Sanctuary for the Abused

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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.

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)

Labels: , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:58 AM 4 comments


Friday, March 16, 2018

Verbal Abuse

Labels: , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:25 AM 1 comments


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why the Victim Stays

Why the Victim Stays

Of more serious injury or death
Of trying to make it on her own

Of having a failed marriage
Traditional responsibility for the home rests with the wife (e.g., if she had been a better cook.)
Social stigma, "It's not supposed to happen in families like mine!"

Every time abuser apologizes, the victim wants to believe.
When abuser isn't being abusive, abuser is nice.
If victim could be a better spouse or partner, maybe victim could control abuser's violence.

Abuser controls the money. The checking account and credit cards are in abuser's name only.
The victim may not have a job.
Abuser gives victim an allowance and demands receipts for everything spent.

The more dependent a batterer makes the victim, the less likely the victim will leave.
Batterer may force the victim to give up working outside the home.
Batterer may not allow the victim to go to school.
Batterer may sell or disable the victim's car.
Batterer may isolate the victim from family and friends.
Batterer may disable or remove phones from the house when he is leaving the house.

The victim wants the children to have two parents.
The victim both stays and leaves because of children.
A batterer may threaten or abuse the children as a means of intimidating and controlling the victim's behavior.
People who choose not to report violence may not realize that they risk losing custody of their children.
Abused children may remain silent out of fear that the batterer will retaliate and further abuse their mother, themselves, or their siblings.
Child welfare agencies and domestic violence services routinely function along parallel tracks with no coordination. At times they are in conflict with each other, as child welfare agencies' commitment to keeping victims safe. In the extreme, victims whose children have been abused may be taken to court for failing to protect their children, with no investigation into whether the person may have been abused.

Victim may not stop loving the batterer despite the abuse.
Battering doesn't usually occur every day. About 1 in 5 women victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse reported that they had been a victim of a series of at least 3 assaults in the last 6 months. Batterers can at times be very loving and caring, lavishing gifts on the victim, writing personal notes and poems, or doing other things that are very romantic.

Lack of family support
"You made your bed, now lie in it."

Marriage is "for better or for worse."
Batterers sometimes use scriptures to justify their actions.
Clergy may be misinformed about the phenomenon of domestic violence or child abuse and may inadvertently send a signal to abused women and children that they should endure the abuse to protect another family member or save the marriage.

Referral services may be located in towns or cities miles from home.
Victims may be reluctant to make long-distance phone calls that will be listed on the monthly bill.
Public transportation is scarce.
Victims may fear that their batterer will check the mileage on vehicles.
Police officers are often miles from the scene of abuse, and it may take hours for them to respond.
Families residing in rural move less frequently, often staying in the same county, or even the same house, for generations. Physical safety means leaving behind family, friends, and all that is familiar.
Because some adults and children seldom leave the immediate communities in which they live, they may not know that domestic violence and child abuse are crimes.
Close relationships among community members may lead victims and children to seek assistance from family members or friends rather than from police, advocates, or other services. Orders of protection may be issued only at courthouses during limited hours on specified days of the week.
Circuit-riding prosecutors and judges who try and hear cases throughout the district or state may only be available periodically.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:29 AM 1 comments


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Law Enforcement & the Abuser



*Denial and Minimization

* Refusing to admit their violent behavior. Makes statements such as:
o "I didn't do anything."
o "She just bruises easily."
o I had my fist out and she ran into it."

* Admitting less than actually happened in the incident or making the assault sound trivial.
o "It was only a love tap."
o "I just gave her a little push."
o "Her ribs are just a little bruised (not broken)."

* Effective Police Response: Inform the offender that he has already broken the law and explain how his/her behaviors met that criteria. Get a detailed account of the scope of the violence by conducting a partner contact interview and by using police reports and hospital records.
*Focusing on Intentions

* Defending one's behavior by pointing to good goals.
o "I was trying to keep her from hurting herself."
o "She was hysterical and yelling nonstop so I slapped her to calm her down."

