Adult Children of Psychopathic, Narcissistic and Sociopathic Parents

     When I log into my blog, there is an option that allows me to see my site stats, how many people per day who read my blog. Along with the site stats information, I can also see the google search terms that people type in that lead them here. In keeping up with search terms now, the most googled is with regards to the narcissistic or psychopathic parent. Sociopath is a term I rarely see.

I’m an adult survivor of a psychopathic parent, a survivor of  three long term romantic relationships with psychopaths, and I have a psychopathic child. The statistics do not bode well for me genetically overall, however, when I have done my own researching and reading about psychopathic or narcissistic parents, there is very little about this anywhere. I find the search for healing from the psychopathic/narcissistic parent, an interesting one, given how many survivors  out there who have experienced romantic relationships with the disordered. The need for support and information in dealing with the parent, far outweighs the need for support in the aftermath with the partner, because there is so little of it. Ironically, when a survivor leaves a psychopathic partner, the parent eases the blow with the continued dynamics that play out with the parent. It can also be the most harrowing of romantic relationships with a psychopath that can drive a survivor to therapy, only to discover that she/he has a background of pathology.

People have more difficulty letting go of the parent, then they do the romantic relationship. This makes sense to me, given the patterns I see of those who eventually leave the psychopath,  yet cling tightly to the parent. A transference of a trauma bond with the partner, is foundational with the parent as the root and is the source original trauma bond.

Adult children of psychopathic parents, surprisingly separate the dynamics with their pathological partners from the original bond and abuse tactics of the parent. When looking more closely at their  intimate relationships as well as their own patterns in response to pathology, many of the dynamics are the SAME. It’s a continuation of an original trauma into new relationships. This is why I put so much emphasis on healing from such deep childhood wounds. We really do repeat our patterns. We really do continue our toxic relationships with our parents, when we choose our partners. My last psychopath was eerily close to my own father, right down to his career position.

In my case, it was easier to detach from my pathological parents, then it was from my last psychopathic partner.  Although this happens, it is less common.

There are so many reasons that we continue to engage with the abusive parent. Fear, as the original authority figure threatens to abandon. Obligation, out of a societal and perhaps personal distortion of respect for our parents. This can also be based on religious convictions. Guilt in that these people gave us life and we are somehow beholden to them, and subsequently giving them some aspect of our lives. Some of our parents are elderly and very ill, requiring us to provide care giving services to them.

We don’t consider having boundaries with our parents. Oftentimes, while growing up in a toxic environment, we are not taught to have them. We are assigned roles that we subconsciously play into adulthood with the parent. We appease, please, take care of, put up with, listen too, argue with (in a futile attempt to be validated or stand up for our personal rights) our parents, while they abuse over and over again. We justify the abuse couched in terms of respect or that the parent is somehow helpless and sick, requiring us to “care take”. If we have siblings we are often triangulated by the psychopathic parent. Psychopaths and narcissists love the triangulation game and there are hundreds of ways this can be played out, with many, many people.

Our victimization becomes a habit, an addiction, and our disordered parents are the first to provide us with an ample source with which to continue in it. The feelings that come with our reactions and responses to the parent are familiar. They feel normal. We’ve learned to normalize abnormal behavior. The feelings of potential abandonment by the parent into adulthood are distorted in that we really can’t be abandoned in the truest sense, because we are no longer children, but this does not remove the intense fear that this would or could happen. In reality, the abandonment has already happened in our childhoods, by the psychopathic parents inability to empathize or to love.

In normal families, personal growth is encouraged. Children really do know when they are loved. Even though I could not identify it at the time, I knew I was not loved. This has taken a very long time to accept. The reality that my parents did not love me and could not, called into question my identity and my experiences from my very first memories in childhood. The “who am I?” question becomes one of despairing for a long time. For those of us who grew up in these homes, depending upon the role we played or the extent of the abuse, coming to awareness in adulthood can feel as if you have  had whatever illusions of a foundation, swept out completely from under you. I believe this is why I hung on much longer to my last psychopathic partner, because I had already gone no contact with my biological, pathological family. The dynamics between us, like father to daughter, continued and I was terrified of letting go of the only way of relating that I knew. This made the ending of the relationship far more devastating to me.

Recovery from childhood trauma and abuse can not only throw us into despair, but it can also create an intense feeling of helplessness in realizing that we were never taught to function in healthy ways in the real world. For some of us, for me, not even in the simplest of ways. I was extremely emotionally dependent and carried this dependence into my relationships. I could not sustain a modicum of success in my personal or professional life. My psychopathic parents sabotaged my ability to build my own personal foundation for survival in the real world, by pretending to encourage my personal growth, while in action, as well as in words, injecting entrenched projections of my inevitable failure at whatever I might do. My passions and desires to engage in activities that were healthy for me, whether it was with a career, school, parenting, were severely undermined through emotional and verbal abuse. I was told countless times that I would never succeed and would always fail.

These messages from a psychopathic parent are especially traumatizing as they are delivered with conviction. We believe what they are telling us and it is internalized. In adulthood, we are acting out their projections, of themselves as the failed lives that they are. During the recovery process, when we begin to realize the level of destruction delivered upon us, the road to recovery can seem especially daunting and overwhelming. We are not faced with just having to learn how to have boundaries, or to assess values, morals, and identify our vulnerabilities, for many of us, we are starting from a place and age in childhood where our traumas began. It’s tough being a 12 year old in a 49 year old body. The foundations for success, from career to personal relationships, are literally having to be rebuilt from scratch. We are having to “re-parent” ourselves. This part of recovery is extremely difficult and enormously frustrating. It also creates a level of anger that lasts a long time, while trying to come to terms with all of the damage. It is extremely anxiety provoking to feel such intense fear at doing for yourself, things that others can easily  do who were raised in healthy environments.

There was no way I could make much progress in therapy if I was not no contact with every pathological in my life, including my psychopathic parents. Just as entrenched as I believe personality disorders are, so are our responses and reactions to it. I do not believe it is truly possible to heal while we are still acting out our roles with our parents. The last time I spoke with my psychopathic father, I realized just how easy the transition from being “me” to being my “psychopathic father’s daughter” happened. While before I was not aware of it, even with awareness the overwhelming temptation not to engage in dependent/scapegoat behavior with my father was not possible. I have met very few survivors who are able to have contact at all once they have awareness, and those that do, have a level of denial that allows them to continue to engage, further stunting their own personal growth, as the needs of the parent, whatever they are, continue and leave the parent in a place of power, control and dominance upon us, which is what psychopathy is all about.

Just as it is with the psychopathic partner, when we come to realize that our parents were incapable of love, it’s hard for us who can, to imagine how a parent cannot love their own child. I think the painful reality that the pathological parent is incapable of this, makes it very difficult for survivors to let go. They continue to work for childhood validation that will never come. Love that is ever elusive, because of its absence. What the pathological parent did not and cannot give us, we have to learn to give to ourselves. Part of learning to love ourselves and to embrace healing is accepting the reality of what it was and is with our parents, that the cycles of abuse will continue, always, with them because pathology does not change.

Many of the search terms that I see typed out are about how to work a relationship with a parent, or a behavior that is wreaking havoc by the parent. You cannot make a relationship with a psychopathic, narcissistic, sociopathic parent work. You will not stop or change the behaviors and abuse that are delivered upon you. You will never make them love you, never have their validation. You cannot make these relationships work because these people, whether  parent, partner or child DO NOT CHANGE. Efforts to appease and please will go unappreciated and instead, EXPECTED, due to the narcissistic prevalence of the disorders.

The inability to let go of the abusive parent, is not about the parent anymore. It’s about you.

When we come to awareness about our psychopathic partners, we understand that continued involvement with them means more abuse. Why is this not the same with our parents? Many survivors give the parent a “pass” in this way.  When you think about it, it IS NOT different. This is where your behaviors in response were learned, which is why continued involvement is still dangerous to you, if not more so. It continues the original trauma bond and leaves you open for MORE psychopaths involved in your life.

Some survivors will cut off the parent, unable to tolerate their toxicity, only to hold onto a psychopathic partner or other intimate relationship that guarantees that the original trauma bond continues. It’s contradictory to say that one has healed from a pathological childhood, while still engaging with psychopathic partners, friendships or other intimate relationships. The one thing I can say about survivors is that they are enormously creative people, whose creativity is better served in how to disengage and go no contact and heal themselves, rather than continue to justify involvement with the parent or another disordered individual.

