During a remarkable interview, Dr. Carter and I sometimes use different terms, but we describe the same realities – perspectives that differ considerably from those taught during our professional training but which both experience and abundant recent research soundly validate.
Manipulation tactics and gaslighting go hand in hand. In fact, it’s a manipulator’s astute use of tactics that induces the gaslighting effect.
The ultimate tragedy of our times is that decent, naturally luminous people get snatched from the light within them by disturbed characters and have a hard time finding their way back.
If ever there were a time for the loving energy within us to shine, it’s now. But that takes courage and determination. And most of all, it takes faith.
Abuse victims and toxic relationship survivors are used to doing all the suffering while their tormentors seem to get off scott free. But with time and dedicated rehearsing, survivors can cultivate empowering habits. And when they remember the all-important task of self-reinforcing their efforts, the quest for empowered living gets a bit easier.
Self-blame in the aftermath of a toxic relationship is common. Victims blame themselves for not realizing things sooner and for tolerating things too long.
How we see ourselves matters. And how we behave toward ourselves matters even more. Healthy self-regard defines the evolved character. And unhealthy self-regard is the hallmark of character disturbance.
Relationships naturally grow in strength, depth, and wholesomeness in the absence of character disturbance. And when our most important relationships are solid, we can expect the makings of a healthy community. It all starts with character.
How did we end up here? That’s the question so many folks who have been struggling in or recovering from a toxic relationship find themselves asking. Many also question how we ended up here as a society. My new book with Kathy Armistead provides a practical guide to surviving and thriving in a character-disordered world.
Recovering from an involvement with a disturbed or disordered character is almost always a substantially unpleasant experience. But much good can come from the ordeal if one is both self-forgiving and affiming enough to be open to the learning to be had.