Warning Others: Will It Work?

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“Thank God I’m not the only one, but what can we do as a collective to warn people about these sick individuals so they don’t keep harming others?”

~ A comment from a reader

Her question is a good one. None of us were warned about the possibility of being victimized by a psychopath parading around as our lover. Say what? I might have laughed if someone had, and wondered if they’d forgotten to take their Thorazine or had watched one too many episodes of Criminal Minds.

Many of us felt like we were blindsided. It wasn’t even on our radar. That makes me wonder… Why wasn’t it?

I tried to warn my friends afterward and not one of them could grasp what had actually happened, but whatever it was, they said, it would never happen to them.

Of course it could happen to them, but they’d never know until it was too late if they didn’t heed my warning! If only they would listen to me they could be spared a similar, devastating fate.

Or would they?

It makes me wonder if the phenomenon of psychopathic victimization in interpersonal relationships is just something people can’t really ‘get’ until they’ve experienced it for themselves. Even if they did listen and understand, if it happened they still might simply believe they met the most wonderful person, and not consider or even remember the warning. Why would it even cross their minds? They met a wonderful person! And they’d be determined to keep them.

But maybe that view is pessimistic. Maybe people can be warned successfully, or maybe at least some of them can, so we have to try. Websites like this one are found after the fact, not before, so they don’t do much in the way of prevention; they exist to help those who’ve already been victimized. It will take something else to reach those who haven’t, if they can even be reached at all.

Remember back to the time when it was very hard to comprehend what psychopathy truly meant because of its profound differences, even though you’d experienced a person with it and suffered the consequences. It was no easy feat to wrap your mind around the facts that psychopaths have no conscience and no ability to love, and are motivated only by self-gratification. How can any of us really expect people who haven’t had the experience to grasp the reality of a psychopath, let alone accept that people like this really do exist and that they even might ‘date’ one of them?

I got the following comment

from a reader in response to the page Red Flags, which describes possible warning signs of psychopathic trouble early in a relationship:

“Everything written here is the living definition of love. there is no scientific or psychological bearing in this article, other than ASSUMING there is a negative outcome with finding the partner of your dreams. I can see how these things may be falsely used to get close to a victim, but you are ignoring that these are all ideal qualities you want in your partner and that if you recognize them — you should assume they are psychopathic tendencies? I would assume the author has been so severely hurt and victimized (possibly self inflicted) that they wrote this as an exaggerated response to their own vulnerability and shield others with fear. Love always is a risk, the greater the love the greater the risk. Do not settle for mundane or the mediocre!”

And therein lies the problem of successfully warning others. The real problem isn’t psychopaths — the problem is I must have skipped my Thorazine or I would never say anything so ludicrous about the potential danger of an “ideal” partner. The reader was so appalled at my warning that what looks like “the living definition of love” could actually be the opposite, that she never even made it to the part of the article where I wrote, “Obviously, no one is going to fall in love with someone and just see it as a big red flag and walk away, and I’m not saying that’s what you should do — that would be crazy… Staying alert can help prevent an entanglement with a psychopath, while still preserving the opportunity to move forward with a person who has honest intentions.” That sounds perfectly reasonable to me and it might sound reasonable to you, too, but how many who haven’t had our experience would or could see warning signs in what appears to be an ideal mate and an idyllic relationship, and then keep one eye open?

Even some former victims remain a little perplexed. Some berate themselves because they “should have known better.” Is that so? Then why didn’t they know better? What was it that made what seems so obvious in hindsight such a mystery at the time?

Other people who were victimized say they did have had a bad ‘gut feeling’ that they feel they foolishly ignored, forging ahead despite their internal warning. Why is that? What is it that made them ignore their own internal alarm bells?

The answer to both of those question, to anyone still asking, is this: You were disarmed.

Mary Ellen O’Toole, the FBI’s leading expert in psychopathy, warns people not to trust their gut feelings because the very thing psychopaths excel at is disarming us. That means they are able to get us to move past our bad gut feelings or not to even have one in the first place.

O’Toole said that after 30 years as an FBI profiler, “What she found was that the most dangerous criminals were often the ones who came across as the most harmless. That’s how they were able to continue harming people.” (“FBI profiler explains the dangers of that ‘nice’ neighbor,” Washington Post)

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“What she found was that the most dangerous criminals were often the ones who came across as the most harmless. That’s how they were able to continue harming people.”

It’s hard enough to warn people about the potential danger of a friendly neighbor who seems safe — so imagine how much harder it is to warn them about the potential danger of someone they trust and love and believe they know.  Good luck with it. When you love and trust someone and believe you know them, that’s exactly the time you can let your guard down, right? Asking the uninitiated to keep one eye open because their soul mate might turn into the boogeyman — and expecting them to be able to do that while they’re in the euphoria of love and high on hormones and brain chemicals — just might be unrealistic. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it anyway.

Most people believe they’re a good judge of character, so they think they can tell if their wonderful new love interest is genuine or not. Once they’ve come to the conclusion that they are, they trust them and put any wariness aside. The image that’s formed of the person as genuine and trustworthy is so powerful that it can override reality. That image can remain intact through an incredible barrage of proof that it’s undeserved. For example, “I didn’t believe him when he told me he was working late because I found out he has a personal ad on OK Cupid when he accidentally left the browser open last week, so I called his cell to find out where he was and he didn’t answer, which is strange… but he’s trustworthy, so he must be telling me the truth. He’s right, I have serious trust issues and I’m a terrible person for thinking he’d ever lie to me.”

We don’t even realize it when it happens. Once that image of trustworthiness is formed, we forget that a person who’s trustworthy is one who acts that way, not one who once acted that way months or years ago and who now rests on his laurels and our faulty judgement of his character.

Does this mean you should never trust anyone again? No. If someone proves themselves to be trustworthy, trust away! But only trust them for as long as they continue to be trustworthy, not just because they used to be.

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We come to conclusions about a person’s character subconsciously and almost immediately upon meeting them. We think we can just “tell” if someone is a good person, because we’re just wise like that. That’s science fiction, according to experts. That gut-feeling of goodness is based on superficial signs like how a person is dressed, how friendly they are, and how similar they seem to us. What else could it be based on if we just met someone?

It actually takes time and observation to accurately judge someone’s character. Gut feelings aren’t the mysterious intuitive force they seem to be — they’re simply the result of our brain doing an ultra-fast search through the files of our life experiences, and coming up with its best guess based on that. The purpose is to protect us but if that experience isn’t there in the files to begin with, we will not get a warning. The automatic and subconscious ways our brains work — ‘gut feelings’ being just one example — leave us vulnerable to all kinds of assumptions we simply accept as true and usually aren’t even aware of. And then we act on those automatic assumptions, which are often faulty.