It’s very difficult to remove all toxic, psychopathic/narcissistic  individuals from your life, particularly so for those of us who grew up in these homes, because we may come to find that most of our relationships are all toxic. It can mean that in order to remove these people from your life, that you will know what it is to truly be alone. It is a very frightening experience and I do believe that professional help is most critical and valuable in extricating yourself from it all. It can be very difficult to build a support system when you are facing such a monumental shift and change in your life. It requires a great deal of courage.

I have a page on face book called “The Ability To Love”. Please feel free to leave a message there if you are in need of support in your efforts to extricate yourself and to heal.

It is possible to have a peaceful and happy life after pathology, but it will be painful and difficult work. Healing is not for the faint of heart, but if you really want to be free, and to learn to live in peace, a life without drama, it CAN be done.

CHOOSE TO BE FREE.

Peace.

 

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Adult Children of Psychopathic, Narcissistic and Sociopathic Parents

  1. ((((((Kelli))))))

    I am so behind in commenting on your posts since the holidays. I have so much I want to say, but first let me thank you for being so candid and for sharing your hard-won lessons here on your blog.

    I ran away from the s-path (now) x-husband into the home of the s-path female parental unit in 2010. In recovering from the relationship with the x-husband, I began learning more about N/S/P/abusers. The more I learned, the more uncomfortable I became living with the s-path female parental unit. I slowly began separating from her, even while I continued living in her home. My daughter came to visit for Christmas in 2011, and shared with me that HER therapist thought the parental unit had narcissistic tendencies. Can I tell you that my mind was totally blown? Will you feel me when I say that it was like my daughter pulled back the curtains in a darkened room, and let the sunshine in?

    I sat in stunned silence as my daughter explained to me about NPD. Inside, I was thinking about how much I already knew about NPD at that point, having been a member of an NPD abuse recovery forum for almost a year prior to our conversation. I was shocked that I hadn’t made the connection on my own, but also impressed at how my daughter was citing specific abusive incidents from her own interactions with her grandparental unit and tying it in to the NPD traits. She even e-mailed me a link describing N-parents. It was all horribly awesome.

    Just like you mentioned in your post, I sometimes feel despair when I realize that I am doing the growing up now that most adults have already done as teenagers/young adults. I moved out of the parental unit’s place in April of 2012, and have been NC ever since. I changed churches, let go of all mutuals, and did not give her my new phone number. I experienced a great deal of pain, fear and guilt initially. I did a lot of praying, a lot of crying, a lot of reading, a lot of sharing with other survivors, and things gradually improved.

    I love my life now! I am so happy to be away from the evil influence of the wicked parental unit. Just today, my daughter and I were sharing tales from the dark side – just grateful to be away from the wicked witch, and amazed at the depths of her disorder. I call her an s-path because she not only tried to kill my stepfather, but also threatened on numerous occasions to kill me and/or my daughter. We are grateful to have each other and to have peace.

    For those who may be hesitant to walk away from a disordered parent, I hope this blog post will provide encouragement and needed information. You rock, Kelli!

    Blessings to you, always!

    Mildred

    • Mildred!!! ((((HUGS))))
      SO happy to see you again!!

      I am SPEECHLESS. I think this is the most you’ve shared about your spath parental unit! I am SO IMPRESSED!
      I don’t know what else to say, except that I appreciate you sharing your story here so much because I know it will help others survivors with spath parents. Bless your heart!!

      Thank you so much!

      • Thank you for using the term “parental unit,” as I did. It represents for me what the woman is. The word “mother” is too tender and sweet to attribute to her. It is one of the ways I remain NC and separate.. I guess you got that without me saying so. :)

        Mildred

      • Mildred,

        I refer to my father as “sperm donor”, a term I was turned onto at LF. That’s all he was. My mother, “egg donor”.

        Father and Mother are reserved for those who are not limited to biological contribution, but have given a healthy environment of love and care to their children. This does not include the disordered who are incapable of that. I’m so glad to have found a few survivors who have also lived through a pathological childhood. An endless trauma that would otherwise be extremely difficult to articulate.

      • Laughing over here! I am so tickled by the sperm and egg donor designations. Separating is important for healing.

        Please tell me what LF is?

        For me, in spite of the woman’s horrid nature, one of the things that has truly helped me in separating is acknowledging the good things I did learn from her. I did learn to cook, clean, enjoy reading (particularly to escape reality..), sing and entertain myself. I learned to appreciate my West Indian culture, and I have really been throwing myself into learning to create traditional dishes, since she never would show me EXACTLY how to make anything for fear that the quality of my dishes would exceed hers. I can laugh with a little less bitterness now when I think about that woman.

        Friend request and e-mail addy sent on FB. I look forward to keeping touch, and hope that we can continue blessing each other off-blog as we have so far here.

        Mildred

  2. Jessi says:

    I am a Psychology major who just recently was able to realize what my father truly is. Not a bitter, manipulative, hard man who cares deep down, but a narcissistic sociopath. I am almost 26 years old, and have been struggling with my relationship with my father for years. I love him, but he is toxic. Even though he had belittled me, demeaned me, crushed my heart, and eventually hit me once or twice, I have never been able to sever my relationship with him. I have limited it in that I see him far less often than I could considering we live in the same city, and when we do it is for fairly short visits. I thought that was best, especially now that I have children.

    Reading this has really opened my eyes, even though I think I wept through most of it. Reading this helped me realize that even though I limit the contact I have with my father, I still play his games without even realizing it. I am so intent on not fighting with him anymore that I allow him to do what he has always done. I am tired of doing that. I am tired of making excuses for him, of the pity I feel for the child that he once was, of trying to pretend that he isn’t as bad as I think he is.

    He is that bad, he is that toxic, and he is that damaging. Thank you for writing this, and posting this. I am going to save it so that I can read it again while I try to heal myself after all these years.

    Jessi

    • Jessi,

      Thank you for sharing. As I read your post, I could feel everything you were relating. I remember clearly feeling the same things about my own psychopathic father.

      I have had NC for four years now. There are still painful memories and I’m working on the trauma he created in my life, however, it CAN be done and it does start with no contact, as hard as that is for us who can love and feel that for our parent. It does fade over time when you are not engaged in the game.

      I have no regrets. I wish you well and I want you to know that you’re doing the right thing and I understand how hard it really is.

      Blessings to you.

  3. kim says:

    I wish I could write a nice, sensible response to this, but all I can think right now is how exhausted I am at the relief of finding these words. I’m so thankful to find exactly what I needed, phrased in such a beautiful way. After I absorb a bit more, I will write a longer reply. I was unable to find the FB page, by the way. It went to an Adoption Support group.

  4. > says:

    I stumbled onto your blog an hour ago… after finding out 2 days ago that both my parents are narcissistic sociopaths. I have went through every emotion in the last few days and found this blog very insightful…. confirming the cycle of abuse; as well as the emotions the children are left with. You have put into words and made sense of the fear and pain that have been echoing in my mind for days.

    It wasn’t until my therapist pointed things out with an unmistakable bluntness a few days ago, that I realized how demonic/toxic the relationship is with both parents – and how I’ve made so many excuses to protect them and care for them.

    Incest and various other forms sexual abuse were a common occurrence during my childhood. My father chose to ignore the fact that it was happening – even after I told him about it as a little girl. I was blown off and left to deal with it. I have made excuses for his lack of love, protection and abuse – believing his reverse logic which implied it was because of my “lack” ~ I wasn’t worth it. I am realizing that is just the tip of the iceberg for me.

    I am so thankful for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story and creating this blog to help so many. It brings hope to what feels like a hopeless situation.
    I look forward to walking through this with this on-line community.

    God Bless
    CC

    • Hi CC,

      Thank you for sharing your situation and for your kind words.

      I understand completely how you’re feeling.

      Please feel free to email me privately any time you wish. It’s the initial realization of what has happened to you that IS just the tip of the iceberg. I’m so glad you’re in therapy. It takes a long, long time to come to terms with years of abuse that unfolds to us in layers…

      You are very brave and courageous to look at the realities of abuse head on. It is one of the most painful realities we will ever face, and a very devastating one when it comes to our parental units.

      God bless and know that people relate and care.

