“Why Did He Choose Her and not ME?”- The Psychopath’s Discard and the New Victim


I’ve read this a couple of times over the last year. I would write it so differently now, and maybe I’ll ‘fix it’ someday yet it’s still the most read article on my blog, so worthy of another reblog.

Originally posted on The Ability To Love- Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse:

     There is an extremely painful reality with most survivors of psychopathic or narcissistic abuse that seems to be a huge sticking point in early recovery:  The psychopath’s ability to move on as if she never existed and take up with someone new. This is universal. And because it is, it has been written about countless times by others, but in addressing a survivor’s angst about it, it is often met with, “Don’t focus on what he’s doing” or “It’s time to move on.” These pat answers do not validate a survivor’s ‘why’ questions, nor help to alleviate even a little bit of pain from relationship with an individual that represents what extremes really are when it comes to abuse.

Most of the blog posts, articles and books I’ve read about this in trying to find answers and solace for myself when I dealt with my ex psychopath luring and…

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The Psychopathic Mentality


Steve Becker, LCSW, is one of my favorite writers on psychopathy/narcissism. In the acute phase of my recovery, I had a brief stay at Love Fraud and encountered several of Steve’s articles that were excellent, easy to understand and with (I think) the most accurate description of the psychopathic/narcissistic personality. This blog post is one of a few on his new blog, Unmasking the Psychopath, and has a new book out (haven’t read it yet, but can’t wait!) The Inner World of the Psychopathic Personality. One of the most important, if not critical elements to recovery is to understand who the psychopath is and what he does….something that has nothing to do with you. Ever. I hope you pay a visit to his blog and if you read his book before I do, let me know what you think!

Originally posted on Unmasking the Psychopath:

The best way to understand what makes psychopaths tick is to appreciate psychopathy as a mentality. The psychopath’s mentality is comprised of several attitudes, all blatantly, disturbingly narcissistic.

But expressed as a combination of attitudes, the effect is…well…psychopathic. It is possible to describe the psychopath’s mentality quite succinctly. The psychopath wants what he wants; he wants what he wants when he wants it; he wants it whether it belongs to him or not, and whether he has rights to it, or not; so long as he wants it, that is all that matters. If you have what the psychopath wants, you are at high risk that he will target you to take it. The harm he may cause in the pursuit, and seizing, of what he wants will leave him troublingly unperturbed and undisturbed.

These are the attitudes that drive psychopathic thinking. There is the

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5 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of the Psychopath

One day this pain will make sense to you

Before I outline the reasons you’re having a hard time letting go of the psychopath, I think it’s important to share, from my perspective, who the psychopath IS and what his behavior, words and tactics translate to the victim.

The psychopath, narcissist and sociopath all share the same common and yet dangerous inability to empathize. This means they are not capable of love. There are many other behaviors that tend to repeat themselves in the relationship that show you who he/she is: has no remorse, regret, guilt. Takes no personal or professional responsibility. EXPLOITATIVE, manipulative, pathological lying. Psychopaths are power addicts and everything they say, do, as well as their tactics, involve his/her self-empowerment at the expense of his/her victims. Abusers of any stripe are unlikely to change, but this is especially so with a disordered one.

Abusers have an award system based upon how much they can get from you and how much pain they can cause you doing it. This is very important to remember: Psychopathic, narcissistic, sociopathic abusers live to get a reaction from you. Every reaction you give them, whether good or bad (mostly bad) shows them how much power they have over you and your life. Each time you react, if you pay close attention to the psychopath’s face, or body gestures, it is nigh impossible for him not to hide some form of ‘glee’ or ‘emotional’ satisfaction at your pain. In fact, the very things that harm you the most, that get the best reactions, are things the psychopath will do repeatedly to you. This is the SAME for all of the Cluster B’s.

Psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths operate within a pattern of predictability in the suffering, damage and trauma they cause in the relationship, as well as after the relationship ends (discard). It begins with exploitation-this is incredibly important to remember too: Exploitation is about INTENT. Intent to hurt you, badly! PREDATORY EXPLOITERS, HUMAN PREDATORS, are what the Cluster B’s ARE. It is in their very nature, permeates their entire psychological landscape and colors everything they do. Exploitation IS the beginning of all the abusers relationships. Predators are strategic. They lie in wait for the kill. They observe their prey, watch its behavior, how it moves, where it goes, how it interacts with the rest of the ‘pack’.

Advances in technology make it incredibly easy for the psychopath, narcissist or sociopath to compile information about their prey, identify their vulnerabilities. They are so focused on their prey, they will go out of their way to learn more before the manipulation (love bombing) begins. Not only will they learn all about you via social media outlets, they will attempt to speak to your friends, family, coworkers, even your employer, to glean as much information as they can out of them about you. The ease with which they can do this is astounding. People think nothing of an inquiry made to them online about a friend for a potential job, a potential ‘date’, anything and everything can and will be used to make the manipulation (love bombing) go as smoothly as possible.

Once the psychopath, narcissist, sociopath has all the information they need to set up a profile (exploitation = intent), the manipulation (love bombing) begins. Armed with information about your vulnerabilities, the psychopath uses love bombing (manipulation) to exploit them. He seems as someone you have known your entire life. He is suddenly your best friend, your ‘Pastor’, you’re ‘teacher’. If you come from a pathological background he will ‘sense’ this and will be the parent that you never had. If you tend to fantasy, and suffer from ‘white picket fence’ syndrome, he will be the Knight in Shining Armor, the quintessential father to your children, the husband that is in perfect sync with you and a life visualized that is beyond your wildest fantasy or dreams. . .

The ‘promise’ that the psychopath delivers in love bombing and manipulation are intrinsically tied to your vulnerabilities. This is usually something we want so badly and have never had, or something we dream about that is largely subconscious until the psychopath awakens this part of us into action. For the psychopath, your vulnerabilities are the gateway to his power over you. Without healthy boundaries, the exploitation and subsequent manipulation (love bombing) will be missed. Ironically, the manipulation (love bombing) will be the biggest red flag you will have as to this predator’s exploitation (intent).

Once the psychopath knows you’re hooked into the promise to deliver what is missing in your life, your fantasy, or the salve to your pain, love bombing slows, and either passively or aggressively, he begins to deprive you of the promise delivered. This twist of events in the relationship is what creates the dependence and addiction to him. It is very much like heroin addiction, or any other powerful addiction. The first ‘hit’ is always the best, but after this, one is merely chasing the ‘beginning’, that first ‘high’. But it is never the same again, so the addict pursues more of the drug that now has him/her dependent and sick. Each time the addict gets a taste of the drug, it takes more and more to reach a level of ‘high’ and it is never like the first time. Dependency turns into a nightmare of wanting, but never having and at great cost to the addict.

This is exactly what the psychopath, narcissist, sociopath does to their victims. The victim experiences deprivation, and is confused as to why the promise is not kept. The victim desperately waits for the psychopath, narcissist or sociopath to give what he/she gave in the BEGINNING, to go back to what he/she was when delivering the promise (the initial ‘high’). The victim’s desperation is met with bone tosses from the psychopath when he feels he is losing power in the relationship, or that the victim is ‘catching on’ and becomes suspicious. A vacation for two, gifts, lots of sex, endless flattery and then when the victim once again believes that the promise is finally about to be delivered, the psychopath begins to deprive again. This cycle will be repeated all throughout their time together.

The psychopath intentionally sabotages the victim, making her/him feel crazy when she/he reacts to the psychopath’s abuse. The psychopath makes the victim doubt herself/himself, as he/she is now questioning the psychopath’s motives and intent. The psychopath uses word salad to bring about cognitive dissonance in his/her victim. The psychopath twists words, and he/she projects his/her own behavior on to the victim. The more suspicious the victim is of the psychopath’s inevitable cheating, the more the psychopath accuses the victim of cheating. The psychopath sabotages the victim by blaming her/him for his/her deprivation. So the victim works harder because that promise is so deeply held within, such a monumental vulnerability, and there is so much pain from what the victim perceives as her/his own failure to ‘please’ when the psychopath refuses to give her/him FULLY what the victim wants.

Further, this deprivation the psychopath knows will lead to questions from his victims as to his behavior, why he will not fulfill the promise. He blames, attacks, projects, and he may even physically beat her for questioning his ‘authority’. The victims REACTION to his DEPRIVATION AND SABOTAGE is what increases the psychopath’s ‘feeling’ of power over the victim.

