they needed to be– she’d made her point and it seemed like she was reiterating unnecessarily. But even in those rare situations, the writing was interesting enough that I didn’t mind it so much. And I did learn a lot reading this book.
The other negative for me was that in a couple of chapters, Stout seeemed to be veering a little close to getting political and promoting an agenda. She mentions war and how it’s often based on “holy” principles, religion, and righteous indignation. I will agree that a lot of wars have to do with religion. But personally, I don’t think wars are all bad or unnecessary. It’s true that a lot of people die during wars and a lot of those deaths are senseless and tragic. But, in the same vein, a lot of people are also born because of wars. And in many ways, wars force cultural integration and innovation. She writes that until people start to recognize and contain the sociopaths in our midst, there will never be peace. I submit that permanent world peace is an unattainable goal. Even if world peace were attainable, I would think it would make things kind of boring here on planet Earth. Imagine how dull life would be if everyone were good and had honorable intentions… we wouldn’t need books like The Sociopath Next Door.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend The Sociopath Next Door to anyone who’s interested in psychology or thinks he or she may be dealing with a sociopath.
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Recently, I’ve found myself watching a lot of court proceedings on YouTube. I can’t seem to help myself. I grew up at a time when there were a lot of dramatized court shows on TV. Then came Court TV, which I never had time to watch. Nowadays, you don’t even need cable TV to see these things unfold, almost in real time. I never thought there’d be a day when I could watch actual court cases progress on my computer, or that I would one day have a “smart” TV that could “talk” to my computer and beam these proceedings into my bedroom, as is the case in our current home.
YouTube shows me videos based on things I tend to watch. Although I’m no fan of Fox News at all, Fox News does show court proceedings. So that’s how I came to see the bizarre case of Darrell Brooks. Mr. Brooks, if you don’t know, is responsible for the Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack, which occurred November 21, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. On October 26, 2022, Mr. Brooks was convicted of six counts of first degree intentional homicide and 70 other counts related to the crimes that occurred on that terrible day.
On what was supposed to be a happy, fun, festive day last year, an eight year old boy died, as well as five members of the “Dancing Grannies” group. Sixty-eight other people were wounded as Brooks drove a red SUV through the crowd, allegedly reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Two weeks prior to his disastrous actions at the Christmas parade, Brooks was released from jail on a $1000 bond. He had been in jail on a domestic violence charge, and prosecutors later admitted that the amount of his bond was “inappropriately low”.
I remember hearing something about Brooks last year, when the attack occurred. However, because I am in Germany, I don’t always pay attention to things that happen in the United States. Besides, in recent years, there’s been such a depressing overflow of violence from my homeland that I guess I kind of tune it out now. It seems like there have been so many cases of school shootings, violence at public events like marathons, church services, and concerts. Every day, there’s more news about someone’s life being senselessly snuffed out by a violent crime of some sort. So I guess I can see why Brooks’ heinous actions didn’t really reach my attention until now, when I stumbled across his court proceedings on YouTube. I also know that I passed the videos several times before I finally clicked on one. Below is the first video I watched:
I won’t lie. I love a good courtroom outburst, so that’s probably why I clicked. But after I clicked, I was hurtled down a massive rabbit hole. Darrell Brooks was facing very serious charges. And yet, he’s apparently such a narcissist that he felt qualified to defend himself in court. And folks, I gotta say, Darrell Brooks is no attorney. As I watched him try to use words he obviously doesn’t understand in an attempt to look educated, I couldn’t help but have great empathy for the endlessly patient and fair judge in this case, Jennifer Dorow. That woman is heroic on so many levels!
I noticed some of the comments on that first YouTube video. One person posted, “Judge’s smile at 3:13 says it all, sorry for everyone that had to deal with this psycho and hope the victims’ families get some peace.” Sure enough, at that mark, we can see Judge Dorow smile. Frankly, to me, she looks positively elated. I’m sure that smile comes from knowing that the case is about done, and she doesn’t have to tolerate the frustrations of dealing with Mr. Brooks anymore. Or maybe she’s just smiling at the jury, who have also patiently listened to and observed Brooks outrageously carrying on in the courtroom, when they could be at home, frosting their bushes.
