Sanctuary for the Abused
Monday, January 26, 2015
Abuser Red Flags/ Victim Red Flags
We believe that we have identified some of the "early warning" signs that we missed in ourselves and our abusers. Note that the abuser can be male or female; the victim can also be either male or female. Not every behavior listed below will be exhibited by a single individual. However, you may want to question your relationship if you find that a large number of these behaviors appear in yourself or your partner.
Watch out for these behaviors in your partner. Members of my support group believe that these are warning signs that this person may be an abuser. Note that the abuser can be male or female.
- Jealous of time or resources you give others.
- Gets angry if you spend "too much time" with friends, family, or children.
- Insists that it is "a bad time" to talk to family on the phone.
- Feels that resources are "wasted" if given to children.
- Gets angry if you do favors for other people or give them things.
- Would rather throw something away than give it to someone else.
- Is disinterested in or feels threatened by your personal desires or goals.
- Finds your hobbies boring, pointless, unproductive, or a waste of time.
- Is uncooperative about attending parties or events that interest you.
- Picks a fight or creates a crisis just before an event that is important to you.
- States or implies that your interests should not interfere with spending time with them.
- Is rude or inconsiderate of others in a self-centered way.
- Insists on discussing something with you while you are trying to read or watch television.
- Expects you to be the one who answers the door or telephone.
- Expects you to drop what you are doing when summoned.
- Interrupts others while talking on a consistent basis.
- Will not act to accommodate others' convenience or comfort.
- Won't go outside to smoke
- Will not turn down TV or radio while others are talking.
- Is unconcerned and unapologetic if rude behavior is pointed out.
- Does not respect your right to make your own decisions.
- Insists that your decision "affects them" and therefore should be a "joint" decision.
- Gets angry or hurt if you don't take their advice.
- Criticizes or questions the wisdom of decisions that you make without their input.
- Considers their own logic or intellect to be superior to all others.
- Insists that their way is the "right way".
- Claims that their arguments are based on logic or sound evidence and that yours are not.
- Places no value on decisions made based on feelings or intuition.
- Believes that any opinion you have is invalid, illogical, hysterical, or selfish.
- Is completely intolerant of any criticism of their own behavior.
- Is confident that their employer and/or employees are all defective somehow.
- Considers your friends to be idiots.
- Extremely opinionated and critical of others
- Racist or sexist.
- Dogmatic about behavior in others.
- Unwilling to tolerate opinions that differ from their own.
- Has double standards for behavior.
- Is rude to your family.
- Dislikes your family.
- Has "trouble" at work.
- Is chronically unemployed or changes jobs frequently.
- Explains employment set-backs as some sort of victimization.
- Believes that their boss treats them poorly.
- Believes that their co-workers are working against them.
- Disregards laws or social customs that interfere with their own goals or pleasure.
- Sees no point in observing holidays or giving gifts.
- Is disinterested in following family or religious customs.
- Believes that people who work hard for a living are "suckers".
- Is scornful of the government or the "system".
- Uses illegal drugs.
- Is very concerned about their public image.
- Treats you better in public than in private.
- Gets angry at you if they believe that you have somehow made them look bad to others.
- Brags about you or your accomplishments to others, but never compliments you in private.
- Attempts to make you jealous or insecure
- Threatens to leave you.
- Hints or states that they have other lovers waiting on the side.
- Compares you to previous lovers.
- Admires strangers and compares you to them.
- Tells you that no one will ever care about you the way they do.
- Is jealous and suspicious.
- Accuses you of infidelity.
- Insists that friends of the opposite sex are trying to seduce you.
- States or implies that you got a job offer or interview because of your appearance.
- Doesn't want you to take part in an activity or outing because you might meet someone else there.
- Rushes the relationship
- Pressures you to move in together.
- Pressures you to have sex before you are ready.
- Proposes marriage early in the relationship.
- Does not respect your privacy
- Reads your diary or journal.
- Opens your mail.
- Goes through your drawers and desk.
- Manipulates others to achieve their goals
- Uses guilt trips.
- Does things that are dishonest or illegal.
- Attempts to coerce you into doing things that make you uncomfortable.
- Threatens suicide or homicide if you don't cooperate with them.
- Lectures you endlessly until you agree.
- Is easily angered at others who interfere with their activities.
- Engages in "Road Rage".
- Reactions are out of proportion to level of inconvenience.
- Is intolerant of children or animals.
- Will not get up to feed or change the baby.
- Is unwilling to have pets or children because of the mess or inconvenience.
- Shows preferential treatment between children (especially "natural" vs. "step" children).
- Believes that children don't deserve the level of treatment or support as adults.
- Insists that THEY are the victim in the relationship.
- Accuses you of being selfish, rude, self-centered, uncooperative, etc.
- Claims that you are the one undermining the relationship.
- Accuses you of not loving them or not caring about them.
- Threatens suicide or homicide if you leave them.
- Lack of empathy
- Inability to put themselves in another's shoes.
- Unwilling to provide comfort to others unless "blame" clearly lies elsewhere.
- Makes minimal effort to care for others when sick or injured while complaining about the inconvenience.
- Cruel to animals.
- Considers donations to charity a waste.
- Unable to acknowledge or respond to pain in others/ or you that is not clearly visible.
- Turns up TV when you have a headache
- Insists on spicy food when you have an upset stomach
- Expects you to help with chores when you are feeling sick.
- Tears down your self esteem and erodes your confidence.
- Tone of voice unreasonably deriding or scornful for the situation.
