Updates from May, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • James 10:02 on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Billy Joel, Bruno Mars, Charlie Daniels, Elton John, Eminem, , , , Frank Sinatra, , Johnny Cash, , Metallica, , , , , , , Queen, Rihanna, , songs, Taylor Swift, , ,   

    Psychopaths in Song 

    It’s our sixth article in the space of 24 hours – which is insane. But if you can stomach one more, here’s a musical interlude… 

    Psychopaths, they’re everywhere. At work. In government. On the telly. And in music, too. There are many songs out there that were clearly written with psychopaths in mind – and many others which probably weren’t but which fit the theme nonetheless.
    The following is a list of ten very well-known songs by ten very well-known artists, from a variety of genres and eras, that – as I am going to argue – are all about psychopathy. You are invited to listen to them while reading and decide for yourself whether I am right.

    Blank Space – Taylor Swift (2014)

    Let’s face it, Taylor Swift basically admits to being a psychopath in Blank Space – especially if the rumours are true that this is actually how her relationships proceed. Among the best lines are: “I can show you incredible things: magic, madness, heaven, sin”; “Boys only want love if it’s torture”; “I can read you like a magazine”; “Love’s a game, wanna play?”; “I’ll find out what you want, be that girl for a month, but the worst is yet to come”, “You’ll come back each time you leave, cos darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”. Even the title says it all: a blank space in an empty soul waiting to be filled by some unsuspecting sucker.

    Cry, Cry, Cry – Johnny Cash (1957)

    This one’s told from the perspective of an unhappy – and irritatingly moralising – husband of a female psychopath. The song is a warning about the consequences of the psychopath’s promiscuous and dishonest behaviour – the implication being that if she carries on as she’s going, she’ll end up completely alone:

    “When your fickle love gets old, no one will care for you
    Then you’ll come back to me for a little love that’s true
    I’ll tell you no and you’re gonna ask me why, why, why
    When I remind you of all of this and you’ll cry, cry, cry”

    Gee, that sounds horrible. Maybe I should listen to what Mr. Cash is saying and take heed.
    I probably won’t.

    Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra (1964)

    OK, so this one isn’t actually anything to do with psychopaths – but it could be. It reflects the initial seduction phase of our relationships down to a tee. The joy of infatuation, the beauty of the exotic Other, the ‘sky’s the limit’ promises, and the whisking away of the target from everyone she knows – it’s all here. Not surprising really; as a probable psychopath himself, Sinatra knew what he was talking about.

    Grenade – Bruno Mars (2010)

    In short, this is about being in love with somebody who couldn’t care less about you. The narrator has been manipulated to the point where he would do absolutely anything for the psychopath in his life – even though he knows the psychopath wouldn’t lift a finger for him. From the lyrics: “If my body was on fire, you’d watch me burn down in flames.” But Bruno Mars is probably not singing from personal experience: just look at that man; would you be able to hurt those sad puppy dog eyes? Mind you, his girlfriend’s pretty hot too, so she could do even better.

    I’m Still Standing – Elton John (1983)

    Though this is primarily a song about survival and recovery – and shows that people can grow enormously after dealings with a psychopath – there are a few lines that suggest the sort of person John was singing about, especially the first verse:

    “You could never know what it’s like
    Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
    And there’s a cold and lonely light that shines from you
    You will wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use”

    Despite the song’s joyful melody, I can certainly sense a deep bitterness behind the lyrics’ bravado. Much like the spiel of our good friends over at Psychopathy Awareness. Maybe it’s time they took a leaf out of Idina Menzel’s book.

    Killer Queen – Queen (1974)

    According to the band, the killer queen in question is a high class escort, but there are some strong psychopathic overtones about her character too. Not only is she “well-versed in etiquette” and speaks “just like a baroness” (when she needs to), she’s also “guaranteed to blow your mind”, “playful (or faithful, depending on who you believe) as a pussy cat” and has an “insatiable appetite”. So here we have the temptation of the ‘bad girl’ (or bad boy) psychopath laid bare, even after you know what she is.
    Wanna try?
    You wanna try.
    Special shout out to Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy as well, for showing the other end of the charm spectrum: the perfectly polished gentleman lover.

    Love The Way You Lie – Eminem (ft. Rihanna) (2010)

    We’re a long way from the gentleman psychopath here; instead this one’s barely keeping a lid on his rage. Luckily for him, Rihanna’s addicted and though she keeps leaving, she never stays away for long. In her refrain, there’s more “watch[ing] me burn” and we learn she loves the pain. Yeah, you take it.
    In Eminem’s bit, he fakes being sorry over the number of times he’s promised to change but lied (“Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her”), he blames his girl for being just as bad as he is (“Your temper’s just as bad… you’re just the same as me”) and then finally comes clean about his true self: “I know I’m a liar. If she ever tries to fucking leave again, Imma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire”.
    Girl, you’ve scored!

