Mr. Sociopath

I read a newsletter written by one of our salesmen, and he mentioned a book titled, “Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight”. I immediately thought about the guy who almost ruined my life. PEOPLE, listen to me … if you think, even for a split second, that you may be in the company of a sociopath, RUN!

My Dad is the only person besides the sociopath and me who knows all of the ugly details of what my life was like between 2002 and 2005. My Dad was the only one I could turn to for help in sorting out what was real and what was a lie. It took months and months of visiting that guy in prison and reading through many, many letters he sent me before he finally starting admitting all the deception, all the manipulation. He was a puppet master, and I was his unknowing marionette.

I have written several times over the years about a book EVERYONE should read. It’s called “The Sociopath Next Door”. If you haven’t read it, at least consider reading it. It could save you a lot of grief at some point in your life.

It’s truly amazing how, when you’re in a relationship with someone, your mind will make excuses for the odd things going on even when your gut says something is amiss. I did that countless times, and in hindsight, I kick myself in the butt for not listening to my gut. I listened when people told me what a great guy he was. I was amazed by all the things I read in old newspapers about him, a good businessman with brilliant ideas. I met many people he knew, friends and coworkers alike. On the surface he was a great guy. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why things happened the way they did. But things unfolded, and my life unraveled.

Lessons learned the hard way.

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ll pickup the book our sales guy mentioned because I think it will remind me of too many things I’ve tried over the years to forget. But that doesn’t mean you should skip reading it. At least pick up a copy of “The Sociopath Next Door”. Please.



Two Things

I went to my favorite mall last Friday to shop for my Dad’s Fathers Day present and to pickup a navy colored blouse. Two things.

And two things I noticed.

One, that it is ridiculously impossible to find a simple short sleeve navy blouse. Oh sure, you can find navy prints, navy t-shirts, dark blue pullovers, royal blue sweaters, and navy Polos … but good luck finding a simple dress blouse in navy. I don’t know if it’s because it’s summer or what, but I had to settle for a crew neck pullover. Not what I had in mind.

Two, there were no scents. I mean, except for the hair salon odors of hair spray, nail polish, and perms, I didn’t smell anything as I walked about the mall. No heavy perfumes on the females, no overwhelming deodorant smells, no baby powder scents on the babies. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Odd, don’t you think?

The department stores offer passer-bys the opportunity to try the latest craze in perfumes. Nothing noticeable as I wander through them! Surely someone has just come from a beauty salon or a diaper change? Nothing!

I didn’t know what to make of it and then finally decided that it must have been coincidental given the time of day I was meandering through the mall and the mix of people wandering around. Surely, it couldn’t be the start of a trend!

I purchased my Dad’s present and walked happily out of the mall with both items still pondering the lack of odors. And then I merged into the traffic on the Beltway, and all thoughts mingled with the awareness of everything going on around me. The cars, the exhaust, the road work. The mindlessness of having to drive further than you’d like to just to pickup a couple of things.

I’d rather be at home, in my backyard, smelling fresh cut grass and honeysuckle in the air. Noticing the things around me through their scents and chilling in my swinging chair. The perfect end to a summer day.


Train of Thought

As I’m walking down the hallway at work, I notice two women from another department walking towards the stairwell.  Both are wearing shirts the same shade of green.  I smile and say, “Green Day” and stop myself just as I’m about to continue with, “American Idiot!”

See, I know where my thoughts were (train of thought: green shirts, green day, Green Day (the band), American Idiot (first song that popped into my head), but if I had said those last two words, the women probably would have taken offense, thinking I was calling them idiots.

I didn’t want to take that chance.

And I seriously patted myself on the back by not letting those words tumble out of my mouth, because historically I just keep going.  Then, as I try to explain myself, I get myself into deeper trouble.

I’m learning.

I once had this fleeting thought, that wouldn’t it be nice if people thought the same way I do?  But then I shudder to think of it.  I mean, what would this world be like if everyone just let the words roll without thinking of the consequences?  How many times have I said something only to have to apologize later?  It’s not fun.

I like to have fun.

Sometimes someone says something or does something that triggers a song in my head.  Sometimes I go ahead and start singing or humming it out loud, sometimes I don’t.  I’ve learned that many of the people around me in meetings are usually younger and don’t necessarily know the songs I grew up with or know now.  I’ve also learned that life is not a TV show or movie where people spontaneously burst into song and everyone joins in.  Mostly in real life, they just look at you like you’re strange …

or an American idiot.