Category Archives: empaths

Happy Xmas 2011

With Xmas coming up in a couple of weeks and almost two years on since writing Dark Souls I thought today I would do a more person reflection on the last two years since I broke up with my psychopathic ex celebrate Xmas early. I’d also like to give a little encouragement to those readers of my blog who have been struggling this year with a psychopath or are dealing with the aftermath of clearing up after a relationship with a character disturbed individual and give them a little hope that things do turn around for the better now matter how bad things may appear at the time.

Today is the first day I have had off having worked nearly 70 hours straight last week on top of my self-employed job. I was originally going to have to work on xmas day however I just found out that I now have Xmas day off which means I shall be celebrating it with my son who would have otherwise been on his own for most of the day.

For those who have never read my blog posts or book or wonder how I can do so many hours along with keeping up this blog I am a survivor but I also have the hyperactive version of attention deficit disorder.  Nowadays I’ve even turned that belief about myself around that I had something weird and wrong with me and started calling  it Attention surplus disorder.  For those that don’t know what it is here are the positives and here are the negatives. And for the record from a confirmed ADDer any psychopath who tells you they have ADD and uses it as an excuse to have selective amnesia and lie or any other excuse they want to pull out of the hat.  Its just an EXCUSE. People with ADD may forget things, lack concentration or focus, and a whole host of other negatives but they DO have a conscience

I had decided a few weeks back to start working on my second book about the difficulties victims experience after ending such relationships. This includes the emotional abuse we have suffered, picking ourselves up off the floor and rebuilding our self-esteem, practical ways of earning income if we have lost everything and if like myself we have had a whole lifetime of abuse from dysfunctional families, finding ways of changing our whole belief systems. When I wrote Dark Souls I remember telling one of my closest family members that I had written it and they replied “why would you want to write a book, it’s not like anyone is going to want to read it!”.

Sometimes those of us who have upside down maps of the world when it comes to beliefs about ourselves forget to congratulate ourselves on our own achievements and spend all our time trying to get validation from others. The thing is we will never get validation from disordered individuals unless they want something from us. This year I put all those beliefs about myself aside about a need validation for anything. I put my head down, worked really hard over the last few months and two days ago got promoted in a field of work that I love doing.

A week before I finally relented and had to have my computer wiped clean as it was riddled with Trojans, viruses and a rootkit that my ex had decided to dump on the computer a while back which kept rearing its ugly head every so often until finally I had to have the whole thing wiped off. Without getting too technical my computer “appeared” to be OK but underneath it was operating with a rootkit on it that allowed my ex to monitor everything I was doing on the computer.

It was interesting because prior to collecting it I had started to think that perhaps there had been nothing wrong with it when in fact the rootkit had been hiding behind the operating system and making it look like everything was OK all along. In my mind I really didn’t want to believe that something so horrible was on my PC that could allow someone direct access to all my personal emails and so on. It’s very similar to the way a psychopath violates us on an emotional, spiritual and physical level only this was done in a more underhanded way.  With an overwhelming need to win at all costs it also goes to show the great lengths at which a psychopath will go when it comes to getting the upper hand with their targets especially when they think they have lost.

When we end a relationship with a psychopath we have to unlearn everything we believed to be true prior to meeting these disordered characters and then literally wipe our old belief systems clean and I will be discussing how I did that using voice dialogue in my new book. I have provisionally decided to call it “the Phoenix” because out of the aftermath of the relationship comes something far more precious than we could ever have imagined.  Its also based on a music album I made whilst I wrote Dark souls which can be found on my-space and music website.

At the moment things are going pretty good. Financially I am in a much better position than I could ever have imagine considering I was broke two years ago. My self-esteem is back to where it should be  – not full of myself, not overinflated and not down in the dumps. I feel pretty balanced and generally I am happy with my life without any partner. I’d like to think I now have a reasonably bright future ahead of me.

In some ways its fortunate that I am not a person who shares too much information about how I feel unless it is with friends or when I was having therapy. Even when I wrote Dark Souls I never really explained the depths of emotions I felt at the time including the hurt and pain I felt at finding out that my ex was a psychopath and knowing that the relationship that I believed to be real was a whole lie. I never truly explained how violated I felt by some of the things he did to me and to some degree since the relationship broke up I had little time to immediately process all the emotions I was feeling as I was so busy being in survivor mode to worry about showing my vulnerabilities. I struggled with accepting that my own family of origin were disordered too.

