Angry? There’s a Reason for That

“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

That actually passes as good advice, but I don’t believe it should. Anger is a universal emotion that exists for a reason. If you’re not a person with a pathological propensity toward anger, it means only one thing:

 Your boundaries have been violated in some way.

Ongoing anger and resentment can be signs of poor boundaries when they simmer below the surface like a low-grade fever. Often, people suppress anger because it’s commonly considered an unacceptable emotion. But anger usually comes bearing some important message that needs to be recognized, spoken, and resolved.

Many of us learn early in our lives that anger is unwelcome (anger itself isn’t the real issue, though; the way it’s expressed is what makes it problematic). Psychopaths capitalize on that belief and benefit greatly from it. Because we believe anger is ‘bad,’ we can easily be made to feel guilty or look “crazy” for expressing it. Guilt is an extremely potent tool in a manipulator’s hands.

Anger is a powerful and energizing emotion, and not a pleasant one. The energy it carries makes it difficult to control. But it’s actually a beneficial emotion because it tells us something isn’t right. Anger tells us that a line has been crossed. For example, it may tell us that we feel disrespected, taken for granted, lied to, taken advantage of, or that some need is not being met.

Anger bears an important message that something needs to be recognized, spoken, and resolved.

Anger happens when we’re being treated in some way that breaks our rules regarding what we consider acceptable and unacceptable treatment from others (or when we witness someone else being treated in such a way).  Those rules or limits we have are our boundaries.

Boundaries enable us to protect ourselves. Without them, or without expressing them, we are defenseless.


“Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice. Passive acceptance of evil is not a virtue.”

~ Human,

Recently, I wrote a blog post about being backed into an emotional corner.  Many of us were led by the manipulator to believe that we had an “anger problem” and some even attended anger management classes, when the truth is we had valid reasons to be angry: We were being psychologically manipulated, used in the worse way, deeply betrayed, and thoroughly disrespected. We may not have fully realized those truths at the time, but we sensed enough to make us angry. But when we expressed it, the tables were turned and the focus was shifted, and our anger was made out to be the problem.

Our natural and healthy reaction to abuse was used to distract us from the real problems, and to make us look and feel like the pathological ones.


Last week I had a conversation with a woman that made me grateful for my psychopath-proclaimed “anger problem.” After reading my post about moral outrage, her one-word response was “Rage?”

I thought I was speaking to someone who had never been victimized by a psychopath, or who had some need to attempt to shame me for my feelings, which wasn’t going to happen. I told her rage is what I and many people feel after realizing they were conned, dehumanized and betrayed, which are ‘outrageous’ things to experience.

Then she told me her mother was a psychopath and her husband of nearly forty years is a psychopath, and she said:

I don’t know if I will ever heal…. I feel sorry for psychopaths, who will never feel any real emotions… I don’t condone cruel behavior but I have never felt rage toward anyone.”

I find that disturbing. It’s normal to feel rage in reaction to being thoroughly violated — mind, body and soul — by someone who doesn’t have a conscience and is a walking moral wasteland.  Fierce anger and indignation — outrage — is an appropriate response. It means is that you know you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and that you recognize that you weren’t.


The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

~ Gloria Steinem

You will move past the anger eventually. If you don’t, there might be something that is yet unresolved.

Whenever we feel anger, it’s important to figure out its message and then take steps to resolve whatever is causing it. If we’re in a relationship with someone who repeatedly provokes anger, it’s a red flag. If we can’t quite put our finger on what’s making us angry, covert manipulation may be at play. Same goes if we do know the cause of our anger but are told it’s not valid, or if our emotions are restricted, not tolerated, or forbidden. Psychopaths love to provoke emotions and then restrict reactions. We have a right to feel and express our emotions, and anyone who respects us and cares about a relationship will be willing to listen and resolve the problem.


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74 thoughts on “Angry? There’s a Reason for That”

  1. gia

    i wish I could feel that anger. I need to feel anger to heal. I cant seem to move beyond extreme hurt. I am always sick in the pit of my stomach. its been a year and several doctors and hypnosis and its only slightly better. I want to live again.

    1. Admin

      Gia, I’m sorry you’re feeling sick in the pit of your stomach. I remember that feeling well, and it is the physical manifestation of extreme hurt. Do you feel you’ve made any progress at all? I’m sure you have, in some way, if you compare yourself now to how you were 6 months ago or right afterward. At one year, it’s not at all unusual to still be having intense emotions.

      As far as not feeling anger, and feeling stuck, the ideas that come to mind are these:

      Doubt that he was pathological, which could lead to self-blame (from believing his blame of you for things going wrong).

      Shame, from a belief that you ‘allowed’ him to continue to victimize you.

      Shock related to his betrayal, which is so hard to comprehend because it’s totally foreign to us.

      Utter confusion from dealing with all the complex and conflicting aspects of this trauma — the loss of someone you loved deeply and whom you thought loved you (the person he pretended to be); the betrayal (finding out what he really was and what his motives were); the soul injury of being the victim of someone who lacked morals and a conscience and who dehumanized you because of that. A lack of understanding by those closest to us also makes it confusing because they can’t help us to figure it out or offer the support we need.

      An ongoing ‘trauma bond’ could also be at play. That bond is strong and it lasts a lot longer than makes sense.

      It could be one or two of these, or even all of them.

      It is incredibly difficult to comprehend and accept all of these things, each of which is a serious injury in its own right. I’m glad you’ve been seeking help with it. Make sure the people helping you understand the complexity of what you’re dealing with. And it’s important for you to understand it, too. It’s hard to sort it all out. Give yourself the time you need to heal. I’ve heard many people say it takes 18 – 24 months, but each of us is unique.

      Also, re-consider your belief that you need to feel the anger in order to heal. Maybe you don’t. And maybe you won’t feel it until you do heal. There are no rules. I hope you’ll feel some improvement very soon, Gia. Hugs to you.

  2. Annette

    Great post; and I love the pictures! They add a special dimension to the topic.

    My ex P told me I had an anger problem, while he constantly and deliberately pushed my buttons to manipulate me to act out of anger so he could blame me and tell others what a nut I am. (Both of which he generally did anyway whether he used real or lying justification) He told me his first ex wife was chronically angry; of course she would be as a victim of his abuse for almost 2 decades. I eventually learned to feel anger and not act out in ways I would regret. Then I came to understand that the Psychopath wanted me to act out my anger,and it became easier to control my anger inspired behavior and instead act in ways usually not identified with anger, because that’s what he didn’t want me to do. Ultimately I resolved the problem by getting rid of the Psychopath.

