When Confidence Becomes Pathological

Character disturbance exists along a spectrum. (See also: The Character Disturbance Spectrum) And disturbed characters vary in both type and degree. Many relationship partners have learned this the hard way. They might have known from the beginning that something wasn’t quite right with their significant other. Perhaps they even recognized the trait in their partner’s character that bothered them. But they still might have been in the dark about just how just disturbed they were.  Experience would have to teach them that.

Healthy Versus Narcissistic Confidence

Confidence is a personality attribute. And generally speaking, it serves a person well to have confidence. But a person can also be too confident. They can unhealthily overestimate their talents and abilities.

Narcissistic individuals have an inflated sense of self. And many times, this is not because underneath it all they struggle with insecurity. They can not only overvalue who they are but also overestimate what they can do. They can engage in unbridled fantasy. Their imagination can exceed all reasonable boundaries. As one famous researcher once put it, full-blown narcissists are “legends in their own minds.”  They can be so unrealistic that reality itself becomes relative to them. Or, as others have said, for them “thinking something is so makes it so.” That’s when confidence transforms from a positive personality trait to a sign of disturbed character.

A Sad Tale of Overconfidence

A woman I’ll give the name “Sally” was just positive she was on to something big. She’d been to only one of the young entrepreneurial company’s “ground floor” meetings. But she just knew she’d found the very opportunity she needed to scale the heights. She’d heard criticism this outfit was just another “pyramid scheme.” But she saw only the opportunity of a lifetime. And she had confidence. She was confident in her ability to sell, to organize, and to build. All she needed was the support of her husband “Joe.” She would need both his financial and emotional support but just to get things started. After that she would make it on her own. She had confidence that in the end she would not only make a name for herself but also build an empire.

Joe willingly gave his support. After all, he wanted nothing more than for Sally to succeed. He surrendered the entire modest family inheritance he’d recently received. He regarded it as an “investment.” And he gave his time and sweat, too. But he grew increasingly weary over time. And when things repeatedly didn’t pan out as planned, he got tired of Sally insisting she just needed more time. He got tired of her always blaming him for not providing enough moral and financial support. Somehow, Sally’s failures to make her dream a reality always ended up being his fault. She couldn’t possibly have simply made an error in judgment. And she couldn’t possibly have been duped by an outfit that knew just how to seduce the grandiose and ambitious. To Joe that seemed clearly the reality. But it was also a reality Sally refused to accept.

Character and Confidence

Sally’s business eventually failed. And she squarely blamed Joe. She even divorced him in her anger over things. Sally’s the kind who never admits defeat. That would be a sign of weakness. And if there are two things Sally really values about her character, they would be confidence and strength.

Now, how we regard ourselves and our personal power reflects our character integrity. Healthy characters don’t discount themselves. But they also don’t overrate themselves. They have a healthy sense of balance about what’s truly belongs to them and what derives from a “higher power.” They have trust and confidence. But they don’t place either solely on their own greatness. And they have the humility to acknowledge and reckon with their mistakes and failures. Such humble reckoning enables one to learn life’s most important lessons.

 

Character Matters may or may not be live this Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 7 pm EDT. That date is Mother’s Day. But you’ll hear me announce at the beginning of the program whether the show is live and I can take your calls at (501) 258-8326).

As always, thanks for recommending this blog and my books to others.

 

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55 thoughts on “When Confidence Becomes Pathological

  1. I can also see how Confidence can go the other way. Knowing that Character Disturbance has Spectrum. As Dr Simon has taught me, Learned Helplessness. Know matter what you try you never get anyware.
    I Really,Really see what a Cruel and Controlling Person I was Dealing With. I had Know Idea ! Light Bulb

  2. “… Experience would have to teach them that.”

    Sigh. Story of my life. Wisdom cometh… always too slowly… usually too late.

  3. Moms are supposed to live and protect their children. Spouses are supposed to help each other and support and love and cherish. And when they don’t we try so hard to accept it or change it. I wish I’d been taught to walk away from the ugly and say to hell with the cowa and persistence. Wish I’d been taught to recognize a CDN I think everyone else saw it but I was in the tunnel vision of a marriage with a liar.