From exploitative/manipulative beginning, to deprivation, sabotage, abuse and blame during the relationship, to the inevitable discard at the end of the relationship along with a horrendous smear campaign that includes more exploitation of the victim’s vulnerabilities shared with the psychopath, is a predictable pattern of behavior and tactics the psychopath uses to get what he/she wants from the victim. It’s all about power, from beginning to end and not about the victim at all. His/her disorder is not about you at all. It was there before you and it will be thereafter. He does not have the ‘power’ to turn off his disorder like a light switch. It is his very NATURE. The psychopath, narcissist, sociopath is a human PREDATOR.

In my opinion, the exploitation/manipulation phase of the relationship is the most dangerous phase of all, excluding the end and escape out of the relationship. Why? Because this is what the victim will harken to when thinking about him. This is what the survivor will remember, this façade, the human predatory mask, and the PROMISE only briefly delivered in the beginning. This façade includes a very fake, but well-acted part of someone with empathy, concern, deep caring and ‘soul mate’ connection.

The disordered one has observed most of his/her life, the behaviors of others in romantic relationships, so imbedded into our culture and upbringing. From romantic movies to personal romantic relationships that the psychopath ‘picks up’ on throughout the course of his/her life, these are filtered into his/her relationships as the distortion they are in action with love bombing, and exploits the victim’s vulnerability of fantasy about what a romantic relationship IS.

Indoctrination of cultural and societal beliefs about romance and sex are instilled in childhood, via example or with what we are told or what we see around us through adolescence and into adulthood. These distortions are heightened when childhood abuse is involved. Women come to believe that they are not complete without a man.

The deference expected from women in a society that is patriarchal and oligarchic, subjecting them to automated submissiveness and objectified as ‘at the ready’ to please, puts women at risk. We live in a ‘rape culture’ that forgives the perpetrator, blames the woman involved as somehow deserving of her abuse, and even celebratory of the perpetrator/predator, particularly if he is in a position of POWER. Aside from indoctrination that is so widely accepted and somewhat subconscious, putting unnecessary pressure on women to ‘perform’ or to ‘submit’ to ‘their man’, becomes even more problematic for the adult child of a predatory parent in childhood. This young woman’s very vulnerability lies not only within the realm of indoctrination that becomes the things of fantasy in romantic relationships with abusers, but a double entendre when the sexual, physical, emotional sins of the parent are visited upon her in childhood. Sexualized at an early age, sex becomes a reflection of love. Deprivation of love, becomes the promise of eternal and undying love and commitment that the psychopath promises to deliver.

For adolescent girls and adult women of pathological abuse, familiarity with the façade, with former predatory exploiters, makes the adolescent or adult child, not only extremely vulnerable to abusers, but the ‘soul connection’ that the psychopath exploits and that the victim feels initially, is not a connection at all, but bears the fruit of familiarity for the victim through her abuse and her abusers. There may be a vague and distant warning within victims of childhood abuse around the psychopath and with his manipulations in the beginning, but the promise is so powerful, the deprivation she has already suffered so real and present, it too becomes an addictive force in the victims’ life. Her belief that the beginning was authentic and real, painting the psychopath with colors that do not belong to him, such as with empathy, compassion and care, become her own projections of empathy, compassion and care of the psychopath with the new victim. This is why survivors are convinced at the idea that the psychopath has somehow ‘changed’ with the new victim, as she still believes he is capable of something he has clearly shown to her that he is not. This belief, is a pathological outcome of so much brainwashing, lies, gas lighting, cognitive dissonance and the desperation and pain that the promise he did not fulfill with her, will be fulfilled with someone else. She fails to see how impossible this is, as she watches her Knight in Shining Armor, exploiting and manipulating another victim.

I hope this helps give an understandable description of the psychopath, and the pathological relationship. Helping you to understand the dynamics, may bring some sense of relief in that the psychopath, narcissist and sociopath are predictable and the same in every relationship they have. The only thing the psychopath, narcissist or sociopath changes, is his/her mask to mirror the new victim and the victim herself/himself.

Now, to the five reasons you can’t let go of him. As I write, I pray that you experience a release from the grips of the psychopath’s power.

1. No Contact- Without no contact, the addictive pull to the relationship will not end for her/him and the psychopath will do his best to keep power over her/him, even if the psychopath is the one to have discarded him/her. Even while he/she has a new victim. The psychopath often makes curtain calls ONLY to see if the victim will still react to the psychopath. The psychopath will stalk, even while he has a new victim. The victim attributes the psychopath’s failure to fulfill the promise as blame onto herself, rather than recognizing that this person she was with, is a human predatory exploiter. The inability to see the psychopath for who he is, is the most dangerous from beginning to end. The level of depravity, double/hidden lives with other families and many, many other women, and other assortment of depravity and evil, keeps her in a relationship with an extremely dangerous person, keeps her going back to him when he ‘curtain calls’ and is also responsible for the projection of a promised delivered to a new victim, when this is so far from reality. No contact is the survivor’s ticket to freedom from the psychopath’s powerful grip.

2. Ruminating- While this is a common outcome in the acute phase of the relationship, our mind’s way of working through trauma in understanding who the psychopath is and ACCEPTING this, it can also become as addicting as the psychopath and the relationship. Ruminating can keep the victim tied to the psychopath when he is long gone. But lack of acceptance as to whom the psychopath really IS, keeps the victim in spin with endless questions that have been answered repeatedly. Understanding the human predator, that there are people like this that exist, is a very difficult process, but one that can be done when applied to various actions, behaviors and tactics within the relationship. A belief system that is also part of a religious, as well as societal indoctrination that ALL are good, is fallacy. If one is to read the Bible in the literal sense, there are specific warnings throughout that tell us through biblical stories, verses/text, as well as within the context of Christ’s life and teachings, that not all are good, but that some are, in fact, evil. The nature of the predator with intent to cause pain, harm and damage to another human being is proof enough of the reality that evil exists among us, as well as there is good, empathic people in this world. You cannot have one without the other, and a lot in between. When the survivor understands who the psychopath is, obsessing and ruminating about the psychopath wanes and then stops altogether.

3. Acceptance- They key to a victim’s freedom from the psychopath’s power is simply acceptance of who he IS. Acceptance brings about the shift within the survivor from the psychopath, back to herself where it belongs.

4. Another relationship/drama, as distractions- Many survivors, after the discard or ending of their relationship with the psychopath are in so much pain and desperate to stop it, that they immediately head to dating sites (where predators live-over half of the survivors I’ve worked with found their predator on a dating site), or start looking for another relationship. This is a recipe for another disaster. At no other time is the survivor more vulnerable (aside from the beginning with the psychopath), then immediately after a pathological relationship has ended. A hiatus from dating and from relationships are necessary to review what landed the survivor into the most dangerous relationship and with the most dangerous person on the planet. Establishing personal boundaries, therapy, support, learning to have self-esteem (or get it back), learning to self-love, and beginning the work on yourself to have these critical things in place for your personal safety and enjoyment of life, is the ONLY thing that will help to prevent another encounter with a psychopath. I’ve had countless survivors over the years, complain about the psychopath’s ability to move on so fast, while she is already dating or believes she is ready to date…..so fast. Not doing the things necessary to put YOU back together, leads to more disastrous relationships and much more drama and the high potential to be re-traumatized.

About drama- My suggestion in learning how to create self-discipline and personal boundaries, means we aren’t distracted by others drama, gossip, or other related social menaces. Survivor support forums are ‘hives’ of untreated PTSD, drama, power imbalances and hence, more wounding. Allowing yourself to be dragged into further pathological muck, through pathological family, friends, acquaintances and social media, distracts you from wonderful YOU. I understand how frightening it is to bother to think about healing your wounds. I won’t lie to you, it is a very painful, in fact, excruciating, scary and profoundly long process, particularly if you have wounds from childhood. It takes a great deal of courage and monumental bravery to address the issues that made you vulnerable to the psychopath, narcissist or sociopath in the first place. This could be complicated by many other factors, such as financial instability, familial instability, and lack of support. If you come from a pathological home, this will feel as if you’re traveling this road completely alone. But you are NOT. There IS support out there for you, if and when you’re willing to implement a recovery process that is not filled with distractions. True LOVE for yourself, means you’re ready to focus on you. The first step in love of self (even if you don’t feel it), was to leave your psychopath behind. The future is frightening when you don’t know yourself and don’t trust yourself or others, but this CAN be worked through and if you do make this huge leap to yourself, you’ll go through a transition, like a caterpillar does to turn into a butterfly. You ARE beautiful inside and you’re WORTH the time and energy you put into yourself.

