An Unwanted Leave Of Absence

Just a quick note to let you all know that while miracles can happen, none has yet in keeping my internet on. I was given an extension to tomorrow evening, but it’s not going to happen.

While I’m down and out, I will not have access to read or allow comments on the blog. Nor will I have the ability to post articles. I will also not be able to read survivor email. So PLEASE those of you waiting to hear from me, I’ll do my best tonight to return emails, but that after tomorrow, I won’t be able to do so.

For those of you receiving support through email, I’m truly sorry. I’ve enjoyed hearing from all of you and I want you to know it’s truly humbling that you put your trust in me. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. But how sorry I am that I can’t continue for now. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Then there are the ‘regulars’. You’re like family to me in so many ways. Take it from a girl who doesn’t have one, sometimes your friends are the best family. Thank you for your love and support, of me, the blog and in taking the time to come and say a word or two that helps others. I hope that those who find this blog while I’m gone, find a sense of peace in knowing you are NOT alone and that there are many comments here that may also be of help in my absence.

Please do feel free to comment and email if you need to vent. Eventually, I’ll get to it at some point in the future.

This is the part of poverty and waiting for social security that is not fun. Sometimes you lose things that hurt. There have been a lot of losses this last year for me, but I’ve so enjoyed coming here and writing. It’s my favorite thing to do and where I feel most at home and where kin ships develop through trauma. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

Much love and many blessings  to all of you.

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No, Virginia, Not Everyone is A Narcissist, Sociopath or Psychopath. . .

I am a magnet for money

The above meme comes from one of the positive thinking tyranny pages on Face book that float through my news feed. Notice how ‘money’ is the first thing that you’re a magnet in abundance for? Then followed by health and happiness? Why is ‘money’ included in this perceived ‘abundance’ as primary, while the other two secondary? I can’t stand this stuff! The perceptions still stand in that if you have monetary success, only then can the rest follow.

Often, I’ve referenced ‘narcissism in society’ or ‘there is a prevalence of narcissism in society’, or ‘we live in a narcissistic society’, as a generalization regarding how I feel about where societal priorities are when talking about those most vulnerable among us. It’s ‘messages’ like the above, that are so subtle, yet clear in what our priorities should be and why we are SUCH a mess right now in this country.

I started to recognize this within myself too. This or that is narcissistic, she or he is a narcissist. It’s really annoying to hear it out of survivors too and all too often I’ve been accused of being a narcissist as well. If it’s annoying TO me, I can’t imagine how annoying it is to others.

I do not believe that current statistics regarding the population of psychopaths in society, is accurate. There is simply no way to calculate this with any accuracy, because most psychopaths, particularly those who are ‘successful’ in society, never see a jail cell, and rarely does one ever sit in front of a therapist or is subjected to a psychiatric evaluation, unless court ordered to do so. I think the only way to get some sort of ‘estimate’ is calculating the survivors who wind up in therapy as a consequence to the trauma suffered by one. But even with that, there are a myriad of problems because you simply cannot diagnose another human being without professional evaluation. And we know that psychopaths can fool a few therapists who are not well versed in spotting disorder. This often happens in ‘couples’ therapy. NOT a good place to take a psychopath along.

This puts most of us familiar with psychopaths in a ‘one down’ position sometimes. We can see the behaviors, but the only way to be ‘accurate’ is to have spent time with one and to have been exposed to the behaviors on a regular and consistent basis, because they are pervasive and entrenched. And although I believe this is how one can be most certain about someone close to them, how do we assess psychopathy/narcissism accurately in society, particularly when indirect contact can also have a wide and far reaching consequence to all of us?

When I’ve referenced psychopaths in power, I see behaviors that have been consistent in lack of empathy and conscience. Psychopaths tend to pander to others psychopaths. We are all ‘magnetized’ to people who believe and think like us. Psychopaths are no different. Since their ‘ideology’ is based in harm, we can see the tactics used, if we are familiar with them, that show us who they are, as these behaviors are extreme. Deprivation upon the masses is one of them. Exploitation of hate, intolerance and religious zealousness, are another. Manipulation, contempt, and targeting of the vulnerable are more. Triangulation that results in divisiveness and that encourage warring among the psychopaths targets is a monumental red flag. It’s one of their favorite games.

I came up with a mantra not too long ago that makes sense to me and helps me see them more clearly: Healthy minded people do not advocate for, nor engage in behaviors that harm other people. Healthy minded people want the best for all of us and are invested in our personal and professional growth. This bears out in opportunity and advocating for policies to make that happen. I’ll let the rest speak for itself here. . .

But sometimes there is a ‘suspension of conscience’ a phrase coined by Dr. Martha Stout in Her book, “The Sociopath Next Door.” In processing this a little bit more after reading the book, this makes sense to me too. Oftentimes when people are in pain, are struggling with addictions (it could be ANY addiction), involved in pathological love relationships, or some other painful issue, it can be appear that empathy is absent, when in fact, it is not.

For example, my ability to parent my children in healthy ways, to have healthy relationships with my friends, was severely altered while involved with my ex-psychopath. It was so all throughout my first and only marriage too. I knew that I deeply loved my children, but there is no doubt today, that my unhealthy parenting and exposure to my ex-psychopath played a significant role in their consequential trauma. But here is the difference between the psychopath whose conscience is FOREVER altered, and yours in suspension: INTENT. You did not harm your children with intent. Your relationship with the psychopath caused empathy to be temporarily suspended. But the beautiful thing about release from the pathological relationship, is that empathy can be fully restored to you and provide you with the awareness that you need to work with your children and the damage that is left behind to them too. A psychopath will never do this.

Survivors have pathologized themselves to death with the guilt they feel about the damage, not only to themselves but to others that they love. The guilt you have, the remorse and the powerful realization of the pain with the damage, means that you are NOT a Narcissist. Please remember that someone with a pathological disorder, does not in any way, experience what you have, what you are now and what you will into your future. In the near future, I’ll be writing about self forgiveness, but for now, if you have empathy, you can hang your hat on that.

But sometimes, something happens to survivors who have been deeply wounded, especially those of us who have grown up in pathological homes, or those who have had years of exposure to a psychopath in romantic relationships: Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, is a Narcissist. Been there, done that.

No, Virginia, not everyone is a narcissist. Just as I believe psychopathy is on a ‘spectrum’ I believe empathy to be the same. Often when we come out of our relationships, we have to fine tune and grow our empathy. A sort of ‘awakening’. We go through phases of recovery, some that aren’t so nice. Some that mean we have a suspension of empathy again, but that I think is more related to fear, if not outright paranoia.

I’ve done a lot of reflection about this. When I first came out of my relationship and was just discovering what psychopathy was, I was terrified that everyone was a Narcissist. What made this even more confusing to me, was that there really were some Narcissists in my life and on my path as I took baby steps forward. They showed up in my life as ‘friends’ and they showed up in my life as ‘supporters’. I assumed that the world of recovery was filled with those whose level of empathy was off the charts, and not that exploiters and predators can dominate this field as they do in others. Given my background and learning to be mindful of this. I had to learn how to assess others by observing and listening, rather than blurting out whatever was on my mind to anyone who would listen.

I learned that there are also a lot of really nice people that were within recovery circles. That really did care about survivors and this showed in how they handled their support. Ironically, the healthiest of these supporters, encouraged therapeutic access! Well, how dare you! It wasn’t ME with the problem! But it was, I was just too angry to admit that it takes two and this man got into my life for a reason. I was also extremely traumatized. Those that were nice to me and showed healthy behavior, were often accused by me of being Narcissists! It took me a really long time to understand why this was.

I was extremely hyper sensitive to suggestion. Suggestions regarding therapy, were met with accusation and anger. This is only one example, but there are many more regarding the friends I was making when I first started on this journey. Most of us were just out of our relationships, or no more than two years out at most. Still feeling the ‘sting’ of psychopathy, we would often trigger one another, without realizing or recognizing it for what it was. The number of survivors who, when perceiving any minor or perceived slight, any emotional trigger, any constructive criticism, even the dumbest things that you’d not think that would set someone off, DID and this was met with an instant accusation of narcissism and discard. Trying to assert personal boundaries, let alone not really knowing what that meant, if crossed even once, was instant narcissism accusation. Sometimes, when outlining my personal boundaries, it was perceived as ‘mean’ and therefore another instant discard. Sometimes, people who are healthy, with strong boundaries, can appear as Narcissists to those who are not healthy and do not have strong boundaries, even if they have loads of empathy.

Strong personalities, people with a healthy self confidence, intimidated me. But the most important piece of the puzzle I’d not considered with my accusations and discard, is that we are all human, bound to say and/or do the wrong thing sometimes. I was not allowing others to make mistakes, nor giving them the opportunity to explain themselves, let alone share with them why a certain comment or ‘deed’ felt hurtful to me. It was me acting as a Narcissist, yet justifying my accusations and discard as ‘self protection’.

I caused pain with my accusations and suffered a bit of ego doing it. I alienated potentially good people from my life, in doing so. And because I do know who I am now, or at least have a pretty good idea, and in setting my own boundaries, when accused of being a Narcissist, I will decline to support a survivor now. Likewise, when you do this for awhile, it gets much easier to see pathology in others, when there is no doubt about its validity to me because it presents itself to me that is completely and totally different than survivors who have empathy and are NOT disordered.

While the situation I’m currently in is a very terrifying one, I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people. Without stability, conscience can definitely be suspended and I can appear as though it’s ‘all about me’. When you’re fighting for your life, it’s hard not to be a little self absorbed. Seeing this very clearly lately, has me making changes and working through it in therapy. Terror, combined with instability and deprivation can make life extremely complicated and painful. I’m much more aware that in this state of mind, I can cross all kinds of boundaries. The reality for me, is that people have their own lives to deal with, their own problems, their own pain and life moves forward, whether I’m present or not, whether I live in terror or not.

No one enjoys being a ‘burden’ to others. And this gets me going on another tangent about psychopaths in power and deprivation, while also seeing a great need for growth of empathy in society, because it is not just me enduring my circumstances, but millions more. It’s created another force in me where I can deepen my empathy through advocacy, both for survivors and on a more global scale with education. The world can be a very cold place, the reality of that is very painful to me, but at the same time, there are good people in the world and they are not narcissists, even if they are enduring what appears to be a suspension of conscience or empathy. Ignorance can appear as suspension of conscience and empathy too, but often is a mask for other avenues of pain or trauma caused or an intellectual darkness that feels pervasive to me.

Most of the survivors I have supported, do have empathy and despite their PTSD triggers and depression or whatever issues involved (exception: pathological), they are respectful, kind and courteous, while sharing their pain and experiences. I have good friends in my life too that do love and support me and whose insurmountable patience with me, has paid off in learning how to communicate and connect on healthy levels and who have taught me what it is to learn to trust, much of that is their willingness to stick with the friendship, despite my limitations and triggers. The very best friends I have, are those that share when I’ve said something hurtful, or inappropriate during a trigger as yet unidentified to me. One friend of mine, who is also a fellow writer/survivor, has duked it out with me many, many times in the past. The ‘wars’ we have had in the past, have involved accusations of narcissism, “oh so you’re going to discard me, is that how it is?”….we even use the lingo! It makes me laugh today.

But we are still close friends because we worked through it. And of anyone I know, she has truck loads of empathy and enough to spare. She has taught me so many lessons about what it is to be human and that sometimes, being human can mean the ‘bad stuff’ that can make you appear very narcissistic!

