When a victim makes the wonderful transition to ‘survivor’, it’s a great day indeed! That day holds different meanings, events and revelations for every person. Every person heals differently, and cannot be placed in a pre-defined mold. We are individuals, entirely. What might work for one particular survivor, will not work for every survivor. That includes: steps taken to rid ourselves of the abuser, overcoming the effects of the abuse (which will most likely take years), deciding whether to enlist the assistance of a counselor, or just strong-arm your way through the process and so-on. The fact remains, however, that we ALL go through the SAME stages and phases, over the course of many years. Some might not take as long to heal as others. I have been going through the process of healing for over 2 years, now, yet I’m still working through some difficult things. I know of women who are 28 years into the process, and are still working through the effects. Don’t be disheartened, though! There comes a time that the healing process isn’t so invasive or cruel-seeming. Once you break through the first signs of severe PTSD and start to become more like yourself, the rest of the process isn’t so bad. Just remember to breathe through those hard days, and keep moving your feet.
Part of the process of healing is, boundary setting. We all believed, throughout our lives, that our boundaries were firmly placed. Too often, however, it becomes apparent that those boundaries were weak, only after we have lived through an abusive relationship. The abuser does break down our initial boundaries but, in order to have enabled the abuse, those same boundaries were weak to begin with. No, I’m not blaming anyone for the abuse that was suffered at the hands of another.
I was one who, as a child, was never taught how to set firm personal boundaries. In fact, in some ways I was taught to have shaky ones. My needs, both physical and emotional, were always second to others’. I had my wants. I wanted to be treated nicely and decently but, in the face of hurting someone’s feelings or by being the “lesser sex”, I was taught to let those same wants and needs go, for the benefit of another. Does that make any sense? That left me to have to define for myself, what my personal boundaries needed to be. I had to learn how to enforce those same boundaries. Age-old lessons, intended to be firmly taught as children, had fallen by the way-side. Intentionally or not.
Just the fact that I had suffered severe emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of another, alerted me that I definitely had to do some SERIOUS deep-down introspecting. Soul searching. I have been through other abusive relationships and experiences, throughout my life. It was only after my dealings with a Psychopath, that I was alerted to that necessity. I thought I was fine, in all ways. Exemplary in others. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The lessons I learned as a child, taught me how to enable and survive abuse. Not to avoid it. Lesson #1. Not a fun lesson, but necessary.
So, what are some boundaries that are needed in order to avoid abuse? This was my first, personal question. One that I had to decide for myself. You need to make this decision, as well.
I wanted to be treated nicely. Period. Something that I realized I had not been, repeatedly. I needed to take a step back and remember those particular times. What was I feeling when someone was mean or rude to me? How did I respond? What did my inaction or lack of response, create? This is the root cause of ALL ABUSE I ever suffered. The inability to respond and stand up for myself, enabled more mistreatment. I was silent about mistreatment done to me, or those times that someone spoke rudely to me. I didn’t let that person know my needs or any sort of boundaries, which enabled further mistreatment. Does that mean the abuse was my fault? NO! But, it does mean I enabled it to continue. Making sure my boundaries aren’t crossed is my own, personal responsibility and no-one else’s. Making sure your boundaries are respected and recognized, is YOUR responsibility as well, but first, you need to decide which boundaries are the most substantial and important to implement.
Our first responsibility to ourselves, as well as those people we associate with is, to express our personal boundary when that line has been crossed. How can a person respect our boundaries if they don’t know about them? The level of mistreatment should decide the level of expression. By that, I mean whether we nicely let the person know, or are more forceful about it. If you grew up without this skill, putting it into place in later years, can be quite challenging. First, however, you need to learn how to SPEAK UP! This includes things that make you unhappy or uncomfortable.
