The Unique and Powerful Harm of Betrayal

“There’s coming out of relationships, there’s getting your heart broken, and then there’s that rare and special time you crawl out of a relationship bleeding at your knees, heart shattered, brain smashed, gut splattered and wondering what the point of reality is. The first two are called stages in life; the last one is called surviving a relationship with a psychopath.”

~ Cee Martinez, The Aftermath Of Loving A Psychopath

Feeling that way, and then wondering what the hell really happened, is often what leads us to the truth of the matter.  The devastation we feel is far beyond the realm of a relationship gone wrong, and with good reason. It’s the devastation that comes from betrayal.

Brene’ Brown, sociologist, speaker, and author of the book Daring Greatly, writes about what she believes is the worst betrayal that can happen in a relationship:

“There is a particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious… I’m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship… there’s no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy-making…”

Being abandoned like that is bad enough, but it’s far worse to find out someone was never ‘engaged’ to begin with, never loved you in the first place…. it’s the betrayal of never having had a real relationship at all, but only made to believe you did for the purpose of cultivating feelings of trust, love and loyalty to use later to destroy you. It is the intentional infliction of the deepest wound possible against a person with a heart and soul.

That’s why knowledge and wisdom pertaining to relationships does not apply in our situation, and isn’t the least bit helpful.

If we or others continue to see it as a ‘relationship,’ we will never gain the understanding and support we need. We were not involved in a relationship — we were involved in a victimization. The other person was not a partner — they were a predator. What we experienced was a genuine betrayal, not a perceived betrayal or a violation of our trust. Betrayal differs greatly from other trust violations.

In the case of a real relationship, when we rightfully trust a person who is worthy of our trust, we can never anticipate every contingency, so we may still end up being badly disappointed. The object of our trust may end up disappointing us by outgrowing the relationship or falling out of love. Those outcomes are devastating, but they are not truly betrayals, nor are they what we experienced.

The betrayal we experienced was one where a predatory person convinced us of his or her love and future loyalty, despite their incapacity for love and loyalty, and then devalued and discarded us with zero empathy, compassion or concern. That’s the abbreviated version, of course.

Betrayal is a uniquely devastating form of psychological harm.

In Dante’s Inferno, betrayers were sent to the Ninth Circle, the lowest level of hell. Those of us who have experienced betrayal understand why.

Bartolomeo di Fruosino, 1366

“An act of betrayal makes us appreciate Dante’s reserving the innermost ring of the Inferno for the betrayers. We can even say there is a characteristic ‘feel’ to betrayal. The betrayed experience powerful sensations of violation; they feel used and damaged…

Betrayal, however, elicits more than strong feelings. Psychologists offer clinical evidence attesting to the devastating effects of betrayal. Betrayal acts as an assault on the integrity of individuals, affecting the capacity to trust, undermining confidence in judgment, and contracting the possibilities of the world by increasing distrust and scepticism. Betrayal changes not only our sense of the world, but our sensibility toward the world.” ~ Rodger L. Jackson, The Sense and Sensibility of Betrayal: Discovering the Meaning of Treachery through Jane Austen 

The particular type of betrayal we experienced is called emotional rape. Understanding what we experienced is the first step in being able to heal.

In Dante’s Inferno, betrayers were frozen in ice for eternity.

This is a terrible truth to have to come to terms with.

When we give our trust to another, we have the confident expectation that person will value it and have the good will to care for it. When we trust someone, we become vulnerable to them.

The psychopath did not warrant our trust, because he did not possess the good will to care for it. This does not mean we were foolish to trust, though. They weren’t capable of having a deep and lasting relationship, but they presented us with plausible grounds to believe they had the qualities to make that possible.

Dr. Hare and Dr. Babiak sum up the differences between a real bond between two people and the psychopathic bond quite well:

“The persona of the psychopath — the “personality” the person is bonding with — does not really exist. It was built on lies, carefully woven together to entrap you. It is a mask, one of many, custom-made by the psychopath to fit your particular psychological needs and expectations. It does not reflect the true personality — the psychopathic personality — that lies beneath. It is a convenient fabrication.

Second, these relationships are not based on informed choice. The psychopath chooses you and then moves in….

Third, because it is faked, it won’t last like genuine relationships. While genuine relationships change over time — love may turn to hate, marriages end in divorce — the initial starting point was based on real data, as it was known at the time….

Fourth, the relationship is one-sided because the psychopath has an ulterior — some would say “evil” — and, at the very least, selfish — motive. The victimization goes far beyond trying to take advantage of someone on a date or during a simple business transaction. The victimization is predatory in nature; it often leads to severe financial, physical or emotional harm for the individual.

Healthy, real relationships are built on mutual respect and trust; they are based on sharing honest thoughts and feelings. The mistaken belief that the psychopathic bond has any of these characteristics is the reason it is so successful.”

Judas, whose name is synonymous with betrayal, in pictured on the right.

The stages of the psychopathic bond are known as “idealize, devalue and discard.” Recently, a reader named Jack called those stages “Entrapment, Dehumanization and Discardment.” I think his choice of words more powerfully captures the true essence of our experience.

Where do you go from here? 

The first step to healing is to realize and understand the profound betrayal you’ve experienced. This is no small matter; in fact, it’s the heart of the matter. It’s the cause of the trauma we experience. It’s incomprehensible, yet we have to be able to comprehend it in order to eventually heal from it.

This profound betrayal brings you to a fork in the road. Choose the path that fosters personal growth and self-regard, not the one that impedes them. One way to foster them is to first acknowledge the true depth and severity of your wound. Only then can you know the extent of the treatment needed.

It is vital to have faith that you will heal, even if you have no idea how that will happen right now (that link goes to my very first blog post, and faith was all I had when I wrote it). That faith will give you hope, and it will keep you moving forward.

Since we can’t change the reality of what happened, regaining faith and trust in yourself should be your overarching goal. Psychopaths damage our self confidence, self respect, and self worth, among other things. You can regain them, and even develop more than you had before. From great adversity comes great strength. Just as the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires, we too are forged and strengthened by our own struggles and triumphs.

You can start the process of regaining faith and trust in yourself by learning the details of how you were victimized. Doing so resolves shame and self-blame, which are huge roadblocks that get in the way of healing. Shame is the feeling of deep humiliation not for what we’ve done, but for what we are. No one should go through life with that belief about themselves.

Regaining trust in others is also important. Losing your ability to trust others and imagining a future filled with more betrayal will only lead you to imprison your soul and lock your heart away. To avoid that outcome, it’s important to carefully examine your thoughts and feelings regarding trust and your beliefs about the future. You will be able to trust again when you have confidence that you can do so as wisely as possible.

Healing depends largely on the quality of resilience. Resilience is the capacity to withstand stress and catastrophe. Don’t worry if you were never particularly resilient in the past — it’s not something we’re born with. Your resilience will develop and grow as you persist in overcoming this adversity. Resilience does not mean ‘being strong’ and going it alone — it means doing whatever it takes to help yourself, including reaching out to others for help, which you should do. Some things are just too big to face on our own.

Find personal meaning in your experience. My personal meaning is that this experience was sufficiently devastating to bring me to a place where I had to re-examine everything about my self, my relationships, and my life, and doing so created the opportunity to make significant positive changes. I ended up experiencing post-traumatic growth, which is positive change after struggling with a major life crisis or traumatic event. Post-traumatic growth does not diminish the severity of what you experienced — in fact, it can only happen because of the severity of that experience.

 ♥ Thank you for reading.


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102 thoughts on “The Unique and Powerful Harm of Betrayal”

  1. Jan

    After 2 yrs of trying to comprehend the other person, my spiritual companion, and why she said & did what she did, and being in intense grief over the sudden rejection and continued “silent treatment”, plus continued hopes for reconnection so that it could all be ironed out, suddenly 4 months ago I recognized the TRUTH of me; of my actual intentions, actions, feelings, thoughts; recognizing that I always lived from my heart, that I’d always functioned with respect and caring for her, and that I AM A GOOD PERSON and NOT what she twisted into a being to be ashamed of. I acknowledged myself with respect for my own self.

    Then, suddenly books and newsletters started arriving in my life that revealed to me that this person is a psychopath! Wow. A shock, for sure, and lots of stuff to go through and recognize. However, it was immediately freeing to know that there’d never actually been a relationship. There was no longer anything I needed to torment over in efforts to understand her “change in feelings towards me” as she’d never had any in the 1st place, except for envy.

    I’d say that reading, reading, reading, as many books and newsletters I can find about the topic, has been the most significant help to me. From information on psychopathic betrayal, the books gradually widened in focus to other aspects of my own functioning; for instance of my functioning in regards to the Betrayal Bond itself (examining which areas I was most affected by), and the Art of Quitting, and what has made it more difficult for “my type” to let go.

    There are no other people in my life to talk with about it. There was one beginning friendship that started out very supportive for sharing but then quickly didn’t work because there was no comprehension of how this is different from a relationship gone bad.

    Gradually, I’m more & more able to focus on my own life; on working with my own gifts in art & piano, plus participating in Tai Chi sessions and choir. It feels as if there’s a gradual shift happening in that my current life activities in general are ALMOST starting to out-balance the grief. I go many days without crying now. There are stretches of days in which I feel detached. There are days when I recognize I don’t want to reconnect with that person; recognizing that it would actually be bad news; that nothing would actually have changed.

    Simply being ME, living from my heart, LOVING because that’s who I am and what I do….that’s what shifts me from any concerns about that person; that stops me from thinking any more about it. Be ME. I mean, the entire rest of this community is wonderful and supportive of who I am and what I do. Well—it’s been a long, long path—-, and than you for your blog that continues to add to my healing.

    1. Admin

      I’m glad you found out the truth — not only about her, but about YOU.

