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As children some of us begin our life on the straight and narrow path; innately following the rules expected of us and operating from obedience. Others do not. From an early age the adults we have in our lives whether morally sound or immoral... whether intelligent or cunning... whether kind or apathetic... will likely be who we model after. We have choices. At some point there will be a fork in the road where we must choose... we make conscious choices of whether to choose good or bad. There will be a further test of our soul-state when if we chose bad whether we feel riddled with guilt...or if we brag and boast of how choosing bad was good for us because we got what we wanted; and therefore we are "acing at life"; the mindset of the winners will be that the losers who chose good are failing miserably and having to work that much harder.
Picture an entire third grade class having to do a science fair project. If you remember those projects you likely had a week or ten days or so to complete it. Imagine everyone in the class going home after school each day, eating dinner and diligently putting in the many hours needed on their individual projects.... sadly skipping their favorite television program, cancelling kick ball with the neighborhood kids, and nixing video games with their siblings. All in the name of learning personal responsibility and completing their assignment. They have their parents take them to the store to purchase the necessary supplies and research how to make volcanoes, homemade slime, and solar systems, etc. There is a menagerie of ideas and fun perspectives and an outlook of doing their best and having the coolest project.
Except for one child.
This one child sits back and bides their time... enjoying the leisure of each afternoon after school... relaxing, doing what he pleases. The final night before the project is due he (or she in some cases) has his father take him to the store. Once there he purchases two of the same plant. One small plant. One large plant. He sketches out a quick poster and Ta Da(!)... he has his science fair project. The next day he presents his project and explains how plant food made it possible for one plant to grow so large... and the lack of food was the reason the other plant remained so small. He makes an A+ and then he boasts and brags... "Those other kids are so stupid. Look how smart I am. I cheated the system, barely did anything, got an A+ and those other poor saps worked their tails off every night for a measly B or C+. What losers they are. It doesn't pay to 'do the right thing'... if you want to ace at life you do what I did. That's how you win." What does this story show? That a sociopath never believes in doing the right thing... they do what suits them... what benefits them.... what they can get away with.... ultimately what makes them win.
I paced the floor in the dimly lit den... the news and weather played on the flat screen television against one large wall on near mute; it's background sound almost indistinguishable. Dressed in charcoal slacks and a button down shirt tucked in I likewise tucked my long dark hair behind my right ear as I walked. The lamp on the table beside the long oversized taupe couch emitted a warm glow of light in the room. Plantation shutters from floor to ceiling on the far wall concealed the early rising sun outside. Beyond our home people made their way to their cars to begin their early morning commutes with coffee in hand in order to begin their work day. It was proving to be a long day already, I noted to myself; this was the second call I'd had with the person on the other end and was long winded. I listened carefully with the call on speakerphone, the voice on the other end amplified with my sound on it's highest setting and my mother sat by perched on the edge of the couch listening.
"Your ex got phantom income on the K1 so the tax returns read one hundred fifty thousand higher than actual money earned. He submitted paper money and then he was given money to pay the taxes. He told people he made four hundred thousand dollars a year but one hundred fifty thousand of it was fictitious. That's why he's able to get a lot of credit. He withheld money. He told people the company was worth two million dollars when it's really worth fifteen million dollars. He and his boss signed an agreement that the company was worth five times what it was claimed to be worth. You are protected under the innocent spouse relief but he owes you that money and should pay it to you and the taxes he owes on it. He bought twice as many shares later after your divorce. He's had multiple letters of reprimand. Two of those letters I will tell you of... one of them involve the administrative assistant.... they were all meeting with her one day with these guys on speaker phone and your ex goes ‘She can go down and suck his dick to get what we need on him.’ He has destroyed her marriage and makes her life miserable every day of the week... He doesn't want to go to jail so maybe he can pay you what he owes and on top of that he can give us the company website... it's in his name. He always said he wasn't gonna lose his house over this. Cause I'm not gonna lie... He also got drunk at a company dinner party and removed an employee's top revealing her breasts to everyone. He's mean, he's petty and he's vindictive. They can't fire me because I have too much on them. He hid money from you during the divorce... and now he owes in excess of a hundred thousand dollars in debt.... he's broke, he had to sell his range rover to pay for his attorney on the latest child custody motion he filed. He hasn't paid any taxes on the income or on the stock. He's been lying to his new wife about how much money he makes. I'm sick of these people and my wife doesn't get it. I'm just sick of them. I hate your ex more than any other person on this earth... I just want him to pay for all the lives he's destroyed... I just want him to pay for what he's done. I threatened him and his boss that I would tell you and they said ‘Then look both ways before you step outside your house.’ He's already been in a physical altercation with a past employee and then later after he was gone they sent him a letter saying ‘you're screwed.’ The thing is your ex was putting twenty thousand dollars a month for the guys at the office on his American Express to get points but when the music stopped he kept charging on it. I tried to be his friend, I used to pull him aside and tell him 'Don't do this. Because when you hurt yourself you're indirectly hurting me.' His new wife comes into the office dressed in barely nothing... the other ladies are all obese... how do you think that makes them feel? I just want to be done with them. I want that fucker to pay!" the voice on the other end of the line exclaimed.
Exchanging our goodbyes, the iPhone dropped from my hand making it's way to a soft landing on the couch cushion. My mother sat staring up at me in shock by what she'd heard. My mouth finally found it's words, "Oh, my God... what he's done is so much worse than I ever thought." I whispered.
Remember that whether it's a mere plant from the store for a science fair project or something bigger at stake than an A+ grade.... like committing fraud and being a criminal to evade whatever amount of child support necessary.... to evade monies paid out to an ex in a divorce settlement... narcs, sociopaths... they will do whatever is necessary to win at life. They do not care about what is right. They do not give a second thought to doing the right thing... they choose wrong and then not only take great personal delight in it they have the audacity to brag about their criminal ways... boasting at how they are so much smarter than their peers. These are the people who refuse to pay out in alimony, home equity and support... and instead kill their spouse. These are the animals and monsters on Dateline and 48 Hours. These are the people you may naively believe only exist in movies. These are the people who would make your skin crawl if you knew what they are truly capable of. These are the people who are the inspiration of thrillers and suspense in books. These are the people who are capable of destruction and heartbreak.
These are the people who go after their own grandmother's life insurance policy and try to get her to change her will right before she dies from cancer. These are the people who were scheduled to work one night in retail decades ago yet mysteriously suddenly couldn't work and an innocent woman worked instead who had two young children and a husband... ultimately being murdered by the store security officer who schemed to rob it after hours... and we wonder if the one who couldn't make their shift truly had clean hands or was a party to something much more sinister. These are the people whose dad turns up dead and now we question whether it was really suicide... because all these terrible things seem to happen and this one single person is the common denominator.
We wonder the true facts of situations in a sociopaths lives because we know they are pathological liars and that leads us to question anything and everything that spews from their mouths. Unfortunately concrete answers are not what we will get but we do know that at the end of the day this to be true: So many people's lives are negatively affected and yes, even destroyed by sociopaths... by people who are not out to just win at life but to win at any cost... even at the expense of other people's peace, joy, happiness, future and lives.