Sanctuary for the Abused

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Identify a Psychopathic Bond


by Claudia Moscovici

The most important self-defense against psychopathic seducers consists of recognizing the initial warning signals so that you can escape the relationship early on, hopefully before you’re seriously harmed. Dr. Joseph Carver has put together a helpful and instructive list outlining the early symptoms of a dangerous relationship with a psychopath, or as he puts it quite aptly, with “a Loser.” 

As we’ve already seen in the previous account of Drew Peterson’s behavior, not all the signs of psychopathic seduction are obviously negative. But, as we’ll see, even the symptoms that seem positive (such as the instant attachment and over-the-top attention, flattery and gifts) are in fact negative. Similarly, Carver notes that the Loser doesn’t have to exhibit all of the symptoms listed below to be dangerous. The presence of even three of these symptoms indicates a potentially harmful relationship. Anything above this number points to not just probable, but certain harm. Carver begins by defining “the Loser”: “‘The Loser’ is a type of partner that creates much social, emotional and psychological damage in a relationship… The following list is an attempt to outline the characteristics of ‘The Loser’ and provide a manner in which women and men can identify potentially damaging relationships before they are themselves severely damaged emotionally or even physically.” (drjoecarver.com)

1. The Loser will Hurt you on Purpose. “If he or she hits you, twists your arm, pulls your hair, kicks you, shoves you, or breaks your personal property even once, drop them,” Carver advises. As we’ve seen, Drew Peterson escalated the abuse of his partners. He began with criticism, went on to name-calling and moved on to physical violence and (probably) murder. It’s very important to get away from a Loser at the slightest hint of violence, including verbal aggression, since abuse usually increases in frequency and severity over time.

2. Quick Attachment and Expression. “The Loser,” Carver notes, “has very shallow emotions and connections with others. One of the things that might attract you to the Loser is how quickly he or she says ‘I Love You’ or wants to marry or commit to you. Typically, in less than a few weeks of dating you’ll hear that you’re the love of their life, they want to be with you forever, and they want to marry you. You’ll receive gifts, a variety of promises, and be showered with their attention and nice gestures.” Drew Peterson and other dangerous seducers wouldn’t get any partners, much less attractive young women, if they showed their true colors from the very beginning. Psychopaths generally pour on the romance. They deluge their targets with flattery, promises and gifts at the beginning of the relationship. No matter how promiscuous they actually are, they focus their energies on their most desirable targets. Yet, Carver cautions, this seemingly positive sign is, in fact, also negative. It signals shallowness of emotions rather than strength of love. He elaborates, “Normal, healthy individuals require a long process to develop a relationship because there is so much at stake… The rapid warm-up is always a sign of shallow emotions which later cause the Loser to detach from you as quickly as they committed.” Which is exactly what Drew Peterson (and others like him) did after seducing each of his partners. As easily as he attached to them initially, he later detached from them to pursue his next conquest(s).

3. Frightening Temper. Sooner or later the Loser reveals his hot temper. Carver states that Losers often begin with indirect violence—such as demonstratively hitting the wall with their fist or throwing objects—before they start pushing, punching or hitting their partners. The physical outbursts towards inanimate objects function as a form of intimidation. Through such behavior, Losers show their targets that they’re capable of doing the same thing to them. Such outbursts also train the partners to become gradually habituated to acts of violence.

4. Killing Your Self-Confidence. Losers generally prefer flings and short-term affairs, which provide constant new thrills. They also engage in long-term relationships, however, to gain more lasting control over certain more promising targets. It’s nearly impossible to control strong human beings who have clear boundaries and a healthy self-esteem. This is why psychopaths eventually move from the initial over-the-top flattery to scathing criticism. Once they have secured their chosen partners in their grasp, they put them down to erode their self-esteem. Carver states that, for instance, Losers “constantly correct your slight mistakes, making you feel ‘on guard’, unintelligent, and leaving you with the feeling that you are always doing something wrong… This gradual chipping away at your confidence and self-esteem allows them to later treat you badly–as though you deserved it.” According to Tracy’s and Stacy’s families and friends, after seducing them, Drew undermined both women’s self-confidence. His assertion that he pampered Stacy by indulging her obsession with plastic surgery rings false. By way of contrast, her friends’ and family’s claim that he criticized her to the point that she felt compelled to make constant “improvements” in her physical appearance sounds much more plausible. Stacy’s growing insecurity also placed her under Drew’s power to determine how she felt about herself.

5. Cutting Off Your Support. In the wild, predators isolate their prey from the rest of the herd to better attack and devour it. That’s precisely what psychopaths do to their targets. Losers isolate their partners from their friends, colleagues and families. They may do so through overt criticism and by following them around when they meet with others, as Drew did to Stacy. Sometimes they opt for more subtle manipulation, such as by covertly turning the victim against her own family and friends (and vice versa). As Carver observes, “The Loser feels your friends and family might influence you or offer negative opinions about their behavior… Eventually, rather than face the verbal punishment, interrogation, and abuse, you’ll develop the feeling that it’s better not to talk to family and friends. You will withdraw from friends and family, prompting them to become upset with you.”

6. The Mean and Sweet Cycle. As we recall, Drew Peterson bought his wife a motorcycle and expensive jewelry even during the period of time when he was criticizing her, throwing her up against the wall, isolating her from her loved ones, accusing her of infidelity and calling her pejorative names. If they were consistently mean or violent, psychopaths wouldn’t be able to hold on to their partners. Which is why, as Dr. Carver observes, “The Loser cycles from mean to sweet and back again. The cycle starts when they are intentionally hurtful and mean. You may be verbally abused, cursed, and threatened over something minor. Suddenly, the next day they become sweet, doing all those little things they did when you started dating.” The period of sweetness leads the partners of Losers to cling to the relationship in the misguided hope of finding what psychologist Susan Forward calls “the magic key” that will make the psychopath stay nice to them. That magic key, however, doesn’t exist. The psychopath invariably cycles back to his real, nasty self. Over time, the meanness cycle escalates in severity and increases in duration. It’s interspersed with increasingly fewer “nice” moments, which trap the victim in her own wishful thinking. As Carver observes, “You hang on, hoping each mean-then-sweet cycle is the last one. The other purpose of the mean cycle is to allow The Loser to say very nasty things about you or those you care about, again chipping away at your self-esteem and self-confidence.”

7. It’s Always Your Fault. As we’ve seen, psychopaths never accept blame for anything they do wrong. They deny obvious facts and accuse their victims of wrongdoing. Their spurious logic goes something like this: I didn’t do it, but even if I did, you deserved it. When he didn’t outright deny the domestic abuse, Drew Peterson blamed it on each of his wives for provoking it. According to him, they lied about being hit by him. They also lied about his verbal abuse. They were the ones who were “on edge” and “disturbed,” not him. He never hit them, even if Kathy had to go to the emergency room to recover from his blows. Carver notes, “The Loser never, repeat never, takes personal responsibility for their behavior–it’s always the fault of someone else.”