      I’m happy to hear that focusing on your own gifts and interests has helped you! That’s a fantastic way to heal, along with all the other things you’ve been doing. Most of all, I’m glad to hear you haven’t stopped LOVING, because that is such an important part of who and what you are, of what all of us are. ♥

      1. Jan

        Thank you. The fact that you replied to what I wrote touches me and calms. j.

        1. Admin

          You’re welcome, Jan!

          1. Jan

            OMG, now last night I came across as acquaintance who was coming out of a pathway that directly accesses the house of “the psychopath”! She was so happy and said she’d just been visiting her friend (yes, the psychopath!!)—And, aaargh, yes, my reaction was envy and I commented that I’d love to be able to see that person again; to be friends again with her. (Yes, aaargh, it’s true—Hearing someone else tell of their connecting with her is REALLY, REALLY HARD. I automatically assume they’re having a REAL friendship whereas I’m still being given the “Silent Treatment”). Her reply was that she’d help by asking her if there was a way we could connect & be friends again. (Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!). Then later in bed, reviewing this piece of “miracle luck”, it hit me that, Hey, this woman is actually the latest target!!! A very strong woman,—but then, so was I. Then I wondered what to do; what to say, if anything? Would I even be believed? Likely not. I, myself wouldn’t have believed it if I’d been warned.—Have they already entered the phase of deconstructing? Huh, I few wks ago, I’d noticed that she wasn’t her usual enthusiastic, lively, energetic self and had wondered about that.— I’m feeling I have a responsibility, and at the same time recognize that at the moment she believes all is fabulous and that, being the empathetic person she is, believes she is being of valuable help to this suffering person who needs the support of a friend (compared to all the others she’s likely been told about who have betrayed—according to the made-up stories I was told myself about former friends—and believed.)—-I’m wondering if there’s anything I can ask her??? Some clue she might comprehend ??? Are there any “success stories” about preventing someone from having to experience the devastation? j.

            1. Admin

              I know that if anyone warned me to stay away from him, I’d have thought they were either crazy or jealous — wild horses couldn’t have dragged me away. I thought I had the most wonderful, magical thing, after all. I’d met my soul mate (and I never even believed in soul mates!). I’ll bet you believed your friend was a soul mate, too. And I’ll bet this new friend of hers, who pranced gleefully down her path, feels the same way.

              I had the same dilemma you’re having when I watched his next target fall head over heels in love with him…right in front of me…it was gut-wrenching…and I knew there was not a thing I could do for her when I found out the truth about him a couple of weeks later (shortly before he discarded me for her). She would never believe me, and if she told him what I said, he’d no doubt make me look like the bad one. I knew it would do no good to say anything to her, and I wanted to stay out of his consciousness, so I didn’t say anything. It was about self preservation, and I have no regrets. I had to put myself first at that point. It would have been futile anyway.

              I had the same feelings of jealousy, the same worries that he’d “really” love her. Most of us go through that when they move on to someone else. It’s a terrible feeling, one that plays on their blaming us for the problems in the ‘relationship’ and our deep attachment to the person they once ‘were’ in the beginning.

              You’ll have to make your own decision, but if I were in your situation, I would immediately make a vow to go No Contact. You’ve put yourself in a difficult situation, one where she could ignore your request and cause you to feel rejected all over again, or where she might actually contact you, and after what you’ve said about her that doesn’t sound like a good thing. I know how difficult it is. The image of the person they pretended to be is one that endures. It takes a long time for our heart to catch up with what we know in our head. A LONG time. I will always wish that person was real. But he wasn’t real. That truth is so hard to comprehend, and so hard to accept. I never even knew that possibility existed. None of us did. The image they created is very powerful, but there is no going back. We know what exists beneath the disguise.

              1. Admin

                Jan, to see the picture, look at the bottom of the article — I added it there.

      2. Swami Suddhananda

        Yep who I am to this PN was not is not and will not have anything to do with me. It’s all I mean all in their head.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Good for you, Swami! I’m glad to hear it.

  2. Tara

    I was in shell shock for 2 months and a concerned friend told me about Rapid Resolution Therapy. There is a TED Talk on it. The aftermath of the relationship was PTSD but in accepting I loved a psychopath, it allowed me to let it go. It was not a relationship but a process of victimization like the article says. Unlike a typical breakup, healing it needed trauma therapy, specific to the event.

    1. Admin

      Hi, Tara. I’m so glad you found something that worked for you. Thank you for sharing it here!

  3. roro

    Love love LOVE the part about the lowest level of Hell being reserved for betrayers!! That brought a BIG smile to my face :) I would like to say that my psychopath is someone I work with and have to see every day. I began to really believe there was no hope in ever getting away from him and became almost resigned to that some point I read somewhere that the only way to truly cut the psychopathic bond is if THEY leave YOU. I decided I would get him to do just that..and I did…I drew on some old acting skills and became a very dreary boring un interesting person….wink wink..he eventually tired of me and has now moved on to his next victim..the poor woman..wish I could warn her! Bottom line is we have all been thru a brutality we never could have imagined … my advice is just what I did…take all the time you need to heal and restore…wallow in it! It’s ok to be anti social while you are working this out! Read and research all you can about these very sick people. Trust your family and friends to lend a sympathetic ear if need be..and if you are a spiritual person PRAY for these people to one day see the light and change their heinous ways. Websites such as this one are enormously helpful as well xo

    1. Admin

      I figured if it made me smile, it would make someone else smile, too. You chose the perfect role to get rid of him — it’s actually a technique known as “grayrock,” which involves acting like a boring, bland, gray rock! Great job. (Here’s a link if anyone wants to try it:

      That’s excellent advice, roro — realize the brutality of what you experienced, take all the time you need to heal, withdraw for a while while you work it out, read and research, reach out to friends and family, rely on your spiritual beliefs, and read this website (I wish I could have done that last one ;-) xo

  4. roro

    GRAY ROCK ROCKS!! And in addition to that – making a dart board out of his picture helped immeasurably as well !!! : )

    1. Admin

      I’ll add dart boards to the list.

  5. Shani

    Yes, it is unbelievable how easily psychopaths hypnotise emotionally intact humans into automatic negative thought/talk syndrome. ANTS as Dr. Amen refers to the phenomena. Apart from this website and Admin references (that I literally study), I also find Dr. Daniel Amen’s work a true source of strength to my ongoing post traumatic growth.

    I might have communicated my experiences in a comical way, but as Admin said, the undermining betrayal I experience, just as devastating.

    Admin your insight to incorporate the effect and affect of the psychopath on every day life, on such a vast and deep level of being, is unique and outstandingly practical. You are entrusted with giving hope and life back where most fear to tread.

    I need to thank you for taking up that responsibility.

    1. Admin

      Nice to see you again! I remember your stories very well. They were brilliantly comical, yet the painful truth of your circumstances was right there, between the lines. I hope you’re doing well.

      Shani, I thank you with all of my heart for your very kind words. It’s good to know you still come and visit.

  6. Jan

    I get disappointed with myself with these back-&-forth shifts in mental/emotional states. There’s such relief when I feel the detachment and the knowing that I don’t even want that person as it wasn’t even real; when I can feel Heart Love as ME and focus on my work as being of value…. I feel then that I’ve finally made it thru’.

    And then sometimes the shift back to hope comes because of a wishful belief that she actually has been transforming herself as she’d stated she was and which she said was the reason for needing to “go into silence”, and then I think I’m being too harsh on her in not believing in her ability to change. Maybe she’s NOT really a psychopath! (Therefore how mean of me to feel on the verge of “abandoning her” when all she needs is some more time to complete her healing.) Yes, she said lots of things to me about being key in her life in regards to her healing & transformation.

    Other times when I’ve actually been doing well and feeling detached, I’m suddenly spiralled down into grief because someone elsse has made a remark about a phone call or a visit and I find out I’m not quite fine yet. My reaction is usually delayed. At the time of the remark, I feel I’m holding up very well and being rational.

    Thanks for your reply. I agree that it wouldn’t work to warn the new “friend”. All I can do is watch.

    Re: No Contact: I have huge fear about establishing “No Contact”, even tho’ she herself has ordered ME to have no contact with her, as if I was the offending, harmful person! “No Contact” already exists, therefore, but it’s in her shaming-of-me terms (which is the way I FEEL it, so perhaps that’s the way she means it). She’s explained it in spiritual terms, saying she’s doing very deep spiritual inner work and that she’s needing to learn to love herself before she can have contact with me again and requests no contact by me for “an indeterminate time”.—-

    Gaads it gets confusing with all this spiritual stuff mixed in….There have been statements that are even more confusing than that, about seeing me as Angel Light, and yet in the next sentence saying it takes her days to recover from my energy whenever I attempt to make contact with her, and she has to have compassion for herself so she can do her (spiritual) work on this island; saying it as if my energy is toxic to her. She says she’s simply following guidance about a few relationship attachments. This is so vague, I don’t know what she means. (Yes, “vague” has always been her way of speaking/writing. Ambiguous.) I’ve asked her to explain, but she refuses to reply to my (very infrequent—one or 2 a yr) emails. The Silent Treatment. And that feels like a “statement” of contempt for my very existence.

    If I, myself, told myself “okay, NO CONTACT!” then I’d be giving up whatever unexpected opportunity could arise for contact!—Then back to “Why would I want contact??? It would be bad news!” I feel quite mixed-up with the back-&-forth states of mind & emotion. I remember the facts and then I forget the facts……j

    1. Admin

      Jan, please read this article about the silent treatment. The silent treatment is an especially insidious and damaging form of emotional abuse. I finally understood it when I did. Let me know what you think. The Silent but Deadly Treatment

      When I read the things your friend says to you, I see the same old manipulative ploys, only they’re spoken using spiritual terms. They have the same effect — your mind is going back and forth, you have no idea where you stand with her, you feel confused, you analyze every statement and conversation, you’re on an emotional roller coaster, you feel inadequate in her eyes, etc.