So no, not everyone is a Narcissist. It’s important to remember that this is a very, very pervasive, unchanging, disorder of extremes.  A mistake made, a sentence uttered, a difference of opinion, does not make someone a Narcissist. It isn’t too difficult to discern whether or not someone wishes to hurt with INTENT. And this is the most important thing of all to remember when we communicate with others.

Onward and Upward.

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The Importance Of Therapeutic Services After The Pathological Relationship

Recently, a friend of mine sent me a video from someone who was training people how to be life coaches. Just a suggestion, nothing more.

I then had a discussion at length, with another friend who suggested the same to me. This turned into somewhat of a heated debate. Not an unfriendly or disrespectful one, just a strong difference of opinion.

This is not the first time that life coaching had been suggested to me as a way to make money and quickly. Since I’ve been mentoring and supporting, why not? Considering my ‘expertise’ in psychopathology. Well, I guess with the experiences I’ve had with psychopaths, one could consider the experiences themselves to be ‘expertise’!

But that’s not why I don’t feel comfortable doing it. What I’m about to share, is not meant to fire up the life coach crowd, nor to upset other ‘supporters’ who work hard with survivors. I think it’s a morals/values issue for each of us and pretty much what you’re okay with. I’m not okay with it. Particularly not with this segment of the population of abuse survivors that have weathered the damage of the extremes that are psychopaths.

In supporting survivors, I’ve learned a few things that are valuable to me, as well as for them too. When survivors write to me about their experiences, initially, if just out of the relationship, the emails can be quite long. They are filled with pain, PTSD and depression. Often there is stalking going on by the ex psychopath, as well as smear campaigns that are brutal for the survivor enduring them. Their search for answers are related to why someone would this, how someone could, and many, many more questions related to their most personal and unique situations.

But this is where it gets uncomfortable for me and what I’ll be doing another post about: Some survivors have pathological disorders of their own and no, I do not mean like PTSD. I mean psychopathology. It doesn’t take too long to determine the differences for me. My therapist works with some of them and described the experience of working with them as “their energy is unmistakable. They fill up a room.” In my experience, this is very accurate. But then there are survivors who have other mental health issues that are not those of PTSD or Depression, but it could be too. Some of them have Dissociative disorders, Bipolar disorder, Aspergers, and three that I’ve supported had Multiple Personality disorders. Some survivors are very suicidal. And more than a few have Borderline Personality Disorders too. I never assume that when a survivor presents to me that what I see is what I’m really seeing. It can take a while to see, or it can be seen right away if the survivor is pathological. These relationships, coined by Sandra Brown, M.A, are that of gasoline to fire relationships.

It’s safe for the most part, to say that we do not get into relationships with the most toxic people on the planet (psychopaths) because we are the epitome of mental health. Some of us, when we get into these relationships are quite familiar with the Psychopath, particularly if we grew up in pathological homes, but it can be other issues of abuse that a survivor has experienced in childhood too, not just from psychopaths. Some of us were not in a good place (but thought we were) when the predator targeted us. I can’t count how many survivors believed themselves to be happy and had everything going for them and them, “BAM!” he showed up. Oftentimes, once there is time away and reflection, survivors discover that things really weren’t all that rosy. Psychopaths have precision like targeting of survivors that are very vulnerable, whether it’s through a substantial loss like divorce, death, separation, even the loss of a pet! And a plethora of other reasons too.

I’ve also seen the damage done to survivors who were mentored or supported by those who were well-meaning (or not), but did not know what they were doing. I can’t emphasize enough, how important, no, critical it is to be extremely careful when selecting people who will offer support. This is not in any way meant to blow smoke up my own bum, but rather to underscore how important it is to seek therapeutic guidance when the relationship ends. And this does NOT include me.

We live in a world that is not only superficial, but careless about the needs of others, whether it’s supporting a victim of a psychopath, or other mental health services that would otherwise be critical in helping survivors deal with the aftermath. There are also other people in society who have mental illness but are treated in substandard ways. Much of this is due to budget cuts and at this time in our society, where it seems there is a deficit of empathy, coupled with an intellectual darkness, the needs of many, are passed off for the needs of a few.

Much like anything else, psychopathology has become a very lucrative business. And it’s important to recognize this when seeking support. Whether we like it or not, there are pathological individuals within the field of psychology, just as in any other field of practice. Psychology and medicine, can not only be lucrative for many, but are accompanied by positions of authority, where there are many potential victims. Psychopaths and other pathological people are attracted to positions that ‘feed’ their power addiction.

I’ve been angered more than once, about people in this ‘business’ who not only profit from it, but give out hurtful or wrong information or where a ‘transference’ happens, in that the survivor is ‘grateful’ or ‘loyal’ to the supporter who exploits  information about psychopaths, manipulating survivors. It can be very ‘ego boosting’ for a supporter to hear, “You saved my life!” This leads to the same dynamics that the survivor had with the psychopath in that they begin to idealize them for the ‘support’ or help that has been given. When recovery is not promoted beyond ruminating, it’s very, very dangerous. There is such a fine line in recovery with regards to process and pace, unique personalities of every survivor, other mental health issues, circumstances and situations, known only to the survivor and what an untrained supporter can do. “You saved my life!” can be an expression by a survivor in gratefulness for the supporter’s help and while it can feel wonderful to have been such a huge help to someone in crisis, in the wrong mind or hands who does not put this pronouncement into perspective, it can be power inducing to the pathological supporter.

The love bombing (manipulation), exploitation and later discard is a rinse and repeat pattern I’ve seen with far too many ‘supporters’. It’s sad to see a survivor who is so damaged, exploited more in a vulnerable state for the sake of profit. Keep in mind that ruminating about the psychopathic relationship is a normal part of the process, however, when this becomes the focus of ‘recovery’ and moving forward or therapeutic services are NOT heavily endorsed as part of recovery, that is a RED FLAG. In situations like this, the longer you are ‘stuck’ in the ruminating phase, the more profit and power the supporter has in your life.

One of the most important things to keep in mind as you seek support, most especially in a group setting (Facebook is notorious for this), is the meme’s and quotes that are shown. Oftentimes, the red flags show up early in that the same information ABOUT THE PSYCHOPATH and his tactics, are regurgitated over and over and over, with little else other than an occasional “you gotta love yourself” thrown in for good measure. This is called exploitation. It took me quite awhile to figure out why these meme’s from certain groups on Face book bothered me. One of the first thoughts I had was, “okay…”, “uh, yeah…” and “SO?” “So WHAT” about the psychopath? So what about HIM? You see, we can only learn so much about the psychopath in recovery. They are very predictable. Beyond that it’s about US. Our OWN recovery process, why we got involved, how it affects us, what we can and can’t do to manage it,. . . there are so many things we can learn about in recovery, which is about US anyway.

Life coaching is great, in my opinion, for those who need a personal ‘boost’. For those who need a little ‘fine tuning’ when it comes to personal growth. But I disagree that it belongs in a place where trauma has been done, unless the life coach or supporter has specific experience and background within the scope of trauma recovery. I am convinced an entanglement with a psychopath is one of the most traumatic and painful experiences we will ever have. And I believe that part of caring for ourselves, being extra gentle with ourselves, means we feed our psyche and take care of it, as we would our bodies. This includes the best care possible. We don’t go to a dentist when we need heart surgery!

I’ve worked with enough survivors now, that I have a pretty good idea what ‘coaching’ looks like, as well as the emotional output and energy required to do so. It is enormously draining work, if it is done correctly, but I think that my knowledge about psychopaths, while very vast, is not enough to build into a business where my own limitations would not cause me to decompensate and would cause damage to the survivor. I have permanent and lifetime damage as a consequence of my exposure to a lifetime of psychopaths. Having done enough mentoring and supporting, and seeing the assortment of survivors that I’ve had the pleasure of working with (or honestly not when they’re pathological too), my skills are very limited and my limitations mean I need to be responsible enough to acknowledge and accept that I could cause damage too if I were not very careful. One of the most beautiful things about having done this work, is that it’s taught me a lot about being realistic about what I can and cannot do. My circumstances are dire while I wait for social security, but I’m not ‘desperate’ enough to act irresponsibly with the lives of others. I feel confident in my ability to write, but it’s unfortunate that I cannot make a living with what I love doing here. But I am going to complete and publish my book. In this way, I feel I can be helpful, while still respecting my own limitations and support survivors in a responsible way.

I can walk a survivor through in helping him/her understand the tactics, behavior, motives, etc, but beyond that, I cannot because survivor reactions oftentimes mean that a therapist is needed. And I will not, under any circumstances, ‘pretend’ that I know how to deal with some of the extremes I have seen.

Now I know a lot of survivors have access to therapy and choose not to utilize them. I know many more, in this economy, who cannot afford to see a therapist because it is costly and they don’t have insurance. And I know a few who have been to one therapist and give up trying again. Keeping in mind that there are therapists who can do damage, or make things considerably worse, I understand this. But there really are some excellent and qualified therapists who care about their clients and are responsible in giving that care. If there is any way that utilizing therapeutic services can be done and in not giving up, you can find the right therapist. They are human too and just as with anyone else, sometimes you have to give it time to work. This is about a process, not an event and the same goes in establishing a therapeutic relationship.

I know I’ve shared before that I do see a therapist and have now for a little over three years. But what it took to find her, was an exasperating experience to say the least. Yet, I was very desperate and very determined, because I knew that it wasn’t just about ‘him’ but that there was something wrong with me too. I went through two therapists, one knowledgeable about the disorders, the other definitely not. The first one believed that psychopaths could ‘heal’. I knew that was crap, so we spent the majority of the time, debating the disorders. Time to move on. The second one, was new to the therapeutic environment. When she drew analogies on a black board for me, assuming me to be about age five, and was into the ‘new agey’ type, uh, type ‘stuff’, it was time to go again. I called my insurance company and asked to speak to an advocate. After I introduced myself, I blurted out that I needed to see a therapist that was trauma trained and knew about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists!!! The response was really quite amusing, looking back, but I didn’t care at the time as I was a big ball of mess!

So when I met my therapist, who is of the positive thinking tyranny, I was impressed. And when I realized I was intimidated by her, I knew we’d be a perfect fit. She immediately shared what she knew about the disorders, which was enough to get my attention, as well as sharing that she also provided therapeutic services to them. All of her Cluster B clients are Borderline however, and not predominantly narcissistic but empathic. She has had a few narcissists and two sociopaths. A few court ordered. One guy, a Narcissist, that she immediately diagnosed as NPD on the first visit with a resounding,”So what can I do for YOU? You do realize that I may not be a good fit for you because your disorder doesn’t change, right?” He never came back either.

These kinds of therapists can be found but it doesn’t come without a lot of perseverance, determination and a lot of effort and time. But it’s so well worth it in doing so. There are also therapists in my own community, who work out of our County domestic violence program who ARE familiar with the disorders too. These therapists are provided to domestic violence survivors for FREE or low cost. They ARE out there. I realize there are situations where they may not be, no matter what you do, but I can’t emphasize enough how important this is and that you deserve to have someone trained and knowledgeable to help you process your trauma. Unless a supporter possesses some specific training, you are taking your need for a heart surgeon to a dentist.

Support groups and/or individual one-on-one support, are a vital part of the recovery process. There is much need for this and the numbers now providing this have grown exponentially in the last few years. But please be mindful in that support is just that, support and nothing more. And not all of them are pathological. Interactive support is a Godsend in processing these relationships, but are not a replacement for professional help and support.

Onward and Upward.

