Tag Archives: psychopaths

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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Why Psychopaths are so hard to spot

Why Psychopaths are so hard to spot even for professionals

I recently had a conversation with someone who I’ll keep anonymous for their own protection who had been abused by their own parents and had was in a state of confusion as to why their own parents might want to abuse them. Worst still their one of the parents appeared to be a highly manipulative psychopath who had tried to persuade the authorities that in was in fact the adult child that was crazy.

I have heard these kinds of stories before not only only from this person so it got me on a search for different articles and stories that might explain how disordered personalities might blend into society whereas those who are neurotic maybe be labelled with illnesses they don’t even have.

For those adult children who have grown up with dysfunction it led me on a search for lots of answers. I found this video quite interesting.

Many years ago the anti psychiatry group caused an uproar when a man called David Rosenhal decided to do an experiment and see when the system was flawed. He and a few colleagues pretended to hear voices and were admitted into a psychiatric unit.

The study was done in two parts. First, healthy participants were recruited, called the “pseudopatients”. They would briefly simulate auditory hallucinations. These pseudopatients would try to be admitted to twelve different psychiatric hospitals in five states in the USA. All were admitted and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. After admission, the pseudopatients told the staff they were fine and acted like any normal patient would. However, the staff considered this as part of their illness and did not detect any of the pseudopatients. Some of the patients were even confined for months. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and had to agree to taking anti-psychotic medication as a condition for release.

The second part involved an offended hospital challenging Rosenhan to send pseudopatients to its facility, whom its staff would then detect. Rosenhan agreed and in the following weeks out of 193 new patients the staff identified 41 as potential pseudopatients, with 19 of these receiving suspicion from at least 1 psychiatrist and 1 other staff member. In fact Rosenhan had sent no-one to the hospital.

The study concluded, “It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals”

It poses the question are psychiatrists even able to diagnose the right person with the right illness.

In another experiment called The Stanford prison experiment was a controversial study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted at Stanford University from August 14 to August 20 in 1971 by a team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo who also appeared in the recent movie on psychopaths called “Fishhead”.

What transpired from the experiment is that a small minority of people became “evil”

You can watch the video here

Although it appeared that everyone was playing a “role” some people took their roles more seriously than others and the abuse escalated.

One wonders whether or not the screening process that took place in the beginning was floored in the beginning and in fact some of the people who had entered the facility were possibly psychopaths.

Dr Robert Hare mentions that its very difficult to spot a psychopath even after months of knowing them and yet in the Rosenhal case they were ready to get someone committed and put them on drugs within weeks. Both studies show that put in the wrong hands those who are normal can end up being committed as insane whereas those who are actually the most dangerous may very easily slip through the radar unnoticed.

Its no wonder that many people may potentially feel untrustworthy of the psychiatric profession when there are so many variable factors to be taken into consideration.

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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

Happy Pathological Free Valentines Day

With Valentines day just around the corner it’s always a time of contemplation for anyone who single. They might be feeling lonely and wondering why they haven’t found that perfect someone or perhaps they might be in a relationship which appears to be OK but underneath but isn’t quite what it seems. When people are in loving healthy relationships Valentines day is not really that important because every day is a day worth celebrating. In contrast those who have been in relationships with disordered personality may look to Valentines day in the small hope that their partner might show them some kind of love and affection at least for one day.

When our partners buy us a box of chocolates or take us out for a lavish dinner we might feel like we have won the lottery and yet in reality the chance is they have gone out and bought a half-hearted bunch of flowers from a gas station at the last-minute and put the dinner on their company expenses (assuming they even have a job). Worse still we may even end up paying the bill ourselves. In our addictive blindness to what’s really going on in the relationship thinking we are in “love”, when in fact we are pathologically bonded, we are often so grateful that we have even got anything at all. We totally forget that up until that point we have been investing so much in the relationship like the slot machine syndrome that Dr George Simon talks about when we are too scared to walk away in case we get a small pay-off.

