Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The switch

From a reader:
I think I may be a hybrid sociopath. I am very similar to my father in the way that I am comfortably able to adopt and change my personality with ease. I have the characteristic sociopath ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in people.

But I am also able to feel sympathetic emotions such as empathy and love, however I can also choose to not feel them. It's a strange sort of mental switch I have. When I was little the switch would turn on and off randomly, and in only 5th grade I thought I was madly in love with this girl. I would follow her around, but never talk to her (I basically stalked her). This was during the time when I was still learning how to interact with people in socially acceptable ways that would not reveal what I was. Anyway, I loved this girl for almost a year and then overnight I simply stopped loving her. I never felt that emotion towards another person ever again. Another case of my odd emotional switch was in 7th grade when my classmates and I found a dead opossum the size of a large cat. My classmates screamed, and some began to cry. All I could do was stare at it and wonder how a motionless piece of fur and flesh could be valuable or meaningful to anyone. But a week later, something reminded me of the lifeless critter and I suddenly felt a pang of sickening remorse for the creature. Of course now, I could care less about it.

It wasn't until High School that I mastered my control over the emotional switch in my mind. I could turn on my emotions and get all touchy-feely with girls when I wanted to seduce them, or I could turn them off and do anything I pleased and feel no guilt. I was not simulating emotions, I actually felt them. I find this talent to be very useful, the only side effect is a rare sudden outburst of emotion immediately after turning on my emotions after long periods of numbing them.

I spend a lot of time trying to discipline my mind, so that I can mold it into what I want it to be. Creating one personality is easy. The hard part is developing two different personalities that you can interchange quickly and easily. There are actually two mental switches that you need to develop, one to go from your sociopath side to your emotional side, and another to go from your emotional side to your sociopath side. Usually I use an incredibly poignant memory to trigger my emotional side, and a very unnerving, desensitizing thought to trigger my sociopath side.
I responded: Have you seen this post? It sounds like what you are saying. Recently I've been starting to believe more and more that sociopathy is either an attentional defect myself or that attention plays a large part in how sociopathy manifests itself. This fits with your switch imagery -- if one's attention is directed at a particular emotion, sociopaths can feel the same sorts of things that normal people can. The difference is that it is not automatic, we have to make the conscious effort to focus our attention that way.

426 comments:

  1. It is not unique amongst empaths to have an emotion switch they turn on and off. I read somewhere that dissociation is a very common coping mechanism, particularly with extroverted people, likely because they spend most of their time focused outwards. Of course, the vast majority are extroverts. Studies have shown that we are hardwired to only have about 150 people at any one time in our life that we feel an emotional connection to, (this is a leftover from our tribal past) so we have to make choices as to which strangers we extend our deeper emotions and empathy towards.

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  2. Well I've definitely done what could be called "Random acts of kindness" before. I think the difference may be the rationale.

    One such random act was when a woman about my age passed me struggling to carry a heavy box. Amused and having had a rather boring day so far, I offered to carry the box for her and wound up carrying a rather heavy box about a mile.

    Now, most people might do such a thing from feeling sorry for that woman, or from wanting to use it as a "foot-in-door" for seduction.

    I did get her number out of it, but that wasn't my intention. Instead, I offered because I was bored and had nothing better to do.

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  3. I really enjoyed watching the video you linked in your response, ME. I saw it while going through the archives in the past. Dr. Newman is one of the few people in the field that I don't hold with disdain. He seems very open minded and objective, and I've often contemplated contacting him.

    I can... sort of do this, what the reader says, but clearly not to the same extent, not even close. It's sort of like, I've seen the scenario hundreds of times, and try to mimic it, try to feel it, whatever that emotion is. Sometimes I can, often times I can't. The only time I usually get unsolicited emotional responses that are atypical to my normal array of available emotions is through music. It's as if it can reach my heart where the reality of life cannot.

    I've been able to create a conditioned response for a few things, but I don't think that's the same as what the reader is describing. It's hard to say. =/

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  4. I used to feel emotion far more strongly than I do now. Perhaps at some point in my past I flicked this switch?

    I don't, however, flick the switch back and forth as the poster describes. I will either care about something, or not. I don't make a conscious effort to choose.

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  5. I act kindly to people all the time. And think to myself how fucking dumb they are.

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  6. I switch on my empathy so I can feel it's fear. I like when it looks at me like that.

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  7. i can totally relate to switching emotions on/off. usually i feel nothing. when i got with my BPD ex i admitted to her that part of the reason i was with her was to elicit emotion in me. i did love her, but due to the BPD it was a painful love so after a while i decided to switch it off and break up with her. it was nice to feel something for a while as a bit of a holiday.

    i'm altruistic quite often - i think only sociopaths can be altruistic. other people do good things because if they don't they feel guilty or feel bad about their self-image.
    it is also great for your public mask and can open many doors - and because i don't feel, the cost to me of the good deed is trifling and the gratitude of the person i have benefited is huge.

    before i was self-aware, i read that people who give to charity are happier - so i set up a direct debit to a charity! unsurprisingly, it didn't make me happier :p lol seems very silly now, more like an aspie thing to do.

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  8. I can't relate to this post at all. I've never cared much about, or had strong feelings towards anything, and thats not something that I can change on a whim.

    Giving to charity is pointless. Donating money so that a few sick children can have a couple of new toys, or so that some dirt-poor villagers in a third world country can build a few schools and water pumps, really isn't going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Charitable people are so self righteous, and they really have no right to be as what they do, really doesn't matter. I hate these commercials that you see with the children carrying water through th slums, back to there hut(or whatever). I really don't understand them. I mean, are we really meant to feel sorry for them, and donate money? Because all I see is emotional manipulation(or an attempt at), and I'm just glad that I'm not stupid enough to fall for it.