- Questions your ability to do simple things.
- Asks you to make a decision and then rejects your decision. Often asking you to decide over again.
- Accuses you of being overly sensitive to criticism.
- Calls you names.
- Criticizes you openly.
- Interferes with or attempts to control your career.
- Pressures you to quit or change your job.
- Thinks that your employer interferes with your marriage.
- Thinks that your co-workers/employer/employees are defective somehow.
- Attempts to resolve conflicts you have at work for you.
- Seeks to "help you" with your career, and is upset if you don't cooperate.
- Attempts to choose your job or work projects for you.
- Punishes you or threatens to punish you for "misbehaving
- Strands you somewhere.
- Gives you the "silent treatment".
- Yells at you.
- Lectures you.
- Believes that a "discussion" about your relationship is more important that any other obligation or activity.
- Makes you late to work or social activities because they want to discuss something.
- Picks a fight with you at bedtime and then won't let you go to sleep for hours.
Watch out for these behaviors in yourself. Members of my support group believe that these are warning signs of low self esteem and behaviors that set you up to be abused.
- Fear of failure, and extreme insecurity about your own competance
- Try hard to conceal or downplay any mistakes you make.
- Are afraid to be seen as stupid, lazy, or weak.
- Feel that you are "supposed" to be able to handle a situation or task.
- Fear that others will think less or you if you quit.
- Believe that no excuse is good enough for a mistake you have made.
- Willing to overlook other people's flaws or mistakes.
- Believe everyone else but you is perfect and has a good reason for making a mistake.
- Believe that you can help others "live up to their potential".
- Not trusting your own judgment.
- Feel as though your opinion is not as "worthy" as someone else's.
- Find a "logical" argument to disregard your "inner voice" or gut feeling.
- Assume that criticism you receive from others is valid.
- Need another person's input before you can make a decision.
- Not feeling that you deserve to be treated well.
- Are willing to go to great inconvenience and trouble to avoid causing someone else inconvenience.
- Don't want to appear "demanding" or to be considered a "trouble maker"
- Assume that if someone treats you poorly then you must have done something wrong.
- Expect and accept criticism when you have completed a task.
- Are unwilling to be disruptive to the relationship.
- Avoid discussing issues that you fear will upset your partner.
- Are unwilling to break off a bad relationship because you don't want to hurt your partner.
- Secretly wish that your partner would die, move away, find someone else, or offer to leave the relationship.
- Allow others to make most decisions.
- Let someone else make all the decisions with no input or discussion from you.
- Allow others to talk you into a decision you don't like.
- Make a decision to please others rather than yourself.
- Choose a course of action because you don't want to hurt a particular person's feelings.
- Find it easier to "go along" with others decision rather than stand your ground.
- Hide behind "womanly tasks" like cooking, etc. - rather than dealing with reality.
- Behave as though you agree with others, even when you don't.
- "Parrot" someone else's opinions or behaviors.
- Keep quiet when you disagree with something
- - Allowing someone to think by your silence that you agree with them even if you don't.
- - Thinking that the subject is not worth an argument.
- Act to "protect" others at your own expense.
- Won't break up with a significant other strictly to avoid hurting their feelings.
- Avoid saying what you want or need to say because you don't want to hurt someone.
- Accept blame that is not yours to protect someone else.
- Giving up things that are important to you to please others.
- Give up hobbies or activities that aren't shared or approved of.
- Give away or sell precious momentos because they "clutter up the place".
- Keep photos or momentos in storage rather than display them because your abuser doesn't like them.
- Isolate yourself from all people other than your abuser.
- Allow friendships with people your abuser dislikes to wither away.
- Visit or call family less and less because your abuser dislikes them.
- Spend less time with friends, family, or co-workers because it "takes too much time".
- Never go anywhere without your abuser.
- Conceal your abusers behavior from others.
- Believe that others "wouldn't understand" why a situation or behavior is "justified".
- Are embarrassed that you allow yourself to be treated this way.
- Have been asked or coerced by your abuser to not tell.
- Are afraid of being accused of "making them look bad".
- Take responsibility for things that are not your responsibility.
- "Help" resolve other people's conflicts by acting as mediator
- Apologize for things that OTHER people did.
- "Cover" for people who are not handling their own responsibilities.
- Accept more than your fair share of blame in a conflict.
- Apologize just so that the fight will end, not because you think you did something wrong.
- Fix, clean up, or conceal something done by someone else to avoid being accused of having done it.
- Attraction to authority figures.
- Attracted to the smart, self-confident, powerful people.
- Attempt to prove your worth to them.
- Are thrilled if they "bother" to notice you.
- Assume that their advice is sound.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
CYBERSTALKING IN THE 21st CENTURY - PART FOUR OF A SERIES
Victims tell tales of terror
By Dave Breakenridge -- Sun Media
Calgary, Alberta (CANADA) -- Modern technology is bringing even more terror to stalking victims.
Lisa, a stalking victim who didn't want her real name used, said she started getting suspicious when her ex-boyfriend would show up wherever she went.
It didn't matter where: picking up clients or visiting the library, he would turn up.
He would phone her and ask where she picked up her two kids, and then fly into a rage when her answer didn't reflect the information he had.
And he was always right.
"He would appear in places he wouldn't otherwise know I was there," said Lisa.
Unbeknownst to her, Lisa's ex-boyfriend had attached a global positioning system device to her car.
"He is so smart with technology, he could put anything together," she said.
The pair's romance began three years ago.
