Trust and Commitment Go Hand in Hand

Trust is the foundation of a healthy intimate relationship (for more on this topic see also the articles: Trust: The Foundation of any Relationship and Trust and Relationships – Pt. 2). Commitment, however, especially our capacity to remain faithful to critical values and principles (which is what largely defines our character), is the foundation of trust.  When it comes to a developing and maintaining a sound relationship, trust and commitment go hand in hand.

So what does it mean to be committed? The word commitment dates from medieval times and originally referred to the voluntary entrusting of oneself or one’s property to the custody of the state ( the process of civil commitment still embraces this original meaning). When one commits, one freely and unrservedly surrenders some personal freedom, and binds oneself to another entity or self-imposed obligation.  So to commit is to truly give oneself away. One of my favorite definitions of commitment is attributed to Ashbash:

Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It’s not just in the words that speak boldly of your intentions but in the actions that speak louder than the words. It’s making the time when there appears no time, and coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of:  the power to change the face of things;  the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.

One of the things I especially like about the above definition is the notion that commitment necessarily transforms an abstract conceptual promise into a tangible everyday reality.  Commitment is much less a matter of making a verbal pledge and much more about daily demonstrating behaviors that evidence the solidity and intractibility of that pledge.

Unfortunately, I know of too many instances where a lack of commitment doomed a relationship, especially a marriage, and often from the very beginning.  Sometimes, neither party to the relationship was emotionally or characterologically “ready” to fully and freely commit.  Other times. one person truly did give him/herself away but the other person didn’t and that fact would not come to light until a lot of damage had been inflicted.  Still other times, one of the parties was in denial about or simply chose to disregard the signs of the shakiness of their partner’s commitment.  I give examples of all these scenarios in my 3 books, In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrome.

It’s particularly damaging and traumatizing when one person comes to a relationship with full commitment only to have that commitment dishonored and/or exploited by the noncomital partner.  Here’s an example:

Mary knew Mike would stick through thick and thin.  He would never betray her or undermine her.  He was not like so many of the other guys she’d dated.  She knew how seriously he took his vows and how sincere his commitment was to his faith.  And it’s not so much that she didn’t care about him.  She did care.  And she’d cared about him from the beginning, just not in the way she knew she needed to.  She knew in her heart that she probably shouldn’t have married him because she knew he couldn’t fulfill her emotional needs.  But he was solid, stable, and caring – a good man.  And good men are hard to find after all.  Besides, she wasn’t getting any younger, so how could she not say “yes,” even though a part of her heart was saying “no?” When she made that promise on the altar, a part of her knew she didn’t fully mean it, and eventually, the inveitable (to Mike, it was the “unimaginable”) happened.  The man she once yearned for years ago and almost snagged until someone else snatched him away was suddenly “available,” having recently divorced. They connected at a social gathering and Mary simply couldn’t ignore the chemistry.  And she knew she just had to be true to her feelings.  She hated to leave Mike and certainly didn’t want to hurt him but felt she would only be betraying herself in way if she didn’t claim this once in a lifetime opportunity to be with the true love of her life.  So she did. And she just knew it would make her happy and finally put an end to that deep yearning that had long been in her heart.  So when it didn’t, and the “love of her life” broke her heart, she was not only stunned but also thrown into an emotional crisis.  What had she done? How could she have thrown away what she did?  And how could such a horrible thing happen happen to her when she was only following her heart?

Commitment has value in and of itself.  As the quote above asserts, it’s the very stuff of character.  And it’s just as devastating to one’s character development and overall well-being to be incapable of commitment as it is to be truly committed and have one’s commitment dishonored, exploited, or trampled upon by someone who proves to be of disturbed or disordered character.

There will be more coming on trust, relationships, and commitment in the wrap-up article of this series next week.

Special Note:

Changes are ongoing with both the look and the internal structure of the blog.  And many readers and commentators have contacted me about the subscription invitations they’ve recently received in their emails, so here’s the skinny on that:  When the site’s platform was upgraded, many of the services it employs such as SPAM detection and prevention and subscription managment also had to be upgraded.  The new subscription management program required all existing subscribers to reconfirm their desire to receive email notices of posts. So if you want to be apprised of new posts when they go live, you have to confirm your desire to receive email alerts (these alerts also include alerts about other commentators commenting on your comments).  If you long ago chose to get off the notification list, rest assured that while you might have gotten a one-time invitation to subscribe, you are not on the active notice list and should not get future notices.  But to ensure this, simply decline the invitation to subscribe if you don’t want to be alerted.  Also be aware that with each email alert there is a provision to “unsubscribe” to notices at any time.  This feature was not working for a brief time when the site was transitioning from the outdated subscription service to the current, updated one, but it is working now.

Look for both advance registration information on this fall’s webinar as well as my itinerary for professional workshops for the remainder of the year and early next year to be posted soon.

Character Matters will again be a live program this Sunday at 7 pm EDT, so I can take your calls.

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124 thoughts on “Trust and Commitment Go Hand in Hand

  1. I always have given everything I have into my marriages. I would not have done it differently. Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. Love and commitment can take your life to new levels.

  2. I had a similar experience to Mary but with qualifying factors. Had my husband married someone else, I’m pretty sure his emotional shutdown would have been taken personally. His monologuing, fixating, blank expression would not have been understood for what it was. He would have been chastised, scolded and his partner would have felt emotionally rejected.

    I understood he had neurological issues, from the start and hoped I would be able to cope for the long term. Was I fully committed? Perhaps not. Was he? No, because there were brain barriers to deep intimacy. But I think we made the best of a really difficult situation. I felt, for the most part, like I was a social facilitator — and protected him, in that way. He was the provider — and protected me that way. We had a pretty strong alliance but an odd marriage.

    It’s difficult to tease out fundamental issues of commitment trust etc.. in many instances. I would emphasize and strongly suggest that anyone married to an atypical type where commitment is compromised, not have children unless they are absolutely sure they can make a go of it. What starts out as a challenge can become very stressfull over the long haul — for both partners. — and for different reasons.

      1. Hi Vera,

        Visit was mixed. I followed Dr.Simon’s advice and Puddle’s advice was very helpful. I sat back and listened and didn’t argue with him. He is doing the best he can do, fragile ego considered and some real life tough, tough problems.

        I have to keep my expectations low and understand that he can’t ‘be there’ for me or anybody else, for that matter. It was a shock to discover this side of his nature but it isn’t any more. I pretty much quit being traumatized by that fact a few years ago. His feigned concern but basic indifference has little impact on me now.

        As is his pattern, he immediately started blaming my late husband for out difficult sibling relationship! He would have blamed cosmic rays, the Easter bunny, or whatever, whoever. I understood this and expected it so didn’t react. But really?? Huh?? His reasoning and mental jujitsu (in clown shoes) was powerfully interesting!

        Compassionate detachment, when possible– so important!!

    1. It is unfortunate that children suffer in divorce. I went into each marriage thinking that I was going that my love was so great it would fix all their issues. I was so naive then and I learned a hard lesson. My kids ended up suffering most as innocent bystanders.

    2. To LisaO

      Blank expression. You say this. I used to call this when I was Little” Stary Stairy Eyes”. My Grand mother also was like this. Their face just switches off.Their expression was none existent When I was being punched in the head. It shows no emotion.

        1. Hi Joey, I am so sorry too for you it opens old memories, the beatings didn’t stop until I reported to protective services at 12 years of age. There is no emotion in their eyes of humaneness when they hurt us. My heart goes out to you. I was able to forgive and this person has changed their life around. Blessings

          1. I am so sorry you had to go through this at such a young age. It is so hard to deal with this at any age but it just makes such an impact on someone at the complete innocent ages. I can not really remember many of my beatings but I can alway remember when my narc would beat someone or something else she used to grit her teeth and get a blank stare.

