Sanctuary for the Abused

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Romantic Sociopath

romance Pictures, Images and Photos

Sociopaths make up roughly 7% percent of the USA population. These are people who seem to lack what might be called a ‘conscience’. They do not seem to have feelings of ‘guilt’ or ‘shame’ for harming others. They are ruthless in getting what they want. They are narcissistic to the point of being insensitive.

But what makes them dangerous – is that although they are emotionally bankrupt at the core – they are masters of creating the “illusion” of having so much to offer.

The Romantic Sociopath…

What makes the Romantic Sociopath so alluring?

They are the “ultimate emotional chameleons” They know how to mimic feelings. If you want someone who is charming, sensitive, assertive, dashing, sensual, intelligent” - they will mirror that back to you. They giving you the sensation you have found that “twin-soul” & your perfect other half.

How can you spot a Romantic Sociopath?

This is not easy to do. But there are some signs.

1. Romantic Sociopaths swing from one relationship to another.
Like a monkey swings from one tree limb to another. Why? Because they do not like to be alone. Remember they are emotionally bankrupt inside and therefore use others for emotional or sexual stimulus. They will stay with one a partner for as long as the emotions are new and run high but few novel. But will move on when things become “routine” or if that person’s emotional well runs dry or things become 'inconvenient' for them.

2. They attach themselves quickly. The romantic sociopath is always on the lookout for a better emotional supplier. (prey) Once they spot a target they move quickly.

They could propose marriage within hours of meeting you. Sweep you off you feet and dazzle you. Then they will tell you why that other relationship isn’t working. (she's crazy, a scorned woman, hell hath no fury, she's a liar, she's a stalker...)

Convince you they are sincere, and swing from the previous bed into yours – never seeming to take a breath.

3. They don’t bring much with them. They seem to have very few long term, genuine friends and family. Instead they quickly absorb into your life.

From the start they 'fit right in.' You share the same the same feelings and they take on the same attitudes, political ideas, hobbies, and social networks that you provide.

4. They are contemptuous and cruel to those they discard. Remember that emotional bankruptcy? Well now that they have no use for you anymore – they have found a new supplier. Then you will begin to see is the real persona. (watch the hate campaign, smear and covert attacks on the old partner(s) and that person's credibility.
Anyone who speaks badly about their ex should be WATCHED! - YOU could be next!)

This might look like a monster. Like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yyou might wonder "who is this person? Where did the romantic, sensitive, dashing lover go?"

The sad news is they were never there.

What you encountered was the equivalent of an relationship Hit and Run.



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Friday, July 20, 2018

The Many Faces of a Narcissist

Narcissists project different images on different mirrors.

This is partly because any particular acting job may draw a favorable response from one mirror and an unfavorable response from another. For example, liberal-bashing produces a gratifying reflection in a right-wing mirror, while conservative-bashing produces a gratifying reflection in a left-wing mirror. A goody-two-shoes act looks holy in the eyes of religious hypocrites and the pharisaic, while it looks disgusting in the eyes of true believers and atheists.

Another reason why the narcissist projects different images on different mirrors is because he doesn't dare project the most gratifying image of all — the one his ego gets the biggest boost from — on most mirrors. Moreover, like any set of tools, the different people in his world are useful for different purposes.

So, for example, he exploits a powerful, wealthy, sophisticated, or famous person as a source of Narcissistic Supply in a much different way than he exploits the poor or down-and-out. This is only partly because he doesn't dare treat the former as he treats the latter. It's also partly because the flavor of Narcissistic Supply he can extract from the former is the rare and precious "nectar of the gods." So, he drops their names; he brown-noses and sucks-up to them; he shamelessly, even obsequiously, flatters them and courts their favor; no matter what they do, he finds no fault with them, considering them infallible and above reproach. All to aggrandize himself by association with them.

And so, a narcissist doesn't have two faces, he has multiple faces. Faces he can change as suddenly as a mask. Faces so different they seem like multiple personalities. Each is but his way of exploiting a particular source of Narcissistic Supply.

So, for example, he projects a different image of himself in a church than in a bar. Again for example, the reflection he wants from his co-workers is radically different than the reflection he wants from his spouse and children.

by Kathy Krajco


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Psychopaths Can Be Spotted by their Speech Patterns

Psychopaths are known to be wily and manipulative, but even so, they unconsciously betray themselves, according to scientists who have looked for patterns in convicted murderers' speech as they described their crimes.

The researchers interviewed 52 convicted murderers, 14 of them ranked as psychopaths according to the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, a 20-item assessment, and asked them to describe their crimes in detail. Using computer programs to analyze what the men said, the researchers found that those with psychopathic scores showed a lack of emotion, spoke in terms of cause-and-effect when describing their crimes, and focused their attention on basic needs, such as food, drink and money.

While we all have conscious control over some words we use, particularly nouns and verbs, this is not the case for the majority of the words we use, including little, functional words like "to" and "the" or the tense we use for our verbs, according to Jeffrey Hancock, the lead researcher and an associate professor in communications at Cornell University, who discussed the work on Oct. 17 in Midtown Manhattan at Cornell's ILR Conference Center.

"The beautiful thing about them is they are unconsciously produced," Hancock said.

These unconscious actions can reveal the psychological dynamics in a speaker's mind even though he or she is unaware of it, Hancock said.


What it means to be a psychopath
Psychopaths make up about 1 percent of the general population and as much as 25 percent of male offenders in federal correctional settings, according to the researchers. Psychopaths are typically profoundly selfish and lack emotion. "In lay terms, psychopaths seem to have little or no 'conscience,'" write the researchers in a study published online in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.

Psychopaths are also known for being cunning and manipulative, and they make for perilous interview subjects, according to Michael Woodworth, one of the authors and a psychologist who studies psychopathy at the University of British Columbia, who joined the discussion by phone.

"It is unbelievable," Woodworth said. "You can spend two or three hours and come out feeling like you are hypnotized."

While there are reasons to suspect that psychopaths' speech patterns might have distinctive characteristics, there has been little study of it, the team writes.

How words give them away

To examine the emotional content of the murderers' speech, Hancock and his colleagues looked at a number of factors, including how frequently they described their crimes using the past tense. The use of the past tense can be an indicator of psychological detachment, and the researchers found that the psychopaths used it more than the present tense when compared with the nonpsychopaths. They also found more dysfluencies — the "uhs" and "ums" that interrupt speech — among psychopaths. Nearly universal in speech, dysfluencies indicate that the speaker needs some time to think about what they are saying.

With regard to psychopaths, "We think the 'uhs' and 'ums' are about putting the mask of sanity on," Hancock told LiveScience.

Psychopaths appear to view the world and others instrumentally, as theirs for the taking, the team, which also included Stephen Porter from the University of British Columbia, wrote.

As they expected, the psychopaths' language contained more words known as subordinating conjunctions. These words, including "because" and "so that," are associated with cause-and-effect statements.

