You hear the word “vulnerability” in various contexts. The word, however, always means the same thing. To be “Vulnerable” means there is a notable weakness. A crack in your armor, which can be exploited; being prone to attack. Children, aging adults, and even shoddily protected computer systems, are vulnerable. Computer hackers are guilty for the recent security breaches in many of our major shopping chains, across America. Millions of people’s’ identities are at risk, due to the exploitation of those vulnerabilities found by these perpetrators. Pedophilia is rampant across the globe. Elder abuse, whether in a private home, or state-run facility, often times goes without notice.
The exploitation or abuse isn’t just limited to those who are obviously (to the normal human) vulnerable or weak, or unable to protect themselves. Those who have been previously abused, neglected, attacked or have low self-esteem or lack of confidence, are seen as vulnerable and “weak” by the same depraved individuals, who are looking for someone to use for their self-gratification. It doesn’t just stop there. Are you a giver? A peacemaker? Do you have a selfless nature? Humanitarian? Are you naturally, highly empathetic? These wonderful qualities are seen as weaknesses by the social/human predator, as well. They aren’t seen as “wonderful qualities” by the Sociopath/Psychopath. In fact, the human predator is an astute student in human nature. They interpret these qualities, very analytically. They see “behind” the exterior, into the deepest recesses of our behaviors, exposing our actual needs behind the selfless acts. This is how they are able to mirror us so well. Creepy, huh?
For instance; Are you a selfless giver? A psychopath or Narcissist could interpret that as, “She needs approval and acceptance”. Empathetic? “She needs to feel understood, loved and cared about”. Those of us with less than ideal self-confidence, are especially subjective to becoming targeted and victimized. We are easy to see and weed out from the rest of the herd.
In the past 3 years, I have come to realize that no 2 psychopaths’ personalities are exactly the same. Their M.O. is ALWAYS the same, as in; Love-bombing, manipulation, mirroring, tailoring responses to mesh with our deepest desires, scheming and lying. Some Narcissists and Psychopaths (though very few) aren’t cheaters. However, they ALWAYS gas-light their targets. Some choose those whose vulnerabilities echo their inert weaknesses. Others want to go after the more self-assertive variety. The thrill is in the conquest, after all. The fact remains in that we all, as humans, have some sort of vulnerability. Some of us make the search very easy, while others take more time to ascertain.
Remember…even the Titanic, which at the time was considered “unsinkable”, met with a rogue iceberg which was able to find the slightest weakness in the hull of the ship. The rivets used were iron which degraded in the sea water, weakening the hull enough to be ripped apart by a huge block of ice. Even those of us who are coined with the phrase “unsinkable” and “unmovable”, have a vulnerable area.
Now, the conundrum… We are encouraged to be more vulnerable, by “relationship experts” and the likes of them. I can understand why this is. If we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable at all, we won’t be able to find true human connection. When two people are vulnerable and in turn, protected by each other, then we are able to allow and accept emotional intimacy.
Normal people shudder at the thought of exploiting any of these areas or people, for personal gain. But those people ARE out there. Sociopaths/psychopaths and narcissists, never show vulnerabilities. At least, ones that are obvious to normal people. Predators are secretive. They cover their tracks. They are exemplary schemers and liars. They manipulate you and others around them, so they don’t appear to be anything but how they want others to see them. Lets think about them, for a second. Do the Narc, Soc, or Psychopath truly have “no” vulnerabilities? Or are they just skilled at covering them up? They have skills, that’s for sure. Silence, whether from their chosen victim, or themselves, is absolutely necessary to insure their success. The pro-social Psychopath knows that if they talk too much, for instance, they take the chance of unveiling their true nature and in turn lose their cover. They will be seen for who they truly are, and what their desired end is. They would be unmasked. Was your ex-psychopath or Narcissist very open about their past, or what they do with their time? If they were, how easy was it for you to pick out the lies? The vast majority of them, are NOT open with you about ANY area of their lives…except for those tidbits that would be useful to further gain your trust. Even those things are carefully placed, without revealing too much information to you, and are still dusted ever so slightly in lies.
The #1 vulnerability that the Narcissist/Psychopath has is INSECURITY!!! They are afraid of exposure. They are afraid that the rest of the world will think them less than exemplary human beings (barf). We all know they are incapable of true decency, without the need for schemes. However, they still need constant ego buffing and adulation. They are afraid that someone will know the truth about them. Everything they do stems from this insecurity. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for them, or any inkling of pity. They choose to do what they do, and they know EXACTLY what they are doing. It’s planned, and malicious.
