Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, August 09, 2018


 (the term 'psychopath' is used here but can be interchangeable with narcissist or sociopath)

When dealing with malignant narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, borderlines, drama queens, stalkers and other emotional vampires, it’s commonly advised that no response is the best response to unwanted attention. This is often true and No Contact (the avoidance of all communication) should be used whenever possible.

There are some situations however, when No Contact is not feasible, as in when you share child custody with a psychopath. As another example, if you are being stalked by an ex, a restraining order can infuriate the unwanted suitor, and refusing to respond to him or her is seen as an insult. They might become convinced that they can MAKE you respond and in that way satiate their need for power over you.

Furthermore, many of us have tried to end a relationship with a psychopath several times, only to take them back, each time. They turned on the pity ploy and the charm, and because we didn’t understand that this is what a psychopath does, we fell for their promises to change. They know all of our emotional hooks. For them, it’s easy and fun to lure us back by appealing to our emotions. But a psychopath can’t change. In fact, when you leave a psychopath, he becomes determined to punish you even more severely for thinking you could be autonomous.

Even if we don’t take them back, the most dangerous time for a person is when they first break up with a psychopath. The psychopath feels rage at being discarded. Losing control or power over a person is not just a narcissistic injury for them; they feel profoundly empty when their partner leaves them — even if they had intended to kill their partner. The reason is because they have lost control. Psychopaths need to feel in control at all times.

For all these situations, we have Gray Rock.

What it is:

So, how do we escape this parasitical leech without triggering his vindictive rage? Gray Rock is primarily a way of encouraging a psychopath, a stalker or other emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you. It differs from No Contact in that you don’t overtly try to avoid contact with these emotional vampires. Instead, you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the parasite must go elsewhere for his supply of drama. When contact with you is consistently unsatisfying for the psychopath, his mind is re-trained to expect boredom rather than drama. 

Psychopaths are addicted to drama and they can’t stand to be bored. With time, he will find a new person to provide drama and he will find himself drawn to you less and less often. Eventually, they just slither away to greener pastures. Gray Rock is a way of training the psychopath to view you as an unsatisfying pursuit — you bore him and he can’t stand boredom.

What it’s for:
Making a psychopath go away of his own volition is one application of Gray Rock. One might say that Gray Rock is a way of breaking up with a psychopath by using the old, “It’s not you, it’s me.” excuse, except that you act it out instead of saying it and the psychopath comes to that conclusion on his own.

Another reason to use Gray Rock is to avoid becoming a target in the first place. If you find yourself in the company of one or more narcissistic personalities — perhaps you work with them or they are members of your family — it’s important to avoid triggering their ENVY. By using Gray Rock, you fade into the background. It’s possible they won’t even remember having met you. If you have already inadvertently attracted their attention and they have already begun to focus in on you, you can still use Gray Rock. Tell them you are boring. Describe a boring life. Talk about the most mundane household chores you accomplished that day — in detail. Some people are naturally lacking in dramatic flair. Find those people and try to hang around them when the psychopath is nearby.

If you must continue a relationship with a psychopath, Gray Rock can serve you as well. Parents sharing joint custody with a psychopathic ex-spouse can use Gray Rock when the ex-spouse tries to trigger their emotions. I acknowledge that any threat to the well-being of our children is overwhelmingly anxiety provoking. Here is where Gray Rock can be applied selectively to draw attention away from what really matters to you. In general, show no emotion to the offending behaviors or words. The psychopath will try different tactics to see which ones get a reaction. With Selective Gray Rock, you choose to respond to the tactic which matters least to you. This will focus the psychopath’s attention on that issue. Remember, the psychopath has no values, so he doesn’t understand what is valuable to us — unless we show him. Selective Gray Rock shows him a decoy

When protecting our children, we can take a lesson from nature: Bird parents who have fledglings are known to feign a broken wing when a predator is in the vicinity. They fake a vulnerability to detract the cat’s attention from their real vulnerability, their babies. In this example, Selective Gray Rock fades all emotions into the background except the ones you want the predator to see.

Why it works:

A psychopath is easily bored. He or she needs constant stimulation to ward off boredom. It isn’t the type of boredom that normal people experience; it’s more like the French word, ennui, which refers to an oppressive boredom or listlessness. Drama is a psychopath’s remedy for boredom. For drama, they need an audience and some players. Once the drama begins, they feel complete and alive again. They are empowered when pulling the strings that elicit our emotions. Any kind of emotions will do, as long as it is a response to their actions.

A psychopath is an addict. He is addicted to power. His power is acquired by gaining access to our emotions. He is keenly aware of this and needs to constantly test to make sure we are still under his control. He needs to know that we are still eager to do his bidding, make him happy and avoid his wrath. He needs to create drama so he can experience the power of manipulating our emotions. As with any addiction, it is exhilarating to the psychopath when he gets his supply of emotional responses. The more times he experiences a reward for his dramatic behavior, the more addicted he becomes. Conversely, when the reward stops coming, he becomes agitated. He experiences oppressive boredom and he will counter it by creating more drama. If we stay the course and show no emotions, the psychopath will eventually decide that his toy is broken. It doesn’t squirt emotions when he squeezes it anymore! Most likely, he will slither away to find a new toy.

The Gray Rock technique does come with a caveat: psychopaths are dangerous people, if you are in a relationship with one that has already decided to kill you, it will be difficult to change his mind. He may already be poisoning you or sabotaging your vehicle. Take all necessary precautions. In this case, Gray Rock can only hope to buy time until you can make your escape.

How it works:

Psychopaths are attracted to shiny, pretty things that move fast and to bright lights. These things, signal excitement and relieve the psychopath’s ever-present ennui. Your emotional responses are his food of choice, but they aren’t the only things he wants.

He envies everything pretty, shiny and sparkly that you have and he wants whatever you value. You must hide anything that he will notice and envy. If you happen to be very good looking, you need to change that during this time. Use makeup to add bags under your eyes. If you aren’t married to the psychopath, any money or assets he covets should disappear “in a bad investment decision” (consult with your attorney on this). Your shiny sports car has to go, get a beater. If you have a sparkling reputation, anticipate that he will or has already begun to slander you; therefore, don’t allow yourself to be put into any compromising position or pushed into erratic behavior. The reason he wants to take these things from you, is not necessarily because he wants them for himself, it’s because he wants to see the emotions on your face when you lose them. He wants the power trip associated with being the one who took them from you. By preemptively removing these things from his vision and not reacting with emotion at the losses, you continue to train him with the idea that you are the most boring person on earth, someone he would never want to be.

