Falling Into a Parallel Universe

Public domain image courtesy of Lobo Studio in Hamburg

Psychopathy is the best-kept secret. 

Yet it’s also a wildly popular subject that intrigues a lot of people, and has been for a while. Psychopathic characters pop up everywhere in movies and on TV. Best-selling books are written about them. In reams of articles, we hear about psychopaths as serial killers, CEOs and those who work on Wall Street and in government.

But at the same time, we hear close to nothing about psychopaths in personal, one-on-one relationships. We don’t hear that they’re everywhere we are, or that we run the risk of getting involved with one.

Often, we even hear that psychopaths don’t really exist at all.

Where does that leave us, the up-close-and-personal victims of psychopaths? SOL, that’s where. Except on sites like this one, out in the fringes of cyberspace, where we are driven to find information, validation and support.

When we go about our lives and then unwittingly step into the lair of a psychopath, it seems we enter a parallel universe. We are unsuspecting, due to the information that is withheld from us or that remains unknown. And when we emerge on the other side, battered and broken, there is little there to help us.

Psychopathy has been a subject of controversy for well over a century within the mental health community. And because of that, it is also a subject of controversy amongst our friends and family — and even amongst the psychotherapists we seek for help — who think we must be crazy when we tell them what happened to us. They’ve heard of psychopathy and they’ve read about it and are even enthralled by it, but they will not believe we were intimately involved with a psychopath.

Even with the commonly cited statistic that one out of a hundred is a psychopath, it is somehow unbelievable that we could have been involved in a relationship with a psychopath. No one believes us. Not our friends and not the therapists we reach out to for help in the aftermath. Our friends can sometimes be excused. But many of us visited mental health professionals who knew nothing about psychopathy, as if they lived in a vacuum.

parallel universe
Some things are not what they seem to be.

“Many therapists simply don’t appreciate the kinds of unique trauma folks currently in or who have survived toxic relationships have experienced. And at times, a therapist might even misinterpret the results of their initial screening and assessment of a victim. Folks who’ve been traumatized might appear a certain way upon examination that doesn’t really reflect the kind of person they really are, or at least who they were before adapting to their trauma (they’re even likely to perform differently than they would otherwise perform on various psychological assessment instruments they might be given). So whether a therapist is working with a current victim or a survivor, they need to know how the character disturbed individuals behaviors and tactics have likely impacted the victim and affected their current level of functioning.” Dr. George Simon, “Getting the Right Kind of Help, Part II”

Then we learn there is no actual diagnosis of psychopathy in the DSM, the diagnostic bible of psychiatry, and that it has instead been mixed in with antisocial personality disorder. Yes, psychopaths are antisocial, but not always in the ways defined by the diagnosis of ASPD, and not for the same reasons. While psychopathy may have some things in common with ASPD, they are two completely different things.

“Researchers who were influential in developing the modern DSM argued that the diagnosis should be based mainly on observable patterns of behavior rather than psychological constructs. And so, ASPD emphasizes aggressive behavior, rule-breaking, and criminal acts. Not surprisingly, 80–90 percent of inmates in maximum security prisons meet criteria for ASPD, though only 15–20 percent qualify as psychopaths.” Dr. Jordan Smoller, associate vice chair of the MGH Department of Psychiatry and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Oh, so it should be based on “mainly observable patterns…” Observable by whom? Not by us, that’s for sure. That doesn’t count. But who is there to observe a psychopath in a personal relationship? No one…except us.

“Virtually all of the research done in psychopathy is on the perpetrators, and we tend to ignore the tens of thousands of victims of these individuals. And most of the victims have nowhere to turn. They talk to their psychiatrist, psychologist, their friends, their employees, their priest, and they get nowhere because most people don’t understand the nature of psychopathic people.”

Dr. Robert Hare in the video, Dr. Robert Hare, Sponsor of Aftermath”

We fell through the cracks, and ended up in a parallel universe. And it adds to the damage done to us by the perpetrators — psychopaths. Yes, they really do exist. Even though there’s not always a psychiatrist there to observe it.

♥ Thank you for reading. 





Comments are closed.

Related Posts

48 thoughts on “Falling Into a Parallel Universe”

  1. Anya

    So true. ..I have one in my life right now and no matter who I turn to they just think I should just stay away. …..no one understands how they crawl through the smallest crack and then they are back again.

    1. Admin

      Sounds like you’re describing a cockroach. I hope you will find a way to stay away. Best wishes.

    2. Max von Solow

      eliminate all the cracks and give them nothing…cut them off…forever for your own well being I say…anyone…female or male or…?
      they will ALWAYS damage you…if YOU let them…so don’t…ok?

