Category Archives: psychopathic personality

Losing is sometimes better than winning

 

This blog has primarily been about psychopathic/narcissistic personalities although recently I have been concerned not so much about the pathology but the way in which people manipulate.

 

Dr George Simon talks about the Aggressive pattern in his new book Character Disturbance. These aggressive types are split into a number of different patterns – The Unbridled Aggressive, The Channelled Aggressive, the Sadistic, the Predatory aggressive, The Mistrusting (Paranoid), and the Covert aggressive.

 

For the purpose of this article I shall be talking about the Covert Aggressive. Dr George Simon describes these types are the archetypal manipulators. They are not open in their aggressive intentions and do their best to keep the behaviour hidden under a mask. He describes their tactics as accomplishing two objectives

 

  1. The tactics effectively play on the sensitivities, vulnerabilities and conscientiousness of others (especially neurotic individuals). The other persons then go unconsciously on the defensive (i.e. retreating mode) This quashes all potential resistance.
  1. The tactics conceal obvious aggressive intent. The other persons have little objective evidence that the covert-aggressive is intending to take advantage of them. Instead of trusting their “gut” instincts, the other persons question themselves and get hoodwinked.

 

Dr George Simon describes the world according to the aggressive characters as only having four possible outcomes.

 

      1. I win, you Lose
      2. You win, I lose
      3. I win, You win
      4. I lose, you lose

 

Since their sole modus operandi is to ensure that they always win choosing option 1 is their first choice, if they do happen to lose they wont go down without a fight. If they see someone else who appears to be “winning” they may try to take you out at the earliest convenience. Alternatively, if by some chance they lose and get taken down they will ensure they take you down with them. It’s also one of the reasons why they see others who wish to win as a threat.

 

As I have mentioned earlier Psychopaths display any or all of the above aggressive patterns, it’s often one of the reasons why psychopaths stalk victims long after the relationship is over as a way of getting one over on their victims. Its their way of saying “You may think you have won but not until I have finished with you”.

 

Aggressive personalities and psychopaths also have a way of being able to spot neurotics weaknesses extremely easily.

 

Often neurotics do not trust our gut instincts and recently I had the misfortune of dealing with what can only be described as a covert-aggressive.

 

Its worth mentioning that just because we have got rid of a psychopath or narcissist in our lives it doesn’t necessarily mean we wont ever bump into another disordered character again either in relationship or in the workplace. Armed with better knowledge in educating ourselves how to spot them before they spot us, we also need to learn how to better deal with them in the future if we are put in a situation where me may possibly get victimized.

 

Prior to the recent run in with the covert aggressive personality which prompted this article, when I first met them my immediate reaction was to put my guard up to protect myself. However as time went on, over a period of months I started to think that maybe I was judged them too harshly and let my guard down a little. It goes back to the old adage that neurotics want to see the good in everyone but occasionally we still get blinded by their façade. As Dr Robert Hare commented in I am Fishhead often it can take months for people’s true character to be exposed and even so-called experts still get find themselves being manipulated.

 

Without going into detail about what happened, I was left in a no win situation and had to choose whether or not it was worth fighting or end up being victimized. Needless to say my gut instincts proved to be spot on or I wouldn’t be writing this article.

 

Dr George Simon talks about different ways of handling these people in the workplace in this article  . Unlike aggressive personalities I tend to be the one that always backs down but this time although I stood my ground and not wanting to be victimized I chose to “Accept the risk, and if necessary, be prepared to leave

 

I may have “lost” in their eyes but for my own emotional well-being I felt I made exactly the right decision. It might have been a risky decision for me but I was fortunate enough to not have to rely on one particular income. Sometimes we have to realize that no matter what we do others will stop at nothing in order to win. If protecting my emotional wellbeing, and not getting victimized  again makes me a loser then I I’d rather be a loser anyday

 

As Dr Simon says “If you’re prepared to deal with the risks involved, you might just find that seeking a new opportunity is the best move you ever made.”

