Blog Update and Friendly Reminder

     I’m gearing up to remove myself from my self-imposed sabbatical after the death of my boy (dog) and to begin writing again.

I wanted to share my profound gratefulness and thanks to those who donated to help my boy in the last year, right up to his death and the added blessing of retaining his ashes. If you’re a pet lover, and your pet is considered a family member, then I don’t have to get into long diatribes about how the grieving process often evolves in the same way that it does for our human loved ones.

I’ve learned much from his presence, his passing and even so so since then, about unconditional love, myself and took my sabbatical time to introspect. Unexpected events (including a text message conversation with my psychopathic sperm donor), have occurred that I’ll be sharing here with you soon.

Insofar as the ‘friendly reminder’: I’ve received several emails from survivors who post comments and then ask me to remove them for fear that their ex’s are tracking them. One of the things about psychopaths/narcissists and a relationships end, is that it tends to make us feel very paranoid, but this is even more so when stalking is a real concern. I’ve had a few stalkers appear on my blog, after their ex’s have posted but only when the survivor uses his/her real name. So please, when you comment, create a pseudonym and make certain that commenting is something you are completely comfortable with. While I honor every request to remove a comment, it does become somewhat irritating when there are many to remove.

If you do wish to comment, and you do choose to use a pseudonym, and yet are still uncertain but really do want to comment, keep in mind that unless you use real names to identify individuals, it is highly unlikely that your ex is going to be able to track you here, unless he/she has access to your computer. What I’ve noticed in many of the comments, is that the stories are strikingly similar, While you have a heightened vigilance and awareness after you’re out of the relationship, the rest of us here do not know who you are and our story is similar to others here who are experiencing the ending of their relationships. There are thousands of blogs and online groups dealing with psychopathy and narcissism, so the likelihood that your ex shows up here, is pretty remote.

This is not to say it can’t happen, but if you take steps to create a pseudonym and do not post personal identifying features or real names, you are likely to be safe here. The only thing that anyone sees here when you post is your name and no other identifying features. Many survivors have been able to post here safely when keeping in mind the above steps.

Now, time to move forward!

Onward and upward

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Love Is Not Pain, Pain Is Not Love

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I would like to ask for patience while writing during this time. I’m extremely grief stricken, yet coming to the blog and checking survivor email, ie: working, helps me a little bit. If my posts seems fragmented, I apologize. Please feel free to ask me to clarify if what I share feels confusing. I’d also like to ask for patience with grammar and spelling for the same reasons.

Having said that, I’m seeing a common theme about love and the Psychopath-Narcissist. As I have shared before, I do not align myself with any organized religion or any particular dogma. Any religious affiliation or none at all, is accepted here. I consider myself to be a very spiritual woman and I do believe in God as I perceive God to be. The following scripture is a beautiful description of what love is and means:

1 Corinthians 4-8:Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.

A psychopath-Narcissist is incapable of any of those things. Lately, survivors have shared that they ‘still love’ their psychopaths. Even several years out, they persist with a definition of love for the predator, even while the predator continues to hurt them.

I would like to share some comforting, but firm words with you about what it means when we speak about love for the psychopath in this way: It ‘feels’ to us, like love. But there is not one thing. . . not one, that is love with the psychopath-narcissist.

Love encompasses everything in the above verse but so much more. It is not based on confusion, mind games, bait and switch, triangulation, cognitive dissonance, emotional, sexual or physical abuse. It does not cause us to continuously question and doubt ourselves. It does not bring overwhelming windfalls of grief and pain from an intentional and/or sadistic word or act that is meant to hurt. It is not a consistent, deliberate call to defend our humanity. It is not based upon what can only be given, but never received.

All of the above, is about the nature of the psychological landscape of the disordered one. This is not about love, this is about dependence and addiction.

So why does all of this, ‘feel’ like love to us? There are many reasons, but it goes back to the beginning of relationship with the psychopath-narcissist. Remember that these individuals are human predators. Because they lack empathy and they have no boundaries, they think, they do not feel. It is highly unlikely that you will understand this because you can feel and you can love. All you can really do is imagine what it’s like not to have empathy. And if you can ‘tweek’ your imagination of what it’s like to walk in pathological shoes, you will have a better and more realistic perspective about what love is and that this is exactly what the disordered one cannot do. It is an emotional handicap.

When you’re being targeted and because the predator cannot feel, he/she is able to reach down into your soul, and exploit all your secrets, all of what is meaningful and valuable to you, but most especially your vulnerabilities. Many survivors believe that they were strong, independent, ‘not needing a man’, own a house, a car, etc. Truthfully, all of those things, are extremely superficial and part of that is our ego talking. We live in a society that rewards ruthlessness and lack of empathy disguised as ‘individualism’. Our ‘worth’ is assessed according to our monetary projections, from how much is in our bank accounts, to what we do for a living, to what we ‘have’ that symbolizes our hard work, our overall ‘health’, to what we wear, our appearance, etc.

While those things are ‘nice’ and some even necessary, the psychopath narcissist can also have all of these things. In fact, this is what the psychopath focuses on the most and it’s this pride and ego in survivors about those very same things, that allow them to confuse the psychopath’s targeting and love bombing as genuine interest and love.

The psychopath easily exploits superficial and ego boosting values the survivor carries, making it far easier to make the victim feel ‘safe’ in revealing deeper things about themselves. Oftentimes, if there are trauma issues, emotional dependency issues and/or shame issues in the victims past, the victim with these issues, is more likely to reveal intimate details of themselves and their lives without the psychopath exerting too much energy in calculating which vulnerability to exploit first. The victim becomes an open book and projects what their perceptions of what love is, as well as empathy, on to the psychopath.

We all wear a public mask. None of the superficial masks we wear, mean a thing when it comes to the intimate nature of our relationships. The dynamics in the relationship are what is paramount, and the mask worn by both victim and psychopath in the beginning, fade more into a picture of reality as the relationship moves with time. It can take awhile to see. Even longer if the victim is emotionally and sexually dependent upon the psychopath.

For a long time, I was adamant that what I felt for the psychopath was love. To a degree, this was very true, because what I knew love to be, was abuse, emotional dependence and sex as love, therefore, my feelings of ‘love’ for my psychopath were not based in any reality as to what love really means and is but because I knew nothing else, I was insistent upon these feelings as true of love for him.

What happens when survivors proclaim to still love their psychopaths, even when they’re logically clear about what the psychopaths is and does, is that it creates a lot of confusion for them when the disordered one comes up in thought or in trigger and flashbacks. “Why do I still ‘love’ someone who was brutal to me?” Well, on the face of it, it would be confusing unless we are clear about our own issues. Because years out, it’s not about the psychopath anymore, nor is it about any ‘love’ that we believe might still be there. It’s about us and a reflection of our issues still at work.

It is the remnants of emotional and sexual dependence in us that the psychopath exploits during the relationship. It is a ‘craving’ for our ‘addiction’ to the disordered one that he leaves us with when the relationship is over. When we understand the conscious and subconscious desire to cling in emotional dependence, or the addictive pull of the cycles of abuse, love suddenly doesn’t look like the psychopath anymore. It looks as dysfunctional and sick as it really was and is. 

