Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, October 19, 2018

THE PSYCHOPATH'S (or NARCISSIST'S) PRAYER

The Moon Card"
From Tarot Ravenfield by Thomas Sheridan (Under Development)

by Thomas Sheridan
"
Our God Who is Me.
Please Protect Me from Detection and Background Checks Today.
May my Rat-Like Smirk be Hidden and my Pupils Not Dilate
Please Continue to Allow Me to Woo Victims with Pity Plays,
Sob Stories about Cancer, Childhood Abuse and other "Poor Me" Fabrications.
Wild Mood Swings which Happen in an Instant.
Superficial Social Issues I Can Align Myself with.
Carry Around Unread Carl Sagan Books to Show what a Super Intellectual I be is.
May Google and Wikipedia be my Guide.
My Shifty Eyes, Parasitic Arrogance and Righteous Indignation Prove my Superiority over all.
Discard Enablers for New Ones in an Instant.
Let me Believe what I think Others would Like me to Believe in,
Until I no Longer Need to Fool them.
Get Married to Avoid Paying Rent.
Have Children Just to See What it is Like and then Lose Interest.
Have Sex with Something, Anything.
Invent Fake Beautiful Admirers on Facebook to Flirt with me,
To Compensate for the Mundane and Uninteresting Acquaintances I am Surrounded by.
As I Scream and Rage Internally as Successful and Happy Past Victims use NO CONTACT EVER AGAIN on me.
Because there is Nothing I can do about it.
As I Spiral into an Existence of Unfulfilled Fantasy and Schemes towards Banality and Resentment
And Deliver Us From Red Flags.

SOURCE

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Lies Abusers Tell Their Victims



The following is a long list of lies, threats, and insane statements that abusers make in order to keep their victims in line, and in order to keep the blame away from themselves and the abuse cycle going. Note that many of the following do in fact happen -- threats of violence are often carried out, sometimes the police do come, and so on. Sometimes, lies do come true, for victims of abuse.

You're just taking it wrong.

I wouldn't hit you if you weren't so bad.

We could make this relationship great if only you would work harder.

You made me lie by not making it easy to tell the truth.

I only lied to you because I knew you'd be hurt if you found out the truth.

Your mother/sister/My wife won't give me this, and I/men need it.

If you tell anyone about this, I will stop giving your mother her child support and you/she will be homeless and starving.

If you tell, the police will come and take me away.

This is normal in Europe -- I'm doing this so you can be more sophisticated than your peers.

If you don't, I'll do it to your sister/brother.

You know you like it; what are you trying to get from me by resisting?

You're really tense; I can help you relax.

Let me make you feel better.

This is how you show love to people.

Children have to do what their parents tell them.

All [insert your least favorite group here] are going to hell.

If you can be sexy enough men will like you and you can go far in life.

You can make a lot of money as a prostitute.

All you're interested in is sex. That's all that most (teen-agers/women/men) are interested in.

You're not good for anything else anyways so you might as well use what you are good at.

You own nothing, not even yourself. In my house, you are mine.

Your asking not to be touched isn't a good reason for me not to touch you.

In my house you will do what I want you to.

If you tell, I'll kill your cat/child/mother/friend/coworker.

I bought you X, but you owe me because you didn't earn it.

You will ruin our lives.

You're going to be the death of me.

You're going to grieve the loss after I leave you, but not the loss of love -- you're going to feel the loss a junkie feels when she can't get a hit.

I'm finally committed to you. That's why I have to leave you.

I can't live without you.

I know you better than you know yourself.

I was/am the parent/spouse/teacher/authority figure; therefore I know better than you.

This is going to kill your mother/father/teacher.

If you do this, nobody will ever talk to you again.

Your mother/father/sister/spouse wouldn't understand.

You're special, and this is our special secret.

Only true "friends" can be like this.

This is going to teach you about how to handle those horny teenage boys/girls who will be after you.

I have no one else to talk to.

You're the only one who really loves me.

You're too sensitive. I'm sick of you being so hypersensitive all the time!

Why are you so negative?

You're not sorry. If you were sorry, you wouldn't have said it.

You're bad. You're worthless. You're ugly.

You shouldn't feel that way. You shouldn't think that way.

I never did that. It never happened. You're just making it up.

Up to you. If you want to.

I can't believe how selfish you are.

You're self-centered, lazy, and irresponsible.

You shouldn't let it bother you.

That's just the way your [abuser] is. You shouldn't let them bother you.

I'm sick. I need help.

You know I love you/ have feelings for you/ care about you.

What are you mad at me for? I stopped drinking/beating you/abusing drugs, didn't I? What else do I need to do?

I wouldn't tease you if I didn't love you so much.

For a smart person, you sure do some dumb things.

You just remember what you want to remember.

Don't talk about your experience with my drinking/drug use/abuse/sex addiction because it will embarrass me.
Don't tell anyone about this. It's our little secret.
I'll kill you if you tell.

If you tell my spouse/significant other about us, he/she will kill themselves. And it will be your fault.

You'd be a lot prettier if you wore makeup.

You'd be a lot nicer if you weren't such a bitch.

He/She/They are lying/making it up/planted that stuff you found. They are jealous and want to ruin what we have.

I wouldn't do this to you if you weren't such a dirty, bad little girl/boy.

I wouldn't do this to you if you didn't like it.

You're a slut.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself!!
(NOTE: This is one of the most deadly things a person can ever say to a child.)

You only get what you deserve.

You have to forgive your abuser. You have to forgive me. It'll do you good if you forgive me. That's really the best thing for you.

I only have your best interests at heart.

This hurts me more than it hurts you.

Why are you so stupid? Why are you so snotty? Why are you so hard to get along with?

Why are you so [insert random meaningless accusation here]??

That's not what you meant. I know what you really meant.

You're overdramatic. You're obsessed.

You made me mad. You provoked me. You made me do it.

I'm not going to talk to you until you apologize.

Your feelings aren't important. Your opinions don't matter. I'm the only one who can be right. I'm the only one who can have feelings and opinions. I'm the only one who counts.

I never treated you that way. You imagined it. You had a wonderful childhood /adolescence/marriage/relationship.

You shouldn't feel like you were abused, because we gave you everything. You're so ungrateful. For all I have to put up with...

You're antagonistic. You're argumentative. You have a way of making people angry.

I can't be nice to you because it wouldn't work.

I can't ask you politely to do something because you wouldn't do it.

You never... You always...

You're just overreacting. You're just making a big deal out of nothing.

You're rude. You're uncooperative. You're unkind. You're just not a very nice person.

Boys don't cry.

Nice girls don't dress that way/have sex/yell/go anywhere alone.

Never hurt anyone's feelings. If you do, you're bad.

Go to therapy as long as you like, but when will you be done?

If you talk about your feelings, you're just whining. That's all they do in those support groups, anyway. They just sit around wallowing in self-pity.

Friends can't be trusted. Your friends are evil.

You're not sensible. You don't think things through.

You're ridiculous. Where did you get that crazy idea?!

Did [random suspect person] put you up to this?!

You're the Good Daughter/Wife/Girlfriend.

You're the Bad Daughter/Wife/Girlfriend.

You just need to try harder. You just need to stop letting your feelings get hurt.

Of course I love you. I wouldn't do this to you if I didn't love you.

Just because I have other partners doesn't mean I'm cheating on you.

Go ahead. Go out with your friends... and leave your family home alone!