8. Breakup Panic. Psychopaths need to maintain control of everything in their lives, especially their romantic relationships. When they get bored with one partner or find a replacement, they can leave her on the spur of the moment, heartlessly, often without even bothering to offer an explanation. But they get very angry when the tables are turned and their partners leave them. Drew Peterson didn’t mind cheating on his wives and abandoning them for other women. Yet when they wanted to leave him to escape the misery and abuse, he resorted to violence, threats, bribes and, when none of these strategies worked, (probably) murder. As Carver notes, “The Loser panics at the idea of breaking up–unless it’s totally their idea–then you’re dropped like a hot rock. Abusive boyfriends often break down and cry, they plead, they promise to change, and they offer marriage/trips/gifts when you threaten ending the relationship… Once back in the grasp of the Loser, escape will be three times as difficult the next time.”

9. No Outside Interests. To further control their victims, psychopaths don’t just isolate them from other people. They also narrow the range of their interests and activities, leading their partners to focus exclusively on them. Drew Peterson discouraged Stacy from working outside the home. He gave her money and gifts, not out of any real generosity but to keep her financially and emotionally dependent on him. He also followed his wife around everywhere. He wanted to monitor if she was seeing other men. But his stalking made her feel on edge about any kind of activity or pursuit that was external to their relationship. Carver goes on to state, “If you have an individual activity, they demand that they accompany you, making you feel miserable during the entire activity. The idea behind this is to prevent you from having fun or interests other than those which they totally control.”

10. Paranoid Control. Notoriously, psychopaths stalk their principal targets. They suspect other people, including their partners, of being as manipulative, deceptive and unscrupulous as themselves. Although they routinely cheat on their spouses, often with countless sexual partners, they tend to be plagued by the fear that their spouses may be cheating on them as well. Which is why, as Carver observes, “The Loser will check up on you and keep track of where you are and who you are with. If you speak to a member of the opposite sex, you receive twenty questions about how you know them. If you don’t answer their phone call, you are ask where you were, what were you doing, who you were talking to, etc.” Drew Peterson worked as a detective not only in his job on the police force, but also in his dealings with his wife. He followed Stacy around to monitor her.

11. Public Embarrassment. Psychopaths tend to put down their partners not only in private, but also publicly, to embarrass and isolate them. They want to build a psychological, if not physical, prison around their primary targets. They do everything possible to undermine their confidence, reduce their sociability, narrow the range of their interests and eliminate all positive human contact from their lives. Consequently, as Carver observes, “In an effort to keep you under control while in public, ‘The Loser’ will lash out at you, call you names, or say cruel or embarrassing things about you in private or in front of people… If you stay with The Loser too long, you’ll soon find yourself politely smiling, saying nothing, and holding on to their arm when in public.” As we’ll see in the chapter on Pablo Picasso, psychopaths aim to transform strong and proud individuals into their doormats.

12. It’s Never Enough. Psychopaths don’t want to have successful relationships. They want to assert dominance by destroying, at the very least psychologically and emotionally, their partners. In the long run, there’s nothing anybody can do to please a psychopath. Apparently, Drew Peterson flattered both his third and his fourth wives when they were still his girlfriends, which is to say, during courtship. But the honeymoon period ended once they decided to marry him. Nothing they did or failed to do henceforth pleased him for long. According to their families and friends, Stacy and Tracy constantly jumped through more and more hoops, while Drew lifted the bar higher and higher. Through this insidious process, a psychopath wears down his partner’s self-esteem. Eventually, she feels too insecure to leave the abusive relationship. As Carver puts it, “The Loser convinces you that you are never quite good enough. You don’t say ‘I love you’ enough, you don’t stand close enough, you don’t do enough for them after all their sacrifices, and your behavior always falls short of what is expected. This is another method of destroying your self-esteem and confidence. After months of this technique, they begin telling you how lucky you are to have them–somebody who tolerates someone so inadequate and worthless as you.”

13. Entitlement. As we’ve seen, psychopaths feel entitled to do and have everything and everyone they want. Laws, ethics and other people’s feelings don’t matter to them. “The Loser has a tremendous sense of entitlement, the attitude that they have a perfectly logical right to do whatever they desire,” Carver continues. “If you disobey their desires or demands, or violate one of their rules, they feel they are entitled to punish you in any manner they see fit.” In the case of Drew Peterson, even thought crime, or the intention to leave him, was punishable with (probably) murder. His interviews show that he felt entitled to mistreat each of his wives as he pleased. However, he believed that they didn’t have the right to object to his mistreatment or to leave him as a result of it.

14. Your Friends and Family Dislike Him. Psychopaths tend to be pleasant and charming, at least superficially, at the beginning of a relationship. But once they have their partner firmly in their clutches, they proceed to isolate her from her support system. In so doing, they alienate her family and friends. Carver notes, “As the relationship continues, your friends and family will see what the Loser is doing to you. They will notice a change in your personality or your withdrawal. They will protest. The Loser will tell you they are jealous of the ‘special love’ you have and then use their protest and opinion as further evidence that they are against you–not him.” Drew Peterson stalked his wife even when she was visiting with her sisters. Initially, at least some of Stacy’s family members and friends liked Drew and considered him a good match for her. But as he began to isolate and abuse her, they became unanimous in their dislike of him. In the end, they all saw the relationship as seriously damaging for Stacy.

15. Bad Stories. They say that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. There may be exceptions to this general principle. Fortunately, some people can improve their character and behavior with genuine and consistent effort. A psychopath can never be one of those exceptions, however. Generally speaking, if a man cheated on every wife he’s ever been with, it’s highly probable that he’ll cheat on the next one as well. Most likely, the problem isn’t the woman or women he was with, but his underlying lack of character. Similarly, if he abused his previous partners, he’s very likely to abuse the next ones as well. Stacy knew enough about how Drew treated his previous wife to see that he was a philanderer and potentially dangerous. But the intensity and perseverance with which he pursued her blinded her from seeing the same warning signals in their relationship. In addition, since psychopaths don’t find anything wrong with their harmful behavior, they’re likely to boast about it. This also sends out some glaring warning signals. As Carver states, “The Loser tells stories of violence, aggression, being insensitive to others, rejecting others, etc… They brag about their temper and outbursts because they don’t see anything wrong with violence and actually take pride in the ‘I don’t take nothing from nobody’ attitude… Listen to these stories — they tell you how you will eventually be treated and what’s coming your way.”

