Commonly Misused Psychology Terms – Wrap Up

How we see things really matters. And how we label behaviors is important, too. Knowledge is power. But to be fully empowered you have to understand what’s really going on and how to appropriately interpret and label various behaviors. Today’s article is the last in a series on commonly misunderstood and misused psychological terms (see also: Acting Out and Other Commonly Misused Psychology Terms and Commonly Misused Psychology Terms – Part 2), a series designed to dispel some all-too-prevalent misconceptions, many of which have even been fostered by well-intended but under-informed or careless mental health professionals. Here are some other terms that are frequently misunderstood and misused by lay persons and professionals alike:

  • Denial – Genuine denial  – the classic “defense mechanism” – is a completely unconscious automatic protection the human mind provides against the conscious experience of something too emotionally painful to bear. I’ve written about this in depth before (see for example: Traditional Therapy Biases and Denial and also my books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance). Now, deliberately insisting you haven’t done something you know you’ve done or refusing to acknowledge a reality you know is true is NOT denial. It’s simply lying. And unlike denial, most lying is conscious, deliberate, and tactical (i.e. it serves a practical purpose). People lie primarily to get something they want that they don’t think they can come by honestly or to avoid something they dread but believe will happen if they tell the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks (especially professionals) say that someone was “in denial” when that person was simply lying. It’s hard to foster good accountability and responsibility for behavior when these two concepts are confused .
  • Rationalization – Again, this is an unconscious “defense mechanism.” And it’s an internal process. It’s when we’ve let ourselves believe it’s okay to do something our better judgment or our conscience tells us we probably shouldn’t be doing. It’s not offering up excuses for behavior we know is wrong but want to justify either to maintain a positive image or to manipulate another person. It’s important to distinguish excuse-making and other manipulative attempts to justify bad behavior from rationalization.
  • Addiction – Addictions are very real and serious conditions that most of the time develop quite insidiously (i.e. slowly, incrementally, and without conscious awareness). And to be rightfully regarded as addicted, one has to have developed the kind of tolerance to a substance or entity that leads to true dependency upon it to function normally. One also has to experience painful withdrawal symptoms when trying to cease the activity. Abuse is neither dependence nor addiction. And habitual misconduct (e.g., serial philandering, frequent financial, social, etc. irresponsibility) is not necessarily evidence of or an outgrowth of addiction. All too many times these days, folks use the term addiction far too casually. And a questionable industry of sorts has sprung up trying to conceptualize and treat all types of habitual, irresponsible behavior patterns as addictions.
  • Defensive – When someone comes at you with tactics when they think you’re onto their game or have they’re number, they’re usually not being “defensive” (this is an outgrowth of traditional psychology notions that most behavior is unconscious and people unconsciously mount certain defenses when they’re anxious or feel threatened in some way) at all. Rather, they’re on the offensive, and the tactics they display are the weapons they prefer to use  to get you to back down, back off, see things their way, etc. It’s their way to manipulate and control you while attempting to preserve a more benign image. Not seeing their moves as primarily offensive in character automatically puts you in a position of disadvantage because even though you unconsciously and rightfully go on the defensive yourself, you misjudge the character of the person (and their behavior) who’s trying to get the better of you.
  • Needs – Just because a person wants something doesn’t mean they really need it. And many times, what character disturbed folks want is the last thing they need to function more responsibly in life. Therapists inexperienced in working with disturbed characters are notorious for confusing their clients’ wants and needs.
  • Self-esteem – In In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, The Judas Syndrome and numerous articles (see, for example:  Merit, Virtue, and Character ) I go to great lengths to explain what self-esteem really is, how it’s developed, and how it differs from self-respect and appropriate self-regard. I’m also one only a handful of clinicians that long ago recognized that it’s possible for someone to have too much (and, therefore, unhealthy) self-esteem.
  • Splitting – Splitting is a very primitive and again unconscious defense mechanism in which a person mentally splits a single mental construct that has both positive and negative attributes into two or more separate realities because the negative aspects of the reality simply cannot be embraced. Classic examples of this are separating one’s mental image of an abusive parent who’s capable of showing kindness at times into the perceptions of “good daddy” and “bad daddy” or “nice mommy” and “evil mommy.” In its most extreme form splitting can involve separating out even parts of one’s own personality that simply can’t be integrated without great anxiety or pain (This is the case in the rare condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Splitting is also the principle coping mechanism of the poorly integrated and fractured personalities we call Borderline Personalities). A child dividing one parent against the other as a strategy to get something they want or one marital partner forming alliances with a child against the other parent is NOT splitting, although this term is often used even by therapists to describe such actions (I’ve written about this before (see: Understanding Splitting as a Psychological Term).
  • Symptoms – Symptoms are what people report as problems that could possibly indicate the presence of disease.  Signs are observable manifestations of an illness that a trained professional can spot as a more reliable indicator of the type of condition that exists. Symptoms are often an unreliable indicator of the nature of someone’s condition. A person can do their best to describe a pain or feeling and still not convey very well what’s going on. And a person with a character disturbance will often deliberately misrepresent what they sense or feel for manipulative purposes. When dealing with character impaired people it’s important to pay less attention to what they complain about or present as problems (i.e. the symptoms they report) and more attention to the signs they display that bespeak the nature and extent of their character dysfunction.
  • Projection – This is often confused with the tactic of blaming others. Projection is again an unconscious defense mechanism. When a person projects, they attribute intentions and motivations to others they find far too anxiety-evoking or painful to acknowledge that they harbor themselves. Deliberately finding scapegoats or blaming others when things go wrong or to take the heat off oneself, preserve one’s image, and manipulate others is not projection. It’s simply blaming, and it’s both a major way of avoiding responsibility and a manipulative control tactic.
  • Paranoia – This is when your brain is not working correctly and you believe things that have absolutely no foundation in reality. True paranoia most often involves delusions (most commonly of either grandeur or persecution), which are beliefs held with conviction that are patently absurd. Delusions occur in people whose brains are not working properly and who have lost the ability to think rationally and to know what’s real and what isn’t. Paranoia is not the same as harboring mistrust, especially rational mistrust based on past history. Being constantly wary of your serial philandering spouse and being on edge every time they show evasiveness or fail to honestly account for their whereabouts or actions is NOT paranoia. It’s just being reasonably apprehensive that your trust might well be being betrayed again.

Hopefully, the things discussed in this and the past two articles will clarify some issues and help empower folks struggling better understand their situations. Next week’s article will introduce a new series. And on my Character Matters program this Sunday night at 7 pm EDT, I’ll have a lot to say about the kind of character self-revelation Donald Sterling displayed in some recent TV interviews. There’s much to learn there with respect to the nature of character disturbance and especially the pathological thinking patterns common to some personality types.

209 thoughts on “Commonly Misused Psychology Terms – Wrap Up

  1. I think one of the new addict groups that has popped up is sex addicts, especially porn.
    On the one hand, they have MRIs to support the holey brain of a person with this disease, what you say does make you wonder if all who are going to be diagnosed should get an MRI. (Also, if a person’s brain has the capability to heal, it would show in MRI?)
    From my group, and we do view them (spouses, family members etc) as having a disease, I have wondered if some were more manipulative than addicted to sex or such.
    It is easier to not want to kill them as easily thinking they might have a disease but part of me wants to see an MRI if the swiss cheese brain is present.

    1. I believe that addiction, like depression, ADHD, schitzophrenia and a whole plethora of terms are so loosely distrubuted by the medical profession as diagnoses nowadays that no-one truly knows let alone agrees what they really are at all. It is easy for disturbed people to cop out of responsibility for their actions by owning their ‘disease’, as if they now have an explanation for their behaviour that they have no control over. It also allows those of us who actually are in denial to stay there by giving our empathy and sympathy for the ‘disease’. I would rather give $2000.00 AUD of my taxes (the cost of an MRI) to saving mountain gorillas personally. Like Tiger Woods, they soon stop when it no longer serves them. Maybe we should spend the health dollars on their victims to discover why their brains don’t see it coming.

      1. Yes. And if this is something present in them, and if they are working their program, and IF they are saying the brain can heal after this, then another follow up MRI would prove that.
        Of course, there are outward signs, the way they behave, that can prove that too.
        There was one that I had no doubt there was something wrong with his brain. Whether he did it to himself, or is causing more damage was what I didn’t understand. The man is a text book case of a sex addict where, refusing to get any help, is getting worse including very risky behavior. I had sympathy for his wife and hope thinking if she documents it, then maybe one day it could be useful for others, make money from selling it.
        But, not all are to that degree OR what stops one from going that far seems to vary greatly.
        From the MRIs, they have proven, or that is their claim, that viewing porn is similar to the brain’s response to doing heroin. So, they say it’s addictive, highly, because of the feel-good chemical release. Some I am finding out bounce from drug addiction to porn, to both, etc. It is a horrible cycle for some. They call it the gateway to other deviant behavior because the threshold raises in the person – takes more and different to get same effect next time.
        But then there are those that it seems do NOT fit in this category. Such as those who go on to have affairs with secretaries, they may not be addict but had a single instance of being weak to a temptation. It is still as damaging to their marriage, relationship, but it doesn’t mean he will necessarily progress downward like the others.
        What I am seeing it seems to vary. Or maybe I am not understanding it correctly.

      2. Juliette,,,,,,,,the victims don’t see it coming because they are being manipulated, deceived and lied to……..send your money to the gorillas! LOL
        Right! Addiction as a disease,,,,,,,,,,,well, a therapist told be that there is evidence that it can be handed down genetically BUT……I’ve also heard that substance abuse can alter DNA?

        1. I have heard the same and since my father is an alcoholic, I am very cautious about myself. I have also tried to pass that on to my kids, that they may be more susceptible.
          I had heard it can alter DNA and I suppose that is how it can be handed down?

          1. I don’t understand how they determine IF it has been handed down genetically if drinking changes the DNA? It’s kind of sounding like a chicken/ egg thing but I could just not understand how they determine.

          2. and again, it’s not like you HAVE to drink alcohol. You may have a genetic predisposition to become addicted to it but that doesn’t excuse not getting help to walk away from it.

          3. @ Puddle, I know out of my siblings (5), 2 are alcoholics, 1 a
            recovering drug addict, 2 clean.
            I am not sure it is just the need for alcohol as it is addictive behaviors, being prone more to addiction.
            I am not convinced it is a learned behavior strictly because my mother separated from him very early on in their marriage and they never reconciled. So, although we were absent a father and the alcoholic, it still popped up.
            I remember one time he was in AA and we,kids, had to attend one counseling session. In it she stated we were ALL alcoholic because our daddy was one. That misinformation made me make a terrible decision when I was a teen – if I am already an alcoholic without ever having a drink then why fight it. I regret that to this day but I was a teen and know better now. With my kids it is just to be on the look out for addictions in general also – not that they are this or that because their daddy is one.

          4. Hopey…………..
            I hear you, and I honestly don’t know and it really doesn’t matter HOW an addict or alcoholic end up the way they do,,,,,,,,the reality is they have to be the ones who take responsibility for getting help.
            In my case, I was raised in a drinking environment by my adopted family and born to a drinking bio-mom……incubated in alcohol. I have a form of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and have been drawn to alcohol since I could walk. I drank heavily, and I mean HEAVILY, for most of my life. I’m now 54 years old and after several “attempts”, all after i turned 30, I’ve walked away from alcohol entirely. I have 2 years sober and I’m lucky to be alive.

          5. I drank because I wanted to drink, it’s what I knew. Honestly and personally, there is a lot more to it than just “choosing to drink”, at least in my situation. I do believe that when a person is conceived and gestated in alcohol, with all the resulting brain and neurological damage that goes along with that, it adds colors to the average picture of substance abuse that aren’t typically there. It’s too complex to really get into though. Undiagnosed FASD is such a huge subject,,,,,the ramifications on a person’s childhood and life are potentially endless and it’s not a very well understood condition even among most healthcare givers, therapists, teachers, parents………..etc etc etc…..
            It’s really something to wrap your head around when you think that I was drunk before I was ever born……almost inconceivable. It puts a whole new spin on the term “self medicating”. Many times I feel like a balloon without any air in it……and i wonder about the roll it played in my mental functioning because things clicked so much better when I was still drinking. It was a stimulant rather than a depressant for me. Weird….

          6. My view is based on my father who was a mean alcoholic and recovered when I was a young adult and a young mother.
            As a child, while drunk when he beat me, somehow I knew he was trying to beat out his pain, hurt and anger. That it was not about me.
            When he recovered, I learned a little about his childhood. Bits and pieces that gave me a bigger picture. Each time he shared I felt compassion. And the things he endured was validated by others.
            He led a hero’s journey in life.
            “Know thy self.” My Dad come to know his self. His strengths, weakness and…FLAWS.
            No one is perfect.
            Shortly after he passed over, I learned my son was a alcoholic. I was deeply hurt for HIS sake. And helpless, like I was for my Dad.
            It proved to me that this dis-ease is in genes. Something I felt before my Dad recovered. That it is passive until triggered by deep hurt that one can’t bear. And want to stop the deep wound(s). By numbing the heartbreak and their own private “world” we all create that shatters. It seems the easy way, but it is not.
            Death of a dream is worse than physical because it is final. We grieve for it is the path to heal. We grow too.
            Unlike death of a dream, who we love that shatters us, are alive. They can’t feel the pain they cause. Sometimes we want to hurt them back so they have a clue of the pain. As said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
            I love and cherish my children. Their father “killed” my love for him. Emotional love can be given
            and taken away. And twisted.
            The day I set myself FREE of him, I did not feel any guilt, shame or blame for myself nor for him. I simply accepted he would not change.
            When I set MY self free, he was agreeable. When he remarried, his wife, she is the most manipulating person I ever knew. Quite clever. Not only for short terms, but long planned terms. She would make a good 4 star General or Commander in Chief for a war.
            My children were “disowned” by their father.
            To be continued.

        2. Yes…. all very good questions. I have searched the internet for those answers too. The best expert on addiction I have found is the Canadian Dr Gabor Mate. His presentations are available for free on you tube and some on his website. I highly recommend you watch them. What an amazing man he is. The first one I watched was ‘Attachment and brain development’, then I watched all the others. He quotes scientific articles as he is speaking and his style is so engaging and captivating. He treats severe addicts too in one of his clinics. His big thing is how society is in what he calls ‘Developmental Disaster” where for the first time in our evolution we have children spending all their time with other children. He says that our brains and hardwired from conception for attachment and bio-feedback mechanisms for reward and pleasure. I’m a big fan of his now along with Dr Simon.

      3. From personal experience, I believe it is passed down. The same as other dis-eases people may be pre-exposed to. Angalina Joline took a huge means to avoid breast cancer by having all her breast tissue removed and replaced with implants. I think it was because her mother that died from breast cancer. She has spoken of this herself.
        Yet, there are people within a family of dis-eases that do not have their genes or DNA express dis-ease.
        DNA can jump. Literally. And create disease or heal it.
        The color of my eyes changed over night. They went from blue to a deep grass green and glittered like antique dolls with eyes of glittering glass.
        I do not know, yet. But suspect it was DNA. For over two weeks they remained the green I described. Then, over night my eye color changed back to blue!
        And I have people who witnessed this anomaly.
        I tried alcohol and it affected me to feel horrible and not having full control. Alcohol was not in our home.
        Knowing it ran on both sides of my children’family, I forewarned them. NOT “preach” about it. I can’t tolerate “preaching” from any form or source.

        My son took his life.

      4. This may sound weird, but I know, not believe, KNOW that the collective consciousness of family, schools, communities, to the country people live affects people for good or for I’ll. For example, if people hear “peanuts causes cancer.” Over and over through diverse forms of media, guess what?

        I lived in Spain before it was a..democratic country. And was considered a Second Class Country bordering Third Class to being Third Class depending where you lived.

        No porno allowed. No age limit to drink. It was left to the decision of bartenders. Very low crime rate. So low, people didn’t lock their doors. If in distress and in need of help, they came and they helped NO MATTER WHAT! They lived to love and loved to live, give, help and share. Including small children. Every mother loved a mother’s child. The child was loved and cherished by their mother and all mothers too!
        There was so much more, but I LIVED “It takes a village.” Rarely was anyone sick because they ate “live” food by marketing daily.
        Years later I went back to visit. It was chaos. Doors locked, purses clutched tightly, and into material living. Drunks and addicts on steps, benches, and plazas.
        I do not have all answers or lean on my understanding about countless things. But, it seemed…
        When they had less they had more. When they got more, they had less.
        Because they had become a First World Country, exactly like the USA. The only difference was the location and language.
        Interestingly, the people that lived in the Spain I had lived, were drawn to me. And sold goods with TRUST I would be back with the money I owed. Like the Spain we once lived.
        Though very happy, our faces reflected a longing of “what was” and I suspect Spain, West Europe and the USA will change because seven billion people is near and a “tipping point” will likely occur from the collective consciousness.
        Does this make sense?