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Developing Personal Boundaries in the Aftermath of Psychopathy

This is such a slippery slope for me, but I think it’s very important to express how I feel about personal boundaries and how that is changing in my life now. For those of us who grew up in pathological environments, personal boundaries may never have been allowed. Admittedly, I had none at all. This deficit in me, made it easy to justify trampling all over the boundaries of others, and through assumptions I would make about others, without even thinking about it, developed quite the attitude (and where ego was also very present), in that I was right in my assumptions placed upon someone, therefore, I could walk all over their boundaries and subsequently, when I pissed someone off in doing this, would attack the person who was angry for not adhering to what amounted to nothing more than a projection.

One of the things that absolutely drives my therapist INSANE is when I pathologize myself. I do it A LOT. When I was first in therapy, I was convinced I was a Narcissist. Then I was convinced that I’m probably BPD. Because of my over exposure to psychopaths, I began to fear that my human failings, were in fact underlying a personality disorder. In the world I grew up in, I learned to confuse mistakes in behavior or choices, as disorder. I think I believed that psychopathy was somehow contagious. I struggle with this every single day. I tend to scrutinize my words, beat the hell out of myself for even the most minor of mistakes. When I bring these to my therapist, I get the rolling of the eyes and ‘that look’ of, “You’re doing it again!…”

There is noting like having a blog in helping me to work through my stuff, but also to see whee I NEED work. It also helps me in learning to discern where I need to apply personal boundaries and to be extra mindful of the boundaries of others. I see how incredibly easy it is to make assumptions about people. I see how incredibly easy it is to assume that what is best for me, might be best for someone else, followed by a torrent of advice, recommendations, and ‘demands’.

Once this evil little cat is out of the bag, if the individual rejects my ‘advice’, ‘recommendations’, basically my projections of what I would do, how I would respond if “I were in your shoes”,  and in assuming everyone else should or does too, I feel angry and frustrated at them. This is further followed up with justifiable (in my mind only) invalidation of not only the person’s personal boundaries already crossed, but feelings and thoughts that whatever I ‘suggest’ is not met with some serious ass kissing and verbal worship for all of that ‘advice’ given.

I began to understand how I was behaving and coming off, violating boundaries, by scrutinizing, hence, pathologizing my own behavior. There are benefits to being highly empathic and insightful, because it allows me to be honest with myself about my own behavior and my own dark side. No, pathologizing probably isn’t a good thing, but it too, has benefits. When I get a sense that my behavior is annoying, uncomfortable or otherwise potentially crossing boundaries, I become very, very upset with myself. I don’t like these behaviors in me. And because I’m human, I will make mistakes, repetitively sometimes, no matter how ‘enlightened’ and ‘mindful’ I am about it, until a very bad habit is changed. I don’t give up in constantly working on myself, especially the bad stuff. . .it’s important to me so that the morals and values I want to adhere too, feel more honest, rather than an ego pontificating in a contradictory way.

In being mindful of my own behavior, when I act out in a way that is hurtful, while unintentional, I try to imagine how someone else might feel and how they might be impacted by me. When I see or feel these behaviors directed at me, or at others, I become even more mindful of my own personal boundaries and that of others. I would not want done to me, what I’ve done to others.This has helped me enormously, observing myself here, in interactions with other survivors, as well as their interactions with me.

Psychopaths do not have boundaries. They are the kings and queens of boundary violations. From the beginning of the relationship, during the manipulation phase, all the way to the smear campaign, boundaries are not in the cards for these individuals. They could not have so many victims, were it not for the boundaries that are violated on both sides. Because we do not have personal boundaries of our own, it’s nigh easy for the psychopath to walk all over ours from the start. We tend to ignore those nagging red flags that say our boundaries are being violated in some way, but we often cannot pinpoint HOW OR WHERE they are being violated. If we never had them to begin with, discerning what, in particular is being violated, is nearly impossible and psychopaths, during the manipulation phase of abuse, are violating boundaries at lightning speed, never giving you the TIME to discern, let alone pinpoint how your boundaries are being crossed.

Once I began to see this, via feeling it through crossing of my own boundaries, and pathologizing my own behavior, I began to see how few really have personal boundaries. So this is something I’ve been working on a lot very recently. I’d like to share with you, what that looks like now, for me, and on the blog and that maybe it will help some of you who are struggling with this too.

In recent posts I’ve been writing, I’ve been noticing some things about myself that has me pathologizing again. The things I’m noticing aren’t necessarily bad things, but good things in me, but that arise out of the bad. If that makes sense!

The things I feel most strongly about and that hit me the hardest, that get my advocacy ‘feelers’ going, tell me something about myself, my past and how it works into my future. For example, I’m very upset by the injustices I perceive at psychopaths in power and how deprivation policies and exploitation of  hatred and intolerance in society, hurt and harm others. I’m incredibly sensitive to tactics I see because I’ve lived them. I’ve felt them. I’ve seen these same tactics delivered upon survivors in their relationships with psychopaths. I’m incredibly sensitive to hatred, intolerance but also religious zealousness. I feel that the zealousness is pathological and that it is another ‘vehicle’ with which to deliver judgment and hatred onto those who are viewed as ‘different’ in some way. Not only have I seen harm and damage delivered upon the innocent and vulnerable, but I too have had my boundaries crossed, assumptions made, and attacks upon my character because I absolutely love and adore my gay son.

I do not see my son as a ‘sinner’ in need of therapeutic measures in order to change who he is. That’s like saying because I had an affair for ten years with a psychopath, I should be taken out and stoned to death. The truth is that we all SIN and for me personally to judge another and their salvation or to violate boundaries further in making assumptions about them, is morally WRONG for me. When I say these things to those whose faith is zealous, I’m usually met with accusations, more assumptions and that I’m ‘condoning’ my son’s sin. He who is without sin, shall cast the first stone and other such scriptural ‘literalness’ that I could cite text and verse to contradict, but after having a lifetime filled with evil, hatred, intolerance and other vile, it has deepened my empathy for everyone, and that is not limited to those who suffer from zealousness.

My point here being, that religious dogma, followed by the perspective that I somehow need to be ‘saved’ (just in sharing personally here, I bought this line of BS out of the zealous when I was part of that community and was baptized repeatedly). When it violates someone’s boundaries, it is no longer care and concern for the individual at which it is directed it is about the person doing the violating. I have endured extremes in spiritual abuse out of my ex psychopath, who was a professed “Christian’ in deed and in image, but no more. That relationship nearly destroyed my faith and a large part of the manipulation and exploitation was using my ‘role’ in his life to cast me as ‘whore’. It was me who needed ‘saving’ and not he. So not only was this an extreme violation of my personal and spiritual boundaries, it was also a projection. And this is where personal boundaries become very important to me. And to others who may wish to interact with me or me with them.

I do not discuss religion here. I will not discuss the faith of others, unless they choose to do so. I don’t do this because I dearly want to respect the faith of everyone who visits this blog. I have a wide variation of religious beliefs here and I have many who are atheists too. I have survivors here with gay or lesbian children, parents and past partners. I have survivors here who are black, brown, white, yellow. I have survivors here who are from other parts of the world, who practice their faith in a completely different way and to which their culture is completely different than our own. I want to honor and respect all who come here because they do for the same reasons: to heal from psychopathic abuse. Psychopaths do not discriminate when it comes to their victims and I shall not make it a practice to discriminate against them. They’ve had enough of that. I’m not at issue with anyone who discusses their faith here and where discussion is in relevance to them only, without undertones or implications that others practice what they do.

This has become a personal boundary with me now.

I remember once, I got into a spat with another page owner because she announced that she allowed only Christians onto her page. She has the right to do that, but I was offended by it, because I saw a harmful comment she made to someone who had used an expletive in describing her experience with her ex psychopath. I think it’s safe to say we can all become very angry, triggered and upset when discussing what this individual has done to us. I’m personally not offended by it and I know that the expressions, particularly when expletives are used, are not a reflection of someone’s heart. That stuff to me, is superficial. And this was what was attacked. I felt so much pain for this survivor, who suffered humiliation and a violation of her personal boundaries with the way the ‘correction’ of her expletive was done by the page owner.

Having said that, she had the right to run her own page as she saw fit and I had the right to leave it, which I did. I know that expletives can be a personal boundary violation for many people. I’ve been known to drop a few F-bombs in my life and have written some expletives in my post too, so in honoring personal boundaries, I’ll say that I will use expletives from time to time and I understand if someone is offended, therefore, there are other blogs where Christianity and clean language is a boundary for the owner and that is exactly what their blogs are for. I truly respect a blog owner or page owner that is clear in their blog policies about what behavior they will or will not accept and what their boundaries are. It is my preference to keep my blog open to everyone, exception psychopaths. I am of the belief that people of differing beliefs, cultures, color, etc, offer a diversity and learning experience of other people that are ‘different’ from ourselves. I highly believe that after my own lifetime of psychopaths, where diversity was offensive and where intolerance reigned supreme, it was incredibly important to me to reflect a spirit of love, an opportunity to deepen empathy and to learn from others. No matter what their background, color or gender might be.

I plan to adhere to this belief on my blog and in my personal interactions too. It’s important to ask questions and not assume about others. This is a habit that needs to be broken. I’ve also had the tendency to be assumptive myself and I know this is a direct result of my background too. Because of my situation, I have been very upset, not just because of the situation, but because of the stigma, stereotyping and assumptions made about me personally that mean I’m character flawed due to my poverty and disability. In my anger, I’ve painted those who have done this, as ‘everyone’ who is ignorant or hateful. I’ve lived among the ‘elite’ in society because of my father’s position and financial success. And while more often than not, I saw others of the ‘elite’ doing and saying the same things about those who were vulnerable, it is not fair to pain this broad brush for everyone who has experienced financial success and blessing for hard work in their lives as lacking in empathy. Not all are this way. My apologies to any readers enjoying the fruits of their hard labor via financial success, for offending you.

I’m learning to define my personal boundaries more and I wish to reflect this accurately and with love and respect for other people. The truth is we will not make everyone happy and not everyone is going to like us and I accept that. But I do wish for the blog to reflect respect for all views, for all faiths, for all situations and circumstances and as a platform, not for hate, but for love and compassion, because we are all here for the same reasons and in that way, no matter how ‘different’ we might be and feel from one another, we have all experienced the hell that is the psychopath.

I’m going to work very hard on my own assumptions about others and be very careful not to project what I feel is best for me, onto other survivors as being what should be best for them too. The best part of recovery, even if it’s somewhat painful, is to learn to discover ourselves, good and bad, and to experience the freedom we now have to learn to love and respect ourselves and others too. You know the cliche about assuming, right? When you assume, you make an ass-outta-u- and-me. I love that cliche.

Whether we like it or not, particularly those of us from pathological homes and/or in relationships with psychopaths for many years, we walk out ‘slimed’. We have behaviors, attitudes and perceptions that may well be a bit twisted. This is where we tend to beat ourselves up a little bit. But we are not pathological (I hope!) and so when we leave and the clouds of darkness start to lift, we discover we have a lot of work to do on ourselves. It’s very frustrating to realize that some of the psychopath’s attitudes, behaviors and perceptions can be our own too. But this is where empathy is a blessing. Our ability to love, a tremendous gift to us. Because we can change all of that. Psychopaths never will.

Love one another, care about a heart, your own and others. Learn and grow. Really, we are all in this together.

Peace , onward and upward.

