For the record (my protection as a Dutch citizen in Britain)

As soon as I discovered the terrorism-related “recommendations” from Amazon on my computer, I went to local police, where I was informed that I already had made a – or even the same? – report on 5 March, but that the office in question was not present and that they could not tell me more.

I have meanwhile sought advice from an agency I have considerably more faith in than in British police and they told me to request a copy of the report I supposedly filed on 5 March 2019.

I did that today, only to be told today that there was no record of a report made by me on 5 March.

Also, POLICE ARE NOT GOING TO INVESTIGATE THE POTENTIALLY TERRORISM-RELATED INCIDENT that I reported on Sunday. See images below.

The report I filed on Sunday has reference number 44170310292 and I spoke with a young blond woman who was also on desk duty today. Today, I spoke with PCEO 8735 who did a lot of whispering with her blond colleague.

My experiences confirm once again that going to British police is THE WORST YOU CAN DO IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

The only exception is when you really need a report for insurance purposes. In that case, go to the station, file the report, get the reference number and whatever else you need for your insurance, get out and do not call or contact police ever again, unless unavoidable for insurance purposes.

In all other situations, contacting the police is the worst thing you can do as it will aggravate whatever situation you are in.

The second reason I went to police today was that the police officer advised me to stay off my computer on Sunday, but as Hampshire police did not even investigate – di not even come over to talk with me – when I was attacked on the streets in 2007 when two stones hit my head, causing a mild concussion, and regarding all other crimes committed against me in Britain since, some of which are very serious, I did not expect police to do anything with my computer, in reality.

That was confirmed today. I am grateful for that officer’s straightforwardness.

(By the way, I call British police “bevolkingsbestrijding” in Dutch.)

 

Oh my god, this is creepy

Amazon is recommending some serious knives, ball bearings, a balaclava and all sorts of other things that look like bomb-making equipment to me!

I did notice I had been logged out of many of my accounts last week, including my Amazon account. And a few weeks ago, something else creepy happened, when someone was asking for screws and so on, asked me to drop them off AT a house, which was a house that is very eary to access from the local highways, both of which I realized too late and that person then mentioned “bomb squad” in a reply e-mail, which I thought was quite bizarre.

Be gentle with yourself

Life is about growing and learning and never stopping.

And about looking after yourself. Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for what you don’t like about yourself or for what you could have done better.

For myself, I could have done some things better last Tuesday, when I was talking to a group of 14/15-year-olds, but as I can’t change that, there is no point on dwelling on it.

I was struck by how each of the youngsters representing their groups during debates (public speaking while being recorded on video!) had something else to give. Each had a different quality that was uniquely theirs and which they contributed to the whole.

Some were very passionate, others uniquely authentic, truly believing in what they said. Some sought to connect with individual members in the audience and turn what they were saying more into a dialogue than a speech. Some were looking inward for strength, others outward, and all of them had guts.

Some had some more practising to do than others, but they all at least had a little seed in them from which a beautiful plant can grow in the future if it has not already started yet.

They also all had made posters. I told them “Less is more” which I need to remind myself of all the time too, when I am writing.

A poster is a visual tool. One image says more than a thousand words, and five well-chosen words can convey more than a thousand all jammed together. Step into someone else’s shoes, a stranger’s and walk into the room, looking at your own poster.

It made me remember when I made my first poster. About the world’s first measurements of REE profiles in Antarctic seawater.

I was 30 or 31 at the time, preparing to go to a conference in Germany. I worked through the night, printing off the various images etc that I needed at the university, went home, ate my delicious cold cheeseburger with relish (figuratively speaking), slept for an hour, showered, then went to the train station.

Upon arrival in Germany, we were greeted with champagne! I had to be very careful to limit that to one glass only, and drink that very carefully! I was too tired to handle more than one glass as I’d had to stand most of the way to Germany, in a packed train. Heck, I had trouble handling that one glass. I remember hunting for some German rye bread that they were serving with it, to give the champagne some support.

I guess it was a little bit like that for these youngsters too. An adventure, not knowing what exactly to expect, taking it all in stride.

The brain has a natural negativity bias. Don’t let that get to you.

My hacker(s) and I

It appears that we may slowly be (16 March:) still are not developing an understanding.

As the constant freezing of my PC and his unexpected butting in was very disruptive, a week ago or so, I suggested setting a schedule or some general rules. Not rigid rules, more like a guideline.

He seems to like it, but when I am late in the morning, he lets me know that he is very angry by messing up my screen incredibly (controlling the monitor) and rebooting the PC non-stop for about 15 minutes. He can also tell my PC’s fan to gear up. He hacks hardware too, yes.

This morning, he arrived at 8:30, causing my PC to freeze, requiring me to flip the UK-style socket’s power switch, and he appeared to leave my PC at around 9:50. At around 11:15, he seemed to be back, but it is more likely that he’s been logged into my system since 8:30. He can be present without me noticing it, and sometimes believes that he’s tricked me into believing that he’s gone, lol. After 10+ years of this, I have more or less gotten used to it, though on some days, it becomes too much and I yell at the computer and/or at one of the other people involved in this circus.

(He doesn’t want me to post the little video I made. Keeps deleting it.)

My PC sometimes also freezes for other reasons, however, and I am aware of that. The site of The Independent almost always makes my PC freeze.

The more I think about it, after having skimmed a few papers on the topic, the more convinced I am becoming that yes, he has a form of Asperger’s. (16 March: But how would I know? NPD apparently can look exactly the same, and I doubt that Asperger’s goes with taunting.) (19 March: No, apparently, it’s got nothing to do with autism.)