        1. Wow Lin, I can feel your spirituality coming through in your writing. Thankyou for your words of wisdom and sharing some of your story here. I am so sorry to hear that your son took his own life. I believe we have been evolving for a very long time and this modern world we have is but a tiny tick on the clock compared to the time it has taken us to get to this point. In the last 200 or so years we have seen the ills of civilization and the effects on our families, communities, nations and the planet itself. Alcohol has been around since the earliest hunter gatherer societies. How come they weren’t addicted to it? Their descendants the Indigenous people of the world, certainly did tend to become addicted to it when they bumped into the dominant Caucasian conquering culture who caused them immense suffering. It wasn’t until recently that we began seeing the en-masse addiction to it and various other forms of what I believe is basically pain relief. DNA does mutate and change as well as respond to the environment that it is in by expressing certain genes on an ongoing basis throughout our lives, not just when we are concieved. It takes many generations for natural selection to alter our DNA in a way that affects a huge amount of the population. For me the evidence that alcoholism is inherited is not based on scientific evidence in the context of evolution and natural selection. One of the conveniently forgotten facts about people who are developing, is that our gene expression starts at conception. Dr Gabor Mate says that many scientific studies on inheritance are based on identical twin studies. So the assumption is that the twins share the exact same genome therefore we should be able to infer certain things about inheritance v envionment, especially from identical twins who were not raised together. What these studies fail to recognize is that these twins shared the same prenatal environment and therefore the course of their early gene expression was determined at conception. Then they go on to live in an environment that becomes increasingly different to each other as they grow older.
          The child of an alcoholic parent lives inside and dependent on the circulation of a Mother who is usually stressed. Either she is abusing alcohol or her husband is. One can safely assume that that is a significant stressor. Her body has a higher level of stress hormones, which affect her baby as it forms and which genes become expressed. We carry half the DNA of each parent, but we don’t necessarily express all of those traits, many lay dormant and can be passed on when we have children to the next generation. So what if a child of a stressed Mother is hardwired prenatally to be a certain way, perhaps more anxious due to the level of stress hormones circulating in her cells and that child is more drawn to addiction. Can we say the baby inherited the alcoholism or should we rather say that the baby inherited the predisposition to a poorly adapted stress response and because she was surrounded by a culture that made self medication as easy as buying milk, it was easier for her to access that alcohol. Was the alcoholism inherited, I don’t believe it is. I believe there are a whole lot more things involved and things that come in to play that are unique to each individual and far more complex than just labeling alcoholism an inherited disease. Gabor Mate also says that scientific studies have now been released that say that the tribal community/extended family is the ideal environment for raising children. Stressed parents create stressed children. Stressful societies create stressed parents. The cycle is perpetuated and scientists keep on looking for why this is occurring and continue to look to DNA for an explanation, when the answer is as plain as the nose on our faces. I couldn’t agree more that our society is sick and somewhere within our society, there is an answer as to why a precious child full of potential can be born into the world to grow into a Wolf in Sheeps Clothing or monster who gains pleasure from the suffering of others.

  2. I would like to add that in order to deal with the disturbed character, we nuerotics tend to go through many of the above ourselves, in the true psychological meanings of them. I have experienced a great deal of splitting in trying to negotiate a relationship with a manipulative man. I love him and I hate him. In order to get anywhere near him or let him near me, I have to split off the anger, resentment and hatred. Then I have to deal with the part of myself that has become increasingly angry at myself for continually putting myself through all this drama and the never-ending cycle it has now revealed itself to be. So the compartment where my pain lives is now further isolated from even the self. Is that transference of the disturbed character’s self loathing into the object of their desires? So now he witnesses me neglecting, loathing and hating myself and then soothes me when it happens?!! and then finally his anxiety goes down and he feels all is well in his world. Then I have to stand up for a brutal cage fight with my fragmented self each time I agree to step into the ring with him for another honeymoon.

    1. Juliette……….that was so well described! I would just add that at least in my case, because his abuse and manipulations were so covert and i didn’t fully understand what he was doing until long after the break up, a lot of what you are describing in the early part of your post is going on very very subconsciously. I said this before………they “create” this behavior in their victim. It’s reactive behavior rather than active and we don’t try to hide it, we do become the perfect little scapegoats for them. See!!!! She’s crazy!!!!! Sick

    2. “Then I have to stand up for a brutal cage fight with my fragmented self each time I agree to step into the ring with him for another honeymoon.”
      Wow,,,,,,,so perfectly put.

      1. we become weaker and weaker while they become more and more arrogant, entitled and disdainful towards the mess they have created (us). Like a toy they have broken and don’t care to fix so they throw it out in the bushes to rust. Just get a new one Mommy….this one’s no good either,,,,,,,,,see! It’s broken.

      2. Thanks Puddle. I’m just starting to awaken to those subconscious processes now. The truth is we do go a little crazy in these relationships and yes we get sick. I heard Ricky Martin say something profound this week and I love it and I’m going to use it from now on……’it’s none of my business what other people think of me’ So I’m going to try to remember that when I’m afraid other people will believe I’m crazy.

        1. Yeah Juliette, but it’s hard when you need support from others and are told that too. And I live in a small community so getting help of any kind is difficult anyhow, let alone when you have someone undermining your character and calling YOU crazy,,,,,,,,they can’t see that he is the “crazy” one because they will never look behind his mask. Aggravating. Fortunately, he is enough of a weirdo and enough people are aware of his living situation with Mommy, etc…..that they pick up on the fact that he is a pathetic a–.

    3. I don’t know the answer but I know that counseling helped with some conflicted feelings that I was having with my husband and one of my children.
      With my child, what helped me was to finally have a talk with her. I expressed with her my feelings, etc, and my concern with what she is doing now. It didn’t change her, but I did get it off my chest.
      It was a horrible feeling. But I wouldn’t ever recommend someone who is dealing with a CD to do that without someone else, counselor, helping them.
      Writing a journal, joining a support group where you can express your feelings in a safe place may help.

      1. Thanks Hopey, I have found this support group here to be so valuable already in affirming I am not crazy and that there are others in the world who have so many insights and are there to offer genuine care and support. When my children were younger I tried to absorb alot of stress and not give their little minds too much to stress over. Now that they are older they really understand my life and the truth of it because I have been honest with them. Until that happened they were still blaming me to some degree and putting me in the ‘role’ mode and looking at my failures during the times that I broke down and couldn’t give them what they needed from me. When I stopped keeping a brave face and treating them like children that needed protecting, when they were adults, they started to see me as a human being who had been traumatized and who did a fine job in the circumstances. They all have great respect and understanding of the fact that my love for them shone through in my actions and they love me all the more for it. All the therapy I did gave me insights and tools that I could pass on to them and I became their therapist at times as they grew up.

    4. Hi Juliette, you are describing my relationship too! Isn’t it so typical of them to causes such chaos in their partner’s minds so that we become this self loathing creature (and I had a DV counsellor at one stage ask me why I hated myself??? I wonder why?) and yes then they come in as the big protector, soothing us, patting us on the head little kisses of there there there… all the while putting us down a little further. Oh I could just cry when I think back!!
      It lingers too after you leave, here I am trying to get my self esteem back before getting a new job…and I keep seeing his face mocking me when I had my dreams of getting the job I’d like…like a ghost in my head that I have to continue to shake out! Remind myself that it’s only me that I have to please now…just me and my son. Love to find a exorcist for this CD ghost! 🙂

      1. Hi Tori 🙂
        Please don’t let ONE THING about him impact how you feel about yourself. He means
        N O T H I N G and IS nothing, what he says, does, thinks……NONE of it means anything about you. No more so that someone who gets mugged on the street. Scr*w him! Laugh at him! He is the joke of a pathetic individual. If you don’t get the job you like, go for another……..EVERYONE misses out on things like this sometimes. It means nothing about you……it’s just life.

        1. Tori, turn the ghost into the cartoon character he really is. I think about Spathtardx sitting at the bar and i see him like a person in grade school who got big and out grew the school desks! To make it even funnier, other people see him in a funny way too. He is kind of a big guy and his little drinking buddy here is this little short fellow……they look ridiculous together, sitting at the bar together like little boys only they have outgrown their school clothes!!

          1. Well, add to the image that he lives in his Mommys basement at 48 yrs old and drives his dead father’s car which is really mommy’s now and that he has to be home for dinner…….it’s pretty HaHa alright. BUT, somehow in the back of my mind it think there was another layer of deception and manipulation going on surrounding all of that too, something Mommy was in on. Pathetic at best, sick, twisted and disturbing at worst.

      2. Yeah me too, I’m trying to work it out in therapy. In Australia we can get 10 free sessions with the psychologist of our choice on Medicare. After that were on our own. Thank goodness we have forums like this to share what we have found. I love the fact we are all present in this information age using it to heal ourselves and each other as well as the fact that there are guys out there like Dr Simon willing to give and be accessible to us. Bless you Dr Simon.

      3. Just hearing you say ‘Oh I could cry when I think back!!’ was inspiring to me. To really hear someone say that from a position of strength gives me strength too. This is why I am so grateful for finding Dr Simon’s site and also to each person here who is engaged in their own and my own growth. Thankyou. If only good therapy was affordable for everyone on a long term basis. The more complex the trauma the longer it takes to build the needed theraputic relationship and that kind of money just isn’t a reality for most of us. Can you imagine if we all met for coffee?! Lol! They would be throwing us out at closing time. haha

        1. We’d never stop once we’d get started that’s for sure. And it is expensive for therapy. Must admit I had to pay a bit of the fee for my sessions maybe my psychologist was a little more expensive. Though a friend got her visits free. But 10 isn’t enough as you say Juliette for such complex issues. My psychologist was very upfront don’t beat about the bush type which I think helped me a great deal, as I came away feeling so empowered. I might say Puddle reminds me of her with all her straight talking.
          Juliette I’m not sure but I do know that I could get more sessions but maybe it was a different plan as like I said I had to pay some of the fees for my sessions.

  3. Off – topic
    I hope to see topics regarding children of character disordered or narcissistic parents; How do dependent children protect themselves?

    1. Their inner working model separates into parts in order to cope. I would also love to hear what the professionals here have to teach us about that. I have four children who are now 28, 26, 24 and 18. They have their issues but I now see that my never giving up and my love for them was a light in the darkness that shines in their souls. My honesty with them rather than trying to pretend helped too. They love me for putting them first and I have had to help them through their young adult years for longer than usual but I hung in there with them. The best thing you can do for your children is to work on yourself then you can give them the tools they are going to need to integrate the bad experiences into their adult identities and their worldview. The bad times have made us closer than we otherwise would have been too. My children know now that they are older that beyond a shadow of a doubt I love them and have battled for not only my own sanity but theirs too. They are our living witnesses and they remember the good too.

      1. Juliette,,,,,,Good for you with your kids, They are very fortunate. It’s so damaging to have someone telling or not telling you things that you know are true/ not true as a child. People have an internal reality check, children included. They may not be able to identify what it is saying in a precise way but they know when something is wrong. To have a parent not confirm their gut instincts is VERY damaging. That is what Spathtards do. We know something isn’t right but they deny our reality checks and we don’t understand. It leads to so much confusion and inner turmoil, it’s probably one of the most harmful things anyone can do to another person. Bad experiences are part of life and it certainly helps build a child’s character when a parent teaches them to deal with that reality rather than to deny and avoid it.

        1. Thankyou Puddle, what you say is so true. It’s so harmful and robs them of some innocence but it is what it is and we must find a way to accept it and work with it or go insane or homicidal. Being honest and validating their reality is the only thing we can do sometimes. Pretending otherwise just further distorts their sense of reality. I separated from him when they were in their early years 0-4. The nightmare continued for over 20 years. They all went through a phase in their late teens and early twenties when they became angry with their father, it was then that I was able to help them really understand his character disturbance in psychological terms. Around that time he had found a replacement object for us and dropped them like a hot potato. They understand his psychopathy now and like me are relieved that he moved on to a new object. We all feel really sorry for her though.

    2. Also, has anyone ever met a child psychopath? I have and have had the unfortunate, tragic privellege of watching several grow and develop into the Wolf and seen how their siblings fared differently and in my opinion why? I have even seen male children become psychopaths at the hands of their psychopathic step-fathers. I have also seen 3 boys whose Mother’s got them the help they needed in time ie separation and therapy, develop out of the first signs of having the homicidal triad into just being an average young man with issues but still retaining the proper empathy.

  4. I would like to think Dr. Simon for giving a definition of what true paranoia is because now it can be countered. Also, the example he gave was perfect because being with someone who has a history of being unfaithful, can seem like a person is CRAZY meaning paranoia. But, feeling crazy, or bothered – HYPER SENSITIVE – would seem natural to someone who has been betrayed. I like to think they get to be patient with us going through these times and checking out their stories (validating whether they are trustworthy or not) because they did do it to US.

    1. Hopey, generally speaking, it’s not a true manipulator’s or covert aggressive’s nature to be patient with anyone for any reason but they do expect it from you!

      1. Yes. And as I see it, they can either deal with it or not – their not liking it. 🙂 He can either help, or not. I tell him what helps and what doesn’t. If he doesn’t want to do it, we have a dog house. I am open to many options except saying anything that resembles me being paranoid, etc.

  5. Would someone give more specific examples of a conniver reporting symptoms that aren’t the real problem?

    1. J, how about claiming to have an alcohol problem and blaming that on all of their faulty behavior…..never mind the fact that they have done N O T H I H G on their own to address this “”addiction””? Or having been abused in their childhood……never mind the fact that they have never sought help to resolve the lingering issues from this supposed abuse?

    2. My first conniver ‘discovered’ later in life (when it became fashionable) that he was Autistic or Aspergers and ADHD. The latest catchphrases loosely applied to people who go around treating everyone else like objects.

  6. Here’s another one attributed to the character disordered on inter-active forums, staffed by ‘professionals’. (be careful out there!). ‘Word Salad’. Word salad is slang for the jumbled, disintegrative speech, symptomatic of a psychotic break, usually schizophrenic. It in no way describes the lies, lame ass finger pointing, contradictory, pile of baloney and or evasions, victims of a CD are subjected to.

    Correct me if I am wrong here. But I remember researching that term in association with psychosis 30 years ago–and the CD isn’t nuts. They just don’t give a flying fig.

    1. Lisa, yes….there is the “word salad” you are describing which does NOT apply to CDs, Spaths and the likes, but there is a version of it that I have seen, both in Spathtardx and my sociobro and others. I don’t know what you would call it but i’ve seen them talk themselves into a hole of senselessness. I call it word salad but it is not the official version you are speaking of. My interpretation is that they can’t manufacture lies fast enough or keep up with the lies they have told in the past or are grasping at straws to wriggle out of something. I just went through this with the man I will never speak to again. The arguments he used to try to put me on the defensive and avoid confrontation and accountability were SO off track it would have been laughable if I wasn’t so hurt by the betrayal of my privacy and violation(S) of my VERY reasonable requests.
      I watched Spathtardx do this one time……..this one time stuck in my mind very clearly for some reason…… was as if his mouth would not stop creating words even if what he was saying didn’t make sense. I watched him deflate right before my eyes…..
      Something about that episode still brings tears to my eyes…….at that moment he just seemd so defeated by himself. I remember sitting next to him outside when this happened and reached over and put my hand on his back as he just stared at the ground and he started crying. It was a different type of crying….not the melodramatic soap opera version. I have a lump in my throat just typing that. I loved “him” so much…….

      1. Defeated by himself in the fashion of “I couldn’t create a lie good enough. How can this happen to My Highness?” ? (and J’s heart jumps spontaneously out of his chest of he types this)

      2. Puddle– OMG– You are funny. I know what you mean about the speech. In my experience, I was dealing with a sadist, who, when confronted, went all lawyerly. I just wanted to have a conversation to get some clarity. Instead I was treated to an aggressive cross examination. This sadist was clever, a Mensa member and particularly adept at language– his strong suit. Still, I generally was able to nail him, to a point. Talk about slippery, though. Wow.

        I have a couple of family members who have very serious problems. My brother is on the continuum but not malignant, just selfish. Now he is generally regarded, and locally famous for being a wise New Age writer. Try ever confronting someone who’s famous and deeply admired and who writes for a living. My God, you want to see some wild verbal jujitsu, spiraling down into conceptually confusions, complicating the simple to offload responsibility. OMG. If he was a deviant I can’t imagine how awful it would be.