      1. Joeyzanne,

        So sorry for the physical abuse you suffered. My husband’s stare wasn’t cold or mean, it was the result of being extremely absent minded and fixated on a narrow interest. He was kind and good at heart, just quite literally, ‘not all there’ And I don’t mean stupid or crazy.

  3. Hi LisaO,
    Thanks for the Brother update here. I am so happy that you seem to have found peace with it. It might not be ideal or the relationship with him you would prefer but, it is what it is and very often, it’s not what IS that causes us so much pain but the agony we go through wanting it to be something different.
    With someone who is not of good character or worse yet, a Spath, they either can’t see far enough beyond themselves to let you know who they really are and what they really want from a relationship with you or, in a Spath’s case, intentionally keep that information from you with the end goal of dropping the bombshell later when they rip off their mask.
    Hello to everyone and wishing you all well. Hugs from Puddle!

    1. Puddle, you once again hit the nail on the head: “It might not be ideal or the relationship with him you would prefer but, it is what it is and very often, it’s not what IS that causes us so much pain but the agony we go through wanting it to be something different.”

      This was part of the process I had to go through this past year. Peeling the onion, layer after layer, coming to one realization, trying to work through it, and then down to the next one.

      I had to accept that my sibling relationship – the way I would want a supportive sibling in my life – was just all in my head; what my brother wants (and usually gets) is an audience for his self-congratulatory monologues or a punching bag for his verbal put-downs and sneers. You helped me a lot in this respect, and those I now consider family don’t share any bloodlines with me (other than a cousin).

      1. Hey GG, really, as adults our siblings become merely other people in this world and as such we decide if they fit into our life, values, etc. I know familys that have maintained a CLOSE relationship and bond with their siblings, they are like best friends. It’s wonderful but that is probably the exception to the rill, especially in this day and age. Again, there are many elements at play.
        GG, I’m so happy for you that you have reached a point of acceptance!
        Always the very best to you!
        Puddle

      2. More Puddle Wisdom, the agony of wanting it to be different. So true for me and DNA Packets, aka family. Earlier this month my 30 something niece posted on my FB wall: happy birthday…..we miss you. **Click**, if she meant that, she would have done something about it. Words vs. Action. Got it now, bye bye agony.

  4. Hey Puddle,

    Hiya! Good to hear from you! And a thousand thank you’s to you, Dr.Simon and all blog members here who helped me through this visit. And you are so correct about accepting what is and not expecting any more than that! I had an interesting non-confrontational discussion with bro about ‘love’ and what it means to him. Said it represents a feeling of bliss contentment and can’t remember the rest…but it was in that vein. I told him that for me ‘love’ more than anything means a desire to protect. He said he had none of those feelings at all — indeed considered them potentially ‘dangerous’. So, he framed his inability to bond as a positive. I feel that lacking, at base, a desire to protect, indicates a disruption in the bonding process. Didn’t get into that with him.

    I do feel that his evangelizing and over the top sermonizing, along the lines of moral absolutes (when it comes to others) is a compensation for the fact that he is emotionally empty, in some key areas. And that’s just sad.

    He did apologize (sort of) for a few jaw droppingly insensitive incidents. But always qualified those apologies. How do you tell someone you supposedly ‘care’ about that you are pretty indifferent to them and everybody else?

    He said to me, a few times, that as sad as it is, emotional problems have to be worked on from within — that nobody can ‘help’ you. He held himself up as the model to follow, in this regard.

    What literally made his head snap back was when I got out of the cerebral sphere and said simply, “what if your key problem is or was loneliness? Would you recommend the lonely impose further isolation on themselves in a spirit quest to solve THAT problem?”

    Anyway, I don’t expect to hear any more from him, in the future. I didn’t make him feel worse about himself but sure didn’t make him feel better. He was very shaken, very unsettled by the time he left. Not angry, just unnerved.

    If he can’t form genuine loving bonds it really is too bad. I feel sorry for him. I can’t do anything about it and won’t try. I also have no desire to retaliate or punish him. He is what he is.

    1. Hi LisaO ☺️
      I really do think love is different things to different people, both in the way they show it and in the way they feel it.
      I’m a “DO’er”. I’ve learned this about myself, seen it in action. I DO for you, that is how I show someone that I care and have concern for them. But when I read your version of what love is to you, I think……that sounds like a better way of love.
      But the most important part of love has to be some sort of commitment. Like a parent has that with a child (hopefully and ideally). A commitment to care for and about the well being of the child, your pets, your plants…..even when you don’t want to because you are so bone tired…..you do it because you have committed yourself to that living being.
      Now, very sadly, my parents had a commitment in marriage that lasted over 50 years but it did not produce a loving and successful relationship. They were committed though.
      I asked my father recently if he missed Mom ( because I DO! ) and he flat out said “no”. I was floored but not exactly surprised. I think that spark faded long ago and they just rode it to the end. I love my Dad but man, he can be brutally candid sometimes.

  5. When you are pursued by someone who has ‘everything going for them’, including an ability to commit but your emotions aren’t lining up, there is a cultural bias to commit. You also have the nagging interior voice saying, “who do you think YOU are, wanting MORE? Life IS a compromise. Live with it! Besides, those smooth talkers, bouquet in hand, are often trouble.!”

    So many women who have been taken advantage of by pathologicals of one type or another, WERE following their hearts, felt fully emotionally committed and have paid the price. It’s a a tragic dilemma and the Jane Austin type story, many women are living through.

    Seriously, what is the answer? Question–Are there many good men out there who are emotionally open loving interesting and intelligent, who want to commit and aren’t just faking it?

    I don’t think there are. It’s a problem. Women ‘settle’ for decent men, all the time. Their emotional needs are unmet. It’s a demographic reality. The ideal man is almost completely absent. It gets worse with age.

    1. I agree in some respects, I was reading Gavin De Becker and he was talking about the cultural aspects we are confronted with through media etc that programme women to as you say commit to a man who has all the warning signs flashing. It was really quite interesting to read the “hollywood” ideal of a man being persistent in getting the girl is in reality stalking.
      I also wonder about if there are any good men out there?? It’s a bit like buying a car except with a car we do our research and homework before we part with our money, we should do the same with our emotions and well being. Not that I am so keen to do so anymore…there would have to be a new model out without all the bells and whistles quick frankly…I doubt they’ll ever exist!

      1. Maybe a little harsh…firstly my friends who helped me through this mess and their husbands were horrified at how I was treated…and helped me without a second thought…they were wonderful so there is good men out there!
        Secondly, talking about homework, we must remember the “P” is doing his homework on you, maybe for a lot longer than you realise. Unbeknown to me I was stalked for quite some time, he told people before he met me he was going to marry me. He sizes you up well before he makes the first move. Then the lovebombing…all what has been said before, declaring he was going to marry me on the first night…presents daily and early on this “P” bought me a car… a red flag if ever there was one. Gosh I look back now and think “too good to be true” and it was…so rule one don’t be suckered in by the bells and whistles! I know there’s a better way to put it but couldn’t think of it!

        1. Hi Tori!!!!
          My father always bought the bare bones car when we were kids. He used to say, the more things a car comes with ( bells and whistles) the more there is to go wrong! 😉
          I hope you are doing well Tori! ((( HUG ))) to you!

          1. Good analogy, kind of like the rusted jalopy with a good motor in comparison to the shiny caddy. I tell my grand kids the delicious apple with the rotted core verses the wind blight dull apple with the sweet juicy inside. Seams the kids always pick the Delicious until they find out about the insides.