You only like history because you're obsessed with the past. Why can't you look to the future, like me?

What's wrong with you?

You don't deserve to be forgiven. I only treat you like this because you deserve it.

I wouldn't treat you this way if you didn't need discipline.

I wouldn't keep dumping you if I didn't have to. I wouldn't keep dumping you if you didn't hurt me so much.

I wouldn't have left you if you weren't so awful.

I'd treat you better if you just tried harder.

It hurts me to love you.

I'm only doing this for your own good.


excerpted source

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

INVALIDATION



Invalidation denies the importance of your experiences, your feelings, your thoughts, your wisdom, and even your existence.

Invalidation. It takes many forms, but the person doing it is always communicating the same thing — your needs don’t matter!

People who invalidate you don’t want you to feel and think what you feel and think. They want you to feel and think what they do. It’s an imposition, an annoyance, or something else undesirable when you don’t.

Dysfunctional, toxic and abusive people are champion invalidators.

A father’s 3-year old son has gotten hurt skinning his knee on the sidewalk, and the father instantly pulls his bawling child up by the hand, exclaiming, “It’s not bad, you’re not hurt, what are you crying for? Look, it’s only a scrape, get up!”

But his son IS hurt, twice — once, physically, by falling, and again, by being denied his legitimate feelings by his father, the person whose job it is to teach him that his feelings always matter. Later in life, when the child becomes a man and marries a woman whose expectations of him are unreasonable and who calls him a baby if he complains, it is a reflection of his father’s bad parenting.

Children’s – and everyone’s – feelings are always legitimate. The feelings may be difficult to fully understand, however, if enough listening is done instead of merely trying to stuff down the unwanted feelings, the reasons make themselves known and can be addressed and healed, not just hidden.

Invalidation often takes the form of being told that you should not feel as strongly as you do. Other times, you’ll be told that your concerns are nothing to worry about. Some common invalidating statements are:

“You’re oversensitive” 
“What are you crying about?” 
“Everything’s fine!” 
“Oh, you poor baby!” 
“Get over it!” 
“What’s the matter NOW???” 
“So WHAT!”

Your wishes may also be ignored in favor of the other person’s preferences. You may feel as if you don’t have an equal voice in the relationship or in what takes place. When you explain that being ignored makes you unhappy, you’ll be made to feel as if your concerns aren’t legitimate, and you should be ashamed of yourself for making life difficult for the invalidator.

Getting invalidators to truly hear you out isn’t easy, and in many cases, is impossible. If nothing else, remember that your feelings – no matter what they are – always have a legitimate reason, and are there for a real and important purpose. You may experience invalidation by someone else, but you can practice what mentally healthy people do all the time – know that all feelings always matter, even when some people don’t understand them, and always, always… validate yourself.

FROM THIS FANTASTIC BLOG - CLICK HERE

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"Get Anyone to Do Anything and Never Feel Powerless Again"


Psychological secrets to predict, control and influence every situation
Chapter 9, Pages 42-43
By David J. Lieberman, Ph. D.

From the bedroom to the boardroom learn how to see clearly and easily evaluate information without being swayed by those with selfish interests and unkind intentions. The manipulator's bag of tricks is stocked with seven deadly tactics that can leave you jumping through hoops. The good news is that by knowing what they are, you can watch out for them, and...never be manipulated again.

These powerful manipulators are: guilt, intimidation, appeal to ego, fear, curiosity, our desire to be liked, and love. Anyone who uses any of these tactics is attempting to move you from logic to emotion-to a playing field that's not so level. She or he knows that she or he can't win on the facts so they will try to manipulate your emotions with any one or a combination of the tactics below.

Guilt: "How can you even say that? I'm hurt that you wouldn't trust me. I just don't know who you are anymore."
Intimidation: "What's the matter can't you make a decision? Don't you have enough confidence in yourself to do this?"
Appeal to Ego: "I can see that you're a smart person. I wouldn't try to put anything past you. How could I? You'd be on me in a second."

Fear: "You know, you might [not get "it" if you go take a pee/act un-coach able] just lose the whole thing. I sure hope you know what you're doing. I'm telling you that you won't get a better deal anywhere else. This is your last shot at making things work out. Why do you want to risk losing out on being happy?"

Curiosity: "Look, you only live once. Try it? You can always go back to how things were. It might be fun, exciting-a real adventure. "You never know unless you try and you regret never seeing what happens."
Our Desire to be Liked: "I thought you were a real player. And so did everyone else Come on, nobody likes it when a person backs out...this can be your chance to prove what you're made of."
Love: "If you loved me you wouldn't question me. Of course I have only your best interests at heart. I wouldn't lie to you. You know that deep down inside, don't you? We can have a wonderful relationship if you'd only let yourself go and experience the wonders that the future will deliver to us."

Strategy Review:
Look and listen objectively--not only to the words but also to the message.The abusive maneuvers interfere with your ability to digest facts. When these emotions creep into your thinking, temporarily suspend your feelings and look at the messenger as well as the message. If you hear anything that sounds like these manipulators, stop and reevaluate the situation. Don't ever act quickly and emotionally. Wait and objectively gather the facts so you don't become a hand puppet.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Power Patterns



Sharks, Impactors, Controllers, Dominators

The Impactor
The Impactor primarily wants to know that they have the ability to affect you in some way. They need to influence their environment, have an impact. Their greatest fear is that they are invisible and powerless. The impact doesn't have to be positive. In fact, they will most often resort to negative impact because the result is so much greater. If you do something good, you might get a few words of praise, a smile, or a hug, all of which are usually over in a minute or two. If you do something bad, the impact could last days! Just visit some of the forums and watch the impactors at work, creating pages and pages of responses with just one flaming message. What an impact they are having! And then you'll usually see them sitting calmly in the middle of the storm they've created. If they can make you lose control, they're ecstatic.

The worst thing you can do to the Impactor is ignore them.

At the bottom of this pattern is terror - fear of being nothing, having no self. This will be very difficult for the person to connect with, as their patterns help keep the feelings of terror far away from their consciousness.

The Controller
The Control pattern is similar to the Impactor, in that it needs to have an affect on others, but the difference is in the primary goal. The primary purpose of the Control pattern is to ... have control, to direct traffic, to be "the boss". This usually extends to all parts of the person's world - family, loved ones, bedroom, household, and job.

Consider the boss or parent who gives you detailed instructions about how to do something, and once you've done it, changes everything around and tells you to do it differently. Or never allows you to finish one task, but constantly switches you to another one. The child who demands something loudly, and then when it's given, changes his mind and wants something else from you. The lover who tells you one day they want more space, and then complains the next day that you've pulled back from them. This is common Controller activity.

The point of all this behavior is never to actually complete a task, or have the toy, or be happy in the relationship. The point is to control your behavior. To keep you jumping.

The Controller will use whatever means necessary to keep you jumping at their command. Guilt, fear, threat of loss of love, tantrums, rage, cowering and claiming to be the victim ... any tactic will work, as long as it keeps others under their control.

Again, this pattern is primarily run by terror. The pattern says that control is the antidote to helplessness and nothingness. There may be a well of untapped heartbreak and rage here too, that makes the Controller determined to never be the underdog. Even when they play the victim, they are never out of control.