Origin of Gray Rock:

In 2009, I left my psychopathic partner after 25 years, but I didn’t understand what was wrong with him. I sat in a sushi bar, lost in confusion, when a tall, athletic man introduced himself. To my own surprise, I instinctively poured out my story to him. This complete stranger listened to my story and then he explained to me that I was dealing with a malignant narcissist. He advised me, “Be boring.” He told me that his girlfriend would come home each night, begin drinking and become abusive. 

They were both professionals who traveled in the same professional circles. He knew that she would stalk him if he broke up with her and he didn’t want to risk the slander and drama which could leak out and damage his professional reputation.

His solution was to be so boring that she would simply leave him. He declined to go out on evenings and weekends. He showed no emotional reaction about anything, no interest in anything and responded with no drama. When she asked if he wanted to go out for dinner, his reply was, “I don’t know.” After a few months of no drama, she simply moved out.

Why is it called Gray Rock?
I chose the words Gray Rock because I needed an object for us to channel when we are in an emotionally charged situation. You don’t just practice Gray Rock, you BECOME a Gray Rock. There are gray rocks and pebbles everywhere you go, but you never notice them. None of them attract your attention. You don’t remember any specific rock you saw today because they blend with the scenery. 

That is the type of boring that you want to channel when you are dealing with a psychopath. Your boring persona will camouflage you and the psychopath won’t even notice you were there. The stranger in the sushi bar showed great insight when he advised me to “be boring.” He struck at the heart of the psychopath’s motivation: to avoid boredom.

In nature, there are many plants and creatures that show us how to survive in a world of predators. Among others, birds feign injury to protect their babies and mice play dead until the cat loses interest. 

Both of these tactics can be useful and they can be channeled when applicable. Yet, it’s difficult to calculate each and every move that a psychopath will make and to determine the best course of action each time. Instead of trying to out-think him, channel the gray rock. This simple, humble object in nature has all the wisdom it needs to avoid being noticed, it’s boring.

Copyright © 2012 Skylar


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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Sexual Sadism & Sociopathy/ Psychopathy

Sad Pictures, Images and Photos

According to the DSM-IV, the essential feature of the disorder is to be found in patterns of irresponsible and antisocial behaviors beginning in childhood or early adolescence and continuing into adulthood. Lying, stealing,truancy, vandalism, initiating fights, running away from home, and physical cruelty are typical childhood signs. In adulthood the antisocial pattern continues and may include failure to honor financial obligations, maintain consistent employment, or plan ahead.

These individuals fail to conform to social norms and repeatedly engage in antisocial behaviors that are grounds for arrest, such as destroying property, harassing others, and stealing. Often these antisocial acts are committed with no seeming necessity. People with antisocial personality disorder tend toward irritability and aggressivity, and often become involved in physical fights and assaults, including spouse and child beating. Reckless behavior without regard for personal safety is common, as indicated by driving while intoxicated or getting numerous speeding tickets.

Frequently these individuals are promiscuous, often failing to sustain a monogamous relationship for more than one year. Some marry but do not remain faithful. They do not appear to learn from past experiences in that they tend to resume the same kinds of antisocial behaviors they were punishment for. Finally, they seem to lack feelings of remorse about the effects of their behavior on others. On the contrary, they may feel justified in having violated the rights of others.

Meloy (1992) defines Sexual Sadism as "the conscious experience of pleasurable sexual arousal through the infliction of physical or emotional pain on the actual object."(p.76)

DSM-IV describes Sexual Sadism as follows: Over a period of at least six months: recurrent intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving acts ( real, not simulated) in which the psychological or physical suffering (including humiliation) of the victim is sexually exciting to the person. These behaviors are sadistic fantasies or acts that involve activities that indicate the dominance of the person over his victim. (not always physical!)


(PLEASE NOTE: not ALL Sexual Sadists are Serial Killers!! Some direct their sadism into mental & emotional torture and psychological rape. - And are rarely seen as the sadists they truly are)

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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

How to Help An Abused Woman

Know the facts about woman abuse.

Assure her that you believe her story.

Listen and let her talk about her feelings.

Do not judge or give advice. Talk to her about her options.

Physical safety is the first priority. If you believe she is in danger, tell her.

Help her plan an emergency exit.

Respect her right to confidentiality.

Let her know you care and want to help.

Allow her to feel the way she does and support her decisions. Let her talk about the caring aspects of the relationship as well. Don't try to diminish her feelings about her partner. Don't criticize her for staying with him, but share information on how abuse increases over time without intervention.

Give clear messages, including:

Violence is never okay or justifiable.

Her safety and her children's safety are always the most important issues.

Wife assault is a crime.

She does not cause the abuse.

She is not to blame for her partner's behaviour.

She cannot change her partner's behaviour.

Apologies and promises will not end the violence.

She is not alone.

She is not crazy.

Abuse is not loss of control, it is a means of control.

Discuss how the violence affects the children.

Be encouraged that every time she reaches out for help she is gaining the emotional strength needed to make effective decisions. She may be too fearful and immobilized or confused to take any step immediately.

Although police can be asked to accompany a woman going back home to retrieve personal belongings, encourage her to be prepared for the possibility of leaving home in a hurry. She should have necessary documents or photocopies ready, as well as important items such as:
credit cards, cash, bank books, passport, birth certificates, citizenship papers, house keys, medications, children's favourite toy, clothing, etc.

An abused woman needs our support and encouragement in order to make choices that are right for her. However, there are some forms of advice that are not useful and even dangerous for her to hear:

Don't tell her what to do, when to leave or when not to leave.

Don't tell her to go back to the situation and try a little harder.

Don't rescue her by trying to find quick solutions.

Don't suggest you try to talk to her husband to straighten things out.

Don't place yourself in danger by confronting the assaultive man.

Don't tell her she should stay for the sake of the children.