          2. Very true Puddle!! And all is well here Puddle and very quiet (hey hey). Hope all is well with you! (((Hugs))) back!!! 🙂

      2. You made a really good point when you said that we need to do our homework when it comes to deciphering men. That is why forums like this are so important. I also read many books about narcissistic personality disorder. It is a very scary phenomenon that is more common than we know. These people are very manipulative and vindictive. I belong to a couple of sites dealing narcissism on Facebook. Knowledge is definitely an asset.

    2. Lisa O and Puddle, what telling attributes both your brothers display. I appreciate that you quizzed them on their feelings and shared the exchange. It helps to better understand their inner world. Thank you

  6. Trust and commitment, from my own, looking in retrospect if I had the insight, knowledge and maturity that I have now the choices I made would be entirely different. The CD did commit and was faithful and committed but in what respect? Surely, not on the same wavelength as me. To commit is not to own and define another, to take for the benefit of serving objectives, but rather to grow the relationship on nurturing the others spiritual growth. We all have a spirit that thrives to live and grow, however, the CD instinctual motives are to suppress, suffocate and kill that spirit all in the desire to fill only his needs.

    Yes, it is very scary when equipped with the knowledge we have to see the depths of depravity the CD ordered will sink. The problem is the more educated we become the more sneaky and devious the CD will become. Virtual Sheep in Wolves Clothing. “You will know them by there fruit” by Jesus Christ, however, the CD will lure you in with the pretext of same. Yes, Tori I don’t know how many good men are out there, probably very few. There is a saying “Evil prevails because good men do nothing.” Look at the state our world is in, I think that speaks volumes of the Character of our country and its people. The few are struggling to keep it afloat. just as we were the anchor that kept the relationship afloat.

    1. As long as human history is there is human tragedy and chaos. It seems to go with the territory and violence against women is as long as human history as well. I am not so sure at all it is a new phenomenon it’s just that it is spoken about and we don’t accept the behaviour anymore. I don’t know but I sometimes wonder if our memories go back to the 50’s when the idea of ideal family was portrayed to all through advertising. Not a great era for women’s rights I don’t think! Lipstick wearing, perfect hair and apron women wowing everyone with the latest product and what was behind that smiling facade…the same stuff that is going on today only it wasn’t the done thing to talk about it! Or even worse women just lived through it as if everything was normal. Was there any less character disturbance then, or do we romanticise the past? Or perhaps that was the birth of new individualistic narcissism we see today.

      1. Remembering June Cleaver wearing pearls and heels when she vacuumed! I tend to agree with you, Tori, we are now talking about what’s always been there. Beating children and women and whatever else went on inside a home was no one else’s business, tacit approval. By definition and law, sex between husband and wife could never be rape. Although the past has been romanticized, there is a different standard now of what is acceptable, it is not okay, or legal, any more to be a brutal bully. Overtly. Need to continue raising awareness of the covert.

        1. You hit the nail on the head Lulu…the covert! That’s what happens when laws are introduced to stop something going on and when people won’t accept such behaviour the perpetrator uses covert tactics. Again something we see across the board on many issues besides relationships…covert racism being one.

  7. Hi Tori, Btov,

    I get the feeling that if there is a fundamental problem here, it involves more than character and represents a huge dilemma.

    We can choose door number one and get the rogue, who is irresponsible but ‘tuned in’ to our emotional needs (at first) or we can choose door number two and go with steady stable financially secure and emotionally completely absent.

    I guess there is a door number three, behind which decent emotionally available good men reside. That door is padlocked and nailed shut … The men behind it, contained as rare species.

    I realize there are some good men. I know a few if them. I also know men who make good friends but the thought of anybody trying to have a relationship with them??? Ewwww..

    1. H Lisa, I understand how you feel, you went through so much. I do know a few good men that helped me through this. However, it seems they were done over by a CD themselves are still married or not at all. The ones that have experienced the CD live with the same precautionary fears we do in that once they put down their guard and trust they will be sucked in by another CD and once committed (married) the lunacy will begin. Therefore, they stay single and many are celibate too.

      1. Dealing with psychos is really a sad game and I see it a lot in my family. The men play this very sad game everyday. I think it is especially hard for a lot of men because they let their ego stand in the way. I try to tell them about the excessive lies and manipulation that they are victim to and how sad it is for me to have to watch. Somehow they interpret this as being an attack on them personally. I have dealt with more than my share of predators and don’t cast stones at anyone. It is a genuine loving nature that becomes the magnet to draw the predators.

        1. Dr. Simon,
          I think it is a sign of our times. Where, what, when, how, why etc… are there so many disturbed individuals especially men? This was not always the case. There is a reason why, we keep talking about them and discussing them, writing, dancing around the truth of the matter, please tell me WHY IS IT not the psychobabble but WHY the downright truth why our society is breeding and giving birth to so many inhuman people?

          There is a distinct, shall I say fundamental element missing and I am not speaking about Empathy. The missing link I believe is absent in all of them.

          Respectfully

          1. BTOV,
            I think it might be the break down of family structure and cohesive family units.
            It used to be, at least to a MUCH greater degree, that there were societal and familial ties, bonds, structures, etc and in a sense everyone answered to those. They formed a supportive structure. Those have been weakening for centuries but at a faster and faster rate. The more spread out the core family gets, the weaker the individual gets and the more prone they are to filling that missing iner core with other “things”. But you can’t fill or replace that human need for a sense of belonging.
            It just seems like a building that has lost its foundation and is leaning further and further to the side.
            There are so many contributing elements but this process has been going on for a long LONG time and just like any degenerative process, it picks up speed.
            Has anyone seen the movie, “Koyaanisqatsi”? It’s a little hard to watch in its entirety, a little intense, but it’s a really well done movie with a huge message.

          2. Very well said and very true. If anyone ever looks into the Charles Manson story you can see how most of the individuals that joined up with him were looking for a sense of belonging. It was a quality that made it very easy for him to lie and manipulate each one of them. I have watched the show AQUARIUS on TV and the actors and actresses do a great job depicting the effects of the intense brainwashing on his little society in the desert. The blank stare in their eyes says it all. Once a person is subjected to that kind of abuse it is easy for them to fall right back into the cycle again and again.
            We all should never underestimate the importance of strong family ties. Since I never had strong family ties growing up it is very important to me.

          3. Well, a big reason why our society is breeding so many psychopaths is because we spoil our children. For example if you hang around a spoiled child long enough you can see that they will do whatever they have to do to get their own way. They “play” whoever they need to because they are self-centered and no one else matters as much as they do. The lies and manipulation only get bigger as they age. The psychopath usually starts out suffering some kind of abuse themselves. A psycho’s brain has actually been found to be formed differently also. However, if the child is not spoiled and catered to then they learn positive attributes.
            One of the biggest sociopaths that I have encountered is a man. He has a large number of the qualifying factors of the psychopath and narcissistic personality as well. He did a number on my whole family. I was raised by a narcissistic mother and also have a narcissistic sister, sister-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and several aunts. This manipulative disorder often runs in families and I have lots.
            It is a sign of the times. The bible speaks of narcissism and says in the end times it will be very common. It seems to be more common than statistics show.
            Since I grew up with a sociopath mother I was very confused all the time. I even wanted to commit suicide at age six!! I happened to be talking to a friend once and he told me that I should do a little research on narcissistic personality disorder. That little bit of knowledge gave me so much freedom. Now I want to help anyone who is dealing with these soulless individuals.

          4. There are so many pieces to the puzzle. There have always been disordered individuals and I’m guessing there always will be. After saying all that about the family unit falling apart, I also say that Spathtards family of origin is a fairly knit unit…….of the disordered type!

