Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winning like crazy

I've been reading a lot about Lance Armstrong and his upcoming conversation with Oprah.  Also out there are interviews with his friends and co-workers who've taken a fall because they tried to tell the truth about what was going on.  And then there are the blog posts and tweets from people who so very angry at Lance for not being the white knight he was portrayed to be.

They feel betrayed.

They feel like they've been lied to.

I guess they were and they have, although in my opinion, and it's all just opinions, the person who has probably had the hardest time is Lance himself.

He's had to live this lie for YEARS!

Granted I'm running the scenario through my personal filter and lying is not something I do very well.  It makes me cry.  I once told a lie to my roommate to get out of a dinner party she was throwing and within 3 hours I was sitting in her room, in tears, confessing everything.  It made me sick.

So when I think about Lance living all these years with this HUGE lie I do not know how he was able to breathe, much less sleep.  When you add to that the people who cared about him that he threw under the bus, at best, and aggressively attacked and ruined at worst, I cannot imagine how he lived with himself.

And the cancer thing.  Since we now know that he's been doping for years, there is a probably a good possibility that the choice to do those drugs may have contributed to the testicular cancer. Now he was much younger when he was diagnosed and he won the battle, but you'd think that in hindsight it would gnaw at him - all those falsely won victories at the price of your balls and almost your life.

On the face of it, it looks as though:
He cheated to win - and if you're cheating you're not really winning, you're just cheating.
He gave himself cancer.
He lied over and over.
He screwed over his friends.
And he kept it all up for years and years.

Perhaps he rationalized it all with the creation of LIVESTRONG.  No one denies that this organization does amazing work and is a literal life saver for so many who are facing the toughest battle of their lives, but at the end of the day that's an organization run, not by Armstrong, but by others who believe in what they're doing and back their talk with their walk.

To my mind, there must be something wrong with someone who thinks that because you did a good thing you don't have to be responsible and culpable and APOLOGETIC for the things you've done that were not good.

For the intentionally bad things you have done.

A sane person might be driven crazy by having to keep all that going for 20+ years. 

Of course if a person was crazy....

Below is Dr. Robert Hare's psycopathy check list (Rev.), considered the "gold standard" for assessment of psychopathy.

  • Glibness/superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Pathological lying
  • Cunning/manipulative
Facet 2 Affective
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Emotionally shallow
  • Callous/lack of empathy
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Facet 3 Lifestyle
  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  • Impulsiveness
  • Irresponsibility
Facet 4 Antisocial
  • Poor behavioral controls
  • Early behavioral problems
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Revocation of conditional release
  • Criminal versatility.
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Many short-term marital relationships
  • Promiscuous sexual behavior

What I would really love to know is where Lance falls on the scale.  According to Jon Ronson's book, "The Psychopath Test", many leaders in business and politics are high functioning psychopaths.  It would be so interesting to know if Lance is diagnosable.

In some ways, if it turned out he was crazy, that would make everything a bit more palatable for me.  I would have more empathy for him and his current situation, because, like the scorpion who kills the turtle that gives him a ride across the river, he is only doing that which is in his nature.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Checking in

It's a new year so I'm checking in with the intention of writing more regularly. 

Except that I've been really sad since the Newtown shooting.  It's like reliving the loss of Laura all over again.

The empty seat at the table, the hole in your life, that's forever even though life does go on.  My thoughts have been with all of the families who've lost someone to gun violence, but my imagination has been in the houses in Newtown as those people had to negotiate the holidays and, literally and figuratively, the longest nights.

I want to write about my thoughts and feelings, but not in a melodramatic wail which is where I went in those first days, and not from a dark place of helplessness, although that is a completely appropriate place to be when 20 children and six adults are gunned down while doing their day.

I'd like to have a conversation about how we make it different and about how we all deal with sadness and anger and fear.

But I'm still so sad it's hard to take a breath.

On the lighter side I'm writing about only good things over here:

Wishing the whole world a new year filled with some of the best days ever.