* Effective Response: Point out the effects of violence: terror, fear, distrust, pain, injury, destruction, etc. Even if his intentions are good, violence not justified and it is illegal.
*Victim Blaming

* Most popular of the excuses, the offender will make the case that the victim is a bad person and the abuse is deserved. The offender hopes you will focus on the victim's behavior rather than abuser misconduct. If you begin to criticize the victim, you become allied with the batterer.
o "I found her with another man."
o "She is a drunk (alcoholic, drug addict, bad mother, thief etc.)."
o "She assaulted me."

* Effective Response: A woman doesn't have to be Betty Crocker (a perfect mother or housewife) in order to deserve not to be beaten. People do not have to earn the right to be free from violence and fear. The act of battering is illegal, just like bank robbery is illegal even if you are very poor.
*Loss of Control

* Batterer doesn't take responsibility for what happened.
o "I exploded but it wasn't really me."
o "I lost it and the next thing I knew, she was down on the floor bleeding and screaming."
o "I saw a white (blue, red, yellow etc.) light and I just blacked out. When I came to she was lying on the ground."

* Effective Response: If you're convinced you have no control, then we should surrender you now since treatment will be totally useless. Do you get violent the same way whenever someone gets you really upset? With your boss? Getting violent with someone is not an automatic response once you get upset with another person.

* The offender claims the other person drove him/her over the edge so they don't take responsibility for what occurred.
o "She made me do it."
o "She knew it was coming and she pushed me into it."

* Effective Response: No one can make you violent. People may hurt, frustrate or anger you but there are many alternative ways to respond that don't involve violence.
*Lack of Time and Money

* Offender cannot attend treatment because of work and cannot afford it.
* States that they have changed, victim no longer feels threatened by them or that the counselor's no longer feel treatment is necessary.

* Effective Response: Most batterer programs have a sliding scale fee system. Reinforce that the abuser must make time for treatment. If you are a probation officer, it is important to communicate frequently with the treatment program and the victim to avoid confusion and manipulation.

* Pretend they are sleeping when the officers arrive.

* Will be apologetic, friendly, polite and very courteous to the officers.

* Will express frustration/sadness over their inability to get the "alcoholic" and/or "drug addicted" victim help for their problem.

* Will attempt to get sympathy by presenting themselves as a "victim" to their partner's nagging and/or verbal abuse.

* Will attempt to get the officers to relate to their situation. For example, "You know how those women are."

Labels: , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:12 AM 7 comments


Monday, March 12, 2018

The 'Relationship' Cycle

(this applies not only to Psychopaths, but to many abusers - particularly the Personality Disordered like Narcissism, etc.  Read & Heed!)

Because they suffer from incurable personality disorders, psychopaths repeat over and over the same relationship cycle, no matter whom they’re dating or for how long. Relationships with them are always castles–or, sometimes, marriages–built on sand

Today I’ll describe the entire process of psychopathic seduction, from its seemingly ideal beginning to its invariably bitter end.

In their book on psychopaths in the workplace, entitled Snakes in Suits, Babiak and Hare state that the psychopathic bond follows certain predictable stages: idealize, devalue and discard. This process may take several years or only a few hours. It all depends on what the psychopath wants from you and whether or not you present a challenge to him. If the psychopath wants the semblance of respectability–a screen behind which he can hide his perverse nature and appear harmless and normal–he may establish a long-term partnership with you or even marry you. If all he wants is to have some fun, it will be over within a couple of hours. If he wants the stimulation and diversion of an affair, he may stay with you for as long as you excite him. Despite the differences in timeline, what remains constant is this: eventually, sooner or later, you’ll be discarded (or be led by the psychopath’s bad behavior to discard him) as soon as you no longer serve his needs.
  (or if he keeps you around in order to keep your mouth shut about the REAL him!)