    Anger means something needs to change. Any chronic negative emotion is telling me that I need to make a change in my life – how I’m spending my time, whom I’m spending it with, what I’m agreeing to do, or to come to an acceptance of a condition I can’t or don’t choose to change. When my anger is about something I can’t change or don’t choose to change after careful consideration, it works for me to let go of the anger, and turn the problem over to God.

    Some people who feel entitled are constantly angry when every little thing doesn’t go their way. They take everything personally, from another driver cutting them off in traffic by mistake, to a weather event – in their minds everyone and everything is out to get them, but the truth is that they are just not that important. I am guessing that’s what Ben Franklin was talking about. I keep in mind that he was one of the colonists who were angry about the perceived tax oppression by King George III and did things like tossing all that tea that didn’t belong to them into Boston Harbor and declaring independence from England; so he probably didn’t condemn what he perceived as righteous anger.

    Some people define ‘rage’ as out of control behavior due to anger, so the woman who said she never felt rage may have felt anger. People experience, process and identify their emotions differently.

    Abusers like my ex Psychopath often act in angry ways as though they are feeling anger, in order to intimidate, control and bully their victims. I don’t think my ex P had any real emotions; he was just cold and calculating. He felt contempt and entitlement, which are really beliefs, not emotions.

    Studies have shown that if anger is over expressed and maintained too long the emotion is sustained beyond its usefulness. The ideal is to find the right balance, neither over feeding the expression of anger nor suppressing it indefinitely.

    For those that go to the Bible as a source of wisdom, some advice found there is “Be angry but do not sin.” The point is go ahead and feel anger when appropriate, but don’t let it get control of you and don’t do things that are counter productive that you’ll regret later. In the bible, both God and Jesus are described as feeling anger.

    1. Admin

      Glad you liked the post, Annette, and the photos. I get them from Pixabay, if you or anyone needs photos for a project. They’re free and copyright free.

      My ex-P used to say “I just know you’re gonna have another outburst. I know it. Just you wait and see.” He knew it because he made them happen! He would not ‘tolerate’ even the slightest inkling of irritation in my voice… which of course just makes it worse. I ended up writing him angry letters to get around that. They provoke us, and then they restrict our reactions. What a terrible thing to do to someone.

      Yes, maybe that’s what Ben Franklin was talking about — all the unnecessary anger over daily, uncontrollable nuisances. I don’t feel much of that, so it never crossed my mind. It sounds as if you have a good method of dealing with anger. This was something new to me after the P, when I learned about boundaries and became assertive. Now I see anger as I described in the post. It’s simply an emotion that’s telling me that I need to take care of something that isn’t right. No more need for suppressed anger or for angry outbursts. It makes for a much more peaceful life, in so many ways.

      The woman I wrote about seemed to me to not feel anger at all, or at least didn’t admit to it. After an entire lifetime of psychopathic abuse, this could be one of the effects. She is still with her psychopathic husband. She was totally perplexed that someone would feel rage over being victimized in such a way. I explained it as “outrage,” as I did in the post. That gets rid of the image of someone completely out of control, although these people can drive you to that point and it wouldn’t be unwarranted.

      The anger resolves eventually. There was a person who used to comment here who became very angry at me because I was no longer angry. She never came back, as far as I know.

      1. lyn

        Hi again. Thank you for this validating article. Thank you for the comment I am replying to, also validating. I had rage during and was blamed for ‘ruining everything’ after a great time. It took being in it but staying removed as much as I was able to gather the information I needed to prove what I suspected, he was disordered I wasn’t crazy, or borderline or codependent or anything else he through at me or I self diagnosed myself as having. Boy I really bought into that bs. Being one step, one very small slippery slope step removed, I saw that he would provoke me after a ‘great time’ together. Just like you said, provoke and then deny emotions, even blame me for them. Even though my recovery started while the ‘relationship’ was on, and even though it was my ultimatum that ended it, undoing all this is a difficult, complicated, confusing process.

        I raged in the beginning really bad. I was conditioned to stop by him comparing me to his ex and of course the silent treatment.

        I rage now, as you might remember from a previous comment I made. I call it shitbombing. It breaks no contact I know, and feeds his knowledge that he is still affecting me. It also frightens me. But I am so angry. I feel like okay mother f—–er, now I know the game, let’s play. It can only end badly. I go to a place where I feel having seen such evil has ruined me so why not push. I’m not criminal or suicidal. I am just really really really pissed off. Not that I was duped, but I have had my fill of these scum. I look forward to meeting another one, and shutting them down before they know what hit them. I’d like the chance to use what has taken me a lifetime to accept, there are bad people in this world, and stick up for myself. Their must be a way to use this rage in a positive way.
        Sorry for the rant. Rage is a normal reaction.

        1. Admin

          Hi Lyn. What these psychopaths do to us is truly OUTRAGEOUS (“An action or event causing extreme anger, shock, or indignation; grossly offensive to the sense of right or decency; passing reasonable bounds; intolerable or shocking; of the nature of or involving gross injury or wrong”). We can take no action to bring them to justice, and they just get away with what they did without punishment. Their moral crime goes unrecognized and unpunished, while we’re left to deal with the damage.

          When there is no justice, there is anger — the natural reaction to frustration, powerless and injustice. And when there is no justice, there are REVENGE FANTASIES. They are considered normal. Absolutely normal. I had many, and I remember them fondly. Now, if someone ACTS on those fantasies, then things have gone awry.

          You say, “I go to a place where I feel having seen such evil has ruined me, so why not push.” I am willing to bet that the evil you’ve seen has not ruined you. It took away the last of your innocence, it harmed you greatly, and you’re enraged, but not ruined. I’m not minimizing it; I understand feeling that way. But you can re-direct your anger by saying “I will NOT let that piece of sh*t ruin me!” and then working toward that.

          “I’d like the chance to use what has taken me a lifetime to accept, there are bad people in this world, and stick up for myself. Their must be a way to use this rage in a positive way.”

          Yes, there is. You’re in luck. What to do with the anger? Exactly what you said: Stick up for yourself. And protect yourself. Anger is actually a positive form of emotional energy — it enables us to protect ourselves from unscrupulous or evil people who want to harm us, and it enables us to assert ourselves and protect ourselves with boundaries. By all means, if you cross paths with another one, “shut them down,” but do so by ending your association with them and moving on without looking back. That’s the healthiest and best way to use what you’ve learned to protect yourself.