If someone assumes you like flavored coffee creamer and puts it in your coffee for you, for instance, when you prefer black coffee. It’s not that important, right? Will you hurt that person’s feelings, if you let them know? Believe it or not, my inability to speak up throughout the years, was just this ridiculous. It’s a no-brainer. You would express to that person that you don’t like coffee creamer. It’s that simple. But, for me, I would be petrified of hurting that person’s feelings and would, in turn, choke down the flavored coffee to save potentially hurt feelings. Is it that person’s fault for making me unhappy? No. They were just doing something nice. It was my OWN fault by not letting them know my preference.
Another example: If someone is bossy toward you, telling you what to do and how (I am talking about a friend here, and not an employer); it results in your feelings being hurt, offended etc. What happens when you are silent, just “taking it” to avoid making waves? Yep, that person continues to boss you around, and you become more and more offended. Eventually a blow-up could result when you have had enough. Or, that person will continue and you will be miserable. What could happen if you express your discontent, letting that person know how you would rather be treated? Chances are, that person will take steps to avoid treating you like that, in the future. That is, if they are a decent, empathetic person. Others just won’t care. The thing is, once you let them know, you have done your part by letting that person know your boundary and it then becomes THEIR responsibility to respect it. If you don’t speak up, they can’t possibly know. Most people aren’t so empathetic, that they can read emotions or thoughts. If that same person doesn’t care about your boundaries, and continuously violates them, you need to re-evaluate that friendship and leave it. If you don’t enforce that same boundary, once you have alerted that person to it, that also enables mistreatment and can turn into a severely abusive situation.
Our boundaries are meant to protect us. When misused or invalidated by another, we need to re-evaluate the situation. If you deem a particular boundary as ESSENTIAL to your well-being, you need to learn to stand your ground or leave the situation completely. If abuse is present, that is a blatant violation and should be seen as such.
This new knowledge left me with also learning how to speak up, nicely, about my wants, needs, discontent and so-on. When, in my case, you have never learned how to speak-up for yourself, but instead, learned to go silent, the implementation of this lesson does prove to be challenging. It doesn’t mean the old fear of hurting feelings, embarrassment, etc. doesn’t just ‘go away’. I still have to deal with the fear of speaking up. Yet, I need to do just that. What does that create? If a subject is difficult, but needs to be talked about or mentioned, I just blurt it out. That means I come across as sharp, or rude as a result. Not what I want. I have to learn how to communicate my needs, wants and boundaries, without hurting another’s feelings. Another thing I need to learn.
I am aware of others who make this seem effortless. I compare myself to them, and am aware of the skill they have. I try to learn from them, as well.
My road to healing…becoming more self confident in every area…has been a real challenge. I still struggle with trusting myself. I know I’m not the only person who struggles in this area. When a decision will directly affect someone else, causing notable anger and potential harm as a result, I REALLY struggle. The situation I am facing, requires me to stand up against a family member in defense of a little girl, legally. I filed the initial papers, over 2 months ago. This person has not been served her copies of the papers due to the fear, guilt and uncertainty I have as to whether or not this is the right thing to do at all.
In the past, it’s exactly this same problem I have, which has enabled great atrocities as a result. This time, I see very clearly that my indecision and fear could be the detriment of that little girl. But what if I’m wrong? What if my action against this family member causes THAT person’s undoing? Even harm? There is no easy route or ending. There are several days that I feel trapped in my own life.
The only person who can fix any of this is myself..
I wanted to share this with you all. It’s about overcoming obstacles associated with being bullied. As you are aware, the number one driving force behind any narcissist, psychopath or sociopath, IS to manipulate, demean, hurt, destroy, abuse, and yes, BULLY!!
This girl has definitely been an overcomer. She used the negativity around her, to become her driving force to succeed in her own life.
As she says in this video, “What defines you?”
What defines you? What is it that makes you so uniquely, wonderfully you? No one else can decide for you, or define you. You take the steps and you choose to be destroyed by negative influences, or become strong inspite of them. Yes, even those that have all but destroyed you. But, here’s the thing. You are still alive. You are still moving and breathing. Your experiences may have dampened your spirit, but it’s still there.