Babiak and Hare explain that although psychopaths are highly manipulative, the process of idealize, devalue and discard is a natural outgrowth of their personalities. In other words, it’s not necessarily calculated at every moment in the relationship. Overall, however, whether consciously or not, psychopaths assess and drain the use-value out of their romantic partners. (Snakes in Suits, 42) During the assessment phase, psychopaths interact closely with their targets to see what makes them tick. They ask probing questions, to discover their unfulfilled needs and weaknesses. They also commonly lure their targets with promises to offer them whatever’s been missing from their lives. If you’re recovering from a recent divorce, they offer you friendship and an exciting new romantic relationship. If you’ve suffered a death in the family, they appear to be sympathetic friends. If you’re going through financial difficulties, they lend you money to seem generous.

During the manipulation phase, Babiak and Hare go on to explain, psychopaths construct the “psychopathic fiction.” They pour on the charm to hook their victims emotionally and gain their trust. They present themselves as kind-hearted individuals. Of course, in order to do so, psychopaths resort to outrageous lies since, in reality, they’re just the opposite. In romantic relationships in particular, they depict themselves as not only compatible with you, but also as your soul mate. While seeming your complement, they also present themselves as your mirror image. They claim to share your interests and sensibilities. Babiak and Hare observe: “This psychological bond capitalizes on your inner personality, holding out the promise of greater depth and possibly intimacy, and offering a relationship that is special, unique, equal -- forever.” (Snakes in Suits, 78)

Because psychopaths are great manipulators and convincing liars, as we’ve seen, many of their victims don’t heed the warning signals. During the early phases of a romantic relationship, people in general tend to be too blinded by the euphoria of falling in love to focus on noticing red flags. Also, during this period, the psychopaths themselves are on their best behavior. Yet, generally speaking, they get bored too easily to be able to maintain their mask of sanity consistently for very long. The honeymoon phase of the relationship usually lasts until the psychopath intuitively senses that he’s got you on the hook or until he’s gotten bored by the relationship and moved on to other targets. He shows his true colors when he’s got no incentive left to pretend anymore. As Babiak and Hare note, “Once psychopaths have drained all the value from a victim—that is, when the victim is no longer useful—they abandon the victim and move on to someone else.” (Snakes in Suits, 53)

This raises the question of why a psychopath idealizes his targets in the first place. Why do psychopaths invest so much effort, time and energy into giving the illusion of intimacy and meaning in a relationship, given that they never really bond with other human beings in the first place? One obvious response would be that they do it for the sport of it. They enjoy both the chase and the kill; the seduction and the betrayal. They relish creating the illusion that they’re something they’re not. They also enjoy observing how they dupe others into believing this fiction. Moreover, whenever a psychopath expresses admiration, flattery or enthusiasm for someone, it’s always because he wants something from that person. I think, however, that this explanation is somewhat reductive. Many psychopaths experience powerful obsessions that resemble intense passions. Besides, this explanation doesn’t distinguish con men, who fake their credentials and interest in a person, from psychopaths “in love,” who are pursuing their targets for what initially seems even to them as “romantic” reasons.

A broader explanation, which would include both kinds of psychopaths, might look something like this: as research confirms, all psychopaths suffer from a shallowness of emotion that makes their bonding ephemeral and superficial, at best. When they want something–or someone–they pursue that goal with all their might. They concentrate all of their energies upon it. When that goal is your money or a job or something outside of yourself, their pursuit may appear somewhat fake. You’re a means to an end. You were never idealized for yourself, but for something else. But when their goal is actually you–seducing you or even marrying you–then their pursuit feels like an idealization. Temporarily, you represent the object of their desire, the answer to their needs, the love of their life and the key to their happiness. But this feeling of euphoria doesn’t last long because it’s empty to the core. As we’ve observed, once psychopaths feel they have you in their grasp—once your identity, hopes and expectations are pinned on them—they get bored with you and move on to new sources of pleasure and diversion. We’ve also seen in Cleckley’s study that the same logic applies to their other goals as well. Psychopaths tire rather quickly of their jobs, their geographic location, their hobbies and their educational endeavors. But it hurts so much more, and it feels so much more personal, when what they get tired of is you, yourself.

