The Cult of Two


“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

George Orwell, 1984

That quote describes perfectly the radical psychological process of brainwashing. A person involved with a psychopath is manipulated, but they certainly aren’t brainwashed — that only happens to people indoctrinated into a cult, right?

Nope. It can also happen in a one-on-one situation. Think of it as a cult of two.

Brainwashing (also known as mind control, coercive persuasion, thought reform, and thought control) refers to a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated.”


“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

~ George Orwell, 1984

Steven Hassan, a licensed counselor and former member of the Unification Church, is considered one of the foremost authorities on destructive mind control. Hassan operates the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, which works to extricate individuals from cults… and from controlling relationships. Hassen says that destructive mind control takes the ‘locus of control’ away from an individual. The word ‘locus’ means position or place. When our locus of control is removed from us, it goes to a new location — our abuser’s hands.

Psychopaths are adept at gaining control. They begin to gain control by creating an illusion of love, and then they gain complete control by creating the fear of losing it. That point — when things take a turn from a seemingly wonderful relationship to an inexplicably  troubled one  — is known as the manipulative shift, and that’s when the downward spiral begins. Because they’re at the controls, we just go along for the ride. It’s a crazy and damaging one, piloted by someone with callous disregard and a ruthless desire make us lose so they can gain from our losses.


“It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control,’ they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink.'”

~ George Orwell, 1984

“The effects of living under a controlling person or in a relationship where you didn’t feel that you could think or act for yourself are long-lasting. Getting away from the relationship is important, but just the first step.

Those still recovering from a difficult relationship often experience a variety of psychological and relationship problems—anxiety disorders, panic attacks, sleep disorders, lack of trust, paranoia and feelings of alienation. Getting the support you need can help you move beyond these.

Many therapists don’t understand or minimize the mind games played by controlling individuals. Clients are mistakenly directed by their therapists to look at childhood issues to explain their concerns, ignoring the fact that many clients were deceptively seduced by their partners and had phobias drilled into them.” (StevenHassen)


“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

~ George Orwell, 1984

Brainwashing (mind control) — whether exercised over hundreds or just one — is achieved using four tactics (for which Hassen coined the BITE acronym):

Control over behavior, information, thoughts and emotions. 

In the situation we experienced, the psychopath controlled information by withholding the truth about their real identity and motivations, which  allowed them to gain entrance to and establish a foothold in our lives. They continued to control information through deception. Without the facts, we didn’t know what we were really dealing with and could make no meaningful decision of what to do about it.

They controlled thought by punishing questions or criticism with fear, which they induced by withdrawing affection, becoming angry or with other tactics. To deal with it, we rationalized, denied or engaged in wishful thinking. They led us to think we were involved in something wholly different from what is actually was.

They controlled behavior with covert rules and regulations we unknowingly complied with: We refrained from acting in ways that would anger them or cause them to question our trust, commitment, character or sanity.  They may also have controlled how we spent our time or our money, or even what we wore,  what we ate or how much sleep we got.

They controlled emotion by  restricting it, which only led to more extreme emotion. They even purposely provoked emotion simply so they could restrict it,  in order to cause distress and to create a reason to punish using withdrawal, anger, denigration or accusations. Through deception, they induced guilt, fear, anger and sadness.


“Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in his life he had possessed concrete, unmistakable evidence of an act of falsification. He had held it between his fingers for as long as thirty seconds.”

George Orwell, 1984

‘Brainwashing’ sounds much more serious than ‘manipulation,’ but when you recognize that you experienced it, you can better realize the extent and severity of  what you endured and the trauma that it caused. When you realize you have soap bubbles coming out of your ears, the confusion, doubt, guilt, self-blame, anger, loss of confidence — and the persistent love and longing — can finally make sense.

Brainwashing overcomes an individual’s free will and ability to think critically.

According to renowned psychologist and cult opponent Dr. Margaret Singer, “Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent. Their critical thinking, defenses, cognitive processes, values, ideas, attitudes, conduct and ability to reason are undermined by a technological process rather than by meaningful free choice, rationality, or the inherent merit or value of the ideas or propositions being presented.”