16. The Waitress Test. Just as how people behaved in the past tells a lot about how they’ll behave in the future, so how they treat others functions as a pretty good indicator of how you’ll eventually be treated. A person who’s uncaring and unethical towards others will most likely also be that way to you when you no longer serve his interests. Carver calls this “the waitress test.” In his estimation, how a Loser treats people who aren’t immediately useful to him reveals how he’ll treat you once your use has expired. “It’s been said that when dating, the way an individual treats a waitress or other neutral person of the opposite sex is the way they will treat you in six months. During the ‘honeymoon phase’ of a relationship, you will be treated like a king or queen. However, during that time the Loser has not forgotten how he or she basically feels about the opposite sex. Waitresses, clerks, or other neutral individuals will be treated badly. If they are cheap–you’ll never receive anything once the honeymoon is over. If they whine, complain, criticize, and torment–that’s how they’ll treat you in six months.” Psychopaths lack consistency in their “good” behavior because for them “goodness” is only a façade. The manner in which they treat someone relates strictly to that person’s perceived use value. When people are useful to them they treat them (superficially) well. When they aren’t, they ignore or mistreat them. By way of contrast, genuinely nice people treat others well regardless of their perceived utility. Carver advises, “If you find yourself dating a man who treats you like a queen and other females like dirt–hit the road.” Pretty soon, you’ll be the dirt he walks on, on his way to conquering other temporary queens.

17. The Reputation. Psychopaths tend to have polarized reputations. Their victims often describe them, in retrospect, as Janus figures (since they’re two-faced) or as Jekyll and Hyde personalities (since they switch from nice to mean). We’ve seen that for a psychopath the Jekyll side is a mask he constructs to attract, fool and use others. The Hyde side represents his true identity, which becomes increasingly dominant over time. To his buddies, Drew Peterson appeared to be an easy-going, nice guy. But that’s because they only saw one side of him, the jovial facet he wanted them to see. To his wives and their families– which is to say, to anyone who had extensive intimate contact with him–Drew exposed another, much more menacing side of his personality. Any sign of independence from his partners meant escaping his control: something he couldn’t tolerate and which he punished through abuse and (probably) murder. Carver states, “As mentioned, mentally healthy individuals are consistent in their personality and their behavior. The Loser may have two distinct reputations–a group of individuals who will give you glowing reports and a group that will warn you that they are serious trouble.” In addition to paying attention to what others say, trust your own intuition and powers of observation. Pay close attention to how your partner treats you over time and in different circumstances. Be particularly attuned to how he responds when you express different needs or opinions. Psychopaths can’t tolerate any real assertion of independence from others. They also can’t treat those they’re intimately involved with well for long. Although some psychopaths may consistently maintain the mask of charm in superficial interactions with their buddies, colleagues and acquaintances, their real controlling, selfish and aggressive natures tend to show through in extended intimate contact.

18. Walking on Eggshells. During the course of their marriages to Drew Peterson, at least two of his wives reported losing their self-confidence as a result of his emotional and physical abuse. While they both entered the relationship with Drew feeling desirable, in love and valued, by the end they were overpowered and intimidated by him. When involved with a psychopath, over time, his partner finds herself walking on eggshells. She fears that anything she does or says might trigger his emotional detachment, hostility or abuse. Carver observes that, “Instead of experiencing the warmth and comfort of love, you will be constantly on edge, tense when talking to others (they might say something that you’ll have to explain later), and fearful that you’ll see someone you’ll have to greet in public.”

19. Discounted Feelings/Opinions. For psychopaths, their fundamental callousness and capacity for evil stems from their absolute selfishness and inability to respect other individuals, as fellow human beings with independent needs and desires. That’s why those involved with a psychopath, following the initial stage when he praises everything they do and say, come to realize that their feelings, needs and opinions don’t matter to him. The Loser’s narcissism is, as Hervey Cleckley’s study of psychopathy concluded, absolute. Carver elaborates, “The Loser is so self-involved and self-worshiping that the feelings and opinions of others are considered worthless… The Loser is extremely hostile toward criticism and often reacts with anger or rage when their behavior is questioned.” Narcissists and psychopaths flatter others only to use and manipulate them. They lack genuine consideration for others.

20. They Make You Crazy. According to her friends, Kathy Savio felt overcome by rage, jealousy and anger when Drew cheated on her with Stacy. While her emotional response was perfectly understandable under the circumstances, Drew depicted Kathy to others as “insane” to justify his mistreatment of her. In some ways, however, this statement isn’t far removed from the truth. Sometimes, psychopaths quite literally drive their partners crazy. They lie to them to the point where they start doubting their knowledge of reality. They discourage and belittle them to the point where they lose their self-confidence and become reclusive. They mistreat them to the point where they’re overcome with rage. As Carver goes on to explain, “The Loser operates in such a damaging way that you find yourself doing ‘crazy’ things in self-defense… You become paranoid as well–being careful what you wear and say… While we think we are ‘going crazy’–it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as ‘normal behavior’ in a combat situation. Rest assured that your behavior will return to normal if you detach from the Loser before permanent psychological damage is done.” When involved with a psychopath, you may, unlike Drew Peterson’s misfortunate wives, escape alive. But unless you end the relationship in its earliest stages, you’re not likely to escape unharmed.


What do these warning signs indicate? They show that psychopathic seducers can fake decency and love convincingly in the beginning of a relationship. That’s how they manage to attract so many potential partners. But they can’t sustain their mask of sanity over time in intimate contact, since it’s fake and instrumental. If you remain vigilant, you’ll be able to see red flags early on in the relationship with a psychopath despite his veneer of charm and extravagant romantic words and gestures.
 
As psychotherapist Steve Becker indicates on his website, powercommunicating.com, most of his clients recognized the warning signals in their relationships with exploitative partners. They just minimized those red flags or downright ignored them. They preferred to focus on their romantic fantasies rather than face an unpleasant reality. According to Becker, the most difficult challenge isn’t noticing the red flags, but actually heeding them. He states,

“I find that many of my clients were in fact cognizant of odd, disconcerting behaviors/attitudes that their exploitative partners were reckless enough to reveal (or incapable of concealing). They may have even felt troubled by them. But in their intense need to want the relationship, and the partner, to be the elusive fit they so hungrily sought, they found ways to suppress their uneasiness: to ignore and/or minimize the significance of these signals; and rationalize the alarms their instincts triggered.” (powercommunicating.com)


If you encounter a man who is aroused primarily by the circumstances surrounding your relationship—especially the perverse and forbidden ones—rather than by you, yourself, run. If you encounter a man who does a bait and switch to gain your trust only to violate his promises or raise the bar higher and higher, run. If you encounter a man who behaves in a despicable manner towards any other woman, no matter what he says about her, examine his behavior carefully since that’s how he’ll eventually treat you and, needless to say, run.

Truth is not a convenient fiction. Similarly, love is not a power game for anyone capable of this emotion. It’s the deepest and most significant bond human beings form with one another and the foundation of our lives. If you encounter a man who gives any signs that he regards love as a game and you as a “prize” to be won, fold your cards and quickly leave the table. Or, better yet, refuse to engage with him at all. Any intimate relationship with a psychopath is a gamble where you risk losing everything and from which you have nothing to gain.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Communication & the Functional Sociopath



By William Polowniak, Ph.D.