Find it. It’s possible.
In the beginning, this blog was labeled as an online journal by another reader. I suppose that isn’t too far from being the case. It’s my personal journey of healing… good days, bad days, those days in between when I feel so disjointed from the rest of humanity, that I think I’ve actually “lost it”.
This blog, as it also is with my journey, has no defined direction. I don’t plan what to post at any given time. I write about what is most present in my thoughts at the time. My healing journey also has no other direction, but to move forward to a better, stronger and healthier life. What you read in each post, is where I happen to be on any given day.
I do a lot of comparisons in regard to where I am, vs. where I was two years ago (or so). You have walked through the mine-field with me, after initially removing myself from an evil entity’s grip/relationship. I remember the early days very VERY well… I was nothing short of a neurotic, emotional basket-case. My emotions were so disheveled that I couldn’t spend any given day, just being “bored” or “content”. I would begin any day with a cup of coffee in the beginning, and a mini panic attack. Tears, shaking, ruminating and pure heart-ache were my closest confidant. Today, I find myself so much stronger and confident that I have ever been in my life.
Sure, I still second-guess myself. I still make excuses FIRST, regarding an individual’s moral character or any actions that seem less than caring. That’s just who I am, and have always been. I have come to the conclusion that, that part of my make-up isn’t going to change. It’s my personality. The difference is that I don’t IGNORE anymore. I speak up, when I have been mistreated in any way. I don’t condemn the person, recognizing that humanity needs to be the driving force of any action or reaction from ME, regardless of the person in front of me. Whether or not that person is any form of the dark triad or just a jerk, I still have to maintain my own humanity, and not lower myself to their standards of action. Does this make any sense?
Have I finally arrived to any semblance of a place, where further growth and learning are no longer needed? No WAY!! However, I am healthier than I was in the beginning. My physical health hasn’t changed, but my emotional and psychological self has become healthier. There’s definitely more room for growth, and I’m certain that I will see another tail-spin or 12 along the way.
In the beginning, before my jaunt with the Monster, I was a person who would allow for mistreatment, avoiding any negative influx from anyone just to keep the “peace”. I still struggle with this, by the way, in regards to certain members of my family. I’m hoping to make steps to correct this, very soon. But that’s another story. After my time with my x-psychopath, I met and dated a Narcissist (Though I believe he may either be a Sociopath, or have tendencies linked to that personality). After going through that mine-field, I found myself at peace for the first time, I believe, in many years. I ended things with him with a defined time-frame in mind.
The human part of me thought it would be best to give him a little time to come to grips that he lost his toy. AKA: Me. I knew that it could take some time, but I wasn’t going to let it go on forever, for my job or any other reason. I kept in mind, then and now, the stages a Narcissist will go through after being discarded. (I’ll outline those at a later time, for you all. If I forget, please remind me.) As he had done during our entire “relationship/baiting session”, enter self-loathing texts from the moment I said “Go Away”. Emails to follow. I let it go on for a little while, while still strictly adhering to “No contact”. After the first month and a half of weekly or bi-weekly contact from him, I recognized some options I had to choose from, in order to bring the harassment to an end. I decided to send him a final text, detailing the types of contact which were NOT allowed… which was any contact at all. He knew this already, but he’s a good one to find a loop-hole. I didn’t mention standing behind my work vehicle, watching me and making sure I saw him. He did that too..
He was talked to man-to-man, reminding him that I wanted him to leave me alone. That worked for about a week, then my ex enlisted the help of his close friend, who initially set us up to begin with. She contacted me on his behalf. I won’t go into detail (I may have, already, in a previous post), but I decided enough was enough.
I have tried to keep our relationship out of work, including the break-up. With his incessant harassment, I was left with no other options but to talk to my HR manager about it, him, and his pawn. After talking to management, they both have been talked to and have had their jobs threatened. A normal person would bow out at this point, and honor my wishes. A Narcissist, however, will change the playing field. I know the next step will be my ex and/or his pawn, becoming very vindictive.