      You don’t have to be be absolutely certain if she’s a psychopath or not — the bottom line is the effect she has on you, on your emotional well-being. That’s all you really need to know.

      The silent treatment is a means of control. “No Contact” may already exist, but if you decide to do it because it’s the best thing for you, then you take that control back from her. It becomes your decision at that point.

      Your mixed-up state of mind is reflective of what’s going on in your relationship with her. Friends are not vague and ambiguous, and they don’t cut us off for two years. Friends are…friends. It’s normal to go back and forth in your thoughts when dealing with a toxic person. The key to stopping that is time and distance. It will gradually diminish as you have the space to start seeing things clearly. xx

      1. Jan

        The silent treatment article: oh my yes; this is exactly how it has made me feel; that it’s contempt for my very being; not worth the effort to even acknowledge my existence.
        And the other article also. Hmmm, yes, the same manipulations but put in vague spiritual terms.
        The spiritual part—She was a minister; left that a few yrs ago; now has a spiritual/body/energy practice here in this very small community. 3 months after the start of our spiritual companionship, she introduced me to one form of her offerings which involved full-body energy ceremonies. She didn’t explain what it would consist of & I just trusted her. I was shocked when part of it was that she activated my kundalini energy without warning me or asking my permission. After that, she’d activate my energy frequently long distance, with some spiritual reasoning about it being for the Earth. Okay, I’ve read other things about that.—-Then in one ceremony, when she was standing somewhere past my head, my entire body spasmed like an elastic band snapping back into place! It scared me, that perhaps the band or cord could have broken and my spirit or soul wouldn’t have got back to my body. I was too intimidated to even ask what that was about. I passed it off as something that hadn’t been intended to happen. And continued to trust her. It happened a 2nd time on another occasion. Jan, jan, jan!!!—The day she delivered the shock of the end of our human relationship, she was saying something about having to consider my safety. The fact of those incidents came to mind—-Was that what she meant?–that it was possible she would become so enraged in envy of me that she’d complete the job of removing me from this earth during one of these ceremonies?? She said she knows all the spiritual energy tools. — On that last day, she was also questioning me about whether we’d established telepathic communication. Yes. It existed. So, even after she’d ended our external contact, there continued to be internal contact and energy activation, including Heart activation. Sometimes, especially after I’d been so upset I was deciding to totally end the connection, (yes, I’ve been to that point a couple times), I’d feel her swarming my brain, checking me out.—Okay, now in regards to my attempts to end things with her, she’s so attuned to me, it’s as if she knows what I’m thinking—-even what I’m writing—-and I feel it powerfully in my body that she’s focused on me. Today she was trying to activate my energy but I managed to block her.—-This topic has also been confusing because the energy feels good, sending energy into the earth to heal the earth has seemed to be a good thing to do. And yet—and yet—has this been simply her manipulative reasoning for it??? I often found that when it was happening I’d go into anger & grief for a few minutes, which was quite the opposite from the start of it and recently I wondered if it was actually her own rage I was tapping into because it made no sense to me.—Perhaps I need to connect with someone who can discuss these spiritual energy practices. Is it valid? Was it just her manipulation of me for her own energy vampire needs? She did say in self-derision once that she was just an energy vampire, but I didn’t comprehend at that time.
        Anyway, oh boy, I really like what you said, that it doesn’t matter whether or not she’s a psychopath. The relevant thing is what the connection does to me! My brain is working on that concept—- :)

        1. Admin

          In reading your words, I find a lot of parallels to the experiences of others and to my own. You’ve got me thinking. I don’t know too much about the spiritual energy tools you speak of (although I do know that activating Kundalini before one is ready can be extremely dangerous); I tend towards extreme skepticism. I took my own inexplicable experiences and found a way to explain them in a more logical, rational way that I was comfortable with, but I still wonder about them. I’ve heard many people victimized by psychopaths refer to telepathy and also to having the psychopath “in their head.” I wrote it off as intrusive thoughts related to trauma, and I still believe that, but my self and others have described it in these ways:

          a self-replicating thought spiral
          a consciousness parasite
          an infection
          a thorn in my brain

          I remember very well the desperate feeling of wanting him to ‘get out of my head.’ It was such a relief when that feeling subsided — I felt like I was my own again, like some dark and chaotic energy was finally gone.There were many strange, otherworldly seeming things that happened with him. I won’t go into the details, but he used to say, “it’s magical, isn’t it?” and smile like he had a secret. I ended up calling him Lucifer (the Light Bringer) after it was over.

          He also referred to himself as a vampire. They are energy vampires, but in a more literal sense than what is given as the usual definition. That’s one thing I have no doubt about.

          If what you’re saying is accurate, this woman is very dangerous. Since you believe this spiritual energy communication is happening, is there some spiritual tool that could be employed block her? I urge you to look into it.

          1. Admin

            By the way, ‘minister’ is a popular occupational choice for psychopaths.

  7. Reality

    Dear admin.
    After reading about the terrible things this spiritual psycopath (it is a cult leader indeed) did to jan (run away jan!)i want to put at your disposal a link that might help her and also other people who are spiritual. It helps me now that i pass a very difficult time after the last encounter i had with the psycopath. I hope to regain my composure in order to be able to speak about it. I am not in good condition now to do this.
    Here it is the link, if you approve it post it please as it may help even one person.
    thank you for being always here admin
    love, Reality

    1. Admin

      Thank you for always being here, too :-)

      1. Admin

        Reality……..About 6 months after the psychopath, I saw a ring at an antique sale that I had to have. I wear it constantly.

        It’s a gold coin that depicts the archangel Michael slaying Satan.

        1. Lady Vigilant

          I’ve never seen a St Michael ring though I pray the St Michael prayer daily and never
          leave our driveway without reciting it. He is very powerful against all evil. So glad
          you found the St Michael ring! God Bless you in your valiant war against evil. Don’t you believe without these horrific direct experiences with evil in the psychopaths who
          target us we wouldn’t be nearly as strong and wise? It seems we all turn to reading
          and studying what we cannot fathom in order to protect ourselves and loved ones from future predation.
          Very Gratefully,

          1. Adelyn Birch

            We are most definitely stronger and wiser! That’s not what they intended, but while they go out looking for more of us, we do all we can to avoid ever having one of them in our lives again. God bless you too, Lady Vigilant.

  8. Asheley

    I’m struggling so much today. Cognitive dissonance all the way! Tomorrow marks three months of no contact that I initiated after finding out that my ex made me the other woman. This person made me feel more love than anyone has ever in my life, (and I grew up in a very loving home). I never loved anyone more in my life than him. Everything about him was perfect to me, his talents, interests, his sense of humor was similar to mine and his mannerisms were beyond adorable. I understand the concept of mirroring but I believe many of these traits that I loved were his own as he is liked by almost everyone that he knows. At least he’s liked by the ones he deems worthy of his caring and charming performance. He seemed so innocent, and was incredibly attractive physically however he projected his dishonesty on to me from the beginning. He went out of his way to show his detest for liars and i bought it. The pain I’m in is so different from a normal break up, it’s been debilitating at times. Although I don’t cry daily anymore, I still have moments where I miss the man I thought he was so much it kills me. I worry that I’ll never feel as loved again as I did by him in the idealize phase, and I worry that no one will ever measure up to his perfect facade. The devalue phase was so subtle just a few questionable remarks and a very covert criticism of my body (which he had claimed to love) . During the devalue stage he still idealized me greatly so i excused his bad behavior. The day before the discard started i spent the entire night tightly wrapped in his arms which was something that he did each time we were together. He had to be in constant physical contact with me, most of the time holding me so close and tight that i almost felt suffocated. He went out of his way to let me know that i was the only woman in his life that night. It went from him saying that there would never be a time where we weren’t seeing each other to the very next day starting the process of stonewalling. He ignored me for 2 weeks, during which time I pleaded with him to forgive me for whatever I had done and allow us to at least be friends. That was a very dark period as I was sure I had run off the love of my life. I blamed myself, couldn’t forgive myself. I’ve never not wanted to be in my own skin more. Out of nowhere he texted me after the two weeks and we spent 24 hours together. I left his house that morning but later that night i had an intuitive moment where i needed to drive past his house because i just knew another woman would be there. I saw a car parked in my spot so i quickly decided to put some make up on my face and confront the situation head on! Sure enough he was there with another woman. There’s no way to say this and not sound like a jerk but I was surprised because she was very plain Jane and not at all on his level looks wise. The guy could date a super model… it was as if he preyed on her because perhaps she was insecure. He was so angry for me confronting him but at the same time he didnt try to protect her from me or the hurtful situation. I knew it wasn’t her fault and would never go after her but he sure left her wide open for attack in his house that night. What was facinating was the scene in his room looked exactly like it did when I was his number one girl. His phone was strategically placed beside the unsuspecting girl in a move to show he had nothing to hide from her at all. He kept his phone close to me all the time too. Yet he cheated all the time too, which I found out later. As he slammed his front door right in my face I was enraged. He sent numerous texts that night as I drove home calling me names like a gd bitch and crazy while blaming me for the entire situation that night. This was the same man that kept religious icons around his house and even made faith a cool thing to me. That night he tried punishing me by saying he’d never speak to me again. I declared that I wouldn’t want to speak to a liar anyway. That was it. The problem now is I work with his two best friends, they’re super nice to me and thought what he did was absolutely evil but yet still are buddy, buddy with him. They dont bring him up so i can deal with it but lately he’s been stopping by my work, where he used to work, which is how we met, and spending quite a bit of time visiting his old coworkers.. i havent been there when he visited but he has to know that i would find out which goes to show he has no shame at all about what happened. I would be embarrassed to show my face! I truly want to forget him and move on but it’s not easy when he’s still coming around.. i may have to leave my job for peace of mind. Hearing his name makes me nauseated. And sometimes I even think he had a reason to think so highly of himself because he truly is amazing in a way. He amazed me in the best ways possible and that’s not fair! Oh to die and come back as a highly attractive physcopathic man, what a life! I know that’s silly but sometimes it seems like they have it really good. When I have these weak moments I usually find myself reading your blog, or others similar to yours and I feel somewhat at ease. I needed to vent so badly tonight. If anyone reads this thanks for taking the time and good luck!