Lisa said her ex seemed normal, smart and charming.
"He was a very nice guy, very nice -- all of the good things you look for," she said.
But their two-year relationship started to turn sour after he developed a drug addiction.
"It started affecting his brain and he would go days without sleeping," she said.
Repeated pleas to get him to stop went nowhere so Lisa was forced to issue an ultimatum.
"I warned him 'if I see you in that condition one more time, it's over,' " she said.
"He told me that he would quit and then he told me that he had already quit, but I had seen him in that state before, so I knew what to look for."
Knowing he was lying, Lisa tried to put an end to the relationship, causing him to fly into a rage.
"He broke things in his apartment, put holes in his walls," she said, adding he tried to contact her to arrange a meeting.
Lisa said he told her he would try to be calm.
"But as soon as he would hear the words break up, he would go crazy," she said.
After that meeting last February, the constant phone calls and e-mails began -- Lisa said he was begging just to hear her voice.
She said he would call in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, and ask her to talk about trivial things.
And then the threats started.
"He said 'it's me or no one else -- and if it's not me, then I'll kill you,' " she said.
Despite the threats, Lisa didn't go directly to the police and her ex wouldn't relent. He would hound her constantly, from the first conversation about breaking up, to when he was arrested six months later. His phone calls became even more incessant, Lisa said, using cell phones to tie up the lines where she worked and having her cellular service cut off.
And during this period the strange appearances started, terrifying her even more.
"I realized that he was totally sick and it was damaging not just for me, but for him, because he had lost his mind," said Lisa, who eventually found the GPS device he was using and called police, but she said an arrest wasn't made.
Frightened about his actions, she went with her two kids to stay at her sister's, because she was worried he would break in to her house.
Compounded with the further threats against Lisa and her home, the authorities were called into the case. Not long after, he was arrested and charged with stalking.
Lisa hopes she won't have to deal with him again, but the ordeal has damaged her.
"There's a sense of self-protection on me now -- I don't even want to get into a relationship," said the American woman.
"What I feel right now is not good, because what I lost is a belief in love."
But most off all, she still can't shake the feeling of having her movements watched.
The thought a victim could be tracked anywhere they go in such a fashion terrifies an Alberta stalking victim, who was terrorized for nine months after her romantic entanglement with her eventual stalker came to an end.
Jane, who also didn't want her real name used for fear of stirring up past demons, said because of the nature of the crime, anything is possible with a persistent stalker.
"That's terrifying -- I couldn't imagine that," Jane said of the possibility of being tracked with GPS.
"I'd be freaking out and if someone did that to me and I found out, the first thing I would try to do is get a new car."
Jane's stalker would skulk around her house and send her letters threatening to send lurid photos to her relatives.
He would try to be sweet, Jane said, but his mood would turn on a dime when she rebuffed his attempts to regain her affection.
"He would latch on to my car when I tried to drive away and he would show up at my door constantly causing trouble," she said.
Jane said he sent her letters to the front desk of her office, leave nasty notes in her mailbox, ring the doorbell and run away.
Jane said he supplemented his letters with constant phone calls, both to her home and her workplace, totalling nearly 50 every day.
"It was extremely frightening because you never knew what he was capable of," she said.
Eventually, Jane was able to get a restraining order against her stalker, followed by his arrest, charges and a jail sentence.
"I'm just trying to live my life, to get it out of my mind," she said.
"But if I see somebody that even remotely looks like him, my heart just stops."
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Inability to Apologize
What intrigues us about the reparation process when a narcissistic defense is operating is that what is repaired is not the damage to the relationship, but the subject's illusion of perfection. Narcissistically impelled people may be at least temporarily incapable of genuine expressions of remorse, because inherent in an apology is the admission that one is not needless and faultless. In characterological narcissism, this defect is sometimes embraced as a virtue, as in Woody Hayes's boast that he never apologized to anybody, or in the peculiar belief of Erich Segal's heroine that "Love is never having to say you're sorry." In less gross manifestations of narcissism, the avoidance of apology is much more subtle, much less visible to those who might legitimately expect some expression of sincere contrition. What a narcissistically defended person seems to do instead of apologizing is to attempt a repair of the grandiose self in the guise of making reparation with the object. We have identified several different ways that narcissistically motivated people tend to substitute some other kind of interpersonal transaction for an apology. For the party on the receiving end of such a transaction, it also becomes a problem to restore intimacy, since it is difficult to forgive in the absence of the other person's genuine remorse.
When a narcissistically defended woman has inflicted some emotional injury upon her husband, instead of apologizing, she is likely to go out of her way later to be especially solicitous of him (initiating sex, making a special dinner, etc.). A father who has unfeelingly criticized a child may similarly avoid admitting his insensitivity but instead offer some attractive treat subsequent to his transgression. The object of the undoing can be expected to remain hurt, in the absence of an emotional expression of regret, and will suffer a natural reaction to the undoing that will lie somewhere between cold rejection and grudging acquiescence. If neither party can articulate the difference between making real emotional reparation to the object and engaging in the defense of undoing, they will both be further estranged by these operations. The undoing party will feel affronted and resentful that his or her ministrations are not appreciated, while the injured person may suffer attacks of self-criticism for an inability to forgive, forget, and warm up to the partner. Both people wind up lonelier than they were previously.