I’m ready for it, though I don’t know what they will do from here. I suspect that he will try to get me removed from my job, by incessant calls to my boss (anonymously, of course) complaining about me. Nothing that can be directly linked to him or her, outside of phone records. In a company of this size, no one will check phone records for any reason. They just don’t have time for that. That’s my prediction. Any physical tampering with my car would be unwise, since I have just talked to management regarding the harassment. It would be obvious who tampered with it. He’ll be more underhanded.
There again, he may choose to walk away entirely, finally respecting my wishes. Doubtful, but possible.
Now, I have said all of that to say this… Where does all of that leave me, emotionally? Before, I was afraid of my own shadow. Today, I recognize to potential threat that is looming around me, but I’m not afraid. I’m prepared. The smear-campaign has been going on throughout the relationship, grooming others around him to believe him and his story. Acting emotionally distraught, creates pity from others. It’s the best way to feign innocence. I don’t care about what he says to others. I did for a time, but I really don’t now.
I’m just finally happy living my life, being stronger and more confident than ever before. I don’t hate him, or even the Psychopath of my past, anymore. They are both pond-scum, and should be seen as such.
I hope this entry will help those of you who have not reached this point in your healing process, to have hope. There will be this time for you, too! Not continued abuse, but being able to have peace when you are mistreated from anyone. Being able to be happy, regardless of what others do to you, how they treat you or any harmful gossip they could start regarding you. To be able to go on with your life, in spite of any disordered individual’s (or plain old jerk’s) attacks against you, with peace and serenity in your hearts…
I’m grateful for all the time I’ve spent in hell. Seriously. One becomes stronger, entirely, when you have to fight for your own survival, in any way or form.
Keep breathing and pushing through the hard days. You’ll be happy at the end!
This, I promise!!
I know… this is one of those “old, worn out” cliche’s. It’s an old saying that, for many, is left under the old rug that was thrown in the corner of your great grandfather’s attic, all but completely forgotten.
These past few weeks, I have been re-thinking those old, worn-out cliche’s that were always skillfully written to warn us of behaviors which would harm us or others. I, too, have thrown these cliche’s under the proverbial rug, thinking they didn’t (nor ever could) pertain to me. Many were coined well over 100 years ago, as a tool to teach the children (or adults) important life-lessons. How could they possibly stand in truth of application in today’s society? Unfortunately, people stopped listening and believing them. They are mottos to live by. This particular one is very important to learn and listen to. Only through hind-sight, did I learn the importance of it.
We, who have been targeted to be a meal to a predator, were only targeted because of our sweet, self-less, easily trusting hearts. Someone saw those attributes and decided it would be fun to mess with us and keep doing so. Period. Many of us wanted and needed someone who we could trust to hold us, empathize with us and finally make us feel needed, wanted and safe. There’s nothing wrong with that. We ALL want that, don’t we? Our downfall is in trusting right away. We give too much credit and trust where it hasn’t been earned yet. Too much trust with sensitive information about ourselves, our families, our children, jobs and friends. We believe (and most times, rightly so) that honesty and openness are crucial to any successful relationship. In a normal relationship between 2 NON-disordered individuals, this is the case. However, when one is disordered AND mirroring our deepest desires, we fall for the act, lock, stock and barrel!
Originally, the phrase, “Loose lips sink ships” was coined during WWII in war propaganda posters, reminding all citizens and military personal to stay quiet about any thing which might destroy a current movement of troops or artillery during the war. It is also true when opening yourself up to someone you blindly trust, without actually knowing the person.
