Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

How They Do It: Sociopathic Deception and Manipulation


by Jennifer Copley

Psychopaths make up just 4% of the total U.S. population, but the damage and devastation they wreak is extreme and widespread.

Psychopaths, also known as sociopaths, comprise 20-25% of the prison population, but 50% of those who have committed serious crimes. However, the majority of psychopaths are not violent—most are users, scam artists and shady business people. There is some evidence that psychopaths may be overrepresented in the fields of business, politics and entertainment.

Targeting the Vulnerable
Psychopaths are good at spotting exploitable vulnerabilities in others. Many psychopathic scam artists seek lonely individuals and promise them a lifetime of love and partnership. Others target the grief-stricken or those who have suffered a recent setback or breakup and are therefore less apt to look closely at what appears to be a compassionate helping hand. Alternatively, psychopaths may exploit someone’s need to be needed, finding a motherly or fatherly soul that they can milk for sympathy and cash. They are also inclined to marry people with low self-esteem and convince them that they are somehow to blame for any abuse they suffer in the marriage.

The Sympathy Ploy
Psychopaths usually play on the sympathies of others. When people’s empathic responses are aroused, they are less inclined to scrutinize an individual’s behaviour, or they will attribute bad behaviour to an abusive childhood or other trauma. This provokes the sort of nurturing response that enables the psychopath to manipulate and extract what he wants from others. In extreme cases, sympathy and deception are combined as a deadly lure. Serial killer Ted Bundy wore a cast and used crutches to make himself appear harmless and vulnerable to his victims.

While often appearing cold and deadpan, when they are trying to manipulate others, psychopaths often engage in dramatic, short-lived emotional displays designed to provoke sympathy or guilt, or even cause people to believe that they must be crazy for questioning the psychopath’s motives. Psychopaths say whatever will get people to give them what they want. Many work hard to give the impression that all of their problems stem from cruel treatment at the hands of others, and that they could change for the better if only some kindly soul would take an interest in them and support them. And because 24 out of every 25 people is not a psychopath, they find plenty of kindly souls willing to do so. They usually reward these people by breaking their hearts and cleaning out their bank accounts, as well as physically abusing them in some cases.

The Dynamic Persona
The psychopath can be an exciting companion at first because she takes risks that others wouldn’t take and thus can appear courageous and impressive. Psychopaths often pose as brilliant eccentrics, misunderstood geniuses or difficult artistic types, and so people are inclined to attribute bad behaviour to a creative temperament. Self-assured, cool under pressure and socially adept, they may appear larger than life. Their tendency to maintain intensive eye contact and move into the personal space of others enhances the image of forcefulness and confidence.

Because many psychopaths have a surplus of charm and the gift of gab, they are able to dazzle their audiences and con them into believing all sorts of outrageous stories. Excellent self-promoters and fast talkers, they boast and dazzle their targets with a variety of grandiose plans. The target usually experiences a wild ride and is left disappointed, financially poorer and wondering how everything the psychopath said could have seemed so plausible at the time.

The Flatterer
In The Miser, Moliere noted that “People can be induced to swallow anything, provided it is sufficiently seasoned with praise.” A common tool of the psychopath is excessive flattery. Most people enjoy receiving compliments, and those who suffer from either low self-esteem or an overinflated sense of self-worth can be particularly vulnerable to this sort of approach. Beware of those who tell you everything you want to hear all the time. A compliment or two is nice, but someone who continually peppers the conversation with flattery should be suspect.

Excuses and Empty Promises
A psychopath does not keep his commitments or obligations. He breaks his word, stands people up, abandons those who care about him at critical times in their lives, cheats with impunity, and makes promises he has no intention of delivering on to get what he wants. Psychopaths may disappear and reappear in the lives of friends and family, causing worry and heartbreak, without ever adequately explaining what they’ve been up to. However, they always have excuses, and it is always someone else’s fault.

Psychopaths abandon their spouses and children without the slightest concern. And while many don’t commit crimes for which they can be convicted, they often live what could be termed as a sub-criminal existence, engaging in a variety of secretive and shady dealings. When they do achieve success, it is usually through causing harm to others. Their lack of commitment to anything is evident in the many contradictory and hollow statements they make. However, they hang onto the people in their lives by promising to change, or even changing, briefly, only to revert back to their old ways in time.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are You In An Abusive Relationship?

Does your partner continually monitor your time and make you account for every minute (when you run errands, visit friends, commute to work, etc.)?

Does your partner ever accuse you of having affairs with other men or women, or act suspicious that you are?

Is your partner ever rude to your friends?

Does your partner discourage you from starting friendships with people of the same gender?

Do you ever feel isolated and alone, as if there were nobody close to you to confide in?

Is your partner overly critical of such things, as your cooking, your clothes, or your appearance?

Does your partner demand a strict account of how you spend money? Do they want autonomy, however, on how THEY spend money?

Do your partners moods change radically, from very calm to very angry or vice versa?

Is your partner disturbed by you working or by the thought of you working?

Does your partner become angry more easily if your partner drinks?

Does your partner pressure you for sex much more often than you’d like?

Does your partner become angry if you won’t go along with his or her requests for sex? (sexual positions, sexual practices or frequency, also)

Do you quarrel much over financial matters?

Do you quarrel much about having children or raising them?

Does your partner ever strike you with his or her hands or feet (slap, punch, kick, etc.)?

Does your partner ever strike you with an object?

Does your partner ever threaten you with an object or weapon?

Has your partner ever threatened to kill either himself, herself or you?

Does your partner ever give you visible injuries, such as welts, bruises, cuts, black eyes, lumps on the head?

Has your partner talked you into doing something, and then made you feel guilty or ashamed about it?

Does your partner keep you up late, asking about real or imagined sexual or romantic incidents?

Does your partner force you to apologize for things you didn’t do?

Does your partner insist you ask permission to spend money for household or personal items, whether the money is a community fund or your own income?

Does your partner call you names with sexual connotations such as "slut" or "whore"?

Does your partner flaunt relationships or flirt with others while in your presence?