          5. Statistics do show that violence has declined. Check book The better angels of our nature: why violence has declined by Steven Pinker. I haven’t read it myself, but its message is that statistically we as society are less violent than before.
            I also believe character disturbance is on increase. Probably rooted in increased hedonism/narcissism as society and family structures are increasingly breaking.
            And, please do not go around doing male bashing. I think the human nature of aggressiveness is equally present in both genders (5 year olds are equally self-centered in their ways irrespective on genders). It was probably few thousand years of society arrangement that aggressive male went about their goals by overt aggressive displays whereas female went about their goals by charm. Feminists are working on correcting this since last 100 year or so. Maybe that is a factor to explain why character disturbance has gone up, but overt violence has come down. 🙂
            *Andy opens the Pandora box and goes into hiding in underground bunker while carpet bombing is in progress*

          6. You know Andy I could agree with you on your assumptions about women fighting for their rights but I dare say not from the same perspective as you! 🙂 Though I will keep those thoughts to myself except to say that society is changing and some take a little longer to catch up than others and as such it brings out the best and worst in all of us regardless of gender.
            Violent crime statistics also have been on the decline overall but that also depends on what crimes are represented in those statistics. In many countries, states etc domestic violence for instance is not considered a crime but civil matter so therefore are not reflected in crime statistics. Also violence against women whether in the home or rape etc is not always reported by victims out of fear for their safety and court processes. There are many variables to consider especially with what type of violent crimes are decreasing and what crimes are increasing.

          7. Very slippery slope, the male vs female CD predominance. There is no doubt about the long standing history about presumed ownership and subjugation of women by men and what WAS considered acceptable until relatively recently.
            My opinion. Women were in a “one down” position by default in society for many reasons. Mothers to take care of babies and their husband, with little time or opportunity for independence. If you didn’t marry, you remained with your family or found an acceptable low paying job. Careers were unheard of and when you look at the big picture of history, it was not all that long ago relatively speaking.

          8. Hi to all commenting on this. I think you are all right in this and there are many pieces to the puzzle. I found books of interest in the thrift store that I am always on the look out for. I have to share later because I will write what it says. Andy D I believe more men have this problem then women. Of 8 children 3 are compassionate. The other CD, 2 are males and 3 are females. Two females are extremely deadly which includes the neurotic one because she will do just what the others tell her to think and do. CD is of epidemic proportion!

          9. I am new to this forum. What does CD mean? I can only guess it is similar to narcissism. I do know narcissism is epidemic proportion. The best defense an innocent person has against the predators is to understand the red flags. When the predator can not break the victim they start to show their insecurities.

          10. It is a classic, vicious cycle. The more individual character underdevelopment there is, the more the collective culture erodes, especially with regard to the institutions and traditions that have historically fostered character development. And with that cultural decay come increased “enabling” and even promoting of character dysfunction. Truly, a classic vicious cycle. The answer: All vicious cycles have to be attacked at the weakest link in the chain. We have to reach one heart at a time and early on to “inoculate” our young people to the corrupting influences and to eventually – again, one heart at a time – renew the prevailing culture. And that, in a nutshell, is my life’s work!

          11. Dr. Simon, I have read other research on the subject but I am interested to hear more from you. I understand and agree with the whole idea of the vicious cycle. I see.it passed down from generation to generation of my family. When my sister was born she had a very different and evil look in her eyes. She still gets the same predator look in her eyes when she is thinking about how to manipulate someone. Almost every narcissist that I have dealt with has some kind of unique look in their eyes. Can you give me your thoughts on this?
            Thx!!

    2. I’m probably the first one to agree if someone says that even one CD is too much.

      Aside from wanting to second what Andy just said, I want to doubt that there wouldn’t be genuinely great men or that women would be ‘settling’ for decent guys.

      LisaO, your remark, could you explain it? 😀 You said some guys make good friends, but it’s icky to think of having a relationship with them. I mean, it looks like many guys don’t have the motivation to look inward and do some self-work even if they’re not comfortable with themselves(?).

      1. Dittos Lisa O on you remark, icky, icky, and more icky, for sure! I’m laughing and smiling, but where do you find the faces?

  8. Hey LisaO, glad your experience was not completely negative. But this is what I’m not understanding, when you mentioned: “I followed Dr.Simon’s advice and Puddle’s advice was very helpful. I sat back and listened and didn’t argue with him. He is doing the best he can do, fragile ego considered and some real life tough, tough problems.”

    In his books Dr. Simon tells us it is necessary to confront these people about their behaviour, otherwise we’re just letting the bullies have their way. Or we go the route of No Contact, since to me (now that I’ve learned so much about these characters thanks to all of you here) it would be like walking past snipers and letting them have at us. But in certain cases, then, we shouldn’t confront?

    My brother certainly doesn’t see himself as having any problems, his narcissism would never permit him to consider that he may be at fault. So why would I meet up with him just to listen to his victim routine /shifting the blame/justifications/and if I don’t buckle under, then a controlled outburst of anger, etc. etc.

    I admire you for having the fortitude to spend time with your brother, although it is perhaps his life circumstances that evoke some compassion for him – which is not the case with my bro, he’s got everyone in his circle just where he wants them – except now for me 🙂 . I’m not being very cooperative these days!

    1. I can no say that it is correct to confront these bullies. Things have a tendency to get very rough if the narcissist is confronted. A giant smear campaign begins. I know because of a few personal experiences. These people don’t care if you confront them. The only thing that they are going to turn the whole situation around so they can play the victim. I have always found that NO CONTACT works best for me.

      1. Carrie, I seem to be learning this lesson the hard way , or not learning it, because I can never walk away from a wrong doing. It’s just not in my make up. But it is dangerous when you are dealing with narcissistic people who are extreme enough to want revenge because you have wounded them by calling them out.
        I’ve got a doozy on my hands right now.
        My mother was a N but not vengeful. I have an element of it but it’s more because I’m clueless and in survival mode most of the time, self focused because I have to be and am barely getting through it all anyhow . I also wonder how much of a roll being “on my own”, in many ways, my whole life, has played in that. But I do care about others…….I just, more than likely, don’t seem to!
        It’s so strange to think that no one knows anyone in the same way we know our selves. I find it very frustrating.

        1. Hi Puddle,
          I am so sorry that just when your life seemed to settle down and now all what you are describing doesn’t sound good. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. It just seems to never stop, be strong and brave in the long run being who you are will strengthen you to new heights, more tired but more resolve. I tend to be the same way, I watch over my handicapped sister, what does the other sister do, start taking her aggression out on her, I will be the bad guy and the remaining sisters can get downright vindictive and hateful, don’t under estimate their envy and hate, there are always new lows.

          Again be safe and you will be in my thoughts and prayers, Blessings

        2. Puddle, you’re independent and live by your wits that is survival and it is a strength and I think sometimes people don’t get that or maybe fear or don’t understand that kind of strength. Of course I only know you through this blog but I have to say to me you are a very caring person, you write with honesty and integrity and I am grateful to have met you through this blog. Your honesty has helped me enormously and others. Your good character shines through your words. Knowing who you are is the best gift you can give yourself I think.
          Having lived in relationships more than being on my own there are times I get the feeling bits of who I really am are still a little lost. Gosh when all this unravelled the thought of not being a “Mrs” was really scary and now it’s scary unravelling who I really am as a single independent woman.
          I really hope things will work out whatever you’re going through right now and as long as you know you…the others can think what they like!!! 🙂 A great big ((((HUG)))) !!