2. Appealing to Good Intentions
People who are engaged in defending their internal grandiosity may become adept at giving ostensible apologies that really amount to self-justifications. Narcissistically driven people do not seem to understand that saying one is sorry represents an expression of empathy with the injured party irrespective of whether the hurt was intentional or avoidable. The woman who is kept waiting and worrying when her husband is late coming home will feel immediately forgiving if he expresses genuine sorrow that she has suffered on his account. In narcissistically defensive states, however, people seem to go by the general rule that such expressions of sympathy and regret are called for only if they were "at fault" in some way. Thus, the tardy husband meets his wife's anxious greeting with, "It wasn't my fault; there was a traffic jam," communicating not remorse but resentment of her distress and rejection of its validity.
The organizing, overriding issue for people with narcissistic preoccupations is the preservation of their internal sense of self-cohesiveness or self-approval, not the quality of their relations with other people. As a result, when they feel their imperfections have been exposed, the pressing question for them is the repair of their inner self-concept, not the mending of the feelings of those in their external world (cf. Stolorow's [1979b] definitions of narcissism). They are consequently likely, in a state of defensiveness about exposed faults, to protest that they meant to do the right thing, as if the purity of their inner state is the pertinent issue - to others as well as to themselves.
One of our patients described how her close friend had failed to send her a wedding present. When she admitted her disappointment, the friend replied, "Gee, I meant to get you something - I even had a gift in mind, and I don't know why I didn't get to it." This was offered as if it were an exonerating explanation; interestingly, the woman never did buy a gift, even (or perhaps especially) in light of the explicit expression of its significance to her friend. This seemingly odd perseverance in a breach of etiquette might be explained by the observation that the rectification of an error is an admission that an error has in fact occurred. If one displaces the issue to the area of intention an error has in fact occurred. If one displaces the issue to the area of intention, an error has not occurred, since one's intentions were faultless.
A related substitute for apologizing is the practice of explaining. Unless the listener is particularly sensitive, an explanation can sound remarkably like an apology. In fact, a relationship between two people is apt to go on a considerable length of time before the party on the receiving end of explanations begins to feel a bothersome absence of genuine contrition in the other. The advantage of the explanation to the person protecting a grandiose self is that it avoids both asking for something (forgiveness) and admitting to a sphere of personal responsibility that includes the risk of inevitable shortcoming. Hence, the illusion of personal needlessness and guiltlessness is maintained. "I would have visited you in the hospital but my schedule got really crazy," or "I must've forgotten your birthday because it came right on the heels of my vacation this year," or "Your dog just ran in front of my car and I couldn't stop fast enough" are the kinds of apology-substitutes that may appear to connote remorse, but actually stop short of expressing sorrow and making emotional reparation.
A special case of the explanation sans apology is that of the person who has become adroit in offering his or her psychodynamics as explanatory, exculpating principles behind behavior that is remiss. "Maybe I was acting out my envy," or "I wonder if I did that because I'm going through an anniversary reaction to my sister's death," or "I must have been feeling unconsciously hostile toward you because you remind me of my father" are the kinds of nonapologies typically offered by the psychoanalytically sophisticated when protecting a grandiose self-concept. Evidence that a genuine apology has not been made can be found in the state of mind of the recipient of such commentaries: explanations without apology produce either pained confusion, or understanding without warmth. Because the explainer is defending his or her action to an internal critic who expects perfection, the listener often ends up, because of being the target of a projective-identification process, feeling inarticulately critical.
We have noticed the tendency for narcissistically vulnerable people to engage in a kind of ritual self-castigation in the wake of an undeniable or unrationalizable failing toward someone. This is a process even more elusive than explaining, and harder to distinguish from true apologizing. This recrimination is expressed to witnesses and objects of the transgression with the implicit invitation that the transgressor should be reassured that despite the lapse, he or she is really fine (i.e., perfect or perfectable), after all. In the case of a person with a narcissistic character disorder, recrimination is probably as close as he or she ever comes to apologizing, and is doubtless believed to constitute sorrow and reparation.
A special case of the explanation sans apology is that of the person who has become adroit in offering his or her psychodynamics as explanatory, exculpating principles behind behavior that is remiss. "Maybe I was acting out my envy," or "I wonder if I did that because I'm going through an anniversary reaction to my sister's death," or "I must have been feeling unconsciously hostile toward you because you remind me of my father" are kinds of nonapologies typically offered by the psychoanalytically sophisticated when protecting a grandiose self-concept. Evidence that a genuine apology has not been made can be found in the state of mind of the recipient of such commentaries: explanations without apology produce either pained confusion , or understanding without warmth. Because the explainer is defending his or her action to an internal critic who expects perfection, the listener often ends up, because of being the target of a projective-identification process, feeling inarticulately critical.
5. Deflecting Blame
The readiness of narcissistically vulnerable people to convey criticism is equaled only by their resistance to assimilating it. Frequently, they seem to have mastered the art of deflecting blame. As an example of this dynamic, let us consider the familiar situation of supervising a narcissistically preoccupied trainee in psychotherapy. If narcissistic patients are hard to treat (as is their reputation), narcissistic supervisees seem even harder to supervise. Except in certain phases of idealization of the supervisor, they react to honest feedback about their shortcomings and limits not just with defensiveness - a natural and universal response - but with a particular kind of defense: the effort to share their "badness" with the supervisor.