The "Power Victim"
This type of pattern is primarily a power pattern, but it uses a victim stance as its primary tool. This is where you get people who use guilt to make you feel bad so you'll do what they want. They sometimes actually have poor-me victim feelings running undercurrent, but the primary goal in this case, is control and power. The poor-me stance is purely and solely in order to manipulate others. The best way to tell what pattern is running here is simply to say no to it, and then wait to see what happens. If it's a power-victim pattern, the person will often slide into one of the other power tactics. If it's truly a victim pattern, saying no will cause the person to slide into one of the other victim patterns.

Sharks
Also often known as The Guru, Sharks are a very particular kind of predator. The Shark pattern is the most dangerous of the power patterns. Sharks are willing to prey on anyone, but they especially like the vulnerable, those with big hearts and low guilt tolerance, those with large consciences and concern for others ... in other words, people that can be easily intimidated or overridden.

The behaviors the Shark displays may be similar to the other Power Patterns, but the biggest difference between this pattern and the others is its flexibility and ability to plan ahead. The Impactor cannot go very long without doing something to impact their environment. The Controller must have something or someone to control. But the Shark can go long periods without prey. They are able to wait and watch and will sometimes spend long periods looking for the weak spots in people before moving in. And their attack is usually so subtle at that point that most people wouldn't call it an "attack". Sharks can also move from the one-on-one arena into groups. And whereas the Impactor and Controller patterns will often sabotage themselves or go "over the top" and expose their own patterns, the Shark pattern is usually clever enough to hide behind a complex array of masks and blinds, unless combined with other more self-sabotaging patterns. In other words, Sharks are extremely clever and dangerous.

Because our tendency is to want to excuse and understand people, and we don't want to see ourselves as unloving, we are usually very willing to overlook the behaviors of the Shark and dismiss our own gut responses that say, "something doesn't feel right here".

The primary goal of the shark pattern is to "eat" others.

There are many ways to describe this -- stealing your essence, feeding off your emotions, sucking out your energy, leaving you feeling drained and tired, or buzzing with adrenalin overload. They dominate your will, and cause you to give up your power, essence, and energy to them. Many sharks become gurus or religious leaders, because submission to them, giving up your personal power to the them, is desire that drives the shark.

In order to do this, the Shark must first find the chink in your armor, and sadly, for most people this is pretty easy to do. We all have openings where we are missing Self or are simply unaware. Places where we have pain in denial, parts of ourselves that we don't want to look at, these are the places where the Shark can seep in. But the Shark has some very powerful tools to help confuse people and mess with their heads. The worst of these is boundary blurring.

Power-Over Tactics to Watch For: Boundary Blurring
Boundary blurring can be done in a variety of ways. There are the "negative" power-overing and bullying tactics, using insults and put-downs, and making you doubt your feelings and perceptions and intent. And there are (so-called) positive extreme of sexual (or emotional) seduction, promises of love or salvation, promises of power, flattery and false stroking of ego.

A shark may resort to personal manipulation. They may display hurt or need, they may say YOU are the answer to THEIR prayers, they may claim that you are withholding yourself and your love (and therefore hurting/rejecting them) by not opening up to them fully. This tactic is a lie, and - for the most part - is not real. That is, sometimes there is a real Soul within the Shark that really does feel hurt by you or love for you. But the true feeling is being used as a tool to manipulate you, to get you to drop your guard and blur your boundaries.

They may pressure you with soft words ... or hard. They may tell you that you are closing the door to God by not opening to them. They may give you sweet attention that makes you feel like you're special. And then they may withdraw that attention abruptly, or change tactics on you and become cold and aloof or "angry". You'd think this kind of emotional manipulation would make people angry. But usually what happens is our need for love and attention takes over and responds to the tactics, is drawn into the game of trying to please them and keep their "love".

How can you tell when you're being "sharked"? It's easy to say "just feel with your Soul", but many of us have parts that have been messed with, brainwashed, turned upside down, drugged, confused, made to doubt reality, made to doubt their own perceptions, and most of all, made to doubt their own feelings. I have cried parts that don't know who to believe. I have parts that are so starving for light and love, they're willing to follow almost anyone who might have a shred of light/love to give us, even when they KNOW it's a false promise. I have parts that want to believe someone "out there" will speak in the voice of the Mother or God and show us the way.

All these parts could willingly fall under the spell of a guru. And have done, many times in the past.

So I know how easy it is to get hypnotized and caught up in the rapture of someone with charisma (and humor) who wants to play the guru. Some of them are very good, some of them, not so clever. Some are easy to see through, if you're standing off to one side, or not in the path of their "voice". Like Saruman's voice, in his fading power, or a magic trick that only works from one angle. But they all do seem to have great life force and charisma and wit.

A shark is not necessarily evil. They may have some very good qualities, including the ability to love. A shark is simply someone who dominates and harvests others, someone whose good qualities are used for one aim - gaining power over others. Now, I have seen some sharks who appeared to me to be tightly intertwined with a denial spirit or two, and it did occur to me that the shark activity was being provoked from within. That is, the denial spirit may have been controlling and provoking the person's true emotions, perhaps a terrified Soul, and causing the person to believe they needed absolute control, and that they were acting rightly.

There is only one way to keep oneself from becoming victim to one of the power patterns, and that is to continue to cry the pain, to reclaim all of our lost parts until we have ourselves fully healed and whole and intact. Then we can live from within our core, and nobody will ever be able to invade us or dominate us or confuse us or manipulate us again. EVER.

http://www.cyquest.com/pathway/patterns_power.html

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

REVICTIMIZATION




© 2009 Pandora's Project
by: Louise

I am a survivor of sexual and other abuse in my childhood, as well as domestic violence and partner rape. As I began to heal, it occurred to me that many of the things I had felt in the abusive relationship were things I had felt much earlier as an abused child.


While it is important not to subscribe to stereotypes that a certain "type" of person is repeatedly raped or experiences domestic violence, it is known that the risk of revictimization by sexual assault is approximately doubled for survivors of child sexual abuse (1). For example, in Diana Russell's study of women who had experienced incestuous abuse as children, two thirds were subsequently raped (2).

This article discusses revictimization drawing on literature together with my understanding of how it worked for me. It should not be seen as a generalization that only child abuse survivors experience repeated rape or domestic violence - or that survivors of child sexual abuse are sitting ducks for further abuse. Sometimes, even people from stable, loving families are subject to the dynamics of later domestic violence. And it cannot be stated strongly enough that any person can be subject to sexual assault. Nevertheless, child sexual and other abuse can leave us with vulnerabilities that abusers may be quick to exploit. It's important that we see repeated victimization not as a reason to hate ourselves, but as stemming from wounds incurred through no fault of our own and for which we deserve our own compassion.

Read through, and if this fits for you, please know that there is help available.


CHILD SEXUAL / OTHER ABUSE AND REVICTIMIZATION

 
Were you sexually, physically or emotionally abused as a child? Did you experience more of the same when you got older? Have you been in a relationship where you were beaten, raped or otherwise abused? If the answer is yes, you may feel, as many survivors of repeated abuse do, that you have a “sign on your back”, that you “attract” abusers or even that you were born to be the recipient of other people’s abuse. One of the saddest legacies of repeated abuse is that survivors often feel that if it’s happened so often, they must somehow deserve it. Unfortunately, we live in a society that agrees. Judith Herman writes:

The phenomenon of repeated victimization, indisputably real, calls for great care in interpretation. For too long, psychiatric opinion has simply reflected the crude social judgment that survivors “ask for abuse." The earlier concepts of masochism and the more recent formulations of addiction to trauma imply that victims seek and derive gratification for repeated abuse. This is rarely true (3)


So, why does revictimization happen? Before we go on to look at just some of the reasons, a reminder: This is not an exercise in how to blame ourselves more. Even if there`are factors that make some of vulnerable to further abuse,
perpetrators alone are responsible for the abuse they commit.