5. Fear- Fear of exposing your wounds. Fear that there is something wrong with you for having been duped by your psychopath. I know, early on its easier to blame him completely for your pain and you’re justified in doing so, but there is something that all survivors are inevitably faced with, no matter how hard or how long they run to avoid themselves and that IS yourself. For all the projections of change that survivors put onto the psychopath and the new victim, the idea of change within, seems not only very frightening, but overwhelming and insurmountable. Change is not spontaneous, as the psychopath would have you believe. It doesn’t come from OTHERS, it comes from within and all it takes from you, is a willingness to try.

The false promise that the psychopath delivered in the beginning, is the wound that is reflected in you that is unhealed, a gaping vulnerability within you that needs to be addressed. So many survivors have shared on this blog and privately with me, “But I was doing really well! I was ‘SUCCESSFUL” in my business and in my life! I had a home, a car and 25 degrees!”

But you see, while all of that is wonderful and is part of your beautiful traits, it’s superficial too. Remember that society places great emphasis on class, status and as does the PSYCHOPATH. But while your success might have been one of the reasons the psychopath wanted power over in your life, it is not the reason he was able to exploit you. Our vulnerabilities run very deep, for all of us. Much of the time, we aren’t even aware of them. But all of us have a desire inside to be loved, to be validated and cared for in some way.

Some want the perfect marriage, family scenario since they have ‘everything else’. And even more believe that because they are intelligent and successful that they can’t believe they were duped, or that someone COULD dupe them. But it isn’t about your intelligence. It isn’t about your success. It’s about your HEART. It’s about what’s inside YOU. What you really want in life. The promise that you believe someone else can deliver, when in reality, YOU can deliver it to yourself! You can be your own lover, your own very best friend. You can be the parent you never had. You can have a future that is bright EMOTIONALLY. Having come from a pathological home where money and success was heavily emphasized and used as a ‘status’ background, I can honestly say that NONE of that gave me the love, nurturing, care, compassion and parental concern that was my right as a child. And it hasn’t given it to me as an adult either and I live with one foot out the door to homelessness right now. But I learned that I could still LOVE myself, I could STILL learn to accept and to cope with my life, just as it is, RIGHT NOW.

Five years out now, I’m free from the idea that the promise must come from outside of myself. I’m free from the idea that a man is necessary in my life to be validated, or to feel loved. It doesn’t feel like a desperate need that derives from deprivation. I give this to myself now and am still learning.

I’ve built boundaries, I’ve learned to accept my life in many ways, while still questioning other aspects of it. Having been approached by a few men the last five years, was a testament as to how much work I’ve done on myself. Observing, listening, paying attention to red flags and not giving myself away for free, even while that temptation and small voice inside, the deprived child from within, occasionally gives me a hard time, I quiet her with a walk outside, a loving embrace, a hug to my dog, or to my son, a visit with my new grandson. Or supporting a survivor in pain. Or sitting in the beautiful sunshine with a warm breeze coming out of the west…
NOTHING is worth giving up on yourself for a quick remedy. It seems so much easier to do, but only adds to the guilt and shame that exists and who better to pile that on our psyche than a relationship with a human predator. .
Just give you some much needed thought and healing for yourself.

Onward and Upward

If you are in need of support or guidance, please see the guidance and support page.

*Note: Men are also survivors of psychopathic women. Oftentimes psychopathic women are just as dangerous as men, but in a different way. They use their femininity and cultural/societal indoctrination to paint themselves as victims to men during exploitation. I’ve been ‘friends’ with women like this and the depravity and evil they are capable of is as bad as men. There were/are women in my pathological family who are like this and one wants to stay clear. If you’re a male survivor, I suggest a wonderful website that has helped many men in recovery (although you are WELCOME here), called “AShrink4Men’. I hope that you’ll check it out.

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Why the ‘Acute Phase’ of Recovery is so Hard!

Rose Kennedy quote

When I was first out of the last relationship, five years ago now, I remember well how reactionary I was (PTSD) as well as overwhelmingly depressed and grieving. The first several months felt very much like a ‘withdrawal’ (which is why I refer to the pathological relationship as highly addictive), and I did nothing but talk about ‘him’ for six months solid.

After a while and with no contact during that six months, this began to get old. I was forced to ask myself some questions that I did not want to ask myself in the beginning. Was it me? Or was it him? Was I sick too? What is wrong with me that I’d allow someone like that to hurt me? Why do I feel as if I want him back, when I really don’t? Why did I let this man into my life? Why am I attracted to abusers? What is it about me that they could so easily target me? Am I a ‘spath magnet’? Why does it seem that there’s a spath around every bush now?

The list goes on, but you get the gist. I remember precisely when the ‘shift’ of being a victim, moved to being a survivor. It happened with the last phone call he would make to me. While this shift was felt by me, recovery is anything but spontaneous. I had to weather a great deal of grief and pain to reach even the smallest of milestones, as well as having made many decisions to make sure no contact remained in place, prior to this call.

As the phone rang, and I recognized his number, remnants of the addiction remained, as I still felt the overwhelming compulsion to answer. Instead, I turned my phone off. The silence was deafening to me after that last ring, but the peace I had when I let that call go, told me that no contact was working and that he was slowly fading from my life. Prior to this call, I made a decision to stay off of my Facebook for four months so I would not be tempted to ‘look him up’. I told myself that with the smear campaign going on, I didn’t need to add ‘stalker’ to his list of faux grievances he had going against me.

Just prior to getting out of the relationship, my ex-psychopath no longer hid behind the mask. He was openly and blatantly abusive to me. Emotional and sexual abuse were liberally applied the last several months of the relationship. So scary were some of these events, I would dissociate. I had a vague feeling that if I did not get out, this man was going to kill me, to get rid of me. This man had stolen what was left of myself, what little there was in the beginning. Toward the end, I was a pathetic mess, a masochist waiting for the ‘perpetrator of pain’ to inflict another wound. The abuse was now twistedly ‘cathartic’, as some attention was better than none at all.

My ‘use value’ had long gone and it was me who was begging for his time, his love and attention, despite knowing what he was doing to me, despite his targeting on dating sites in front of me, discussing other women as if I were an acquaintance sitting in a bar across from him, while he arrogantly described each dating ‘encounter’. I was so far gone, so emotionally addicted and dependent, I listened to all of this as a long-time adoring fan, while my heart was being ripped to shreds, and my dignity in tatters.

It took a frightening encounter with him, a gun and me, to wake me up as to how truly sick this man was, but worse, how sick I had become in the relationship too. I was terrified of losing him, the grip on my soul through this addictive and powerful force, nearly cost me my life.

He forced me out of the relationship. I had no choice but to leave it behind, but I would not have left at all, were it not for the ‘gun’ incident, but more so, knowing that this man was sadistically enjoying my addictive, masochistic dependence on him. I knew deep inside that the true sorrow involved in leaving was symbolic of a complete loss of self, after giving what I believed to be all of myself, as I literally threw myself at him for ten years, when the ‘relationship’ for him was utterly meaningless. And if it was so for him, then what did that say about me?

When it was over, really, really over, I told myself repeatedly, that my leaving was the first true act of love for myself, perhaps for the first time in my life. I loved myself just a little bit, just enough to make that jump, but not enough yet to understand the ‘why’s’ of my inability to let go when the abuse had become glaring to me. All of that would come later, but just for the moment, to get me through the most acute phase of recovery, ‘I love myself more’ became my simple, daily mantra to justify the efforts and choices I would make to let go completely and live with the inevitable pain of that decision.

So removing myself from Facebook, after a series of emotional disasters on forums, blogs and Facebook group pages, which worsened my condition and kept the spin of him going, was the right thing for me to do. I decided that I would do everything I could in this effort to show myself that I loved myself, even if I didn’t feel it at the time. With intent, I purposely isolated myself and worked to find a therapist that could help me. This time, while looking for a therapist, it wasn’t about how to fix him or the relationship, it was an overwhelming and desperate desire to fix me. I needed someone who understood the disorders, but only for the reasons in that these relationships are far more toxic than any other and as long as the therapist was knowledgeable about the psychopath, his behaviors, and the pathological relationship resulting in severe trauma, I would be on the right track. I’m very grateful for my therapist, who still remains my therapist today.