Never recommend joint family or marital counselling in situations of emotional or
physical abuse. It is dangerous for the woman and will not lead to a resolution that is in her interest.

Encourage separate counselling for the man and woman, if they want counselling.

How to Help Children Who Witness Abuse

For Mothers

Understand that there is a reason for the child's behaviour, and acknowledge that in words for her. Children will work out reasons of their own for the turmoil, often blaming themselves, unless you discuss what is going on.

Let your children know that the fighting is not their fault.

Give them permission to talk about the abuse. Information, and talking about feelings helps to sort out what is going on. If you are not able to handle talking with your child, make sure she knows one or two other people that you feel comfortable having her talk to.

Help them to work out a safety plan: a safe place to go when there is fighting, numbers they can call, and make sure they know it is not safe to get in between fighting adults.

Acknowledge the mixed feelings they may have toward their dad; it is still okay to love him, and hate what he does.

Make sure your child knows that keeping silent about abuse at home sometimes leads to keeping silent about other negative experiences.

Help the child to identify feelings other than anger, and help them find safe ways to express those feelings. Try to notice and comment on what your child is doing right.

Be as specific as you can about what is going to happen in everyday life. Children who live with abuse need information ahead of time about where they will be, and how long they will stay. If your child has a hard time separating from you, reassure him, and tell him you will be safe and when you will be back.

Get support for yourself. It takes extra patience to cope with a child who is acting out because of witnessing abuse.

For Teachers and Child Care Workers

Try to incorporate into daily activities a discussion of feelings and how to express them and recognize them in other people. Some children who witness violence only recognize and express anger: a feeling vocabulary helps them to express what they are experiencing.

A child who witnesses abuse often has a short attention span, as a result of being constantly on edge at home. Try to avoid focusing excessive negative attention on this behaviour, and if possible, support the child in redirecting his energy.

Try to discuss behaviour in terms of "safe and not safe", rather than "bad, good, nice, not-nice". The child may already be suffering with very low self-esteem and will tend to identify with the aggressor in her family, if she hears at school that she is not nice.

Consistency, routine and follow-through are very helpful in assisting a child who is coping with violence. Try to create a feeling of safety and predictability in the child's environment, using visual cues like clocks whenever possible. Self-esteem words and phrases that identify concrete examples of positive behaviour (helpful cleaning up, shared his snack) go a long way to counter feelings of worthlessness and helplessness, especially when written down.

Be as clear as possible about rules, and consequences. Try to avoid the appearance of arbitrary punishments or decisions. Children who witness violence often have a very keen sense of justice.

Offer limited choices. This increases a child's sense of control over her world.

Try to be patient with decision making: it may be an unusual experience for her.

Give a time limit.

School-age children can benefit from discussions of gender stereotyping. Boys especially need to know that the abuser in their family is not the only way to be male.

Challenge stereotypes in popular culture that show helplessness and aggression.

Identify other ways of coping with problems.

Help the child identify her "support systems": safe family members or adults that can help a child by listening.

Know that the child's mother is doing the best they can under the circumstances. Be aware of the issues she is facing, and try not to judge her for what may look like poor parenting practices in your view. If you have noticed routines or patterns that seem to help or hinder the child, share them with his mother, but be aware that she may not always be able to act on the information immediately or consistently.

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Monday, August 06, 2018

Emotional & Mental Rape

After a long seven hour night waiting tables and dealing with horny men drinking to oblivion, Jessica came home to find that her husband was ready for sex. Being exhausted both physically and mentally, she tried explaining to him that she was too tired and that her back was killing her; that the only thing she wanted to do was take a hot bath and go to sleep.

Of course, her husband grilled her. Accusing her of not working and sleeping with some customer she supposedly picked up at the restaurant. She pleaded with him and tried to make him understand that it was not personal. He continued his badgering and called her every name in the book. He, then proceeded to go on the bed laying on his back naked saying, "Look at me...I am Jessica the slut."

She proceeded to walk out the bedroom door when her husband followed her like a nagging kid. Exhausted as she was, she started crying. Dealing with her back pain and her tiredness, the last thing she needed was her abusive husband pressuring her for sex. After a long hour of persuasion and manipulation from her husband, Jessica gave in just to shut him up!

When the abuser emotionally and mentally abuses the victim, this is emotional and mental rape.

At times, a woman who is abused will have sex with their partner only to pacify the abuser to stop the "abuse." But a lot of women don't realize that when this happens, they are being "raped." Although, the victim says "yes" to the act, it is the "way" the act happened that makes it emotional rape.

In turn, the aftermath of this type of rape leaves the woman feeling dirty and cheap. She may eventually not trust or believe what people say...and if the woman were to ever leave her abusive partner; sex may become a dirty memory and therefore handicap the victim to not want sex at all.

Verbal, emotional, and mental abuse amongst other types of abuse is not "protected" or "accepted" as abuse as much as physical abuse. This leaves the victim feeling lonely and isolated.

The only way, I believe, to avoid this type of rape is to not give in. As much as the abuser can be a pain in the butt (and that is saying it lightly) just like any kind of abuse it is important to walk away, don't respond, call 911, or just walk out of the house - if possible.

NOTE: Emotional and Mental Rape described on the internet is very different from what I believe it actually is. I have chosen not to share links to emotional rape as it sends the viewer to porn sites.

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

Are You Being Emotionally Abused?

The married couple worked together as partners in their store, but their partnership definitely was not equal. He called her “stupid” in front of employees, blew up when she made mistakes & kept her in the dark about their finances. He also pushed her around a couple of times.

But what hurt the woman most were her husband’s savage & belittling words. She became depressed, then frightened by what would happen if her husband ever left her. After all, he controlled the money.

There were no marks on her body, says Richard Tolman, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan who has worked with perpetrators of domestic violence & their partners. But she was a victim of domestic violence nonetheless.

Every year, an estimated two million to four million women in the United States are victims of domestic violence, a public-health problem that is difficult to track due to the shame & stigma still attached to it. Psychological abuse is even more difficult to quantify. No one goes to the emergency room after being humiliated. It’s difficult to file a complaint with law-enforcement agencies charging that your partner controls the family finances or isolates you from your friends. Further, the victims of psychological abuse may not even realize they are being abused. They may feel bad about themselves or their relationship, says Tolman, but they may not connect that feeling with their partner’s behavior.

