Hocus-Pocus: It’s All In the Focus

“You were so vulnerable — that’s why I chose you, and why I was able to bond with you so quickly and so deeply.”

The psychopath I was involved with spoke these words to me the last time I saw him. It sickened me to hear that and to learn that my suspicions about him were correct. He wasn’t even trying to hide the truth any  longer. He may as well have just come right out and said “I’m a psychopath.” How was he able to keep me so enamored with him?

I found one answer to that question just a couple of months later. Psychopaths are natural hypnotists. I wrote about it in the post, ‘Psychopaths use trance and hypnosis to get and keep victims,’ and again in  Charm and the psychopath.’ I think it’s important enough to write about one more time, thanks to a reader named Deborah. You can read about her experience at the end of this post.

Psychopaths are natural hypnotists.

They don’t need to swing a gold watch back and forth, because they have one built in. It comes naturally to them because of what they are. Because they’re predators, they focus on us like a laser beam, completely without distractions. Nothing gets between them and their target. The result is that they’re completely and totally present, on a level that puts the Dali Lama to shame.

We spend a lot of time lost in our own heads. We’re lost in thought, lost in worries about the future or regrets about the past, or preoccupied with some crisis in our lives.

The psychopath, however, is never lost in his head. In fact, he’s not in his head at all — he’s in yours.

A psychopath lives squarely in the present moment and experiences reality like the clear, cold light of a cloudless winter day.

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When we’re the focus of the psychopath’s intense presence, we don’t notice it as such. We just notice that this person is very interested in us, so we become interested in them. It feels good to be so captivating. We’ve finally met someone who really appreciates us and who is deeply interested in us. On a subconscious level, it feels good — amazingly good — to be the focus of this presence. We become completely absorbed in it. Our own focus narrows, and we become oblivious to the world around us. Our sense of time is altered — minutes seem like hours or hours seem like minutes. The frequency of our brain waves slows in response to the changed level of mental activity. We are in a trance. 

The problem (beside the psychopath) is that we mistake the psychopath’s predatory focus for the focus of someone who is truly enamored with us. After all, they don’t look like or act predators. They smile and say all the right things. If we only knew what they were really thinking…

It’s the focus of a predator on his prey, adorned with a smile. Literally.

Trance states are highly pleasing to both the conscious and subconscious mind. It’s an altered mental state, like the high experienced from a drug. We seek it. We even become addicted to it. Not only does it feel good — wonderful things happen when we’re in our psychopath-induced trance. They make sure of that. Everything good we experience in the relationship happens within this state of mind. These moments are bathed in oxytocin and dopamine, powerful brain chemicals that make us feel connected and euphoric and keep us coming back for another fix.

Naturally, we want to return to that state over and over again, and the psychopath is glad to help us get there — non-stop in the beginning, but less and less as time goes on. With this positive reinforcement in the beginning to get us hooked — and then intermittent reinforcement to keep us hooked — it’s a hopeless situation.  We don’t realize any of this consciously while it’s happening. Even years later, we miss those magical moments that seemed to sparkle with fairy dust and glow with a warm, ethereal light. It seemed too perfect for this world, but we were happy that it was ours nonetheless.

These moments are bathed in oxytocin and dopamine, powerful brain chemicals that make us feel connected and euphoric and keep us coming back for another fix.

The intense bond that forms between a victim and a psychopath at the beginning of the relationship is due in part to the “hypno-powers” of the psychopath, according to Sandra L. Brown, M.A., author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” In fact, she says hypnosis and trance are the “attraction heat, attachment magnet and bonding glue” of the relationship.

It’s also what keeps us coming back for more when things are falling apart.

Even years later, we miss those magical moments that seemed to sparkle with fairy dust and glow with an ethereal light.

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An excerpt from H.G. Beverly, ‘The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir’ ~

“You will fall in love. Your love will come to you from the southeast in some kind of subtle-sparkle-smoke fog coming in through the cracks around your door sweeping across the room to you there where you’ll be reading on your sofa he’ll be reaching his hands down around your waist filling your eyes with his glow so intense that you will not keep yourself from looking over and away….. You won’t have known what it could be what might happen in your heart when the sparks start flying to the sky when the light show creates a fog and you won’t have known what love could feel like to be lost what the smoke might do to your heart all engulfed in that glittering, hazy mist no time to come up for air you won’t even bother trying. You won’t have known what it could be until it finds its way in through the cracks and then you’ll know that nothing was like this before so this is the one there’s no way of saying no when God sends you the smoke you don’t question your destiny. You won’t question your destiny.”