Fritz Perls a famous Jewish psychotherapist known for his founding of Gestalt therapy once said that refusal to communicate is the most toxic human behavior. I am convinced that he is right. Refusal to communicate really means refusal to listen and to enter into dialogue especially when we disagree. Usually people who refuse to communicate live their lives as “functional sociopaths.” That is, they are self-centered, they do as they please with total disregard for others and they indulge in subterfuge, self-delusion and see themselves as persecuted. Their delusions of self-persecution cause them to become angry manipulators.

So why label people in “either or” categories as “toxic” or “nourishing” people? Labels themselves are dangerous and often unfair, but for the wise person they do help us see what to avoid. They help us to invest our energies in more productive ways. When we use labels, however, we must be aware that labeling others without caution is in itself a toxic behavior. Let us “be aware” when we choose to label others or ourselves.

Action speaks louder than words Everyone’s mother has probably said this during our childhood more than once. My father used to say “Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” The typical behaviors of those who refuse to communicate are labeled by psychologists as the “fight?flight” response. Those who refuse to communicate are usually adept at manipulation, they have toxic behavior in general and when confronted by circumstances that proves their position is faulty, they will attack or run away, or they will attack and run away. "Toxic people are adept at pushing our buttons and provoking an over-reaction in others. But the up side of that is that they challenge us to remain centered and be a positive influence even if there is no reward to us directly. Our efforts to not add to the pain and suffering toxic people use to justify their emotional cruelty and brutal behavior is our best strategy. If they do not run they will not listen using a variety of tyrannical behaviors. They begin by raising their voices, then will shout, scream and rant and rave often appearing to be a raving lunatic. They typically indulge in anger, condemnation and blame. They are adept at interrupting and often will not allow their adversary to finish even one sentence. We often see people like this on TV talk shows."

So how does a person deal with those who refuse to communicate? The best defense is listening, in silence, and adopting the posture of a detective. While listening, try to discover what is really at the root of the problem. All the while, if you must communicate, focus on short, simple and clear statements using "I" statements frequently; that is, if your adversary permits any pauses in their onslaught of anger, condemnation and blame. At the very least, actively listening in silence and non-judgment will provide your adversary with needed catharsis, will often defuse their anger and will not add to their fear of retaliation.

Another thing that helps is to rely on trust and the great healer—time. We’ve all heard the biblical quote “Vengeance in mine, sayeth the Lord.” The fact is that time and life will usually bite these kinds of people in the behind when they least expect it. They sabotage their own life by alienating others, when in fact they desperately need and want love and affection.

Another helpful thing to realize is that to the wise person, knowing that “not communicating” can often communicate more than we realize. Not retaliating, not interrupting the interrupter, but listening in silence or basically allowing the adversary to wallow in their own delusions of persecution will ultimately allow the TRUTH to emerge. Reality is the second best teacher. Do you know what the best teacher is? Pain. Very often only pain and suffering can communicate to the person who refuses to communicate.

A final thing that is helpful is to remember that “help is not always helpful.” Recently I tried to help a person who was wallowing in her anger and hostility. Her remark to me was “I don’t need your help.” Often it is wise to avoid unnecessary contact with people who seem to be waiting to pick a fight or to blow up. If communication is really necessary it should be done in writing (and keep a copy) so that it is less likely to elicit a reaction or temper tantrum. And in the worse cases, if a toxic person retaliates and legal action becomes necessary to remedy the situation, what you have in writing may be valuable. In addition if a toxic person acts out threats they will thereby create the proof you will need to legally prosecute for blackmail and malicious mischief. Those of us who believe in community do not like to think of things like legal action or legal defense but the reality is that sometimes legal remedies do in fact create community and can force a more healthy emotional situation to prevail. Legal remedies can show the bully and the emotional tyrant that you are not afraid.

Whenever a person threatens to take me to court and to sue me, my response is that “I love to go to court with people like you. Please sue me. Do it now.” You would be surprised at how this defuses the pompous threats of manipulating tyrants. And, the truth is that I really do love to go to court with people who think that their threats can frighten me into submitting to their demands. In court your adversary will show the judge their irrational behavior and you can force them to listen to reason when it is your turn to speak. You can also ask a judge to admonish your adversary and you can ask for and receive legal costs and punitive damages. But remember, your best defense is to always be honest, fair and loving and kind— especially when it is difficult.

It seems paradoxical but genuine communication begins and ends with listening. Silence is golden. Words are often useless and unnecessary.

I collect quotes. One of my favorites is from the Dhammapada. “Better than a thousand useless words is one word that gives peace.” Another favorite quote states, “Must we waste this moment on words?”

One benefit of silence is that it allows the body and the being to relax into a natural meditative state of being. In this state of mind, we learn to listen to our bodies. More than that, we learn the difference between our cravings and what our body really needs for health.

I hope these thoughts find you well and healthy, and I hope I can learn from my own advice by listening more and improving my communication through active listening. I sometimes forget.

************************
something to think about when your abuser just stops talking to you, says he/she "needs time" or "its no longer a matter for discussion and I am never speaking to you again" and gives you the silent treatment.

Turning their back on you and not allowing you to work thru your hurt and anger with them can be a form of cowardice & sadism.
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The behavior also ties into seductive mind-control. Distancing yourself at critical moments makes your 'target' want you more and then the hunter becomes the hunted. (i.e. The Art of Seduction - Greene)

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why Are Most Judgmental, Critical People So Critical and Judgmental?

Pull back the curtain on a critical, judgmental person and you’ll usually find this…



Everybody knows a few of them — arrogant people who think they’re always right about things and everyone else is wrong. To these people, nothing anyone else does is ever “right” or good enough.

But what’s usually behind the actions of the know-it-all, the finger-pointer, the high-horse rider, the snob, the harasser, the holier-than-thou, the name-caller, the assume-the-worst accuser,  the constant critic? Usually, the same thing…

Lack of empathy.


If you’re dealing with someone who just can’t see the possible value or meaning in your point of view, then you’re dealing with someone who cannot empathize well. People who cannot empathize cannot take on an alternate position and view things from another’s vantage point, and take on the perceptions and feelings that a person in that alternate position would have. If they could, they’d easily be able to see the reasons why their point of view is not the only valid one and stop claiming that everyone else is just “wrong”. People with low or no empathy also have a difficult time understanding or caring about the fact that insisting your thinking is wrong and valueless will hurt your feelings.