When the mentor has failed to support the grandiose self of a narcissistically impelled student, he or she can count on paying for it. A response to the effect of "I'll confess that I acted that out, but I think you have your part in this, too," is typical. And the supervisee is often right, or has a piece of the truth at least, but in such cases, the content of the criticism of the supervisor is usually not the point. The process boils down to: "I feel mortified that you saw a limitation in me because I aspire to perfection. You probably aspire to perfection, too, or should, so I'll point out that you haven't yet reached it, either." The supervisee thus perpetuates the false premise that perfect self-sufficiency is a legitimate goal. It seems not to occur to a narcissistically motivated person that comfort with imperfection might be both the supervisor's attitude toward his or her own work, and the attitude the supervisor wishes to instill in the trainee.
Several years ago, one of us worked with a brilliant, attractive, talented, and quite grandiose analyst-in-training. For about a year, the atmosphere of the supervision was delightful, as both parties engaged in what amounted to a folie a deux of mutual idealization. The supervisor, out of her own narcissistic pathology, joined this man believing that reported problems with previous supervisors derived from his having been insufficiently appreciated by, or even having been felt as threatening to, these therapists. Then he sought her collusion in overreporting his hours of control analysis to the institute. (He believed that he had had so much equivalent training that his background fulfilled the "spirit" if not the letter of the training provisions, and that the particulars of the program requirements were needlessly stringent.) She refused. He abruptly devalued her, as he had his previous instructors, but since it was in his interest to maintain the relationship until he had passed a Case Presentation requirement, he stayed in supervision. When she tried to make ego-alien his narcissistic entitlement, he accused her of acting out all kinds of unpleasant dynamics, including having contributed to his expectation of special favors by her prior warmth and support, which he now labeled seductive and transferential. He was, of course, right to a considerable extent, as narcissistically defensive people, with their hypervigilant sensitivity to others, often are.
He somehow structured the psychological situation as follows: "If you deny your part in the dynamic, you are self-deluded and therefore not worth listening to; if you admit it, you and I can lament your shortcomings together, construe my actions as responsive to your mistakes, and avoid looking at my own problems." It is very difficult to turn this bind into a learning situation for the trainee. We have seen examples of narcissistically preoccupied analysts-in-training who, by structuring their experience of supervision this way, develop a set of quite prescient beliefs about each of their teachers' dynamics, with no observable growth in their comprehension of their own.
from: Narcissistic Pathology of Everyday Life: The Denial of Remorse and Gratitude; Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D. and Stanley Lependorf, Ph.D.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Unethical Influence - How Abusers Control You
CHECK OUT THE INFLUENCE CONTINUUM
The following Influence Continuum shows you the method and modes of various influence techniques. Also you will find the various descending techniques for that section.
At the top of the Influence Continuum you will find choice respecting tactics that are educative and therapeutic and have their emphasis on the message. In the middle you will find compliance gaining techniques that are persuasive and manipulative and have their emphasis on gaining a response.
At the bottom of the continuum you will find destructive controlling techniques designed to isolate you from normal social supports and reality testing. As your review the continuum try to remember people or organizations (friends, bosses, teachers, family, corporate tactics, etc.) you liked and disliked that have been applied to you fromthe various sections of the influence continuum.
This is a powerful quick tool to help you choose how you are influenced and to identify unethical or illegal types of personal, corporate or governmental influence to which you have been subjected.Method Of Influence Techniques
Mode of Influence:
Choice-respecting (emphasis on message)
Commenting on Problem or alternatives
Rational argument (message oriented)
Hypnosis (some forms)
Mode of Influence:
Compliance-Gaining (emphasis on response)
Persuasive/Manipulative Rational Argument: compliance oriented
consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity
Hypnosis (some forms)
Controlling/Destructive Isolation from social supports:
Denigration of self and of critical thinking
Dissociative states to suppress doubt and critical thinking
Alternation of harshness/threats and leniency/love
Control-oriented guilt induction
Active promotion of dependency
Pressured public confessions
FOR MORE: CLICK HERE
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Goodbye, Martyr Man
By Melinda H.
"This is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote (but never sent, because he doesn't need more of my attention) to a manipulative jerk who is no longer part of my life. I am sending it on to you, in the hope that my experience could help someone else gain the mental clarity needed to broom some manipulator ass to the curb."
You will always be the victim, in every situation where someone tries to get close to you. You cannot relate to women as equals. You look for a strong-willed woman, latch on to her, but envy her strength and ability to express herself openly, so you attack her in vicious little ways. Ways so subtle that you can easily and convincingly deny any wrongdoing and make HER look like the crazy one for even suspecting that you are a passive-aggressive game player.
You played similar games with women before, and this was a chief motivator for their anger and "abuse" towards you. If they struck you physically, that was not right, but when you paint yourself as a martyr, you *always* fail to mention the emotional and psychological abuse you were inflicting on THEM.
That's right, Martyr. You are an abuser. You. Poor little cringing, eternally victimized you.
"But abusers scream, yell and hit, and I never do that!" you protest. "I'm not that way at all. I don't have the anger gene. I am completely incapable of anger."What you are incapable of is the truth. But I am capable of the truth and here it is.
You ARE capable of anger. In fact, you are a very angry person, as your father before you must have also been - he is clearly the one upon whom you have modeled your behavior. Like him, you were too intimidated by other people to express your anger openly, so you nursed your rage in secret and struck out instead in subtle little ways. If you were asked to do something, you made sure you "forgot" repeatedly or did a poor job. You no doubt carry this behavior on in your work and it is the reason most of the other employees don't like you. People tend not to like someone who does not do his share of the work and is sullen and resistant to new ideas. They are probably tired of your constant subterfuge and backstabbing. No doubt you also play the divide-and-conquer game, playing people off against one another.