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Making Meaning Of The Psychopathic ‘Experience’

I seem to be the bearer of ‘bad news’ and ‘negativity’. Psychopaths in power…

Today has been filled with clarity, if not anger, frustration and pain. Much of what I’m going to share is  repetitive I’m sure, but today is different for me. Very different. I’ve loved coming here and just writing and writing about it. It is catharsis and in doing so, I’ve had a few revelations that have had a big impact on me. I want you to know, those of you who have commented, I’ve learned a lot in the last few days and your contributions have been a major blessing to me. I thank you for that. I’m thankful for my ability to love, and to receive love, even if we’ve never met. I’m most grateful for the ability to write. . .and that my therapist assigned writing in my blog, as my ‘homework’ for me this week. I have a lot to share with her tomorrow.

Today I learned that I live in the ‘wrong’ city. I took matters into my own hands and called the ODAR office myself. They have no hearing scheduled for me and cannot say ‘when’ because “There are 8500 cases in this office waiting to be heard, with only TEN judges! We’re doing the best we can to get you guys taken care of, but I simply can’t give you any definitive answers right now!”

The lady was so nice, really, and I could sense her exasperation with her own job. “They cut funding to us in 2008, ya know, and we’ve not been able to hire anyone since, oh the stories I could tell you!” So I listened to her vent, because sometimes that venting can be informative. Psychopaths in power always deprive…and deprivation affects all of us.

I really don’t know how to express how I’m feeling right now. I thank God above for a car. Despite the many mechanical needs it has, it still runs. The homeless shelters here are all full and that does not at all surprise me because many more live in the forested areas in our county. Families living in deprivation. Psychopaths in power. . .

I know what the end result here for me will be. I know that expecting anything is morally wrong for me, but the anger at the deprivation is overwhelming, the sadness even more.

I wish someone needed a writer to educate about psychopaths. I suck at freelance. If I write about psychopaths somewhere else on another site that isn’t mine, it’s no longer my property. Advocacy pays in a measure of feeling a sense of gratefulness that another soul might find awareness and a measure of peace. It does not offer financial stability or sustenance.

So much of my life has been spent in some sort of survival mode. From physical to emotional. I’m so very, very tired. I wonder why some lives are blessed with opportunity and luck, while others are not. We do not live in an environment of ample opportunity, but increasing good fortune for the wealthy and pain in poverty.

I’m terrified to live on the streets. It’s different than it was years ago now when I experienced homelessness. I was a lot younger then, and my illnesses were not as overwhelming to me as they are now. I could scream to the mountaintops about how unfair and unjust all of this is, but that sounds ‘victimy’ right? Just as psychopaths in power want you to feel, dispensable, a burden, worthless, a waste of oxygen. . .

There have been times in my life when I had no idea what morals and values really meant. I knew what was right and wrong, but life with psychopaths meant no morals, no values, they weren’t allowed. I think it’s miraculous that I’ve even been able to figure that out. The things we tend to take for granted, when we have the freedom to make the choices that honor ourselves, are things that are now missing in my own life, but want so very, very much for myself. Those things cannot happen without a measure of financial stability and I know that. It takes money to live. People are distrusting and skeptical and in being honest with myself, I do understand why, as this has been fueled in society by psychopaths in power who have painted a broad brush for people like me as parasitic, unmotivated, and lazy.

Society’s morals and values are twisted. When a black child can be murdered and left on the street for hours and when his family puts flowers on the ground where his body laid,  in mourning and grieving the child they lost, it is demolished immediately. When young mothers leave their babies in cars to die in the heat.  When a nine year old is encouraged to use an UZI that kills her instructor, yet we wouldn’t allow her the keys to a car. When a violent psychopath walks into a school and freely murders 25 children, and a year later it is forgotten, but the violence and killing continues. When a friend of mine, whose 20 year old son puts a bullet in his chest because he was a vet honorably discharged for medical problems, leaving him to believe that he’s disappointed his ‘comrades’. He wanted to be a Marine so bad. . .where is mental health when you need them? Psychopaths in power and deprivation. . .and undiagnosed PTSD. A neighbor’s son who is clearly over medicated on psychiatric medications, while his mother screams for help and no one listens,  yet the pathological prescriber cares not for her son’s life and calls her ‘crazy’ for wanting more (or rather less) for her son. Those monthly visits for med refills, benefit the prescriber, and Big Pharma. Did I mention there was no referral for therapy?

When a close friend dies from cancer, and social security did not start his payments until the month before he died, a year after he was diagnosed. He worked hard all of his life and still they made him wait an entire year and he was terminal. Isn’t that the point though, of psychopaths in power? To deprive you and make you wait, hoping that you DIE before you experience much needed relief? So much for ‘compassionate’ allowance. . .I loved my friend very much and miss his random messages to me of love and cheer. His ‘stickers’ sent through Facebook messaging of Snoopy holding a heart. I love you dearly, RD and know that you’re in a happier place, full of joy and laughter now. . .the true essence of who you were, while loved by many.

It’s hard not to feel punished because of my disability, my past, my trauma. It’s hard not to feel so angry when I want the very best for my life, where finally, my values and morals line up emotionally with only an imagined pittance of stability. I could be so very happy with that. Throughout this last year, I’ve had to sell everything of value from my home. Whatever is left, is worthless to a potential buyer, so here is stays. I have many things of sentimental value saved for my children. I saved everything they ever made for me. Each of those things is in a box especially for them. As things were sold, right down to old cellphones, I began to realize how little any of those things really mattered to me. I loved my old log bed that was custom built. That was my favorite of the things that are now gone. My mattress is 10 years old, an old pillow top that has ‘lost its luster’ and is now sitting on the floor on top of my equally aged box spring. I got a memory foam mattress a few years back to put on the degraded pillow top. I am so grateful for that one thing, because with back problems it prevents a daily flare. And what’s funny to me is that all I worry about now, regarding the bed lost, are spiders that are moving in and they are huge and I swear packing suitcases with them, ready for a winter respite in their personal phoenix. It’s warm in here for them.

I can’t bear to look at my girl, who is lying on the floor in the sun next to me. I am her everything. She looks at me with such love. I feel a sense of betrayal at the idea of placing her in another home. I blew it for her too. She doesn’t deserve to live in a car with me. I want more for my Fuffies, who deserve to spend their lives in a splendor rich with love, food, bones and treats in abundance (healthy though, mind you, grain free!).

Aside from twisted morals and values in society, there are equally as many ‘gotchas’ in my life now too. Catch 22’s. The list for housing subsidy is very long, six years last I heard. I’m very, very fortunate to have this. Yet at the same time, while my rent is paid while enduring this process of waiting, it does not take care of my bills. And if my utilities are not paid, I lose my home. I receive a $24.00 ‘utility allowance’ from housing that goes to this ‘nickle and dime me now’ duplex I live in. That covers the water and sewer, but does not cover my electric, or my internet, which of course, is considered a ‘luxury’ for those of us in poverty, as we are not ‘deserving’ of such things.

I’m floored at the ignorance in society as to those of us who live in poverty and are disabled, or of color, or that are elderly. . .times have changed and continue to do so at lightning speed. I do not know one individual who is not carrying a ‘smart’ phone. I’m behind the times these days with my little “Obama phone.” I laughed one day (yes and out loud), at some guy behind me in the grocery check out line who was bashing the poor to his wife. The conversation started as he was looking at the pay-as you-go phone cards that are next to the conveyor. He started to bitch about how he ‘knows’ the ‘parasites’ with the free Obama phones and that they’re better than even his. He ‘knew’ what they looked like and how to spot one.  Now, I’m not a mean spirited person, but this conversation was, admittedly, getting to me. He went on to complain about how hard he worked and therefore earned his phone. ‘How DARE the parasites get a phone as nice as his, for free!’, I thought in my mind, putting the finishing touches to his diatribe. He described in detail how they all have the Samsung Galaxy S5 phones. Now, I couldn’t tell you what his phone was, although it was very nice, but it wasn’t a Galaxy because my son HAS one and he’s a low wage worker, does that count? My son got it on some deal he got suckered into in maintaining his contract through one of the WORST cellphone providers on the planet, which will remain nameless here.

So I did the unthinkable for me. His last ‘bash’ had me laughing so hard, I thought I’d pee my pants, but I was also very, very angry.  I scrambled through my purse and pulled out my Obama phone. “Do you recognize this???” I asked sarcastically. He just looked at me, and I think he was a bit stunned because he moved his head slowly side to side, meaning NO. “Well this, SIR, is my OBAMA PHONE, NOW do you ‘recognize’ it?” I was so angry, that I felt like I was floating and any ‘audience’ that might have been there to see this twist of events, were as if there were no one, just he and I. I threw the phone back in my purse and turned to put my groceries from the cart to the conveyor. In trying to calm myself and stay focused on the task at hand, I didn’t bother to look at his face the rest of the time in line, but you could have heard a pin drop because all that could be heard, was the noise and bustle from the clerk stacking groceries into the cart of the woman in front of me, as well as the noise from inside the store itself, which seemed louder to me than usual. . .

This is not the first time I’ve been exposed to such ignorance, whether it was direct or indirect. And while there is anger, there is also frustration and then sadness. I cannot control ignorance or what other people feel about ‘people like me’. But these stigmas are nevertheless, very painful to endure because when you’re a target of it, it violates boundaries and assumes the individual targeted as lacking in values and morals. Poverty is a character flaw in the minds of many.

Anyway, I’ve also looked for a place to move to that would help monumentally in keeping my costs down to very little. And while housing covers all of my rent and this is appealing to some owners, there is a stigma attached to those who have housing, as well as I can’t move into a place without income because….the rent is paid but how do you pay your bills? Another ‘gotcha’ and feeling incredlibly stuck with costs I don’t need where I live now. At one complex, I was told by management that if I could find someone to ‘cosign’ for me, they’d let me move in. Well nobody in their RIGHT MIND is going to do that for me, even though I’ve had help from my foster parents, friends, donations from time to time, an occasional sell from crystal jewelry that I have and social service a couple of times in making my bills. My children are all struggling themselves, with families of their own or just trying to make their own rent and feed my grandchildren. With the exclusion of two of my children, the rest have had their hours at work reduced.

And because I’m not ‘legally’ disabled yet, social service is extremely limited to me.

Losing my home and my housing is inevitable now. The crushing pressure I feel in constantly compromising my morals and values in begging and desperation to survive has worn me. I know that if I lose my housing, should I win my case, it will be even more difficult to find a place to live at $710.00 a month. Aside from the occasional studio that can go from 500-up here (we live in a state with high property taxes because we have no sales tax here), the average rent for a one bedroom, is 600-700 a month. Even at 500 there would not be enough left to pay my bills. The focus has been to pull this off as long as I can so I can keep my housing and exist doing it, after my hearing.

My bills are not all that high, my electric being the most expensive, but could be lowered substantially in a one bedroom place. But another catch 22 in that I don’t have the money to do anymore. It’s so frustrating when you know that everything seems to be within reach, that you’re doing all you can, thinking day in and day out how to do cut corners here or there, while being mindful of a huge gaping vulnerability with desperation and constant fear of deprivation, fear of exploitation. With that in mind, I’m already decorating the walls of my car.

I’ve endured countless losses this last year. From the sickness and subsequent loss to lymphoma of my boy, whom I miss with every fiber of my being, to my values and morals, to my integrity and dignity, to exploitation in desperation, resulting in loss of two people I truly loved and the loss of my close friend to cancer last month. I’m losing my health more everyday and feel on the verge of insanity, where only nature and my companion pets, my children and my grandchildren, my consistent and true friends who feel helpless to help me, yet are wells of undying support and love, spare me of a Robin Williams demise, an actor I believe was also highly empathic, gifted and whose death and the potential reasons we can only imagine, have been very powerful for me, someone who was perceived to have everything.  The loss of my material items to sale, isn’t even comparable to the loss of all the rest.