We’ve heard how hard it is to get out of a cult. It’s just as hard to get free of a cult for two.

♥ Thank you for reading.


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45 thoughts on “The Cult of Two”

  1. Joan

    I still can’t believe these people exist and that I lived with one for 37 years before he said I don’t love you anymore,goodby. I know that it is true because I’ve read all the books and it is quite obvious to those who know about the existence of psychopaths to recognize the traits. Those who don’t , think you’re crazy and made it up to rationalize getting dumped. Definitely brainwashing! Such clever, charming people. They cause their spouses to kill themselves. I am lucky to have survived. He told everyone it was an amicable decision made by both of us and everyone believes him except my theopist, children and sister. Thank god.

    1. Admin

      Joan, I’m terribly sorry that happened to you, and I’m also very happy you survived! It’s good to know you have people who support you. Many of us know what it’s like to be certain of the truth, only to be told we just made up a story to deal with being dumped! We want people close to us to understand, but not all of them will be able to. I wish you all the best as you recover xoxo

  2. Vanessa

    Thank you for this and all you do, showing us a way forwards through this. 15 years I lost friends almost my family and then almost my children, strangely they told me ” its not normal mum” they weren’t his boys but I have a 3 year old that is !!!! I am Soo scared of the future him trying to take my son and changing him with his manipulation. But I am free of him here at least and at the moment there is no contact. Thank you again.


    1. Admin

      You’re welcome, Vanessa. I’ve got to try to reverse the effects of brainwashing!
      Kids are very perceptive; it’s no wonder they knew something wasn’t right. Congratulations for being free of him and having no contact, despite your fears. You’re a brave and strong woman. Best of luck and warm wishes to you and your children!

  3. merijoe

    Im stuck here-please help if you can…he told me he loved me and that I was his queen in a few days without him even seeing me…I longed to hear those words, they felt so good and I held onto them, but now it feels like someone dangled a carrot in front of my face and the yanked it away and I feel violated.

    1. Admin

      Merijoe, unfortunately that’s the cruel “game” they play. They repeat it again and again, but nothing is going to change except the amount of damage done and time wasted. From what I remember, you told me this is a guy whose whose anger goes from 0 to 100 in a flash and who considers you a dumping ground for it, and that he has a history of violence. What happens is that their mistreatment diminishes our self worth, which makes it more likely that we’ll go for that dangled carrot. The only thing that makes sense is going back to having no contact. Block his number so he can’t call or text. Block his social media accounts. Block everything so you can get the time and space to get some clarity. You deserve better. You deserve to be loved and cherished; let that start with you, and don’t get involved with anyone until you do. Here’s a question — if you had a daughter (I don’t know if you do or not), would you want her involved with this man? Probably not, because of love and concern for her best interest. As hard as it is, cut off all contact with him. One day you’ll be very glad you did. Best wishes to you, Merijoe.

      1. merijoe

        Ive been on NC for over a month and have no intention of reversing that, but that doesn’t stop the flashbacks of being thought of as special to someone at last- this is just a bad day, I need distraction, I guess…I tried to volunteer at a rescue animal group but I picked a bad one and encountered more psychopaths within the group, so now I have that to add (I was let go of my job a few weeks ago, Im working now in a new job -its not as lucrative but beats the alternative) -im not a part of that anymore as of today,, thank you and the forum for the support-I remain grateful,

        1. Admin

          I’m sorry, Merijoe; I misunderstood you. I’m relieved to hear you’re still no contact and have no intention of reversing it! I’m sorry to hear of what happened with the animal rescue group, and I shudder to think of psychopaths involved in the care of animals in a desperate situation. Don’t give up; find a group you’re comfortable with. There are compassionate people in this world, like you, who help those that need it, both human and animal. Don’t let the psychopaths stop you!
          Feeling violated — and without recourse — is not an easy thing to deal with. I have no solution, except to say that empathy is the treatment for a lack of empathy. I hope you will find support and understanding, and I hope you feel some of that here. Hugs to you, Merijoe.