With the loss of my boy, love has clarity for me. I’ve had flashbacks and very debilitating triggers since my boy’s passing yesterday, of the psychopath. It ‘feels’ like love because he was there when I got my boy as a puppy. I began to realize that my boy was also symbolic to me, of the last ‘psychic cord’ left connecting me to the psychopath. My boy’s death is the loss of stability and unconditional love for me. Our connection was born of trauma. I believe he was sent to me, as a gift of comfort and all along, a companion for my soul, and a true representation of love. The psychopath was none of those things.

When I realized that what felt like love for the psychopath to me, was really my emotional dependence, trauma and shame issues at play, it was easier to put ‘but I still love him’ into the appropriate context. No, I don’t ‘still love him’ and in the real sense of what love is, real, genuine and authentic love was never possible.

Part of the reason that psychopaths can continue to get reactions out of the survivor is because of this false perception about what love really is and the survivor’s addiction/dependence upon the psychopath for validation. If the survivor is still emotionally dependent upon the psychopath, he/she makes it their job to create more pain.

Which leads me to my next point. LOVE IS NOT PAIN.

In a world full of romanticism and glorification of soap opera type qualities of books and movies, as a culture and society, we’ve learned to associate pain with love. Even sexual abuse, coercion disguised as romantic luring, arguments between two lovers portrayed in movies, oftentimes brutal in their depiction is ‘fixed’ at the end with sex. These underlying messages are very powerful, but they are far from reality.

If you love someone who is hurting you and you continue to engage or react, or to feel some sort of ‘love’ for this person, you can be almost 100% positive that what is going on, is not love.

Recognizing the proclamations of  “but I still love him and I don’t know why because he hurts me!” is critically important to discerning the difference between what is love and what is dependence. People who love you or who can love and empathize do not intentionally hurt you. This is completely contradictory to what love is. We can be addicted and dependent upon the psychopath, but this is not love, not in any way shape or form.

When we believe, without doubt that we ‘love’ this person causing us pain, there are other things going on that we need to look at aside from the generality in terms regarding ‘dependence’ and what that means too. If we have a trauma and abuse filled past, the pain the psychopath causes and where we still feel ‘love’ is not love at all, but familiarity. Pain can be addictive too and there is nothing that causes more pain than a psychopath-Narcissist.

The most important question that will unlock your personal pandora’s box in recovery is ‘Why do I love someone who wants and needs to hurt me?’

We can love people who hurt us, our parents and children, not just romantic partners, who are also pathological. But as we begin to get healthy, and we are examining our own issues and working to purge them, we’ll begin to develop boundaries. We’ll begin to employ measures of distancing to keep us emotionally safe. We can learn to love from a distance because we know love is not pain, it is not hate, it is not the sadistic acts of the pathological, no matter what role they play in our lives.

When we learn to love ourselves, when we begin to learn what love means and we have clarity with this, the love you think you have for the psychopath will have an entirely different perspective.

If we’re healthy, we do not want to be around people who want to hurt us. Hurt no longer feels familiar or even good to us, it feels repulsive and toxic to us.

If you question where you are in your own recovery, examine love a little bit. What does it look like for you? Does it really look like the actions, behaviors and toxicity of a psychopath or narcissist?

I’m believing that you know the answer to that.

Onward and Upward!

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Pets As A “Treatment” Option For Trauma Survivors

     I feel I can barely breathe. My heart is aching so much. It’s only been a few, but what feels like very long hours, and I can’t bear to think of going to bed tonight and not feeling the warmth of my very best friend.

I shared on my private Face book page about the loss of my boy and the pain that comes with it. A friend of mine, also a survivor of a psychopath, who became my friend during the early days of the loss of the relationship, shared privately with me, the meaning of her now deceased loved one, whom she believed was sent to help her weather the storm of the aftermath of her pathological relationship..

That hit me especially hard. My boy was given to my daughter, while I was still in the midst with the psychopath. I too, sense her meaning about my boy sent to me to help me weather the storms of trauma. This is why this loss feels especially traumatic and difficult. My boy and I had a special connection through trauma. He was there when everyone else was gone. I remember many nights of crying and even though it made my boy anxious, he knew to stay right there with me. A calming force through trauma.

He taught me what unconditional love really means and was a glaring symbolism to me in how empathy is lost in the human world. Part of me is in so much unbearable pain, wishing my daughter never brought him home, wishing I had never fallen in love with such a helpless, little puppy when he came to us and would soon be sick and later paralyzed, nursing him back to health. I understand that during times of potential loss of him, I would have begged for money on a street corner if it would have kept him alive with all the vet bills we have had over the years that in total are in the many thousands. It’s easy to do as vets are far from inexpensive.

This last year has been nearly unbearable to me for many reasons, not just my situation alone. I did everything within my power to keep him healthy, to give more and more love. It was a selfish bid to keep him with me just a bit longer. Terrified of losing him. He carried all my trauma. I can’t tell those who have helped me this last year, thank you enough, for allowing me just one more year, one more month, week and day with him. And today, one more hour.

Right now, in a selfish fit of grief, I want to say that I never, ever want to love anyone that much again, but it was my love for him and his love for me that saved me from suicide, from believing that there was no care or empathy left in the world.

I feel the physical separation of his loss, but am trusting that it was time for God to take him home. I visualize him without pain, the boy I knew and loved, chasing his tennis ball and sucking his stuffed toy pacifiers, sunbathing in a forever sunshine.

Admittedly, I use to think it somewhat morbid to want to keep a pet’s ashes. Now I get why. And if that can’t happen for me, we are forever tied in spirit on a very real soul level that will never be broken. We are merely separated in the physical form, but it’s only temporary, for I know that I will see him again someday and I can’t wait for him to meet me when I get to the Rainbow bridge and call his name to come and play, to feel his warmth and big, sloppy kisses.

I understand exactly what my friend was sharing with me. And now that he is gone, his meaning in my life is filled with clarity, which makes his passing so much more unbearable. He was the ultimate in therapy for me. No anti depressant, no cognitive behavioral therapy could give me what he has.

It is so hard. . . so hard when they are gone. But I would highly recommend a pet, if it is feasible, as another treatment option for those with Post Traumatic Stress and Depression.

Onward and Upward

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Psychopaths and Narcissist-Trivialities Amidst Loss

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After I wrote my post this morning, my boy woke up and, as usual, it was time for his potty first, before breakfast.

He was moving slow and was in pain. I let him outside, and while he was able to poop a little bit, he was clearly unable to complete the mission.

He was very anxious and crying in pain intermittently. I had an appointment for him this afternoon to have an exam to figure out what was wrong. I called to see if I could take him in earlier, because I could not bear to see his suffering.

If it were not for the few donations I have received on his behalf,  I do not know what I would have done. After further and extensive exam, he was found to have lymphoma. The vet said that this time, there was nothing that could be done for him. I knew in my heart, that this was to come. I signed the euthanasia form and found it difficult to see through my tears.

They took him into the back room, and put a catheter in his vein. I could hear his cries from the room they had put me in. I cannot describe how devastating it was to hear. They brought him to me and I hugged and kissed him. I told him  how much I loved him. And then I gave him back to the tech, as I could not bear to prolong his suffering.

I brought home his blanket. It smells like him. I sit here in the chair, and he is not here. I don’t know how I will navigate my life without him in it. His loss leaves a gaping hole in my heart, beyond what I can bear.