    1. Admin

      Ashley, your story is heartbreaking. I know how terrible it is, and I’m sorry it happened to you. Yesterday I was re-reading some of my journal from the first months, something I hadn’t done for a while. I was really in the thick of it at three months out, much like you are now. Please feel free to come around and vent any time you need to. ♥

      1. Asheley

        Thank you for responding. It feels good when someone validates that your experience was in fact heartbreaking. He was a master at faking intimacy, and he used it to get what he wanted from me. He gave me the most intimate experiences that I had ever had. Eye contact, and intense cuddling which i became addicted to. It wasnt the average spooning, it was a constant holding of me so tightly, so lovingly. I remember thinking that he was absolutely in love with me. The first time we kissed his heart was beating fast and he had to hold me tight and kiss my eyelids too! It all seemed so real. He wasnt a smooth talker, although he could tell me what i wanted to hear at the drop of a hat, he was an actions man. I believed him because his ACTIONS said that he adored me. The safety that I felt wrapped in his strong arms was amazing. His lovebombing wasn’t words or gifts it was extreme physical and emotional intimacy. I remember thinking that it was a fairy tale, my life had become scenes out of a love story and I never wanted it to end. I would have done anything to have him as mine always. The emotional abuse and brainwashing was severe. He was a walking contradiction, and I could never keep up. Now that he’s visiting my work I’m confused yet again as to why he must do that?I assume he likes the ego boost he gets from seeing faces that adore him, but wouldn’t he stay away from his “crazy” ex’s work? I thought it was a safe place for me where he wouldn’t return. I wish I knew his motive. One thing is for sure, I will not break no contact! Happy Sunday!

        1. Admin

          Their actions do say they adore us…until their actions change. The contradictions begin. The devaluation.

          Mine was an incredible cuddler, too. He’d say “we fit together like a puzzle, don’t we?” He was the most affectionate man I ever knew. Loving, present, affectionate, all of it. Exactly what I wanted. That just makes it even more terrible when they show what they truly are. I felt I never even had a clue what love was — and had never really been loved — until I met him. I felt like he brought me to life. It hurts to lose that, to find out it wasn’t real. It’s an incredibly devastating disappointment. The higher they take us, the farther we have to fall. I know how hard it is to lose something you truly believed was wonderful and real. It makes no difference if it “wasn’t real” — the feelings of loss and grief are the same. They are as real as anything gets.

          I’m sorry he’s coming in to your work. He’s a cruel man, so it’s not surprising that he might do that. Keeping up no contact is all you can do. If finding a new job is a possibility, you might want to consider it.

          1. Alice

            Admin, You really nailed it in you comment! Understanding that nothing they did meant anything real to them whereas it felt so incredibly real and alive to us, like true soul-connection, is such a devastating experience.

            How can we move on and heal? Well, in addition to no contact and time, working on my blank spots, my inner childhood wounds and past trauma (such as abandonment issues and fear of not bering “seen”) has helped me a lot.


            1. Adelyn Birch

              It is truly devastating. It also creates an excellent opportunity to examine our lives, from the beginning, and resolve past trauma, as you said. I felt like I took a backhoe to mine and excavated the entire thing. Best thing I ever did.

    2. Alice

      Ashley, What you described is so familiar to what I experienced. It’s like we dated the same psychonarc! “Mine” was an investigative journalist (former war reporter) pretending to “work for truth” when in fact, his entire own existence and all his relationship with women was a web of lies and deceit. It took me up to a year to get rid of delusion and wishful thinking that I could help him “be the man he could’ve been”. I’m now no contact for a year (with two exceptions – a short message Exchange in Spring and a one-hour phone conversation in fall… which both set me back (emotionally) for weeks so I wish I hadn’t reacted to his hoovers. All the other times I resisted his hoovering (usually coming up once a months during holidays,weekends or right before birthdays, Easter Time etc. – and though it was hard it was much better than reacring!!!

      I’m still recovering from the phone call hoover because he faked remorse and longing for a connection with me (playing the “why can’t we just be friends now?” card…

      I know all of this is FAKE again – he was simultaneously praying on a sex/dating site while texting me – I knew of this site and his 8-year-long addiction to it, so I could easily check online and reframe everything he said as A LIE.

      But it’s still hard to recover from it all. The betrayal just goes beyond anything I ever experienced before. Thank you so much Admin for this EXCELLENT website! For me, it’s one of the deepest, most clear-sighted and most insightful blogs on narcopath abuse recovery out there! It’s a shiny light of hope and I recommend it all the time:-)))

      1. Alice

        Oops, so many typos… sorry for that – I am writing on my mobile…

      2. Adelyn Birch

        Thank you so much, Alice!

  9. Shani

    Goodness, am I mesmerised or are these psychopaths literally and figuratively pure over inflated ego’s? They look so grandiosely goofy when suprisingly easily uprooted by confrontation. They act (?) if they completely lost the plot. I pic that up in about every confession. They pussyfoot back until they establish the slightest inkling of subdued sway. They crawl closer all eyes and ears, oblivious of their own strangely odd physical and emotional out of place appearance.

    I am just wondering:
    On Asheley’s response to the psycho re-visiting her workplace. Is it not evident that his prime goal is to TRY and victimise her? My logic tells me, he will follow her like lightning and be pleased in his victory having her upsetting her life to an extend of relocating, due to his manipulation. He consults with his buddies for every bit of info about her, possibly without them even understanding the drift. So, he knows every move she makes and plan making in the future.

    Will reconsidering personal boundaries, gray-rocking (;-)) and an active professional support system not perhaps be a more personal growing experience. Rather focus on self actualisation and through that eliminating the psychopath.

    If so, please, be sure the new job will be of great personal value and a leap in contributing to your personal branding and price tag Asheley. Perhaps this is the motivation to act on the positive change you have been seriously considering for a while.

    If I do not make sense, Admin, please debate my vision.
    I am going through the same learning curve.

    I know, we need to be careful to act out of fear, all the way we have the power.

    1. Admin

      You make perfect sense to me, Shani. That’s excellent advice for Ashley. I agree completely.

      And once again, you’ve created a wonderfully vivid description of a psychopath, as no one else but you can do. They are grandiosely goofy, indeed. :-)

  10. Asheley

    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses.

    Admin, I’m wondering if we dated the same “man”, Ha! What you went through, sounds exactly like my experience. Although I wish you never had to go through that, it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone and that there is hope! I think I’ve read everything there is on physcopaths and loving relationships on the Internet and very little went in depth when it came to the emotional and physical intimacy (love bombing) many blogs (not yours) talk mostly about constant contact via telephone or emailing, gifts and words of praise/affection. I may be biased but I think the extreme intimacy that we experienced is the worst kind of love bombing. I have moments where knowing he is a physcopath makes me feel better because I know he is the one who is disordered and corrupt, that I didn’t ruin anything. Other times his being a physcopath means it was all a lie, that he won’t show up on my door step to apologize and tell me he can’t live without me (and truly mean it). I know now that dream will never ever happen.

    Was there ever an instant with you where he “accidently” hurt you in a physical way? Possibly during idealize/devalue?

    Shani, he has kept his word and not tried to contact me at all since I stormed into his house that night. Which obviously makes me feel like he has not a care or thought about me. He’s being arrogant and showing that he will do whatever he wants regardless of how it could affect me. Him visiting my work could also be his way of slightly inserting himself in to my mind without being the one to break our no contact. His way of not letting me fully forget him. Or perhaps he visits because he simply enjoys our antique store, maybe i don’t even cross his mind when he’s there? I love my career and coworkers and really don’t want to leave on account of him. I will only do so if it becomes unbearable. I think if and when I get through this I will find that it has been a great growing experience, just wish it didn’t have to be such a confusing journey. I appreciate you words so much!

    1. Admin

      I feel our stories are very similar too. In fact, when I read yours I got a stabbing pain in my heart that I hadn’t felt for a long time.

      “I have moments where knowing he is a physcopath makes me feel better because I know he is the one who is disordered and corrupt, that I didn’t ruin anything. Other times his being a physcopath means it was all a lie, that he won’t show up on my door step to apologize and tell me he can’t live without me (and truly mean it).” That sums it up perfectly. We’re damned either way, so to speak.

      No, he never hurt me physically, accidentally or otherwise. He did give me a bad cold once, though. But he was more into busting hearts than kneecaps. It doesn’t leave any visible bruises.

      If you love your career and coworkers, seeing how it goes is a good option.

      I think you will find this turns into a great growing experience for you. It’s bad enough to have that effect. Please keep us posted, OK?

  11. Asheley

    In the beginning of our “relationship” we were laying his bed talking, we spent most of our time together laughing and talking until late at night, no tv or other entertainment required, he was a best friend I thought, his half of the bed was located against the wall so he would have to exit from the end of the bed or crawl over me to get out. As he was crawling over me, instead of bracing his hands on the mattress, he used the side of my abdomen and put all 6’1″ 200 muscular lbs of his pressure and weight on my stomach and pivoted himself out of bed. I immediately shrieked in pain but he didn’t really react to it at all. We were right in the thick of “love” so I let it go and thought it was just a dumb accident. The next day i was driving and I had shooting pains on my side and remembered what happened. I told him about it and I don’t even remember an apology, if I got one it was weak. He had been in chiropractic college so he knew exactly how to manipulate the body with his hands. I wondered later if he hurt me on purpose. I let it go…. I’ve searched the Internet for similar stories but really only found one in a comment section on Claudia M’s website where a woman said her ex husband had been the cause of her breaking a leg , the events that caused it could be looked at as an accident so she let it go too. But she realized later it was a way that he tested how far he could take her on his physcopathic abuse ride and get away with it. Very sad and interesting too.