        Though I love my brother, I think he is a bit of an ass and holier than thou. Trying to grab this verbal gerbil by the tail, get him to simplify issues and speak plainly is SO HARD!

        1. Lisa,,,,,you KILL me!! Verbal gerbil! Holy CROW!! Thats a good one! You do seem to come up with some interesting sayings!
          “My God, you want to see some wild verbal jujitsu, spiraling down into conceptually confusions, complicating the simple to offload responsibility.”

      3. Hi Puddle, thankyou for that raw honest story, I could really relate to that too. I have too, many times in several different guys not all were my own partners either. It’s not the usual manipulation type of ‘soap opera’ cop out as you describe it, I agree, its a short-lived window into what’s really going on underneath all that manipulation and superficiality. I think it is triggered by their loss or perceived loss of control ie. the object of their desire is going to quit the relationship. It’s like all the manipulation or the sheep is stripped away and the Wolf is revealed but what we see in that kind of disintegration you are describing is what lies beneath the Wolf. It really amazes me that so many women like us have been in a 24hr reality with these types of characters and it’s clear to me since joining this forum that I am not alone in realizing that I know a great deal about these types of characters from both living with them and researching them in order to better understand them for years! I have often thought it sad that I don’t have a psychology degree in order to be taken seriously regarding such observations. I don’t believe many psycopaths would genuinely engage in therapy the way most people do either. So we generally hear the repeated mantra that we don’t know what causes psycopathy and that it is virtually impossible to treat but these guys still try to create sexual pair bonds and we their object get to witness things over a long period of time that I believe therapists rarely see, even in jails. There really is something beneath the Wolf, whether it is able to be repaired is the holy grail of psychology.

        1. Hi Juliette, I aparently got off track and didn’t see these posts of yours. You make some incredible observations. It is a very VERY short window into what lies beneath the mask but I’m also careful in my efforts to interpret what I see through this window. Why? because it very well could be another level of BS!! 🙂
          There is so much about them that can compel a victim to try to figure it all out. An unsolvable puzzle perhaps, filled with pieces from multiple puzzles that will never fit together. My brain locks on to things like this and chews and chews and chews on them. The only way for it to let go is for something more compelling to grab hold of it and engage it. Well……guess what folks?? There IS nothing more compelling and engaging, not to me anyhow! RATS!

          1. Puddle I totally agree, it could be another level of BS so it should just be observed. However it’s the same with several I’ve seen and I do believe it is a genuine disintegration that makes them very embarassed and frightened when it happens. Something drove me too for years feeling exactly as you describe ‘compelling and engaging’ and like you I did learn a great deal of what we don’t know and what we do. Dr Simon’s work has been the icing on the cake for me. I was probably more caught up in trying to reconcile what I had seen for years in these characters with the mainstream psychological literature and science and come up with some of my own insights. I knew these characters enjoyed what they did but I also knew that they suffered for what they did and to I thought that to some extent hated that part of themselves at times. I don’t believe that anymore. For me the great drive to learn about CD was because I have met a number of child sociopath’s and true child psychopaths and their Mothers. I witnessed these kids get removed from their Fathers and get help and then grow up to be healthier than they otherwise would have. I also saw a boy become that way at the hands of his psychopathic step-father and saw how his sibilings didn’t and formed an idea about why that was so. (He was the hostage his step-father took everywhere with him so that his Mum wouldn’t escape), he left home formed a relationship with a teenager who became pregnant to him. He is now in jail serving a long sentence for shaking their baby and giving it brain damage. I believe early intervention is a possibility for these types of kids and this belief is what keeps me delving.

  7. Puddle–Thank you. You are really encouraging. You know, I just noticed there is another Lisa on the forum, so I am going to go by the name, LisaO, okay?

    1. Sure LisaO! Am I responding to two Lisas? LOL! And you deserve encouragement and support and validation, we all do but no person in this world needs it more than someone who has been abused like this because other people really don’t understand.
      **Graphic Alert** They understand someone getting murdered, violently raped, robbed, etc……but one of these situations (which certain is thinly veiled rape), people just don’t get it. I see it in their faces, hear it in their words,,,or lack of words…… We are so fortunate to have places like Dr. Simon’s site to be able to interact with others who do get it.
      I was SO on the edge at a couple different times during this whole mess and I honestly don’t know what would have happened if I wouldn’t have found the help I’ve found on this site and others. I think back to where I was a year ago and it’s a blur of darkness and desperation…….total confusion. These sites have helped me discover a very painful truth but the truth has set me free. (and yes,,,,,,you do have to be careful because there are some hidden dangers even in looking for help of any kind)

  8. Speaking of them speaking……their ace in the hole when all else fails is to walk out dripping in feigned righteous indignation.

  9. Hi again!

    There were two Lisas! Yikes. Talk about ‘splitting’! I am now and forever, LisaO.

    So happy that you have found the help you need.

    A certain level of compassionate but detached impartiality is key to helping people. If you have an interactive site manned by mods and admins who are easily triggered themselves, you can get hurt, badly.

    There is a redirection of aggressive impulse away from the abuser towards convenient targets who can’t protect themselves. I would like to see sites like this banished from the internet, actually.

    1. LisaO,,,,,,I got railroaded on one site over something I said in passing and was taken to the hilt……ok, like the monitor could have said something to me on the back channel and handled it all differently but no, not the way it happened. I was then asked for an appropriate apology for something I didn’t even mean to come across the way it did or be taken the way it was……very Spathy AND HER whole story of being victimized by a Spath and the methods he used are VERY suspicious……Like I can’t find any evidence on the internet that it’s even possible. oh well, water under the bridge but people should be aware. it was one of those sites that advertises all kinds of things, unlike Dr. Simon’s site and a couple others that are clearly not doing this to generate revenue through advertisements.
      She was extremely helpful though and I did learn a lot before the debacle. Yeah,,,,,,I was hurt by it and confused.

  10. Regarding sites, moderation and aggressive behaviors, I have experienced this and have been shocked by the personal attacks which had nothing to do with the debate at all (I was told later that it was a tactic of someone who had been called out/losing to go into attack mode). I later thought it would be safe on another site that wasn’t a personal blog, but alas, I was banned from it! When I emailed the mod they said it could have been in error but I am finding out that others who disagree and show why they disagree with this persons idea get mysteriously banned!
    I refuse to comment on public places anymore, newspapers etc because a lot of personal attacking goes on. I was frustrated before I left facebook that they could create a program to catch those who are doing this and keep them from doing it especially between kids. Alas, they just made it worse and in the end, I would have to go through a series of answering “are you sure you want to post this” even on my personal page. It was ridiculous. I had suggested to facebook that they might benefit getting with an English teacher to help them understand that there is a natural way a sentence flows in personal attacks. I believe I was ignored and put on probation myself.

    1. Hopey. Same goes for internet dating sites. If someone gets called in for being predatory, which happened to a couple people I know, say a pattern emerges……I think the site should pull the person’s profile. The reality is this though…..they will just put another profile up under a different email address I suppose.

  11. Regarding facebook, I was especially dismayed that a program could be created to help protect kids from being bullied. As for adults, we should be able to leave if need be but kids are different and some things should never cross their screen even in comments.

  12. And I also suggested to facebook that for children, under 18, if their child was putting personal attacks, bullying, on others pages, they could make it more difficult to do by requiring an adult be connected with the account. IOW, if facebook didn’t want to monitor everything, certain sentence structure could make a comment go into a “hold” and sent to the parent’s account so they could approve or not. That way the person responsible for the child would be fully aware ahead of time what their child was up to.

    1. THAT is a great idea! and for children, it “should be” mandatory. Makes sense to be for Pete’sake! Children do not have the capacity or life experiences to make sound choices in life. I would say that below a certain age, they shouldn’t even wait till something has gone awry.

      1. YUP! I was not able to gather enough backing before I just had to quit FB. Esp that parents, who are responsible for the children using FB, need to be aware of what the kids are saying. One bad thing about FB is that you do not get a real response but automated one. Also, if you have enough people flagging you, your life can become miserable if not possible to post on your own page. That was an unfortunate reality of Blogger as a group could get together and “flag” a blogger and their blog locked till they got around to seeing if it was a valid complaint or not. WordPress was different as they held the complaints till they could look at what was objectionable. They knew nasty people could attack people and cause their blogs to be shut down weeks at a time. CD people on the internet are alive and well.

  13. Hi Puddle and Hopey,

    I was banned on a forum because I asked one of the mods why she appeared to have a problem with me. She swore up and down that she didn’t. I didn’t back down, explained why I felt that way and told her I was listening to my gut on that one. She became completely infuriated and then started melting down.

    She proceeded to go in to full attack mode and itemize all the ways she thought I was a ‘dangerous’ person to have on the forum and had always thought so–that I wasn’t who I seemed to be–on and on and on. So she reinforced my gut feelings–and neither she or the administrator saw this as ironic or a self indictment, on her part.

    It was awful. I really liked the forum and nearly everybody on it. But the administrator is overly suspicious, for obvious reasons and mods probably have ptsd issues, so not exactly conducive to calm rationale.

    The big sell for these forums is, “who knows better than we do, other victims of psychopathy”

    Well, for starters, somebody who has professional credentials. They understand that one of the main features of a post P targeted attack is hyper vigilance, tremendous anger and a desire to lash out (understandably so.) The professional is likely to be more adept at spotting this and gently approaching the triggered individual, behind the scenes.

    It should be a bare minimum requirement to be a visible credentialed individual on help forums of this nature.

    It’s true that character disorders are on the increase, but creating an atmosphere on a forum where people can come to be ‘safe’, as if there is no safety anywhere else, is wrong.

    I remember I wrote something about having a choice after being targeted. As the subconscious sees things in black and white, a victim can see a world full of nothing but psychopaths. Or, armed with knowledge and awareness, they can try to go forward and view the world more as a place where people have been damaged by them.

    Puddle, your experience is common and unfortunately, all the posts that reveal the mods and admins as damaged individuals, lashing out, are eventually removed by admins, so new members coming on to the forum are not prepared for what they might be in for.

    I honestly feel that along with your suggestions for Facebook, Hopey, that some attention is drawn to this issue.

    1. Yes. I know that at least some newspapers have closed their comment sections because of the horrible lashing out. What I don’t understand is why some just filter for cuss words and not a step further.
      One big disadvantage of FB is there is no human you can contact and resolve an issue. I am a member of one forum in which I feel safer than other areas and I agree with you it would be a false safety to think there were one that was perfect, etc. But even there, I have to be aware that when someone crosses the line, it is my duty to notify the mod. I have been corrected there also when I broke a rule. They reminded me of the rule and gave me a warning. I thanked them and didn’t do it again, unlike FB where you can get flagged and have problems posting on your own page. There is no resolution that I could see.

      I also was not able to log in daily into my children’s account to see if they were the recipients of abuse OR being abusive themselves to fellow “friends”. Because of that, they can not use it till they are older.

      I know it is tempting to see all as CD if you have experienced that in the past. Maybe it would be better to say the current social climate is that most are no longer civil; rude.

      1. When I got railroaded I violated a rule that I did’t even know was a rule and then violated it again trying to explain that I didn’t know it was a rule! I was accused of trying to stir up drama and was sitting there reading these overblown melodramatic posts as they were railroading me. It was so bizarre! I honestly had no such intention whatsoever! I knew I didn’t and they expected me to apologize for something that wasn’t something i could apologize for because it wasn’t my intention! It was bizarre! AND, the whatever you call them, moderator? Leader? owner? of the site’s background story was very suspicious………i.e., unless I am just not finding the right info on the web, does LSD turn into strychnine poison when it sets old?? If it does, i was unable to find any information about it.

        1. I don’t know. That sounds very frustrating and a place not conducive of a meaningful discussion!!
          Maybe I should be thankful I didn’t find out what I was flagged for on FB or they didn’t respond other than, here is a list of common offenses or whatever. None of which I had done.

          The other one I did was minor. We were not supposed to ask location and I inadvertently asked when I put if they were in this particular area that experienced what they were describing.

    2. LisaO, Hopey, I went through a bizarre phase on these sites where I was “being shown” that they are not as I thought they were. At the time it was very very disorienting on top of the trauma and disorientation I was already experiencing because of the whole mess with Spathtardx. I trusted that these sites were safe, some are not. At this point I pretty much only interact in this blog because i totally trust Dr. Simon. He’s my hero and I have no doubts about his integrity whatsoever. That in and of it’s self has been a huge lesson for me………to know what it feels like to trust and respect a real man. There are NO lingering, nagging doubts and I respect him. I never felt that kind of peace about Spathtardx…….NEVER! The lack of that feeling of peace about someone and their character or presence in your life is the most important red flag there is.

  14. Hi, I am keen to join the discussion. I suffered at the hands of a psychopathic manipulator almost 3 years ago and am still feeling the wounds, having upsetting dreams and feeling a great deal of rage against the person concerned as well as dismay at all the bystanders who turned their backs on me and got in line with her. I wrote my story here:

    It’s a bit long but I hope someone will take the time to read it and comment. I really want to forget the horrible events but they keep coming back to haunt me!

    1. Hi Angela, I’m sorry you have been treated the way you were. It is a horrible experience and one that is so easy to take personally. You ask how long it will take to get past something like this and that is a difficult question to answer because every one is different and each situation is different. They most definitely share many common elements but are still different.
      I think that it is very important to know that you…..the real you….were not the one who was attacked. That person is still there and you must reconnect with that person, her values, her passions, goodness, likes and dislikes, etc. Feel the feelings this has generated in you as deeply as you possibly can with no holds barred. There is nothing wrong with being angry about what happened and the frustration of having little to no recourse.
      I know it’s difficult but it has helped me somewhat to be grateful for the new tools I have in my life toolbox now because of what happened. It’s also been helpful for me to realize how pathetic this person is really……what exactly was I missing so deeply? Not a real person…..just a fake and an illusion, a joke of a human being and a little mama’s boy who can’t keep him self together at the age of 48! Still needs Mommy to prop him up so he can sit in her filthy basement and drink. Can’t keep a woman happy to save himself! ……these kinds of things.
      This woman who did you wrong and the man,,,,,,they mean nothing in the big picture. They are insignificant low lives! Focus on the good people in your life, the ones who do mean something.
      I really think that purging your emotions by really feeling them is extremely important no mater how painful that may be. For me it was like swallowing broken glass with a battery acid chaser.

    2. Hi Angela,

      I read your story and feel so much compassion for you. Nobody should have to endure abuse of this nature. Just because it is woman to woman makes it no less harmful. I had a very good friend who was targeted in the same way by a prof at a university where he was working towards his masters degree in communications. Needless to say, in that situation, the prof had all the power and though he wasn’t involved in the entertainment industry, he was a real prima donna.

      I have been tangentially involved, from a distance, for about ten years, just by virtue of being friends of the victim. It happened before I was targeted myself.

      Victim is real nice guy and very innocently pointed out some error in teaching method to prof. Not malicious, just a fyi type of approach. That’s all it took. The bully now had himself a convenient target to tear apart. He destroyed any chance of victim getting masters degree, mind f’d him to an alarming degree and turned key players in the dept against him.

      He nearly went mad. I remember spending hours just listening to him on the phone explaining all the details, how he was taking legal measures against this man, etc… It was actually kind of boring, in the details, but that’s where the devil lies, so I managed to listen to him for days, hours, weeks, months. He did eventually win a settlement contingent on a gag order–that he turned down. He is planning on outing this man publicly, in a book he will write at some point in the future, armed with the legal documentation that backs his claims that the other party was guilty.

      It has taken a tremendous amount out of him. And my brother, among others, I am sure, warned him not to do it. My stance was always that as much as the obsession and drive for justice was taking out of him, the alternative — not taking legal action, may have been harder on him. Nobody can judge the inner state of the victim enough to know what is the best course of action, imho. To walk away?? Hmm….sometimes the best solution…but not always.

      This is where a once size fits all doesn’t always work and where the nature of the crime has to be taken into account as well.

      In your own case, if you don’t mind me being frank, I sense that you have a very high degree of conscientiousness in your personality, and as you have described that you are introverted and highly sensitive, I wonder if this would help.

      It’s a small thing, and I am just approaching you intuitively from your post and from understanding the nature of introversion, to a degree. I took the Jungian test and fall squarely in the middle of extro and introversion, so understand both fairly well.

      Do you do any sports where you are bashing anything? Even better, (as sports could put you in an atmosphere where you are judging your own performance)–do you ever make broad movements with your arms, at a target and bash away? Do you think it might help?

      After I was targeted and had figured out that my own easily guilty nature was being used against me to further traumatize me, I got angry fast.

      It took a while for me to do this, but it helped. About a month or so after it ended, I quit feeling responsible and got very very angry. I would lie in bed and imagine I was bashing him to death with a club. I am not ashamed to admit this. And, it felt good. And even better, I only did it a few times and that was enough.