          1. merijoe

            Thanks for the kind words of support, feels like a cool washcloth on a fevered brow! In my observance it seems like these people aren’t “really” as interested in the animals as much as how they feel getting public backslaps and attaboy/girl kudos for themselves and barking orders at newbies like myself-almost cult like manipulation. I know its out there, Im still looking but when it rains, it pours.

            1. Admin

              This is the time to take care of yourself and avoid more trauma, and that’s just what you’re doing. It’s great that you recognized that situation quickly and got yourself out of it! I hate to say it, but once our eyes are open we see more of what we don’t want to see, but it was always there. It’s sad but at least we can better protect ourselves now.

  4. healing

    Wonderful article! I was in a very long term sociopathic relationship AND religious cult…Steven Hassan work helped a lot did the concept of “one on one” cult and minicult. The parallel s are stunning. For survivors. .be impressed that you got out…manipulation and the BITE model of undue influence are extremely powerful and devastating tactics. So thankful to have my eyes opened…even tho it hurts. I love this site.Thanks for your work!

    1. Admin

      You’re welcome, and thank you for your very kind words.
      “BE IMPRESSED THAT YOU GOT OUT” — That’s a great point and something that’s frequently overlooked in the mayhem.

  5. Dee

    So true! Of course I was brainwashed. I could never do now what I did when I was with the psychopath i.e. neglect my children, participate in sexual deviance ( I cringe when I think of how low I got),lie to my family and friends and surrender every bit of me to give him ALL of my time, attention and energy etc. With distance, I can now see how I would never have done those things, had I been in my right mind. I remember the feeling of the perpetual trance like state I was in while in that relationship. I remember how all I wanted to do was please him even if the things that pleased him made me feel awful about myself. He most certainly is a cult leader. The turn-on for him was control. It was all about control and not love. Love doesn’t turn you into a puppet. He used to tell me, ” I love seeing what I can make you do.”

    1. Admin

      Love doesn’t turn us into puppets; brainwashing does. Many of us look back with disbelief and remorse at how we gave up self-respect along with other things we value. If we don’t understand how it happened, we’re more likely to lose trust in ourselves, blame ourselves and feel shame. Understanding and compassion are what we need, and we can give those to ourselves.
      Yes, power and control is what they want, and the only way for them to get it is to put someone else down. It’s a very small person who has to stand on the back of someone they’ve trampled to feel a little bit bigger.