In the excitement of meeting this “wonderful and caring” man, who seems to be exactly who and what we’ve needed or wanted, all along, we confide in them. We tell them our deepest desires and/or secrets. They are all too willing to play the part, too. Of course, they are only “acting”, and it works. They feed us what we need most, only to use it against us, later.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we ARE at war, here… I don’t mean that we are being chosen to fight on the front lines of any war-torn area on the planet. Our personal war is for our own psyches, heart, souls, confidence level and so-on. Our battle is to protect those we love. Our families and friends. We are left to fight FOR that which will be ripped apart, carelessly, maliciously and sadistically, otherwise. Without our stead-fast attention to details surrounding the relationship, and then to our own well being vs. detriment, we would become another casualty.
Yes, it’s just that simple.
We are the “ship”. We are that tactical entity, which the enemy wants to ensnare and conquer. When we give too much information without trying the character of the love interest, first, we are divulging information that can be used against us at any time.
It’s important to KNOW the individual first, and the only way to do that is to remain SILENT about anything in or around our lives that can be used negatively, as a way to bait or destroy. Time is the best factor we have in our arsenal, when really getting to know someone. When that person shows you flaws in their character, believe it. Understand that, especially in the early days, they are on their best behavior. If they show the character flaws early on, it is just a FRACTION of that flaw! As time progresses and you both get more comfortable in the relationship, those flaws will become exponentially worse.
Watch for signs of a TRUE EMPATHETIC nature, vs. a phony one. The phony one will be superficial, with no substance.
Now, I’m not telling you not to ever trust someone with your deepest desires or secrets; only to be cautious and patient when considering whether or not the new love is trust WORTHY! Remember, the Narcissists and Psychopaths of this world, are pros when it comes to mirroring, as a huge manipulation tactic used to woo you into trusting THEM! It works. How about that wonderful person you met? Yep, he’ll disappear as soon as you are hooked. Then, he’ll begin to see you his REAL face. The promises and exclamations will disappear, followed by his once, god-ordained feelings for you. These will be replaced by subtle power plays, and toying with your emotions because he CAN!
Don’t close your eyes to mis-treatment, in order to “excuse” it or “wish” it away. You can’t ignore the obvious, really. Though several VICTIMS have tried. Do you notice the connection?
The ones who try to ignore the abuse, no matter how slight or covert, are the ones who will BECOME VICTIMS! I was, as were several other now, survivors. It all started with a failure to HOLD OUR TONGUES or have control over them, whether in silence, or being far too open with the new love interest.
Is your heart swooning at the very mention of his name? Has he done wonderful things for you, in order to gain your interest? Has it only been a few weeks? Of course he’s treating you wonderfully, sweety. Why would he treat you like crap in the beginning? That would defeat the whole purpose of pursuing you in the first place. He wants you to see him as wonderful. Understand that so many people who appear to be wonderful, are far from it. They just want to gain your trust. To gain a foot-hold, which they will use to abuse, exploit, attack and ultimately, conquer.
There is a place to trust your partner, fully. There is a place to cry on his shoulder when your world falls apart, and confide in him. That time is NOT WITHIN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS!!
Hold your tongue, for your sake and that of your families!
As has been proven before, in my on-going healing process; I have NOT arrived… yet.
I have been seeing a man for the last month. I’m confident in saying he’s a wonderful man, even though it’s only been a month. He’s apparently NORMAL!! lol! It’s been so long since I’ve met a normal, caring man, that I don’t know how to act. Seriously.
Life for me, isn’t all rosy nor peaceful at the moment. It’s tormentuous as hell. So many things have been going on in my home and around me, that I’m a bit overwhelmed. I tend to lean on my new ‘hopeful’ for support. He’s been wonderful, supportive, caring and steadfast, even though I know it’s stressful for him, too. Most people in general, I would say, would run for the hills. He doesn’t run and stands with me, supporting me in every way. We’ve also been having long talks, either in person or on the phone. He’ll ask questions of me which cause me to think about the answers. I’m honest with him about everything. I answer in the best way that I can, but I find myself second-guessing, not only my answers, but how he may be HEARING the answers. The introspection/extrospection trap that I have been in throughout my life, has become entirely intrusive. It’s continuous in my thoughts, as I try to talk to him. I sound confused and crazy as a result. Yeah, I’m aware of this, too. If the chaos in my life hasn’t been enough to rattle him, our talks just might be, and could cause him to run.
