Judging Character – Part Three

This series of posts has focused on the importance of making sound judgments about a someone’s character prior to entering into a serious relationship with them (see also: Becoming a Better Judge of Character and Judging Character – Part Two).  The following is a story of how one man, who, in his own neediness and through his own negligence, allowed himself to be blindsided.

Emma was probably one of the most beautiful women Paul had ever laid eyes on.  And she was ever so charming and outgoing.  Everybody seemed to like her, though no one seemed to know her all that well.  Paul was so excited the first time she agreed to meet him over coffee he could hardly contain himself. But it wouldn’t be long after that first meeting that they would be dating steadily, and not too long after they began dating that Emma indicated she wouldn’t mind moving in with Paul’s at his townhouse.

Paul didn’t know a whole lot about Emma but he felt he knew enough.  She was bright, charming, and so much fun to be with.  She had 2 young children, but she seemed really good with them and they seemed like great kids.  Besides, he liked the children and they seemed to like him, too. He didn’t know all that much about Emma’s prior relationships except that she married only once, “way too young,” and had lived with two other men who turned out to be “creeps.”  She also had run up lots of debts. But she  had good explanations for that:  Her last boyfriend was laid off from his job twice and never did his fair share while they were together.  Emma was really bearing her burdens all alone and her paycheck simply couldn’t cover all the bills and the kids’ needs.

Paul felt for Emma and her history of “bad luck.”  She was estranged from her parents who “threw [her] out” when she was 18, and just never seemed to catch a break.  So he didn’t mind paying off her credit cards and helping her out.  He felt sorry for her, and he had to admit, it felt really good to feel so appreciated.  Emma was good about showing her affection, too.  She made him feel both valued and needed.

Paul was pretty much in a state of shock for days after the first time Emma failed to come home until the next morning.  He had been frantic with worry about what could have happened to her.  And it was insult on top of injury when it became clear how “high” she was when she eventually did show up.  How could she do this to him, he wondered?  And how could she just leave the kids?  Just who was this woman that just days ago he thought was so wonderful?

Eventually Paul would learn that Emma’s story about being “thrown out” and abandoned by her “emotionally abusive” parents at age 18 wasn’t very accurate. In reality, her parents, were decent folks who tried to get her help in adolescence but she was always non-compliant.  They even had her admitted to an inpatient facility that had an intensive program.  But when she turned 18, they could no longer force the issue of treatment.  They told her she could live with them if she observed reasonable rules and limits but Emma had a mind of her own.  Emma’s parents didn’t abandon her.  Rather, Emma did as she usually does: she bolted when faced with the prospect of having to submit herself to rules and authority.  

Paul also learned that the pills Emma always had around for her “Fibromyalgia” weren’t really legitimately prescribed medicines and that she had a history of abusing multiple substances.  And he eventually learned that the reason she didn’t come home was because she’d spent the night with an old boyfriend.  He also found out that her two children were not from her first marriage as he was led to believe but rather the result of indiscretions during the times she lived with her prior two boyfriends.  And by the time he realized he needed to end the relationship immediately and take back the duplicate bankcard he’d given her for household expenses, his account had already been cleaned out.  

Eventually, Paul would learn a lot about himself, especially the things that make him vulnerable to exploitation and prone to making inadequate judgments about a person’s character.  Paul always wants to see the best in people.  He also tends to be too trusting and to take things at face value.  And when his gut is churning – like all those times when he would ask Emma about things and her answers were so vague that he never really felt like he got a real answer – he doesn’t afford the feeling that something’s amiss enough credence.  He’s also the kind of guy who’s so genuinely insecure that when an attractive woman shows him attention and interest, any good judgment he might otherwise have goes straight out the window.  He’s a soft touch whose poor judgment allowed him to be taken to the cleaners.  But warning signs were always there if he’d simply been a bit more objective:  a failed marriage, at least two other failed relationships, estranged family, financial irresponsibility, etc. (the history of irresponsible sexual behavior could have been easily flushed out as well with just a little probing).  And while it’s possible that all these things could have had a perfectly legitimate or more benign explanation, the very fact that they were present begged for Paul’s more ardent investigation.  If he’d done his homework and really gotten to know the character of the person he was hooking up with, he’d have spared himself a lot of heartache and saved a lot of money as well! 

Had Paul already been armed with some of the information I give in my books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance, he might have picked up on all the manipulation “tactics” Emma displayed from early on, especially the careful use of vagueness as a means of deceit, adept display of superficial charm and other forms of seduction, always having excuses or rationalizations for problem behaviors, and ready externalization of blame.  And he might have spotted certain thinking errors, too, such as circumstantial thinking and hard-luck thinking.  These things would have been a tip-off that he was dealing with someone of disturbed character.  Paul knows these things now, but he didn’t know them in time to avoid being taken in by Emma.  Paul also understands that in order to judge the character of others objectively and accurately, you also have to know yourself pretty well.

One thing I feel compelled to mention is that even though Emma was in treatment on several occasions, the diagnoses she was given spanned the gamut (Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Histrionic Personality traits, etc.) but never included either a Conduct Disorder diagnosis or a diagnosis of personality or character disorder.  If “Emma” were male, it’s quite likely someone would have at least entertained the possibility she had a Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder.  It seems that when it comes to making sound judgments about character-impaired females, professionals sometimes have as much trouble as do potential relationship partners.  And the purpose of this series of articles has been to help you ask the right questions, gather the right information, and look for the telltale signs that someone’s character poses big problems for any relationship you’re considering having with them.