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Monday, March 30, 2015

How Abusers Stage Their Returns

How Abusers Stage Their Returns


While the smooth talk that it takes to get an abused spouse to take them back varies from person to person, there are five major "strategies" that seem to cover most of the wide range of tactics used by abusive partners:

The Honeymoon Syndrome
Also known as "Hearts and Flowers", this can include any bribe that will get you to return - and the sooner the better. Common bribes include promises to get therapy, promises not to be violent again (even after a long history), and even calculated doses of praise for you; saying things like "I know I don't deserve you, but if you'll take me back..."

Super Parent Syndrome
This is a very common ploy, especially if your partner has neglected the children in the past. An abuser might promise to start being a good parent, or might remind you how good they already are with the children. Many victims stay in abusive relationships because they believe that it's better for the children, but children are more aware than we give them credit for - and they know that abuse is occurring.

In healthy parenting, children get to see both parents working together toward positive interactions for the whole family.
When you stay with an abuser for the sake of the children, you are really slowly destroying one half of their parenting system - yourself - thus robbing your children of the true and healthy "you" that SHOULD be in their futures and replacing it with the you that continues to be abused over time. Additionally, children depend on you to be able to do your job where they are concerned. This means they expect you to nourish them, protect them, and properly socialize them. Part of protecting them not only means DIRECTLY protecting them, but also protecting their protector - YOU. Finally, a parent will always be a parent - even in the event of seperation or divorce. A truely loving parent will continue to be a truely loving parent regardless of the shape and structure of the family. So before you cling to the promises of super parent abusers, consider carefully what is really in the long term best interests of your children.

Revival Syndrome
"I have been going to church every Sunday since you left." "I have accepted religion into my life." That's great, but so what? The real question is: has the violence stopped? Don't believe that just because someone spent an hour with their butt in a pew on a Sunday morning that violence and other abuse can't still be right around the corner. If you look at the massive amounts of literature directed at faith groups teaching them how to identify and respond to abusive relationships in their congregations, you'd quickly realize exactly how many "god-fearing" persons abuse, rape, beat and murder their partners. Even pastors! (Oprah did a great show on domestic violence featuring a pastor who murdered his wife of 22 years because they argued over money and his unwillingness to get treatment for depression.)

Sobriety Syndrome
Whether it's drugs or alcohol, abusers have a higher incidence of substance use than the general population. Most substance-using abusers know that they have a substance abuse problem, or, they are aware that YOU believe they have a problem, even if they are in denial themselves. In the panic of facing losing their relationships, many will suddenly "see the light" and swear to you that they'll never touch it again. You'll want to hear it. You'll want to believe it. You'll want to support this effort. And you should! BUT...don't just hear the words and breathe a sigh of relief. Actions speak louder than words and substance abuse and addiction is one of the hardest things to overcome by oneself.

Withdraw from chronic alcohol use, heroin, cigarettes and even caffiene can cause vomiting, nausea, paranoia and other unpleasant symptoms. When an abusive partner opens the door to getting sober, stick your foot in that door and help them to get MORE help - encourage them to talk to their doctor, to join a support group, to get substance abuse therapy, etc. Counseling, support and therapy for substance abuse problems will address underlying problems and issues and help abusers to substitute healthier behaviors for their destructive coping mechanisms. Unless and until you see a substance using abuser actively participating in sobriety with OUTSIDE HELP, don't fall for just the promise! (this applies to sex addicts as well - PSYCHOLOGICAL/PSYCHIATRIC help is a MUST with an addiction!)

Counseling Syndrome
This is both a tactic to get you to stay and a tactic to maintain control and intimidation. On this web site and others, you'll hear over and over again that abusers don't just stop their behavior without assistance to overcome issues and replace destructive behavior with healthy ones. Therapy is no exception.

Friends, family, pastors and even abusers might suggest couples counseling to you. Although they may have the best of intentions, couples counseling is NOT the solution to combat the behaviors of an abuser! Many abusers actually like the idea of couples counseling because it means that THEY don't have to take responsibility for their actions- instead, they get to drag you in as part of the problem.
 

With your abuser sitting next to you in a counseling session, you are not emotionally free to say what you think without fear of repercussion, without the abuser twisting your words, and without them trying to coach you along as what to say or not to say. Safe, effective and appropriate counseling for batterers and abusers must be done WITHOUT the victim present. Batterers must take responsibility for their actions, must understand and admit that THEY have a problem and be dedicated to the self-examination process to make positive long term changes possible.

Couples counseling to combat domestic violence SOUNDS like a great idea, but it's false advertising and can prolong and expand the emotional abuses that already exist.


Buy Outs
The problem with all of these things is that in no case, no way, no how, does ANYTHING excuse or "make up" for the fact that a partner batters you! If you donate a million dollars to charity, it doesn't give you the right to go out and shoot someone. Similarly, don't fall into the trap of letting a partner BUY their way out of violence in the relationship. Unless and until a battering partner owns up to their responsibility and gets some outside help to change their behavior, your relationship, your children, and your family are neither healthy nor SAFE.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Narcissistic or Borderline Controllers





At his core, every Controller is monumentally self-centered. He is not just on an ego trip. He is on an expedition. In his mind, everyone orbits around him, as if people are his planets and he is their shining sun. What he wants he should have, simply because he wants it. He needs no other justification. Seeing himself as the center of everyone else's universe, he is blind to the fact that anyone else's wants or needs are more important than his own. Doggedly locked into this self-image of grand, "godlike" proportions, he may literally feel entitled to other's worship.

It is as if these kind of men view reality from inside a strange, transparent fortress, whose walls are both shield and golden mirror. Hardened against the truth of the world outside himself, this psychological citadel resists seeing things as they really are. Like mental bulletproof-glass, these opaque fortress walls deflect any words or actions from others that might threaten his perfect "godlike" image of himself. Everything is perceived through this armored, shining shell, and the world must always treat him as if he were golden. And failure to worship at his shrine can be devastating.

At one end of this egotistical continuum are publicly notorious "charismatic leaders"--the Caesars, Hitlers and Saddam Husseins of the world--that represent the severe end of self-centeredness gone violently berserk. They see themselves as "entitled" to dominate or destroy millions, simply because they can. But Controllers that most women encounter rarely look as obvious as an Adolph or Saddam, or become as lethal. Instead of striving to conquer nations, these narcissistic "little dictators" must limit themselves to conquering you.