It was important at the time, to implement a series of actions that would keep me safe after no contact was in place. After my brief encounters with forums, groups and blogs (some of them pathological), as well as unhealthy friends, I deliberately removed myself from these situations where there was a lot of chaos and drama, for that was addicting to, and there is nothing like pathological disorder in my life to create a lot of drama! I recognized that I was drawn to the chaotic lives of others, as a distraction from my pain, and in a weird sort of way, kept me connected to him. Drama and chaos inevitably kicked my PTSD right into gear. There is no way to be so involved in the drama and chaos of the lives of others, without getting hurt. I had no boundaries and I surrounded myself with others in my life who had no boundaries either, making distraction from the pain of him easy, and the path to myself difficult if not impossible to begin to walk.

So when the phone call came, I was as prepared as I could possibly be at the time. While still in a world of pain, just beginning to make the shift from him to me, I told myself that I loved me more. I knew exactly what would happen if I answered that call. I knew I was still too weak yet, not to give in to his manipulation.

But in reality, I really did have control of myself and my life if I wanted it. I truly could make a clear and concise decision not to hurt myself and in making that decision, I went from victim to survivor. While the pain was still there, I had peace for the first time in my life, in making a decision that was healthy and right and one that would not HURT me again.

As I sat there and contemplated pride in myself, showing myself just a little bit of love, I recalled the times when I would answer those calls, only to be wounded repeatedly. Each and every time, the questions I would ask afterward were: “Why does he keep calling me?” “Why doesn’t he just leave me alone?”, “I can’t help it when he calls! I just have to answer it!”
Each and every time he called, I reacted. Every. Single. Time. I would often be in tears, an anxious ball of mess, or excitedly awaiting his return on his ‘white horse’, where he was again going to rescue me from years of abuse, pain, lack of self-esteem, self-love, and he would give me boundaries too!

When friends were concerned about what had become an obvious self-sabotage, I had a million excuses as to why I continued to engage. All of my excuses were from a perspective of victim, as if I had no control over my life, decisions, or over his power in my life. I gave the impression of being totally helpless.

Sex was a very big deal in our relationship and I learned early on that I had to do my very best in bed (even though he told me I was the best he ever had—one of many ludicrous and obvious lies) or he would find someone else who would (there were lots of someone else!) So when he called and wanted to see me, I knew what it meant. I wanted to believe it was about love, but it wasn’t. For him it was about sadistic power over and then the inevitable discard, time and again, when he would hurt me.

With this psychopath, sex was love for me, and that is exactly how he intended it to be. Sex = love, was learned from early childhood sexual abuse, initiated by my stepfather and would become a daily ritual in my childhood home. It was chronic and unrelenting. It makes perfect sense to me now, how I made the sex = love association, but while with my psychopath, I had zero awareness of this.

I believed I loved my psychopath because his hyper-sexuality meshed perfectly with sex = love for me, blinding me to the reality that I was being objectified, sexually abused all over again, everyday….a ritual I had become accustomed to and knew as ‘normal’ in my life. So the more sex we had, the more I believed he loved me. This deep vulnerability of mine was known to my psychopath before the beginning of our intimate relationship. We were ‘friends’ for two years prior to the sexual relationship, and with absolutely no boundaries, I revealed all about myself and my childhood abuse. And with every abusive event revealed, a strategy was born to him, making his exploitation and manipulation of me, effortless.

Implementing no contact, intentionally removing myself from outside drama and chaos and isolating myself, was absolutely necessary for me. I was so exhausted from years of pathology and two relationships (my marriage of 20 years) and my next relationship of ten, while it was tempting to think of trying to land another man and relationship as soon as possible, I couldn’t do it. Having come from a pathological home, I knew I could not do a relationship that was healthy. I knew that the relationships that I did have, were my failed and miserable attempts to find love I’d never had or experienced.

I fell hard for the societal indoctrination that a woman is nothing without a man and to solidify this indoctrination, was my pathological mother who could not be alone for a very long time and would do just about anything to protect her man, even though he was abusing her child and she knew it.

No contact, staying emotionally safe, going to therapy, allowed me to start to see that my relationship with my psychopath was a reflection of familiarity with pathological abuse, my lack of boundaries, self-love and self-esteem. I had to make a strong, unyielding commitment to myself. I had to do it alone and it was terrifying and very, very painful.

There is no way around this pain when you walk a path to yourself. The beginning is always the hardest part of recovery. Fighting withdrawal, not allowing yourself to be sucked into the psychopath’s exploitation and manipulation, is incredibly courageous, given how powerful the addiction is to the psychopath. If you come from a pathological home, a commitment to yourself, is more than just a one time commitment, but a lifetime one. It means breaking patterns, recognizing what they are, what your part in the pattern is, and working very hard to change it.

I realized that my ‘patterns’ showed up in all kinds of situations and people that challenged me to choose an alternative that was not familiar and detrimental to me. There were many times I wanted to give up and go back to what was easiest, even if profoundly, inevitably painful. At least I knew how to ‘react’ and ‘respond’ to the familiar, but instead I chose me and my life in my recovery. All of this has been work and I’ve not done it perfectly. I’ve walked through some very long and dry deserts, without feeling even the slightest of direction. Five years out now, I’m only beginning to vaguely feel some direction.

When I see survivors just out of their relationships, I often wish I had a magic wand to wave to eliminate their pain, to stop the obsessing, to help them immediately understand who the psychopath IS, and ultimately, just like the relationship is about the psychopath and his disorder, so is our relationship with him, a reflection of our own pain. A vulnerability can seem so benign, until a psychopath exploits it.

Only no contact, building boundaries for your healing process and TIME is what will get you through the pain. There is no such thing as going around it. The time it takes to heal, is very individualized, but it doesn’t happen spontaneously, it won’t happen with a perceived ‘fantasy’ relationship. Sometimes, while survivors complain that the psychopath moved on so fast, the survivor is dating someone else or is already on dating sites. I cannot emphasize more, how critical being alone and without a relationship, truly is when the relationship is over. Without the appropriate time to heal, the chances that another psychopath lies in wait, greatly increase.

It’s so important to take the time to learn more about yourself, to get to know what your vulnerabilities are and where they come from, to build boundaries and to learn to love yourself, authentically. Over half the survivors I’ve worked with come from pathological or otherwise abusive homes, so the psychopath’s exploitation and manipulation (love bombing) in the beginning is mistaken as this cosmic soul mate connection, when in reality, it’s familiarity with the childhood pathological abuser. This was one of my biggest epiphanies in recovery, and learning to build boundaries around personal safety became a huge priority.

The time I took away from having any relationship, helped me greatly in not only the time it took to build boundaries, but when approached by a man a year and a half into recovery, I was able to see attempted exploitation immediately. And after a lifetime of psychopaths, this felt really, really good!

Realistically, I know that many survivors won’t choose to heal. There are many reasons for that, but out of the many survivors I’ve worked with, only a few will do/complete the work. Very few make it past the ruminating stage before the psychopath makes a curtain call and they go back, or another abuser enters the picture and they stop doing the work on themselves. This is always sad for me, but for the few that do decide to gather courage and walk the path, it is the most amazing, humbling experience for me to watch them grow and become independent, strong human beings. A few of them have become my closest and most cherished friends after years of work. Some of us started out together, with the same goal in wanting to learn and grow, to stop the abuse of ourselves…

It’s so worth the effort and time it takes to work through the pain and discomfort, especially when you’re up against huge barriers, whether they be financial, court related (custody), sharing children with the psychopath or that the psychopath is the adult child’s parental unit, it still can be done.

I would not be truthful in saying this is easy. My recovery looked nothing like I had hoped it would. I have obstacles that are the outcome of having been raised in a pathological home and having survived two long term ‘romantic’ relationships with psychopaths. I have emotional and physical limitations because of the abuse I endured. And I know I will not heal to the extent that other survivors will be able too.

My next post will be for the adult child of the pathological parent.

For those of us with pathological parents, recovery takes on several different hues, with very different dynamics. It’s these survivors I often feel a kinship with. Surviving a pathological home is no less than miraculous for many of us. The abuse is nearly always severe, or at least I’ve not met an adult child of a pathological parent, who has not known extremes of every kind of abuse and many of us were exposed to all kinds of extremes on a daily basis during childhood. It is incredibly difficult to ‘explain’ what this is like, if one has not been through it. My recovery will look nothing like a survivor who has grown up in a loving, healthy environment and many of us have to fight a bit harder to reach balance in our lives. This is what I’ll be discussing in my next post.

I hope this helps survivors who are struggling with no contact, understand a little bit more, what a genuine recovery looks like, because again, just as the relationship and the psychopath’s actions, from exploitation to discard, are not about you, but a reflection of his disorder, so is your involvement not about him, but a reflection of yourself and your vulnerabilities, where work needs to be done. Recovery can be viewed as an opportunity to clear any ‘mess’ in your life, heal old wounds, build yourself up again.