          You imagine you’d “push” if you met another psychopath, but you can not hurt these people by turning the tables on them. They’ll realize you’re not game, and simply move on. They won’t care. Or they’ll want revenge, and actually take action to get it. It’s LOSE-LOSE, just like everything else with them is.

          They will never know the pain they caused. Even though they do it purposely, they have no capability of truly understanding the extent or nature of the damage, and even if they did, they wouldn’t feel remorse. There will never be an apology, or at least an honest one. The only thing to do is to accept the truth. That’s not giving up or letting them get away with it; it’s simply accepting the truth of the matter. Wanting anything more is simply wasting more time on them (unless there are existing legal grounds for pursuing justice).

          All the best to you, Lyn.

          1. lyn

            Thank you. My feelings have been used against me for so long. Your personal response validating my them brings me to sobs. After a lifetime of damage by these people, my innocence does feel lost. Two of them have ex’s who tragically had less resources than I have, and committed suicide. I know how dangerous a game it is, and that I can never win by playing. I hear what you are telling me. I will keep working until I have what I need to jump from this place where I feel ruined. Thank you for what you do. You are so smart and kind, it’s good to know it’s out there and feel somehow a part of it. I can’t wait to one day walk around confident, not be game, and not care.

            1. Admin

              I’m so glad you feel the validation in my words. You’re not alone, Lyn. I’m terribly sorry to hear of what happened to these other women. That’s a real tragedy.
              In my own experience I found that as I healed, the anger dissipated, little by little. One thing that really helped was working on boundaries. Have you read the book I wrote about them? If not, would it be OK if I send a copy to the email you use here?

              1. lyn

                Would it be OK? More than OK. Thank you. Accepting it is a step for me towards believing in simple kindness again, without fear. Thank you for that too.

              2. Admin

                You’re welcome. It’s on its way.

  3. merijoe

    I eel that rage but I have a real problem just blurting it out….so I talk to myself….and God, is it important to say it directly to the person?

    1. Admin

      If you can resolve it, and/or whatever is causing it, by talking to yourself or God, then you’re doing what works for you. I think every situation needs it’s own solution. For example, I have a friend who was always late. And I mean every single time we got together. It made me angry each time, for years, but I never said anything to her. Finally, last year I spoke to her about it and now she’s seldom late, and if she has to be late she lets me know. In this case, writing about it wouldn’t have done much good. It’s up to us to let people know when they’re crossing a boundary. Sometimes they just don’t know they’re doing it. Other situations are more complex. Boundary violations can be very subtle, as we know, and harder to see, such as being told an emotion we’re feeling isn’t valid when it actually is. Feeling and expressing our emotions is one of our basic human rights.

      Here’s the list of basic human rights (this doesn’t include political rights). These rights are at the foundation of boundaries.

      I have the right to have my needs and feelings be as important as anyone else’s.

      I have the right to experience and express my feelings, if I choose to do so.

      I have the right to not be responsible for the feelings of another.

      I have the right to express my opinions, if I choose to do so.

      I have the right to set my own priorities.

      I have the right to establish independence if I choose to.

      I have the right to decide how I spend my time.

      I have the right to choose my own lifestyle.

      I have the right to change my lifestyle, myself, my behaviors, my values, my life situation, and my mind.

      I have the right to make honest mistakes and to admit those mistakes without feeling humiliated.

      I have the right to self-fulfillment through my own talents and interests.

      I have the right to grow as a person and to accept new challenges.

      I have the right to choose who I spend my time with and who I share my body with.

      I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect in all my relationships.

      I have the right to be listened to respectfully.

      I have the right to ask for what I want assertively.

      I have the right to say “I don’t understand” or “I don’t know” without feeling or being humiliated.

      I have the right to say “No,” and to set limits and boundaries without feeling guilty.

      I have the right to set limits on how I will be treated in relationships.

      I have the right to expect my boundaries to be respected.

      I have the right to walk away from toxic or abusive relationships.

      I have the right to have these Basic Human Rights and to stand up for them.

      (List of rights from Serenity Online Therapy)

      1. The Plummer

        Admin. Not sure I can agree with ALL the “rights” you’ve listed.

        My reasoning is as follows; imagine your lying,cheating, manipulative psychopath coming to YOU with these so called “rights”. Wouldn’t you feel they are using the ability to have the freedoms to say, allow anyone they chose to have access to their body. Or that they have the right to leave you, never mind the commitment contract of marriage that they made.

        I could agree with the listed rights if a qualifier of “within the confines of the commitments that we’ve made together” were indicated.

        This to me, without the qualifying statement is merely a justification for what I call “frivorce” (frivolous divorce), and a weapon a cluster B can and will use against you, when you try to nail jello (them) to a tree, in hopes of correcting relationship issues.

        Have a great Sunday.

        1. Admin

          Of course they can be turned around to the psychopath’s/ cluster B’s benefit, but that list is for us (they already feel they have the right to do whatever the heck they want).

          But for many of us, those rights are forgotten along the way (especially while we’ve been involved with a psychopath!), and some of us never knew they existed in the first place.

          I understand your qualifier, but your perspective of the list is that of a married couple with one pathological partner, and one normal partner who doesn’t want them to get away so easily. The list is useful for people who are being treated like crap or being controlled, but who may not realize it or just not know what to do about it. They’re not in a healthy relationship or friendship or work environment, but they’ve forgotten or aren’t aware of what their basic rights are. I hope you have a great Sunday, too.

          1. Admin

            I want to add that these are rights we’re born with. Sure they can be used as a reason for a frivolous divorce, but no one needs a list to reference for that; they’ll just make something up.

            1. The Plummer

              OK, I understand and agree. I guess I’m rather “fair” minded & forget that psychopath’s hold their targets to a much higher standard than they will allow you to hold them to. I need to keep reminding myself of that. That is the real “abuse” that they inflict upon their target.

              1. Admin

                It is, isn’t it? That’s the real abuse. They hold us up to the crazy-high standard they themselves created while at the same time knowing and ensuring we will fail to meet it. And then they walk away, grandiose and gloating. If only they could see the miserable wretches they truly are.

    2. Annette

      I would say it depends on the situation, facts and circumstances, whether it’s beneficial to express anger to the person causing it. It’s not always easy to discern what’s best, I’ve erred both in not speaking up and speaking up, but hindsight is always perfect.