Psychopaths know it and they count on it.

Why is that? Did they all go to Psychopath University, where they majored in psychology and neuroscience and were taught how to use it to their advantage?

And why is it so difficult to detect psychopaths? Why does it take so long even if we eventually do?

Dr. Robert Hare, psychopathy expert, warns that none of us is immune, even him. He calls psychopaths “Intra-Species Predators.” That sounds ominous. To me, it seems to imply that while psychopaths have the outward characteristics of our species they are actually just predators in camouflage, predators wearing human costumes… predators that exist to prey on us, that evolved over eons and that learned — from living among us and observing us — exactly how to best prey on us and how to mimic us closely enough to evade suspicion. As predators they would not be hindered by anything that would prevent them from fulfilling that role, such as a conscience or emotions.

If that were true, it would explain a lot. It would explain why we should have known better but didn’t, why we didn’t catch on when things should have been obvious, and why we ignored our gut feelings or never had any. It would mean the psychopath we knew didn’t figure out on his own how to disarm us — it would mean he was born with a brain that was wired to do it, passed on by countless generations of psychopaths before him.

Well, guess what? That may actually be true.

There is a theory in evolutionary psychology that psychopathy might be the result of an evolutionary adaptation, not a neurological or mental disorder. It can be viewed as a social strategy, one that benefits the psychopathic individual instead of the group. For example, although we tend to think of traits such as a lack of guilt as a deficit, these traits might not reflect a disorder, only a difference. A lack of guilt may make it easier for the individual to obtain resources from others, unhindered by their own emotional state. If someone’s motivation is his or her own self-gratification, it helps to be able to look you in the eye and lie to you without the smallest pang of guilt or fear of being discovered. If getting what you need or want is your only concern, it helps not to feel empathy or remorse.

One definition of disorder is “the failure of an internal mechanism to perform a natural function for which it was designed.”  What if it works just as it was designed to work?

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“Unlike virtually every other mental disorder, however, where the existence of the problem is inferred from difficulties experienced by the patient, psychopathy is a disorder whose negative effects accrue more to those who come into contact with the psychopath than to the patient him or herself.”

~ Grant Harris, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Ontario

It’s still up for debate, but it sounds plausible to me. It could explain many things about psychopaths, including their uncanny abilities to manipulate and to stay hidden.

 ♥ Thank you for reading.

Comments are closed.

THE KESTREL

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Engraving arabesques into the autumn air

A kestrel files a flight plan, where

Both food and frolic wait to whet

His appetite for flash and flair

Above the earth, beyond regret.

Fierce and fearless, wing-wise, unaware

Of risks that threaten all who dare

To challenge standards often set

By those who lack the Savior Faire

Required to work without a net.

© Linda ~ 1994
LOTUS DIVIDER

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100 thoughts on “Warning Others: Will It Work?”

  1. Linda

    The coyote eats his prey alive, with no remorse. Disorder or adaptation, the fact remains that to the psychopath, the predator, we are the prey. I recognized multiple intuitive “warnings”, I never trusted him for a minute, I caught hints of abnormalities – certain obsessions, certain attitudes regarding other people, gas-lightling, triangulation – and still I walked into his embrace, into his web, and was ensnared and badly hurt before I broke free and walked away. If someone had warned me would I have backed off? I cannot know, but I doubt that. He knew the words to speak, the script to run, the songs to sing, to capture me. And he tried to eat me alive. Will I allow this to happen to me again? I do know the answer to that question: No! I do believe that I am honor bound to warn others, and they are free to take the warning, or not. At the least, we can all be here to help, as you are doing with this wonderful blog, when they have been ensnared by a psychopath too, and come searching for help to break free and seek freedom!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Good for you. And I will continue to give my books to people who take them while smiling politely, and then go home and stuff them in the bottom of a drawer.

      Thank you for the beautiful poem!

      1. Linda

        My pleasure! Kestrels know more about freedom that we ever will… But we can try! :-) xx

      2. nzr

        It’s not fair that if 1 tries to warn anyone about a dangerous predator, it’s stalking! Suddenly, you’re the dangerous, CRAZY person. It’s not WORTH the effort, and they count on it, because, don’t think, for 1 minute, your enemy didnt do his research! Lookout for the RED Flags. It really could be the best decision, of your LIFE! The BEST!

    2. stillreeling

      I tried to warn a few of the women about the spath I dated. Three of them thanked me, one was skeptical, and the last one I tried to warn (through a facebook message) promptly encouraged the spath to call the police, which he did. I was charged with domestic violence harassment. I was handcuffed, put in jail, had to be bonded out, probation for a year, a restraining order for one year, mandatory weekly domestic violence group counseling for 9 months, and over $1,500 to get through one year of shear hell because of the psychopath. He was considered a “victim” of domestic violence and I was considered the violent criminal. Now I have a criminal background, thanks to one woman whom I tried to forewarn that she was about to be pillaged for her money and her home. And he promptly dumped her within 2 months of my arrest and domestic violence conviction. Sociopaths are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately I have learned to NEVER reach out to the next victim.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Oh, no! That sounds extreme, and for nothing but trying to warn someone! How can you be considered a ‘violent criminal’ for sending a message? I’m so sorry you had to go through that; it must have been awful, especially in light of the situation. When someone asks me if they should warn the next victim, I always urge caution but I never even knew something like this was possible.

        1. Nicola

          Oh stillreeling, I am so sorry this was the result. All power to you for withstanding being wrongy blamed and further harassed. It is what happens society-wide to victims and whistleblowers. May you find peace and grow stronger from it.

        2. stillreeling

          Colorado law (where I live) has hideous domestic violence laws, and me sending a message on facebook to one of his “girlfriends” is considered harassment. And yes, domestic violence is prosecuted in criminal court (not civil). I now have a record as a violent criminal in the state of Colorado for simply trying to warn one of his victims. I gave a written statement to the police about his predatorial behavior of women and using them for money and a place to live – they still arrested me, not him. As far as I can tell, police have no idea about sociopaths and how they victimize women. Even the counselor in the domestic violence group sessions wouldn’t acknowledge him as a sociopath. We are truly isolated in our suffering.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            There does seem to be a trend of ignorance among those who should know, and who could make a difference. How mental health professionals, police, and the courts could remain in the dark is perplexing. What happened to you is a terrible travesty of justice. What you did was in no way “violent.” You didn’t threaten anyone. It’s as if no one was allowed to use their judgement, to assess the details of your specific situation and discern that it didn’t apply to the law it was being applied to. What good does it do you or anyone to do this kind of thing? It’s like a criminal justice factory, and once you start down that assembly line no one can see you don’t belong there and hit the “off” switch. It’s mindless. I’m sorry you ended up there.