 

For anyone who has ever been out with a psychopath or narcissist the best thing we can ever do is leave them, and avoid all contact.  The same applies to dealing with those displaying covert aggressive behaviour.  Often what appears to be the hardest choices at the time are sometimes the best. In this case backing down and leaving is almost certainly the best thing I could have done. Not only do I have peace of mind without all the head-games anymore I now have more free time on my hands to start working on my new book, details coming soon.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under character disturbance, covert agressives, dark souls, Dr George simon, dr robert hare, George Simon, I am fishhead, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, Sarah Strudwick

Psychopaths and Lying

An exercise in Lying

 

A few days ago it was my daughters 21st . Having grown up in a narcissistic family and played the role of the scapegoat I don’t remember ever celebrating my 21st birthday party so I wanted to make sure she had something nice to remember her day by. Often children of dysfunctional parents may make the mistake of spoiling their own children in the hopes that they wont make the same mistakes as their parents did. However I have learnt from bitter experience having grown up with two siblings that spoiling a child is not always a good idea.

 

I remember speaking to a counselor once who asked me about a narcissistic partner I had been with and I said he was spoilt. He asked me what did I mean by the term “spoilt”. I looked puzzled and said “I don’t really know”. He replied ” well what happens to food when you spoil it?”  I replied “its ruined, you cannot eat it”. He answered “Exactly, when you spoil a child you ruin them as a person”. His advice stayed with me for many years especially as one member of my family was spoilt most of their life and has now grown up to be highly narcissistic.

 

So back to this surprise birthday party. Much as I wanted to make sure my daughter had a birthday party because I had missed out when I was younger I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to spoil her. Her friends had arranged a surprise birthday party and I had been working extra hours this month to insure she had a nice present this month. In the run up to the surprise birthday party that she was expecting I had to spent the day pretending that we had nothing much planned for her. Her brother and I arranged it in cahoots with her friends and although she wasn’t expecting anything to be perfectly honest it was after all her 21st birthday so there was some degree of anticipation that we might have between all of us have at least arranged a small get together.

 

I was called up by her boyfriend who asked me if it would be possible to keep her occupied for a couple of hours and pretend that we had planned nothing at all.  Whilst he and all her friends arranged what was going to be a modest but lovely birthday party surprise for her. During the three hours I had to keep her away I had to come up with a number of different lies and excuses as to why we were going out, why her boyfriend might have possibly forgotten. I also had to lie about whether or not I knew whether he had planned anything. In between taking her our for a coffee and a quick snack as I knew there was food planned for later than evening and sneaking off to the toilet and making out I had some weird kind of bladder problem because I was busy texting her friends to find out what time I needed to get back I started to feel very uneasy. Even though I knew I was consciously lying and that it was for a good reason, seeing the look on my daughters face and the confusing where she felt a distinct cognitive dissonance I started to feel even more uncomfortable. The more I lied the more lies I had to tell, the more uncomfortable I felt and the more she asked questions. After 3 hours I was beginning to get a bit of a headache and wasn’t even sure I would be able to pull the whole thing off!

 

My children have always said to me that I make a terrible liar but in reality most people genuinely feel bad when they lie even when its telling a white lie like I did on her birthday.

 

However a psychopathic or disordered personality will have no hesitation telling a lie whatsoever, in fact they may be so convincing and may even start to believe their own lies. They wont care one iota that the person they are lying to feels bad, sad, disturbed, upset or even the slightest bit uncomfortable by their actions. Nor will they care when the victim starts to question them. They will have an answer ready and be able to slickly change topic so as to distract from the conversation.

 

To be honest my lying skills were useless during the whole exercise and the only way I could convincingly manage to get through the  ordeal was to remember the thing that Clinton had done and lie by omission otherwise I would not have been able to keep a straight face without laughing or worst feeling bad because she genuinely thought we had all forgotten her.

 

When my daughter asked me if I knew whether her boyfriend or friends has planned anything I just kept replying “I don’t know” rather than saying “I don’t know if he’s planned a party”. Either way if felt rubbish and I was so relieved when we finally got to her house to have the whole room shout “Happy Birthday” at which point she burst into tears.

 

She had obviously felt extremely uncomfortable as she knew “something” was wrong but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She said she was so relieved and felt silly for thinking no one had arranged anything and that she knew something was wrong all along. She commented later that I am still really bad at lying which personally I think is a good thing.

 

If you want to try to put yourself in the shoes of a psychopath try this exercise for yourself. Try spending the day making up a lie, even a white lie like the one above, and see if its possible you can keep it up all day long. See how uncomfortable or bad it makes you feel how much energy it takes to keep up the lie going. See if its even possible for you to come up with a plausible excuse when questioned about why you are doing something like sneaking off to the loo and whilst you are doing it remember this. One of the reasons targets have taken so long to “get it” is because most people want to understand why psychopaths or sociopaths or any other disordered individuals such as malignant narcissists do what they do such as cheating, lying about cancer or any other con they come up. Mostly we want to believe they are just like us which is why we try to understand them.

