Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mistakes Victims Make

"Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight" -- anon.


Not paying attention to...
My gut instinct that something was wrong.

Stories that didn't add up, or with different timeframes and characters - 2+2 not adding up.

The patterns forming in his behaviour.

Other people's warnings - believing him when he said they were "crazy" or "jealous."

The difference between what he said what he actually did and believing his lies.

The hatred others had of him.


Failing to...
Obtain proof of the abuse.

Get independent legal counsel and representation.

Recognize and ignore his verbal bait and not controlling myself better and yelling at him.

Realized I was addicted to a painful relationship, and trauma-bonded and craving contact, I wish that I'd gone to a hypnotherapist or someone to get the strength and support to break away. Instead, I let the insanity go on until I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

See how emotionally fragile I am.

Acknowledge just how rapidly I could be replaced.

See he really is Mr. Hyde and allow contact still trying to find Dr. Jekyll.

Stay out of the Jerry Springer nightmare of his life, family, Xs, friends, co-workers.


When he stopped caring about me, I stopped caring about myself too.


I kept thinking...
Every time he raged would be the last time.

If I loved him enough..........

There was a certain level of behavior below which he would NOT stoop.

Deep down he really did care.

When the chips were down or I needed him, he would come through.

That if I could just explain how I felt or how his behavior was affecting that me he would see it and care.

I wasn't explaining things right to him to make him understand.

It was my fault.

It was something at work or something he would finally tell me about.

That I would find some kind of closure.

I had to be 'nice' to him.

He would put something back in my 'cup' because I had put so much from him.

That I didn't want to cause a 'scene' and felt I didn't have the right words to properly explain what was happening.

That I could get him 'back on track' somehow.

I could help him, that he needed my help. I did everything for him - he never even asked me, I just offered. Boy, did he see me coming.


more mistakes:
Underestimating/not admitting, even to myself, what horrible and heartless things s/he is actually capable of.

Improperly assessing the potential for physical or psychological danger.

Taking too long to reach 'enough', and making those decisions I wish I'd made sooner.

Trying to rationalize and make sense of the insane endless chaos.

Looking for the litmus test to prove he really was mentally disordered when the signs were right in my face!

Overlooking the early red flags in his statements.

Doubting myself and my assessment of his pathology.

Believing he'd changed.

Minimizing the abuse and focusing on any past 'good' times

Not ending it at the first sign of abuse.

Getting involved and married too early/ too fast.

Not telling people about his abuse because I didn't want people to think poorly of him.

Behaving like my N and treating his next or last target poorly and, wanting to stay out of the situation, failing to provide support when it was needed.

Allowing sex drive to overcome reason.


When you attempt to push a intellectual narcissist into sex or any type of intimacy, and he gets angry... but you still believe that maybe if you can just survive without intimacy it will all work out ok.

When you have sex with a sexual narcissist, realize that you are a mere object to him, and yet somehow tell yourself, "Maybe this is healthy??

Fear of loneliness or believing my life wouldn't be better without him.

Wanting the 'package' deal he offered - the luxuries, trappings and lifestyle were too appealing to turn down - the risks seemed acceptable.

Feeling like I was the special one who could finally make him happy.

Feeling sorry for him, jumping in trying to help with his problems when he seemed to be floundering about.

Taking him back repeatedly.

(snip) We learn various coping tactics and want to try them out and end up in a predator/victim bond wasting our precious time trying to manage a personality disordered person we should be avoiding.
* * * * * *

Not seeing his attempts to isolate me from other people, friends and family.

Buying into his "poor me" routine.

Losing my identity.

Losing my self respect by staying and tolerating what he did.

Believing his lies. Being gullible and naive. Trusting him despite evidence to the contrary.

Wanting to believe he was my soul mate.

Giving in to rages. Not standing up to him and seeing the intimidation.

Not getting my child into therapy ASAP.

Underestimating how convincingly persuasive he could be - I took him back against common sense.

Gaining/losing weight, losing sleep, getting physically ill yet deciding he's still worth it.

When you create a fantasy illusion/idealization of him in your mind, just so you don't have to face the fact that he's NOT AT ALL the same as the idealized version you choose to percieve.

When you see signs he's an abuser, but delude yourself into thinking he's not.

Allowing him to run me down or call me degrading names, even "jokingly."

Allowing him to create self doubt and question myself way too much.

Procrastinating instead of making decisions.

Not using boundaries and limits - I wish I'd done it much sooner.

I stayed because of the children, thinking I could tolerate it until they were adults.

Seeing the objectification of me as he would tell other people his exciting news about himself - not me.

Ignoring the ticking time bomb of his financial irresponsibility.

I should have sought friendship... not the "spark" or "thrill."

Not having my own 'rainy day' money set aside.

Believing him when he said I was crazy, upset, wrong.

Not respecting, finding, using and realizing my own strengths.

Trying to find some logical reason for his bizarre behaviour.

Not insisting on respect, equal treatment.

Letting him live by double and sometimes triple standards.

Being too forgiving.

Asking HIM for forgiveness, and apologizing for things that weren't even wrong.

Falling for the sob stories and pity parties.

* * * * * *

At first it's subtle, hard to recognize. Let them do what they want. They just WANT your reaction. Don't give them the satisfaction. Even if you are upset, don't let them know it. It's what they want. Be upset here. Be upset to your friend. Be upset to your pet. But DO NOT LET THEM SEE IT!!