My faith, which I do not discuss much, out of respect to others who do not believe the same, or who do not believe at all, or somewhere in between,  has been tested time and time again. I pray with diligence, yet feel uncertain as to whether or not the God I worship is a loving, merciful one or a narcissistic one. Why is there so much suffering in the world that goes unrecognized, uncared for? Why, when praying for help and a door to open, when my prayers are about doing what’s right, within the scope of healthy values, morals and guidance in recovery, do they go unanswered? This very question perplexes the hell out of me. It complicates my relationship with God, that has already sustained much damage from a lifetime of evil and depravity, and in a personal, spiritual war inside that is fighting to see God as the father and not God as the psychopath. Psychopathy has literally poisoned every aspect of my life and I feel I’ve spent my life as some unwitting warrior in a battle I never asked for. I sense there is a light within trying to escape, but  evil, pervasive and darker forces in the form of human free will, are working to snuff it out.

When I was actively involved in the Four Square church( that I would never dare step foot in today) people were constantly telling me that God works through people. But the other shoe was never dropped in that if one believes that, then one also has to consider that SATAN works through people too. That for every good, there is just as much evil. And I’ve been exposed to mega doses of it in the world. Even when I try to get away, try to do good, want to do good, want my life to be filled with peace, love, and joy and giving back, I can never, ever expect this because the darkness of psychopathy looms, whether it’s infested in my personal relationships, society, government or any other important part of what it is to live life.

And if I’d never known what psychopathy was in the first place, or highly sensitive to it, I’d probably not recognize it around me. Perhaps there is something to be said for the ‘blissfulness’ of ignorance. My life would be vastly different. . .

It’s so damned hard to hear and feel ‘good’ when psychopathy taunts me. I can tell myself a thousand times, “Wish for good, think positive thoughts, be grateful, give thanks, expect a miracle”. It’s hard to describe that I’ve learned you cannot expect those things and that life for those of us with damage and in poverty does not work that way. We need more help then there is access too. It’s far easier to deliver one liners or to blame others for their circumstances, then it is to DO something about it. And I mean this in society as a whole, collectively for those who are most vulnerable among us.

I’ve been told over and over, “Don’t over think things”, “don’t be so sensitive about things”. . . but that is BULLSHIT because I’m being asked NOT TO BE ME. I ‘get it’ about ‘tempering’, ‘detachment’, or whatever ‘spin’ is put on to me with learning to live with my sensitivities and ‘over analyzing’, but no matter what I do, it is THERE. It’s how I’ve coped or survived. I’ve lived as a child this way. My ‘sensitivities’ are my limitations in many ways because I can’t turn down the volume! Wherever I go or with whatever I do, I hear the pain in others. And it’s internalized as PAIN within ME. This is why I’m so isolated and why writing works for me. It takes so much energy to be ‘on’ for people. My nervous system is on overload constantly. I do not do stress or crisis well anymore. It fills me with a constant hyper vigilance. These requests to ‘damper’ these things in me are why I’m disabled in the first place because I CAN’T. My reaction to that guy in the grocery store are automatic, spontaneous reactions for me, because I hear hatred in them. It is a HUGE trigger for me. Chronic anger, unkindness, exploitation of not just me, but OTHERS, even on a grander scale, gets my ‘advocacy’ feelers out. I would be an absolute MESS for an employer and a major distraction for coworkers. I would react to ‘demands’ and ‘criticism’, not because I don’t recognize it for what it is, but because it’s a trigger for me. If I hear gossip, it’s a major trigger for me and I’ll leave the scene asap. For every feeling I have that is ‘sensitive’ it is coupled by physical pain and messes with my health in monumental ways. I can feel it when the stress or anxiety is really coming on, because the pain I live with everyday, is intensified. Stress alone has caused my thyroid to go whack and for me to be very, very sick. I have to be very, very careful. And while I recognize and am totally aware of my limitations, of what I truly can and cannot do, it’s other people who are not and when told, dismiss, invalidate or further hurt me.

I know that the majority of the working world is ‘corrupt’ to say the least. I hear the stories my children and some of my friends share in their struggles to remain silent, when they are ABUSED by management and by customers who, thanks to a little exploitation fueled by psychopaths in power upon the low wage worker, experience hate and intolerance DAILY. I love my children dearly and to hear that they are HURT in some way, that they live with suppression and oppression at their JOBS, is more than I can BEAR. This is not what is megaphoned to American’s. But it is very, very REAL. It is so real that the STRESS of my eldest son’s job caused him to have a small stroke this last year. He is highly sensitive and empathic too! I pray constantly for God’s protection over his life. He works his butt off, as many American’s DO and who go unappreciated, underpaid and scapegoated all at the same time.

PLEASE tell me where is the empathy in all of this? If it can’t be said that people are not busting their asses off, with an excellent work ethic, then lets kick em to the curb because they’re stupid and can’t attain or achieve more than a low wage job? I wouldn’t DO my son’s job if my life depended on it, nor would the naysayers who see my children on their jobs as no more than worthless SLAVES to the powerful and elite. And my children are FAR from stupid and in fact, somewhat WISE in not attending college at this time. They know what the outcome might be, as witnessed in their eldest sister and with their friends who have graduated, only to find themselves unable to attain employment in their fields, and in low wage jobs, trying to pay off student loan debt. That’s damned hard to do when you’re pumping gas at Chevron.

And I endlessly worry for my beautiful grandchildren and the world in which they will live if things don’t begin to turn around and quickly in this country. My eldest granddaughter, I believe, is also highly empathic. When we had our last family dinner, she discovered my last remaining fish, dead in the small tank I have sitting in the living room.I was horrified as I had just ‘visited’ with him the night before, fed him and watched him swim around in the tank. He too was a source of comfort for me.

She announced this and had a sadness in her eyes that looked like she was going to cry on the spot and I saw and felt this sorrow immediately and began to talk with her about it. I tried to avoid making a huge deal out of it, because my other two grandchildren are much younger and have not been taught the concept of death, so I didn’t want to frighten them, yet wanted my granddaughter to feel what she was feeling. We talked about it in another room. This conversation led to her sorrow at the loss of my boy (he was the family dog for nearly ten years and all of her eight), and tears flowed. Admittedly, it wasn’t long before I was joining her in that. I worry about what life will be like for this beautiful child who will face many hardships with life in general, if psychopaths stay in power, as well as in knowing that she will be hurt, because she is highly sensitive. I want to teach her how to honor her sensitivities and not to hide them. But what will her life be like in a world that clearly has an empathy deficit?

That same day, she walked up to me in the kitchen, after the fish passing away incident and stared at me for a long time, just watching me help with dinner (I can’t do it all by myself anymore), and suddenly, she gently pulled my hand and said, “Grandma, you are so special. YOU are very special”. And that came from a loving, pure heart. It also brought me to tears and I hugged her so tight and told her how much she meant to me, that she is ‘special’ too and how very, very much I loved her. That moment is one I will always cherish, because it was a moment I never had with any of my pathologicals. My Grandmother was the biggest of pathological and was responsible for my earliest memory of abuse, abuse that was to come. I want my grandchildren to remember me in knowing without a doubt how much they were loved by me and that maybe with that love, along with the love of their parents and auntie’s and uncle’s, their lives, even if psychopathy is in the air, will fare much better than mine. To think that perhaps, JUST MAYBE I may have altered psychopathy for the next generation, makes all these painful and horrendous experiences worth it to me. In trying to find meaning amidst so much heartache, stress, loss and pain, this just has to be it. It just has to be, because I’m facing the reality of more loss, more stress and more pain.

So many times in the last year, I’ve been one shut off notice from living in the streets. But time has run out for me. I no longer wish to burden the people I love the most, who no longer have anything left to give and when it’s me who wants to be the one giving. I no longer wish to be so desperate that I overlook that voice inside that knows that evil is taking advantage of my pain for another round of manipulation, exploitation and to be painted in that familiar place of ‘scapegoat’, for an ego boost. One more month of living in the same place, only to be terrorized by what next month will bring. My desperation, terror and triggers have been nothing but trouble for me in making choices as to ‘hey do I hang out with psychopaths because they’re helping me, yet ‘using’ me and try to tell myself that this is okay?” Because it isn’t okay. It’s so, so far from okay. Psychopaths are good at knowing what you want, but leaving you ultimately deprived when it really matters, emotionally. I sacrificed all I know that is good of me, to survive. Just to exist.

I’m going to lose my internet now because I cannot keep it on this month, I am not disappearing on purpose and I won’t privatize the blog so that it’s open to everyone for reading. I will return comments and emails for as long as I can. But if I do not answer, please know it’s because I can’t.

I need to find a place for my things. I’m not sure what to do about that yet, but I don’t have a lot of time to ‘think’ about it now. I have the rest of this month to do that.

In thinking about this, while I know the roller coaster of emotions I’m about to face, what is the most unbearable to me is letting go of my pets. I know it’s better for them and I know the right thing to do, but this will be especially painful to me. I love them with all of my heart and sometimes that means letting them go so they can have continued good care, and a lot of love. It’s a good thing that they are so good natured as it won’t be difficult to place them. It will be far more difficult to place my Marley, but my Sassy will not be hard to place.

I never wanted to believe that living within my morals and values would mean homelessness. I never wanted to believe that living with my values and morals would mean that I love my friends and my children enough not to continue to burden them. They have enough worries of their own and there are lots and lots of people out there like me. In that way, I don’t feel so alone.

What scares me is the psychopaths I will face in the unknown. And as long as they are in power, deprivation for those of us living in poverty, living with unbearable stress and disability, many living in fear of their lives because of the color of their skin, many living in hopelessness and despair, voiceless and viewed as worthless, are at the mercy of those who do not know us, but hate us. I wish I could get pictures of the looks of contempt and disgust every time I pull out my SNAP card in a checkout line. It’s not safe to be in poverty, to be disabled, to be black or brown, to be old, to be ‘weak’, to be LBGT, to be ‘different’, to be vulnerable in this society.

But in some twisted way, I can live in my car and I will live because the people who love me, don’t deserve suicide from me. And I’ll live free of going against my values and morals. It’s repulsive to me that in order to do so, means even more deprivation and loss. . .

But if I can’t sleep at night, it won’t be because I’m going against my values and morals to survive, it won’t be the stress of obligation and indebtedness that keeps me awake at night, it won’t be the next move of desperation and terror that has me begging, manipulating and pleading for help. It won’t be a result of a pathological in my life that I’m kissing ass to, to survive. I absolutely loathe myself for what I was willing to do, sacrificing myself at the alter of psychopathy for help. I’m disgusted with myself. Everything I felt I had to do, made me hate myself more. And that is contradictory to my healing and what I want and see for myself. If someone was willing to give out of kindness of heart and compassion due to my circumstances, that’s far, far different, then psychopaths who offer because it’s an opportunity to hurt.

I’ll be living, but I’ll be true to myself doing it. No matter what that means for me now. And at this point, it’s not looking so good.

To those of you who have sent donations to me in the last week, I am incredibly grateful. Every single dime has mattered. I didn’t realize, nor was I prepared to deal with the expense and energy required to ‘vet’ my own pets out of illness or ‘cat birth’, nor that my cat is now eating more than my dog and I combined. In the last 48 hours, she has literally blown through a 1 lb. bag of cat food and six cans of kitten food. I’ve never seen a cat eat so much in my life!  Never mind the daily cleaning of the litter box two times a day.  It also allowed me to get a few things that I had not had for a very long time related to very necessary hygiene items, but I’ll spare you TMI about that. But it’s my pets that mean the very, very most to me and their comfort and care is always a major priority for me. I love them more than I can ever express.