Their loss of interest appears as a devaluation. From being the center of their life, you suddenly become just an obstacle to their next pursuit. Since psychopaths are intuitively skilled at “dosing,” or giving you just enough validation and attention to keep you on the hook, you may not immediately notice the devaluation. It’s as if the psychopath intuitively knows when to be charming again (in order not to lose you) and when to push your boundaries, further and lower. Your devaluation occurs gradually yet steadily. One day you finally notice it and wonder how you have allowed yourself to sink so low. Occasionally, he throws you a bone–takes you out, plans a romantic evening, says kind and loving things—to lead you to dismiss your healthy intuitions that you’re being mistreated. If the psychopath allows himself to treat you worse and worse it’s not only because you’re much less exciting in his eyes. It’s also because he’s conditioned you to think less highly of yourself and to accept his dubious behavior. Because you want to hold on to the fantasy of the ideal relationship he cultivated, you go into denial. You accept his implausible excuses. You put up with your growing fears and doubts. You rationalize his inexplicable absences, his increasingly frequent emotional withdrawals, his curt and icy replies, his petty and mean-spirited ways of “punishing” you for asserting your needs or for not bending to his will.

But at some point, when he sinks to a new low or when you catch him in yet another lie, you slip out of the willful denial which has been your way of adjusting to the toxic relationship. Because he has lowered your self-esteem, you ask yourself why this has happened and what you did wrong. If he cheated on you, you blame the other woman or women involved. The psychopath encourages you to pursue such false leads. In fact, he encourages anything that deflects attention from his responsibility in whatever goes wrong with your relationship. He leads you to blame yourself. He also inculpates the other women. He implies that you were not good enough for him. He claims that the other women tempted or pursued him. But that’s only a diversionary tactic. You have flaws and you made mistakes, but at least you were honest and real. The other women involved may have been decent human beings, the scum of the Earth or anything in between. Think about it. Does it really matter who and what they were? You are not involved with the other women. They are not your life partners, your spouses, your lovers or your friends. What matters to you most is how your own partner behaves. He is primarily accountable for his actions. Not you, not the other women.

Also, keep in mind that psychopaths twist the truth to fit their momentary goals and to play mind games. When you actually pay attention to what they say instead of being impressed by how sincere they may appear, their narratives often sound inconsistent and implausible. What they say about other women, both past and present, is most likely a distortion too. Psychopaths commonly project their own flaws upon others. If they tell you they were seduced, it was most likely the other way around. If they tell you that their previous girlfriends mistreated them, cheated on them, got bored with them, abandoned them, listen carefully, since that’s probably what they did to those women. Their lies serve a dual function. They help establish credibility with you as well as giving them the extra thrill of deceiving you yet again.

So why were you discarded? you may wonder. You were devalued and discarded because you were never really valued for yourself. As we’ve seen, for psychopaths relationships are temporary deals, or rather, scams. Analogously, for them, other human beings represent objects of diversion and control. The most flattering and pleasant phase of their control, the only one that feels euphoric and magical, is the seduction/idealization phase. That’s when they pour on the charm and do everything they possibly can to convince you that you are the only one for them and that they’re perfect for you. It’s very easy to mistake this phase for true love or passion. However, what inevitably follows in any intimate relationship with a psychopath is neither pleasant nor flattering. Once they get bored with you because the spell of the initial conquest has worn off, the way they maintain control of you is through deception, isolation, abuse, gaslighting and undermining your self-confidence.

That’s when you realize that the devaluation phase has set in. You do whatever you can to regain privileged status. You try to recapture the excitement and sweetness of the idealization phase. You want to reclaim your rightful throne as the queen you thought you were in his eyes. But that’s an impossible goal, an ever-receding horizon. Every women’s shelter tells victims of domestic violence that abuse usually gets worse, not better, over time. For abusers, power is addictive. It works like a drug. The dosage needs to be constantly increased to achieve the same effect. Control over others, especially sexual control, gives psychopaths pleasure and meaning in life. To get the same rush from controlling you, over time, they need to tighten the screws. Increase the domination. Increase the manipulation. Isolate you further from those who care about you. Undermine your confidence and boundaries more, so that you’re left weaker and less prepared to stand up for yourself. The more you struggle to meet a psychopath’s demands, the more he’ll ask of you. Until you have nothing left to give. Because you have pushed your moral boundaries as low as they can go. You have alienated your family and friends, at the psychopath’s subtle manipulation or overt urging. You have done everything you could to satisfy him. Yet, after the initial idealization phase, nothing you did was ever good enough for him.