Many things affect a person’s ability to empathize or express empathy. Mental disorders and brain differences are the most likely culprit. Among the most vigorous criticizers and judgers are people with traits of the following personality disorders:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – a mental disorder that is partially defined by a lack of empathy for others. Narcissists can be arrogant, insensitive, critical, self-centered and don’t like being questioned.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder – a mental disorder that makes its sufferers rigid, critical, fault-finding and demanding. Not surprisingly, the current considerations for the revised version of this disorder’s characteristics include difficulty empathizing.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (Psychopaths and Sociopaths) – another mental disorder partly characterized by insufficient empathy. Sociopaths (aka Psychopaths) can be cold, callous, sneaky, aggressive, conniving, and even dangerous.


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Narcissism Victim Syndrome



A new diagnosis?

Do you see a preponderance of middle aged women in your practices with no particular physical disease process, yet a variety of physical and/or emotional complaints, including: insomnia, weight loss or gain, depression, anxiety, phobias, (sometimes but not always, also: broken bones, lacerations, or bruises)? Some may report an overwhelming feeling of emptiness, self-hate or doom. Others may talk about or attempt suicide.

These patients are frequently rather nervous, with a guilt-ridden, anxious look and effect. They may appear restless, worried, and/or demonstrate a fake laugh that seems to hide something else.

In extreme cases they may describe sudden outbursts of rage with accompanying violence. They may have even been arrested for assault on their spouse. A few of them are men.

Who are these patients and how did they get this way? While there may be many situations with similar symptoms, it is important to recognize these may be "Victims of Narcissists" and they need your help. While narcissism itself has been a diagnosis in the DSM - IV, psychiatry's complete reference, little to nothing has been written in the medical literature surrounding those who live with the narcissist … and the torturous lives they live. And there are many of them out there.

Narcissism is a broad spectrum of behaviors. On a scale of 1 - 10, Healthy Narcissism is a one, and Pathological Narcissism, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, (NPD) is a 10.

Healthy Narcissism is something we all can use. It's having a healthy self-esteem. It's what makes us pick ourselves up after experiencing failure and going on towards the next goal. It's what gives us the ability to help each other, and to love someone - as we already know how to love ourselves.

Yet, Pathological Narcissism is an ironic twist of this healthy state. Outwardly, it appears that these people love themselves too much - to the exclusion of anyone else. It is as if they are God himself and those around them must recognize their omnipotence, supreme knowledge, and absolute entitlement and power. Rules don't apply to them. They have an unrealistic and overblown sense of self, often without the credentials to match, as well as fantasies of unlimited power, success, and/or brilliance. They are interpersonally exploitive and have absolutely no understanding of empathy or compassion.

They are neither kind nor benevolent gods. And those who live with them end up paying the price.

While there is a range of narcissistic behaviors lying between level 1 and 10 on this scale, one doesn't need to have full-blown NPD to do incredible damage to those in the inner circle.

While victims of Narcissists are generally codependents, most have no idea how they got in this situation, because in the early stages of the relationship the Narcissistic person can be the most charming, Academy Award winning actor or actress (according to the DSM-IV, 50-75% of narcissists are men), of the century.

The early days of the dating is fast, furious, and vastly romantic. Oftentimes marriage proposals come within a few weeks. The "victim" sees the narcissist as the "Perfect Partner". She's never met someone so wonderful in her lifetime and falls head-over-heels in love. The two go on to live happily ever after - or so she thinks - until the "real" partner surfaces. The once wonderful Dr. Jekyll turns into the dangerous Mr. Hyde who quickly instills fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and total confusion to the relationship.

The change can be quick and powerful or slow and insidious.


We are all way too familiar with overt narcissists: those abusive husbands who send thousands of battered women to the emergency room each year. They feel it is their God-given right to beat, abuse, and otherwise threat their partner in whatever method they deem necessary and no one can tell them otherwise.

Then there is the verbally abusive and controlling narcissist … the one who uses emotional abuse as his weapon of choice. He tells his victim who she can see, what time she needs to be home, and when she can go to bed. Or in the case of Jamie, whose husband makes her recite every day, "I'm only worth 29 cents - the price of a bullet," he erodes her self-worth to nothing to keep her under his control.

Who else could possible want such a worthless woman as she? With that belief, she will never leave him for good, although she makes many brief attempts to do so. She always returns. The brainwashing that continues day after day is emotionally exhausting, draining, and vastly unhealthy.

Yet almost worse is the "Stealth Narcissist," so sinister and silent in his ability to drive his partner crazy that she doesn't suspect anything bad is happening until it's too late. He is the master of the little digs … "Honey, why on earth would you cook eggs in butter? NO ONE does it that way. What's wrong with you?" Or, "If you'd only do what I say then we'd both be happy."

He issues the "silent treatment" when he is slighted, punishing his family by ignoring them for hours, leaving them wondering what they did "wrong" to make him act this way. He may "forget" birthday or Christmas presents, year after year. He may show up hours late and his partner is just supposed to understand, with no explanation even offered. He may have another woman on the side and feel quite entitled to do so.

Yet, to those outside his inner kingdom he looks like a saint. He probably is president of the Rotary, volunteers at a food bank, and contributes regularly to charity … all to attain the image of being the admired Superman of his community.

No matter which type of narcissist he is, the end result is the same … a slow, insidious, breaking down of the self-esteem of his victims until there's next to nothing left, at which point, the narcissist will frequently throw his partner out in order to look for someone new and full of life to make his next target. Leaving his victim an emotional wreck wondering what she did to destroy their once "perfect" relationship.

The Narcissist himself rarely changes. After all, if you believe you're God-like, you must be perfect. Why should you change your behavior for anyone else? Yet the biggest secret is that deep inside, he loathes himself, and is desperate that no one find out who the "real" person is inside his tough, outer shell.

Victims are not only spouses. They can be coworkers, employees, children, or friends of narcissists. When the narcissist is the victim's mother, it's a difficult spot to be in, as most children (even grown children) find it almost impossible to leave the relationship. And the abuse continues for years.

However, when the narcissist is your patient's boss, coworker, or friend, it may be wise to counsel the victim to seek a new situation elsewhere to best avoid an emotional roller coaster ride that could lead to extreme health issues down the road.

How can you help those with Narcissism Victim Syndrome? First, by asking questions to determine what is going on in their environment. Health care professionals already know the effect that stress has on so many of us, but the added stress of living with a narcissist is rarely understood or recognized by the victims themselves. Knowledge is power and by asking the right questions about their situation, you might be able to help them begin to better recognize their problem and seek help.

You can help them quit being victims, quit blaming themselves for all that's wrong in their relationships, gain knowledge of this disorder, and regain their personal power. Help them to seek counseling from a therapist knowledgeable about narcissism, (not all are, and few fully understand victim issues at all - see www.helpfromsurvivors.com), in order to rebuild their shattered self-esteem and stop looking and acting like a caged animal.

Help them find hope, before years of stuffing their anger due to this abusive treatment, leads them to venting in unhealthy ways, sometimes leading to domestic violence and police intervention. Help them to stop looking like the sick one in the relationship and to start down the road of being a survivor and no longer a victim. Help them escape symptoms of depression that may, in some cases, lead to suicide.