You haven't said much about your mother, but I'll make a few educated guesses. She was a strong-willed woman who dominated you and your father, and you both resented it, but neither of you ever told her so directly. Neither of you had the courage to assert yourselves openly. So you both "got even" with her by lying, false promises, "forgetting" or otherwise sabotaging things she asked you to do, and/or withholding your attention and love. Your casual remark about what you did with her books after her death was quite breathtaking in its heartlessness.
Your mother was a model for how you view women today. As I have previously said, you go after women with strong, assertive personalities, because they fit your mother's model and because you admire them for the qualities that you yourself lack. However, you also hate them because they are strong and you are weak. Because you cannot assert yourself openly, you play psychological games designed to break them down, subvert their will, and subtly - invisibly - assert YOUR control.
That's right, Martyr Man. You want control. You are not able to control yourself and so you are controlled by others - but you resent it. So you get a feeling of control by manipulating situations with a deft, invisible hand. You "forget" that a woman asked you to do something. You "forget" NOT to do something she finds hurtful or disrespectful.
You remember to do the things YOU enjoy and want to do, and your friends think you're a great guy - the kind of guy who would do anything for his friends! (Of course you would - your reputation depends on maintaining an appearance of kindness and willingness, and anyone who doesn't know you WELL would say what a nice guy you are - you would do anything to maintain that image). But when your partner asks you to do something, you suddenly lose your memory. You wander off and fail to return, leaving her to wonder where the hell you are, getting off on her discomfort and distress. If she does something you REALLY don't like, such as attempt to leave you, you hint around at suicide and disappear, leaving her to agonize for days over your fate. Really, you're off hanging out with your buddies and drinking and having fun, but she doesn't need to know that, does she?
No doubt she has noticed the fact that after your initial, highly romantic and complimentary approach, you do a complete about-face once she's "hooked" - like Jerkily and Hyde. Once she's in a relationship with you, the kind and gentle and loving courtship behavior ceases, and the passive-aggressive battle begins. First, you begin by slowly and subtly creating distance between you - by spending less time with her every day (always her fault, because of something SHE did...) withholding your attention and affection, making sure she gets the message that your friends, your other interests, EVERYTHING else are more important to you than the person you called the love of your life. When she challenges you about this behavior, you deny it, and make her out to be irrational and crazy for even suspecting it. After all, the success of a passive-aggressive campaign depends on secrecy and camouflage.
You lie easily, leaving out little details like a wife you haven't yet legally severed ties to, and children that you almost never see. You haven't got a divorce, and you won't, because even though you hate your wife, you feel chained to her. You are dependent on her. It's a parasitic relationship. No doubt she was angry with you because you provoked her, getting a charge out of her frustration and rage, and taking full opportunity to twist the situation around until you could make yourself out to be the victim. I haven't the faintest doubt you have cheated on her many times and lied to her many times, and that was the real cause of the attack that so wounded you emotionally. You brought it on yourself, but you won't admit that part. She's completely evil, in your little fairy tale, and you are the innocent little lamb, incapable of even the slightest twinge of anger.
Every human being on this planet feels anger. You yourself have expressed anger many times to me, not the least of which was your last letter. Yet, you still cling to this desperate delusion that you are incapable of anger.
That's a lie, Mr. Martyr. One of many.
Lies undermine the trust that is vital to all relationships. But you don't care about that as long as you can feel in control. Even when control comes at the expense of love, and that is sad.
Nobody can get close to you, Martyr Man. You'll let them within a certain distance, but then you are frightened by intimacy and of your will being sublimated to another's because deep down inside you know you are not strong enough to assert your own will openly and directly. No wonder you hate bluntness, straightforwardness, truth. Those things rob you of your defense mechanisms and make you feel naked and helpless. You cannot trust another person. Instead, you use passive-aggressive techniques to distance yourself from others and gain control over them. You wither under direct confrontation, but when you are able to operate undetected, you are a cruel and effective bully.
Games You Play:
1. The forgetting game:
You are asked to do something you don't want to do. Instead of saying no, you either "forget" about it or sabotage it so badly that the results are useless. You enjoy the frustration this causes others - this is your sneaky way of asserting yourself and controlling the situation from behind the scenes.
2. The withholding game:
Once in a relationship with someone, you begin to selectively withhold your time and affection. The other person senses this pulling away and asks about it. You deny it. But you let them know, indirectly, that many other things are more important to you than they are - your friends, your work, your opera DVDs. You let them know this by leaving their company to pursue these interests without telling them you are doing so. You enjoy the feeling of being in control, knowing you have falsely promised someone your attention later in the evening and knowing you have no intention of fulfilling that promise. You will "forget" to come back, and enjoy your evening alone knowing you are ruining someone else's.
When the person confronts you about this treatment, you will act put out at the suggestion that your actions should live up to your words. You just can't remember to keep your promises! But you always remember the score you needed to finish, the DVD you needed to watch, the book you needed to read, the friends who needed your help. You know full well that this will have the effect of making your partner feel small and insignificant, and that's just the way you like your partner to feel - that way she will be more dependent on you, desperate for your attention, and under your control.
3. The lying game:
Lies roll smoothly off your tongue whenever you are confronted about your behavior and/or something you failed to mention about your past, such as being currently married and the father of two children (now that is a big thing to "forget", even if you alienated them so badly that they don't want to spend any time with you any more). Lying by omission is lying, pure and simple. But you didn't lie on purpose, you claim. No, you just forgot, or your emotional pain was so great that you just couldn't bear to tell the truth!