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  9. I've given to charity and it didn't do much for me but it's great to give to a good cause. When I volunteered my time is when I felt good about myself. It didn't relieve me of guilt though...what could really do that anyway? Nothing. It just made me stop thinking about myself so much. That's a wonderful thing..to be relieved of being addicted to the self.

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  10. "Giving to charity is pointless."
    yup, unless done in such a way that someone you want to think well of you 'accidentally' finds out. if i happen to leave a letter / school report out from the african kid i sponsor it can do wonders... and you can always trust a girl to be nosy when you leave the room for a while!

    "all I see is emotional manipulation... I'm just glad that I'm not stupid enough to fall for it"
    you could say the same about all advertising on TV. i enjoy watching adverts and judging how effective they are at playing to the sheep. there's a great book called "yes: the science of persuasion" that contains good info on what actually works and what has been proved to be detrimental. i see some detrimental things in some ads. you'd think advertisers would read actual research on it.

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  11. misanthrope is a fake.

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  12. I agree on the attention deficit thing, any sociopath who claims they are ice cold and can't feel emotion are just trying to look bad ass, i never gave to charity before, but anyone who says what's the point of it is lying to themselves, it's obviously to make another persons life more easy. The emotion i feel most is shame, but it's very fleeting and it doesn't make me say sorry, i think the reason why i can't hold on to bad thoughts is because i can't plan ahead.

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  13. @Res Since when is a person sheep?

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  14. I usually do my research on products before deciding wether or not to buy them, I don't just go by the commercials. I think that it would be fun to work in the advertising industry. I'd probably create a memorable character for every ad campaign. Thats seemed to work for the "Compare the market" guys with the meerkat advertisements.

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  15. As i said before, an alcoholic may feel terrible about the pain he is bringing to his family, but does that stop him from drinking?

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  16. "I act kindly to people all the time. And think to myself how fucking dumb they are."

    LOL

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  17. @anon 5.43
    a person can be intelligent
    people are sheep

    lower ranking apes spend more time looking at the alphas than other apes, and sheeple spend time paying attention to celebrities. e.g. perfume by david and victoria beckham, does the advert mention what it smells like? no, it is purely sending the message of 'if we like it and we a alphas then maybe if you buy it people will think you are an alpha'
    commercial ads like that i don't mind so much, as i think i'm immune and what's the harm if others fall for it, but the trouble is when a celebrity is given a voice on something they know nothing about; e.g. prince charles is an inbred idiot with no scientific training but he is given a platform and people listen to him when he advocates alternative medicines.

    going to do some xmas shopping now...

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  18. Maybe the person in the original post is Bipolar?

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  19. David becham is not a fucking alpha if I want to see an alpha I look at Jp Morgan in the day, not the bechams you tool.

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  20. The difference is that it is not automatic, we have to make the conscious effort to focus our attention that way.

    This is the point I made before about my experience with empathy. I can easily imagine myself in someone else’s shoes. But I have to deliberately decide to imagine that. If I don’t, empathy doesn’t happen. And even when I consciously imagine myself in someone else’s shoes, the feelings are muted by comparison. I theorize that for normals, empathy is an almost instinctive event. It happens without and without their choice or consent.

    As for this ‘switch’, it sounds a lot like Method acting. Dredge up a painful memory, you feel the pain in the present moment, then it’s lights, camera, action. Apparently my ‘switch’ was permanently turned down when I was about 8.

    Res, I agree with your points. Charity can be a useful way of masking yourself, a display of superiority and even a necessary past time among certain social sets. Commercials are largely wasted on me.

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  21. In a way the waspe culture which abhores any emotional expression is a bit aligned with socios and I often meet wasps who dont even have the internal architecture to identiy a simple emotion like sadness. Scandinavians are a bit like this too. If I was a serious socio and I'm not sure I'm not I would hide in one of these cultures and not stick around the parts of america where everyone runs around like a sloppy dog sloshing emotions all over the rugs.

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  22. blah blah blah blah blah

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  23. Hello, I’m really confused. I am a diagnosed sociopath but im only 16 years old. But over the pat 6 months or so I havent been able to figure this one girl out. Im also a girl so im not attracted to her or anything but everything i do to others (stealing, hurting etc.) i can refrain from doing to her. I get this weird feeling, i dont think its love since i am incapable of feeling love but its like i really want to be her friend. Not for selfish reasons, well i guess its for selfish reasons because i guess it makes me feel good that she loves me (as a friend), but theres nothing i really want from her. Shes not my usual pawn in my games. I cant figure it out and its been bugging me for a while now. I get so angry with her but can calm myself down easier instead of lashing out like on everyone else. Does anyone know what this could be? I’m really confused.

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  24. Confused go back and read the dsm before you try and fool people. You have identity problems, sociopaths don't ask for help.

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  25. @confused: You're capable of stunted love, meaning, love without compassion. You're also capable of fierce loyalty and care, albeit very limited amounts.

    This sight has tons of FAQs and archives. I have a few myself, if you click on my name.

    Good Luck!

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  26. Hooray for Dr. NarcAble. Helping supple young teens since 2010.~

    You're fond of her, confused. It's what they call a "friend".

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  27. NotAble is a pedophile.

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  28. I admit, I find it 'confusing' when people like confused say they are ‘diagnosed sociopaths’ when technically speaking, that is not an official diagnosis. You can be a diagnosed psychopath ala Hare or an ASPD. Then again, I bet most psychologists diagnose however they like when it’s one on one. Which is why you shouldn’t allow their labels to dictate how you think about yourself.

    Confused, PoMo’s probably right. Nothing wrong or abnormal about having a few friends in your life.

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  29. I for one can't have a friend unless they got something that i can use, even if it is just feeling secure. I sometimes feel the need to tell them stuff but never something important.

    Confused, maybe there's something that she has that you could use. I say go ahead and make friends with her and you will see that she will help you around, but keep her out of your schemes because she isn't a variable, she is a constant and in an equation you can't modify a constant. Besides that you will feel good about having a friend.