WHY REVICTIMIZATION HAPPENS - SOME OF THE REASONS


Personalities forged in an environment of early abuse
: Children who are abused by people they are close to learn to equate love with violence and sexual exploitation. They have not learned to create safe and appropriate boundaries with people, and they grow up unable to see themselves as having any right to choice. Their self-image is so damaged that they may see nothing wrong with even extremely abusive treatment of them by others. It is seen as unavoidable and the ultimate cost of love. Some women sexually abused as children may believe that their sexuality is all they have of any worth. (4).

Compulsion to repeat trauma
: Bessel van der Kolk writes, "Many traumatized people expose themselves, seemingly compulsively, to situations reminiscent of the original trauma. These behavioral reenactments are rarely consciously understood to be related to earlier life experiences (5)". Survivors of earlier rape and abuse may put themselves at risk of further harm, not because they want to be abused or hurt, but because they may be seeking a different, better`outcome, or to have more control. It may also be because they believe they deserve the pain inflicted on them. Often, reenactment has a compulsive and involuntary feel. Survivors may feel completely numb, and unaware of how reenactment is taking place (6). Conversely, it may call forth the same terror and shame as experienced in childhood. van der Kolk further explains,

People who are exposed early to violence or neglect come to expect it as a way of life. They see the chronic helplessness of their mothers and fathers' alternating outbursts of affection and violence; they learn that they themselves have no control. As adults they hope to undo the past by love, competency, and exemplary behavior. When they fail they are likely to make sense out of this situation by blaming themselves. When they have little experience with nonviolent resolution of differences, partners in relationships alternate between an expectation of perfect behavior leading to perfect harmony and a state of helplessness, in which all verbal communication seems futile. A return to earlier coping mechanisms, such as self-blame, numbing (by means of emotional withdrawal or drugs or alcohol), and physical violence sets the stage for a repetition of the childhood trauma and "return of the repressed (7)


The effect of trauma
: It is true that some people may have a series of violent partners, or encounters with rapists. I had a friend who was subjected to rape three times in two years . A family member - echoing typical victim-blame - sneeringly asked me "why she kept leaving herself open to it. - wouldn't you think that if she went through it once, she should have known how to steer clear of creeps?" This reflects a lack of knowledge about the workings of trauma: While some survivors may be overly cautious about everybody, other traumatized people actually have a harder time forming accurate assessments of danger (8). The above question also absolves the perpetrator who falsely seeks to engage the trust of a trauma survivor in order to abuse them.

Traumatic Bonding
: Judith Herman writes about the tendency of abused children to cling tenaciously to the very parents who hurt them (9) Perpetrators of sexual abuse may capitalize on this tendency by giving their victim the only sense of specialness, or being loved, that they have ever had. Bessel van der Kolk tells us that people subjected to trauma and neglect are vulnerable to developing the tendency to traumatically bond with those who harm them. Traumatic bonding is often behind the excuses of battered women for the violence of their partners, and for the repeated returning to a batterer (10).

REVICTIMIZATION AND ME

Unfortunately my adult experiences of rape and battering were not new to me. Being battered by both my parents since infancy and sexually abused throughout childhood and early teens (by non-related perpetrators), and receiving little in the way of protection or belief taught me some powerful lessons, which I brought to an abusive partner. I remember exactly what I felt the first time he hit me. He cracked me across the face, and as I cradled my rapidly swelling cheekbone, I was certainly upset. But there was another, deeper feeling of validation; something went "click" inside me. It was a sense of correctness about what he had done, an utter familiarity which confirmed a bone-badness I had always felt. The first time he raped me, there was a similar - and terribly powerful - sense of meeting with something I seemed destined for. It works differently for different people, but let me share with you some of the specific lessons of childhood that I believe made me fair game for a battering and raping partner - you may identify:

As a woman who lived in a violent relationship; returned to it again and again, loved the abuser and truly cared about him, I have been patronized, had insulting inferences drawn about my intelligence, been branded as "sick", and "masochistic" - that last by a psychiatrist whom I told about the relationship. Many of us will recognize these labels. People who blame you don't understand that layer piled upon layer of trauma may tend to produce a crippling of ability to care for oneself in the ways non-traumatized people would see as commonsense.. Child abuse really is like a cancer; left untreated that malignancy can metastasize into further and possible fatal dangers - indeed, I am lucky to be alive.

But does this need to be the case? Let's look at the next section.


SOLUTIONS AND HEALING

Socially, picking up on children who have been hurt and offering early intervention so that they carry far less damage into adulthood with them would be a great big plus. Not kicking abuse survivors in abusive relationships or who are repeatedly hurt by rape when they're down by branding them "stupid" and abandoning them - thus proving to them again that they're worthless - will also go a long way.

I think that what worked for me was that I at least had a concept of safe, nurturing love - even if I didn't feel I deserved it. Some people don't even have that concept, and I believe I am lucky that I did because it gave me a starting point. My fellow survivor, If you have identified with any of the above, I implore you to seek counselling to overturn those old scars and recognize that you too, have the same place in the scheme of fairness and love as anybody else. All that I learned, and all the ways in which it was reinforced have not, after all, stopped me from growing into a woman who knows that I don't deserve to be the recipient of other people's abuse. It was not my fault; I was not bad, and I can tell somebody with a mind to hurt me to go to hell - I owe them nothing; least of all my soul.


Does such a change in attitude rape-proof us? No, as long as there are perpetrators, we are all vulnerable regardless of what we think about ourselves. To say that somebody is raped because of their self-image is victim-blame - again - it's the perpetrator who takes advantage. But I do believe that the reduction in self-hatred and boundaries that come with healing make us less inclined to accommodate people who are disrespectful and even dangerous. Knowing I deserve to be safe - that I do not deserve to be raped - means that I listen to my gut, put distance between myself and abusive people and reduce my chances, at least for now, of being harmed again. Our safety is
sometimes contingent on how much we value it; healing means changing patterns of devaluing it.

I healed. You can do it too, even if the damage is extensive. You are worth it. You are. You were not abused again and again because you deserve it. You have been traumatized, you were set up and others capitalized on it. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Please feel free to discuss multiple victimization at the
Pandora's Aquarium message board and chat room - we understand, and we value you even if many others didn't.

Please give yourself compassion - you certainly have mine.


SOURCES

    1. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    2. Cited in Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    3. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    4. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    5. Van der Kolk, Bessel A. MD. "The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma: Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Masochism", Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Volume 12, Number 2, Pages 389-411, June 1989 http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/
    6. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    7. Van der Kolk, Bessel A. MD. "The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma: Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Masochism", Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Volume 12, Number 2, Pages 389-411, June 1989 http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/
    8. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    9. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    10. Van der Kolk, Bessel A. MD. "The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma: Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Masochism", Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Volume 12, Number 2, Pages 389-411, June 1989 http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/
    11. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
    12. Herman, J. Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, BasicBooks, USA, 1992
SOURCE

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

When Others Believe Your Abuser

WHEN OTHERS BELIEVE YOUR
(Narcissistic, Sociopathic or Psychopathic) ABUSER


sadness
from this site: CLICK HERE

Since when is it good to be friendly with bad people? Since when is winking at their wrongdoing a virtue?