It turns out that he’s completely forgotten about the qualities he once saw in you. If and when he talks about you to others, it’s as if he were ashamed of you. That’s not only because he lost interest in you. It’s also the instinctive yet strategic move of a predator. If your family, his family, your mutual friends have all lost respect for you–if you’re alone with him in the world–he can control you so much easier than if you have external sources of validation and emotional support. Psychopaths construct an “us versus them” worldview. They initially depict your relationship as privileged and better than the ordinary love bonds normal people form. This is of course always a fiction. In fact, the opposite holds true. An intimate relationship with a psychopath is far inferior to any normal human relationship, where both people care about each other. Such a relationship is necessarily one-sided and distorted. It’s a sham on both sides. Being a consummate narcissist, he loves no one but himself and cares about nothing but his selfish desires.

If and when he does something nice, it’s always instrumental: a means to his ends or to bolster his artificial good image. Dr. Jekyll is, in fact, always Mr. Hyde on the inside. And even though you may be capable of love, you’re not in love with the real him–the cheater, the liar, the manipulator, the player, the hollow, heartless being that he is–but with the charming illusion he created, which you initially believed but which becomes increasingly implausible over time. From beginning to end, all this phony relationship can offer you is a toxic combination of fake love and real abuse. He constructs the psychopathic bond through deception and manipulation. You maintain it through self-sacrifice and denial.

But pretty soon, when you find yourself alone with the psychopath, you see it’s not us versus them, your couple above and against everyone else. It’s him versus you. He will act like your worst enemy, which is what he really is, not as the best friend and adoring partner he claimed to be. If he criticizes you to others–or, more subtly, fosters antagonisms between you and family members and friends–it’s to further wear you down and undermine your social bonds. Once he tires of you, he induces others to see you the same way that he does: as someone not worthy of him; as someone to use, demean and discard. Before you were beautiful and no woman could compare to you. Now you’re at best plain in his eyes. Before you were cultured and intelligent. Now you’re the dupe who got played by him. Before you were dignified and confident. Now you’re isolated and abject. In fact, right at the point when you feel that you should be rewarded for your sacrifice of your values, needs, desires and human bonds–all for him–the psychopath discards you.

He’s had enough. He’s gotten everything he wanted out of you. Bent you out of shape. Taken away, demand by demand, concession by concession, your dignity and happiness. As it turns out, the reward you get for all your devotion and efforts is being nearly destroyed by him. Ignoring your own needs and fulfilling only his–or fulfilling yours to gain his approval–has transformed you into a mere shadow of the lively, confident human being you once were.

He uses your weaknesses against you. He also turns your qualities into faults. If you are faithful, he sees your fidelity as a weakness, a sign you weren’t desirable enough to cheat. Nobody else really wanted you. If you are virtuous, he exploits your honesty while he lies and cheats on you. If you are passionate, he uses your sensuality to seduce you, to entrap you through your own desires, emotions, hopes and dreams. If you are reserved and modest, he describes you as asocial and cold-blooded. If you are confident and outgoing, he views you as flirtatious and untrustworthy. If you are hard working, unless he depends on your money, he depicts you as a workhorse exploited by your boss. If you are artistic and cultured, he undermines your merit. He makes you feel like everything you create is worthless and cannot possibly interest others. You’re lucky that it ever interested him. After the idealization phase is over, there’s no way to please a psychopath. Heads you lose, tails he wins. But remember that his criticisms are even less true than his initial exaggerated flattery. When all is said and done, the only truth that remains is that the whole relationship was a fraud.