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 I was inspired to write this post by a comment from a reader named Deborah:

“In my case, due to being hypnotized and put into a trance-like state I see how the playing field wasn’t level. I’d never been hypnotized before so how can I beat myself up over becoming involved with such a sick individual? It appears to me from all the research I have been doing that this natural instinct of the psychopath isn’t discussed enough, if ever!

I know this is what I experienced. He knew I wasn’t attracted to him and he wasn’t going to be able to get close to me otherwise. One day after getting off the phone with him, I felt like I was in LaLa Land and I was feeling was exquisite/euphoric. But within a couple of hours I started to experience anxiety and felt the need to speak to him and hear his voice…. My life was surreal after speaking with him; I’d daydream about him nonstop. Lie awake at night thinking about him for hours and hours. I became addicted to him….

The man I was involved with was a charismatic psychopath. Very dangerous. I wouldn’t be alone with him nowadays…. But with all that said and done, I miss whatever it is we had or didn’t have. My best friend still can’t grasp it, nor can anyone else who hasn’t experienced it. It’s just TOO ‘out there.’ If only all individuals who think these were these Amazing Relationships with psychopaths could accept that most likely throughout the relationship they were hypnotized/put in a trance-like state, perhaps they would be able to put the shame they are experiencing to bed.”

Well said, Deborah. There’s a good reason it’s called “manipulation.”

♥ Thank you for reading.

LOTUS DIVIDER

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34 thoughts on “Hocus-Pocus: It’s All In the Focus”

  1. Empath

    Excellent article!! The trances make us weak because they exploit our natural weakness: love. But love is what we need to survive. In the beginning, the P-path couldn’t get enough of me. He acted intoxicated. Then I became intoxicated. He complimented me so frequently it was embarrassing. I ofter thought, wow this just doesn’t seem real. If you enjoy fantasy, like I do, then we are the biggest targets. They (psychopaths) WILL live out fantasies with you. They will brag to everyone how perfect and sexy and amazing you are. They will feed your ego and vanity. Until.. They can drag you to the depths of hell! My ex not only brought me to hell, he slowly and patiently dismantled me. He didn’t discard right away, no no. He toyed with me for years ,until the grand finale of discard. Until he had a new victim. Just another day for the psychopath.

    1. Admin

      “In the beginning, the P-path couldn’t get enough of me. He acted intoxicated. Then I became intoxicated.”

      That’s the way it happened to me, too. The first couple of times he acted ‘intoxicated,’ it was downright weird. After one attempt, I couldn’t even think of a meaningful response — I just gave him a perplexed look and walked away. I will never forget that moment. Makes me laugh now. But he didn’t give up, and he managed to find ‘The Way’ that would get to me. If one thing didn’t work, he changed his tactic until he found something that did. When he finally did, I looked back on that perplexed moment as sweet and touching. Not any more — it was actually just a weird, awkward, totally forced and really bad acting job.

      But ‘heaven’ turns into hell…

      Yep, just another day for a psychopath. It’s a serious, life-changing trauma for us…but for them? Not so much. Actually, Not at all.

  2. Admin

    I, too, saw that look of contempt flash across his face many times. He also denied it, and I wanted to believe him. I will never again let anyone talk me out of what I know to be true.

    I’m sorry you were deserted in your ‘hour of despair.’ I know what that’s like, unfortunately.

    Like I said at the end of the post, it’s not called ‘manipulation’ for no reason. There’s no need for the ‘I should have known.’ Next time, you will know (and I hope there’s no next time).

    As far as handing him a list…many people who meet a partner online on dating sites post the very same list. It makes it easy for someone to morph themselves into that. But even when we don’t hand them a list, it’s pretty easy for them to figure it out.

    I’ve heard so many people say that their partner changed drastically right after the wedding. I’m truly sorry this happened to you. The book I referenced in the article — ‘The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir’ — was a graphic and nauseating account of such a nightmare. I was married once before (not to the psychopath) and I used to think it was such a ‘romantic’ thing, the epitome of love. Now I see it as a serious legal entanglement, one I have no reason to get into and since I’m not going to have kids at this point, I see no reason to rush to the altar, and little reason to tie the knot at all. As far as I’m concerned, two people can love each other just as much and be just as committed to each other without marriage. I guess that’s my age and experience speaking, because I know that to come to this conclusion at 25 or 35 would be devastating.