Perhaps someone can quote chapter and verse in the comments, because holier-than-thous really deserve to have their religion's true teachings show what frauds their twisting of religious doctrine makes them.

In the New Testament, in Revelations, I believe, in one of the letters to the churches, some holier-than-thou Christians are read the riot act for that very same pretense.


The author unloads both barrels at them with this truth: "Good people are not lukewarm toward evil" it says.

Cowards are.

Loving good is hating evil. And vice versa. Love is an attraction; hate a repulsion. But that is too simple for complex people to understand.

Now I am not saying that we must reject everyone not perfect, for then we would reject everyone, including ourselves. But decent people need no instruction.
There is a point at which behavior becomes predatory and malicious - a point at which one is morally obligated to separate themselves from that person.
You thus take away a bad actor's safety in numbers. You show disapproval. You discourage others from behaving the same way. You comfort the victim by showing him or her that the pain caused them by the bad guy matters to you.

Is any of that evil?

It's just a way of discouraging the harm the bad guy is doing others by showing that you want nothing to do with someone who hurts others like that.

Where is the sin in that, pray tell? Sounds like fine, upstanding conduct to me.

Jesus spoke of this when he said that "indecent conduct" is a special case and justification for divorce even. At the time, the terms "indecent" or "lewd" conduct simply meant "lowdown" or "despicable" conduct of any sort.

And that statement of his, qualifying his disapproval of divorce, is just common sense.

Why? Let's say you are married to a Mafia boss. Is it right for you live in his big fancy house, being waited on by his hired staff? Is it right for you to PROFIT from the crimes he commits and ther damage he does to people?

To the contrary:
it is immoral for you not to divorce him when you find out what he is.

The same people who make a virtue of "accepting" abusive narcissists, relentlessly persecute anyone for any hint of racism or sexism. THAT they won't tolerate. They wouldn't DREAM of tolerating anything politically incorrect like that.

But though they know and believe that the narcissist has brutally abused you, they see no reason to show any disapproval of that.

Hmmm. Whom do they think they're fooling?

They make nothing of that narcissist's abuse of you. They countenance it.


If instead they rejected the narcissist, they would be doing the one small thing they could to get on the right side, the victim's side.

But they abandon the victim and smile in the abuser's face.


Not so holy as they pretend.

by Kathy Krajco

SOURCE: Narcissist Sympathizers

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Pathological Lying


by Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Since I’ve recently posted several articles about psychopaths and deception, I’d like to repost this earlier article from last year, which many of you may not have seen yet, about why psychopaths lie. As we’ve seen in the previous post, psychopaths lie pathologically to others about pretty much everything: their past, their present and their future. Whatever lies you discover about the psychopath in your life are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. Be prepared for the sinking of the Titanic. He could be telling you, or his family, that he has one kind of job while having another kind or being unemployed. He could be saying that he’s rich while being dirt poor. He could be preaching trust and fidelity to you while pursuing dozens of other women. He could be telling you that his partner is cold, frigid and uninterested in working on their relationship when he’s the one who neglects her, plays hot-cold games to manipulate her and does everything possible to violate her trust and undermine her confidence and well-being. He could be telling you that he’s looking for a job in your area, to be together, while leaving his options open and seeking employment all over the country, to separate you from your family and friends. He could be saying that he had no affairs while playing semantic games, since in his mind, all those other women were only friends with benefits. He could be telling you his ex cheated on him or left him, when he’s the one who cheated on every woman he’s ever been with, not just once, but innumerable times, and broke up with them after having used them. More ominously, he could be presenting himself as a decent person while secretly committing fraud, serial rape or even murder. What you don’t know about him, along with the false information he offers you, can and will hurt you. He’s got no friends, just people he uses and alibis for his lies. Lying feeds his underlying narcissism. Distorting other people’s perception of reality gives him the false sense of being smarter than them.

Since psychopaths wallow in seediness, cruelty and perversion, they enjoy not only lying, but also waving their lies under the noses of the people they dupe. They leave little trophies of their infidelities lying around, like a shampoo bottle or trinkets from their girlfriends. When they’re questioned about them by their partner, they get the additional thrill of offering a false explanation. You’ve no doubt heard of psychopathic serial killers who take objects from their victims, such as a bracelet, ring or a lock of hair, as “trophies,” to remind them of their criminal exploits. Signs of betrayal represent the sex addict’s little trophies. Such disordered individuals also enjoy living on the edge. Just as serial killers often play cat and mouse games with the media and the police, so philandering psychopaths play games of catch-me-if-you-can with their spouses and girlfriends. They may be sitting across from their wife on the computer and sending sexually explicit messages to a girlfriend, while claiming to be doing work or looking up some innocuous information. They may be in a hotel with a girlfriend while having a lengthy phone conversation with their wife. They may take a call from one girlfriend while being on a date with another and telling her that it’s a business call.

Psychopaths enjoy lying both because of the power it gives them over others and because of the risk of getting caught. The problem remains, of course, that the risk is always minimal and therefore never quite thrilling enough. To take a real risk in life, one has to value something or someone, so that one fears losing that thing or that person. Psychopaths can’t value anything but their immediate appetites and anyone but themselves. If they lose their jobs, there’s always another one just as good (even when there isn’t). If they lose their money, they can always mooch off or scam someone else. If they alienate their partner, there’s lots of other fish in the sea. Since the stakes are always so low for psychopaths, their thrills are also very fleeting.

Lying makes them feel more powerful and superior to others. Needless to say, in reality, engaging in deception and manipulation are not a sign of excess of intelligence. They’re a symptom of lack of character. Psychopathic dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Ceausescu weren’t particularly bright individuals. They were just particularly manipulative, opportunistic and r uthless. But it’s no use trying to persuade a psychopath that he’s much less, rather than more, than the people he dupes. Once you see through his lack of character, his reactions also become transparent. When he gets away a lie, he feels a cheap thrill. When caught in a lie, he feels no shame. He simply covers it up with another lie or, when that’s not an option, blames you for his wrongdoing or accuses you of behaving in the same manner. Often, even when psychopaths believe that they’re telling the truth, they’re in fact lying. A psychopath can “sincerely” state that he’s being faithful to you right before his date with another woman. Psychopaths live in an Orwellian doublethink world. They believe the truth of the moment while actively seeking new opportunities. We might as well call it a “psychopath-think,” since such individuals have their own language.

For example, to a psychopathic seducer, 

Unless you learn to decipher the psychopathic code, you’re likely to be “lost in translation.” If I put my mind to it, I could write a whole dictionary of “psychopath-speak” and its translation into regular human language.

Every so-called “truth” psychopaths utter is momentary and contingent upon their immediate gratification. Since their feelings are shallow, so is their truth-value. If you add “for now” to their declarations of love, they may sometimes ring plausible. For instance, during the euphoric seduction phase, psychopaths may believe when they tell a girlfriend that they love her and want to spend the rest of their life with her. But their passion isn’t grounded in any empathy, love or commitment. Since the euphoric state of “being in love” comes and goes even during the course of a single day, so does the truth-value of their statement. One minute they might tell a girlfriend with genuine emotion that they love her and will always be faithful to her. The next hour they might be pursuing another woman, just for the heck of it, because they’re bored. 