  5. Gigi kirk says:

    My father is a sociopath(sadistic narcissist). My mothers a compensatory narcissist. I married a narcissist. Because I was a gentle, trusting, submissive soul, I endured decades of emotional and physical abuse. They have destroyed my life in irreparable ways. I am puzzled as to why my friends and acquaintances
    Have never encountered human beings(subhumans rather)like my family. I understand that they account for 3 percent of the population. Could that be the reason for which my situation seems so monstrous. One friend said that my father “Was like the plague.” then added that the abuse was too protracted and unfathomable, so friends are quite terrified of having an association.

    • Gigi,

      I’m not surprised. Thanks for posting.

      I think it’s more than 3%. I think keeping in mind that many, if not most, are not diagnosed, it’s easy to assume that the numbers are much higher.

      It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced such abuse, what it feels like and those who perpetrate it, this is especially so when it comes to a parent.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that most will probably never understand it, unless they themselves have lived it in some way. In educating the public about it, it’s clear that it can only go so far and still doesn’t prevent an encounter, because when it’s real life and in right in front of you, I think our brains go flat. How could anyone be so damned evil?

    • rt says:

      you have to understand that when you have an abusive upbringing, you surround yourself with friends who are also abusive(it is your comfort zone). i went thru much healing, and the more i healed, the more my friends disappeared out of my life, they were not comfortable with my healing, i no longer fit into their dysfunctional lives. it was good for me in the end, but kinda tough while it was happening. every friend you have prior to your healing fits your old patterns and should be gone out of your life, unless they go thru a healing process also.

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi, I was researching this topic because I have believed that my mother is sociopathic/narcissistic for a short time, I have known there was something wrong with her, but putting a label on it was difficult and especially saying she’s a sociopath. I think you learn to attribute a sociopath with murderers and such, but she definitely fits all of the criteria.

    I haven’t talked to her for a while, until my sister past away, and she was at my sister’s funeral. I talked to her briefly and of course she got under my skin by saying something nasty, my brother on the other hand is able to play her game and not care about her comments. He says he just switches her off in order to deal with her, and I wonder how it is so easy for him to compartmentalize his emotions and I can’t.

    She is currently in the hospital having brain surgery…..go figure, and I called her to see how she was and to let her know that I supported her. She of course acted like she didn’t know who it was and was the happiest person I’ve ever known having brain surgery. I have chosen to recieve any updates through my brother and feel slightly guilty, but again, he disconnects with her and I can’t, she can always get under my skin.

    Anyway, I appreciate all the information you put on here, and will forward this to my brother. Going through this has made him a little more abrasive and hard, but maybe it will answer some questions he has or that he hasn’t acknowledged. It’s hard to except the fact that someone can’t love someone else, even though I find this to be true in my mother’s case. And I have been striving for validation from her, without receiving it.

    I’m currently not in therapy, but look forward to going some day, and again, I appreciate all the information here.

    • Michelle,

      Welcome and thanks for sharing your story.

      If your mother is indeed a sociopath,it’s quite likely that you will never receive validation from her because sociopaths are incapable of this. Their lack of empathy makes that impossible.

      All adult children deal with a disordered parent differently. I have found in my own personal experience, as well as with survivors who were severely abused by the parent, that they are the most likely to acknowledge the disorder and attempt NC or to seek therapeutic services.

      I can’t speak for your brother or what his experiences were/are that leads him to ‘compartmentalize’ his emotions enough to continue contact with your mother, but perhaps it’s his way of dealing with it. My personal approach to survivor’s with a disordered parent is to go No Contact because continued involvement means continued pain and it’s very difficult to heal while allowing the abuse to continue. This doesn’t mean that I believe this is a conscious thing, but adult children tend to stay involved out of fear, obligation and guilt. Three very good reasons to exit the trauma bond with the parent.

      Maybe someday, your brother will deal with his emotions about your mother, whatever they are, but I validate what you’re saying, as well as what you’re seeing in the behaviors.

      Peace

      • Michelle says:

        I really appreciate your kind words. I feel fortunate to have had a sister and a brother, because I feel like it validated my experience and I had someone to talk it through with. My sister was in and out of mental institutions because of the affect my mother had on her, she was older and took the brunt of the abuse. My brother and my abuse was mostly emotional and psychological. Hers was physical.

        I have been reading about how you are single and got a kick out of that. I have been a single mom of two boys for 6 years, and although I would like to have a partner, I also see that my ability to pick a partner is slightly warped and I don’t won’t to inflict any of my poor choices on my kids. I do enjoy being single though. I started a dog care business almost a year ago, and I get plenty of unadulterated and unaltered affection from the dogs, as well as loyalty….love that!

        I feel really forunate to be able to have my siblings, as well as, amazing friends. One of my dearest friends was the one who pointed out what she believed was wrong with my mother, she was the one that put a label on it and that led me here. Keep sending out your positive and nurturing message, it truly is helping a lot of people and eases the pain.

        Thank you

        Michelle

  7. TDPPROCESSING says:

    Hello. I stumbled onto your blog recently and was made aware of the word sociopath by my therapist back in 2008. I was, at the time dealing with raising a sociopath child, which was my first husband’s offspring whom my therapist refers to as “Rosemary’s baby”. He too, is a sociopath and my mother was also. I cant even begin to tell you the abuse I endured growing up with the most physically and emotionally person I ever knew at the time who would hide behind a mask and isolate me from anyone that attempted to get close to me including childhood friends, relatives and anyone that cared about me for that matter. She would even smear me to whomever her paranoid mind thought that I carried news to about her. Ridiculous stories such as saying I was 13 year old prostitute who she had to rescue from a crack house on several occasions and even tell friends that I said their father molested me…of course these friends and their parents kept far from me. I was basically her slave and a real life cinderella.

    • td,

      Wow. I do understand that level of abuse and pathology. “Rosemary’s Baby” got a giggle out of me. Unfortunately, it fits and unfortunately, I have a psychopathic son, so I guess that makes me Rosemary! LOL! Anyway….it’s not funny, but there are times where humor is a relief.

      I’m so happy to hear that you have a peaceful ending to all of your suffering. I LOVE that and I appreciate so much, that you shared your story here, because there are many who read but can’t post due the the very reasons you shared….the disordered like to keep control and I learned that they have many creative ways to ‘check up’ on us. Especially online. Your sharing, I hope, will show other survivors that even when you’ve experienced a lifetime of this, you CAN still find peace, but it HAS to come with no contact. No contact frees us to heal and the disordered are so toxic that even minimal contact can put a survivor’s healing on hold, or at least on stagnate.

      I’m so glad you found LF to be helpful to you. It was the first place I went to right after my last psychopath. The articles there were fabulous and I learned a lot from the survivor stories. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to post. Your story is especially meaningful to me given my background full of psychopaths. **hugs**

  8. TDPPROCESSING says:

    (continued) Anyway..i got away from her thru foster care at age 15 and ended up marrying a sociopath at age 19 and having a child. He too was a souless monstor who abused me physically and psychologically and when I broke away made sure he did everything in his power to make me care financially and physically for our child alone. He would even refuse to babysit when I had night college courses..nor would he pay for childcare while i worked and would even tell me to have whatever guy I was sleeping with to pay. I finally was told that after experiencing so much difficulty with our child that she too is a sociopath. She..my mum..my ex are 100% on the checklist for this disorder. I now have normalness in my life and have very little contact with any of them and for the first time have a none toxic..healthy relationship. It has taken years of healing and the help of lovefraud.com aka LF in my quest to live pathological free.

  9. TDPPROCESSING says:

    Thank you and hugs to you as well. I have to maintain contact with the child and the ex due to the fact social service put her in a high level group home until age 18, which is in a few years. They removed her after many cries for help following her drowning my dog..poisoning my baby and setting fire to my home and falsely accusing my bf of rape. She wanted me all to herself to gaslight, smear, steal from, manipulate and enslave. It is really baffling to see that every sp in my life has tried to enslave me. She tricked me and said she had changed and my ex said that he would care for her but to get her out of the system with social services. HA! Immediately she was up to her old ways and he came up with a sob homeless with no money story to leave her to torture me. She ended up back in the system and will stay there until age 18. I visit her and thats is when she asks and usually when she wants money orb material items. The ex had the audacity to ask me to get her out again and I told him hell to the big NO!