    I will definitely keep you updated! ♡

    1. Admin

      I think anyone would naturally avoid doing that — obviously, it’s going to hurt! And the fact that he didn’t even react to your shriek, or to your complaint the next day, make it even worse. It sounds like it was purposeful, and his reaction, or lack of one, was callous.

      Will be looking forward to your updates, Ashley. Take good care of yourself.

      1. Pat

        Looking back, I think he purposely tried to hurt me. He used to dive on me while I was in bed, hurting me with his weight. Once he did pushed up on my back that took me to the clinic with muscle spasm in neck. When the doctor talked to him about it, he was so upset. Twice he tried to suffocate me with a pillow while I struggle to breathe which he calling playing and twice he tried to let me fall in the tub pushing me to slip, again playing. Each time I would tell him he was hurting me to which he said I was no fun.

        1. Admin

          It sounds like he was definitely trying to hurt you. I’ve heard other people say the same kinds of things. They made it look like an accident, or that they were just playing, or they just didn’t “realize” what they had done. Glad you are safely away from him!

          1. Asheley

            Hi Pat, I just want to say that I’m so glad you got away from your ex without being harmed to a point of no return. What he did to you is terrifying to even imagine.
            After reading your comment about him “playfully” suffocating you it gave me a sort of Aha moment. I remembered my ex cuddling me so tightly to the point of me feeling suffocated. I’ve always thought it was just him showing me how much he loved me but it was uncomfortable at times to be held so tightly by someone so strong. There were moments where I did struggle to breathe. Thank you for commenting, I haven’t read or heard a lot about this covert physical aggression. I knew I had experienced it but knowing it happened to someone else makes it more real. It makes me feel even more grateful that I got away. I don’t know about you but my ex always seemed so innocent and sweet so I ignored these odd aggressive moments. Now I’m thinking back to him spraying me with water right in my face or the time he accidentally hit me in the face when we were in bed. Weirdos!! Good luck recovering.

            1. Admin

              You just reminded me that he used to hug me so hard my ribs would crack. He just seemed not to know his own strength at the time, or maybe having a burst of affection he couldn’t contain. Hmm…

              1. Asheley

                I think you were just giving him the benefit of doubt like we all do, however it isn’t normal to squeeze someone so tightly that their ribs crack or they can’t breathe. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. I’m sorry that happened to you Admin. It adds a disturbing layer to the whole situation when you realize they also enjoyed hurting you physically.

              2. Admin

                He certainly did like to hurt me, although emotional injury was his thing.

                I remember hearing a long time ago that John Denver, the country singer, hugged his wife so hard on their honeymoon that he actually broke her ribs. I know nothing else about him, but that little blurb stood out to me for some reason.

              3. Admin

                …For Denver it was “love at first sight.” She
                resisted; he pursued her; she resisted; he followed her on a
                ski trip to Aspen; she resisted; he proposed; they got
                married. He was so enthusiastic; he says, that on their
                honeymoon he accidentally cracked one of her ribs. …
                “If it wasn’t for the big wedding my father gave me” says Ann Denver,
                “I would have gotten divorced in a year. John and I really
                didn’t know each other.” … Denver and Annie Martell divorced in 1982
                and the ensuing property settlement caused Denver to become so enraged
                he nearly choked his ex-wife, then used a chainsaw to cut the marital bed in half.

                Oh, my. Maybe his hug wasn’t enthusiasm, either {:-0

  12. roro

    Hi again…Upon reading some of these posts I began to wonder what the difference is between NO CONTACT and the SILENT TREATMENT?

    1. Admin

      Hi, roro. No Contact is something you do to protect yourself from an abusive person. The silent treatment is something an abusive person does to hurt you and control you. Two very different things.

      Here’s a great article on the silent treatment:

  13. Admin, you have made a huge difference in my life – thank you. With all the information you have on this website, you have helped me to see what I was living under for over 25 years. I have come a long way in the past 1 1/2 years. My now “ex-husband” as of early this month left me in 2013, now I am free! I wrote him a thank you note to let him know that I know who and what he is. I still have to deal with him since we have a daughter, but I let him know that I have value and am strong, unbreakable. He did respond back, and at first I almost fell back into the pattern of blaming my self, and then I stopped and said – no more. Here is how he responded to my letter:
    I am sorry it came to all thins. I know I told you at the time that “I felt like I didn’t love you.” You heard “I didn’t love you”. You jumped to the extreme, like you often do. All I had asked for was time from you and in three weeks time you filed for divorce and then locked me out of the house. I moved out because I feared that you would accuse me of domestic battery or something and ruin my career and life. You made no, none, effort to reconcile after you filed. You cut off all communication. I blame your parents for bad advice. You have believed lies to justify your emotional state. You have set in judgment and failed to be honest with yourself. You developed a codependency on our daughter and forsook the love of your husband. She became more important than our love. I know it is not a either/or, but a both/and situation. I worked myself to points of exhaustion to provide for you and you made sure to suck every bit of it up in this divorce. That is all I will say about this. I’ll not bring it up again. I too have forgiven and let it go. I wish no ill will on you. I want you to be a healthy mother for our daughter. She needs that. I fear that you are making her fears worse by your behavior. I pray that she is not hurt by your continued bitterness. Please for her sake find peace and healing. I could say alot of things that would only prolong hurt so I have chosen to hold my voice. I have found peace a year ago. I refuse to be unhappy and look back. I am moving forward. I hope for your and our daughter’s sake you too can come back to a balanced life and be happy.

    I can now laugh at this and see all of the things that you have mentioned in your writings. Thank you so much. I filed after I found out that he was having affairs, told me he could have killed me at any time, and had moved out. I didn’t change the locks on the house until after a couple of months. I had begged him to go with me to counseling, but he wouldn’t. I know I am better off now. I feel much happier, and learning to love myself.

    1. Admin

      Thank you, D! I’m speechless. Congratulations on your new-found freedom! Amazing how different reality was from his letter. I have a feeling you will have that balanced, happy life now. Blessings to you and your daughter, and all the best to you both.

      1. Admin,
        When does this all end? I thought with the divorce it would be over, that he would leave me alone. He has someone else that he can control, but he has started back up again with me. It seems like everyday or every other day he contacts me about something. I know you say to cut off all contact, but it is difficult when a child is involved. My daughter has special needs (Autism, OCD. . .) I was taking her to counseling, now he has changed the days he sees her and he takes her, even though she doesn’t want him to. On the way back yesterday he told her that I have been telling her lies about him. She said she understood, because she was afraid that he would be mad at her. I hate it that she has to pretend to be happy when she is with him. She doesn’t want to go on visits, but I can’t stop it and she knows that. Sometimes I think she is probably right, that faking happy is probably the best – that way he can’t control her. He knows when she comes home that she will tell me things, and that upsets me. I know in my mind what he is doing, and try to stop the control, but sometimes I fail. Other times he emails me about things, trying to change visitation, or telling me that I need to provide clothes for our daughter for his visits and if I don’t she will be in hand me downs. Then he tells me that he may be discharged from the military and that the child support will decrease, or I need to do this or that, when he should be taking that responsibility. I have become more aware that when I do something that upsets him, I know to watch out for the “payback”. He will do something to punish me. How long will it take to not fall for this garbage? I wish I had a magic wand to make everything disappear – all the hurt and memories.

        1. Admin

          There’s no way to cut off contact if you have a child — unfortunately you’re stuck with him, and he will keep doing the things he does and learn some new tricks, too. You should find others who are in your situation, right away, who can advise you and support you. Please don’t delay. Most concerning is his telling your daughter lies about you. Parental alienation is a big problem and a sad one. Limit your communication to written forms as much as possible so you can keep a record. When you can’t, record conversations or take notes. Find legal counsel who understands this type of individual, and who can take control of his changing the visitation schedule, among other things.

          Here are a few resources to get you started:

          A mom who has been through it:
          Divorcing the Narcissist: Advice from a lawyer
          A website about parental alienation:

          I wish you and your daughter all the best, D. Find all the help you can to deal with this situation in the best way possible.

          1. Admin,
            Sometimes w just have to laugh. The other day I received a check from my ex for child support, at the top by his name I noticed a date, it was the month and year that he told me he didn’t love me. I know he he is just doing it to hurt me. Instead I look at it as a reminder to me as my freedom date. Yesterday he drove by while I was walking. I couldn’t believe him. I didn’t even acknowledge him. I wish I could really understand a psychpatjust Your books really help, I am just afraid that I will fail again and fall for another one.

            1. Admin

              Remember that 98% of men aren’t psychopaths. Also, you have a great advantage now in knowing they exist and how to identify them. It doesn’t take long for the clues to start emerging, and because you’re aware of what those are you’ll see them.

              There’s a greater chance you’ll meet men who are so neurotic that they can’t function in a relationship, like I have :-0
              Mildly neurotic is fine, since most of us are, but anything more than that is a guarantee of ongoing relationship misery. You might find, as I have, that you can pick out these types very quickly. I’m not sure exactly how this happens, but I think it goes along with the learning process we’ve been through.

              An interesting little story:

              A few weeks ago I was out with a friend, walking around a lake on a beautiful day. There was a man walking his dog, and he seemed very interested in me. We were having some smalltalk about the weather, and I felt chills on the back of my neck. I felt sure he was a psychopath. I have no idea if that’s true, but it’s a warning I would never ignore. There was something about the intensity with which he “locked on” to me, like he zeroed in on me in a way that wasn’t just normal interest in someone. We ran into him again later, and I had the same feeling.