  2. Liz R.

    I was a counselor as well as working through my own issues from being abused and used by a psychopath. During much of my own therapy I was re-victimized, blamed for being helpless, not having boundaries, etc… It occurs to me that unless a counselor has had personal experience with being used and abused by a psychopath it would be difficult to understand. Psychopath behavior and manipulation can be so subtle that it is hard to sort out. I still get insights into the lies and manipulations used on me. It has been almost 17 years since I left him. I am only now beginning to grasp the damage he did!!!
    The DSM needs to add a diagnosis and explanation of this illness as well as establishing a specialty area to treat those who are victimized and traumatized by psychopaths!

    1. Admin

      Thanks for your comment. I agree, a counselor must have personal experience in order to understand. But I wish it were different. Is there any way that it could be?

    2. JS Victim

      Liz R, I could have written your post…..me too,,,,,,,still translating the whole mess through a new lens that is certainly not rose colored! And I agree……..IMO, it’s only a personal involvement that would adequately educate a therapist because of exactly what you said. And, what you said also makes it VERY hard to describe to a therapist who has not been through it. I believe that only a PTSD therapist, domestic violence councilor, trauma councilor……..and GOOD ones at that………can offer any true help to someone who has had their brain flushed like mine was.

  3. David

    That was very well put into words. I still can’t believe it happened to me. My wife did so much harm I would bet most people who knew her on the surface wouldn’t believe me. They would think jaded and mad because discarded me, which I am. However I would take a dozen polygraphs to state my case and clear up any misconceptions. She would not.

    And this was and is a woman I love! How screwed up is that? I don’t think she would spit on me if my hair were on fire! That’s the hold she has. And I know it’s psychological and makes no sense. Yet that’s the truth.

    I miss the ideal I had in my head. Not the many more times of emasculating, criticizing, lying, Gaslighting, times.

    1. Admin

      She might agree to a polygraph because she knows she can pass it, as many psychopaths do, so it wouldn’t do much good.

      That’s the common belief — we’re jaded and mad about being rejected. If only they could know the truth. But apparently they can’t. At least we have each other here to understand and to wish each other well.

      1. JS Victim

        You don’t end up diagnosed with PTSD from the end of ANY other type of relationship except one with a Psychopath. People can be traumatized in a relationship but it’s not the same as PTSD. Just throwing that out there!!

    2. JS Victim

      David, I SO understand and i think what you are saying is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to come to terms with, the hump I can’t seem to get over………..I loved someone who doesn’t exist. I find myself wondering what that says about me and my hopes to ever love again.

  4. Kirsten

    I thank you so much for the work you do here.
    Personally I don´t know in which category my Ex falls in, what I know for sure is that the patterns I kept up far too long with him (trust, loyalty…) have been beyond toxic for me. In the end.. when I -menatlly- was lying on the floor and could not move anymore… he misjudged situation and destroyed the marriage, blackmailling me with another woman.. “you better decide soon, otherwise i´ll be gone, see I have somebody already… what shall I wear for the date???” – hoping I would finally “give in” to his pressure (not asking for his love/commitment for ME anymore, just filling in my function spot and finally start behaving 100% the way he expects me to as it is sufficient for any appendix of oneself) – he tried to break me, blackmail me (that is where I could not react anymore) and even buy me.
    Now, I must say, I am incredibly happy he did all this… for I do have some (sickening) proof of what I meant to him.
    What I find… people around me – some manage to show some compassion, but actually nobody understands and the things I get told… it´s like what happened cannot exist, thus did not – nevertheless I have experienced it (and still do – but hey, I am unfair, no? I don´t take his position into account, I have to excuse his behavious and see his side……. NO! he still has no respect whatsoever and tries to corner me socially now.)
    Fortunately I have a therapist who understands.
    …and sites like this, where I find the exact things described again and again, so I get some validation on what I see and feel – that really helps.
    Thank you… thank you so much!!! :-)

    1. Admin

      You’re welcome. Sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. It’s good that instead of trying to figure out specific patterns, you realize the relationship is toxic for you. That’s all that counts. They all try to get us to behave 100% the way they want us to (by punishing us for our normal human behavior) which would wipe out who and what we are and turn us into androids.

      Of course that’s not possible, so an important thing to realize when we’re “mentally lying on the floor” is that it’s because they COULDN’T destroy us, it’s not because they DID. We’re mentally and spiritually (and sometimes physically) battered and exhausted, but underneath all that we are still whole. We won the fight, even though it may not seem like it at the time. And they have to go off in search of a new victim and try again, but of course it will never work.

      You’ve given me an idea for a new blog post…

      All the best to you.

      1. Kirsten

        Thank you very much for your kind reply!
        For me, it has been important to see and understand the specific patterns.. what did exactly happen and why? What did he bring into this.. personality patterns and what did i bring into it.. why did I not have the right to say “No” from the very start?
        I found a bunch of explanations and I hope and think this will prevent me from getting into a likewise relationship again.