      I have an auto-immune disease that disallows me to move my body much at all, so it all took place in my head. If I had been healthy I would have gone walking through the forest with a stick, when nobody was looking, and beat the hell out of the ground.

      Another activity that may help ‘discharge adrenalin’ for lack of better terms, is swimming. It seems to me it’s about moving the upper body, thrashing with our arms, that for some odd reason, enhances a sense of mastery of ourselves. This may not deal with the specifics of the abuse but might strengthen you in such a way, that it will be easier to cope with.

      I could be off track here. Forgive me, if I am. Dr. Simons, please feel free to correct me if that is the case.

      A big hug to you, Angela!

      1. Puddle, Lisa and Hopey, thanks so much for the kind comments! I do believe that letting out the emotions must help eventually – there must be so much more in there, otherwise I wouldn’t be getting these dreams and the absolute surge of rage whenever I think about the woman. Yes, she is low life and will never have real contentment as a human being. If I had the full picture, which I don’t, I would probably find out that her posh house with pool, studio and grand piano, her real estate and the minions who fawn on her are still no compensation for being the kind of person who trusts nobody and who burns bridges on the slightest provocation. My friend, whom she phoned up after the event (she didn’t dare contact me) said she soon realised she was talking to an idiot. However, that still doesn’t help with my rage. I am a keen swimmer although I haven’t been for a while – I should start again now the summer is coming. Maybe punching a bag would help – I feel pent up a lot of the time. One reason is almost certainly that the initial reason I put up with this woman – my lack of any other opportunities to work as a singer – has not changed. I send off applications until the depression makes me take a break, but there are simply no opportunities for me to practise the skill which I feel I was born to do, other than in private. I am trying to work on acceptance of this through meditation and spiritual study, but quite possibly I do need more of a physical workout as well.

        Lisa, your friend’s situation does sound very familiar. The abuse I suffered was triggered off by exactly that – questioning a part of the teacher’s so-called expertise. At least I can be thankful that I have not had an academic career ruined by a psycho supervisor. Gagging clause – again, same thing. It was brave of your friend to stand up to it. I wonder how much money he turned down. In my case the sum of $275 really told me how much those jerks thought I was worth.

        One thing I have definitely learned is just how dangerous people like that can be. No Contact is supremely important to me if I catch a whiff of that kind of personality. It just shocked me how even those who knew about the woman’s abusive behaviour still clung to her and purported to respect her judgment. They even seemed fond of her although she was incapable of genuine emotion. I couldn’t get it through to them that being in contact at all with such a person is like drinking poison. Maybe they needed to suffer what I did to realise it.

        1. Hi Angela,

          People who fawn over malignant narcissists are puzzling Some people are such psychophants they willingly default to this role with those in power. Look at Karl Rove. George Bush junior’s slang name for him was, ‘Turd Blossom’ and he still remained a devoted toady. Very servile people may be the recently reincarnated spirits of dead chihuahuas. You never know.

          A punching bag sounds perfect. And as far as singing goes have you thought of singing your heart out on Youtube videos?

          And yes, anybody who damages your soul, even temporarily, is dangerous as hell–because they can set the course for the rest of that person’s life–where they feel like they are only half alive.

          I feel in my heart, that there is something so spiritually devastating that goes on with them, that can’t easily be addressed by modern psychology, until the nature of human consciousness is nailed down. I feel we are more than simple meat machines, reflexively adopting behaviors based on stimulus response mechanisms. I don’t mean to preach but, if anything, once someone has been tortured by something that seems to come right out of the demonic realm, perhaps the bright spot is that they will come to the understanding that there is corresponding spiritual light out there, too, that they can access.

          Forgive the preaching. I just so hope it helps.

          1. Hi LisaO, I love reading your insights and food for thought. I too have wondered whether psycopathy has a spiritual element going on inside the people who are afflicted with it. I have also wondered whether our modern ‘Christianity’ and God fearing culture has had an impact on vulnerable individuals. If we look back through cultural evolution back to even the Egyptians it seems that the whole of humanity was based on the exploitation of other human beings, such as slavery and a complete lack of empathy for suffering in others. Even right up into modern times when slavery was abolished in the USA and Apartheid in South Africa. So collectively we all come from a past where our rulers saw human life as dispensable and exploitable. When I look at Indigenous cultures it seems to me that social cohesion depended on empathy, co-operation and reverence for human life as part of the ecosystem and the world of spirits. Then we were taken over by the Vikings and the Christian paradigm, which represented the angry vengeful god and went about slaughtering and traumatizing a great deal of people in the name of God. We are all descendants of these traumatized people in one way or another. Many of us have healed ourselves and are creating a better world returning to our reverence for life. Lately I’ve been looking into mirror neurons and the theory that they are the physical evidence in the brain for the capacity for empathy. Have you ever read much about them?

          2. That is a really interesting thought, LisaO, and one that I would like to consider. I have certainly been far more of a spiritual seeker since this event. On a side note, the woman who abused me and her side-kicks were the sort who would bang on about Christianity while at the same time being oblivious to anyone’s needs but their own. She was a four-times-divorced tax-evading piece of scum but would hold “memorial concerts” and invite people to come and speak about “those who have crossed the rainbow bridge”. Really nutty and so self-righteous. I often wondered why Jesus hadn’t told them to get on with the job in hand rather than just to bang on about Him.
            Anyway, rant over… I am seeking a better place now and I am also fervently hoping that I will be able to overcome my own weakness, which is not standing up for myself and not calling people on their behaviour. If I could have one wish, it would be that.

        2. Angela, Singing is your passion and there are ways you can express that passion other than in private but you may not end up making a career out of it. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to like that but you can use your talent and passion in other ways and sing for people to enjoy. Nursing homes LOVE to have talented people come sing for the elderly, churches, small clubs, a street corner!! 🙂

          1. Hi Puddle,
            I have sent emails to churches but here in Germany they have no capacity for singers. I will try nursing homes next. Street corners would be too dangerous for me. I know a lot of people put up Youtube videos but I don’t have adequate recording equipment and I am not tough enough yet to cope with the possible snarky comments. I recently took a singing exam though, and it felt really good to do something I knew would bear fruit.

    3. Hi Angela, sorry that you had to go through that ordeal. These people take so much from us, they’re parasites of the worst kind. As Puddle has said we don’t come away without damage. I realise that now more than ever. Even putting physical distance between my ex and myself I find he too haunts my dreams. Sometimes it feels as if I have something stamped on me…damaged goods or something 🙂 As my son so wisely put it something damaged can be fixed.
      I think you touched on something about moving on in healing but not focussing on forgiveness. That I feel is good, just in my opinion. I know so many say you have to forgive to move on but I know I can’t. Maybe it’s too early but boy…no don’t think so!
      For you that woman took something so personal from you, your singing, it takes such courage to chase your dreams and put yourself out there only to have that constant belittling… please don’t let that woman take away your own dreams. That is you, the real you. Artist’s are naturally sensitive I think but also the most bravest of people, they literally put themselves out there into the public arena and face all types of praise and sometimes criticisms but also makes one a target for these malicious types. I do hope you continue to sing. 🙂

      1. You do NOT have to forgive to move on. I don’t but into that line of thinking. I will never forgive Spathtardx……he doesn’t deserve it and I just don’t see the reason to forgive him. I’ve said this before……..I would never forgive someone who raped me…..never!! He did just that and without a care in the world. He hurts and destroys women and uses and abuses. He has done N O T H I N G to show that he has any intention or desire to change his MO so, no forgivie. I have never before in my entire life wished harm on someone and while I would never harm someone myself I sure hope he gets his dues and I live to hear about it. Why?? Because I DON”T CARE ANYMORE!! Not about him, that’s for sure. He’s lucky I don’t drink anymore because it would be game on! (not a threat, btw, I’m just saying).

        1. So sorry Puddle… No there’s no forgiving that! I find it hard when someone says forgive and you’ll be set free… I don’t want to care a jot anymore too…Haven’t quite reached that stage but no I’ll never forgive either. My issue is sharing my son with him…right now I don’t have to contend with custody but I feel it’s brewing and I just want to keep my child safe from his influence and exposing myself to more of his garbage. I am struggling with this at present…my son is remembering his good facade DAD…not the aggressive abusive one he was frightened of. Of course my son in someways forgives his dad his behaviour now which causes me concern. I want to keep him safe and I can’t afford forgiveness for the same reasons you state and LisaO says being put back in a vulnerable position.

          1. Tori,,,,,hang in there, be smart and safe. I wish you the best best BEST! Once again, i can’t even imagine how hard it must be to have to stay in contact of any form with one of these low lives because of a shared child. 🙁

      2. Indifference is the ticket. Forgiveness will always put you in a vulnerable position with the disordered. It’s their foot back in the door.

      3. Thanks Tori! Yes, I will definitely continue to sing. I have just taken an exam and provided I pass it, I will work towards the next one. Giving up singing was of course what the witch wanted me to do, so I won’t be doing that!

    4. Hi Angela, I’m new to this wonderful site too. First of all congratulations for the fact that you are reaching out and looking for answers and healing. It takes a long time. I went from one psycopath to an even worse one before I realised that I had a poorly organised attachment style. I truly believe that until we understand our part in not seeing the manipulator in the early stages, we tend to recreate our issues again and again. Yes how terrifying! Other than Dr Simon’s books on disturbed characters which are brilliant, the two best ebooks I have found are ‘But he says he loves me” By Dina L McMillan and ‘Prince Harming Syndrome” by Karen Salmansohn. Both of these books put a focus on us the survivor and how we can spot the signs early on. It’s a rather unfortunate fact in our out of balance world, that the people who most afford psychotherapy are those who can’t afford it. Of course a long course of therapy is the ideal but these two books have changed my way of thinking. Prince Harming Syndrome is really focused on recovery of self esteem and any woman in any type of relationship can alter it’s principles to their life and sexual preference. Karen’s website is a wealth of positive life affirming messages and articles for women too. It really is possible to change the negative beliefs within us. I’m still working on it. I have PTSD and I’m a work in progress. Looking at my childhood and the causes of my low self worth helped me to understand why I fell for Prince Harming’s. I have been working on learning what’s called ‘secure earned attachment’, that’s apparently what all the ‘normal’ people out there do. Our early attachments were disordered and that’s why we became the victim for these types of characters. We have to change the inner then the outer follows. Claim our self determining power instead of giving it away to others all our life to justify our existence. Karen Salmansohn changed her prince harming’s name in her mobile phone to ‘Teacher’, so that she stopped seeing herself as the victim and started focusing on what she had to learn from the experience. I love that. If we stay focused on the suffering for too long after the grieving process they still have the power over us.

      1. Juliette,
        Thanks for your thoughtful comments! Yes, we all have to recognise manipulators earlier. I made the vital mistake of taking the woman’s word for things, in the hope that I would get my heart’s desire – a singing role – although if I had thought things through, I would have realised that since she had told blatant lies before (I was informed of this by a former friend of hers), she would do it again to get what she wanted. My alarm bells had gone off even before that, since my earlier encounters with her started off with a lot of exaggerated praise and finished with lots of scathing criticism, “sad-face”-making and insinuations that I needed to pay her lots more $$ in order to achieve anything as a singer. I did make a huge mistake and it is probably this that is causing me so much pain now. I just wanted to live my dream too much, and thought I was strong enough to shake off the bullying.

  15. I am sorry, Angela. One good thing I take from being a victim of these type of people is knowing that the lessons can be hard, but I feel better attuned at avoiding OR setting appropriate boundaries with them.
    As someone who has been bothered by no justice in some situations, I examined mine to see if there really was any legal way to compensate what they had done. When I realized time had run out, I have bad days and good days. IOW, the rage you are feeling is natural. I am glad you were able to get your voice out on one website. For me, it took counseling, learning some tools, and taking it a day at a time. There is nothing out there that will magically erase all the pain. But I hope that mine would be put to good in some sort of fashion even on the really bad days. I have days that I have to do something physical (bike riding or hoeing, mowing etc) just to offset those strong feelings. Welcome to the forum. You are not alone.

  16. Hopey and lisaO, very wise comments to Angela. Just imagine, as I often do, being in a position like this and not having the internet resources we have now! I think of Spathtard’s first wife who from the sounds of it, got driven over the edge being involved with him…….this was back in the 80’s. She had N O N E of the resources we have now and from the sounds of it came from a fairly messed up family. I hope somehow she stumbles across this kind of info now at least so she can get SOME validation about her experience with him.

    1. Yes, I do hope that one of the benefits of the internet can be increased support for all sorts of abuse cases, victims feeling more able to speak out, and quicker exposures in high-profile cases such as those cult leaders who drive people to bankruptcy, homelessness and suicide, and prominent child abusers. Not everything on the internet is a blessing but that can be, I hope!

  17. Re-posting of an old question I actually, weirdly, forgot I’d ever asked:

    “Speaking of abuse, what are the worst and the most extreme kinds of emotional abuse?

    How can people go on after them?”

    Okay, the second question I’ve asked in the different form, but nonetheless, here’s my request again.

    Dr Simon, just to make sure, have you made these articles? If you have, would you link to them?

  18. Hi J,

    If this is an open question, not directed just to Dr. Simon, I think I’m equipped to answer it, from my own life and perspective. Others may disagree or have a completely different point of view.

    The worst abuse is what you fear the most. If you fear physical abuse, more than anything, you will abused in that way, by some CD people, particularly psycopaths.

    My abuser knew exactly what my worst fears were, because I was telling him about the therapy I was having and my life situation, etc…I am not afraid of physical abuse, or at least it’s not a predominant fear. My fear is of rejection, abandonment, as I have had so much of it to deal with. I’m not bitter about it, because being chronically ill, you have to steel yourself to the idea that friendships are based on things in common and that usually involves activities that require a certain amount of energy and movement, often.

    So the worst thing someone I love can do to me is to give me the silent treatment. The P would do this without warning, after we had a minor disagreement, had ‘resolved’ it and had moved on. So I would always be blindsided by it. His last words were always upbeat and loving.

    I outlined for him, very carefully, how it affected me. I would go into psychological shock. I couldn’t move. I would freeze and have to almost be led to a sofa and positioned in a lying position. If I was near a bed, I would curl up in a fetal position and again–be unable to move, to cry, to do anything. The shock was thorough. So he knew how to induce a traumatic reaction. It was pure torture, designed specifically for me, by a modern day, Torquemeda, the Grand Inquisitor. Nothing could have been worse. This covert action, says, “you are nothing, nobody really cares, you don’t even really exist”

    He did it three times. I would have rather been physically mauled by a bear.

    1. {{{{{{{HUG TO YOU LISAO}}}}}}}}
      I can relate to exactly what you said here and it made me cry in recognition.
      Deception and undermining someones instincts is right up at the top of the list for “worst types of emotional abuse” for me but there is no way to pinpoint a worst type of emotional abuse because like LisaO is saying… is tailor fit to each victim.

      He knew not to touch me in an abusive way because it would have been game OFF!! He knew I would recognize that so he went underground in a covert attack and mind’f.
      I am sure now it was all a set up for the grand finale which i’m also sure got cut short and which is why he continued to lead me on even after the break up.

  19. Oh Puddle, No kidding, “Game off” if physical abuse was involved! LOL.

    He found out I was being treated for complex ptsd shortly after I was targeted. He read up on it, learned everything he could about the condition and Lupus and lovingly helped me.

    He would say frequently, “Now that you are getting the concern, love and attention you deserve, aren’t you feeling better?” “I’m a little like the father you never had. I will never mistreat you. I will always be here for you.”

    My illness and ptsd were not the main focus of our relationship but they played a large role. Through talking about ptsd, I was giving him the road map he needed to the personalized Hell he would provide for me.

    He gently prodded and examined closely held hurts, sweet moments, tender memories and layer by layer, he peeled away the small sadnesses, humiliations, built up over a life time.

    Metaphorically speaking, he removed the scars that helped me get through life, but hurt me, at the same time. I was apprehensive to let them go, but he gently encouraged me to do so…and TRUST.

    Did he torture me intentionally? Absolutely. Through reading about psychopaths and the most disordered types, I realize that he may have done it simply for the thrill of it–or for the thrill and to punish me for something.

    I feel that the covert psychopath wants to be entertained and to control and in some cases the end goal is annihilation.

    There seems to be, I want to say hate, but that isn’t likely correct, a simple strong predatory drive that toys and toys, until the object of predation is dead. They hunt humans. The serial killers…well, you just don’t ever hitchhike or put yourself in a position of trust with a stranger. But the kindly church volunteer, you have been in friendship mode with, for seven years prior to targeting?? Wtf?