    1. Lucy you fell in love with yourself. LOL You projected onto SB all your virtues inadvertently thinking they were his – he has none. I know I did exactly the same. Cunning mimics they are and nothing more. They are as empty as a dry well. When we meet a new romantic interest who are CD, I believe we are using projection indentification which encourages them to act out all the traits we are unknowingly assigning to them. The tunnel vision you suffered from was perhaps still thinking he had those attributes he never had to start with. I suffered the same with the last relationship thankfully it was short lived and I woke me up in record time. The downfall is thinking for extended periods of time we can fix them or love them back into good health. That’s just a wet dream.

      I am getting particularly canny with picking them now. They demonstrate clear traits and one of them is so freakin obvious. Those inclined toward making jokes or obtaining humor at another’s expense usually resulting in humiliation is a good indicator and they can’t help this, it’s an automatic thing, they just have to put others down. Particularly when somebody else is being complimented about whatever. They have to put their 2 cents worth in often using backhanded sarcasm. They just have to win. If I detect one in my presence I give it no energy whatsoever now or just leave the situation. Simple as that – to hell with them and they are bloody well everywhere.

      Here is another good one and highly favored. People who do the above also have a habit of constantly starting sentences with “So you think” or “Just because you think……” generally when you have an opinion counter to their own. BULLSHIT! Nobody can tell anybody what they are thinking or feeling for that matter. If they are trying to manipulate a certain reality, they aren’t going to succeed with me. I will give these assholes a very wide birth but not until I have corrected this error in their assumption. Seriously gaslighting is a way of life for these assholes.

      Lucy you are still in the crucible because you have to deal with the SB. I have to deal with one but I’m not emotionally attached to him and I am now becoming very adept at thwarting his strategies. I consider having him in my c year old toddler are, as much as a pain in the ass he is (because he’s a 76 year old toddler), to be a blessing in disguise. He’s giving me the opportunity to observe and learn without attachment therefore I can’t be emotionally traumatized by him. You could say he’s the best job I’ve every had! LOL.

      Once out of the fire pit/the crucible all sorts of great things start to happen. You suddenly become clearer. Your life has more purpose. You find you have a healthy respect for yourself and as such you are not going to allow anybody else to degrade that and you will know he cues if and when somebody does. You become very adamant on this point. Your boundaries have been fortified and you have a new lease on life literally, and above all you know how to spot these assholes. It’s like Danarys Stormborn in Game of Thrones emerging from the flames walking out of the Dothraki tent after she burnt them all alive (they did deserve this). Game of Thrones has an exceptional cast of CDs. However the best by far was the Matrix.

      Neo: Morpheus are you telling me I can dodge bullets?
      Morpheus: What I’m saying Neo is when you are ready you won’t have to.

      1. Eudoxia,

        I hope to spot them as well as you do now. I’ve just got no energy for the fools and do not want to waste another minute on trash.

        1. Lucy,

          I live in a small town, I’ve have been here for nearly 2 years now. So I know most of the community. In small communities the trouble makers are relatively easy to spot. It’s just others aren’t so good at seeing trouble or deliberately turn a blind eye to it. One of the very things that makes my skin crawl is when someone sticks up for bad behavior such as “Oh it’s just Bob”, “oh but that’s just Mary” …….. There is is no excuse in my book; disrespecting others, getting a kick at someone else expense and making trouble for others is not something that should be made light of. They might not necessarily be CD but emotionally immature enough to steer well clear of which I do. New rule: when a red flag comes up RUN.

          Good example from yesterday – I was on my way home and spotted a friend having a beer after work at the tavern. So I decided to stop and went in to catch up with her and stayed for 2 beers. During that time this is what unfolded. Out of the entire tavern patrons of which there were 10 in total – two guys were playing pool I know them both, one lost both games early on in the piece so he cracked the shits big time and had a tantrum. That’s nothing unusual, he’s bi polar and generally not a real menace he tends to get himself into trouble as opposed to others and his tanty was low key, it was the other guy who was the main complainer. Still it makes it uncomfortable for others. That was incident one. Incident 2 – another guy was in playing the pokies, next minute he’s screaming out of the side street in his car and almost wipes out another car traveling down the main road to the point the guy nearly hit him forcing the other driver to swerve immediately and off the road to avoid collision – UNACCEPTABLE! I probably may have stayed to have a 3rd beer had it not been for someone else sitting at the table who started to laugh and make light of what just happened sticking up for an abject loser with a bad temper (the guy driving). He has considerable character flaws, pathological lying being one of them and I have nothing to do with him anyway. I have nothing to do with any of those sorts of people now and didn’t stay for another beer. In small towns Lucy they are not hard to spot, and like you I don’t wish to waste my time on trash either. As far as I am concerned any demonstration of dubious character is enough to tell me the person is not worth my time or life energy. This applies equally to enablers.