People with Asperger’s too have a problem with theory of mind. This can make them appear to be devoid of empathy, hence make them appear to have NPD and/or psycho/sociopathy. It is hard for him to assess how some of his actions and behaviours affect other people. He seems to see those as independent of himself, the way one would look at a computer problem when a computer is malfunctioning.

He does not think of the “cups of coffee” he throws “into other people’s keyboards”, so to speak. He has a tendency to take over my entire life (also in terms of getting into my head, of course, just like it is hard not to think of water when you just fell into a pond).

As some of you know, the story is a lot more complicated than this, but figuring out individual components is certainly helpful.

I am the one who has to live with this, after all, so I have to do the best I can to make my life as liveable as possible regardless of whatever the hacker’s doing, or any of his associates.

It’s taught me that we don’t all speak the same language. Some of us use music as language, others visual art, and his language is, well, coding, I guess. Or the general way he interacts with software and hardware.

I think I can often tell whether he is in my PC or not by things like how quickly some or all web pages load and refresh (the ones he wants access to, either to control what I get to see or do or to add messages from him), and whether they load once, or two times.

In 2011, I took a photo of the hacker, by the way. I know who he is, what he looks like, roughly where he lives and what is name appears to be.

I also know that he is not doing all of this on his own. There is someone else involved, with a different condition, who sometimes does terrible things, partly to support and perpetuate his own hero role, obscuring what is really going on – like someone who pushes you into the canal so that he can pretend he is rescuing you and who quickly pushes you back when nobody’s looking, and should someone notice, then he’ll use it as proof of how clumsy you are – and partly to try and drive me crazy, to frustrate me and hurt me. At least, that is how it often comes across on the receiving end. Not always.

Someone – mostly the hacker, usually on behalf of the other person, I suspect – has also been going into my flat when I am out, for years, until I managed to stop it somewhat by installing an extra lock. Sometimes he took something, or he returned something he took earlier. At other times, he moved something, left a note, destroyed something, or hurt an animal. He – or his brother – has also killed animals. His theme is decapitated pigeons, though I also suspect him of having killed all the stray cats here where I live in the past year or so.

The first time I knew for sure that someone had been in my flat was on Good Friday, I think it was in 2015 (I can check), when something had been moved, something relatively heavy. Up to that point, I only sometimes had had a strange feeling, but it had never occurred to me that someone could actually be shimmying the locks and going into my flat.

Neither of them can help doing this. I understand that.

This is part of the story of how I got into bioethics and inclusivity.

I’ve learned a lot from it.

Portsmouth women

Are you a woman in Portsmouth (England) and a target of sadistic stalking?

“Eh, of what ?”

If you follow this link: https://www.le.ac.uk/press/ebulletin/archive/speaker_sheridan.html, you can find out more about the phenomenon “sadistic stalking” (forensic psychologist Lorraine Sheridan’s British work). At the bottom of this web page, you can find the main points.

It concerns a highly manipulative pattern of positive and negative behaviours (which can lead to trauma-bonding, better known as the Stockholm syndrome) and the gradual but steady loss of the victim’s control over almost all areas of her life. It is usually carried out by someone the stalker barely knows or may not even know at all.

Victims of sadistic stalking are generally slowly but very deliberately isolated by their stalkers, their lives often torn to shreds in the course of years.

What does this mean in real life?

That you’re not alone! There are up to 45 women in Portsmouth right now – maybe more – who are in the same kind of nightmare as you are!

According to National Stalking Advocacy Service Paladin (see this page: https://paladinservice.co.uk/key-facts-and-figures/ ), “data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows up to 700, 000 women are stalked each year (2009-12)”. That could include 90,300 victims of sadistic stalking, then, if 12.9% of those cases concern sadistic stalking, as in Sheridan’s study.

The size of the combined populations of England (53.01 million in 2011) and Wales (approximately 3,063,456 in 2011) was 56,063,456. 700,000 stalked women represent a little over 1% of that total population, but that population also contains minors and men. So let’s say that about 0.5% of women is stalked.

(This excludes stalking that is 100% cyberstalking.)

There is almost no help for these women. The digital age has made it much more expensive and complicated for police to investigate stalking. As sadistic stalking tends to involve one or more unknown stalkers (and is often very subtle and skilled as well as engineered to make the victim sound crazy), police officers particularly cannot afford to allocate resources to investigating such cases.

If I assume that stalking is evenly distributed geographically, which it won’t be as some stalkers are more likely to operate in surroundings that make stalking easier, then I arrive at the following estimate for Portsmouth, where I live.

Portsmouth’s population in 2010 was 207,100. The working age population was 145,000. If I take 50% of that as the number of women, I end up with up to about 360 stalked women in Portsmouth alone. If 12.9% of those cases concern sadistic stalking, as in Sheridan’s study, then about 45 women in Portsmouth were targeted by sadistic stalkers in 2010/2011. I was one of them. I still am one of them.

Sadistic stalking can go on for decades, and nobody can help you put a stop to it. There is a lot of fancy talk out there, but in reality, when you are being stalked like this, you are largely on your own.

You may even run into the bullshit opinion that there are no stalked women, only psychotic and hysteric women and attention-seeking women.

It’s not true that only young and attractive women get stalked. You can get stalked because you remind a man of his mother of because you are having a bad hair day.

So in real life, you may find yourself being forced to live a nightmare, on your own, your health likely to decline under the prolonged stress. You can develop things such as skin infections (fungal or bacterial).

You may even suffer a heart attack as you may often be confronted with acts of cruelty. This can be shocking.

