Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Empaths = ticking time bombs

A reader emailed this article with the subject line, "What happens when you don't properly break up with a sociopath." I was excited for a possible sociopaths in the news post, but disappointed to read that it looked like a simple crime of passion:
Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday.

Jessica Kalish, who shared a house with Burger despite breaking up with her more than a year ago, was found last Thursday stuffed in the backseat of her gun-metal BMW sedan, abandoned behind a medical office at 2300 S. Congress Avenue. Her blood was splashed around the rear end and undercarriage of the car, as if her killer had tried to load her into the trunk. The driver-side window was shattered.

Examining the body, detectives absorbed what had been done to her. Stab wounds were clustered around the back of her head and stitched across her back and arms and face. Most were between an inch and an inch-and-a-half deep. A blow to Kalish's neck probably killed her, investigators determined.
Okay, murder with a screwdriver, not bad. I feel like I have seen that before in scary sociopath type movies, but that's where the sociopath connections end:
Burger, a 57-year-old writer, did yoga, had a fondness for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and preferred to watch musicals in theaters with Dolby Sound. She recently stopped drinking coffee. She thought Jackson Browne's "For a Dancer" was good to listen to when you were sad, and she refused to take anti-depressants despite her relationship problems with Kalish.
Okay, so not a sociopath. I mean, maybe with the "fondness for Shark Week," but you keep reading the article and can only come to one conclusion: crime of passion. Yes, sociopaths can kill, maim, or otherwise injure "loved ones," but at least we act predictably. Empaths! They are the scary ones! They'll get all worked up about things, get into this emotional frenzy, and next thing you know you have a screwdriver shoved in your neck. "Watch out for empaths" warns this article:
On the morning she realized her husband and son would learn the family was losing their house, Carlene Balderrama, 53, faxed a note to the mortgage company, then went to the basement and shot herself.

"I hope you're more compassionate with my husband than you were with me," she wrote in a suicide note left for the company.

It is a dramatic picture of the worst that financial stress can wring. As home foreclosures and unemployment mount, so do their companion tales of fraud, robbery, arson and even murder. And though suicides remain rare, evidence that financial stress is erupting in rash, often illegal behavior isn't difficult to find.
Not just suicides, murder-suicide--like that man who killed his his wife, mother-in-law and three sons, and then shot himself at their Los Angeles home. Empaths are on the rampage!

I admit that sociopaths are sort of scary. But that's just because we don't have the same boundaries for human behavior that you expect in neuro-typical individuals. But what is scarier? Being out in a jungle where you know there are tigers and you take the appropriate precautions? Or being in a zoo with your family when the tigers suddenly break free from their enclosure? Empath boundaries don't do any good when they can just hurdle over them whenever they're upset. That's what empaths are like: ticking time bombs. Screwdriver-murderer's friends know what I am talking about:
Her friends, the ones who can bring themselves to believe what police said about her, turn the question over in amazement.

If this could happen to someone like her, they said, what does it mean for the rest of us?

20 comments:

  1. The whole difference is control. In most martial arts they say that the well trained people aren't the dangerous ones, but the beginners and intermediate martial artistss are. This is because beginners lose control of the opponent and have to try for a broad outcome - to not get hurt, therefore running the chance of hurting the opponent. However, well-trained people can harmlessly pin or kill the opponent, but the specific outcome is their choice. Nothing is unplanned. That is what those news reports are, just a lack of control.

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  2. Yeah really. They say it's easier to cut yourself with a dull knife.
    -Vigilius

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  3. This is why I love empaths just as much as being a sociopath- you know you can get just as much of a high from allowing yourself to become swept up in emotion at any given time, as from being removed from it and planning ahead. I have experienced that myself- excellent!! Is about time empaths started having some fun!! I think its possible to have a condition similar in principle to bi- polar disorder, were you can switch from profound empath to absolute sociopath at the drop of a hat, and then back again- Christ knows I have. Its the most fun of all!! Great description of empaths gone nuts! Coolness!!!! WHOOOOOHOOOO!! ;)

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    1. I think its possible to have a condition similar in principle to bi- polar disorder, were you can switch from profound empath to absolute sociopath at the drop of a hat, and then back again- Christ knows I have. Its the most fun of all!!

      By this, do you mean that you`re able to switch off your empathy, from having it to not having it inside you?
      Or do you mean switch from outwarding appearing to be emphatic, to sosiopathic?

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    2. Switching it would be Borderline Personality Disorder.

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  4. I know you were making fun in this article, but let me say it anyway: Empaths as a norm are very predictable!

    The very reason why those that you've chosen to call Sociopaths are not accepted (and in this sense I am one too, so I guess I can say 'we') is that we're not easy to predict, at least not for common people who are more emotionally rooted in the norms and morals of present society.

    Psychiatry doesn't operate with "normal sociopaths", they are by definition not commonplace.

    The woman in the article was likely Bipolar or perhaps Psychotic.

    My point is: The Sociopath label at present is for the extremely deviant in both emotional and behavioral terms.

