Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday for Psychopathy: Another Life. My Brainchild.

                            Happy Birthday: Psychopathy: Another Life.
                                       By Mark William Darus.


Where do I begin? How does one describe in words a sense of gratitude for being able to continue something they have always wanted to do and never thought they possessed the ability to do? Whom do I thank for pushing me forward, never letting me stop no matter what obstacles rose before me?

Sure, I could thank the gods of psychopathic psychology: Dr’s Hervey Cleckley and Robert Hare (in all truth, I couldn‘t have started this without reading their works after the Chardon School shooting a year ago.) I could thank my psychiatrist, my closest friends, family and companions though very few of them understood my drive for continually writing about such a dark subject of the human condition and how some seemed concerned about the alleys I‘d venture down for it‘s sake. I could thank my god/higher power though they already know their place in my existence here. I could thank my dogs and cat (the looks they’d give me as I would sometimes cackle, jump up and down and dance around as I wrote each entry.

Music played a large part for me as I wrote these last twelve months. The songs I played while writing varied between each subject I worked on. I guess I could thank the following bands: The Birthday Massacre, Michael Card, Peter Gabriel, Frank Sinatra, Lady Antebellum, Garbage, Amy Grant, Celtic Women, Maire Brennan, Clannad, Enya, Tantric, Cocteau Twins, Elizabeth Frazier, The Icelandic National Anthem, Ukrainian National Anthen, Russian National Anthem, Jimi Hendrix’ American National Anthem, Prince, Wendy and Lisa, and a host of others.

Giving credit where credit is due, there were two songs that I would play at the beginning as I wrote each entry. These two songs put me in the right mode, if you will, to capture my thoughts, flesh them out and create. Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Mr. Triscuits which came from his Another Life live album. It was from that album title the Another Life part of the blog was born from. Yes, I said album as in LP. I have to thank my sister Holly for this: She got me hooked on Todd about the same time I started reading psychology books, also thanks to her great influence. My age: 12.

12?!?! Damn, that was 38 years ago. One year shy of meeting my greatest, longest lasting friend and brother of the purest sense, that not being of shared DNA but of choice, Dave R. This man is truly incredible, indeed. Thick skinned to the hilt. I’ve lost many a friend over the decades by me saying something or acting horrifically inappropriate and them creating distance in its wake. This man, and later his wife and children, never hesitate to take me into their lives with arms wide open. To Dave’s wife Cindy: I’d say I’m sorry for you trusting me with your Video Camera about 10+ years ago to film a childs birthday party. I inverted many minutes of footage, would occasionally spin the cam-corder to spiral the view and generally botch the whole damn thing because I thought it’d be funny, and in that respect, memorable? <yeah, how’s that for a cop-out? J That woman has the patience of Job, I swear she does! If there is such a thing as a souls True North <Northern Star reference for absolute guidance>, it is the R family I can thank for this. During my darkest times, worst living nightmares, doubts, fears and general self destructive behaviors, they never fail to grant me safe harbor. For ironies sake, I don’t think Dave has ever read a word of this Blog, if he has, he never let me know and I‘m okay with that. I know his wife has. In all honesty, I don’t think I have ever experienced more loyalty in this life than what I have known from this family. Undying, unwavering, pure loyalty. As solid as granite and never to be taken for granted by me.

Getting back to the two songs. The second song being Iron Maidens Can I Play With Madness. I had always liked the raw power behind this song and how it always picked me up when I had doubts. Truth be told, this is about the only song I liked by them. I’ve always had the type of mind that liked the fantastic, grossly ironic, and insane. For as long as I can remember, sneaking into hospitals to see my sick father in ICU’s (intensive care units) when they had age restrictions, having a friend at about 14 get chopped in half by a shotgun blast, to finding dead people while working as a delivery person for a drugstore in some of the seediest areas of Westside Cleveland’s early 1980’s CMHA (Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority) housing projects. I never really had to venture far to find insanity, it had a way of finding me. Over time, applying, working memory of aspects of psychology books read and understood, I developed coping mechanisms to handle virtually anything.

Going back to an earlier time of my sisters and I at my parents house for dinner, we were stressed to the hilt and dealt with it most positively (perhaps a result of one of my dads health issues) : We began to toss plastic cups above our heads and watch them get shot across the kitchen as they hit the moving ceiling fan above us. So absentmindedly they’d ascend from our tensed hands and so quickly they’d blast across the room and crash into the walls.