I am no longer often angry with stalkers because I’ve come to realize that they can’t help what they are doing. It’s complicated. We provide medical care to people with kidney problems, but not to people with brain differences that can for example be caused by severe childhood abuse. Apparently, such differences in the brain can result in stalking behaviours like these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But here is the thing.

If 45 or so women in Portsmouth alone are being targeted by sadistic stalkers, we should be able to make a fist – or rather, a circle of connected hands – and support each other. That way, we could instantly put a stop to one of the key objectives of sadistic stalking – isolating the victim.

You may have been hiding the fact that you are being stalked because when you talk about it, you usually sound like a complete lunatic yet when people believe you, they become scared.

Friends and acquaintances disappear and those who don’t disappear by themselves will be pushed away by the stalkers. They may call friends, relatives and acquaintances, pretend to be someone else and give them a reason to stay away from you.

You may feel guilty about being stalked, even though you know that you did nothing to deserve it.

You may feel like you should have been able to prevent it, somehow, even though on a rational level, you know that there is nothing you could have done differently that would have made a difference.

You may be experiencing disbelief. “This can’t possibly be happening. So it must be me. Am I merely imaging things? Am I going crazy?” This may be more common at the start of being stalked, when you notice things that make no sense, things that – so you think – can’t really be true. Such as people taking photos of you, (some of) your postal mail disappearing or the feeling that someone has been in your home, or just a vague indescribable feeling of uneasiness that you can have when someone has been in your home but you don’t realize it.

And if you are a foreigner, you may not even be sure if what is happening could be “British humour” or not. British humour is often slightly sadistic, too, after all. Designed to trigger “Schadenfreude”. Are anonymous people around playing pranks on you, perhaps? You may also find yourself tripped up by British slang that you didn’t recognize as such.

You are bound to feel alone and powerless and you may often walk around with a frown on your face, looking and feeling angry or scared or frustrated or bewildered. You may have become a bit zombie-like – because that is what prolonged powerlessness can do, for various reasons. Some people may think that you’re really odd, for instance, people at supermarket tills.

But you are not alone.

Earlier today, before I started writing this page, I passed a woman on my way to the Aldi and I wondered “Is she one of them?” I looked at her, deliberately, and she looked back and smiled. She was about my age.

A few years ago, the Portsmouth News reported the suicide of a 54-year-old women in Southsea. I was 55 at the time. I am still wondering if she too was a victim of sadistic stalking. Stalkers may target several people simultaneously. Perhaps it helps obscure what they are doing, makes them look less fixated on one person.

So let’s find each other and start supporting each other. All 45 of us or whatever the number for Portsmouth is in reality, and many of the others too, for instance those who have delusional fixation stalkers or stalkers who are a mix of these two stalking types, and others as well.

The other two stalking behaviours in Sheridan’s taxonomy (ex-partner stalking/harassment and infatuation harassment) appear to be a bit different, often less secretive, and more clearly to see for others.

With some stalkers, telling them off in a stern tone works, but it can encourage other stalkers.

By the way, the advice to have no contact with a stalker has become meaningless in the digital age. There is no way of knowing that “Carl Patterson” who you don’t know is really, say, “Pete Jefferson” who you do know and if you suspect it, you will sound paranoid as this example is so obvious. If the example is less obvious, you will still sound paranoid.

Apart from that, you will be trying to make your life work in spite of being stalked and you can’t do that without trying to find out who and what you are dealing with, and finding out whether it might be possible to negotiate.

Let’s connect. We could meet every Saturday at 11:00 or 14:00 in the HIVE at the public library in Guildhall Square. I don’t know yet if I will get around to starting this myself in Portsmouth, but if I do, I will post details on this page later.

Women and men in other locations can do this too, of course. Track each other down and start supporting each other.

I am aware of the risk that meeting like this might also attract stalkers or, say, people with narcissistic personality disorder who feel better about themselves when they hear about other people’s misery, but I think those of us who are being stalked and certainly those who have been stalked for many years have learned enough about stalking behaviours to recognize any wolves in our midst. And we could set up a safety net for ourselves, too. Plus, there can be safety in being visible to the public.

Stalkers don’t necessarily mean harm, but it’s impossible to know what is going through the mind of anyone who is stalking you. That creates a big chunk of the problem, of the life-stealing in stalking in general.

Once we join hands, however, we can say “We’ve got this.” and feel strong and in control again, instead of “possibly crazy”, powerless and vulnerable.

I mean, heck, isn’t this an obvious solution?!

That said, please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this web page. I cannot protect anyone from anything, nor guarantee anything, and cannot be held liable for the results of any decisions you make or don’t make or steps you take or don’t take.

I wish everyone well, and I wish nobody any harm of any kind.

Some general advice follows, however.