That leaves us with the daunting question of, What can we do to protect ourselves? Especially when different vulnerabilities are seen as exploitable, depending on the personality of the individual predator. I mean, one predator might want an easy-to-find catch. He/she’ll go after the one whose self-confidence is shaken. They want the conquest without the battle. How about the type who only wants the “hard-to-get” prey? They go after those who are self-assured, successful and strong (as they would appear to normal individuals). The same is true, however. Both types of predators find and exploit vulnerabilities. Given the time (and some are quite patient), they will expose your vulnerabilities, no matter how hard or easy they are to see. Again, what can we do to protect ourselves?
First, know their tactics. They always come on strong, giving us the person we’ve always longed to meet. The one we thought didn’t exist. The empathetic, caring, self-effacing gentleman. Gifts will abound. Favors. Etc. They will be loving and attentive. It’s easy…WAY too easy to get caught up in the fairy tale. I think it’s important to take strategic steps back, during the initial days. Revisit what has been said or done, away from them. Learn the phrases they say, or the responses they have to what YOU have said. The twists will be so subtle, it’ll be hard to distinguish at first. Believe me, even in the beginning, they will slip a little bit. How do they make you feel? Do you feel elation, only to be met with a sudden bout of shock? What shocked you? What was your response..even silently? I can’t express this enough… LOVE BOMBING SHOULD NEVER, EVER BE CODDLED!!! You should NEVER allow for it. If they are trying to push too much, too soon, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE walk away from them!
This is such a wide-open topic. I would love to hear your ideas… What are some ideas you might have, to protect ourselves from being targeted? Remember, we will ALL be targets. Not all will become victims…
My ex heard about my blog. I told him that I help abuse survivors. He, to my knowledge, has never viewed this blog but he did use the fact that I have it, as ammo to ridicule me and berate me. I want to see if he has read it or is still, currently. If so, maybe he can benefit from it too…
Emotional abuse is one topic he knows about, directly and indirectly. As both a childhood sufferer and as an adult perpetrator. I have never labeled him, though I could most definitely assign one or two. If he reads this entry, I’ll hear about it.
Now, I label you, dear sir. No I don’t hate you, though I wish I could. Are there clinical signs and diagnoses? If there are, I have never heard about them, as pertains to you. However, I know the characteristics. Even if the psychological diagnosis isn’t there, the fact remains that the characteristics are enough to know I walked away in the nick of time. There are enough to raise the hackles on the back of my neck. There’s enough to make me walk away from you completely, without ever looking back. You did me a favor, you and your spiteful retaliatory nature. You and your anger, directed at me for NOTHING. What was I made to pay for? The fact that you needed a smoke-screen, to hide your true persona? Or was it to hide something else? The fact that you are/were emotionally unavailable, for whatever reason, caused you grief…not me. Living your life, hiding behind a lie, had to be excruciating. Normal people aren’t afraid to show themselves to the rest of the world. Normal people don’t have to create an alternate reality, to hide behind. Manipulating others around you to believe an alternate reality, a smoke-screen, is cheap entertainment at best, for you. It’s cheaper in the long-run, however, to be true to yourself and trust others to accept you, too. It costs less, both monetarily and socially, to choose to allow closeness and intimacy. But then again, there are those who are completely unable to form true human attachments. This is your actual identity.
Again, I don’t care whether or not there has been an actual diagnosis. The characteristics you show behind closed doors, away from peers and friends, is enough to raise suspicions, pointing to these very real, clinical variants. Its enough to know that you are toxic, as a whole. Not just to me, but those friends and co-workers who are at your disposal. Those who don’t realize they are being used.
There are so many things I want to say, yet I cannot chose just one subject. I ramble anyway, so I suppose this post will be no different.
