Probably the primary individual from “up north” with whom I still bothered to communicate (until recently) is a guy by the name of Karl Messerschmidt (KA3RCS):
I’ve known the guy since 1989 (when I actually thought the fact that he had a morass of semi-functional radio gear he’d managed to scavenge form various hamfests/junk-heaps etc. made him cool.)
Back then, I was just lonely and friendless enough to be able to stomach his unrelenting narcissism, insults, condescension — even the fact that my his own admission, he didn’t give two liquidy shits about anything that interested ME.
Actually, the guy almost got me thrown out of Vo-Tech.
See, a few weeks after we met (and I – stupidly – inquired as to whether the morass of hand-held transceivers/scanners etc. clipped all over his body were possibly Amateur radio related in some way), he decided that it would be a great idea for me to come see the “ham shack” he had managed to cobble together in his mom’s basement.
We were both 16 or thereabouts at the time, and neither of us drove. Now, any sane and normal person would have simply given me his address, so that I could either get a ride from my Mom/figure out a way to get over there some other way. But not Karl.
No: HE gets the “brilliant” idea that I should sneak onto his school-bus, and get dropped off at his house, that way.
TL;DR: I spent that evening listening to him brag about all of his super-cool ham gear, and watching him make a few contacts. Eventually, I ended up having to call my Mom (who was worried out of her mind, since my school district had called her AT WORK, when I never got on the bus), and — after entirely too much effort — managed to actually learn Karl’s address, get picked up, and spent the rest of that evening being screamed at by my Mom.
The next day, I ended up being hauled into the “Guidance councilor’s” office, and told in no uncertain terms that if I ever pulled a “stunt” like that again, I would no longer be allowed to attend the vo-tech program.
Karl, of course (being the complete narcissist that he was – and has remained since) — actually thought that this was hysterically funny, when I told him.
Over the next 20 years or so, I have cycled through periods where I flatly refuse to have anything whatsoever to do with the backstabbing shit-sack. During those times, I genuinely enjoy the experience of NOT having to listen to him natter on for the first 45+ minutes of any conversation, about some niggling-obscure, tech-related trivia or other, only to be insulted if I dare to ask for clarification. For whatever reason, his “stock” phrase in those instances is typically some variant of “Where the hell have YOU been?”
Well gee, Karl, I dunno: not jackin’ it to Radio Shack catalogs?
At any rate:
Some while back, I became genuinely concerned for his psychological well-being (given that he was none too subtly threatening to “end it all” if his life-situation didn’t improve).
At the same time, I happened to get into contact with one of the two women with whom he has ever had anything even approximating a romantic “relationship”. Her insights from that exchange were……interesting, to say the least.
Some choice tidbits:
Yes, I remember you. I’d actually been thinking of you the other day, they time the three of us went out to the bars so long ago. Karl has Asperger’s syndrome and probably a degree of autism. His Asperger’s obsession in the old computers/radios. Unfortunately his anxiety/paranoia is so pronounced that he has not been able to accept any kind of help in coping with these symptoms and learning how to function in a day to day environment. I’m not shocked that he has come down to this point.
Part of the reasons behind why I left him was that the computers and radios were far more important than I was. I would come home and he would have disassembled a radio all over the bed and then he would throw an absolute shit fit when I asked him to move it so I could go to bed so that I could be ready for work in the morning.
He used to throw actual temper tantrums (rolling on the floor, kicking crying, pounding fists) because I would unlock the front door when I knew he was going to be coming home because he was freaked out that some one could have gotten in and gotten to his compter stuff.
He needs professional help, seriously. He has for a long time, it sounds like it even more now. My time with him really fucked me over, I have a difficult time getting close to people and trusting them. I’m bipolar but this threw a nice helping of PTSD on top of it.
My getting involved won’t lead to any positive out comes. I learned that when I left in 2004. I’m still fighting my own battles,. I’ve been dealing with a very sever bout of depression for the last year. It’s led to the loss of my job and relationship. Thank you for getting in touch with me and letting me know what is going on. It does make me a bit nervous. All I ever wanted was to help him but at this point, like you, I have to help myself first..
As for the narcissism, I always thought that they were more charismatic and concerned with how they look and present themselves. That was never the case with Karl, he could go for a month before I would make him bathe and wash his clothes.
In my experience with him, every thing was always every one else s fault, he never took responsibility for anything of any significance that went in an undesirable way.
As for the Neo/Trinity thing [note: Karl has an unhealthy obsession with “The Matrix” films — to the point where he insisted that”Neo” and “Trinity” be their ‘pet names’ for one another], it was cute right after the first movie came out, for about a week. Then it made me want to gag. But it was a point that I could use to manipulate him.
Because his is such an oblivious and closed minded person he is fairly easy to manipulate.