      A family member felt wronged by her sister in how their mother’s estate was handled. She was angry for years at the sister, finally she told her sister how she felt, “got it off her chest,” and felt better. It didn’t change anything about the situation, but it was cathartic for her to speak up.

      I found that with my ex Psychopath, after a year or so of appropriately bringing up issues to him, and him stonewalling, lying, twisting reality, and usually doing as much as possible whatever I told him was harming me; that it was not in my best interest to try to communicate my anger to him.

      When I figured out that the Psychopath was deliberately trying to push my buttons and cause anger and other painful emotions, I made an effort to stop letting him know. I wrote many (probably hundreds) of pages of emails raging at him and telling him what I thought, that I never sent. It made me feel better, and kept a record of what he did and my response to it so that I didn’t feel the need to keep holding on to it in my mind.

      1. Jan

        It’s been over 2 yrs of the P continuing the silent treatment. A sighting of her is rare, so I’ve believed she really didn’t want to have any interaction. But last wk, by chance (?) she ended up in a ferry line-up right behind me. It’s a small ferry, so not many cars. After quite awhile, before our embarking, I noticed the car had moved to the next lane, sitting there alone, and I figured she didn’t want to be right behind me, with me right in her direct vision, so wanted to go on last. I glanced as we drove past and she looked angry. And she never did come onto the ferry and she had to wait for 3 hrs for the next ferry! I recognized later that it had been a drama to point out to me that she can’t tolerate my existence. I recognized that by moving to the next lane where we had to go past her, I’d be sure to see her, just in case I hadn’t recognized it had been her behind us previously. I recognized later, when I was tempted to send her a brief cryptic email acknowledging the game, that that’s what she expected me to do; wanting me to demonstrate a reaction to what she did and giving her satisfaction. So, instead, I’ve done nothing. I’m so glad to have witnessed that there has been no change; that she is still obsessed with hurting me any chance she gets, even if the sightings are rare. More than 2 yrs of no contact don’t appear to have alleviated anything for her. I feel so done!! It’s been quite awhile now that I’ve felt nothing inside when seeing her. She’s become “normal sized” and with no power over me. I know, I know, I still “had to” write about this, but as part of my sorting it all out, and I notice it’s been with no angst about it. That’s been a long time coming. Whew.

        1. Admin

          Good for you, Jan. I’m glad there was no angst in writing it, and happy to hear she’s become normal-sized. It’s quite a relief to feel that it’s done and over with, and it’s a celebration-worthy accomplishment. Your comment will give hope to others who wonder if that day will ever come.
          Congratulations to you!

          1. Jan

            Oh, I do hope others will find hope for themselves. This ability to finally relax is heaven! I’d felt like I was trapped in a hell of grief that was unending. My 1st real powerful moment of emotional recovery was early this yr when I recognized that the truth of me; the truth of my heart, my intentions, my actions actually was the truth! I was really the person I’d believed I was, but that she wouldn’t believe;—pretended she wouldn’t believe, rather. I now know that. She knew all too well who I was. She knew exactly; knew I was worth the effort to try to destroy because I was a reminder to her of her inability to feel love. And she failed. LOVE is the most powerful energy that exists. It can’t be destroyed. I hope everyone recognizes that they were targeted BECAUSE they are quality people with hearts; the real thing, not pretenders.

            1. Admin

              It’s an amazing relief to be able to relax again. I know everyone will get there eventually. It takes a long time to make sense of it and then to finally accept it, the painful truth of it and the horror of it. Then we’re finally and truly free, and peace returns.

              It’s true that we were targeted because of our qualities and heart; they couldn’t have victimized us otherwise ~

              The Real Reason You Were Victimized By a Psychopath

            2. Kato

              Yes! It’s true that I am angry at my son and dil for the horrible way they treated me, but I am not full of hate and rage, as my sister tells me. I actually think it is my sister who is filled with hate and rage and she projects onto me. I think projection must be a common tool used by Ps. What do you think?

              1. Admin

                I believe they project a LOT.

                Anger is different from “hate and rage.” Anger says there’s been a wrong, an injustice, some undeserved maltreatment; and in this case it’s one that’s very painful. It’s not painful because you hate your son and dil — it’s painful because you love them. In fact, we can only be deeply hurt by those we love; no one else’s mistreatment and/or rejection would have the same power. It’s undeserved, and that’s why you’re angry.

  4. Kato

    Whomever posted this I thank you. “Anger is seldom without a reason, but seldom with a good one”? What planet was he living on? No wonder there are so many victims; we are taught to stuff our feelings and forgive they Ps. This is an excellent post with great points made by the poster. My own betrayal did not come from a love relationship, rather it began with my FOO and has now extended to my adult son and daughter-in-law, who have treated me with the utmost contempt, disrespect, and cruelty since they met 5 years ago. My sister said this to me after I sent her an article about Ps (in an attempt to enlighten her on what I was experiencing): “I do not want to receive any more of these emails. I am tired of hearing this shit!!! (this might have been the 2nd such email over a 5 year period). You have a lot of HATE & ANGER. There will be no recovery until you let go!” Then she recommended that I read Kahlil Gibran and find peace. She admits that she wants a happy family. My son has refused to see me for over 2 years and my DIL will not talk to me at all. Perhaps I am my sister’s only hope at our family being reunited and this is why she pretends that my anger is the problem. She has to know that my P DIL and crazy son are not going to be rational.

    1. Admin

      It’s true, so many of us were taught to deny what we feel, to avoid confrontation, to forgive, and to be “nice,” which is an inauthentic way to live and a great way to ensure our needs aren’t met and no one respects us! Getting a start like this makes it easier for the psychopaths out there later on.

      I’m terribly sorry to hear of your family situation! I know what it’s like to be hated by a family member. My sister treated me with disrespect and cruelty my whole life, but stopped 7 years ago when she decided never to speak to me again because I got angry at her (for a very good reason). And my anger was the problem, not her abysmal behavior. She considers herself above anger and all those other pesky human foibles. She was once diagnosed as Borderline, and that could be accurate but she may as well be psychopathic. In year 5 of her silence, which was shortly after it ended with the P, I suddenly realized and appreciated the wonderful peace I’d gained from her absence. But I do understand the pain that comes from being hated by someone in your own family. For me it’s only one family member (which is more than enough) so my heart goes out to you having to deal with it from several of them.