"This pattern suggested that psychopaths were more likely to view the crime as the logical outcome of a plan (something that 'had' to be done to achieve a goal)," the authors write.

And finally, while most of us respond to higher-level needs, such as family, religion or spirituality, and self-esteem, psychopaths remain occupied with those needs associated with a more basic existence.

Their analysis revealed that psychopaths used about twice as many words related to basic physiological needs and self-preservation, including eating, drinking and monetary resources than the nonpsychopaths, they write.

By comparison, the nonpsychopathic murderers talked more about spirituality and religion and family, reflecting what nonpsychopathic people would think about when they just committed a murder, Hancock said.

The researchers are interested in analyzing what people write on Facebook or in other social media, since our unconscious mind also holds sway over what we write. By analyzing stories written by students from Cornell and the University of British Columbia, and looking at how the text people generate using social media relates to scores on the Self-Report Psychopathy scale. Unlike the checklist, which is based on an extensive review of the case file and an interview, the self report is completed by the person in question.

This sort of tool could be very useful for law enforcement investigations, such as in the case of the Long Island serial killer, who is being sought for the murders of at least four prostitutes and possibly others, since this killer used the online classified site Craigslist to contact victims, according to Hancock.

Text analysis software could be used to conduct a "first pass," focusing the work for human investigators, he said. "A lot of time analysts tell you they feel they are drinking from a fire hose."

Knowing a suspect is a psychopath can affect how law enforcement conducts investigations and interrogations, Hancock said.

You can follow LiveScience writer Wynne Parry on Twitter @Wynne_Parry


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Verbal Abuse

Calling her dumb, an idiot, stupid is verbal abuse. Putting her down, criticizing her, defeating her in argument for the sake of defeating, not for the sake of mutual enlightenment – this is verbal abuse. Threatening and intimidating by use of words is verbal abuse. If he is angry almost daily, this is verbal abuse. If he is constantly trying to convince her that something is wrong with her, this is verbal abuse. If he further tries to convince her that something is psychologically amiss with her and that she needs therapy, this is moving to extreme verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse may be indirect or covert, and it may be direct – shouting slanderous slogans – the same ones she has heard over and over. Verbal abuse is wanting power over the woman, and completely misusing the power. Verbal abuse constantly undermines the woman, it constantly denies her reality, her very existence.

In many cases, she is not supposed to exist. She is to be an extension of her husband/partner and nothing more. She is to parrot his words, his ideas, and to predict his needs and desires at every step. This is her function. And despite whether she succeeds or not, abuse will rain on her head. There is no escaping it, and there is no escaping its escalation over time.

There are clear symptoms of verbal abuse. Generally, verbal abuse will be secretive. Only those inside the home will know about it. Second, it increases with the passing of time, and the wife adapts to this increase. Third, the abuser repeatedly denies and discounts the wife’s perception of his treatment of her.

Verbal abuse always hurts. It attacks the abilities of the wife and erodes her self-confidence. Verbal abuse fills her with doubts regarding herself. Verbal abuse may comprise of angry shouting or it may be subtle brainwashing, or both. Abusers with developed intellect will use every form of manipulative cunning to brainwash their wives, to convince them their value is nil. Verbal abuse is insidious because many times it is indirect, roundabout and filled with devious cunning which the spouse cannot even begin to comprehend but which leaves her feeling horrible.

While the husband may create many so-called issues of dispute in the marriage, in fact the real issue in the marriage, the real problem, is his never-ending and escalating abuse. It is very hard for the victim to recognize this simple fact. Anger is another category of verbal abuse. If a man uses anger, there is nothing the wife can do or say to mitigate the anger, because it is nothing she has done. His anger is irrational, unpredictable and explosive. It is his trait of character, it is a part of his personality makeup. Generally, it cannot be changed.

In her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, P. Evans lists the types of verbal abuse:

1. withholding: rejecting the wife.

2. countering: saying the opposite, arguing without real cause.

3. discounting: discrediting what she says. (‘You’re too sensitive.’ ‘You can’t take a joke.’ ‘You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.’)

4. joking: using jokes to abuse. In the joke, she is the victim, she is the object of ridicule.

5. blocking: not allowing the wife to communicate. (‘You know what I meant. You’re talking out of turn.’ ‘Quit your bitching.’ ‘It’s too complicated for you to understand.’ ‘Just drop it!’. ‘You heard me. I shouldn’t have to repeat myself.’)

6. converting dialogue into fights: When the wife tries to accommodate him, he blows up in anger. He frequently takes her words as a personal attack.

7. Judging: constantly condemning over issues big and small.

8. Trivializing: making fun of what she says and what she does, her accomplishments.

9. Undermining: continually eroding the wife’s enthusiasm about subjects and interests not related to the husband, thereby sabotaging her social life.

10. Threatening: threats of loss or punishment

11. Name calling: from violent attacks to patronizing contemptuous nick names to sarcastic affection, name calling is used to keep the wife in her place

12. Forgetting: declaring that abusive events or where the husband was exposed never happened.

13. Ordering: treating the wife as a servant. This dehumanizes the wife to a machine with no needs. Some men continuously talk in the imperative even when there is no conflict.

14. Denial: refusing to accept responsibility for abuse by accusing the wife of lying or being crazy.

15. Angry abuse: in the forms of yelling, snapping back, raging, shouting, glaring, grimacing (clenched teeth), argumentativeness, tantrums, explosions, long episodes of continuous vicious sarcasms. This develops into an addiction so that the husband will need a daily fix of raging in order to overcome his feelings of dependency, inadequacy and powerlessness by shouting out his anger.

Still another form of verbal abuse is interrogation. The interrogation begins with throwing the wife into a guilty confusion by a cold inquisitional air. The husband plays both the roles of the good cop and the bad cop, changing from sorrowful, reproving affection to cold scientist examining a lab rat to a vicious abuser that the wife cannot even recognize. Interrogation is an addictive power game that gives thrills of power to the power-hungry husband who yearns for greater power in society. The reason it is so thrilling is that the husband can take a petty incident such as shopping and convert it into a criminal act. The husband’s own anxiety and possessive insecurity merely adds to the emotional high of tormenting the wife. Interrogation not only involves making the wife feel she is sinful (materialistic) and selfish (not serving the needs of the husband), but also establishes the husband as the omniscient lord who will judge the wife in future whenever she may ‘fall’ from the path of virtue.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Overcoming Triangulation in Love Relationships

Reginald B. Humphreys, Ph.D. , Kathleen P. Eagan, M.S.

from the book: Detoxifying Love Relationships: Solutions for Couples

Although the term triangulation may at first seem to be highly complex, it has a simple meaning. Triangulation refers to the tendency of certain individuals to become involved in love triangles. The person struggling with triangulation goes through a repetitive cycle of love relationships, in which two or more men are simultaneously involved with the same woman, or in which one man is simultaneously involved with two or more women.

The problem of triangulation in love relationships remains one of the most serious issues confronting modern society. Infidelity in love relationships, often caused by triangulation, destroys the marriages and lives of many individuals, couples, and families each year.