    So, I guess the next question might be, what is it about us specifically, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time that attracts them?

    I find that the collective personality of the people on forums is a bit different. They seem to be a little more ‘full of life’? And is that the challenge for a psychopath? Are their victims being culled because they are weak, or are they being abducted, in a sense, to drain them of their vital essence? Do they have more spirit?

    1. Why are we targetted specifically… I believe that really practised pyschopaths (professional psychopaths are I call them) have learnt to detect their prey. They think in boxes (blinkered thinking): anyone who is not eligible prey doesn’t even exist for them. They pick on conscientious “neurotics”. Also, they quickly find out what the person holds dearest or is most insecure about. They shame a lot. Basically I think they try to grab hold of the thing you most need so that you can’t exist without them, and/or they can eventually destroy you by eliminating it. If it is a partner, they will probably say stuff like “I’m the only one who has ever loved you/seen the real you…. etc”, only to say, once you have displeased them, how disappointed or disgusted they are.
      In my case, the bullying went along the lines of “I’m the only one who can help you have a career… I discovered you… (unspoken: you owe me unconditional loyalty). When I started seeing through the mask, she began to whine, “what a shame you are destroying your career like this.” She would use buzzwords like “professional” to get me to do things, figuring that I would think “gosh, if I don’t do this, I would be unprofessional, and I can’t stand that!”
      The key is to realise that your self-worth can’t be dependent on anyone else. I’m only just beginning to practise this though. I was the typical insecure person who looked to authority figures to tell me I was ok. This may work for a while until you encounter a psycho. Same with boyfriends/partners, I think.

      1. Angela, I think that there is another layer when the involvement is a romantic one but i don’t know how to put this into words. In my case, he “created” a need/ desire that wasn’t really even there before I met him. Like he took something old that was buried in me and molded it into something “new” that he could exploit? It’s not like I was (or am now) out LOOKING for a relationship! Where did TAHT come from? I’ve lived where I live now since 2006 and got entangled with him in 2011. I wasn’t in a relationship the entire time before I met “it” and i haven’t been in one since! but magically he created a dependence that I interpreted as love??

      2. When I think about why I was targeted I find a lot of confusion ensues within me. I believe my ex has many psychopathic signs whether he’s the full on I don’t know but the one thing I can think as to why I was on his radar is they need to break something new and shiny. Like LisaO says it’s annihilation of something or someone they can’t help themselves. When I met my ex I was probably feeling the best I had in my life. I felt confident, happy and full of life. I had come out of another long term relationship and was feeling like the real me.
        Unbeknown to me until after I fell for him hook line and sinker as they say…he had been watching me for weeks. I can honestly say I never noticed him until he first spoke to me. In fact a good friend had said he’d asked about me weeks before we got together and he’d told me “it was that crazy dude” for the life of me I couldn’t think who he was speaking about. Apparently he’d told friends and family that he’d found the woman he was going to marry all before he’d even spoken to me. I shudder now when I think on it.
        I never thought in a million years I would have stayed with someone who was physically violent to me. Yet I did. His violence was very controlled and premeditated. He knew exactly what he was doing. Right from the start he was setting me up and I am only really beginning to see that now. There was covert manipulation, emotional abuse and then when we had been together nearly two years, when he had got me to leave town away from my family the physical abuse started. That started whenever I stood up for myself, whenever I was feeling good about myself. It wasn’t all the time every week, month etc it was longer intervals. Almost like he would let me build my confidence back up, make me think everything was changing and then bang it was time to put me back down where he wanted me. Inbetween violence the emotional and covert manipulation was going on.
        When I started my business in the first week another violent explosion…he terrified the whole family on this tirade. The last episode again it was when I was in a good place. I had told him I was feeling good, that I could feel that this year would be great. All I can think is on his way home from work he was planning how to bring me right back down. He almost succeeded to but this time I got out. There’s so many incidents, so many insidious things with this man, who to everyone else is just so nice and charming. He even charmed court support workers. His abuse was always subtle and I guess that’s why some times I didn’t see the violence coming until he attacked. I have no doubt in my mind he harbours a desire to annihilate me completely but I guess he can’t figure out a way to do it and not get caught. That’s what I believe in my gut. That’s why I fled to a new town where I don’t know anyone.
        So even when you feel confident and you do have a great deal of inner strength you can fall prey to one of these creatures. No one is immune.

        1. Tori, big gigantic hug to you (((((())))))), that was like reading part of, part of, one of my own stories. So frightening to be obsessed over like that. They would rather merge with you in death sometimes and that’s what we feel in our deepest knowing. I will never ignore my gut instincts ever, ever again.

          1. Thank you Juliette hugs to you too 🙂 It’s not that he’s the if I can’t have you no one can thing…it’s more a power and entitlement with him I think. I’m still gaining insights to all this stuff as it goes on. I do know one thing I’ll be on the lookout for any man who calls me his “Princess” he will be red flagged immediately. Oh that’s one title that makes me shudder.
            At present he’s changed tactics as he’s lost control in other ways he’s really making a big thing about seeing his son and picking him up from where I live. He knows there’s a protection order that says no visitation contact. After hardly giving a jot all of a sudden it’s a major thing. And I wonder at his real intentions as he’s quite abusive and demanding. You would think he’d be trying to keep it all calm if he really wants to see his son.
            I am reading “When Dad Hurts Mom” by Lundy Bancroft and his blog on separation tactics. Gosh he nails these men too. I wonder about the effects on children with long term exposure to these types of people. It’s worrying to think that at some point I may have to negotiate visitations. I’m trying to hold it off as long as possible.
            I might even check out the books you mentioned in your posts too, I like the idea of But He Says He Loves Me… getting right into the head of the abuser though does scare me a little…not really a place I’d like to be.

        2. Hi Tori, the last thing they have left to control, hurt and manipulate you are the children. There are very few realistic ways to create an effective boundary either with a persistent manipulator. Having your child see a therapist is a good thing when it gets difficult because apart from the fact it helps your child to express their feelings and be validated, it is a form of documentation of the effects on the child of continued damaging behaviour towards your child, which is really manipulation aimed at you. (if that occurs). This can help in court if it becomes necessary to restrict his damaging behaviour. None of it is fair, on the children. But He Says He Loves Me is a brilliant book. Big Hug (()))

          1. Juliette…..yeah,,,,,I have seen this manipulation and it’s disgusting. Rest assured they will be telling EVERYone how much their kids mean to them. I watched two different men do this with their kids and viciously slander their children’s mothers. it’s horrible.all the while, they were the most pathetic excuse of a father figure you could imagine! Oh the STORIES!

    2. LisaO, I said this somewhere but it’s as if he found my deepest scar, ripped it open and then defecated in the gaping wound. It’s one thing when you discover things about your past that need to be heeled but maybe, just maybe, not all wounds are meant to be revisited. Maybe those scars are there for a reason or maybe they are covering something too early and traumatic to even process.

      1. Wow! That is exactly what they do. When I was 17 years old I was raped by a stranger, hitch hiking. I came home and slit my wrists. The despair was so deep at that time. My wrists are still scarred. He had me reveal these things by encouraging me to write my life story. He would carefully take my hands, turn them over and kiss the scars, saying, “never again. Never again”.

        A year after he discarded me, he took up with another woman who learned enough about me to contact me. She must have found my email address on his computer. She told me that when he started to communicate with her, just a week into it he sent her the story I had written about this event in my life, referring to it as an example of “good writing” a former casual girlfriend sent him. He told ‘Catherine’ that he appreciated the palpable pain in my story.

        They almost literally shit in our scars. This man collects momentos of pain like other men collect dvd’s, stamps, hubcaps.

        1. Oh Lisa/ LisaO, your story makes me sad for that 17 year old. I can imagine how something like that would affect you at that age especially. A 17 year old just doesn’t have the life tools available to process something so traumatic.
          Sometimes I don’t think he knew how much he was hurting me, not that he cared. I know he knew he was hurting me but I don’t think he is even capable of understanding the depth of the pain he has caused me.

          1. Thanks Puddles,… For some reason I keep forgetting to tack an O at the end of Lisa. I have fully recovered from that incident from very long ago. I just used it to illustrate how this type will knowingly capitalize on the sad ancient history of others for their own gain. I mean, really, taking a story I never meant anyone to see and promoting it as an example of “good writing” to a stranger? How bizarre.

          2. Bizarre……yes, one bizarre, wtf thing after another with them…….nighty night! 🙂

          3. I was thinking LisO would be a cool “handle”. Lisa, LisaO, LisO………more confusing! LOL!

        2. Thankyou for telling us that story Lisa I hope that you can feel the Love I am sending you all the way from down under and that you know that I have already been helped by reading your posts. I just want to acknowledge that I’m honouring your courage to survive and share your story.

    3. Beautiful observations LisaO, I couldn’t agree more. In answer to your questions, I highly recommend you read the ebook ‘But he says he loves me” by Dina L McMillan it was $18.00. It is written as two halves. The first half is written like a training manual for disturbed characters, by a disturbed character on how to snare and train your ideal woman, then the second part is for us women who get snared and how to recognise the signs in the future. It’s brilliant and we see exactly how he did it and what we didn’t see. and ‘Prince Harming Syndrome’ by Karen Salamansohn its on special atm for 9.99, Bargain! It is really focused on recovering our self esteem with specific tasks and visualisation to do the work of seeing ourself as worthy,positive and full of life, ready for real love in the future.

      1. I promise I’m not representing either author, it’s just that both these books have helped me immensely ! lol

      2. “Bizarre……yes, one bizarre, wtf thing after another with them…….nighty night!” :)–Puddle

        We should all get together and write a book called,

        ‘Fifty Shades of WTF??”

  20. LisaO. If you are game, I would like to chat off site. We can arrange an intro via email through Dr. Simon’s back channel if you want. I’m game but understand if you are not. Just SO on the same page with you and there’s toooooo much to say in this venue.
    GREAT post btw. Amazing insights!

    1. So he KNEW what I would NOT put up with… important piece of the puzzle because he has man handled women in the past, DV style, like go to jail now Spathtard style. And was the rest just testing testing testing? As strong as I am in so many ways, with much resolve and determination, a warrior spirit……there is a VERY wounded part of me that is as fragile as one single flake of snow and THAT is the part of me he re-damaged more deeply than I could have ever imagined any thing or anyone could. I honestly didn’t even know I could be hurt as badly as I was. tears on my cheeks just typing that! The components of HOW he did it are almost too complex to put into words.

      1. I so know the feeling, Puddle. I am a kind person, but somebody told me, years ago, that nobody, like nobody would ever try messing with me, just because, well…I guess I give off a “don’t even try it,” kind of vibe. This is what makes me laugh about some expert’s take on victims being overly submissive, etc..etc..too dependent. I’m not like that and more than that, I really do not get that vibe from most people I have read on forums or met in real life who have been targeted by a 1 per center.

        1. LisaO, there is a small parameter in which I can and want to be submissive and some long standing wounds and circumstances in my life that leave me vulnerable to being taken advantage of. PLUS, I’m very domestic. I love to putter around the house doing all the domestic chores a lot of people dread. I like taking care of things, plants, animals and a man………………………….In a PARTNERSHIP………… a reciprocal relationship. That goes for friends too………..I’d do almost anything for a friend in need if asked but a one way deal won’t stay that way for long. So, i expected Spathtardx to step up and that was met with lies, deceptions,,,,,,blah blah blah……Like I said, it’s pointless to talk about him in any context that involves relationships because I now know it never was one, in spite of the endless reassurances he spewed from his pathologically lying mouth.

          1. Me too, Puddle! We all find out during early adulthood how vulnerable we are to sexual desire, but I didn’t realise I also had a strong drive to protect, care for and stand up for someone – be the responsible one. Being needed can be such a drug! And it is these qualities – an urge to bond, conscientiousness and a pride in loyalty – that are exploited. My sense of responsibility also comes out in habits that are second nature, like being well prepared and keeping promises. I never stopped to try to imagine what it is like to live by the principle of “what you can get away with”.

          2. Well Angela…..that is their guiding principle, is it not?? What CAN I get away with?

        2. Hi LisaO. They target you because they want a bigger challenge, they’re bored with the other women they’ve destroyed in the past, been there done that…. You were big game, like shooting a lion. They want you like a stuffed trophy. They see you in a time of weakness or vulnerability, either through that brief moment when you were socially, financially, emotionally or otherwise vulnerable or via your children. Then they pounce at the opportune moment when you weren’t at your usual strongest self. I learned this from ‘but he says he loves me’. It happened to me too. Big strong me?!! I couldn’t believe it, especially since I had already escaped and learned from the first Wolf in Sheep’s clothing and thought I’d never do that again.

  21. Sure Puddle, Would love to communicate more in depth, off site. Could you ask Dr. Simon to send me your email address? Would that work? We have to log in with our email address. Does that mean that it is visible to Dr. Simon?

    If I didn’t know better, I would think we were targeted by the same creep. Difference is, yours was living in a basement. Mine was well off before his wife was tipped off. Currently, though, he could be living in a basement. A girl can dream, can’t she? LOL

    1. LOL,,,,,yeah, not the same guy I’m sure but I sure would LOVE to get together with the ex’s and…………….chat! LOL.
      I’ll get the ball rolling with Dr. Simon. He will send my email to you but you will have to contact him on the back channel as well, bottom right, “Contact Dr. Simon”.

  22. Dr Simon’s latest articles awakened some thoughts.

    Don’t some old models have it that if you don’t release pent-up energy, that manifests as aggression?

    Let’s discuss.

    1. I think that is true is a lot of ways/ cases J but I think that is neurosis again…….repressed anger, sadness, hurt. Different aggression that what Spaths use to manipulate others. Their displays are not real anger……they are manipulations. What do you think? Even Spathtardx’s melodramatic displays of anger were kind of of the soap opera variety… realness or depth or passion to them.

    2. I take it that old models thought this: If you don’t express aggression directly, it pents up in the system and comes up as aggression even worse, be it in form of anger or otherwise.

      Perhaps some folks even justify aggressive behavior or even actually believe that expressing it is more satisfactory and more healthy.

      1. Expressing real anger IS healthy and you can’t keep it bottled up without some consequence. It’s just that a manipulator is not really angry when they express anger, they are intimidating, subjugating, invalidating, manipulating.

        1. I was thinking more generally, the nature of aggression. Doesn’t unleashing it worsen it, make it occur more often, instead of cleansing the pipes, so to speak?

      2. Humans do a lot of fighting and sometimes it can escalate to mutually destructive conflict. It can include anger or it can be like a soldier sent on a mission to eliminate a target. It could be comparable to two cavemen fighting or a tribe war.

    3. Anyone heard of the concept of lex talionis?

      I’ve read some theories that the unconscious mind “keeps score”. Haven’t many had a moment when they’ve tried to let things be, but a certain kind of sting remains? According to lex talionis, the unconscious encourages aggression via messages to the conscious mind, as if we’ve deflated ourselves by letting thing slide and not showing another person how we’re the power to respect.

      For example, someone starts running his mouth and another man punches the loudmouth, perhaps even feeling satisfied.

      Chilling examples are some schoolshooters, who’ve actually been bullied and ended up not taking it anymore and rushing in guns blazing, because they decided that was the most relieving and satisfying solution.

      Someone makes a joke at someone’s expense with a close circle of friends and the one at whose expense the joke is made feels deflated, twice so for not managing to come up with a thing to say and losing status. Alternatively, the person insulted manages to turn that around in some way so that the original insulter loses the kick of one-uppance. In that case the person, who overcame the insult, has cause to smile inside, because he or she built himself or herself up and kept or improved social status.

      Hitler appealed to the wounded pride of Germans, who’d been forced to sign that treaty they understandably experienced as shameful, who’d lost face. Hitler promised Germans the chance to not only regain face, but also to rise above others as to get back in return of years of lingering humiliation.

      One very good example of someone manipulated through their desire to retaliate is in a movie directed by Neil LaBute, In the Company of Men. Howard, played by Matt Malloy, has had bitter experiences with his girlfriend. Chad, an epitome of a socialized psychopath played by Aaron Eckhart, manipulates Howard into a game, where they plot to destroy a woman mentally. It’s implied Howard projects his bitterness at his ex toward their target.

      Actual passive-aggressive personalities have lots of aggression that’s left to stew and seethes in subtle digs, passive resistance and constant dissatisfaction.