48 thoughts on “Judging Character – Part Three

  1. Dr. Simon………I would like more wording here on the importance or the perpetrator’s deceitful manipulation and ability to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. Hide sight is 20/20 as as they say. To mention the things Paul could have done in my opinion takes the blame onto the victim.
    How in the world is a person who has no knowledge that people this low exist even supposed to have a clue that the gut feeling is spelling out disaster? The problem I see is that the gut feelings you may have or may not have listened to in the past does not translate into the devastating consequences it does in a relationship of this type. And when and if you do voice concerns to these losers they are quite adept of resetting the hook you have swallowed.
    Spathtardx had all kinds of ways to minimize my gut feelings and they were true statements. “Your not perfect either Puddle, no one is”. “i would like to think I would get the understanding that I’ve shown you when you haven’t done things perfectly. that’s what love is”.
    AND some of them are so good that they are able to keep a person in the dark until they strike and it is too late. I didn’t figure out the real truth until long after we split up! and that was after a tremendous amount of time and effort on my part to know.
    Even an initial background check didn’t show the real story, it showed some past issues but I had had 2 DUI’s in my past and he lied about his DV “charge” which turned out to be an actual conviction! he never even came close to saying “I pled guilty to domestic violence and the judge allowed me, as a first offense, to participate in the diversion program and have it reduced to a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace.
    They turn your trusting nature against you. I did NOT trust him blindly………I just didn’t know. My position is this…..until you KNOW what these people are, you are a sitting duck to be manipulated. Even since I’ve known I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around it!!
    I see this now as prey vs predator, period. They could do it to someone who is mentally impaired and can’t completely fend for their own well being. Or an elderly person or someone in a compromised position who isn’t really on top of the things they might normally be on top of. Or………..fill in the blank. It’s hard for a mouse to defend it’s self from a cat that is about to pounce on it when it doesn’t even know the cat is there.
    They are nothing but opportunistic losers who TAKE ADVANTAGE of any weakness we might have and NONE of us are without a vulnerability of some kind.
    I’ve been watching an interview that Stone Philips did with Jeffrey Dahmer and he used quite a variety of methods to get these men to go with him, including drugging them!
    Back in my drinking days there were several occasions that I caught someone putting drugs in my beer……..Who knows how many times i didn’t catch it and what COULD have been the end result!
    So the type of lowlife Spathtardx is doesn’t involve drugging people (that I’m aware of) to undermine their good judgement but he used deception, manipulation, mental and emotional abuse to hook me and keep me a captive play toy. SERIOUSLY?? I had absolutely NO idea someone would do such a thing to another person, all the while telling they loved them. NO IDEA!
    This is what I see as so disturbing! I’ve told countless people about what I have been through and what he has done to me and they just look at you like it couldn’t possibly be true……………….except people who have already been through it and therapists who specialize in helping people like me recover.

    1. In addition, many people, who don’t come in contact with these predators, manipulators, aggressors and tormentors, don’t have any inclination to find out about themselves. They only happen to pay it a minimal thought, if any. They may not have had reasons for such reflection so far in their lives.

      1. Precisely J. Then, take the situation of a woman vs a male predator. Even under the best of conditions there are misunderstandings, misinterpretations, disagreements, learning curves, opportunities and room for growth in both individuals…………so it is just SO easy, and dare I say natural, for the victim to believe that a CA means it when he says he is truly sorry, wants to change, make you happy……..fill in the blank. In other words, to give the relationship chance after chance after chance. How are you to know that the words they are luring you on with are total BS, especially when the words are combined with intermittent, strategic actions, just enough for you to think that it MAY be turning the corner? Once you are in the web of deceit and under the spell, sorting out the truth, your gut feelings, their behavior, etc etc etc, WITHOUT QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL HELP, is practically impossible for what I would have to say is the majority of victims.
        Even severe physically abusive relationships where the abuse if in your face, literally, the manipulation, cognitive dissonance, trauma bonding, intermittent positive reinforcement/ reward dynamic is always playing their parts against the victims ability to have the strength to break free from their grip.

    2. Puddle, “blame” is probably not the best issue to focus on. As I emphasize in both my books, each person in a relationships bears certain responsibilities. And as I also emphasize, covert-aggressors are often quite skilled at their tactics, so even the best and most astute of us can be duped. The manipulator bears responsibility for the tactics, but in this day and age especially, everyone owes it to themselves to scrutinize carefully and also to know themselves well enough to recognize vulnerabilities. And they certainly owe it to themselves to cast off damaging old preconceptions and learn what makes some people tick and to recognize the tactics. That’s why I wrote my books. I provide these vignettes to illustrate all the dimensions of abusive and exploitative relationships. And, as you probably already know, I don’t “blame” the victim, but want folks to be empowered to the point that they’re better inoculated against possible future victimization. Still, you’re right to point out that there are viciously determined and skilled predators out there who can get the better of anyone.

      1. Dr. Simon……sorry if what I said sounded in any way critical. It was not meant to be. the problem I see is that people who have not already been targeted don’t get books like yours or come to sights like this. It’s already too late and for me, I was clawing my way out of a very deep and dark hole when I REALLY started looking for answers.
        My issue here is that while in a normal relationship that goes sour, or has it’s problems, yes……both people have their responsibility in that but I totally disagree that it is true in a covertly abusive, manipulative and deceptive relationship. I think to say so is to underestimate the power of control these monsters exercise over EVERYone in their lives to varying degrees.

      2. I KNOW for a fact that there are people in Spathtardx’s circle who have absolutely ZERO knowledge of his true character. NONE! if they did they would certainly change their opinion of him quickly. Even his mother……I doubt very seriously that she even knows about his DV arrest and conviction. If she does know anything about the truth of it I would be shocked and if she knows anything about it at all, it’s probably a version of the same watered down story he told me that was meant to conceal the truth.
        So, there are people in his neighborhood who have known him for years and years and are totally content accepting the masked monster’s false persona. He needs them to have a favorable opinion of him and will do anything to keep that in tact which is probably why he made it seem like I had committed a felony when I dropped his belongings off in front of his mothers property. I’m sure I was totally scapegoated repeatedly throughout this whole ordeal.
        The average person does not have the experience or knowledge to sort one of these monsters out…….it’s something that is learned experientially. I can’t tell you how much disbelief and SHOCK I get in response to telling people about this. They will NEVER be able to understand unless they go through something like this themselves.
        You can tell someone how hot it is in Phoenix AZ till you are blue in the face and they will NEVER understand it until they have lived there because it is beyond description.
        That’s how damaging these relationships are……how horribly hard to recover from……one person after another says the say thing……”it’s something words can not even describe”. In other words……..being involved in ANY way with one of these people is like going to a gun fight carrying only a knife……you have already lost before the fight even started.

        1. While there are things we can still control, I do believe it’s definitely for the best to disengage and distance oneself from someone, who’s only interested in feasting on perceived inferiors.

          1. How to distance oneself from such a person if that is not who they are showing themselves to be. If they are adept in impression management, it’s hard to know what is going on in a consistent enough way to make the final decision.

        2. Puddle, I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I have been there, done that! I second-guessed myself EVERY time he came back at me with an “excuse” when confronted. I got to the point where I felt crazy. I had already felt damaged thanks to my non-nurturing mother. He knew it and used it against me. I can tell you that his mother, even when the truth is flown in her face, will probably still be in denial. She wants to believe her son is good. My kids have given up his whole side of the family, because they think I’m the demon, and treat them like outsiders! It is a losing battle to try to change anyone’s perceptions of him! Best to let go and start over, sorry to say! Hugs!

          1. Lisa, thanks for the validation. and as always…..sorry to hear we are on the same bus. Yeah…..I’ve “let go”. How do I know? Because now I’m seemingly into an anger phase. I am SO out of the hope phase but I’m having a hard time right now with letting go of some very vengeful feelings/ thoughts. Nothing violent….not my style and never will be. Just wanting to throw the rotten egg back on his disgusting face where it belongs.