Since psychopaths really only want to win perhaps it’s because of this strength of character that my ex decided to keep on having a dig at me by constantly stalking me as I appeared to be not showing any signs of weakness or backing down with my blog and website and so on. However there were many times when I felt so overwhelmed by emotions and all the pressure I was under financially and with harassment I had from him stalking me via the computer that I really wanted to stop and thought to myself why even bother to do blog posts and so on along with just managing my daily family life, bringing up my family and so on.

I’d be lying to myself if I said it has not been a very tough journey and I know my survivor ability has kept me in good stead this time. But I realise now that its time for me to stop being a survivor all my life and start being happy.

Wipe, Reboot and Restart

Getting rid of a psychopath is a bit like getting rid of a computer virus. Learning how to spot manipulative disordered individuals is half the battle, finding a technician, (i.e. therapist) that understands how to get rid of them is the next step, ridding yourself of the relationship is and wiping yourself clean of all of their toxic gunk is the next step. Finally empowering ourselves to make sure our emotional radar works perfectly and that we immunize ourselves so that we don’t get riddled with the human equivalent of trojans virus and rootkits again in the future is the key to ensuring we live a happy and healthy psychopath free life.

As this woman who emailed me the other day reminded me why I did wrote Dark Souls in the first place and why empowering ourselves and others is a lifetime journey I shall continue.

Your last post was incredible.  So much awesome stuff in it.  I have forgiven….but I will never forget.  I do accept what happened and that I had a psychopath in my life (and, apparently, I still do have him in my life to a degree).  I am stronger and wiser but recently found myself with someone who is probably also a psychopath, although not to the degree that my ex-partners is.  He played the same games with me.  I would feel “not right” about the relationship (gut instinct talking) and break it off.  He would wait a couple of weeks and come back.  Same thing happens, I break it off, doesn’t feel right.  He comes back a few weeks later, pouring on the charm, leaving a friendly note in my mailbox, inviting me to dinner and football, cooks for me, is sweet to me.  I think that maybe, this time, we can make it work and I am settling in and being comfortable with our relationship and really starting to like him then wham…things are great one minute and the next I find his new online ad looking for a woman described exactly as myself except younger (I am older than he is).  I ask him if it is his ad, he denies it and then admits it a little while later.  He gives me the same line as my ex-partners.  “I don’t know WHAT I want!!”

My lesson here was that, once again, I ignored my gut instinct. I believe now that my gut instinct is God’s way of screaming at me when something in my life is very, very wrong and I should avoid it at all costs.  Who am I going to listen to….God or a psychopath?!

Thankfully this relationship was more “off” than “on” and the damage will be insignificant in the long run.

Bless you for all of your insight that you share with me and everyone, for writing a second book (I can’t wait!!!), for being so open about your own pain and experience and struggles…and victories!  You are truly a shining light for all of us who have been affected by a horrific relationship with a psychopath.

 

I hope my own story and those I will be sharing with you in my new book with give you inspiration when it comes out and  in the meantime I wish you you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous and psychopath free new year.

 

 

Sarah

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Filed under ADD, dark souls, empaths, mind games, psychopath, psychopathic personality, Psychopaths want to win, Sarah Strudwick, Uncategorized

Repairing the Broken Mirror in Ourselves

Looking in the Mirror

One of the things I talk about in Dark Souls is the need for victims to look within themselves at the reasons why they attracted psychopaths or narcissists into their lives. Many books talk about how to spot them but few talk about why psychopaths may target certain types of people more than others.

At the moment there is a big shift in consciousness whereby psychopathic corporations are being exposed all over the world. Conscious, empathic, aware individuals are finally starting to wake up to the reality that a small minority of psychopaths really do run the majority of the planet. One thing is clear though – its through our own collective “enabling” of these psychopathic individuals that we have managed to end up in the position whereby our savings, houses are livelihoods are now in jeopardy.

Any kind of psychopathic organisation is unable to spin their web of lies without a willing group of followers who are able to make it all believable.

