The psychopath I was involved with sometimes made strange and disturbing facial expressions.
A sad face with the corners of his mouth turned up just a little too much. A high-voltage smile that would have blown every transformer in town, had he been hooked up to the grid. A Heath-Ledger-Joker-Face I caught once when I turned around quickly, which came across as sinister duping hysteria. And once, right before the end, a face that was so devoid of expression that he looked just like a corpse — slack, gray, and emotionless, punctuated by two lifeless eyes.
The first two came across as not-quite-right, and the last two came across as quite disturbing. All of them struck me as being uncanny.
What exactly does uncanny mean?
The uncanny (‘the opposite of what is familiar’) is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be both familiar yet alien at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange. Because the uncanny is familiar, yet incongruous, it often creates cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject, due to the paradoxical nature of being simultaneously attracted to yet repulsed by an object.
Turning around and seeing this face was terrifying
Because the psychopath wears a mask to hide himself, there are two kinds of facial expressions we may see:
Those that are phony and meant to convey some type of emotion, and those that are his real expressions, the ones he tries to suppress.
When we see these facial expressions and recognize them as a little bit ‘off,’ downright fake, or just plain strange as hell, we are experiencing the Uncanny Valley.
“The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of human aesthetics which holds that when human features look and move almost, but not exactly, like natural human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among some human observers. The “valley” refers to the dip in a graph of the comfort level of humans as subjects move toward a healthy, natural human likeness described in a function of a subject’s aesthetic acceptability. Examples can be found in the fields of robotics and 3D computer animation, among others.”
This graph illustrates the uncanny valley:
The psychopath I knew sometimes inhabited the area between bunraku puppet and zombie. But the majority of the time, he was pretty good at pulling it off. I was able to dismiss the Not-Quite-Sad faces and the Way-Too-Happy faces, but the Joker and the Corpse were truly frightening. I knew when I saw them that they were absolutely genuine. At those times, his mask was off — and I was deep within the Uncanny Valley. Too deep.
The uncanny valley effect not just limited to facial expressions — it also extends to the way someone moves, and also to the way they react to things. For example, if someone does not have a startle response when they hear a scream, it comes across as very disturbing.
Researchers say that in the uncanny valley, the human mind recognizes the subject as an obvious nonhuman, but then is attracted to it by the presence of human qualities. They’re talking about robots and animations, but…
“The same reactive trajectory applies to narcissists and psychopaths: they are near-perfect imitations of humans, but lacking empathy and emotions. They are so close to being real, but they are just this shade of wrong.”
~ “Peter Hale, Uncanny Valley, and Cold Empathy” Bizzaro Dopplepopolis
Now, let’s get to something really mind-blowing:
Since the uncanny valley is, at its core, a perception of lifelessness, PSYCHOPATHS PROBABLY PERCEIVE US AS BEING IN THE UNCANNY VALLEY, ALL THE TIME. Since they view us as no different from inanimate objects that they look upon with contempt, they may perceive all of us as uncanny. As not really real. They may walk around seeing others as lifelike robots, maybe like this one:
Do we worry about hurting a robot? No. They can’t feel, after all. We have no empathy for robots because they’re not human, because they’re not alive. They exist to serve us, to fulfill our needs. If psychopaths can only see us as uncanny — as lifelike robots — it explains a lot.
It’s kind of ironic that we both see each other as being in the uncanny valley, isn’t it?
“The uncanny valley, we think, is the perception of lifelessness, with the natural result being fear and disgust…This may be why, after being run down by a sociopath and realizing that the person has no moral wiring, we feel disgusted — the sociopath, to us, is in the uncanny valley. (Those of you who have experienced this know this kick-in-the-gut feeling).”Do sociopaths see everyone as though in the uncanny valley? Neurological Correlates
♥ Thank you for reading.
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41 thoughts on “Walking Through the Shadow of the Uncanny Valley”
The psychopath I was involved with most definitely displayed these facial fakes. But he went one step further and actually admitted in a slip of the mask moment that he saw all things around him as inanimate objects. He likened all to a tree or a car. It was a WTF moment for me. After ten years he said this! I wish I heard it sooner. He of course explained that I was exempt from this bizarre observation. What a crock.
Hindsight really sucks. Really sucks.
It sure does.
I also had a psychopath tell me that he sees humans as inanimate objects. He said “a table is made of wood and nails and glue, and a child is made of bones and skin and blood.” I think that’s the coldest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s just so bizarre, but it explains how they treat people the way they do.