I think it’s safe to say that if we are healthy in mind and spirit, that an abuser is not what we want as a life partner.
Onward and Upward

Note: This article also applies to male survivors of female psychopaths.

If you are in need of guidance in your process, please see the Guidance Services page.

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No Contact Revisited

If you realized how beautiful you are...

If you realized how beautiful you are, you wouldn’t allow yourself to be hurt.

No Contact is the critical first step that says you love yourself. Even a little bit.

Give that some thought, give it a try and know your value and worth. . .

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Blog Post Reminder!

I’d like to share this with the survivors who are either ‘screaming’ at me through type to delete their posts/names, or begging me to delete their posts.

First, I understand the anxiety that comes when you have a psychopathic stalker or for some other reason you have a reality check about your name being on the blog.

PLEASE, before you post, if you’re extremely anxious about your name appearing, create a pseudonym. In other words, a fake name. I’m the only person who sees your email address and your ISP, no one else can.

If you’re apprehensive about your psychopath finding you here, then DO NOT post. Email me instead. I allow two emails prior to charging for further support and services as I receive so many. If you have just a question or a comment, feel free to email. My blog email address is to the right of the blog.

I’ve received many comments and/or emails about a very specific board where survivors are experiencing secondary wounding. While I cannot do anything about the board in which you are referring, I can listen to your concerns. I am NOT like other the other board, and if you want something deleted, I will delete it immediately, but my preference is that you make sure PRIOR to posting that you really want to do so because going over comments, trying to find your name and deleting can be a headache.

I do monitor my blog closely for potential psychopathic stalkers and have run across a few a time or two in the past. I won’t say what I do about it, but there is one thing I will do and that is to let you know as soon as possible. In light of that though, please put perspective to this too: There are literally thousands of blogs out there. Unless your psychopath has remote access  to your computer or lives in the same home and is on the same computer and can ‘follow’ you on the net, the chances of them finding you here are, pardon the pun, “REMOTE”.

I can’t count how many times survivors have assumed that what I have written is about them personally, when the psychopath, pathological relationship and all the questions, comments shared with me are utterly predictable. Many times the questions asked or the comments about the relationship are literally word for word, that’s how predictable they are.

If there is something about your specific details or situation that I’d like to write about, I’ll ask you first!

I hope this helps you enjoy the blog as much as possible without anxiety and that you feel as safe as is possible for an online blog.

Thank you!

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Your Questions About the Psychopath Answered!

I learn a lot working with survivors. There are patterns that evolve with the ending of the pathological relationship that are as predictable as the psychopath and relationship itself. It’s this predictability that tells me whether the relationship was a pathological one in the first place.

Be that as it may, there are also questions that are very common in the emails I receive from survivors. So instead of answering each one individually, I thought I’d write an article about it, a few questions included. As I answer these questions, please know that I do so with a great deal of care and compassion for the survivors that have asked them of me. I’m quite direct in my approach at times and I  can seem harsh or seem to have a lack of concern or care. I hope this helps you to understand why I’m direct at times and why I need to be. I do deeply care for and empathize with, those that approach me for services or for a question or two, but my boundaries are such now that if the survivor is not ready to move beyond ruminating (has not accepted that the abuser is an abuser, without empathy) or is in contact with the psychopath, recovery can’t really begin until the psychopath is out of their lives.

So hopefully, in answering these questions in article form, it will save survivor’s an email or two, while also provoking thought about the answers to the questions most often asked of me.
Q. Do you think he’s a psychopath?

A. I cannot answer this definitively, as I’m not a mental health professional. A true diagnosis can only come through a qualified mental health specialist who understands the disorders well. Having said that, most psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths (pick your poison) go undiagnosed and ‘pass’ in society as ‘normal’, their masks intact. So how do we discern whether this person is a psychopath, narcissist or sociopath?

In a quick answer: behaviors. Lack of empathy, lack of remorse, regret or guilt, pathological lying, exploitative (number one ‘tell’ of these behaviors, harder to detect), manipulative (extremes such as love bombing and discarding), no ability for insight, lack of personal and professional responsibility. Does not assume blame for wrongs done to others. Hyper-sexuality (there is no such thing as a ‘faithful’ psychopath, narcissist or sociopath, no matter what you might wish to ‘believe’), ruthless, fearless, risk taking, projection (accuses you of doing things that he or she is really doing), isolation (keeps you from family and friends-this can be immediate or more gradual), is hyper-sexual and sexualized the relationship (is very focused on sex as the ‘cure-all’ to problems in the relationship and uses this as a weapon of ‘bonding’ with the victim, as well as deprivation of sex to keep the victim dependent and begging for affection). Is emotionally, verbally, sexually, spiritually or physically abusive in any way shape or form. ABUSE is integral to all the disorders.

I’m most positive that survivors can come up with their own personal lists of what their psychopath said or did to them. Aside from that, the behaviors above are those of extremes. They are all-pervasive and include every area of the disordered one’s personality. They are as predictable and as much a pattern as regular bathroom trips after several cups of coffee.

Q. What about ‘her’? Will he change for her? He seems ‘happier’ with her. Will she get what I didn’t get? I hate her, she’s a bitch and I ‘know’ she’s disordered too, so will that mean they will be happy because they are so much alike? I just know he loves her! But he said (key word here-HE said = lies) that he really loved his ex-wife, girlfriend, partner, etc.

A. This question has been asked of me by survivors so many times, even after reading the most popular article on this blog, “Why Did He Choose Her, and NOT ME?!”, I’m still asked. I believe the reason for this is because the survivor has not yet accepted what the psychopath, narcissist, sociopath is.

I’ve answered this question with a simple, direct approach in the past, but I do think that while my insights will be anything but ‘new’ when it comes to helping you understand what drives the psychopath, I will offer a longer answer to explain what’s really going on, so you can absorb it and learn to change the way you perceive and think of him and his new victim. Once you understand the motive behind why the psychopath does what he does and who he is, this should be easier to apply to the circumstances, a reality that is more genuine and definitely not the happy fantasy you’re currently visualizing.

POWER. This is the number one driving force behind the psychopath, narcissist and sociopath. It permeates their entire psychological landscape. Just as you need oxygen to breathe, the psychopath is ‘dead’ without a victim, or many victims to feed his power addiction. If you are not disordered, then there is no way to understand how this power addiction fuels everything he says and everything he does. He must have absolute power and control over everything all the time, every second of everyday, over you, the finances, whom you can and can’t see, what you can and can’t spend money on. He must have absolute power in the bedroom, and he must have power over whether sex is had or not. Deprivation is a weapon the psychopath uses to keep YOU dependent on him. He must have power over the car, the mileage you use, the people you talk to on FB, the dog, the cat, the food in the cupboard, the kids, ALL of it. This ‘bundle of power energy’ is what sucks the life force out of all of his victims.

There are games the psychopath plays and one that is literally used across the board of victims he has, and that is triangulating of women. The psychopath loves nothing more than to have lots and lots of women fighting over him. He thrives on this because it empowers him more to know that he can get several women REACTING all at one time without ever being held accountable! He not only has power over you, but over her too, or how many other ‘hers’ he has. The more women the psychopath has, the more powerful he believes himself to be.

Even during the relationship, the psychopath will name drop, suggest, imply, utilize porn, make comparisons of the victim’s body to other women, make comments about women he sees when they are both together. He may triangulate the new victim with the last victim, the psychopath painting her out to be an evil bitch, so that the new victim is enraged at the last victim and her abuse of him! Of course, he is lying his ass off to the new victim and she knows no better, because he is sure to keep the new victim and the last survivor compartmentalized and isolated away from one another.

I have seen some serious wickedness out of survivors who’ve been exploited to the hilt with their vulnerabilities, when the psychopath uses other women in the past, especially the last victim, to triangulate. Many, many times, the new victim can appear as enraged at the last survivor, as the psychopath pretends to be with his smear campaign, while the last survivor, still in pain from the discard, learns to blame the new victim, for what are really her reactions to the psychopath’s lies. She comes to believe that the new victim is also as disordered as he.