Theological and religious sources would maintain that the answer to this problem is already at hand, and that a strict observation of principles of loyalty and fidelity can eliminate the phenomena and effects of triangulation. However, much of today’s society is beyond the reach of religion, and so society’s growing epidemic of triangulation and infidelity is likely to continue to rage out of control unless solutions are found which transcend the limits of individual religions. Also, clinical experience reveals that even enthusiastic participants in religious activities are often crippled with the same triangulation tendencies of the non-religious.

Overcoming triangulation does require that the individual be grounded in some system of morality or other. However, the main issues in triangulation are inadequately understood by most, and therefore these crucial issues are not usually addressed in any adequate fashion. The two most important issues which should be addressed in order to fully understand and correct triangulation, are:

(1) the tendency of the individual to unconsciously reconstruct and reenact unhealthy love triangles which were present in the individual’s early childhood experiences with parents, and;

(2) repetitive attempts by the individual to symbolically "correct", "resolve", or "master" these historical issues and their ill effects, within current-day love triangles.
Only the well-analyzed person is usually aware of these two critical aspects of triangulation. On initial introduction of these ideas to patients in psychotherapy, it is common for both these notions to be rejected immediately as incorrect or inapplicable. However, the therapist will have to return to these ideas time after time, until the patient finally accepts and works on these two issues as the issues which are in control of the triangulation problem.

Many persons caught up in lifestyles riddled with triangulation claim that they would like to overcome this problem. However, the true motivation for this kind of self-correction rests entirely on the individual’s ability to deal with the two core issues. The more the person expresses opposition or indifference to these key insights, the worse that person’s prognosis for improvement becomes.
The person may protest that no love triangles or infidelity were present in the parents’ marriage. And while this may be factually true, this is where the person must learn to broaden their understanding of the nature of love triangles. The patient must eventually learn that he or she was the third party in the triangle, and that as a child, the individual became trapped in an envelope of triangulation dynamics which has left a life-long and deeply life-altering residual.

Patients often react with great intensity to the first discussion of these issues. The topic becomes controversial, and the patient may express disgust over the idea that it is possible that the child and parents are engaged in love-triangle dynamics. This disgust represent the deep unacceptability to the person of childhood triangulation feelings, and explains why the individual has felt forced to repress and hide these issues throughout life, although symbolically reenacting these in each new attempt at a love relationship.

As therapeutic work progresses, the individual may be even more resistant to the idea that within the early-childhood love triangle involving parents, that one of the parents may be loved obsessively, jealously, and possessively, while other parents may be loathed and hated with intensity that may reach homicidal proportions.

Rather than being in a context where the patient could have loved both parents in an appropriate way, the child is prematurely caught up in adult heterosexual dynamics, in which defenses of splitting may play a primary role. One parent is idealized as perfect, and becomes the repository for the child’s fantasies of perfection and omnipotence, while the other parent becomes the repository of everything that is hated, rejected, and scorned.

Being unable to accomplish the normal developmental task of establishing an integrated perception of parents which includes a realistic sense of both desirable and undesirable parental qualities, the patient also loses the ability to have an integrated perception of self. "Splitting of the self" occurs, and this non-integration of self-identity continues throughout the patient’s life unless this split is corrected in treatment.

Without such correction, the individual is condemned to compulsively repeat and reenact the unhealthy triangulation dynamics in the family of origin. These sexually-toned dynamics, impossible for the child to integrate, are re-enacted with each new person and relationship in life.

It is not difficult to understand why exposing the child to adult triangulation dynamics would have a life-long destructive impact. The child has literally had their childhood stripped away or stolen by the parents’ illness. The traumatic loss of childhood usually has lasting or permanent effects. The premature forcing of the child to cope with disturbing adult dynamics floods the child with unmanageable feelings and reactions, which leave an indelible effect. The child now is eroticized by the triangulation situation or thoughts of triangulation. Over time, only the triangular situation can "turn the person on". Without the psychological presence of a third party, feelings of love and eroticism are unattainable. Eventually, the only way to achieve a feeling of love and excitement requires that there be one person who is idealized, and another who can be rejected and symbolically "murdered" by rejection or elimination.

In the childhood situation either parent may be idealized, regardless of the sex of the child. Similarly, either parent may be hated with unconscious homicidal intensity.

Although few adults remember childhood erotic or retaliatory feelings, a few do have memories. The majority who do not remember the oedipal period of development (which is normal) must do their therapeutic work by reconstruction of events rather than direct recall. Adults may also deny any idealizing of current partners or any destructive motivation towards other partners. These feelings are usually so deeply buried that much work may be required for the person to see that each time they enact a love triangle, they are symbolically winning the idealized parent, and murdering or eliminating the hated one.

Persons with triangulation pathology (oedipal pathology) cut a destructive swath through humanity, retaliating against and symbolically "murdering" one "love partner" after another.

Especially characteristic of the "murderer" in these instances is a cold-heartedness and lack of remorse or sense of responsibility for the "victim" in the triangle. The person, having invested through splitting defenses all their rage toward one parent, can easily enjoy the disposal of the hated parent by disposal of the parental stand-in in the contemporary love triangle. If asked to reverse their infidelity, they may feel an utter coldness and unwillingness to alter their life course. They "must" murder the parent surrogate in order to fully "get off". Empathy or concern for their victim is impossible, and highly irrelevant. To do "what is profitable for oneself" becomes the only remaining remnant of a moral standard. The parent-surrogate is dehumanized and negated, as the child feels is justly deserved by the parent (surrogate) for having put the child through a traumatic loss of their own childhood, and the resulting lifelong ill effects.

Persons with triangulation pathology are often incapable of normal feelings of empathy or responsibility toward their "victims". Therefore, these persons can be easily thought of as being psychopathic, due to their unwillingness to adopt a responsible correction to their acting out, even when confronted. During the symbolic act of murdering the hated parent, their lack of remorse is obvious.

Confronting these behaviors in psychotherapy, the therapist becomes the only possible mechanism for correcting the defects of conscience that can allow the person to harm others in a wanton and indifferent fashion. The technique required in the psychotherapy of such individuals is highly specific. Two case vignettes are provided.

Patient N:

Patient N presented with a history of serial love relationships of varying degrees of duration. These were characterized by a rapid development of physical intimacy, immediate spending of all leisure time with the partner, a fusional quality of interaction, and then abrupt ending provoked by minor causes.

During the unfolding of one of these liaisons, therapist asked patient whether he had any perception regarding the eventual outcome of the current relationship. Patient revealed that he knew that he would eventually terminate the liaison. Over time, it was revealed that patient always had a perception that the relationship would end, but desired to experience whatever could be experienced as long as things could work out.

On questioning as to whether the respective feminine partners had a similar lack of concern over the future, i.e. an equivalent degree of comfort with a "no-strings, no-future" kind of expectation, the patient revealed that the current love object was not comfortable with this at all, and regularly requested a change in the status of the relationship to one with a serious future.