The process of the psychopathic bond is programmatic. It’s astonishingly elegant and simple given the complexity of human behavior. Idealize, devalue and discard. Each step makes sense once you grasp the psychological profile of a psychopath, of an (in)human being who lives for the pleasure of controlling and harming others. 

1) Idealize: not you, but whatever he wanted from you and only for however long he wanted it. 
2) Devalue: once he has you in his clutches, the boredom sets in and he loses interest. 
3) Discard: after he’s gotten everything he wanted from you and has probably secured other targets.

For you, this process is excruciatingly personal. It may have cost you your time, your heart, your friends, your family, your self-esteem or your finances. You may have put everything you had and given everything you could to that relationship. It may have become your entire life. For the psychopath, however, the whole process isn’t really personal. He could have done the same thing to just about anyone who allowed him into her intimate life. He will do it again and again to everyone he seduces. It’s not about you. It’s not about the other woman or women who were set against you to compete for him, to validate his ego, to give him pleasure, to meet his fickle needs. He wasn’t with them because they’re superior to you. He was with them for the same reason that he was with you. To use them, perhaps for different purposes than he used you, but with the same devastating effect. He will invariably treat others in a similar way to how he treated you. Idealize, devalue and discard. Rinse and repeat.  

This process was, is and will always be only about the psychopath for as long as you stay with him.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:02 AM 16 comments


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Betrayal of the Bystanders

by Kathy Krajco

Why do we feel so wronged by the people who believe a narcissist's lies about us? There are a number of reasons, but here is one of the biggest.

It's because their credulity isn't innocent. If a stranger believes some outrageous lie about us, we aren't surprised, and we don't feel wronged by them. But if someone who knows us believes that same lie, we feel betrayed. Guess why?
It's because they have betrayed us by believing that lie about us.
For example, if someone has known you for ten years, they see your track record of conduct for the last ten years. In other words, they have seen how you conduct yourself along this way of life we're bound upon.

No, they don't see everything you've said and done. But they have seen a lot. They have seen you react to many various stimuli.

That track record of yours sketches your character in their eyes. This representation of what kind of person you are is based on your CONDUCT (your words and deeds), not on mere hearsay about you.

So no one, even someone who claims to "know you", should be able to come along and tell them JUST ANYTHING about you.

For example, if you are a gentle person, in ten years that will show. Many times. The people you interact with daily will see sample after sample of you reacting gently to things that most others would react more harshly to.

So no narcissist should be able to come along and insinuate that you are violent.

Likewise if you are honest. In ten years that will show. Many times. The people you interact with daily will see sample after sample of you reacting honestly to things that most others would hedge the truth about.

So no narcissist should be able to come along and insinuate that you are a liar.

Likewise if you are sensible. In ten years that will show. Many times. The people you interact with daily will see sample after sample of you reacting sensibly to things that most others would show poor judgment about.

So no narcissist should be able to come along and insinuate that you are crazy and imagining things.

To believe these things about you they have to unknow everything they know about you. That is, they have to unknow you. They have to revise history. They have to erase that track record of yours.  They exaggerate, assume, say they "know" and figure you are lying... even when you're not --

And that track record is your life. They have to wipe it out.

That takes your life.

Which is why they call it "character assassination."

Your whole life goes up in smoke. And a figment of the imagination is substituted for it.

Those people are not innocent. Indeed, check it out: that is the Original Sin.

Eve committed it when she chose to believe that God was the liar, not the slithering sidewinder who snuck up to her and said, "Really? God told you that? That you would fall if you swallowed this stuff?"

Then Adam committed it worse when he swallowed it, too, just to agree with Eve.

The serpent did the same thing to God that the narcissist does to his victims, whom he slanders to discredit. Adam and Eve did the same thing to God that people do to a narcissist's victim when they believe the lie.

The narcissist's lie is always ironic. For the narcissist is out to smear one of your outstanding GOOD QUALITIES with the semblance of one of his own VICES. So, the allegation is always preposterous. No one who knows you should be fooled by it.

Because it isn't believable. They should know better. But they willfully don't. Because the lie is juicy.

And so, there's nothing like a narc attack
to show you who your real friends are.