But what exactly is "narcissism," in terms of being a Controller? And what is the surest way to spot this self-adoring manipulator?

In a Narcissistic Controller's mind, everyone and everything orbits around him, as if people are his planets and he is their shining sun. What he wants, he should have, simply because he wants it. Greed is at the core of his being, but it is greed based more on attention than ownership. He may own a few things, or many, but his primary reason for "owning" anything--including you--is to display his sense of self-induced superiority.

Although such an individual is usually not physically or sexually abusive, he is a master at inflicting psychological, emotional and spiritual damage on others. This type of Controller is incapable of needing anyone but himself, and it is that rigidly fixated belief which lies behind the lordly attitude that dwells in him. It is as if these kinds of men see reality from inside a strange, transparent fortress, whose walls are both shield and mirror. Like mental bulletproof glass, these opaque psychological walls deflect any words or actions from outside him that might threaten his perfectly idealized, "godlike" self-image. And his mannerisms and behaviors reflect his own shining image.

He seems to stand out in a crowd, as if under a spotlight. He acts as if people aren't just watching him--they're adoring him. If you are within earshot, or he engages you in a conversation--which he will, if you can draw other's attention to him--pay close attention to his facial expressions when he mentions those whom he like and dislikes. Listen to how he talks about himself and others. Possessive arrogance characterizes him when he likes someone, as if he personally owns him or her. When he says something good about someone, he tends to say only good things about those whom he perceives as admiring him. Look for intense expressions of disdain toward those whom he dislikes, who will have failed to pander to his sense of self-centered specialness.

When talking about himself, everything he thinks, feels and does, sounds as if it must be important. Nothing is insignificant about a Narcissist, to a Narcissist. Regardless of what position he holds at his job, he is always better at it than anyone else. Whether a company's janitor or chief executive officer, he always conveys a sense of himself as superior to his peers.

When speaking of his family or friends, it sounds like he could be describing expensive cars, clothes, stereos or jewelry. People are possessions to a Narcissistic Controller, useful unto the degree that they make him look good to others and himself. They can be ignored, demeaned or discarded whenever they fail to make him shine.

The quickest and crudest way to confirm that someone is a Narcissistic Controller is simply to marry him. Unfortunately, this actually is the first moment when the narcissistic spell is broken and a woman realizes that Mr. Right is actually Mr. Wrong. If it were simply a manner of recognizing signs of self-centered arrogance, it would be a piece of cake to avoid this kind of man's clutches. But many Narcissistic Controllers possess a subtle weapon: charm.

Most people strive to be socially charming, but this is not the kind of charm displayed by a Narcissistic Controller. The manipulative impact of narcissistic charm is not intended to ease social connectedness. It is designed to establish social dominance. Instead of stimulating thought and interaction, it tends to lull or paralyze the mind. The Random House Dictionary defines charm's essence as, " . . . A power of pleasing or attracting, as through personality or beauty; to act upon (someone or something) with or as with a compelling or magical force . . .." It is this feeling of being acted upon--or controlled--which can initially hint that you are dealing with narcissistic control. It feels intensely charming. You feel gripped by it, instead of eased by it. Other signs can indicate the presence of narcissistic control, as well.

Displaying disdain and contempt for those whom he believes have betrayed him can confirm signs of narcissistic control. But betrayal, to a Narcissist, differs from what normal people experience.

For most people, betrayal usually means a deep violation of trust inflicted by someone with whom a close, personal relationship exists. But, to a Narcissistic Controller, betrayal simply means that someone stopped pandering to his every want and need. In other words, when someone breaks away from his control, he feels betrayed. Since Narcissists do not have the capacity to develop close, trusting personal relationships, there can be no deep violation of real trust.

When a Narcissistic Controller feels betrayed, contempt dominates his facial and verbal expressions. The insolent, aloof sneer commonly accompanies expressions such as, "He didn't know who he was dealing with!" Or, "Doesn't he know who I am?" His real complaint--if he had the ability to see it--should be, "Don't you know who I think I am?" This is not an exhaustive description of Narcissistic Controllers. It is the basics--the essentials. If you believe that you are already locked into a business or personal relationship with this kind of man, a later part of this series will explain suggested ways to deal with him. But if you have recognized the features of someone like this man, and you are feeling caught inside his spell, ask yourself a question: What part of me needs this man, so that I can feel good about myself?

All types of Controllers capitalize on manipulating that part in anyone which lacks self-esteem. Essentially, they feed off our uncertainties about our selves. Find that shy, heart-broken or traumatized part of yourself and make friends with it. Get close to it, and it will help protect you from his deceptions, deceits, and ultimately, his inevitably egotistical scorn.

Love is a two-way street when two people know how to give it and receive it. But to Controllers, it's a dead-end freeway. Love, to them, is simply a means to an end. It is a vulnerability to be exploited. Obedience equals love in their minds, and each type of Controller seeks to achieve his version of "love" in a way tailored to his style of control. The Sadist's version of "loving" control is as distinct as a tarantula crawling across an angel-food cake. Love, to him, is the terror in his victim's eyes.

To the Sociopath, love is the thrill he gets when you've finally taken his bait, he's yanked on the line and the hook is buried deep in your heart. Love, to him, is the look of stunned bewilderment and dread your eyes reveal when you realize it's too late to run.

To the Borderline, love walks between the blades of an emotionally double-edged razor, which swings and slices between emotion-soaked heavens and hells. "Love," to the Borderline male, often ends in the cemetery. Almost half of all batterers and stalkers are Borderline.

If someone with a Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to draw you into a relationship, there is a very simple, concrete way to know it. Pay attention to your stomach. Even though he may initially seem sweet, attentive and empathic, you will likely perceive a subtle tightening in the pit of your abdomen, like a small rock you've suddenly noticed in your shoe-barely noticeable, but there.