  1. The first thing to do if you have any type of stalker? Secure your home. Change locks, add extra locks, make shimmying the locks take up so much time that it becomes very unattractive.
  2. Second thing to do? Stop posting anything online. Do not share any wishes, hopes and frustrations etc online. No photos of your home etc either. No remarks about friends or relatives.
    • Impossible if you are your own boss. A solution is to hire someone to handle social media for you. Keep that away from your own computers and e-mail addresses. Outsource it. Do not postpone this if you can afford it. It may safeguard your income. Once you’ve lost your income, it’s too late.
    • Another complication is not being able to ignore e-mails etc from strangers if you are your own boss. Here too, outsourcing may help and it is worth the expense. Use one general e-mail address for enquiries and outsource the handling of e-mails to that address.
    • Do the same thing for phone calls. Engage a company that can answer your phone for you. Use one number for general inquiries, and then redirect your calls to that secretarial service.
  3. The third thing to do is to make it hard for your stalker to isolate you. As soon as you know or suspect that you are being stalked, tell friends, colleagues, relatives and acquaintances about it, calmly. (Don’t explain in detail what is going on. Merely say that you have an anonymous stalker. That’s right, even if you have a suspicion of who it might be or know who it is.) Tell them not to pay any attention to anyone contacting them and for example claiming to be a good friend who wants to help you with something behind your back. That way, they don’t end up gaslighting you too, without knowing it, which would be likely to make you distance yourself from them. Tell them to call you – they know your voice – if they receive strange e-mails from you and tell them not to give up if they find it hard to reach you by phone or e-mail. Dead/disconnected line, weird message on phone line, no response to e-mails. Also, if you don’t do this now, the isolation you’ll eventually experience can make you want to share things online, or even vent online, which makes you more vulnerable and gives the stalker more of what he or she wants. If you do slip up, delete it as soon as you can.)

 

PS
(19 March 2019)
If you are looking for legal recourse, you have three options, namely public prosecution, private prosecution or civil proceedings.

You can forget about public prosecution. You need to cooperation of police and CPS for that and you are never going to get that unless you’ve been physically attacked (and/or killed) and by then, it’s too late. Your chances of successful private prosecution are slim as well, as you need permission for that and it’s rarely granted. Civil recovery is your best option. The point? Spare yourself the effort of doing what is usually recommended and the ensuing immense frustration. British police are not going to help you, and a 2017 report by two British watchdogs agrees. Police had failed all the victims in all the cases that the report had looked at.

Please see the disclaimer. I wrote the above on the basis of my personal experiences in Britain. I am not a lawyer.

More later. I am writing a paper on the topic.

I love coffee

This post is about coffee in Britain.

Many people in my home country have a hard time accepting that Britain really is the way it is (when you live here, which isn’t the same as it is for tourists). It is not “just like the Netherlands except that the people in England (as the Dutch usually call Britain) speak English, drink tea, are reserved and prim and proper and walk around swinging walking sticks and bowler hats” or some version of that.

Most Dutch people blindly assume that everything in Britain works the exact same way as things work in the Netherlands. I can’t blame them. I too had no idea how vastly different Britain is relative to my home country, or the United States.

The people in my home country are also often convinced that the coffee here is bad, however. True, but that applies only to the cheap instant stuff.

Ground coffee – real coffee – is actually very good and, in my opinion, even much better in Britain than in the Netherlands.

I haven’t had an electric coffee maker in many years. After another one had broken down, I started making coffee with a separate filter and a large thermos. I ended up with much better-tasting coffee and it landed me absolutely perfect coffee once, so good it was stunning. The amount of coffee, the way I poured the water and its temperature must have been just right for my coffee to turn out so exceptional that morning.

Nowadays, I make my coffee in a French press, inspired by a remark made by a Spanish professor at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton in 2005. If I accidentally drop a French press and the glass breaks, I can order a replacement glass.

I have several favourites. Taylors of Harrogate makes great coffee, which sells at roughly £3.75 a bag these days, I think, but it is often on offer. I think that one bag contains 227 grams. It comes in many varieties, but not every supermarket has all varieties, and I have my favourites. The varieties occasionally change, too. Places like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury sell Taylors.

Aldi – which is a much more luxurious supermarket in Britain than in the Netherlands – sells really great coffee too. People actually started going to Aldi for no other reason than its coffee. When coffee prices started to rise a few years back, Aldi tried to compromise on the quality of the coffee. I wrote to them about it. Others must have done too because Aldi later compromised again, but this time by making the bags smaller. They now contain 200 grams of great-tasting coffee instead of 227 grams.

Its “Rich Java” is so popular it is often sold out. 100% arabica coffee. “Deep, rich, syrupy flavour with subtle notes of chocolate”. Rainforest alliance certified. Strength: 5.

I tried one of the other ones, but Rich Java was much better and kept selling out.

Aldi must have noticed, because it replaced one of the other varieties (I think it was “Ethiopian”, which I didn’t like) and introduced “Peruvian”. 100% arabica coffee. “Bold bodied with red fruit notes and a caramel finish”. Rainforest alliance certified (sustainable livelihoods, protecting the environment). Strength: 4.

I love them both! At times I prefer the Java and at other times the Peruvian. The Peruvian is a bit more refined, more subtle. The Java could be Brazilian. (It isn’t. Java is part of Indonesia and that is where this coffee comes from.) It plants its feet firmly on the ground and says “Here I am!”.

£1.99 for 200 grams for each of them.

Did you know that coffee has tremendous health benefits, too, for most people? It can do wonders for the liver, for example.

Calling people with NPD

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a problematic neurological condition. It shows up on brain scans.

You are not deliberately creating it, you have it, and you are not deliberately refusing to cure yourself. I know that.

In your anonymous comments, please leave notes about how society might be able to help you be your best selves and hurt less inside.

Your comments will not be published instantly. That is the standard setting on this site.

(I will likely remove comments from people who do not have NPD, and who need to vent.)

I genuinely want to hear from all of you, that is, read your comments, added from your computer, tablet, or phone, not just from the people who believe that they own me or used to own me in the past).

Have any of you tried medications to do with oxytocin, or Prozac, or something else? Did that work for you? Do you have any other conditions that are related to this?

Have you pretended to be, for example, merely deeply depressed (which you probably often are), in order to receive any support? How did that work out?