          1. SWEET!! Thank you Tori and BTOV! I really do appreciate your supportive and validating words. I’m going to be ok.
            I’m just facing a super charged string of events that have stacked on top of each other. Any of them by them self would be ENOUGH to deal with solo but for some reason I am on a roll. It’s become the norm. Is this what sobriety is all about??

            Carrie:
            “CD” means Character Disturbed or Deficiant or Defective or Disordered,or Deranged or Disabled or…….. People of poor character development.
            A “Spath” is the same only leaning strongly towards the Socio/ psychopath end of the spectrum.

          2. Puddle, Thanks for clearing that up for me. I have done a lot of research leaning more towards the sociopath end of the spectrum. I have dealt with the narc abuse my entire life and it was a giant step in my healing.

      2. Hi Carrie, thank you for your response. I think you’re right that No Contact is best in my situation. I am finding it hard to figure out when we’re supposed to confront these people as per what Dr. Simon recommends and when we need to cut our losses and say “no more”.

        Others (I believe Gavin de Becker is one) also suggest that these types of people won’t change and that no contact is the way to go.

        1. I have recently discovered that no contact is the way to go. It seems like anytime I would try to have any contact with them it would give them more ways to be manipulative and vindictive. As you well know, they can take any little thing you say and use it against you and make you feel crazy. I have also noticed that it infuriates them because it takes the fuel right out of their fire. I have dealt with several and “no contact” has always worked for me. At my last job my manager and assistant manager were huge narcs. It irritated them so much that I would not talk to them that they would make up different scenarios trying to get me to talk to them. Hahahaha…..

          1. Carrie, thank you again! Just yesterday I received a text message from my brother-in-law (brother’s partner). A chit-chatty one telling me about a movie they were going to see. He’s never done that before. This seems to be a new tactic; my bro won’t condescend to contact me since I didn’t play along with his last few mind games (thanks, again, to the collective wisdom on this site). So his partner is taking up the slack. And because I always got along very well much with W., the partner, I wanted to respond, if only to clarify my feelings about my bro (as in, I no longer consider someone like that to be related to me). Then it hit me, thanks to what you said, that the partner was taking on the “I’ll get her to respond eventually” manipulation. And No Contact is the way to go.

            I think Gavin de Becker said: “no contact means No Contact.” None. Ever. For the rest of time.

            Sigh, I still have a lot to learn. But – thank you! I did not and will not respond to the text message.

          2. GG, You just made my day. Yes, the manipulators like to go for a while with no contact and go in for the kill at the last minute. They think that you have forgotten all the slimy tricks from before and then they try suck you right back in. Good for you!! Are you in different states? I have found that to be best. My narc is in a small town and she has done everything to smear my name. The manager at my last job was sucked in by my N and tried to make my life hell. I stayed at the job for a long time buy could not take it anymore. I just cleaned everything up and left a note and said that I was tired of playing the stupid games. I got sick of it all and figured that was the best way to get some kind of silent revenge…
            I am so glad that I could give you some kind of advice. If you ever have any other questions you can always ask.

    2. Hi Andy D, I did some bashing today in my several comments above. Gave credit to the good guys that helped me on my journey and are still friends. They are afraid to seriously think of another woman after their experience to the point of being celibate for 20 years. Believe me its not just men. Women are coming in right behind.

      1. BTOV,

        I don’t think Andy D claimed it would just be men. Not sure why you think he did, ‘cos he didn’t. Not to raise an uproar over this, though. Andy D seemed to bring out the male side of the equation, is all.

        Can we say that both sexes have abusers and ones becoming victims among them, not to mention some wonderful Angels?

        1. I have seen more women predators than I have men. However, the men I have seen tend to be on a more dangerous scale. I have even dealt with a stalker and that was enough to send me to the corner crying. There is really nothing no we can do to combat this kind of personal invasion. It is like coming home to find that your home has been broken Into and suffering the effects for years after until you sell the home.
          I really don’t think the issue is if the predator is male or female. The predator is evil and we are exchanging stories to learn how to combat evil.

          1. Hi Timothy and Andy D, Didn’t mean to direct anything at Andy D at all just stating the sexes of who I deal with. I think statistics show there are more men and no doubt women are catching up. I apologize if it sounded that way to you. Blessings

    3. Hi GG,
      I appreciated all the input re your bro, too. I used all of the advice to remain pretty calm and detached.
      My bro ‘loves’ me as much as he can. He isn’t snaky mean or cruel or vindictive. He will lie, twist the truth when backed into a corner.

      His main issue is he must be intrigued entertained by others. He can’t just relax and enjoy the company of people he considers ‘common’.
      Both he and my Narsister feel transparent around me. I don’t have to say much at all. I make them both very uneasy now. I
      have confronted them both in a low key way. Now, with your bro, you appear to be doing the right thing by choosing no contact. My brother will choose ‘no contact’ now with me. I feel it. He got nowhere in his attempts to salvage our relationship by pointing finger of blame at late husband. Ludicrous. I made bro’s skin crawl by not jumping on board his blame wagon.

      He has a lot to learn– if that’s possible. His life is starting to fray around the edges and he is primed to suffer a few cataclysmic life events. There isn’t much I can do to help him or change anything and I accept that.

      Had he ever intentionally set out to hurt me, GiGi, I would have a VERY different attitude!

  9. I think and have read that being a charming psychopath isn’t the best reproductive strategy for women. Not to say it doesn’t exist. It just isn’t as common. Although Dr. Simon highlights that the social Petrie dish is becoming more conducive to the creation of CDs every day. And young women ARE becoming more masculine…so it stands to reason the problem is growing in the female gender.

    When I said ‘ewww’ about the idea of ever having a relationship with men I can have a casual friendship with, it’s because they are not well rounded human beings.

    1. Most of the female narcs that I know use sex and charm as their weapon of choice. I do know a few cerebral narcs though. They are the ones who are out prove that they are the smartest around. The marketing field has a lot of the cerebral narcs working in it. I think that some narcs can incorporate whichever works best for them at the time.
      My ex husband who is a full blown psychopath uses different strategies against his victims on a daily basis. I could actually see his eyes light up as he was planning his next strategy. He used sex also.

      1. Carrie, the women you mention on the harm/charm offensive — do they have children. Has this strategy worked for them in that regard?

        1. I know some have children. Sometimes they pretend to have an accident and get pregnant. After they have the children then they use them as pawns to get their way. It becomes an endless cycle because after the predators use the children against the father they use the grandchildren later in life.

    2. Yes, baby trap is a nasty one. Males can use it to appeal to some sense of “obligation” to stay with a sperm donor(writing that made me nauseous), which is just as repulsive and despicable and a*****ish. Thanks for bringing up how grandchildren can be used, too, Carrie.

      Also, LisaO, sorry, still not sure I understand.

      “When I said ‘ewww’ about the idea of ever having a relationship with men I can have a casual friendship with, it’s because they are not well rounded human beings.” So this is a different kind of personality you talk about here, right? Not well-rounded how?

      1. Thanks for response, Carrie. Yes, baby trap! Uterus as lethal weapon. It was a common practice when my mother was a young woman. Talk about playing Russian roulette with your own life and the lives of others! What if the boyfriend said, “no way!” back in those days?

        My mother was a virgin on her wedding night so kept herself and all of us ‘safe’.

        Anyway Andy…men who raise red flags for being irresponsible, a bit narcissistic, etc.. Okay to be casual friends but never anything more. Multiple divorces — has children but they are absent in his life, etc…People can be a lot of fun, socially, but fail miserably adhering to the trust and commitment part of a relationship. Not difficult to spot red flags when you are an older woman. Hormones not as likely to get in the way!

        1. Great points!! The uterus trap is definitely effective. The psycho chicks make sure that they have a responsible individual to work with before they start playing the game. I know about three or so that this has been done to.

