I have been reading, with some interest, the book "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout, Ph.D.
It isn't that I've never encountered sociopaths before. Hell - my biological father was one. One of my boyfriends in adult life was one, and one of my husbands was one. Yet another, a female, shook me down for $56,000 and sent me into bankruptcy. I've had more than my share of pain from sociopathic individuals.
So today I go to the web and do some research on Bette Goldenring. What I find does not speak of a sociopath at all, but a woman who is very concerned about the downtrodden around her, even as she lives in a bright, beachside home with a spectacular view of the ocean.
She is also not poor; further research reveals a "Goldenring Trust" which likely includes funds as well as real estate (found a house in Nevada listed under the Trust).
She is also involved in Habitat for Humanity - an organization that usually assists people just like me.
For all intents and purposes, you'd say she's a Pillar of her Community as well as a Philanthropist and Generous. She joined the Peace Corps in her 60s, and helped teach Hungarians - MY people - English. She's been involved in Habitat for Humanity projects down in Mexico; in fact, that's the only picture I found of the woman, one taken when she was involved in a project in Mexico.
I am sorry but I am going to be the one to put a real dent in her Do-Gooder armor: When it comes down to the wire, Bette Goldenring can be as un-generous, and unforgiving as they come.
On June 14, she secured ownership of our home and we have to be out before July 31 or face further court action. She couldn't even be bothered to show up and let me face my accuser. The only visual I have of her is this skinny, grizzled old woman in a kerchief on a building site in Mexico.
She managed this with nothing but a flimsy piece of paper, which claims the note was passed to her a month after we signed the security agreement with Buenaventura Capital. I know she didn't have that note in January 2007. We didn't hear her name until sometime in 2010 when Norman Flam sent us a handwritten note on old stationary telling us to pay her.
Norman is a classic sociopath but Bette is not. Yet she has a temper and likely harangued him for the money he borrowed from her till he finally said "here, I bought this house with it". She had the audacity to call Michael a "bully" when he pressed her during a phone conversation to come up with something a bit more businesslike and legal before we would begin paying her.
With her "worldly" experience, and having been the spouse of a lawyer, as well as the mother of one, certainly Mrs. Goldenring knows that business is NOT conducted simply with a handwritten note or a piece of paper with an unattributed signature. And yet - she pushed me out of this house with nothing more.
I wonder if she's done this to other people and if they have stories to tell like I do.
One thing I can say is that all the good works in the world won't make up for the harm she's done to Michael and I over this manufactured home. She's conveniently assigned us to "numbers" more or less by never seeing our faces but that does not diminish the harm she has caused - AND it does not diminish how she's gone against the teachings of the Torah, the Holy Book central to her Faith.
No amount of helping itinerant foreigners will make up for the harm she's caused in her own back yard, figuratively speaking.
Don't worry, Mrs. Goldenring. You'll get your manufactured home. Then you can talk to Norman Flam about the condition it's in. No, we aren't talking about the routine cleaning you'll have to have done once we move. We're talking about it not being mounted properly, causing structural damage you now have to cope with and the fact that the housing market is so depressed that even if you "patch it up" again like Norman did, you still won't get the 78K out of it that you handed that sociopath.
The damage you've caused two disabled people, who wanted nothing but a secure roof over their heads, will go on. In your dreams, you won't be able to escape what damage you have caused. No amount of helping poor Hungarians, Mexicans, or anyone else will make up for the permanent damage you have done to us. No amount of gazing out on your ocean view will be a balm to you, Mrs. Goldenring. Where was your sympathy when you heard we were both disabled and on fixed incomes? Where was your forgiveness? We tried our best to work something out with you but you wouldn't give us the time of day. You couldn't even be troubled to show up in court and face me, the primary person you were displacing, who DID show up, with help of a quad cane. In the intervening days, my legs have gotten worse, and for all the helpless souls you have aided, you couldn't find it in your heart to help one more. One who happens to be of Jewish Hungarian ancestry, which makes your work with my Brethren all that more ludicrous. Just because I have a white face and live in the USA doesn't make me any less deserving of your compassion, Mrs. Goldenring. Think about that when the ghosts assail you in the middle of the night, shaming you for not showing compassion when it would have meant the most.
P.S. You really screwed up this time, Mrs. Goldenring. You could've aided us and made us your Poster Children for Helping the Disabled. Instead we will always be a Big Black Mark on your otherwise spotless record.