Because for you, talking openly about what you need is usually a no no, so you need to do it anonymously.

Because the world is mostly obsessed with the negative aspects of your condition (understandably).

And because to my knowledge, shrinks don’t really know what to do with you, how to support you, either.

Because all of this makes me curious about what we might be able to do that might really make a difference.

Because if you hurt less inside, that will make the world a better place for all of us. Because a lot of what you do says “THIS MUCH is how I hurt inside, but I can’t let myself feel that, so I am making you feel it instead”.

By the way, it is my understanding that reading “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry can help. Because it can help you learn how adults are supposed to behave, I think. But also because it may comfort you.

 

 

 
It is my personal impression that if you have NPD, having friends in your life with a strong zen attitude and a thorough awareness of the condition, and perhaps also particularly someone who can serve as your business manager, depending on your situation, can make a big difference.

If you want to know what Britain is like under the shiny layer of gloss

In many other countries, Britain’s shiny layer of gloss or deceptive image of the “prim, proper and demure” or soft and gentle is accepted as WYSIWYG. But Britain is not WYSISYG. The great Brexit entertainment show surely has made many people abroad cotton on by now. This is Britain as usual, well, most of the time.

Want another example?

People who do not have the British nationality can be grabbed anywhere and at any time, to be locked up indefinitely, for no good reason at all, often making them lose their jobs and homes, even those who’ve been here for fifty years or longer, and sometimes leaving them without documentation/passports (if the Home Office keeps it).

People – Brits – are locked up because they protested peacefully, against fracking or against deportation. And for many years it has already been the case that if Britons show up at a demonstration anywhere, their mere presence can get them into a police file and often tracked and hassled wherever they go in Britain after that. (There’ve been court cases related to the latter. That’s how I know.)

Here is a film about that part of Britain.

You can see what a farce this is because if they really had been considered terrorists, they would have been held on remand, not been left free to roam the country.

They wouldn’t have been allowed to leave the court after the verdict either.

This is about nipping protest in the bud, just like the food bank organizations and the BBC have gotten whistled back to heel so often.

For me, it is heart-warming and so encouraging to see that people like the Stansted 15 exist in Britain.

You see how gutted they are after the verdict. That, that alone, was the aim of this farce. To whip the souls of British citizens back into obedience to the state.

Creepy.

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Asperger’s in practice

I have no experience with autistic people – as far as I know – and have been trying to develop some understanding, very slowly. I just ran into a top artist with Asperger’s and this documentary seems to show a lot of how it works in practice.

People thought she had brain damage. People thought “she couldn’t do much”. People kept telling her that.

The funny thing is that the Asperger’s makes her a “better” or talented artist. It is why she makes audiences cry. That and her musical professionalism.

(I did not know much about her, no, had never watched anything before, other than one short video clip once. I watched another one this evening in which someone talked about her emotional connection to the songs.)

Human diversity occurs along a very broad spectrum, with lots of overlap and variation, and there is still so much we don’t know about that. And all the minuses seem to come with their own pluses, one way or another.

A bit of inspiration

Some things can’t ever be fixed or changed, but some can be made better or at least less bad, and even in cases when most people think it is not possible, like in this video below.

You can see the utterly amazed look in the animal’s eyes, before the vets put the cone on, with the gently wagging tail on the background. The “holy shit, I can’t believe it, they solved this for me?” realization. Also with the cone on. Suddenly, in the dog’s mind, she has a life again, a future. And she forgets all about the past…

The sadism of people with malignant or sadistic narcissistic personality disorder

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a bit about NPD lately. This is common for “victims” of people with NPD.

NPD is not a “character flaw” in the classical sense, but related to a brain difference that is visible in brain scans. Shame may be their main negative emotion and gratitude their main positive one, a kind of peacefulness.

Dealing with people with NPD is challenging enough, but dealing with people who have the malignant or sadistic form of the disorder is even harder.

And it can be really scary.

So why do people with malignant or sadistic NPD do things such as go into their targets’ homes or instruct one of the flying monkeys to do so and move things around or destroy something or hurt animals or even kill them?

Apparently, it represents how they feel inside. Except, they don’t allow themselves to feel much of anything and force others to experience their feelings for them.

“This much is how I hurt” is what the sadism supposedly is intended to convey when you find the remains of a dead animal, as I did a few years ago. Envy played a role too. As soon as I uploaded photos of that particular animal to my website, I got a really bad vibe. Unexplainable.

A week or so later, I found the remains of that animal.

(And it was followed up by a message.)

Like a little kid who does not want to eat the vegetables and throws the plate against the wall. “This much is how I hate the vegetables!”

Here is a question. Can you see this like the “peeing all over the place” of a cat with struvite formation? (I’ve had one who did that, initially.) If so, then you can also see that it is a symptom of a condition.

This is just one example of the stuff that’s been going on in my life.

On another stage, the same person goes around spreading myths and fables about me, initially telling everyone whatever sob story he told them (about my supposed mental illness?), and making everyone believe that he is helping me, making everyone admire him and eventually apparently progressing to turning me into some kind of villain or fool who just refuses to learn or whatever story that again will get him lots of sympathy. Jekyll & Hyde.

(“Alex” is the negative side of the person I am dealing with, so I understand, who wants total control over everything by any means. “Alex” is the one who needs to rest. He probably needs to feel comforted and safe?)

???

And underneath it all, people with NPD hate and despise themselves. They see themselves as utterly flawed, even in milder cases of NPD, when what they perceive as serious flaws may not be “flaws” at all. There is no harsher critic of the person with NPD than the person with NPD.