  6. Deborah

    Dear Admin,
    Great post. Thank you so much. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all your hard work and effort to help educate those who became involved with a psychopath, unwittingly of course.
    The psychopath I became involved falls into the category of “charismatic”. And charismatic he most certainly is.
    He knew I wasn’t interested in him, but all that did was to present him with a challenge. The manipulation started the second he strolled on up to me and started talking to me. I was on holiday, at the time, on my own waiting for my sister and niece to join me. I am a seasoned traveller, and it’s not a big deal for me to be on my own as I’m very independent. Perhaps too much so, and I don’t go looking to hook up with strange men, that’s not my style. I know how to keep myself busy sightseeing, shopping ad infinitum.
    I showed no interest in him, but perhaps my biggest mistake was being friendly. Which is, for the most part, a big part of my personality. He managed to ‘run’ into me again the next day around the same time.
    He presented himself like a cool and collected person. Altruistic, generous, open, friendly, trustworthy reliable, the list could go on. I became in thralled by him in a matter of four days. I found it so particular as he just wasn’t my type at all.
    We’d meet for a brief tea, and of course conversation. That’s all that ever transpired, not that he didn’t try for more. Because he’s from such a different background then mine, all the strange things he would say I just chalked up to our vast cultural differences.
    I’ve read that psychopaths are usually attracted to strong women, which he commented on very often during our brief chats, also he’d make a point of saying how he wasn’t attracted to weak dependent women. Every time we met up he’d be on time, and that really impressed me as I’m very punctual person.
    He’d say things like “Although we’ve spent a couple of hours together over the past few days I feel like I’ve known you for weeks, months… He’d also say, “this doesn’t have to be goodbye” which he’d say very often. And the truth is it felt like we had known each other for ever!And all a long this was nothing but manipulation.
    There were ‘tells’ which I wasn’t oblivious to but that’s what manipulation can do. He’d make comments like,” After four or five months our relationship will change.” And I’d be thinking that sounds a bit ominous so I’d respond by saying, Why? He state simply, “because it just will”. He’d tell me that I loved him when I never had said I had and when I’d correct him and say, “I’ve never told you that ” he say,” Well, I want you to.” He’d say this often and I ‘d constantly remind him that I’d never said that, and he’d respond always the same, “Well, I want you to”. He’d make these grandiose plans for “Us” and our future. I admit I got to like his talking about a future together. Then he finally told me he loved me during a phone conversation. Funnily enough I didn’t give it too much thought, and then about two weeks later he said it again. Eventually, I felt I had fallen in love with him and finally told him.
    It didn’t take me long to start seeing him in a different light.
    Not long after I had come back from my first holiday, where we met, we discussed my going to see him in a few months, but actually it happened six weeks later.
    He had such a gift for gab and how he was going to show me such a great time. Pay for everything when I was there. How he was so happy I was coming to see him and no one had ever done that before…
    When the day arrived and the plane landed he was an hour late to meet me, hadn’t bathed, shaved, changed his clothes. His behaviour was curious. Then told me how he’d gotten fired from his job because his boss told him he had to work while I was there, he had no money. I think anyone whose’s reading this gets the picture. Finally, I told him he had to leave my hotel room as I wasn’t going to tolerate his BS. My first day was just the start of a nightmare that went on for nine days. His games were mind numbing, men after him for a debt, behaving as though he his life was in danger, pretending to be flat ass broke, always on his phone, text messaging, having, I believe, fake phone calls telling me these men were after him, and finally abandoning me. Just like that! What he wanted was money, but it wasn’t clearly stated and I had gotten to the stage where I thought he could be killed if he didn’t pay his debt. He would talk to me on the phone but never see me. He’d pretend to have plans to see me, but then would say he couldn’t.
    It was so distressing for me. In a matter of days I felt like someone else.
    Finally, it dawned on me that I could help him out financially. His plan all a long. When I told him that I’d help him, he made himself available. I was so confused by this time I just couldn’t see what was heads and what was tails.
    As time went on the mind games started becoming apparent. And I’d resist, give in, resist give in. It was so difficult to stay away from him. His voice I could listen to till the end of time.
    I gave him more money because of this and then he hit me up for more money because of that. But I didn’t give him any more after the second supposed “loan” Finally I woke up to his tricks.
    And he was devious. So devious that after I walked away and stayed away for about four months then I initiated contact this time.
    He hadn’t changed one bit. And not long after he was coming up with all these sob stories about he needed to help his family, his dad, his mom… and he didn’t have the funds as the work he did was slow. I devised a plan and put it into play. I told him if he stuck to his promises over a period of time I ‘d loan him the money. Of course he was in agreement, but he thought I meant I’d give him the money without having to prove himself first. Well, I set the record straight. He had to prove himself first! He had to sent me his photo, and call when he said he would and if he didn’t,All bets were off. He lasted for three days and felt he had proven himself, but I informed him it would take a much longer time then that to regain my trust. I knew he wouldn’t be able to and he realised the money wasn’t coming for months at least. And then I
    started putting my plan into action.
    The money he had loaned me in the past he wasn’t even attempting to pay back. I’d call him on his lies and keep after him just to hear more lies.
    Then I started on him about how unwell he was and making comments about his psychology.It never phased him. But as I became more emboldened ‘dI say more about his behaviour and then I took a big leap and called him on his manipulative psychopathic behaviour, I told him I knew what he had done to me through hypnosis. And that is the only reason he got what he got from me. He did say something to the effect: You think I’m a psychopath and I replied Yes! And that was all he said. Then I threatened to expose him and send his pictures to the police dept in his city, expose him on social media, send emails to people he wouldn’t want me to. He finally got a bit concerned. He knew I was going to Expose him for what he is. This genuinely concerned him I could tell. I told him if he didn’t start paying me back the money I loaned him I’d blow his cover. I’ve never seen him concerned about anything before, but this I knew he was very concerned about.
    We never ever have gotten into name calling, he’s never verbally abused me or threatened me even when I started threatening him.
    The other day, and I never ever thought I’d see this day, he made good on his word and sent me a small portion of the money I loaned him. Now I feel I’m holding the cards and he knows I’ll make good on what I say because I always have. This time though not in his favour.
    The last couple of times he’s called me he has asked me to come visit him. He mentioned we can go swimming, which is very strange as we never have done this activity together. But my response was, “What so you can drowned me?” And I believe that is what he has on his mind to annihilate me.
    Of course he may not pay me back all the money he owes me, but it’s a start. I would never be so courageous, if we did not lived half way around the world from each other.
    It’s a small victory for me.
    I am slowly healing which is a relief.
    I’m one of those women who seem to attract unsavoury characters and just the other day received a text from my former husband who wrote “I miss you.” He’s a narcissist. I didn’t respond.He promised me he’d never contact me again, but has broken his promise so many times.
    Thank you Admin for allowing me to be so long winded.