I’m very grateful for all the help I’ve received along the way, even to those who are not in my life anymore. All have had a role in my survival and all have taught me many valuable lessons.

But the greatest of all clarity of self has come here in my writing and interacting with other survivors. I want you to know how very much it means to me that you’ve not judged, stigmatized, stereotyped me. That you’ve not criticized, that you’ve not harmed me, while allowing myself the opportunity to be so incredibly vulnerable here. With each post I wrote, I wondered if I should delete it, the fear of exploitation and harm is that great for me. I knew by sharing and being real about myself and my life, that I was opening the door to be hurt. I know that possibility still exists, and it will wherever I go and am being me. It will exist because psychopaths and evil exist. It isn’t that I don’t expect to be hurt in those ways, because I have been and often. I can have disagreements and rather strong opinions shared without disrespect or crossing boundaries. It’s those conversations that I learn the most, grow the most. There is a huge difference between constructive and destructive criticism and I think that society is lost, that there is so much hatred, intolerance and divisiveness, thanks to psychopathic exploitation, that constructive criticism and disagreement has turned into chronic anger and an ever present, underlying irritation and often, rage. And it’s this that I can’t respond too. It’s this that is an endless trigger, a limitation for me.

It’s true that I’ve been a people pleaser and I thought a lot about that today. While I’m a people pleaser and it isn’t a healthy thing, I know that it derives from a deep desire for peace, to exhibit kindness, empathy and seeing the best, and not the worst in people as I’ve seen the worst, out of others and out of myself too. I want to believe that, innately, people are good, but I often discount the bad. I don’t necessarily miss red flags, they are there, but I ignore them. I ignore them and try instead to implement understanding. My mantra being, “I’ve got damage too, and people react differently, what underlies these behaviors?”

I do this because I know what it feels like to feel misunderstood, to be rejected, to be hated, to be unloved. What I’ve ignored is that even though people will be human, there are many who are inhuman. You’d think I’d know that by now. . .

So now, I  ask for your prayers. And that whatever happens, I will be safe out there. I do believe that miracles or ‘luck’ happen, but I also know you have to be in the right place at the right time and most of us won’t be. But I can be, if nothing else, hopeful.
My life has been a very painful and traumatic one. My greatest hope is to live in stability and in peace, to give back. To love and help more survivors who are struggling with this massive pariah called psychopathy.

But most of all, I want to be free,  so that I can learn to love and live with me.

Onward and upward.IMG_3826

*Me at 18 months*

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A Big Thank You!

I don’t pay a lot of attention to my stats on the blog. I’m horrendously unorganized with it too. Occasionally, I’ll get notifications in my email about my stats and I just delete them. I don’t have my posts set up to where they’re remotely easy to find. For the most part, I log in to my blog and read comments and write.

Today, after finishing my post and looking at it in real time, I saw 1,001. WHAT?

I can’t believe it. 1,001 followers of this blog. I know so many bloggers and they have wide and far reaching readers and have many more than this and are far, far better writers than I. I so respect the work of others who blog and understand the time it takes to do it, and having the passion to do so. I still have so much catching up to do with in my Reader and have a couple of posts that I’ve seen that I want to share here from other bloggers.

I’m overwhelmed and just wanted to say thank you so much for your patience with me and for taking the time to read here. I’m truly humbled by it.

Not too long ago, a close friend of mine who is a fellow blogger and a fantastic writer, said she meant it when she says that my work is brilliant, that it’s very powerful stuff. She encourages me to write a book and has for a long time. But what survivor doesn’t want to write a book? Or hasn’t? I greatly appreciate her seeing the value when I cannot see.

To be honest, I don’t value my work much. While I love doing it, and hope that it finds a reader who needs support or validation to their painful experiences with psychopaths, I don’t have great aspirations with it. I endlessly compare myself to other writers whose work is outstanding. I sometimes struggle with my humanity and my darker side in feeling envious of those who take those risks and publish. I even feel anger about it at times, not at those who follow through and value their work, but angry because the damage permeates my entire psychological landscape. Right down to my writing.

I’m at peace with my writing and that it won’t be a published work and does not meet the standards that it otherwise might if my ‘talents’ were honed more. I’m simply very grateful that it might help someone. There is no greater gift than that to me.

Again, thank you so much for reading and following and for your patience as I struggle through the process. And a very special thank you to survivors who take the time and courage to comment. Without you, this blog would not be what it is today. I’m very thankful for each and every one. Your contributions are a major player too in helping others in their recoveries.

Believe it or not, you’ve also helped me a great deal too. This is the only place I feel that there is kinship through experiences. I need the support as much as you feel that you do too. I’m most especially thankful to survivors of pathological parents for sharing your stories. I don’t have that in ‘real time’ in my life. Hearing your experiences helps me to know that I’m not alone in the damage that is causes, nor the struggle to recover from it. It’s incredibly difficult to share how it feels to be an adult child of these individuals and I think one of the reasons for that, is that the incidences of abuse were never limited to just one time or to just one tactic delivered. I’m working on a post about  this and just writing it is hard.

Thank you so much again. . .

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Learning To Be Grateful In The Aftermath Of Psychopathic Relationships

Shit creek survivor!

With everything that feels so wrong with my life right now, I still sit outside in the morning with a cup of coffee and observe nature. That’s when things feel right with the world for me. It’s when I experience the most gratitude for the simple things.

There is the most beautiful bird that has been visiting lately that sings in the most beautiful way. . .I can’t quite describe it, but it soothes me and makes me smile each time I hear it. No, I don’t mean this bird is standing in front of me, belting out songs like Mariah Carey or anything, but the pitch is similar, making it kind of eery too. . .

I got to thinking that even though things are such a mess right now, there are small things that I feel so grateful for. While I might be a little more alone right now, when surrounded by nature, I’m not. While I have to let some people go out of my life, I still have my pets to hold onto. The kittens are endless entertainment. Watching them wobble their way around, trying to get up on all fours, then dropping to the blanket, crawling the rest of the way is so much fun. Their little eyes are open now and I wonder what they see. . .

Yesterday, a few of the neighbor kids stopped by so they could have a look. Only through the eyes of a child, they squealed with delight as they took their little fingers and gently ran them over the kittens tiny backs, ‘aaawww! They are so cute!! Can I have one?” . . .I had to tell them that they’re not quite ready to go to a new home yet.

Trying to find something to be grateful for when things have been so painful is very hard.

So for today, I’m glad I still have a place to live. I’m very grateful (and thankful) for the few donations that have come so that I can keep my cat healthy and well fed (OMG! I’ve never seen a cat EAT so much in my life! Is this truly ‘normal’?), I’m grateful that while my own children are struggling, they are healthy. I’m glad that my grandchildren know what love is. I’m grateful for my girl (dog) who is lying right beside me as I type. She just loves to be loved. And the birds. I just love them.

While I’m grateful for all of this, I pray most for a reprieve. For discernment, for peace and the opportunity to live with stability so I can heal. I can visualize this clearly in my mind. I just want this to be over so badly. I’m tired of fighting for my life. I want to stop wondering if it’s worth it
And as I type this portion of my post, my back door is open and my singing bird is back. The birdhouse my friend, Claudia sent me arrived yesterday. I think  it’s working! And it’s very beautiful too. I’m grateful for the friends I do have, who care and are concerned and who have stood with me throughout the process.

In some weird way, I’m grateful to my now former friends who have taught me lessons about what I can’t have in my life anymore. I’m grieving their loss, and feel very hurt at the smear campaign, but it does define for me, what I do and don’t want in my life. Loyalty and trust mean a lot to me.

There are times when I can try to turn this situation, on occasion, into humor. I’ve not been able to afford to see an eye doctor in two years. I wore prescription contacts and loved them. I knew when my yearly prescription renewal was up, I’d not be able to buy anymore because I couldn’t afford the eye exam. So when they ran out, I had to start wearing a now ten year old pair of glasses. One of the ‘legs’ was broken and missing, but I was still able to see, although it was slightly cock eyed. Then the nose pads broke. I could find none that fit my glasses, so I got a pair of nose pads that I thought might fit. My son tried to  jimmy rig them into place, but the pads were way too big and lifted my glasses too much to where I couldn’t see. So I tried kleenex. I folded the piece of kleenex together so that it was small enough to fit where the nose pads were. While I had a tiny bit of ‘white’ in the way of my vision, it worked for awhile. My kids thought it to be very resourceful, but hilarious at the same time. But I developed sores on each side of my nose because the steel underneath the kleenex was heavy and began to really hurt when I had them on, which was most of the time.
Then the second ‘leg’ fell away from my glasses and there was nothing left to hold them up, so I taped it! And this is what I’ve been working with to see. My vision is so bad that cheaters do not work for close up writing or reading. I have bifocals, so it makes it very interesting. I went into use the bathroom this morning and looked up in the mirror as I washed my hands. I couldn’t help but laugh and laugh. They look completely ridiculous on me. They’re completely cock eyed! I never really looked in the mirror with them on because I take them off when I’m done writing or reading.

My neighbor, who use to come for coffee everyday, would sometimes look at me and laugh. Well now I know why!

I laugh when people think I’m not resourceful enough, let alone ungrateful. I can personally tell you that there are more uses for coffee filters then just coffee. It may not be comfortable, but it does get the job done!

All the horror stories about one-ply toilet paper are NOT true! My daughter, the most resourceful, second only to me, told me that she and her man buy one ply, one thousand sheet toilet paper in the eight roll pack and it last them two months! And it doesn’t rub ya raw! So a couple of months ago, I tried this, but could only get the four roll. It lasted longer than a month!

I hope all of this turns into some funny memories when this is over. I try to create them for myself, because for the most part, it’s all about survival. It gets old and you get very tired. Poverty is not fun and is incredibly stressful and more so when you’re fighting chronic illness, Depression and PTSD. And this is where gratefulness goes out the window and is replaced with resentment for me. I pray against bitterness and rage at my pathologicals and what life has been. I know, without doubt, it would have been so much better, had I known love from the beginning. It’s very difficult to learn to love yourself when no one loved you. I have to build the foundation that was never given to me. And that frustrates me because I try very, very hard to get a focused picture in my mind as to what that really feels and looks like. Nine times out of ten, I miss the mark, but I do keep trying.

Part of my writing so much about what I’m going through is in hope that, especially for survivors of pathological parents and survivors who share children with their disordered ones, that survivors read and know they are not alone in their struggle to heal. That they are not alone in their damage and pain. That survivors who have children with psychopaths, can read my experiences and are validated in knowing just how dangerous these individuals are as parents and how important it is to be that foundation that many of us survivors of pathological parents never had.

Some survivors have written to me in exasperation about the tactics their ex’s use to harm their children, as well as some  feel defeated because “Disneyland” sperm donor is spoiling their children with every item known to man that a kid could want, so the kid appears to have loyalty to the psychopath, rather than the survivor. I know this is very painful and real for the survivor who is suffering in this way, but I’m here to tell you that at some point in a child’s life, even if the light doesn’t go on until they are adults (unless they are disordered themselves), they will absolutely see the value in conscience and empathy. They WILL see what you’ve tried so hard to do. The foundation you are building in love for your child, even if it is remote, truly matters. At some point in time, they will ‘disappoint’ the sperm donor psychopath and they will feel the sting of rejection. There is not a material item in the world that can ever replace the love of a parent. So for survivors who are dealing with ex’s and children, please do not give up hope or ever believe that your involvement does not matter, even if it appears that he is ‘winning’. Their lack of empathy outs them every. single. time. . .