      2. janes

        i suggest the nomination for Stillreeling as the HERO of the month or better , Person of the Year !
        Wear what happened to you as a badge of honour & in time you might be able to appeal it, hopefully with the help of his other victims.
        KUDOS TO YOU !!!

        PS, in due time we’ll all know how to EXPOSE these CHILDREN OF DARK/HELL in the best legal way SO THEY ALL GO OUT OF BUSINESS :)

        1. janes

          Sister, U are a WAR HERO!!!!!!

          1. Adelyn Birch

            I agree, Janes!

            1. stillreeling

              I’m so thankful for other women who understand and know the extent to which these evil beasts will hurt us to save themselves. My faith in God is the only thing that helped me keep my sanity. I can’t tell you how many times I was having an anxiety attack and quoting Psalm 91 because I was petrified he would call the police again and report me for communicating with him because he would text me and try to get back with me, use the restraining order as a means to control me and make me do whatever he wanted. It was a year of pure hell until I was finally done with the monthly probation meetings and weekly domestic violence classes. I wasn’t able to tell anyone in my family or any of my friends about it because I was too ashamed and unable to do anything but try to stay on level ground emotionally. I accept responsibility for staying in a relationship with this sick man for way too long and trying to believe his lies. My bad. I’m still healing from the emotional wounds and hurt inflicted by him.

              1. Adelyn Birch

                You lived through a nightmare, stillreeling. I hope you’re getting the support you need, and wish you all the best as you recover. Thank you for sharing your story here.

              2. Adelyn Birch

                I wish there was! If I don’t choose the ‘nested’ comment setting, they’re wider but they’re posted in a way that you can’t tell who someone’s responding to. They end up in a random order. I know they’re almost impossible to read on a small screen. I haven’t been able to find a solution, so I need to re-design the whole site to solve the problem. I know it’s awful, and I’m sorry it’s like that.

              3. Adelyn Birch

                Fixed! The comments are now wider!

              4. Brightie

                yes, this topic has initiated many comments and they get more cramped! :) thanks for fixing it!

              5. Adelyn Birch

                I’m thrilled to have found a way. A developer gave me a small snippet of code that did the trick!

    3. Shari

      Absolutely beautiful poem. Since I can’t seem to learn how to avoid psychopaths, I’m finally getting therapy.
      I even gave my last psychopath another chance, and he just hurt me all over again. I keep reading and re-reading your posts, and I thank you so much for them as they are so helpful. I don’t know why I fall for charmers, and I need to quit believing them and get a backbone.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I’m glad you’re getting therapy, Shari. Until you can answer these questions, you’ll remain at risk. Best wishes.

      2. Linda

        Shari, you might read Adelyn’s post on boundaries. Setting boundaries and recognizing our own worth are good defenses against predators who do not respect or value us at all. I’m glad you like the poem. That little bird knows the true meaning of freedom! :-)

  2. red

    I don’t know. I wish there was a way. I’ve had fantasies of sky-writing his name and what he is, what he’s done, broadcasting it to the world. I fear that I’ll seem crazy to others, just as he made me feel so many times.

    I remember receiving a very troubling email about the psychopath I was seeing and being deeply troubled by it but dismissing it. I even mentioned it to him and he explained it away.

    It’s part of what they do — they make us doubt ourselves, they violate our boundaries and essentially hijack our brains and our hearts. It’s awful and I am only just starting to heal.

    I hope we’re able to increase awareness around this issue to benefit/save as many people as possible.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Sky writing! I hadn’t thought of that but I like it.

      Do whatever you feel you can, Red. You just may reach someone.

      1. red

        Thank you for the encouragement.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          You’re welcome.

  3. Ulrike

    I don’t think I would have listened to any warnings… I had those odd bad gut feelings but he successfully convinced me that it’s just the strength of my emotions for him, and simply a sign that I had never truly been in love before. Oh how happy was I to believe him and to wholeheartedly ban these stupid gut feelings whenever they woke up!
    But if I had had a warning from one of his ex wives at that point, I might have just kept it in the back of my mind and I might have just seen the light a bit quicker than I did! When I realised that something was fishy and that “love” shouldn’t feel that way, I was still miles away from seeing his role in this, I wholeheartedly followed his guidance that something had to be wrong with me! After all he is the successful, capable, shining individual, and I’m the one who doesn’t seem to be able to keep her man happy! At THAT point, instead of going through the self blame cycles for 4 – 5 devastating years and nearly losing myself, I might have remembered that ominous email from his ex (had she ever written it!)?

    1. Adelyn Birch

      They all make us think we’re the problem! Now that’s a real trick, but they manage to pull it off for a while. I’m so glad you pulled out of the self-blame cycle! It’s vicious and unnecessary.

    2. Depressedempath

      Oh Ulrike, sounds exactly like me and my ex. I knew he had 3 failed marriages and had been to counselling. He even admitted that one wife said he was too dominating and maybe he was! But I ignored that as though I had the credentials for a lion tamer, lol!

      1. Nicola

        I recently ignored most of the wisdom out there in psychopathic abuse recovery land. I was absolutely driven to write a warning to his new lover, once I discovered she had been there throughout the ‘there is no one else’ months before, during and after he left, and he’d moved straight in with her, adopted her home, her life, her friends. Poor woman. It was compassion that drove me to do it, although I did want her to own her complicity in the destruction of my life (with the benefit of the doubt that she was probably lied to about me during the love bombing). I decided that since his slander had already painted me into a corner as a bad person whom he had to abandon (like the 3 wives before me), I relinquished my fear of further slander or attack in favour of planting the seed of doubt for her benefit. If not for our absolute trust, our violations would perhaps not have cut so deep. Repurcussions were nil. I got an email and call from unkown number which I ignored. Last I heard of it. I have lost everything to my famous P. My careers, my home, my trust in human kind, my family, numerous non-believing friends, and my reputation. Nothing left to lose. But I gained satisfaction from having at least warned her, and the hope that she might protect herself from utter destruction and notice the deceitful behaviour before she gives him her whole life and is left with nothing, like the women before her. Not a Facebook public outing, but a direct letter marked, “Private & Confidential”. I pray it worked. Only time will tell.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Sending a hug your way, Nicola.