  10. TDPPROCESSING says:

    There is simply no way i will do it. He is trying to trick me again and l cant take the chance or danger to myself and unborn child. He would like nothing more to put the poison back in my life and eventually accuse my fiance of rape or attempt to seduce him. He doesnt know her but from the stories, he says he never wants to meet her. You cant understand how it is living with a child that lies, steals, lurks, manipulates, tortures and physically and emotionally drains your soul. And the icer is knowing she will NEVER love anyone or anything but yet I still care what happens to her. Me having the sp mother made me genetically at fault and then having a child with satan himself. All I can do is beg God for forgiveness and know that my unborn child has a chance to live pathologically free. When she turns 18 I will have to sadly tell her she cannot live with me. I cant tell her now because I am not allowed to discuss anything negative with her and not even the impact she had on my life. (SIGH)

    • td,

      I totally understand this. I was in the same boat with my psychopathic son until he turned eighteen too. I could not get the help for him that he really needed as I was not heard. He is a heroin addict and I had him busted for dealing weed. He went to jail then was ordered to a outpatient drug treatment program, which he manipulated all the way through it. My son has the charm and intelligence to work the ‘system’ this benefit outside of home, but my GOD at home the abuse was ruthless and I feared him, as did his brother who he liberally abused. I CAN understand what you’re dealing with and I am SO sorry for that because we love them, yet we hate them too. It’s a really painful, uncomfortable place to be, yes?

      I can’t be around my son at all and the minute he turned eighteen I went NC. I shut off his phone and refused to have anything more to do with him. Up to that very day, he abused and abused. It never ever stopped. He use to call JUST to abuse. Unless you’re a parent who has a disordered child, there is no way to imagine the brutality that they are capable of. I can share that I couldn’t wait until my son turned 18. It was easy to say no to protect myself and my other son. He deserved no less from me. Ironically, when my son knew he could no longer siphon anything from me, he stopped calling, stopped coming over. It was a relief. I pray for him everyday, and still love that little blonde haired kid, but I also understand that it’s not the same child that I knew. He was lost a long time ago, to trauma and genetics. I hope when your daughter turns 18 that you will have the same strength in protecting yourself, your life and child. Pathological free is an excellent goal and one well worth maintaining. No one deserves abuse, td, not even from a child that we love.

      I’m not surprised that you’re not allowed to talk about it. But in truth, they don’t care anyway…it has no impact on them at all. It never does with a disordered one.

      Td, you don’t have anything to as forgiveness for. I don’t want to discount what you’re feeling, but in reality, these people exist and it isn’t your fault, nor was it your choice to be born into such tragic circumstances. NO ONE would ask for that. Your choices in marrying a sociopath, were made in familiarity and in trauma. I hope you will be able to forgive yourself if you feel you need too, but I know that God’s grace and mercy are abundant and I’m betting He is more compassionate about your situation and what got you there, then you may realize. It’s why we are pathology free today. God’s grace! Hang in there! and take really good care of YOU and your unborn child.:)

  11. TDPPROCESSING says:

    I was reading more of your comments and thinking you hit the nail right on the head with respect to children of the disordered tend to flock to more disordereds. Omg…so true! I gave been in 3 relationships with one of those things and even had one as a flat mate. To know what they are and watch their behavior is fascinating. They are quite busy individuals and it amazes me how much time, energy and patience they put in destroying lives. The drama is endless. They wake, sleep, think, calculate, plan and execute total chaos. I am bold enough and perhaps far fetched in believing that they get sexual stimulation destroying people and causing complete and utter chaos. I noticed that 2 things “sociopaths” i dated would have a genital fondling nervous tick while lying or an orgasmic looking eye glee when being mischevious. It is mind boggling to see the depth and magnitude of this disorder. And the arrogance of things is totally disgusting.

    • td,

      There is a book I read that had a rather good sized chapter about abusers and how they perceive sex. The book is called, “Angy and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft. There is more in the title but I can’t recall it without running to get my book. Anyway, the author discusses that there are some abusers who become aroused sexually when they abuse. When we think about the reality that for all the disordered, sex is a means to dominate and control their sex partners, this makes a lot of sense. It’s why some of them want ‘make up’ sex right after having caused excrutiating pain to their partner in some way. Sick isn’t it? I do believe that for psychopaths, not only are they sadistic, but they are in all realms of their disorder, including and especially when it comes to sex. It is a win win everytime and will keep a survivor hooked long past the sell by date.

      As far as ox goes, she has been through the ringer with her son Patrick. I hope she is doing well and that her son does not get let out of prison.

      She’s an amazing survivor and so is her story.

      Thank you for sharing so much. It’s very helpful to me too in having dealt with the disordered at all levels it seems…
      And about your daughter, I’m so sorry. I wish you didn’t have to suffer so about it, but as parents, when we love them, we do. I have worked very hard to emotionally detach, but when it’s brought up and out, like with my other children or close friends, it sends me to tears. It is heartbreaking. It probably always will be, but I know and understand that emotional detachment is necessary to stay safe and it will be for you too. Try not to worry about what others believe or think, because they have no lived what you have . Peace, Td.

  12. TDPPROCESSING says:

    Thank you and God bless.Yes she too has fooled the professionals and I am often ostracized by social services about my blunt feelings of her. My God! I wished that I were the only parent on earth dealing with this but it seems I am not alone. YES! I do love her but wish I had a key to pull the plug on her life support. And when I look at how she looks like a super model but is a rotting monstor underneath the mask, all I can do is cry. Her charm, beauty, wit, and intelligence is incredible. I feel sorry for any lad that partakes in this poisonous fruit and I suppose Adam knowing Eve could testify to that. Oxdrover at LF has comforted me in stating that the no contact is slow but attainable. To outsiders…this makes me a bigger monstor. All I can do is cry…..

  13. KattStrike says:

    I agree that there isn’t a lot out there to do with s-path parents!
    I am so sorry that you had to endure that through your childhood, but I believe that we are all here to learn lessons in life (I’m not religious, just spiritual) and I must say that trying to escape the clutches of an s-path is a difficult one!

    I too have had therapy to help deal with my s-path parent.
    He did a lot of damage, but I was lucky to have my mother there to warn me about him and keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Of course he told us that she was “crazy” and she was “turning us against him” when in fact he would bad mouth her and be nasty about her!

    He also neglected to feed us properly or take care of us because of his self-obbsession and we learned the hard way that we were only pawns in his game to get back at my mother. (He even left us with an acussed sexual predator in order to anger my mother, THANK GOD nothing happened!!!). He also beat her when she was pregnant, and when her first-born died, accused her of murdering him. But we learned to cope and managed to poke humour at the situations he presented us (you should hear our nicknames for him!).

    People seem to pity me when I tell them about my father, they ask me if I miss him, but you can’t miss what you’ve never had!

    I’ve been very lucky that I’ve never subconciously seeked out repeating emotional patterns through hard work and therapy. I feel so blessed to be happy and have a loving, caring partner who is a geniunly good man, especially since what I witnessed my mother go through,

    He did a lot of damage to us but we learned to recognise it and we had a lot of support. I definatley think the best and only route is to get away and never return. they will stalk you, they will hound you, but you have to cut it off.No matter what.

    But you can be happy, and you can live your live free!

  14. Gary says:

    I grew up in a home with a psychopathic father myself. When you look back at your childhood it is filled with painful memories of abuse and flat out mind rape (no better way to put it). Then when you are a teenager, you just can’t figure out why you think so bad of yourself and have low self esteem.

    Particularly with my psychopathic father, he thought he was some God. He liked to brag about his struggle being left on his own from his own parents at 16 years old, and somehow managing to live and have a family of four. At work he’s a total different person, and gives his friends and bosses these make believe stories how he’s a saint. But when he comes home, the mask is ripped off his face and he’s nothing but a total jerk to everyone.

    At first growing up I blamed it on alcohol, because my old man was a heavy drinker. I learned that before him, his own father (another psychopath) also was a heavy alcoholic. He used to tell us growing up that we had it made because he wasn’t like his father, but when he talked about how mean he was, it totally reflected his own actions of getting drunk and beating us down and breaking stuff. It wasn’t until i got in my teen years, I learned it wasn’t just alcoholic. He did other drugs too, and on your 16th birthday, it’s pretty strange feeling when you have your own father trying to get you to smoke a blunt with him and then getting pissed off and going crazy when you tell him no. After that I started to look at all the friends my father kept, who fit the stereotype of white trash rednecks, and they too all had many drug problems from crystal meth to cocaine, and even crack and heroin. I have no clue if my old man ever messed with that stuff, but I don’t doubt it when the friends he kept all were bad people.