It’s critical to remember that YOU are creating a point of reference for your children in what it is to have a loving, caring, nurturing parent. Look at me and my damage, and know that it doesn’t have to be this way for your child. YOU MATTER.

And so, if even one survivor is helped or learns to understand psychopathy, or is brought to awareness in what they are dealing with, this would make me the most grateful of all.

I’m grateful for you and you MATTER to me.

Don’t let the bastids get ya down.

Onward and upward.

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The Painful Consequences Of Psychopathic Exploitation and the Smear Campaign

What people expose of you

“A true friend is someone who knows enough about you to destroy you, but instead holds your secrets close to their heart.”~ Me.

The one tactic that is the most painful thing pathological people of any stripe do to you, is exploitation.

We are all prone to experiencing and engaging in our dark side, in one form or another throughout our lives and probably more than once. Whether it’s manipulating, lying, gossiping, saying something we wished later we hadn’t said. . and pathological people do this too. The difference between pathological (psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths) people and ‘normals’, is that pathological people take each negative behavior to an extreme. It is all pervasive, an entrenched, unyielding, compulsive pattern of behavior that cannot change. I once believed that pathological individuals could not really ‘feel’ anger or rage, but I’ve since changed my perspective and I do believe that rage, whether passive or aggressive is constantly present, whether ‘active’ or not, it’s much like a volcano ready to erupt. These individuals are filled with a deep and pervasive hatred.

‘Normals’ that engage in any of the above behaviors, ultimately due to their nagging conscience, feelings of guilt or shame, will feel badly about harm caused to someone else. Whether it’s days, weeks, months or years, ‘normals’ will come to an awareness about a behavior that has caused harm, and work to change it or will attempt to ‘make amends’ in some way, whether with the person(s) they have harmed, or in some other meaningful way that feels redemptive to them and potentially healing to the person hurt.

An example of this might be an alcoholic who is in recovery, but is unable to make amends to those he/she has harmed because to do so, may cause further hurt to the person who is now long gone out of their lives. So in response, the now former alcoholic may decide that the best way to make amends would be to give back in some way, such as being a sponsor to others who are in early recovery. Either way and for whatever reason, there was a ‘suspension’ of conscience for the individual who spent years in their illness. A ‘suspension’ of conscience is a sort of ‘theory’ coined by Dr. Martha Stout in her book, “The Sociopath Next Door.” By the way, this is a beautiful read and I highly recommend it and will further go into detail about this ‘suspension’ of conscience.

This can and does happen for other reasons too. As related to those of us who are from a pathological home, we may do things in our choices that feel ‘familiar’ to us and prior to awareness, we ‘sense’ that this ‘familiarity’ is unhealthy for us. For those of us who come from pathological homes, ‘familiarity’ is the environment we grew up in. Most of us, while having a sense of what is right or wrong, may still feel and acquiesce to what feels like a magnetic pull to the depraved, to deprivation, and tactics related that feel like ‘love’ to us, that feel like, well. . . .home. When we are in romantic, pathological relationship, we can cause hurt to our children, our families and our friends, when we don’t mean too, while ‘attending to’ our relationship with the pathological person. Needless to say, we often leave the relationship, not only traumatized, but somewhere down the road in recovery, with a lot of apologies to make too.

But this is exactly what will never happen with a pathological person. Ever. There will be no guilt, no ‘reassessment’ of personal morals or values. The ‘little’ soldier in one’s heart that screams at you when you’ve done something wrong and where you’ve contradicted your personal morals and values, will be completely absent in a pathological individual. Try to imagine never hearing that voice. Try to imagine when you feel horrible for causing someone pain, once you become aware of it, that this screaming soldier of conscience goes SILENT. Not a peep out of him. In fact, not only is this little boisterous, loud and obnoxious soldier’s screeching, completely silent, but you never have a genuine awareness that triggers any screeching at all! There is no emotional pain, only a blank slate. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. ZERO.

Instead, this individual, when harming others, ‘feels’ completely justified and is absolutely compelled to share every piece of personal information you’ve ever shared with them with many known and unknown others to you, to further bolster their faux victimization. Being the victim, for them, is intoxicating. It matters not that you’re in excruciating pain from their words or actions, in fact, the more pain you are in, the more intoxicating the feeling for the psychopath, narcissist or sociopath.

If you dare to confront, question, ‘interrogate’, what you will have, is rage. Whether it is controlled and exhibited in a passive, very sadistic way, or it is violent and verbally and emotionally abusive. This sets off the disordered one’s vindictive and strategic plans to annihilate and destroy you. With an energy equivalent to the manipulative, love bombing stage, the smear campaign is now in full swing at the end of the relationship. The more you speak of your pain, the more you try to ‘defend’ yourself from the pathologicals attempt to smear you, to DESTROY you, the more energized and intoxicating it is for them.

This is why the disordered one enjoys the manipulation-exploitation phase and they put so much energy into its beginning. This focused and obsessive energy is not about you, it’s about the ‘game’. The more trusting you are, the more personal information you willingly give of yourself, the more energy you expend when caught up in the psychopath’s web, the more of a weapon it becomes in the near future and most especially, at the end.

Psychopaths (or whichever label you prefer to apply), will put boundless amounts of extremely pretentious words and actions that look like: listening, buying you things, helping you when you’re most in need, pretending to be the martyr of your life, the hero or heroine in your life. They MUST be this to you. Whatever vulnerability it was that allowed this individual into your life, the disordered one will make extraordinary use of it. He/she EXPLOITS it, so that as he/she has more control in your life, like a machine, a computer loading information at lightning speed, the disordered one stores this in his/her reptilian brain, to make himself/herself the VICTIM throughout the relationship, but again, most especially at the end.

The exploitation is absolutely the most devastating part of the pathological relationship. When you share your life with someone you believe you have total trust in, when you share with what you believe to be a loyal and trusted friend, your personal secrets, open yourself up to showing this person your most vulnerable place, feeling as if you can be yourself, only to discover that this individual would use it as a weapon against you to avoid others seeing under the mask. For as much as you fear what the psychopath is saying and doing during the smear campaign (and trust me, he/she is!) is as much as he/she fears being outed for the truly loveless, heartless predator that they are. This isn’t about someone who ‘fears’ being simply ‘wrong’, it is far, far more than that. They live for this moment. They do it because it makes them feel powerful, when inside they are POWERLESS to control you any further.

It is incredibly difficult to trust in the first place, but this is even more so for the survivor who has encountered a disordered one, no matter what the relationship is. For survivors who were raised in these environments, daily and consistent targets for these individuals and their insatiable thirst for power and control, ‘trust’ is often damaged. We are either too trusting, not trusting enough or refuse to trust anyone at all. We try to listen to our inner radar, our instincts, but that too has been severely damaged.

In my case,  and in the last year, I chose the wrong individuals to trust and it’s because of my circumstances and desperation to survive, that said my radar was BROKEN. Two individuals I once believed were my friends, were in fact, not at all and both, when confronted did the same exact thing. Only in one case, the mask is off, not just to me, but to some others around me, who know who this individual IS, creating more rage and strategizing as to what she will do to me next. But it was someone else, who alerted me to the serious and excruciatingly painful backstabbing that was going on. Lies and accusations about me that were merely projections of this person’s behavior. I confronted and the reaction was the SAME as the last just a couple of months ago with the other, the only difference being that this one did not use expletives, but the role of ‘victim’ was assumed immediately and projection of her own behavior on to not just me, but two other people as well.

All of this has me feeling incredible pain, shame and guilt. I considered the last one, my most loyal and closest friend. There wasn’t one thing I wouldn’t do for her, or give to her, in an effort to show her how much she meant to me, or how much I appreciated her now faux loyalty to me. She shared some very, very intimate things with me, but I never shared it with a soul. It never dawned on me to do so. When someone shares a deepest secret with me, it is kept in a special place in my heart and mind, because I understand what it truly means to feel so honored and humbled by that TRUST. No matter how upset I feel by what’s happened, those secrets stay with me, just as they have with anyone else who has placed so much trust in me. It makes it doubly painful to know that it was not the same for her.

My ex psychopath did something similar to me. Something they all do with incredible predictability, but if in a state of fear or vulnerability, will fly completely under the radar. My ex psychopath was fired from his job, because of his relationship with me. I was a client where he worked. For ten years, they knew nothing. Ironically, it was a coworker who outed the relationship to his boss. She was also a ‘friend’ of mine and knew about our relationship. I pushed my ex very hard in getting her her position there. She was truly very qualified and a brilliant woman. I trusted her as much as I trusted my closest friends. As the relationship began to unfold, I spoke with her, often in tears, about it and what he was doing to me. Because of the level of abuse involved, she said she ‘prayed’ about it before she decided to do it. She was in fear that I would be angry with her for doing so. But I was not angry, I was hurt.

Because my trust had been violated. And I knew better about her motives, despite her professions otherwise, as she quickly detached from me, when my ex was subsequently put on leave, pending an investigation that resulted in his firing. She could have cared less about me as I’d come to find out that she was in fear of losing her job, should anyone ‘out’ him and found out that she knew about us. And she knew about us quite a few years before the relationship ended. With the exception of once or twice, she never spoke to me again.
Completely immersed in my addiction to him and terrified of losing him, he realized this, for him, was opportunity to get his job back. He was nearing his divorce at this time and made huge efforts to ‘date me properly’. For six weeks prior to the hearing, I felt I had a ‘new man’. He wined and dined me, had me out at his house overnight, talked about moving in with him and finally ‘sealing this deal’ with me. As odd at this may sound, after ten years of wanting to be with him and experiencing deprivation of him, I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of being with him, living together, even sleeping in the same bed, for more than an hour or two. I discovered that I really didn’t like him much, that he was a tad on the weird side. He rarely spoke and was very fragmented in his movements and the way he lived his life. Almost like severe ADHD. His silence was extremely powerful and his body language, gestures and eye ‘expression’ (rage or completely dark), could be felt all around. A negative and oftentimes, very terrifying energy. Like he could kill me.

But inevitably, I ignored all of that, moving with the fantasy of him and our relationship that would end the deprivation. It didn’t last very long before he began to ‘pick’ at me. I reacted very strongly to my ex and extremely inappropriately. I often raged at him, an out of control rage. I’d never reacted that way before him. With my ex husband, I experienced fear in a different way because I knew I’d be beaten if I attempted to confront when he was in rage mode. This one was far, far more sadistic, stealth and passive aggressive. As the hearing drew near, his abuse was at full capacity. He would abuse, then go into silent treatment mode, knowing I would call and leave horrendous messages or send expletive filled emails that said what an asshole he was for hurting me so…

And with every single email, every single message, he saved. Then made copies and his attorney presented this at the hearing during my testimony. I was humiliated and embarrassed. Again, that dagger deeply plunged into my chest and that dragged my heart through that courtroom. To this day, I’ve not been able to speak much of this without dissolving into tears. When this was over. I called and asked him how he could do this to me, why? “Because I could, because you let me.” With a sadistic chuckle, he said he had to ‘go now, I have to meet someone at seven, goodbye!” THIS is what they will do to you. THIS is what they LIVE for. In court, he was the VICTIM. His boss never told me I would be represented or that I’d need counsel. The hearing to me was presented in image as informal. I TRUSTED this man and believed as he said. The room was full of MEN. And as I struggled to get up and leave, his boss looked at me, smiled and nodded his head up and down as if to say “GOOD JOB”. You’ve GOT to be kidding me? In thinking back upon that time, I remember my ex, during those six weeks, begging me to send him a nude photo of myself. I thought it odd that he continued to badger me about it. After the hearing was over, it was clear as to why. To humiliate me further, to slut shame me. Of all the incredibly stupid choices I made, the one not to send the photo, is one I am incredibly grateful for in LISTENING to my intuition.