      It’s a shame your sister isn’t supportive or willing to listen to what you’ve experienced. It threatens her in some way, and you may be right that she sees you as her only hope for reuniting the family. Everyone wants a happy family, but it seems there would be a point when she would stop trying to change things and realize she’s got the family she has, and not the one she wishes she had. Eternal optimism, maybe. It’s hard to give up on family. I hope you have love and support from others in your life, Kato. xo

      1. Kato

        When I was a child I used to be shy with my peers. My father didn’t like that I was not, perhaps, popular or more assertive. He trained me to be more outgoing and I was a good student. Recently he took credit for my (now) vibrant personality and was so proud of himself. What he fails to see is that he simply taught me to please others and become someone that is likable by most. I have struggled for years and been hamstrung by choosing to always put others first and feel guilty if someone didn’t like me. My father did me no favors because, though it’s true that I am well liked it may be because I do things for others and not necessarily because of who I am. Thankfully, through therapy and education I am now taking care of myself and have a wonderful support system outside of my family.

        1. Admin

          I’m glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself and that you have a wonderful support system!

  5. Dee

    I recently realized that anger needs to happen and I am appreciating the intensity of the emotions I feel. I love the photos you used in this post. My emotions really do feel like a raging storm and with any storm there is rain which cleanses. My anger/rage has been very cleansing. Bit by bit I have been washing away the feelings that were keeping me stuck: doubt, self-blame, shame, confusion and betrayal. You are so right that my rage is actually my way of declaring my boundaries. My lions roar feels great! I am angry because I was blamed for having very normal reactions to his horrific behavior and for being fooled.

    I feel that after this phase of anger I will graduate to apathy. That’s my ultimate goal. I want to feel nothing for him. It’s been two years since I left the psychopath and when I take inventory I see the storm has nourished a beautiful landscape. When I left him, my life was empty because every bit of it revolved around him. Today, I am thriving emotionally and spiritually. I have come to a place of understanding that I am enough. That’s full circle from where I used to be when I was with the psychopath, fighting to be “The Chosen One.”

    1. Admin

      “I see the storm has nourished a beautiful landscape.” That’s so wonderful, Dee. I’m so glad to hear you’re thriving. It’s paradoxical that something that was destroying our sense of self worth can end up making it stronger than ever before.

      As far as blame, doubt, and all the rest, I think it’s important to take this puzzle apart and examine each piece individually. Each aspect needs to be distinguished, meaning to take it from the confusing and undifferentiated background and bring it to the foreground, where we can see it clearly. It goes from being a somewhat vague idea or feeling to something more easily discerned and understood. I figure if it helped me, it can help someone else.

      1. Dee

        Yes, dissecting every bit is important. I suppose that’s why it takes so long to heal. There were so many facets to the pain and betrayal. If the relationship had just one horrid element, I suppose I would have been out of it earlier and my pain would not have lingered the way it has. The brain dulls pain for survival sake: that’s why forget the pain of childbirth and the inconvenience of child rearing and have more babies. We always just tend to remember the good and joyful. The problem with resolving the reality of a psychopathic partner is that it’s so hard to wrap your brain around the fact that the good and joyful were not real. That mind-bending-twisted-reality is foundation crushing. I think victims fight to make it untrue because the truth of it can be life crushing.
        Fighting through it however, can be so empowering and you might even end-up looking upon the whole disaster as a gift.

        1. Admin

          It does take a long time, for a couple of reasons. One is getting a true understanding of what happened, and that’s where dissecting it comes in useful. That brings on the other aspect, which is letting go of the beautiful illusion the psychopath created; that image of the soul mate. Our heads get it, but it takes our hearts much longer, and it’s mighty painful to finally give up any and all hope of that soul-mate love they pretended they were. When the cognitive dissonance stops what we’re left with is the ugly truth, the “life-crushing” truth, as you called it, and then we have to deal with that. It’s no wonder healing takes so long.

  6. Jan

    When things had started to turn in the relationship, she started acusing me of directing rage at her which she was having great difficulty dealing with. It was confusing to me because I didn’t feel even anger, let alone rage. I’d always been interpreting her words & behaviour as being the result of her unhealed childhood pain and that none of it was actually about me. One doesn’t get angry over a sick person’s expressions of suffering and projections. I recognized that she was the one feeling rage and that she was projecting it onto me. I had such belief & trust that in time she’d heal and we’d weather this difficult period together. However, yes, I started to doubt the reality of myself because of her claim to be super-sensitive to others’ energies and feelings. I “acknowledged ” to her that if she saw rage within me that I trusted her vision that it was there even though I myself didn’t feel it because I live from my heart, from LOVE. An hr later, she cut me off in her sudden shocking announcement of the end of our relationship. Wow! She was determined I was going to feel rage by whatever means she could find! It was a long, long time after that, that I discovered she was a P and that she was likely making up all her stories to get my empathy, and that she was also making up the things she acused me of. Once in awhile I still get “light-bulbs” coming on in recognition that “even that’ was a deliberate lie–lots of little things. I still read, read, read about this phenomenon and I’m grateful for your blog. Sometimes I do need reminders that what I experienced was real and that it still continues for her in her need to try to hurt me, and that nothing has changed yet for her and likely won’t. In more than 2 yrs, if she was truly transforming herself as she claimed she was working on, there’d be even a tiny bit of evidence of it. Zilch. I FEEL I’ve dropped all expectations of any change. And when I forget, (as sometimes I do, in my willingness to allow all possibilities), there is plenty of reading I can turn to. Thanks for that.

    1. Admin

      It definitely sounds like she’s the one who’s feeling rage! She tried her best to get you to feel it. I don’t get the sense she’s having any kind of transformation by the way she acted on the ferry.
      Reminders are good — I get plenty of them writing this blog.

      1. Jan

        I’ve also begun to comprehend how her extremely out-of-this-world “communicating with the stars” type of spiritual focus has been her way of saying she’s more special than any other human being here; saying she’s gone into solitude (or PRETENDING to while in fact having other people visit her!!) as a way of avoidance, and a rationalization of her abuse by Silent Treatment. If it can be called spiritual; if she can say she’s in silent spiritual contemplation, then the means are justified for her and it’s not emotional abuse. My observation is that even her spirituality is a lie. I recognize now that I was unable to relate to anything spiritual that she talked about. At the time I thought her comprehension was simply way beyond mine. Now I recognize that I’ve never even read anything ANYWHERE that jibes with her obscure spiritual ramblings. One time I asked her to repeat what she’d just said to me and she retorted angrily that she couldn’t do that because she’d been channeling it! (Perhaps I could have asked if she hadn’t even been listening to what she’d been saying!) What a relief now to never have to listen & try to comprehend ever again; to see that she was just dishing out nonsense in her attempt to appear super-cosmically-special. I can see how it would be impossible for her to continue a spiritual companionship for very long when so much is made-up and there’s the danger of that being recognized.— And perhaps she’s in a rage also because she knows I know. Oh—too bad.