4. The deflecting game:
Partner becoming suspicious of your lies? No matter, just deflect the attention! Change the subject, wander off, or start ruthlessly (and falsely) putting yourself down so that she won't have the heart to be "mean" enough to pursue the matter any further. If she persists, then you play:
5. The martyr game:
This is your favorite game of all. This game allows you to escape responsibility for anything and everything by invoking your status as the most misunderstood, mistreated, helpless and victimized martyr who ever walked the earth. Nobody understands you or your pain! Don't they see that being a victim completely justifies the way you turn around and become a victimizer at will? Nobody could ever suspect poor little abused, tormented you of torpedoing relationships.
Nobody could expect such an innocent little lamb of deliberately causing emotional and psychological damage to others. Why, look at the way he cries and curls up into a helpless little ball when confronted (and when the lying and deflecting games don't work)! He could never harm ANYONE. He's so broken up over all the deaths in his family, even though they occurred YEARS ago and EVERYONE has to deal with death at some point in their lives. Broken up over the death of his friend, so much that he can't be held responsible for any of his lying, manipulative behavior. Because no one else ever suffered the way he has suffered. The Martyr has no pity or compassion for anyone else, since he saves it all for himself.
6. The superior game:
Unlike all the other people on Earth, you're incapable of anger. You're a regular Gandhi, full of kindness and respect for all, and it's such a tragedy that other people feel the need to get angry at you. You'd never push someone's buttons until they responded in anger and then deny any wrongdoing, setting them up to look like the emotional, crazy one. You'd never get satisfaction out of a nasty little game like that, because you're too superior. You're also superior to the rest of the world culturally - nobody is as sensitive and artistic as you, and nobody appreciates your kind of music, or appreciates it at such a lofty level. You especially love to pull this routine after you've seriously pissed somebody off. You respond with calm politeness - calm of course, since you have got the angry/upset reaction you were aiming for - and double-whammy the person by showing them how YOU never get angry because you are too superior a person to be capable of anger. If someone shows any personality trait that could be considered a flaw, you pull this same routine and let them know that YOU are incapable of such personality flaws, because YOU are so much better than they are.
No wonder you're so angry at being unmasked publicly. Your games depend on your victim not knowing what's going on.
You are not interested in confronting your problems or getting any help for them. You'd rather just float through life like a spineless jellyfish, stinging anyone who ventures too near. Your behavior patterns are firmly entrenched and you are too old to change.
I have no doubt you will continue this behavior pattern with the next woman you meet, and you will continue it until you drive her away, too. You like to drive women away - like to get them so fed up that they leave. That feeds your sickness in a number of ways:
it takes the burden of decision-making off of YOU;
* it enables you to play the martyr over being left by this cruel, horrible woman;
* it gets you sympathy from your next prospect.
You like hurting other people and you have no intention of changing. And that's why I left you.
And don't bother with the "I'm a wonderful sensitive human being who would never cause anyone harm; you've misunderstood me". Oh no. I have not. I have understood you at last.
I understand now how you messed with my mind and made me even fear for my own sanity, how you exploited me emotionally, how you hurt me to the point where I actually felt suicidal. I notice the neat sidestepping from any responsibility by you, how you discredit my (real) pain as a fake attempt to manipulate you. No wonder you would think this. It's called PROJECTION. It's what YOU would do in such a situation, so you project your own screwed up motives onto others.
For someone who is so wounded, so sensitive, so compassionate, so victimized, so gentle - your letters bristle with anger, threats, and nastiness. I thought you were incapable of such things, Gandhi. And you sure are lacking in any compassion at all for the women you've tormented - you have none for your wife and you have none for me. And no doubt you'll have none for your next victim.
You chose your life, and you choose to be this way. You choose it every day. You could change, and learn to be a person of truth, strength and integrity, but you choose not to. It's easier to sit in your shit and cry about how you are victimized while you are busy victimizing others. This is the life you've chosen. You have chosen to be unhappy, and to inflict unhappiness on others.
And *I* have chosen to kick your ass to the curb. Goodbye, Martyr Man, and good riddance.
FROM THIS GREAT SITE!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
CYBERSTALKING IN THE 21st CENTURY - Part Three
High-tech gadgets give stalkers more power
By Dave Breakenridge -- Sun Media
It's a technology with the noblest of uses -- tracking kidnapped children or finding avalanche victims.
But like they've done with computers, stalkers have found a new use for global positioning systems (GPS).
Four recent cases in the U.S. have shown the dark side of the technology, all of them involving men attaching a GPS-enabled device to their exes' vehicles to aid them in their stalking behaviour.
Such gadgets use a constellation of satellites to pinpoint location and, using cellular networks, can send their co-ordinates to wireless handsets or computers.
Misuse of the devices allows a stalker precise information about the location of their target, making it easier to terrorize. Authorities involved in the cases have said the technology has created the brand of 21st century stalking.
Because of that, Pamela Cross of the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children and the Ontario Women's Justice Network in Toronto, said victims' groups, which deal with thousands of people every year, need to be more up to speed about what technology is being used by abusers.
"I would say so -- technology is almost the greatest gift to a persistent stalker," she said.
"The thing you have to remember is you're talking about people who aren't overly concerned that what they're doing is illegal."
She said stalkers are the type of people who will use any means necessary to achieve their goals.
Persistent stalkers, she said, are usually intelligent, manipulative people who seem to find a way to get information from the people who have it.
