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Paula Krugerud | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Finding Peace tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Finding Peace

How can you tell a sociopath from a friend?

How do you tell that someone/friend/sociopath or more specifically 'someones' that you are so very disappointed.

Well, disappointed doesn't really even come close to how I've felt - more like - completely devastated, shattered, disheartened, angry and finally - after a year of trying to make some kind of sense of what has happened - simply broken hearted? How do you tell them so that they hear, so that they understand and feel just what it is they have done?

Unfortunately, these 'someones' don't know the meaning of words like - friendship, honesty, trust, truth, integrity, honor, moral values ... the list is long ... but most importantly, they don't have the ability to feel even the most basic innate emotion ... of loving and caring for another human being; or more to the point...of knowing how deeply they have hurt those that loved them.

Do they have the ability of personally caring deep in their soul about how a person has been affected and hurt by their actions? That basic trait is not in this 'someones' makeup that I speak of. These are two people, I and many others, thought were friends. Good friends. Dear friends. Friends that we would've (and did) do anything for and we thought, would do anything for us. They were like family to me.

That came crashing down around my heart 14 months ago when I found out different, when I found out that the 'someones' I loved, helped, cried for, cared about were nothing but con artists. What a total fool I was. We have all been bamboozled. We've all been taken, either monetarily, emotionally or both. Have you ever heard of a Flim Flam Man? You know, the dishonest, phony, con man traveling around charming everyone while ripping them off, leaving destruction in his path and never looking back? These people are soulless, heartless, ruthless individuals. Nowadays they call them sociopaths. I call them spineless, cowardly, gutless, weak, lily-livered chickens that have no positive reason or purpose to be on this earth.

These particular 'someones' I speak of here could have made more money working at their jobs honestly right where they were at. Free beautiful home to live in, on a gorgeous working ranch, getting paid well for running the cattle & hay operation, something they knew well, did well, loved doing and had the time-honored respect from the community they lived in for more than 11 years. What possesses someone to opt out of a decent honest lifestyle and decide to live so self-destructively? What possesses someone to opt for using so much negative energy stealing, scheming, conniving and lying on a daily basis for 30 + years or quite possibly all of their adult lives (as we are now finding out) rather than just putting in an honest day's work doing what they had to do anyway - running a ranch. It takes so much less energy to do the right thing. They were getting paid and making a decent living. They had everything they needed. They lived in an awesome area and had the respect of many people. They already had the job -and as we are now finding out as well, had several of these ranch manager jobs over the span of many years at some very respectable cattle ranches. They flim-flamed each place they worked.
All they had to do was wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, I'm an honest, trustworthy, hard-working individual getting ready for another day's work, walk out the door and do just that. They did the 'walk out the door' part, but they added a twist to their every day work plan. They lied and stole and spent mega-time & energy on scheming up ways to cheat everyone they came into contact with.

How is it possible to have such a twisted sense of what's right and wrong? How is it possible to be such a completely worthless human being yet still be able to look people you supposedly cared about in the eye? How is it possible they are not sitting in jail at this very moment?

The whole thing does blow my mind. I've spent months working through this thing. It broke my heart. It's definitely made me very cautious of trusting people. We (friends and acquaintances of these two) were all stunned and shocked... overwhelmed and dumbfounded. It's difficult to figure out just what happened but most of all it's difficult to understand WHY. It's hard to think back on these people sitting at your dinner table laughing and chatting with you over a home cooked meal, thanking and hugging you and knowing we would all get together time and time again for many different occasions through those years. Hard to look back knowing they looked us all in the eye, called us friend while lying and stealing from us. We were the best of friends. I loved these people.

It took me some time, but I finally went back to visit the place I loved so much. I went back to see the friends I miss and love, that do care and do matter so much. I went back to remind myself that there are good and true people still out there. And to remind myself never to become so calloused that I become one of those heartless, pitiful people that feed off others or loose the ability to love or trust. The trip shook me up - no doubt about it; I had a hard time because every place I went had memories attached to these 'someones'. It did help immensely to see the friends that were so much a part of my life there. I needed to reminisce and laugh with the ones that will forever and always be there. It was good to be with them and have some time to catch up. Of course, there was not nearly enough time but enough for the time being...
After 3 days I headed back home exhausted. It was a long drive back to Montana. I did a lot of thinking and a lot of talking to God and came to the realization that I have done my grieving which helped with the healing process over the last 14 months. I guess what I really needed was some closure. I didn't run across those 'someones' - didn't want to and found that I really didn't have anything to say to them after all. I do know without a doubt that no matter what I might have said, it still would not change what they did or why. They are who they are. It would have been a waste of my time and precious energy and they don't deserve either.

The realization hit me that I didn't need to confront them because in the end I have already forgiven them. I believe in the power and love of the Lord Jesus Christ and know they will stand before Him one day. That's all I need to know. They are in a hell of their own making and I feel very sad for them. I pray someday they will find the answers to why they lead such hopelessly miserable corrupt lives and be able to pull themselves out of the depths they live in. I also pray that they eventually dig deep enough to find the integrity, decency and moral values to come clean and do the right and honorable thing...give back what they took from the people that trusted them. Stand up and Man Up. I know I am praying for the impossible - psychopaths have no conscience, no moral sense of right and wrong...
...but then again, God does give us miracles every day of our lives.

In the meantime, I have moved on. I still love life and those around me with all my heart. I still live life with God given passion. I have made new friends but will always cherish, love and never ever forget my friends from Nevada. They are a very special bunch and there's not a chance in hell that the scummy Flim Flam people of this world will ever take that away from me. I have the choice to let go of the bad, rise above it and live . . . or the choice to hang on to the rotten stinking sludge and slowly sink into it. I choose, (always have and always will) to reach upward and follow the light of life. Thank you God.

So, to continue the journey I've been on, I'm posting pictures that I took while there in Nevada. The photos are taken at one of my most favorite places to venture to (Lamoille Canyon) and during my most favorite time of the year. I'm sure I have driven up that canyon at least a thousand times (I honestly don't think that's much of an exaggeration) in the 10 years I lived in Lamoille, Nevada.

If you stopped by this gallery and actually read my short 'novel'... I thank you. Thanks for 'listening' to my story, it feels good to finally vent. Putting this gallery together is one of the last things I'm doing to finish the healing process.

I would hope that there are not too many out there that have gone through the same type of thing but if so, may you eventually find the peace you seek as well. My prayers are with you.


** MOST OF THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WERE TAKEN UP LAMOILLE CANYON. A FEW WERE TAKEN NEAR THE TOWN OF LAMOILLE, NEVADA. **