To me it confirmes that where there is emptiness in human being, s/he cannot see truth. It means the psychopath is completely blind and can only have control over his life subconsciously connecting to our blind spots. The difference is we manage to examine why we got trapped in this blind dangerzone, and the psychopath is part of the dangerzone. No need to get out because it’s his nature. So yeah you’re right, it’s exactly opposite.
Good point, Prinsess. At least we have the chance to get out, but the psychopath never does. He doesn’t even realize why he’d want to. Thanks for your comment!
dear admin. wow!! what a post!!
i am really chilled out. yes, yes, yes… i have experienced exactly this thing that you explain as the uncanny valley. i felt it , i sensed it, i actually show it quite a lot of times. I still remember the first time that i had spent some succesive days with the P. I felt suddenly that i was seating around a completely lifeless person, a dead person. My God he was completely detached. i still can recall the shivering , the discomfort, the uneasiness that i could not realise where it stemmed from . It was like COLD, REALLY COLD. This is the word that describes it best for me. I actually called him humorosly mr Ice a lot of times… my Goodness… now i can see why. I think that what i had felt this first time is his mask that slipped as he was trying to keep it for so many successive days and it was not easy for him.
Also i agree with what you say about the over the top sadness or smile. His smiling pictures were so fake and the rare times that i had seen a picture of him ‘spontaneous’ with no preparation it was chilling the emptiness in the face, like a corpse. Two of them i remember and they are horrible.
And now i can explain the fact that i could never sleep well when i spent the night with him. My sleep was horrible with a lot of unexplained wake ups and nightmares and sweatings while i usually sleep very well. In the mornings i felt always exhausted and my body ached everywhere. He instead was saying that his sleep was always perfect next to me.
After some uninterrupting days together i felt drained somatically and spiritually and i could not explain it as i am usually very vibrant and motivated person , never bored and always in motion. I was telling him humorosly that he was stealing my energy … now i see how ignorantly right i was… my Goodness this explains so so much for me. yes it is this feeling of being close to something not exactly human, this uncanny valley that you so well explain. thank you dear admin for this illuminating post. It is so validating for me personally to see that what i felt intuitively was right and actually it has a scientific explanation as well.
P.S and you know? i had the feeling that a lot of times his movements were ‘robotic’. I cannot explain it quite well but it was like they lacked the ‘plasticity’ of the human motion. Oh!! It just strucked me right now admin. !!! Given my proffessional knowledge his motions resempled a lot of times with these of the patients with damage in frontal lobe!!! ( due to degeneration or stroke). My Goodness that’s why…. psycopathy is closely attached to the malfunction of the loop limbic system- frontal lobe . It explains so so many more to me now from a scientific point of view also about the way they move their facial and body muscles !! i have to contemplate about it more and to make the connections between all these . Thank you so so so much. You are incredible.
I forgot to say in the article that the uncanny is not limited to facial expressions — it is also the way someone moves. Mine was the opposite of yours — he was TOO plastic! He was in his mid-sixties, but he moved like a very young person…just so…I don’t know, limber I guess, just such a fluid way of walking and moving and even standing. I attribute it to his complete lack of stress. He looked close to his age, yet he had a quality of being ageless. Kind of like a 2,000 year old vampire. Like you say, it’s hard to find just the right words to describe it.
You called yours Mr.Ice, and I called mine The Hollow Man (but not until it was over).
So you saw the corpse-like demeanor, too. Very interesting!
Glad you liked the post :-)
“Pod Person”, that’s what I call him. The lifelessness, lack of light or soul behind his eyes is chilling. His eyeballs appear as if they are made STONES.
Pod Person…as in ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ I assume. So far, we have Mr. Ice, The Hollow Man and Pod Person. Any more???
I am still involved with (what I am sure is) a psychopath. After over 35 years of marriage I realize I have no idea who this person is. May I ask how you finally got out of the relationship?
No, I don’t mind. In fact, it has a lot to do with the subject of this post.
I never felt unsafe with him. That is, until I turned around and saw him with that inhuman look of sinister hysteria. It scared me, rightfully so. We were deep in the devaluation stage by then. I started turning down invitations, and started confronting him about many things. But I was also still very much in love with him, hoping he’d have some explanation that would make things as they used to be. That wasn’t the case. He discarded me in the most ruthless way, and it was over.