            The counselor I’m working with right now specializes with psychopathic relationship survivor trauma and it has been both helpful and hurtful to have her assessment of the situation. It’s validating and allows me to see that I truly was victimized by this POS. but it’s hurtful in that the reality of what the situation that I was so totally committed to and invested in on so many levels indeed was doomed from the start.
            He sure did a good job of what he does……..like I’ve said before…….Really Spathtardx? Is THIS what you excel at?!! That’s it?? What a loser.
            Thank you again Lisa!

          2. I’m a newbie here so bear with me. I know what you are all going through. I chose badly three times before I quit dating altogether. I know there is something wrong with the way I make my choices and I accept that now. It took many, many years of counseling to get through the trauma and rebuild my life. I am 61 years old. I know that -to this day- neither his mother, his friends nor his community would ever believe the truth about their son/brother/fishing buddy/baseball coach/church-going community leader. There is no way you could ever change their minds. We just have to work through it, be smarter, and go on with our lives the best way we can. I hope you all do better than I did; I let the abuse define me in the end.

          3. Hi Violet, I’m glad you have found this site, I’m new here too. So sad to hear you say your last sentence, the thing I fear so much for myself but it’s also good for me to hear you say that you are 61, still here and have moved on. When you say you let the abuse define you, do you mean that you will never trust again and have accepted that? If you would like to share more I would really appreciate listening to your experience, if not I understand. 🙂

          4. Violetblue, I’m not sure I understand “define you” either. It is such a traumatically shocking experience that it does consume you for a time period until you really understand, accept and release the whole mess,,,,,no doubt it has with me. I’m ok with that now though because it is what it is and I want to make sure I get as much information out of this experience as possible so I N E V E R find myself fooled again.
            There really is nothing special, exceptional, etc about them no mater what they may think of themselves because they could never do what they do if the world was as aware as the people who have already been victimized by them are.

  2. The vignettes point out what most of us were possibly thinking (the red flags). We ignore them for whatever reason and pay for it in the end. I was raised in a house headed by a very CD parent. I learned to accept, minimize, and out right deny anything was out of the ordinary. When it occured in my own adult family, I saw it, I again minimized, denied, rationalized. Until it kicked me in the face. I was just as accountable for my behavior, they will always deny theirs.

    1. Perhaps we’d benefit if we think of all the reasons why we ignore all these red flags.

      To start, I can think a few. “I didn’t see it as a problem.” “I had a vague uneasy feeling, but I thought nothing of it.” “I saw some tiny signs of trouble, but what relationship is perfect?”

      1. honestly J, I did not exactly ignore the red flags and I escaped him once during the beginning. They are masters of manipulation, plain and simple. I never did stop questioning him and his motives the entire time we were together but I believed him each and every time he said what he said to smooth the waters and keep what I now know was a game going.I don’t know what that says about me……emotionally stupid, maybe. I just could not conceive, and still have a hard time, that he didn’t mean it when he said the things he said. I loved “him” and I loved being with him as a couple.
        Again……I saw red flags but just did not know they could mean what they ended up meaning. these things all played a part in not RUNNING AWAY from him…….Ignorance of the TRUE nature of his character, his ability to say and do the right things WHEN HE NEEDED TO, not being able to really prove much, if anything……..so many things came together like the perfect storm. I WAS heavily invested emotionally and he said the right things and did the right things to keep me there. No doubt about it now,,,,,,,he had no intention of remaining in the relationshi* but kept me in the dark about that and much more.
        Had I known everything I know now about people like this….I would had run the first time and NEVER looked back. It’s a very hard thing to describe….all the parts and pieces that contributed to my getting involved and staying involved.

        1. I don’t think some people,,,,,,,most people understand how much power to manipulate these monsters have. How many weapons they have at their disposal which is why even very competent, successful and otherwise intelligent and together people can still be targeted. You have to look at it like and animal after it’s prey or fast growing aggressive cancer. by the time you realize or suspect something is wrong its too late. I didn’t know I was being trauma bonded when the initial abuse started. I just didn’t know.
          A friend of mine had brain cancer……21 lesions were discovered when he was diagnosed but it was the type of brain cancer that is a metastasized brain cancer, meaning it did not start in the brain nut started elsewhere. the initial cancer was undiagnosed and undetected and turned out to be testicular cancer. THAT cancer was only discovered late into his ultimate demise. That is what this was like for me……I didn’t know that there was a cancer growing when it set it’s roots into me and by the time I was aware that there were problems it was too late I was tangled in his web.

          1. I will say this,,,,,,having the hindsight and all the information, experience and education I have now…………the only way I see to prevent this in the future is to really really really get to know someone before you make any attachment of any kind to anyone. That is a very hard thing to do by the way….and some people have a harder time than others. And then there is the fact that some people are able to keep the facade in place much longer than others…

          2. The most useful question ever: “How well do I really know this person?” We should all take this as a habit.

  3. you are right J.
    And as right as you are……there are still going to people who are determined enough, skilled enough and motivated enough to trick a person under the right circumstances. That is why Hervy Checkley, Robert Hare, etc etc etc,,,,,,,judges, parole boards, etc, etc, etc,people who without a doubt have the education, information and experience to be able to accurately (in theory) asses someones character have been fooled in spite of all the tools available to them that the ordinary person does not have access to.
    So you tell me, what was their weak link that the manipulator used to get his way? And….how well does ANYone know ANYone?

  4. These people have one thing in mind when targeting and taking advantage of another person and it is getting their way no matter what that is. ONE THING! They have a laser focus. it is all that they are interested in and are consumed by their objective. Like a skilled surgeon in a delicate surgery. This is no exaggeration. just like Dr. Simon says,,,,,,picture a cat stalking it’s unsuspecting mouse. That intense focus and desire to catch the mouse for either a meal or just something to play with. I have seen that look in Spathtard’s eyes and I now know what is behind that look…..I’ve never seen that look in another persons eyes before. He is a Psychopath and it is called the “predator stare”.

    1. I just watched a show last night……the woman was contacted by some other woman about the man she was involved with and warned in a non specific way that the guy was big trouble. SO, she did her due diligence and had a background check done on him, just in case, and it came up clean as a whistle. Well, why was it clean as a whistle? Because he had not been caught yet for umpteen rapes and murders, child abductions, rapes and murders, etc, etc, etc! He did get caught though…..after he tried to kill her and the baby she was carrying. And who introduced her to this great nice guy?? Her own brother, who by the way almost killed the jerk after he tried to kill his sister and she ran to his house for help!

  5. Troubling indeed that anyone can get fooled. I even know of a self-admitted narcissist/psychopath, who’s even appeared in a documentary I, Psychopath AND he’s still seen as an expert on narcissism. His name won’t be mentioned here. He openly admits being a narcissist. You’d think people would have some skepticism, but apparently a public persona can be so charming as to get you to forget about the not-so-secret secret.