    3. Shari

      Two of his ex-girlfriends and his ex-wife even warned me about him! How much of a warning did I need? He is a predator, pure and simple. He took advantage of them, and he took advantage of me as well. Why do I feel so hurt when I walked right into his mess again, after leaving him the first time when his 3 exes told me about everything he’d done to them? I saw the same thing was happening to me, yet when he told me that he wasn’t that way at all, I believed him; what was wrong with me that I chose to go back again and live thru it a second time? I think he wanted me back again so he could prove to people that he couldn’t be that bad of a person if I would be his girlfriend again..

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I’m glad you’re getting therapy, Shari. Until you can answer these questions, you’ll remain at risk. Best wishes.

  4. Oh boy! I was married to one for 17 years, how the hell do I know if this one is one too? How do I know he is being honest, how do I believe what he says, is he using me. How the hell do you know? I want to feel this person is ok….and maybe it’s ‘my stuff’ thtat is getting in the way. I am lost :(

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Learn as much as you can, Fi. Knowledge is power! If you’re lost, you need a map. In the main menu, click on the “Road Map” page, and scroll down to the section titled “Knowledge.” It’s divided into two parts — psychopaths and manipulation. Read all of it and arm yourself. Also read the section titled “Boundaries,” and be sure to create some strong ones. Best of luck to you!

      1. Nicola

        Fi. I just had to reply that if you catch him out in a lie, then he’s a LIAR. It’s very simple. Do some anecdotal research on him. Find out about his past. Don’t just rely on what HE tells you. Liars don’t stop lying when found out. They cover a lie with a mountain of deception to bamboozle you. Mine started with a lie and I let him off, gave him the benefit of the doubt. Over and over until I didn’t know reality from fiction.

  5. Pamela Gaylord

    After twenty-nine years of marriage his parting remark, as he was leaving me to move in with the thrice married woman he had been having an affair with, was, “You cared for the kids more than you did for me.” Talk about pouring salt on a wound.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      How terrible. That must have hurt a lot, Pam. They always take their best shot on the way out, and it reveals just how dreadful they really were. I wish you all the best as you recover and move forward in your life.

  6. Depressedempath

    I would love to warn others about my psycho but it is pointless. Looking back, I had heaps of warnings from my family, my friends, his friends and even bystanders when we went out into public places! But I ignored all of them- the psycho had disarmed me and I was under his spell. It had to be my awakening after 7 months of abuse, when I had plunged into the depth of depression and a friend made me watch a show on psychopaths. That was when the light switched on in my brain and I then realised that I deserved better and I could walk away.
    But still today, I can feel his pull, his power, drawing me in, wondering where he is and what he is up to. I don’t think that power will ever go away. They have an uncanny way of getting inside people’s heads and controlling them.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      They disarm us, but not permanently. Eventually we wake up. I woke up when he got carried away by his grandiosity and became too obvious. He didn’t like being found out so he said some mean things, took his toys, and and stormed off in a huff. He stayed in my head for a long time but he grew progressively smaller, and in memories of the things he’d said he sounded like Charlie Chipmunk. That’s when I started laughing at him, and not long after that *POOF* he was gone. Luckily, he still serves as a good source of random amusement. I hope the same thing happens with you, Depressedempath.

    2. red

      You are so right. Safe, understanding and loving support. You are not alone.

  7. Jan

    They have a lot of patience! I could take a long, long time to let down my guard in acute observing & studying, & analyzing in a new friendship, to perhaps decide finally that yes this person really is a “real person”; that my wariness was uncalled-for ….. but they are able to wait that one minute extra! So, I admit that it could happen again. However, with all I’ve learned, I THINK I’d notice when positive changed to negative in their words & actions, although I recognize it would be a slippery thing & not dramatic so my attention wouldn’t be grabbed. Just something very subtle. Something I could pass off as just being evidence of a grumpy day, for instance.—- So, even being on guard from having experienced the devastation, and knowing it could be so subtle & gradual & seeming like normal human behaviour at 1st, I really don’t think someone unexperienced with it would be able to take the hints as warning of something big coming. Someone warning about observed red flags would be seen as simply being paranoid & being unfair to a good person, and would be ignored. I recognize the little warnings I’d received and ignored because I was so sure of my ability to be of help to a suffering person just by being a friend willing to stand by her thru’ thick & thin.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I don’t know if it will make a difference if your guard is up or down. I think if we’ve experienced and learned enough about the tactics of manipulators and abusers, it will always be in mind somewhere and we might simply recognize when someone’s behavior started slipping into forbidden territory, and when they made excuses for it.

      It will be up to us to have enough knowledge and to have *clear boundaries* in place so we know when they’re being crossed and so we can speak up about it in no uncertain terms when our limits have been crossed. Having a grumpy day might mean someone acts grumpy, but it’s no excuse to become abusive or disrespectful. No one is perfect, so it’ll be up to us to decide what’s normal or not, and what’s acceptable to us or not.

      And what if their manipulative behavior is so subtle that you can’t pinpoint it? Well it will still have an effect on you, right? So don’t forget about looking at yourself for signs you’re being manipulated. Do a search on this website for “How to tell if you’re being manipulated.”

      Also, go to the page in the main menu titled “Basic Human Rights.” Copy it down and keep it in a journal or a file, and refresh your memory frequently. Ask yourself if you still have all of these rights in your relationship. You should, and if you don’t you’d need to address it. No one has to give up their basic rights to be in a relationship.

      Good luck with it, Jan, and good luck to us all! In fact, let’s not leave it up to luck.

  8. Only Me

    I think it is possible to successfully warn a new victim if you can catch them early on before they have emotionally committed themselves to loving the disordered one. I do know that in the early weeks of being with my ex, at times, I got disturbing feelings that some of his behavior was really odd and strange! I had questions, and I looked for answers!

    Hence, I often ran background checks on every source I could think of! Law enforcement, court records sites, just all over the place looking for background information on him. He kept coming up clean, and I could never find anything on him!

    If someone had tried to warn me before I committed to him, I’d like to think I would have listened! I looked far and wide for negative information on him. I got nothing! Some of him behavior early on left me scratching my head in wonderment! But I didn’t know!

    Now, if I were get a warning someone about a a person I was romantically interested in, you bet I’d listen. Later on, when it was too late, my son got bad vibes from my ex, and I did break up with him. I did listen, but as he had nothing specific to tell me, I took up again in the relationship with the ex!