His (former) “Twin flame” had some rather…interesting…things to say with regard to his compulsive E-hoarding, as well:
Yeah, I remember the attempt to organize stuff back in my day. It usually turned into him playing with his toys and me absolutely hating life, needing to use the bathroom, being to hot, to cold, thirsty or hungry. And him not understanding any of it.
I actually liked hanging out with Karl’s dad more than I did with Karl. Nothing sexual or the like, just social. Franz could actually carry on a conversation and we had a number of things in common that we could actually talk about. Mostly cooking, but it was a lot more fun than talking to Karl about computers/radios. I felt kind of human when I talked to Franz, when I talked to Karl I just felt worthless. Part of why I left.
So all this has stirred up lots of old memories for me and I have recalled a few things that you might be interested in. Once you met Gail and started getting your life together a little more and had told Karl about it at first he was cruel and mocking, but then when it was apparent that you guys were a successful couple he started being jealous of you. Then, when you guys moved into the house that belonged to someone else in your family he was totally pissed. He really, really had a problem with you guys having a house and him not. He had the same problems when one of the guys in the radio club bought a house. He he pissed and moaned for months about how come he can buy a house and I can’t. He had/has no concept of what actually goes into saving up to buy a house.
Eventually, his narcissism and total disregard for her psychological well-being ended up effectively driving the poor woman past the breaking-point:
It’s like a train wreck for me now….
I never picked Franz [Karl’s dad] out as gay, I’m sure he can be a hard ass but I think Karl is mistaking abuse for being expected to actually do something with his life and his shit. Franz is tired of putting up with his excuses.
As for the [local Ham radio club] guys, I think they feel a little sorry for him. They have guys that have all the skills, professionally, that they needed to maintain their equipment. Karl was just an annoying goofball that never really contributed anything.
Yea, the e-hoard was a nightmare when I was with him, I hate to see what it’s become now.
There were a few good pieces but there is so much shit that you would have to pay more to dispose of all of it than the couple of good pieces are worth.
Who do you think moved *all* of the shit out of the basement of the farm.
Yes, working on it for hours and hours and hours, being filthy, sore, tired, thirsty and he’s going along like nothing has happened.
When I worked with him he would move one or two and then find something to play with and there goes his attention for the next 5 or 6 hours.
Sounds like when I was depressed and in the hospital, to cheer me up,- he registered a domain for me.
In the hospital
Flowers would have been nice…
Yes, I remember getting that response from him. It doesn’t make you feel good. Nothing like having curiosity insulted.
I witnessed repair work and such going on but I lived with him 24/7. It involved a lot of swearing and ego masturbating. I tried to ignore it.
My interests were at best stupid or something to be condemned because it was taking time away from my waiting on him hand and foot. Even if it was one of his passions that I was interested in, I was condemned for not being an expert in it and if I asked him to show me he would get exasperated about my wasting his precious time.
But yeah, the stupid little phrases. it’s a conspiracy theorist thing. You have to remember that he lives, breather, eats, drinks, and sleeps conspiracy theories, especially those having to do with the government.
Moving back to PA was probably a really bad choice in hind sight.
I was fairly happy initially, until I started to get to know Karl better. I’d only planned on staying st the farm a short time but he wouldn’t help me in getting to and from work so I couldn’t keep that job.
I got a closer job but I hated it and started getting really depressed. I hated that job so much that I quit there.
Karl got mad about my quitting the jobs and I got more depressed then he started trying to sell some things at ham fests (living hell).
He never really sold anything, he just took stuff and pretended to try to sell it. I think he sold about 5 things in about a year and a half.
No work = no $ = no food and no medications. So I was trying to get assistance from the state for medications and food stamps and seeing the psychiatrist and he would be a complete dick about it. I would have an appointment and at the last minute he would say he wouldn’t talk me for my “programing”.
I spent about six months in and out of the psych unit because of depression and suicide attemps. It was the only time i got a reprieve from his constant clinginess.
He reminds me of the guy from the shooting last week in Roseburg.
Yes, it’s tough, there are all kinds of signs but not being right there I can’t gauge anything. I know it’s bad karma but I’d rather he just off him self and be done with it.
Rather than hurting him I’d like to see him institutionalized and medicated.
Eventually, Karl is most likely going to end up deep-throating his own AR-15 out of sheer loneliness. I really can’t bring myself to give a fuck, at this point.
I don’t particularly enjoy the fact that every conversation inevitably consists of approximately 45 minutes of him yip-yapping about (say) the fact that the most recent update to the firmware on his (latest) digital scanner includes the ability to decode a format I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF — but which I don”t dare ask him about, lest he sneer at me for not being versed in such minutiae.
Fuck it: 20+ years of that kind of bullshit is more than enough.
(Let’s see how he likes having his phone-number blocked, next time he’s bored/lonely at the laundromat etc.