      I’ve been many times pissed-off because of a belittling, demeaning or deflating remarks someone has said or things someone has done. I’ve taken some assertive, non-harmful, but loud and clear action to show that not just anything goes. There have been a few times, when I’ve deliberately sniped someone with a little sarcastis remark to piss them off. I have vented to a friend (in a low-key enough way) to get the reward of them agreeing that another person is the one, who ought to look inside themselves. I’ve prodded another person with a comment that sounds observant, but I’m fully aware carries the subtext of “This highlights what poor qualities you have and how wretched you are for me to say this to you, so I can strike back at you in the guise of moral high ground”. With this I mean comments like “I wonder which one of us sounds more mature now”, “[refering to some small detail another one has said] You have no manners, do you?”, “You could be more polite to people”, “Your real motive in saying that is to play smarter-than-thou”, “You need to control your anger” and “I wonder if you’re saying that just to look good”.

      Dr Simon has written an article on about Jungian dreamwork and active imagination.

      I have it easier, since I no longer try to rationalize messages from deep within away. I listen to them and regulate them.

      1. Great posts J. Very interesting. Again, there is a difference between aggression and anger. Anger can be healthy and self motivating and can be expressed while not wanting to win or overtake another person, country, etc, right? Aggression (in my mind) does not take into consideration anything else except the goal at hand and rationalizes the means, manipulates the circumstances that stand in the way.
        Another thing……when you say there are times you deliberately did or said some things that were not things you ultimately think are the greatest things to say or do, were they planed responses or maybe more of a subconscious, knee jerk reactive response? There is aggression and there is reaction. Unfortunately I am very reactive in certain situations and under certain conditions and I now can add to the list of situations, being manipulated by a covert and pathological Spathtardx.

      2. I’ve done and said things equivalent to flicking off, just more graceful. It’s not reactive, but it’s not planned. It’s more of a fast decision, not like the kinds that Marines do in a split second, not so automatic either, but fast and conscious decisions just to express how little I like another person and how I am willing to shove back if I think they’re getting all-uppity. I don’t mean they would be autonomous complexes suddenly jumping out. I’ve simply decided what might be more satisfying a thing to do.

        Let’s face it, a person, who’s not very virtuous, but not of conniving, brutal or aggressively evil character, not dedicated to virtue, but raised well enough, can get into conflict with others knowingly, with intent to show another, teach another a lesson, to defeat perceived threats against status and dignity, to make loud and clear how worthy an individual one is, to take revenge for embarrassment and humiliation, many possible reasons. Such a person may act like a jerk, because they can come up with convincing reasons why it makes more sense not to try to rise above it.

      3. Let’s face it, when there’s justifiable reasons to be angry, especially when another person has ruined a life, retaliation can even seem like the most sensible to do.

      4. Yes J I have also pondered those very questions. Last year I read ‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins. It proposes that the genes are the driving force of evolution not survival of the species. In it Dawkins quotes studies done by running computer models of bad guys who retaliate when provoked, good guys who always turn the other cheek when hurt. When the computer models are run what’s left in the end is a balance with good guys in the majority and a peaceful evolutionary stable strategy develops. The bad guys all end up killing each other off and yeah alot of good guys get killed. For a while bad guys are the dominant group but then the balance gradually changes until good guys are the dominant group and the bad guys dwindle down to nothing. It has given me hope more than anything I have ever read in my life! So what he is really saying is that empathy and forgiveness is an evolutionary advantage. I also saw a documentary recently where a particular group of apes were very aggressive to each other and each new member became either aggressive or very submissive. The submissive apes all had high levels of stress hormones because of the constant hypervigilance they lived with. The aggressive apes all had high levels of other hormones related to dominance. What was really fascinating was that a germ or bacteria happened to invade the group, coincidentally whilst they were being studied for stress, probably because they had started foraging near a rubbish dump. The aggressive apes all died off because their immune systems were weaker apparently. The remaining apes all split off into a peaceful group that remained peaceful and loving once they were liberated from the aggression they lived with. Very interesting.

    4. J, I know that not being able to exercise much, for me, makes me quite irritable. There is a psychological component. But there is also a physiological component, too.

  23. As usual, the normal English words don’t really fit these types. Covert Aggressive doesn’t have to mean AGGRESSIVE like an aggressive dog for instance. More like an aggressive form of cancer. HIGHLY MOTIVATED for their own gain and desire.

    1. Hi J, I love reading your posts. Thank you so much for taking the time, as many others do, on this blog, to so carefully describe your sense of the issues involving manipulation. I particularly appreciated your description of the German people’s collective agony and how that rebounded in war, and the scapegoating of Jewish people, gypsies and the disabled. I have thought a lot about this, too, but you brought up a few salient points I hadn’t pondered before.

      I feel the whole concept of retaliation has to be very carefully explored. The subject itself is like dynamite and I understand exactly how you feel. I like that you are examining all aspects and portraying the back and forth nature of retaliation, the potential backfiring, etc…

      You have great ego strength and a very good head on your shoulders. It comes through in your posts.

      1. Thank you a lot, LisaO. Now we know that aggression can be calculated like an elite soldier on a mission or actively wanting something to beat to pulp, like Fancis Begbie in Trainspotting.

        Still, couldn’t even a proper person decide at some point they’ve had enough and say “**** it!” to controls or calculate something that harms what they think shouldn’t be there? I think the desire for retaliation(and satisfaction offered with it) also has its fair share of causing aggression throughout the ages. After all, if you don’t fight, you just keep giving in and being a punching bag and who of any worth takes everything that’s given to them? Is it that the aggressive impulses seek justification in each of us? Whether it’s that sigh from another person near us, looking down on us as if they’ve decided to dictate our value just because we’re a bit ignorant, that remark from someone as if they’re the ones, who needn’t look inside, someone mocking our ideas or the idea that we’re the ones, who nicely “should” let others go first and we pick the leftovers, aggression finds something to whisper, to persuade, to make a case or, in the worst cases, to do the Devil’s work.

        1. I think there are different types of aggression. There is the type of aggression that is pursuing prey to eat or survive such as the carnivore does, then there is defensive aggression which you speak of such as kill or be killed – perhaps retaliatory aggression belongs in this category too?, then there is malignant aggression – the Devil’s work as you describe it. I see that other mammals have the types of aggression that serve their survival but I don’t see malignant aggression anywhere but in humans. People who take pleasure from the suffering of others. I used to say before I read Dr Simon’s ideas and insights that the difference between bad people and evil people is that Bad is bad what you see is what you get…But evil pretends to be good. I don’t see this anywhere else in the animal kingdom except in humans.

        2. J,

          We seek justice. We want to annihilate what has attempted to destroy us, particularly if it is at the level of the soul.

          I understand perfectly what you are saying. Justice should be a a bare minimum requirement in this kind of scenario. I feel for you. I know the feeling of wanting to die, rather than letting them get away with torture. This probably sounds over-the-top and maudlin, but it is from my heart.

          You are perfectly justified, in my mind to take matters into your own hands. But…what COULD you ever do to your abuser that would equal what your abuser did to you?

          There is no torture device, nothing I can think of that would come near equaling the devastation of being ‘bitter mooned’ by one of these monsters.

          They are constructed differently. If they are P’s, they are fearless. They have a high pain threshhold. They are relationship base jumpers; bungee jumpers…without cords!

          What CAN you do?

          One thing you CAN do is take this experience and fashion it into something beautiful. I’m writing a book of fiction, but it will be about this type of person and how they have managed to weave their way into the culture and destroy everything that is innocent, kind and good.

          Raise people’s awareness. It’s already started. Dr. Simon’s blog is one of a few excellent sources of information, that are helping raise awareness.

          We MUST inform. We have to reach up, hold on and ride the light out of here.

          We can end up in court on trial for murder, or assault, or we can take that misery and, like Puddle and her shards of glass, make a beautiful stained glass piece of art.

          That’s the ultimate justice. It’s a battle. It has a mundane appearance that masks the mythic underpinnings, and we only win, if we defeat them using spiritual ju-jitsu.

          1. LisaO and Juliette:

            The Devil’s work I’m talking about let’s assume someone is the type of person, who’s not virtuous, but not aggressively evil, a seeming ordinary person. Now it doesn’t really matter whether he’s actually injured(by malice, thoughtlessness, any reason) or he just receives something he has reason to think is unwarranted(let’s say another person talks to them in the I-know-better -tone or another man mistakenly thinks they are hitting on the latter’s girlfriend when in fact they aren’t), doesn’t matter. Now “reason” comes to persuade how they can’t let this possibly slide, if only they stick to it. If they are intelligent, all the worst, because they can rationalize. They could read these comments and think: “Well, don’t get caught up in bitterness or anything, just go take revenge just like you don’t think about how you need to have others love you for you to be satisfied. Really, other people could say anything to justify their righteousness, supposedly.” Then this ordinary person goes on and does it.

            Could that be its own type of aggression?

          2. J and LisaO
            I think that what you say LisaO is the only way we can stop the pendulum of aggression swinging in perpetual motion forever. J, yes I think that the aggression you speak of is aggression. The person’s integrity or dignity has been wounded and so the choice he faces is to suffer the wound and so make a statement as to his ‘weakness’ to the social group. Perhaps this leads to self loathing or instead take on a form of power which makes a statement about his strength and worth to the social group. So to use an extreme example to highlight the ramifications….does he become Osama Bin Laden or does he become Nelson Mandela, it’s all up to spiritual ju-jitsu as LisaO puts it. What do we make of the original ‘aggression’ that started this example you give? Isn’t the aggression of the originator also directed at the woman who was enjoying a conversation with an interesting stranger. Much the same as we are now. Isn’t his display of male aggression really aimed at her. He is saying ‘you are mine, you are helpless to defend yourself from predators, you will be shamed and embarrassed if you move me out of my comfort zone. Other people will suffer if you make any kind of move towards them’. That’s manipulation masked as aggression, I think.

          3. LisaO, I want to write a book called ‘Just Des Hurts’ a combination of the statements Justice Hurts and Just Desserts.

          4. As usual, too many thoughts to express in one comment.

            You say: “does he become Osama Bin Laden or does he become Nelson Mandela, it’s all up to spiritual ju-jitsu as LisaO puts it.” I offer a view that there are also other options than just being Osama bin Laden or Nelson Mandela.

            I guess some people could take on a victim stance, that “fine, I’m so mistreated here, shucks to you, why does this always happen to me” sort of stance. I once frequented a forum and there was another Finnish man there, who actually had significant anger issues and he’d frequently get hotheaded over some stupid little “stupidities” he perceived in others’ comments. Sometimes he’d also leave little immature snipey remarks. I think he did use his anger and his background(whatever it was) as an excuse to act immature, but in the end he clearly had a very defeatist view of life, so ultimately he was more self-defeating than anything.

            Someone could vent a little and then be done with it. Again, many possibilities.

          5. Also, to correct you on the matter of this seemingly jealous man:

            To me he didn’t seem like a predator or another type to flip out on another person just like that. He also didn’t seem possessive or controlling.

            From what I’ve heard in passing from some acquaintances talking about them, they actually have a very good relationship. Also, later this same woman, who didn’t refer to the incident in any way(I don’t know how she feels about it, but no trouble has come to me, so apparently she prefered not to make unnecessary fuss), remarked in passing that her boyfriend has trouble understanding sarcasm or irony.

            Also, another girl I know has said that she’s gotten an impression that this boyfriend sees this other girl as a bad influence to his girlfriend(these girls had gone to drink a bit). This other girl has no idea why the boyfriend has “such a negative attitude towards her”.

            As for me, it went like this: We’d been listening to music in a hall of residence where I lived at the time. This man and his girlfriend, along with several other people, were visiting and we just had a good time. Apparently he had understood a few comments of mine wrong, because he frowned when I tried to open up a conversation. Also, I’ve already gone to my room and heard a fist pound on the door. I immediately made the connection. The guy must’ve had some jealousy or suspicion there.

          6. In effect I think even those, who don’t have a show-off gorilla mentality, can slide down to pretty unhealthy thinking, possibly to aggression, retaliatory aggression or pre-emptive aggression.

            Now, only some of examples I offer are from my experiences, many others are gathered from others’ or from what I’ve read or my speculations.

            However, can the concept of lex talionis be reconciled with human aggression at large? That’s the question.

          7. At least I’ve gotten the impression that unconscious could encourage aggression in some way.

        3. Hi J, thanks for the explanation. I just did some reading on lex talionis so I feel only slightly better prepared to join you on this question. It seems that the concept of an eye for an eye has become in one way or another, the basis of our legal systems throughout history and within different cultures. If I interpret it from this only brief read tonight, this was based on the value of the injury and the values of the society it occurred in. So the whole concept is only measurable in the values of the culture. In America if you beat your partner you go to jail on the night the police attend, in Australia you get dozens of warnings, it’s virtually impossible to get a restraining order in some states and then you get many many chances at breaching an order once it is made. All the while the women and children are living in terror, refuges, getting further traumatized by the Family Court etc etc. This is because Australia is basically a backward patriarchal, misogynist country that hasn’t come very far since invasion and colonization. So women and their children are undervalued. If you rob a bank or a service station you go straight to jail, do not pass go etc. There is another statement about values inherent in that too. Don’t get me started on sex offenders! So we do have a type of lex talionis where our justice system removes the offender from society for a term of painful isolation that is supposed to be measured by the severity of their wrongdoing, according the values of the community and the value to the community of the person who was the victim. All sounds good on paper but it doesn’t look like natural justice or lex talionis to me. ‘Human aggression at large’…such a difficult thing to quantify! and can it be reconciled with an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth? I have no idea really! So if we apply these thoughts to the conversation at hand about aggression and in particular character disturbed people, there is no punishment that fits the crime. A crime didn’t occur..because there is no law against manipulating people or destroying the soul of a naive neurotic and her children, or accusing someone of something they didn’t do. If it is a questin of a moral crime and do I want to anihalate those who almost did it to me and have caused me a life time of suffering and decades of helping my children to pick up the pieces? Absolutely! I’ve had lots of counselling for being homicidal, I even walked into a hospital once and asked them to take me because I wanted to kill someone. I wanted lex talionis! Something stopped me though, what was it. It was the horrible feeling that I had been infected with the malignant aggression of someone else. I had experienced kill or be killed, but my human faculty of an evolved awareness/consciousness battled for my soul. I didn’t want to transmit this to my children in my absence in jail either. I wavered on this position for years, “yes I will, no I won’t..nothing can be worse than this…yes it can”….A long battle for the soul. The question for me was can my human aggression, right wrong or otherwise present, be reconciled to love. I do have aggression within me, to some extent it still controls me and now turns inward against myself sometimes. Your questions are poignant and I don’t have the answers either. ;-)))

        4. Juliette:

          Indeed, lex talionis, just like any other natural inclinations, work easily against us. From the ancient times, one human inclination has been to have a leader to make decisions easy. The aggression to keep going must have still been dormant within all.

          Throughout the times, if another tribe/clan/family offended your tribe/clan/family or even so much as challenged the self-worth in any way, you were encouraged to demonize them, see them as someone acceptable to harm.

          Then there’s the Crusades. For all I know, there might have been brutes in it just for killing or people spoiling for slaughtering the other side, who adeptly rationalized how it’s all in service of the higher good, on both sides. Still, there were Christian and Muslim knights ready to die for their cause, all because each were convinced that another side needs to be annihilated.

          Let’s have a more modern example about person A and person B fighting, so that both can be sensibly said to have poured gas into fire, so that another person hasn’t been passive or honestly done a wrong move or said a wrong thing or mistakenly thought a situation can be dealt with another way, but both actually have aggressively escalated the situation so that “it takes two” actually applies.

          Now, it could be two character-disordered fighters or monsters willing to bring it on(perhaps even one is an unbridled aggressor or both are). It could be a paranoid person and an ordinary person, who’s gotten so enough of the suspicious antics that he throws care to the wind. Perhaps it’s a paranoid person and a covert aggressor or a sociopath(how often does that happen?). Maybe it is two people of “average” character, both of whom have plenty of emotions, stress and tension brewing, whose controls have been melting over time. So many possibilities. I’m obviously no researcher or anything, but thinking of these things, I see that lex talionis plays a different role in a variety of situations. I’m not trying to discard the role of personality and character.

          It’s just that we don’t know the faults in our structure until something stressful comes along.

          1. I have a Native American quotation that I printed out from the internet where I found it, on the side of my fridge where I see it every day. It says…

            One evening and old Cherokee told his Grandson about a battle that goes on inside people..
            “My son, the battle is between two Wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority,, lies, false pride, superiority and ego….
            The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
            The Grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his Grandfather, “Which one wins?”
            The old Cherokee simply replied….”The one you feed”.

          2. It seems that nature makes it easy to feed the wrong wolf. I may seem pigheaded here, insisting how lex talionis must apply to all people. I’m not leaving out the chance that I’m generalizing or overestimating the power of lex talionis.

            Maybe there are people, who have been truly wronged, in ways that many would find justifiable to view the world and life as unfair and cruel, aggressors in their own right, if you will.