    Now, I would insist on my son meeting anyone I’m interested in. If my son has any reservations, I will listen and cut that person off early on! This girl learned her lesson (obviously!) the hard way. My son won’t tell me wrong, and I do trust him!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      What I meant by warning people is to warn them in a general sense, before any of this happens, as part of their knowledge about dating and relationships and the hazards they may face, or warning those we know personally before it happens to them.

      I agree, we can warn someone before they get involved emotionally if we see they’re headed for trouble. After that, it would most likely be useless.

      A lot of them have no criminal record. While it’s always smart to check, it doesn’t mean much if we don’t find anything.

      It’s good you have your son whose opinion you trust to check out future interests. I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way, but as you said once someone is emotionally involved, it’s just too late.

  9. Dianne

    So very very true. I did not have a clue until i met and fell in love with a narcissistic sociopath.
    I made every excuse in the world as to why it was my fault, i did not deserve him, etc etc. Believed his lies and trusted him . It almost cost me my life . Sites like these along with my therapist helped me see the truth. I ignored the warning signs. But i fought back. Eventually..
    I can never repair the damage he did to others through me and never repair myself to who i was before him, but i can try. With the help of one of his past victims we set up a website about him, obtained legal advice before it was launched a year ago, Stuck to the truth and backed it up with proof, did not make threats or use abuse language, as advised by the lawyer/ solicitor and he could not do anything about it . If he sued and it wnt to court then he had to prove it was lies and he could not so he has done nothing but move . If will follow him and anyone one who looks him up on the net will find it. If it saves just one person from being his victim then it will have been worth it. If anyone is interested in reading about this evil pice of an excuse for a human being just ask and i will send the link. So once again thank you for this site it truly does help.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you, Dianne! I’m so glad it helps.

    2. red

      Oh my god! This is amazing that you did this! This is my dream! I might be too triggered to view the actual site but I wouldn’t mind hearing a little bit more about it. What sort of things did you post about him?

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Please be very careful if you decide to take the same route, Red. I wish we could all do the same, but sometimes the risk involved is too great. It’s important to consider the legal aspects and the details of your particular situation, such as if he might respond violently.

        1. red

          Absolutely. I don’t intend to do the same thing but I appreciate your concern.

      2. Dianne

        Yes Red, please be careful. I was lucky that i never throw anything away. I had hundreds of emails from him, text messages, documents etc. Plus his former friend had access to information that i did not. Plus we consulted a lawyer/ solicitor before we published to make sure . It is a long story to explain and a lot was left out because it would have hurt certain people in his past. Im not going to cause more pain to anyone. We stuck to the facts and made sure we could back it up with proof. But here is a sample. :: He legally changed his name when he was 25 but denied doing it, said his parents must have done it without him knowing. A parent cant change an adult childs name. He married a woman much older than him, ripped her off, stole $300,00.00 from her father with lies and false promises, the old man died alone and in poverty. He had numerous affairs, all with wealthy older women,left his wife when the money ran out, the house was repossessed , she lost everything, he was kicked out of a middle east country where he was working for having an affair with a wealthy married woman, almost caused an international incident, the company he worked for lost all their contracts and went bankrupt, was on steroids to bulk up, he is only very small in stature and build, suffered roid rage, hurt people, borrowed money from family to set up a business, it went bust after 3 years, left them and others in severe debt, cant hold a job for long, his previous employers told some horror stories about him, stole from companies he worked for, but nothing is ever his fault. His whole life is about him and what he wants. He does not care who he hurts to get it. He is very charismatic, charming, convincing, people trust him, women love him. And all that before i met him. I wish someone had told me about him and i could have had a chance to check him out before i got sucked in. He destroyed my family, and i let him because i loved and trusted him. But for the whole story you need to read the website and the reason we did it was to warn others about him for the rest of his life no matter where he goes in the world.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          It’s a shame he isn’t in prison! I’m sure the web page serves its intended purpose, Dianne, unless he’s changed his name. Most people Google a new love interest. What you did was a public service. Thank you.

          1. Dianne

            I hope and pray that the woman he is with now is strong enough to get out . Please God dont let him hurt her children like he did to mine. Not physically but emotionally. She has read the website and thinks i am evil and that God will protect her and punish me. It amazes me that she believes his lies as to WHY he has not taken me to court to have it retracted. Are we really that stupid and blinded by these predators?? The answer? YES..

        2. red

          Again, I don’t plan on doing anything.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            I liked the skywriting idea. Plenty of people would see it, but then it would disappear. No evidence!

            Seriously, though, I wish we could expose every one of them, but it’s important to consider the possible consequences and the personal toll they would take. The last thing a traumatized person needs is something like what happened to StillReeling, which was truly awful. Even worse would be someone who reacts violently. In Dianne’s case, she had reams of evidence of fraud. In my case, I had no evidence of anything. Most of us probably don’t, and it would be easy to counter our claims with a defamation lawsuit. It may sound selfish not to warn future victims and it might be satisfying to imagine getting revenge, but if there’s ever a time to take care of ourselves by putting ourselves first, it’s after such a devastating experience. We don’t need to make ourselves martyrs and suffer more damage in the process. The truth is that it probably wouldn’t do much good (except in a case like Dianne’s) because they would just talk their way around it.

            I understand you don’t plan on doing anything, Red. I’m just writing this for anyone here who might be considering it. Not being able to get any justice for what they did is a hard thing to take, but sometimes it’s just the reality of the situation.

    3. janes

      Dianne,
      BRILLIANT WORK!!!
      Doubly brilliant work that you protected your self first & contacted a lawyer before.
      Impresive
      when its done right it can be done:)

      1. Dianne

        Thank you. It was the hardest and most heart breaking thing i ever had to do, relive it all. But with patience and support from the website builder i got through it, i only read it once and never will again. But it shows that if it is done right, you can fight back. With a bit of luck it will slow him down and hopefully save someone else from this horror. To date the site has received on average 800 hits a month for the past 10 months. I know he has read it as has the woman he is with now. So if she wants to dismiss it as the ravings of a demented ex, as she called me and believe his lies as to WHY he has not had it pulled down, then thats her problem, she has been warned. If you can use the site to help your cause in any way
        and show that you dont have to give up, that there is life after it, then please do.

          1. Dianne

            Adelyn, If others who read the website find it helpful and realise they are not alone and it prevents him from hurting others , then it was worth it. Even though it shows how gullible and pathetic i was, its worth it. Neither the person who set it up or myself are professional web site builders i think we did a reasonably good job. Sorry that it rambles a bit but in the end it is:: THE TRUTH , THE WHOLE TRUTH. Keep up the fight, you are amazing and your words have been of great comfort to myself and others.