    Master of Puppets – Metallica (1986)

    A song all about control. There really are fewer things finer than exercising power over somebody else, either overtly or covertly, and here Metallica capture it perfectly. There’s the ecstasy of power, but there’s also its brutality and all-consuming addictiveness. And the song goes even further. For the more power you have over somebody, the less they cease to be an individual, more just an extension of yourself, a toy. A word of warning, for your current and future dealings with psychopaths: you’d better obey your master.

    She’s Always A Woman – Billy Joel (1977)

    Another female psychopath- you’re doing well here, ladies! But this one is a bit different. Here, the singer seems fully aware of what his lover is. He describes her in fine detail: she’s a liar, she’s a thief, she’s manipulative, she’s selfish, she’s cruel – but she’s also fragile, child-like, intelligent, persevering, charming and brings out the best – and worst – in you. And this is what the singer truly believes. Because, despite (or perhaps because of?) her psychopathic characteristics, he is head over heels in love. Could that stem from the realisation, with “the most she can do is throw shadows at you” (she can only hurt you if you let her), that really she’s harmless?

    The Devil Went Down To Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band (1979)

    Here we are at the end, with the ultimate psychopath. It’s Old Scratch himself! There are two levels to my reasoning for this song’s inclusion – well, three, this song’s freaking awesome! But the two important levels are (i) the concept of soul-stealing, the Devil’s favourite hobby, is very similar to the topic I outlined above with Metallica’s help: total possession of somebody else. When I was a young kid, I convinced dozens of my classmates to ‘give me their souls’ à la Bart Simpson, and I treasured the power it gave me over them, both perceived (in my child’s brain) and real (the other kids bought into the fantasy too). Anyway, that’s a tangent. The other level to my reasoning is (ii) the cunningness of the devil. He ‘loses’ the game and plays a far inferior fiddle solo to the young boy Johnny. But that doesn’t matter, because he’s already played on the boy’s pride in order to trick him into gambling with his immortal soul – sacrilege, which is a carnal sin. The best part of all this? Johnny goes away thinking he’s won. He taunts the Devil, and tries to humiliate him further by replaying his winning solo. But when he dies, the Devil will get the last, cruel, delicious laugh. Because Johnny’s a sinner. And he’s going to burn.

    So there you have it

    What do you think, am I on the mark? Are there any I missed?
    (On that subject, here’s a list, some gleaned from online, others from off the top of my head, of some other well-known songs reportedly about psychopaths. Because I’m so generous, I’ve included a link to every song…  except one. Bonus prize for finding the dud!
    Oh and pretty much anything by Chris Brown. You know why.)
     
  • Barbara 06:55 on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    TOXIC HOPE 

    Three Reasons Your Relationship
    Will Never Get Better

    L.A. couples therapist featured in Time Magazine uses unique approach to marriage therapy including the acceptance that things won’t change.

    There are three reasons that your relationship cannot improve, even though you keep thinking it will. These are primary problems that are so influential that they are an obstacle that must be cleared before real progress in the relationship is possible.

    #1 Someone is frequently dishonest and that person is unwilling to identify that behavior as an individual problem that he or she wants to work on. An ongoing affair whether it is known or secret.

    #2 Psychological or medical disorders that are not treated. (Or personality disorders that are untreatable)

    These include: depression, manic depression, or menopause disorders, post traumatic stress and anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive or post-traumatic stress disorder. (Include narcissism, psychopathy, sociopathy or borderline personality in the personality disorders category)

    Post traumatic Stress is often a result of abusive, neglectful or violent experiences in childhood. These can experiences can profoundly affect how someone later experiences issues of trust and conflict in current relationships. If symptoms from any of these illnesses are present and the person is unwilling to get treatment for it then there is a much reduced prospect for significant change in the relationship. First things first.

    #3 One partner uses physical violence, verbal abuse, psychological manipulation or emotional intimidation and is unwilling to say that this is their individual problem that s/he wants to work on it separately from the relationship.

    Saying, “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” is a good thing to hear from your partner. More importantly though is whether the intimidation ceases. The frequency, intensity or duration should be getting better. If it doesn’t then you may have ‘Toxic Hope.’

    Toxic hope is waiting for someone to change when there is no realistic reason to believe that it will happen. Battered women, or men, who keep hoping something will change, perhaps even when their partner has never even admitted that they have a control problem; are in toxic hope. Even though there is a fair effort made; the frequency and magnitude of the continuing offenses are severe enough that the other partner does not feel safe enough to continue within the relationship.

    We emphasize ‘progress, not perfection’ so the issue isn’t that slips or mistakes are made. The important thing is does the person eventually recognize his or her responsibility in the conflict and can the person show some concern for how that affects you. Or, if one person is unable to reasonably follow the guidelines and is not willing to seek further help.

    What do I mean when I say “an individual problem that he or she is willing to work on separate from the relationship?” Or what is meant by getting ‘further help’? A person can work on the issues they struggle with alone by reading books on the subject of violence or lying but few people are able to do this without the help of others.

    Using the help of others could mean going to a professional therapist who specializes in the area that needs work or it can mean going to a self -help group for that particular problem. If physical violence is the problem then my recommendation is to attend a professionally led anger management or domestic violence group. Having worked for ten years in these groups I can say that the men are pleasantly surprised that they can learn useful methods that benefit their relationships. For most of the men it is the first time that they are exposed to the principle that being vulnerable will not result in being hurt.