While psychopaths scheme and manipulate a lot, they’re short-term, or tactical, schemers. They can’t see more than two steps ahead of their noses, to chase the next temporary pleasure. Tactics, or short-term maneuvers, prove to be far less effective than strategy, or long-term planning, however. Over the long-term, the lives of psychopaths usually unravel in a sequence of failed careers, sordid crimes and disastrous relationships. While this fact doesn’t particularly bother the psychopaths themselves, who live by a Dionysian hedonism, it bothers quite a lot everyone who comes into close contact with them.

To explain further why and how psychopaths lie so glibly and compulsively, I’ll rely upon Dr. Susan Forward‘s WHEN YOUR LOVER IS A LIAR.  Her book addresses all kinds of liars. However, she devotes one chapter in particular to psychopaths. She describes this group as the most dangerous and predatory kind of liars. She also confirms that they’re the only ones who are completely unchangeable. Psychopaths tell harmful lies, not mere white lies. The lies that harm us, either by omission or by commission, involve the intent to deceive. Forward defines a harmful lie as a “deliberate and conscious behavior that either misrepresents important facts or conceals and withholds them in order to keep you from knowing the truth about certain facets of your partner’s past, present, and, often, future.” (When your lover is a liar, 6) She goes on to explain that when a man lies about important matters related to his identity, actions and intentions, certain implications follow: 
1) he becomes the sole proprietor of the truth; 
2) he acquires control over events in his partner’s life; 
3) those he dupes lack important information that can drastically influence their lives; 
4) consequently, those he dupes can’t make major life decisions based on this information, including whether or not to stay with him, and 
5) most importantly, those he dupes don’t know who he really is. (16)

Psychopaths typically deny or minimize their deception once it’s discovered. This strategy, Forward maintains, constitutes a power game which has several negative implications for the person being duped: 
1) she didn’t see what she saw;
2) she didn’t hear what she heard; 
3) she doesn’t know what she found out; 
4) she’s exaggerating, imagining things or being paranoid; 
5) in holding the liar accountable for his deception, she’s the one creating problems in their relationship; 
6) she’s to blame for the deception or her partner’s misbehavior; 
7) other people, who are exposing the psychopath’s lies, are creating trouble in their relationship. (When your lover is a liar, 16

These techniques of denying and compounding the lies relate to “gaslighting.” They lead the victim to feel like she’s “going crazy” and imagining things that don’t exist or aren’t true. Gaslighting turns reality topsy-turvy. It replaces truth with falsehood. It also shifts the balance of power between the honest person and the liar. The liar takes charge of the relationship and of his honest partner’s perception of reality.

Given that, as we’ve seen so far, harmful lies constitute a power game, it’s not that surprising that psychopaths, who live to dominate and manipulate others, end up being the most irredeemable pathological liars of the human species. As mentioned, Forward devotes an entire chapter to psychopathic liars. By way of contrast to the rest of her book, which focuses on how to improve relationships tainted by deception, in this case she advises people to leave their psychopathic partners for good. She states,

“This chapter is about scorpions in human form, and continuous, remorseless lying is what they do. They lie to the women they’re with, and to just about everyone else. They cheat repeatedly on the women they’re married to, they steal from the woman they profess their love for. Their greatest thrill, their greatest high, is pulling the wool over the eyes of the women who love and trust them, and they do it without a moment of concern for their targets. This chapter is about the one kind of liar you must leave immediately. It is about sociopaths.” (When your lover is a liar, 66)


Forward goes on to explain that since psychopaths regard life as a power game, they suffer from an incurable addiction to deception as a way of life. All the experts on psychopathy and sociopathy state that such individuals lie even when the truth would make them look better or would sound more plausible. In addition, unlike normal human beings, psychopaths don’t change their deceitful ways. The simple and short explanation for why not is that they don’t want to change and aren’t even capable of changing. As we’ve seen, psychopaths lack the emotional and moral incentives that motivate normal people to improve themselves. No matter how much suffering they cause others and no matter how much they, themselves, get into trouble as a result of their lies, psychopaths remain pathological liars and frauds throughout their lives.

Forward breaks down the main reasons why psychopaths don’t change their ways: 
1) they don’t experience the pain and shame that motivates people to become honest;
2) they don’t play by the rules and thus they never feel that they’ve done something wrong; 
3) they lack the emotional depth to want to improve their character; 
4) in their relentless search for excitement, they live to break, not follow, moral and social rules; 
5) they believe that they’re superior to those they dupe. (When your lover is a liar, 71) I would add one more related point to this list: 
6) they believe that the rest of humanity is just like them, i.e., manipulative and deceitful, only less intelligent or less adept at it than they are.

Forward concludes that if anybody tells you a psychopath can become an honest, loyal and faithful individual, they’re lying to you. Which is also why the person most likely to tell someone such a lie is the psychopath himself: especially if he still has something to gain from his target.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Liar! Liar!




How to tell when you’re not being told the straight story
By Cynthia Hubert
SACRAMENTO BEE

You think you can tell when he’s lying.

His eyes dart back and forth. He can’t keep his hands still. He stutters and stumbles over his words.

Deception is written all over him, right? Not necessarily.

Nailing a fibber is not nearly as easy or instinctive as most people think, say scientists, authors and other keen observers of the art of deception.

“There is no simple checklist,” says Gregory Hartley, a former military interrogator who applies the techniques he used on enemy combatants in a new book for civilians, “How To Spot a Liar.”

But with a little practice, Hartley insists, you, too, can become a human lie detector.

It is a skill that has challenged us through the ages, says Dallas Denery, a professor of medieval history at Bowdoin College in Maine who is working on a book about the history of lying. “The problem of lies and liars has been with us forever,” he says. “In the Judeo-Christian tradition, history really begins with a lie, with Adam and Eve and the serpent.”

Fast forward to modern times and a 2002 study suggesting that most people lie in everyday conversation. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts observed people talking for 10 minutes and found that 60 percent of them lied at least once, telling an average of two to three fibs. Some of the lies were benign, but others were extreme, including one person who falsely claimed to be a rock star.

“We didn’t expect lying to be such a common part of daily life,” one of the researchers, Robert Feldman, observed after the study was published.

Over the years, CIA agents, police detectives, psychologists, lawyers and others have tried a variety of methods to identify liars, from polygraph machines to “voice stress analysis” to analysis of barely perceptible facial movements that can give away hidden feelings. None of the techniques has been foolproof.

And the search for the truth continues. The science of liars and lying remains a hot topic in research circles, and book after book offers the latest theory about how to tell when a spouse is cheating, a witness is lying in court or a car salesman is overstating the value of a vehicle.

Check out just a few of the titles on the subject at www.amazon.com: “Lies and Liars: Pinocchio’s Nose and Less Obvious Clues,” “Liar! A Critique of Lies and the Act of Lying,” “When Your Lover Is a Liar,” and “The Concise Book of Lying.” It’s enough to shatter your trust in humanity.

John Mayoue, an Atlanta divorce lawyer who has represented famous clients - including Jane Fonda in her breakup with Ted Turner - says lying is rampant in his business.

“In the courtroom, there is no end to the lying, particularly if money is at stake,” Mayoue says. “The more money, the bigger the lies.”