With analysis of new relationships and retrospective review of former ones, it became clear that Patient N was a "heartbreaker" in that each person he romanced experienced the termination of the relationship by him as traumatic and damaging. Patient N had left a string of depressed, brokenhearted women as victims of his psychopathic disregard of their lives and feelings.
Was N psychopathic, or merely neurotic? The answer to this crucial diagnostic question is often revealed by the patient’s response to the therapist’s verbal interventions.

Over time, the therapist asked N to recognize and acknowledge his destructive romantic patterns, and to come to terms with what it would mean about his character if he were to be willing to continue to inflict psychic pain and damage upon each new lover.
Although N may have always had a subliminal awareness of the implications of his relationship conduct, once it had been named and discussed in psychotherapy, the entire context could begin to shift. With his pattern now "on the table", patient could be asked to reverse his pattern and to adopt responsible conduct during new liaisons. N failed to do this, while acknowledging "I know that I should".
Triangulated patients can be expected to reject the therapist’s encouragement for them to give up exploitive relationships. These individuals are at the very brink of their developmental deficit, and need help to "bridge the gap" up to the next level of maturational sophistication.. At this juncture, the interventions of the therapist are critical. If the patient’s conscience development is ever to be solidified, there is no alternative except to succeed with the patient at this point. The therapist can no longer be a passive witness to the spectacle of abuse, but must now begin to operate according to the maxim that if the therapist cannot be part of the solution, they have become a part of the problem.

During the unfolding of one of N’s liaisons, at a highly opportune moment, the therapist asked N if he was planning on continuing with the relationship pattern as usual, and if so, inquired whether N would mind terminating therapy first, so that therapist could be saved from again witnessing the savage destruction of an innocent human being. Along with this, therapist acknowledged the fact that since N had continued his harmful conduct without interruption, that the therapy should now be considered to be failing anyway, further strengthening the appropriateness of terminating therapy at the current juncture.

Patient N’s subsequent choice to alter his relationship conduct was motivated by his desire to retain the therapeutic relationship, and to regain acceptance by the therapist. This factor works exactly in psychotherapy as it works in raising children. Children develop a conscience in order to retain parental acceptance, and if parents are flawed or passive in their teaching of conscience, or have deficient conscience themselves, then significant deficiencies in the child’s conscience development usually occur. To reverse the ill effects of this deficient parenting, the therapist assumes a parenting role in requiring the patient to either progress morally or exit treatment.
Beginning with Freud’s earliest observations regarding childhood oedipal issues, successful resolution of oedipal issues has been regarded as the fundamental cornerstone of conscience development. Without renunciation of the forbidden oedipal love object (parent), conscience formation is incomplete, and moral deficiency is inevitable and pervasive.

To correct the deficient adult conscience, the adult patient is always asked to renounce the inappropriate love object. If they choose to do so, even if with complaints, then they may be assumed to have occupied the neurotic spectrum of psychopathology. The more the patient resists the renunciation of the inappropriate love-object, the more the diagnosis should be psychopathic personality.

To expand on this important idea, it should be recognized that the neurotic triangulator can be persuaded to renounce inappropriate conduct, and feel remorse when the usually-repressed implications of their conduct are illuminated. No similar remorse or motivation for self-correction can be evoked in the psychopathic triangulator, who remains apathetic about the injury done to others, and never renounces the illicit love-object.
It is always tragic if the patient refuses to renounce the illicit partner in the current triangulation. Before the therapist brings this issue to the forefront, there always remains the possibility that the individual might choose a moral alternative. However, once the patient identifies with the psychopathic choice, then their personality becomes crystallized in alignment with a psychopathic orientation. At this point, the prognosis for the future begins to approach zero. However, occasionally the patient may leave therapy and return months or years later, as the "lessons" from the work on triangulation become gradually integrated. The patient returns to now deal in earnest with the issues previously analyzed.

Persons suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) also exhibit triangulation in their close relationships. These individuals are easily differentiated from oedipal neurotics by the pervasive presence of many other regressed symptoms, including profound depression, rage, poor impulse control, among others. In contrast, the neurotic is characterized by the central role which oedipal concerns take in the individual’s daily existence, along with a relative absence of other major symptoms.

Triangulated relationships and dynamics are sometimes suggestive of schizophrenia. A tipoff to the presence of an underlying schizophrenic process may be found in the degree of chaoticism of the triangulation patterns. For example, if a situation is already complicated by the presence of several love triangles, the most chaotic thing that could happen might be for the schizophrenic individual to add yet another triangulation to the situation by recruiting a new liaison. The more unpredictable, bizarre, or unfathomable a triangulation acting-out behavior seems, the more a schizophrenic process might be indicated. A diagnostic hypothesis of schizophrenia would of course require corroboration on other traditional diagnostic grounds.

In summary, triangulation phenomena are seen in small amounts in most relationships. Seriously harmful triangulation phenomena may occur in neurotic individuals, in psychopathic and borderline personalities, and in schizophrenia. Individuals at the treatable end of the spectrum, the neurotic end, are distinguished by the individual’s willingness to recognize and reverse the triangular acting-out, through renunciation of the illicit love-object (the triangulated relationship partner). The psychopathic patient refuses to revise their conduct, and becomes solidified in a non-empathic stance of willful abuse to the "victim" in the love triangle. The intractable patient refuses to stop reenacting the symbolic pattern of possession of the idealized parent, and "murder" or elimination of the opposing parent.

Patient Y:

Patient Y was a woman involved in a relationship which was fairly long-term, but unsatisfying. Patient Y had recently met another man who was desired, and the possibility of a liaison seemed of interest to both. Patient Y discussed her plans to see the new interest socially, citing her enhanced interest and feeling as compared to her current relationship.

Therapist advised the patient that since her feelings of new interest occurred before she had announced or decided upon leaving her current involvement, that her feelings of attraction could not be trusted as valid. Any feelings for a new person would tend to be idealizing as compared with her feelings for the individual in the more lasting relationship, which would tend to be more reality-based and less contaminated with idealizing fantasy. Only new, shallow relationships allow for deep idealization fantasies, and often promote splitting of toxic projections into the partner who has greater longevity of relationship with the individual.
Patient Y asked if the new love interest might not "work out" in spite of its inappropriate beginnings. The patient was advised that personal relationships which are built on the abuse and misfortune of others cannot later result in a valid relationship. The moral stain attached to the relationship from its inception is permanent, providing a built-in nullification of the validity of the relationship in all futures to come.

Patient was further advised that if the therapist were to witness the patient abusing her relationship partner in this fashion, that the therapist would be obliged to resign as therapist, as the commission of such actions by the patient would have profound implications that would tend to disqualify her as a valid candidate for future success in psychotherapeutic activities with that therapist.

Striking about the case of Y is that as soon as the barrier of resistance to renouncing the illicit love-object had been transcended, the patient was flooded with many critical perceptions of the new love interest, including an acute perception of severe flaws in the new person which had been obscured or repressed under the influence of intense idealization and idealizing defenses.