If we are single on Valentines day most psychopaths will have a very wide relationship circle and may try to do their best to persuade us that we should see them again, often because their relationship circle may be in short supply at this time of the year. Perhaps their previous victims have moved on and found someone else to fill their shoes on Valentines day. Disordered personality’s are often very persuasive and may try to woo us by making lots of empty promises and seductive temptation. They will put anything on the menu they can to get you back , these goodies could include, lying, manipulation, presents, and other goodies like chocolates and flowers. Almost certainly there will be a nice side dish of sex on the menu.

In our eagerness to get that illusive payout we totally go into selective amnesia not realizing that in reality what appears to be too good really is “too good to be true”. We ultimately accept any dregs they offer us including the leftover sex, from previous partners they may have been with, and we have opened ourselves up to the pathological bond all over again by exposing ourselves to a nice big dose of Oxytocin which lowers our resistance and builds up trust again.  Each time you have sex Oxytocin is released and the pathological bond is strengthened. Any kind of  intimacy, including conversing, cuddling and so on, will stimulate Oxytocin release. Oxytocin affects everyone differently and for most victims they are likely to be more trusting of their abusers.  Oxytocin can also quell our brains fear hubs. That’s fine if you are in a healthy relationship but if its shared and released whilst having sex with a disordered personality such as a psychopath, you will immediately become vulnerable again not to mention the effect it might have on a psychopath.

If your relationship is based on highly addictive sex, including a one-off quicky on valentine’s day, then by having a side dish of sex with a dose of Oxytocin thrown in as a dressing is just asking for trouble.

Getting off the roller coaster

So there we are back on the old “love roller coaster” ride all over again! We may have a temporary high, albeit for a day, week or month until eventually our pathological lover decides to disregard us, abuse us and then throw us off the ride again.  We selective forget all the times when the relationship left us feeling miserable and unhappy and of course the temporary high doesn’t last very long.

So why get on the ride in the first place, is it  because we “love them” and because we want to “understand them”. Well yes we think we love them but it’s not real love because they the person we are with is pathological. Real relationships are based on mutual trust, companionship, honesty, love, and respect – something you will never get with a disordered personality. Of course if you enjoy being on the roller coaster of “love” then you have to ask yourself why.

Taking yourself off the roller coaster takes guts and a bit of soul-searching. It means looking within, facing your fears and finding the reasons why on earth you would have such low self-esteem as to want to spend your valentine’s day, or any other day for that matter, with someone who would abuse, mistreat you, cheat on you, steal from you, physically or emotionally harm you, fill in the blanks.

Fortunately most victims of psychopaths and any kind of abuse reach a point at which the roller coaster ride doesn’t become fun any more and its time to unstrap your seat belt and get off. You might even have to go around the track a few times with your therapist figuring out how you even got on there in the first place.

For those of you that have taken the plunge and got off the roller coaster you can always decide to get back on again at a later date after you have educated yourself and healed from the abuse. Only this time your eyes will be wide open and you wont need some pathological sidekick to drag you on there with them. You will have faced your fears and be able to go it alone.

Celebrate Valentines day this year by grabbing yourself a lovely bunch of flowers bought from the heart.  If you fancy buy yourself a nice box of chocolates, go out if you wish, and treat yourself to something beautiful that shows you how much you love and care about yourself. And while you’re at it buy yourself a piggy bank or trinket box and every time you look back and think of all the energy you put into “wishfully thinking” or hoping things might get better or wondering what could “I” have done to make it work.  Instead of wishful thinking put some money in your box.

I wish you all a wonderful pathological free Valentines day.  Be kind to yourself and remind yourselves how far you have come.  It may be a bumpy ride whilst your healing but none so bumpy as the ride you were on with your partners and this time next year you will have a wishful thinking box so full of money and positive intentions and you will also be 1 more year longer of NO CONTACT.  You can thank yourself next valentines day for being authentic and making healthy choices not by being sad and looking back but by  celebrating your achievements  either on your own or with a lovely healthy new partner.

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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.






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.





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