He isn’t trying to rattle me, nor cause me to second guess myself. He’s only trying to know and understand me better. I know this.
What I have stumbled upon, is a newly discovered trigger for PTSD. I didn’t realize this until just this second. Welcome to my thought process, and how intrusive my tendency for self-analysis is. I think while thinking. I mean, I think about my answers about a particular subject, while my introspection and extrospection tendency is spiraling wildly in the background, causing me to second-guess myself, and become anxious about how he might be viewing me.
For the first time in my life, I wish it would stop. Completely.
I am filled with nervousness and anxiety, while in the midst of answering the simplest of questions. He’s asking simple questions which should not cause anything of the sort. Yet, it does.
I don’t know what more to say about it.
I wish it would stop!
I believe this is residual from my jaunt with the Psychopath in my past. As many of you are aware, due to your own experience with the same disordered, evil type of person, they are kings of making you second-guess yourself. It’s the direct result of gas-lighting and crazy-making. Its at the forefront of the abuse they subject you to. It’s insidious.
Even now, the tendency to second-guess myself and my own thoughts, has become paralyzing, while writing this entry.
Enter spiral # umpteen thousand, and one… It’s been a while. Wondered when the spiral would show its ugly head again…
My head is literally REELING with things I want to say, here.
A recap… I started my blog 2 weeks after the final court date with my X-monster. I attempted to get a restraining order, and lost. Not because anything I said in my deposition was false, but because I still maintained contact with him on occasion, when he’d call, email, etc. I didn’t want to talk to him, but felt a human and social obligation to keep from being rude. I didn’t want to make waves, so I thought I should stay amicable, protect my job (so I thought)… but then came the final scheme, which alerted me to his REAL nature. He was entirely evil and unpredictable, outside of human standards. It took several tries to finally understand and convince myself of the true level of his depravity, so I was able to go 100% NO contact. The days that followed were no less than, me, grieving the loss of myself! I walked out and away from that terrible period, being entirely destroyed from the inside, out.
The following days, weeks, months and years, have brought about tremendous learning and healing. It seemed to take forever, and at times didn’t seem to be happening at ALL! But, non-the-less, it was taking place… ever…so…slowly. Definitely NOT fun at all! One thing has remained constant to this day, over 2 years later: I was forever changed. I started out on this journey of mine, being and feeling totally foreign to myself. I didn’t know ME anymore. I was a walking void. A shadow. Thoughts were a haze. My short-term memory in general, has been greatly affected, though I’m happy to say, it’s FINALLY getting better! I thought I was developing a sort of dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s, due to the severity. I’m glad to say I’m a little more like myself. In other ways, I still need work and retraining.
Here are only a few instances I can look back on, in my life, where a finality in one area created a finality in another, totally unrelated, area. The reasons why this is the case, are totally hidden. I can’t understand the how’s or why’s of this phenomenon. It just “is”.
One such time was after divorcing my children’s dad. I had been a horrible nail biter all of my life. It was stress related, I believe. When I divorced him, not only did the marriage end, but so did the nail biting. I didn’t even realize it until a couple of weeks later, when I looked at my nails and found they had been growing and in fact, needed a trim. Strange.
The next instance is my once distorted views of myself and people around me… remnants of a psychopath’s influence and abuse, two years prior. When I was able to end my dealings with the narcissist in my life, I found that I had greater peace regarding the abuse from the former shit-head. I wasn’t worried about the smear campaigns that would inevitably come. I didn’t worry about seeing the latter again, except for the nausea I would inevitably endure as a result.
Remember the ring that I couldn’t face? The one that the psychopath tormented me with? The one I was afraid to dispose of incorrectly, believing that, in doing so would unleash all hell and all manner of evil onto the new owner. Yeah that view was odd and wrong, yet it’s how I felt. Where is that ring now?