  6. Puddle,

    When I read your story, it is my story. I could have written it. After a 45 year marriage to xnh, I too am angry that with all the communication system that we have now days that it isn’t more well known about. I am very guarded about people. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life dealing with people like this.

    1. {{{Hugs to you Noel}}} I’m sorry you have been exposed to one of these losers. I can NOT even imagine 45years!?!?! How did you do it? my situation was the cliff notes version and it’s equally shocking that he could do as much damage to me in such a short period of time.
      I can not use the terms “better, worse, etc…) but people are pulling off all kinds of crap everywhere. The only way I can use the term “worse” is in situations where people have lost their lives through murder or forced suicide. As I’ve said elsewhere, I watch the ID Chanel, Investigation Discovery……….It is amazing what some of these monsters do and get away with. But not all of them and now thanks to DNA technology, internet use, the ability to check phone records and criminal records, people are getting caught for crimes they got away with 30 years ago.
      HOWEVER, in a situation where there is no provable physical harm or financial damages…….what does one do to prove that the POS who trashed your life, heart and mind did anything wrong? It’s very frustrating. I have sustained physical damage……my body aches in ways I never dreamed it could before this nightmare. Financial damages…….I can’t tell you how much I’ve spent in therapy over the last two years, psychiatric, PTSD, and I’m still dishing it out. I’m sure he would find that very amusing and at the some time say “I never meant to harm you Puddle” or some similar line of cr*p.
      I don’t understand why Dr. Phil, who has written a book that does this whole issue a great disservice because it’s so watered down and full of his “funny” little Dr. Phil comments, doesn’t have people like me, and others who have been through this on his show and take it on the road!!!
      So, there ARE some people out there doing their best to spread the message, Dr. Simon is one of them. Donna Anderson from Love Fraud and others but there is something about what these monsters do that makes it very hard to address until they have physically or financially harmed someone. To take this to the general public would be asking most people to wrap their head around something that they have never experienced and even when you have experienced it, it’s still hard to wrap your head around.
      I know what you mean about being guarded around people. The change these people foster in your perception and awareness is so severe that it makes it hard to trust anyone. In my situation it has created some dynamic that is almost unbearable because I now have all this awareness of the potentian dangers that are out there and how vulnerable I really am but I also know that I have a very difficult time protecting myself because of some inherent brain issues of my own. I could sit here all day long and read about this and still…..in the moment when actually around someone I don’t know, or talking to them on the phone…..it’s like I can not keep that information in the forefront of my awareness and I sing like a bird! My mouth just keeps making words and before I know it I have given them my phone number and drawn them a map to my house because they weave baskets and want to go mushroom hunting on my property!! In the moment all I am thinking is……..Baskets are cool and I’ve always wanted to learn about wild mushrooms! LOL! This is a true story by the way….. So as I walk away from the guy I’m thinking……Puddle, that was kind of something you probably shouldn’t have done!! I think he was staring at your breasts?? Uh Oh……..
      OK Noel, all for now and I hope you have people in your life that you can trust and who ARE good. I thank God I am able to be by myself A LOT and that I do have some decent people in my life that care about me and don’t mean me harm. And that there are people like Dr. Simon who stand as an example of what we SHOULD expect form another human being (man). There actually are decent people in this world so don’t loose hope! It’s good to be guarded. It’s good to be educated and informed and that doesn’t mean you should distrust everyone just the ones who need to be distrusted. At this stage of the game, one strike you are on the bench……two strikes you are out of the game. I bond very easily so I need to cut and run as soon as possible if someone doesn’t deserve my loyalty.

    2. If there’s something I could recommend to try, go to Youtube and search ‘George Hutton trauma release’. I don’t claim it would be so easy as to just listen to some binaural beats on Youtube, but perhaps that could do something?

      1. Thank you for the suggestion J! I’ll check it out. There are many kinds of methods that claim to help trauma……EMDR, “tapping”. I was supposed to start working with a woman who is an EMDR therapist but she said I was too unstable emotionally at the time. Now things have gotten away from me and she is away for vacation so hopefully this Spring I will re-visit it. I liked her very much!

      2. There are also many hypnosis and meditation videos on Youtube. Now, hypnosis may feel questionable to people, who’ve experiences aggressors’ dreadly hypnosis, but meditation I can say allows for another kind of improvement by increasing awareness.

        Of course I recommend to check out Dr Simon’s article on Jungian resources on Counselling Resource. I haven’t done a lot of dream analysis, but active imagination I can recommend.

  7. I have allowed one of my daughters and her son to move in with me in my house. She is going through a divorce and is displaying some very immature behavior. She is very sneaky and is drinking. I don’t know whether there is a personality disorder there or it is just immaturity and the drinking. However, I am taking precautions.

    1. Noel, Good luck with this. I would be careful and aware and prepared to do what is best for you. Take care of you……HUGS!

  8. My entire worldview shifted dramatically LAST MONTH when I finally identified the type of abuse my mother and wife had been inflicting on me, and the type of personality they had to possess to act in such a destructive way.

    I’m in my 40’s and was married nearly a decade. How could I be so naive and blind for my entire life? How did my mother suddenly have this completely evil side I was never aware of before?

    I survived 4 years of gaslighting, maternal abandonment and isolation from any kind of support by my own beloved mother. While my caring wife appeared ignorant I was in such horrendous emotional pain.

    I lost my job, my home, my children, my marriage, my siblings and freedom,. Eventually finding myself questioning even the validity of my own opinions of right and wrong, my perception of reality and what was acceptable and healthy behavior in society.

    Why would my mother do this? Why did my wife ignore my cries for help?

    They were the two most important people in my world, the very two people I cared the most for in my life, they had been the very core and essence of my family structure and my plans for the future. I loved my family and I wanted my mother involved.

    Everything seemed like some backward Bizarro world and the irrationality of it confused me for so many years as I struggled to understand the situation logically or rationally.

    These people simply don’t operate in a way that makes sense to a normal person. I felt something was wrong but who expects their mother and\or wife to turn into monsters?

    Gaslighting your mentally ill son whose brother committed suicide in High School, then simultaneously abandoning him emotionally while forcing him into isolation to deny him any other kind of social support or help, is an act so outrageously extreme in its opposition to everything civilized society considers maternal and nurturing that it should shock the very conscious of any reasonable and compassionate human being into action.

    My wife had lied when she claimed only to remember that “sometimes” I reached out to my mother during the many years of estrangement, that I didn’t “always” get a response and that it was “important” to me.