I have read that a lot of people have been so impressed by this judge that they’ve sent her thank you letters, flowers, edible arrangements and other gifts, including wine. She even got a telegram from one of her many new fans. The gifts are currently being quarantined at the county clerk’s office, as it would not be appropriate for the judge to receive them while Darrell Brooks is waiting for his sentence, which is scheduled to be handed down on November 15th. In fact, according to the article I linked, “ethics rules for judges and state employees generally prohibit acceptance of most gifts.” But still, it’s really something that people were so impressed by this judge that they felt moved to send her thanks.
A few months ago, I got a little crush action going when I watched Judge Timothy Walmsley preside over the court case involving Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddy” Bryan in Georgia. He just seemed like such an even keeled person, and I was very impressed with his sensible approach.
I don’t have a crush on Judge Dorow, but I am very, very impressed with her. She somehow managed to maintain her composure as Darrell Brooks talked over her, interrupted her, snarled at her, and accused her of misconduct. I have to admit that it was rare for me to actually finish any of the videos I started watching of Brooks, because listening to him speak pissed me off so much. I’m not generally a brutal person, and I don’t condone violence, but there were some times when I sort of ached for someone to punch Brooks, hard, in the mouth. He really is infuriating.
I wasn’t going to watch any more of Brooks trying to play lawyer, but then he made disturbing comments about being forced to wear shackles that were shocking his ankles. I had never heard of that, so I wanted to know more. Judge Dorow made it very plain that the restraints Mr. Brooks wore in court were not shock devices, as she also explained that it’s not in the public’s interest to be able to see them, as that would potentially create security risks for the sheriff’s office. Brooks, of course, loudly and vehemently screamed at the judge that the shackles were shock devices. It’s complete bollocks, of course.
I’m not sure what’s up with the face mask. I don’t see anyone else wearing them in the courtroom, so I don’t know that they were required. Maybe he had to wear one because he was staying at the jail. Or maybe he saw wearing one as a form of power, since it hides some of his facial expressions. Either way, the mask makes me see Brooks as less human somehow, since it blocks his face and the non-verbal cues that come from one’s facial expressions.
The below video was probably the most frustrating for me to watch, since Darrell Brooks clearly doesn’t know anything about law. Listening to him is a waste of time, because his comments don’t go anywhere, and he constantly raises objections that are pointless, non-applicable, or just plain stupid. And yet, there’s Judge Dorow, gamely plugging along, overruling Mr. Brooks’ objections repeatedly, and never quite making it to her boiling point. I think if I had been the judge in this case, I would have blown my top many times.
I have never met Darrell Brooks. I don’t know anything about him, other than what I’ve seen in these videos. I know, having watched the videos, he’s not someone I would want to meet. I’m not a psychologist, but to me, it looks pretty certain that he’s some kind of sociopath or malignant narcissist. He doesn’t have any respect for the judge, or anyone else, whatsoever.
Below is a news piece about this case… and how so many onlookers had the same impressions I did about Judge Dorow. She really is a “freaking saint”. If you’re going to watch any of these videos, that’s the one to see, as it serves as a nice conglomerate of the outrageous behavior Judge Dorow has patiently tolerated from Darrell Brooks throughout these proceedings. Her composure and resolve to keep her cool are extremely commendable.
When I listen to Darrell Brooks speak and watch his facial expressions, I can’t help but realize that this is just a “civilized” version of what he must have been like in the free world. Imagine this man, enraged by something or someone, having the freedom to act in a physical way. Obviously, he’s capable, and that’s why he’s going to go to prison. Even with the face mask, we can see the rage in his eyes and furrowed brows, and hear the way he speaks to the judge. I’m sure the fact that she’s a woman is even more infuriating to Brooks, as it’s pretty obvious to me that he doesn’t respect women. And women who are powerful, like Judge Dorow, are especially likely to agitate him. I’m not especially big on prison, but some people really belong there. Darrell Brooks is obviously one of those people. He’s clearly very dangerous and has very poor control over his emotions and impulses. He’s belligerent and obstructive, and sadly, has just enough intelligence to be really infuriating. Like I said, I don’t condone violence, even in prison, but I suspect he’s going to repeatedly get the shit kicked out of him by other inmates. And he will probably really deserve it.