On the ring finger of my right hand. It’s pretty and I deserve to enjoy it. He owed me something for the torment, anyway.
My point is, even when your triggers are at their peak or you are missing the abuser, once again falling into the same old trap and cycle… good things are waiting. Wonderful growth and healing. Who knows what will fall away ad you heal? The more you allow yourselves to stay stuck in an endless cycle of abuse, the more you are forcing yourself to endure and cannot receive the abundance of light and peace regarding the abuse at the end.
Here’s the conundrum: you can only do what you are able, at any given time, having to be “ready” to take that mountainous leap, yet to let go is the only way to start YOUR journey. Your life.
You never know what is around the corner, but once you are there, you’ll be glad for it.
So many questions about relationships are out there, but this is one I have personally had over the years, especially after dealing with a Psychopath in my life, and then a Narcissist. Am I being unreasonable? Is my “narc-dar” so fine-tuned that I am actually “labeling” someone, unjustly?
That’s one end of the spectrum…
Lets imagine that my Narcissist radar IS fine tuned, yet (as I have already done) I STILL fall for another one of “them”. Yes, my senses are keen to attributes that people show, which are Narcissistic or Psychopathic… as long as I’m not personally involved with that person in one way or another. That doesn’t mean that I still didn’t see those characteristics. I was battling with the question I posed above. “Maybe I was being unreasonable.” and, “I know the tell-tale red-flags… but I haven’t given things enough time. Maybe I was imagining things…” Maybe I was “un” labeling them, when they SHOULD have been labeled. I was calling them “nice” when I should have called “ass-hole!”.
Do you see the confusion? The unwavering question/answer sessions? I’m going to try to clear this up for all of us. Of course as new survivors, you need to go through purging and processing periods. You NEED to learn to see characteristics in people that DO make your intuition yell. You will become a bit paranoid for a while, just for the sole purpose of never allowing yourself to go through that experience again. After all of the purging and processing, you’ll find yourselves being tested on your “skills” and newly placed (or reaffirmed) boundaries. Ready or not. Much of the time, your first testing will come only when you THINK you are ready and can face any demons that come your way, only to find out that you weren’t as strong as you thought. Trust me, been there, done that, myself.
Lets talk about the “jerks” out there.
When I think of a jerk, I think of a man whose view of women, in general, is skewed by upbringing or personal experiences. To some of them, women are only there to cook, clean, do yard work and bear children. Seen and not heard. Some think they are god’s gift to women, and set out to prove it… in spades. The jerks are out to get as many notches on their belts as humanly possible. To sleep with many women, then brag to their friends, is a glorious, pride-filled accomplishment. The jerks have no self-control, nor do they want any. They cannot control their tempers or their boyish drive. They are out for themselves, without regard for the women (or people in general) who will be hurt by them along the way. Does this make them Narcissistic? Psychopathic? Sometimes, yes, but not always. It ALWAYS, ALWAYS makes them jerks. Will they change in time? Probably, but not always. I personally know of a few “jerks” that became wonderful people as they got a little older. This is NOT the case with Narcissists or Psychopaths.
How can you tell them apart, in the beginning stages of a relationship?
You really can’t tell the nice guys from the jerks or Psychopaths, initially. They always put their best foot forward and their sweetest face on, when pursuing you. They are always nice, considerate, there for you and attentive. Always. The ones with the dark side, don’t want you to see that side of themselves. If they did, then they wouldn’t get the notch on their belt (for the jerks), or solidify their current choice of Narcissistic supply (for the Narc or Psych). The nice guys are in there, too… showing you their nice face, smile, empathy and compassion for others. These good attributes can be mimicked skillfully by the other types. The difference in seeing them for who they are, is in the time you spend getting to KNOW THEM! The ones who are putting on a false front, cannot hold onto that for long. In time, they will become comfortable or haughty. They will become confident that they’ve ensnared their chosen “beloved”, and will let their masks slip. It’s arrogance that will be their down fall, as well as pride and feeling comfortable enough to be themselves.