    I learned at a young age, I could not trust my old man nor could I rely on him for advice when he acted like a teenager himself with the partying, drinking, and blaring annoying chaotic heavy metal music at night. How hard it is for someone when growing up that wrong is right, and right is wrong? According to him the white trash was the good people, and the normal people that went to church and dressed nice are the bad people. Yeah try to get that through your head and then think of growing up with this screwed up mindset that sounds like something from a really bad horror film. It’s funny how I’ve turned into a “religious zealot” as I am referred to by him today, but really did I have no choice? According to him there was no god or no hell, and I guess that made him feel better about all the lying and the bad things he did, but honestly I feel he will be punished and judged in the end. The scale will be balanced, and he’s going to pay for what he has done to me, and my mother our entire lives.

    Growing up with a psychopath is just hell. You are always wrong, they are always right, no other ways around it. It’s the greatest example of blaming the victim to make yourself feel better. No matter how many times he beats you or gets drunk and breaks stuff and calls your mother every horrible profanity in existence, it is still some how NEVER their fault, and it’s always yours. I used to spend all night drawing and writing just to get my mind off the total pain, and it never worked. Most of my art is just a reflection of the pain I was feeling at the time. Most of the music I have written is the same thing. Certain songs and lyrics would trigger those painful memories back and still do to this day. The only way I coped with the pain growing up was to draw, write, and make music out of it. That was better for me instead of trying to drown my screwed up childhood down with alcoholic and drugs and repeat the cycle.

    • Gary,

      Wow. Your psychopathic father sounds much like my psychopathic ex husband…

      It’s these types of posts, so heartfelt in sharing, that I would prefer not to comment other than to say thank you for the courage to share it. You’re helping so many people who will be able to relate to it, Gary. Kudos to you for bringing up your talents and gifts to offset pain. That reminds me of my son, who is much like you that way, music, writing, drawing…

      Thank you again so much, for sharing your story.

      • Gary says:

        When I read your article I just couldn’t help but comment, it is a struggle, it really is.

        What frightens me more than anything is that I see psychopaths everywhere in jobs, and all over the mass media. It’s really crazy just how many of them are embedded into society. Thankfully my trashy father is the ONLY one I know, along with his other white trash redneck druggie friends that are that bad.

        The people you put yourself around is a reflection of yourself. If you are a bad person, you’re going to hang around bad people. That’s what my father did. I never seen him with a crack pipe or doing meth, yet I know he drank every single day, and smoked pot. I can’t say if he did the same drugs as his friends, but I wouldn’t doubt it. I began investigating how people act when they are on those drugs, and it reminded me of him more than anything. Sometimes he would have his crazy days staying up over 24 hours, doing things, and still had the energy to scream and try to fight us.

        Is it possible that psychopaths bond together like this with drugs and alcohol? I only ask because thinking of my father, he always had scum bag friends that were just as bad as him, and some even worse.

      • Gary,

        I can relate to your experience only with regards to my ex psychopathic husband, was was a severe alcoholic and drug addict and yes, he surrounded himself with people like this, what I refer to, sarcastically as ‘the salt of the earth’.

        I understand how you’re describing your father. I’d like to comment and say though, that there are psychopaths who are polar opposite to your father. They are less violent, perhaps alcoholic and keep it very hidden. This was my father, a huge monetary and image projection success, but behind closed doors a raving psychopathic, alcoholic. With money, they can hide the abuse better behind the images the victims project on their behalf. It isn’t true that psychopaths align themselves strictly with those that are like them, in fact, it’s much more fun to hang out with those who are easily exploitable and will give them anything. The image focused psychopaths tend to have a higher narcissism then those like your father and my ex husband. My ex husband didn’t care what he looked like to anyone. My father and last psychopath however, DID care and therefore projected very ‘clean’ images. Oh and btw, my father, my ex husband and my last ex pyschopath, even though they all presented differently in image, were ALL porn addicts. ALL Of them. And ALL were hyper sexual and cheated to their hearts content.

        You can have a psychopath like your father Gary. Or one like mine in an Armani suit, but at the end of the day, they are all still psychopaths and they all do extreme toxic harm and damage to others.

  15. Gary says:

    Wow, just wow. I am in shock. Thanks for the reply yet again.

    I come from total opposite view point. We were poor, and my dad was the one that worked, and my mom had to stop from her health problems.

    He did make good money with his construction job, but anytime we had spare money, it would go missing by the next day. If we had a little bit saved up, it would be gone as soon as he found it. It used to really confuse me how we could have such big money saved up, say $100. Then when he finds it or “needs it” as he would say, we wouldn’t have a dime left from it after he got his hands on it. What he spent that money on, God knows what it was, I don’t have a clue, but my best guess is drugs, and of course anytime he took the extra money, he came home with beer or the stronger alcohol (whiskey) and was drunk by night fall.

    I can’t imagine coming from a wealthy family, but I do know from my own experiences with money, my psychopathic father could never stop spending. And the worst part was, he was a sucker for getting ripped off by his scum bag friends. One sold him a Jet Ski for 2 thousand dollars, only to forget to tell him that the ignition was broke, and had to be re-wired. He never got mad at his friend for ripping him off, somehow it was my mom’s fault. Still the point is,he knew he was going to ripped off (you are buying from a crack head, what do you expect?) and it seemed the only time he ever did this, was when we had extra money saved up to “do something in the future”. When my mom said no, then he really did it.

    The very clean image you speak of has been in a way with my old man. At work he got a promotion as a manager, and after that, he started to suck up to his bosses and other people at the higher positions like him. He liked to give them fairy tales about how he was this great wonderful person, and I guess they liked hearing that. Some of the guys he worked around were wealthy, and had kids, and I know a few of them and they are good people, so I guess it was his way to fit in with them. All they had to really do though was look at who he spent time with besides his family. ALL his friends were crack heads, meth addicts, or any other scum bags. The funniest part to this is when he was invited to parties on the yachts and other places, he NEVER brought his family along. The others always did, but never him. That should be a sign to them, but I doubt they even care.

    The porn thing became more and more obvious the older I got. It did bother me, but more than anything it bothered me when my sister came in contact with it at a young age in her teens. I don’t care about his excuses about “being a grown man and I can do whatever I want” I guess that makes him a perfect role model for his daughter when he infested her laptop with viruses from looking at porn after she let him use it.
    I don’t know if he ever cheated on my mom, I really do not know if he did or not, but I know I never seen anyone else in my entire life that literally worshiped pornography to an extend that they agree with it.

    I just don’t understand how ANYONE can agree with pornography when they really sit down and do research on the porn industry. It makes me sick and I could puke after I read books and did investigating on what really goes on in the industry. Seriously look at most adult film stars and models. The majority of the girls posing in Playboy have plastic surgery, and totally alter how they were born. The women in the porn industry are used and abused. They just do sexual acts on camera, get owned by a man and then of course, they sell and market this male domination. It makes me sick!!!!! These girls must have been really broken down with low self esteem to even agree with this stuff. It does not surprise me how many times I read about women in the porn industry that end up changing their name, becoming religious, and totally changing themselves and then protesting the industry.

  16. thetruthisinme says:

    I never thought of looking up the term, “Adult Children of Psychopaths” until today. That is when I discovered your blog.

    I started a blog too but took most of it down to write a memoir about my dangerous and deadly father. Here’s a very brief part of my history with a psychopath.

    I lived with my stepdad (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder [OCPD]) and mother (Narcissistic PD, OCPD) for the most of my life. I visited my father several times in my life and lived with him for three months when I was 10 years old. Every time I visited/lived with my father he committed criminal acts. He was a artistic, creative, and intelligent man with an extremely warped sense of reality based on his need to rid the world of a specific group of people. My father was a sadistic pedophile and a psychopath which of course makes him a narcissist.

    From what I have read, sadistic pedophiles are the most dangerous and always kill. They have the fewest number of victims.

    For years, I had one memory about the criminal acts my father committed. The memory emerged after I had a panic attack while trying to board a boat on a lake. After that day, my post traumatic stress disorder, which had kept a steady presence in my life after developing acute traumatic stress at 10 years old, ramped up to a completely dysfunctional state. In the first memory, I was three years old and was forced to watch my father kill a child and a man. The first therapist who helped me deal with this believed the criminal act was ritual abuse and implanted false memories in me. She kept telling me no one could commit this kind of abuse and kill like this. And then she ‘found’ my answer and labeled it ritual abuse. For years, I believed I was a ritual abuse survivor. When the therapist diagnosed me, ritual abuse was the ‘in’ thing in psychotherapy. I never questioned her. I now believe this therapist was a narcissist.