Since November, I found myself trying to believe in another man. I didn’t try, though. I just “believed”. Stupid move on my part. He was handsome. He seemed sweet, caring, thoughtful and considerate. He was, toward others and in the beginning, toward me. If he hadn’t treated me so well in the beginning, I wouldn’t have held on as long as I did. As time went on, he still did the sweet things (as long as he wasn’t angry with me) for me… including me in his outings with friends, being attentive, etc. I saw red-flags in the beginning, which made my gut stir. At the time, those red-flags seemed trivial, so I put them on the back burner. However, I made it a point not to forget them. Some made me go “huuuhhhh?!”. I trivialized them, when I should have trusted my instincts. After 3 dates, he stopped me and admitted “I love you…I’ve loved you for a long time…”. We had barely spoken prior to going out for the first time. We talked a lot together, after…at least for a few weeks. He didn’t know me enough to proclaim his “love” like that. I didn’t know him…at all. I informed him that it was too soon for me to express something like that, since I barely knew him. “I don’t feel that way toward you. I’m sorry”. Love bombing? Definitely… For “his” birthday, he bought “me” hundreds of dollars in new clothes. He makes quite a bit of money, so it wasn’t something he couldn’t afford to do. At the time, I was warmed by the gifts, especially because it was his birthday and he was buying ME gifts! I still felt uncomfortable, though. Very uncomfortable. I was uneasy accepting them…but I still thought “Oh my gosh! What a wonderful man!”
He repeatedly said to me, “I’m not trying to buy your affections..” without provocation. I never asked. I just kept remembering everything I had read, and he was fitting the persona to a “T”. He wasn’t trying to buy my affections, per-say..but he WAS trying to buy my allegiance and trust. Still, I waited. For what? For what inevitably followed? For that, which I could have stopped before it began?
As time progressed, it became increasingly clear that this man is entirely superficial!! He was very private and silent about his day, with me. There was never a conversation started by him, which would express his elation about getting off work early, or any funny anything that might have happened. Friends share all their experiences. If we get off work early, it’s usually an unexpected treat which we share with our best friends. In the beginning, he told me, “I want you to feel comfortable talking to me about anything…” I thought he was sincere. What the reality was, however, I was unable to talk to him at ALL! He formed conclusions with nothing to base them on, and always held me accountable. I was placed on ignore every week, 2-3 days at a time…all because he “thought” I was saying “something bad” to him, about him and so forth, all because he was “mad”. The thing is, I was only allowed to get 2 words of the first sentence out, and then the shit hit the fan. He always tried to smooth things over the day before a planned public outing with friends and made sure to take “happy” pictures. I was always polite, and smiled for the camera..yet I was miserable. His friends and family saw and heard about the “happy” couple…always. When we left and were alone together, often times within minutes, his persona would change. He would be withdrawn, sullen and put me on ignore again, just out of the blue. Or, he would become angry and accusational. Soon, I realized that the “relationship” was nothing but a smoke screen for him. What he was hiding, I may never know. I remember every time my gut would stir, and why. I remember those times, very vividly. Some were very subtle, yet I noticed…and I remember. There were enough to alert me to those things that SHOULD have made me RUN! Yet, I believed…trivialized…
The end of this time was shocking, but not unexpected. I know his name…yet it doesn’t matter. He has enough characteristics to label him, yet it doesn’t matter. I will say, he went through great lengths to manipulate the opinions of others. Everything he portrayed to others, was to later support his story. He made enough money to buy the right things, even those I never received, to appear as the perfect man…in what he “believed” was the perfect relationship (even though he knew the truth) who was scorned and jilted by his “crazy” girlfriend. Poor guy. There were other things…crazy over the top things…that he did to support his “story”, which were out-right LIES! I could go into all of those things, here. It just doesn’t matter. He offered couples counseling, and to pay for it. I agreed, since he was showing a desire to work on things. What it turned into was another chosen avenue to support his already established lie. Within the first meeting, he expressed to the counselor that he “just didn’t understand” “I didn’t know she was miserable” “I thought we were doing just fine”…lies right out of the gate. After the second, he used what was said in counseling, as ammo against me. I called the counselor and told him, “I don’t feel safe or comfortable continuing with him, in the same room together.” I explained to the counselor what had happened and he let me know, “I am sorry to see you go, but I understand. And in fact, it’s HEALTHY!”
There was absolutely no affection in this relationship, except in the beginning. There was no “understanding” or admitting fault on his part. He put his arm around me affectionately for the camera and for on-lookers. When we were alone, it was entirely different. There was nothing for me in the relationship. That is, except for misery, walking on egg-shells, anxiety, etc… Why did I stay as long as I did? Every time he smoothed things over and offered a pseudo-apology, I found some hope. His apologies were always, “I’m sorry for my part in things”. Nothing personal. Nothing real. Always superficial, yet I still found a reason to hope. That changed. A few months ago, I started putting things into place to make an exit.