        For me I can say, that he had asked me to destroy myself (for 18 yrs).. that was what he needed, and my believe in relationship was so blind/trusting, I did. I see that to ask that from anyone is toxic, and far from ok…
        Of my “self” nothing had been left and still I had not met his criteria, still I was not “good enough”. so yes, that is psychological abuse. And I see the results in me every day.
        I see that there was some tiny bit healthy core left.. it still feels like I am reduced to that.. but now, I have the chance to build up again and I realize I am free and I have a future again and change and shape myself to what I now find to be right.
        To understand and see at some point that the things really ARE. To find a strong believe in that.. that will establish self security.. that what you feel really IS there – it IS true and not only in the head, like he was trying to make me believe far too long.

        Thank you.. it is so important to speak up and tell people what they feel and see is there and they have to act upon it, to explain and validate and to find different shades and explanations to specific things that have happened.

        1. Admin

          In that sense, yes, it is important to see specific patterns…very important…but it’s not vital to see everything so clearly before realizing the relationship is toxic and that it needs to end. Many of us stayed too long trying to figure it all out, but of course we didn’t know it at the time. Like you said, our belief in the relationship was blind and trusting. Only when we’re free of it — and no longer have them trying to talk us out of what we know is true — can we begin to clearly see what happened. I’m glad you feel free and see the future ahead of you again, and that you are finding that healthy core within you.

    2. prinses

      My ex-p betrayed me with another woman in a time I wasn’t aware yet of him being a P.
      I found out, reacted in a human way; shocked, crying and breaking up. He kept on calling and texting me to apologize, in a way that convinced me he was really sorry and afraid of loosing me. So after a while I sat there, he cooked dinner for me, talked sweet to me, and after dinner we watched a movie and he continued talking to me in a friendly, sweet way only he slowly changed the subject into her (the other woman) and told me how sweet she was but she just couldn’t make up her mind about leaving her old boyfriend for him and that he was feeling sad about it.
      Can you imagine what happened inside of me? He was like complimenting me for being available as long as his fresh new candy hadn’t made up her mind. He didn’t have a clue that he was the one who had to make a choice! For him it is a natural state of mind to put himself in the center of all things around him and being COMPLETELY blind for the feelings of others, EXCEPT the feelings that long for him!! He is a lunatic!
      He really didn’t understand my emotions, I was directly to blame for spoiling his wonderfull evening and all his effort.
      It’s a one-direction road and it will ALWAYS be.
      The effects of this blindness are very destructive and poisoned and they themselves will NEVER be bothered by that. They’re just not ABLE to. They will NEVER understand our anger, pain or tears.
      Their complete close-up of our inner souls in order to get the attention they need so badly to feel alive is what makes us feel so unique and important to them. But this complete lack of exchanging energies makes us sucked dry, having no forces left to examine our own blind spots which he subconsciousnessly used to get our full attention.
      So we are left with our old wounds from the past torn open, the wounds we couldn’t localize even before we met the p.

      1. Admin

        Hi Prinses,

        You say “this complete lack of exchanging energies makes us sucked dry” Yes it truly does. My ex-P told me several times that he was a vampire. The first couple of times I laughed it off, making a joke like “But that’s not possible — the sun is shining!” (It was just so out of left field, so unexpected and out of context) When I finally asked him what he meant, he’d just repeat himself and say he was a vampire, in a very matter-of-fact way. And he was — not in the blood-sucking way, but in the soul-sucking way.

        “So we are left with our old wounds from the past torn open, the wounds we couldn’t localize even before we met the p.” True. This actually turned out to be a big help to me, because now I knew what they were and could work on healing them. I’m still doing that.

      2. Kirsten

        wow.. if it wasn´t so unreal… you could put it into a comedy show, no?
        i read and reread. and i am laughing for i cannot believe it. all of that.. i have found every bit also.. and for others he is the friend who will always help.
        i have also found that this is just not in his system.. he simply is not able to understand.

        mine announced it three months prior (“maybe i should get myself a girlfriend so you see what it wil be like”) and i had told him that he might want to reconsider if this is the appropriate reaction to a wife telling him she cannot feel his love.
        ..and mine also discussed her advantages with me… but i was so flashed, i just thought, well if that is what he needs to do… i could just watch at that time.

        recently mine told me i should really have some compassion for him, he is feeling so bad (having lost all that social life and a house to walk around)… i could hardly believe it

        yours sounds just like mine…incredible

        1. Admin

          They are all remarkably similar…sometimes it seems they are born with a script, the same script.

          1. prinses

            After being on the road of recovery for a while and especially starting to let go a little, insights begin to come. And you start to recognize a pattern in the lifes of psychopaths. They repeat the same story each day, each week, each month, each season, each year, just with different people on different locations so it won’t get visible. They are in a way very loyal and commited to their own needs and safety and incapable of sharing it. When you are ‘normal’ you imagine this kind of life brings great loneliness with it, but there you’re almost trapped again, because to the psycho it’s not lonely, it’s his state of being.
            Investing in a person like that is always a loss. But not to him. He always wins. If it’s not you, there are always other people everywhere willing to give. He traces the weak spots and HOP here he goes again. Catch some fish.
            Wow what a life, without progression, just repeating the same old shit again and again. Tell me, who would like to be around with a person like that?