Psychological abuse, often called emotional or verbal abuse, is the belittling, humiliation, intimidation or threatening of a partner. Isolating a partner from friends & family & controlling finances are abusive behaviors too, according to domestic-violence experts such as RosaLinda Garcia Gusman, a social worker with the Texas Council on Family Violence. While domestic violence, including psychological abuse, occurs to men & women, women are most often the victims, according to a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Justice.

“You can tell it’s emotional abuse when you start feeling bad about yourself & you’re afraid to say or do anything because it could be the wrong thing,” says Garcia Gusman.
Experts such as Garcia Gusman say that emotional abuse & battery share the same root cause: One person desires power & control over another. Often, psychological abuse leads to physical violence or sexual abuse.

A husband or boyfriend who is emotionally abusive often plays games with the victim’s mind — calling her names or telling her she’s a bad mother or a bad person, says Garcia Gusman. He may tell her how to dress, how to wear her hair, how to clean their house & may decide whether she can go to the store. Typically, he criticizes her, degrades her & humiliates her.

“With all these kinds of things, after a period of time when you hear them enough, you come to believe them, so it affects your self esteem,” says Garcia Gusman.
Often the abuser monopolizes his partner by making himself the center of her existence. He isolates his partner by being so rude in front of her friends or family that they don’t want to visit, says Tolman.

Withholding affection, approval or companionship is a form of psychological abuse, too, Tolman says. A 1990 study published in the Journal of Family Violence found that 72% of victims reported that emotional abuse, especially ridicule, was harder to bear than physical abuse. “There’s a sense that it gets you where you live when someone who loves you says terrible things & keeps you from your friends & people you care about,” says Tolman.

There’s also a sense of being kept off balance. After all, what is emotional abuse vs. simply a heated argument?

An abusive person uses hurtful words such as “You’re stupid” or “You’re no good” & repeats them again & again, says Anne Ganley, a psychologist in Seattle, Wash., who has worked with abusers & their victims. Typically, an abuser targets areas of a woman’s life that he knows are particularly sensitive, such as her parenting skills, her appearance or her sexual performance, says Ganley.

A person who is verbally abusive, but has not caused the victim physical harm, can still become violent. Ganley suggests that a woman ask herself if her partner has ever used physical force against someone else or property. Has he gotten into fistfights, smashed things or thrown a chair against the wall? These are signs, she says, that he has the potential to become physically or sexually abusive.

Being verbally abused is exhausting & emotionally draining for the victim.

Garcia Gusman calls emotional abuse “in-your-soul abuse” because the harm inflicted isn’t outwardly apparent, like bruises or broken bones. The damage goes much deeper.

A 1999 study published in the journal Violence & Victims showed that psychological abuse, particularly ignoring & ridiculing victims, contributed to depression & low self-esteem. Psychological abuse has also been linked to anxiety, panic attacks & suicidal thoughts. When the abuser has also used physical force, every verbal assault can trigger a response in the victim’s body & mind as if physical danger were imminent, Ganley says.

In relationships marred by both physical & psychological abuse, says Ganley, “Every time the verbal abuse happens, it’s really a double whammy. Even if the physical abuse doesn’t happen that time, it’s powerful. … A dirty look or a particular comment not only has the cut of the words, but it also carries with it the history of being shoved down the stairs.”
Each time the abuse begins, the victim’s body gears up as if to fight or to flee, which can result in long-term health consequences including high blood pressure, asthma, cardiac problems, auto-immune & other illnesses triggered by stress (including PTSD), Ganley says. Victims may develop a sense of helplessness & lose the ability to protect themselves. “They may be irritable, hostile & angry a lot of the time under this threat,” Ganley says.

There is hope, however. Once a woman seeks treatment, she may begin to realize the problems with her partner are not her fault, says Garcia Gusman. Individual therapy or support groups with other victims can help a woman increase her self-esteem & her ability to recognize potentially abusive behavior.

“As she spends more time in a support group talking to others or working with a counselor,” Garcia Gusman says, “her mental health has a turn around.”


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Saturday, August 04, 2018

Trauma & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is trauma?
Trauma involves exposure to a catastrophic event usually of a life threatening or seriously physically threatening nature. Traumatic events include experiences such as having witnessed violence, having been a victim of crime or violence, having lived through a natural disaster, having been a combatant or civilian in a war zone, having witnessed or having been a victim of a severe accident.

Most mental health professionals have expanded the definition of trauma to include betrayal trauma. Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions we depend on for survival violate us in some way. An example of betrayal trust is childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Please see our page on Surviving Childhood Abuse for information regarding this topic.

People who have encountered traumatic events experience their distress at different times after the event. Some people may have immediate reactions, whereas others may not have reactions for quite some time. There is no one standard response or pattern of responses to a crisis.

Some common reactions that people have after a traumatic event:
* Feelings may become intense and sometimes unpredictable; you may be more anxious, fearful, hopeless, or irritable than usual.

* You may have repeated thoughts and vivid memories of the event.

* You may feel confused, have memory impairment, or have difficulty making decisions.

* Your interpersonal relationships may become strained. For example, you may have increased conflict or you may be more withdrawn and avoid your usual activities.

* You may have more physical symptoms than usual, e.g., fatigue, nausea, sweating (chills); any pre-existing conditions may become worse; sleep might be disturbed.

* You may have recurrent emotional reactions on the anniversary of the event.

What you can do to manage your symptoms:
* Give yourself time to heal.

* Ask for support from people who care about you.

* Find out about local support groups (we can help).

* Try to have a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. Avoid drugs and alcohol.

* Try to re-establish your regular routines - e.g., regular mealtimes, exercise,
hobbies, fun activities.

* Try to avoid making major decisions at this time - this just adds more stress.

What if it has been a while since the traumatic event and Im not getting better?

What if my symptoms are more intense than what was just described?

You may be experiencing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. People with PTSD may have few or many of the following symptoms:

* You may have constant and intrusive thoughts, feelings, images about the event. No matter how hard you try, you cant make it stop.