Patient Y’s gratitude to the therapist for "rescuing" her from the use of idealizing defenses with men she barely knew was profound. Her subsequent ability to succeed in her already-existing love relationship was attributed by her to her acquired ability to ignore and contain triangulation impulses, rather than being tempted to act on them.

In the cases of both patients N and Y, appreciation was eventually shown to the therapist for insisting that each patient achieve moral advancement when the patient was otherwise uninclined to advance. Each patient showed moral advance in other areas as well, as the generalized benefits of conquering triangulation dynamics began to accrue. Both preferred their developmental advances over their former acting out, and both went on to achieve fidelity and success in their respective love relationships.
In couples where neither party is in psychotherapy, the process is similar. The triangulating partner is usually confronted with their disloyalty by the other partner, and asked to renounce the illicit (triangulated) third party. However, the spouse, lover, or suitor of an individual rarely has the leverage and influence which are available to the therapist, and therefore rarely get a positive response to their request. Without the needed influence from a psychotherapist, the neurotic’s underlying potential to mature and transcend triangulation may never be fully realized.

Rationale for Interventions:

What is the nature of therapeutic change in these clinical examples? Why are these specific interventions indicated, and how may their effects be understood?
The original reason the individual acquired developmental arrest within the oedipal phase is that the child’s parents did not shield or protect the child from exposure to adult triangulation dynamics. Instead of being allowed to devote their inherent maturational capacities to the task of resolving their personal oedipal issues, the child’s life sphere is contaminated or saturated with the unfinished oedipal issues of each parent. The child automatically takes on the unfinished oedipal issues of each parent, as well as a new contamination that has to do with the way the particular childhood experiences originally unfolded. For example, if a child was used by one parent as a shield and buffer against the other parent, then the child’s oedipal disturbance will reflect this problem as well as each of the parent’s unresolved oedipal issues.

The adult with triangulation pathology cannot seem to take a stand based on conscience, fairness, and morality. The reason is clear: the child’s parents were unable to take a protective, empathic stance toward the child, by protecting the child from adult triangulation dynamics. The child therefore cannot take a protective stance toward anyone else whom they may harm within a love triangle. Empathy for the "victim" is impossible, as modeling of moral conduct by parents was inadequate.
Before the individual can take a empathic, moral stance which may be personally costly, this behavior must be modeled within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist must take a moral stand risking great cost (loss of the patient’s therapy) for the sake of the patient’s evolution. Also, the therapist must model a distaste and unwillingness to be a silent participant or accomplice in the degradation, harm, and destruction of any human being. In this special clinical circumstance, the therapist must momentarily shift into modeling empathy for the victim (of the love triangle) instead of empathy for the patient. In so doing, the therapist is not truly losing empathy with the patient, but has refocused the empathic connection on attempting to resonate with the patient’s latent capacity to function empathically and with conscience. Not until the patient is convinced regarding the necessity of maintaining empathy for all individuals at all times can the solidification of the individual’s conscience development be regarded as complete.

Parents use this same approach when they have empathy for a pet which a child has carelessly harmed, or for any sibling or other child whom their child may have hurt. Parents, like therapists treating adults with triangulation pathology, must ally themselves with the individual’s latent potential to function empathically if they hope to promote evolution of the empathic capacity of the individual. Without continuous functioning of the empathic faculty, conscience development remains arrested at the oedipal level.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How Psychopaths View Their World

Most psychopaths are very arrogant and cocky. However, when charming a potential victim, they say all the "right" things and make you believe they are kind-hearted souls; not always, but often enough. 

The truth is, psychopaths are not altruistic and do not really care about friendships or ties. Guggenbuhl-Craig states that they are very talented at appearing much more humble than the average person, but are hardly so. Some are also able to feign concern about the lower classes and profess that they are on the side of the underdog, the poor, and so forth. A psychopath may claim, for instance (if he's from a low socio-economic class), that he dislikes rich people intensely, but at the same time, he will inwardly yearn and envy what they have. He is like the narcissist, desiring to reflect a false image of himself through his possessions. Among his possessions are included human beings: girlfriends, wives, and children. Some psychopaths can even very fond of animals (contrary to the common viewpoint), but still view them as objects in relation to themselves.

The psychopath is filled with greed inside, relating to the world through power, even though, as I said, on the outside he can claim to be on the side of the disenfranchised or the downtrodden. I knew one who liked to repeat phrases such as "they have to stop keeping my brothers down" but he didn't mean a word of it. He was actually a racist. The psychopath can also often identify himself as a revolutionary.

On the flip side, the psychopath also often paints a picture of himself as the downcast anti-hero (his "own worst enemy type") and some like to see themselves as lone-wolves. The psychopath may even claim he is sensitive and profound, but inside he is nothing but emptiness and greed. Whether or not the psychopath is aware of his behaviour is something that is often debated. I do believe that psychopaths usually know exactly what they are doing, although others suggest that psychopaths are "born, not made." [1]

I believe that psychopathy is primarily genetic. A son with a psychopathic father often will be psychopathic as well, especially if the father was abusive and/or abandoned the family as well.

As mentioned, psychopaths often claim to settle for second best (being their own worst enemy) and then think they deserve better. This may be manifested in the way they seek power -- either through money (i.e. material goods), manipulation and/or treating people as objects. By enacting such behaviours, the psychopath is also trying to "get back" at society and the world, in order to gain retribution. They will spend their entire lives doing this, whether they are rich or poor, or whatever their social background may be, although studies have shown that they often come from an impoverished or lower socio- economic background and/or social status. (In one of Dr. Donald Black's studies, many of the men were "overwhelmingly white, blue collar, lower middle class, and married, and most had not graduated from high school." [Black, 14]). (Let me add, despite Dr. Blacks' studies, psychopaths can still exist in any social class. Do not be misled). I also wanted to point out that I will be using "he" and "him" for the term psychopath throughout this website; let it not be forgotten, yes, female psychopaths exist as well; however, according to the Sixth Edition of Abnormal Behavior, printed in 2000 by three male professors, David, Derald, and Stanley Sue, the rates do differ by gender. Included in their excellent text is a report by the The American Psychiatric Association that the general estimate is 3% for men, and less than 1% in women [Personality Disorders and Impulse Control Disorders, 238].

What is very disturbing about psychopaths, besides their sense of special entitlement, is the complete lack of empathy for normal people, for "antisocials (psychopaths) seem to lack a conscience, feeling little or no empathy for the people whose lives they touch...the antisocial effortlessly resists all regulation, unable to see beyond his self-interest or to adopt standards of right versus wrong." [Black, XIII].

Not all psychopath are uneducated low-class misfits. Some of them are quite handsome and have good careers, and use this all the more to their benefit. Take a look at Ted Bundy; my friend's mother once went on a double-date with him and claimed he was the nicest person. His mother said he was the "best son any mother could have." Bundy was also apparently quite good-looking, which made him even more dangerous. So not all psychopaths are derelict, low-class, high school drop-outs, there are many who also work in professional occupations; the fact remains that there are just more psychopaths who come from impoverished backgrounds than not.