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  30. Mike said I for one can't have a friend unless they got something that i can use...

    Of course. All relationships are built on mutual usefulness, in one way or the other. Which is why I don’t believe that selfless altruism exists in real life. Even the nicest, saintliest people do what they do because they derive some kind of benefit from it.

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  31. Interesting Daniel, that is the way it is, isn't it.

    What do you say about screwing with people. Is screwing with people you can dispense of a sociopathic trait or sociopaths screw with whoever no matter if they are close to them or not. I believe there is a gain from both screwing with people and befriending them, so would a sociopath chose one way or the other?

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  32. And if they chose one way instead of the other, why would they do that ?

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  33. Mike has identity arrest.

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  34. I completely relate to this post. I have very strong empath and sociopath qualities and totally choose to apply them according to how I judge people. I was raised by a sociopath dad and an empath mother and had a high IQ and kept independent of both of them. Dad was abusive towards mom, and mom was one hell of a vengeful empath operating behind the scenes and telling everyone what an evil dad is, including my siblings. One sibling showed signs of sociopath (killing small animals) but was more aligned with mom and her fears that he grew up to be a neurotic scaredy person, but high functioning behind a mask. The other sibling got emotional abuse by dad for not being analytical and overly praised by mom for looks, ended up becoming a malignant narc, while I ended up a benign narc. The key difference between two types of narcs is the benign has no envy but malignant suffers and destroys because of envy.

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  35. Anon, did your dad molest you in the butt?

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  36. What do you say about screwing with people.

    I don’t say anything about it because that’s too broad of a question.

    …so would a sociopath chose one way or the other? why would they do that ?

    To me, it all depends on who you are and what you want. What you want out of life is very often a reflection and extension of who you are. What you want and what you are willing to do to get it is what matters. If that means screwing with people for amusement (Dangerous Liaisons), then do that. If that means leading a life of crime until you’re ready to give it up (Ukan), then do that. If that means playing the politics game (Karl Rove/Lee Atwater), then do that. If that means going into academia (Pythias…?), then do that. If that means playing the corporate game (Snakes in Suits), then do that.

    I don’t know what ‘a sociopath’ would choose other than whatever is in their self interest, as they define it.

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  37. Anon, most narcs and sociopaths are missing a father figure, and the mother is usually very controlling, this is why some serial killers are terrified of woman, so they need to destroy them.

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  38. "Anon, did your dad molest you in the butt?"
    Is this a question to anon 8:59? No, but what's your point?

    Anon at 9:05 am.. Yes, in my case father figure was missing for the younger siblings, and mother controlling (despite the fact that dad was home actually)

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  39. Yeah, i agree with you Daniel, it's all about what you want and how you get it. Thing is, from what i know of normal people, that's what they do as well. They set a course and ride on it. I don't see how empathy would get in the way of that. Conscience would get in the way of that but that would only happen if you chose to do something that would affect your conscience. But then again you wouldn't have chosen the path if you can't walk on it in the first place.

    So how is an empath different from a non-violent sociopath?

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  40. Question: Which famous people do you suspect to be sociopaths?

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  41. Famous sociopath - Bill O Reilly (ruthless and cunning)

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  42. How is an empath different from nonviolent sociopath?

    First of there are more empaths in jails than sociopaths, only the reasons and motivations differ. Random killing would be mostly sociopathic but a vengeful empath could target a particular concept/group and randomly kill its members and get emotional high from the process.

    The more I learn about sociopaths the more I see that the differences are pretty lame, and one is actually better off assuming all strangers are sociopaths or vengeful empaths until proven wrong. Gotta cover that butt.

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  43. Mike, to use my previous examples, an empathetic person is less likely to play games with people for amusement. They are more likely to get into politics because of their idealism rather than their naked lust for power. If they go into the corporate world, they won’t instinctively sniff out the power dynamics, assess the various players and decide how best to maneuver them. Most of them won’t bother with a life of crime either, unless they are ‘compelled’ by other factors (economic, sociological, psychological, lack of educational opportunities and so on). They won’t automatically see people as tools or playthings or annoyances to be dealt with.

    The empathetic person will approach these issues from an entirely different perspective precisely because of their normal capacity for empathy. I think it makes all the difference in the world.

    Conscience would get in the way of that but that would only happen if you chose to do something that would affect your conscience.

    Exactly. This is an involuntary and apparently very powerful break on their psyche and thus their choices. Most of the time anyway. Conscience and empathy seem to be inextricably linked.

    But then again you wouldn't have chosen the path if you can't walk on it in the first place.

    You’d be surprised how many people do just that. It’s called denial and self deception.

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  44. Daniel,
    All of that is true until the point of awareness of sociopaths. Basically, all we need to do is get more publicity on sociopathic behavior, and then watch the empaths.
    41

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  45. ^Watch them do what?

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  46. As far as the differences between nt's and p/s's actions, I don't know that there are any by default. I think the big differences are in that nt's feel remorse after doing something that negatively affects others, and p/s's do not. I've seen empaths do horrible things to others before.

    Also, Daniel, I'm not really in academia anymore. I teach a couple of classes, but my real job is at a company.

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  47. This piece could really stimulate a debate on high-functioning vs low-functioning. I'd say this is a bit over~functioning though. I say, whatever gives you your advantage over others, especially when it keeps them aloof.

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  48. Daniel stfu you idiot, i hate bottom feeders like you that think they are the next Dick Cheney, you are a nobody, what have you achieved apart from you're lame comments?

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  49. Watch them act just like sociopaths when that is in their best interest.
    41

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  50. well he's achieved a grasp of grammar for one. on a forum/comments section our comments are all we have, so he is doing just fine. you, however, are a nobody and a douche.

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  51. This blog is for the bottom dwellers, not one big boy in here.

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  52. Anonymous at 10:08:
    That includes you, dickwad!

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  53. On an earlier post we were discussing what would happen to a sociopath whose son killed himself partially because of the socio dad. Do you think his tears are real?