            1. Adelyn Birch

              If they choose to it’s up to them, but I would strongly advise them not to do anything while they’re still acutely traumatized. It’s not the time to make a decision like this that could potentially have serious consequences. It depends on the situation. Your situation was unique in that you had volumes of proof. You also consulted an attorney. Those things are vital.

              There is always the potential for violence, or for some other retribution outside of the legal system. It’s only worth it if they can stay safe. I don’t think anyone who’s been through such trauma should feel obligated to put themselves at further risk. If someone is dangerous in a way the law views as criminal, such as DV or fraud, they should go to the police.

              As you said, his current target doesn’t believe what’s written on the website, even with all the evidence. I think what you did was very brave. But each person has to make the decision with full knowledge of what they might face afterward.

              Your story is one side, but the other side — the dark side — is the story was shared with us last week by the reader StillReeling, who lives in Colorado. All she did was warn one of his current victims in a facebook message, and what she went through after that was tragic and simply not worth it. She was arrested, taken to jail, convicted of domestic violence and harassment, forced to attend DV classes for a year, go to counseling, and pay hefty fines. And she’ll have a criminal conviction following her for the rest of her life. All for trying to do the right thing and warn someone, who promptly turned her email over to the perpetrator and urged him to call the police.

              StillReeling’s story is on this page. You can click to it here: StillReeling’s comment

              In my case, there was nothing that could be considered a crime, in the legal sense. It was a moral crime, very much so, but nothing I can prove. I have no evidence. All I have are a few emails that say “I love you,” and I don’t think those would get me very far.

  10. Justine

    It seems with your blog and your great books, and other’s like Hare, Babiak, and some other’s, word is starting to get out. Maybe you can get your book Boundaries into a Barnes and Noble, or other major bookstore, and really expose psychopaths. With people like you A.B., this topic is just getting started. It’s time for a revolution against P’s. I still suffer greatly from my experience, truly damaged. Thank you for helping me with this amazingly educational blog.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you, Justine, for your kind words! I’m so happy to hear the books and the site have helped you, and I wish you all the best as you recover.
      Boundaries in B&N… now that’s something I hadn’t considered! I like that idea.

  11. baby gia

    i had so many warnings I choose not to listen to. I walked in on him wiping his fingerprints off a glass he drank from in my house. one day he hugged me and I squeezed him tightly, he commented something like “oh you really need love” also there seemed to be chunks of his life that there was no answer to. I asked if he were in prison and he snapped NO WERE YOU?! Well it turns out he was as a sexual offender. so I didn’t pay attention to my gut and now I get chills just thinking about it.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      They’re good at distracting and disarming. This creep sounds especially dangerous, and I’m glad you were able to get away from him. I hope you’re doing well.

      1. Shani

        My constant personal warnings to myself did not even scare me enough to stick to all my boundaries. I think the deadly psychopath doping effect may be a fundamental reason.

        I love this topic.

        Interesting, I only notice your name change now Adelyn.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          They do have a deadly doping effect, Shani.

          AB Admin was a name I ended up with because I didn’t think I’d need a name. This blog uses WordPress software, and by default it gives you the username “admin” so I just kept it. When I went to publish my first book, Amazon’s software wouldn’t let me use just “admin” — it required at least two letters for a first name, so I picked the first two letters of the alphabet, AB. I got tired of it a while ago, but only decided recently to choose a new one. I chose Adelyn Birch because it starts with AB, and because there is no one else with that name, at least that I was able to find. I didn’t want some stalker (or worse) to confuse me with someone with the same name and show up at their door.

  12. Dee

    I was warned. A few good friends told me they believed the relationship would not end well, given his track record, constant need to flirt with everything and his manipulation and exploration of me ( getting me to do things I never would have considered doing before). But, I defended him and our relationship until I just couldn’t anymore.

    The reason warning a victim is futile is because once we are in the spiders web we are hopelessly trapped. We may know we are in danger, but we stay anyway. I believe this happens because of mind control. Very early in the relationship the psychopath tricks our brains employing a certain tonal quality in his voice, matched with sugary adjectives and phrases:”Hey baby,” “My baby girl,” “Angel,” “Doll,” “Come to daddy,” “I can’t wait,” “Hey gorgeous,” “Sugar sugar,” “How’s my girl,” etc. To most women, these words are music to our ears. These words put us into a hypnotic trace and once hooked, we are at the mercy of the psychopath.

    I fought hard to prove my friends wrong. I did not want to see what they saw in him. I hung onto his words and I rejected his actions. So, it’s absolutely pointless to warn the new girlfriend. And if you do, the psychopath will strike back with a vengeance. He will use his laser beam focus to ruin you. The only thing we can do is be a sympathetic ear if the latest victim ever reaches out to us.

  13. marshanewday@GMAIL.COM

    When I first met him I fell head over heals for him. He swept me off my feet. I doubt very much that I would have listened to any warnings. Besides, he was such an adept liar he would easily convinced me the person warning me was vindictive or whatever he would come up with. I would have believed him!! However, with a warning tucked into my memory I think I would have left a lot sooner. He had me convinced that I was crazy, incompetent, and always taking a negative view. Maybe I would have talked to a therapist and my eyes could have opened? Who knows. I would warn others if needed. Learning from Stillreeling I would be extra careful doing it. Though without hearing from Stillreeling (my new hero!) I would not know any of this. Might have been the next court case myself! Right now he is facing prison as it turns out he is a sexual deviant and a pedophile! His plea deal offers him 30 years in prison. Otherwise they are going for life. For him at his age, 30 years is life. Thank God!!

    Cautiously warn others if you can. People that haven’t been through this personally may not be able to comprehend the situation. Thus the warning would be dismissed initially. The article you commented on helped me a lot in hindsight. Yes, it describes perfect love. Yes, looking at it in a package tells you to watch out! Too good to be true!! An added criteria for me is that a new person to share life with has to have good quality friends and he has to show he cares about them, too. A psychopath can’t carry that off for very long. My few trusted friends would have to be comfortable with him as well.

    Become an observer. Try not to give a new possible mate too much information about yourself initially. A psychopath will use it to lure you and then hurt you with it later. Verify whatever they tell you if possible. A psychopath will make sure you can’t verify! Better to keep safe. He or she will not be the only person you will meet. If in doubt send them on their way early on! Do not let a stranger in on your experience with the psychopath initially. That shows how hurt and vulnerable you are as if you painted a big target over your heart. Wishing healing and honest love to all that have endured. Guess what people? Though not unscathed we can all say “I survived a psychopath!” We may be broken in so many ways but we have potential to heal and be strong. We can be better. They will always be evil and never understand love. Their only joy comes from causing others pain. We, though initially devastated, can love and be loved once we heal!!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Marsha, thank you for sharing your story, and for supporting everyone here with encouragement and excellent advice.