I did not have enough to complete the euthanizing, but they had mercy on me and my boy. I have one day to make up the rest. To complete the procedure I am $30.00 short. This does not include his cremation and ashes, for which I would like to have, totaling $143.00. If you can help with this, please see the paypal donation page. For reasons of survivor privacy, I will not use GoFundMe any longer.

Having to share that makes me sick inside. It’s the last thing I want to share or to talk about. My heart is bleeding, I don’t know how to go on without him. For some, all of this seems so trivial, but for me and my boy, it is separation for a time. I hope he’s in heaven, playing with other boys and girls across the Rainbow bridge.

Every fiber of my being is in pain. I’m holding his blanket and toys, and I deeply miss his warmth.

Somehow psychopaths and narcissists seem so trivial to me. While I know it’s not, the one link to normality and stability, for me is gone.

I wish I could convey to you, how much this hurts.

I’m going to be taking a few days away, to find a way to settle my debt, try to get his ashes and to grieve.

The world feels so suddenly cold and lonely without him.

I love you so much, Hercules. You brought me immense joy and comfort. Rest well, my dear boy. I hope most dearly, that you are at peace.

I ask for your prayers while I grieve my boy’s loss.

Thank you so very much for caring about him.
**Donations to my pay pal account are for the following email address that is mine. Kelli.hernandez46@gmail.com. You can go to the paypal website and it will prompt you in how to send to my account. Some survivors were confused as to whether the donation site address was the one on the blog or not. No, this is my primary address and is the one used for any transactions using Pay Pal. Thank you for considering a donation to pay off his euthanasia bill and to go toward cremation and retaining his ashes thereafter.

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Why Does The Narcissist Engage In A Smear Campaign?

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     Great meme when referring to the disordered.

As I’ve shared before, I can see Google search terms, but no identifying information as to whom was searching, their ISP or anything like that. I just see questions like the above, without even a question mark on the search terms that lead others to the Blog.

I have been advised not to share anything more about my own current situation and so while that is being taken care of, I will term these experiences on a general level, combining what I do know about this.

As a matter of caution to survivors in the future, in case you ever run into another disordered one in your life, here’s what I would advise: RUN YOUR ASS OFF IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, IMMEDIATELY. The smear campaign is why. Psychopaths and Narcissists present a ‘mask’ to you in the beginning, no matter what the relationship is. They will hone in on your vulnerabilities and play on them. What we fail to recognize and that gets us into a WHOLE lot of trouble LATER is that everything we say or have done, will be used by the psychopath-Narcissist to smear you. One more minute spent with them, one more minute in reaction to them, gives them more ‘ammo’ to use against you, to say you are crazy and accuse you of all kinds of things that you’re not doing or to distort and make a mountain out of a molehill, anything you might have done.

The smear campaign frightens people because the psychopath narcissist does NOT care about how your deepest secrets are megaphoned to the world. There are some psychopaths narcissists who will exploit a survivor’s sexuality to others. This and a few other selected subjects will be the bone toss they need to suck the minion into their stories.

Unless this has happened to you, you have no idea how painful it truly is. If you have learned anything here, especially from someone who should have known better, it’s that you never, ever reveal too much, too soon. The disordered one wants to get you into the relationship and dependent as soon as possible, no matter what tool the psychopath narcissist uses to make that happen. But believe it or not, your own best weapon is to walk away and ignore it, or to use other means to make it stop. Pathological people do not know what ‘stop’ means, so your efforts to get them to stop harassing, gossiping and lying about you, may require legal action against them and this can be done.

Also, never think that what you know about them, can’t also be used against them, should they not stop once you have asked that it stop. Psychopaths and narcissists do not stop to think about how their own skeletons may come back to haunt. They are so focused on their own rage, lack of control over your life or the circumstances, that they tend to ‘forget’ that there are things that can be ‘shared’ about them if the behavior is not stopped. This is especially so when you have facts to back it up and many of us DO but are so sideswiped we don’t think about it and here is another difference. Psychopaths and narcissists don’t FEEL, they THINK. While it seems to be a ‘plus’ for them, it can also be to their own detriment. Not every psychopath narcissist ‘gets away’ with every single injustice. Their lack of empathy causes them to stumble around their own shit.

The problem with survivors is that we are so busy being hurt, we tend to be tardy in reacting or we react to the abuser. Smear campaigns are abuse and are a definite reflection of an abuser’s tactics. Either gender is capable of this, however women do seem to be worse in some ways than men.

Okay, so here are the following reasons why psychopaths and narcissists engage in smear campaigns

1. Envy- Pathological people experience a level of envy toward their targets that is lethal. Whatever the psychopath narcissist  sees in you that he/she knows they cannot be, want to be, or with something that he/she views that you have ‘won’ in some way, envy can appear as rage in the smear campaign. Sometimes this envy is obvious and sometimes it is not obvious. But when it is, the pathological in your life will leave you no doubt as to what that envy might be.

3. Exposure- You called them out, figured out what was wrong. You either discovered them cheating, telling a huge lie (or as usual, MANY lies) gossiping, watching porn, saw their facebook phone or other mode of communication that could reveal more of who they really are. The moment  a psychopath narcissist is exposed, is the most dangerous time in the relationship or just after. Sometimes leaving is what starts it, but it is often before the relationship ends and often before you even know about it. When a psychopath or narcissist senses that you’re catching on to a lie, cheating, stealing, etc, they will pretend to know nothing, while they plant the seeds of the smear campaign before you’re aware of them already on the trail! 

Survivors can often feel when the smear campaign has begun through the actions of others around the psychopath narcissist. They begin to ignore you, facial expressions are telling, body language. They avoid you. They may even whisper behind your back or engage in the behavior with the psychopath-narcissist. This is particularly true with the psychopaths-narcissist family members. Often the disordered one is manipulating them and giving the family member whatever they want. No matter what it is. |

This is very important to understand.

The psychopath narcissist often manipulates and exploits family members in a way that makes those around them ‘loyal’ to them. Those ‘loyal’ to them may even know what the psychopath narcissist is doing, but you cannot count on their support because while they are involved with the disordered one, you can be sure that the psychopath narcissists are enabling and manipulating those around them. In my case with family, it was money. It may be something else in the family systems of others. I know it is very hard to accept when you’re the target of this behavior, and while his/her family members might once have really liked or loved you, they are stuck in a symbiosis with the disordered one that produces their loyalty. It really does NOT have anything to do with you.

Another important thing to remember about the disordered one who has been exposed, but is exploiting and manipulating those closest to them: These people are, quite literally, unable to be alone. Often the dysfunction they create in symbiosis with family members serves two purposes: the keep the family members close to help support their smear campaign after exposure, but more importantly, to prevent abandonment. Narcissists fear abandonment and rejection more than psychopaths do. Their reactions to perceived abandonment are out of proportion to whatever reality is present. Because their behaviors are nearly intolerable and it’s all about them, the family member needs to be offered something overwhelmingly enticing by the disordered one, to stick around. Believe it or not, this is not difficult to do. But whatever the case may be, just know with all of your heart, that it has nothing whatsoever, to do with you.