* You may have flashbacks or nightmares where you feel you are reliving the event. Flashbacks involve a person losing grip on reality and perceiving him or herself to be in the traumatic situation. An example of this would be a crime victim acting as if he or she is fighting off attackers.

* You may become extremely distressed when something reminds you of the event. A sight, sound or smell can activate memories. For example, getting into a car can be extremely distressing for the victim of a car wreck.

* You may feel extremely on-guard or in danger. You may startle very easily and may be jumpy.

* You may avoid thoughts, feelings or conversation about the traumatic event.

* You may avoid people, places, and/or activities that remind you of the event. For example, crime victims may want to avoid the place where they were attacked.

* You may not feel like participating in your usual activities.

* You may not feel connected to people. You may avoid socializing. It may be difficult to trust people.

* You may feel numb, and may not feel emotions like you used to.

People with PTSD may often experience other psychological difficulties along with the PTSD. These other psychological problems may include depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, eating disorders and alcohol/substance abuse.

Seeking treatment for PTSD
Seeking treatment can feel terrifying even though the symptoms that you are experiencing are extremely stressful. To seek treatment means you are facing the prospect of discussing the painful event and all the emotions surrounding it. You may be concerned that discussing the trauma will stir up disturbing feelings and that you may anticipate those feelings to be overwhelming. We realize that discussing trauma can be difficult and we will let you control the pace of revealing the details of your trauma. We will do our utmost to create an environment of sensitivity, safety and trust where you can talk about what has happened to you.

Treating PTSD

 Heal My PTSD

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Friday, August 03, 2018

How to Deal With an Overbearing Mother

Does your mother try to tell you how to live your life?
Or scrutinize every decision you make?


1. Realize there are reasons why your mother is overbearing and that you won't ever be able to change her. The operative word is "deal."

2. Work on establishing boundaries immediately. Decide which aspects of your life you won't share with your mother, then remind her when she invades them. If boundaries will not work; go No Contact with her and get far far away.

3. Learn this phrase and repeat it often: "I love you, but I don't want to discuss that with you." Then change the subject when your mother begins to meddle.

4. If possible, consider writing your mother a letter, detailing how you'd like your relationship to evolve (and which aspects can go extinct like the dinosaurs).

5. Thank your mother for her suggestions on how to live your life, then move on to more stimulating conversation.

6. Strive to seek approval from yourself instead of from your mother. When you're self-confident, your mother's controlling tendencies won't get under your skin.

7. Opt for caller ID so you can be prepared for potentially overbearing conversations - or screen the call to measure the importance of her message.

8. Try to call her back within a day; controlling mothers are fueled by neglect, and you can avoid possible nagging with a prompt call back.

9. Appreciate the fact that someone cares so much about you that they need to call you before, during and after every small event in your life.

10. Refrain from any guilt your overbearing mother may try to trip you up with. No one should feel guilty for living their own life. 

Recommended Reading


Ignore the gnawing suspicion that your mother is trying to live her life through you. Even if she is, the urge to control is her baggage to carry, not yours.

If your mother persists in knocking down your boundaries, consider seeking therapy. You may need to go No Contact immediately if your mother is a narcissistic-type; because they can not change.



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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Anatomy of the Abuser and the Abused Man


While this paper cannot be a definitive guide to the nature of the abuser, the victims relationship with the abuser and societies part in encouraging gender bias, I hope it will add to the pool of knowledge. It is my hope that, at least a small way, this paper will be an aid towards helping us all understand the nature of domestic abuse and those who perpetrate or encourage it.
- George Rolph. London 2004.

The abusers - Actors in disguise.
First and foremost abusers are actors. It makes no difference what gender the abusive personality is, their primary skill is to emulate normal behaviour in order to disguise their own condition.

I have spoken to many victims of abuse who say that the person they met and fell in love with “gradually changed” into a monster. This is often one of the most confusing and distressing aspects of abuse from the victims point of view. It is also a situation that the abuser will exploit with varying degrees of vicious skill. While it is impossible to be specific on these subjects in every case -- as there are always exceptions to every rule -- careful observation and research have uncovered certain general consistencies I want to discuss here. The question is; what is going on in the abusers mind that causes them to suddenly, or gradually, become abusive to their new partner?

It appears that the abusive personality has learned, by observation and by mimicry of those around them, how to give every appearance of normality and stability for often quite extended periods of time. This means that they are able to convince new partners that they are really charming, wonderful people who should be trusted and are worthy of love and care. This act is easy to maintain in certain social situations and where the abuser has minimal contact with others in an average day. For example, in a work situation where he/she will be in contact with others for a maximum of eight hours per day. Another social situation may be one of casual friendships made in pubs and clubs. Under these conditions the actor (abuser) need only be convincing as a normal person for a minimum amount of time. This is why many friends of the abuser find it hard to believe that the person they think they know could be capable of such barbarity within a long term relationship. In the case of female abusers, this difficulty is compounded by social and political myths that see females only as victims and not as perpetrators.

For the abusive actor, maintaining the act of normality within a long term relationship is almost impossible. The intensity of the time spent in the company of the victim means the emotional strain placed on the pretender, by their need to hide their true selves, becomes too difficult to maintain. The act breaks down and the real personality disguised beneath it rushes to the surface. To the victim, the sudden outbursts of aggression from the previously “loving” and “charming” personality they fell in love with, is both mystifying and deeply confusing. The victim, often still in love with the abuser, begins to make excuses for the abusers behaviour. Mentally sweeping it under the carpet and falsely believing that things will get better in time. This is not difficult to understand.

Anyone who has fallen in love knows the huge investment of trust, emotional/ mental commitment and selflessness it takes make the relationship work. It is natural for the victim to assume that the other person has made the same efforts as they have and this primes them to accept the abusers excuses and rationalisations of their behaviour.

The abusers self-view.An abusive personality is fundamentally one of self loathing and even self hate. However, this self disgust is too painful for them to accept. Desperate to “fit in” with everyone else they justify the abusive behaviour they cannot avoid and deny the rest. The denial can be very profound and will drive their negative feelings about themselves very deeply within their tortured psyche. Many abusers are deeply frightened and horrified by their violent outbursts but their denial prevents them from dealing with the feelings that cause them. Therefore, when they lose control and abuse another, there often follows what looks like deep and sincere repentance and begging for forgiveness, only to sink back into the same patterns again later on. Given enough time, even these feelings of regret and remorse will become buried and their emotional attitude to their abuse of others will harden into a cold uncaring outlook. For this reason, I believe it is vital that treatment be applied to the abuser while they still own feelings of remorse and regret. Treatment of the abuser will become progressively more difficult over time as the abuser will lack the necessary need and drive to want to reform.