    Best wishes to you, Nicola.

    1. AnnettePK

      My experience was having been widowed from a good marriage 10 years prior to being targeted by the psychopath. He/it kept listing ways that he was “just like me” but I did not find it very attractive. I thought it would be boring to be with someone so similar. He told me his young adult daughter remarked that I was a female version of him. (She might or might not have said that – he was a pathological liar so the veracity of whatever he said was always random.) I found the similarity she perceived very unflattering. He used other tactics on me that did work; and he definitely used hypnosis/trance on me. Of course I did not recognize it until later. Several years out now, I am constantly seeing his actions in a new light – how many things fit in with his pedophilia and sadism. It is helpful in my recovery to see the events for what they really were.
      Sometimes people have asked me if I plan to get married again. I didn’t plan to get married or not to get married before both my marriages, and I don’t have any plans one way or the other now. I don’t seek it and I don’t avoid it. It depends on what happens and who I meet and who meets me and what would suit us at any particular time. For me it is unrealistic to plan one way or the other because there are so many factors that are out of my control. Having been happily married to a good man, widowed, and then targeted and married to the psychopath, while I was the exact same person through both marriages; it is clear to me that there is a lot I can’t control. My first good marriage was because both my husband and I were decent honest committed loving people. I was widowed unexpectedly, out of my control. The marriage in hell to the Psychopath failed because he is a psychopath pathological liar, abuser, child pornographer; and presumably I was still a decent loving person. The reason I was victimized is because I did not know that P’s exist and I did not understand their tactics and motives; so he was be successful at deceiving me. I find the concept that victims cause or “ask for” abuse to be damaging to recovery.

      1. Admin

        I’m very sorry you lost your husband, Annette.

        “I find the concept that victims cause or “ask for” abuse to be damaging to recovery.” I feel the same way. No one causes or asks for it. I hope you don’t say that because you feel it happens here.

        Thanks for your comment.

  3. Lady Vigilant

    Do you think they study hypnosis techniques to enhance their natural
    ability to hypnotise? It is so powerful and until it happened to me
    would never have believed it was possible. There are many covert
    hypnosis blogs that charge for their techniques to pick up unsuspecting
    targets.

    1. Admin

      It’s possible, but I doubt it — they don’t need it. Their innate ability to be present and to focus on us, which makes us focus on them, is a lot better than any hypnotism ‘techniques’ they could learn. I don’t even know if they’re aware they’re putting us into a ‘trance,’ per se. I’ll have to ask, and hope for an honest answer. It would be interesting to know, but it doesn’t matter if it’s purposeful or not; they put us in a trance, regardless.

    2. AnnettePK

      I am sure that my ex P did not get any knowledge of hypnosis and manipulation. He just has absolutely no ethics, morals nor restraints on he behavior so he does whatever works to get whatever he wants as long as he perceives he won’t get caught. My ex P isn’t all that intelligent in some ways (although he may have faked being duller than he really is), but he could be uncannily shrewd, subtle, clever and quick thinking, in getting something he wanted according to his evil motive.
      I believe in the existence of a very real spirit world and in good and evil. I have observed people being helped by powers greater than one’s own for good purposes, and for evil ones. I perceived that my ex P was assisted by evil entities. There were several things that indicated supernatural forces were involved. I did not survive and get out by my own intelligence and power either. I appealed to God, and He answered my prayers in ways that I would not even have known to ask for.

      1. Lily

        Annette, I concur with ALL you said above. I, too, only got out of the p’s evil hold through appealing to God. Before that, I tried to get out over and over in vain. I knew he held me in some type of power but I found that even with that awareness, I could not escape. I turned to psychics, astrologers, mediums, all in desperation to get free. I would have moments of clarity when I could see the evil in him and the danger I was in but then the spell would come over me again I would be held by his trance; a seemingly willing, euphoric victim. I know now that I was in spiritual quicksand and I never would have got out without God’s help…except for having to wait until I was devoured and discarded, having paid a price I could not have afforded to pay (the loss of my life as I know it and my marriage). This is a wonderful blog, I agree, and the creator of it is articulate and full of insight as well as kindness. Your comment too, was very valuable and gave me a lot of heart that someone else perceived something of the sinister spiritual dimension of this very dangerous phenomenon. I hope you read this comment and I wish you the very best.