Learn all you can about the "Narcissism Victim Syndrome". You might light a glimmer of hope for someone who's just barely hanging on for dear life.

Mary Jo Fay, RN, MSN is a national speaker, author, columnist and survivor of several narcissistic relationships. Her new book, "When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong - Loving or Leaving the Narcissist in Your Life" is available at http://www.helpfromsurvivors.com or http://www.outoftheboxx.com. She can be reached at 303-841-7691.

Copyright by Mary Jo Fay, RN, MSN

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Friday, January 20, 2017

The 10 Most Dysfunctional Things Ever Uttered



(if anyone says these to you, they are dysfunctional - run from them!! even if they are family. - Barbara)


They don’t get worse than these — the ten comments that signify the very most dysfunction possible.

In no particular order:

1. “I did nothing wrong. You’re just oversensitive.”

It’s not that there aren’t people in the world who are highly sensitive. It’s just that even if the person being spoken to were oversensitive, this comment is only going to make them feel much worse! It offers no help, and only rubs salt in the wound.

It is a critical statement of low empathy — there’s no effort to truly understand the other person’s feelings or to consider that maybe the speaker could possibly have done even one small thing a little more considerately to try helping matters.

In addition, it’s most often said by people who are not actually dealing with someone who’s “too sensitive”, but instead, someone who is actually expressing normal dismay about a valid concern.

2. “That’s just the way it is.”

While it’s true there’s no point denying that the sky has always been blue and grass will be forever green, making the above comment in order to shut down someone’s concerns or curiosity about a given situation is a different matter.

Such a comment displays a high level of dysfunctionality, typically related to disempowerment, denial, defensiveness, closed-mindedness and attempts at control of others.

Inflexibility and difficulty with change is common in the personality disorder called OCPD, and in autism spectrum disorders.

3. “Why can’t you be more like so-and-so?”

Trying to tell someone to be more like someone else is self-centered. If you’re dealing with a person who is self-important enough to think that other people should conform to their personal preferences (and need only be asked to do so) you’re likely dealing with someone characteristically narcissistic.

4. “I’m sorry you feel that way/I’m sorry if you…/I’m sorry, but…”


If a person cannot say, “I’m sorry I did that/I’m sorry I hurt you/I’m sorry I was wrong”, and dodges emotional responsibility with the kind of fake apologies and substitutions above, there’s a problem.

Healthy relationships require genuine apologies that are the result of empathy. Inability to truly sense other people’s feelings is at the root of an incredible amount of dysfunction, and unwillingness to admit mistakes is highly dysfunctional behavior.

5. “You always/You never…”

It’s unlikely the person NEVER or ALWAYS does whatever is complained about. It’s more likely it happens a lot. Or, it happens too often for the person’s liking.

Saying “always” or “never” when complaining about someone’s behavior makes them feel as if you aren’t trying to resolve the matter with them — you’re trying to condemn them.

When people have difficult issues they wish they didn’t struggle with, and they’re making very little progress on them, it’s very painful to be told by someone they care about that they “always” or “never” do something. It causes them to lose hope, and more importantly, it causes them to lose hope that you are on their side against the difficulty, and that you do believe in them and see their hard-earned minor improvements.

6. “You’re not smart enough to do that /you’ll never amount to anything /you’re an idiot.”

This one needs no explanation. It’s just abusive, plain and simple. If this has been said to you, remember, it’s projection — people who say this have a tremendous fear that they themselves are the “stupid” one.

Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is good at something, and a comment like this is nothing but a reflection of the speaker’s own insecurities and fears. Typically, abusive people will pick the moment of a mistake to utter this, but everyone makes mistakes, including the person saying it, and their comment means nothing about the listener. People are not their mistakes, and are not necessarily what other people say they are.

7. “I told you so.”


All people have a right to make their own choices, and to disagree with others. People who tell other people what’s supposedly best and then pounce on them if their alternate choice doesn’t work are seeking to gain future control of the independent person by shaming them. Shame fuels dysfunction, and should not be accepted.

8. “You are ‘choosing’ to feel bad about the upsetting thing I did or said.”

This is highly invalidating. The person who says this is not making any effort to empathize, is refusing to take responsibility for the impact of their behavior on others, and is trying to blame the person they have hurt.

Feelings aren’t even processed in the same area of the brain as thoughts. If someone threatens you, you will feel fear. You’re not “choosing” fear; fear is an immediate, natural and healthy response to being in a threatening situation. If someone you love dies, you will feel sad. You are not “choosing” to feel sad about their death. Sadness is a normal, healthy response to the loss of someone. If your sibling, partner or other person you are close to says something insensitive or cruel, you will feel hurt. You’re not “choosing” to feel hurt; it is a natural and healthy response to unkindness.

Telling someone who feels hurt that they have “chosen” to feel hurt is generally a way of avoiding responsibility by making the hurt person retreat in shame that they have done “wrong”. They’re supposed to “choose” properly by letting the person who hurt them off the hook, and instead, focusing on their own “bad choices”.

9. “You wouldn’t understand”.

This kind of dismissiveness and condescension is seen in people who harbor the belief that they are superior and should ideally be the one in control, because of their supposed superiority. The arrogance of such a statement is more than rude and devaluing — it indicates that the person’s intention is to shut you out and shut you down so they can propagate the perception that they are “better” than you.

10. “What they don’t know can’t hurt them.”

If a person hasn’t found out that their spouse is cheating, or that somebody took advantage of them in some way they haven’t realized, it’s true that they won’t feel hurt.

But… the person who says this is a cheater; the person who says this is taking advantage. It’s wise to steer clear of people like this, because they care much more about themselves than other people, and they lack integrity. This is highly characteristic of mentally disordered thinking, and the person who says it will most likely one day be the person who takes advantage of you, too. The presence of a good conscience doesn’t depend on circumstances or individuals present.

If there’s no conscience nagging at them when they take advantage of someone other than you, there will be no conscience nagging at them when it’s your turn to be the one in their way.



from this fantastic blog!

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Understanding Boundaries


Understanding personal boundaries is the single most important thing you can do to improve your relationships immediately. This is an explanation and definition of the concept of personal boundaries.

You've heard people say "He's so refined." We think of refined people as having a great deal of "class." What they have if they really are refined is a very refined - a detailed and accurate - understanding of boundaries - or where their rights end and another's begin. Put simply, people who have exceptionally good manners have a much better understanding of personal boundaries than people who don't. They are a pleasure to be around because they have respect for your emotional and physical space. They don't touch you without permission, they don't try to "define" you or make remarks about you or your life or being.

Physical Boundaries

To begin to get a grasp on the concept of boundaries let's start with physical boundaries of each human being.