    Bernie Madoff ‘Went Into a Self-Imposed Exile’ After News of His Son’s Suicide
    12/18/10 at 10:30 AM 17Comments

    A "distraught" Bernie Madoff "looked like someone had shot him" after he heard the news that his son Mark had committed suicide last Saturday, a very recent inmate at Madoff's prison has already told the Post. Madoff was sobbing and went into "a self-imposed exile for two days," the inmate said. The Ponzi schemer has friends in prison — "the guys he walks along an outside track with and plays boccie with" — who offered sympathy. Ruth has reportedly not visited Bernie since hearing the news, which Bernie believes is "because of [her] fears that the media is at the prison." [NYP]

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  54. I'm not including myself, my first and last time here fag.

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  55. Agreed Pythias. Actions are actions. Our inner experience of those actions are different and they’re all important, subjectively speaking. But yeah, does it really matter to the almost 250,000 people who died when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed to hell that some Americans felt bad after, for instance?

    I thought I remembered you saying somewhere you taught, hence the academe reference.

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  56. So what are you trying to say? He's not a socio because he's sad? Get a life you fuckhead.

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  57. Daniel where are you from? You think your cold blooded? Come see me, you fake.

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  58. Anon at 10:12
    Then why'd you come here, bitch?

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  59. Ha ha you all think you are cool and evil but in the end you all have the same outcome,
    lying-in a hospital bed shitting yourself with nobody to help you LOL not to mention that you'll be forgotten in a week.

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  60. Dudes at least post some names around here, even if it is just for show, so that we can tell who's fighting who.

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  61. anon at 10:23
    what are you trying to say, that you don't like socios? Half the people here don't (some empath some socios themselves, they like to up other socios), so relax, and either learn something, or teach something, or take a hike.

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  62. "Dudes at least post some names around here, even if it is just for show, so that we can tell who's fighting who." Mike likes fights, lol.

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  63. Why would he like fighting? I can't lose fighting so why would he want to fight? I told you I'm the only big boy here.

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  64. Mike, the reason for being anon is that we are too lazy to make accounts. Duh!
    And anon at 10:37, Step into the ring mothafucka

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  65. That way if you win there's gonna be noone cheering you dude, i'm just thinking of your sake.

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  66. Wow Mike I'm impressed, you working on talking them down from this bitch slap contest.

    Your the man here.

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  67. Just showed up here for the first time. A lot of great discourse, but a lot of 5 year old hair-pulling going on as well. I guess the internet is a pretty innocuous way o get out spurts of rage.
    Myself, I've never been an angry person. My main challenge is a constant throbbing boredom. I'm curious how you guys deal with this, as I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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  68. Well, hungryghost, you could start by telling us a bit about yourself.

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  69. @hungryghost
    generally i am never bored in my own company, only when stuck with a boring person. i hate work trips abroad, especially the airport...
    i was off sick yesterday and today and decided to alleviate the potential for boredom by creating a blog and writing a few things for it.
    on this site the volume of infantile insults ebbs and flows and i'd say today is greater than normal. there are some regular interesting posters.

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  70. Sure, notme. You would laugh if I told you my job. I work with people all day, and am a resident expert on small talk and "empathy." I learned a lot from empath siblings growing up, though I put them through a lot of emotional torture and anxiety. Now we "love" eachother, and they've mostly forgiven me. I pretty much never remove the mask.

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  71. Sure, notme. You would laugh if I told you my job. I work with people all day, and am a resident expert on small talk and "empathy." I learned a lot from empath siblings growing up, though I put them through a lot of emotional torture and anxiety. Now we "love" eachother, and they've mostly forgiven me. I pretty much never remove the mask.

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  72. out of interest are you 'out' to anyone in your family? friends?
    i've had many a chat over a joint with my bro-in-law and he knows i'm not emotional and don't have a conscience, though i haven't mentioned any 'labels'.
    i told my mother one time that it was ridiculous her trying to emotionally blackmail me about something because i didn't have a conscience, but she just said "of course you do" and moved on.

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  73. Explain what your mask is covering Hungryghost.

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  74. I don't consider myself to be a sociopath because I can feel emotions. However I fit enough of the criteria to be diagnosed as one. Very interesting article, this describes me perfectly. I can feel things and be empathetic, genuinely sad, remorseful, etc. but I can also turn these emotions off and be completely cold and callous.

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  75. jack, what's your level of awareness of death? I suspect those who know death can kill (figuratively, turn emotionally cold and callous)

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  76. Anonymous - What do you mean exactly? I'm fairly paranoid about dying, but that is a more recent development (last 5ish years), whereas I've always been emotionally "cold" at times.

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  77. this i know: My mask covers a very bored person who lacks interest in most everything. What I do enjoy is studying the psychological inner workings of those around me, and once I've figured them out, making people sweat. As a very young, child I tortured and killed a few animals, but once I understood that their reactions to pain are predictable, and that it made me look suspicious, I put that little phase behind me. Now I prefer subtler emotional torment, which never ceases to hold some element of surprise, since emotional suffering is always somewhat foreign to me.
    Res:Yes. I told my grandmother on her deathbed. No joke! I find the denial of those close to you on the subject of your sociopathy very interesting. Mostly though, I don't feel the need to open up to anyone. Instead, I tell minor lies about myself, and larger ones to people whose relationships with me don't matter. That keeps things stimulating

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  78. "[...] all I see is emotional manipulation(or an attempt at), and I'm just glad that I'm not stupid enough to fall for it."

    LOL. I remember how I felt when I first started seeing those ads. It was such blatant emotion manipulation that I was infuriated. Needless to say, I have never donated to charity.

    " You're capable of stunted love, meaning, love without compassion. You're also capable of fierce loyalty and care, albeit very limited amounts"

    Is this for Gimini or Capricorns?