          1. I’m also from a small town and like you say it’s pretty easy to spot trouble makers, or just plain troubled people. There are everywhere. This is why many people prefer to work and then just go home.

  4. To Lucy and Andy D

    The friendship we have is so rare to find,
    We hate to see each other in a bind.
    We have made each other laugh so hard we’ve cried,
    We feel each other’s pain if we are hurt inside.
    We always can find the right words to say,
    To help us get through any dreadful day.
    We have told our darkest secrets, with feeling no shame,
    We will tell each other the truth even if we are to blame.
    Thinking of you not being here makes me feel so sad,
    We will have to look back on our crazy memories to make us glad.
    The miles between us can’t keep us apart,
    Because we will keep each other close at heart.

    1. Joey,

      Yours words, breathtakingly, beautiful, full of freedom. Joey, thank you for sharing yourself with us. Out of the ashes, we have found our true selves, not an easy task by any means. You are with us, in our hearts too. I will always remember this moment, reading these words from your soul.

      Hugs across oceans,

      Blessings, Kindred spirit

  5. ‘Sally’ sounds like a Mary Kaye Queen, an Amway Amazon or a Tupperware tyrant? Yes, yes…multi-level schemes LOVE the over confident. Been there, done that, with a partner, who had little confidence, yet he was indoctrinated with the idea that it would build his confidence! So either way, these schemes have a lock on people from a self esteem perspective.

    After my experience with a CD, over confidence of any kind became more readily apparent to me, like a sharp odor. I find most people like this are monumentally boring because they are SO full of themselves. I think age has something to do with it too. When we are young and nubile, over confidence is sometimes kind of attractive. Now?? Pffffttt. Yuck.

  6. Lucy-Kat-LisiaO

    When we try to understand how and why Narcissists do the things they do – it’s because this is their mindset. To a Narcissist, you are not a beautiful person, with a sparkling personality and a shining soul, that they have a deep connection to – you are a resource to be exploited – nothing more

    And we find this out the Hard way

    1. Joey,

      Yes, very true, we find out the hard way. I will say I feel blessed to have found out at all. Had it not been for others and the mass media on the topic and victims stepping forward, we all could very well be in the dark.

      Like you stated, I too, will be forever grateful to Dr. Simon for bringing all this knowledge to the forefront in such an eloquent, insightful and simplistic way.

      Blessings and goodwill to all.

  7. A few things came to light this week regarding what my wonderful SB has done during our years of marriage. I came to find out he inherited monies from his aunt (aside from his inheritance from his mother). Per court order he was directed to disclose where funds were deposited. Low and behalf my name was also on that check, which he in his twisted mind decided it best to not inform me of the inheritance at all, let alone my name was also on the check. So he forged my name on the back of the check and spent it all within 3 months’ time – in the $100,000 range.
    I went to the bank and got a copy of the check. He definitely forged my signature.
    No level is too low for him to go.
    Also he sent me a nice e-mail, among other rantings, ended the email:
    “As you know, I am far from homeless but I will do my best to make sure that when this case ends you are.”
    This man is subhuman, pure evil and ate up with hatred.

    1. Lucy,
      I am so sorry you have to go through all this. It is going to get worse, I can only imagine what other things SB has buried. Just know we all care about you and you have the best support group you could ask for, here on this blog.

      Stand Strong Sister!!!!!!!

      Hugs

    2. Typical – keep it as evidence. They are unbelievable I swear. They actually think they are bullet proof and omnipotent. This one woman around here the one who originally went after me and who has backed right off – actually had the nerve to text another woman (attempted victim) who she tried to run off the road and down a very large embankment with “HA HA I’m insured and you aren’t” F**&&^ them.

    3. Sounds like we were married to the same man!
      These are nasty dangerous individuals. I’m nearly free… nearly.

      1. DevonTaffy,

        You haven’t posted for awhile, glad you are almost free. Its a nightmare trying to detach.