            1. Admin

              I asked a psychopath if he had ever been lonely. He said he doesn’t get lonely — he gets bored, and then he seeks people for stimulation. They are true loners. That might seem contradictory since they need people, but what they need us for is very different than what we need each other for.

              It seems they’re definitely stuck in a pattern, Prinses, one that really never gets them anywhere. But I think they’re OK with it, since that’s what they’re about. So at least in that respect, they are meeting their needs and their goals.

        2. prinses

          Lol… to be honest, I’ld put it in a horror-movie.
          Reading your reaction I assume you are still having contact with him?
          Yeah, me too I recognized myself in your story, it’s like somehow we were kind of paralized, you know, these things never happen in the early stage. These things start when he notices we got attached to him. And like a spider in his web he starts to suck us empty.
          If you want to stay healthy and alive, say goodbye to him cause all he did was mirroring and awakening your deepest desires that hadn’t been forfilled in the past, to be able to catch you. You intend to feel loyal and loving like a child but all you do is opening up to a dangerous mess-maker/destroyer/sucker.
          They have different kind of preys, but the head-preys have some similarities as far as I noticed.
          Don’t get traumatized again and again.
          Let go of the so-called romance that in fact is a horror. Cut off all contact and after a (tough) while you’ll see clearly you didn’t cling to a lover but to a vampire that blinded you and drops you like a stone the moment he sees you’re too strong too mindfuck with. That’s all he wants, play and suck; again and again, all his life, each time in a different jacket. Mr black hole is no-one but a mirror catching souls of longing and loving people, only taking, NEVER giving ANYTHING. Pretending to be givin’ and in the mean while just sucking.
          The pain you will go through letting go is the road back to yourself and life, after a huge deceit. Me myself I like to compare it with recovering from a huge flue
          Hang on, glad to talk with you guys, thanks for sharing.

          1. Admin

            I haven’t had any contact with him at all since it ended about a year and a half ago. I can’t tell when I get a comment who the writer is responding to, so I realize you may be speaking to someone else. It was definitely like a horror movie, and I’m glad it’s over. They are like spiders, trapping us in their webs and then sucking our souls from us, bit by bit. Luckily, it seems that souls regenerate quite nicely.

          2. Kirsten

            hi prinses,
            yes, i still have contact with him.. we have been in a realtionship for 18 years, married for 14 with 4 children. so contact is inevitable.
            yes, paralysed is a great term..
            and at least mine.. to state evil intend.. some he did very conscious.. but i´d rather go with your “They are in a way very loyal and commited to their own needs and safety and incapable of sharing it.”
            So mine might not be that evil.. he just can´t help himself. But.. not my story anymore.

            When he left, he told me: “You will not find any man ever again that will love you the way i do”
            .. i caught myself thinking “I really hope so!”.

            Things were so damaged already.. i did not even miss him once – there just has not been anything left for far too long.

            And that giving/sucking part.. one component in him being hurt so very badly is that he needed me to keep up his self-confidence, i nourished him.
            Do you see what happens if you turn this around? Suddenly there is strength – yeah and still blind trust lol.

          3. prinses

            Admin and Kirsten, thanks for you responds.
            Kirsten what do you mean by: still blind trust?

          4. Kirsten

            for the blind trust..
            ok hard to explain… one way to view it is by falling into victim role… all of us have been victims, but that is not solely sufficient for explanation, and to identify with that position will be very destructive for each od us.

            i try not to see myself as a victim, but to stress my part in that… which has been blind trust, nourishing him, giving him strength..
            it is not denying the bad i have encountered, but trying to see an active, good side i contributed – and that is so very hard to do at first!
            .. but that are the things i want to keep… not the blindness, but the positive strength which was the reason he was so comfortable with everything.. to keep all of that up.. to stick around and still believe in a relationship i now see as deeply dysfunctional.. to keep up with that, you can call dumbness.. or see the good sides, the strength that has been in there.
            seeing the good sides.. that will give power for the future.. you now know what you are capable of! those strengths are precious.
            you know what not to repeat.. you will recognize it instantly
            and to perceive this as a chance to figure out what is you, who are you, what do you actually want, what has happened, what did you perceive as your rights and responsibilities and to question and reevaluate all of this.
            there are people who fall into victim role – but there is so much positive stuff in such a bad experience. we can choose.

            1. Admin

              Thanks, Kirsten. This is the best that can happen as recovery progresses — Moving from the victim mindset (which of course is normal and part of the process) to one where we focus on the positive things we can gain from the experience.