    All of us reading my post of course know my mom never responded during all those years when I reached out to her because she was giving me the “silent treatment” and that’s how the abuse works. I was such an easy target, I always reached out constantly for my mother’s approval, love and respect because I had serious fears of abandonment by that point, and its was destroying me emotionally to be abandoned, scapegoated and isolated like I was. It wasn’t just just “important” it felt so broken and wrong I felt I couldn’t survive much longer without my mother’s love

    I became so desperate to avoid further abandonment and isolation that I even spoke of death and dying and didn’t even remember it until I read through all my emails from all those years. I want to empathize how unusual it is and not typical for me to feel suicidal. I hadn’t had those kinds of thoughts since shortly after my brother’s suicide nearly 25 years ago. I love life and know from my own experience that a person can heal and rebuild their lives after traumatic seemingly life crushing events. My future is actually bright and I have opportunities and I’m almost free finally.

    My mother didn’t seem to care at all if I lived or died, if anything hearing about my deep suffering only encouraged her and excited her.. That’s the scariest thing about everything that happened over the years, to emotionally abuse me even more intensely when I reach out in such a fragile state.

    I still can’t understand how she could have come to hate me so much she that welcomed and encouraged my death. I feel violated in ways I couldn’t comprehend existed.

    The following are some of the little things I did notice early on, but didn’t realize how dysfunctional their traits were or what it’d lead to.

    I’ve discovered at least in my situation most everything my wife did was predictable and her behavior is so similar its like they are all pre-programmed robots at the factory set to act in the exact same horrifying patterns of abuse.

    Their main motivation, at least in my brief experience with my wife, was always about control of some sort or another. It didn’t matter what the issue was with her, she always had to have the final say even down to the most mundane things in our life. It was control just for the sake of having control in her life, as if that by itself made her a stronger, more powerful and capable person.

    An early red flag for me that something wasn’t right was how my wife seemed to compete with me for friends and family, using terms like “loyalty” or “allies” to describe relationships with people. That’s a clear sign someone wants to isolate you from your regular support network. Its simply a pay for power and control over your social life.

    She also had a complete inability to admit she was wrong, even about the smallest most insignificant things. It was actually very bizarre, I’ve seen her try to admit fault for something, but it almost seemed to cause a short circuit in her head and she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

    My wife is also the most stubborn person I have ever encountered in my entire life, even about things she has zero knowledge about. Once she takes a position on something, she simply can’t compromise is even the smallest way.

    Compromise seems to represent a loss of control or perceived power to these people and my wife would never compromise or consider another person’s perspective or needs.

    Her insane jealousy was another red flag, any friends I had that were female, she demanded to know every time if I had slept with them and would ban anyone from my life that I had. been intimate with regardless of how long ago it was.

    She asked me once how many girls I’d slept with, and then freaked out like I was horrible when it was a small number, I’m no player by any means.

    Her stubbornness and inability to admit mistakes seems directly related to her desire for the perfect image in society, she really does try to appear infallible both morally and intellectually every time. Even her jealousy was more about her or the marriage being disrespected, She was never negatively affected emotionally in any way by my dating people, only that she established a level of control over my life and actions. At one point, dating people made her try to be intimate constantly This all happened after she filed for divorce, I was happy she did that.

    I got jealous only once during our marriage, but she exploded in rage, crying hysterically that I was controlling her and who her friends were, that I didn’t trust her and I was a horrible person for having such thoughts. After that, I was cut off from “her” friends, but of course anyone I knew was “our” friend. I realized then our marriage was seriously broken in some way.

    Her whole approach to our marriage was just like how she had her bank account, that I had no access to, but my account she demanded access to. I was always a terrible person if I questioned the logic or morality of her one-sided hypocrisy. She was always morally upright, and my trustworthiness was always in question, as if I was going to steal from the wife I supported completely for 10 years while she refused work or finish school. Everything I had I shared with her.

    These types of people typically completely overreact to perceived injustices committed against them or anything that makes them look bad in public. A minor slight to my wife would cause her to be furious with me for days and days. In public I’d have to act perfectly politely to everyone she knew or I was making her look terrible in the eyes of her friends and disrespecting her in an seriously harmful way.

    Her image of how she was perceived by others meant far more to her than anything else. Its a huge red flag when its more important what strangers think about your spouse than your feelings towards them.

    I didn’t know she came from the “hardest working” family in her village and expected to have a position of high social status.

    She never spoke about her past, the war she lived through in Bosnia, past relationships or her feelings. I’ve never never dated anyone I knew so little about and we shared a decade together.

    She was very closed off, didn’t respond to physical affection much, never wanting to cuddle while watching TV, or hugging or simply holding hands. None of that. I don’t know if that’s a characteristic of them, but it certainly felt like something was missing and broken inside her.

    I’ve been met mostly with complete universal disbelief that I could be so emotionally traumatized by my devoted, loving mother and my perfect adoring wife, who both always appear to only incredibly worried about my health and wellbeing.

    The attempts at Gaslighting me with constant accusations that I was suffering from delusions seemed so childish, harmless and silly at first. It really does. You laugh the first time you hear it.

    We all know the sad story of being isolated, disbelieved and alienated from our traditional support groups. Often accused of being the abuser in the relationship if we dare try to seek out outside help. Their actions they engage in sound so horrible it seems unbelievable to normal people because its goes so fundamentally against human nature, it’s simply doesn’t sound possible

    I hadn’t realized just how easy it is to isolate and destroy the veracity of a honorable person’s statements so completely, or how incredibly lonely and helpless that feeling is. Even when I had an accumulation of years of abusive emails showing an obvious pattern, the duration and the intensity of the gaslighting she subjected me to, no one cared enough to even want to know the truth.

    I think their motivation wasn’t so much to destroy my sanity as it was designed to bait me into engaging in erratic behavior as my torment and pain intensified, forcing me into fruitlessly searching for solid evidence that to “prove” my mothers malicious actions in a desperate attempt to end the cycle of alienation and denial of support.

    Little did I know that they would convince nearly everyone anyway. My family, my friends and even my doctor all ended up believing I was delusional from my bipolar disorder..

    My own siblings won’t even read the emails I have from mom showing her hurtful behavior from her own mouth. My sister said it hurt too much to hear what I said my mom and wife did to me, and “what could she do anyway” and then blocked me. That was my closest sister too.

    I did finally catch the wife in a solid undeniable bold face lie in email last month. So I know now for sure everything she did was intentional and not simply ignorance or negligence. I feel like I have some closure now and have no more “reasonable doubts” about whether she’s wicked and evil or not. I really wanted to believe otherwise.

    My two oldest sons do finally now believe I was abused, and read the emails. My mom and wife stopped talking to them and I really hope that’s the end of it. I’d be lost without roommates and my kids to validate my perception of what’s going on. All my interactions with my wife were at my home in front of witnesses. So I am lucky at least I have witnesses I didn’t threaten her and some of the other nonsense she’s said..

    After the loss of my job and the resulting separation, my wife moved in with my mother of course. For years to this very day, my wife trespasses continuously into my home without warning, she would use visitation as an excuse to force her way into my home. It was clearly about control. She would start fights in front of the children with me if I’d request she not come over because to avoid additional drama if we were fighting or I was really anxious. l was stupid enough to think she’d want to avoid conflict in front of the children. Telling her I was vulnerable only ensured she’d trespass to push my buttons and get a negative response.. It provided her needed narcissistic supply while enforcing her control over my life.