        Take care and I hope you let us know how you are.
        Blessings

  8. The Life leech

    Leeches do not concern themselves with the fact that you don’t want a leech attached to you. They don’t care that you find the entire idea abhorrent. They don’t care if you become, sick, weak, or even die because of their feeding. When you can no longer give them what they want, they will just move on and find another host.

    Sound like some you know !

    1. I wish the SB would get a girlfriend. But he hates women, unless they’re a hooker. I do feel like I have a giant ugly slimy leech on my back.

      1. Lucy,
        I doubt SB will ever find a girlfriend again, if he does find a woman she will be someone that is at the very bottom with little of herself left or completely hollowed out spiritually and discarded.

        On the other hand, a MN that has it together more than SB may reach out to use him for a flying monkey. This may go against everything SB has done in the past but at this point in life SB won’t have a say so in the matter.

        For instance, a wealthy, low life scummy business person or even politician is always looking for their own supply. These slime bags are known to hire the like of SB as a source. SB will not have any other choice and in kind SB will receive supply. I think this will be the most likely scenario.

        Unless, do to age and SB’s health issue and drug problems goes home to his maker. I do not believe SB will never commit suicide as he loves himself to much.

        I hope you don’t respond in any way to SB, stay as far away as possible from any place you could possibly encounter him. At this point SB is getting more desperate as the time draws closer, anything is possible. If he comes near you call the police as in his ranting this is frightening, his behavior is unpredictable and SB is capable of anything. IN his mind you and only you stand in his way.

        Not to frighten you, just be aware of your surroundings, and disengage from any interaction, talking,, emailing even talking with the children as SB will lie, cheat, steal, fabricate stories to call attention from his behavior and accuse you. DON”T give SB any opening for this.

        SB is more than a giant leach, he is a concrete block chained around your neck with leeches on all your limbs and vitals. SB can’t attach to your character or soul. You’re getting closer, each day it is going to get hotter and heavier the burden you carry. Keep your head up high and eyes pointed to the heavens. Breath deeply cool air in hot and toxic air out.

        Never underestimate your strength and resolve, you will come through this. I have faith in your perseverance and strength of character to overcome. Remember, we talked about gifts, now you will find out and truly use those gifts SB coveted. Free you mind of the negative and fill it with your mantra: I can and I Lucy, will overcome.
        I know you can do it! We all know you can do it!

        If need be unload here everyday, and drawn from our support and strength we send to you. You indeed are an inspiration……..

        Blessings and Hugs

        1. BOTV

          Thanks for the encouragement. I won’t respond to those emails. I have learned how he twists what I say or write into something it’s not, as Andy is experiencing the same.
          I hope that the light wins over the dark. So far, though, I may have won some battles but he’s leaving me broke, intent on breaking me financially, and at that he is winning.
          I hope to find recourse in court, but am not confident that that will happen either. To “win” involves large sums of monies in attorney fees, so as I “win” I also lose. Maybe I’ll recoup some of those fees, but I, again, doubt it.
          I’m getting closer to the hearing date. It won’t come soon enough. New things are coming to light. I was surely living in the dark, unaware of the extent of his spiral downward. I saw it happening, but just did not realize the severity of it. Shame on me for not digging down into my financial situation before it is too late.
          I hope my hard lesson will teach someone else to always keep an eye on your own finances, future, not letting even someone you trust have all that power. It was laziness on my part. I thought he was handling matters and that I didn’t need to be bothered by the financial end of what he was doing. I was doing my part, saving a large sum, thinking he was doing the same. Oh well . . . . .. I’m grateful I have a good job.

          1. Lucy,

            You saw the ugly side of the cheating and other ugly behavior,
            “”””I am sure you never dreamed in a 1000 years SB was pilfering away money like no tomorrow. There are many spouses that entrust there spouse to one job or another and I am sure you believed in your heart SB may have spent money but not this. Yes, you were doing your part and vis a vis. Please don’t beat yourself up about this, for all intensive purposes SB was making it appear everything was OK. Your needs were minimal since you love simplicity.