I could not imagine 35 years of it. I was with him for 8 months, and it nearly destroyed me. I wish you all the best.
the p in my case was also very smooth in movements and also looked much younger than his age. By ‘robotic’ i do not mean rigid but the lack of the normal range of fine movements . This is what i mean with ‘plasticity’. It is this mechanical or mechanistic way of moving around that you can sense it when you see it but i dont think i can express it well. It is a kind of disinhibition in motion but to both edges of the spectrum, just not normal. And also in my case the P looks ageless completely. He has some lines in the face but it is a face that you cannot define age, a facial expression without footprints, a reflection of an empty soul.
And yes i called him mr ice already inside the relationship. I sensed it and he was laughing with this saying ‘Oh you understand me so well…’ I dont know but i think that he was feeling very comfortable with me. Now i can see retrospectively that he put effort to keep me in his life given his pathology. I do not know why and i dont care anymore. Maybe that is why he did not discard me and instead i left him in the end. I still dont know what kind of supposed supply i was to him , not that matters but it is strange. In fact when i think of his horrible nature how and why he maintained all this supposed relationsip for years?… quite a sucker i have must been in his eyes.
probably i will never realise it and it doesnt change anything in the end. it is what it is.
But isn’t it ironic dear Admin? The psycopaths view the normal humans as inanimate objects and use and abuse them as such while in reality the truth is that the ones who lack any essence of humane essence are themselves. what an oxymoron, what a disorder…
lots of love to you
It is such an oxymoron! So ironic, it truly is.
Lots of love to you, too, Reality.
You have again Admin nailed the proverbial, right on the head. I was always watching, trying to make him out. Those staring eyes, he’d make the children’s eyes water, who blinks first, but it wasn’t a game. I loved those eyes, until I could see the fish eyes for what they were. For photographs, only his profile would do, and if impossible always a haughty, looking down the nose, staged and unnatural one. But when the mask came off, so scary, he knew what he was doing, that grin, that joker, jack Nicholson ( johnnyshining) grin, ooh yuk. But that had ’emotion’ when he was verbally attacking/abusing me or the children he was expressionless, just a stream of vective coming from his mouth. Your observations and insights are so spot on, you make me remember, good or bad? All good, you bring clarity and help with the understanding, so very very good thank you xxx
Thank you, Nearlybel! Glad you enjoyed reading the post, although I’m not sure ‘enjoyed’ is the right word. Glad you found it interesting and insightful. (I actually did enjoy writing it!)
Hard to imagine someone issuing a stream of vective from an emotionless face; it speaks volumes about the ice beneath. And those horrifying joker grins, those “here’s johnny” grins, they make it very clear what’s meant by ‘the mask of sanity.’
Almost 8 months for me too; and what frightens me till this day is knowing I was sleeping with Ted Bundy’s so called long lost relative! He comes to mind, because as I was channel surfing today, I came across a bio about him. It’s eerie indeed; as I recall my psychopath’s lifeless expressions, lizzard eyes, and his fake smile. I’ll never forget our first hug; he was cold and it felt like I was hugging card board. And the predator eyes that I could see in the dark. I’m so lucky to be alive that is for sure! Be safe everyone. Xoxo
It is eerie. Ted Bundy was one of the worse of the worse, but on some level, they’re ALL serial killers. They might not kill physically, but many succeed at killing the spirit. Or at least making us believe they did. Luckily, spirits can regenerate quite nicely.
When I saw him become a corpse right in front of me, I had one thought: Predator. It was a visceral knowing, a certainty. When he re-animated (which was about 10 very long seconds later), I told him I was feeling ill and wanted him to leave. I walked him to the door and said (very seriously), ‘You’re a wolf.’ He paused for a few seconds, and then replied ‘I’m a wolf.’ We just stood there for a few moments, serious, looking into each other’s eyes, and then he turned and went out the door. I had no doubt that what I saw was what he really was, at his core, and that all the rest was decoration.
Your work is outstanding.
My observations were locked up in my brain in codes.
Your posts decoded my frightening experiences and you gave me objectivity.
I need to take action and get a support team to move on.