    • One partner refuses to ever consider forgiving the other for some past wrong committed by the other, even when that partner has humbly asked for forgiveness.
    • Alcohol or drug dependence or abuse (prescribed medicines too!) Other addictions such as food, sex, spending, gambling or work are huge impediments to progress in a relationship which are sometimes overlooked or simply denied.

    • Leaving a psychologically violent or abusive relationship. If you feel scared that you will be hurt, pursued or injured if you leave then trust your feelings and seek help from a women’s shelter or hotline before taking action. Talk with them and consider the advice or recommendations that is given to you. The most dangerous time, physically, for the abused wife (or husband) is at the time of separating. There were armchair quarterbacks saying Nicole Brown Simpson should have left O.J. and divorced him. She was leaving him! It was then that she was killed.

      If you are physically abused by your partner call 1 800 978-3600 FREE to talk to a domestic violence counselor to learn about resources in your area. You are not alone!

    If violence is occurring in your home then break the isolation. And for the person whose anger is out of control, please seek the competent help of anger management specialists. Why wait for a neighbor’s phone call to initiate your criminal record? Do something courageous and positive NOW! Seek the help of professionals who can help you. Stop saying “I’m sorry.” and take some real steps toward repeating what probably happened in the family you grew up in.

    Checklist Before You Leave:
    If you have done these things then you can leave knowing that you did everything you could before deciding for sure to leave. These do not apply if there is violence, addiction, continuing adultery or unrepentant lying in the relationship. Things to think about when you consider ending a relationship:

    • When your partner apologizes does s/he mention both what s/he did and how s/he’s hurt you?
    • If any form of physical control, intimidation or violence occurs, does it get justified (ie. “I wouldn’t have done it if you didn’t….”)?
    • If apologies are made is there reference made to the person’s intention about changing future behavior, or is there further justification for the disrespectful behavior?
    • Are you growing in this relationship?
    • Does this person have all the signs of having a personality disorder (they can not be fixed or cured)?
    • Is the other person growing in this relationship? Is there improvement? It’s a process. Is there an expressed willingness to grow? Or are you wishing & assuming your partner wants to change his/her behavior and attitudes. Remember we’re looking for ‘Progress and not Perfection’.

    Marc Sadoff, MSW, BCD
    PACIFIC SKILLS TRAINING CO.

     
  • Barbara 06:54 on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    POLICE: Slow to Respond to Domestic Violence? 

    IN the 1989 movie, A Cry for Help: The Tracy Thurman Story it all happened in St. Petersburg, Florida when Tracy met Buck. After they got involved, Tracy realized that Buck had a gambling problem. Tracy confronted Buck about him losing money while gambling in front of his friends. Buck became furious and punched the door working his way around Tracy.

    Buck starts yelling and saying how his mother put a gun to his head and asked Tracy never to leave him. Thinking she was seeing his vulnerable side, Tracy felt sorry for him. This duped Tracy into thinking that Buck had a shattered soul and a sense of humanity.

    Not too long, Tracy found out she was pregnant. After telling Buck the news, he beat her for the first time. Tracy then leaves for Connecticut, her hometown and stays with a close friend. Buck follows her to Connecticut and pleads, begs, and promises that it will never happen again. They get married, stayed in Connecticut, and had a baby boy.

    Buck is unable to find work and convinces Tracy to move back to Florida. After losing a game of cards, he goes into a rage and beats Tracy again leaving her with two black eyes. Tracy moves back to Connecticut, only to have Buck follow her and take the baby away from Tracy.

    Tracy gets a restraining order against Buck and he is not allowed in the State of Connecticut or near Tracy’s home. She sees Buck standing in front of her home and calls the cops. The cops cannot find the court order. When the cops come to the house they tell her that he has the right to stand in the street and it would be easier if they weren’t married.

    A couple of days later, Buck is outraged. He shows up at Tracy’s house again screaming for her to come out of the house. This time he doesn’t let up. Tracy calls the cops and tells them that Buck is at the house and asks for a cop car to come by. The cop takes forever to get there. The cop that was assigned to come decides to make a detour and go back to the station for a pit stop.

    When he finally gets there he finds Buck beating Tracy to a pulp. Stabbing her several times, Buck then stomps on her face leaving her paralyzed (paraplegic). The cop with fear in his own eyes doesn’t know how to control Buck. Finally, the cop is able to take the knife away from Buck and puts it in the trunk of the cop car.

    The cop doesn’t handcuff Buck. Buck is screaming at everyone while holding his son. Finally, after the ambulance came, Buck was finally cuffed and taken away.

    Tracy sued the city of Torrington, Connecticut for failing to protect her and Tracy won.
    Today many police departments still ignore Domestic Violence Policies and Protocols.

    “Why is it that when you DO go to the police about someone or something, they treat you like an overwrought woman? tell you its somehow YOUR fault? or patronize you? – Anonymous Abuse Survivor

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: