Tag Archives: dark souls

Letting go of the story

ImageI have been thinking about the best way to write this very last post on psychopathy on this blog without pissing a whole lot of people off. But then when I reflected on it I thought, “You know what Sarah, you have spent much of your life not speaking up, so why not say exactly how you feel and if people don’t like what your are writing what the heck”.

Its not because I don’t really care what people of think, nor feel empathy for those who have experienced the same, and my experiences may be totally different from other peoples. However I’ll explain why I have no interest in writing more posts on Psychopaths below.

First of all my second book “The Phoenix Spirit” will be out in a couple of weeks. It talks about the things most people don’t want to talk about after the breakup and also about the whole industry as a whole.  Most people talk about what psychopaths do but they never really think about the abuse they cause to others least of all the mess that targets are left to clean up with after. In my own case I will be clearing up the financial mess into my retirement. And you know what that’s OK.

Its taught me that material things aren’t really that important to me any more and when I painted the image that appears above and will also appear on the front cover of the new book. My thoughts when making it were, firstly to brighten up a very ugly place I was living in, that my son described as a “shithole” because it was such a mess because I’d been so powerless and allowed the previous tenants who were renting off me to not pay any rent and literally trash it. There was nothing nice in the place so I thought by creating a nice colourful picture it would remind of something good coming out of it. Secondly the Phoenix represents a kind of rebirth whereby all that we had, or believed in, falls to ashes.


Sometimes we are faced with a life changing event or we bump into a person who may come along, and take everything from us but in their efforts to do that they try and take our money, our heart and and souls. As this picture shows they can try their hardest to take whatever they want from us but they cannot pinch our heart and they can NEVER pinch our souls. Ultimately we can survive and come out stronger.

We are left like the mythological phoenix to transform and evolve into something different, hopefully something better, but unlike the phoenix who is immortal we only have one lifetime!

So my reasons for not ever really wanting to write more posts on Psychopaths is because I do only have one lifetime and I want to live it to the fullest.

Constantly focusing on what might have been and what I should have done differently isn’t going to help me and it doesn’t always appear to help others either.

It reminded me of a time many years ago when there was a fire in a flat I was living in. I was around 19 at the time and I came home and found that everything I had ever owned in my life was burnt down to the ground. This didn’t happen to me because of some psychopath, in fact who knows why it happened. Was it because the electrical wiring in the house was faulty? Was it because the girl I was sharing with had left her curling tongs plugged in ? Was it an act of god ? Constantly ruminating on why it happened and grieving over the loss of things I had collected over early 20 years would never help me move on and besides it taught me a valuable lesson when I bumped into the psychopath that material things can be replaced. I remember losing a whole ton of pictures and photographs and those photographs too may have disappeared but the wonderful memories still linger in my head.

So anyway I digress. My point is that as far as being a target or victim or any other word you want to use for having had the misfortune of running into a psychopath the bottom line is that we can survive the whole point of healing is that we come out of the experience wiser and stronger and are able to to move on as I did when I had a fire more than 30 years ago.

If we are unable to let go on an energetic level we become stuck, it leave us frustrated, angry and worst we internalise, blame, and become ill. I was starkly reminded today when I went to see a client who was suffering from the most chronic illnesses having spent a lifetime of not being able to let go of anything much at all in their lives that the main cause of their illness was because they unable to let go. They were so stuck in story it was impossible for them to move beyond that which of course had resulted in chronic long term ill health and pain.

With the holistic background training I have received both in acupuncture and using other dynamic therapies such as voice dialogue the thing I find frustrating with many victims of pathology and the whole pathology industry is that they are still stuck in the story. Of course its normal to feel emotional and emotions should not to be repressed because once you are able to let go of the storyline, and feel the energy of the emotion you are able to move through the emotions and not remain stuck.

When I wrote Dark Souls rather than put all the blame on the psychopath I had to ask myself back then what is it that I am showing to the world that enables someone to come into my life and treat me so badly . It was because I was treating myself so badly. When I started to treat myself nicely then vanished from my life. So today I asked myself why did I attract someone who was so stuck in their story. As much as I was happy to help them I have realised that by focusing on my own story all it has done is attract more of the very same people in my life. Wounded people who like myself who were unable to let go.

But that is the past.


There is a theory that when you let go of something, whether it be people, stories, clutter, garbage or anything else in our lives that doesn’t serve us it gives us space for something better to come along.

In my journey of healing to become whole and happy I have had to let go of many things and I can assure you that each time I did something better and wonderful came along to fill its place.

So now its time to move on, beyond the story, and let go of what’s happened in the past with Dark Souls and to focus on something totally different and to allow whatever comes along to fill that empty space.

Its quite exciting to wonder what it might be and I’ll keep you all posted on my old blog which I shall be restarting in a couple of weeks.  http://sarahstrudwick.wordpress.com/

For now I plan on having a much needed break from writing and doing a healthy cleanse and detox and hope that all of the posts I have done over the last couple of years will have helped you all let go of your own stories too and move on.


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Stalkers, Trolls, Monsters and Imaginary Friends

I was recently reading a great post by a colleague Claudia Moscovoci on psychopathic Stalkers which pointed out that we give them far too much importance.


In the article Claudia talks about her fear and would “recall moments during my childhood when I’d go to bed and  my toys would create scary, large and looming shadows on the wall. The toys that seemed so benign during the day sometimes became frightening during the night.”


One thing I know from my own experiences of dealing with these types which I call Dark Souls is that they play on our insecurities and our fears. For example there was a time when I had what some would describe as psychic attacks. During this intense period I had posted an article on my website which was explaining one of my fears. Lets call it snakes just for the hell of it.


I am not scared of snakes but the article in question clearly told anyone who was reading it EXACTLY what my fear was.


What happened over a course of a couple of weeks were a lot of these creatures started manifesting in real-time. Eventually I had to overcome this fear otherwise I would have ended up in a nut house. In fact a friend came round one day and said how is it possible for so many ****** to appear in your house at one time. Once I started to realize that not only did these things have no power over me but that it was probably my focus on them that attracted them in the first place they miraculously disappeared. In fact I hardly ever see one in my house nowadays and even if I do I am not afraid any more.


Many psychopaths are stalkers, mine was no exception,  but there comes a point at which many victims including myself become so traumatized and wrapped up in the kinds of things they are doing to is we start to imagine things that aren’t even there. We become so hyper vigilant that things that we would normally put down to rational explanation get accredited to the lovely psychopath. Eventually they become the sole focus of our attention and everything that appears to be odd or strange that happens out of the blue is attributed to them.


I remember a woman contacting me many months ago who believed that over 40 people were out to get her as a result of her psychopathic ex. No one has that much power and she had become so deluded she was bordering on schizophrenia. No amount of rational explaining to her would make her understand that this person did NOT have to power to do all the things she had imagined them nor the power to exert that much control over so many other people. Sadly it was all a figment of her imagination playing on her own fears which had become out of control.  She had no facts to back up her theory it was all based on assumptions.


I have given lots of advice to others on stalking and taken the advice myself. Sometimes the things they do are real and for this reason we do have to pay attention to their actions and make sure we take action for example reporting them to the police and so on. But some things we think they are doing we just “assume”. If we are have not having contact with these people how can we assume what they are up to?


There is also an expression what we give out we get back. If we are constantly worrying about stalkers, trolls and so on coming into our experience there’s a good chance that’s exactly what we will get. In the past I had so many trolls on my support page I decided to close the whole thing down. The moment I stopped focusing on them they stopped hassling me. I might get the odd occasional troll  and I rarely attract them now and if I do I am no longer triggered.


In the past before I got treated for PTSD I made mistakes and attributed some of the strange weird things that happened to me to my ex when in fact they weren’t him at all. Nowadays I am able to think more rationally and know which things he really does and which things are imaginary. I remember writing an article a while back on Dark Souls being Magicians. They are only magicians if we give them our power. In the article I wrote:


“So why on a conscious level, if you know the Dark Soul is fake, does it take you so long to recognise them for what they are? My belief is that they play on our fears and when there is no fear they have no power over you any more. You are able to walk away, do whatever you need to do on a practical level to protect yourself and stop letting them affect you.
My further suggestion is that like the Gothic magician you stop figuring out why these Dark Souls do what they do. See them as the magicians or fakes that they really are and stop letting them have any hold over you.  Stop seeing them as some kind of wizard with special powers but rather a disordered sick individual who has nothing better to do than play tricks on people.
After all they only have a hold over you if you believe them.  And the “magician” cannot be a magician if he knows his audience is aware how he does his tricks.  The show is then over.”


On a practical level I’d suggest that people become more rational and less emotional when dealing with a stalker and also ensure they get treatment for PTSD otherwise like the woman I spoke to their own fears may become so out of proportion to what’s actually happening they will end up going literally going nuts. Rather than thinking that everything that happens to us is because the psychopath has done it, you look at things in a more non biased way.  You think “maybe he did” and “maybe he didn’t”. If  its something life threatening then of course report it to the authorities but you don’t want to end up looking over your shoulder at every turn and wondering when the imaginary monsters are going to show up that are out to get you because this is EXACTLY what the psychopath wants.  Since many psychopaths are highly narcissistic fantasists much of what they want us to believe about them isn’t even try anyway.  By imagining things and believing their hype we become almost as deluded as them.