Good things: 1) Although I didn’t squash it when I should have and instead, placated the toxicity… I still paid attention. I never once allowed him to dictate how I was supposed to view things, though he tried. I recognized the manipulations and blatant gas-lighting (http://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/gaslighting-definition-techniques-and-being-gaslighted/). 2) Though I was becoming increasingly confused, I recognized this, too. I recorded the few actual conversations between us, not to use against him later, but to remind myself of how and why things were bad for me. It kept my CORRECT perceptions and actual experiences at the fore-front. Though I didn’t start out this way, I made sure to talk to my Mom, and a close friend about the abuse, within the first couple of months after the abuse was so clear that I couldn’t ignore it. I let SOMEONE IN THE LOOP! I wasn’t silent at ALL!
Bad things: 1) I am learning and getting better in some areas, but in others I still have to work to be free. That’s pretty much it in a nut-shell.
The first day we met with the counselor, the counselor said to me, “I just love your vulnerability!” I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that, but I do know and understand that the “vulnerability” is the very thing that is making me a target. It’s been ingrained in me from the beginning of time. It’s that which I need to become stronger in. Vulnerability isn’t the same thing as “needy”. This will be the topic of my next post…
Today, I’m a bit emotionally numb, still. But I’m not destroyed.
I wanted to address this topic, as I think it is a huge factor in how abuse survivors heal. It’s also major in the general populous, as negative self-talk keeps people from achieving their dreams, fighting for what they believe in and so-on. As I begin this post, I think about all aspects surrounding habitually negative, self-talk. Where it begins as children, continues throughout adolescence and on into adulthood. I believe we learn to cling to it, through conditioning, from the beginning of our lives.
It’s our own self-flogging ritual.
Negative self-talk is pure poison. It’s decrepit in it’s design, implementation and is highly toxic to individuals, as well as society as a whole. It robs us of our dignity and self-confidence, while keeping us from thriving in an, otherwise, wonderful existence. It’s addictive, paralyzing and highly contagious for many around us, including our own children.
With all of these things, why in the world to we cling to it? It’s so very difficult to shut off the repetitive drones, going off during the calmest and quietest of times. It’s imperative for our own well-being, to fight to resolve it and overcome.
I’m going to try to keep this relatively short..
What happens when you decide to try again, giving another relationship a shot after a few years? Your previous fiasco(s) are probably, very prevalent in your memory and psyche. Even though the new guy seems to be very sweet and sincere, you may start noticing some behaviors that echo those from past relationships.
Gas-lighting comes to mind here. Lets say you have an argument. He doesn’t let you get a word out, without countering. He says something mean and spiteful, which is pretty common when we are all angry. When you immediately call it to his attention, he exclaims, “YOU MADE THAT UP!” or calls you, “LIAR!”. What if he places you on “ignore” for a few days? When you come into the room during that time, you find cruel behavior meeting you at the door. Again, you call his attention to that behavior (something that no one else will see, but he wouldn’t do it to any one else, such as blocking the door so you can’t come in..). When you mention it, he again accuses you of making it up. “I wouldn’t do ANYTHING LIKE THAT!” “You’re making it up”… You think to yourself, “really?” You know better. You aren’t the type to make anything up. After surviving a psychologically abusive relationship before, you are very careful to make sure your thoughts, accusations, and even your perceptions are VERY accurate. In short, you know what you know. Though you might still question your perceptions, you still are certain that you, in deed, witnessed his behavior toward you.
It’ll happen again, and he will deny it again and accuse you of lying or what-have-you.
Let me make something clear… In relationships, we are all prone to these very malicious cycles, just out of anger or embarrassment. Gas-lighting isn’t just for the disordered. We are all human, and therefore are all manipulative creatures. We learned to manipulate others, starting with our mothers when we were infants. Toddlers, in turn, hone in the skill to test boundaries and limits of our parents. We are not immune to being ones who choose to use the very same tactics as our once, would-be abusers. We like our lives to be predictable and controllable. That includes our significant others. Before you gather your pitchforks and torches, think about this…
Do you pout, even cutely, to get your way? That’s manipulation. Do you point out the other’s faults, to take the focus off of your own? That’s still a form of gas-lighting.
My point in saying all of that, is to remind all of us that we aren’t perfect. Even as enlightened, former victims of insidious abuse.