        1. Admin

          Spiritual quicksand is a good way to describe it, Lily. And I thank you for your kind words.

  4. AnnettePK

    Thank you for this post. Your insight and ability to describe and explain what’s going on with these entities/Psychopaths is very helpful. I also appreciate the graphic illustrations you choose; they are always a great complement to the content.

    1. Admin

      Thanks, Annette. Glad you liked the article, and the pictures — I have great fun picking them out :)

  5. janes

    i love the Picture of the Coldblooded Wolf & the Cardboard Man
    they speak volume

    i’ve just finish my P free Collage degree after reading your books :))
    i know that i still need to get my Masters & Phd(rest of the great books) some time in the future to stay compatitive) .

    i feel safe & Euphoric now!
    Getting entangled with one of them again was my biggest fear, after so many, especially at work.
    Now, i know that no matter how much we dont want to show them our Vulnarabilities THEY SMELL THE BLOOD EVEN FROM MILES AWAY
    then they go for the kill. i know now; when, why, what & how Ps attack (answers are in the Victim- “know yourself & know the enemy all the wars will be won”;)
    thanks a million for your books, blog, other book recommendations & Personal Support !!!

    A Devoted Follower

    1. Admin

      Congratulations! Here is your hard-earned diploma, from the School of Hard Knocks:

      Yes, there will be more piles of books and unrelenting new articles to read in order to get your master’s degree…

      You feel euphoric? Uh oh…red flag! Watch out. No euphoria allowed.

      We will always have vulnerabilities, and/or be vulnerable due to a life situation. There is nothing wrong with that…except that there are those who would take advantage of it. Know your self, and know your vulnerabilities — and then be alert to new or changing relationships in your life.

      Dr Hare says it best:

      “Know yourself. Psychopaths are skilled at detecting and ruthlessly exploiting your weak spots. Your best defense is to understand what these spots are, and to be extremely wary of anyone who zeroes in on them.”

      Thanks a million for your million thanks! And thanks for your latest review on Amazon. Glad there were fireworks!

  6. Sandra

    This is a terrific article and a timely one. This not only explains why we get hooked in the first place but why “No Contact” can be so incredibly difficult and often agonising. For me this is especially the case given how many places on the internet for instance that I can “see” him – dating profiles, blogs, social media. He quite literally stares out of his photos (of which there are many and all are posed self portraits) with that same intensity that he gave me in person. Your description of the neurochemical reaction also goes a long way to explaining why there is such a strong craving to see them or their face in spite of what you intellectually know about them and how toxic they are. Interesting that on one dating website he states that the first thing someone would notice about him are his eyes. Thanks so much for another illuminating, de-fogging (is that a word?) article.

    1. Admin

      I’m glad I’m a ‘de-fogger.’ Thank you.

      Social media and the internet in general makes No Contact tricky. If we purposely look up their dating profiles, facebook pages, etc., then technically we’re ‘in contact.’ It’s a hard habit to break, but looking at that stuff is all it takes to keep that connection alive, and to torture ourselves.

      Neurochemicals are a big part of the whole thing. Consider dopamine, for example. It drives all the addictions, whether to alcohol, crack, crystal meth or a psychopath. Someone may know intellectually that if they keep drinking/doing whatever drug it will seriously harm, but they keep doing it anyway. Maybe that’s what would really help people break away from a psychopath — the principles an effective drug treatment program (is there one?). We may be on to something here, Sandra…