    The mentally ill are at extremely risk for gaslighting abuse, because its really easy to dismiss our statements or lock us up. I was mostly healthy mentally for 20 years before the abuse I experienced and no one listened to my pleas for help.

    I realize now we all need to be extremely careful how we approach the situation and need to hire a medical expert of some sort if we try to make any serious attempt at bringing their abuses into the public eye.

    I just hope others can learn from my mistakes and my impulsivity to rush to finally feel validation that I really was mistreated by someone we trusted deeply. I put myself in a stupid position by not understanding how difficult it can be for the truth to be heard in these situations. I thought for sure at least the doctors were pay attention and understand. As a result of my bipolar disorder even things as minor as my perception of reality or my memories of factual events aren’t trustworthy to anyone anymore because they can be explained away as merely delusions from mania.

    None of the doctors were interested enough to even read any of the email either. To them, I’m obviously suffering from delusions of persecution as a result of my bipolar mania. I ended up hospitalized for being “gravely disabled” when I rushed blindly in to get some validation from professionals that the emails I had were abusive in nature. I’m 100% not “gravely ill” according to the legal and medical definition. I can certainly feed, clothe and shelter myself. They didn’t care about my evidence of abuse in the slightest, or the unjust reasons they held me there, only that I was manic and therefore obviously delusional in some form. I had foolishly gone to the emergency room because my doctor was unavailable and the receptionist suggested it. It was a huge mistake, they didn’t even have a mental health professional available to talk to me, or a computer available to open the pdf’s I had.

    Now it’ll be simple for my wife to claim I need to be hospitalized again. I know this, and I avoid her because of it.

    I had foolishly believed, what’s the worst that can happen? They can’t lock you up for being paranoid I had even joked to my friend as I left, but they can apparently lock you up for no reason really. Why don’t they lock up the UFO nuts though? Why me?

    The whole time I was in the hospital my wife was acting towards everyone that I went there to work on my delusions and\or our marriage. It was crazy talk the emails she was sending me, like about picking me up from the hospital or having Valentines Day together. I had made it very clear a while ago I wanted nothing to do with her because of her lies, but she acted like we’re deeply in love, but of course the next week I’m an abusive horrible person deserving of nothing but scorn because I didn’t go back to my marriage.

    Its so backward and opposite of reality, she’ll claim to me and my roommates she was completely frightened of me and my disorder all the time, but she would physically force her way into my home, just to start a verbal confrontation and not back off or leave until I’d literally be shaking from the stress of not being able to escape her torments.

    My own doctor told me just last week it was “impossible” for my wife or anyone else for that matter to cause me to have a panic or manic attack and that my wife is only concerned for my health and wellbeing, so I should go to counseling with her to work things out and save the marriage.

    I couldn’t believe it when she said that to me, I live in fear of what my wife will try next, I fairly certain I’m suffering some kind of serious anxiety or PTSD or something from the years of abuse.. I don’t know what my doctor thinks is causing me such incredible anxiety during these encounters with my wife but I remain convinced its related to her abuse and invasion of my personal space, violations of personal boundaries and complete disregard for my right to quiet enjoyment of my life.

    Even with a house full of people who have witnessed her do this to me numerous times, no one in my family cares to discover to ask anyone who’s seen her like that. Even as recently as last December my wife came into my bedroom at 10AM on a Saturday and woke me up simply to ask if I wanted to see the kids later, and got furious with me that I got i got mad about her trespassing again when just the very night before we fought about her trespassing.. My roommates walking around the house at night me anxiety now and loss of slee, I lock my bedroom door at night. I finally changed the locks last week, but I know that won’t work, and will probably just make her angry. I’ve considered a restraining order, but I suspect that will simply excite her.

    I realized later she didn’t file for divorce because she wanted to leave our marriage, she flied as just another means of control in the relationship. However, she’d ask me everyday if I was dating anyone, when I’d ask her why she wanted to know when it wasn’t her business anymore, she’d say “its fun”, acting like she wanted me to move on. She told everyone she wanted me to move on. She went crazy weird when I did finally meet someone, stalking the poor girl, sending her a nasty email accusing her of ruining her family and being a homewrecker, threatening her, baring her or any woman I might date from coming into my home.

    Everyone suggested I try to reconcile with my wife again, and I did try. She put even stranger conditions on me, I wasn’t even allowed to talk to any woman now, except my old high school friend Kim, but that was only if she was with her boyfriend. I’ve never cheated on a girl in my life, I was celibate for a year of our separation, I’m just not like that. I put up with that nonsense from her for about a week, she was claiming we’d still divorce and couldn’t be intimate, but I still have to stay away from women, to respect the marriage. At that point, I was so tired of the endless power plays for control over my own life. I told her it was absurd completely what she was asking for, and I walked away from it, only to foolishly give her two more chances to be honest and tell my family I wasn’t delusional, I still naively hoped maybe she was just ignorant, not complicate in the abuse. I looked to her for help in my plight.

    Ironically, in my situation, I’m the one with all the obvious red flags poking out all over saying avoid me and I’m way too emotionally intense for most normal people to feel truly comfortable around. I seem to share many negative BPD and\or codependency traits, like intense emotions, mood swings and irritability. I realize I have a difficult even unlikeable personality especially when I’m under a lot of stress. I’m simply not polite or well mannered. Some of that is simply I feel dishonest pretending to be polite to someone I have no respect for. My personality shares a lot of traits with what you describe as aggressive traits. Some aspects of which are probably genetic chemical imbalances (bipolar is really common in my family) but I also have recently decided I still have unresolved issues from my childhood that directly made me far more vulnerable to the type of abuse inflicted on me recently. I need to be more independent and learn not to be so dependent on others for my emotional needs. I think moving in that direction might help with some of the fear and abandonment issues I’m obviously still vulnerable to and open to exploitation. I’m actually looking forward to being able to work on my real issues and get well again. I didn’t know for the last 3 or 4 years why the meds didn’t help and I only got more anxious and depressed. I hope and pray the abandonment issues, survivor guilt and childhood neglect I endured are the cause of some of the aggressive traits I have in common with BPD, like the emotional volatility. I really don’t want to accept I have a serious personality disorder like BPD, but I’m willing to face that possibility and its probably more likely than not. I know I’m very close to that personality type.

    I actually theorize that for me, being bipolar my has actually forced me to spend far more time than an emotionally balanced person on self reflection of my actions, recognizing and then understanding my mistakes and how they affect myself and those around me. I do make far more numerous mistakes but I still desire healthy lasting relationships like most of us do. Its important to have respect, trust and understanding of each other’s needs to be treated fairly.