          1. Well, there is at least one way to avoid the baby “trap”!! Put a hat on that soldier! Put your rain coat on skipper! Hello!

          2. Oh that makes a lot of sense but a sexual narcissist has so many other forms of brainwashing going on at the same time I guess guys forget about that kind of thing. Often the unplanned child of the narc becomes the skapegoat child. Sad for everyone!!

  10. Oh Andy,

    One more thing…a man who is super at ease, socially, very confident and engaging, super funny, — right from the get-go, gives me am ‘ewwww’ reflexive reaction now.

    A few decades ago, this type would have scared me, because I was so shy and felt so inadequate and would have felt ‘undeserving’. Also, all of the unconscious abandonment fear would have been triggered. Now, with age I am not only unimpressed by this type but repulsed.

    1. Another time when someone mixes up me and Andy. 😀

      Wasn’t quite expecting a discussion like this. I’m quite introverted myself, but who’d thought I’d talk in defense of more extroverted guys?

      It makes sense, someone’s engaging, but doesn’t really have it together, perhaps doesn’t care enough to get it together.

      It makes even more sense that someone super-engaging is really an utter lying sack of s**t. I have misgivings myself when someone’s a bit too carefree, like they were carefree to impose on me or run over me or shout over me.

      Another thing I get is what I’ve seen in guys quite a bit, being domineering, forceful, pushy. Then there’s being not quite in sync with things, for example, doesn’t even acknowledge “Okay, I made a misstep here” when it would be appropriate, so above it all apparently, legends in their own minds(?).

      But I know many extroverts, who are comfortable with themselves and fun to be with, but who are also in order and do tune in to others instead of booming like mad.

      What you describe brings to mind Ted Bundy and some others.

      1. Very important points here!! A lot of times the obnoxious and rude individual likes to use this as the lead-in for him to say to his victim, “You make me feel so at-ease like I have known you for quite a long time.” He will then go on to start the soulmate trick.
        I am glad to see that guys can pick up on this behavior in other end as well. Lmao

    2. There are a lot of red flags that are sent out right away. I think that a man who is shy at first but starts to feel more at ease as time goes on can be attractive. A lot of time the narc wants to be the center of attention because they are very insecure and use this as a cover. Kinda disgusting– that was one of the biggest decoys my ex-husband used. Live and learn!!

  11. Just like to say. I was reading in the Metro (a free news paper) that 300 Police officers and PTSO’s (police helpers) in the last 3 yrs have been convicted of crimes e.g Child abuse ,Fraud and so on. C.D is on the increase. Trust and commitment ! You have to be so careful.

  12. Btw, some time ago my Amazon worked better. Has anyone else here ordered Unlocking the Emotional Brain By Bruce Ecker and Robin Ticic? It was a chance or it just so happened I’d spot it. I have to wait a bit before I can order it. Any chance others could have their say about it?

    1. I have not read that particular book but it sounds interesting. I loved loved WITHOUT CONSCIENCE by Robert Hare. I think that book gave me giant step in the healing step. You might be able to look on YouTube and see if there is anything about the book or the author.

    2. Sure. I’ve mentioned Ecker’s book, ‘cos I haven’t seen it mentioned by anyone else and it looks really helpful. Would love to see others’ take on it, too.

  13. Most people, when meeting someone altogether new will try to cover a certain degree of stiffness, slight awkwardness…almost imperceptible. But a slightly reserved ‘first contact’ with a slow warming up is the norm.

    I wouldn’t even angle it too much along the lines of extrovert or introvert.

    The P who targeted me was introverted but very confident, very stealthy. This is actually something people have to be on the look out for, a true P doesn’t necessarily desire being the life of the party. They don’t always come across like a classic narcissist. And they aren’t above feigning a ‘gosh, gee whiz’ style of innocence. I was convinced the P was being dominated and bullied by his wife. Now … I don’t know, probably not. I hope he was!LOL.

    1. I guess that is a really big difference between a minimal dysfunction and being a full blown narc/psychopath. Both of my ex husbands thought that the party was not complete without them. Lmao….. My biggest psychopath was sure that everyone at my son’s boy scout presentation wanted him tobe the leader!

    2. Again, it is so weird to see other people describing exactly what my narbro is like! 🙂

      “The P who targeted me was introverted but very confident, very stealthy. This is actually something people have to be on the look out for, a true P doesn’t necessarily desire being the life of the party. They don’t always come across like a classic narcissist. And they aren’t above feigning a ‘gosh, gee whiz’ style of innocence. I was convinced the P was being dominated and bullied by his wife”

      I describe my bro as a sniper, lying in wait, while his partner, a very chatty wears-his-heart-on-his-sleeve type of person is really the life of the party but without so much dysfunction as my brother. Then as brother-in-law draws people into their social circle (and he is truly lots of fun), my brother sits back and watches and waits for his opportunity. He can do the “gosh, gee whiz” routine also, and NOW I understand why. It throws people off. Once he gets to know people better, then he’ll start throwing little barbed comments, or arguing ad-nauseum and going off on tangents, etc. (I don’t have to describe all the tactics to everyone here, suffice it to say that Dr. Simon lists them all in his books). Then he’ll do the eye-roll, or sneer, or slowly start raising his voice. Then if we don’t kowtow he’ll either do the outburst of anger or play victim, depending on the audience.

      But initially – so charming, so quiet, and for the longest time many of us thought it was his partner who was the one maneuvering things to get his way, the “boss” who was the manipulator.

      Last year when I first started learning about these tactics, I called up my brother-in-law and told him I now recognized that he wasn’t the one responsible for everything my brother tried to blame on him. He seemed to appreciate it but then started defending my brother by saying it probably wasn’t my brother’s responsibility if he acted the way he does – in essence repeating the excuses my brother has used over the years.

      Isn’t it funny how these characters expect everyone else to hold themselves responsible for their actions but not the character disordered ones. They get to use all the excuses.

  14. Timothy, I lean towards extroversion but am a bit shy. Was extremely so up until a few years back. People who are socially anxious, shy, sometimes think they are introverted. Their coping strategies may involve more solitary pursuits, so it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from.

    The confident, un-shy introvert enjoys his/her own company and singular pursuits. I have a female friend like this. Strangely, her hobbies and job DO require a lot of socializing. There is nothing she enjoys more than being by herself and reading. Because she is very confident, she’s likely mistaken for being an extrovert. Weird, isn’t it?

    I wonder how CD’s would break down, statistically, as far as introversion and extroversion go? Interesting thought.

  15. Gracious, Check out for a bit and miss fascinating conversations. So good to be with my Angels, been really busy being Real Me.

    Random thoughts about what has been said: is CD really increasing or just seem so because it is a topic that is being discussed? I am 64 (lucky me!) and i don’t remember physical, much less emotional, abuse being acknowledged. I can think back now on kids who must have been beaten, but who cared? Crass but true. Domestic violence as well. Now it is on the radar screen, assaulting your child or spouse is wrong AND has long term emotional damage.

    And, please, who ever thought about how much words can hurt? My mother was extremely verbally and emotionally abusive to me. In addition, I was so very different from everyone else in my family. Now I say hallelujah! that I’m not like them. Every thing about who I was was wrong, I, her only victim out of four kids, was defective.

    Of course I married what I knew. Looking back, huge red flags before we had our first date. He is pretty introverted, could be aggressive with lOUDness, mostly he was covert in how he kept his power position. Looking back, I can see so many times he was quietly mean, because he got some kind of rush from it. Really, you didn’t know you were weed eating my Lazy Susan’s? I was, and still am, kind and helpful. Now, however I know how I deserve to be treated and will not spend time with someone who isn’t looking for a mutually respectful, caring friendship.