Anyway… much lauding and many kudos to Judge Dorow. She has clearly found her vocation in life. She deserves a vacation and a very happy holiday season for her good work. And while I don’t really want to see or hear Mr. Brooks speak again, I might tune in for his sentencing, as I watch Judge Dorow send his ass to prison for a much deserved terminal stay.
It’s been quite a morning so far. Arran woke me up at about 2:30am, because he needed to pee. I got up and let him out, then tried to go back to sleep. I had minimal luck falling asleep again, so I wasn’t completely out when the fucking smoke alarm went off at 4:00am. I only used the stove at lunchtime, so I knew there wasn’t a fire. It was probably dying batteries that caused the thing to go off. Why does that always happen when Bill is out of town?
I distinctly remember in 2014, when we were living in Texas, and Bill was mere weeks from retiring from the Army. He went to Tennessee to visit his father for what turned out to be the last time. I stayed home to take care of the dogs for several reasons. First: we couldn’t spare the money for housing the dogs, since he was about to be out of a job. Second: the pump on the pool was broken, and someone needed to stay home and make sure it didn’t leak water everywhere. And third: I didn’t feel welcome there, and wasn’t interested in sitting around talking about Ex the whole time.
While Bill was gone on that trip, the smoke alarms, which were hardwired to the house, began to malfunction. They went off in the middle of the night, waking me from a deep sleep. There were a bunch of them in the house, and I couldn’t tell which one was malfunctioning, as if one went off, they all did. So I had to go and unplug each one of them so they wouldn’t keep going off at inopportune times. I know the smoke alarm thing happened another time, too, because I remember having to turn it off and being extremely annoyed about it. I know smoke alarms save lives, but goddamn, they can also be ANNOYING.
Anyway, since I was now wide awake at 4:00am, I got up and fed the dogs, made coffee, and started a few household chores– laundry, dishes, and picking up poop in the backyard. Then I went back to the bedroom and watched a few more YouTube videos, to include one by H.G. Tudor. H.G. Tudor has a podcast about narcissism on YouTube. He also has a Web site, has written books, and is supposedly himself a narcissist. I’m not sure when I discovered this self-described malignant narcissist. It might have been around the time I was watching videos by Jesus Enrique Rosas, “The Body Language Guy“. Rosas, as I have written before on this blog, is no fan of Meghan Markle’s, and he frequently makes rather negative videos about her, and her body language.
YouTube’s algorithms suggest videos that are like ones you frequently watch on the platform. So, if you binge watch bodycam videos about drunk drivers, you can bet that YouTube will suggest more of the same for you on different channels. I don’t watch Jesus Enrique Rosas as often lately, because I’ve fallen down the cop cam rabbit hole, but for some reason, I still get suggestions to watch H.G. Tudor’s podcast. And, I have to admit, I often take the bait. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m listening to the man talk about Lilibet Diana, daughter of Harry and Meghan. Of course, Tudor never refers to Meghan by her name. Instead, he calls her “Harry’s wife” or the Duchess of Sussex.
H.G. Tudor claims that he is an expert on narcissism, because he is a narcissist himself. I don’t know if he is or isn’t a narcissist. Personally, I have my doubts, since Tudor is quite astute on the topic of narcissistic personality disorder, and most narcissists are either oblivious, or don’t care, how egregiously terrible their behavior is. But maybe Tudor really is a narcissist. I don’t know– but I will state that although he offers consultations for paying clients, I would not want to enter into a business agreement with someone who describes themselves as a narcissist. Narcissists don’t play fair. It’s kind of like the old story about the frog and the scorpion. Bill and I have had enough dealings with narcissists to know that it’s not a good idea to do business with them. Someone who self-describes themselves as a malignant narcissist is not someone with whom I want to take any chances.