Knowing this, it will help to define abusive tendencies in a new relationship or just an insecurity that person might have. Make no mistakes… Abusers use these tactics EVERY SINGLE TIME! If it’s an ingrained insecurity or fear, you will witness the other party making very strong attempts to change. He/she will listen, validating you and your emotions.
As in both the case of the abuser, or the insecure… you MUST REMAIN TRUE TO YOURSELF!! Do not back down from the truth! You know what you know. You know what was said and/or done. Don’t allow them to back you away from the truth. When that person claims, “You made that up!”, be sure to place a VERY strong boundary! The person needs to know you won’t stand for that type of treatment. Be unmistakable and unquestionable, when it pertains to those boundaries. The disordered and abuser will continue, unwaveringly, to beat down your boundaries and your perceptions, never validating you! They only seek to bring validation to themselves.. Period. The other will validate you as well as themselves.
Beginning a new relationship after abuse, is challenging though very possible to succeed.
Don’t like dresses? Don’t let the other badger you into changing your personal style of regular dress. Don’t like red meat? Don’t let the other guilt you into changing. Be true to yourself, your beliefs and your boundaries.
Mr. Right will appreciate this about you.
For whatever reason, this has been heavily on my mind, lately..
I remember many things about what transpired after leaving my x-psychopath. The most prevalent being; the drive to discover just what it was/is about myself, which precipitated every abusive relationship I have ever been in.
A little history: I divorced my childrens’ father back in 94′. Ours was a pseudo-normal relationship, with a pseudo-normal ending. It ended due to infidelity on his part. I chose to stay for the following year, trying to work “it” out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the bastard any longer. I divorced him. Following the divorce, I got involved with his friend. We were together for 5 years. Ours was a wonderful relationship. We almost got married. During our relationship, his sister-in-law and niece were murdered. Prior to the murder, his children and friends were held at gun-point and threatened. People were dying all around him, and I panicked. My girls were little, then. He wouldn’t move from the area so I chose to remove myself and my girls from the situation. From then on, I found myself getting involved with drug addicts, alcoholics and abusive pricks. Each attempt to find a good man, was met with further worsening situations. Each boy-friend was worse than the one prior. There have been a few…
I wasn’t a drug user in any way. I drank rarely, and rarely to excess. I was a proud person, raised to be a particular way, with very stringent standards for myself. I was a good person, who strove to be everything for everyone. My drive was to make others happy, avoiding negative anything. In doing so, I continued my childhood conditioning; putting myself, my personal wants and needs, behind others. I thought I was doing this for them.. As it so happens, I was doing it out of fear of negative emotions of any kind. I still struggle with that, to this day.
Meeting abusive men was becoming commonplace. I didn’t give up hope, and kept on trying.
The thing is, I always thought I was the poor little good girl, who was being mistreated. Though this was a fact, I always looked at myself as, “Poor little me, doing everything right”, If that was the case, then why the HELL was I continuing to be mistreated in relationships? Why was I ALWAYS finding them, instead of the wonderful relationship I deserved?
Enter my life with the worst of all… A psychopath. After this particular point in my life, I was faced with the overwhelming desire to NEVER go through THAT ever again! I went through the turmoil of trying to rediscover myself. I was in pain, and growing again from nothing short of ashes of my former self. I went through panic attacks, looked over my shoulder whenever I left my home. I questioned everyone around me, and went on my own personal “psychopath” witch hunt. After all, the disordered were all around me, right? Yet I was still struggling with the “whys” of it all. Of everything for the last 25 or so years. Every abusive relationship, or every bad one that wasn’t necessarily abusive, but I was miserable in them. Every break-up and every heart break. Why, WHY, WHHYYYYY???
A friend of mine said to me, “I just think it’s weird that it seems to be all you can find…” That statement hit me and caused me to start thinking. He was right. All the different guys, with the same characteristics. I compared myself to other women currently in wonderful, fulfilling relationships. They were confident women, who didn’t “settle” for anything less than they deserved. I, on the other hand, was NOT confident in myself, and placed myself in EVERY relationship, as the door-mat. I was always the accommodating one, who never said “no” or “I don’t deserve THAT”. I was stead-fast, even in the most unhealthy of relationships. I tried to “fix” them, the relationship and every bad thing that was there. I was patient, kind, loving and very much a jelly-fish. I always broke up with them, eventually, being tired of being mistreated and miserable.