        1. Admin

          “Dishing out nonsense” is what they do best, and the only thing they can do. They have nothing else to offer except nonsense. Their very existence is nonsensical and meaningless. Sad but true. And they know this on some level; that’s the reason the only thing they can really feel is rage. I didn’t see the psychopath’s rage until the last moments, when he viciously discarded me. We may feel rage at certain moments in life, but rage is the only thing they can feel, and they have a lot of it.

          “I’m not completely emotionless; I’m prone to fits of uncontrollable rage” — quote from a psychopath

          1. Annette

            That psychopath quote almost sounds like a threat – “I’ll rage if I don’t get what I want all the time, if you don’t do what I want you to do.” My ex Psychopath faked rage and anger to bully, frighten, ‘punish’ and control his victims into doing what he wanted them to do.

            1. Admin

              It didn’t seem rageful, but it did seem odd. It was more like a command, like “You are getting sleepy.” I didn’t see rage until he discarded me, but I did see quick flashes of contempt. Those quick flashes are microexpressions, barely perceptible emotions that give away someone’s true feelings.

  7. Human

    Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice. Passive acceptance of evil is not a virtue.

    1. Admin

      Yes! Exactly.
      I’m adding that to the post.

  8. Nicola P.

    As usual the experiences described here describe mine with a P. My anger bubbled before the betrayal and abandonment and blossomed into rage during the recovery. My sisters were not so mature as one of the responders above as to be able to excuse any expression of my anger whilst in the midst of despair. The thing about expressing one’s anger is that it tends to escalate the situation in that moment, as most people can’t just let another’s anger wash over them. They take it personally. (My sister sent me a notebook three weeks after my husband suddenly abandoned our marriage so that I could “write all the bile and vitriol I felt towards HER in it”.) Go figure. Until that moment, I hadn’t had any anger towards anyone but him!
    But in setting new boundaries and investigating to the bottom of that rage, I found lots to be angry about beyond the sociopathic manipulation and lies. Over a year, I let go of family, friends and more friends as I realised that they bring out the worst in me. Associating with them meant that I could never heal because their projections of who they think I am were too restrictive. More suffering heaped upon the suffering of sociopathic abuse. Loss, loss and more loss. But after letting all that go, there is freedom!
    Anger is just so damned hurtful to ourselves. But it is possible to let go of lots of expectations (Buddhists call them attachments) which, when they aren’t met, make us angry. Sure it’s reasonable to expect the man who made vows to respect, honour, love and support you to do just that. So when he does the opposite, we go into denial about it, and there starts our nightmare descent into the madness they send us to. It has taken me a year of reading this post and studying Buddhist philosophy to get to the bottom of my rage, and underneath it is PEACE. Hundreds of un sent written pages of ugly, desperate rage towards many things beyond my husband has helped me sort out why anger? Who wants to be an angry person? No one. But that’s what’s left after psychopathic abuse. We have to find our own ways to let go of it. It can be done. It can be done. It can be done!

    1. Admin

      I agree, it can be done! And it’s good to get to the bottom of it, as you describe. I understand loss, loss and more loss — the same thing happened to me, but then there is the freedom of letting go of relationships that needed to go anyway. This experience is like a bomb going off in your life. Glad the blog has helped you, Nicola. All the best to you.

    2. Kato

      Oh, Nicola, I am having the same experience you describe with your family. Let me say that anger, as a stage of grief, is normal and necessary to process and heal. To label someone an “angry person” or “full of hate & anger,” as my sister did, is unfair and incorrect. It’s true, there are people (my brother is one) who are just angry often and about everything. That is not the same as feeling anger for being mistreated. If we didn’t feel anger we would continue to let Ps abuse us over and over again. Anger that, ultimately, leads to growth and healing is healthy and necessary. As to my family, this experience with my P DIL and my son (a converted empath since he met his wife) opened my eyes to my FOO and why I was so unhappy growing up. My husband thinks they are not emotionally intelligent (actually, he said stupid), and he’s right. I see it because it is so important for them to hang on to the fantasy they have about themselves and our “happy” family that they don’t want to see/know the truth. I have always been the boy in the “Emperor’s New Clothes,” and they just don’t want to know that the Emperor is not wearing any. They would rather throw me under the bus than face the truth. I have been their scapegoat for years, and sought out other narcissists to marry. Imagine my surprise that those unions produced 2 sons who married Ps and don’t talk to me now. I am sad to suddenly find myself without a family. I do, however, have a wonderful husband and we are focusing on our life without them. If you ever want to talk . . .

  9. Nicola P.

    Just wanted to add, “the wonderful peace I feel in her absence”. The pain of letting go of all the people who say they love us but aren’t able to show us kindness, care, support and respect is worth it in the end. Because we can feel that PEACE in their absence. I totally second that motion!

    1. Kato

      Yes, yes, yes!!!

  10. Paula

    Long term relationships with a psychopath can take years to get over-through. I was married to one for thirty-nine years. I am in my third year, since he filed for divorce and married three months after the divorce was final. I am trying to be kind and gentle with myself while I am healing.

    1. Admin

      It’s good you’re being kind and gentle with yourself, Paula. I wish you much kindness and gentleness as you move through this and beyond xo

  11. Nikki

    God Bless you for the work that you do! Your blog helped me so much. I had this wierd feeling that this was not the usual ordinary jerk, it was some sort of next level personality type. By reading your blog I was able to recover so much faster than I think I would have if I didnt have privy to your blog. Thank you kindly. I feel sorry for other folks who dont search for truth when their hit with a comet. The validity that you give to victims is so reassuring and surely helped me restore confidence in my perception. My friends are telling I sound “calmer”, my skin is clear, I have a new hair do, Im smiling and I have kindly removed the expectations that are self sabotaging. I am so happy I am feeling more like myself again, thanks to the information that you shared. You are a wonder thank you kindle. I read all of your blogs :)

    1. Nikki

      Rather thank you kindly. I meant :)

      1. Admin

        You’re welcome. And thanks to kindle, too, so our stack of books isn’t 12 feet high :-)

    2. Admin

      Thank you so much, Nikki. It’s wonderful to hear that the blog has helped you feel validated and restore the trust in your perception.