      I’m sorry you had to suffer through such a bad experience. It’s good to hear you’re on the road to healing!

    2. Brightie

      Wonderful post! thank you, Marsha!

  14. Justine

    Maybe we need to look at the bigger picture and not just expose them individually, but on a broader scale. That’s why I think it would be good to get your books in to mainstream bookstores, so people will become more aware, in general,of this ‘type’ of person. I would buy 20 copies and hand them out for free to raise awareness! You never know, some people that really need this information, or have a friend that does, could be helped.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Yes, that’s exactly what the post is about, making people aware of it on a broader scale, warning them before they’ve even been approached by a psychopath. A couple of weeks ago I brought a copy of each book to the hair salon, and the woman who cuts my hair put them on the table in the break room. She peeked in a little while later, and said they were practically fighting over them. That’s the most enthusiastic response so far. That’s a good sign. I also leave them in strategic places around town every once in a while. But honestly, I don’t know how much good it will do. They’d just think they met the most wonderful person and forget everything they’ve read, believing it didn’t apply.

      1. Depressedempath

        I can see though that victims are only going to listen if they are ready to. At first they are in the love bombing denial stage and even if they had previously read a book on psychopaths they would not identify their new love as one.
        After the denial stage, I did start getting an incling that something was wrong with my new love. I tried to find out about his previous relationships, particularly with his previous wife of 34 years who was deceased. He was estranged from his 2 daughters, one son was an useless alcoholic, the other son I think inherited the psychopathy, so no information there. But he had a one ( and only) long time intelligent nice friend who I pestered. I’m sure he knew but he refused to blow his cover completely. He said things like “he is a strong personality, you have to be equally strong to put up with him”. He also said that his former wife “had her own life” away from him. It was at this stage that I needed something solid to give me the strength to leave and no one would help me. So I believe that if you tell a new partner at the “questioning” stage, they might be receptive enough to save themselves from the grief ahead.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          even if they had previously read a book on psychopaths they would not identify their new love as one <<<<< THIS is exactly the problem. I don't think t could be prevented, but as you said if we were to jump in at the right moment, maybe they could be spared some grief.

  15. Brightie

    We were disarmed, all right. I was warned, but I did not want to lose that divine feeling. Believe it or not, I somehow always wanted to mark all my memories at that beautiful initial love, I was making YouTube playlists with all the love songs he had ever sent me, and now when I look at it it was such love bombing, I think anyone would fall for him. So there I was, warned, but devastated if I were to lose him, so I did my best to convince everyone they were wrong. Boy, was I wrong!! But I enjoyed myself for almost a year before I started seeing the truth. It’s like I had filters for not seeing bad things, everything was justified or explainable. Then suddenly there were too many coincidences. The truth was there whether I wanted it or not. I embraced the truth and here I am! :) I’m thinking how to help others, how to warn them, but to me it seems like they have to go through with it – go through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole, through the matrix, call it what you may – once you live through such an experience, your genom changes and your cells are restructured and you become more aware and careful. Maybe I’m overreacting, but that’s how I feel now – my whole being has changed and is more alert, but also much more calm, assertive and stronger.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I feel the same way, Brightie. Restructured. Permanently awakened from the coma of the matrix. I’m not sure we can stop anyone from going down the rabbit hole, either. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t feel hopeful.

    2. Linda

      Yes indeed Brightie! I agree… this experience has changed something in me, profoundly. I was not a weak or gullible woman before I met him, and I got away from him quite soon, sensing the danger as the intermittent reinforcement games began, but since then I have a sharper “radar”, a more cautious approach to new people. I am not surprised that he was able to enchant me – I was vulnerable in many ways – but now I know that, and I am planning to go forward more wisely, while not becoming paranoid or fearful. I also hope to be there for anyone I meet who has been similarly wounded, and to warn women who are in danger… if that seems possible.

      1. janes

        Our best aim is to support & enlighting victims about the Psycho. IT NOT HER/HIM(victim) , ITS THE PSYCHOS GENETIC CONDITION.
        We must help the victim stop BLAMING THEM SELVES & MORE IMPORTANTLY STOP THE SELF VICTIMIZATION. The more the victim understands this condition Scientificly the faster she/he will recover their personal power. i agree personally & directly saying “this person U are in a relationship with is a POS/Pscyho” often doesnt help & usually back fires. I was warned , then i said to myself they are just jeolous of him.
        My motto is; whenever i hear or see someone is being abused, i right away tell them about this Site, Books, Other Sites.
        One day when the Student is ready she/he will remember it. And the Teacher is here 24/7 online. They can throughly read about Psychos Genetic condition & realize for them selves nothing personal & most importantly ITS NOT HER/HIS(V) FAULT NOR NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO THEY CAN NOT CURE HIM/HER(P).

        A while ago Sandra L Brown was also urging us the spread word(law/speed of Six Degree of Separation- ideas spread like wild fire) , just like Adelyn Birch does it in this post. Great minds think alike !
        Sandra was also talking about her UTMOST GRATITUDE FOR HUMANITRARIAN WORK people like Adelyn Birch & others do.
        I once read the following quote & i am one of the most passionate believers.
        ” I WILL BE THE SLAVE OF WHOM TEACHES ME ONE WORD FOR 40 YEARS”
        USEFUL KNOWLEDGE IS THE TRUE & ONLY POWER.
        IMHO, the reason , radical terrorist first bomb schools.

        btw, congrats for your recent promotion/ moving on up in life from AB Admin to Adelyn Birch, just like Nearybell to Totallybel

        LETS GET THE WORD OUT:)

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Janes, you’ve uncovered the hidden sub-theme of this article — there is no reason for anyone to blame themselves. It’s the theme of this entire site, as a matter of fact. And the reason for dispensing with the self-blame is just as you said — when people get that it was not their fault, they can recover their personal power. If they’re blaming themselves, then they don’t really understand how it happened. And if they don’t understand that, how can they really protect themselves in the future?

          Self-blame is unnecessary and counter-productive.