I was abused severely as a child, starting from before I can remember. I found out this year that my collar bone had been broken. Several years before, I found out that I had had my nose broken. I don’t remember any of it. I just have the messed up, high-set shoulder with a protruding bone, and a crooked nose, that I thought was just “me”. What I do remember is the sexual abuse, beginning as a young child and ending as a teenager. This may or may not have some significance in my relationship troubles. I will never know this, but I DO know it has significance in my ongoing struggle with the fear of confrontation and anger.
Back to the original topic… Why was I continuing to find ONLY bad relationships, or abusive men?
I am analytical. I back-track. I introspect. I extrospect. I look at the end result after a series of choices, or scenes. “I’m miserable today. What caused me to be miserable? He yelled at me. What caused him to yell? He misunderstood something I said. Why is he so sensitive, that he get so upset?” and so-on. I’m a chronological thinker, but only in retrospect. I can usually pin-point the causes, only after the result. The statement that my friend posed to me, caused me to do just that. I mulled over every failed relationship and abusive situation. Something was perpetuating this to become reality for myself. To become so commonplace. What was the common denominator?
I was causing it!!!!!
Let me explain a little. No, I don’t blame myself for becoming a meal to a psychopath, per-say. I don’t blame myself for being abused as a child. I don’t blame myself for the fuck-head choosing to throw me across the room. I don’t blame myself for my ex-husband, choosing to screw my best friend, oh so long ago. However, I DO blame myself for CHOOSING to STAY when those tendencies were screaming all around me. I DO blame myself for not standing up for myself, while they were showing their true colors. I do blame myself for not exuding more self confidence. I am the only one to blame, for not expressing and standing behind my own personal boundaries. I am the only one to blame for having little to no boundaries what-so-ever. I had them, don’t get me wrong, but I was placing myself in such a low light of importance, that I may as well have had no boundaries at all. If I don’t stand for them, they don’t really exist in reality. If I don’t express them, they stay secretive.
It’s a hard day when you find yourself, looking in-ward. When your life has gotten so bad, that you are forced to learn WHY.
We are all, generally, hard-knocks learners. We make the same mistakes, over and over again, until something happens which forces us to take the steps we needed to take, over our whole lives. Why can’t we see these things before they get SO bad that we are forced to see?
For me, I DID SEE THEM!! I saw the signs and the red-flags. I experienced mistreatment, yet gave it a different name. I called it, “TIRED”, or “insecurities”. I called it, “trust issues, stemming from bad experiences”. I called abuse, “Poor baby”, and chose to stay. I chose to stay silent, and to love it away. I called myself, “worthless” or “less-than”. I called myself “good-girl” and “victim”. I chose to stay because it was familiar to me, to remain stead-fast, ignoring atrocities, blaming all of it on the other person.
If, during the mistreatment and abuse, I chose to accept it and stay, whose fault does it become, really, that it continues for years? Yes he knows it’s wrong to hit, throw, gas-light, manipulate and over-power. He knows how he’s treating you is WRONG! SO DO YOUUU!! You know it’s wrong. You know it’s something you don’t want for your life. I understand what it is that makes you stay. I’ve been there several times, myself. I don’t blame you for anything. I don’t blame you for staying, yet I am trying to get you to think and view things differently.
I had to think about the hard things, too, in order to free myself. I’m not out of the mire, yet. I’m still struggling with the same issues and problems that caused me to be stuck in abusive situations. However, I am aware now. I know that the root cause of being in abusive situations was myself.
Other women, who we precariously compare ourselves to, are those we see in seemingly good relationships. Do those same women ever encounter abusive men? Of course they do. No one is exempt from dealing with the disordered, just the same as we have. No one is holding that golden fleece which shields them from any atrocities or unhealthy situations. What is the difference? They don’t stay long enough to BECOME abused! They trust their own instincts and recognize bad seeds when they see them. They WALK AWAY from them, never to look back, before it becomes a problem for them too.
Not all bad relationships are abusive. They just aren’t right for YOU. Not all dealings with any men have to become abusive. They don’t start out abusive from the beginning. They BECOME abusive, later on. What do those same men show you in the beginning? Sweet gestures? Flowers? Loving behavior? What about that night that he yelled at you for no real reason? How about that time that he expected you to go against your personal boundaries, just to “be sure” it’s really what you wanted? How about the second and third times? How about those instances that you are walking on egg-shells, being buried in fear and anxiety? Is it time, yet, to start paying attention? Will it be time for you to reconsider the status of your place in that relationship, when he pushes you the first time? When will you stop making excuses for his behavior? When will you stop making excuses for yourself, for staying so long? Will enough ever be enough? When is it time to look inside, and find the real reasons for allowing anything less than WONDERFUL for your life?