3. Discard- The psychopath narcissist no longer considers you to be of ‘utility’ to them and so like an old, worn out mattress, you are discarded from the disordered one’s life. The disordered one does NOT like to be called out for having hurt someone else. What is involved here and of paramount importance is IMAGE. This is true for BOTH the psychopath and the narcissist. Psychopaths who have less tendency to care, are those who are a bit lower on the narcissism scale. But if you have had a narcissist psychopath in your life who is obsessed with themselves and their image, you are likely to endure an insidious and very hurtful smear campaign. What is so confusing for survivors in this situation is that the psychopath narcissist, dumped them, so why is he/she doing this? Image, that’s why

Narcissists and psychopaths also will not and do not take responsibility for the pain they have caused. You will never see an apology You will never see one shred of remorse, guilt or regret. For everything that the disordered one does, when obsessed with image, it is always, ALWAYS ABOUT THEM. Blaming you, after the discard, is guaranteed to make you feel crazy inside. It is guaranteed to have you reacting. These survivors are most caught off guard. Not only are they wondering why the narcissist psychopath is gone, but they are left with a total disbelief and lack of understanding about what the narcissist/psychopath is blaming them about. The smear campaign in these situations, involve a level of cruelty the survivor is not prepared to deal with. The disordered one has already sideswiped the survivor so much, he/she has no idea what to do or how to defend himself/herself. The psychopath/narcissist in these cases are relentless, as well as ruthless. Once it starts, and because of the emotional pain and devastation of the survivor , it is very difficult to get back their footing.

When these situations involve children, they are the most disturbing, because they psychopath narcissist will utilize their children as weapons and pawns in the game. As it is with adult family members loyal to the narcissist, so it is with the children. They are highly exploitable and malleable. They can offer the child so enticing, like the adult child, that seeing reality about the pathological parent is readily missed. It may take years, if not ever, for the child to see through the parent. There is always hope if the parent discarded is not pathological too because he/she can set an example what it is to love, to care and have compassion for others. Psychopaths and narcissists are very sick people and children are the most susceptible to their parent’s manipulation, enabling and distortions. It’s hard to know what to say to a survivor who is experiencing such cruelty. Therapy is highly encouraged in situations like this.

4. Blame- I think I just mentioned this but psychopaths narcissists do not take blame for anything. Ever. It will simply never happen and if they ever do, it’s because they want to manipulate you or suck you back in for a devious reason only known to them. DON’T TAKE THE BAIT. Remember that whatever ‘bait’ the disordered one uses is a key to your empathic heart, to exploit more from you. Psychopaths and narcissists, I believe, enjoy the pain and reaction of other people and to do so, to engage is to add fuel to their fire. Another valuable lesson I continue to learn in my own life.

These are the main reasons psychopaths narcissists engage in the smear campaign. Have you experienced this? Does any of this ring familiar and true for you?

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The Greatest Love Of All

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     What a nice balance in this meme. . .

I’m just writing for the sake of writing today and also with a heavy heart. It’s a day where I’m overwhelmed with sadness.

At the same time, I’m sick to death of pathological people and the drama that comes with them. It seems so distorted with the rest of my life right now. But nothing in the world hurts more than what is becoming clear when it comes to my boy (dog).

He’s a dachshund, nearly ten now. He is my world. I’ve always wanted to be his. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him. Not one thing. My heart is aching so much, it’s hard to function without tears and I try not to think about it, but just giving him all the love I can right now.

I went to my granddaughter’s birthday party this afternoon, as she has just turned 2. My son is out of town until the end of this week, so no one is home with my boy when I’ve stepped out for brief periods of time. He hates kennels and with my back problems, he is also very heavy now (a bit overweight since his surgery last year), so I don’t take him with me everywhere like I use too. I don’t feel comfortable leaving him at all, but worse when I’m gone longer than 15 minutes.

The pizza parlor where my granddaughter’s birthday party was held today, is right next door to the vet clinic I’ve taken him to for the last seven years. I stopped in there today to make an appointment for him as he continues to spiral and is becoming more confused.
I spoke with one of the vet techs that has been there as long as I’ve been taking him there. Her son’s went to school with mine and we chatted for a bit before I shared what was going on.

While I was convinced it was his hearing, and while sharing with the vet tech what his symptoms were, her facial expressions changed as I described his symptoms from a look of familiarity in what was going on with his hearing, to a look of concern. She said, “Honey, that doesn’t sound like hearing issues, that sounds like dementia issues and he’s close to ten now, so….”

And I knew immediately that this felt right. He has been displaying a lot of anxiety and confusion. He’s blind, but he forgets where he is in the house now. When I’m upset, he will go hide under my son’s bed. But he’s doing it a lot now when I’m not.  I’ve caught him with his butt hanging out from under the bed, just lying there. I coax him to come out and he won’t come to me. I look under the bed and he is looking so lost. .

Last night, I went to take him out for his potty before bed. He got very confused and headed to the wall, to the right of the door, using his nose to nudge as he would as if he were really at the door waiting. His confusion is such now that I have to watch him outside so he doesn’t hurt himself, as he tends to run into the fence, the old Christmas tree we have on the side of the fence, or bonks his body or head on my cast iron bench. He often sniffs outside in circles. When he panics, I have to comfort him and reassure him that I’m there and that everything is okay.

He’s tried to eat things off the floor, that normally he would never touch. Like he thinks it’s dog food.  I caught him the other day, with a fallen button off a sweater of mine, in his mouth. My home is clean, but now I keep it vacuumed everyday, even if there is nothing there, I’m terrified that if I drop something or my son does, he will put it in his mouth. He has turned into a curious toddler, much like when he was a pup.

I know he is old now. I know he is a “Senior’ doggie. And I know his time is getting closer.. I feel this and sense it with my entire being. I try not to think of this, because my world feels as if its falling apart and he is the piece that prevents the whole thing from fraying completely. My life, my home, all of it feels empty just thinking about his absence. It’s as if when he passes, all of my most intimate secrets go with him. A trusted and best friend, who never exploited, never told a soul, loved my children, endured trauma, moves and happy times with us. He was there when the psychopath was still in my life, through every rip in my heart the psychopath clawed within, through every tear, or PTSD reaction, my boy was right there, always.

When he was paralyzed, when he was sick, we were all there for him. It’s a two way street for us. A mutual and never ending unconditional love.

I do not know what I will do without him. He is so human to me. I’m quickly trying to find meaning, a replacement in my mind to endure the trauma of his loss. Logically I know, emotionally, I don’t and can’t.

It’s a rainy day today. And as we have so many days before, sitting on the heating pad together, both with osteoarthritis and degenerative disc, a little sore on the days that are wet and cold, we go through it together. I do not want this chair when he is gone. It’s not the same without him next to me in it. I feel he is an advocate for my writing, a silent encouragement, a staunch supporter.. .

I do not know how to endure this pain. Everything is in flux. He makes life so much easier to bear.

He is the epitome of balance in do no harm, but take no shit. He would defend us with any potential intruder, but then go home with them in 30 minutes. In truth, the meme represents what I feel about the pathological bullshit I’ve put up with lately.

I’d just ask for prayers now, for my boy. Whatever may be,or is to be, I want peace most for him. I love him more than words could ever say and my heart aches for him in his confusion and deterioration. I do not want him to suffer in any way.

Onward and Upward..

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When The Relationhips End- Words to Live By

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Just sayin. . . .

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My Personal Picks: Review of Blogs and Books, Facebook And Online Forum Support Warning Signs

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There are times when I’ve been asked what I ‘do for a living’. This question sends me into anxiety mode. Immediately, I begin to think about what to say and how to say it! The above meme is hilarious to me, as it provides a few perspectives that many people have of writers in general. It’s also somewhat accurate when referencing what the writer thinks of themselves.