          2. Lucy,

            In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to exchange email. Instead of immediate reacting in emotional way, you can respond after a day as a rational and sensible adult. These just may help you a bit in court. Even if you cannot use them in court, later on in your personal life you just may feel better that you did what you were supposed to do.

            Having a decent job puts you in a situation far better than depending upon someone else.

    2. That’s the truth. He started ripping off drug dealers and telling them I was holding the money, even though we had separated. I knew it was a matter of time before me or our kids would end up hurt or dead so I left before that could happen. He truly could have cared less.

      1. kat,

        Now that is a scary, mean, coward, to sacrifice his family to save himself. What a loser. Good thing you got out of there.

  9. This looks like a good book: by Lee MacKenzie, just published this week.

    The Charming Predator
    The True Story of How I Fell in Love with and Married a Sociopathic Fraud

    “Until you’ve been duped by someone like Kenner Elias Jones you think it could never happen to you. When I first met him I had no way of knowing he was an imposter – a con man of great skill and outrageous audacity. This book is about a journey that began with dreams and happiness and ended with the shattering truth. But there is more than that to tell, because it’s also about my reluctance to face the part I played in creating and allowing tragedy to happen to me. And then, finally, a way to peace.”

    “How on earth did I allow myself to be fooled, lied to, used?
    It’s tempting to simply point the finger at the liar, the imposter, the person who seems to have no conscience. It’s not so easy to look in the mirror.
    When I wrote the first drafts of The Charming Predator I had no difficulty describing all the damaging things Kenner had done. I looked through the files at all the letters he had written me, the documents with forged signatures, the photographs. The pages and pages of what I came to realize were lies.
    But what about the letters I had written? They were in the storage box too. At first I simply could not read them. Eventually, coaxed by my first collaborator, Len Port, I was persuaded to take a deep breath and tell the whole story. As I began to read the letters I had written to Kenner they carried me effortlessly to my thoughts and feelings at the time. I was in love, not only with the idea of who I thought Kenner was, but the whole future filled with dreams which I created and chose to believe in, come what may. I certainly played a part in my own demise.
    Almost 35 years after my close encounter with Kenner Elias Jones I have made good progress in forgiving myself and facing my responsibility for what happened to me.”

    1. Sounds like a good read I could certainly relate to. I could have should have been proactive in dealings with the husband when things just didn’t add up. I just wasn’t up to the challenge. I would have had to follow him around ( not possible when I work full time) to know what he really was doing. I’d have had to delve into our finances, which he’d always handled and I entrusted in him – BIG MISTAKE. I should have INSISTED on answers to my inquiries instead of backing away when he displayed his FAKE ANGER. But i did not deserve the fraud and harm this shitbag caused me. I was good to him. This will never again happen to me. I have learned now that there are truly evil people out there

  10. Lucy
    I know I should not see them this way. But knowing what I know now. I truly see them as a diffrent species of human.

    species

    1.
    BIOLOGY
    a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.

  11. Hi Anne,

    I don’t know why people who have dreams about their future and primary trust in their partners should feel responsible for the sh**bags (trademark Lucy LOL) they married. All they were missing was proper information. Why the need to forgive oneself? For what?

    This is a recurring theme that should be forever buried.

    1. Hi LisaO,

      This is from another perspective, many Dr.’s work with clients who do have difficulty processing and forgiving themselves for many reasons based on their relationship with a CD. What may work for one may not work for another.

      I have to admit, for myself, I did forgive the CDN too, besides myself. I gave it over to the judge and made up my mind whatever the judge decided I would accept and live with. I would not hang onto any of it due to anger. For me this was a blessing in disguise and cathartic. In cases like these there are NO winners. Many times the CDN will destroy themselves, out in the open, in front of our eyes and the entire world without the lifting a finger, by doing so, I still hold my character in my soul as I have not stooped to the CD level.

      I will never forget, nor will I give quarter to these kind ever, once out of my life it is forever.

      melanietoniaevans.com/forgiving-yourself-for-being-hooked-and-tricked..

    2. LisaO

      The SB preyed on my trustworthiness, as you say, my primary trust in my partner, like a normal person would have, and he used it to his advantage.
      In counseling, he didn’t speak much (so much to hide), but what I do remember him saying was “—- will believe anything anyone tells her.” I looked at him and he looked at me – if looks could kill. I was incredibly trusting of people in general. My bad? I don’t know . . . . it is what it is, good or bad.