    After my mother died a couple of years ago, memories flooded my nightmares and writing. With the most controlling and invasive person out of my life, it was as if I now had the freedom to remember what happened to me years ago. When I lived with my father at age 10, he killed many children and forced me to both watch and participate. He abused me, broke my arm, and raped me.

    Many parts of these memories were playacted during play as a child. I never connected the themes with anything which happened to me because I blocked out all the memories from the abuse. I was compelled to playact the abuse again and again.

    From the age of 10, I started to exhibit all kinds of stress related symptoms and acute traumatic stress started to manifest itself.

    I am still in therapy today, 50 years after I was forced to watch and participate in my father’s criminal acts. I have been in therapy for over 20 years trying recover from the effects of my father’s abuse and criminal acts he committed and those of living with PD parents.

    I married a man who is a pedophile and emotionally/mentally abusive like my father. I am thankful he is not a psychopath like my father. He is a combination of my parents and my father as he has OCPD like my parents.

  17. Dude says:

    Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much. I, like many of the others who commented, was just writhing in my emotional agony today when it popped into my head to google some info on sociopaths, and then eventually “Sociopathic parents”. And here I sit now, amazed, practically in tears after going through all the information I found including your blog.

    I’ve been belittled and verbally abused by both my parents for as long as I can remember. They would constantly accuse me of lying, failed at completing even the simplest parental tasks, and yet still insulted and demanded things from me. I’ve never felt truly loved by them. And I’ve always felt guilty about it. What’s worse is I’m never able to talk to other about my deeply troubled history with them because they’ve gotten me accustomed to playing into their bull and I’ve been rendered damn near incapable of expressing my feelings due to emotional trauma. And everyone else who meets them believes their charade and that they’re “good people”. And so other people sometime vilify me which deeply hurts and confuses me. I’ve always felt like nothing but a mirror for themselves. They like to brag about how I do good in school and behave well, but treat me like crap behind closed doors. They’re irresponsible, childish, and almost incapable of functioning in the real world, yet they project all of these shortcomings onto me and never take responsibility for their countless and constant screw ups which scar the lives of those around them. When I try to explain that I’d rather focus on my own work instead of doing theirs they make me feel guilty and selfish. I just recently started seeing a psychiatrist and she diagnosed me with major depression chiefly because of my constant suicidal thoughts, I was on antidepressants and receiving therapy for a while through a free program at my college, but I can’t afford therapy or the pills during the summer.

    It’s been especially hard for me lately, as I’m home for the summer without any emotional support anymore. My mother demands that I take her online GED test for her and help her write a resume. My dad, bankrupt and jobless for over a decade, insists that I help (read: do all the work for) him setup a blog and online tools for what seems to me to be an obvious online pyramid scheme. I tried to politely talk him out of participating in it, but of course, he did not listen.

    Every second spent around them makes me want to kill myself. I want to tell them that to their faces so they might just leave me alone. But I’m too much of a polite, behaved child. Not to mention I’m not naive enough to think it will change a damn thing or do anything other than give them more ammo to berate me with. Add to my toxic parent situation that my family is very poor and I’ve had little to no romantic partnership ever, and my life has been a truly sad, loveless affair.

    It’s always frustrated me that I was unable to effectively explain to anyone how hellish my life is, mainly because of my family. It was just too huge a problem, it seemed inexplicable. I’ve been driven to try to understand what was wrong forever. And finding this info and these blogs online has been a crazy experience for me. Both alleviating and horrifying. I’m so relieved to know that I’m not alone, and that a good chunk of my problems have already been explained in writing by others. But at the same time I, like you, had a sinking feeling in my stomach as I continued to research and found that the symptoms of toxic parenting fit my parents so damn accurately. A blessing and a curse.

    I feel emotionally stunted and unable to grow or improve my life because of my parents. I deduced a long time ago that the only solution was to distance myself and sever all ties. I often felt guilty about the conclusion I came to, but I’m relieved to find that my instinct was probably on the money. Unfortunately I’m 21 and attending college at the moment. And while living in a dorm away from all the damn drama was a truly magical experience, I find myself unable to sever the ties to my parents completely. I pay for tuition with my scholarship, but poor as my parents are, one of them at least helps me out, though in the most neglectful manner you could imagine. My financial affairs remain hopelessly entangled with theirs. And so I’m forced to speak to them, live with them over the summer, as well as constantly run errands and do tasks and entertain them and etc. I’ve been feeling so hopeless for so long, in the belly of the beast and without meds or anyone to talk to. My suicidal thoughts more prevalent once again. But the stories and advice people have shared online have really helped me feel a little better and inspired me to keep struggling for a day when I can be truly happy and at peace. Thank you for writing such an honest and heartfelt post.

    • (((( Dude )))))

      I understand your struggle…..

      I have an email that you are more than welcome to contact me privately if you need to vent more. It’s part of my job here so feel free …I understand what you mean about people understanding you and what you’re doing through.

      I have some suggestions that might be of help to you in getting away from these people. I know the guilt, the obligation…I could tell you a million times that you are not obligated, the guilt is unfounded because you’re not the one who is the abuser…but they project that onto us through a lot of manipulation.

      I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced. It’s hard for me to put into words how your post is just heartbreaking, but something i see with adult children a lot.

      Dude, you are really blessed in a couple of ways right now, even though it doesn’t feel to be so…you have great insight for someone who is just 21 and going through this experience. You are so young and if you can escape your home life, you have a whole life ahead of you! I’m so glad you sought psychiatric services, another benefit for you.

      I believe you can get out of this. And I believe you can heal. I know your hopelessness. Just try your damndest to hang on. Just hang on…this too shall pass and when you’re out of it, it will be so worth it.

      Here’s my email address if you need to vent more:
      theabilitytolove49@gmail.com

      Peace and love to you, Dude. You can be free….

  18. Vivian says:

    A little late to the comment board, but better late than never. Powerful article, thank you for writing it. Was almost word for word what I went through and felt most of my life. I found the last part so profound. Having to re-parent yourself and the frustrations of seeing others to the simple tasks that we struggle through. Wanted to cry, that was/is so me at times.

  19. Jay Klawier says:

    This is an absolutely brilliant, insightful and exceptionally well-articulated guide for anyone damaged by a psychopath. It clarifies the underlying dynamics so intelligently and concisely that I am left both grateful and staggered. Superb!!!

  20. LK says:

    It’s true, cutting them off is the only way to get better. I tried talking, setting boundaries, being low contact, basically I dragged going no contact out in every way possible to give them every chance. All it resulted in was a lot more pain and agony for everyone involved (including them if sociopaths didn’t love a good fight!). I still read their messages but am slowly phasing that out too. I don’t trust them but am growing less afraid of them.

    Now I’m free but so much left to rebuild. Or build in the first place. I have worked incredibly hard on my anger, on my parenting, on my marriage, all these things I was never taught to deal with properly. I am finally confident that I’m not abusing my own family, and that’s where I can be happy, but now I face the bigger problem of healing myself for me. Where do you even begin loving yourself? Where do you begin learning to trust other people? Where do you begin in figuring out how to have a normal life? What the hell is normal?

    I’m a big introvert, possibly on the autism spectrum (my son is and we’re very similar). I feel perfectly happy, glorious even, having no friends and no social life. I am very fulfilled with my little family and myself. But this can’t be healthy, can it? It feels good but I’ve never heard of a healthy, happy person being this way. I have been hurt so many times, chosen so many awful people to have in my life, I just don’t think the risk is worth it. I don’t trust my judgement. My husband is a good man but I even wonder when we argue (normal arguments) whether he’s a sociopath too and I’m just blind to it. I have no way to tell anymore. I loved and trusted my parents and they fooled me for well over 20 years. How can I trust anyone if not them?

    I know the answer is therapy and I’m getting there. It’s hard with young ones at home. I don’t know if I can be fixed though. Turning myself into a happy, confident person sounds like turning a trailer home into a castle.

    • Hi LK,

      Wow. I can so totally relate to this, it completely resonates….

      These are such great questions and you described everything so CLEARLY!

      Therapy helps. At least for me, but I got lucky with my therapist. It’s the only way I can cope with all the questions you’ve just asked.

      Ya know what, LK? I don’t think that’s ‘abnormal’ at all. Quite the contrary. I totally get where you’re at and being happy in that place. I just spent a year there and it was the happiest year of my life!