            Perhaps they actually can do well, because they’ve come to a certain spiritual and rational-emotive(reference to Albert Ellis) Place and found some very solid basis for such.

            What do I mean by solid basis? I speculate here. Cold, hard facts, looking at how the world works and doesn’t work, how things work out and don’t work out.

            Proper, good people suffer all the time somewhere. Relationship ties get severed because of aggression not properly controlled. Skilled liars get away with it. Bullies and aggressors can get tacitly approved, rewarded, reinforced and accepted. Whole human groups can perpetrate and propagate all sorts of violence and vileness. Subtle, covert emotional abuse leaves people with immense traumas. Some people sink to lows thought unthinkable. Striving to keep dominance and power can lead to aggression. Trying to avoid positions of power doesn’t necessarily work. People, who would otherwise be good people, can find their controls melting and themselves getting into destructive conflicts. Cults keep brainwashing people and stealing their lives. Gangs, terrorist organizations and other groups of aggressors banded together terrorize people. Groups, like churches, can split into different sects and denominations, dividing people instead of bringing them together.

            Seems bleak, doesn’t it?

            Still, aggressors can demolish other aggressors. People can get over many things(hard as it is to believe). People can keep together. People can speak up about real issues and take corrective action.

            Perhaps someone somewhere has such spiritual and rational-emotive foundation that lex talionis is seen for what it is and mindfully control its power(yes, I just refered to mindfulness meditation just like I’ve been refering to pretty much everything).

            Nature seems to make it easy to slide into baseness.

    2. Hi Puddle!! The coverts are the worst. I describe it this way: You are dragged out of your bed, blind folded, in the middle of the night. You are taken to a remote location and, still blindfolded you are water-boarded by a hooded figure.

      When it’s through, the person removes his hood and it turns out to be your mother, or pick anyone you love deeply–your father, brother, lover, husband. Doesn’t matter.

      Here’s another one. A child who deeply loves his Mom and has come to expect love in return and has a very secure image of her, arrives home one day for lunch, to find his Mom chewing the head off his new kitten. She’s laughing at his distress. (I had a good relationship with my Mom, btw!!)

      I know how gross these examples sound, but anyone who has been targeted by a uniquely gifted and masked individual will know exactly what I mean.

      1. Oh, just want to quickly add issues with my sister have nothing to do with describing things like I have above. I NEVER talk to her using any gothic horror type of imagery–nor to most people, as it IS disturbing. But it also, is perfectly appropriate when describing the Pyschopathic personality. They seemed to have crawled right out of some gothic Gnostic nightmare.

      2. LisaO, This one describes the cog/dis FOR ME with Spathtardx perfectly!

        “Here’s another one. A child who deeply loves his Mom and has come to expect love in return and has a very secure image of her, arrives home one day for lunch, to find his Mom chewing the head off his new kitten. She’s laughing at his distress. (I had a good relationship with my Mom, btw!!)”

  24. Hello everyone, Thanks for all your thoughts. I have a situation here that all my (past) counselling cannot help with.
    34 years ago, I was young and was going out with a biker 10 yrs my senior. Turns out, he raped a couple of my friends, sister and (later we found out), kids.
    My sister was threatened not to tell anyone. So I did not find all this out later, and after we had long gone our separate ways.
    Years ago, it shocked me to hear my sister thinks I blamed her! Having been raped myself, I would never do that. I am also a journalist, searching for truth – so the idea I would condone or allow this to happen is absurd in the utmost.

    The background to this is an abusive, angry father who only beat my Mum and me. Not my sister. But we were never taught how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner.

    I took counselling, for many years. I am the only one in this family to do so. But I am the one ridiculed for having the guts to visit those painful places and seek peace through resolution and meaning…

    I learned more than all of them put together, so when I am around them, I clearly see the dysfunction. It is frustrating and I am not comfortable with their collective desire to never talk about anything and pretend “all is good”.

    I though my sister and I hashed all this out years ago, with me reassuring her I would NEVER blame her for being raped (!!!) and I was sorry for ever exposing her to this guy.

    Now I find out she’s been telling her kids, our Mum, (and everyone else, I presume) that I blamed her and have never apologized.

    No wonder her kids want nothing to do with me! Who would!? But it all makes sense now. I’ve been wondering what I did to make them all so uncommunicative. Now I know.

    Mum is the one who told me. But now she’s mad at me for trying to defend myself. That’s what they’ve always done: hurled accusations and blame my way — then run away, never allowing me a chance for defense or explanation.

    I don’t know what to do now.

    Obviously, I cannot attend any family get-togethers (boo-hoo, lol), b/c I know what they think of me — and I get no chance to get to the bottom of it and find the truth.

    Now, I don’t have a father (we don’t talk) — or a sister. This is all the family we have — as we moved from another country when I was a teenager.

    Thanks for reading. I welcome any suggestions.

  25. Hi Vicki, Do you have a desire to be with or involved with these people, your family that is? People who don’t want to see the truth, remember the truth, face the truth will very commonly scapegoat the truth seer in the group/ family. That was my roll in my family, the truth seer and the bell ringer…….it was a pointless wast of time I see now and have for a long while but I, in my own dysfunctional way was trying to keep the sinking ship from sinking. So I learned from this that people who don’t want to see don’t and will go to great lengths to keep the truth hidden. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink……………….unless it’s thirsty!

    1. Thanks Puddle 🙂
      I have always desperately wanted involvement. I lost all 5 pregnancies, so took special interest in my nieces & nephews – only to be told later “You’re just my Mum’s sister…” Ok.

      But, after this week, which has been devastating to know everyone believes I’m this awful monster who allowed my baby sister to be raped – just shocking to me — I simply cannot show my face again. I can’t! As much as I would like…

      It’s been killing me all week. But them? Not so much. My searching revealed this site – and after much reading (the scapegoat blog is amazing, and all “fits”). I never wanted to claim ‘scapegoat’ status for fear of making their accusations of me ‘true’ – by being a victim, lol.

      I’ve always tried to fix myself. I’ve been a paramedic, ski-patrol, Search & Rescue. I am a writer who was awarded for it. But nothing gets recognition, right?

      Also, I’m the only one who has been in a great relationship for 14 yrs. I think my sister resents that, and is jealous she is still single (after leaving the father of her kids).

      I was, and always will be, the ‘truth-seeker’. Nothing else matters to me. It doesn’t matter how hard it is, it’s short-term pain for long-term gain, in my eyes — and worth going through.

      Years ago, as a teenager, my Dad dropped me off at a shrink’s office — and told me, it’s your problem. Fix it. After years of abuse… I look back on that and wonder how he could be so blind to not know his actions put me there! lol.

      I see now, that all my efforts over the years were wasted – as you mention. I think the reason this week has been so difficult, is that I know I have to accept they’ll keep saying these nasty things about me — no matter what. And, I can’t be around them.

      It’s not an easy realization.
      I can’t tell you how much some sort of validation after 50 yrs means to me. So thank-you 🙂

      1. Vicki, Would you mind writing a little bit about the nature of your father’s mistreatment of you? Your situation parallels mine a little. I have no children either and so family of origin was very important to me.

        Am a truthseeker too, but have learned, even on a mundane level, other people have different primary motivations. Often those involve artistic pursuit of beauty, or pursuing social status, etc…They have a peripheral interest in the greater reality and usually only when it may have a personal impact.

        1. Well, Lisa…

          Apparently, when I was 9 months old Dad strangled me in my high-chair for not finishing dinner — in front of my Aunt.

          Later, he’d pick on me (always violently — and not my sister). When Mum would tell him to stop, or stick up for me — he’d get in a fight with her (again, physical), and then turn to the 4 yr old I was and say, “Now look what you’ve done!”

          He’d drag her across the floor by her hair, and I can remember my sister and I hiding under our bed seeing it.

          He has run at me with a filleting knife, when I was older. Even though I was the one who, later, cycled many distances to meet him at the heli-pad he was flying out of for his birthday — or call the remote place he was flying out of and tell them so they could put a candle on his muffin. Stuff like that.

          My sister did nothing of the sort, always very self-occupied. She’s turned into him, it seems…

          Good for Puddle… breaking free. A lot of it has to do with some sort of redemption, or proof I am not as bad as they all need to believe.

          1. Um Vicki????? That is horrific and I’m so sorry for that child and you. stories like this astound me. My mother was very out of control but I’ve never experienced violent abuse like what you describe.
            My childhood abuse was much different and much more covert and hard to identify but Isn’t this so telling……”Even though I was the one who, later, cycled many distances to meet him at the heli-pad he was flying out of for his birthday — or call the remote place he was flying out of and tell them so they could put a candle on his muffin. Stuff like that.”
            In spite of the physical/ emotional abuse and torture/ neglect, we still wanted them to love us and maybe more importantly, we wanted to love them.

      2. Vicki, I gave up on my adopted family long ago as far as any hopes of a healthy relationship with any of them. NOT happening, never will. I have what I would call a. hmmmm……obligatory and loyalty based involvement with my father and i’m ok with that and he seems to be as well. I think sometimes that might be easier for me to accept because I am adopted so I think there is a connection piece missing anyhow which may have made it easier for me to deal with and fostered a certain degree of detachment in myself across the board with them.
        To have someone…….ANY one circulating slanderous lies about you is a horrible thing to have to accept Vicki, it is V E R Y hard on many levels! So much to say about this for me. It’s hard to develop the attitude “well, I just don’t care what they say or think, I KNOW the truth”, when you DO care! And how could you not? It’s family and that usually does up the ante a bit emotionally.
        In contrast, my recent encounter with the guy I called the sheriff’s department on for once again violating my privacy by coming on my property uninvited………I really don’t care what he thinks about me. I didn’t WANT it to go to where it did but he pushed it and me to that point of ridiculousness by continuing to thumb his nose at my reasonable requests. Setting firm limits and boundaries with someone you grew up with is much harder but you have to do what you have to do and might not like doing it all the while. 🙁

    2. I am hoping, Puddle, to be able to resolve my present family problems or be able to separate completely, as you’ve done. You are to be greatly admired.

  26. Hi Vicki,

    Similar family dynamics on my end. The problem with severing ties for many people is this. There exists, on an energetic level, a family tree. And rather than being just a branch on that tree, we incorporate the entire tree into our being. So severing ties, though completely appropriate is probably not a good graphic representation of what we have to do.

    I have not resolved this horrific problem, either. And, like you, I am the only one who has had therapy for family of issue complex ptsd.

    Here’s a perfect cinematic moment to illustrate how ludicrous the situation is.

    Had a very minor confrontation with my sister months ago. I won’t go into the details. She told me I was a very dark person. I remained calm, and told her that I have a lot to deal with and my frustration comes through sometimes, but that I wouldn’t characterize myself as dark, so much as ‘deep’. I told her that deepening is often the result of darkness, much of which we don’t invite into our lives, but that we can learn from it, nevertheless.

    She ended up almost screaming, “I’m a sunny person. Do you get it?! I’m sunny! I’m perky! I’m peppy. Do you get that? I’m pure fucking sunshine!!!”

    1. Lmao!

      But not so funny, eh? Definitely familiar…
      Her accusations don’t even make sense. If she was threatened not to tell anyone, then how was I to know what had happened and therefore allow it?

      My husband was present a few years ago when we had a tearful ‘hashing out’ of it and I assured her I’d never hold anyone responsible for such evil in the world. So he thinks she’s nuts for saying I’ve never apologized (which I have, a 1,000 times!) — and for continuing on with lies.

      Is there nothing I can do to show them the error of their ways? (Try to restrain yourself from uncontrollable laughter on that one.)

      It’s just really, really hard knowing they think I am some sort of monster — and being unable to defend myself.

      I know this sounds stupid, but it’s not fair. hahaha.

      Am I to just walk away and not try to clear my name? I guess no-one would listen anyway.

      Thanks LisaO.
      I don’t think we’re bad people!

      1. Vicki, My husband thinks my siblings engage in mental torture. He isn’t a dramatic guy at all, either. He said he has just never seen people operate this way.

        My therapist had the joyful experience of sitting down with them in an attempt to help them understand some key issues in my life, over the last several years. She diagnosed my sister as an extreme narcissist and all round awful human being.

        My brother attacked HER the minute he arrived, verbally, so he didn’t fare much better. She told me it was the first time she has nearly had to throw somebody out of her office. They abused HER so badly she phoned me up in tears afterwards.

        That is my reality.

        1. I insisted my mother go with me to see my counselor at the time, telling her that if we didn’t get things on the right track,,,,I was not coming to visit anymore. She reluctantly agreed and we did go for a couple sessions. The first one was set up so that the three of us had 45 minutes together and then Mom was to leave so that S and I could process things together. Mom agreed so that’s the way it went. After 45 minutes Mom left my with S who basically had to put herself in time out and do some yoga breathing before she could talk to me. She had heard about Mom for years at this point but to really see her in action is something you really have to see to believe. It was SOOOOOOo validating!

    2. THAT is Hysterical!! That’s like a parent beating their child while screaming at them “”” I LOVE YOU!!!! And I don’t mean corrective spanking, I mean abusive beating.

      1. Hey Puddle, That’s my Nar-sister for you. She can be very kind too, depending on the circumstances. I would think she had a split or multiple personality, like Sybil…remember that story, if not for the fact that multiple facades don’t constitiute multiple personalities.

        If she was MPD, I could call her my Sybil-ing.

      2. Yep…very validating, Puddle. My therapist described bro and sis as sitting together fairly closely on the couch and she said what was weird was my sister was closely watching my brother’s face while he talked. Said it seemed almost incestuous. There are no issues like that, or I’d pick up on them. I told her that I know my sister well enough to describe exactly what was happening there.

        Have you ever watched therapy style television shows where one ‘expert’ couple is counselling another couple? If you watch the couple doing the counselling, you’ll notice that when one speaks the other angles their entire body around and carefully observes the face of the partner, doing the talking. They take turns signalling, “look how into each other and loving we are”

        It has always struck me as comical, because it is TOO much. You can be attentive without ‘broadcasting’ that you are being attentive. That’s show biz…and that’s my nar-sister.

        I can almost guarantee, based on therapist’s description that nar-sister had likely just watched a few of these shows and picked up on the “how to look attentive” feature and it had nothing to do with any pervy feelings she had for bro. The fact they were sitting close together and staring her down was an intimidation tactic.

        My brother started cross examining therapist, from the get go. Threw her off balance. She started to tremble…and she is a tough cookie. He then looked at her and said, “Oh, you appear to be upset. Should we take a moment before we proceed so you can calm down?”

        She told me they then completely demolished me and didn’t appear to be the least interested or concerned about why they were supposedly there.

        They told her I was a rage-a-holic, a simple marital cheater and all around unstable nut, I guess. She said, she just sat there, stunned but through sheer will power was able to defend me. My sister ended up storming out.

        My brother phoned me up afterwards and told me that therapist was untrustworthy, after my money, that she made the hairs on his neck stand up and he had only had that reaction around a psychopathic friend of his, in the past.

        He was VERY VERY concerned for my welfare. He more than inferred she was diabolical. He said his main concern was that she was planting ideas in my mind during hypnosis sessions!

        What I should have told both sibs is the only thing she has managed to convince me of, and not through hypnosis, is that I might be a jackass for putting up with verbal gerbilling, deflection of blame, this for so many years.

  27. Vicki, Most people would tell you that “as long as you think you are a good person, that is all that matters.” So, they treat a massively complex problem as if it boils down to mere self image. And further to that, they have an incomplete idea of what constitutes self image.

    ‘Self image’imho, is not just how we feel about ourselves, it incorporates what we know or think to be true about ourselves conjoined with what we perceive others think of us. It is part of a consensus. When our family perceives us as wrong, damaged, inferior, evil…(I could keep going) we want to change the perception because it IS a huge constituent part of our self image. It’s really easy for anybody to make me feel like a sh**head and family in particular.

    I don’t know what to suggest because I am struggling with this too. Hopefully our attempts to explain our internal emotional reactions and thoughts on these matters will help.

    A huge hug to you, Vicki


    1. And a big hug back to you…

      I’m glad I found this website. Better late than never, I guess.

      It’s weird, and I’ve always tried to figure out “why?” it was like pulling-teeth to have anyone care.

      I had a bad injury to my hand a few years ago. Being a musician, it is no small potatoes. Tried surgery, which required a traction-splint 24/7 to stretch ligaments. Anyway, at my niece’s wedding, NObody said a word. Like, if they did, they’d be playing into some sort of victim-role I had created ? But, that’s the only explanation I can think of.