The problem is that society refuses to accept that conditions like NPD exist, so people with NPD have nowhere to turn to other than their victims (who I tend to call targets, as it’s more neutral).

And their victims have nowhere to go to either, because when they talk about what is being done to them, they sound unbelievable. Surely, no sane person would ever do things like that to another human being, and go to such extreme lengths? The victim must be making it up.

So while people with NPD go around causing as much hurt and loss as possible in their targets’ lives, those people have nowhere to go. There is zero support for them and the only support available to them – paradoxically enough – comes from their tormentors.

The only people who understand what is happening are other victims, and some (but not all) of the people with NPD. Some of them prey on the former victims and make money off them, off the victims’ need to understand what happened to their lives.

The best source, in my opinion, for information on NPD is Les Carter (see his practice’s website at drlescarter.com for his professional background and watch his videos on YouTube). A good source for information about malignant/sadistic and grandiose/overt NPD is Sam Vaknin, but as he has the disorder, you have to discern when he is speaking and when the disorder is speaking; his very high IQ enables him to step outside the disorder to some degree. You should watch videos about him as well, such as the documentary “I psychopath” and perhaps also the video fragments of a seminar in which he explains how he inflicts pain in his victims, how he seeks out their pressure points and drills down into the core to do serious harm, as he puts it.

Please keep in mind that the word “narcissist” is also used to express dislike. Calling someone a narcissist is not the same as dealing with a person who has mild or full-blown NPD.

It’s a myth that victims of people with NPD are all empaths and gullible. Sometimes, they merely were in the wrong place at the wrong time, which meant that they literally crossed someone’s path and caught someone’s eye.

I suspect that people with NPD need someone – a professional – who can teach them techniques for dealing with their disorder in a healthy manner, strategies for dealing with the here and now. I have also wondered whether medications like Prozac might help because when people with NPD have emotions, they tend to be overwhelmingly negative. They might also benefit from anything that increases their oxytocin levels. But these are just wild guesses, as some of the neurotransmitter pathways in their brains may be blocked, who knows. I have no idea. I do know that psychopathy apparently can be caused by some of these pathways becoming flooded in early childhood – even in utero – and subsequently ceasing to function properly. (All psychopaths have NPD, apparently, but not all narcissists are psychopaths. Not at all.)

All the victims need to do is focus on their own survival. They need to make sure they stay alive (not get pushed into suicide, for example) and that they stay whole inside, and refuse to let anyone with NPD drive them insane (which some say is the inevitable outcome of dealing with people with NPD, but I don’t like how that plays into the rhetoric about NPD). Adopting a zen attitude can help. (Letting go of labels, or focusing less on how “bad” something is.)

Happy survivors simply go on happily living their lives without dwelling on the past.

Partners cannot fix people with NPD. I know one former partner who associated the song below with the person he used to be with (and gave me well-intended “instructions” for how to support her as well as the responsibility to do so, without telling me what was going on with her, making him the second person who “unloaded” her on me):

 

The irony of the fact that “fixing someone” can also mean “exacting revenge” is not lost on me.

That said, I have seen a video with Sam Vaknin, who has pretty bad full-blown NPD, with his wife Lidija and although people with NPD are supposedly not capable of love in the sense of giving back what they receive, you can definitely see a kind of glow, a gentleness or mildness, like she provides a warm-blanket feeling for him. That may well go on outside his awareness (oh the brain is such a fascinating labyrinth), but I assume that she has a strong stabilizing effect on him. She seems to know exactly what she is dealing with.

Remember, that it’s not all bad. There is a person under the disorder. The trick is to imagine what the person would be like if the disorder wasn’t there.

People with NPD – like everyone else – also have many good qualities. That they don’t really believe that – no matter what they say! – does not mean that we have to overlook what is good about them.

That can turn into a trap, but focusing on the good can also save your sanity at times.

But whatever you do, do not go to police. Contacting police both enrages and empowers “abusers” of any kind and can get you targeted and victimized by police as well. Assuming that police will help is immensely naive. (Police have none of the required knowledge and equipment to deal with anything like this. Police have no interest in dealing with it either. And remember that people with NPD tend to use lots of silly word games and operate an army of helpers who all either believe what they are told – which police will fall for – or have become so embarrassed and/or afraid of being prosecuted that they will never tell police what they were asked to do, and what they did. )

PS
Do not address the source of the pain in the NPD patient’s past. Supposedly, this serves no purpose and risks that he or she falls apart completely, unlike for dissociative identity disorder, which seems to benefit from unearthing the traumatic past. If anyone can deal with this, it would be a highly specialized professional.

PPS 17 January 2019
I would like to get that one individual with this extreme form of NPD professional assistance – and one or more people in his immediate surroundings as well – and I’ve indicated that if he commits to that, then I am willing to offer my support. I am not aware yet of any professionals in Britain who can successfully deal with his condition and help people with this condition manage it, get things under control, but surely someone somewhere does, can and will.

That offer first resulted in him trying to find out whether I had the hots for him – see how much trouble people with NPD have with reality, and with assessing how other people respond to what they do, how other people tick? – and also trying to find out who exactly I am willing to support.

Before, he’s also been hinting that he’s done something, that I have no idea what he’s done and that he feels I possess no empathy because he feels I abandoned him at some point when he really needed me to be there one way or another or something like that. (Probably: Not having provided sex, as he’s obsessed with sex.) And that I will have a very hard time appearing not crazy because nobody will believe me. I have no idea whether it is just words again or if he’s really been up to something and if so, what. I shrug. It doesn’t matter.