So the response I give is really simple, “I’m a writer, but I’m not paid to write”. I’m sure it’s not impossible to imagine the response to that.

I love writing. It’s a mode of catharsis for me. It helps other people too and that’s where the gift really lies. I enjoy connecting with survivors, but I equally enjoy other bloggers and their artistic talents. Admittedly, among writers there is a healthy competition of sorts, but sometimes it can be pathological too. I’m forever mindful of this, because it helps to keep me humble, therefore I will reference others work, share their insights and posts here, as well as plug their books and articles.

It’s writers that don’t or won’t share due to the bottom line in profit if they are already published or plan to do so. I consider this nothing less than selfish and mean. My perspective is that there millions of readers in the world, equally, there are as many writers who are deserving of recognition.

In creatively tampering my competitive tendency with writing, I came up with a perspective that is so, so, so helpful to me. Writing is art. It’s the work of the creative spirit within. I visualize others writing as comparable to an artist displaying their work at an art museum. What fun is it if there are only the works of one artist on display? I mean, how narcissistic is THAT? What makes going to an art festival or museum so wonderful, is that there are so many beautiful and creative minds all in one place, giving value and meaning to art itself.

There are writers I know personally, whose work I deeply respect and admire. There is no way I would ever be able to ‘compete’ with these people because they are innately gifted.  What is remarkably interesting about each of the writer’s I know, is that they’re extremely empathic and enormously generous in promoting and networking on behalf of other writer’s who have not yet experienced any recognition, but for whom the writer feels to be talented. In other words, not only are they profoundly good writer’s but they are profoundly kind and generous people. Notoriety, even fame, did not change who they were.

My friend, Claudia Moscovici, is one of them. She is so noteworthy for her admiration of others work and her advocacy in promoting the artistic talents of others. Claudia knows she is a phenomenal writer, but she is not in the slightest bit selfish or arrogant. She doesn’t view her work as ‘all knowing and all being’ when it comes to psychopaths, or any other form of creative writing. She is an example to me of what a good writer really is. I try to follow her example religiously. Her generosity is a reflection of who she is as a person. I love Claudia dearly and have enormous respect for her and her work. She is the author of two books about psychopaths:”The Seducer” and “Dangerous Liaisons”. She has a blog that is fantastic about psychopaths called, “Psychopathy Awareness”.

She was an excellent mentor when I had the honor and privilege to write a couple of articles on her blog. It was so kind, because I knew I sucked! But she saw that I had potential and encouraged me to grow with my writing. What impresses me most, other than a writer’s talent and skills, is who they are as people. I’ve met several writers whose values match their writing.

Having shared that, I’d like to share the following books and blogs that I feel are really good and the writer’s who write them.. Admittedly, there are some I’ll be plugging here that I don’t know personally, but their work still stands out as unique only to them and where I’ve felt that part of who they are, is reflected in their work. They are also writers whose writing feels accurate when describing psychopaths and narcissists. They stick to the ‘guidelines’ of what behaviors are most profound and extreme in the disordered. I hope you’ll take the time to read or check them out:

BOOKS:
1″ Without Conscience”- by Dr. Robert Hare. A pioneer in the research of psychopathy. His was one of the first I ever read about psychopaths.
2. “The Sociopath Next Door” by Dr. Martha Stout. This was one of my first reads as well. It is beautifully written with a feeling of poetic prose. Dr. Stout’s writing is profoundly empathic. To this day, it’s one of my favorites.
3. “Why Does He Do That- Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft. This book is not about psychopaths and personality disorders, per se. It is an excellent book about how the mind of an abuser works and gives details about motive and intent. This is an excellent read.
4. Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist In Your Life- by Linda Martinez Lewi. This is another beautiful read in that the highly empathic ‘voice’ of the author gives you a feeling of connection. This too, is one of my favorites.
5. “Trapped In the Mirror”- Adult children of Narcissists In Their Struggle For Self- Elan Golumb. This was an excellent and honest well written recovery journey of personal self discovery after awareness that the parent is a Narcissist. It was this author’s honesty that really kept me interested in reading. Very few hit me like this one did as the child of pathologicals.
6. “Women Who Love Psychopaths”- Sandra Brown, M.A. This is one of those books that is a must read when you are just out of the relationship. Gives an excellent, if not somewhat clinical perspective of psychopaths.
7. “In The Meantime” by Iyanla VanZant. This book is noteworthy for me personally but has nothing to do directly with pathological relationships. Still, the book was excellent in describing what recovery is like. I highly recommend for personal growth in recovery.
8. “Political Ponerology” A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes”. by Andrew Lobaczewski. This book is downright frightening. I’m currently reading this again for an article I’m writing about psychopaths in society and in power. It is guaranteed to trigger. Read with caution.

DOCUMENTARIES:
“FISHHEAD”- This is one of the most profound documentaries about psychopaths in power that I’ve ever seen. This documentary features interviews with Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak. Excellent film.
YOUTUBE- While youtube is a great way to learn about things, it is also a great way to be misinformed. I don’t suggest putting a lot of credibility into youtube videos. Admittedly, I’m speaking from personal experience in having been a big fan of Thomas Sheridan, who is now known to be a psychopath himself. Please use caution in who you trust for information related to psychopaths and Narcissists.

Facebook pages and online forums- I won’t be promoting either one with the exception of one online forum that many survivors have found helpful. The reasons for this has a lot to do with the high pathological ‘traffic’ on Facebook and in online forums. While facebook pages will not get a ‘review’ that you can research online, there are online forums that you can review. I look for negative reviews from survivors of those forums.
When first in recovery, I visited many forums. There was not one I visited that did not have a pathological moderator on board and extremely triggering or triangulating and dramatic dynamics going on. I’ve mentored far too many survivors who experienced secondary wounding at the hands of pathological forums. In a survivor’s effort to garner support when the relationship ends, reading books about the disorder FIRST, as well as lining up therapeutic interventions with a qualified therapist, is the best thing a survivor can do for themselves. Reading works of those who have knowledge and a lot of education about the disorders is very helpful when scouting out places for group support.

Signs to look for in toxic pages and forums:

1. Triangulations- watch the moderators closely and how they interact with other survivors. Is there an equal amount of support given to everyone? It is all inclusive or do you see other survivors excluded from group participation, particularly NEW survivors? Any drama or backstabbing and gossip via PM or email or any other way? This is a HUGE red flag. If a moderator or page admin PM’s you and asks you to stay away from anyone on their page or forum, RUN.

2. Survivors are allowed to target and attack other survivors.

3. The information given or discussed is given in a voice of ‘authority’ and is NOT accurate -. Any deviation from what is known by professionals who have studied about or written about the disorders is a great point of reference when in doubt. Remember, there are not 700 ways to spot a pathological. The behaviors evolve over time, are extreme and result in patterns of behavior that become predictable. If you have a sense that the lines are blurred between what is not very nice human behavior and what is truly toxic, TRUST that feeling.

4.  Facebook Page Admins and Forum Moderators- The moderator or page admin, encourages you to ruminate but gives no or very little information about themselves and their recovery efforts or information regarding efforts to help YOU recover. This is another monumental red flag. While ruminating is very much part of the recovery process, there is a point where recovery is no longer about them, but about US. Many moderators and page admins will create drama and encourage ruminating with constant barrages of meme’s and behaviors (often taken out of context), of the psychopath or narcissist, and little ELSE.