      1. Sandra

        You and others here are probably really familiar with all this already but here goes: There is another powerful hormone involved in relationship bonding – oxytocin. This is present in large quantities for instance during the early phases of relationship particularly during and post-orgasm. It is the hormone involved in parent-child bonding especially via breastfeeding. This means that in terms of chemical addiction, there is not one but multiple agents involved. People I have known, either personally or through my previous work in the drug research and outreach area (yes, how ironic), who have been successful in breaking their addiction and remaining “clean and sober” long term have used the same/similar methods: acknowledgement and acceptance of their addiction, “cold turkey” withdrawal followed by complete abstinence with one or more of these: Pharmacological help to ameliorate the withdrawal symptoms (sometimes in a hospital or hospital-like setting), regular attendance at support groups of one kind or another but especially NA or similar, longterm work on the core issues that meant they developed an addiction in the first place (which may or may not include pharmacotherapy), removal from all social and other contexts where contact with the drug and or drug users may occur. This is, to use a slang term, “hardcore”. But it seems to be what works. Similar if not the same principles would seem to apply post-discard the only difference being that we haven’t chosen the “withdrawal”; it has been foisted upon us. This I suppose is an additional layer to the recovery process. Sorry this is long; hope it makes some sense. I do think it’s definitely worth pursuing and may be an approach that can be adopted? Thanks for your reply. As always, much food for thought (and a healthy distraction) : )

        1. Admin

          It does sound worth pursuing…and you sound like the right person for the job! :-)

          Actually, would you like to write a guest post about how hormones and neurotransmitters play a role in all of this?

          1. Sandra

            Well, I’m not a scientist or doctor; I’m a high school English teacher! (I came to teaching after working in other fields.) However, I’m really happy to have a read and provide some links? What does seem to be in some writing is that these chemicals – dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin, noradrenaline and a few others – affect the brain in very similar ways to opioids and/or stimulants. The result is that when we are unable to receive a “fix” via loving contact with the person we have “fallen in love” with, we experience, like you said in your post, something similar to drug withdrawals. Now add the triple D cycle (iDealise, devalue, discard which in my case was cycled through three times overtly; many more covertly) of the psychopath and you have a “full blown” quite desperate “addiction” created. It is one that we don’t have much or any control over. They do. Anyway! I feel a little nervous about giving misleading or inaccurate information on this post because we here are in enough pain without some half-baked hypothesis from a middle aged suburban English teacher who did some other kinds of work! I’ll keep reading : )

            1. Admin

              An English teacher! Now I’ll be paranoid about my grammar…or, more correctly, my usage…uh oh…is ‘more correctly’ correct? I’ll be consulting Grammar Girl on a regular basis in the future…

              This blog is filled with half-baked hypotheses, and I think sometimes those are the ones that resonate the most. Not just here, but on other websites like this one as well. In fact, this post is an example of one of them. We’ve all done a lot of reading (most of us seem to be obsessed with learning about what happened), but I believe our personal experience informs that knowledge and adds nuance and depth. Although I’d read that psychopaths put victims in a trance state, no one explained exactly how they did it. As I learned how their minds worked and analyzed my own experience, the idea that trance resulted from their intense predatory focus and presence made perfect sense, at least to me. Thank you for considering it, anyway. I’ll tackle the topic myself, and I’ll be sure to use this idea: “Now add the triple D cycle (iDealise, devalue, discard which in my case was cycled through three times overtly; many more covertly)…”
              Great point, Sandra. Thanks for bringing that to light. I hadn’t thought of it in that way. I find so many pearls of wisdom here in the comments, and many of them find their way into my posts. Keep them coming!

              1. Sandra

                Please don’t be paranoid about grammar. I am in no position nor would I wish to judge anyone’s writing! especially given how unlcear mine can be – eg. I’ll continue reading really meant that I’ll keep looking at the literature around this neurotransmitters etc and see if I can compile something for you. (I realise that “brevity” was not the “soul of wit” on this occasion! I agree that reading as much as we can about our experiences, conditions, others is essential in recovery. “Knowledge is power” And I thank you so much for being a part of that. It is a gift really. Anyway, this is one link that provides a basic explanation of the “science of love”. Note the reference at the bottom to staring – yikes! www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

                Is it ok for me to post things as I find them? Shall I compile/summarise/make some notes too?

                Thanks again for your wonderful writing and work here.

              2. Admin

                I was mostly kidding about the grammar — English was always my favorite subject and I fondly remember each of my teachers through the years. I’ve also accepted that perfection of the only language I know will always elude me.

                Thank you for the link. Yes, please post them when you find them and if you feel like doing so. If you want to summarize and make notes it would be appreciated, but just do what you have the time and the inclination to do, Sandra. I don’t want you or anyone to feel any pressure here. We’ve all had enough of that.