I understand that he may have to pretend that he is looking for help with something else. There is a tremendous amount of shame involved in NPD; people with NPD really despise themselves and any professional who does not understand the intricacies of the disorder would not be able to deal with him well, imho.

It is also my understanding that “outing” people with NPD in public is generally accepted much better by them than when you try this in private. When done in public, it gets them a kind of attention they crave, but when done in private, they likely feel it as bitter criticism.

As indicated before, in other blog posts, for years, I tried to find out what I was dealing with (what was going on) and how to deal with it best. In vain! When someone anonymously starts ripping your life to shreds, you want to get a handle on it. You want to know what on earth is going on, why someone out there is doing this to you and what that person wants from you. You want to know how you should deal with it.

I have contacted a counsellor in Winchester to see if that person may be able to help them (assuming that the message went out and that it went out unaltered; my pc froze while I was writing it and I had to reboot it by flipping the power switch).

 

 

Am I paranoid?

Many people are still incredibly naive when it comes to using modern technology. Their awareness is literally decades behind.

Last year, someone accused me, in a rather vicious manner, of being paranoid because of the disclaimers I use in e-mails. As a result, I decided to include in my disclaimers that I follow the example and advice of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which uses a similar disclaimer.

When I try to talk about issues like these, some people mistakenly believe that I am accusing them of being hackers and spoofers, because they don’t understand the concepts. Once, when I tried to improve my security by adding encryption to my e-mail, someone wrote back to me that the person’s boyfriend had said that PGP encryption was a virus so thanks but no thanks. This, however, concerns people who aren’t running businesses.

If you have a business that provides services, and you use e-mail, computers and a phone, you have a professional obligation to be somewhat aware of the risks associated with digital or electronic equipment, in my opinion, if only to acknowledge that you may not be able to protect your business sufficiently. It’s not just your own interests, but also your clients’ interests that are at stake here.

Businesses all over the world lose lots of money because of spoofed e-mails, tricking them into for example paying bills into accounts that belong to scammers. News sites such as the BBC’s and the Guardian’s feature this from time to time.

It is a myth that only huge businesses like Sony get tricked or hacked. It is a myth that only people in their 80s and 90s get scammed or hacked. It is also a myth that most women barely know where to find their computer’s off/on switch.

I invite all the disbelievers out there to take a look at Ivan Liljeqvist’s LinkedIn profile. Ivan is a programmer, a developer, a cryptocurrency analyst. This is what it says today (screen shot):

The irony

Many years ago, I was one the very few people who used e-mail. Some of my friends were extremely resistant to the idea of e-mail.

Years later, it was those initially so reluctant people who could not stop using e-mail. No matter how many times I begged them to call me instead of e-mail me, I could no longer get them to call me.

Oh, the irony.

That is how you learn who your friends are and who aren’t.

If you turn yourself into a bunch of words on my screen, you could be anybody – or nobody.

Humans are more than just a bunch of words on a screen.

Talking to each other is so much more efficient. You can instantly catch and clear up any misunderstandings that may not even become evident until much later when all you choose to be is a bunch of words on a screen. And you can smile together. A trouble shared is a trouble halved – or so they say – but a shared smile definitely becomes amplified.

 

A story about a concentration camp or two

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Britain has a bunch of them too. And people can be in them indefinitely. Kinda like at Guantánamo Bay. An American concentration camp on an island in the Caribbean.

Shit.

The Netherlands used to have them too. (No longer, I think.) When I was still living in Amsterdam, a fire tore through one of them.

Why I sometimes call British culture “paranoid” or “narcissistic”

If someone writes to you “with the greatest respect”, isn’t it paranoid or an indication of extremely low self-esteem, hence possibly narcissistic, to believe that it means “I think you’re an idiot”?

That’s not “sarcasm”, folks.  That’s bonkers. Nuts.

YouGov survey: 
British sarcasm 'lost on Americans':

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46846467

So when a local shop owner suddenly started repeating “Don’t worry about it” a few years ago, I had no idea that it meant “Piss off!”, and I still have no idea why he suddenly wanted me to piss off either. I must have said something that he thought was intended as the exact opposite of what I said and meant?

Interesting is that before I moved from Amsterdam to the USA, I received some warnings/advice about Americans that turned out not to apply at all – for instance about the dinner invitations as mentioned in the BBC article – but I did later discover that some of it applies with regard to southern England.

For people in countries that don’t have English as their main language, the fact that British English is so vastly different from other forms of English can be really confusing.

There is also a thing in British English that we foreigners sometimes call hinting, and that people from other countries don’t get either.

I am not so sure that what the BBC writes about the British use of sarcasm applies to Scotland, by the way.

I do remember one occasion when I did catch the sarcasm. A year or so ago, I walked into a store to ask something and addressed someone whose last words to me before I left the store again were “and we’ll sort you out”.

What she meant was that they would teach me a lesson.

I suspect that I know what it was about and if I am right about that, then she considered the items she was selling “old junk”, felt that I had been comparing her to old junk by something I said (perhaps indicating that she was not very happy with what she was doing, even though I think she was an owner, not an employee).

This is typically British. Anywhere else, you’d be considered paranoid or otherwise not well in the head to have thoughts like these. Here, however, you are considered not well in the head – slow on the uptake – if you don’t get this stuff.

See how upside down the world can be and how tricky cultural differences are?

 

Criminalization of brain-based health conditions

Here we see how a young woman’s mental health crisis got her into handcuffs and in front of a judge for having inconvenienced the public.

Police criminalized this woman. That’s how stigmas work.