You see, though I thought I was doing everything right…I was doing everything WRONG! In my attempt to be the loving door-mat, I was allowing for the abuse and condoning it. I was crying real tears, being placed on anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants. I was considering suicide too. I was (and still am) very insecure. I didn’t trust myself to be smart enough to believe in myself. I didn’t trust my own perceptions. It was easier, and more familiar, to allow myself to be hurt, just to save myself from their anger.
Once upon a time, i would hear the phrase in regard to arguments or bad relationships, “It takes two”. I would think to myself, “I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it” and “It was all HIM”. Though I didn’t deserve the mistreatment, it didn’t mean that I didn’t do anything wrong. If I had stood up for myself, the abuse would never have happened. If I was confident in myself, I would have called a duck, a duck, and left before it ever became an issue. Sure, you like the guy and believe he’s “the one”… If you find yourself making excuse after excuse for his (or your) behavior, it’s time to reassess things.
The other day I had an incident with my most recent ex, at work. I have to get the key to my vehicle from my manager’s office, every morning. My ex was flippantly standing in the doorway, preventing me from just walking past without needing to be cordial. I said, “excuse me”, as he stepped slightly to the side, letting me pass him. He said, “permission to speak?” I said, without hesitation, “NO!”.
That ended that, or so I thought. I delivered to my boyfriend’s shop, directly after that. I told him what happened. I didn’t see it as that big of a deal until he informed me, “I got a call from your ex a few mins ago.” My ex told him that he wanted to let him know about it, before I had the chance to talk to him about it. He (my ex) told my boyfriend that all he wanted to do is offer condolences because of my dog’s passing away. My boyfriend told me, “I think his intentions were good…” I let him know, “No, they weren’t.”. My boyfriend let me know later that he called my ex back. He told me, “You’re right. His intentions weren’t good, since he already knows you don’t want any contact from him…” He let my ex know that I don’t care about his well-wishes and want no contact from him, whatsoever. He threatened my ex that if he didn’t leave me alone, he would be the one to take it to corporate.
I love this man!
Chum. It’s meant as a lure to bait in fish. The bait is meant to ensnare and capture. Chum causes the consumer to drop their guard, and potentially trust the person again. Chum. I recognized it as soon as my boyfriend let me know what was said over the phone, to him.
My ex didn’t even like my dog..
Chum.. even as a nice caring gesture, it’s still meant to lure you in. If it is to offer condolences, it’s still chum. I mean as it is presented by a Narcissist or Psychopath. They don’t care about your feelings. At ALL! It’s meant to cause you to drop your guard again. Most people mean it as a caring gesture, to be nice and empathetic. We all know that the disordered individuals have no REAL empathy!
Don’t fall for it. Don’t take a bite. Walk away. It’ll seem rude to others around you. Still, don’t fall for it. Stay away, and stay safe from the already WELL known cycle you have personally seen from the individual. Recognize it for what it is.
Wow! What a ride!! That’s what I think, when I reflect back to the beginning of hell, itself, and everything I’ve had to endure, to recover from it. No, not the biblical notion of “Hell”, but the life I lived and had been living for the past couple of years. This August will mark the 3 year anniversary of ridding myself of vermin. When I compare “then” to “now”, it’s amazing I’ve lived through it. The relationship itself, lasted only a year. The effects have lasted, and are still present, even today..
I’m resilient. I’m stubborn. I self-analyze, horribly. I do not accept defeat. I hate complacency with a passion.
As early as this past summer, I was still battling the effects of the monster’s abuse, though I was stronger. I was still in a bit of a minefield…or should I call it a “mind-field”… I wasn’t as paranoid as I was the previous 2 years, though I was still horribly distrusting of everyone I met or associated with.
When I moved into my house 2 years ago this summer, I was still fighting the need to look over my shoulder when I left my house. I still had to have every lock, locked, and every window opened only a little bit, so as to allow some protection from outside individuals. However, when I allowed myself some peace and fought to overcome the obvious affects of the abuse, I became stronger and more self-assured. The locks are still locked, but only because it’s safer that way. Not because I’m still ever vigilant to protect myself from pending doom, as it had been before.
I take a decided look around me, today, and think, “What a wonderful place I’m in, today!” It’s a good day.