In order to avoid owning up to what they feel the abuser will project their self hatred onto their victims. Where this occurs it sets up the classic abuser/victim relationship. I will expand upon this relationship later in this document, but for now I wish to return to the abusers view of themselves and its consequences in their lives.

We have seen how the abusive personality often feels about themselves but why does this self hatred come about? There may be myriad's of reasons but there are some common threads that I have noticed in my studies, my experiences of abuse and my observations of abusers. Many of those who become abusers report that they have grown up in abusive homes themselves or, have experienced abuse later on in their lives. When probed about how these experiences have affected them, almost all report feelings of anger and even intense rage that they themselves are frightened by.

To a child growing up in an abusive home, even though the behaviour they are witnessing and experiencing from others deeply disturbs them, they consider it to be “normal.” Its all they know, so for them, this is what normal family life is all about. However, the deep fears and anger raised in them by their abusers have little or no avenue of expression within the home. To become angry, or even show dissatisfaction with their treatment, may very well lead to an escalation of the abuse against them. This fear of retaliation drives the feelings they naturally have about their abusers deep within themselves. The only way to cope with the feelings of fear and anger is to deny and bury them or take them outside of the home in anti social behaviour. *

When the abused child becomes an adult, if they have not dealt with these feelings of rage buried deep within themselves, they are almost certain to resurface within their adult relationships.

Adults have a tendency to recreate what they considered normal in their early life at home, within their own adult relationships. If they grew up in a chaotic and fear filled environment it is natural for them to feel at home within that kind of family dynamic. Subconsciously they may well be building relationships they feel are well known to them and no matter how painful those relationships are, they feel “normal.”

Some abusers are simply psychopaths. They enjoy the feelings of power they have over the victim and may well go on to kill them if early intervention is not forthcoming.

Other abusers simply come to hate their partners over time and instead of leaving the relationship, set out to destroy the other person (and sometimes other people) within it.
All abusers enjoy the feelings of power they have over their victims at some level, but not all abusers are psychopaths. Abusers are often deeply selfish individuals who live in a “me me” world where only their own feelings, needs and desires are important. When the abuser expresses love for the victim it is often not because they feel that love, it is often because they want something from the victim that threats will not get them. My own abuser, for example, would become tender, gentle and kind whenever she wanted me to help her with something she could not manage alone. Afterwards, my efforts to help her would be ridiculed as inadequate.

Some abusers will abuse others by proxy and this seems to be a predominantly female trait. I have received calls to my help line from men who have been beaten up by other men when their abusive female partner has told another man that her victim had expressed a desire to sleep with the attackers infant child, for example. Other forms of this abuse include making false allegations to family members or the state authorities in order to have someone else attack or arrest the victim.

Another form of abuse by proxy is to withhold contact unreasonably from a parent with his/her child. In such a case, the abuser is using the state apparatus to continue abuse after the relationship has ended. This constitutes abuse of the child concerned and the adult denied contact. I also consider false rape allegations that can utterly destroy a persons life to be abusive behaviour that is all too often unpunished by the state.

For those who have experienced abuse in later life but who had relatively happy childhood's there may well be a subconscious element of revenge in their subsequent abusive behaviour. In the case of the female abuser this may be hugely reinforced by articles in women's magazines that portray men as nothing but bad, soap opera stories, dramas, movies, press stories about female abuse victims, and the constant and relentless pressures on women by radical feminist groups to see all men as dangerous and who paint men as predatory violent animals and women as poor victims being preyed upon. Even advertising on the television that portrays men as useless and stupid may reinforce her hatred of males and feed her feelings of the need to take revenge against all men for what one man has done to her.

Such thoughts and feelings are covered by the umbrella term, Misandry. A misandrist is a hater of men. There are many more of these people around than is popularly believed. Many of them are writing the things referred to above or are part of the organisations promoting hatred of men in our society.

Such a scenario is also possible in the case of a male abuser who resents being typecast in these ways by “evil women” and sets out to justify his violent behaviour by seeing himself as some kind of avenging angel. His thoughts and feelings of hatred and resentment towards women are embraced by the term, Misogynist. It is well known there are many of these men around, however, criticising female behaviour is not the same as hating females. An important distinction needs to be made between the two for any rational debate on these issues to succeed. **

* It is interesting to note that over 90% of males in prison come from broken homes, yet societies in the western world actively promote single motherhood as a virtue while discouraging marriage. That this is creating a huge problem for the future and singularly lacking any kind of wisdom should be obvious to all.

** A common defensive ploy of radical feminists is to paint any and all criticism of females as hatred of them and, by so doing, pressure people (chiefly men) into regarding a counter argument as misogynistic in origin and therefore worthy of being ignored.

The victim's relationship with the abuser.
The victim and the abuser have a complicated relationship that is difficult, at times, to define in simple terms. I will do my best here to look at the most common traits of that relationship as I have understood them.

Initially, as stated above, the victim will often have no idea their partner is abusive. (Those who do, and remain in the relationship, may well be attempting to “help” the abuser and this is a very dangerous thing for those with little or no knowledge of abusive personalities to attempt. It is difficult enough for a professional to help an abuser, it is certainly not something an amateur should attempt). As the ability to maintain the act of normality under the constant scrutiny of a close partner breaks down, so the real and disturbed person beneath the act will emerge. The first signs that all is not well may be anything from a slow escalation of irritable behaviour to a sudden explosion of violence.

It is important here to make another careful distinction. Not every act of irritable behaviour or sudden aggression means a person is automatically an abuser. All of us get out of bed on the wrong side sometimes. The key indicator is the frequency with which the behaviour occurs.