    1. Admin

      I found your story riveting! I got a cold chill when you refused to go swimming because you suspected he’d drown you… THE SAME THING HAPPENED WITH ME! We used to go skinny dipping in a lake at night, which was very dark and no one around. I loved those nights; I always had the most wonderful time. But one night after things started going bad — I’d actually told him I thought he was a predator several days before — he talked me into going for a beer, just to talk, and said it was his wish that we would remain friends (strangely, he never said it bothered him that I’d called him a predator) and he put on his usual big smile and said, “Whatdya say we go out on the boat and go swimming tomorrow night?” and I replied (with complete seriousness) “Why, so you can hit me over the head and throw me overboard, or drown me?” He kept smiling and said “Nah, I just thought It’d be fun, like old times!” I was certain he wanted to kill me; I felt it in my bones, and I’d just told him I thought he would kill me, and he just kept smiling and yammering about how much fun it would be…? I know he surely must have been very concerned that I knew what he was and was going to blow his cover… needless to say I didn’t go, and it creeps me out to think of all those nights when I did, and was in that pitch-dark lake with a psychopath… A lot of other things you say are very similar as well: He predicted the future, knowing what would happen with the relationship (because, of course, he was going to make those things happen); He knew I wouldn’t be interested in him, so he had to do a bit of work to win me over (there was a pretty big age difference); and although I wasn’t interested in him at first in any romantic way, nor was I attracted to him, he caught my attention from day one — I was intrigued for some reason. I’d watch him leaning against the wall, and wonder what it was he was doing that made me watch him leaning against the wall… I realized he seemed to be a study in contrasts, with all kinds of incongruities that somehow worked harmoniously and which had the effect of making me very curious about him. The next time I experience that I will KNOW the person is a psychopath. In fact, it’s #1 and 2 on my list, “Identifying a Psychopath: 20 Subtle and Hidden Signs.”

      Deborah, pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings as he pays you back. I can’t help but to think that he’s up to a lot more than returning your money. It sounds like you’re over and done with him, but be careful anyway. Everything they do has strings attached; actually, a lot more like ropes than strings.

  7. Nikki

    Yes yes yes, and so they say, “who feels it knows it!” The attack on a persons mentality and ability to think is the most destructive action towards another human being. Its a spiritual crime! George Orwell was he a prophet, or what?

    1. Admin

      Yes, he certainly was!