 

However Psychopaths DO NOT I repeat DO NOT feel or act the same way as us and therefore the exercise is futile.

We might feel like a fish out of water when lying but lying comes as easily as breathing. Expending vital energy in lying to victims isn’t an issue for a pathological personality any more than it is doing normal everyday stuff because their lack of conscience allows them to tell a lie in the same way as a normal person tries their best to tell the truth. Most conscience individuals can tell right from wrong which is why they rarely lie. The psychopath however can tell right from wrong, but it’s really not important to them. In fact psychopaths can also tell the truth as well.

 

So if both of us are able to tell right from wrong and both of us are able to tell lies what’s the difference?

 

Whereas a normal person might feel like a fish out of water psychopathic personalities are the ultimate amphibian. However uncomfortable we may feel they are as fluent at lying as a linguist is at speaking multiple languages. The psychopathic personalities sole modus operandi is to dominate and control and therefore it doesn’t really matter to them whether they are telling the truth or lying. The psychopath does not necessarily lie in order to deceive but they deceive in order to satisfy a far more primal urge –  Getting one over on their victims. If they have to incidentally tell they truth to get what they want or if they will resort to lying it makes absolutely no difference. Unlike an individual who feels bad because they are deceiving someone the psychopath will use ANY suitable means they can to deceive con and manipulate their victims and ultimately win.

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Filed under dark souls, psychopath, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, Sarah Strudwick

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

Psychopaths – The Deadliest Poison of All


I recently received an email from a woman who had read Dark Souls and said that her favourite movie was “Eat, Pray, Love”. She quoted a line from the film “Ruin is a gift.  Ruin is the road to transformation.” She explained that she felt that after her relationship with her narcissistic ex she was ruined – temporarily – but now she was being transformed into someone better and healthier than she was before.

Many victims of sociopaths go through what can only be described as a transformation or a metamorphosis, whereby they decide to let go of their old self and negative beliefs that kept them stuck in relationship with such toxic personalities in the first place.

The problem is that when we first meet psychopaths, sociopaths or narcissists they appear to be so endearing and appealing it feels a bit like having a quick fix. We convince ourselves its love because they so carefully managed to con and manipulate us but its nothing more than a deadly addiction to something more sinister.

The psychopath mirrors our own positive qualities such as empathy and kindness then by ticking all the boxes, they are charismatic, charming and manage to shape shift and mould themselves into being anything we want them to be, prince charming, knight in shining armour, fill in the blanks. When we first meet them we are filled with the chemical rush that comes with having been pumped with lots of oxytocin that give us a temporary feel good factor.

We might have been attractive ourselves when we first meet these predators, but being the true fakes that they are everything they pump into is an illusion and we start to feel drained and tired, we may start to feel ill and look poorly. We start to realise how draining they are on our energy as they slowly drain us of our lifeforce.

The short-term benefits of having what appeared to be the “real stuff” in terms of both affection and love starts to disappear and we realise very soon we are being fed a load of old tripe.

Energetically, it feels in the beginning a bit like having a regular dose of Botox, which incidentally I have never felt inclined to try, and then finding out we can’t afford to have it anymore. After a while we look and feel ten times worse than we did before we started having it.

As we start to take on their projected unowned feelings we become a shadow of our former selves.

According to the British Medical journal I’d say that being with a psychopath isn’t much different from being addicted to having Botox injections.

Side Effects of Botox

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Misra warned: “Robust evidence for the action of botulinium toxin (BOTOX) on sensory neurones is lacking.”

He added that “Animal experiments have shown that botulinium toxin affects the transmission of afferent nerves” and that the toxin “has been shown to play a part in inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters.”

He pointed to a study published in 2001 that found 23% of patients seeking Botox treatment at a dermatology clinic had body dysmorphic disorder, and that psychotherapy was considered the more appropriate treatment for them than Botox injections.

Psychopaths are Deadly Toxins

Most victims or psychopaths would have been far better to have left their partners and sought psychotherapy than carried on having their fix of what can only be described as a deadly toxin. Psychopaths should be treated with caution and much like Botox they cause a paralysis in our brain chemistry which stops it from functioning properly. Just like Botox the long-term effects of the what appears to be a “miracle” when we first meet them and the effects that they have on our brain, nervous system, and muscles are as yet unknown.  Like Botox,  Psychopaths might make us feel good in the short term, but they are dangerous to our health.