The most common indicator that one is living with an abuser will be that individuals need to control everything about the victim. This need to control will become all consuming over time and is common to both male and female abusers. * This need to control others seems to stem from two strong desires within the abusive personality. The first, is a desire to remain hidden and the second, is a desire not to feel inferior. In order to understand these two desires it is important to realise that abusers are deeply fearful people who are terrified of the strong and overwhelmingly powerful feelings raging within them. It is this fear that drives their need to bury those feeling as deeply within as possible and then to deny them when they rush to the surface.

Let us look first at the desire to remain hidden.
Within a close personal relationship it is perfectly natural for both parties to closely examine each others personalities and to explore each others feelings. This examination is what the abuser fears most. To the abuser, such a close look at who they are becomes deeply threatening. They spend their wholes lives hiding their true selves both from themselves and from society. They loathe themselves and often fear their capability for violence. They cannot bare coming under scrutiny and this innocent searching by their partner can often be the trigger for their abusive reactions as they try to halt the exploration of their deeper and hidden selves by using intimidation and/or violence. Yet their need to appear normal drives them to seek out a partner and have a “normal” relationship.

The desire not to be inferior stems from a different set of unconscious dynamics.

We all remember the bright kid in school who was always picked on for being “the teachers pet.” That child stood out in the crowd and by virtue of the fact the he/she was smarter than the rest, made the rest feel inferior. By picking on the bright kid the others were trying to pull that child down to their level in order for them to lose their sense of inferiority. Unmerciful and constant teasing and/or bullying can force the bright child to conform to the wishes of the rest, and those bright kids who join the pack, quickly find the persecution stops. In a similar way, the abuser tries to drag their partner down to their level. This can be achieved by constant bullying and by a technique I have dubbed, verbal machine gunning.

To machine gun verbally means to fire a constant and rapid stream of accusations and insults without ever giving the victim time to answer any of the points made. These insults will often be projections of how the abuser really feels about themselves. For example; if the abuser feels strong feelings of jealousy towards the victims friends and associates, then the abuser accuses the victim of being jealous of him or her. Again, the abuser may feel inadequate in the kitchen, or driving, and so accuses the victim of being a crap cook or a lousy driver. Whatever the accusations are, they will often be delivered at high volume and in such rapid succession that the victim will be both terrified, confused, outraged and hurt, and with so much going on at once within them, feel totally unable to respond. A sort of mental and emotional paralysis ensues that may eventually lead to the complete collapse of the victim. At this stage the abuser is almost drunk on the feelings of power over the victim and if violence is to occur it may happen at that moment of evil euphoria. Victims have told me that they have seen the abuser “smiling down” at them with sick delight as they have folded beneath such onslaughts.

The reasons why the abuser does not want to give the victim time to answer are twofold. Firstly the abuser has absolutely no interest in the thoughts, concerns or feelings of the victim and secondly, the abuser is not interested in dialogue, but only in control over the victim. In the abusers world view, life is all about the great “ME” and not the little “you.”

The extent of control over the victim can sometimes be very far reaching indeed. I have spoken to many male and female victims who's abusive partners have chosen what food they eat and when. What clothes they wear and when. What times they are allowed out of the house and when to come home. Who they are allowed to be friends with and who they must never see. What time they are allowed to sleep and when they must wake up. When they can see their children and when they cannot. What relatives they can visit and those they cannot. What music they can enjoy. What purchases they can make. How much of their own money they can spend. And on and on.

Abusers who fear a partner may be about to leave them will often run up huge debts for their partner. Some will slander their name in the local community in the hope of stopping anyone else being interested in them. Poison the victim. Send abusive text messages to their phones. Stalk the victim or damage the car to prevent them leaving. Keep the victim from his/her children. Threaten suicide. Accuse the victim of rape or sexually molesting children. Make threatening or silent calls late at night. Destroy his/her property. Keep him/her at home against his/her will. Increase the level of violence. Threaten to kill the kids if she/he leaves. Try to ruin his/her reputation by spreading lies about him/her to his/her family and friends. Threaten suicide. Turn the children against the victim. Find and attack him/her in her new home etc.

All of this behaviour is about control and dominance over the victim. All of it is negative and destructive behaviour. It is unlimited in its creative evil and the two lists above are by no means extensive and neither are they mutually exclusive. Each gender is as capable of these things as the other.

* Indeed, so prevalent is this trait that careful and informed questioning by police officers called to a domestic abuse incident may well quickly illicit who is the real abuser and who is the real victim. Something that many police officers need to understand if they are to ever stop making the wild assumption that all abusers are male and all females are victims.

** This may be why many abuse victims are kind, gentle, loyal and deeply loving people. Most abusers will not seek confrontation with people who may fight back. They want easy targets that they can dominate. For the male and female abuser that will often mean a passive personality type is sought as the next victim.

“Treatment” for victims of abuse to avoid.

The co-dependancy (co-alcoholic) idea was first developed to explain other family members reactions to living with an addict and the harmful effects of those reactions. It is an entirely reasonable idea based on sound research. However, during the 1980`s the definition of codependency was expanded beyond all reasonable bounds, by people looking to make quick money by selling cheap books, to include virtually any form of caring for another. Simply put, this means that any and all caring behaviour is a form of psychological illness unless the person being cared for is the self. It could almost have been written by today's narcissistic element who advocate blaming others for the way we feel while accepting no responsibility for our own actions.

The pushers of the modern codependency therapy system of mock psychology will tell you that as a victim of abuse your feelings of caring for the abuser are wrong. (In fact, they will tell you that almost everything you feel about other people is wrong), but caring for others is not a pathological condition. My advice is to avoid these peddlers of doom like the plague. Being a caring person is not wrong but, excessive selfishness is, and in fact, is one of the symptoms of the abuser.

Robert Westermeyer, Ph.D. Has the following to say about the current codependency “fix all” sweeping book shops and chat shows on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Why would a psychologist wish to criticize the codependency idea? Many people claim to have been helped by codependency books and codependency self-help groups. I don't wish to take away anyone's belief that they are better for having integrated the codependency idea into their lifestyles. But it definitely isn't for everyone. Codependency is a nebulous idea, born not of science but of the gut feelings of counsellors and frustrated lay people. It's black and white requirements for recovery, though seeming reasonable on the surface, are not in line with empirical research and have dangerous implications with regard to the most human of attributes, caring. My two primary concerns with the codependency idea are:

The Codependency Idea Pathologizes the Natural Tendency to Care for Others.