  8. Nearlybel

    When I think, that’s it, I now know, you come up with another illuminating angle, to make even more sense of the nonsense we endured for 20 years. Thank you Admin.
    When I met Psyscho I feared nothing, certainly not the spiders that regularly came into the house, I would catch in a soft cloth and place them safe and sound into the garden. He was terrified of them. Fast forward years ( I cannot remember how many) if ever I came across a spider, I would be afraid, I wouldn’t be able to go near it, I would have to call him to catch it. He wasn’t afraid of them.
    How did that happen?
    A total reversal, our upside down worlds.
    But he also had a couple of weird experiences with them,
    in bed, he woke up cos he heard something and it was a large wolf spider on the pillow right beside his ear ( he told me this) but I was there as he was barefoot walking to the door when again a wolf spider crossed his path and got entangled in his toes! Oooohhh
    We moved out near 2 years, I have no fear of spiders, spiders are my friend :)
    I, as we all were, was trapped in his web of lies and deceit for years. All wrapped up, in that cocoon of silk, unable to move, unable to think, totally disabled. It took a few years to release those strands of silk that held me but I did, and I am determined not to be that dried up empty shell the spider leaves after it has fed on it’s prey. Although I did feel like this for an awful long while after escaping from him.
    He had 20 years, 20 years his plaything, to use and abuse for his amusement, to keep his boredom at bay. Yuk
    They are evil but I am alive.
    And I thank you Admin ( again)
    for being here when I needed you xxx

    1. Admin

      Hi Nearlybel. There seems to be unending angles to take with this, endless ways to attack and reveal. Maybe I’ll run out of ideas some day, but the future-blog-post cue is pretty long right now. I’m having elbow surgery on Tuesday, and the surgeon will apply the cast at the perfect angle for typing.

      Fascinating about the spider phobia… first he was terrified, then wasn’t any longer when you had become terrified… I’m glad spiders are your friends again :-) I like your entire spider analogy; it fits so well. I, too, felt dessicated when the P was “done” with me. In fact, I looked several years older. But over the course of about a year, all of it was reversed.

      Their boredom, combined with an inability to find any real meaning or value in life, drives them to victimize. At the end, the P I knew spat contemptuously, “You bore me, and I’m done with you!” I was in therapy for close to a year, and one day my therapist told me she was sorry to say she’d be moving in 6 weeks. She asked me my feelings about it and I said, “It’s just fine, because you bore me and I’m done with you!” We had quite a good laugh over that. I mean, what a stupid freaking thing to say to someone. And so very revealing about the two things that occupy their minds: boredom and contempt.

      First we are the relief from their boredom, and soon after we are the cause of it. At no time are we ever an individual with innate value and rights.

      Thanks for your comment, Nearlybel xxx

  9. Asheley

    Admin, every blog post you write is so powerful and very needed!

    I know I was brainwashed in a major way. I would have never predicted that to happen to me in a million years. I’m a very strong and insightful woman, but a wolf in sheep’s clothing could fool almost anyone I suppose. Each time I read your blogs a light bulb goes off. Often times my mouth is gaping open in shock as most of what you describe has happened to me. I try to remind myself of the facts when I’m having a moment of doubt. You’ve really helped me a lot!

    1. Admin

      Hi, Asheley. I was deeply surprised, too, when I realized what the P had done and how how I’d fallen for it; how he’d taken control, all without any awareness on my part. I was always skeptical and independent-minded — I never bought into religion, and if a guy showed any signs of being controlling I was gone (even in high school. I had a natural aversion to controlling men). But the P was so undercover. Everything he did was the perfect cover-up for what he did. Like you, I could have never predicted it. I knew nothing of its existence, which means there was no way I could expect it, prepare for the possibility, or identify it. It’s totally a surprise attack. We don’t defend ourselves because we don’t know we have anything to defend against.

      I’m very glad what I write is helping you. Thank you for letting me know.

  10. roro

    I am not married and have no children. I am in my late 40’s. Both my parents and my only sister have passed on. I have no grandparents aunts or uncles only several cousins. To say that I feel like I have been cursed in this life would be a massive understatement. The psycho I knew came along JUST when I was beginning to feel better about myself. I was learning to keep the loneliness at bay and was really starting to experience happiness again. But he drew me into his Web and now almost 4 years later I can say that my deep need to feel loved and acknowledged is mainly what got me and kept me involved with him. He used many of the brain washing techniques u mentioned. .and then some…my soul is hurt and crying out. Most of my friends turned into acquaintances due to my neglecting them from being so overly involved with him. I can’t shake this sadness most days but am trying to put this all behind me best I can. We work together but Thank God he hasn’t been here for a month. I am nervous about seeing him again . The rage I feel towards him is powerful and although I wld never hurt him or myself those feelings are real. I was doing ok for awhile but find myself slipping recently because my only real friend is out of the country til august. So i really have no one to talk to. I feel a little lost again. Mind control is real and its effects are far reaching. I dread the day he comes back to work. I wish i never met him

    1. Admin

      roro, i want to respond but just got home from surgery and feel a bit rough. please check back here tomorrow, ok?