I must admit, though, that Tudor’s podcasts are always interesting. He has a pleasing speaking voice, which is refined and British. He also has a cheeky English styled wit, referring to the “Harkles'” California hometown as “Monte-shitshow”, and sometimes using funny or snarky voices to make his points. I also genuinely think Tudor is insightful, and he confirms a lot of what we have experienced, dealing with less obvious narcissists. I hear a lot of truth in his discussions about their behaviors, motivations, and effects on other people. So obviously, H.G. Tudor knows a lot about narcissism, and for a malignant narcissist, he does seem to be unusually empathic, in terms of understanding why dealing with them is so difficult and hurtful. Nevertheless, below is a blurb he evidently wrote about himself, explaining his qualifications:
I am H.G. Tudor. I am a narcissistic sociopath (some state psychopath – this remains a matter of debate by the profession concerning the current application of sociopath or psychopath). By my terminology, I am a Greater Elite Narcissist. You will learn here what that means along with all about the other types of narcissists and empaths too. I convey this is an effective manner based on my perspective. I know what I am and I know the best way to communicate this to you. I am a very effective communicator. I write extensively about what this means and what I am. I have practiced this dark art for many years, I have honed and crafted my abilities. I am aware of what I am and I am engaged in understanding why I am this way and why I act as I do. I am sharing these ongoing revelations.
It’s important to remember the difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy involves understanding an issue or a problem from your own perspective and having pity. Empathy relates to imagining yourself in the other person’s situation and understanding why THEY may have certain feelings. When Tudor speaks about Meghan and Harry, I hear empathy for both of them, even though he clearly dislikes Meghan very much, and only seems to have marginally more regard for Harry.
To me, Tudor seems “empathic” on some levels, which I would never expect from someone with NPD or sociopathic traits. Most narcissists know how to talk a good game, but they are too self-absorbed to truly grasp other people’s feelings or motivations. I don’t think a person necessarily has to have positive regard for another person to be able to empathize with them. What is required is being able to put oneself in another person’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Tudor does seem quite able to do that, even though he claims to be a narcissistic sociopath– but apparently he’s the “good” kind. I don’t think there is such a thing as a benevolent or “good” narcissistic sociopath, so I hesitate to believe that he actually is one. However, since he claims to be one, as he also claims to be an expert, that leaves me rather reluctant to give him any attention, since attention is what narcissists crave, and their focus is never on anyone but themselves.
So, you see why I’m ambivalent about trusting H.G. Tudor? I suspect there’s some false advertising going on here. While I would agree that a lot of issues are better understood by people who have gone through them personally, I don’t think narcissism is one of them. Narcissists, by definition, are extremely self-involved, lack emotional depth, and are completely devoid of insight regarding themselves, or other people. In any case, I don’t want to do business with a narcissist, even though I obviously have, on many occasions. I’d rather avoid them when I can. Which tells me that maybe I shouldn’t give H.G. Tudor any hits on his YouTube channel… but I do, because, like I said, he’s got an entertaining style. Perhaps it’s that famous narcissistic charm at work. And again, this is just my opinion, based on personal experience.
I don’t believe there are many truly evil people in the world, anyway. Even people who engage in behaviors as revolting as Josh and Jim Bob Duggar have, do usually have some redeeming qualities. Even Donald Trump, who is a very famous and obvious narcissist, has some good things about him. From my perspective, he’s made a lot of people stop being so complacent about voting. Maybe that’s a bad thing when it comes to motivating voters who don’t agree with my choices in the voting booth, but I actually think everyone should vote. I think they should vote their consciences, too, even if it means Trump or someone worse gets elected. Because telling people they’re voting “wrong” is a sure way to polarize them, and drive them to extremes.
Maybe, if certain high-minded, voter shaming, ivory tower liberal types hadn’t been so condescending to more conservative people, we wouldn’t be in the incredible “shitshow” we’re in right now. I, for one, would like things to be much more middle of the road. I doubt I’m alone in that wish. But I really think that a lot of the mess we’re in has come about because people are, in general, disrespectful and selfish, and are most concerned with “winning”, even if the prize isn’t really worth having.