    What I need to work on is being more trusting, instead of being ready to run from anything that has the potential of hurting me. Being cautious and aware is good, always having one foot out the door, not so much.Yes, LisaO that abandonment issue, buried deep. Reading what you wrote made me realize what a driving force that has been in my life. Still is to a point, work in progress to bring it into my conscious mind, releasing the power I have given it.

    Puddle, I’m not clear about you mean by not being able to walk away from a wrong doing. Does this include the CD and Path interactions?

    Have allowed several “users” to be in my life, done with that. Male and female, ranging from selfish, self-centered to the pathological. The paths: female “friend”, sister and X.

    I conformed to “friend’s” expectations of me. As I grew stronger through therapy, I began to say, “I’m uncomfortable when……” Her reactions included yelling at me and telling me she could do what she wanted because she was my friend, that I needed to abide by her wishes since we were friends. Someone else said, she is never wrong and everything has to be her way. I now know that I am worthy, no one gets to treat me like that. Her husband was a kind, gentle man who was beaten as a child, she used words to continue the beatings.

    Sister has been diagnosed with borderline personality. Very bright, cunning. Prob been 5 years since I went NC with her. Looking back, I realize the great pleasure she got from casually saying things, over and over, that she knew were extremely hurtful. Who was it above who said gleam in their eyes? Oh, yes, the joy she got when she knew she had really stabbed me. Has bullied the other two sibs and their families into cutting me off. Lying, word twisting,demanding, whatever it took to have me completely ostracized.

    No doubt those two (friend and sis) derived pleasure, it was like playing a game and they were the winners. My mother’s eyes were full of loathing and contempt, x cd’s were flat. It seemed that they were driven to do their path. My feeling is that they were hard wired to be cruel, sneaky, covertly ultra aggressive. I don’t believe they could be anything else, no matter what their childhood was like.

    Although my sister was aware of what she was doing, she was always angry, always the victim of mean people, always on the lookout for who was going to victimize her. Such a sad, empty existence.

    Puddle, I’m not clear about you mean by not being able to walk away from a wrong doing. Does this include the CD and Path interactions? If I’m reading you right, I understand that feeling of being buried, get back on your feet a bit, then, wham another boulder slams you. Fighting to survive, first of all takes great courage, and is all consuming. Giving up and giving in would be the easier choice. Again, looking back, I am so proud of myself for all that I crawled through. Part of that is due to your kind, caring support. Other Angels here also.

    Also the theme of distinguishing male/female narc behaviors. For me, I haven’t experienced overt aggressiveness from any of them. I think narc is an equal opportunity path, both in numbers and behaviors.

    I have not dated (is that the dumbest word ever, I’m in my 60s, dating is high school, seems silly) since I separated 4 years ago. Maybe there are good men out there, maybe not. Have never experience loving and being loved on a deep level, hoping that will happen one day. And let’s not forget commitment, words and actions being the same, imagine that! As much as I would like that in my life, I don’t HAVE to have it. I am enough.

    I have a couple of loving friendships, both females. Some what I call “go to lunch friends”, enjoy their company but nothing on a deep level.

    For a long time, I have yearned to be a part of the family again, people who knew my history and had a lot of shared memories. There was a time when it was good, I kept hoping it would go back there. I would cling to any scrap of decency from them, maybe this time…..Recently I have given that up that notion. I have not liked them for several years now. We share DNA but not the perception of what a family is and does. Why was I hoping for something that I really didn’t want, being around them? LisaO, I am so very happy that you’ve come to a realistic place about your brother. You seem to be satisfied with the it is what it is viewpoint.

    With all the healing I’ve done here, gratitude forever to each of you, I feel so much stronger. Understanding how the pieces of Life with a CD fit together is so satisfying. No more hamster wheels spinning in my brain wondering WTH, wow that was exhausting. With the new space up there, I was able to come to the conclusion fairly easily, that I wanted to be done, whole lot of things more important than money. You Angels have helped me let go of what the Judge said I’m owed and choose to live a more fulfilling life.A week ago today, was the finale of four looooong years of legal razz-ma-tazz.

    {{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}} to each of you, wishing you peace in your journey.

    1. Hi Lulu, Your life sounds so much like mine. I just realized that I have been divorced about five or so years. You would think that I would know for sure but thanks to my mama narc and a hacker my life has been complete hell. I get one step ahead and one of them is there to make sure I go three steps back. I am fighting to raise my son (11 yrs.) I have two kids out of the house. They have both have their adventures with lying, manipulative narcs. One is dead and my son doesn’t want to talk to me. Some more crap for me to deal with, huh?!
      I know that narcs are on the rise. I know I encounter several on a daily basis. I have only come across one tremendously violent one. Lucky me, I was married to him. Lol Many of the others are into emotional abuse. The females in my family have a vicious cycle of NPD going. It starts with the generation of my great grandma. Maybe even further back than I know. I was the skapegoat child also. There is no one more cowardly than the one willing to take advantage of an innocent child. I can see my mama narc using the same emotional abuse tactics on my young son.
      Oh well, live and learn. I am glad that you are healing. That is what we are striving for. Trying to learn all I can about the dysfunctions.has helped me also. Blessings for you!!

      1. Wait, who’s dead? One of your kids?? Love this…no one is more cowardly than the one taking advantage of (preying on?) an innocent child. Have often thought about what a coward X CD is and always has been, but never my “mom” . Exactly right, tho!
        Friends warned me to be prepared for the divorce decree coming in mail, very difficult to see, even if you want it. Ha! I was struggling to keep my head above the water in Lunacy River, that piece of paper felt like junk mail.
        My heart goes out to you and your son, being an 11 y/o boy is never easy. Is there any way to limit his contact with Granny Narc?
        I lost my 2 adult sons for a couple of years when they had to take a time out from all the Crazieness. Excruciating.
        Blessings to you as well. There is a lot of comfort and strength for you right here on this board. I hope you can feel it.

        1. My daughter was 24 and she got killed. I have lots of questions about her death. I know there were lots of narcs involved. She suffered from a lot of emotional abuse. I also have a 20 year old son who lives with his narc dad and doesn’t talk to his younger brother or me. I don’t want to go too deep into the situation on a public forum.
          I try my best to keep my young son away from his granny narc. We used to live in another state and it was a lot easier but now we have lost our house and had to come down here to live. I get to see the same vindictive brainwashing techniques she used on me every day. She thinks she has got us under her spell. After we were here only about a couple weeks my son looked at me and me and said, “I don’t know how you made it here!”
          I belong to a few sites on Facebook and they have been important for the healing of my soul also. I have read quite a few books on this matter and it was quite refreshing to fingers out that I wasn’t imagining all this. My sister used to tell me that I need to just forget the past and quit playing the victim. Of course, she is a huge sociopath. I have made it a point to tell anyone who will listen about this kind of abuse. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this kind of stuff.

          1. Oh, Carrie……heart wrenching, excruciating, the depth of the living hell you have experienced. No clarity on how your daughter died…I don’t even have words. I can certainly understand how you need to limit what you share. I hope, with time, that your older son can begin to assess his situation, finding that reality and what dad spews are not the same.
            Then I wanted to jump through my iPad and give you the biggest high five and hugs. The wisdom and insight of 11y/o, to understand that Granny’s words were so hurtful, and the empathy he showed for you. What a tribute to you! Obvi, he feels safe to be who he is, know he is deeply loved and that he is an awesome guy just the way he is. What a gift you have given him.