          5. prinses

            Thanx again Kirsten/Admin,
            Kirsten I try to understand your words and recognize some aspects, but still…
            You know, every psychopath is narcistic, but not every narcist is a psychopath.
            In my experience, the difference is that a P goes for destruction, elimination and the narcist doesn’t. Altough a narcist can cause a lot of damage, it depends also a little on the strenght and creativity of the involved one how to cope.
            A psychopath can’t stand people coping with anything, they have to end under HIS feet.
            So am I right if I assume your ex is narcistic instead of a psycho?

            1. Admin

              Hi Prinses. You said “A psychopath can’t stand people coping with anything, they have to end under HIS feet.”

              While we may end up ‘under his feet’ when the relationship ends, WE don’t end there, do we? No, and in fact it’s not until we are no longer under his feet that we can begin coping.

              Many people have managed to overcome great adversity of all kinds, including the destruction caused by a psychopath. Being irreparably damaged isn’t the only way to determine if someone was indeed involved with a psychopath. Many regain their health and go on to live good lives. I hope everyone here will do just that.

          6. Kirsten

            Hi prinses :-)
            there is a lot of narcissism for sure.
            There is no definition in DSM-IV for psychopathy..
            so i cannot clearly tell you if he is a psychopath or just psychopathic. i also don´t know if it has the extend of a personality disorder – that i cannot diagnose.
            I found highly narcisistic patterns and also him very consciously trying to break me. He saw what he was doing to me, talked about it, proclaimed it -towards me- as the worst mistake of his life and continued even worse.
            He set me several ultimati, the other woman was just one of the last ways to raise pressure, blackmail.
            So what do you think this is? He was aware of it, told me right in the face, at one point he´d be so involved, he could not come back.
            To do so, that is using people, he admitted not too long ago -after living with this new woman for several months- that he does not even know why he is with her.
            I bet there are clear psychopaths out there who will voice their experimenting and usage of people very straighforward.
            “Mine” has learnt in his family that social status is the highest good. So he knows very well what is socially acceptable and what not.

            I cannot dare say he is a psychopath, i could also not dare give you an exact definition of psychopathy.
            But what i have found is sickening and far from “normal”.

  5. JS Victim

    Great Post Admin! Once again you hit the proverbial nail on the head! :)

    1. Admin

      Thank you! :-)

  6. prinses

    Therapy can cause even more damage because a therapist (and a lot of other people in whatever position) could approach the psychopaths behaviour in a human undertstanding way, like trying to understand why the p would behave like that, his fears, his childhood, etc etc. Like he would have a soul.
    At that point, the therapist is HELPING the p to put you into more damage, without knowing it and the pain will be bigger.
    I was lucky to find a therapist whose mother was psychopathic and (don’t be shocked..) she told me she was relieved after she finally died and didn’t miss her.
    And it sounds evil, but that’s the only healthy reaction to a p, we all should be RELIEVED when they disappear from our lives…

    1. prinses

      and he IS, yes he IS feeling pity for himself when there is no-one to blame or to use, he really IS. The pity IS THERE. But RUN AWAY because there comes a big bag of poison with it as soon as you start to comfort this ‘poor lonely attractive funny person’, who will idealize you, be gratefull to you, feels exitement because of you, wants to be everywhere around with you, shares his SOUL (which he doesn’t have) with you, Oh man we all felt so magnified in who we are, and its so bloody HUMAN to want that! Forgive yourselves but you don’t have to forgive the p because it’s like forgiving a CHAIR and it will not reach him.

      1. Admin

        “we all felt so magnified in who we are, and its so bloody HUMAN to want that!” Everyone does, whether they know it or not. Or at least most people do.

        “Forgive yourselves but you don’t have to forgive the p” There is no reason to forgive the P. They don’t have any remorse. There’s this (mostly) unspoken but pervasive idea that we have to forgive everyone all the time, and if we don’t, there’s something wrong with us. It’s just more crap for the victim to deal with. It is far more therapeutic to refuse to forgive someone who has no remorse, if you don’t want to — after all, we were controlled by this P and now we’re trying to get our strength and our own voice back…so why should we be controlled by others who are admonishing us to forgive? Some things are simply beyond forgiveness when there is no true remorse.

        I honestly don’t think they feel any self-pity. It’s an act. They are actually very pleased with themselves.

    2. Admin

      You,re right, it doesn’t help at all and can even harm a person if the therapist doesn’t understand what kind of a person a P is. If they don’t get that, they are clueless about what the person experienced, the damage done, and what to do to help.

      “we all should be RELIEVED when they disappear from our lives…” Amen. Although it takes some time for that to happen.