      I too feel sorry for those who never figure out the truth of what happened; I can’t help but to think they must suffer from some long-lasting consequences. Thank goodness for the internet, not only for finding information but for all of us helping each other!

  12. Asheley

    I definitely felt rage when I caught him with the woman he left me for, the woman I never knew about. It took everything in me to not run my keys alongside his car as I left his house that night. I hated him. That emotion just didn’t last long enough. Probably a week at best. I’ve mostly just felt extreme sadness and disappointment, but everyone feels things in different ways. I wish I could be angry more often toward him and what he did, usually I’m just in disbelief.

    1. Admin

      Rage, disbelief, sadness, disappointment, disbelief… that seems like more than enough to me. I didn’t mean to imply that you needed to feel more anger — my point was that if you did feel it, it was certainly justified. Out of all the emotions I felt, anger was probably the least of them, and sadness the most. Oh, I had my moments, many of them, and they were well deserved, but so many intense emotions were vying for first place. Each of those has a reason. Disbelief isn’t considered an emotion, but I think it should be. I still shake my head sometimes.

  13. Dee

    I still shake my head sometimes as well! I still have the feeling of disbelief, primarily around the fact that I kept taking him back. I think I left him 4 or 5 times before the final break. Sometimes I feel he wanted to get back together, so he could twist the knife in deeper. He made promises of monogamy and commitment which he obviously had no intention of honoring.

    Now, from afar, I see he’s back with his gf again. She’s rich and he likes her money because he has very little money at the moment. I have no doubt he is promising monogamy and marriage because that’s what she wants. But, after you break up with a psychopath, they have no intention of “trying.” I believe Psychopaths return because you still have something they want and because they want to break up on their terms. They hate to be dumped. I believe Psychopaths are incapable of trusting anyone, so once you have “abandoned” and foiled them they view that as a form a high treason and then they plot revenge…. they very cleverly work their way back to destroy you.

    After every reconciliation, I remember feeling that I knew he was being disingenuous and yet I went back anyway!! I still took him back?! This is what really makes me shake my head in disbelief and it was also the fuel my friends and family used to say things like: ” Boy, you must really like to suffer, You knew better, It’s your fault, You have a problem. Shame on you, You got what you deserved,” etc. Now, as I shake my head in disbelief, that disbelief is the fuel of my anger. I really am angry. I wish I could help the new gf. I am imaging she is stuck in the same horrible trap I was in. He needs her money and I have no doubt he has devised a way to siphon what he needs before he ruthlessly destroys her and cuts her out of his life.

    1. Admin

      It’s always “high treason” with them, isn’t it? They are so very strange. How dare we not be the ideal cooperative victim!
      I’m sure she’s in the same horrible trap, since he changed his entire personality to trap her. But think carefully about intervening; all of them have the capacity for violence, and nothing incites their rage like what they perceive as betrayal. Good thing we’re not like that, because there wouldn’t be any psychopaths left. On second thought…

  14. Asheley

    I think disbelief should be an emotion too, it’s certainly the one I’ve felt the most. Thanks again for being there, commenting and understanding this soul sucking journey that were all on. I’m just about five months out now and I still feel disbelief, even toward myself because I miss him so much right now. Something must really be wrong with me!

    1. Admin

      Five months and you still miss him? Give it a year, and probably closer to two years or maybe even longer, to stop missing him. It defies all logic, but don’t forget — this isn’t about logic. This is the rabbit hole, where logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

      You don’t really miss him; you miss the man he pretended to be. Instead of thinking there’s something wrong, have appreciation and compassion for your ability to love and feel deeply.

      1. Kato

        I second Admins reply and also want to say that you are in mourning and there are no rules or set time periods for mourning; we all do it in different ways and times. When someone dies we lose a person. When we discover we have been involved with a P we lose ourselves. This will take much mending (and time). You must face getting over your sadness that the love you thought you had wasn’t that love, and you must also face the loss of part of yourself. In patience and kindness to yourself, in time (your own time), you will mend. Enjoy the journey for there is certainly a reward at the end of it.

        1. Admin

          There are rewards at the end, although that may be hard to believe while we’re going through it.

    2. Kato

      Is stunned an emotion?

      1. Admin

        Stunned means being so astonished or shocked that you’re temporarily unable to react. It’s a feeling of utter bewilderment, of being flabbergasted or dumbfounded. In that sense, it might actually describe a moment of being without emotion. When we’re able to react again, then we feel emotion.

  15. Asheley

    Usually it takes the same duration that the relationship lasted for me to be able to get over the break up. We were seeing each other for 5-6 months, although that isn’t too long it felt so serious and I practically lived at his house half of the week..But how naive of me to think anything about all of this would be typical.

    1. Admin

      If he was a psychopath, it wasn’t a relationship. I suggest reading the newest post, “the cult of two,” and the page in the menu titled ’emotional rape.’ Ending up at a site like this one isn’t typical after a breakup.

  16. Ann Marie

    For those unfortunate enough to have Malignant Narcissists and/or Psychopaths as a parent(s), the woman’s response about “Rage?” makes perfect sense… as a defenseless child, it’s never safe to express anger or rage at the injustice and cruelty of their behavior. Even not swallowing the anger in time will result in further abuse and scapegoating (just for seeing the reality of what they are doing).

    I’m sure she truly believes she’s never felt rage before. For people trained since childhood to swallow or deny their anger, it’s a long process to learn that it’s okay to feel anger/rage, and it doesn’t usually happen until there is a little bit of safety to do so (not often in an ongoing abusive marriage).

    Just my 2 cents about the seeming disconnect.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you for explaining this, Ann Marie. Much appreciated.

  17. Clarity

    I found your site, and I am so grateful to have found it. I am married to a sociopath/psychopath. I knew it before I married him, and then, of course, I was roped in again by promises, charm, lies, etc.

    In the earlier stages of our relationship, sometimes I would find myself getting angry and I couldn’t totally put my finger on it. I was always apt to blame myself for things, even without his part in that, so whatever emotion I was feeling, I would relate it back to my “insecurity” or whatever.

    There was a point that I found he had lied to me about something that I blamed myself for, for over a year, and I was so angry, and I told him that I could not believe it that he let me go on blaming myself and WATCHED ME do so, tearing myself up over it, without batting an eye.