Botox may appear to be relatively safe.  However as I said  Dark Souls. “If I were to offer you a glass with the label “poison” on it, would you drink it? Well, the answer lies in the disguise. You would likely drink it if you didn’t know what was in the bottle. Both personalities are masters of illusion and they can con anyone. So when you meet a Dark Soul, what you see on the outside label, or the bottle, is NOT what is inside. It’s only when you drink it that you find out its poison.”

Many victims are left feeling shadows of their former selves whilst the psychopath and narcissist is so pumped up with all the attention they are receiving from their victims they feel the opposite. My own ex always used to try to come back when I was at my strongest then try to wear me down.

Having witnessed first hand the impact it has on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the victims some are unrecognisable when they have been with these predators for so long. I looked terrible when I was at the tail end of the relationship, I was tired ,  ill and was a complete mess. He on the other hand looked the best he had done for years although usually this only last when they have a victim to prey on.

However there is good news. When you leave a psychopath its a bit like having a natural facelift. With good therapy and a bit of work on yourself you’ll look and feel ten years younger and start to be back to your authentic self. When people email me saying they have put on weight and don’t feel attractive or happy anymore I tell them to be patient and not to be so hard on themselves. One woman I knew who was married to an alcoholic for 20 years and finally left when her house was repossessed was unrecognisable when her husband finally left. No longer the dependant enabler, she is full of life and looks amazing.

To prove a point I have added a before and after picture of what I looked like in relationship with my psychopathic ex and now nearly 18 months on away from them. I looked a complete mess!

Looking a bit of a mess

Happier, healthier and contented 18 months later

On a final note many victims say to me things looking back after the relationship like “I don’t know what I ever saw in them” “They are like a stranger” “I would have never chosen someone like that”.

Recently I found a picture of my psychopathic ex on the net and was shocked when I saw it. He was about 4 stone heavier than when we last met and his face was full of anger and rage. When I looked at his picture I just thought to myself that’s how you left me feeling and looking. A projected image of his authentic self. This wasn’t a man I fell in love with it was a total stranger, this was the man I should have had the foresight to recognise in the first place.

The man who had hidden himself so carefully, behind the mask.

Next time I have a relationship I want the real stuff.  Something that doesn’t offer a quick fix or short term benefits.  A relationship that doesn’t move so quickly that the the next thing you know your brain has become paralysed and you cannot think straight.  One fix and your hooked.

Its called a healthy relationship. It was at that point that I realised no more Botox for me. Like the bottle of poison, no matter how carefully disguised the packaging is, I was cured of my addiction to fake botox forever.

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Filed under addiction, narcissists, oxytocin, poison, projection, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, sociopath

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

Re-traumatising and PTSD


(Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Everyone always writes about the positive aspects of coming out of a relationship with a psychopathic personality . You read things about how as a result of being in such a toxic relationship it empowers you and teaches you how to recognise and spot predators. If you have never learnt how to have boundaries in the past you learn how to have them. You learn about healthy self-respect for yourself and self-love and most people decide if they have had proper counselling that they will never come have this type of relationship again.

When it comes to future dating If you have never been able to spot the warning signs of the beginnings of what could be a relationship based on power and control you learn those too. That way you never enter relationships that are likely to harm you again.

There are many many positives that come out of the relationship with the narcissist or the psychopath but what is the downside of having had a relationship with a psychopath and do people really understand the impact of how the relationship has really affected their victims?

Few therapists really understand what goes on with a psychopathic personality and the damage they can do to their victims. Chances are the abuser will often turn the tables on the victim and try to blame them. Sometimes they might even tell the therapist that the victim is crazy and being such charming convincing characters it’s not long before the therapist is on the narcissists side questioning the sanity of the victim.

Most victims of psychopathic personalities suffer from PTSD long after the event. It takes many forms and it needs a very understanding therapist to understand exactly what is going on and to not judge the victim for being triggered. It could be something as small as a smell that triggers them or the fact that they bump into someone in the street that looks like their abuser. If a victim has a history of attracting abusive types throughout their life then the  victim may start to develop the “girl/boy who cried wolf” syndrome whereby if the victim feels they want to tell the therapist something the feel the therapist wont believe them. Perhaps the therapist may appear to be disinterested in what the victim is telling them. They will say things like “Well you should be happy, after all think of all the positives” “You have a nice job now, things are going good aren’t they”. “Think how lucky you are to be rid of xx