And my ex did get his job back and still works there today. The justice system is far from it. It’s tilted in favor of psychopaths, especially psychopaths with money and pathological attorney’s. I understand the utter frustration that so many survivors have suffered in that system.

In quietly spending time alone in reflection today, I’ve thought about all the pathologicals in my life and there have been so many. More then there has not been. I feel very defeated in my circumstances. I feel incredibly vulnerable. My desperation has led to a series of PTSD reaction and a giving up of hope. I did not choose well this last year and with all the effort I’ve made to stay alive and prevent homelessness, the only people who would help me the most, were pathological. In a complicated situation, my foster parents, two people I love very much, are also the parents of the chronically angry narcissist that I went no contact with recently. I explained to them that I could not deal with the behaviors any longer, that I tried very hard to understand their presence, had what I felt was a heart to heart about it and that she would try harder not to get ‘angry’ at me. That lasted two weeks. When I went no contact, I wrote them a very long email about what had happened and what was going on. They understood and they know about her behaviors but feel helpless to do anything about it. I told them I knew that their might be distance between us because I understood and respected their boundaries and that when it comes down to it, blood is blood. Family is family and while I knew they cared for me and loved me, I would not be present at family events so as to disrupt with her anger. I don’t want to cause them anymore pain then they are already in about it.

I feel very foolish for these choices I’ve made in friends. I feel very foolish and ashamed about my circumstances. I feel most foolish of all for my feelings of desperation and helplessness. And all of this allowed disordered ones to exploit and have a little fun with me at my expense.

I thought a lot about my circumstances and do not know what to do anymore but let go of it. There is something to be said for feeling as if you have some control in your life, that there is a private and personal side that is my own to keep. With exploitation and the finality of the smear campaign, all of that is gone. It’s so incredibly painful.

As a child of pathological parents, I grew up in a world of exploitation. My body, my mind and my emotions were not really my own and my examples of trust were those of the least trustworthy. I realized today that I was deprived of trust. Deprived of learning how to discern who was safe and who was not. I chose what was familiar to me and so it makes sense at the most vulnerable time in my life, I would choose what initially appeared as the most trustworthy, only to learn again that it was the least.

Not only are my circumstances desperate and dire much of the time, but so is my desire to lean on someone I can fully trust. The lessons I should have learned as a child, in a protective, nurturing and loving environment, I’m learning at 50. I’m pathologically trusting of people whose desire is to harm me. I’m too trusting. There is a childlike quality to this, a fantasy of a life I wish I had had, but one that will never be.

Psychopathic exploitation is the most painful of all. There is simply nothing more harmful and damaging then to have your most private and personal self, twisted and packaged to the outside world as something you are not. What is so devastating about the psychopath’s exploitation and the smear campaign, is that there is a grain of truth about what they share inappropriately with others in the form of depraved gossip because it’s our heart, it’s what is shared at the most vulnerable time in our life, or a hope or dream, or some other extremely personal part of us handed to others as if it never meant a thing. In an exploitative smear campaign, there are always lies, so much so that the images of yourself  shared by the disordered one are distorted and twisted to fit their rage, their behavior. The whole thing is nothing more than projection of themselves and their own behavior, with you as the star of the show instead.

Right now, what I really wish is that I had a real family and knew what it was like to feel loved, protected and safe. I have my children and I love them all dearly, but it isn’t the same as Mom and Dad, because no matter how old you become, especially if you’re close, that parent never stops being a parent and you never stop being their child. I’ve heard and read some of the most beautiful stories of adult children of parents who can love! I’m feeling very deprived of this now too. My circumstances the last two years, but most especially this last, have been nothing but loss and a fast tracked reality check in that my situation and the desperate, helpless, terrorizing fear of continued instability has caused pathologicals to stand out to me like a sore thumb. But at the same time, has caused me to see what their lifetime of deprivation has done to me. I know, without doubt, that I will never fully heal. And that’s not a negative for me, but more a reality for me now.

There has to be a way to manage so I’m not throwing myself to the wolves again. I don’t know how to do that, when I feel so terrorized by my situation.

I hope as you all read, especially those with pathological parents, that these experiences are those that can teach, that can support and can let you know that you’re not alone, you’re not crazy (if not totally frazzled and/or devastated, if you’re just realizing what you’ve been dealing with), and that these people are TRULY evil.

A friend of mine the other day, mentioned the statistics of disordered ones in society, making a point that there aren’t THAT many. I kinda chuckled. Yeah, I think there are THAT many and I think that there is no way to get an accurate statistic on this because disordered ones and therapy are a total contradiction. I do not see psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths lined up for therapeutic services. It’s their victims that seek help, not the psychopath. And if we get into how many survivors actually go to therapy or have insurance to see a therapist at all, that eliminates even more pathologicals from the statistical margin. And that’s just hypothesizing!

If you’ve been recently slimed, don’t hesitate to contact me privately for more venting. I may not get to it right away, but I do check my email at least once every 48 hours or so, sometimes less if I am unwell, but write anyway. Share your heart. I know you don’t know me, but it’s safe with me.

Onward and upward.

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Personal Boundaries and Blogging

Love is the ability

This morning, I saw a comment from Tela, that got me thinking (thank you, Tela, love the thought provoking comments!) about personal boundaries. I hope that I’m not crossing any of your boundaries in utilizing your comment to make a point regarding the boundaries issue, it was thought provoking for me and important.

Her comment was the following: “Great post. I do have to say though, when you have a public blog, you have to be able to accept the criticisms, judgments, assumptions and so on. Each person and their story/journey is different. And they too are hurting. To stop that, you can have your blog private. Just a suggestion.”

First of all, thank you for the comment, Tela and I appreciate it very much because it goes in a direction that I was headed in a post I had started about personal boundaries. So I decided to start over.

I know that many bloggers feel that every comment should be ‘allowed’ and that everyone should be able to speak their mind. And I agree with this, to an extent. “You have to be able to accept criticisms, judgments, assumptions and so on”. Why? Why would I ‘have’ to accept this behavior when I won’t any longer in my personal life? Because I have a ‘public’ blog? “Each person and their story/journey is different. And they too are hurting.”

I can discern anger from survivors who are in pain, vs anger out of survivors who are on the attack. If you have a blog that works with this very pained segment of the population, you also know that some of them are also disordered themselves. I don’t see them very often, but when I do, they leave me no doubt. Just because someone has a story, and we all do, doesn’t mean that we need to ‘accept’ hurtful, judgmental, critical (and I don’t mean constructive criticism here), assumptive, or accusatory behavior. Most people know how to communicate respectfully. You can even feel anger and express it in a way that doesn’t cause harm. I realize that with this population, as well as myself too, that there is a tendency to react. Still, there has to be some form of boundaries involved. Otherwise the blog would be a mess with drama, triangulations, assumptions, judgments, and criticisms. I am very mindful that as we come out of these relationships or a lifetime of them, that all of us have behaved in ways we are not proud of, out of hurt and pain. The psychopath NEVER gets away from us without his ‘slime’ left behind.

Still it does not excuse disrespectful behavior. It’s RARE that I have a survivor who is disrespectful here. Even in disagreement. But there are exceptions and this is why I have the ‘trash’ (delete) button on the comments. Sometimes, I’ll read them repeatedly before I trash them, as to whether or not to put them on the blog. Normally, comments don’t hit me in a way that is disrespectful, but when they do, I take a second look and ask myself questions about it, before I make any decisions.

Vet just made a great comment comparing her blog as to someone who is coming over for a visit. A GUEST. I’d be quite appalled if someone walked into my own home and started raiding my fridge or made demands, assumptions and started criticizing the overload of dishes in my sink! I feel this way with whatever blog I visit. It is not MINE and I’m mindful to be very respectful of that person’s space and how THEY run it.

There are a million blogs out there. And for every blog, there is another reader. I don’t assume my blog to be anything special and there are writer’s out there who are ten times better then me at writing and I respect their work. If someone is unhappy with what I write, and with how I run my ‘home’ then there are plenty more that are out there to visit and with which to engage. I want everyone who comes here to feel comfortable, but I’m going to be mindful of my own personal boundaries, and the boundaries of others here who ARE in pain and don’t NEED drama invoked further into their lives. Some might say, “Well, that’s not for you to decide.” Perhaps not, but being a survivor of pathologicals my entire life, I have a pretty good idea as to what triggers and what does not. And even then, with the depth and sometimes truly uncomfortable posts I write in detail about abuse, I miss the mark in putting a trigger warning up.

I’m also very aware that any relationship with a psychopath, no matter what kind it is, is FRAUGHT with crisis, drama, judgment, reaction, assumption, crazy making, mind*uckery, demands, interrogation, exploitation, manipulation, controlling, abusive behavior. There is hate, chronic anger and rage. No, I don’t have to accept that behavior, nor will I here and I won’t accept it out of survivor’s either, nor any troll that decides to inhabit my home. I want my blog to be a safe place for survivors to share openly and to agree and disagree in an atmosphere of respect, for which many of us were never given in our pathological relationships. For those of us who came from pathological environments, there were NEVER boundaries. No time like the present to assert them.

” To stop that, you can have your blog private. Just a suggestion.”

I’ve done that. Much to the disappointment and upset to readers who come here everyday to read. Why privatize my blog when readers can go elsewhere if this blog doesn’t fit their needs? But I appreciate the suggestion and your comment very much.

I’ll be changing the policies of the blog up a bit that will outline boundaries. Having said that, I’ll work hard to abide by them as well. There is nothing better than a blog to help teach me about boundaries, about myself and what still needs change, but also good things about me that I often pathologize and don’t appreciate. I’ll be writing a post soon about ‘pathologizing’ one’s self as many of us from pathological homes tend to do. But learning to assert boundaries is good for me and for those who visit here too.

While I do not agree with some bloggers who are working with the same populations, I do have great respect for their work and efforts in wanting to help those who are in pain. Tela, you are one of those people, and as a personal note to you here, I thank you for the time and energy you put into it, as it is difficult and painful work.

 

 

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My! How They Grow Up So Fast!

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I’ve often thought of starting a blog about pets and the healing they offer, the companionship and love they provide.

My cat Marley’s kittens have been a joy to watch. They’re to the stage where they’re eyes are opening or beginning to open. They’re either crawling as fast as they can to their ‘destination’ or they’re on all fours now, wobbly but trying so hard to get on the move!

One of them is different from all the rest. I call him “Coon kitty”. He’s darker and has a coon face like his Daddy and is the runt of the litter. But he’s beautiful! I do worry for him because he appears a little weaker than the rest, but still he tries as hard as the others to get around. I love them all so much.

I’ve had to do a lot of reading about kittens and the stages they go through. Weaning is next, but with as fast as these guys are getting around, I’m thinking I might need to litter train early?

Anyway, I’ll need to find them homes. And that’s getting harder to think about, even though I know I need too. If you have any suggestions as to how to find them really good homes and to make sure that the home chosen IS a good home, I would really appreciate it.
I won’t put them on Craigslist. And I won’t sell them to a pet store. So any other suggestions would be really helpful…

PS, I know my camera is crap. I wish the pictures had turned out better but would love to post more as they grow…

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