  7. efemeris

    Thank you! for pointing this out. I had little time to reply to your last post where I agree with you and understand complitely your experience with your therapist. We do not live in the same country but the therapists, coaches and consultants here where I live do really not understand victims and the process of victimization regardless if it is personal relationship or workplace abuse. I was never believed and in most cases I was blamed for the abuse. I had visited three therapists so far and two of them I had refused to visit just after second meeting. One of them, a female, was so impertinent and agressive, treating me in the way a psychopath would treat a victim. I by no means see a difference in the way all those professionals treat victims and the psychopathic abuse. The mainstream society has adopted psychopathic and narcissistic mentality and they have thier psychologists, health insurance experts and clinicians who support this “point of view”. They see everything through their projection and projective identification theories that are real burden for victims to be assertive. Like psychopaths, clinicians mostly blame victims for being to weak to endure theraphy process and refuse to admit or even see any fault on their side especially when victim commits suicide. In my personal experience the secondary victimization was much more cruel and harder to bear with than the primary victimization by the predator. Robert Hare mentions in his book “Without Conscience” a case about a woman who called him telling him about her difficulties with professionals and after ten years of fighting psychopathic abuse she started to believe that she is at fault. The same thing happened to me. I had lost self-confidence. One part of me would listen and believe the professionals (appeal to authority) and one part of me would tell me that I am right. This has turned into real inner conflicts. At one point I had stopped talking about my issues waiting that maybe someone would see the truth but this never happened. I had not lost only my self-confidence, I had gotten fears and with the time those fears have turned into real cowardice. I had lived this way for approximatelly 25 – 30 years.

    1. Admin

      “In my personal experience the secondary victimization was much more cruel and harder to bear with than the primary victimization by the predator.”

      I agree, and I’m sorry to hear you experienced this with a therapist (and more than one!). In my case, she didn’t understand, but she was open to understanding and eventually she did, and she did not blame me or act harshly. It would have been easier and better to have had someone knowledgeable at the outset, but she had other strengths that helped me. In addition, I was working very hard on my own to overcome my experience, although the secondary victimization I experienced from friends definitely slowed it down and made it much harder. They definitely blamed me and were very harsh, which was hurtful and disheartening. It actually hurts much more to remember that than to remember the psychopath. If I had also been blamed by my therapist, I think I may have ended up feeling like you did. It’s scary to think of all the people who experience that.

      “I had lived this way for approximately 25 – 30 years.” My heart goes out to you. When you say you ‘had’ lived this way, I assume you mean you are not living like that any longer, and if that’s the case I am very glad to hear it. If not, I hope you will soon find a way to recover from all you have experienced.

      1. efemeris

        thank you very much for your kind words and simpathy. i appreciate this alot. i have recovered much but still not 100%. what’s eating me alive is the way my brother and i have been abused by our parents, especially during their brake up and divorce. it was verbal and somethimes physical abuse too. they have mostly used Triangulation and Manipulation. i knew that many things were wrong but i didn’t know that it was abuse. i so regret that i didn’t react or act properly in some key-issues and that i had tolerated many things especially my mother would do. it is like i had betrayed myself and the things (human rights) that i would stand for. i especially regret alot that i wasn’t of better help for my little brother (he was 9 at that time and i was 17). this is haunting me all the time. my brother and i barelly have contact. he has all rights to be engry at me. we’ve been talking about all things when our father died in 2010. we came together after 12 years of NC. it seemed that everything was forgiven and forgotten but it isn’t. my mother plays a good role in it. she has managed to separate and isolate me from our family members and even my friends. many years ago i was in a relationship with a guy whom i thought to merry. his parents were strickt against our relationship once they new about my family situation. it was also hard to meet new guys because i had nothing good to say about my family. i think that i will be free only the day my mother dies. sorry, i needed to say all this because i never managed to say all that to my therapists. also anyone else (friends) never found much understanding for my problems.

        1. Admin

          You’re welcome. When you say, “I so regret that i didn’t react or act properly in some key-issues and that i had tolerated many things…it is like i had betrayed myself and the things (human rights) that i would stand for,” they are the same words I have said and I’m sure many others here have said, too. At the time we are in the situation, we are not able to see what’s really going on. It’s only in hindsight that we see the manipulation and abuse. I hope you will forgive yourself for this, and that your brother will come to forgive you as well. It’s OK that you said you feel you will only be free when your mother dies. That’s understandable with what you’ve been through and continue to experience. I hope you will find others who will not judge you by your family issues. Those from loving families have a very hard time understanding what’s possible within dysfunctional families, and so they feel we must be to blame. I speak from experience with my own family. I hope some source of help becomes available to you soon, somehow.