              Then again, just because someone didn’t give me a feeling like that wouldn’t mean he was OK — it might just take longer to figure it out. But it takes a while to get to know anyone; everyone is always on their best behavior early in a relationship. If you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

              And the next time I fall head over heels for someone, I will keep one eye wide open.

              1. Just found out my ex is now engaged. At least he waited a month after our divorce. Why does it hurt though? Everyone is excited for him and his girlfriend, saying “you are perfect for one another,” “so glad you found each other”. . .

              2. Admin

                Hi, D. I’m not surprised that it hurts. As sure as we are about them, there is usually a bit of doubt that remains. They make us doubt ourselves and our perceptions for a long time before we figure it all out, and your ex getting engaged is bound to expose any of the doubt that lingers. Also, it has to do with our attachment to the person we fell in love with. It’s a loss, no matter what he turned out to be — we lost someone we loved. Yes, that loss was because he turned out to be a psychopath, but what difference does it make if that’s the reason or if he was run over by a bus? Seeing him move on is bound to bring out the grief for that loss once again. It may not make sense in a logical way, but our hearts have a different way of dealing with things. Accept it as part of the process, and be especially kind and understanding with yourself right now. A big hug for you, D xx

              3. Asheley

                This feels like an odd question to ask but it’s been perplexing me that my ex was a condom enthusiast(most of the time).. does that mean that he’s not a psychopath? It definitely wasn’t because he cared about passing stds around, it was for the mere sake of not wanting to get anyone pregnant. He made it seem like that was his worse nightmare. But if he were truly a psychopath wouldn’t he just be careless? Or do you think it’s that he wanted to avoid the disruption and chaos that a baby would create in his life? Since he cares to keep up the good son charade, getting a girl pregnant would definitely upset his family. I’m stumped.. even though he always had condoms, there were times when they weren’t used, not often but it happened. Your expert opinion is needed. Sorry if this whole thing is TMI.

              4. Admin

                I’d say he was a ‘condom enthusiast’ because he was not a ‘child enthusiast’. Mine told me he had a vasectomy, and when I told me friends they gasped and said, “and you believe him?” I responded by saying that if there was one truth that man told in his entire life, it was that he did in fact have a vasectomy. He did not like kids, and he was quite perplexed by his own son, who was conceived after divorcing his first wife. Psychopaths are very calculating and methodical — when they don’t want to pay child support. If they have HIV or any other STD, you would never see a condom — because the just don’t care. In fact, research shows the people most likely to be HIV positive and pass it on secretly are psychopaths.

  14. Nearlybel

    Just a word for Ashley, he knows you because you trusted and believed in him. You divulged ‘yourself’ to him because of this. The psychos ONLY intent is to destroy you and/or your life as you know it.
    He knows you love your work and your colleagues and friends you work with.
    You caught him out on his lies, you have ‘won’
    He can’t bear that you did that, he can’t let you win.
    He is now attempting to create (destroy) a situation at work for you where you feel you have to make a decision that will change the course of your life.
    All because he shows up at your work.
    These psychopaths by their very being change the course of lives, and we don’t even know it’s them, because it is us that makes the decision, but they have a malign input.
    Don’t fear him, a woman gave me this advice, when you meet him (it) give him a knowing smile.
    At the time we were still in the same house and I was having great difficulty. I found it worked, I didn’t know how at the time, but I think now it has to do with changes in the shift of energy, communication of
    ‘I know what you are’
    It got me through that part of the nightmare anyways.
    Every good wish to you, be sure you are on the path you wish for yourself.
    Peace and light and love xxx

    1. Admin

      This is good advice, Nearlybel.

    2. Asheley

      Nearlybel thank you for your thoughtful comment. I think what I fear most is myself, because even after the utter hell he put me through, I still long for him at times. I worry about slipping down that path with him again. It’s completely ridiculous given all the proof that he is most likely a psychopath, but I still question even that on a daily basis!! I believe I’m getting stronger every day but while I’m healing I hope he stays away. Out of sight, mostly out of mind. My lowest moments are thanks to him, two times where i couldn’t pull it together. I felt suicidal in those weak moments and that terrified me. This was months ago but it’s a place I never want to visit again. I’ll do anything to keep myself sane, even leave my job. Just as he seemed to have two sides, the aftermath has seemed to create two sides in me and goodness it’s frustrating! One side knows he’s disordered and the other remembers every single human-like moment, the love, the tears I saw roll down his face, always catching him smiling at me ect and wonders if I’m wrong about this diagnosis I’ve given him.
      This experience was extra hard on me as when I met him I was legally separated on my way to a definite divorce from a good man, but a terrible alcoholic. I was very vunerable and P appeared to be everything my husband wasn’t. He was somehow everything i always wanted without me ever telling him the qualities I was after. Perhaps he was a psychic psychopath? Lol! My need and want to be loved overruled the little red flags I saw from the beginning. You are right about smiling because I know what he is, I’m inching my way toward that state of mind. Strong survivors like you inspire me to be stronger, thanks for that!

      1. Admin

        Most of us were once in that precarious place, too, in danger of getting sucked back in. You don’t have to diagnose him or be totally certain about what label he should have. The important things to consider are these: 1. Realizing that he did some things that were unacceptable to you, things that were callous and lacked empathy and regard, and that actually make you wonder if he’s a psychopath (that’s serious, and it tells you something!); 2. Knowing that your emotional well-being suffered because of him, and with good reason. Every relationship has its good points, but overall, is it a healthy one for you to be in? Did you feel loved and respected, and could you trust him? Consistently? Those things don’t change from one day to the next.

        Being on that emotional roller coaster of wondering who someone really is or where you really stand with them tells you something is terribly wrong.

        You developed “two sides” to deal with his two sides — the good guy and the bad one. It’s maddening, but it will pass in time as you come to firmer conclusions about him and/or the relationship.

        Psychopaths seem psychic. They easily size us up and read us, and then use that information to manipulate.

  15. Nearlybel

    I need to add, DONT say a word, just the smile :)

  16. Asheley

    By the way Nearlybel, thanks for saying that I “won” every time someone says that it makes me happy! It makes me feel like I ended up on top after being made into such a fool. You’re right that he hated for me to have the last laugh, so to say.

  17. Asheley

    Admin you are so right about it all.

    I so needed someone to talk to about this situation that actually understands! How wonderful to be helped by complete strangers. Thanks again

    1. Admin

      Glad it helped. Any time you want another point of view, just ask.

  18. Asheley

    Hey admin, hope all is well in your world!

    An update on my ex, I don’t think he’s been back to visit my work in the last couple of weeks. However, as I was walking out of the office I noticed his business card conveniently thumb tacked in my direct eye line right beside the door. Not sure who put it there but it’s definitely hard to miss. He must be looking to gain some business through his old contacts.

    It’s the oddest thing… the more time that passes the easier and somewhat harder this healing process gets. It makes sense though that a relationship with a man full of contradictions would breed a paradoxical grieving process. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that the last time I saw or spoke to him was the confrontation when I caught him with another woman and still over three months later I’ve received no apology of any kind. No attempt to make sure that I’m OK after what he did, after how incredibly close we were. I think that says it all… Now that he’s totally absent from my life, it’s like it never even happened and that is both heartbreaking and comforting all at once.

    1. Admin

      Hi, Asheley. Glad to hear he hasn’t been coming around work.
      It’s true that the contradictions create a complex grieving process. Part of that is dealing with the expectation of an apology or inquiry into how you’re doing. That’s what a normal person would do, if we really had an incredibly close relationship. It’s hard to comprehend and accept that the closeness wasn’t real. I remember the intense feeling of disappointment I felt, along with the difficulty of accepting the reality of what happened. It’s a real shock to the system, because we never thought for a moment that it wasn’t genuine. It’s heartbreaking that the person we loved wasn’t real, not to mention completely bewildering. At the same time, it’s a relief to have the real person he was out of our lives.

      Deep disappointment, betrayal, profound loss, bewilderment, incredulity — trying to wrap our heads around all of that is what confuses and prolongs the grieving process. It’s intensely painful, and it takes time. Part of healing for me was coming to a point where I accepted that I would never be able to reconcile all of the irreconcilable contradictions.

  19. Asheley

    Any normal person would feel guilt and remorse for hurting someone, or they would at least attempt to make it right by wishing the person they wronged well. Most people don’t like to go through life collecting enemies.

    Still, every now and then I wonder if I wasn’t good enough. He said he loved my body but I remember the times he pinched my thigh and stomach, he didn’t say a word but he was indicating that I needed to slim down.

    Thanks for being there and being wonderful admin.

    1. Admin

      No one is ever good enough for a psychopath. Luckily, we are good enough for the people who count — those who love us ♥

  20. Asheley

    I’ve often wondered what is the difference between a psychopath and an immature, self centered player? It must be the way a psychopath lures in victims with hope of a life together? I suppose you can usually see through players much easier than psychopaths.

    My P’s best friend (who we kept our relationship from) recently said to me if he would have known that we were seeing each other he would have warned me. He told me that when he lived with my ex he saw him do the same thing to a single mother(P spent a lot of time with her child), he cheated on her with her best friend. He compared P to a spider that puts his web out everywhere to catch as many prey as possible and then he said he acts as if he doesn’t understand when women lash out at him. He warned me that if P tries to get back in touch with me to not speak to or see him. I assured him that P said he never wanted to see me again, he said that didn’t matter, that’s what he always does. It’s like he knew every move P would make. It turns out that single mother he cheated on is one of the girls he still has around as back up today. I guess she never made it out of his clutches. If not for me standing up for myself that night, I might be reduced to a side chick too. And if not for your website I wouldn’t understand the truth about his kind!
    Even though his best friend admitted that P’s actions toward women are evil, he still maintains a friendship with him today. Mind-boggling.

    1. Admin

      I don’t know why this ended up in spam. Sorry about that. This is why I check the spam bin daily; every once in a while, a real comment ends up there.