Wash, rinse and repeat…

Time has a way of marching on…

Sometimes with cups into overhead fans, Chinese Food fights leading to gardens hoses spraying cool summer hose water through a screen window into an open kitchen window. Hose water covering walls, the dog not to mention electrical appliances , my wonderful sisters and I found unique stress breakers, over and over again. One after another, we’d find a ’shut-off valve’ if you will, until we’d laugh ourselves so hard to cry openly at our absurdity. Venting things, frustrations, angers, sadness, emotions we either didn’t have the power, intellect or the skill to vocalize any other way, we had to release them one way or another. Thankfully none of us tortured animals, beat those smaller than us, or became homicidal maniacs. As a family, my sisters and I chose a way that worked for us.
Hell, my sisters and I were pioneers that lead to an area of psychological research that is most huge these days. It’s called: Children of Chronic Illness Environments. We can thank the help of Dr. Gerry Buckley for this. Back in the mid-late seventies, early eighties, an LISW (Lincensed In Social Work) he was so far ahead of the curve. I started with him one on one after my grandfathers death and my reactions to it. (I reversed my life schedule. Slept immediately after school, up all night, avoiding friends. Complete antisocial behavior.) He later believed that if I was so affected by my fathers chronic heart problems, perhaps the rest of the family could be affected as well. Thus becoming a new level of research that started back when. I’m glad I had Gerry in my corner, though the level of trust I found with him did not happen overnight. I was very closed back when, protective. Frightened.
I was 13-14 years old then. I remember getting a full physical exam about a week after my grandfathers burial. He died the first day of Christmas Vacation that year. The results, and I remember the doctors tone of voice, it‘s inflections: “Mr and Mrs Darus, there’s nothing ‘physically’ wrong with him.” And yes, in my young mind, those words echoed as if said loudly in a massive blimp hangover. “NOTHING PHYSICALLY WRONG-WRONGWRONGWRONGWRONG WITH HIM-HIM-HIM WRONG WITH HIM-PHYSICALLY-PHYSICALLY……….”

                  My mother and father chose to tell me their desire for me to talk to a counselor in the Frontier Room of the Glenn Restaurant that was on the corner of Pearl rd and Memphis avenue. I knew too well what that meant after reading psych books. They thought I was nuts, a trolley slightly off the tracks, bonkers, you name it. I still remember what I felt then: Blind fear like that of a cornered animal, losing the battle as my eyes began to weep against my strongest attemps otherwise, wanting to run. Run anywhere as fast as I could to get away from the eyes of the people at the tables around us. Men in dark suits and ties, women in floral dresses with so much hairspray they could deflect bullets.

             They stared at us, their pointed eyes darting from my mother and father and always landing on me like some insect under a microscope. I don’t fault my mom and dad for their place to deliver this message to me, they didn’t know any better and knew I liked this restaurant very much. I cannot imagine what they felt as I disintegrated before their eyes. I still try to place myself in their shoes at that moment in time. <I seem to have a talent to plant myself into the heads of others and gain a sense of what they went through, felt, anguished over, yet to this day, I still fail. I did learn from this and handled things a bit differently with my children during points of concerns I had for them.
                   My sisters and I, over time learned other coping mechanisms.

                      Occasionally finding god, alcohol, other things to fight for, we developed other arenas to live outside the boundries of madness.  Unlike my sisters, I openly walked toward the insanity. You could say I embraced it like one might a new cultures culinary granduer. An avenue to explore where no hard and fast rules applied.

                  From there, I not only played with madness, I learned from it. After all, it had been my companion for a some time.
The second song:

Can I Play With Madness: Iron Maiden.

Give me the sense to wonder
To wonder if I'm free
Give me a sense of wonder
To know I can believe
Give me the strength to hold my head up
Spit back in their face
Don't need no key to unlock this door
Gonna break down the walls
Break out of this bad place

Can I play with madness - the prophet stared at his crystal ball
Can I play with madness - there's no vision there at all
Can I play with madness - the prophet looked and he laughed at me
Can I play with madness - he said you're blind too blind to see

I screamed aloud to the old man
I said don't lie don't say you don't know
I say you'll pay for (this) mischief
In this world or the next
Oh and then he fixed me with a freezing glance
And the hell fires raged in his eyes
He said do you want to know the truth son
- I'll tell you the truth
Your soul's gonna burn in the lake of fire

Can I play with madness - the prophet stared at his crystal ball
Can I play with madness - there's no vision there at all
Can I play with madness - the prophet looked and he laughed at me
Can I play with madness - he said you're blind too blind to see

Oooh, listen to me, listen the prophet...

Can I play with madness - the prophet stared at his crystal ball
Can I play with madness - there's no vision there at all
Can I play with madness - the prophet looked and he laughed at me
Can I play with madness - he said you're blind too blind to see

Can I play with madness

Iron Maiden.


I started this blog on Saturday March third 2012 at about 10:20 AM. I was employed by Progressive Insurance.

I have found myself when I started this and continue to learn more and more each and every day.

I have to thank all of you that have read Psychopathy: Another Life; to those of you that have sent contributions/life stories for submission for the benefit of others to learn from.

I humbly thank the people representing 70 plus Countries that have visited and read this blog repeatedly. I can find no words to express my gratitude for you taking the time to read my thoughts…
For those that likes Statistics:

Currently 15,800 reads/visits.
7,127 hits from the USA. Combined from Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic: 5,249.
Smallest country reached: Malta with 195 hits.
Quickest country visiting: Spain nailing 1,100 hits in less than two months.
Most read Post: The Closing of Last Year. Published Jan 3 2013 with over 1,400 reads.
Least read: Abigails Story. Published 3/10/2012 with 51 reads.
Most commented on via emails: Where’s my fuckin’ pliers? Published 03/19/2012. I received over 3700 emails in reference to this entry.

I wish to thank every single one of you that is reading this. It is my sincere hope you can find something of value in my words and experiences as well as those from others shared here. It was my pleasure, anguish, sufferings and drive to place this out there.
Thank you for an amazing year!

Mark William Darus 02282013