Listen to that rock, because it is the voice of instinct, and it's trying to tell you something. Listen to your fear and start scanning for an incoming missile. The Borderline is often a tough target to initially confirm, but close attention to his attitudes and behaviors and an emotional position of calm neutrality can help you confirm his threat-potential. And if Borderline is confirmed, get out of there before it's too late.

But if too late has happened, and you are already involved with a Borderline Controller, you have experienced far more than the pinch of a small stone in your gut. You've been engulfed in an insane, hyper-emotional ride where spewing sheets of scalding lava alternate with warm, soothing baths of emotional saccharine. Life itself will have become a series of whipsawing emotional extremes, between his clinging adoration and hateful spite. The hallmark of this pattern is that "just when things seem to be going well," and he is treating you best, he suddenly turns into a perverse version of Air Jordan and you're the ball. Slam-dunked would be a mild way of describing the receiving end of this intensely emotional pounding.

He was just treating you like a goddess. He was being so sweet and attentive. Maybe he was even telling you how wonderful you are. Then, in the sudden twinkling of a diabolical eye, he's treating you like you've become a "bitch-on-wheels." And you don't know why.

He accuses you of everything from insincerity to infidelity, and your mind scrambles to discover what you just said or did that's setting him off. He keeps saying it's you, and is so intensely convinced that it is you that it's hard not to believe him. Later, after his firestorm of vindictiveness has died down, you might realize what triggered him. You did not respond "right" to his compliments, or scratched your nose in the midst of his adoration, or maybe you just burnt the toast that morning or were two-minutes late coming home from the office. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. There will always be something - apparently innocuous to you - which will abruptly stoke his raging fire again. And again and again, round and around, until your spirit and soul are finally ground into fine, despondent grains of charred debris, and your mind eventually looks like a Tokyo china-shop after a 9.0 earthquake.

Maybe he never physically beats you. Or maybe he does. Or maybe he never will. But you never know. He is stunningly impulsive and unpredictable. But he always assaults you emotionally, ripping into every fiber of your being with verbal vindictive, threats and accusations. Being keel-hauled over a coral reef is a cake-walk, compared to a Borderline's torment.

The only thing predictable about such a Controller is his extreme unpredictability. It is only after you become intimately snared into him that you discover the soul-grinder that lies waiting to strike. Until then, you may even find him amazingly attentive, sensitive and empathic to your every need. He can initially appear to be completely non-threatening. That is why it is critical to learn how to identify this type of individual, because there is a high probability that brutally sociopathic or sadistic-type personality disorders may hide behind his appealing camouflage of muted sensitivity. When borderline, sociopathic and sadistic disorders combine with a narcissistic disorder, a particularly deceptive and dangerous Molotov cocktail of character pathology results. Iraq's Saddam Hussein appears to totally manifest just such a combination. And there are many minor Saddam's already prowling the streets, workplaces, bedrooms and boardrooms of America.

A Borderline Personality Disorder is a master at transforming other's sympathy into pity. In terms of being vulnerable to borderline-manipulation, anyone that is capable of compassion, protectiveness or love can be easily deceived by a Borderline. If one of these extraordinarily deceptive individuals attaches himself to you, and you are particularly prone to confuse pity with love, then you might as well go skin-diving with ether in your scuba-tanks instead of oxygen. A relationship with a Borderline can be like swimming along a stunningly gorgeous coral reef, surrounded by a school of smiling piranha. The scenery may look divine, but you may be dinner.

Early detection of borderline characteristics can be very difficult. Clinical experts on this personality disorder commonly advise interns and colleagues to avoid treating more than one or two of these types, because treatment can become intensely confusing, persistently crisis-oriented and volatile. I know of several former clinicians that left successful practices because they could not learn to identify and deal with borderline patients. It was not that individuals who solely possess this type of personality disorder are necessarily physically violent, but they are geniuses at generating emotional and psychological chaos in people who get too close to them. The frenzied emotional-madness that characteristically runs riot inside of these individuals has an uncanny way of getting inside of those nearest to them.

Over a century ago, psychiatrists discovered this phenomenon and labeled it a folie deux, or "folly of two." It was observed that spouses often took on the symptoms of their psychotic partners. When the psychotic partner was removed from the home and hospitalized, his spouse's symptoms vanished within two weeks. The same phenomenon often occurs today when someone is in a relationship with a Borderline Personality Disorder. It is like becoming infected with emotional-malaria. One moment you're burning with fever. In the next instant your teeth chatter like chilled jackhammers. But if you learn the subtle, early clues to recognizing a potential Borderline, you can avoid your own trip to the sanitarium.

Particularly sensitive and adept therapists often describe a typically paradoxical reaction, commonly experienced by most people when first meeting someone who is Borderline. While feeling gently or tenderly drawn toward him, there is simultaneously an almost inconspicuous sensation of a vague knot in the pit of the stomach, as mentioned earlier. A more general description might be that a person feels that he or she too quickly likes someone and feels a faint sense of unease or dread toward him at the same time.

If you experience such mixed sensations when first meeting anyone, ask yourself why you simultaneously liked him so quickly and felt uncomfortable. If it's difficult to answer either question, put your radar system on high alert and scan closely the next time you meet him. If he is Borderline and has locked onto your sympathetic nature, that next encounter may not be too far away.

Without the presence of other personality disorders, someone who is Borderline tends to rapidly move toward developing a dependent relationship with those who show them interest and sympathy. An early sign of this dependency can be recognized by a rapid increase in contact, initiated by the Borderline, and a sense that such an individual has an uncanny ability to read you better than a blind man reads Braille.

Even though you can develop a very sophisticated form of personality-detection radar, it will never be as subtle or fine-tuned as a Borderline's. They have what seem like high-grade, instinctually built-in personality detection systems, comparable to extremely sophisticated phased-array radar systems used in the military for detecting high-speed, small ballistic projectiles, like the cruise missiles used to attack Iraq during the Gulf War.

This system appears to be purely instinctual in Borderlines, because they do not seem conscious of its presence or the information it gives to them, even when this ability is pointed out to them. Generally, this eerily unconscious quality seems to pervade everything about them. In a very basic sense, they do not know who they are. This is one of the most unnerving aspects about them for people who get too close.

