Early on in my trauma,
I felt incredibly and unbearably vulnerable. And I hated the psychopath I’d been involved with. In fact, I hated all psychopaths. I feared them, too. They terrified me. I felt there might be one lurking behind every bush and every smiling face. I felt paranoid; every time I interacted with someone I drilled my eyes into them, searching for some kind of sign. For a short time, I believed the one I’d known may very well have been the devil himself (something I’d never even believed existed before).
All of those feelings were normal reactions to the trauma I’d experienced. And all of them resolved eventually, because they could not co-exist with empowerment.
None of us wants to be involved in another abusive relationship. How can we prevent it? I regularly hear from people who want to know the difference between narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths and how to tell them apart. They want to know what to look for, in order to prevent another abusive relationship.
I propose another solution, one that is simpler and much more effective, and that doesn’t require us to become some sort of experts in diagnosing mental health disorders.
He captured my attention, right away.
I didn’t know why. All he was doing was leaning casually against a wall in the back of the room, hands in his pockets, chewing a piece of gum and looking down at his shoe. He certainly wasn’t someone I’d normally take special notice of; there was nothing about the way he looked or dressed or acted that stood out to me, and he was much older than anyone I’d be interested in, in a romantic sense. He didn’t seem to be paying any attention to me. I remember wondering what it was about him that caught my eye and made me so curious.
I learned the hard way what “curiosity killed the cat” truly means.