To be clear– I am ABSOLUTELY done with voting Republican… at least until the other side sinks to the same level and the Republicans start to look better. Sorry… I can’t rule it out. I think the political parties matters less than the people within them. Right now, the Republican Party is loaded with horrible assholes who don’t care about the little people. But I’m not delusional enough to miss the idea that the Democrats could easily be just as terrible. Narcissistic, power hungry, unempathetic people are attracted to positions of power, and the Dems are just as guilty as the Repubs are.
Aw hell, who am I kidding? I have a tendency to mindlessly listen to endless YouTube videos when I’m not busy doing housework, acting like a housewife, making mediocre music, or writing pointless blog posts. So I’ll probably keep consuming H.G. Tudor’s distinctly British thoughts about Harry and Harry’s Wife. At the very least, they are entertaining, and in my opinion, quite insightful looks at what might really be going on in “Monte-shitshow”.
To be honest, I’ve never had a great impression of Meghan Markle. I tried to like her at first, and hoped Harry really did find a soul mate in her. But she makes all of my high conflict personality alarms go off, and I now realize that when those alarms go off, I have to listen to them. When I don’t, I’m always sorry in the long run. Now, Meghan’s and Harry’s marriage doesn’t affect me personally… unless Meghan gets it in her head that SHE needs to run for POTUS. Stranger things have happened. I fear that if Meghan got in office, she could be an incarnation of the left wing version of Trump… or maybe Sarah Palin. And God knows, we don’t need any more of that.
Maybe Meghan will turn out to be more like Ex, in that her big ideas often wind up being overcome by events… but seeing as how she’s managed to bag a prince, that seems unlikely.
Today’s featured photo is a screenshot of video taken by KHBS of Josh and Anna leaving court in September. What in the world would make the two of them smile at this point in time? It just defies logic.
Good morning, y’all. I had a completely different topic in mind this morning. I was fully intending to write about something else that has nothing to to do with Josh Duggar. I might be back later to write my originally conceived post. And before I get started, I want to issue a strong warning to anyone who is easily triggered. This post is going to be extremely disturbing and dark. Please proceed with caution.
Still with me? Okay…
Yesterday, it was reported in The Sun that Josh Duggar’s distant relative, Matthew Waller, took the stand during Josh’s court proceedings. Waller was the only other employee at Josh’s used car lot, which is where Josh’s HP desktop computer was located. This was the computer that had the illicit “CP” material on it that has Josh in so much legal trouble today. Waller had initially said that he didn’t know the password to the dark web on Josh’s computer, but when defense attorneys asked if he recognized the phrase “Intel1988”, he said it “rang a bell”. This revelation showed that it was possible that someone else had access to the dark web on that computer and might have downloaded the illegal material.
US Assistant Attorney Dustin Roberts reportedly responded with fury. According to The Sun, he “screamed” at Waller, demanding, “Was there something you’re not telling me? You didn’t tell me or law enforcement about Intel1988? I told you I thought you were hiding something from me.”
Roberts continued, “You’re recalling today knowing about Intel1988, after talking to Homeland Security, then the defense?”
Waller reportedly said that he hadn’t remembered the password when he was questioned by federal agents, but now that the defense attorneys were mentioning it, he’d had a sudden flash of recall. Waller said the password was “vaguely familiar.” So what does that mean? Is Waller admitting that he could have been the culprit? And why would he do that? But then it gets even sicker, and much more disturbing.
Yesterday, it was revealed during Josh Duggar’s trial that federal agents located a folder on Josh’s computer that had 65 thumbnail files of cached downloads. In the folder that the agents found, there was a video of a three month old baby being tortured and abused. There were many more videos and images found on the computer, although experts couldn’t say whether or not Josh had viewed any of them. Meanwhile, Josh and his lawyers have been doing their very best to try to pin the blame on someone else– anyone else— who might pay the price for Josh’s alleged disgusting crimes.
It was also reported that Josh’s wife, Anna, who has, in the last six weeks, just had her seventh baby with Josh– another girl– abruptly left the courtroom before this very disturbing evidence was disclosed. Below is a video Katie Joy of Without a Crystal Ball made. I know Katie Joy is a controversial YouTube personality, but her explanation of what was discovered is probably good enough for those who want to know more. Additionally, some of the court transcripts are available here.