    " I say go ahead and make friends with her and you will see that she will help you around, but keep her out of your schemes because she isn't a variable, she is a constant and in an equation you can't modify a constant. Besides that you will feel good about having a friend."

    I like this ambivalent mathematical and emotional way of looking at friendship. It is good in that it's irrelevant whether or not it's sociopathic.

    "Famous sociopath - Bill O Reilly (ruthless and cunning)"

    Cunning as a comforter pillow? Ruthless as a sloth?

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  79. Poor, mentally challenged Anon at 10:05. Maybe you could get someone in your family to look for a day center to enroll you in. They would give you all sorts of activities to participate in and maybe some outings also. I don't see you as a mean person but just as someone who needs some supervision of their time and some friends.

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  80. This is in regard to earlier comments about people dismissing your being a sociopath after you came out - When any of you 'came out' to someone, how did you tell the person? What was the purpose of the disclosure? I'm wondering if they're in denial or just don't understand the implications.
    - Jayne

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  81. They don't understand the implications.

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  82. this is off topic but do any of you people talk to yourself? I mean full blown conversations? I’m not asking about schizophrenia, I don’t think that’s what it is. No one talks about it though...I mean to anyone else..lol.

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  83. MIke - how did you tell someone? Did you give any explanation about sociopathy?
    thanx, Jayne

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  84. Yeah Jayne, with the whole explanation. They still appeal to my conscience. No change.

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  85. As an empath, its hard to imagine not feeling empathy regardless of the situation. Thats why this site has been helpful to me.
    I think someone I know is dropping hints but probably doesn't trust me enough to be open. I would love to get a 'whole explanation'!
    -Jayne

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  86. Grace - I like to dictate my life in my head, as if seen from someone elses perspective. But I don't converse with myself, no.

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  87. Mr birdick, I do enjoy your posts. The post you have regarding the empathic chess game simply not being played in the work place makes a lot of sense.
    Basically, the way a sociopath controls is to exploit the emotional reactions of the players by seeing the facts of the game. Emotions make a cloud so to speak, or a bubble or a fishbowl within which empathetic people live their lives. This narrowed perspective allows an element of attachment to their self imposed bubble. By stripping your own life of this bubble of perspective, or this field of relativity, the sociopath thereby has no relational development to the world. They thus see themslelves as supreme because they never created their own value for the world they perceive, thereby maintaining the infinite grasp of reality. Sociopaths never really bother to narrow their scope of reality to attachment to anything, which does make them godlike in the sense that they can then control their reality, but also leaves them with the other half of that equation, that their existance is futile by their own dismissal of worth. The only thing worth anything to a sociopath is themselves. That is the feeling of the infinite that gods struggle with in myths. The sheer boredom of living forever paralels the constant need for bigger and better entertainment on the part of the sociopath. It relates to the gods jealousy of man for their mortality and their ability to live by their perspective of relativity. The sociopath similarly is unknowingly jealous of the empath for their fishbowl of perspective that allows them to deeply enjoy their life as it is. It is a sacrifice the sociopath must make to obt5ain power.

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  88. I think its time to register my name. I have an inherent distrust of all newcomers, so ill join the living. I think anyone not registered poses a threat as another toyng alter ego of ukan. So as to remove myself from the threat list and be better up to date on comments, I will signup for this blog

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  89. Lol, gotta love the "sociopath = God" arguments.

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  90. I think its where the myths come from, personally. The symbolism is directly linked to where it is found in society. Sociopaths feel very much like the gods of ancient times, and thereby struggle with the same mythical dynamic. That's the reason these stories are still prevalent. They haven't lost their application. Though sociopaths cannot see these symbolic similarities. I'm not sure they can even grasp the complications from being self proclaimed demi gods. Nor do they grasp the irony that they are the destructors, and normal people the creators, and thereby true gods of our present day.

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  91. Thanks Phaos. Just wondering. I've been doing that a lot lately. It's related to stress but school is out so I should be simmering down now:)

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  92. The myths come from the fact that life is ridiculous and people want some meaning and reasons for the stupid shit.

    It's easier to swallow life's realities when they are anthropomorphized.

    Sociopaths are not the gods of today. They are just the people of today.

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  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  94. *Subtract one of those thats at the beginning of the second sentence.

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  95. @Snug: So only your extremely narrow set of environmental factors can explain such development? What about the role of genetics? A wider array of environmental triggers? I'm not certain that I see your point. Would it help to know that my father is a recovering alcoholic and sex addict who ended up in rehab thrice during my formative years? Or that my mother traveled a great deal for her work in my younger years?

    Why does it bother you so that my apparent exhibition of these traits does not originate within your paradigm?

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  96. Thank you medusa for exhibiting the sociopathic misunderstanding of the SYMBOLIC relationship between mythic stories and personality traits of today.
    To say that sociopaths are the gos of today is stupid. But they feel similarly to the relationship struggles exhibited in mythical stories of gods. Sociopaths are as I said not actually the creators of today and are actually damaged people. Subpar by their inability to attribute meaning. Sociopaths cannot build their own relative perspectives of reality as mythic gods could not. Perhaps I wass unclear.

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  97. That does help. I was trying to be narrow in the hopes for correction. I am always afraid a sociopath would not answer personal questions otherwise. That would be the emotional difficulty overcome by sociopathic traits that happened in your childhood to program your reactionary responses. Thank you pms. I appreciate your openness. I hope its honest.

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  98. ~shrug~ Honest as ever. Not like it's identifying information.

    That would be the emotional difficulty overcome by sociopathic traits that happened in your childhood to program your reactionary responses.

    I'm not sure if I'm misreading or if your prose is simply unclear. What do you mean here?

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  99. Oh, never mind. I think I've got it now.

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  100. That explains why you developed sociopathically. Those childhood "traumas" act as a catalyst for your genetic predisposition to sociopathy. They're difficult issues to overcome as a child and your instincts would then see sociopathy as an effective emotional response.