5. Heavy trolling- One of the reasons I do not like face book and would not consider it a source for recovery. There are many pathologicals who pose as victims and target survivors just out of their relationships. They will attack the admins as well. A favorite tactic of a pathological survivor and page admin, is to attack another admin from another page with intentional slander on the targets page, along with a  host of ‘minion’ now dependent and ‘loyal’ to the pathological, who participate. This can do tremendous damage to a survivor who is extremely vulnerable as well as a page admin with who IS trying to help. If you’re confused now by this description, and this is how it feels where you’re at, RUN.

Relationships with pathological people involve a lot of drama, chaos and crisis. Pages and forums can often be Jerry Springer online! As survivors, we are somewhat addicted to the adrenalin rush involved within our relationships. There is nothing like a forum or page to further exacerbate the very thing you’re trying to avoid for yourself, in an effort to find adequate, healthy and peaceful support. This is a personal responsibility in making new choices. It isn’t always a new romantic relationship that survivors will run to or distract themselves with and Facebook admins know this. Not all are pathological, but most. Facebook serves its purpose in connecting with others, but for recovery, it’s as bad, in my opinion, as online dating.

6. Pay attention to your physical and emotional reactions-If you choose to find support on a page or forum, please pay attention to your body and feelings. Oftentimes, our bodies are the first to tell us that something is wrong. Tension, hyper vigilance, deepening depression, extreme anxiety, adrenalin rush, a feeling of dependence or addiction developing upon the page admin or forum moderator. Your bodily reactions can tell you a lot about what’s going on around you. PTSD, from my perspective, is a built-in alarm system. If you find yourself reacting a lot on the page or forum, this is a red flag! Also, if the page owner or forum moderator is about your health and well being, you will feel this as genuine. It can take awhile after getting out of your relationship to discern this. Eventually, you will develop a sense of repulsion to drama and to chaos. Support should not feel confusing, hurtful, stagnating, anger provoking or pathological in any way.

7.  Donation links, advertising for blog profit, paying survivors to provide ‘services’.-This one is a really difficult one for me personally. I do not see anything wrong with someone who makes a living from writing books or helping survivors. We all need to survive financially and some people really DO have a gift and deserve to make a living from it if they can. Kudos to those that have and do. Many of us don’t make a living from what we do. It’s long hours, and a lot of hard, emotionally draining work, particularly if you’re highly empathic and highly sensitive. Dealing with others pain day in and day out, really takes a toll. BUT, I do this work because I love it. I feel blessed in many ways, because I get to write and help others in pain. The pay off is when they begin to heal.

Some people think that what we do is easy peasy. It is so far from that, I assure you. Anyway, many of us who blog, also have donation links attached. Some of us request from time to time, but believe it or not, survivors often request to donate. I do not, and will not, slam those who also have donation links on their blogs because I understand the time and effort it is to do what we do.  Other survivors have written books, run forums that make a profit through advertisements, survivor donations etc. Frankly, I’m not that creative in the technical sense. All one need do, is look at the list on Amazon to see the plethora of survivors and books they have written.

But what I have seen, is survivors who are making profits and who change as people when  their profit margins and ‘following’ increase. I’ve seen survivor exploitation that really angers me. I’ve seen things written that start out as a survivor’s own experience with pathologicals and what their perceptions were of the relationship and turn into ‘facts on what pathologicals do’, a change from a survivor simply sharing a story to ego taking over making them ‘authority’. Egos inflate as the dollars come in.This is the very thing that frightens me with recognition and/or offers I’ve received in the past. I fear ‘turning my stuff’ into a business. Business is so incredibly pathological and toxic these days, it’s hard to work within a corporate perspective and mind. I’ve seen money corrupt people, even survivors. Once they become ‘infamous’ in their worlds, I don’t recognize them anymore.

While I struggle with wanting validation and recognition with my work, I’m also terrified that it would change me. In some weird way, it’s why being poor is better than having money or competing for books sales. What I have seen, reminds me of why I’m here in the first place. I never, ever want money or competition to create a situation where I lose sight of what’s really important here: the lives and recoveries of every survivor who visits. I want to be the example of my friend, Claudia. She never changed with book sales. She never ever talks about it, although we have discussed it in the past but in reference to other things. So if you feel like donating, that’s great and it’s definitely helpful to me, but what really makes me happiest, is to see survivors growing and finding a measure of peace. That’s what it’s all about.

Which brings me to my next list of referrals: Blogs

1. Let Me Reach- by Kim Saeed.- This is a fantastic blog. Kim is not only a very talented writer with HUGE potential, but she breaks down narcissism with strategic ease. Her ability to analyze, combined with her loads of empathy, make this blog essential and critical reading. While I know that survivors will have varying reading preferences (thus the importance of many blogs), Kim is one of the few whose voice is compatible with her written word. One of my favorite author’s and book is Martha Stout’s “The Sociopath Next Door’. Martha’s voice is compatible with her empathy. It is distinctive and easily recognizable because of her unique voice. This is exactly how I felt when I read Kim’s blog and is the very essence of her talents. Please check out this blog when you get a chance. For those of you who are HSP’s or tend to have high levels of empathy, as well as want precision in breaking down the disorders to a shocking level, Kim’s blog is THE blog to read.

2 Opinionated Man- No, he is not writing about pathologicals. But this blog is a bright spot in my day when I want to read something that gives me a nice break from writing about the disorders. He too, has a distinctive voice, and with his wide variety of blog post subjects, as well as his raging and sometimes off-putting honesty, OM is a breath of fresh air!

3. Narc Raiders Blog- This blog is run by my one of my dearest friends, Betty LaLuna. She is sharp as a knife, and is not only refreshingly open and honest, and at times brutal in her analysis of narcissists, she also has a distinctive voice. Betty has a no nonsense perspective that literally pushes you into analysis, not only of the narcissist but of yourself. A highly perceptive, highly intuitive woman, she has a spiritual side to her that is reflected in her work and in her thoughts and opinions. This is one brilliant lady and one, that in my opinion is long past deserving of major recognition and validation in BIG ways for her hours and hours of dedication, not only to survivors, but to her own continued personal and spiritual growth. I absolutely love her and I know you will too!

4. Psychopathy Awareness- This is Claudia Moscovici’s blog. I’ve said much about her already. Her blog speaks for itself in its brilliance and artistic efforts.

5. PsychopathFree Forum- No, it’s not a blog, although Peace has books and articles out. I”m more likely to promote his forum. I really liked the ease of use, the articles written and the moderators seem to be pathological free! I’m extremely wary of forums, but if you must be part of one, in my opinion, this is the safest you will have online. Peace is a very nice person and is brilliant with the business portion of all of this. He seems to be maintaining a nice balance and a good life for himself. I’m very proud of him and how far he has come in recovery. Still, as with any forum out there, utilize caution.

6. Sex, Spirits, Soulmates and Chocolate- Ivonne’s Journey. Well, say that ten times real fast! Ivonne is a great lady. Her blog is very, very intense reading about her relationship with her ex-Narcissist. She is very honest and her journey shared can be very overwhelming at times. While it’s an incredibly heavy read and sometimes can be triggering, her personal journey is outlined nicely. I think one of the reasons it is so powerful in reading, is not just for her remarkable honesty and depth, but so much we can relate to with the disordered one and their tactics, in this case, delivered upon Ivonne personally and shared with us as if we are there too. It’s an roller coaster of emotions in reading. Trigger warning, but still a must read!