    3. You took the words out of my mouth. It was my mother/grandmother though that caused me the heart ache. Wise words. Thank You

    4. Hi LisaO,

      I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t speak for the author. I quoted from her webpage. I quoted it because I found it relevant and because it resonates with me.

      We can analyze the CD person and their faults forever, but I think those of us who are duped (become a victim), will be duped again until we focus on ourself and become more self aware: what is it about myself that made me attracted to this person, what made me ignore the red flags, what made me stay in a bad relationship too long.

      The quote speaks to “dreams” (= beliefs). It’s important to be aware of our beliefs, because they get us into trouble. For example: “I believe all people are good and trustworthy.” “I believe the person I marry would never lie to me.” “A religious person would behave this way, not that way.” “If something doesn’t make sense it is because I must be mistaken.”

      I read on Dr. Simon’s website or another one, that a person gets manipulated because the manipulator feeds the person’s beliefs and dreams. They tell you what you want to come true. For example, a person wants to get rich, easily, quickly. That dream is in their brain. The ponzi operator feeds that dream and hooks them in. The person suppresses any doubts that conflict with their dream.

      Beliefs are very strong things. That is how health quackery and conspiracy theories succeed. I won’t bother arguing with people about health stuff because they are speaking from belief, and rational argument has no effect on them.

      Forgiving oneself. This topic has been discussed before here and I don’t want to hash it out again. I think it is common/typical for people who have been deceived to be angry, not only with the deceiver, but also with themselves. I was.

      I was angry with myself for getting manipulated and exploited again. Sure, I did not have all the information, but I had a role in my own deception. In order to forgive myself, I had to look at myself : how eager I am to help, to trust, to please someone else, to be in a relationship in the eyes of society, to have certain benefits of a relationship, to believe I have a future with this person of so much imagined potential and plans. But it’s my imaginings and expectations of what I think the future should be. Nothing wrong in that, as long as I am quite aware that my partner may only be pretending to share those imaginings, or completely disagree, or have imaginings that are very different from mine, and, as long as I am aware that life throws curve balls all the time.

      I have no interest in forgiving manipulators, but I do credit my manipulator with helping me to become more self aware and more able to recognize manipulative behaviour.

      1. Anne,

        Most targets use generalizations about human nature, how partners will behave etc. They don’t become inflexible beliefs.

        That would require an almost fantasy prone personality. Most targets, faced with clear evidence that something is terribly off have enough flexibility in their world view to realize they have been duped.

        I understand the focus on trying to help victims who have coauthored their downfall, but think a certain amount is misplaced. And also think that it is important, post relationship, not to do a 180 degree turn and become too suspicious. Interactive forums are full of people who come across like this.

  12. Andy,

    None of my emails have ever lead to resolution of any issue, ever. They always result in an insult towards me. They turn abusive.
    I will email a bill now and then, of which won’t get paid, but other than that something negative comes out of emails.
    The SB is intent on taking any bit I give him and twisting it to suit his purpose.
    I fair better with NC. That’s how low and pathetic our whole communication together has become.

    1. Lucy,

      I meant written communication only for the purpose of evidence.
      Someone writing out “… I am far from homeless but I will do my best to make sure that when this case ends you are.” in response to a simple request can be discredited in court. A judge or jury has lot of subjective say in the final outcome of a civil/family dispute.
      In your case, you may go No Contact. But, in my case, it is not possible even after 10 years due to monthly alimony payment and young child. So, in my case written communication will help.

      Someone capable to twisting around a written note will be deadly with verbal communication. 🙂

      You know your situation best. But, when it comes to dealing with person hell bent upon litigation and cool rational business like approach should payoff in long run.

      1. Correction…

        when it comes to dealing with person hell bent upon litigation, a cool rational business like approach should payoff in long run.

      2. Andy,

        I’ll keep that threatening email just to back-up allegations of abuse of the courts, filing frivolous pleadings and the like. It could back up my showing of his intent.
        And it sounds like you’ve mastered how to communicate and how to react (or not react) to your special lady’s way of communicating.
        I will celebrate the day you have victory in court – even though even victories are works in progress.