    Nonetheless, of course, I quickly forgave him. I have always been understanding and forgiving of people, and unfortunately, there are some people that use that to their advantage.

    Fast forward to our marriage… I made sure to do healthy things for myself and build myself up throughout the relationship when I started becoming aware of what he was doing. I quit the job/internship that I hated (that I wouldn’t quit sooner because he screamed and raged at me for wanting to quit — mind you, this was before we were married — and the job was not really paying me a steady wage since it was an internship) and I went to school. That was the best decision I ever made, because school forced me to be in HEALTHY social situations. I started exercising, eating healthier, and spending time with people that I could trust.

    I guess this must have pissed him off, because things got worse. He also has a drinking problem — which was one thing he had “promised” me he was going to get help for, too. That’s another story, though. Anyway.. as I became more confident in myself, and as he verbally attacked me more and more, I got angrier.

    I reacted to his manipulation, his verbal/emotional abuse, his antagonism, etc. in ways that I am not proud of, and that has been the hardest thing for me to stomach and wrap my head around. I have felt a lot of guilt and shame for these reactions, and I also have felt rather stupid for them, too, knowing that it could cause me more harm; during one situation where he had decided he was going to grab the dog so that I could not take him when I was about to leave. He held the dog up by the collar — and I will never forget the look on my poor sweet dog’s face — and I tried to fight him off the dog. Being that I am nowhere near strong enough to wrestle him, I did the only thing I could think of in that split second of a moment to release his grip from the dog and I bit him in the wrist as hard as I could. Obviously, it was to help the dog, but to this day I feel guilt and shame for having bit him. Afterwards, he came out to my car when I was trying to leave and he punched my windshield so hard that he BROKE it. So… in my case, reacting with anger, was probably pretty dangerous.

    This was when he had been drinking. When he wasn’t drinking, the manipulation was still present, but it wasn’t as straight-fowardly explosive as when he was drinking…and unfortunately, it was difficult for me allow myself to be aware of what was happening unless it became explosive. The subtle manipulation was almost worse, because it was so much more difficult to put into words to explain to others.

    Unfortunately, in my case, and I am not sure how “normal” this is for being in a relationship with a psychopath…but the more I became aware of what was going on and that he was a very sick person that was purposefully manipulating me… I began to feel like I had something to “prove” to him…to show him that I was not going to succumb to his behavior. I really very naively believed that if I protested and pointed out that I caught onto his tactics and called him out on them, that it would somehow defeat him. I am pretty sure all that did was give him more of a thrill and kicked his manipulation up into full-gear. I really, very sincerely believed that I could “win” against a sociopath — which, I learned, by the way, is NOT possible unless, perhaps you are also a sociopath. It’s not possible, because, as long as you have empathy, a conscience, etc. you can not “outwit” a psychopath. The only thing you can do is get away. It is impossible to win or make the psychopath “see the truth” as I sincerely thought I could do… because there is no reasoning with them.

    I have left him several times, never for long… majorly because at some point, I always felt like I was “giving up” like he kept telling me I was doing. I felt awful and guilty for giving up on my marriage. I took my parents’ divorce really rough, and I promised myself that I would never get divorced if I ever got married… a tidbit that I shared with him before we got married, go figure.

    I just recently left again, and it has only been a few days, but it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There are moments of clarity, like now, and then there are moments of overwhelming guilt and confusion. Sometimes I feel emotionally frustrated, confused, angry, hurt, etc. that it becomes a chore to refrain from calling/texting/e-mailing to try to pour my feelings out to him. I full well know that it will only make me feel worse, because they do not matter to him, and he would have some response that would leave me feeling to blame somehow. Still, as a human, I can’t help but want to do what I do with any other person I have had in my life…and attempt to communicate and reason with them. Which is simply not an option with a sociopath.

    The hardest part for me, so far, however, has been trying to wrap my head around that kind of f**ked upness– I still cannot fathom what he ever got out of toying with me day in and day out. I cannot fathom it, because I am not capable of that type of effed-upness myself…

    I am trying to accept the fact that I probably will never *understand* it. This is hard for me, because I am analytical and a problem solver…I am a science major…and not being able to make SENSE of the situation is a large part of what has kept me in it for the last 5 years.

    Thank you again for the wonderful site. It has helped me get through another day, without him, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It is very helpful to know that I am not “crazy” as I have been told for the last 5 years, and that what I experienced was real.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      You’ve been through a lot, Clarity. I’m sorry your marriage turned out this way. It’s good that you’ve left (and I hope you took the dog with you, poor little thing). Going back won’t change anything, I’m afraid, and I think you know it. For a neuroscientific explanation of why psychopaths behave the way they do, see these posts: “It’s not you, it’s me and my hyper-reactive dopaminergic reward system,“ and “Genuine Attraction, Manipulation or Something More? Dr. Rhonda Freeman Explains.” All of us tried to communicate with them like we do with normal people, and we all gave them the benefit of the doubt, forgave them countless times, behaved like lunatics when the provoked us to do so, and all of us missed them terribly because we were in such a state of confusion and addiction. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. What you need is clarity, like your name, and the only way to get it is with time and space from him; after that, you will not want to return. I’m so glad the website has helped you, and I wish you all the best. Don’t throw any more of your life and your emotional health down the drain, please. Stay strong; you’re worth it.

      To read:


      1. Clarity

        Thanks for the response and the resources.

        I have a question lingering that I have been unsuccessful in attempting to Google the answer for —

        Has anyone ever attempted voice recording the psychopath during an episode of devaluing/insulting/rampages ??

        If so — and the psychopath was aware — what was the outcome?

        I did this recently, because I felt like I had to validate myself. Because he constantly explained everything away and claimed that he didn’t say certain things or act the way that he did, I felt the need to record him to validate myself (which, the fact I felt the need to do this, in itself, should have probably given me my answer) — and he saw that I was doing it. He was trying to force me to delete it for hours one night, and even tried grabbing my phone from me.

        Is what I experienced something that other people have experienced? I know that sorting through the “details” of the situation isn’t necessarily important…but I guess I am partly curious, and also still trying to validate myself on a lot of things.

        Thanks again. Very, very helpful site.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          I’ve never heard from anyone who said they did, but I’m sure others have. The rest of us wish we had, for all the times they denied doing or saying something, or to prove to others what they were really like. What you say is true—the fact that you felt you needed to do it gave you your answer. It’s a clear sign that manipulation and abuse is going on.

          Here’s another one for you: Backed Into an Emotional Corner

          Take good care of yourself.

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