When it comes to a one on one relationship with a psychopath it becomes a more personal affair but it is also there to  mirror something deep in our own psyche that we may not wish to look at. Often we will hear of stories where people have been in relationship with these predators and its taken years before anyone if ever believes the victims. The psychopath has managed to con an manipulate so many people around them for so long they convince others that the target is insane or crazy.

Someone once said to me many years ago that when someone doesn’t give us what we want or need in our lives it’s the universes’ way of clearly saying that we no longer need that person in our lives anymore and making way for something better to come along.

We all want to see the good in people and when we spot the red flags we know deep down that the psychopath or sociopath is not all they are cracked up to be. We know that image they are portraying in the mirror is flawed but we want to make it all right. The distorted projected image that they reflect back to us is that of someone who is kind, empathic, loving, hard-working (fill in the blanks). However,  underneath the mask the psychopathic personality inherently flawed without ANY of these characteristics.

So why are our own mirror images of ourselves flawed and  what it is about ourselves that is attracted to them in the first place?

Many (not all) of the people who have contacted me for coaching or read my book Dark Souls come from a background of abuse and neglect of their own emotional needs.  They come with an unconscious feeling that they may not be worthy of being loved by another kind, loving person. The hook between the psychopath and the empathic person is that we see something in them that is inherently flawed in them, but at the same time is inherently flawed in us. I am not necessary talking about victims all suffering from Narcissistic personality disorder since many of the people who have contacted me have grown up with parents who are narcissists but have also spent their lives trying not to be like them but this “flaw” is often inherently wired in our systems as a result of our upbringing and projections from parents or spouses and its one of the hooks that psychopaths love.   An example of this is that we may be inherently bad, worthless, (fill in the blanks) all of which is totally unconscious and none of which is true.

What better way for a psychopath to get someone sucked in that, in their eyes, they see as the same as them.  In the eyes of the psychopaths eye they believe they have met their match. A mirror image of themselves. They see all the other things about us “the good bits” as being things they want in themselves! The irony is that when they meet us they soon start to realise that they have none of our other characteristics, kindness, empathy, ability to work hard, having a conscious and so on because they are just hard-wired to win and abuse people. This is when they start to get angry and want to punish us for being something they can never be.

When they realise that we aren’t evil or “like them” and can’t help them out or have run out of things they can steal off us which is why so many psychopathic corporations thrive based on them working together they see this as a flaw and use this against us to try to exert power and control over us so they can win.  As Dr George Simon puts it.

“You win I win, You lose I win, I win You Lose
and finally I lose, You Lose”

Whis is the main reason they try to hurt us so badly when we stand up to them or walk away.

Why we end up helping each other

When the relationship is over, we as targets, end up realising that these psychopathic predators are not what they seem either, and that their image of themselves is cracked and flawed as our own. We reason that there is no good in there that we so wanted to believe in and realise that all of the other faulty characteristics we believed about ourselves such as not being worthy of having kind loving relationships are all wrong. When we are prepared to look at our own flaws we are able to repair that broken mirror that was flawed in the first place and bring back the shine we once had before we were tainted by these psychopathic characters.

In some ways it’s a bit like a symbiotic relationship the same as it was when it was toxic. The psychopath in our lives is there to help us to be authentic and expose our own vulnerabilities and teach us to be who we really are. We learn how to become our true selves and how to love ourselves properly.  What they give us is a gift of authenticity.

We are then obliged to do give the same gift back to the psychopath. Like the psychopth who studies us, using our weaknesses against us, we educate ourselves, learn about their disorder and we end up dumping or leaving the psychopath/narcissist or Sociopath in our lives. Each one of us reflecting back that part of us in ourselves which no longer serves us.

The psychopath is then left having to be their real authentic selves too i.e. a dark empty shell. They are left with a reflection of themselves they no longer like which is why they will never look in the mirror or change themselves. They will never look at their own flaws and will continue to spend a lifetime searching for more shiny mirrors in the hope that we’ll reflect something back to them that was never there in the first place.

I leave you with a poem I wrote to my ex a few years when he was supposed to have cancer which turned out to just one of his many lies. I realise now I was writing it to myself and that the cancer is an analogy for the Dark Souls in our lives.