If you ask a normal person on January 1st to describe themselves, he or she can give a fairly detailed description of what they think, feel and believe about the things that are important to them in life. Ask the same question, six months or a year later, and you will get almost the same answers. But if you ask a Borderline that question at noon today, the answer may be completely different by dusk, and will possess an indistinct, blurry quality, as if someone is drawing a picture of himself in mud. Or, depending on whom they are with, they may give two completely different pictures of themselves to two different people, ten minutes apart.

In mental hospitals, these are the patients who generate intense conflicts between staff members, unless those members understand what they are dealing with. One psychiatrist diagnoses him as schizophrenic, another labels him manic-depressive and a third believes he is a hypochondriac. A family therapist thinks he just has a "boundary problem," a psychiatric nurse thinks he's only neurotic, the vocational rehabilitation counselor admires his creative potential and a psychiatric aide thinks he's full of shit. The only people who know his true identity are the other patients. To them he is the master chameleon who can change his psychological appearance on a dime. He is the fox who fools the hunters. But who'll listen to them? They're not "professionally licensed."

What can be especially disturbing to others about this chameleon-like "change-ability" is that Borderlines are oblivious to what they are doing. They are not consciously making-up these different identity versions of themselves. They just do it reflexively, as if they run on some instinctually eerie automatic-pilot. Many psychological theories exist to explain this eerie process in a Borderline - from theories on "object relations" to "dissociation." But staying around a borderline Controller long enough to discover the cause of his strange attitudes and behaviors increases the probability of becoming his victim. Hesitation allows time for him to develop an attachment. And attachment can prove deadly, especially if a borderline disorder combines with another of the personality disorders prone to physical violence. Even if you only become involved with a solely borderline Controller, though, be prepared for a nightmare journey. You're in for an emotionally blistering E-Ticket ride in Relationship Jurassic Park.

Regardless of how a Controller with a Borderline Personality Disorder can alter and tailor his appearance to deceive others, he still presents with a clear and characteristic personality pattern. This pattern usually emerges in three stages or roles: Vulnerable Seducer, Clinger and Hater. These stages cycle and often swing wildly from one role to the next, but through drawing a picture of how these stages appear, a basic portrait can be loaded into your developing Controller-detection-system.

At first, a Borderline male may appear shy, vulnerable or "ambivalently in need of care." This is the first clue: beware of men who feel like lost puppies. If you experience an urge to take him home and feed him, don't- especially if you are in an emotionally needy state. But if you can't stop yourself, then avoid a future feeding frenzy on your soul by making a careful scan for the following reactions and characteristics as you enter this spirit-eater's lair.

In the beginning, you will feel a rapidly accelerating sense of compassion for whatever painful plight he has gotten himself into, because he is a master at portraying himself as the "victim of circumstance." But listen closely to how he sees himself as a victim. As his peculiar emotional invasion advances upon you, you will hear how no one understands him - except you. Other people have always left him because of their "insensitivity." He is always being betrayed, just when he starts trusting people. But there is something "special" about you, because "you really know me."

It is this intense way he has of bearing down on you emotionally that can feel very seductive. You will feel elevated, adored - almost worshiped. And you will feel that way quickly. It may seem like a great deal has happened between the two of you in a short period of time, because every conversation is so intense, and his attention is so focused on you. But if you're paying attention, you will feel his adoration by the third date, or sooner. Initially, it feels like an invisible army of sweet, chocolate ants is subtly infiltrating you. But the invasion may be hard to notice because it feels good, just as the Trojans must have felt good when they towed the Trojan Horse into their city, only to discover it filled with Greek Berserkers bent on destruction and conquest. Heed the warning that Cassandra gave to Troy's King Priam; "Fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts." But it's difficult to say no to a gift from the gods, especially if you have already tapped one too many dry relationship-wells.

Here is a man who may look like a dream come true. He not only seems to make you the center of his attention, but he even craves listening to your opinions, thoughts and ideas. If you have never experienced a man treating you like this before, it can seem like you have really found your heart's desire. But like anything that seems too good to be true, it usually is. While you may think you're about to enjoy the tasty pleasures of a Mr. Goodbar, Mr. Goodbar is about to take more than a taste out of you. And borderline men emotionally eat their women whole.

Once he has successfully candied his hook with adoration, he will weld it into place by reeling in your attention and concern. His intense interest in you subtly transforms. He still appears to be interested in you, but no longer in what you are interested in. His interest becomes your exclusive interest in him. This is when things begin to feel "uncomfortable." Your thoughts, feelings and ideas fascinate him, but only when they focus on his problems. You can tell when this happens because you can feel him "perk-up" emotionally whenever your attention focuses upon his feelings and conflicts. Those moments can emotionally hook your compassion more deeply into him, because that is when he will treat you well - even tenderly. That's why, if you confuse pity with love, you'll believe you're in love with him. Especially if your maternal instinct is strong and rescuing is at the heart of your "motherly code." Following that code results in the most common excuse I hear as a therapist, as to why many women stay with borderline men, ".... But I love him!" Adult love is built on mutual interest, care and respect - not on one-way rescues. And mothering is for kids. Not grown men.

But, if like King Priam, you do fall prey to this Trojan Horse and let him inside your city gates, the first Berserker to leave the horse will be the devious Clinger. A master at strengthening his control through pity, he is brilliant at eliciting sympathy and identifying those most likely to provide it-like the steady-tempered and tenderhearted.

The world ails him. Physical complaints are common. His back hurts. His head aches. Peculiar pains of all sorts come and go like invisible, malignant companions. If you track their appearance, though, you may see a pattern of occurrence connected to the waning or waxing of your attentions. His complaints are ways of saying, "don't leave me. Save me!" And his maladies are not simply physical. His feelings ail him too.

He is depressed or anxious, detached and indifferent or vulnerable and hypersensitive. He can swing from elated agitation to mournful gloom at the blink of an eye. Watching the erratic changes in his moods is like tracking the needle on a Richter-scale chart at the site of an active volcano, and you never know which flick of the needle will predict the big explosion.