Accepting his abusive or controlling behaviour so he wouldn't leave me.

Expecting normal responses, clarity and finally closure.

Putting money into someone's hand who even has the slightest chance of doing the wrong thing - I'll never again do that.

Co-mingling ANY assets. I will not do this again, with anybody.

Writing letters to him - I'll never put anything in writing again and telling him anything about myself - only to see him use it cruelly against me.

* * * * * *

Allowing myself (mind, body, spirit) to become so afraid of him -- literally afraid for my life, more afraid than I had the power to muster to fight back and stand like a soldier. I really fell apart and don't EVER want to do that again. I have vowed that *no* human will every make me that fearful again.

* * * * * *

My most critical error was accepting the second date!!!!

The male gender is used. Your abuser may well be female.


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shared by Barbara at 12:34 AM



"Allowing myself (mind, body, spirit) to become so afraid of him -- literally afraid for my life, more afraid than I had the power to muster to fight back and stand like a soldier. I really fell apart and don't EVER want to do that again. I have vowed that *no* human will every make me that fearful again."

It was this type of fear that kept me from filing for divorce when my abusive husband left me and our children in '09. I just finally filed and not surprisingly he has filed a counter claim. The fight continues with him.

Great post and one I will print off and share with others. So many red flags I saw over 20 years ago, but I kept ignoring them or thinking that somehow I was going to change him.

11:49 AM  

Again. WHY DON'T WE LEARN THESE THINGS FROM A YOUNG AGE? There STILL aren't any training programs about psychopathy. Having to learn the TRUTH about psychopathy is always after major devastation. The health effects on victims alone probabaly costs billions of dollars just in the U.S., let alone worldwide.

This is NOT a rare thing, psychopathy, although some say it is, it's not. If there were a real study done, worldwide, I believe it would be alarming. Maybe this is why we just continue to blame those of us with a conscience. It probably seems easier than dealing with the true scope and horror of those born evil. We (non-psychopaths) will rape ourselves, search every little nook and cranny of our soul, JUST to make sure we are not doing anything that could cause this etc. All the while, the non-conscienced skate on by, raping all in their path.

The money spent in the court systems too probably wastes billions of dollars trying to treat the untreatable. And this is the crux of the problem isn't it? Admitting that we humans CAN'T fix this problem. That maybe it's beyond our control and to admit this may mean that we may just have to admit that God exists and that evil exists and that it is not okay to let all do as they please as many will only harm. Nope, it's easier to just blame the victims and the conscienced. And again I say, it's how we get to 2 Tim 3:1-5

12:33 PM  

All of these statements either explain my father (abuser) or my mother (victim). And then there was me, the scared, helpless little child. He ruined both my mother's and my life.

If you are with a person like this, run don't walk and get your children away as soon as possible! Please!!!

3:58 PM  

This post is the first one on here that makes me feel bad. Its blaming me for things that up until I met him, I had no idea existed, no frame of reference for and no experience with.
NOW I know, but then I was innocent. I believed in only good. Now I know Evil does exist. I married it.

6:16 AM  

Barbara, this may not go with this post, but it's good stuff. Most of the behaviors listed here are indicitive of psychopathy.

From the website titled "In These Times with Liberty and Justice for All........." The authors blurb is "duly noted by Lindsay Beyerstein" and the article is titled "No Sympathy for Psychopaths" Monday May 14, 2012. Check this quote and please read all of it to get the full point: "The best we can do is dispassion regarding psychopaths, rather than compassion. We should understand that some people are inherently predatory and know that we should be on our guard against them.

Social shunning is the worst thing we can do to someone with a mental or developmental disability. Even from a purely self-interested perspective, we should embrace people with other mental problems because our acceptance makes them more functional and less dangerous. (If indeed they were ever a threat, which the vast majority weren't.) Ironically, neglect and ostracism can make people who were never dangerous to begin with into threats.

With psychopaths, it's almost the reverse. Our acceptance makes them MORE dangerous because they have more opportunities to prey upon us. Our "treatments" just make them better psychopaths. The best we can do in a free society is to recognize psychopaths and warn each other about them.

Psychopaths are always with us. We should feel sorry for ourselves that we have to put up with them, and sorry for all their victims including their parents, but not sorry for the psychopaths themselves."

AMEN! It's good to see that others are finally getting it about psychopathy. That we are NOT all the same and that some people are BORN evil. Get over it. Humans can't fix everything but we can put our time and energy into helping the helpable and training them to identify evil ones. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you......." lets teach our little ones about psychopaths so that they can protect themselves. And by little ones, I mean all of us who can feel love and are able to care.

10:33 PM  

This article and the post just above are immensely helpful - thank you.

The sociopath I married started out stalking me and love bombing me. I never liked him at all but I had not learned how to have boundaries since I was raised by a narcissistic dominant mother.

I am so grateful for now knowing what I have been up against. But it is bitter sweet since many years have been spent with this disordered man. I never grew to like him at all but felt stuck with him.

I am struggling with how to leave the marriage as it will cost me an amazing amount of money and he will just use it for all his dark activities. I am keeping a low profile and keeping all tentative plans to myself.

I really appreciate sites and articles and posts which are helping me to see clearly and to keep me relatively safe while I sort out my path forward.

Thank you

10:57 AM  

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