Zhuzhi, I’m so glad that my words have had such a positive effect on you. Objectivity is the key. It puts space between us and our experience, and that space allows us to see more clearly. I’m happy to hear you’ll be taking action and getting the support you need. All the best to you as you move forward.
this is quite scary to me. I remember having a conversation with the P and if I started in a direction he didn’t like, I could see the mask drop and this freakish change of face and his actions would become dangerous. for instance he threw a bottle at my car and smashed the windshield as I tried to get away. then never take any blame and he would try to move on later as if it never happened. another strange thing was that he would tell me the same 2 or 3 stories over and over as if he had never told them to me before. if I would try to stop him he ignored me and just kept talking. there were so many warning signs. I never knew what a P was, now I will never be the same.
Mine did the same thing with the stories! He would just plow onward if I tried to comment. It was as if he were reading from a script, and if I interrupted him he might lose his place and forget his lines.
i don’t know…perhaps they want to have us as uncanny robot (the object without soul, emotions etc.) that would serve their needs. that’s why they perhaps want to destroy everything in us that is empathic, emotional, spiritual until we really turn into such object, complitely sucked out. the problem of the empathy is that it limits the differences between people. perhaps this is the reason that leads to uncanny walley. my mother (and my father at a certain point of time) was doing this to me (that changes in mimicry). i guess this state leads to the splitt (the term used in psychology). i have a lot of borderline traits and i had felt these changes in personality all the time, i would even feel my brine wires forth and back. each time i would want to go back to normalcy i had failed. i had no persistence and i would brake over and over again. any little trigger (due to other disordered persons) would pull me back. i’m still having problems between performance and sabotage. but now, the more i learn, things get better.
thank you again for this article. may i ask you a question? english is not my mother tongue and i’m searching for a term in english (if possible the academic one) that would explain me the following: in most cases narcissist and psychopaths manage to brake my confidence in the way “don’t touch it, you’ll brake it”. When I say I won’t, it really happens – i borke a cup of coffee when washing dishes or a shelf just crashed down when I opened the glass door and so on. Newly one of such predator kept telling me I’d forget the umbrella I had with me when we made appointment in a coffee bar. In the end I really went without umbrella and she:”see, I told you, and you don’t believe me what I say.”
Yes, maybe they are trying to turn us into their uncanny robots. That’s a great insight, efemeris. Maybe they want to turn us into…them. It doesn’t work too well, though, does it?
The word you’re looking for seems most like “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.” Self-fulfilling prophecy are effects in behavioral confirmation effect, in which behavior, influenced by expectations, causes those expectations to come true. I realize it was someone else’s idea first, but it became your own once it was in your mind, so it may fit this definition. What do you think?
I’m glad to here things are getting better, efemeris. Slowly, but surely. Best wishes xo
Than you admin :) i will have to re-read about self-fullfilling profecy (have been reading about it a while ago when learning about social influence). I didn’t connect that with my own experiences. There is also a term self-defeting profecy. Maybe you are right. This can be my problem.
You’re welcome, efemeris :-) Warm wishes to you.
Dear Admin, your description of the harsh physical expressions of the psychopath, reminded me of how this psychopath’s distorted movements manifest in his eating habits. My daughter drew our attention to his callous demeanor when engaging with food. May I share my observation and ask your view on the topic?
Apart from manners and hygiene, he aggressively devoirs food like a vulture. Even lions shows more composure after a killing, especially when they eat regular or are alone. Is he afraid others will enjoy some of his portion or is it rather his endless twisted love affair with food? May be it is both reasons and more?
He discloses no preference to tastes, textures, temperatures or dislike of spiced food. Anything goes. Portions are big, he shoves his mouth and eating sessions goes 24/7. He is constantly looking out for eateries and toilets. There must be 5 lt of water and bags full of ice in the fridge, with two filled soda streamers ready for use, or, he will do his ‘violent-helium-filled-ragdoll-dance’. When aggravated it seems as if his lungs and tissues fill up with air and he effortlessly lifts his 130kg frame from the floor in irregular bounces. Surely he must also have a dislocated neck vertebra to be able to shake his head in the bizarre way he manage to do.
Food is never too expensive. His spendings on stuff to eat is out of proportion to other life essentials. Hy stocks expensive liquor, thought not taking alcohol himself. It is his favorite pastime to belittle and blame everybody for stealing his liquor. I am convinced he harbors a deeper grudge that will flair up at the right time, as if he is keeping a trump card in his hand.
Healthy nutritional food is tedious and not for him. Eating to him is a trickery…. ‘now you have something to chew, now you don’t’.
Awaiting your assessment and professional view.
Kind regards to all.
PS: Do I miss the plot or can we gossip endlessly on this exciting phenomena?
Oh, my…this brought to mind the very large man from Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life,’ who gorged himself until he exploded.