A small trigger like the above is easier for the victim to deal with but what happens if something more serious happens within a few years of leaving a psychopath. Say for example you are put in a situation where you meet another psychopath who threatens your safety. This is challenging enough for anyone who has never even been in relationship with one but its even more challenging when you have already had a relationship with one. Victims are often left hyper vigilant and know exactly how to spot abusers far better than they could have before. so when another abusers slips through their radar they victim will immediately blame themselves and say things like “Why didn’t I spot them?” “Why didn’t I see it coming” Why because the person doing it is a psychopath and they can trick any con anyone. Even with the best tools in the work experts get conned by these people day in day out. Like myself my friend is an “expert” on psychopathic personalities and yet she still got caught out again by these insidious individuals. The therapist on the other hand may just poo poo it and think its just another trigger.

Most recently a friend contacted me who was unfortunate to have had a run in with another psychopath after her relationship with the previous psychopath had ended. It had been more than two years so she was already well on her way to being completely healed.

The event that happened was pretty disgusting and would have been enough to upset any normally stable person but this particular situation had sent my friend into a tailspin. The therapist not recognising that she had PTSD from her previous encounter re-triggered by this new event with a different psychopathic person decided to prescribe her anti depressant. As a result of her interactions with the therapist when she eventually went back for counselling she decided to tell the therapist she was OK and that nothing was wrong.

Nothing could be further from the truth but what happens is that victims may start to feel like there is no point in even telling their therapist anything because they just don’t get it. The therapist may put the victims reaction down to being “hyper sensitive” or “reactionary”.

I have been in a similar situation myself and it puts the target in a difficult situation. They don’t want to go and see another therapist because the new therapist will ask why the victim has left the previous therapist. If they do find someone else it then means churning everything all over again from the past that isn’t necessary that the victim doesn’t particularly want to talk about thus reinforcing any old traumas that may well have been dealt with. The therapist may blame it on the victims old pattern and not even understand this is a “brand new trauma” with a “brand new psychopath” complicated by the fact that they are also dealing with being  re-traumatised and probably a bit of PTSD thrown in for good measure.

Notice I use the term target as psychopaths will target both people who have been victims of psychopaths and those who have never had the misfortune of meeting them

As a result the target feels helpless and victimized again and although like any normal person they may wish to seek help because of their previous experiences they  are left with a couple of options.

1) sharing their experiences with people who have been through the same I.e. other victims/targets. This can be OK but sometimes this can prolong the healing especially if they go on forums where the victims actually enjoy being stuck in victim mode and then they have to churn up all the old stuff again which they don’t want to or

2) share their experiences with friends and family, most of whom do not understand at all and really don’t want to hear it all again least of all the victim may have met psycho number xxx Or

3) to internalize it and to try to go figure out for themselves why they are being re-traumatised again and deal with it the best way they can.

The third option is OK IF they have done enough healing and had a good therapist in the first place but what if the therapy they got in the first place wasn’t enough. The victim is back to square one and may have to start their healing all over again.

My hope is that one day therapists really start to understand what it feels like to be in a relationship with a psychopath and not just to lecture their clients about what victims should and shouldn’t do. Most therapists may have had a few run ins with the odd narcissist which although unpleasant enough in itself is compared to the psychopath pretty easy to spot and a walk if the park to some degree. However few if any have ever had to deal with a true psychopathic malignant narcissist..

Having had more than a few run ins with psychopaths when I wrote Dark Souls it took me many months after thinking I was completely healed to realised that PTSD was what was keeping me stuck and not that I was some kind of psycho attractor. It was a colleague who finally reminded me that the only types of people who are likely to read a book like mine are those who have been victims or those who are psychopaths who might think they are buying a book that will teach that some new tricks.  Sadly for them my book is to empower victims of psychopaths not the other way round.

The general public is not aware of psychopathic behaviour but very few therapists on the other hand understand psychopathic behaviour at all unless they have worked directly with them or been on the receiving end of one of their scams.

There is no quick fix when it comes to getting over a psychopath and you will only heal as quickly as you allow yourself to. The good news is that therapy works for neurotics who have been victimized by these people so by seeking therapy you are on the first step to recovery.  My advise to anyone seeking help if they have been with someone they know to be a psychopath is to make sure you seek someone who understands their disordered personality and has dealt with victims of psychopaths, sociopaths or narcissists or you could be in for a long bumpy ride.

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Filed under dark souls, narcissists, post traumatic stress, psychopath, psychopathic personality, psyhopaths, toxic relationships