I highly caution all survivors to DOUBT disorder in the new victim, because in all likelihood, he did the same thing to the survivor, and when thinking about it thoughtfully and carefully, she ‘remembers’ her own outrage at the previous victim’s abuse of her ever-present (smothering) Knight in Shining Armor. Still, his relationship with the new victim will have its predictable, inevitable end, just as it did with the survivor. The only difference as to longevity of the relationship compared to the survivor’s now ended relationship with him is how long the new victim is willing to believe the psychopath’s façade and his lies. Another game the psychopath loves to play is comparing the new victim to all the ‘loves’ of his past. This sets her up immediately for any ‘competition’ (womanizing) the psychopath will inevitably do. She will never be quite ‘enough’ for him, therefore increasing his power and her dependence on him to prove herself ‘different’ from the rest of the ‘loves of his life’ of the past.

I often ask survivors to think about how he was with her in the beginning. More often than not, he played the same fiddle (game) with her, about the previous victim (s) in his life. Even more compelling is that he’ll use the same stories, but only change the players involved.

All too often, psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths are very good at targeting prey that is vulnerable in one or many ways. Low self-esteem, low/no boundaries, lack of self- love, or with ‘issues’ of her own, such as an abuse history, or a recent traumatic event (death, divorce, even loss of a pet!). Psychopaths love targeting women who have ‘fantasy’ issues—cultural indoctrination, passed from generation to generation in that women are nothing without a man. A man ‘completes’ the fantasy, the story and expectations she has in her mind about how life ‘should’ be, with attentive, loving husband and happy family (children). I refer to this as ‘white picket fence’ syndrome. The fantasy element is, in my opinion, along with an abuse history, the most dangerous of vulnerabilities. Combine these vulnerabilities in a victim who is highly empathic, compassion and caring and it spells very deep trouble for her should the psychopath get into her life and her dependence is set upon him indefinitely or until she is forced out of the relationship, due to emotional and physical illness because of him or the inevitable discard from his life.

The very same things he has done to you, will play out with the new victim too. The only change that will occur is that she is different in personality and so his mask will have to adjust to mirror who she is.

I’d like to briefly answer this ‘Can he change?’ question in part, with regards to his ability to do so, whether with another victim or not. This is where I wish I could wave a magic wand and have every survivor just learn to accept that change for someone like this is impossible. Acceptance is key to letting go of the fantasy and pathology involved with him and what was in the relationship.

This brings us back to the power issue with all the disordered. Even when we take away the question whether this person is a Cluster B or not, a toxic abuser has no wish to change what rewards him most and that is power. Through his addiction (that is insatiable) to power, he receives many rewards. I refer to this as an addiction, as much as I do the pathological relationship, because the obsession with power and control, for the abuser is so overwhelming it is literally a psychological disability. Lack of empathy, meaning the inability to put themselves into the shoes of others, they cannot FEEL what others FEEL, make this addiction to power not only possible but all-consuming.

Abusers ‘get high’ when causing pain to others and watching their reactions. They ‘get high’ by getting anything and everything they want through his many victims, whether it be money, food, house, car, sex, or just someone to be used as his image prop while he hides a double life with someone else. The abuser is in the relationship, any relationship because the victim has something to offer him. And he cannot get what he wants, unless he creates a power imbalance, and a dependence upon him in the victim, who is as addicted to him, as he is to his power. This dynamic is set into motion via love bombing, the first red flag a victim will ever have as to the abusers intentions. He provides the ‘promise’ to give whatever the victim is missing. What is missing is the very vulnerability that the abuser targets. He delivers the fantasy liberally until she is ‘hooked’ (dependent/addicted), and then whether slowly or quickly, begins to DEPRIVE her of the original fantasy. He deprives her of what he promised in the beginning. This is very strategic and it’s called exploitation (targeting) to manipulation (love bombing), followed by deprivation, sabotage/abuse and blame. This strategy is very predictable in abusers and can be applied to all they say or do. They view their victims as objects. Every single one. He cannot possibly ‘love’ one and not another. He can find one victim much more power producing and profitable, but nothing more than this.

Most of us have empathy. I hope. And when we do, we assume, we assume that others are the same as we are. Survivors project their empathy onto an person who has none. The reality that there are people in this world that are depraved, evil, lacking conscience and empathy, is not a ‘negative’ world view, but a realistic one, where personal and professional boundaries help us to have cautiousness to protect our beautiful selves. Boundaries. Our boundaries help us to keep safe from predatory exploiters in the world and there are plenty of them. During my recovery, and in contemplating many things deeply, as much as I believe there is good in the world (and after coming from a pathological home, there just had to be, right?), I also needed to accept, especially with the clear economic, political and social climate of overwhelming madness, narcissism, hopelessness, hatred and fear, that there was definitely some not so good in the world too. Abusers are part of this and it became very important to me to ACCEPT that these parasites coexist among us and it has better prepared me to see them more clearly. As with my last employer and the duping I experienced, it won’t always be perfect and I’m reminded that I’m still very vulnerable in some ways, still projecting my empathy on to people who are not capable of this, lands me in a lot of cognitive dissonance!

It’s very important to accept the power addiction in the abuser, but it’s equally important to understand your addiction to him. These relationships are not about love, they are about power and dependence. The ruminating when the relationship is over, is common and very much part of the acute process of recovery. When it’s accepted that the abuser is what he is, the sooner you will be able to begin your recovery efforts about you. This is where acceptance becomes very, very difficult. Because the relationship felt so ‘personal’ it’s hard to accept that what happened in it, and to us, had nothing to do with us at all. AT. ALL. At least not when it comes to his part in the relationship. From love bombing to discard, the psychopath is all about himself. His power addiction, his lack of empathy, his abuse, had nothing at all to do with you. He was sick before you and he’s still sick after you. If you can work on accepting that this person’s disorder was not about you, and never WAS about you, things get a little easier..

You’ll understand that the victim is to be pitied, not pummeled, you’ll begin to understand that his disorder will always be with him and that he does not have the ability to wish it away, will it away or flip a switch to turn it off and that IF he were to make any change at all, it would take months and years in psychotherapy to do so. There is no such thing as spontaneous change in anyone and the thought that the new victim could change him in two weeks or two months, falls into the fantasy that he likely exploited in you to get what he wanted in the first place. Abusers are brilliant in exploiting social media to give shallow images that are anything but real. Do you believe all the celebrity couple selfies and pics that they put up about their happy lives, only to discover that their divorcing a week later?

Not only do we live in a less than transparent world, but one highly addicted to celebrity and idol worship of power and money. All of it shallow, rarely real and only snapshots of others lives. This is why media is so good at exploitation, as we eat up every piece of gossip and smearing of the lives of others. Every day is another ‘smear campaign’ about good people and even not so good people.

I recall a couple of years ago, I was hired to write for a very popular progressive, political blog. I had a disagreement a few days into the job with the ‘boss’ about a policy that Obama wanted to carry out, but to which I knew the facts about and highly disagreed with. It didn’t matter what I disagreed with, I was to write that post anyway, embellishment and all. When I shared I could not LIE to embellish on any politician’s potential policy harm upon others I was let go. It’s so important to keep in mind how shallow these ‘photo ops’ by the psychopath and his new victim really are. And again, his disorder will play out with her, just as it did you because to do otherwise is so utterly impossible for the psychopath.

Q. Do you think he’ll try to get in contact with me? I really don’t want him to, but … (well, the truth is that you do, but this is part and parcel of the addiction to him)

A. I’ll answer this briefly as this post is very long and I’ll be writing a few more like this to help survivors understand the psychopath, as well as themselves in the relationship and now as a survivor and not a victim!

I remember, during the acute phase of recovery, I wanted him to call/text me so badly, yet at the same time I didn’t, because inside I knew how toxic he was and that his contact would merely be ‘baiting’. .. to see how much power he still had in my life. I would be hurt far worse than before. He would be doing it to see if I would react, roped back into the false fantasy, appealing to my lack of self-esteem, self love…to see if he could get me to react. Psychopaths will concoct varying ways to exploit and manipulate you further.

Your reactions are the most important thing to him. When you pick up the phone, or impulsively text back, you’ve just given him one more dose of psychopath empowerment. His ‘curtain calls’ are not about love, and nor are yours in responding. I know it feels this way, but abuse is not love and your reactions to him are not about love, nor about him, they are about reactions to his disorder, they are about addiction. Have you ever heard of the story of the scorpion and the frog? I’ll post it here at the end of this article, but the psychopath, or rather abuser’s nature doesn’t change. A rattle snake is a rattle snake! A scorpion is a scorpion and a psychopath is a damned psychopath!