Often combined with:
Abuse By Proxy:
An abuser will recruit friends, neighbors, family members, the police, the media…anyone she can find or convince to threaten you, harass you and manipulate you into doing what they want.

(NOTE: If they believe or side with the narcissist - walk away.  Block, Delete, No Contact.  They have been brainwashed and you're trying to explain will be used AGAINST you.  )


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:10 AM 9 comments


Friday, March 09, 2018

Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Passive-Aggressive Behavior
Passive-aggressive behavior is the expression of anger indirectly. This happens because we got the message one way or another in childhood that it was not OK to express anger. Since anger is energy that can not be completely repressed it gets expressed in indirect ways. This takes the form one way or another, overtly or subtly, of us acting out the battle cry "I'll show you till you get me.": As a kid I was very angry at my mother for not protecting me or herself from my father - but it was not ok to be angry at my mother so I was passive-aggressive in various ways. One was to not show any feelings.

By the time I was 7 or 8 I was being cool in a passive-aggressive response to her attempts to be close to me I would not let her touch me, I would not show happiness if something good happened or pain if something bad happened. I would just say "it's ok" no matter how much it wasn't. I also "showed" her and my dad by not getting the type of grades as I was capable of getting in school. I have spent much of my life sabotaging myself to get back at them.

Passive-aggressive behavior can take the form of sarcasm, procrastination, chronic lateness, being a party pooper, constantly complaining, being negative, offering opinions and advice that is not asked for, being the martyr, slinging arrows ("whatever have you done to your hair", "gained a little weight haven't we?"), etc. If we don't know how to set boundaries or will go along with anything to avoid conflict, then we often will agree to doing things we don't want to do - and as a result we will not be happy doing them and will get back at the other person somehow, someway because we are angry at them for "making" us do something we don't want to do. A classic scenario is being asked where you want to eat and saying "oh, I don't care, wherever you want to" and then being angry because they take us somewhere we don't like. We think they should be able to read our mind and know we don't want to do whatever. Typically, in relationships, one partner will ask the other to do something and the person who can't say "I don't want to do that" - will agree to do it and then not do it. This will result in nagging and scolding which will cause more anger and passive-aggressive behavior.

The way to stop being passive-aggressive is to start being honest (first of all with ourselves), having boundaries (the more we get in touch with our inner children the more we can have boundaries with the angry ones that are causing us to be passive-aggressive), saying no when we don't want to do something. It is easier said than done. On one level what we are doing is recreating our childhood dynamics of being criticized by our parents.

It is because at our core we feel unworthy and unlovable that we have relationships - romantic, friendship, work - where we will be criticized and given the message that we are bad or wrong. Because we don't Love our self we need to manifest people outside of ourselves that will be our critical parent - then we can resent them, feel victimized, and be passive-aggressive. They are in fact just a reflection of how we treat ourselves internally. The more we can learn to defend ourselves internally from the critical parent voice the more we will find that we don't want critical people in our lives."


Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder was folded into Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the DSM. It is no longer a separate disorder from Narcissism.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:08 AM 13 comments


Thursday, March 08, 2018

Red Flags

Psychopaths and Ns, as well as other abusers often massively use passive aggressive tactics, as well as overt and covert aggression. They are indicators that the person is not willing to take responsibility for their interactions. They are signposts for us as well.......

How do you recognize a "red flag?" It will be a thought or concern that jumps out at you that you quickly rationalize, excuse, or justify. .. They are surfacing for a reason, pay attention when they do...


1. Showed no anger
2. Did not see it as a problem
3. Should have, everyone gets angry, surfaced later; indirectly, covertly...

1. Committed Adultery
2. Everyone makes mistakes
3. Never admitted to making a mistake...When asked why they broke up, said, "she bitched too much...It never happened, someone made that up about me.... she/he planted that information, its not true... she/he was a player too... I was so lonely... you/they were cold to me...."

1. Indirectly blamed ex-wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/anyone else for everything
2. Thought how terrible she must have been, she didn't understand him
3. Didn't make himself understood, later it was implied that all problems were my fault as well.