But after every emotional Vesuvius he pleads for your mercy. And if he has imbedded his guilt-hooks deep enough into your conscientious nature, you will stay around and continue tracking this volcanic earthquake, caught in the illusion that you can discover how to stop Vesuvius before he blows again. But, in reality, staying around this cauldron of emotional unpredictability is pointless. Every effort to understand or help this type of man is an excruciatingly pointless exercise in emotional rescue.

It is like you are a Coast Guard cutter and he is a drowning man. But he drowns in a peculiar way. Every time you pull him out of the turbulent sea, feed him warm tea and biscuits, wrap him in a comfy blanket and tell him everything is okay, he suddenly jumps overboard and starts pleading for help again. And no matter how many times you rush to the emotional - rescue, he still keeps jumping back into trouble. It is this repeating, endlessly frustrating pattern which should confirm to you that you are involved with a Borderline Personality Disorder. No matter how effective you are at helping him, nothing is ever enough. No physical, financial or emotional assistance ever seems to make any lasting difference. It's like pouring the best of your self into a galactic-sized Psychological Black Hole of bottomless emotional hunger. And if you keep pouring it in long enough, one-day you'll fall right down that hole yourself. There will be nothing left of you but your own shadow, just as it falls through his predatory "event horizon." But before that happens, other signs will reveal his true colors.

Sex will be like a rocket ride on the Oblivion Express. Anyone who can be so instinctually tuned in to reading your needs and manipulating them can also pinpoint your g-spot with the fine-tuned skill of a Swiss jeweler cleaving a diamond. It will seem wonderful - for a while.

The intensity of his erotic passion can sweep you away like a strange destiny on the blue sea of august, but his motive for lusting upon you is double-edged. One side of it comes from the instinctually built-in, turbulent emotionality of his disorder. Intensity is his trump-card. But the other side of him is driven by an equally concentrated need to control you. The sexual pyrotechnics, while imposing, are motivated from a desire to dominate you, not please you.
And, after a while, too much of a good thing might actually be too much, to the point where you feel like buying an arc-welding kit and forging your own cast-iron chastity belt. Or perhaps his erotic intensity will be there in a more cunning way. A borderline-sociopathic patient once described this "way," as if he had just invented the light bulb. Little did he know that thousands of erotic Edisons had already preceded him.

Shortly after he had seduced and married his third wife, a Controller named "Tom" developed a calculating and classically "I hate you-I love you" borderline way of sexually controlling his woman. Since he knew that the marked conscientiousness of his wife's character made her particularly loyal, he was certain his method of erotic control would work because, no matter how much she desired sex, she would never seek it with someone else. This was the key to his method, and his way of making her feel simultaneously responsible and guilty for her own desires and his cunning manipulation of them.

Knowing that he had control of her loyalty, he would "work" her sexual longing by timing its gratification. He would do this by turning her on, then losing interest by feigning "a tough day at the office," "a sore back," or some other pretext. All the while, his borderline instinct for reading her level of sexual frustration watched and waited, until he could tell that she was in a state of carnal gridlock. Then he released the laser intensity of his loin-lions upon her now fever-pitched libido and gratified her to the nth-degree.

To increase the agonizing effect of this cycle upon her, he added two more factors of frustration. He initiated the first by catching her while she secretly masturbated. And when he caught her, he always feigned outraged and agonized sexual betrayal. This ratcheted up her sense of guilt even further. Then - just to twist that ratchet one last click - he dropped using excuses like tough days at the office and sore backs for one that was a psychological coup de trompe' of controller manipulation. He started accusing her of sexually abusing him!

He had completely succeeded in deceiving her into believing that she was manipulating poor, erotically-exhausted him. And he had gotten her to cling to him! Once a Borderline Controller has succeeded in this kind of sexual "trick," or in other less genital manipulations, the Hater appears. This hateful part of him may have emerged before, but you probably will not see it in full, acidic bloom until he feels he has achieved a firm hold on your conscience and compassion. But when that part makes it's first appearance, rage is how it breaks into your life.

What gives this rage its characteristically borderline flavor is that it is very difficult for someone witnessing it to know what triggered it in reality. But that is its primary identifying clue: the actual rage-trigger is difficult for you to see. But in the Borderline's mind it always seems to be very clear. To him, there is always a cause. And the cause is always you. Whether it is the tone of your voice, how you think, how you feel, dress, move or breathe - or "the way you're looking at me," - he will always justify his rage by blaming you for "having to hurt you."

Rage reactions are also unpredictable and unexpected. They happen when you least expect it. And they can become extremely dangerous.

If a Controller is solely Borderline, his rages may remain verbal. You might be ducking a lot of dishes, glasses and other breakables, or the occasional airborne frying pan or flying cutlery set. But do not deceive yourself into believing that he is not directly aiming any of these missiles at you. Sooner or later one of them will "just happen" to hit you-or the kids, the cat or dog. And his excuse will be, "It was an accident," or "I didn't mean to hit you," or the ever-classic "Why didn't you duck?" - Not, "Why do I act so insane?"

With a Borderline, there is also the danger that one of these rages will precipitate or be precipitated by a temporary or long-lasting psychotic break. If this happens, a scattered state of rage may instantly become a precisely aimed attack, with you fixed in the cross-hairs.

If you sense any explosion coming, or one has already begun, leave. Do not try to "reason" him out of it. Immediately grab the kids, cats and dogs and get out now. Don't worry about what the neighbors or anyone else will think if he chases you outside. "Witness statements" to the police can help if you need to file a restraining order.

While there is never a guarantee that a solely borderline Controller will become physically violent or not, they will always become verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive. Just keep one simple fact always in mind, regardless of whether a Controller is borderline, narcissistic, sociopathic or sadistic: Whenever any of them are criticizing characteristics in you, they are making autobiographical statements about themselves.

Blame is their way of unloading their character defects onto you. Listen closely to the hateful things they say to you about you. You are listening to verbatim descriptions of their character defects. This is extremely important to remember, especially in the midst of verbal attack. These are the only moments when you will hear the truth about the man who lies concealed behind the steel wall of his personality disorder. But never point that fact out to him. If you do, it may be the last time you see him alive. But not because you're still around to know he's not dead.