Don’t play into!


I’ll be giving some practical tips on dealing with stalkers and trusting your own intuition so you can decipher fact from fiction in my new up and coming book.


Filed under dark souls, stalkers

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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I have decided to finally move all the posts and articles from the book site and Waking you up so that people can comment on them.

In this blog you will find articles and posts on psychopaths and narcissists and other personality disorders and random musings about the type of things you might experience in a toxic relationship.  More importantly the blog contains valuable tools to enable targets to get away from their disordered partners and to share their stories.

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Who is the fool, Them or Us

Why we try to understand the Psychopath

A normal empathic individual will do their utmost to understand a psychopath especially if they have no idea the person is a psychopath or has a personality disorder in the first place.

Throughout the ages most people have had a fascination with evil so when we suddenly find ourselves coming across someone who ticks all the boxes when it comes to behaving like the Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde or even the devil themselves, we are left with a reality check.  Do these psychopathic individuals really mean what they are saying. Are they just joking when they say things like I want to kill or hurt someone. We think to ourselves, “Surely they can’t be serious” “They really can’t be that evil”. We question why would they do such strange things?

When it comes to their crazy making behaviour e.g. playing mind games and gaslighting, unless you have had the lovely misfortune of having met a psychopath or had a relationship with one most people don’t actually know what has hit them until it’s too late. For those that don’t know what gaslighting is, its is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The sole aim is to make the victim of the gaslighting behaviour end up thinking they are crazy. Usually the person doing it is crazy themselves and it can also involve verbal projection whereby they use creative means to project their own insanity onto the victims.

Recently I met a person who decided to do a bit of gaslighting on me. Fortunately they didn’t know I had written a book about it and they thought they had spotted the little red neon flashing sign above my head that says “come and get me”. They decided to play a few little mind games on me trying to make me think I had lost my marbles or that my memory was failing me. Had I not known about gaslighting or written Dark Souls I would have come out thinking I was starting to lose my mind. It was done in a very insidious way and involved lots of projection and moving stuff around. However the fact that I knew straight away what they were doing, becoming immediately aware of their games, they weren’t able to have any hold on me.

Having spent much of my life around crazy people and thinking I was crazy myself, wasting time and energy trying to “understand” them I have come to a realisation as to why we as victims may be so fascinated by them. Its usually because of the cognitive dissonance that reminds us that underneath all people must be good. This does not apply to a psychopath and is one of the reasons people are so fascinated with them.

Claudia Moscovici talks about the psycopath as Evil Jokers (The Dark Knight and other psychopathic characters). Remember the psychopathic person is all about mind games and winning and without a willing fool to play games with they will soon move on to another willing victim. Psychopaths are known for experiencing great pleasure at hurting and playing games with their victims.

But who is the fool really ?

The psychopath sees their victims as a fool, an idiot, prey, victim, a target that they can use and abuse. They hide behind a mask thinking they are invisible to their disguise and that victims cannot spot them. If you have a history of abuse the psychopath has an inate ability to hone in on victims but many victims learn how to spot a psychopath more readily if they have already been victimised.

Once a victim empowers themselves and uncovers their mask of sanity and we learn why and how they do things we no longer have a fascination with trying to “understand” them.  We no longer want to help them by being dependent enablers or figure out why they do evil things.

Once the victim understands that evil is not some glamourous fictitious hollywood character from a horror movie whose sole modus operandi is to exploit and manipulate who is trying to create a false persona so that we believe them to be something they are not.  Because we understand that under the facade of the psychopathic personality they are hard-wired to be different.  We stop playing into their hands and we see them for the fools that they really are.

Once we educate ourselves the fascination with evil suddenly dissolves from being an unhealthy obsession for what appeared to be the charismatic, macabre, charmer who we stupidly think “accidentally” does bad things to good people to a more surreal kind of character that no holds glamour or real appeal.  Since the psychopath lacks empathy, and without willing players it becomes a game of solitaire for both the abuser and abused. They may be evil but the other 3 dimensional attributes, such as empathy, kindness, charm and charisma, that we gave to them start to slip away.

Once the joker exposes himself as the true trickster he really is they are unable to play their games anymore. As their house of cards starts to fall around them they reveal themselves as nothing more than a cardboard cutout, hiding in the pack and the joke is then firmly on them


Filed under claudia moscovici, dark souls, dr jekyll mr hyde, Evil, evil jokers, gaslighting, mask of insanity, mind games, psychopath