  7. DKG

    I read this article and cringe because it’s all true, and no one can see it more than those standing outside. My mom is going through this at the moment after losing her husband of 40 years. The boyfriend gives her what my dad couldn’t due to disability. Unfortunately on top of this my mom had a stroke a few months back and her feelings for the b/f intensified. As her only child, I had all her POA and it’s all been slowly taken away from me. The b/f is good — REALLY good. Of course he’s had decades to practice on women and now he’s got one with a brain injury, who craves his attention, affection and protection, his job is that much easier. My family has been devastated and eviscerated by them both. Only grandchildren cussed out, I’ve been cussed out by the b/f and I KNOW it’s because I’m onto him — I know what he is. But I and my family are the only ones who see it because he’s charmed everyone else. While I’m the one accused of wanting her money [always comes down to that, doesn’t it? *sigh*] no one’s giving a second thought to him. My mom lives with the fear that if she can’t keep up with him [before her health declined it was hard, I can only imagine what it’s like now] he’ll dump her. But — HE is what SHE wants. MY hands are tied — I can only sit back and watch from a distance… it’s a helpless, HORRIBLE feeling.

    1. Admin

      I’m sure it is a helpless and horrible feeling to watch your mom being exploited and not be able to help. If she’s still mentally competent (is she?) I guess there’s nothing you can do. Sorry to hear that you, your mom and family are being victimized by this creep. Please keep records of EVERYTHING he does and says, in case it’s needed one day. Best wishes to all of you.

      Just in case there is something you can do, but might not know about, the following article has a list of resources regarding elder finacial abuse: https://www.caring.com/questions/elder-abuse-legally-get-out

      1. DKG

        There’s not a judge around who would deem her incompetent. Believe me, I looked into it. No, I have to let her do as she ‘wants’ and her ‘wants’ don’t include her family. She won’t contact us for fear it will upset him. Sad.

    2. AnnettePK

      It might be worthwhile to talk to the best attorney you can find about the situation to see if there is anything that can be done. The way things work legally doesn’t always make logical sense and there are so many injustices; but it’s worth it to see if there is some way the system can be made to work for you in trying to protect your mom financially and emotionally.

      Maybe there is some way you can mislead the P into leaving. Even though it will upset your mom, it would be good for her in the long run. Maybe there is something in the greyrock technique that might help you find a way to manipulate HIM. We victims are usually open, honest, and we don’t think in terms of pressuring them; it’s just not in our nature.
      www.lovefraud.com/2012/02/10/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

  8. efemeris

    yesterday afternoon i had spent quite some time in my fave place surfing the web and reading about corporate psychopaths. when i was about to leave a guy who was sitting behind me asked me something that i haven’t heard well at first and he repeated it “do you have a moment of time?” and he started to absorb me with his prenetrant and sick look. I asked him “what for?” and he said “where are you from?” i asked him arrogantly being very irritated by his approach “why do you wanna know that?” he started to look around as he was concerned whether othe people pay attention and said in a very slimmy way ” i just wanted to asked you that….” and me even more arrogant “ahh-hhhaa!” he was very uncanny, even more so the way he would abosrbe me with his eyes. i jut turned my back and have left. luckily he was not following me. interesting that all psychopaths who would approach me have been very uncanny, quite as if the one and the same guy would approach me. they (the guys in my case) don’t differ at all in their modus operandi and i’d react in same way irritated and arrogant. i so hate that when they “start” you from behind. those uncanny, subtly types love to do that.

    1. Admin

      Good for you, efemeris, reading about psychopaths while fighting them off! If I were in your situation, I don’t think I would be as bold (out of concern that I’d inspire violence). When he asked you if you had a moment, I might have looked him straight in the eye and said, very seriously, “No, I don’t. Sorry.” and then went on my way.

      The other night I went to the grocery store, and a man got out of his car the same time I did. I could see from the corner of my eye that he was very ‘interested.’He was TOO interested for normalcy, and I got very bad vibes. He got to the door first (automatic doors) and when the doors opened, he stepped aside to let me go first, but I was still 20 feet away so it was just strange. I stopped in my tracks. I just stood there with a straight face and looked directly at him until he went in and the doors closed behind him. Then I entered the store. When I was ready to leave, I saw him heading down Isle 10 and I made my escape.

      But these guys are very obvious — what about the ones who are subtle?