          2. My little guy is very strong and I have always kept an open line of communication with all my kids. He asks me lots of questions about what goes on here!! I reinforce that the main reason the mama narc acts the way she does is because she doesn’t love herself and until we love ourselves we can’t love anyone else. I know mama narc loves to talk trash about other people but I really try to be a comfort to my boy without blackening her reputation too much. When my daughter left for the university she told me that she knew where the evil was. That tells me that there was a lot of underhanded things going on. Thanks for all the compliments!!

      2. Carrrie, I am terribly sorry for what you’ve had to endure. It is just SO UNFAIR. I hope this site helps somewhat in the healing journey. If only we could have a huge group hug !

    2. Lulu, your sis sounds like my bro.: “Very bright, cunning. Prob been 5 years since I went NC with her. Looking back, I realize the great pleasure she got from casually saying things, over and over, that she knew were extremely hurtful. Who was it above who said gleam in their eyes? Oh, yes, the joy she got when she knew she had really stabbed me.”

      All the hurt – and brutally gained wisdom – on this site makes me simultaneously proud of everything you all have survived, yet profoundly sad that we all know such rejection/abuse/being used only for what others can get out of us.

      And ditto what you wrote: “For a long time, I have yearned to be a part of the family again, people who knew my history and had a lot of shared memories. There was a time when it was good, I kept hoping it would go back there. I would cling to any scrap of decency from them, maybe this time…..Recently I have given that up that notion. I have not liked them for several years now. We share DNA but not the perception of what a family is and does. Why was I hoping for something that I really didn’t want, being around them?”

      It does take some time to recognize it, doesn’t it? I don’t know where I would have been without you and this site, for the discernment, support and practical “how to” tips on dealing with these sinister characters.

      Congrats on your 1 week anniversary of freedom! 🙂

      1. GG and Lulu, I just joined this site and I can feel the warmth. Yes, forums like this give us strength and we realize how strong we are already. Unfortunately they show how much evil is in the world. Hahaha… I can remember watching Maury Povitch and Jerry Springer when I was younger and thinking OH MY GOODNESS, THIS IS INSANE. HOW CAN PEOPLE DO THIS TO EACH OTHER? As I got older I realized that my family just wasn’t on TV. All I ever wanted was a loving family and especially a sweet sister to be my best friend. I failed on both parts. I used to try to find every little thing to make me believe they were going to finally except me. I really don’t care now and try to stay away from family functions. They try to put a guilt trip on me now and say that I am keeping my son away from his cousins. In reality I am protecting my son.
        I want you all to know that everyone here is demonstrating different types of strength. It takes a lot of courage for most people to admit that they need help. Yet, the strongest people seek help. I dealt with the confusing scenario all my life. I will never forget the morning when I was talking to my friend before work and he told me that I should do some research on narcissism. I did and it was the missing piece to the puzzle I had been searching for. I read lots about it but didn’t know of any forums. This is a great little support group!!

        1. Dear Carrie

          The thing is with this site is that there is knowledge here. Most sites on Youtube and Google DO NOT help much. They do not give you the nuts and bolts WE ALL NEED IN DEALING with the CD. Sam Vaknin for one.
          psychobabble, the man is full of it.
          Dr Simon does teach you a great deal in a very short time. I have learned alot and try to pass on what I now know.
          There are good people in the world. The problem is finding them.
          My Grandmother had a saying which was ;
          ” You can always stoop ( bend down) and pick up nothing “

  16. I live in the U.K. I read again in the metro newspaper that by 2050 that the world population will be 9.7 billon people. As I understand from reading a book called Office Politics by Olvier James ( a Clinical Psyc) that 1 in 4 of the population is what is called Triadic. Psychopaths, Narcissists, Machiavellian.
    That means 2.425 Billon Psychopaths, Narcissists, Machiavellians on earth. GOD Help Use All !

    1. Very alarming statistics!! I had a roommate from Belize and when she couldn’t get the brainwashing done on me that she wanted she brought in all of her narc buddies. I bet there were at least 20 of them. At my old job I bet I encumbered at least 20. They are the ultimate soul suckers!!

    2. I have never heard such a stat. They say 1-4 in a 100 are psychopaths, and it probably includes malignant marcs are other similar predators. So the figure is smaller. But if you include the lesser yankers and CDs, well, it may well be staggering.

      1. It is very scary when once you come in contact with just one. Stats vary from research to research. There are way too many and that is a fact!!

  17. Hi Carrie!

    The hardcore psychopath represents a very small fraction of the general population. It’s a continuum disorder.

    Fade forums that have you petrified that there’s a Ted Bundy hiding behind every hedge and under every rock.

    Much more difficult are the legions of cynical manipulators that march out of society’s personality fabrication plant. They won’t kill you but because there are so many of them to deal with, they will make your life miserable.

    How a capitalist society, that embraced democratic ideals devolved into a pre-fascist rat race, I’ll never know.

    1. I have encountered at least four hardcover psychopaths who have the ability to kill others. They need to have souls to suck and would love to have the end result as suicide. They are very scary and when they are together it can get deadly very fast!! Many of the people I know are on the greedy, manipulative side.
      I question many aspects of our society also. Lmao

  18. Carrie,
    I guess I’m lucky. I’ve only been involved with one person I suspect is an actual psychopath…and probably born that way.

    The people you are describing as psychopathic– do you think they were born or made that way? What is your sense of that?

    1. I read the book WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE by Robert Hare and he does important research that says the brain of the psychopath is different. The frontal lobe that deals with empathy is actually considerably smaller. The way a psychpath child is raised determines the level of psychopathic tendencies. My sister is a prime example. She was born with a devilish look and then very spoiled. She is very evil and out of control. I think she is capable of just about anything. My x-husband is also capable of anything and his mom said he was a very different kind of child. I don’t know if there is a definite answer.

      1. Carrie,

        I just read through all of your posts. My heart goes out to you, the murder, the P relatives, the horrible x. You must be a very strong person to withstand it all. A huge hug to you!

        1. Pretty easy to be strong when you know nothing else. I grew up scared, shy, and withdrawn. I often wondered if there was anything different out there. I have the multiple hardcore narcs and psycho’s but I was also in a car accident and suffered brain damage when I was twelve. It was a brain stem contusion which took me back to about six months old. My right side was paralyzed and I now do most things left handed. Most of my coordination came back and I just try to keep exercising my body and it helps. Like narcs do, they all jumped on me to see how the could come out on top. Not sure why I am such a threat but I am.
          Thanks so much for your compliment. I think I could probably answer most questions about the dark side. My goal in life is to offer as much info to people as I can to keep them from getting hurt. If you ever have questions about this I would love to help. If I don’t know the answer I will see if I can find it.
          Lots of hugs!!

  19. Carrie, that’s very chilling. I don’t know what’s worse, a bunch of hardcover psychopaths, who can “get deadly very fast” or a bunch of soulless manipulators.

  20. You’re amazing, Carrie! Again, I don’t know how you have managed. Thanks so much for the offer of help. I may take you up on it!

    My very best to you, Sweet sweet woman!

  21. Tomorrow I try and get my things back out of it’s House. The grand daughter and Grand Son are in there now. Boy are they liars, WOW do they make stuff up or what. I have come to a conclusion. That is it for me. NO MORE CONTACT EVER.

    1. Good luck!! I hope it all works out for you. I can not stand liars either that is one of the main reasons I also choose NO CONTACT also.

      1. I got some stuff back. Will be going back Sunday to finish collecting my things.
        I have told them I want nothing more to do with them. Just like Her own brother did. The thing I got from the time I was there was. They Do not in any way process any sort of shame. I have just posted this before. They must these D.C’s be a diffrent species. WOW they just got to be.

        1. They are demons for sure but you are making important steps. They have no empathy or souls to say the least.

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