Also, not all psychopaths are calm, cool, and collected. Some of them appear strange or odd, and their behaviour can be eccentric or unusual. I believe this is what can confuse victims most often. Psychopaths often appear [see pictures here]: intense and "electrifying". Do not be misled if someone appears harmless, "foolish", or seems offbeat. An "angelic" visage can also often fool people. Just picture John Wayne Gacy in his "clown costume" as he entertained children as one example. Another example which someone on the "Victims of Psychopathy" board came up with was Bill Clinton and his "goofy" yet loveable demeanour (so is Clinton really a psychopath? Many believe he is).

A psychopath (he was diagnosed anti-social) I knew used the harmless cover-up quite well. Everyone thought he was very funny. I did too, at first. Then, little by little, I realised there was something "not right" about him. At first his seemingly harmless pranks were charming, but after a while, he became more of a nuisance and disrupted our work environment, which created havoc and tension between employees. I've learned, a psychopath can use these disguises for his own hidden purpose.Regardless of race, social class, or occupation, however, the psychopath is dangerous to society, for "the nature of ASP (psychopathy) implies that it wreaks more havoc on society than most other mental illnesses do, since the disorder primarily involves reactions against the social environment that drag other people into its destructive web...The despair and anxiety wrought by antisocials (psychopaths) tragically affects families and communities, leaving deep physical and emotional scars..." [Black, 5].

There is much to the psychopathic personality which is baffling and disturbing. 1 in about 25-30 people are psychopathic (also known as sociopaths or anti-social -- the correct title being psychopath.) Since the majority or them are men, I wrote this site in part, to warn women about the dangers, especially women online, which I believe is a favourite "new medium" which appeals to psychopaths. I have personal experience with this subject as well. This is because "antisocials (psychopaths) are not just characters in our fictional or true-life entertainments. They are family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or strangers we may encounter every day." [Black, 10].

Pamela Jayne, M.A., writes that "30% of men are sociopathic." If about every three out of ten men I may meet are psychopathic, I would assume this is not something to take lightly. According to these statistics, that would mean every three out of ten men and maybe every one out of ten females. The truth is, we do not really know exactly how many individuals are psychopathic; however, there seems to be a rise in the prevalence of psychopathy and that is why some claim that numbers are higher. Dr. Black claims that psychopathy leads right behind depression, along with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, which is an astounding fact.


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Monday, July 16, 2018

The Power of the Original Trauma Bond

** Warning: This post may be very triggering to the adult survivors of psychopathic/narcissistic abuse. Please use caution in reading**

While many survivors discover that their partners are psychopathic/narcissistic, many who come from childhood backgrounds of pathology, fail to realize that their parent is the foundation of the original trauma bond. They can leave partners, but continue to engage with the parent. This leaves the stench of pathology in their lives, and makes them vulnerable in continuing the bond into the future with another partner or other people who are pathological. 

Psychopathic parents are as toxic, if not more so, than the psychopathic partner.

Trauma bonds to the source of origin (parent) are incredibly powerful and equally as challenging to break. I have broken the bonds with my psychopathic father and biological siblings, and without realizing any of this stuff about trauma bonds, I went no contact with them about five years ago now. Without the break in this bond, I undoubtedly would not have been able to heal completely. This bond was broken just a couple of years prior to my break with the last psychopath in my life. 

The psychopathic parent is a ‘special’ kind of ‘crazy’. It’s amazing to me our perspectives when we see other survivors just out of relationships with psychopaths and how horrified we are at the antics of the psychopath when it comes to he and the survivor’s  children, particularly if there are custody issues. We are horrified at his contempt and lack of empathy when it comes to his children and his ability to manipulate and/or abuse them. We are appalled at the terrorist-like attempts of the psychopath to undermine his children’s relationship with the survivor through triangulation, by hateful discussion, smear campaigns, triangulations and projections about their mother or using a new victim to separate mother and child. The list is long in how he can implement his tactics. While the survivor who sees these games played out with another survivor’s ex psychopath and children, even with her own, she fails to see this has also played out in her childhood and continues to play out with her parent as an adult. She fails to be as horrified at the antics of her parent upon her, as she is in witnessing it in others situations.

Her lack of appropriate reaction of horror at the actions of her parent, is an indication of how strong the trauma bond is. It has reached a level of extremes in normalizing the highly pathological and abnormal.  The lack of  reaction that would mean salvation via no contact is not even a consideration for many of these survivors. In  my work with survivors of the psychopathic/narcissistic parent, the idea of no contact when presented to them is often met with a vicious or contemptuous response, filled with excuse, fear, obligation, guilt and denial.

The survivor with the psychopathic parent will inevitably, in most cases continue with the bond. The bond is so powerful and so intense due to a lifetime of cyclical abuse. Some of the very same abuses upon the survivor of a psychopathic parent, that are visited upon the survivor as long as there is contact, are the very same visited upon her in a romantic relationship or what she finds appalling in others. The psychopathic parent is manipulative, guilt inducing, degrading, demanding. They triangulate the survivor with siblings and other family members, creating competitions for the parent’s attention and love. Each survivor from these families plays a  specific role, which I’ll be discussing in another post, but some of the most familiar roles are scapegoat, golden child and lost child. The scapegoat is the child who is often most sensitive to the parent and equally the most abused. The sins of the psychopathic parent are liberally employed upon the scapegoat and the roles of other siblings are encouraged (especially the golden child) to abuse the scapegoat as well. The scapegoat is usually the most sensitive of the family members and the most intuitive to the abuse. The psychopathic parent knows this and fears this child most because this child is the child who understands exactly what is going on and is most likely to ‘report’ it to others. Ironically, the scapegoat can be healthiest of the family and the psychopathic parent is aware of this. This child will be tested most in weighing the possibilities as to how they can be used by the parent. If the scapegoat does not go along with the ‘plan’ set up by the psychopathic parent, this child’s abuse will be the most extreme. 

Even when the scapegoat goes along with the plan, the psychopathic parent still fears this child as the child cannot ‘pretend’  to the psychopathic parents liking, that she doesn’t know what’s going on. She always sees behind the mask and her pretentiousness is caught by the parent. Unfortunately, if the scapegoat manages to survive her childhood, her abuse will be manifested with disorders of her own, from personality disorders to complex PTSD. For the survivor who is gifted with awareness into adulthood in that she does not develop a serious disorder of her own, she will wrestle with her own empathy in her feelings of compassion for the parent and is the child most likely to take on care giving responsibilities, as well as continuing to take the abuse. Her exposure to such intense pathology also makes her vulnerable to more painful relationships with psychopaths into the future, from romantic relationships to friendships, the cycles continue, the desire to ‘repair’ the damage in a repetition complex, compulsive in nature. 