The cure for Codependency Mandates Action which is Not Necessarily in Line With Pro social Values.”
(Emphasis mine)

He goes on: “A case from several years ago comes to mind involving a caring mother who's 27-year old daughter had been abusing prescription opioids and benzodiazapines for ten years. The daughter finally made the decision attempt a methadone detox, following two months of methadone maintenance. The MD at the methadone clinic recommended that she taper the benzodiazapine, which was Valium (methadone doesn't cover non-opiate drugs). The mother was very invested in her daughter's change efforts and subsequently flew in from out of state to live with her while she detoxed. She agreed to dole out the Valium because the daughter felt that she could not do it on her own without relapsing. The mother hid them in her car and stood watch over her daughter during the first three weeks of her transition. The patient voiced that her mother's presence was imperative for relapse prevention at this time. The mother voiced that it made her feel as though she was finally doing something to help daughter which was panning out. She felt so good about her efforts that she went to an Al-anon meeting. She was literally attacked by three attendees who deemed her behavior enabling and, in addition to deeming her responsible for her daughter's enduring problems with substances, instructed her to go back to her home immediately and let her daughter grapple with her troubles on her own. One said, "She's an adult, and a time comes when you have to let them leave the nest or you're just perpetuating the illness."
Thankfully, this woman had enough conviction and confidence in her values to blow off the advice. Many people don't have this much tenacity to their standards. Many are given such guidance and are left in a complete quandary. The mother's contention was that her daughter was completely responsible for her choice to use or not use. She recognized that her daughter had crippling problems with anxiety and panic and had used the drugs to medicate these states. Though her daughter made the choices, she felt that there was a way she could help her daughter follow through with her motivation to better her life. She knew that if she went back home, her daughter would relapse and that relapse at this point would be devastating to her daughter, who had tried just about every method of quitting imaginable. She fathomed that her daughter might discount the whole methadone choice and revert to prescription drug abuse again.”

With attacks like those above on a mothers need to be involved in her daughters recovery from drug addition, it makes one wonder at times if the psychopaths are running the asylum!

It is a pervasive and disturbing view that relies more on “feelings” than serious research and it is to the medical and political establishments shame that these views have found any credence at all within today's society because they have kept silent in the face of such popularist, false and dangerous ideas.

Instead of buying into these “instant happiness” so-called solutions to modern living learn about assertiveness and ways in which you can better manage the situation you find yourself in.

The best advice that can be given to a victim of abuse is still, get out of the relationship as fast as you can!

Nobody in their right mind likes to see themselves as a victim but the truth is, that until you have broken free from the relationship and overcome the effects of the abuse, a victim is what you are. Once you have overcome the effects of the abuse -- and with the right help, that is almost always possible -- you become a survivor. The ease of transition from victim to survivor will depend entirely upon yourself, the quality of the help you receive if any is needed and the extent to which you were abused. 

If you wish to cut down on the time needed to recover and be your old self again, leave the abuser as soon as you possibly can, go completely no contact with the abuser and get therapy asap.

George Rolph
Founder of No More Silence.

(many of the above also apply to female abusers)

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

No Particular Gender Preference

My ex – the psychopath could have been a GQ model; he was absolutely gorgeous and knew it. He attended a private Christian school as a child and played very masculine sports in high school. There was absolutely nothing about him that would suggest he was gay or even bi-sexual. Now that I know what he is, the previous red flags which caused alarm but were ignored, were actually spot on.

After he is gone, you will begin to remember the strange comments seemingly out of left field. Mine would say the most bizarre things that I would actually have to Google. For instance, once he said to me, “It’s all pink on the inside.” This is part of his method of pushing your boundaries, little shock comments to see how you will react. Although this statement can refer to different ethnicities my gut reaction was that he was referring to gender, and I was right. This is when the insanity starts because we set aside our own god given instincts about reality and begin to adjust to his world of illusion.

When we first started dating we went out often and we lived in a city that is very gay friendly. I thought it was just me being paranoid, but I could not help but feel the nasty glaring looks I received from the gay men as we walked hand in hand through the club. It was like I was trying to take one of their own. It was his home town so I was clueless to his history and had only his word to go on. Once you learn that your man is a psychopath, you now know that all of the times you sensed something was amiss – it was.

My psychopath is a handsome metro sexual man. Since the day I met him he would always shave his arms, chest and genitals. In the beginning after we were married he stopped shaving his genitals for quite a while. And then when his erratic behavior started he would begin shaving down there again. The most interesting thing was when he attended an all male drug rehab for 6 months. I would come see him on various visitor days, and then half way through the program he was allowed to come home overnight once a week. I found it strange that he was super shaved top to bottom while staying at an all male drug rehab. After he was gone I read his journal from rehab. For six months the only thing he wrote in his journal was a comment on how good looking his roommates were. It made me sick and then I started to put so many other events together and all it does is confirm that he is a psychopath through and through.

Sexual intimacy among normal human beings is nothing short of spiritual. When we are intimate with another person, even in simple friendship a soul tie is created. We are literally connected to the person now with an unseen spiritual tie. If the relationship is sexual or a marriage, the soul tie is exceptionally strong. This is the primary reason why it is so difficult for people to break-up once the soul tie is created. We have an invisible connection to this person that is not easily undone. All the time we are sleeping with our psychopath the soul tie is increasing in intensity for us, while he feels absolutely nothing. Sex to a psychopath is no different than eating an ice-cream cone. It’s pleasant and offers a momentary diversion which will soon be forgotten. He has no soul so he can never connect with another human being in any truly intimate, committed and loving way.

Since he has no soul per se’, his decisions to have sex with a person are determined by nothing more than a fleeting whim. There is no internal moral compass to access, no criteria needed and the more the act does not fall into the norms of society, the more attractive it becomes to the psychopath. For instance, he would sleep with your best friend given the opportunity.

Knowing these things about the psychopath makes it very easy to leave him and never look back. However without this knowledge we can drag these destructive relationships along for years. I went four years and would have exited in the first 30 days had I known that he was terminally pathological. I was victimized but that does not mean I will remain a victim.


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