The greatest lie in relationships, he says, is “Honey, I love you but I’m no longer in love with you. That’s someone’s way of saying they’re cheating on you.”

The Internet culture has made lying practically a sport, Mayoue observes. “You just have to assume that you’re in the midst of a liar’s ball when you’re online,” he says. “It’s a fantasy realm. I can’t see you. I can’t look at signals. I can’t test you. There is no verification.”

In court and in daily life, Mayoue believes, a person’s eyes tell the truest story.

“Looking at someone in an unwavering manner and answering the question is very telling,” he says. “When I see eyes shift side to side and up and down, it just causes suspicion.”

Hartley, the former interrogator, agrees that body language can hint at deception. But not always, he says. “Your eyes drift naturally when you’re searching for information,” he says. “I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t move their eyes when looking for details.”

The key to uncovering a lie, he says, is knowing how the liar behaves normally, when he or she is relaxed, and picking up on changes in voice patterns, eye movement and other body language.

“You’ve got to ask the right questions, then observe how that person responds,” Hartley says.

Signs of stress, which may signal that someone is lying, include flared nostrils and audible breathing, shaky hands and elbows moving closer to the ribs, according to Hartley.

“Stress does horrible things to our brains,” he says. “Stress hormones can virtually turn off your brain and make you become reactive.”

For the most notorious liars, the tendency to fib may be biological, suggests a study by researchers at the University of Southern California.

Pathological liars, the scientists found, have structural differences in their brains that could affect their abilities to feel remorse and learn moral behavior and might give them an advantage in planning deceitful strategies, the researchers discovered. Other scientists have suggested that pathological liars owe their behavior to the psychiatric diagnoses known as narcissism or sociopathy, and may truly believe their own falsehoods.

But the average, everyday fibber lies to achieve a goal, says communication expert Laurie Puhn, author of the best-selling book “Instant Persuasion, How To Change Your Words To Change Your Life.” Most people lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, to avoid a commitment or a task, to cover up bad behavior or to elevate themselves professionally or personally, she says.

Puhn advises people who suspect someone is lying to ask unexpected questions, look for contradictions in their statements and ask a follow-up question a couple of days later about the suspected lie.

“If someone says they had to work late to deal with a new client and you are suspicious, ask them about it a week later,” she says. “They’re likely to answer, ‘What new client?’ It’s hard for liars to keep their lies straight.”

Bettyanne Bruin, who parlayed her experiences with a former partner into a book and a support group for people who have been deceived, says the first step toward detecting a liar is overcoming denial.

“People tend to ignore the red flags,” says Bruin, author of “Shattered: Six Steps From Betrayal to Recovery.” “Their gut tells them what is going on, but they really do want to believe the best about the person they love.”

The most critical sign that a partner is lying, she says, is defensiveness.

“Liars are very defensive when you question them,” says Bruin. “They will become very resistant and angrier and angrier upon each attempt to probe.” Often, she says, they make their partners feel guilty about questioning them. “They’ll say, ‘You’re being unreasonable,’ or ‘Why are you treating me this way?’ ”

Types of lies

Joseph Tecce, an associate professor of psychology at Boston College who has studied liars and lying, identifies six types of untruths, some more egregious than others.
He classifies them as:

The ‘protective’ lie, which can shield the liar from danger.

The ‘heroic’ lie, created to protect someone else from danger or punishment.

The ‘playful’ lie, such as an angler’s fib about the size of his fish.

The ‘ego’ lie, designed to shield someone from embarrassment.

The ‘gainful’ lie, which somehow enriches the fibber.

And the ‘malicious’ lie, told to deliberately hurt someone else.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong


pics on Sodahead


"Loving or Leaving the Narcissist in Your Life"

by Mary Jo Fay

Chapter 20
Walking on Eggshells
If I printed all the stories people have sent me, this book would be so big you couldn't carry it. Yet, one of the most interesting things about gathering real-life accounts was the commonality in language and feelings among respondents. I found it absolutely fascinating that these people, who came from all over the country and with completely different circumstances, could use exactly the same phrases and describe exactly the same feelings:
I was always walking on eggshells around him
It felt like I was on a never-ending roller coaster ride and I just couldn't figure out how to get off.
I felt like we lived inside a tornado.
The silent treatment was constant and deafening
I never knew what I did wrong.
I always felt so stupid.
Everything was always my fault.
I carried such guilt every day of my life.

And, when victims first learn about narcissism and realize that they are not alone and they are not crazy to think or feel the way they do, they are all equally overwhelmed with relief. It's like they've awakened from a coma after years of sleep with continuous nightmares. Then they start to examine their situations more closely for all the tell-tale tracks that narcissists leave in theor wake. They start to see the red flags they ignored for so long. And only then do they begin to have hope and see the possibility of a future with sunshine and blue sky.

SusanK
The warning signs of his narcissistic behavior appeared early on. He controlled every situation, without regard to my needs or feelings. In one instance, we were visiting his family in Europe and my period started a week early. He had some visits with friends scheduled that day and I told him that I needed to go to a drugstore. He insisted that we go to his friends house immediately in order to stay on schedule. Needless to say, it was the most uncomfortable visit I have ever had! Just one more of those nagging red flags I chose to ignore. In hindsight, I wonder where my head was not to see the ridiculousness of it all.
Georgia
The fact is that life with one of these people is like living in a storm always struggling to find the eye of the tornado for a moment of peace. On the other hand, I believe that when we rely on seeking validation from others instead of ourselves, that's how we fall into their tempest to begin with. True validation is not something you can seek outside yourself. It is the fruit of an inner journey and discovery. To know oneself from the inside-out, rather than from the outside-in. Like love, we think it is outside ourselves so we try to grab it, hold it, and then control it ... then poof! It's gone, like an illusion or dream. Sometimes it takes falling apart to wake up and see what is real. That's when the inner work begins and passion becomes a product of grace, rather then greed or need.

Sara
His verbal abuse was constant and mostly subtle. From an outsider's perspective, it might be seen as a form of friendly teasing. But the tone and frequency would indicate it was nothing but destructive. He maintained a sense of superiority by letting me know that I could not do anything as well as he could. He reminded me constantly that I was not as organized, knowledgeable, driven, ambitious, smart, or capable. He repeatedly told me that he had to do everything for me, because I was incapable of doing it right in his eyes. Why did I believe him for so long?
Jackie
My birthday was always neglected. The first year it fell just before our wedding and was forgotten in the rush. The next year my husband was traveling and didn't have time to send a card or get me anything. When I pressed him on it, he brought out a present two weeks later. I was pleasantly surprised, until I saw that it was a windscreen for his car. The third year we actually had dinner together and he gave me a small gift. Then last year, he decided to throw me a birthday party. I was so pleased at first, but it turned out that the party was not actually for me. He invited his two groups of friends and a few of mine. Out of the 30 people who attended the party, I knew about 6. It was everything that he wanted; the music, the people, the alcohol. I put on a smiling face and thanked him for his effort. Then I went upstairs to take a phone call and was gone for about 25 minutes and no one even noticed my absence. He enjoyed himself and took pictures of his friends (I'm in two shots out of all of them). It was very clear that he threw himself a party and invited me along. This was one of the most insulting things I had experienced. And yet I stayed.
Kris
He has now filed for divorce and has been pressing me to keep it out of court to minimize expenses. I decided that I am not going to go alone in this process without the support of legal counsel. He is threatening me that if I do not comply with his wishes, We'll go bankrupt. It's obviously a ploy to make me feel insecure and question my own decision. Since I have been away from him, I feel much more confident and have begun to realize that almost everything he demands of me has an underlying motive for his self-interest. I feel that I am beginning the healing process through the physical and mental separation. I can now look objectively and see his manipulative ploys for what they are. I no longer get caught up in his emotionally charged tangents that used to make me feel confused and 'less-than.' This is the best thing that could have happened, given the circumstance. I now feel stronger and smarter and hope to develop a healthy relationship with a 'normal' man sometime in the future.