I don’t even know how the people in that courtroom could stand to hear about what was found on the computer, let alone view some of the images and videos. I think I read that they were, at least, spared the footage of the infant being abused. What a sick, vile, revolting discovery. There are just no words for how completely horrible this is. And now I sit here thinking that, for years, the Duggars were held up as this wonderful Christian family, with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar bragging about how God kept “blessing” them with children. Josh, as the oldest, was the very first of their many “blessings from God.”
We now know that Josh has zero respect for other people’s “blessings from God”, does he? He had no heart for the victims who were abused and tortured for his own sexual gratification. I am convinced that he is a very sick man, and if he doesn’t go to prison for this, I suspect he will have a short life and not a moment’s peace until he goes straight to Hell.
I really think Josh must be a full on psychopath. Or… to use a more official term, he’s probably an individual with antisocial personality disorder. And no, I am not qualified to “diagnose” anyone, nor does this opinion count as a diagnosis. This is just an educated guess. But I really think Josh has a lot of the signs and symptoms of someone with antisocial personality disorder. Fortunately, there aren’t too many of them in the world. According to Dr. Todd Grande’s video below, 3% of males and 1% of females in the general population could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder:
Disregard for right and wrong
Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others
Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated
Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior
Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty
Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others
Poor or abusive relationships
Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them
Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations
The symptoms usually appear in adults with antisocial personality disorder before they’re fifteen years old. As it’s been widely reported, Josh was having issues with abusing children when he was thirteen or fourteen. He was fourteen when he admitted to abusing four of his younger sisters and a babysitter. The Mayo Clinic continues:
Signs and symptoms of conduct disorder include serious, persistent behavior problems, such as:
Aggression toward people and animals
Destruction of property
Serious violation of rules
In the above video, Todd Grande explains that there is an association between child abuse and early childhood trauma and antisocial personality disorder. Grande states that some studies show that as many as 80% of incarcerated males could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. People who have this problem do not respect laws, which often leads them to prison.
In the many years before the public came to know about just how sick and perverted Josh Duggar is, he was often jokingly called “Smuggar”. I can remember reading the now defunct Television Without Pity pages about the Duggars, and the most egregiously obnoxious characters from the Duggar family were given nicknames. Josh’s nickname came from the fact that he was arrogant, but “charming”. Now we know that underneath that layer of superficial charm was a complete disaster of a human being.
For weeks, we’ve all heard about how Josh has tried to pin the blame for these charges on other people. According to Katie Joy, it even looked like Josh’s lawyers might have been able to cast reasonable doubt on the charges. But after yesterday’s bombshell dropped, I don’t think Josh is going to get away with this. If he does, there will likely be a reckoning carried out beyond the prison gates– like, I think Josh would have reason to fear for his life. I am just so sad for Josh’s innocent children, as well as all of his victims.
Whether or not he is convicted, we know that people HAVE been victimized by Josh Duggar. He has openly admitted it, and some of his victims– his sisters– have confirmed it. However, I remember when Jessa and Jill were interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Jessa really downplayed what actually happened. In short, she LIED. But she probably did so because her father ordered her to lie. So much for following The Ten Commandments. It just shows that like his son, Jim Bob Duggar thinks he is above the law. Rules are for other people, not him.
For years, Jim Bob Duggar has justified his behavior by pointing to his huge brood of children and his significant wealth, which I’m sure is dwindling by the day, thanks to this very public trial featuring his eldest spawn. Meanwhile, his daughter Jill, who is one of Josh’s victims, is frozen out of the family circle for defying her father and trying to live life on her own terms. It’s just sick and wrong on so many levels.
It was also reported that Josh Duggar did not appear to be particularly serious while he was in court. It was said that he was smiling, cheerful, and joking with the court reporter.
I think about what it means for a person to have antisocial personality disorder. People with this problem often suffered severe child abuse and neglect when they were very young. There are also some genetic roots to this disorder. Josh is the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Consider that he was raised in an environment in which corporal punishment is not only tolerated, but highly encouraged. Josh’s mother, Michelle, is well-known for “blanket training” her children when they were babies.