“The Mirror

 

tis another year on and our dreams are all shattered
All that we hoped for and all that had mattered
my eyes are still sore from crying rose-coloured tears
you now face your own demons as i have faced my own fears
that cancers a fu**er it will keep on returning
if you don’t pull out its root that lies in your heart yearning
I’m not talking about me or some lover or wife
I am talking about you, what you want in your life
its much easier to forget to just get on and do
numbs the brain and the senses and our soul too
so i found you a mirror that was special and good
it was tucked in the cellar and carved in oak wood
its hidden for years in a dusty old room
it holds answers to secrets you never dreamed could
when you look in the mirror tell me what do you see
is it you, or you children, your wife, or is it me
I think none of the above because the view isn’t clear
it’s just smeared with anger and guilt and fear
pull the cloth from your pocket and start to erase
all the smears on the mirror and start clearing the haze
as you wipe away layers of dirt built over time
you will fight back the tears as you clean off the grime
Your fingers are hurting your can’t rub anymore
you’ll leave it for now there’s a knock at the door
Oh “I’ll deal with it later” you say to yourself
no one cares about that old mirror put it back on the shelf
but you can’t do that ***** its too special to leave
the woods starting to rot and it needs air to breath
the mirror is tarnished you must do it in time
it takes forever to polish and bring back the shine
then you will look in the mirror it will all become clear
with each rub of the cloth you have faced all your fear
As you look in the mirror you see only YOU
no kids, no lover, no wife – my god what will you do
Say hello to yourself for the first time in years
don’t mess up the mirror again with your tears
it’s a special mirror that needs nurture and care as do you
if you look after it well it will be honest and true
it will reflect all your dreams and hopes and fears
but the maintenance polish is not your own tears
its only small ***** not much bigger than a locket
if you keep it with you always it will fit in your pocket
just remember to look after it as I try to do
and it will always be kind to you and let you be YOU

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Filed under character disturbance, dark souls, empaths, George Simon, In sheeps clothing, predatory aggressive personalities, psychopath, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, Sarah Strudwick, sociopath, toxic relationships

Why we end up as crazy as the psychopath

I recently came across a review on Amazon about Dark Souls suggesting that I showed many of the personality disorder traits that I talk about in the book. I have also been criticised for the way the book is disjointed and unorganised. In some ways it’s a reflection of the way in which my mind was at the time the relationship ended. A few months after publishing I was re-treated for post traumatic stress. Often post traumatic stress doesn’t appear immediately and can come up when you least expect it. At the time of writing Dark Souls I felt as if I was on a mission to make sure that no one would ever have to go through what I had. Perhaps in hind site I should have taken more time to recover before writing the book and exposing myself in such an open and honest way.

When I first read the review I wasn’t upset I was actually in agreement. Because at the time I was feeling crazy. In the past based on my old belief systems I would have honestly took myself back the counsellor and said “Am I crazy” only to be told yet again that there was nothing wrong with me.

When we stay with these people we are left feeling and often acting pretty much as crazy as the people we have been in relationship with. Many psychopaths find victims and targets who are empaths. Empaths tend to have no boundaries whatsoever and without knowing what’s happening to us we may be inclined to literally take on their unowned feelings and start to think they are our own. I have had many emails from women and men saying that during the relationship they have done things they would have never done before. Often they will act totally out of character.

For example my natural state is quite calm and placid and yet whilst I was with this man I was very angry. At one point during the relationship I think I actually felt rage and yet I have never felt this kind of emotion in my life. Yet the moment I was away from him for any length of time that anger soon disappeared. Having left him now for over 18 months I am happy, calm and have none of the feelings I described in Dark Souls that I had whilst I was with him. I no longer feel the need to act out in ways I would have done in the past.

I am also reliably informed that I do not have any personality disorder by my counsellor just a history of being around far too many disordered people throughout my life that led me to a very unhealthy belief system about myself..