Changing my conditioning is going to be a long and grueling process. I will make mistakes and trust the wrong people, as I had done before. I will be hurt again. It’s part of the human condition. Today, I accept my own humanity, and human frailty. I include emotional frailty, in that. I accept each day as it presents itself, FINALLY without fear.
I approach people with caution, now. I used to hate that part of the changes in me. Now, I embrace it, because it’s how I should have been from the beginning of my life. As a child who was taught to be wary of strangers. I have a healthy caution of strangers, now. I’m glad for that particular change in me! When fear changes to caution, it’s a good day. When distrust and paranoia changes to healthy boundary implementation, it’s a good day.
I will never be glad for any abuse I have ever suffered. Being victimized and abused, is NEVER EVER something to be glad for. However, I am grateful for the jaunt with the Psychopath of my past. Not for the abuse suffered, but for the drive it created in me to take a needed look inward, to the areas that needed overhauled. This journey began because of fear and a need to change. Period.
Those of you who are new survivors, you must remember that each phase you will go through is like a stepping stone. You have to climb up, step onto each one in turn, and then pass each stone, before you can take on the next. Do NOT attempt to take anything on, before experiencing the grueling parts of each step. Your journey is necessary!!! Every horrible step, muck, and thorn you experience, is NECESSARY TO HEAL!!! And most importantly, to become WHOLE! To grow to a place where you are making needed changes, which will better the rest of your life, the journey (whatever that will become for you) is NECESSARY! Don’t strong arm your way through it. It just doesn’t work. It’s a natural process, and important to live each day as it comes. Experience it. Allow yourself the time you need, to process each phase.
This morning, we are closer to the first day of spring. It’s getting warmer outside, and in some places of the country, the grass is beginning to grow again. I hate mowing, by the way :D..
Spring… life begins again..
This morning, as I tend to do quite often, I’ve been reflecting, analyzing, comparing data (my own observations) etc. and I see everyone on wordpress and other forums, speaking up about the abuses they have suffered. Many of these have had dealings with a sociopath, narcissist, psychopath or any other cluster-b personality. I am included. I speak privately to other women who are too scared to be public about their abuse or recovery. I see countless women. Just women, though I know there are male victims as well. My question, when thinking about the throngs of survivors around us, is; why is this type of abuse still so unrecognized by the status quo?
With so many victims, now survivors, you would think just “word of mouth” would spread awareness of psychological abuse and the devils among us. The fact remains, however, that it stays in the realm of the “unknown” in the great expanse. Unless you are a psychological professional or have lived through the trauma associated with these deprived individuals, chances are you just didn’t know they existed outside of Hollywood’s over-exaggerations, made movies. I know I sure didn’t.
When I walked (ran) away from my abuser, over 2 years ago, one thought stayed ever present in my mind: “I couldn’t possibly have dreamed this type of person existed, in my wildest dreams. There’s no way I could have possibly made it up. I just don’t think that way…” I was in complete shock and disbelief. I so remember that, even now. I remember how crazy it FELT to me, just to make sense of the type of person I encountered. Honestly, even now to think about it, I can still feel the same shock. Some things are just best to leave where they lay.
So, back to my question: Why is it still such an unknown type of abuse? Even more so; why is just the knowledge that this type of human walks among us, still so uncommon? They aren’t ALL in prisons, and many lead productive, successful lives, as it appears. They don’t only exist in movies. They are among us. Statistics say, 4% of the population. One out of every 25 people you encounter, has a cluster-b personality, according to statistics. Pretty freaking common, and their mere existence is completely foreign to most people.
I have some ideas as to why this knowledge is still so unknown, except for psychological professionals or victims. One of which is; victims are still silent around the regular individuals we associate with. Friends and Workmates. We are open to talk to other survivors, because they GET IT. They understand. The rest of them we think will never understand. we don’t want to take the chance of sounding crazy to them, because we are afraid of the stigma associate with psychological abuse. This type of thinking keeps the abuse a secret, among the society who needs to be made aware. We are, most often, silent about it in public.
Another reason, I think, is that most of these cluster-b types are such chameleons, that they aren’t recognizable to the people around them. They skillfully fake normality and emotion. They stay hidden in the masses. That is, except for those who are closest to them. Lovers, closest friends, etc. What do the psychopaths do when they are discarded? They fight, ruthlessly, to keep their victim quiet, through fear. Their greatest weapon is SILENCE!
What are your thoughts?