Blanket training is a technique that is described in Michael and Debi Pearl’s very controversial childrearing book, To Train Up A Child. It involves placing a baby on a blanket or a play mat with a toy just out of reach. When the baby tries to get off of the blanket, the parent or caregiver is supposed to hit the baby with a ruler or other implement. Eventually, the baby supposedly learns not to try to leave the blanket. That technique likely comes in handy in families that have as many children as the Duggars do. However, it’s also a very sick and abusive disciplinary method. I’m sure for someone who has a genetic or environmental tendency to develop a personality disorder, blanket training and techniques resembling it are particularly damaging. I don’t know if Michelle Duggar used blanket training for Josh. She probably had no need to, since he was her first baby. However, it’s pretty clear that Josh’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, is authoritarian and, being a believer in the Old Testament, probably used harsh and possibly abusive disciplinary methods with Josh and the rest of his children.
I think of Josh being raised with that type of disciplinary method and any others that involved abuse. I also think of him likely having a much higher need for his parents’ attention, particularly if he was a budding narcissist. Imagine having that type of personality and your mother keeps having babies, each of whom diminishes the attention she can give to her other children. Every time Michelle had another baby, there was less of her to go around to the others. And I suspect that Josh, being the oldest child who had once enjoyed all of his mother’s attention, must have really resented his siblings and the attention they received. Especially the girls, whom he was taught from an early age are inferior to boys, simply because they’re girls. In the fundie Christian world, females are always subservient to males.
Now consider that Josh was married at a very young age. He wasn’t the youngest of his siblings to marry, but he was the first, and he and Anna were wed when he was just 20 years old. It was at the height of the Duggar family’s fame. I’m sure Jim Bob and Michelle felt they needed to get him married off, if not to protect their daughters from Josh’s deviance, then to give him an outlet so he didn’t do anything to destroy the family’s reputation. But now, as we can see, that tactic didn’t work. And God only knows what Anna has endured besides the humiliation of being cheated on and repeatedly impregnated by her husband, who clearly has some very serious problems and reportedly enjoys “rough sex”. She won’t leave him, though, and it really wouldn’t surprise me if she and Josh are trying for one last baby before Josh goes to prison.
It was reported that several family members attended Josh’s trial, including Austin Forsyth, who is married to Joy Anna Duggar Forsyth. Joy Anna was victimized by her brother, Josh, when she was just five years old. Derick Dillard, married to Jill Duggar Dillard, another of Josh’s victims, was also in attendance. Imagine how these two men must feel, seeing and hearing what a disgusting pervert Josh is and what he did to his sisters, who are also their wives. And yet even that wasn’t enough to satisfy Josh’s depravity. I’m sad to say this, but I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. What we’re hearing about now is probably just a fraction of what Josh has seen and done. He’s probably gotten away with a lot more than what we know.
Again… I am certainly not trying to officially diagnose Josh. I am only offering a theory that makes some sense to me. If he does have antisocial personality disorder or is a sociopath or psychopath, he will likely be in good company if he winds up in prison. As Dr. Grande says, up to 80% of incarcerated males could possibly be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, even though only 3% of males in the general population could.
I am, once again, completely horrified by this train-wreck of a story. Every time I think this situation is as bad as it can be, it gets even worse. There are few lifeforms more helpless than a three month old infant. Anyone who would enjoy watching the abuse of such a defenseless creature must be completely depraved and sick. Anyone who would conceive of, and make money off of, producing such revolting content is someone with no morals or decency whatsoever. It’s just unconscionable.
I think if there’s anything to be learned from the Duggar family, it’s that there’s almost always nasty stuff beneath the surface. People who try to hold themselves up as role models, rather than being held up that way by others, are usually hiding a lot of skeletons. Perhaps on the positive side, it does appear that locals in Arkansas are losing their enthusiasm for Jim Bob Duggar. Maybe that will mean he won’t win his Arkansas Senate election. One can only hope.
Well… we’ll see what else comes to light today. Maybe I’ll come back and write about the topic I was planning before I heard about this latest news. Or maybe I’ll save it for later. Have a good Friday.
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