With the case of technology, the intelligent, persistent stalker manipulates it to his own advantage.
"I think the GPS stories are disheartening -- it's so insidious because even things like MapQuest and other similar services can give you directions right to a person's house," Cross said.
"The other thing that exists that I find quite bizarre are these 'I Spy' software programs that advertise ways to track someone down electronically."
Edmonton-based Crown prosecutor Val Campbell, also the co-ordinator of the family violence initiative for Alberta Justice, said technological means are just another way for an abuser to exert control over a victim.
"The GPS thing is pretty frightening," Campbell said, adding it's likely just a matter of time before a Canadian stalker starts using tracking technology.
"For sure, if it isn't happening already."
But Cindy Southworth, director of technology at the National Network to End Domestic Violence in Washington, D.C., said in all likelihood, there's an obsessed ex somewhere in Canada, watching in real-time his computer monitor.
"I believe strongly that Canadians are incredibly tech-savvy ... it's possibly not being reported," Southworth said.
"When you look at societies that have high technology use, there are going to be situations where technology is used in violent incidents."
Southworth, who started training law enforcement more than four years ago, has co-ordinated her efforts in Washington with Tracy Bahm of the Stalking Resource Centre.
"She and I are seeing lots and lots of technology showing up in stalking and domestic violence cases," Southworth said.
In addition to the GPS cases, tech-savvy stalkers are turning to devices such as spyware to monitor their targets' computer use, and putting hidden video cameras to a wide variety of prying-eye uses, including keeping tabs on who an ex might be inviting into the bedroom.
Australian and British law enforcement agencies are sounding the alarm over camera-equipped cell phones as a new form of stalking, something which would fall under Canada's proposed anti-voyeur law, should it be passed.
"Secret webcams in dorm rooms, upskirt photos and posting photos to the Internet to hurt someone, that's all going to be illegal," said Crown prosecutor Steve Bilodeau, who specializes in cybercrime.
Though the technology is new, GPS devices have been commercially available for about five years and Southworth said every advancement in technology has brought about new misuses by stalkers.
"When caller identification was first introduced, abusers would monitor the caller ID box," she said.
"As technology advances, it's going to be almost impossible for victims to flee and get to safety."
But she said there are always signs.
"Trust your instincts -- if your ex knows too much about your activities or things you only told a few people, you might be under surveillance," she said.
An even stronger sign is if the stalker follows his target to places the victim has never been before.
That was the tip-off for Connie Adams, a Wisconsin woman who in 2002 was stalked by her ex-boyfriend with a real-time GPS tracker.
He showed up while she was at a particular bar for the first time.
"He told me no matter where I went or what I did, he would know where I was," Adams testified at her ex's hearing.
Police say Paul Seidler put a global positioning tracking device between the radiator and grill of Adams' car.
He was handed nine months in jail in 2003 for stalking.
Southworth also said an ex with a history of controlling behaviour and who is fairly comfortable with technology could resort to technology to track and torment.
But sometimes stalkers will identify how they're keeping tabs on their victims.
"Follow the patterns," she said.
"If it's every time you call or e-mail someone your stalker is calling you asking specifics about the conversation you just had, or where you've been, then that's a pretty strong signal.
"That's one of the ways they tip their hand: They taunt their victims with information they're not supposed to know."
For victims who think someone might be using a GPS unit to follow them, or using a camera to secretly videotape them, as long as the device is transmitting a radio frequency, it can can be detected.
The devices that scan for signals can be expensive, but for some, the peace of mind would far outweigh the cost.
People worried about the cost can look at various places on their vehicles, including under the bumper or under the front and rear dashboards.
Southworth's group advises if anything is found, it should be kept, photographed, but not removed from where it is.
That's a task best left to the police, who should be contacted immediately.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
If They Might Be A Narcissist?
CHARACTERISTICS of the NARCISSIST and others with Personality Disorders
1. Self-centered. His needs are paramount.
2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.
3. Unreliable, undependable.
4. Does not care about the consequences of his actions.
5. Projects his faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.
6. Little if any conscience.
7. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.
8. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.
9. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.
10. People are to be manipulated for his needs.
11. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense. If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.
12. Pathological lying.
13. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.
14. No real values. Mostly situational.
15. Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.
16. Angry, mercurial, moods.
17. Uses sex to control, manipulate. Sex is objectified - NO REAL CONNECTION.
18. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.
19. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.
20. Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.
21. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.
22. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disruption for no reason.
23. Moody - switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.
24. Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.
25. Seldom expresses appreciation.
26. Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does.
27. Lacks ability to see how he comes across to others. Defensive when confronted with his behavior. Never his fault.
28. Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show, getting caught or frustration rather than genuine sorrow.
29. He breaks woman's spirits to keep them dependent.
30. Uses threats & intimidations to keep others close to him.
31. Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.
32. Highly contradictory.
33. Convincing. Must convince people to side with him.
34. Hides his real self. Always “on”
35. Kind only if he's getting from you what he wants.
36. He has to be right. He has to win. He has to look good.
37. He announces, not discusses. He tells, not asks.
38. Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.
39. Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.
40. Unilateral condition of, "I'm OK and justified so I don't need to hear your position or ideas"
41. Always feels misunderstood.
42. You feel miserable with this person. He drains you.
43. Does not listen because he does not care.
44. His feelings are discussed, not the partners.
45. Is not interested in problem-solving..
46. Very good at reading people, so he can manipulate them.
(though we have used the male gender, your narcissist may be female
they only need to have a few of these characteristics to be narcissistic!)