1. Appeared to have had a lot of misfortune but would not "talk about it".
2. Felt very sorry for him, felt that he needed someone to love and treat him well.
3. A martyr....carries around old wounds like a badge of honor...

1. 1st trip together, asked another couple to go along without informing me, or asking me
2. Shy
3. Intimacy problems, not to mention no regard for my preferences

1. Showed more sensitivity and concern for others than for me
2. Thought eventually I would "earn" his respect, concern, etc.
3. No one should have to earn "respect" for their feelings

1. Wouldn't talk about prior relationships/his past and/or communicate about our relationship
2. Shy, introverted
3. Hiding something? Emotionally shut down...Communication is a must in any relationship

1. Relative told me that I was good for him
2. Boost to my ego
3. Should have questioned why he needed someone to "be good for him"

1. Another relative said that he was cold and unfeeling
2. Again, thought he was misunderstood, was treating me well
3. He was cold and unfeeling once we were married... should have questioned why a relative would say that....

1. Ask me to sell my home, and move into one he co-owned with a relative which he planned on "giving" to that relative at a later date
2. I was very angry when this happened.
3. This should have stopped me in my tracks...and sent me running...realizing that I would always be last on the list....

Labels: , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:10 AM 0 comments


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Emotional Rape

Emotional rape has many similarities to physical rape, particularly date rape. Date rape involves the sexual use of someone's body without consent. In a like manner, emotional rape is the use of someone's higher emotions, such as love, without consent.

in the case of emotional rape the lack of consent is contained in what the perpetrator doesn't say... his or her hidden agenda. Emotional rape can happen to both men and women. Both forms of rape can be very devastating and require specialized programs for recovery.

Several major obstacles are encountered in recovery from emotional rape. The first is that the victim knows that something bad happened, but doesn't know what or why. And as in date rape, a big issue is that of trust. Victims often feel that they will never be able to love or trust anyone again. Other obstacles to recovery, again similar to date rape, are the re-victimization of the victim by friends, family, and society and the subsequent tendencies toward self-blame and silence about what happened.

It Could Happen to Anyone

Shara, who died after jumping from a freeway overpass into rush hour traffic, was exploited by a rapist who could accurately be described as armed and dangerous; an accomplished deceiver who had raped before.

Without exception, victims describe two predominant characteristics of their rapists:

1. They are charismatic, ostensibly attractive personalities, likely to be widely admired, but with a naturally manipulative nature.

2. They can completely conceal their true selves.

These two observations draw attention to one of the central features of such behavior:

Emotional rape can happen to anyone. The widely varying backgrounds and personalities of those who have already become victims demonstrate the danger in thinking otherwise; in believing "It could never happen to me."

It is sometimes difficult to believe that no moral responsibility rests with the victim - because he or she was weak, naive, or otherwise "to blame" - but that it lies with the rapist, whose ability to conceal his or her true self is such that almost anyone could be deceived.

The focus here is mainly on the rapist, examining what it is that makes an individual capable of this form of psychological aggression.

Colliding Emotions

It is no exaggeration to describe emotional rape as the most underrated trauma of our age; the effects are powerful and potentially destructive.

Victims are forced to cope with a tangle of conflicting emotions, experiencing all the traumatic after effects of both rape and loss.

This confused pattern of emotional responses is very similar to that experienced by victims of sexual rape.

It's a pattern commonly identified as post-traumatic rape syndrome, although victims of emotional rape will be unaware that this is what is happening to them.

These colliding emotions become so entangled that it is extremely difficult - and would be a serious misrepresentation - to attempt to categorize them individually. They are inseparable.

However, it is possible to identify certain generalized feelings which characterize the emotional aftermath. Principally, these are:

Each of these is considered in detail in this book, as are the typical physical and material after effects, so victims will understand that what they are going through is normal, that they are not alone, and that they are not insane.


Labels: , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:58 AM 15 comments


Monday, March 05, 2018

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

Don't believe it!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

shared by Barbara at 12:56 AM