We can view a human being as having a space around him of about, say, a foot. This is his comfort zone. Step inside this and he is likely to become uncomfortable and step back. This is his physical boundary: his body combined with the space he needs from you to feel comfortable. The size of everyone's physical boundaries are different. Latin Americans have a much smaller comfort zone, they like to talk "in your face."

Stepping inside that comfort zone deliberately, if you know it makes the person feel uncomfortable, is called a boundaries violation, or transgression. You have quite literally "gone over the line."

Most people will get frightened to one degree or another if you violate their physical boundaries. Abuse, by definition, is "boundaries violations." Deliberately stepping inside one's comfort zone, making someone uncomfortable and/or feel threatened, therefore, is defined as physical abuse.

At night, the physical comfort zone of a woman widens considerably, to perhaps yards and yards. If a man walks behind her too closely she will likely feel threatened and may call the police. He has every legal "right" to walk so closely, but "refined" people will understand intuitively that a woman's physical boundaries and her comfort zone are different at night and in unsafe areas, and will respect this and keep a distance, "hang back" just to be respectful.

If you touch a person without permission technically that, too, is a boundaries violation, regardless of how affectionate you intended the gesture to be. Some people don't mind this type of physical boundaries intrusion from a family member but most people feel uncomfortable about it when it comes from anyone else. They may say nothing, but if they do reproach you, know that you are, indeed, at fault. As mother used to say, "Keep your hands to yourself unless invited."

Hugging someone without permission is a boundaries violation, too - a deliberate invasion of that person's personal space. We do it all the time, don't we? It's widely accepted and encouraged. But be warned: many people don't like it, they may avoid you or reproach you and again: it's not your intent that matters, it's the effect the gesture has on the receiver. It technically is a boundaries violation: we have no right to touch another person without their permission.

Obviously, hitting or harming a person's body is a serious boundaries violation and constitutes serious physical abuse.

Becoming aware of people's physical boundaries is an important first step to ending all abusive behavior.

Emotional Boundaries

People also have emotional boundaries. This comprises everything about who they are: what they do, what they like, their past, their family and friends, their looks, their personality, where they went to school, the house they live in.

Making remarks about any of these things - anything that has to do with "who a person is" - is an emotional boundaries violation. Intentions don't matter when it comes to trespassing someone's emotional boundaries; only the effect the words had on the person matter.

"Refined" people steer clear of any personal remarks. Even compliments are judgments and judgments and diagnoses (about people's mental health, for example) are serious emotional boundaries violations.

Any remarks that start with "You " are probably trespassing on someone's emotional boundaries. A man in an elevator once said to a stranger, "You should wear short skirts." He may have thought that was nice, he wasn't too "refined". To the woman it felt invasive, personal, like it reduced her personhood to nothing but body parts, it attempted to "define" her by telling her something she "should" be doing with her life and therefore felt controlling. In fact, it was all of these, whether he was consciously aware of it or not. He was, as we say, "out of line."

Language is powerful, words can be destructive. Refining the language you use, is a very important part of learning to respect other people's boundaries.

Boundaries and Family Members

Boundaries tend to be more lax among family members - but, really, should they be? Unless we are asked to comment on something that falls within someone's personal emotional boundaries, we are trespassing on their territory and risk doing emotional damage and causing relationship problems and conflicts when we do. Remember: it doesn't matter what your intention was. If you trespass someone's boundaries they have a right to be upset.

The home is probably the MOST important place to exercise a healthy respect of boundaries. So much of our happiness depends on the smooth functioning of these relationships.

Boundaries and Manipulation and Control

Emotional boundaries violations are verbal and emotional abuse. You can emotionally abuse without OVERTLY trespassing a boundary. In fact, very quiet attempts to manipulate someone are also violations - these are attempts to control someone, someone's emotions or behavior, and therefore constitute "stepping over the line".

Conclusion

"Mind your own business."

"Keep your words to yourself."

"Stay on your side of the road."

"Don't say a word until you've walked in his shoes."

These old sayings are the best things you can do for your relationships.

And respecting the boundaries of others has the added benefit of making you a much more "refined" person. :-)

******************
You may reprint/reproduce any of these provided you include the entire copy, especially this credit.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What Victims Call the "DV-PASS-THE-BUCK"


1. Ignore - 2. Refer - 3. Pass the buck

The title of this post describes the one and only process domestic violence organizations/ agencies/ programs seem to use to send victims in, what I call, the "DV run around".

In the past year of trying to reach out and get assistance from state funded DV organizations set up to 'help victims', I have first been ignored, then referred to someone else, then that person eventually passes the buck and sends me in a vicious circle, unable to assist me, never really addressing my issues.

One clear example I can give in my situation is with the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. This agency is a state run office that assists victims and provides referrals. In the past 7 months I have been in contact with a representative from the office who has either ignored my questions, passed me off to someone else who could not assist me in my county, or answered questions I did not ask to change the subject and avoid certain conversations.

The problem is, I am already used to being passed off as a victim of DV, I am used to being ignored, referred to places I already know cannot assist me, and I am used to someone passing the buck, I am used to this circle of re-victimization.

Unfortunately, this is common among DV agencies, the OPDV is not the only organization to blame. Each and every agency is well stocked with pamphlets, they are armed with every last hotline you can think of, they can list shelters off the tops of their heads for victims to run to, they are well versed in safety plans, and exit plans, and warning signs of abuse, and they have great advice like "fill out a Crime Victims Board application!", but to this day, only one small organization has provided me with actual funds so that I could seek medical treatments.

Being a victim of domestic violence, and also an advocate for DV reform at the same time, brings me to a point where I must ask a question. What are these offices providing, what are these organizations providing, besides information I can easily obtain through a simple Internet search?

From being in contact with the Office for the Prevention of DV for 7 months, I have found that most of the work day on their end seems to be an evasion of issues through long email messages back to me. I find this to be true with Coalitions and other DV organizations that "claim" to help innocent victims of DV as well, no one is getting this right.

No one is paying attention to the truth, which is, DV organizations and programs are failing victims.

It's a powerful statement, but from my experience, which has been like pulling teeth, I find this statement to be true. And even when I address this exact issue with DV organizations/ programs that have failed me, they evade the truth and write around my question, again wasting my time and hoping I go away.

When are DV organizations going to stop ignoring, stop referring, stop passing the buck because it's easy?

When are DV organizations going to help victims, by using funding for the victims and not to fund these positions that are unnecessary and not helpful?


I don't need someone listing shelters out of a phone book, giving me hotlines numbers, referring me to agencies that aren't prepared to help me. I need real people helping me tackle real problems, I need real advocates that have one primary goal, which is to stop passing the buck and assist a victim from start to finish.

We are victims and we need help from those who claim to assist, those who are getting paid to help us from start to finish, those who are in positions to make a difference. This process must end, referrals must end, and people from DV organizations must step up and follow up.