  13. Btov,

    I understand some survivors have problems processing the experience and feel they need to forgive themselves. For what, I don’t know. It’s a bit like forgiving yourself for being mugged. Now forgiving the mugger, I get — as some targets may need to forgive in order to get on with their lives.

    I never found it necessary to forgive my own SB. I very quickly determined that what happened was completely outside of my frame of reference, was totally abnormal and his form of discard was engineered to cause maximum grief, confusion and GUILT.

    After I realized this, and it took about a week, I was still extremely emotionally messed up, wracked with grief, off and on, but I refused to feel guilty.

    But you are right, everybody is different and a longer term intimate relationship with a monster is going to create a lot more emotional complexity and ambiguity. And when there are children involved, there may be some regret about not leaving these creeps sooner. On the other hand, they may be adept at becoming their kids best pal, so partner feels guilty leaving them for that. Lots going on there.

  14. Btov,

    i just thought of something else. What people feel after being hooked through trickery is more like embarrassment. That emotion doesn’t require forgiveness, just self-reassurance that they haven’t done something mind numbingly naive or stupid.

    You require forgiveness, strictly speaking, if you have done something morally wrong, that produces guilt.

    1. LisaO,

      Yes, on many of these points I agree, what comes in to play are the dynamics of the family of origin, how one was brought up, and many other specifics that play a part in ones perception of the individuals involved.

      On the other hand we look back at what now is obvious and question ourselves, how could we have missed what was in front of our eyes and blame ourselves .

      In reality, this discussion is good to dissect, so many go back to the same CD individual they just relieved themselves of. At the same time in the analytical world it is easier to beat ourselves up and take the blame as the CD will not. In this it gives me hope that the ones who self blame will be the one we can make a difference with and bring them to the knowledge of the truth.

      There have been comments at times on this blog , by individuals, —– I consider the uninformed or CD—- who blame and consider the empath a participant of masochism which is a lie. We the em-paths many times are the backbone of our children, families, and many other mitigating factors, which the judgmental have no idea of taking into account. The ones who have not walked in our shoes either should offer a hand of support or stay out of judging others they haven’t a clue about.

      1. LisaO,

        One other thing, and I do appreciate our openness to dialog. When I met the CD in my life, I was very young, I wanted to believe and trust and unfortunately, it came down to in the end, is: I wanted to believe the lie.

        In all honesty, in my subconsciousness, I wanted the truth so badly and needed it, I wanted to and willingly believed a lie. Sad to say the CD I knew needed and wanted to believe the lie as much as I did.

  15. BTOV

    Dream For Nightmare

    By Shianne

    Broken window shows each dream
    Shattered lie you can’t redeem
    A wish upon a twisted heart
    Diamond lie that ripped apart
    Shards of truth a pane of glass
    A broken dream that came to pass
    A teardrop fallen in the rain
    An unseen symbol of your pain
    A silver thread upon the ground
    Of lost hopes that couldn’t be found
    A web of lies and deceit
    Twisted from each defeat
    Bound by hatred from a flame
    Burning bright, turning the blame
    Blood red tears that fall right through
    Showing all that wasn’t true
    A dream twisted to the end
    A lie to truth from which you bend
    A cold hatred from above
    Back to silence shattered by love
    A dreaming wish fallen from a heart
    As each lie rips it apart
    A teardrop falls from each eye
    A wish that came in the form of a lie
    Hopes that shattered upon the floor
    Lies that were hidden behind a door
    A dreaming eye that went unseen
    Reliving everything had it been
    A wish each year to have it sell
    Your secrets that you can not tell
    Hidden by all yet free to see
    Each truth, lie, dream and wish as they be
    To turn them back, a nightmare made
    Losing battles, memories fade
    And hopes and dreams are sold away
    A lie born into a day
    A reality turned back on you
    From a truth they never knew
    Careful all, for you will see
    That secrets and dreams aren’t safe to be
    They take your dream, twist it around
    Shatter the memories upon the ground
    Whisked away by just one scream
    They give you back your twisted dream
    But when they do, this I tell
    Your dream in exchange for a nightmare is what you sell

    “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

    ― Søren Kierkegaard

    Joey

    1. Joey,

      Thank you, so painfully true.
      Now, I must go forward with this knowledge and experience and use it to become the best I can be. Lost for a time and now I am found.
      ((((Hugs)))) and happiness for you too, Joey

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