With all the empathy you have in your heart, try to change your perspective here with the following: It is VERY unkind to ask someone to be who they are not. It is very unkind to ask someone to do for you, what they are unable to do. It is unkind to ask someone to change their mental health disability when it’s not possible. These disorders are forever. They are a result of faulty brain wiring and chemistry. I won’t go into that today, but there are other mental illness/disorder that are also affected by early trauma, or via birth defect and while there is great debate about whether these disorders are nature vs. nurture (or both), coming from a pathological home, and tracing psychopathy back a few generations, seeing it in my family, I’m convinced that it’s both.

The problem with these disorders is that without empathy, they are very dangerous to all of us. The very nature of the disorders, spells pain for every victim. Still, it is unkind to ask someone to be, to do, to act in a different way than they are able too. This perspective has helped me greatly through recovery in learning to let go of the pathological pain that has plagued my entire life.

So if he comes back, it’s important to remember that it’s not about you, it is about HIM and that he is not about to do something that he couldn’t do in the relationship either. I know how difficult and painful this is to accept, as we all want to have ‘meaning’ from all our relationships. But with this one, that isn’t the case. It is a relationship that is painful and one, that when over, provides a deeper level of meaning for ourselves and if we allow our recovery to guide and lead us into why we were in the relationship in the first place, we learn so very much about ourselves and can work to fix the vulnerabilities we have, build the boundaries we need to keep us safe in the future.

Next post: Why No Contact is so important…..AGAIN!

Onward and Upward

*Note: This article includes male survivors of female psychopaths*

The Scorpion and the Frog

  A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the 
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The 
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion 
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

  The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of 
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?" 

		Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."


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After the Psychopath: Embracing Awareness and Acceptance As the Key to Recovery

I’ve taken a long break away from my blog to do some personal work on myself, but have slowly been getting back into the ‘groove’ of things with writing and my guidance support.

I got a job as an editor for a publishing company, only to discover that it wasn’t ‘legit’. I’m still waiting to be paid for all the work I’ve done. There is a part of me that is very angry about what happened, yet I’ve learned over the years, that while this is a normal reaction to having been ‘duped’, it’s best to take it as a lesson learned and I learned a lot. And without going into a lot of detail, more was expected of me with the work, then simply as ‘editor’, but also formatting and converting e-books. I had to ‘self-train’ and it was a nightmare for me.

I learned that I despise the formatting, conversion part and that editing is not much fun when the author is not conducive to even basic change by the editor, that makes their work look better. It was very frustrating. There were giant red banners I overlooked in the person I was to be working for. Having applied for social security four years ago now, this word-of-mouth available ‘editor’ position, as shared with me by a close friend, was something I could not resist. Desperate to survive, to be as independent as possible, weary from being a burden to others, I was thrilled with this offer, so I jumped at the chance.

But I felt uncomfortable the entire time. A couple of my friends from Facebook, who love me and are like the annoying big brother or sister you’ve always wanted at times, but never had (considering I come from a pathological home), sent me blatant and provable warnings about my employer. And while I couldn’t deny that what they were sharing was true, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, “that was a long time ago!” I exclaimed.

Ultimately, as the process of learning and doing began to unfold for me, so did the unraveling of my employer as it became clear that his promises to follow through on payment for finished product, did not happen. I was paid in small partial payments for the work, while I was doing it, with promises that this or that loan was about to drop in cash, so that I would be paid in full. I was told to keep track of my hours, and I did so, along with several pieces of documentation of my hours, the work I had done and in keeping all of it, including copies of my work. I was proud of myself, because I produced three beautifully done e-books. The fun part was the ability to be creative with formatting and in utilizing images that fit with the theme of the book. But that’s not all that I learned.

I learned that I am very vulnerable to exploitation due to my circumstances. I learned that I could still be ‘duped’, no matter how long and how well I understand psychopath/narcissists. It might not come as a romantic partner, friend or otherwise, but I’d not gotten to the employer piece for a very long time. I learned that if I don’t listen to my limitations with PTSD and my physical limitations with autoimmune and back issues, I can become very sick and did with this project. Self-care will always be important, in fact, critical to my survival.

I learned that my PTSD is quite severe and has been a problem for me the majority of my life. Prior to diagnosis, I knew something was very wrong with me but not what. When the ‘what’ piece was implemented into my psyche, I then had to learn to cope, but instead I fought. Through this experience with the job, I learned that fighting and resisting did nothing for my health and well-being. It made things worse. I learned that I cannot do a lot of stress and I cannot do even the smallest amount of abuse, covert or overt and that I definitively, cannot be exposed to even the slightest amount of an individual with pathological ‘traits’.

By the time this job was put on ‘standstill’, my thyroid had literally stopped functioning and my doctor, in the aftermath of all of this, told me that she should have hospitalized me when the blood work she had ordered returned with the results, and that ‘next time’ she will do so.

When I share that these people are dangerous, I don’t mean a ‘little bit’ dangerous, I mean life force sucking in the most literal of terms, whether it’s on an emotional, spiritual level or on a physical level with violence or passive aggressive behavior that makes you ill.

So back to square one again, yet while recovering at home, still motivated enough to go where I know I work best and where I thrive and where watching human growth, is the best of gifts given to me. I do not ruminate about this experience, even though I still feel pretty angry, instead I’m more motivated to learn from it and to take care of it from a legal perspective, as well as to understand that this was a good experience for me in validating what my limits are, and instead of fighting them, or listening to others pathologize me because I am unable to do what they would or can do, I’ve made a decision to accept my circumstances and myself, just the way they are. And that’s very difficult to do when you are again, with one foot out into the streets, when you don’t know if you can pay your next bill coming due, or feed the animals that you love so dearly and that sustain you emotionally.

I’m learning to accept that this is a possibility and when I do have moments of genuinely feeling that acceptance, it takes a bit of the fear away. I’m choosing to put trust into a higher being than myself. I’m choosing to live each day, minute to minute when I must, and to be aware of my thoughts and my feelings, to be more mindful of self-care and what that means for me. In accepting where I’m at right now, in the moment, I embrace the emotions that come, feel and observe them, then let them go, knowing they won’t last forever.

I learned that in doing what I hated doing, I appreciate so much more what I can do and where my skills are appreciated. I’m led back to writing, to guidance support, realizing that I’ve been running from this the entire time away from my blog, from survivors, from comments and emails. I wanted to run from psychopathy as far as I possibly could run, thinking I had embraced enough of the abuse, and that it was time to move on.

And in doing so, I realized that it’s directly opposed to learning to accept myself, part of who I am and what happened to me. Psychopathy is a monumental chunk of my life. From psychopathic grandparent, to parents, to siblings, to partners, to child, to friends, and to employer. .

So I’m slowly working my way back into my guidance work and into writing again, I have many new insights about recovery that are probably anything but new, but do involve a deeper understanding of myself, of psychopathy, resulting from growth through lots and lots of pain. I tend to learn my lessons the hard way, all a result of resistance and the fighting of change, fighting with my limitations instead of accepting them and my past without shame.

I see this as a major challenge for survivors I work with too. Now, five years out of my relationship with my ex-psychopath, there are so many insights into my resistance in seeing precisely who he was, but it was so much more than that. In accepting that he was what he was, it meant accepting that my pathological family really was as depraved, as sick as they were. It meant accepting that despite the fact that the abuse was never my fault, never deserved, I did play a role in it all. My pathological family all had ‘assigned’ roles. Mine was as scapegoat. There is a significant difference between awareness, and having none and even that is not always black and white, but I learned that psychopathy IS black and white, as much as is the psychopath and the pathological relationship that is so typically a toxic, unrelenting, predictable pattern that is as addictive.

As a child of a psychopathic parent and a pathological household, I never learned life skills and I never learned the differences between good and bad, good and evil, and what it looks like in between that is truly the measure of balance in healthy people. The awareness required in the ability to see the toxic, abusive psychopath/narcissist, was absent in me because I was groomed from early childhood to accept abuse and pathological relationships as my normal. I had nothing to compare too. . .

Awareness developed, because I had empathy, I had just enough emotional intelligence to discern right from wrong. It was slow in coming for me because pathological abuse was as familiar to me, as a healthy family is to those who come from them. I must share that much of my life, my involvement with psychopath/narcissists, I knew to be ‘wrong’ in some vague and distant way, that something was wrong with them and with me for wanting this in my life.