      I wonder if, in my present state of mind, the psycho I knew would have set off any alarm bells or made me feel uncomfortable. Honestly, I would have to say yes. But I’m not a believer in trusting gut instincts, because he disarmed mine. It would be his behavior that would give him away. Uncanny doesn’t even come close to what this guy was. I figured he was just flustered because he was enamored with me…but the funny thing is, at the same time I thought he was the most relaxed and quietly confident person I’d ever seen. Incongruities like that are important to note. Kevin Dutton said an important sign to watch for is a person with an aura of black-leather toughness (not necessarily in the way he looks) who at the same time has a boyish innocence. That describes my psycho to a ‘T.’ Live and learn.

  9. I am in my 6th month of NO CONTACT. My exN/P is a text book case. TEXT BOOK. For 4 years he captivated, hypnotized, used and abused and tormented my every move, breath, thought, feeling, need. We worked together in the beggining, we were then fired when he threatened to kill me in front of the company attorney and then were unemployed and together 24/7 for about 18 months. Every job he got he quit too jeleous to leave me home alone, every job I got he tormented me up all night till I couldn’t keep the job. Oddest thing is, in retrospect I find a few things HIGHLY note worthy. 1. He told me many things in the interim that said precisely what he was, what was coming, and what he was capable of. 2. I cannot for the life of me figure out how we passed 18 months alone together in a small home with no contact with really no contact with anyone else, and doing basically as I recall nothing but existing, aside from his all day and often all night into the next day of berating me and emotionally, mentally, and physically abusing me, with ONE underlying theme, I had hurt HIM, he was SAD, I was a BAD person, he was being somehow abused by me, per him. I would sit there in the corner of the sofa and think to myself as I often watched the door trying to figure a way to grab my keys, and my purse and my cell and get out of the driveway before he could get to me, thinking he is insane can he really believe what is coming out his mouth??? That was the scariest thing, mulling over the thought “is he as insane as he is acting”. Pray for me, he made contact last night and I was feeling weak till I read your posts today. Much love and strength to you all, to us all.

    1. Admin

      Being with one of them is like being trapped in some crazy parallel universe. You don’t realize just how crazy it was until you’re back in this one. What he did to you was horrible, and I’m very sorry that happened to you. I’m so glad reading the posts helped to keep you away from him! Stay strong, DD. Lots of love and strength to you, too xoxo

  10. Elsie

    Hi thank you for your helpful information I learned about narcissism now I want to learn about psychopaths I think my new new neighbour is one my daughter is a covert narcissist I have stopped contact with her now I have a new neighbour who has the personality traits of a psychopath I am so very grateful for your insight especially how they hypnotise people. I am elderly and severely disabled so I am a sitting duck for these people. Thank you again
    Regards elsie.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      You don’t sound like a sitting duck to me, Elsie! Stay strong and continue to love and protect yourself!

  11. Megan

    It’s so true. When I think back on how it was particularly in the beginning, it was so euphoric…so wonderful…and yet I hesitated first before really falling into it…

    I remember the first time he said ‘I love you’, and how it felt too soon to me. I’m normally VERY slow to work myself up. As the song goes, “Love’s a word I never throw around…”

    So it startled me when he was saying it so quickly. I even remember him asking me once, very directly, why I never said “I love you” first. Rather I would offer the “I love you too” response after he’d say it. Looking back, I think it’s because in the beginning I really DIDN’T love him yet. I was just thoroughly enjoying the attention. I was entranced by it. Addicted to it. Needing to talk to him constantly. And then to my utter amazement, he was often contacting me before I could contact him. I felt like it wasn’t possible; men always have to get chased down to communicate with women, particularly about their feelings. Or at least that’s what the normal standard is.

    But he was so open. So free with his feelings. I found myself loving it. Even admiring it. Thinking about how I wished I was more open and expressive; feeling like a closed, cold fish in comparison. He seemed so warm and ebulant. And I loved to be near him, or when not near him, on the phone with him.

    And then I also remember when it changed…how abruptly it changed…

    But that’s another story for another day.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      They really make you feel as if you’ve found something and someone very special, something you’ve never experienced before and didn’t even know was possible. “Ebulant” and warm is exactly the way the one I knew came across to me. It seemed so rare and felt so engaging. You want to be within what feels like their warm glow… but before to long, it all goes straight to hell. It’s a story many of us are all too familiar with. You’re not alone.

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