“…he will do his ‘violent-helium-filled-ragdoll-dance.’ As I tried to imagine this, I could not help but laugh. How bizarre!
You said, “Even lions shows more composure after a killing.” My only advice is this: If you ever run out of food, RUN.
Seriously, I have never heard anything like this and am at a loss for words. The fact that he has no preference for tastes, spices, etc. may mean he has a poor sense of smell (which causes a reduced ability to taste food, too), and psychopaths are known to have a poor sense of smell.
PS: This is exciting phenomena, and most deserving of endless gossip.
PSS: By far, this is the most entertaining comment I’ve ever received. I can’t imagine living with it is very entertaining, though.
I have loved reading your post and the way you describe his eating habbits. If you want to learn about people, watch them the way they eat, even if it is a chewing gum. It says a lot about someones “character”. I had neighbours who were befriended with my grandparents and sometimes they would care for me, when my grandparents would travel and be away for few days. Boy, I had the feeling that I’m sitting with pigs at a table, instead with humans. The reason why I’m mentioning them is because they were the first people who would cross my mind when reading Cleckley and Hare. Loud chewing, slurping, burping, you name it. My grandfather was exactly the same (not sure he was a classic psychopath but a damn good narcissist). My mother too. Even when she would drink water she’d make noise. gloo_gloo_gloo. I always had argues with them when eating together and many times I’d avoid eating whit them. The neighbours and my grandparents are from villages and have been growing up in very primitive environment. Still the neighbours were more primitive than my grandparents or parents or any other decent people who were born and raised in poverty.
You reminded me of something. I went on a date a few months ago, and right in the middle of eating a plate of Chicken Kung Pao (a goopy, messy dish) he put down his fork and ate it with his hands. In a restaurant. It struck me that he might have some sort of brain damage. He should definitely stick with finger-foods on his future dates.
Thanks for the light hearted responses, or ice breakers. I was surprised by the way you picked up my Que.
Hey…. we for sure need real human laughter in this uncanny valley. Imagine how he reacted when I laughed as a pure startle response, realizing my observation is mind boggling but I am totally stunned at the same time?
Hmmm, that was my last laugh.
But, definitely not as in the saying of the last one to laugh have the best laugh.
I did not show to be the scared, dominated, broke in puppet serving the violent ragdoll’s needs as he expected.
As Admin rightfully and importantly note, for sure not entertaining living this.
Sincere thanks for the interaction.
And thank you, Zhuzhi, for your great comments.
Loved the posts re food, :) I have nothing as extreme, just observations, psycho would eat anything put in front of him, ( all delicious nutritious cooked from scratch, Chinese, Italian, French, Indian cuisine) but he ate it exactly the same, with no comment on it, as he would eat something he found in the back of the fridge. I loved cooking, always experimenting, but not a word did he say, if his family were down they would be commenting much, but not him. I’ve only just realised that, of course he couldn’t say anything, it would be validation. And meal times would be a nightmare for the children, whoa this is bringing me back :( I eventually fed the children separately to him, either different times or different tables. Much extra work for me, and totally how I didn’t want it, ( but that’s why he did it) again he gets me to change my behaviour. Oh yuk.
And one of the earlier posts alluded to how they want us to become them, I get that, I had to see everything through his eyes, you do this to keep him ‘happy’ and then he won’t hurt you or the children, or that’s what I thought at the time. Really interesting, I’ll have to think back, I feel there’s definitely more to this.
How terrible is that, he couldn’t even compliment your cooking because it would validate you. What a stingy soul. He deserved something from the back of the fridge — one of those things with the grayish-green mold growing on it.
The psycho I knew was quite the opposite — he appreciated my cooking more than anyone ever had before. He made me feel like a reincarnation of Julia Child. But there was a method to his madness, too: He intended the relationship to be quick and dirty, so in order to inflict maximal damage as quickly as possible he had to build me up, up, up to hook me deeply and keep me hooked, while also bringing me down, down, down. I went from feeling more appreciated and loved than I’d ever knew possible, to feeling more hated than I ever knew possible, all in a matter of 8 or 9 months. Perfect timing for him to groom his next victim and have her at the ready. She was a social worker nearly 30 years his junior (I was 20 years younger), who by that time had fallen madly in love with him.
Yes, that was an interesting point efemeris raised about trying to turn us into them. Let me know if you have any insights regarding that phenomena.