Survivors who manage to escape psychopathic partners, initially believe that they have escaped pathology altogether, separating the parent from the inevitable acting out behavior and relationship choices she has made. There is no connection for her in tying her partner selection to the original trauma bond with the parent. In a very odd way, this makes the separation from the psychopath EASIER comparatively because she still has access to the familiar, to pathology.

If she cannot act out with a partner, the parent will continue to provide ample opportunity to continue the trauma bond and addiction to pathology through continued abuse.

There are survivors who have gone no contact with their parent, such as myself but continued pathology with a romantic partner. Again, the intensity and addiction to pathology is played out with her inability to separate from the partner. In these cases, the ‘bond’ to the partner is even stronger with the loss of the original trauma bond and the relationship loss can feel very devastating as the last intense bond is broken.

She can hang on, even though she wants to let go, eventually because the parent is not there to replace it.

Survivors still tied to the parent are extremely creative individuals. The excuses to hang onto the parent are wide and varied. The almost apologetic statements by survivors on behalf of the insidious and leveling abuse of the parent stands as symbolic to the depth of their denial. Like any psychopath, the parent knows that they have control in this child’s life and no matter how awful the abuse, the child will defend the parent to the detriment of herself and others around her who continue to see her in pain with each engagement with the parent. 

There are not different ‘rules’ with the psychopathic parent, anymore than there are with the psychopathic partner. The tactics are the same and just as damaging upon the adult child. The adult child of a psychopathic parent becomes almost child like in her response to the parent, the ultimate authority figure in her life.  She overlooks the obvious degradation and the feeling of a knife to her chest with the painful abuse, is almost cathartic, as it underscores what the parent has created for her in that she is a failure, that she is worthless. It is utterly and tragically familiar. The involvement with the parent is the attempt by the survivor to right the wrongs of the abuse, the hopeless and yet prayerful power of wishful thinking for change that will never come.

The adult survivor works every angle, forgives and forgets, while the trauma continues to build over years, cementing her obligation to the parent. The survivor, desperate (although rarely acknowledged) to change the status quo, will often suggest therapy with the parent, or try to find a way to make contact ‘bearable’ while still taking the abuse. The excuses a survivor gives for continued contact are obvious in her inability to let go:  “I can’t abandon her/him!”, “There is no one else who will take care of  her/him”, “she/he raised me alone! No one else was there for me but her/him!”, “She/he would fall apart without me. I feel sorry for her/him because she/he has no one else but me.” . . .and on and on the merry go round goes. . .

The problem with this is that much of what the survivor wants to avoid is abandonment by the parent, or has an exaggerated fear of what will happen to the parent should they let go, or what will happen to themselves if they do. They fear the parents rage and anger. They feel so sorry for the parents disorder that they are compelled to put up with more abuse. In all of this, the failure to see that no one deserves abuse, not even from a parent, is a foregone conclusion in these situations.

None of what psychopaths are all about and what they do, apply to the parent as far as this child is concerned. Much of this is subconscious, a pattern weaved into the adult child over a lifetime of exposure to pathology and abuse. We automatically act out our roles and are compelled to engage in them by an unspoken, unacknowledged force of extreme evil that wages war upon our high levels of sensitivity, empathy and compassion.

The psychopathic parent is no different than a survivor’s psychopathic partner. With each engagement the parent knows they have control over the survivor. They play their  adult children like chess pieces and lack empathy for them as much as they do anyone else, there are NO EXCEPTIONS. 

To the adult child of the psychopath/narcissist: Do you want to know why you are so afraid to acknowledge the truth about your Mom or Dad or both? About maybe even your siblings if they are disordered too? Because you know they don’t love you. This truth is the most devastating of all. Acknowledging this truth is the most painful experience you will ever live through. It will call into question your own person hood, your existence. My psychopathic father never loved me. Ever. Not from the day I was born, and not up to no contact. I could not let go because if I acknowledged the truth in that he did not love me, it meant I was truly lost, it meant that no one else possibly could, if the person who was my sperm and egg donor did not and could not love me.

It meant I was anchorless, without purpose and direction, as what is suppose to be the childhood foundations built for us out of LOVE by our parents.  It called into question everything I lived. My entire life was a lie.  A lie that my psychopathic family told about me and to me. I didn’t exist as a human being to them, worthy of love and respect. My foundation was built on sands washed away by every abusive tide. What in God’s name do  you do when your foundation was not built on love from  your parent?

This is what I can share with you. YOU are not the lie. YOUR existence is meaningful and your soul and spirit full of energy and love. You were born into a psychopathic family, a tragedy yes, but YOUR life is NOT. This very knowledge can set your feet upon a path of no contact and true and genuine healing, through and through. You are of the most courageous, loving, caring group having survived in a situation where you were NOT LOVED. Your psychopathic parent removed your choices that would  reflect in adulthood, a healthy human being, a product of humanity built in a loving home environment. The key to your healing is no contact. The realization that you have the power of CHOICE as an adult to stop the abuse. The realization that you are worth more than continued exploitation by a psychopath.

Human connection is important, isn’t it? We all need this as a life giving source when it is expressed in love and care for one another. The psychopathic parent teaches us that human connection is merely for the sake of feeding off of others, to take, not to give. To act in hate and contempt, not in love. This is not you. This is not who you are. You are no longer a CHILD. You are NOT obligated to a very sick, strategically abusive individual. You are the psychopathic parents favorite target. You are endlessly exploited for the sake of the false glorification of the parent. You are the number one poison container. The psychopathic parent REVELS in their ability to hurt you, to get a rise out of you, any reaction will do. They live to harm you. Your importance to them is not found in what you want so  much to believe  in that you are loved, but rather that you are not. They know exactly what they are doing.

It is my opinion that a survivor cannot truly heal without going completely no contact with the parent. It simply is not possible. The roles we play are automatic, as in flipping a switch. When we are with them, we are ‘on’. We are not shut off until we are out of range of their targeting. When we get out of range, we obsess about what they said and/or did with the last engagement. We sound like gossipy ole ladies chatting across the fence to anyone who will listen to our martyr status with our parent. We subject ourselves to enabling others as we do our parent. Addiction is a very powerful force and you cannot engage in it in any way and consider yourself completely healed.  I would like you to think about something if you choose to ponder the realities of this post:  When  you see another survivor struggling with her ex psychopath and what he is doing to her children, put yourself in the child’s shoes.

View this survivors ex as your parent. It is the SAME. Ask yourself, why am I appalled by this but not by what my parent is doing to me? Why am I not horrified by the abuse I have taken and continue to take? When you see a survivor in pain about what the psychopath is doing to her child(ren), what makes what your psychopathic parent is doing to you, so different? What is the cost of your involvement in being engaged with someone who does not love you, but is merely using you for their own personal pleasure in causing you further harm? Can you see what the affects of the psychopathic parents abuse is having on you, and others around you while you react to them? If you have children who are exposed to your psychopathic parent, is this what you want for your children to see in how your parent treats you and in how you react to it? Obsess about it?  What ties can you connect from a past or current partner to the antics of your parent or anyone else in your life where enabling is allowed, where you fight with your empathy, where you fight with those who are manipulative, exploitive and abusive? Can you feel yourself slipping into the costume of the child in response to any of this, as you would your parent? Do you suddenly feel that, while in the presence of those who are abusive or manipulative, no matter who they are, that you are powerless? Voiceless? Listen to yourself. . .