Claudia Valenciana



Heather Thompson



SOURCE

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE & PASS IT ON!!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Poison: Verbal Abuse

Have you heard any of these?
"you fat ... ugly ... stupid ... moron ... c**t ... b***h ... whore... lazy ... skank ... slut ... idiot ... crazy ... psycho" (please add every obscene word you can think of here, in case I left any out).

"Shut your f**king mouth" (add any and every other way to tell another person to shut up here)

"No one in the entire world is interested in anything you think or say"

"I can't believe someone so "smart" can be so f***ing stupid"

"worthless piece of sh*t"

"no one would touch you..."


"you're a waste of human space..."

"you don't deserve to be: happy ... to live ... to have a child ... to go to school ..."

"don't you have any dreams??"

"she/he likes phone sex/ swinging/ kinky sex" (said to strangers)


"you got sick/ disabled/ injured on purpose to upset me"

"you have no idea what real work is"

"you used me & this marriage to get what you want"

"the marriage was a set up on your part, right?"

"you are a lousy mother"

"you are a sex maniac"

"you're frigid"

"you stink in bed..."


"she's obsessed with me...  she's a stalker"

"I never loved you"

"I never said that"

"She's a scorned woman/ he's just jealous"

"That never happened"

"She's out to ruin my life..."

Lots and lots of vague, weird, threatening comments and cruel words said with sweet tones - lots of psychological games (murmuring "you ugly bitch" barely loud enough for me to hear, then denying it and claiming that I was "hearing things".)

Do you think that a NORMAL, RATIONAL PERSON
WOULD SAY THESE THINGS TO YOU?

Don't believe it!

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Splitting



Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist
 

Publisher: Eggshells Press;
by William A. Eddy, forward by Mike Roe

SPLITTING is designed for anyone facing a high conflict divorce, whether or not your spouse meets the criteria for a Borderline or Narcissistic Personality. Its explanations of WHAT TO EXPECT in Family Court and WHAT TO DO to protect yourself and your children, can be used by anyone, including your attorney, your therapist, your family and others involved in your case.

I wrote SPLITTING after ten years as a divorce attorney representing many fathers (and mothers) whose spouses appeared to have Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders or traits. Since I had been a therapist for the previous decade, I recognized these personality problems -- but I did not realize at first how successful they can be at manipulating and confusing legal professionals.

Rather than being rational and protective, the Family Court process can be very unpredictable and inadvertently encourages false allegations, aggressive and sometimes violent behavior, and intense blaming of the Non-BP or Non-NP spouse. Many Nons have been unable to protect themselves and their children from abuse by the BP or NP, and instead have found themselves experiencing restraining orders, supervised visitation, financial sanctions and even incarceration, because the courts are often more persuaded by the intense emotions and blaming behavior of a Borderline or Narcissist, than by your honest presentation of the facts. I call them "Persuasive Blamers."

This book explains how the Family Court process interacts with these Persuasive Blamers, and summarizes the lessons I have learned, including: the importance of careful preparations before announcing the divorce, using therapists and experts, avoiding short hearings on important issues, fighting hard at the beginning rather than trying to fix bad decisions later, and how to work most effectively with your attorney.


--William A. Eddy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Family Law Specialist

Only Available for Order by Clicking Book Image Above

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

BLAMING THE VICTIM




by Kathy Krajco


The first thing the victims of narcissists need to know is that they are not to blame.

Not one bit.

In other words, he didn't get mad because dinner was was late. She didn't blow up because you are "too this" or "too that." You didn't "ask for it" by speaking up and saying that you deserved some attention and respect.

The narcissist attacked you just because you are there, period. Don't you have a right to be there?

Let's get real. Narcissists think they have a right to punish you just for being the way you are. Think, don't you have the right to be the way you are? Do you have to be some character in the narcissist's fiction that conforms to his or her specifications?

Does that make any sense? That's as hateful as the crime against humanity of attacking people just for being a certain KIND or nationality.

The narcissist attacks because he or she is a predator, period. Predators attack any vulnerable prey that crosses their sights, period. Therefore, the prey is NEVER the one bit to blame.

It would make as much sense to blame a sheep for getting attacked by a wolf. So what if the wolf says, "I attacked her because she is an obnoxious sheep!" What idiot falls for that line? Yet narcissist sympathizers are doing precisely this and are therefore being irrational.

The narcissist attacked just to do it, and he or she attacks any prey they have some unfair advantage over. They never pick a fair fight. They are bullies, period.

They do it to vaunt themselves on others. It gives them a high. Like as in a high from a hit on drug.

Does this mean you are a saint? Of course not. Does it mean you have never said or done anything in an argument with a narcissist that you should regret? Of course not.

You are like a bank teller who gets shot in a holdup. You are totally innocent of getting shot. Don't let the sloppy thinkers like narcissists and their sympathizers convince you that you are to blame because you were rude, or because you were embezzling, or because you are a drug addict. All that is irrelevant TO HIM SHOOTING YOU.

Of course you should change those things about yourself, but the "intellectual" clowns who make out your character flaws as justifying abuse of you are complete idiots unable to see the relationship between cause and effect.

Being late with dinner is no excuse for the narcissist to attack you. Being "too this" or "too that" for his taste is no excuse for the narcissist to attack you. Demanding decent and respectful treatment is no excuse for the narcissist to attack you.

I don't care how "threatened" any of that makes the poor, twisted narcissist feel. His perverted feelings are HIS problem, not yours. The Narcissist will never run out of twisted excuses to irrationalize his attacks on you, so get off the guilt trip. His perversity is not YOUR vice.

Narcissists attack you just to do it. You are therefore 100% innocent of your victimization. Blow off this absurd "It takes two to Tango" crap.

Doubtless, you will discover that there are certain things you should stop doing. Good. Now you wise up and stop being manipulated in ways that play right into the narcissist's hands. Now you cannot be victimized.

THIS is how you stop being a victim.

But foggy-headed idiots (like those espousing the ridiculous co-dependence theory) try to claim that you stop being a victim by pretending that you have never been made one. That's crazy.

That is magical thinking, like the narcissist's. You HAVE been made a victim. That's a FACT, like it or not. And "victim" is not a dirty word. Though being a victim is nothing to aspire to and is something to avoid, being a victim is NOT a sin. It is nothing to be ashamed of. To the contrary, the most innocent are the most unsuspecting and most easily victimized ... until they have learned the hard way not to assume that other people are good. And these foggy-headed idiots who blame the victim should be able to see that. (Maybe if they stopped thinking in buzzword-laden slogans, like robots, they would.)

You stop being a victim by wising up so that you are never again victimized. It requires nothing beyond COMMON SENSE to realize that.

In some cases, the narcissist has stolen something of value from you, like your job or reputation - something you have every right to get back from the damned thief. You stop being a victim when you win justice and get it back, period.

SOURCE

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