Years ago when I first went for counselling it was suggested to me that someone very close to me was a borderline personality. I tried to explain that when I was around them I felt and acted crazy. The counsellor said that when you are around borderlines bits of their personality appear to jump off onto the victim. They asked me how I felt when I was away from them. I had to think for a second as I had been with them for many years and I replied “Actually I feel great, I don’t feel unhappy or crazy”.  For those of you who haven’t experienced the joys of living with a borderline and who aren’t an empath the following article gives you an idea of the kind of crazy making behaviour that one has to deal with.  Whether your with a borderline, a narcissist or a psychopath, if your an empath your likely to take on their stuff and may well not be able to separate out your own personality from theirs.

 

I recently received one of many emails I get daily from an empath who said the following”

 

“I know that I started to take on his traits during the relationship and did MANY things that were totally against the real person that I was.  He pulled me so deep into his disorder and screwed up thinking and behavior that I was not me anymore.  I guess they want US to be like THEM so that they can believe they are “okay” if we are also doing and saying the things they are.  I would be embarrassed to tell people the things I did when I was with him.  Fortunately, my close, longtime friends and coworkers (who also know my ex) all know that I was conned and manipulated and lied to the entire time.  They knew me “before” the relationship and they knew him “before” the relationship and, well, now he has no friends left from that circle of people.  He has alienated all of them.  Thank God I was a good person with integrity and credibility before him.  It served me well afterward.” 

Sadly its left up to us “crazy” victims to educate ourselves and empower ourselves because the psychopathic personality will never once question whether or not they are crazy and in the meantime until people wake up they will happily spend their time projecting their own insanity on the rest population.

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Filed under addiction, borderlines, character disturbance, claudia moscovici, dark souls, empaths, post traumatic stress, projection, psychopath

Psychopathic Cartoons

This post originally appeared on Lovefraud

 

 

Mr. Invincible and other Un-Inspiring Characters

 

By Sarah Strudwick

 

Sarah Strudwick profile in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

As many of your know, having come out of relationships with sociopaths often we feel powerless. Some like Donna and others like myself have felt inspired to speak up and share our stories and talk about their experiences. I had this little voice that wanted to shout from the rooftops in the hope that others would not have to go through what I had to.

When I was child I felt powerless to speak up to abusers, which was one of the reasons why I kept on attracting psychopathic types during my adult life. As a life coach, there is a technique whereby you reduce your abuser to a cartoon-sized character in your head so they no longer have power over you. Imagine, for example, Mickey Mouse screaming at you and trying to throw a fist in your direction. When you play the image back it has less of an impact. At the same time, it doesn’t take away from the dynamics of what actually happened, but allows the victim to see things in a different way.

I live in the UK and we have a strange sense of humour. I was a big fan of the two comedians called The Two Ronnies. At the end of the show, they would say, “It’s good night from me and it’s good night from him.”

After healing and realising my sense of humour was still intact, it led me to create an animated character and find a voice and educate people on Youtube about the psychopathic type personality. In my book I call them Dark Souls.

Reducing the abuser to a cartoon sized character not only has the effect of lessoning their power over us, but also it enables those people who don’t particularly like reading lots of long texts to educate themselves in a fun, informative way.  Also, Youtube is an excellent platform if used properly for educating people. The videos are now shared on many blogs. Here are some of the most commonly viewed.

Mr. Invincible – The Invisible Psychopaths Among Us

Exposing the Mask of Insanity

This particular video exposes the “dual” nature of sociopathic personalities, whereby they hide their real self behind a mask, hence the inspiration from The Two Ronnies.

I have been inspired to do other videos including one on why empaths like myself are drawn to these people, or should I say WERE drawn to them, and why they choose us and why we as victims need to change.

Because I am highly sensitive and work with energy, I think the most favourite one is:

Extreme Energy Vampires

I was inspired to do this video after my ex kept trying to call me at home from a withheld number after we finished, just to hear my voice. I knew he was watching my website so I put this one up and suddenly the calls stopped.

Although I have now moved on I occasionally see something that inspires me to put up a new video like the recent Charlie Sheen story:

Charlie Sheen – Love Me or Hate Me

I’ll continue to keep on putting up the videos because it not only helps victims, but videos like “Mr. Invincible” help to educate the masses too. Despite some mild swearing on them, which is done for obvious reasons, I hope they will make a few people smile in the process.

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Filed under charlie sheen, empaths, psychopathic cartoons, psychopathic personality