      There are many people who will maintain some sort of a relationship with a psychopath because they benefit from it in some way. They don’t know the person is psychopathic, but they do know the person is up to no good in some way but they ignore it to get whatever benefit they’re getting.

      I just got a book related to this topic, ‘The Empathy Trap.” Part of it is about people who are called “Apaths.” They’re part of the psychopath-empath-apath triad, and are necessary for the psychopath because they collude with him or her. They see what’s going on, but they don’t warn the victim. I was surrounded by them.

      Your ex’s friend said he would have warned you, so I’m not sure he fits this description. It’s interesting that your ex kept your relationship from his friend; perhaps he knew he would say something. It’s strange that they keep up a friendship when the P does not trust his friend, and his friend recognizes a serious character flaw that he would actually warn others about. There must be some mutual benefit that allows them to ignore this aspect.

      The psychopath I was involved with also had former victims who still hung around. It’s too bad they never figured out what really happened, because they don’t have a chance for any real recovery. And it’s even worse to have it go on by continuing to have contact with the abuser. I asked him about these women, not knowing at the time they were his former victims (it’s clear now). I asked him why he ignored them, and why they continued to participate in these events by just hanging around in the back and looking sad. He said they were ‘too needy’ and a ‘bunch of masochists.’ He refused to elaborate, but it was apparent that he had great disdain for them. I was perplexed and it made me uneasy. Now I understand, and I’m so thankful I didn’t end up being one of them. Interestingly, one was a licensed psychologist.

      Anyway, it’s good that you have this information. I hope it helps to resolve some of your conflicting thoughts and emotions.

      1. Asheley

        It has helped me understand him and the situation as a whole better.
        His friend chocked it up to P just being really bad with/to women. P is super smart,funny and charming- he makes a great friend in a lot of ways. Everyone loves him. His friend must think this character flaw is limited to women only so he is safe. Still, it would be very hard for me to continue a friendship with a guy like him.

        It was my idea originally to keep our relationship quiet as I was separated and wanting to take the situation slowly/be respectful. P went along with that choice until the manipulative shift occurred. After feeling like P was always trying to catch me in a lie, and that he had some serious trust issues, I decided to call him out by saying, “you know, usually when someone is constantly accusing their partner of lying, they are actually the untrustworthy one.” (Projection) He immediately tried to break things off with me, which devastated me and made me feel like I was insensitive to call him out on an insecurity in which he confided in me. This is when I became his puppet, when I was terrified of losing him. At this point it became his idea that his best friend stay in the dark about us as he realized he didnt want a girlfriend after all…We continued our relationship but from that point on I was scared to say or do anything that would push him away again.
        I’ll have to get that book, I’m going on vacation soon and need some interesting reads. I’m sorry that your ex was surrounded by apaths and how much harder that made it for you. I believe I was blessed that even his roommate and his best friend were Team Asheley(although they were worried that what they told me could get back to him, they were worried of losing him as a friend). Often times men stick together no matter what, they both immediately felt horrible for me, were protective and felt like it was all P’s fault. His roommates had actually been encouraging him to be truthful with me about the other women. Obviously that never happened. His roommate was actually the one who opened the door for me the night I caught him with the other woman.Still, they’re good friends though so I keep my distance, even though we all work together.
        The fact that they still have/want a friendship with P sometimes makes me question if he’s really that bad…
        I’m blabbing now, I just really enjoy having you as someone that understands.

        God bless! ♡

        1. Admin

          We continued our relationship but from that point on I was scared to say or do anything that would push him away again. Yep, that’s how it happens. They get us to believe we’re the ones to blame, and then we try to be ‘good’ by not acting mistrustful or insecure, when we actually have very good reasons for feeling those things. That’s the point we go into the pressure cooker — we still feel the same way, of course, but we hold back our thoughts and emotions. The pressure builds, and we eventually erupt…and when we do we earn the label ‘crazy’ to go with ‘insecure,’ ‘jealous,’ suspicious,’ and ‘trust issues.’

          As far as questioning whether he’s ‘really that bad’ because he has friends and is liked by others: Psychopaths are very deliberate about cultivating alliances with others. They hide within them. It gives them an illusion of normalcy. We trust people who are liked by others.

          When I figured out what was going on I was really angry at all the people who knew, who saw it happening, and said nothing. They knew they were safe, and they liked the benefits they were getting far too much to risk losing them. In many situations where new people are constantly coming in alongside an established group of long-time regulars, the new people are the potential victims. When they disappear no one notices, since plenty of people will try an activity or a job and then decided it’s not for them. The predator is hidden by the loyal group, which enables him or her to continue. They know this, and they are capable of treating these people quite well to gain their silent cooperation.


      2. Jan

        I just noticed your mention of the book about the empathy trap; particularly about there being the role of an “apath” in a triad. Huh! A triad was what she was wanting to establish, altho’ in vague, far-out spiritual terms that was impossible to comprehend. The other person for the triad was her long-term, very close friend, a professional medical practitioner. I’d wondered why this person was still her friend after 10 yrs when she’d confessed that she was never successful in keeping friendships. (And, yes, haha, I totally believed I was going to be the exception, right?)… . After the shock of the discard, during the most intense period of grief & trying to survive this, I did see this woman professionally. She was aware of how horrible this intense emotional breakdown was for me. Medically she did what she could to help me. However she refused to discuss anything about the other person, even tho’ all I wanted was to comprehend the vague things the person said to me, not to “gossip” or have her betray confidences; “merely” to have clarity about the comments on spiritual topics that I figured this friend would be quite familiar with after 10 yrs. (This was before I realized my “friend” was a psychopath and I was trying to make sense of it all & to fix it). Yes, I could understand a medical professional being in tricky territory, however this was the one person who would have/should have had the comprehension about what was meant by statements after having been buddies for 10 yrs; and who was also in a “different”, closer type of relationship with me as one of the triad. I longed for some support by way of discussion about meanings of statements; support as a spiritual companion friend within the same proposed triad…. Well, so close, and yet so far! She didn’t want to discuss it. So I stopped telling her about anything that was written or said. It was just vague; just reporting how I was doing emotionally. She was always encouraging & glad for me as I very gradually recovered, so she was supportive in that way. The closest I got to advice from her were a couple of strong replies of agreement of “NO!” when I remarked that there was no point in even trying to connect on the phone with the person; that we had nothing in common; that there was nothing to say. Huh. This told me that this woman knew something but was unwilling to say. They are still close friends to this day. How come? It hadn’t occurred to me before that she may actually have been one of the victims! Certainly I had heard derisive remarks about her by my “friend” and I was rather shocked at the time that she would say anything unkind about the woman who was her dear friend. I’ve considered that this woman is convenient to have around; someone who is completely dedicated to her welfare. There have been times when I’ve considered that maybe I will back off from any community involvement with this woman. Or perhaps I will just be detached. Never mind. It’s her business… I sure am enjoying the peace of detachment lately!

        1. Adelyn Birch

          There are always dedicated, loyal apaths involved, who will offer protection or at least turn a blind eye. They are indifferent to the suffering of the targeted person. This woman must have been getting some benefit from her apath role.

          I’m glad you’ve detached, Jan. That’s when we gain peace and freedom again.

          “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
          ~ Elie Wiesel

  21. Asheley

    Oh and another similarity between our stories… the woman he left me for was a psychologist!

    1. Admin

      The previous one was the psychologist, but the next was a social worker psychotherapist. It’s probably more satisfying to put one over on them. There may be other things involved, but it’s unnerving that they can victimize people who knew more than we did about the dynamics of an abusive relationship. It’s hard to see it when you’re in the middle of it. Much of it rests on the good start the relationship had, and then continuing to hold that positive image of someone no matter what they do. It also has a lot to do with attachment, and that also forms during the love-bombing stage.

  22. Asheley

    I think you’re totally right about him not being a child support enthusiast!
    He wanted and even practically tried to force me into another sex act that he said didn’t require condoms. That’s when I realized he wasn’t concerned about stds at all. Once I found out about his cheating and promiscuity I was beside myself with fear, especially after seeing a couple of the women that frequented his bed. I took an std panel and HIV test and thank god it all came back negative!
    This same liar likes to pretend that he thinks kids are so cute, he’ll probably even have a couple one day. I’m sure he’ll want to be married first though, he likes to keep up the perfect facade.

    1. Admin

      Plenty of psychopaths get married to create an ‘illusion of normalcy.’ Last year I had a neighbor who was ‘seeing’ a younger guy she used to work with at a bank. She was too old to have children. He was a classic con artist who pulled a lot of unbelievable crap at the bank. He told her he had to get married and have kids in order to get promoted, due to the conservative nature of the company they worked for. She said she ‘understood.’ On his wedding day, he was 30 minutes late to the ceremony because he was doing my neighbor. Afterward, he kept up the twice-weekly liaisons. My neighbor was convinced he would have married her if not for the bank thing, so she kept seeing him because she was the one he ‘really loved.’ He didn’t ‘love’ anyone. I gave her a copy of my first book, and she sent me a photo of it in her garbage can, torn to shreds with spaghetti sauce on top, and never spoke to me again. I can not imagine how miserable that guy’s ‘wife’ must be. She will be used and have her time and her life wasted as long as she stays married to him. The facade is ‘perfect,’ but underneath things are decomposing. xx

  23. Asheley

    I’m on the road to recovery, I realized this last night. I was at a going away dinner for a coworker when one of the higher-ups brought up my ex Peter, she described him as being like a second son. She said he was helping her son build his muscles as they were training together. (Her son is gorgeous so I’m sure P is benefiting from his friendship with him by getting girls through him or together) She knows nothing of our relationship, and is very kind to me too. Peter being close to her made me feel confident in him being a good guy when he was first wooing me, obviously that’s a relationship he desperately wants to maintain. I feel awful that he is coning her… another coworker chimed in to say how sweet and wonderful he is, and how nice it was of him to bring in the box of donuts for everyone the other day. Were you ever a fan of the show Dexter, Admin? Dexter is a psychopath who also charms his coworkers with boxes of donuts! I thought it was hilarious that P is basically mimicking Dexter. He was a fan of that show as well. I recommend that show to everyone who has known a psychopath..
    I wasn’t sad to hear he’s been hanging around again, just perplexed. It seems so unusual to me that he comes in so often. Is it just me? When people leave jobs don’t they tend to move on? Even the sweetest of people wouldn’t come around as often as he does. He’s been back at least 4 times in the last 2 months. There probably have been other times that I’m not aware of.
    Anyway, last night was the first night that I didn’t cry when hearing that he has been back to visit, yet again! I’m so grateful and elated that I am officially moving on. My heart is catching up with my head now. You’ve been a big part in helping me realize exactly who he is. I am forever thankful for you and this site!