Lori
The marriage was definitely emotionally abusive. The remarks were always very subtle. He questioned every decision I made, from what type of mayonnaise I purchased to why I went to graduate school and incurred a student debt. He told me that I was using the wrong knife to cut vegetables. 'Don't you know that?' he would chastise me. Or, 'I always have to do everything (correctly) for you' implying I was incapable of doing anything right. He told me that my parents did not educate me properly 'Didn't they teach you how to open the bed every morning to let the moisture out?' He reminded me, 'What would you do without me? Aren't you glad that you're with someone with a head on his shoulders?' Nothing I did could ever measure up to him. It took me the longest time, but at last I learned to trust my gut and not what he said any longer.

Katie
It's very subtle, the manipulation. You can't even see it happening. It creeps into your life. It's amazing and fascinating. It's not obvious abuse. You don't even have any scars to prove it. There was just something in him that was very sadistic and evil under his gorgeous exterior shell.
Jessica
My kids used to say I changed whenever I was around Tom. They knew the minute I would let him back into my life. 'Where did you go? What happened to you? Is anybody home?' they would ask. And they weren't talking about my physical presence. They said I went to 'Thomasville' whenever I was seeing him again. It wasn't a location it was an emotional and behavioral place I lived in that was outside of the 'usual me.' Like that old movie, The Stepford Wives. They said I was like a robot. Not even human. I kept thinking if I just tried harder we could work it out, so despite my kids begging me I would pick up the phone and make up with him again and again. This last time was different though. I noticed some old and uncomfortable triggers that I knew I would not be strong enough to challenge. I immediately closed the door. However, the experience has helped me see how far I've come and how far I still have to go on the journey. I can't honestly say that I am completely over him, but I am getting there.
Keeping your head above the water when the waves are rough is exhausting, sometimes unbearable. If we don't drown, we become stronger swimmers and the joy and gratitude, when all is calm, magnifies everything.

If I don't believe this, I will drown.

Maybe that is having faith.

Suicidal Thoughts
Many victims and survivors frequently talk of entertaining suicidal thoughts. The never-ending mental exhaustion, depression, anxiety, sadness, chronic confusion, and fatigue leave them feeling that there is no other way to stop the noise. The fear they have of leaving their narcissist often outweighs the fear they have of staying. And so, they wonder if suicide is their only chance at peace.
Mary Beth
The last week he was living in the house I realized suicide was the only alternative to divorce. Thank God he left.

Jillian
For God's sake don't tell him you're thinking of killing yourself. You'll receive absolutely no empathy or compassion but plenty of criticism. I had suicidal thoughts all the time. Sometimes I fantasized that it would stop the pain. You start to think it's the only option. But here's the thing you finally realize that if you kill yourself, your tormentor will still go on living and it just pisses you off when you think about it that way. I think that's what kept me alive through the worst of it. I refused to let him win.

Thank God I never went through with it.

My life is finally peaceful now. It was worth the wait.

Kathy
I used to wish I would die of natural causes. I was on antidepressants for years, but they never seemed to help. I even think I had some pretty risky behaviors from time to time. I flirted
with death but never took pills or cut myself. I resorted to prayer and support groups to keep me alive until I figured a way to get out. My own experience with suicide I was one of those who had to hit rock bottom before I could pull myself out of the darkness. My self-esteem torn to shreds. My personal belief in my value, non-existent. The depression so severe I slept half of every day away and yet remained exhausted. I felt as though I was walking in a never-ending fog that wouldn't quit. Squinting to see daylight. Blinking my eyes in an attempt to clear them, but with no luck. And constantly hoping for some direction, some reprieve, some end to the emotional turmoil that ate me alive.

I actually wrote a suicide letter. Fortunately, the mere act of writing it scared me back into reality. The truth is I never really wanted to die. I just wanted the pain to stop and couldn't figure out how. Yet, that terrible moment is probably what changed my life. It scared me so much that I knew I had to do something dramatically different or else I would just end up right back in that black abyss at a later date. Whether I took my own life or ran my car absent mindedly into traffic or just curled up in a corner and died of complete depression, it didn't matter. I knew it was only a matter of time if I didn't do something drastic. I made a conscious decision to live and to change. I was especially lucky. I had some money stashed away and an empty nest that gave me the freedom to get 'outside my boxx' and I moved to Cozumel, Mexico to live and work for six months. I escaped without car, phone, mail, or friend and I went so far away from my normal treadmill that change was bound to happen. It just couldn't help it. My time in Mexico was the best gift I ever gave myself. It gave me space to breathe and heal and be mindless. It gave me the time to rebuild my self-esteem and become whole again. It gave me an environment and an opportunity to test my boundaries with new people. I know in my heart that had I not reached the point of seriously considering taking my own life, that I would still be a zombie walking in a fog. I guess the old adage is correct that God only gives you as much as you can handle. It has become my mantra.

I have a new respect for people who talk about suicide now. I know their pain. I find myself bristling when I hear those who don't understand, tell me that 'suicide is the most selfish act anyone can ever do.' What that tells me is that the voice behind that phrase has never been in such a dark place that the only way out appeared to be through death. They know not of what they speak. However, what I also learned through this journey is that no matter how bad things may seem,

THERE IS ALWAYS AN ALTERNATIVE.

The greatest quote I discovered later is this:

SUICIDE IS A LONG-TERM ANSWER TO A SHORT-TERM PROBLEM
- Iris Bolton, The Phases of Grief

I only recently discovered the author of this quote and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for speaking these thoughts so perfectly. When looked at from that perspective, it is a lifeline for anyone on the edge of despair. If ever you have suicidal thoughts, grab this quote and repeat it to yourself over and over and over until you believe it in your soul.

SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT ANSWER TO A SHORT-TERM PROBLEM

Let it be your mantra too. Let it remind you that no matter what you¡¦re dealing with in your life, there are answers. You may just need to find someone who knows how to help you find the switch to turn the light back on and bring you out of the darkness.

We are out there.

Find yourself someone you can count on for times like these and hold them in a special place in your heart. There are many of us who can help. Just reach out to us we'll be glad to take your hand.

One more thing about suicide - narcissists rarely commit suicide. It is not in their makeup. I mean think about it for a minute would God commit suicide? You see the ridiculousness of it? This is not to say that they are incapable, but is a gentle reminder that it is most commonly the victim who has suicidal feelings. So, if your narcissist threatens suicide if you leave, do not let that hold you. More than likely it is just another piece of his ammunition in his ongoing battle to keep you in your place.

Angelica
I feel like I have a future and hope again. I thought I was stuck on a horrific roller coaster and couldn't get off. I thought I had no control over my life and no hope for love, relationship, and family. Now I know that I control my life. I have a second chance. I am pursuing my dreams now and moving on to healthy relationships.

Life really is wonderful!

************************************
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
Steven Wright

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