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  101. sociopathy as an effective emotional response.

    Explain.

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  102. If emotions are detrimental, ie when you have too large an issue to respond to emotionally, your mind will then see emotions as a detriment and thereby eliminate them. So instead of responding by cripling from emotional trauma, your mind will simply eradicate the way that it perceives emotions. Changeing its emotional programming. So the emotional response would be not to have them at all.

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  103. Snug, have you read about Nephilim?

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  104. Snugglie Grizzle, I hope you don't mind me saying that I find your name highly irritating. Don't take it personally since i'm easily irritated. Main point - you call them 'damaged people' - who or what are you to make such a statement?
    I'd be interested to hear your definition of a non-damaged person. Please, oblige me.

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  105. But you have control of them, and do not have them the way that normal people have them. You basically reprogrammed your emotions. I'm not saying sociopaths are robotic. That wouldn't be any better for the body to survive. Like that woman who feels no fear. But you do not feel emotions normally or you wouldn't be a sociopath. Your pain threshhold developed differently because of the abnormally high level of stressors in your childhood.

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  106. So you're essentially trying to describe "desensitization."

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  107. no one, i presume Snugglie is talking about desensitization.

    but i think they are over-emphasising the point. Or at least, neglecting to mention the genetic component.

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  108. neglecting to mention the genetic component.

    Indeed.

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  109. Or ignoring the fact that I behaved antisocially before either of those factors came into serious play in my life. ~shrug~

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  110. In stress research, it is called "habituation." Some individuals habituate faster or more completely than others. That would be the genetic factors.

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  111. Snugglie? are you going to respond? hope you were not offended by my pointless attack on your name. i'm in a bad mood since i missed my flight. :(

    don't mind me.

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  112. Sucks about your flight, notme. I just realized you were here after signing off for the holiday.

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  113. Yes, I also had plenty of environmental risk factors, but had p/s characteristics (compared with other children my age) before they occured.

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  114. *occurred. I apologize for my horrendous typing skills.

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  115. So, what is Griz's point? Could someone spell it out succinctly?

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  116. Bill O Reilly is more manipulative than any of you bottom feeders.



    8=====D

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  117. Thanks Aerianne. It was the snow. Loads of flights are delayed. I'm supposedly getting one tomorrow. we'll see.

    As expected, someone was pretending to be me again today. those earlier comments were not mine. It cracks me up when i see them though.

    i think This I Know gets hijacked too. lols.

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  118. notme, you should make a profile and that won't happen.

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  119. Snugglie reminds me of the psych I used to see. They rely heavily on the theory that nurture is mainly responsible for PDs. I can only suspect that it's cos they deem it potentially somewhat reversible, unlike genetics.

    Crock of **** much? Maybe i'm just extra cynical today. Maybe i have a point.

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  120. LOL notme, sorry to here about your delayed flight.

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  121. I hope your plane crashes slut.

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  122. Notme, I don't read the comments with a perceived persona attached to screen names. I read the content of the comment and what it says without much thought of supposedly said what. In other words, profiling doesn't work here like it would IRL.

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  123. I might do Pythias. Either that or I should stop complaining about it. lol.

    thanks, this i knew. I love you too hun.

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  124. Aerianne, every time i see your comments i want to gauge my eyes out and vomit.

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  125. Well there you go, the mommies haven't put thier bedwetting children to bed yet.

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  126. *that should read as: supposedly who said what.

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  127. I am Sam Vaknin, author of malignant self love narcissism revisited.

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  128. Anonymous said...
    Aerianne, every time i see your comments i want to gauge my eyes out and vomit.

    LOL. Go for it, Anon.

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  129. Well Aerianne, narcissism is without a doubt ruled out on you're part.

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  130. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  131. Aerianne, what is it like to have no concsciense?

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  132. Anon @ 6:10 - What's it like to have no spelling checker?

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  133. Sounds a bit like me. I was a hypersensitive kid who got picked on a lot, and mastered the art of shutting down as a coping mechanism. Eventually it carried over to my feelings about my own actions, not just my responses to the actions of others. I'm still capable of the same unusually intense, passionate feelings that I was when I was younger. The difference is that I can choose at any given moment not to feel a thing, or to let go completely and use that same (genuine) intensity as a weapon. I legitimately frighten people when I'm angry, and often without lifting a finger.

    Guilt is a funny thing for me. Generally speaking, if I don't witness the consequences, and no one is aware of/judging my actions, I don't feel bad. For instance, I have absolutely no qualms about stealing, lying, or cheating. That doesn't mean I do all those things with reckless abandon, of course. Everything's a question of risk vs. benefit.

    I don't know if all that makes me a sociopath or not, but I thought it was interesting to see a perspective so much like mine.

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  134. thanks this i know.

    i don't get why people come, say something, and then leave when they are challenged. Is it just me that finds it odd?

    i think Snugglie was well-intentioned, but why they then vanished i don't know.

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  135. What's it like not being able to see you're own vagina?

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  136. Notme, maybe Griz had to leave for a while and will come back and finish.

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  137. THIS JUST IN - NARCISSISM IS RELATED TO PEDOPHELIA.

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  138. i hope so Aerianne, i think i was a bit rude. damn my impulsivity!

    Anon, very good question. disconcerting i'd say. But then, mirrors are a great thing. And cameras, if that's your kind of thing. Otherwise, how could a women ever know what's down there?
    we are mysteries even to ourselves.

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  139. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  140. I use the word damaged merely to exhibit the deviation from social or instinctive norm. The sociopathic programming for survival creates emotional variations that deviate from normal peoples programming for progress. They have to amuse themselves by their boredom with humanity instead of trying to find a sense of wholeness from promoting humanity's wellbeing.
    The emotional desires for connection and worthfulness in most people are "damaged" in the sociopath thereby limiting their productivity.

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  141. I was trying to post that for a while. Now I have to catchup. Sorry.