7. Scott Williams- This is one therapist extraordinaire. I don’t read his stuff much anymore, but I highly encourage reading his blog. Scott has a distinctive voice as well and a very powerful one. I’ve yet to read one of his posts that does not have me reacting. I find it too triggering for me to read, as it provokes a lot of guilt for me! Which is code for, I’m not healed enough yet to read it without falling to pieces. Scott is a very healthy minded individual and he has a great deal of compassion for his clients and his readers. He’s also a therapist I would recommend for therapeutic intervention. A survivor would definitely get a lot of work done if they are prepared to deal with their stuff. He is knowledgeable about Narcissists and understands the grief and trauma that befall survivors, but is also committed to the survivor who is committed to working on themselves. Perhaps he is triggering to me as he reminds me of my own therapist, who sees right through my BS and is willing to call me out on it. It’s why I hired her, but once a week is enough for me!

8. Free Psychology- This is a great blog. The articles are extremely informative and interesting.

9. After Psychotherapy- This blog is run by Dr. Joseph Burgo. Dr. Joe is a survivor of a Narcissistic mother. Dr. Joe is a very painfully honest therapist. He offers online therapy, which might be of interest to you if you can afford him. I think he is well worth every cent. His posts really make me think. Some of them can be very triggering as well. I read with caution. If you’re a survivor who is looking for therapy and you would prefer an online therapist I highly recommend Dr. Joe. I know many people are struggling and can’t afford therapy or do not have insurance. Truthfully, because I could never afford Dr. Joe’s services, I didn’t look to see if he takes insurance. At any rate, his blog is also another to check out if you’re looking for a professional point of reference when it comes to the disorders.

10. Phil Ferreirra- The Story of My Twin Boys Oliver and Oscar Ferreirra- Of my top ten faves, I chose this one. This blog is still relatively new to me, but it is absolutely heart wrenching. I chose it because Phil is also a male survivor of female disorder. He is enduring hell at the hands of his ex wife, who is trying to prevent him from seeing his two sons. It’s rare that I see a blog with a male survivor at the helm as writer. The last blog I saw from a male survivor, is the one who took his own life in December. Won’t you please check out Phil’s blog and give him your support?

There are ten more I would like to share with you that are personal favorites. I’ll leave that for another day! More books too!

Enjoy and be careful out there!

Onward and upward!

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How Your Abandonment Issues Secure Emotional And Sexual Dependence Upon the Psychopath-Narcissist

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     Exploiters, like the disordered, can reach into your deepest wounds and pull them up and out for spontaneous utilization to get what they want. This is why, in recovery it is so important to address not only the disordered one so that you understand what you were dealing with, but it is critical to examine yourself and what vulnerabilities you have that allowed this individual into your life.

Oftentimes, survivors miss or pass off as unimportant or trivial, traumatic events in their past that create abandonment issues. Doing so makes sense at first, when we are fresh out of the relationship. We are very wounded soldiers, ruminating and obsessing about our loss and about the psychopath-narcissist. It can take several weeks or even months to even begin to address why this person was allowed access into our lives.

Focusing on the disordered one into the long term, serves no benefit to our healing process. If we do not begin to understand our participation in the relationship, inevitably we are moving targets for another pathological relationship. We tend to want to run from addressing our abandonment issues, our shame issues, our guilt issues, our unworthiness issues not only because they are so painful to reach, but also because we are in the fight of our lives with ego.

Suffering rejection is bad enough in a relatively ‘healthy’ person, but when it’s the consequence of a disordered one, the level of betrayal and the reality that were duped, has our egos not only nearly destroyed, but any admission that we may have participated in our own demise because of our issues unhealed and unchecked, can almost make it feel that it was entirely our fault if we accept any responsibility for what took place.

Every encounter with a pathological person is opportunity in disguise, I know it doesn’t feel this way, but when we begin to look at ourselves deeply, we find that our abandonment and other issues, derive from a point of reference, far into our pasts. This is when we exhibit enormous compassion for ourselves, because whomever it was that inflicted trauma to us, making us vulnerable to a disordered one later in life, is truly the individual at fault for setting up a deficit within. This is particularly true, if you have a pathological parent. We cannot undo a lack of awareness. Children learn what they live. Your choices were made from a subconscious level.

When we acknowledge and confront the demons within that haunt, we will become more aware of how the psychopath-narcissist was able to exploit so easily. It’s then that we are responsible for future choices in whom we choose to invite into our lives. It is not unusual to choose another pathological relationship, even after you are aware, but when it happens, it’s another opportunity to heal another yet unrecognized wound.

Many survivors have spent their lives telling themselves and others, that their painful and traumatic childhoods play no part in their choices, We are disconnected from occurrences that happened years and years ago. Society and cultural influences underscore this belief. It falls quite nicely under the ‘get over it’ and ‘move on’ mantras imbedded in messages overt and covert, that suggest we are ‘wallowing’ if we go back in time and address our pain.

This is a major pathological lie. Again, as survivors in recovery, we are up against not only addressing who our psychopath-narcissists really were, but we are up against a pathological society that sees any negative emotion as “Debby Downer Syndrome’. It’s imperative to us NOT to listen to this fodder. It’s crucial to experience the grieving process from past trauma in an effort to ‘move on’ in a meaningful way. If we do not confront our abandonment issues and other trauma related issues, we will undoubtedly and inevitable REPEAT poor choices in relationships and in other areas of our lives. Your past trauma really DOES matter. And it can take a long time to work through it.

Admittedly, it’s easier to blame the disordered one for our pain. This too, can be an escape from a dark and painful past.

It’s important to understand how the psychopath-narcissist exploits our abandonment issues. (please see the “Let Me Reach Blog by Kim too. She wrote a wonderful post this morning about this).

Often, we are in a state of anxiety, depression and/or alone (and with abandonment issues, being alone can be intolerable to us) when the disordered one begins to lure. The disordered one wages an all out love bombing campaign. We are smothered with attention and with appearances of love at first sight. While the disordered one appears to be focused and engaged only on us, often he/she has many more during this phase, that he/she is luring. While you might believe that he/she is with you the entire time, there are spaces in between, where he/she is not. It’s during those absences, the disordered one is focused on another target. They are never, ever monogamous. Ever.

They are excellent at the ‘art of living a double life. Many survivors are often shocked to discover how many ‘lives’ the psychopath-narcissist had, while seemingly focused on them. All of this derives from a lack of empathy and contempt. It’s difficult to imagine how someone can be so strategic, cruel and calculating. We simply do not think this way. But therein lies the difference between us and them: They think, we feel. This lack of empathy allows them to ‘pretend’, to act as if they care, and that they can love. And while extremely pretentious during luring, they are calculating your potential benefit to them only.

For a survivor with abandonment and shame related issues, the psychopath-narcissist is very successful early in the relationship in creating extreme forms of dependence out of the survivor. The psychopath-narcissist does not really have to ‘work’ or expend a lot of extra energy with victims who have these issues. Oftentimes, the survivor’s abandonment issues and tendency to ‘cling’ when given such overwhelming amounts of attention, open the door to ‘revealing all’ about themselves immediately. The victim unwittingly provide the psychopath-narcissist with the information necessary to exploit her/him further. Fantasies of ‘rescuer’ disguised as the disordered one, are extremely appealing and addictive for the victim. The psychopath-narcissist shamelessly exploits these victims sexually, drawing them into a sexual relationship as quickly as possible, further ‘sealing’ the deal with dependence and appearances of ‘bonding’.