    2. merijoe

      Oh roro…Im right there with you, very similar situations…so sorry, you can talk to me if you want.

      1. roro

        Thanks so much merijoe. Your kindness and caring mean a lot to me. I’m sorry you are also going through something similar. I am here for you as well if you want to’s a cold cruel world out there! Nice to know there are still people around that are warm and kind :)

        1. merijoe

          How are you today my dear? One day at a time-me too, but its more like a hour at a time…the best thing for me is to stay busy-but sometimes my mind wanders to all the lies that made my heart light at the time -I try not to stay in that place for too long. I was thinking, you and me (Im assuming), are way too cool to let some man with a mental illness to keep us down…life is so short, im just going to have to get on with it and keep him far from my mind and learn to be a better me for knowing this crazy man.

  11. Shani

    Was I mesmerised by this psychopaths brainwashing techniques. Before stumbling on this blog, I believed he was a, as thick as a plank, alien losing grip on life very fast. Rehearsing his emotional, moral and physical immature list of rituals left me enragely amused. More so when I realised he is immune to his own ruthless tactics when I returned the (his) favours!

    I was so distracted from myself and little did I know what was happening to me!!!

    I managed to send him off to a neurologist for Alzheimer tests. I am still convinced he has pre-diabesity and suffer from Dinosaur Syndrome. But all diagnoses are minor findings when you deal with a psychopath.

    Thank you all for being open and honest about your truths. Thanks Admin for revealing important denominators I fully relate to. You speak my mind and give reality to what I endure when feeling overwhelmed. Being validated is most comforting, as all of us applaud.

    Just wondering…
    Do psychopaths dream?

    Was thinking of you with the elbow surgery Admin. Strong’s for the important getting better part and take it slow on the typing for now.

    1. Admin

      hi shani. you’re right, we got so distracted we didn’t even realize what was happening to ourselves.

      i hadn’t heard of “The Dinosaur Syndrome”: big body, little brain, become extinct.

      Do psychopaths dream? i don’t know. it would be an interesting topic to study. if they do, they probably only have what we consider nightmares.

      surgery went well. typing is slow, pecking at the keys with one hand.

      glad to hear you feel validated. thank you for your comment! xo

      1. AnnettePK

        My ex psychopath had at least one dream – he was clearly agitated, tossing and turning, and talking in his sleep. I perceived it was a nightmare and woke him up. He said he dreamed he was being attacked by a bear (may or may not have been true account of the nightmare – he is a pathological liar).
        He told me his dreams on several occasions – they were unremarkable, what I would characterize as normal dreams containing a mixture of reality and unrealistic elements based on his day to day life.
        Interesting that he did dream, as he lacked so many normal emotional and psychological processes otherwise.
        My dreams when I was ‘married’ to him were often stress induced panic ridden nightmares. I recall dreaming of him more than once as a transsexual clown/demon, long before I found out he is a cross dresser and pedophile….

        1. Admin

          I recall dreaming of him more than once as a transsexual clown/demon, long before I found out he is a cross dresser and pedophile….

          That gave me a cold chill. Do you have dreams about him anymore? I hope not.

  12. CAROLYN Kidwell

    Hello Admin

    I simply want to wish you a “speedy recover” from your surgery ! A big THANK YOU…to your surgeon!

    Whomever coined the expression …..”.IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE” got it right!!!! And you certainly do, too!! Call it for what it is !!!!PURE EVIL! PSYCHOPATHS !!! Run don’t walk!! It’s CRAZYMAKING !! With deadly intent!