  8. Reality

    kirsten and prinses,
    i read your very interesting conversation about defining narcissist and psycopath. I had for some time the same question inside me about the perpetrator in my life. It is really difficult some times to make the dinstiction as both disorders have very similar and some times identical patterns of behavior and create such destrudtion that in the end of the day the label does not make some huge defference. But in some point in my recovery process it mattered for me and i had made a great effort to identify it. Finally my reading and my research led me to this conclusion : Both disorders , NPD and Psycopathy have similar traits and patterns of behavior, they cause voth terrible dustruction. The difference that i understood that exists is that the narcissist has a very fragile and primal ego ( regardless the reason: nature or nurture) of the age between 2-6 years old of emotional growth , so he builds a false persona in order to cope in adult life. From this it stems all the pathological behavioral and all the dysfuction and the mistreatment of others around, the objectification of people , the lies, the ,manipulation, the cruelness, the pseudograndiosity e.t.c. so he uses people and suck them for the constant attention and admiration that he aquires in order to maintain a sense of ego , otherwise he collapses , and by no means he wants this, so he will not stop to anything to secure his sense of pseudoself. Does it mean that becouse he does this out of insecurity and in the majority of times he is incpable of acknowledge it , we should pity him or show compassion? of course not, becouse regardless that he may not have insight in the roots of his behavioral patterns , he is indeed very aware of the methods he uses and that they are wrong and destructful for the people he preys on. But himself ( his pseudopersona) is the center of his universe so he is unable to connect with others emotionally, to feel their pain, so he never stops. In conclusion the narcissist has some kind of persona but very amorphous and primal. The psycopath on the other hand has none at all, no sense of persona, of self , nothing at all, total balck hole in the place of soul. So he doesnt feel insecure at all and he does not need people to validate him. He uses though the same patterns of behavior like the narcissist , that is why it is well known that all psycopaths are narcissists . The reason for this is not validation and insecurity but pure boredom. He has to fill his black hole of existense with something, he has to be stimulated with something and he has to fit in life in some way. So he uses people in the same terrible way like the narcissist as supply but not to maintain a fragile persona becouse the psycopath has none of persona but to alleviate his boredom and to fill with something his time. He cannot feel love , so he tries to attain power and control over his potential victims, as it gives him some satisfaction and it uplifts his grandiosity. In other words they are both social predators and use almost the same predatoty methods, but the narcissist uses people for validation of his pathetic self while the psycopath for amusement of his complete emptyness. I do not know if it is comprehensible the way i am puting this, but it is how i understood it. In my case i had concluded that the disordered in my life was a socially adepted high functioning true psycopath. When i confronted him, he admitted it actually which means he is also self aware.
    Sorry for the long post dear admin. For another time i want to thank you for the wonderful blog with the very good and evidence based information that you give. Being in medical proffesion myself i can tell you after the terrible experience that i endured with tha P, that It is strikingly immense the ignorance that the medical community and especially the traditional therapists have in this domain. The majority of them are not only inappropriate to treat people who fell preys to psycopaths , narcissists and other disordered individuals but also dangerous as the victim blaming and their way to approach the disordered like a normal person with flaws can really destroy an already seriously traumatised person. This is the reason that i did not personally seek “proffesional” help and i try to selfheal through self education and nurturing my spirit and soul with healthy people and healthy living. I just dont want to endanger a revictimisaiton of my soul in the hands of a maybe well meaning but completely ignorantor inadequate therapist.

    1. Admin

      Thank you for that excellent explanation, Reality. Thanks too for sharing your thoughts about traditional therapists. If anyone finds themselves with a therapist who they feel is harming them, they need to leave immediately. It is very important for us to protect ourselves from further harm, but it can be hard to do so when we’re so vulnerable. I appreciate your very kind words about the blog.

    2. Kirsten

      From me also a big: thank you :-) …to all of you!
      and this sounds like a really good explanation!

      1. Reality

        Another think that came just in my mind after contemplating about narcissism and psycopathy and reading the post of the administrator about what is in the root of psycopathy is this: we know that the core feature that characterises narciissists and psycopaths is the complete lack of empathy. This leads to their lack of conscience and their inability to connect emotionally with other people and to love. The way i see it is that the root of their lack of empathy is the absense of a normal self. When there is no fundamental base to begin building a pesroanality with traits determined by genes , life experiences , the context of everybody life e.t.c , it is impossible to connect with other people as there is nothing there really in the first place to begin with. To give a paradigm from physics it is like trying to give shape and certain morphology on something wich is not solid, but is pure gas, it is impossible to do it. The gas can contain the inner space of an plastic bottle but it cannot shape the bottle, never. it will be always gas, smoke. So , for me as i give it further thought, narcissists and psycopaths even sometimes a lot of them can be self aware like in my case , in the deep essence they can never be self aware as they dont have self, they lack an authentic personality. They cannot even connect with themselves , let alone to connect with other people. The narcissist has a parody of self , very primal and the psycopath none. The fact that they dont care for others is in my humble opinion the outcome of having no real connection to themselves as in reality they dont exist in a soul level but only physically. The narcissist stays all his life attached to the pseudopersona that he created trying to retain it at all costs for the people around and the psycopath morphs himself every time in another facade according to the personality of his target like the exterminator 2 in the film. This thought that i just completed in my mind now comes in sympony with something that the P in my life had told me at one time when i was starting waking up. I was fighting with him after a confrontation and i was angrilly defining to him who i am and what i want and how i act in life. And he said WOW! You can define yourself? I looked at him astonished and i asked : what?? And he said: “i can never define my self, i find it very difficult” then , i did not realise the true meaning of this phrase as i was very early in the destructon phase, but now i can fully comprehend it. Now i fully grasp it: This person really does not exist , there is no authentic fingerprints of a soul , a self , an authentic personality, he does not care for others becouse he doesn’t care for himself , as there is nothing behind his facade. He uses people and everything around for amusement bad or good ( in the way a normal human defines good/ bad, becouse for them all is the same) just to fill temporarily his emtyness. Another thing that the P told me in one of the last conversations after i had unamasked him is that he is in a consant battle to fight this “ice” that he perceives inside him. Then i though that he was telling me this just to play on my empathy, and perhaps is true but now i see that probably it contains some truth this ‘tell’.
        I am thankful that the information and the interaction i see in this blog leads me in some very illuminating conclusions. Maybe my hypothesisis not correct but it works for me as everyone with humanity and conscience has his one way to perceive such an ” extraterestial” creature as a psycopath is.
        And by no means this personal explanation i reached gives theses individual any white flag to absolvement becouse they live in society and know right from wrong cognitively so they have always the choice even if they are unable to feel it. No pity, no compassion comes from me for them after they have enacted their monstrocities to unsuspected targets.