If you possess a strong sense of responsibility, Controllers will use it against you. Understanding how to prevent a Controller from manipulating your conscience is key in learning how to "counter - control." Moral integrity is one of the finest assets a person can possess, but it can attract a Controller the way a "hot target" attracts a cruise missile. When dealing with a Controller, conscientiousness can be your Achilles' Heel.

Integrity and conscientiousness remind Controllers of their most profound character flaw. They hate being reminded of what they do not have. They hate those qualities in others because Controllers cannot possess them. That is one reason that they are attracted to integrity. But their attraction is rooted in a desire to dominate or destroy. They must manipulate, rule or emotionally and psychologically annihilate anyone whose soundness of character reminds them of their own profoundly egotistical, selfish and empty natures.

All effective counter-control is rooted in understanding how a Controller manipulates someone's conscience and uses it against him or her. But the great trick to discovering how to effect practical counter-control is in knowing how to overcome a Controller's amorally motivated drive to control, without turning into a Controller yourself.

from ROMEO'S BLEEDING

(Your abuser may be FEMALE)

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

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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Friday, March 27, 2015

Without Conscience



by Robert D. Hare, Ph.D


Chapter 8
Words from an Overcoat Pocket

One question runs like a refrain through the stories told by the victims of psychopaths:
"How could I have been so stupid? How could I have fallen for the incredible line of baloney?”
 

And when victims aren’t asking themselves, somebody else is sure to pose the question. “How on earth could you have been taken in to that extent?” The characteristic answer: “You had to be there. It seemed reasonable, plausible at the time.” The clear--and largely valid--implication is that had we been there we too might have been sucked in.


Some people are simply too trusting and gullible for their own good--ready targets for any smooth talker who comes along. But what about the rest of us? The sad fact is that we are all vulnerable. Few people are such sophisticated and perceptive judges of human nature that they cannot be taken in by the machinations of a skilled and determined psychopath. Even those who study them are not immune; as I’ve indicated in previous chapters, my students and I are sometimes conned, even when aware that we’re dealing with a probably psychopath.
 

Of course, pathological lying and manipulation are not restricted to psychopaths. What makes psychopaths different from all others is the remarkable ease with which they lie, the pervasiveness of their deception, and the callousness with which they carry it out.
 

But there is something else about the speech of psychopaths that is equally puzzling; their frequent use of contradictory and logically inconsistent statements that usually escape detection.

Recent research on the language of psychopaths provides us with some important clues to this puzzle, as well as to the uncanny ability psychopaths have to move words--and people--around so easily. But first, here are some examples to illustrate the point, the first three from offenders who scored high on the Psychopathy Checklist.
  1. When asked if he had ever committed a violent offense, a man serving time for theft answered, “No, but I once had to kill someone.”
  2. A woman with a staggering record of fraud, deceit, lies and broken promises concluded a letter to the parole board with, “I’ve let a lot of people down. . . . One is only as good as her reputation and name. My word is as good as gold.”
  3. A man serving a term for armed robbery replied to the testimony of an eyewitness, “He’s lying. I wasn’t there. I should have blown his f*cking head off.”
  4. A tabloid television program showed a classic con man who shamelessly swindled elderly women.(1). When the interviewer asked, “Where do you draw the line between right and wrong?” he replied,"I have some morals, whether you believe it or not, I have some morals.” To the interviewer’s question, “And where do you draw the line?” he replied, “That’s a good question. I’m not trying to hedge, but that’s a good question.” When asked, “Did you actually carry around in your briefcase blank power-of-attorney forms?” his reply was, “No, I didn’t carry them around, but I had them in my briefcase, yes.”
  5. When Ted Bundy was asked what cocaine did to him he replied, “cocaine? I‘ve never used it. . . . I’ve never tried cocaine. I think I might have tried it once and got nothing out of it. Just snorted a little bit. And I just don’t mess with it. It’s too expensive. And I suppose if I was on the streets and had enough of it, I might get into it. But I’m strictly a marijuana man. All I do is . . . .I love to smoke a reefer. And Valiums. And of course alcohol.”
Think about this for a moment--not only lies but several contradictory statements in the same breath. Very perplexing. It is as if psychopaths sometimes have difficulty in monitoring their own speech, and they let loose with a convoluted barrage of poorly connected words and thoughts.

Psychopaths also sometimes put words together in strange ways. For example, consider the following exchange between a journalist and psychopathic serial killer, Clifford Olson. “And then I had annual sex with her. “ “once a year?” No. Annual... from behind.” Oh. But she was dead.”” “No, no. She was just unconscientious.” 

About his many experiences, Olson said. “I’ve got enough antidotes to fill five or six books -- enough for a trilogy.” He was determined not to be an ”escape goat” no matter what the ”migrating” facts.

Of course, words don’t simply pop out of our mouths of their own accord. They are the end products of very complicated mental activity. This raises the interesting possibility that, like much of their behavior, the mental processes of psychopaths are poorly regulated and not bound by conventional rules. This issue is discussed in the following sections, which outline evidence that psychopaths differ from others in the way their brains are organized and in the connections between words and emotion.”

************************************************** ************
A CONVICTED SERIAL killer, Elmer Wayne Henley, now asking for parole, says that he was the victim of an older serial killer he worked with, and that he would not have done anything wrong on his own. Together, they killed at least twenty-seven young men and boys. “I’m passive,” he offered. “I don’t want to be no psychopath, I don’t want to be no killer. I just want to be decent people.”

Consider the following exchange between the interviewer and Henley. The interviewer says, “You make it out that you’re the victim of a serial killer, but if you look at the record you’re a serial killer.” Henley replies, “I’m not.” “You’re not a serial killer?” the interviewer asks in disbelief, to which Henley replies, “I’m not a serial killer.” The interviewer then says,
“You’re saying you’re not a serial killer now, but you’ve serially killed.” Henley replies with some exasperation and condescension, “Well, yeah, that’s semantics.”

--From the May 8, 1991 episode of 48 Hours
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Who’s in Charge?
In most people the two sides of the brain have different, specialized functions. The left cerebral hemisphere is skilled at processing information analytically and sequentially, and it plays a crucial role in the understanding and use of language. The right hemisphere processes information simultaneously, as a whole; it plays an important role in the perception of spatial relations, imagery, emotional experience, and the processing of music.