      My Dad’s wife, to her credit, *whispered* (says a lot) “Good luck” as she hugged me good-bye. Why whisper? Unless she had been told by my Dad NOT to give any sympathy. I don’t want sympathy! Never have…

      There’s a fine line between caring and sympathy — but neither is a wrong thing, if the situation requires it. Sympathy is useless; it does nothing. Talking on the other hand… yeah.

      Turns out I lost my finger to amputation, and still — no-one cared.

      When my 13 yr old dog died, no-one cared then either. Nieces grad week, and it was only 2 weeks after he died that we made the effort to attend. He grew up with those kids, and no-one gave one shit.

      Is ignoring any traumatic events part of their abuse?

      I know there aren’t any easy answers. It’s sure good knowing you lovely people are out there though. Thanks.

      1. Vicki, the black sheep,is,often the most psychologically healthy member of a family. It is possible to,grow up surrounded by complete a**ho**s and just assume it is you who has the greatest problem.

        My bro told me that he never inquires about my lupus because he already knows how I feel.

        “You’ve been sick for as long as I can remember. I KNOW how you feel. I don’t have to ask. Do you get this, LisaO? And then in a kindly tone. “Why don’t you let me know when you are feeling WELL so we can rejoice together!”

        I really don’t know if I can ever be close to him again. He has been so damned weird and hurt me so much in the last few years. My husband also used to think the world of him but has zero respect for him now. So sad.

    2. Btw, Lisa… I wholly agree with your ‘self-image’ theory. It would be narrow-minded to take just one’s own opinion of oneself and run with it.
      It only makes sense to have a ‘consensus’ approach, as you mention. This is the only objective way we can be aware of our behaviours, no?

  28. I forgot. This is all made harder, by my Mum, who just wants everyone to get along – no matter what. She pretty much expects me to just “move on” and forget about all the unfairness she knows about and admits. She hates confrontation, but I try to tell her it’s not right to expect me to be the one to submit and keep on with this ridiculous charade.
    It makes me really hate my sister and Dad for being so obtuse and making her so sad. But why am I always the one to make concessions and ‘forget about it’?
    Does this happen a lot?
    She makes me feel guilty for standing my ground — even though it’s best for me. *sigh*
    What a mess.

    1. Vicki, It is totally unacceptable that you are being held accountable for your sister’s rape. It’s cruel. He was your boyfriend, but you had no way of knowing he was a rapist until he raped you and you were never told until after the fact, by your sister, that same had happened to her.

      Lots of suppressed anger and rage in families like ours. Deflection of blame onto a convenient target, like us, is common. The weird thing is and I used to do it, on occasion, or feel like doing it, was explaining myself and pleading for justice.

      Well, if sister gives you justice, you’re no longer available to be a lightening rod for her own rage. The rape itself, may be serving as a symbol of many other indignities she has suffered in her life. I’m sure it was awful, but it sounds like home life for everybody in your family was an extended series of subtle emotional tortures of one kind or another. She may not want to, or have difficulty examining what is really bothering her, so the rape becomes the focal point of her life.

      Stay strong and offer NO explanations. You don’t need to, you already did that. No wonder your husband is confused. So is mine.

  29. Hi Vicki, thankyou for sharing your story. I’d like to give you my observations and suggestions. I’m sure you have already gained great insight into your family dynamics in therapy but having said that you seem to be living the every day reality which is a whole lot different and harder than anlalyzing it and giving it names. I also have complex ptsd and very toxic family of origin dynamics. Slightly different characters to yours but same street different house. One of my biggest steps forward in therapy was 15 yrs ago, when I was seeing a woman who said bluntly to me ‘Until you accept that you are NEVER going to get what you want from your Dad, you will NEVER move forward. He’s a (a@#!), you are hanging on to a fantasy that will never happen’. It was hard tough love from her and it took me a while to actually do it too. A few years later I did the same thing for my Mum too. I accepted they were never going to change. I still had contact with them but I stopped feeling not good enough for them and gained some self worth. They continued to treat me badly, including my sibling. There came a particularly hard time in my life when I really could have used some emotional support at least let alone actual help, I had a complete nervous breakdown at the hands of my ex-psycopath and my family literally walked past me in the street because they were embarassed that I had shaved all my beautiful long hair off in an act of self-mutilation you could call it. (I don’t and haven’t ever self harmed before or after this). I was still quite sane just really hurting and exhausted from stress. I decided that the pain of being rejected and unsupported and unconditionally loved was worse than the pain of what I was going through with Prince Harming, so I cut off ties altogether with my family and decided to move forward. You know what? My self esteem started to improve, I actually stopped feeling like a disappointment and a failure. I was only relating to people that chose to be with me because of the good human being I am. Friends are the family you find. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds here but my life went ahead in leaps and bounds from that point. I occasionally get embarrassed to have to explain why I don’t have contact with my family and have to fight the fear that the person will judge me as if I’m lying and maybe they are the ones who rejected me because I was a pain and an unbearable stress to them. The truth is, they did reject me. In the end it doesn’t matter why. The truth is you are a pain and an unbearable stress to them because you have faced and live the truth whilst they all prefer to live in a fantasy to hide their own. You reflect to them that the phoenix does rise from the ashes. I deeply empathize with what you have gone through in your wish to be a Mother. You have so much to give the many many children in this world who need a good Mother like you. They are out there all waiting for someone like you to be difference in their lives. You can change the world with love like that. A beautiful woman did that for me when I was young, it’s probably her doing that I am even here still to tell the tale. Big Hugs.

    1. Hi Juliette,
      You know what I notice from all these great women sharing this (and theirs) with me? Is that we have an extraordinary sense of humour, despite the circumstances. And we all seem to be rather good communicators. So, the irony is not lost on me – that we stand alone in these families.

      And, I have to say… I have been told the same thing. Thank you for reminding me. I know it; knew it. Whatever. I needed that reminder, and it’s so true. My Dad and I haven’t talked or written in a year.

      Losing my sister is heart-breaking — and to be responsible for what happened to her has haunted me the past 34 years that I have known. But to imply I “knew” (?) is preposterous and makes me sick to my stomach. What if we all die and this is how it ends? It’s just not right.

      I feel for her, more than she feels for me. I have felt it for years, and didn’t understand.

      Anyway … your hair!! Omg. I am so distressed, looking in the mirror at hair that barely covers my ears now :'(

      I think shaving it would be an improvement at this point. What’s it like growing back? lol…

      I do self-harm. It’s a struggle, but I have my good times. All it takes is this feeling of helplessness and being so misunderstood by those I love, who want to always believe the worst in me… and this week has been the worst in a very long time.

      I even phoned around looking for counselling again, because I don’t want to go back ‘there’ for anyone. I know better. I can do this. Awareness is everything.

      Thanks. Thanks for reminding me of what I already knew. And, I’m too old to have or take care of kids — but you may have given me an idea 😉

      You’ve made it sound exciting and something to look forward to. I’ll try to remember that.

      1. Thanks Vicki, yes you can do it, just like you have all the other times. I can feel the spark when you say you have a good idea, I think it will be too. I’ve been having one of those months, that’s why I ended up here with Dr Simon and finding some clarity and sanity amongst other survivors. Yes, the ability to see the bizarre and laugh at it has saved me from imploding all my life. Have you ever written the story of the rape down from your perspective. Example… I was such and such years old, such and such was happening in my life at the time, then one night such and such happened. Then explain how you felt that it happened and how it has affected you your whole life. Then how it has felt for years to be accused of hurting someone so profoundly when you knew different. It has to be all about you and your feelings not accusing anyone of anything just how you have been feeling. And describe your love for her all the way along and now. Maybe if your sister read it she may have an understanding of who you are and what you have lived with all this time. She certainly doesn’t a present by the sounds of things. The reason that I’m suggesting it is because I did this for my adult children at a time when they were blaming me for things they had no idea about. Lucky for them Hey?! It really created a healing that lasts to this day and they had empathy for me and respect for my strength after they read the ten page letter, it was a summary of my life and how I felt about it and how much I loved them. Sometimes communicating that way helps because emotions between the two people don’t get in the way of what you have to say and it is easier for stubborn people to hear what you are saying when you aren’t in front of their face.
        I was once caught up in the underworld too during my life. I get the picture there without you having to say any other thiing than the word ‘biker’. I get it all..why, how, where, who. The underworld is a haven for disturbed characters and beautiful neurotic women with family of origin issues. I have met so so many of them and their children.
        I shaved my hair off because I wanted to be ugly. I was 28 at the time, I’m 45 now. I blamed my outer beauty for me being preyed upon, so I thought that maybe if I could look ugly, men would stop preying on me and the next guy that came along and told me he loved me would mean it. Prior to that I had seriously considered burning it off with petrol and some fire. I thought that would really do the trick. I didn’t want to die and I thought that a good rest in the burns unit would be a good thing too, because no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get a rest in a psych unit. They were only for people who were a danger to themselves or others…lol!
        It was so liberating! For the first time in my life I stopped using my beauty to get by. It was like I had been stripped bare of a crutch that really did help in life. I wouldn’t get served first in the mob at the bakery. People looked at me with disgust because I looked like a lesbian I think and in their judgement that was bad. My car broke down in the middle of nowhere and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get a lift from the side of the road. Previously all I would have had to do was stand there and hope I didn’t get raped! I started operating from a place inside myself that was closer to who I really was. Slowly it grew back. At first I got to see just how grey I really was. I had been dyeing my grey roots for so long that I didn’t even realize that the whole crown of my head was white. The regrowth was symbolic of this new me emerging. When it was about 3 inches long I dyed it back to the colour it had been, which was really a synthetic version of what my natural brunette was. As it grew back I realized that I was changed from the experience. I stopped relying on being pretty as an advantage in life and I began to see people who valued that and treated me nicely again as shallow. I stopped relating to those people.
        The biggest strangest bizarre lesson that occurred during that time when I shaved it off was that I was preyed upon by a stranger raper/maybe murderer, one night in the city who managed to get me into an isolated place where only my screams would have been heard! OMG and because I had had alot more than the average woman’s experience with these types of characters I was able to personalize myself to him, which bought me time and then escape at the opportune moment when he was toying with the idea of letting me go. I manipulated him with everything I had to save myself. The moral of the story….shaving my hair did not changed the fact that I attracted predators!
        You are worthy of every effort and resource you have to use to get what you need including pouring your heart out here on Dr Simon’s forum. I’ve just started therapy again too as I was spiraling downward again and disintegrating and cage fighting with my selves again. From what I’ve gathered in all the mountains of reading I have done in the absence of being able to afford therapy….a long term theraputic relationship with a practitioner who understands complex trauma is the best and fastest way to make peace with ourselves. It looks from what I’ve been researching, like I’m always going to be a mirror that was glued back together all cracked but that’s better than being a bunch of shards laying broken on the ground. Maybe I’ll become a beautiful Kalaidescope one day!! I hope you do too ;-))

        1. not to be picky or ruin your beautifully worded post Juliette, BUT……..
          “The moral of the story….shaving my hair did not changed the fact that I attracted predators!”
          I really don’t think (my opinion) that YOU attracted predators. I think it’s important to put the entire blame where it belongs……on them. It’s not the same as a Lioness being in heat and a Lion looking for a mate…… this is a predator looking for a meal.

          1. Thankyou Puddle, I do have a really hard time with that one. You are right but I’m telling you, predators have been attracted to me for whatever reason time and time and time again. There came a point in my life where I thought ‘Am I seeing a pattern here or what’ Covert’s, Overt’s Every verts! lol So it feels as if I have this thing going on which attracts them. The closest I can come to understanding it is… that like the Lion the predator looks for the easiest target, for the least energy expenditure and maximum reward. So its something in our body language, the look in our eyes, the woundedness within us perhaps, that lets them know we are an easier picking than the woman who portrays the opposite. They are adept at smelling and sensing it. We are the one at the edge of the pack that the predator singles out for attack. The highly organized and skilled predators are the ones who chose their prey more carefully and do more damage. I don’t want to hide from the world in order to be safe. I want to be one of the ones that the predator considers a wasted effort. Sometimes it’s just because we are there too, I know. Its a dog eat dog man’s world. All we can do is change it one child at a time. thanks again.

          2. Juliette, yeah, me too…….I do seem to have been involved with a few now that I know what they are/ were. Part of my problem is that I’m attracted to bad boys,,,,,,that energy,,,,my bio mom was too. Not good because reformed bad boys are far and few between but that would be my pick.

          3. it’s all very confusing to me too. Did I attract a predator or was I attracted to a predator? and then to really dissect it, I really wasn’t attracted to Spathtardx in the beginning. He didn’t “wow me” at all, in fact I broke up with him very early on but then we ended up back together and I FELL in love.

  30. Oh my God you guys……..I’m blown away by all of your posts and words and insights and stories!!!!!!!! Amazing! {{{{Group HUG!}}}}

  31. So I wrote this poem and Juliette’s post has given me an idea!!!

    my heart cries shattered
    green bottle glass at the base of a stone
    it’s contents splattered, frozen
    in a life spent alone

    springs come and go
    yet the crystals don’t yield
    long ago hidden deeply, carefully
    sun rays flood the field

    I would love to (but probably never will!! ) make a stained glass window from a broken bottle.
    In my poem, the “green bottle glass” represents my life’s beginning, in utero, exposed to alcohol and all the consequential effects. It represents the roll alcohol has played in my entire life and also finally walking away from it.

    I understand what it means but it’s almost so deep I can’t put the words meanings into words!! WOAH!
    I sent that poem to Spathtardx last February during ONE of the post break up/ not done torturing you yet Puddle phases. What a waste of a person to send it to.

    1. That’s beautiful puddle.. What a great idea to make a stained glass window. Something beautiful made of something broken. It would be a really symbolic ritual for you to experience during the time you were making it too as well as each time you look at it in the future. The sun shining through as well as the times it shelters you from the rain and wind. Beautiful. 😉

      1. thanks Juliette……..kind of interesting, as I was writing the post about making a stained glass window from the bottle pieces, I looked up at my window and saw this large round flat green glass piece hanging in the window. I bought it last year because my east windows get so much morning sun and i had started a collection of green glass ornaments for hanging in the windows. it almost looks like it could have been made from recycled melted down bottles. Does that count??? LOL!
        If I had more work area around here i would make a stained glass piece for sure though.

        1. I think you should make one! Creating something as a way of getting through the trauma sounds like a wonderful idea to me.

          I’m feeling lousy today. The pain feels like an old wound flaring up again, in the soul. Does anyone else get this feeling?

          1. Goodmorning Angela, yes I do sometimes too. What do you usually do when you feel like that? How do you soothe yourself? 😉

          2. Angela, The way it feels for me is absolute inertia and exhaustion which makes it kind of a self defeating situation, and my body hurts so bad it throws me completely off. I have a rambunctious puppy right now and i have to do my best twice daily to override all of this so he get exercise. And it’s Spring so the call of the wild pulls me outside to work in the yard. I don’t know what the right thing to do is!! I feel like just going to bed and resting, in a soft nurturing cocoon but obligations won’t allow THAT!! So it keeps being a one foot of the other thing, even at a slow pace most of the time, delighting in getting ANYTHING done no matter how insignificant!

  32. Hi Juliette. Fortunately I had my yoga class last night, which always helps. And tonight I cycled to the lake and swam in it for the first time this year. I think getting a physical workout is a good way to go.

    1. Hi Puddle,

      A puppy is wonderful! I hope you are able to enjoy the time with him while he is still small. I think exercise does help – we have to force ourselves sometimes. I understand about sometimes needing to just rest though. When my thoughts start going round and round in a negative pattern, sometimes bed is the best place to be.

  33. For comment followers, a quick recap of misused psychology terms (in quotes) 🙂

    “Acting out” vs acting up
    “Codependency” vs Dependency or Inadequency to address bad situation for self
    Passive-Aggression vs Covert-Aggressive
    “Denial” vs Denying/Lying
    “Rationalization” vs Excuses making
    “Addiction” vs Habitual misconduct
    “Defensive” vs Actively doing something to avoid owning up
    “Needs” vs Wants
    “Self-esteem” only vs Selt-esteem & Self-worth
    “Splitting” vs Divide and conquer
    “Symptoms” as reported by CD vs “Signs” displayed by CD
    “Projection” vs Blame. Sometime “projection” is simply actively blaming other for exactly the same things what one indulging by oneself.
    “Paranoia” vs Genuine rational mistrust based on past history.

    1. “Passive-aggression”, ain’t that word often used, when someone makes thinly veiled insults or something like that? Or doesn’t handle their anger maturely and then it leaks through in sniping?

    1. Yeah, know that link. Just dropped my itty-bitty five cents. “Passive-aggressive” just is used so much when someone plain makes a thinly veiled insult. Everyone else may see it, so it ain’t all that covert in such case, but kinda immature, still.

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