        1. Admin

          You make so many good analogies and good points here!!!

          I agree, the lack of an identity in the P is the “lack of a fundamental base” that’s needed for empathy and connection with others. Twice, I saw my P without a persona on…and I do mean NO persona whatsoever…and it was the most chilling and baffling thing I ever experienced. I was in complete awe, totally transfixed. A flat affect does not begin to describe it. There was no one there (but I sensed, viscerally and unmistakably, what he was at his core; I’ll save that insight for an article I plan to write about, it one of these days. For some reason I keep putting it off, but I think I would like to share it).

          “…And he said WOW! You can define yourself?”

          Reality, I’m in the midst of working on a blog post about the absolutely absurd things my P said, which were in retrospect ‘tells’ of how clueless he was about the human experience; they were tells that pointed to the P’s ‘cognitive empathy’ vs the ’emotional empathy’ that we have. They really don’t ‘get it,’ because they aren’t capable of getting it. Most of the time they can fake it, BUT when they let things like this slip, it’s a big clue. And I have to admit I chuckled when I read it, as I do when I think of the absurd things like this my P would say…I mean they are just so out-of-left-field and so absurd, like things an alien from another planet would say. May I please use this in my article? If you have any more to contribute, that would be great. And if anyone else reading this has any to contribute, I’d appreciate it.

          “I am thankful that the information and the interaction i see in this blog leads me in some very illuminating conclusions.”

          It certainly does! Thank you for sharing them. If you would agree, I would like to turn your comment into an article comparing Ps to Ns, or perhaps just an explanation of the P using your insights and analogies rather than the usual fare. We could just polish it up a bit, and you would take credit for it. Let me know, OK?

          1. Reality

            Dear Admin. i am very glad that what i wrote out of my experience and my insights resonates with you and you can relate from your own experience. It is always validating to see that such a weird thing that happened to me it was indeed real and unfortunately happened to other people too. sometimes i feel that all this crazy thing never happened to me . So bijarre it looks to me now after more than a year of limited contact with the P.
            Of course you can use what you find useful from my posts in your articles. I will be very happy if this is going to help in any way any person who fell victim to such terribly disordered individuals to grasp the truth of what these predators are underneath their facade. Not that i can get it 100% per cent but i keep trying and progressing. if you put a notion pointing the source , i will be very humbled.
            And it is funny but i smiled too when i show you using in your reply to me the word ‘Alien’ for these people . This is the exact word i have used a lot of times to call him humorosly during our ‘relationship’ before the destructive period for a lot of things he said or did which at due time i had found totally absurd. And you know what ? he never took no offence at all, he always was smiling and telling me how glad he is that he has a woman that understands him so well….. now i think i want to scream… or to bang my head in the wall….how blind i had been for so many years for God shake???? how The hell it is possible to have learned so many things in my life both in practical and academic point of view givem my proffession and be completely ignorant of the existence of this kind of fatal pathology ? it is very dangerous this ignorance. The family, schools , society teaches us a million thing every day and ironically more than 90% of humanity is practicallly completely ignorant that this kind of disgusting predators walk among us and it has always been like this…

            1. Admin

              Thank you, Reality. I really appreciate it. I think your comment will make for a good post, and I’ll have it online within the next week or so.

  9. JS Victim

    When ever anything “ended badly” in Spathtard’s world,,,,,,which was always,,,,,,Mommy’s uncut apron string reeled him back into her. ABSOLUTELY SICK!

    1. Admin

      It sounds pretty twisted, JS.

Comments are closed.