Once the survivor is firmly dependent and addicted and luring is complete, a honeymoon stage commences but can be very brief between the disordered one and the survivor with abandonment issues. Psychopaths know when a victim is dependent and addicted to him/her. While luring is indeed, abuse all by itself, the cruel side of the psychopath is often executed several months into a relationship, sometimes in less time if the survivor has committed to the psychopath in cohabitation or marriage. This is what makes psychopaths-narcissists so very dangerous to us when we have these unresolved issues.

The disordered one continues to cultivate fear of abandonment from the very beginning, but much worse once a victim is dependent. For victims with these issues, perceived abandonment from the disordered one can feel like impending death. The disordered one knows this and can keep the victim in the relationship, enduring copious amounts of extreme psychological, emotional and sexual abuse (the disordered one can also be physically abusive), further deteriorating the victim’s ability to discern his tactics, forcing her to live in daily terror of his not returning home, not showing up to events, fear of his straying, etc.

The psychopath-narcissist is highly aware of the victim’s internal issues before the victim is.The psychopath’s inability to love, bodes well for him/her in removing any emotional and deep attachment to the victim, instead allowing the psychopath, like the human predator that he/she is, to zero in on vulnerabilities that the disordered one does not have. As soon as the victim is dependent, the disordered one begins to show his/her barely concealed contempt. The victim is viewed and treated as weak, sick and dependent. The victim’s neediness in fear of loss, fuels the disordered one’s sadistic predisposition to wanting more power and control over the victim in an all out war to destroy her/him.

The victim suffers more shame at not understanding her/his fear, and blames herself/himself for their weakness, dependence and neediness upon the psychopath-narcissist and yet failing to understand why. Without this understanding of the dynamics of exploitation, the victim sinks deeper into depression, and clings to the psychopath-narcissist more for validation. The honeymoon cycles in the relationship, fill the victim with spontaneous relief from the psychopath-narcissist’s constant threat of abandonment. The disordered one uses sex as a weapon liberally in survivors with abandonment/shame issues, but particularly if the survivor is a child sexual abuse survivor. Oftentimes, sex is the only relief the survivor gets from the disordered one, the only show of ‘affection’ the victim will have, incorporating another element of compelling dependence and addiction to the psychopath-narcissist.

When the disordered one discovers the victim’s secured dependence on sex as love from him/her, the psychopath-narcissist will often show contempt by forcing the victim to beg for sex. He withholds sex or he engages in extreme acts of sexual deviancy, instilling the victim with a subtle awareness that they are being objectified, but ultimately this feeling is denied so as to avoid sexual abandonment, often the last thing to go in the relationship.

Survivors have often shared that they engaged fully with the psychopath-narcissist in sexual acts of deviancy in an effort to please the psychopath sexually. When the relationship ends, survivors experience tremendous feelings of shame and guilt. Seeing the sexual exploitation, they often connect this with a feeling of being raped. It’s my opinion that this is exactly what it is. The survivor is not aware of what the psychopath is doing, but the psychopath is.

What is very interesting in mentoring and supporting survivors with a history of abandonment and shame issues, is that they are, most often, not the one who initiated the end of the relationship. The fear of abandonment, coupled with the psychopath-narcissist exploitation and projection of shame on to the victim, make it extremely difficult for these survivors to disengage. In my own relationship with the psychopath, I allowed every shred of dignity to be ripped from me, in an effort to avoid abandonment. At the end of the relationship, and when the psychopath had secured another victim (s), the cruelty, sexual deviancy, emotional and psychological abuse dramatically escalated. For the psychopath-narcissist, when the ‘use value’ for the victim has passed, the psychopath-narcissist true colors are exposed and discard is inevitable. It’s also when the smear campaign commences.

The victim is left devastated and often near suicide when the relationship ends. The depths of her/his pain, the fear of abandonment realized, makes the now survivor literally incapacitated. After these relationships end for those with abandonment and shame issues, there is a period of time when the survivor will attempt, in desperation to hold on in the depth of her/his sickness in dependency and fear of loss, to the psychopath-narcissist. These attempts to stay connected to the disordered one, allows the psychopath-narcissist to employ much more cruelty and psychological tactics to add to his/her smear campaign. The desperation and reaction of the survivor, who does not yet know what he/she is dealing with, is utilized by the disordered one in labeling her/him as ‘crazy’. This is why no contact is critical to recovery.

All of the above, outlines why it is so very critical for survivors to address past trauma. It’s also why I encourage survivors to remain alone for as long as they can stand it to work through these issues. Time alone can be excrutiating for survivors with abandonment issues. It is terrifying to lose the relationship, and the temptation to replace it as soon as possible, in our desperation to avoid the terror of being alone is highest when the relationship ends. This makes us moving targets for another disordered one to appear and in fact, our heightened vulnerability and fear can have us desperately searching for answers in the wrong (and often pathological) people for us, as well as another psychopath in a romantic relationship.

It is critical to exercise compassion with yourself. To be patient with yourself. To derive all the support necessary in your recovery. For those of you with these very serious issues, I highly advocate for therapeutic assistance! This also requires a great deal of discernment, as well as patience when locating a therapist. There are therapists that can be pathological too, or just not the right fit for you. This is your life and you’re valuable and worthwhile and worth the time it takes to work through your issues.

When looking for a therapist for myself when the relationship ended, I saw two before I located the therapist I have now. She is trained in trauma and in EMDR. A therapist trained in trauma is imperative to recovery. There are often patient advocates that work in insurance companies and it’s your right to be clear about what you’re looking for so they can help you find the right therapist. Please don’t give up if the first or even second or third does not work out. I learned that it was very helpful in being straightforward in saying what I needed, which was a therapist who was familiar with and/or had worked with those with personality disorders. A therapist well versed in personality disorders will be an overwhelming relief to you in therapy because you will not feel you have to ‘explain’ to this person what they are or the level of cruelty, abuse and betrayal you experienced. Therapists are not trained adequately about the disorders, although I understand now that this is slowly changing.

Looking at your abandonment, shame and guilt issues can be very scary. Your strength and resilience is not just tied up in having ‘survived’ the relationship, but more so the courage to face your past trauma and work through it.

Onward and upward.

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Easing the Sting of “Rejection”

theabilitytolove:

This is an excellent post from an excellent blog. Can you relate?…

Originally posted on Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed:

Rejection.small_

– photo by Patty Scheeler

I get emails every day from people who are stuck in an obsessive cycle of feeling worthless, unattractive, and “no good”.  This happens because their Ex-Narc conditioned them to believe these things and then left them for another partner, which only enforced this false illusion.

Being rejected or abandoned by someone we love is already painful enough, but when it happens at the hands of a Narcissist, it’s felt much more deeply.  The difference is that in a normal relationship, one partner may decide to leave because they’ve met someone else (which was never planned), they’ve decided they want a different lifestyle, they want to discover themselves, etc.  On the other hand, a Narcissist conditions their partners to believe they’re nothing – often mere days after establishing a relationship.

Conditioning

It doesn’t always come off as character assassination in the beginning.  To seem credible, the…

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