    I do typically recognize when I’ve gone too far and hurt someone emotionally, usually in hindsight though, but I do feel the pain I’ve inflicted on someone and I will apologize for inappropriate behavior, because I don’t want to feel that pain either. I try and usually succeed in being rational and healthy in my approach to relationships much of the time, when my emotions are stable, my friends do seem to often come to me for advice or emotional support..

    I grew up in an abusive environment where my mother was beaten, lied to and cheated on by our step father. I strongly suspect that influenced my brother to physically abuse me because he likely felt helpless to protect our mother. Even though he abused me, he also took on the parental role for me most of my early life. My mother clearly was suffering from abuse and neglected us and had little to no supervision. My mother kicked my brother out of the house at the age of just 16. He had made the situation with our stepfather so unbearable my mother had to choose between the two of them. So when he took his own life shortly after that, I felt the loss of not just my brother, but my mentor and guide in life as well. I felt abandoned, lost without direction and massive survivor’s guilt. After working through a lot of my issues in my 20’s, I actually had more drive and motivation to make something out of my life than I had before my brother died. I had my first child at 19 and I think having children turned my life around because it wasn’t just my life I was wasting, I needed to succeed so I could help my children also succeed.

    I did spend a substantial amount of time trying to figure out if I was a narcissist. I technically possess maybe up to 7 of the traits. However, I have strong empathic concern and compassion and feel real suffering when those I care about suffer too. I think that’s the one truly evil trait of the narcissist that really defines the core evil of their disorder. I worried so much I might be a narcissist I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t be one because simply because I was so concerned to know if I had that disorder. A narcissist wouldn’t care. I still strongly meet the official “definition” of a narcissist, only because I seemingly share so many traits. However, I feel much of that is actually culturally normal and a common personality trait in an area of wealth like Palo Alto, where the Top 1% live actually live. Are they narcissists for believing they’re special and can accomplish great things?

    I realize now, no matter how well I was able to recover from my earlier trauma and be successful in school and work, mom always seemed to treat me like a worthless scapegoat bleeding her dry of resources and liable to have a complete breakdown at any moment for any reason.

    I became the family scapegoat, mom was to kick me out at the age of 18. To me, it always felt like she abandoned me so it would be easier to pursue her new boyfriend after finally getting away from her abusive husband. Unfortunately for my mother, her new boyfriend spent the next 20 years lying to her and cheating on her the entire time. She had no idea the whole time, he was so quiet and passive, he seemed to be everything her last husband wasn’t. They betrayed her just the same though. My mom sort of cracked when that happened, she stalked him online for a long time, maybe she still does? My father went on to remarry a woman who hated me and still treats me with disdain and disrespect. I was never to form a healthy relationship with my father after that either.

    I accepted my role for decades because I always harbored doubts about my stability and this resulted low self esteem from having a bipolar disorder. Even after decades of success I still lived in fear of instability and worried I worried about a relapse. I used those things to rationalize the justification for my earlier periods of isolation and\or abandonment by my mother and that it was my fault mostly because I was defective and not a good person or had value because I had a difficult disability to be around and would never experience stability in life. When I went on medication I finally discovered how much support and safety nets a person who has a disability like me has access to, and all the legal protections for my employment even. It doesn’t scare me anymore. I’m looking forward to some time off to heal and grow emotionally, and I want to finish college. I think that’s the most healthy and forward thinking thing I can do right now.

    1. M, I can relate to so much you have written here and a lot of it makes me cry in recognition of my own pain and issues. I just wish I had some words of wisdom to offer but I’m afraid i’m in the same boat to a certain degree and still trying to sort through my own life so I am limited.

  9. I’m going to include a barrage of outrageous quotes from my mother during this this same time period I was suicidal. How can a mother do something like that to their son?

    honestly Matt — if you can’t see how much trouble you’re in, then you are delusional.

    I’ve not “played games”. Don’t you see that either? Is that what you’ve been doing?

    You are seriously in trouble and in danger of losing everything that ever meant anything to you. You will end up homeless and on the streets You will lose Dada and Vuk and Noa.

    If you had allowed that to happen, we wouldn’t be going through this still. But you went too far and did real damage. It’s just so sad how things have turned out. It’s not your fault that your mentally ill. It’s tragic and sad and disheartening and depressing and painful

    You present things like you are the helpless victim of the evil mother’s machinations

    No one is making you insane. You are responsible for your own sanity.

    It’s something else, something that involves a heavy dose of paranoia. You are not a victim.

    I have never heard Dada say anything about you that wasn’t generous and kind. The very idea is so absurd and would be laughable, if it didn’t seem that you believed it. Stop blaming me for everything. I’m done with this

    Sorry you feel so victimized, but I haven’t done anything wrong.

    You’re delusional and paranoid. You’re irrational. Your thinking is extremely disordered. You need help. I hope you get it.

    You are delusional, irrational and psychotic. You need help. I hope you get it.

    There’s enough of a framework of truth to make them cruel and painful, but the details don’t make any sense at all and are delusional

    Somewhere inside you is my son that I love. It’s hidden by all the crazy.

    Matt — I do not know how to communicate with a crazy person.

    So it’s obvious that you are willing to hide behind the “mental illness” excuse when it suits your purposes.

    I have watched your mental health degrade significantly over the past 2 1/2 years

    I don’t care what kind of mental illness you have

    I don’t think you have a clue about what it was like for me be raised in a cultish apocalyptic environment and religion.

    you are going to stay mired in the world you have created for yourself with your illness.

    you refused to see how crazy you were acting

    You’ve gotten crazier and crazier since you’ve been on medication

    You have not gotten better. You’ve gotten a lot worse

    No one is out to hurt you or “get” you. Somewhere inside you, you must know.

    No one wants to hurt you Matt. It’s your illness that causes you to see the world that way.

    Matt — your perceptions are informed by the illness, not by reality. No one is out to hurt you.

    You’re in a paranoid state. Please get the help you need

    No one thinks that you are a victim. If people feel sorry for you NOT because you are such a victim. Stop seeing yourself as a victim, because you are not.

    Stop blaming me for everything.

    Sorry you feel so victimized, but I haven’t done anything wrong.

    No one wants you to be hurting. Please let us help you

    I was always afraid of letting them too close to my heart because I knew, with them, I had absolutely no control over anything.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I don’t think that you are bi-polar.

    If you were bipolar, the drugs would help. They don’t.

    Whatever is wrong with you is not bipolar or not only bipolar. If it was bipolar, the meds would have helped, and they haven’t.

    You need to go to the hospital and get on some different meds.

    I’ve thought for over a year that the meds you are on were making you worse.

    Your meds are all wrong and you’ve been totally wacked since you’ve been on them. I am so angry at your stupid psychiatrist.