I know these are hard questions. I know they will provoke anger, but for others they will provoke thought, and yet for others, it will hurt your heart. You are NOT a child any longer. You are NOT beholden to an abuser who cannot love, no matter who it is.

You will never have validation from the parent who created your existence biologically. Ask yourself why you believe this person loves you when it’s clear every time you engage that they don’t? The SAME principles apply to the psychopathic parent that they do ALL psychopaths. Your continued involvement makes you more vulnerable to future psychopaths. Healing from extreme childhood abuse must commence before any changes can happen into our future. This IS the original trauma bond. It must be broken before you can truly heal. The ultimate in re-victimizing yourself is the continued contact and abuse you take out of this person. Ask yourself why your psychopathic, ABUSIVE parent is the exception to the rule.

Putting into practice our awareness will only go so far while we still have abuse in our lives, especially from our parent. The danger in acting out in further relationships is there when we cannot cut ties to the parent. Engaging with the psychopathic parent is to keep the ADDICTIVE quality of the abuse GOING. We are literally practicing our addictions with anyone who is pathological.

Healing from pathology means to remove yourself from it long enough to see what your own behaviors are and have been in response to it. It is incredibly difficult, if not possible to change while engagement is still in active status.

Your psychopathic parent is not ‘different’ than all the rest. This person is the one who set you up to be abused in other relationships and to continue to take it from them. They don’t have a miraculous and just a ‘little bit’ of empathy for you. Hanging onto this belief, and the refusal to deal with and grieve the reality that this person does not love you and never could, hurts you more. Their inability to do so says NOTHING about you as a human being and the gift you were born with: empathy. Compassion for others.

I’m suggesting that you think about this. You don’t deserve abuse. Your parent will continue to apply it liberally to you and your life if you allow it. The no contact rule applies to the psychopathic partner for obvious reasons, as well as any past friendships, bosses, coworkers, children. It also applies to the parent.

I understand how painful it feels to integrate the reality of this into your heart. It is a pain like no other.

Your value and worth is not found in abuse, but a future free of it. Even if the abuser is your parent.

Onward and upward.

Note: This article also applies to men who are survivors of psychopathic women.


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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Have They Really Changed?

(For "he" also read "she" if the abuser is female)

He says "I can't change unless you do." Which means that he's trying to get you to agree to give up your rights and freedoms in exchange for him not abusing you. Also stated as "I've changed, but you aren't changing";

"I'm not the only one who needs help". He tries to get sympathy from you, family members, and friends. He is still lying to you, the children, your family or other people about what he's done. He continues to attempt to cover up what he's done to you and the children. He won't acknowledge that it was wrong. He doesn't seem sorry that he did it, he only seems sorry that he has suffered some consequences for it.

He refuses to let the subject of his abuse come up or gets angry when it does.

He won't discuss his controlling behaviors and attitudes.

He still tries to deny it, minimize it, excuse it, or justify it.

Defends his behaviors

He insists you just get past it.

He plays victim. He says "How could you do this to me/my friends/my family?"

He still blames you for all the problems.

He is overly charming, always trying to remind you of all the good times you had together and ignore the bad.

He tries to buy you back with romantic gifts, dinners, flowers. All while trying to convince you that you need to stay together to work it out.

He will not get help or He says he'll get counseling or other help, but never does. Or he does (for a SHORT period until you've calmed down) and tries to convince you that he's cured and you need to take him back now. "Now that I'm in this program, you have to be more understanding." Or "I'm learning a lot from this program".

If a man is pressuring you this way, then as soon as he gets back in, he will most likely drop the program. This is why it's so critical, if you're considering taking him back, to watch his behaviors, to talk in depth, and to give it time.

Sometimes, instead of counseling they will suddenly claim to have found God; he goes to church/temple a few times or even regularly.

He cries and begs, they particularly like to do this in a public situation so that you are embarrassed and appear to be "cold hearted".

He does things to try to sabotage your efforts to make it on your own.

He harasses or stalks (covert or overt) you.

If you ask him for space or time, he refuses to allow you to have any and continues to make contact in any way he can. Or he ignores you completely and says YOU left him all alone.

Harassment by phone calls, threats, legal frustrations, showing up at work, hanging around family.

He continues to restrict your rights. He still behaves as if he's superior.

You aren't able to express yourself and speak freely.

He still demands constant attention, won't allow you to take care of your own needs.

He still picks at you and criticizes you, and ignores your strengths and contributions to the relationship. He doesn't support your independence, still refuses to acknowledge that you have rights.

He hangs on to double standards.

He is still denying you your fair share of the marital/partner assets, money.

He puts his wants and needs above yours.

He doesn't or won't recognize the damage he's done.

He gets angry with you over the consequences you've suffered over his abuse.

He's mad or seems confused as to why you fear him, don't trust him, are hurt, and angry.

He tries to get out of the consequences by trying to convince you that something's wrong with you for allowing him to have any consequences.

He behaves as if he's above reproach.

He claims that he would never hurt you, despite that he's done many things to hurt you.

He's mad that you left, instead of recognizing your right to have done so.

He still acts like you owe him.

He's impatient or critical with you for not forgiving him immediately, for not being satisfied with the changes he may have already made, especially if he hasn't made the changes you requested, or hasn't changed but claims he has.

He's only concerned with how hard the situation is for him, and no one else. He feels sorry for himself.

He doesn't show appropriate concern for how you and your children feel about what he's done.

Abuse does more than just hurt, it is damaging, and if he doesn't show appropriate concern for the damage he's done, then he hasn't changed.

He still does things that are inappropriate for an intimate relationship. Cheating, not including you in family decisions, hoarding all the marital assets - money, property, cars, stocks, bonds, etc. and won't allow you to have access to them.

He says he can only change if you help him, he wants emotional support and forgiveness, and give up your break from him.
He says I'm changing but you can see that he's not.

He gets angry with you for not realizing how much he's changed.

He gets angry for not trusting that he's changed for good.

Abusive men often say I'm sorry then get mad if you don't immediately forget what they did, he thinks his sorry resolves the matter and it should be dropped and you should just move forward.

He pressures you into taking him back because he "can't wait forever".

He is rude about you to the children.

He threatens and tries to intimidate you. The next step of behavior if you don't stop trying to ask him to change is generally one of threats and attempts to intimidate. This will often include threats to attack family and friends, threats to kill you or "put out a contract on you." Threats that he will take the children away, get custody of them himself or see that they are taken from you; or threats to kill himself.

All signs that he has no intention of changing how he is. This is then his choice of how to live his life.

(not all of these need to present for you to worry - just ONE is enough!)

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