And please let us know when we can all come over for dinner, Nearlybel. I’m sure it will be quite delicious!
Hi . I was married to a p for 5 long years and only after I cut any contact he could still have with did I begin to understand what I had been through by living with him. I am now recovering, with the support of my sons and also of a therapist. I experienced this “uncanny” feeling once when I got back from a trip overseas and he said as if it wasn’t really him, as if his big body with broad shoulders were empty: ” you look beautiful in the webcam, but you are much more beautiful in person”. Me? I was married to him for 5 years then … what a weird comment. He gave me the impression he was looking at me for the first time, his voice sounded different, like a robot. I could NEVER forget that moment.
When those uncanny moments happen, they are very creepy. Some are only mildly creepy, and they can be forgotten. But others leave a lasting impression, like this one had on you.
Very glad to hear you’re recovering with the support of your sons and a therapist.
But I have aquestion to you, Admin: based on the theory that psycopaths see US, “normal people”, as robots, as if we were things, then how can we explain their behavior when it comes to sex and desire and multiple partners at the same time? My husband was very visual, he was always online looking for porn material and etc, not to mention how much he cheated on me online. My impression is that they are the hollow beings, the “uncanny”presence, but they know who we are, they just choose to treat us as if we were things and I also believe they are able to “love” or at least they think they do, only that this is temporary and after a (short) while they “find out” who the person really is and as superior beings they believe they are the socond phase of the relationship starts and goes naturally to the discarding one.
In my case, when I found out who he really was I was the one who manipulated him into doing what I knew he would do anyway and that it was just a matter of time. I took a plane, came back to my country, still married to him, having a looot of contact of course, it was like a second lovebombing phase to him. Endless phone calls, webcam, whatsapp and of course many public love declarations from him to me on my facebook, so that his family and mine and mutual friends could read. Then I decided to ask for a divorce saying that I knew he had someone. I told my mother in law that I knew he was cheating on me online.
well, it took I think 2 weeks for him to disclose his affair and his explanation was that he needed a second chance in life to be happy after I ruined his life.
well, I manipupated him into doing exactly what I knew he would do anyway. But I made him do it and I told my mother in law and my 2 sons before it happened.
The term “sex objects” is fitting here. Psychopaths actually see humans as objects, so they also see us as sex objects.
A psychopath I spoke with recently (research for this site and for my own knowledge) told me that he sometimes becomes “enamored” with a woman, but the relationship always devolves into manipulation and abuse, because the ‘object’ of his affection will of course show what he perceives are weaknesses and he can have no respect for them. Other times, he will begin with the intent to use, manipulate, and devalue. If he’s being truthful, then you’re right.
Their emotions are shallow and short-lived, and they get bored very quickly. So whether they start out being deceitful or with infatuation, we’re screwed either way.
My ex-psycho was a bad mimic. Very uncanny. He was a psychopath, made from the same mold and from the same factory they all come from. That factory is in HELL, and it churns them out while belching black smoke and clouds of despair. Then they’re sent here, to do their dirty work. They all return to hell in the end.
I am frightened reading this. But so glad I ran across it. I had an affair with this person. I called him Ice Man. So frightening. Ageless, a state trooper. His dad was just the same. He is a born psychopath. I’m lucky he ditched me. Thank u for the validation! They are evil!
You’re welcome. Best wishes to you.
Definitely my brother-in-law. The evil grin at what should be ”normal” events. Like a wedding. He used his body positioning at all wakes, funerals, weddings, and family get-togethers by sitting directly across from me so he could gloat. You might wonder what the gloating was about…everything. My mother-in-law was a very sick and paranoid woman who thought everyone was out to get her (and I married her favorite son). We were only trying to protect what we loved from her (because she wanted to take it away from us), so she ‘fought back’ by choosing the weakest link in the family (my brother-in-law) and programmed him into believing we were competing with HER.
And it became his job to propel her forward and ‘fight back’…so that whatever we did, whether travel or making material gains, her ‘flunkie son’ would out-do and encourage other brothers in the family to out-do us…
Whether they did or not is not to be determined here. I hope this guy has grown up a bit. Probably not…but the gloating was very uncalled for and ridiculous. It wasn’t my fault that his parents were poor and/or did not try hard enough to better themselves.
That takes the idea of a bad mother-in-law to a whole new level, Babs. And programming someone else to continue her “work” is beyond crazy. I’m sorry you had to deal with such completely dysfunctional people.
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