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  142. I can relate to the first half of Anon's Anon's 6:13 first paragraph till I was 16 then life took over and I just took it as it came without much thought.
    But I can see where there was a turning point. It must have been in my genetic make-up to be an empath.

    Maybe snuggelie is looking things up.
    I don't believe he's got it right or that he can if he's not a Sociopath.

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  143. their productivity lies elsewhere.
    I don't think you are appreciating the evolutionary reasons for their existence. Instead, you are seeing things from a narrow perspective, implying that emotional attachments of a singular kind is the be all and end all of human experience.

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  144. Why do sociopaths always apologize when they are dying? They are total cowards when you look past their image.

    Lee Atwater a famoust political socio, sent messages to some of the peeps he fucked over in his hay day, and they told him to go fuck himself ROFLMAO

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  145. i find gynaeological examinations terribly unpleasant. won't go into details, though i'd love to. :)

    w.verification: bulge (no lie)

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  146. When one's entire mode of living and being is mostly based off a reaction to something (bad childhood or whatever), one might indeed call that person "damaged".

    The 'free will' of such people (which, interestingly enough, is one of the things such people like to celebrate about themselves the most) is a farce, as it is for the rest of humanity.

    'Different' doesn't mean 'more free will'.

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  147. I am not saying that sociopathy is purely environmental. I actually alluded to pms's mentioning his fathers romance addiction as being a genetic predisposition. But that isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the environmental conditioning that leads to sociopathy or trying to find route causes. And it is similar to desensitization though varies in areas where. The mental devotion is concerned. Desensitization is merely conditional and objective, while sociopathy is complete reprogramming. I'm suggesting that the genetics, combined with environmental factors influence the emotional programming of a sociopath. Suggesting that these personality traits, as all others are just a series of if thans that make up each personality. And that the sociopathic personality is technically merely a programming error on the side of evolution. A mutation, if you will. So your special snowflake theory will one day break down completely into chemistry and physics.

    I feel as if I should more thoroughly address desensitization. Or did I distinguish what I'm talking about already?

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  148. TOO LONG DID NOT READ

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  149. In regards to medusas comment. And the narrow perspective. Perhaps I should expound.sociopaths have definate uses for society. These mutations exist as an excellent variation, and adverse obstacle for emotionality. Evolutionarily however, one must remember the difficulty with which sociopaths build relationships, their small number in society and the liklihood that natural selection will phase them out altogether. Or consider their necessity as a population control, thereby their evolutionary increase. Like those certain species I forget which that kill each other when there are too many of the. I mean chemically, not socially. Like certain insects that let off chemicals when they die that kill other species, or carry diseases that are dormant until overpopulation or whatever.

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  150. Anonymous at 6:46 maybe you need to try an Attention Deficit Disorder blog to read. Hopefully the posts would not be long and you could make some friends you would have something in common with. I worry about your happiness Sweetie.

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  151. Congratulations anon on your add. Were all so proud. Ill try to dim down my comments for you from now on so the kids in the room can understand.

    I mean no offence to any intelligent sociopaths too impatient to read my theories of course. I understand their inherent disinterest.

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  152. This site is just one big tl'dr

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  153. snuggles 6.42

    'And that the sociopathic personality is technically merely a programming error on the side of evolution. A mutation, if you will. So your special snowflake theory will one day break down completely into chemistry and physics.'

    lordy, an error? Evolution has no plan. It's about what survives and thrives in the here and now.
    For it to be an error implies a long-term strategy of some kind, which i don't think is the case with evolution.

    no, i understand desensitisation. But if you wish to expand then go ahead.

    I don't see people as special snowflakes, more as a sliding scale of intensity of traits. You always have extremes and then the majority of the more socially-orientated types in the middle.

    The extremes won't die out.

    Medusa, i agree completely and was gonna say something similar.

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  154. Saying one is "born a sociopath" is like saying that someone with a cancer gene is born with cancer.

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  155. Evolutionarily however, one must remember the difficulty with which sociopaths build relationships, their small number in society and the liklihood that natural selection will phase them out altogether.

    Lol. Hasn't happened yet, and humans have been around for how long?

    Or consider their necessity as a population control, thereby their evolutionary increase.

    Much too convenient. You could use the same argument for AIDS or the existence gay people or to justify why you think black people are stupid and should be slaves and all kinds of similar arguments used over the centuries.

    Your views on evolution, while logical, are much too black and white, and much too limited by your human values and perspective (which you are accusing me of, lol).

    People give too much credit to Nature in the logic department, and also like to think that Nature works just like the human brain.

    What a narcissistic species.

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  156. Saying one is "born a sociopath" is like saying that someone with a cancer gene is born with cancer.

    Simile of the day. I approve.

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  157. Medusa, have you seen some photographs of some mass murderers as children? They look possessed, of course they are born sociopaths.

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  158. Medusa and Post, are you dismissing the genetic aspect?

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  159. The main thing I challenge in Snug's search for triggers (in my own life, for the sake of this argument) is that the argument hinges on the triggering event(s) being obviously negative from a societal perspective. I don't think this view is necessarily incorrect out of hand, but that it's a limited view. What precludes a relatively innocuous series of events (medical events, even simple, acceptable differences in child rearing) from serving as a suitable trigger? If it is genetic, after all, it could even be as simple as a gene randomly switching on or off.

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  160. People need to remember, there is great amounts of egotism on this blog and these people often make extreme statements and expect everyone to take it as gospel, most haven't an idea of what they are talking about.

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  161. Notme: Certainly not. Just that sociopaths likely aren't "born that way", i.e., they're not necessarily sociopaths from the 0 day.

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  162. Medusa, have you seen some photographs of some mass murderers as children? They look possessed, of course they are born sociopaths.

    Lol again.

    Yeah, because someone looks like something (setting aside the lack of real basis), they must be that thing.