    1. Admin

      THANK YOU very much, Carolyn! :-)

  13. Nearlybel

    Good on you Merijoe, and Ro Ro hope ye are doing OK x And I look at it in the aftermath as the board game snakes and ladders. We go slowly up the ladder,each day, living the life we were made to live. And then an encounter with him and I could slip down that snake, and for that day or maybe more all I could do was breathe. Sam Becketts quote Admin gave us ‘ I can’t go on, I will go on’ Then up the ladder I would climb, again, where the air is cleaner and the sun shines brighter :)
    The meek will inherit the earth!
    Down with psychopaths!!!
    I’m backing the human race
    Good luck to us all, and a speedy recovery to ye Admin, but take your time, don’t be rushing back too soon, your far too important xxx

    1. Admin

      thanks nearlybel! but i can’t help it; i’m in the midst of slowly pecking out a new blog post now…

  14. Asheley

    Get well soon Admin!! ♡

    1. Admin

      thanks so much ashley! i’m feeling pretty good!

  15. nopeace

    Psychopaths do dream. The one i knew used to dream that he was flying and wake up elated. He never said where to except that “he was flying”! He probably was on the look out for some more victims. He seemed to collect them with a shovel.
    I read somewhere that psychopaths hardly sleep. Well, he used to wake me up around 2 or 3 in the morning to go for a walk with him. When I systematically refused, he tried getting me to stand outside in the rain or waking me to take a look at the moon. How ridiculous must I have looked! He rubbed his hands like an excited child and exclaimed “isn’t it good?” Doesn’t it feel wonderful?” I wondered about his sanity but all
    the while he was robbing me of mine. I always felt he wanted to harm me or lead me to harm myself. He had a son who died of a drug overdose. I am sure he is the cause of it. He could not tolerate the existence of another male in his realm. One of those nights when he woke me up, he decided that he wanted us to take drugs. I was horrified and could not understand how he could even think of such things after what happened to his son. He never asked me again but the games continued. The waking up, the mind control, the silent treatment, the constant invalidation. He was not interested in anything I had to say. I asked him why didn’t he value me. I lived a very interesting and full life. I travelled extensively around the world and wanted him to share my experiences. He couldn’t. He was jealous of everything and anything that made me happy or pleased me. He was jealous of himself!
    Shani, you expressed things so well!
    Admin, so glad you are on the mend. Take care. x

    1. Admin

      Wow, he sounds manic. It reminds me of the nights of six hours dancing and then two swimming, etc. His energy was the only thing that kept me going; even fun is exhausting after a while!

      It really sucks when someone won’t share our good experiences with us — I wrote about it in the invalidation post. It’s another Red Flag when someone isn’t interested in or curious about our experiences and doesn’t share our joy. And it’s a death knell for any relationship. People who really love each other relish hearing about things their partner has done, and remember every detail.

      I am on the mend! I graduated from physical therapy yesterday. If you’ve ever had PT, you know what a relief that is.

  16. AnnettePK

    Appreciate the post, very useful. As always, the illustrations are a powerful part of the article.

    1. Admin

      Thank you, Annette. Glad it’s useful to you.

  17. Eva

    I just found your blog when I googled “I feel like my relationship was a cult” because I felt brainwashed. Thank you for your work. I experienced the “manipulative shift” dramatically in August when I dared, dared to not even criticize but point out some culpability in my partner. That’s when everything you describe started. I am now left missing the pre-shift relationship and having these terrible missing pangs, but your blog will help keep me sane and moving forward. I love the piece about not needing to forgive too. And I agree that anger is there to protect you, to get you out of dangerous situations, to propel you forward. Again: thank you.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Eva, I’m so glad the site is validating and helpful to you. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I wish you peace and healing xx

  18. Kato

    Is there a printable version of this article?

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Hi, Kato. You can print it using a Chrome browser (probably the other browsers, too, but I only know about Chrome for sure). Just click on the settings menu, then click print. You’ll then have the option to save the article as a PDF. After that, you can print it out if you want to. I hope that helps.

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