    1. Admin

      I’m really glad to hear you’re making progress, Asheley, and I’m honored that you feel I’m a part of it. Thank you.

      I’ve heard about Dexter, but haven’t watched it. I’m up to my eyeballs in psychopaths, so to speak, so that’s one show I’ll have to miss. It is funny about the donuts, though. Psychopaths carefully cultivate their supporters. They act as ever-present character witnesses, such as in your case, in helping to gain your trust through being thought well of by people you respect. I don’t know why he keeps coming around your job — he may fear that you’ll say something about him, so he’s trying to keep their image of him fresh and intact.

      Thanks for the update xx

  24. Asheley

    Maybe it was just accidental then.

    I remember how odd it was that I could never picture him getting angry and hurting me physically but then he would do weird things to hurt me when he was in a good/loving mood. Looking back on it I think it was just another layer of his sick game. I too think mine enjoyed the emotional abuse much more, it definitely left a bigger scar on me than anything else.

    1. Admin

      I do think he was trying to hurt me. After all, he wasn’t really so in love with me that he’d get that ‘carried away.’ Those hugs were out of character for him — other than that, he was pretty gentle, physically speaking.

      1. Asheley

        Well John Denver sounds like a piece of work! Yikes!!

  25. nopeace

    I find it unbelievable how psychopaths resemble one another. I read every book and every internet site, including yours Admin which i find full of important information. I always KNEW that the person I was with was a liar and a cheat. A great actor, I watched him perform for our friends. I got home one day sure that he had a woman in the house. My heart started beating so hard I thought I’ll collapse. I got into the house and was relieved no one was home. I put my things away and sat on the computer to catch up on some mail. I move the mouse and to my surprise, the screen lit up. On the screen was the photograph of a woman with whom he had arranged a meeting. It was a dating site. Psychopaths have very strong urges and in his haste, he forgot to sign off or turn the computer off.
    I have since leaving him made it my duty to myself to find out what this person is made of. I once described him to a friend “he is like the wind”. He is a ghost that puts on a costume to fit the performance he planned.
    I read and read and read.. i continue to read because one must never forget. I never refer to the time I spent with him as a relationship and cringe when anyone refers to him as my ex partner.
    This excuse of a person brought into my life filth, dirt, incest, homosexuality, animals, pedophilia, sadism, cruelty all of which i had no idea existed! He robbed me of my innocence and now how do I try and get that back!
    As far as I am concerned, the only feeling I have is ANGER. I did not expect him to be o top of it all a THIEF. How is it possible to love a stone? He is a joke, a farce, a liar.. i see him so clearly and I can even detect that evil smile which he thinks is irresistible.
    No woman is safe with him walking loose. He belongs behind bars. His only conversation was to tell me how and where he could rape me and no one will know.
    And he did. He drugged me and when I came to briefly because I couldn’t breathe, muttered to leave me alone and then passed out, the next morning he began telling me all sorts of things “you, last night, you were terrible. I’ ve never seen anything like this!” I couldn’t understand what he was referring to and he had me wondering what it was that I did wrong.
    It is only later that the memory came back clearly because whilst lying in bed, my daughter came in for a hug and put her whole weight on my chest. I was suffocating!
    Admin I am reading your comments to my posts and it is partially because of you that I have calmed down a little. Your advice to take care of myself and make it my focus was the best thing that happened to me.
    Also i had my first visit last week with a clinical psychologist who knows all about psychopaths and un be knowns to her, she resolved or rather explained a few things that were a mystery to me.
    So I am back on deck as they say. Fritzel (that’s what I call him now) still stalks me and the last time, in front of everyone, I yelled “BURGLAR. THIEF!” Hopefully the fear of being exposed will stop him from harassing me.
    To everyone who still hopes and pines for their psychopath, they are so not worth it. Not a thought or a glimpse. They are nobodies.
    I am learning to live with this experience. I don’t want to forget it. It is a great lesson.

    1. Admin

      It’s as if they’re turned out from a factory, all from the same mold. I once described the one I knew as “having no substance,” like a ghost. They belong behind bars, all of them, but the ones like mine who commit moral crimes will continue unstopped. Fritzel is dangerous, though. Drugging and raping you was a crime, and I’m sorry he didn’t have to suffer the consequences.

      I’m so glad you found a psychologist who knows about psychopaths! Does she have any advice about stopping his stalking and harassment?

      I’m very happy to hear my words helped you calm down a little and focus on taking care of yourself. That’s very good news, and I wish you all the best!

      1. SWS

        I just feel broken. It’s been a week since I know the truth. I can hardly breathe. I live in a small community and everybody knows everybody. Nobody would believe me, he has the next victim already engaged to him. I can’t go to counseling here, I am one. Repeat the nobody believes me above. He is the golden boy. It really helped to have the betrayal written down in words. Really helped.

        1. Admin

          I’m so glad it helped to see your feelings spelled out and validated. I know how important it is, especially when support is lacking. My heart goes out to you, SWS, as you’re in the midst of realizing the truth and all that goes with that. So many of us weren’t believed, myself included, and it makes it so much harder.

          At this point, if nothing else, please just have faith that you’ll survive this, even if you have no idea how. You will. Know that you’re not alone. Counselors are not immune to this. The psychopath who victimized me chose an LCSW as his next victim, and the one before me was a clinical psychologist. There is no shame in it. It’s totally unexpected; it’s not anywhere on our list of things to watch out for in life and it’s completely outside our frame of reference, and as such, we don’t have any idea of how to deal with it. Have trust that you will figure it out as you go, and that you will develop what you need to do so along the way. Those aren’t empty words; it’s what happened to me, and to many others who visit this site. Best wishes to you. Please let me know how you’re doing.

          1. SWS

            Thank you. Your genuine kindness makes me remember what is real. And brings me to tears of relief.

            1. Admin

              I’m so glad I was able to help you. The best treatment for dealing with pain caused by someone with a lack of empathy is empathy, which is exactly what can be so difficult to find in this situation! Empathy, along with understanding and validation, are so important and yet so hard to come by, and that’s why this website exists. All the best to you in your recovery.

              P.S. You may want to take a look at the page in the main menu titled “ROAD MAP.”

  26. Red

    Thank you so much! My relationship literally almost killed me multiple times. I was so lost and hopeless and believed that there was something deeply wrong with me, that I was somehow to blame. Reading your blog has opened my eyes and given me hope.

    1. Admin

      Oh thank goodness! You can’t imagine how happy I am to hear that! If there’s one thing I fight against hardest here, it’s the unnecessary and persistent self-blame people feel. You’re so welcome, Red. This is a cause for celebration.

  27. Dee

    This is a vital post I re-read over and over again because truly integrating the reality that psychopaths feel nothing is hard to digest. They’re empty shells. So, when the relationship is over, one is faced with the nothingness that psychopaths really are. The entire experience was one huge lie (Except for the honest emotions and vulnerability experience by the victim.)

    Now, I am finding it hard to trust anyone. Did this happen to you? I suppose it’s another level of PTSD. Psychopaths are so good at the con, even my new awareness may not serve to be enough protection. Consequently, I am very weary and wary. I never want to experience that sort of entanglement/victimization again. I see narcissist and psychopaths everywhere.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I feel it’s vital too, Dee, and that’s why I pinned it to the top of the blog page.

      I’m about to write another post on trust, because many people have problems trusting after such a betrayal. It took me a long time to be able to trust again, although I go about it much differently now and that’s what I’m planning to write about.

      I’d be willing to bet that your new awareness is more than enough to protect you. I didn’t trust mine at first either, but now I’m feeling much more confident. You’ve got to go try it out; there’s no other way to do it. You might surprise yourself!

      1. Dee

        I think the best protection is to give relationships and people lots of time before jumping in. Psychopaths like to move things in a relationship very fast, so going slowly would be a good way to determine exactly what you’re dealing with.

        I am also able to say “No” more easily than every before. If a person disrespects a boundary, then I have no time for them.

        I am eager to read your post on Trust! xox

        1. Adelyn Birch

          You’re right, it’s all about taking things slow and having strong boundaries… and about putting all of our new knowledge and wisdom to work as we listen and observe — not only to the other person, but ourselves as well (meaning to watch what thoughts and feelings we’re having about that person). I was nervous at first, but I found it was actually kind of fun. I have become much more present when I’m with another person, very focused on what they do and say, and far more concerned with what I think of them than what they think of me. You can’t lose with this attitude because even if the person turns out to be trustworthy, all you’ve done is taken a keen interest in them, and everyone likes that.

          The new post will be out soon, possibly later today but definitely by tomorrow!


  28. Teresa

    I found Julia Cameron’s work book, “The Artist’s Way” helpful in refocusing on self. I had done his life; forsaking my own. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I found her book fun, healing and a catalyst to personal growth. I still have major trust issues; especially in trusting my own insights about any man.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Give it time, keep learning, develop good boundaries, and your confidence (self-trust) will grow.
      I did that workbook several years ago, and I really loved it. I’m glad it’s helping you.

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