Nature probably "arranged" for each side of the brain to have different functions for the sake of efficiency. For example, it is clearly more effective for all the complex mental operations required to use and understand language to take place in one side of the brain than if they were distributed over both sides. In the latter case, information would have to be sent back and forth between the two hemispheres, which would slow down the processing rate and increase the chances of error.

Further, some part of the brain has to have primary control over the task; if the two sides of the brain were competing for this control, the conflict would reduce the efficiency of processing. Some forms of dyslexia and stuttering, for example, are associated with just such a condition: Language centers are bilateral--located in both hemispheres. Competition between the two hemispheres makes for a variety of difficulties in the understanding and production of language.

New experimental evidence suggests that bilateral language processes are also characteristic of psychopathy. This leads me to speculate that part of the tendency for psychopaths to make contradictory statements is related to an inefficient “line of authority”--each hemisphere tries to run the show, with the result that speech is poorly integrated and monitored.

Of course, others with bilateral language--some stutterers, dyslexics, and left-handers--do not lie and contradict themselves the way psychopaths do. Clearly, something else must be involved.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

When Enough is Enough

By Lanie Pambid

Would you believe that love can be gone in a blink of an eye? Based on facts that I am going to share with you is that it CAN happen. A couple who has been together for a few years would just one day wake up and realize that they no longer love their partner. It’s like, she slept tonight, and the next morning she doesn’t feel anything for her partner anymore.

Why is this so? Of course, we need to know what caused these kinds of things to happen. But, what we are going to state here are just observations from different relationships of people.

First, there might be a possibility that a couple of more than seven years and hasn’t married yet CAN be TIRED of one another. In the case of the woman, she must have expected to be married at that time but the man hasn’t asked her yet, so there is the tendency to think that they won’t ever be married at all, so instead of waiting longer years the woman finally decides of leaving the man for someone who will marry her sooner. Or it can also be that either person could be tired of doing the same things as what we call routine. If things go by this way there is a larger possibility that they would think of their married life to be as boring as that of their existing relationship. So, they decide to leave each other, in hopes of finding someone who would really make them happy again.

Another reason could be the person’s attitude towards the partner. The situation I am going to give you mostly happens with some couples. This couple has been with each other for more than five years. Their friends see them as a happy couple whenever they’re together. But little did they know was that behind the happy and cheerful couple they see during parties it wasn’t so. The man is a perfectionist and the woman is timid. Every single day of her life, the man kept on discouraging her, telling her bad things, making her feel bad about herself from head to toe (physically and emotionally). Not just with her job, but even the friends she have, the clothes she wears, the never-ending badmouth of this man made the woman feel like she was the ugliest person on earth. Until one day, the man left her. She cried at first but realized that she was actually free from the chains of a very abusive person who made her life miserable most of the time. Instead of harvesting beautiful memories that they both shared, the one remembered were the ugly ones. In a span of a few months, she found someone who uplifted her spirits and made her into a new and beautiful person inside out.

The man tried to win back the woman but he failed. Now, you see in this kind of relationship, there is no growth. This is a very UNHEALTHY relationship, wherein negativity rung around it. One abusive word should have been stopped if the woman stood up for herself instead of accepting every single bad word she hears from the man. Every individual should always remember that “No one should put you down.” Put a stop to it, what seems to be wrong in this relationship was that the woman kept on accepting and keeping quiet and never even tried to tell what she really feels. Or we could also assume that the woman tries to tell the man, but it so happened that the man is stronger than the woman and sort of over powers her or doesn’t listen to whatever she says. If your boyfriend is like this for years and years you better leave him. He is just one selfish schmuck who thinks only of himself. Relationships like this should be done. Don’t wait for a couple of years before getting out of it. Think now! Do you want a life like this?

In relation to the example given about abusive words, we will also include physical abuse. If a man hits you and says he’s sorry after and then you forgive him, that’s a big no no! Because once you accepted the first sorry, you’ll always accept the hits and blows and whatever physical injury you might have. At the first time this happens, report it to the police. If in case the man always pulls you or grabs you by the shoulder and it leaves a bruise that is already physical abuse. Don’t ever let anyone hurt you. If a man truly loves a woman he would never hurt you, but will always be patient. That is why some women leave their partners too. Some of them endure the years of being beaten up by their partners and when they’ve had enough, that’s just the time they leave them. Others who hasn’t had enough even die because of the beatings they get from their husbands. Women, do you like this to happen to you?

This next case is quite different. This couple is totally happy. Even their friends would say that they really are a great couple when they’re together. Always having fun and always complementing each other. Then one day, the man just leaves the woman without a valid reason. Now, how would you react to that? If you were the woman, what would you think? Let’s say for example, the woman is very understanding, always cares for the man, and all the good things this woman could offer. I could say that maybe the man has a problem that he has kept for a long time, that he didn’t tell the woman. Most men has problems opening up to the person they love or sometimes to people who are really close to them. Unlike women, they can easily share their problems to their friends, thus letting the emotions out of them, unlike men. In cases like these, don’t give up on your man. Try to clear things out with him so that you won’t be left open-mouthed when this kind of thing happens to you. If he doesn’t want to talk about it maybe he needs space or time to think of his problems on his own and maybe he wants to solve it. Give it a week or two for your man to come back and apologize. But if in case he never calls you anymore and has vanished into thin air, accept the fact that he has already left you because he’s ready to go into some kind of Looney bin. Although, you have to make sure that there is no third party involved because if there is another woman involved that’s a case closed, find another man who is not a womanizer!

Women apparently are patient in nature. They tend to make sacrifices and try to be patient with their partner. They keep on trying to continue the relationship until they have had enough. Oftentimes, some of them become martyrs wherein it already takes them a couple of years before they realize that it is enough. If you are in a situation like these examples given, think for yourself. Is that a healthy relationship you are in? Did you try everything you can before you quit the relationship?

Women should know when to stop and when to try to make things right. You choose you own life and you make your own destiny. Learn to fight and be strong because only you can help yourself.

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