There are no grand epiphanies or treatments out there that will change the personalities or characteristics of the disordered. Psychopaths will remain psychopaths. Narcissists will always be Narcissists. There’s no “waiting” it out or fixing them. There’s no “loving” them or being “patient” enough, to show them the errors of their ways. What they are, will always be what they are. The only thing you can do to protect yourselves in the long run is by being aware of the base red-flags, which should NEVER be ignored.
The first and biggest red-flag you should be aware of, has nothing really to do with them. It has to do with US! How fast are you falling for the niceties, and allowing your hearts to swoon? Are your boundaries slipping rather quickly, when you KNOW BETTER? Are you falling for someone who hasn’t proven they are who they portray themselves to be? Has it only been a week? A month?
You are in danger, when you let your heart “go” too early. It’s difficult at times, to keep your head on straight and your heart in check. If you do “fall”, all too often you will find yourself in an abusive situation. In the very least, you will be used as another “notch” or momentary gratification for the jerks. There is a lot to be said for allowing things to be “tried by fire”. We want to believe the best in others. Once our hearts have won the argument, if it happens too early, we have to be right about them at any cost. If abuse starts to show, the internal dialogue shows up, “He’s just had a bad day..”, “I KNOW he’s not like that! He did [this and that] for me..”. Too many times there will be damage done, if you haven’t paid attention early on. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but rarely.
Is he telling you, “you are the one!” and “Soul mate“, within just a couple of weeks or a month of dating? How about “I love you!”?
Mirroring comes into play, here, when you are dealing with narcissists or Psychopaths. Is he everything you have ever wanted or needed? Is he saying “just the right thing” at “just the right time”? Is he saying or doing those things that no one could possibly know about? Do they instantaneously tug at your heart-strings? This is planned. He’s watched and took note of areas that you need. He’s an ACTOR filling a ROLE for one purpose only. He wants YOU as his personal TOY! NO ONE is that perfect!! Listen to him, when he talks about himself. Do you EVER hear about HIS mistakes in relationships? Or is his ex-wife, girlfriend, etc. “crazy”? They are ALWAYS superficial, when showing you they “care”. It’s always to “do” and “be” what you need at any given time. “Johnny-on-the-spot”. Have they showed you anything that says they care about your heart, other than just words? I don’t mean buying you flowers. What has he done to show you he cares for you as a person or cherishes your heart? If all he does is superficial, self-centered, etc. please get away from them. This is the point when they start throwing exclamations of “love” and “soul-mate”, which is after they are certain you have been ‘caught’ and their supply is secured. You are dealing with someone who is needing a source of supply. Get away quick!
At the very least, he’s showing signs of being insecure. If he is insecure, you will see he cares about you…too much. He will show his “love for you” by being self-sacrificial, almost martyr-ish. This still isn’t a good thing. You might be opening yourself up for a whole lot of jealousy and obsessiveness. No fun, and never, ever good.
“But I trusted him!” Yeah, welcome to the club.
The only way you can protect yourself, is, to give things plenty of time. That is, only if they are showing you “good”, and not anything that would alert you to possibly being narcissistic or psychopathic, such as “mirroring” behaviors, superficiality, self-centeredness, and so-on. Not to worry, soon they will show their “true” colors. The disordered can’t hold their facade for much more than a few weeks. You will begin to see behaviors that are intended to bait you into reactions, no matter how small. Once instance should be questioned but allowed only after speaking up about it. Twice, is a character flaw or outright abusive personality, and you need to get away from that relationship.
If they have proven themselves to be decent and normal human beings, still give things more time. That person might not be right for you. Have you seen their temper yet? I suggest waiting until you, at least, see them irritated. You want to know if their temper is one that will still protect YOU!
You are worth the time it takes to get to know someone. You are important, too. We have only one life. One heart. One psyche. Please pay attention…