    However, your behavior after you started taking meds began to get pretty erratic. I still think that you were, and are, on the wrong meds.

    You have got serious problems and it’s time to take care of them. If you can’t take yourself to the hospital, I’ll drive you down there.

    Please, please put yourself in the hospital. I hope this is your bottom, because I can’t imagine that you can go any lower than you have.

    You need new meds.

    I really do think you meds are all wrong and continue to be and that you also need some emotional support and you need someone to let you know when you’re behavior is extreme. I dearly dearly love you Matt and I know you are suffering. Mental illness is not easy on the person suffering, but it’s also extremely difficult on the people who love that person.

    You need a different doctor. You also need to get into counseling with your loved ones so that we can begin to repair our relationships. I know you feel out of control, but you’re being a bully as a result. You are chasing us all away. We love you and want you to be happy. You have to meet us half way

    Anyone with a mental illness needs to, not only be on drugs, but also needs to be in counseling to help them find positive relationship skills and help them learn how to begin to heal the damage their illness has done to their relationships. Because your illness has done great and horrible damage to your relationships.

    You need to really attend to your mental health issues. That is what all of us need from you. No one can do that for you.

    We love you Matt. You need a new doctor. You need someone who will work with the whole family to repair the damage that has been done.

    we love you but you are mental unstable. You need counseling. What is so hard to understand about that. Please get help

    know that you want to be alright and mentally healthy. Please get help.

    you love, you need to begin to do the hard work that is necessary to achieve that.

    We would all support you getting help and wish that you would.

    I hope that someday you decide to really get the help that you need. I hope that someday you really try to find out what your problem is, so that you can begin to take the steps that you need to take to get well. Until that happens, I have nothing to give to you

    I never said you weren’t sick. I’ve known you were sick for a long time. I just said you weren’t getting the kind of help you needed. If you had been 14 years old I would have put you in the hospital — that’s how sick I thought you were. I wish you would decide to really address you mental health. I wish you would take the steps that you need to take in order to get better. Anyone with a mental illness needs to, not only be on drugs, but also needs to be in counseling to help them find positive relationship skills and help them learn how to begin to heal the damage their illness has done to their relationships. Because your illness has done great and horrible damage to your relationships.

    How can you not recognize how cruel you have been?

    How can you possibly be enraged at any of us for withdrawing to avoid your cruelty.

    I know that you don’t care if you hurt me. You will find a way to justify it because I’m such a horrible person (you’ve certainly let me know time and again what you think of me this past year — your emails said some horrible horrible things about me)

    But you are not powerless and you’ve used your power to hurt and destroy.

    You hold all the power and you seem not to realize it. Or maybe you do and you just enjoy wielding it not matter the cost to those who love you.

    I was right to be worried that I would make you angry if I didn’t go. I am always afraid of you now and afraid of pissing you off. And when you are pissed off, you are brutal

    Somewhere in your heart you know you were being vindictive and controlling

    I am afraid of you. You have a great deal of power to hurt me and have demonstrated no only a willingness to do so but an eagerness.

    Although I don’t think you will recognize or comprehend the degree to which you have already hurt me and the reluctance that has caused me to interact with you and the fear it brings up in me.

    Yes I am afraid of you. And I’ve always felt like walking on eggshells with you, but now I’m actually afraid.

    Do you not realize how scary it is to contemplate being around someone who can and will hurt me and Abby and Leila so deeply and completely and not care at all.

    You When I insist on an apology, it’s what I would expect from a mentally healthy person. If I don’t expect you to be healthy, who will? You don’t demean yourself with an apology. They apologize and try to make amends and try to understand where the other person is coming from

    1. M, I’m so sorry. How absolutely sad and painful this all feels to me. I wish i had more time and the ability for a better response to your posts right now!! Also that it’s hard to respond in a way that feels helpful because of the enormity of what you are dealing with. Mental illness is not your FAULT but I do hope you have resources in your life to help you. I wish you peace and healing and love.

    2. If you are able to order anything, I recommend the book Stalking the Soul by Marie-France Hirigoyen, M. I wish you get on the path of healing.

  10. To M — my heart goes out to you, what misery you’ve had to endure. Keep studying what you can find on the web, and know that here, on this site, we other readers sympathize and will be sending all good wishes your way and I will add your name to my prayer list, that God will help and guide you in your journey toward wholeness.

    Can I offer a couple of suggestions for web research — go to sciencedaily.com and do a search for bipolar disorder. The site is a news aggregator for all kinds of science news, including the very latest research on any science subject. My observation about therapists (some of them anyway) is that once they go through their professional training and get their licenses, they think there is no more to be learned. Wrong!!! Another good resource is dana.org.

    No, you are not narcissistic. You know that you have problems, they NEVER have problems because they are always right.

    And finally, from my own experience, I can tell you that extra B-complex, C and D3 vitamins help tremendously when I must deal with stress.

    I hope you will keep us posted on how things are working out for you –we care.

  11. I’ve recently read a bit of Albert Ellis’ Feeling Better, Getting Better, Staying Better. When Ellis talks about disputing irrational beliefs, there is still one thing that sticks out(at least for me). It’s not if someone’s behaving poorly, it’s just a behavior, it doesn’t mean a person is rotten or a total villain. Now, I think it is that when someone repeatedly acts abusively and is okay with it, they are a total villain alright.

  12. J, Thinking it was Spathtard’s behavior is part of what kept me stuck.. I thought I really loved him and just had issue with some of his behaviors…….Now i see his behaviors were just the tip of the Spathberg. I hate him, all of him, behaviors and the POS lurking in the shadows of his mask.

    1. That’s why I beg to differ with Ellis on this one. If someone behaves enough of the time a certain way, you could say that behavior is part of them as a person. Of course, it’s a variable tied to many other variables, so in one context someone may act poorly and a huge bother without being a scoundrel and in another one the behavior indicates some deeper issue.

      1. J, agreed. AND again, the crux of the matter comes back to accountability an responsibility…….OWNING your shortcomings and mistakes. I KNOW I have certain issues and triggers and can react to things poorly under certain circumstances. SO, if that behavior arises I can tell the person I’m involved with……this is an area that I have always had a problem with and here is how you could help me or this is how to not take it personally or, blah blah blah……many things you could say to the other person to help them understand you better. But you have to acknowledge it first and own it second. Spaths do neither….they see no reason to because they can get what they want doing exactly what they have always done.

      2. Or they’ve known all along, but they don’t want to own it, because that would be the end of their little fun and that would be horrible, wouldn’t it?

        1. Yes, that really is the long and short of it as far I’m concerned. These kinds of behaviours are a wilful choice……as is the choice NOT to do.

  13. We all need Jesus. The only way to righteousness is through Christ. That narrow and difficult road… Where only few find.

  14. If everyone followed the commandments of God, there will be none of this. They will be peace between people and true love (Agape)

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