    Again, extend this 'looks like' theory to all kinds of stuff, and you get a big fail. Consider such outdated stuff like "he's black so he automatically looks stupid and criminal" or "he talks gay so he must be a pervert and belongs to NAMBLA".

    You should see a photo of myself as a child. Means nothing. All it is is retroactive convenience.

    By your specious theory, Taylor Momsen's current look means that she is a sociopath.

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  163. Postmodern, that is bullshit, you are just talking from you're own experience because you never had the dark triad.

    I think you are envious.

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  164. My god, you're right! That I had the presence of mind and the fortitude of bladder not to piss myself in the night my whole life will be my ultimate downfall.~

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  165. I think most of the self proclaimed sociopaths on here, are misdiagnosing themselves when in fact they should be looking at asbergers syndrome.

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  166. Post, you know I think you are the cat's pajamas, but the phrase "gene randomly switching on or off" hurts my soul.

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  167. Oh, wait, you meant that dark triad. I always confuse it with the Macdonald triad. My bad.

    It seems you haven't been paying attention. :D

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  168. Haha, Pythias, I did it just for you. ;)

    Don't worry, dear Quaker... I promise I know better.

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  169. Here's my current, albeit simplistic, 'genetic component' theory analogy.

    Say people are born with an array of numbers.

    Joe is born with {1,3,6,9}

    Bob is born with {2,3,4,8}

    These numbers mean nothing at all by themselves. No qualitative value at all. No number is more sociopathic that any other, and no number is more likely to lead to a sociopathic life than any other.

    As these two live their lives, certain numbers simply become more useful and/or easier to access than others, as a result of more factors than are possible to count. Joe's use of '3' may lead him to sociopathic behavior. Bob's use of '3' might not.

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  170. 'Notme: Certainly not. Just that sociopaths likely aren't "born that way", i.e., they're not necessarily sociopaths from the 0 day.'

    i feel that you are contradicting yourself.
    As far as my knowledge goes, sociopathy is genetic, and is either controlled or intensified by environment. The same is the case with empathy.

    people can behave pseudo-sociopathically if they are empaths, and vice-versa.

    come on class, we've been over this already. let's not repeat ourselves.

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  171. the fortitude of bladder

    I'm crackin up..lol.

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  172. Anon @ 7:15:

    Thank You, Captain Obvious!

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  173. Where's the contradiction, notme? You only showed one quote, so I don't really have anything with which to compare it.

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  174. I fume when people say anyone could become a psychopath giving the right circumstances, that is bull-crap!

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  175. Most people who have those sort of childhoods commit suicide or end up on drugs, so don't give me that.

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  176. Anyone could become a psychopath given the right circumstances.(:

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  177. Grace has a blogger acct.! No more impersonating her!

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  178. Ha ha, try to get away with half of the things i get away with, you goofball you will get a rude awakening.

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  179. Don't worry, dear Quaker... I promise I know better.

    Thank heavens :-P

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  180. i'm going trolling over at lovefraud.com who wants to go have some fun shaking up those bitch's?

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  181. can you anons get one too or sign a name...

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  182. @PostModern

    'Or ignoring the fact that I behaved antisocially before either of those factors came into serious play in my life. ~shrug~'

    (in reference to what snuggles was suggesting about you being affected by whatever environmental factors he/she mentioned).

    Plus, again, 'Notme: Certainly not. Just that sociopaths likely aren't "born that way", i.e., they're not necessarily sociopaths from the 0 day' is one big contradiction.

    I think the propensity towards sociopathy is in itself sociopathy. I don't think there's no No-man's land in the human brain. Something either is or it isn't. But, i've not studied the brain, so just how susceptible to change it is i don't know. At this point, i'll bow out and go stick my head in some books on neurology.~

    I've said enough, and anon is right, I simply say what I see.

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  183. Anonymous said...
    Ha ha, try to get away with half of the things i get away with, you goofball you will get a rude awakening.


    Like UKan posting anonymously?

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  184. shit. 'a no-man's land' not 'no'

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  185. I see your point, notme, but you may have read too much into it. I exhibited antisocial traits before the events I mentions came about, but I wasn't suggesting that I did from birth. I don't have nearly the memory necessary to say anything like that. I suppose I could ask my parents, but that might be an odd conversation.~

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  186. I think the propensity towards sociopathy is in itself sociopathy.

    Fail.

    Sociopathy by itself is not genetic.

    Sociopathy, by definition, is behavior. Your relationship to other people in general as implied by said behavior.

    Since you have no history of behavior before you were born (unless you made a shiv out of your mom's rib and repeatedly stabbed her in the uterus (which would be stupid and self-defeating anyway), nor have had any relationships with other people, you are not born a sociopath.

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  187. you were a blob of lovely baby flesh, you couldn't do anything, let alone set things on fire. lol. cute image.

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  188. unless you made a shiv out of your mom's rib and repeatedly stabbed her in the uterus

    I sense a metal video coming on.

    Also, wonder of wonders, my captcha is "menses". That's just freaky.

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  189. I agree with notme, he/her's argument makes more sense.

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  190. What sort of childhood is being referred to by anonymous @ 7:32?

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  191. I have a good friend who researches cognitive psychology- I may have to start a discussion with her... I have some thoughts myself as I've studied molecular biology and stress, but I'm definitely no expert in neuroscience.

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  192. If you call someone a sociopath who merely has some vague 'propensity' or mere 'potential' towards sociopathic behavior, that is really sad, and that kid's life will be fucked up forever because of such a preemptive label.

    And you bet your ass that kid probably will exhibit sociopathic behaviour, due to both self-fulfilling prophecy, and for being forced to be trapped in pre-definition. No one reacts well to that.

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  193. yes Medusa, you're talking semantics. It's circular and irrelevant.
    A baby is a thing with a genetic code. It's as good as.
    I'm not saying sociopath is a dirty word. I would love to have been born a sociopath. What a badge of honour! ;)

    I won't argue semantics though.

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