So when my last relationship was over, I awakened from a life-long ‘sleep’ of pathological familiarity, I was as frightened as anyone could be. A spontaneous flood of behaviors, words and actions flew before my eyes as the greatest horror show anyone could envision. Not only did I realize the deeply dangerous depravity that surrounded me most of my life, I saw the empty shell that stood before me one last time, my ex-psychopath’s smirk of absolute, unbridled evil within, the dark, empty stare of predatory eyes and a man who had absolute power in my life for ten years, but in that very moment, was also a reflection of all the predatory ‘stares’ of the past and in the adults who were responsible for my care, yet were unforgiving and sadistic in their desire to destroy me.
In the past, those eyes meant I had done something very wrong again, for which I would be severely punished. As a child, I could not have known that those predatory eyes were not a reflection of me, or my worth, but one of a long line of very, very sick human beings who visited their sins upon me.

Soon after the last relationship was over and after that last moment, I knew I was sick, very emotionally sick, very physically ill, and I ran for two to three months seeking a therapist who could help me to free myself from the evil that I had been liberally exposed too. The very awareness I was avoiding, the reality of the depths of depravity in my life, and the role I played as an adult in a sick, twisted and toxic familiarity, with self-sabotage, self-loathing and deeply ingrained shame as the ‘great motivators within’, cultivated in me from my pathological family, became spontaneously real in that last moment, the mask flew off my ex’s face, as did the masks of all before him. Instead of wanting to run to the familiar, instead of denying that I had played a role in their sickness, with this new ‘awareness’, I was terrified because I knew I was sick too. Instead of asking myself, obsessing on whether ‘he/they were psychopaths’, I was asking myself if I was one of them too. . .

With awareness, I knew I could not distract myself. In the past, I started my romantic pathological relationships before I ever left home. My first real boyfriend was a wealthy, stealth, sadistic psychopath. He was just as sexually abusive as the men my mother subjected me too. I went straight from him to another highly pathological man, this one was my violently alcoholic and drug addicted psychopathic husband of 20 years and after him, straight into another disordered man’s arms, playing the role as ‘other woman’ for ten years. And of all the psychopath’s in my life, this man was by far, the most dangerous psychopath of all and the one that would have been ‘labeled’ as I now understand it, a successful psychopath/narcissist.

His mysterious, yet calm presentation, was a complete lack of empathy that I had mistaken for emotional and spiritual maturity. As the years progressed, the abuse ever-increasing,  it was thorough and soul-destroying, with sexual abuse as common as all the sexual abuse before him in all the psychopaths previous, my awareness began to heighten. The very day I felt ‘painted’ with that predatory stare, was the day of my awakening, of my awareness, and one that would never, ever go back to what it was again.

With awareness, I knew that if I indulged in what was overwhelmingly familiar, an addiction to pain and to abuse, so strong to ever go back to him in the event of a curtain call, or to run into the arms of another toxic man, it would now be a conscious choice. Insanity is making the same decisions repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. Awareness told me that with engagement of any kind with any psychopath, I was reflecting what was already deeply ingrained emotionally, with zero boundaries, self-loathing, shame and guilt and a complete lack of self-love. It would be self-sabotage. I could not make myself do this and I resisted with everything that was within me because I knew it wasn’t about him or them anymore, it was about me and my willingness to be hurt, to be destroyed, time and again, to die if I had too, in avoiding reality in understanding that not all are good, in fact, some are downright evil. I had to learn to accept that I come from a home of depravity, evil and extremes in abuse. In doing so, I knew I had to change my life, my own patterns. I had to learn to love myself, learn to implement boundaries, to stop self-sabotaging and to try to believe, with my integrity and dignity in tatters, that I was worth loving. I knew no one could do that for me. I had to do it for myself. By myself.

I’ve decided to stop fighting with my past, with psychopaths from my past and accept and even embrace my damage. I’ll never have what healthy families do, nor the support of those who should have otherwise loved me into adulthood. I’ll continue to face and have, a lot of discrimination, assumptions and even hatred, as a result of my limitations and ‘class status’ in poverty. And while this is really hard, I do know that I have myself to embrace through it all. I do have people who love me and support me, even though they are few, as I’m very cautious as to who is allowed into my life now.

I’m also very vulnerable and accepting that vulnerability has been the hardest thing of all to do. In my mind, it’s parallel to weakness, when in reality I know this isn’t true. It becomes a strength when awareness and acceptance is involved.

I’ll be writing a lot more now. Taking on more of a load with guidance support, but where I was once resentful of this, I now understand it to be a strength. I can’t run from my past, because it’s part of me and just because it doesn’t include a happy scenario or ending, doesn’t make it any less important or valuable to me in the lessons that I’ve learned from it. Being alone for five years, has allowed a measure of personal and spiritual growth I would not have known otherwise with distraction.

Posting this with a feeling of deep gratitude for my experiences, sharing them with all of you and most of all, with the ability to love.

Onward and Upward.

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Mother’s day is a difficult one for many survivors of pathological parents. Even more so when the survivor is grieving the end of a pathological romantic relationship too.

I’ve been very ill and have not been up to writing, but I’ve had emails from survivors, as well as within my recovery group (Adult Children of Pathological Parents), who are really struggling with a variety of emotions about Mother’s Day. There is a lot of anguish, pain and yet for the adult child that has children of their own, it’s also bittersweet.

I’m going to attempt a post here later today. A gift to myself, as writing is a mode of catharsis for me, but before then at the very least, I wanted to wish my readers a “Happy Mother’s Day”. I realize that ‘Happy’ in front of Mother’s Day, almost seems ‘insulting’ given the pain and anguish that some of you are feeling. I understand this. But if you’re a Mom, there is still something left to celebrate. And that is YOU and your very survival.

Wherever you are in the process today, I wish you a small measure of peace, a greeting of love and care, and for you to know that you matter to me. And you matter to those that really love you.

Be nice to yourself today. You deserve it!

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Psychopaths As Power Addicts

When I peruse my political pages, I’ve noticed a growing awareness about psychopathy in positions of power such as in Congress now, as well as other positions of authority at the local, state and federal levels. People are getting better and better at using terms that apply to the disordered one: no conscience, no empathy, no compassion, no guilt, takes no responsibility for their actions that harm others, does not learn from past behavior.

Many people believe that those in power are simply ‘greedy’. This implies that the person who is ‘greedy’ could simply change were it not for a feverish addiction to money.

But it’s far, far worse and much more dangerous than this. It’s about POWER and psychopaths are insatiably addicted to it. Money is merely a symbol of the psychopath’s power, a utility to be used to manipulate and exploit, to ‘buy’ politician’s that are love bombed with money, gifts, political campaign donations and a piece of the ‘power pie’.

In our relationships, it’s exactly the same: the predatory behavior out of the psychopath, is to achieve power over the victim, and to maintain that ‘power over’ through initial exploitation and the manipulation phase (love bombing). This power is maintained through the mean/sweet cycles, creating an addiction in the victim. He uses deprivation as the relationship progresses, through overt and/or covert tactics, brainwashing, cognitive dissonance, pathological lies. The mask he wears for the victim, makes the victim believe that she ‘knows’ the psychopath, however he would never allow this in reality, for it would reveal his depravity and depth of evil, it would loosen the victim from his grip of power.

The psychopath’s lethality IS his addiction to power. When the victim dares to move from the place assigned by the  psychopath, the mask begins to slip. The more the victim realizes what the psychopath is doing, what he has done to the victim, with more awareness, the psychopath can become lethal in his rage over losing power over the victim. What the victim thought she/he knew about her/his psychopath, is a mask that reveals nothing of what the psychopath was in the beginning, but now is a raging, frightening, abusive stranger. For survivors who now understand his lethality and want out of the relationship, they must do so with very discreet precautions in place.

Sometimes survivors are so angry they find it difficult not to tell the psychopath their intentions of leaving, or of any legal recourse that the survivor may be considering. To do this is self sabotage, for the psychopath’s reaction to such disclosures would be perceived by the psychopath as a battle for power. Even when the psychopath no longer finds the survivor useful, he still sees himself as having power over his past victims. This is often why psychopaths will return for a curtain call, testing the survivor to see if his power is still in place over her/him. It’s often why they stalk. Each past victim is another power notch on his belt for which he never really lets go. Some survivors hear from the psychopath years later, as if nothing between them ever happened.

His power addiction is not only dangerous, but is played out in all that he/she does, whether in positions of authority in government, wall street or corporations, reflected in our deepening inequality and deprivation legislation, as well as deregulating wall street to gamble away American tax payer monies, but similarly in our personal relationships with them too. Through power addiction comes harm and an overwhelming sense of euphoria for psychopaths.

If survivors could just replace their perspectives of Mr. Wonderful, with reality and Mr. Lethally Power Addicted, it would be a hell of a lot easier to let go of the psychopath, seeing him as her/his true enemy, and not the fantasy filled rescuer.

Onward and Upwardmanipulation

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