    If you want society (or Psychiatry) to introduce a different kind of Sociopath diagnosis you ought to consider stating it more clearly.

    I can see why this idea might be useful for both the neurotypicals and those who share certain traits with psychopaths but yet do not belong in this group nor in any other psychiatric subgroup.

    Am I right in having the impression that you're not completely sure about what you want except for some kind of acknowledgement?

    I get this impression because you have so many statements that internally oppose one another.

    I wish I could have a more direct conversation with you.


    Another thing I thought about ... in the "Interview with an Empath (part V)" you state that you would like to join a listserv where sociopaths correspond because you want to be able to communicate with people like yourself.

    But the listserv Empath refers to would introduce you to illegal stuff.

    Can you see how this is somewhat at odds with the idea of becoming accepted by society?
    If communicating with your own kind implies criminal correspondence I don't see society changing it's attitude towards Sociopaths anytime soon.

    Some would probably put forth that acceptance by society towards those who do represent the kind of people I mention above - and whom I believe you must be talking about too - would also diminish the need for the majority of us to seek out listservs as the one in question.

    But there are already fora where "antisocial" folk tend to gather because the topics and the tone in which they're being debated and researched are more inviting to the mindset of such "ilk".

    Maybe the problem is more in each of us than it is in society as such.

    I have noticed that psychopaths ... I mean the "real" psychopaths ... do never really feel there are anybody else like themselves, you could say they feel truly alone, or truly unique. But they're different from you (and me) in that they don't feel any longing to seek out others like themselves.

    Research seems to show that psychopaths generally have a hard time tolerating each others' company, something which may stem from the fact that most psychopaths have high degrees of narcissism as well. - In my own experience it has to do with personality "type", and even psychopaths have personalities and tend to group in "types" just like commoners do.

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  5. I think its possible to have a condition similar in principle to bi- polar disorder, were you can switch from profound empath to absolute sociopath at the drop of a hat, and then back again- Christ knows I have. Its the most fun of all!! Great description of empaths gone nuts! Coolness!!!! WHOOOOOHOOOO!! ;)

    Know what? I did this exact thing.
    The thing that was fun about it was putting a very, very, very hard mirror up to someone, and never speaking to them again. Dividing human property (as in war) regarding this issue, on my terms, was fucking delicious. This was, and still is, the only time I have felt excellent about holding onto my anger. -Some people just deserve to have a piece of their self- esteem ripped out from underneath them. And I do not regret the major trauma I was put through, quite frankly, because I learned a lot about myself. ALL was worth it.

    Kharma's work

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    1. I the empath was the one who held up the very hard mirror to the narc. I picked him off as the N he was and hung around for the valuation phase of his game, milked it and allowed him to shower me with praise, gifts etc and to worship at my feet. At first sign at devaluation left him a note that things just weren't working for me and vanished. He is an aging somatic narc ,already teetering on the edge of a reality that will no longer prop up his delusionary self, primed to fall into his self created pit of hell. I was a good student.

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  6. It is true that empaths are more potentially lethal.
    After all, our brains function correctly. The sociopath's are broken. It is possible and potentially very easy for a well educated empath to predict the behavior of a sociopath. We can understand your motivations as easily as we can a dog's.
    Now that science has described what is wrong with humanity there will soon come a day when some empath leader will cleanses the human race of it's prehistoric nightmare.
    The horror that is the sociopath will be extinct.

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  7. This is quite a paradigm shift for someone who's been surrounded by empaths most of its life, but you've certainly got a point.
    I can come up with a small handful of things that could make me turn violent, and they all seem to involve empathy, fear, or a combination of the two.

    P.S. Anonymous right above my comment is creeping me out. o_0;

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  8. What about the context of "most people?" Most people don't murder one another; especially with a screwdriver; whether one is a sociopath is irrelevant to that fact.

    You say, "empaths" and "neuro-typicals" are the scary ones, as if a sociopath knew anything of fear. Really? You're scared? Of what?

    But the sociopath is always the victim, right? Or so they want us to believe... mmuahaha lol

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  9. It is always so interesting to see how many people dislike sociopaths, when they are so common. To illustrate: odds are, the surgeon in the trauma room that saved your life is the sociopath. The kicker? The person who put you in there is your overly emotional boyfriend who lashed out during an argument. While sociopaths can be very dangerous, so can empaths. Want an example? The Genocide in Rwanda was committed by 'ordinary' people being swept up in media hype created by the Interahamwe. If THAT is not scary, then I don't know what is.

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  10. Luv the above. Hey, that rhymes! I'm a poet and I don't know it...


    The war has begun, friends.

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  11. This is a really poor argument, like others on this site. That Carole Anne Burger killed her ex has nothing to do with being an empath. You offer no proof that she is an empath or that being an empath has anything to do with the murder. Your arguments are frequently superficial and rely heavily upon standard logical fallacies such as unsupported generalizations, ad hominem attacks, non sequitors, etc.

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  13. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

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