      I think after all we have been through as children of the disordered, we’re going to go into adulthood with some major deficits. One is really fortunate if they don’t, but the environment is so toxic, I don’t know how one couldn’t be living with a level of damage and limitation.

      I think time will tell whether or not you can proceed with more. But if where you’re at, has you feeling happy, peaceful and/or stable…don’t SWEAT IT! You’re in a good place!

      About your hubby….now that I can’t help you with. BUT I can ask you some questions that you may wish to ask yourself.

      Does he show empathy? Does he show compassion about your limitations? Do you feel like it’s all about HIM, or it is all about YOU as an individual, he as an individual and you and he as a couple? Do you feel this relationship is a dependence issue you have upon him, whether it’s financial, sexual emotional or all three? What does life look like without him and what are the first thoughts that come to you? Is he kind, compassionate to your children, pets? In a GENUINE way? Or is he indifferent, abusive?

      Last question, IS he abusive? If not and he shows empathy and you LOVE him…then there is hope…

      Only you really know though…

      I don’t know about ‘fixed’, I don’t expect to be ‘fixed’. I do think that I need to be very realistic about who I am, what I can and can’t do and the things I can’t do, or areas of struggle I have, just keep working on.

      LK, I don’t think as adult children we will ever be ‘normal’ in the same sense of those who grew up with healthy nurturing. Life will be a battle for us in some ways, but not so much in others.

      I’ve learned that the simple things in life are so worth striving for, things that other people might take for granted because they grew up in healthy homes and we were not: having stability, safety, a sense of peace and the ability to love, a sense of independence all around and the freedom to be real and ourselves and to space to heal…

      That’s really not asking for a lot and I”m learning that if all of those things are in place, no matter where you are, life can be immensely enjoyed…

      Hang in there and thanks for sharing. I keep reading your post over and over….

  21. Jules says:

    This is so incredibly right on. It’s been incredibly difficult to let go of my narcissistic father – it’s like seeing double- the picture he portrays to the world and the picture he reserves for me. And yes, it is like having to go back in time to the age it all started. That said, it is exceptionally difficult to be an 8 year old attorney.

  22. Gina says:

    Thanks so much for this… I m a psychology graduate coming from a family with a sociopathic mother… I am about to break my last “material” connection with her this week, when finally we are selling the house we legally own together. Being the last power card for her, of course she played it “impecably”, ruining some lives along the way. I relate 100% to everything in here and my path to recovery has a lot more to go, yet i managed to break other psychopathic relationships. It does feel extremely lonely, though! And i find trusting particularly difficult, but will hang on! i discovered something new: FAITH :)
    Thanks again!

  23. Manda says:

    I am the only child of a sociopathic mom. She ostracized herself from our entire family long before my birth, my dad ran away when I was 3. I was stuck growing up with a woman who wanted nothing to do with me. I was homeless off and on by the age of 14. She was never there for me, and blamed me for everything. She turned my family against me, so she wasn’t the only miserable person. She threatened to kill me when I was 15 for threatening to call the cops after she beat me up. She told me she would hurt me so bad I would have to go to the hospital, then when she got out of jail she would find me and kill me. I had no family to turn to, just my psycho mom, and myself.
    I was addicted to drugs, alcohol, you name it. I let her get the best of me, and considered myself a victim, not a survivor.

    She manipulated her mother into signing a blank check right before she died, her mind was gone, she was about to die. She has used me to get money from the family trust, without my knowledge. She would request money, saying it’s for me, and spend it all before I ever heard about it. She once gave thousands to each family member as Christmas gifts, after a large settlement, then demanded they all pay back for the “loans” she gave them.

    I met my husband when I was 20, he is very protective of me, and can not stand the woman. She tried to kill herself when I told her I was getting married. To lecture your mother like a child takes a mental toll on you, more than my childhood ever did. She has tried several times to sabotage our marriage to no avail, I think she’s jealous. She gets angry when I talk about anything positive in my life, especially when it comes to my husband. She hates him. She never dated another man after my father. Her friendships never lasted after her charm was discovered as a cover to manipulate whoever the person was. I’ve come to the conclusion that she can’t love anyone.

    I now have 3 kids, they and my loving husband have shown me what unconditional love truly is. I have been happily married for nearly a decade! And my kids are super friendly, polite, smart, and very kind. My in-laws are wonderful parents who are extremely supportive in every way a parent should be.

    I still keep in contact with her because she has no one else. No family or friends. I have learned to view my childhood as a learning experience, as to what not to do. My extended family has apologized for abandoning me as a child, and we contact each other often. My father is now in my life as well. We talk on a weekly basis. Getting my mother far enough away to heal, and prevent her from affecting my life has helped fix several issues regarding family. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep walking to get out of the tunnel. My trust was gone after my experience, I never imagined having so much love in my life. But now I am proof that we can still be happy. You just have to keep walking, and take that chance to find true love. Do not let someone else’s toxicity become your own. If you continue to hate, you will be the one who suffers. Don’t let them win.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you for your honesty. You defined my mother to a tee! I understand what I have to do but due to my illnesses, and waiting for help from the state, I can’t break away from her. I also know that in future relationships I have to explain to everyone about my mother! Thanks again for your insight!

      • Michelle,

        Again, if you’d like to email me, please take note of my last response to you. Outing a pathological who attempts to harm in the way that your mother has, is a potentially explosive issue, not just within the confines of your own pathological family, but outside of it too..

        Please feel free to email anytime.

  24. Michelle says:

    I am new to all this and coming to terms with my whole Bull—- life! For 32 years I lived my life, or what I thought was my life, in total chaos! The people that I chose to be with were addicts, alcoholics, and other undesirables. I didn’t realize how messed up I was until I was sick. I was living in Mesa, AZ and I was getting worse(more sick) so I moved back home. All hell broke loose! I found out my mother had been calling anyone I had known, for the past 32 years, and trying create trouble! A lot of people won’t even talk to me…I don’t know what my mother told them but it impacted my life in a negative way! I figured out that my mother is a sociopath due to my dealings with her and what she had done for all of my life. I was finally diagnosed, after going to Dartmouth hospital, with Discoid(skin) lupus, systemic lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia. About January of 2014 my mother started poisoning me with household products. Spraying them into milk, coffee, yogurt, etc. you name it she’s sprayed it with poison! At first I said this couldn’t be happening! Could she hate me that much to try to kill me? Yes, is the answer! She can’t fathom the atrocities that she is creating. You and my grandmother(my mothers’ mom) are the only ones I have told about the poisoning. Unfortunately, I don’t have the monetary means to move out from my mother’s grip. I have signed up with the State to receive Section 8 housing about a year ago! The waiting list is waiting between 2-5 years! At this rate I’ll probably be dead by then. I’m begging you for your opinion! There’s not a lot of help (monetarily) anymore because of the times and I live in a small town. I have signed up with section 8 because I have two dogs and I’ll be damned if I leaving them here with my “whacked mother”. She’ll give them away just to hurt me psychologically! I hope that you can help me…my other means would be to press charges against her but I don’t have the Energy to press charges because of my illnesses.

    • Michelle,

      I have a private email on the right side of the blog.
      I want you to know I’ve heard every word you’ve said here and it immediately caused concern.

      I would be happy to chat about this with you via email so that it’s more private for you and we can address the issues more personally. I’m happy to help in any way that I can. Please know you are NOT alone and not the first survivor who have been poisoned, whether by parent or spouse, but due to the degree of the inflammatory nature of what all of this means, I think taking this to a more private one one exchange is safer.

      Peace and prayers to you, as you process….

  25. Peter says:

    What if my father is an incredibly well adjusted, covert, “benevolent” psychopath, and my caring, normal mother simply doesn’t know it, has never noticed it? She is a tool of “evil”, a rather intelligent and loving woman who is manipulated perfectly and genuinely believes we are a very nice family and we are actually deeply loved and cared for by my father, or more fundamentally, it never occured to her that he might not be an actual human being.

    This family dynamic has pretty much killed my soul all my life, I could more or less feel what my father was all along, that there is something absolutely, horribly wrong, that he has no actual human qualities. which has always distanced me from my mother too.

    In this family structure my father could very subtly psychologically control and dominate, destroy me when I was little and I had no way to stop that. It was mostly done through my mother who never noticed anything. The one more or less human connection I had back then was with my grandmother, but he destroyed that too.