Now compare that situation with that of, say, a pregnant woman whose waters break in the middle of a supermarket? Or hey, who cramps while driving a car on the way to the hospital, skids, spins and ends up blocking traffic?

If police did not discriminate, the latter woman should be handcuffed and dragged in front of a judge as well.

Would police do that?

And what would police do with a woman who ends up in a diabetic crisis while travelling on public transport?

Or with anyone daring to have a heart attack in public?

 

Breaking through the confusion about “narcissists”

In this very clear video, Sam Vaknin explains the distinction between the media’s and many people’s every-day use of the word “narcissist” – often meaning no more than “I don’t like that person” and/or “I am envious of that person” – and the personality disorder and elaborates on the variations of the disorder. (A related word that seems to be often intended to convey disdain is “co-dependent”.)

Sam Vaknin is blessed by his high intelligence, which often allows him to rise above his disorder to a large degree, but when you listen to what he says, in any of his videos, it remains important to discern when his disorder is doing the talking.

It can be quite confusing. Even listening to many of these videos, depending on your own situation (whether you have people with NPD in your life or not), you may start to wonder at some point about your own mental health… maybe because it makes you aware of how vulnerable we all are as humans.

It is always important to monitor your own behaviour in the company of people with NPD, to ensure that you stay grounded and don’t get swept away or pulled under by the effect someone else’s disorder has on you. Most people should be able to do that because they have the ego functions that people with NPD lack… except, when they become aware of the fact that they should have been doing this, they’ve often already been pulled under.

(Comparison that may help: When you are being targeted by a constant barrage of tennis balls from a row of tennis ball cannons, the only thing you are still aware of is the tennis balls and all your activity may become focused on dodging the tennis balls, getting hit, getting hurt and getting angry. The rest of the world drops away. That means that you are no longer grounded. There could be a bus shelter to the left, in which you would be safely shielded from the tennis balls, or you might be able to walk over to the cannons and pull the plug, but you are no longer able to notice that when you are not grounded.)

But Vaknin’s right: there is a lot of complete bullshit out there about the disorder and all it seems to accomplish is that it freaks people out and attracts a lot of angry people. People who feel angry would probably benefit more from going for a run or playing squash – or tennis.

By the way, psychopathy (a step further) appears to be promoted by war situations, by babies being exposed to the effects of war in the womb and when growing up. Brain chemistry. The brain becoming immune to some degree, and parts of the brain not developing. This could indicate that bombing countries in retaliation for terrorist attacks could lead to more terrorist attacks in the future. Something to think about.

The western world pays a lot of attention to attacks taking place on its own soil, for instance at train stations, but considerably much less to events such as Americans accidentally bombing a children’s hospital in, say, Pakistan.

A very complicated topic. What it all seems to boil down to is that the world is in need of more compassion and more empathy (I probably often mix the two up) – and less aggression.

Overweight air hostesses

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/pakistan-international-airlines-cabin-crew-weight-memo-intl/index.html

Ah, this rings bells too. In 1979 and in 1980 and 1981 or thereabouts, I applied to a few airlines. My mother had always told me I might want to become an air hostess because you get to speak a few languages and get to see a bit of the world that way.

I applied three times and I got three interviews. I think it was December 1980 when I was in a deadhead seat on a flight to Frankfurt. Yes, it must have been December, indeed, because I remember that there was a Christmas market at the airport. There was snow too. It was after my season at Amsterdam’s Tourist Office.

Upon arrival, we were all told to step onto a scale. I normally weighed myself in my underwear. My home scale said my weight was 58 when I sent in my application forms. I was now asked to step onto the scale wearing a blouse, a winter sweater, a lined tweed jacket, a scarf and a heavy lined plaid and pleated winter skirt. Their scale said my weight was 60 or 61. I remember that one guy’s weight was 5 kilos more than his application form had said.

While all of us candidates were in a room at a table, being addressed, the door opened and I was removed from the room. They told me that the weight I had listed on the form had not matched what their scale had said and that I was out of the process.

They treated me like a criminal.

I swore that I would never fly with that airline again from that day (but I relied on them to take me home again).

The guy with the 5 kilo discrepancy got to stay.

In retrospect, it was a good experience because I am pretty sure that I would not have enjoyed being an air hostess at all. Well, for a while, but not for long. Too many aspects about it, certainly in those days, that I would not have liked at all. But I didn’t know that then.

I am five foot seven, by the way.

Ha ha ha – hacking is NOT illegal in the UK

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/81172bfa-58e9-4b12-893c-7e80a731a852

British police does NOT investigate hacking.

The idea that they do is a myth.

People are told to report cyber crime to the national monitor of cyber crime, Action Fraud, but most people don’t realize that this means that the cyber crime is not actually investigated. The name of the agency sounds so nicely “active” that people fall for it and think that this agency actively investigates cyber crime, but it only keeps statistics and only if there is an economic component.

At some point, I even received a (spoofed) e-mail from Hampshire Constabulary stating that hacking, criminal harassment, business sabotage and shimmying the locks to someone else’s apartment are not crimes. I didn’t bother taking that to the police. It would have been a complete waste of my time.

For the record, what police officers sometimes do appear to do, is tick boxes in their computer programs that make it look like something has been investigated when it hasn’t. (I have proof of that, or at least of police stating to third parties that they investigated something while they didn’t, apparently for no other reason than to discredit someone and suggest that the person was psychotic or paranoid – and I have something that backs up the latter as well. It is the kind of unexpected jaw-dropping information you can uncover when you exercise your FOI rights.)

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/about-us/what-we-do/national-cyber-crime-unit