Sunday, May 8, 2016

Not Every Ex is a Psychopath

Although I don't believe Spring is truly a psychopath, I'll admit that she has many times done things where I have called her a "psycho" in my thoughts.

Why? Well here is an example. Recently I opened a letter addressed to me yet without a return address. Now normally I do not open letters without a return address because when I first stated my career I was trained not to. You see at the time the Unabomber was active and I was working in a position that was pretty much his preferred target. Ever since I have been in the habit of tossing anything without a return address.

But I absentmindedly opened this one and in it I find a printout of a spreadsheet of costs that Spring apparently expects me to pay her. At least that is what I assume it is because there was no letter or note inside stating this or anything else. This costs are for such things as her increase in car insurance after my eldest received his driver's license and other such nonsense. Why she would expect me to pay these costs is beyond my understanding.

The divorce decree, just to complicate things, not only required me to pay massive spousal support, child support, insurance for the kids, etc. but also required Spring to pay each month back to me a small amount for the kids insurance and medical/dental costs. (there was no mention of my paying the increase in her car insurance once the kids received their drivers licenses) She quit paying anything about a month after the divorce was finalized.

Like most people my medical and dental deductibles have gone up. Both kids have had their wisdom teeth taken out, received college vaccinations, have had to go to the doctor for various illnesses. And, of course, I am the one that takes them to the doctor and dentist.

On top of that, Spring had no involvement with let alone paid any costs associated with them choosing a college or paying for it. I did all the college visits. I went to the parent orientations. I take them to school (both go out of state) and pick them up. Spring has told both that she will never use any of the money eared by me and transferred to her for their college costs let alone use her own income.

Yet she sends me bogus bills to pay her more money. The only reason I can think of is to harass me. But why on earth would she want to harass me? She left me not the other way around. There is something seriously wrong with her morality.

But is she a psychopath?

Yesterday, I read a pretty interesting article in Discover magazine titled Into the Mind of a Psychopath. The article was about Robert Hare, the person who created the psychopathy diagnostic test.

The test includes 20 items: glibness/superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, need for stimulation/proneness to boredom, pathological lying, conning/manipulation, lack of remorse/guilt, shallow affect, callousness/lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, promiscuous sexual behavior, early behavior problems, lack of realistic, long-term goals, impulsivity, failure to accept responsibility, many short-term marital relationships, juvenile delinquency and criminal versatility.

A clinician scores each item with 0 (no presence) to 2 (definitely present). Psychopaths score 30 to 40 points. The general population typically scores less than 5. The average score for prisoners is 23.

Now I am not a psychologist (although I did minor in it in college) and I won't attempt to rate Spring but in my opinion she clearly gets top scores for pathological lying, manipulation, lack of realistic long term goals, lack of remorse and parasitic lifestyle.

People love to categorize. But categorization often distorts reality. People are not either a good person or a psychopath. There is a continuum from a totally good ethical person to the worst psychopath you can think of. I do not think Spring is so bad that she ranks as a clinical psychopath but she is pretty clearly more toward that end of the spectrum than is the bulk of humanity.

So maybe when Spring harasses me in the future I shouldn't think "psycho" but rather "psycho tendencies".  Unfortunately that just doesn't roll off the tongue quite so easily. What I really want is for the divorce to just be over. Then I wouldn't have to think of her at all.

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