    Since even my mother always believed we were a very good family, the outside world has absolutely never noticed anything from this “family” dynamic. So anything I did to even hint at this, how I am psychologically being destroyed in my family, only caused the outside world to turn on me, blame me, destroy me too and thinking I’m crazy, so that doesn’t work either.

    I have developed paranoia and mental issues too since early childhood (and now I sometimes wonder if my father DID actually poison me or not) and since almost everyone always seemed to suggest that I am the one who is wrong about things somehow, I somewhat believed them and started to blame myself constantly, tried to fix thins, do better, then even better, and even better and of course nothing worked. Had several, long lasting breakdowns, psychoses, which I masked very well, so the world simply saw me as a failure.. And for such failures I got blamed by the outside world and my father too, which reinforced their view of me, any my view of me, and destroyed me further.

    Also, if I genuinely leave my family, then the truth will have to come out and my mother will be destroyed, realizing her entire life was a lie and that might even lead to her suicide. And she’s a good, loving, caring person and a kind and loved kindergarten teacher, so I can’t do that either (also, I.. kinda? love her.. marginally or something).

    It would seem that my only option left is to leave and take all the blame for it too, so everyone will see that I AM the crazy, ungrateful, malignant child who throws away everything his parents gave him? This way my mother can remain in the illusion, and that she did everything right, it’s just that I’m not right in the head. So I’ll have to cut off every person I have ever known and completely start over from scratch.

    And all this time I tried to do nothing but to live a normal life with normal human connections. I see almost everyone else living happily and normally and most of them could never even imagine these things I went through. What is normal to them is like a dream to me, but if I don’t cut my parents out of my life for good then I’ll certainly never even be able to reach this dream, I know this now. Life is just so unfair..

    It’s not that I’ll ever be broken, or anything, I’m beyond that, it’s just that why me, decades of my “life” thrown out and destroyed by that while others are just so damn content, happy and normal and had a good life.

    • Peter, this is, by far, one of the BEST descriptive comments on a pathological parent I have EVER, EVER seen. I’m blown away as you described my own childhood to a “T”, aside from the fact that I did not have the loving mother mask…my mother was a narcissist, while all the males were psychopaths….At any rate, I hope you stick around. I’d like to ponder your comment more and write more….it is deeply profound and thought provoking. For someone who has been through what you have, you are remarkably intelligent and insightful. Perhaps, for most of us that have survived these childhoods that’s one of the blessings amongst many a curse.Thank you so much for sharing your story….

      • Peti says:

        Thank you! I’ll try my best to fix my life anyway and create real, normal love even if I never received any. There is still fight left in me and of course I can see things more and more clearly.

        Have you come across the concept of the “compensated psychopath”? Perhaps that would describe my father most accurately. Perhaps add to that a little schizoid-like personality.

        He is basically the human-appearing parasite and my mother is the life-long host body. He isn’t too interesting, isn’t too attractive or good looking, isn’t too charming (even if he can lie or manipulate with such ease and everyone accepts everything he says), so even with all the psychopath tricks he still wouldn’t get far with women. Instead I think he had chosen to have one life-long host body and one-up the world by appearing to have a good, well-functioning family. This social appearance is his way to “superiority”. Except he doesn’t even have friends so there’s not a big audience.

        To be honest my biggest problem is not even with him, yes he is what he is, and I had to pay for that. My main problem is with my mother, it was her dream to have a better family than where she grew up, and yet out of pure blind goodwill she did the absolutely worst thing humanly possible, and she never noticed that.

        How is it possible for some people to be just SO blind? Playing right in the hands of true evil, she loves him to no end and I must fake everything to her too, perhaps even more so.

      • I so get this.

        It’s harder, for me personally, to know where the anger is heaviest: toward my psychopathic male authority figures (father,stepfather), or my mother who refused to protect me from both, but I tend to lean to the latter. It’s a maternal instinct that’s missing, in my view.

        I wish I had an answer for you about your mother, Peter. Some victims get involved and totally lose themselves, forever enmeshed with the psychopath. I know a couple similar to your parents dynamic. He comes off the same way, but behind HER back, he is sexually deviant, cheats endlessly, is into porn, you get the picture. The image that the psychopath creates, is NEVER what he is underneath it all as his lethality and deviance knows no end. You probably are not aware of what this man has done behind your mother’s back.

        I’ve never met one survivor or have heard about one psychopath that has EVER been able to be faithful, no matter the image they present.

        ANyway, regarding this couple, the victim in the situation will never leave. Even in spite of abuse to her children, to herself that is constant, she will never EVER leave. She’s an evangelical Christian, divorce is a no no but I think this is more an excuse than a real ideal based in an altruistic faith belief system. Her parents divorce was monumentally painful to her. It was a trauma to her that she never recovered from. This is the child who tried to get her parents back together over and over again, never accepting the marital demise.

        This may or may not be your own mother, but sometimes those traumas are so profound and so set, that it’s too painful to acknowledge, to deal with.

        Only you really know her past and the potential reasons she hangs on, but they aren’t healthy ones and that’s very sad and for you, this is even more difficult and confusing, I’m guessing, because she SHOULD have protected you from him, saw what he was doing. Unfortunately, she was seeing only her fantasy of how family should be. You have a right to be angry about her lack of protection.

        I had to go no contact with my entire bio family because the pathological dynamics were so severe and so toxic, abuse was the norm. These are highly personal decisions, but in doing so, there is a grieving process and a sadness that will always be there because YOU too were duped out of a real loving, nurturing family, as most children of psychopaths ARE. You were duped out of a loving, protective and nurturing Mom because of her own traumas. It doesn’t excuse her lack of protection, but I think there comes a time, for our own sake that we have to consider letting go….so we can figure out what ‘normal’ is. I prefer healthy minded, I don’t know what normal is other than a setting on a dryer, but I hope that helps you understand it a little better…..

  26. Peter says:

    I hope to fully figure out one day what healthy minded is like.. even though I’ve been trying to figure it out my entire life, and I can help others so easily with their problems, I myself are somehow still deeply mis-wired and it’s so hard to get out of that. Having lost 90%+ of my memory several times in my life doesn’t exactly help either. I also lost the ability to visualize somewhere along the way, I’m trying to fix that (can’t think in images or remember visual info) it was probably because when I was little I had to block out reality itself.

    Because my father wanted to kill me my entire life, especially in the beginning when I was born and started to take away the full attention of my mother from him. So he had to annihilate me. He has always wanted me dead in an absolute, infinite way only a creature without a conscience can do. His desire, need, necessity to kill me doesn’t end and yet he couldn’t do it because then he would have lost my mother too. And I have internalized this desire to kill me. To this day I can’t properly process when others want to “hurt” me in some way because it triggers this sensation where I feel like they want to team up and completely annihilate me.

    My mother I think is kinda emotionally underdeveloped, stuck around the age 9-10 or so and loves little children, that’s why she is a kindergarten teacher too. I think she percieves my father as some sort of little child too, everything he does she (mis)percieves as completely adorable. So I was expected to be very happy by one parent while the other wanted me dead. And when I didn’t perform well enough in this and made my mother sad, my father would punish me for that too.

    And as a child I also was sort of a tool in the fight between my father and my grandmother (who may have been quite sociopathic and obsessive herself but at least we had some connection.. or at least it seemed like that back then), she tried to take me away from my parents and both sides teached me to resent the other side.

    But I think you went through even worse things than me, and I don’t claim to be able to imagine it even, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for the opportunity for writing these things out, it sometimes helps me suddenly realize new things I missed before.

    • Peter,

      I am so grateful to you for sharing your experiences. I’ve yet to meet an adult survivor of a pathological parent who has not had MAJOR issues to deal with in their lives because of it. Your openness about what happened to you takes a lot of courage. I hope that with each word you’ve written that you find a measure of peace about it, simply from venting and sharing and I hope there are other adult survivors of pathological parents reading the blog that resonate with you.

      It’s very very difficult for children of psychopaths to share, harder than any other relationship because the dynamics are so very complicated.

      Everything you’re describing is familiar to me. There is a kinship I feel when adult survivors share. It helps me too and it helps in my mentoring of others who are struggling in their lives because of the damage of that parent.

      “It sometimes helps me suddenly realize new things I missed before” YES! very important…unless one is in therapy talking through and working through the trauma, it sits inside and molds in your soul.

      Again, thank you. I’m so glad you took the time and courage to share….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s