          I like the ‘six degrees of separation’ theory of spreading the word, but in my own case it only went as far as one degree (with the people I know personally, none of whom believed me or took the stance that even if it were true, it could never happen to them because they’re not chumps). There’s a saying, “There are no sages in our own backyard.” It’s explains the phenomena of giving a friend some bit of important information they need and having them ignore it, but then telling you later of the amazing thing they read by doctor so-and-so in some magazine. Information like this may be best spread by sources who are neutral (and expert, or that rely heavily on the verifiable work of experts). Some people here have had experiences of friends listening and taking it seriously, but the general consensus seems to be “no one believed me.”

          I’m glad to here Sandra Brown acknowledged those of us who were victimized and went on to try to help others. She’s one of the few who speaks to “the victims” and sees them as an important source of information, while many others complain they lack information on how non-criminal psychopaths victimize people in the community and in relationships. We’re here, and they could learn a lot from us, but they seem oblivious.

          Knowledge is power, and that’s why terrorists bomb schools and some women are denied an education and psychopaths leave bad reviews for my books. Thank you for your good ones, by the way. Those reviews will get the books into the hands of those who need them.

          Thanks for the congrats on my “promotion.” :-)
          Adelyn xxx

          1. Brightie

            I am thinking about how to warn others all the time. It’s like a background process in my mind. All that I can think of are sites like these, books, maybe support groups and associations. Lectures, forums etc. For me, anonymous forums are the best, because I can not fully disclose everything about my situation, since I live in a small town. So Facebook groups automatically are not good for me, because I can not join them under my full name. That’s a problem most people have, I think. You can not say that someone is a P, especially not in court, without harm. Yet they are treated as normal people, fathers etc.

            1. Adelyn Birch

              I was thinking of contacting groups, such as groups on Meetup that would be appropriate, like support-type groups and singles groups, and offering to give a presentation about the hidden perils of dating and relationships (I’ll spring the word “psychopath” on them later). Or I could give presentations on boundaries, and work it into that. But if I wanted to stay anonymous, I couldn’t use my website or books as ‘credentials’ for speaking on such a subject. They’d say, “and you’re qualified give us this presentation because… ?”

              1. Brightie

                That’s a wonderful idea! If I were you, I would just rename the talks – boundaries, perils of relationships – sound nice and I would lose the label Psychopath, so I could freely talk about the facts from the bad relationship. That way lawsuits would be avoided, right? However I do understand your doubt… if you’ve come this far, you shouldn’t worry about what people say. If they attend the talk, they are intetrsted in the topic. Of course there might be a minority of the people who might question the credentials, but your arguments are strong and the way you explain it in writing is really clear, that’s why I’m sure you will be successful further on! ;)

              2. Adelyn Birch

                Thank you, Brightie! Now the only issue left is my public-speaking phobia ?

          2. janes

            lol & :\'(
            Bastards , leaving bad comments!
            i think its more the stamp of approval from the most important party that your Books & Teachings are very effective & they are hurting the Psychos Business.
            i remeber reading from Z’s site HE SAID THAT HE HATE THE MOST WHO INFORMS THE V ABOUT THE PSYCHO
            ” i dont hate the pathatic victim so much but what i hate most is the people/ friends around the victim who awakens & informs the V”
            so this is the most effective way.
            i ll send another email later this eve.
            xxoxoxo back at u

            1. Adelyn Birch

              And there in lies the reason that I stay anonymous, Janes.

        2. Totallybel

          Thank you janes, I am honoured by your recognition of my name change, I changed the colour of my hair too during the learning process. You’d never notice by my wee avatar here. Your insightful posts here certainly helped my recovery, it is truly in so many ways a great site, thanks to all xxx

          1. Adelyn Birch

            Thank you, Totallybel, and thanks to all of you. This site is for you, and it would be nothing without you. You bring it to life! Where would we be without hearing each other’s stories and words of encouragement, and without knowing that we’re not alone? A big and heartfelt hug and thank you from me to each and every one of you!

          2. janes

            Totallybel, Your name change story was very uplifting!
            i am sure you look very hot, happy , self empowered with your new hair:) U go girl!!
            Likewise, i always learn so much from other readers comment like yours & Adelyn’s watch outs.

            I am swamped, i will be able run by you all, some of my recent ramblings.

            LETS BRING BACK OUR PERSONAL POWER TO WHERE IT BELONGS.

            Peace

  16. Justine

    I hope you keep leaving your books around Adelyn. Slowly but surely word is getting out and people will begin to notice. Just like the ladies fighting over them in the book store.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I will. People who buy the books do so because they’ve already been victimized. But someone who just finds one somewhere might still take a look at it, and what they read might stay in the back of their minds. I should write a book specifically for those who haven’t yet. Hmmm, now that’s an interesting thought. Thanks, Justine.

      1. Nicola

        In Victoria, Australia, we have a few state-run women’s referral networks. They refer victims of domestic violence, women needing legal representation and so forth. Plus orgs for depression, suicide help etc. Most of their sites have links to relevant sites, and they also run workshops. Perhaps you could start with places like this? No PHD or Uni Qualificaton necessary. You are a published author. That is a huge qualification. Speaking to a dozen women can really help overcome common-garden public speaking phobia. (I have coached public speaking. If you can get over abuse by a P, you can speak to a dozen women about it!) You are a warrior already!

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Great ideas, Nicola. I’d hire you as my coach if I could! Thanks for the pep talk! True, that would be something I could handle. I did some teaching in the past and loved it.

  17. Totallybel

    Well Adelyn Birch, I can see this name on the cover of Time magazine, saviour of humanity. Great post, they are definitely intraspecies predators, but are they human? They disarm, by getting you to trust them, they disable, by using your good and not so good characteristics against you, they play their perverse games and mess with your head, all the better to destroy you. Until your dead, or wake up to what they really are. And then the real fun begins, WTF just happened for past 20 years. I can see clearly now, predators in all walks of life, contaminating and degrading individuals, communities, societies, countries. We have to fight for Love and Peace. Now that may seem like a contradiction, but it’s psychopaths we are fighting. What can we expect! xxx

    1. Adelyn Birch

      The answer to the question, are they human? depends on how we define ‘human.’ The fact that psychopaths do not have a conscience is profound. It also depends on what causes psychopathy. If it’s a disorder, then they’re humans with a disorder, and that’s the view I’ve taken here on this website so far. But if the evolutionary adaptation theory is true, then they could be a separate subspecies of Homo Sapiens, as some experts believe. The arguments for both psychopathy as a disorder and as an adaptation are strong, so the debate continues. And while the experts debate, people suffer the consequences of psychopathy, whatever it may be. Since there is no treatment for it, all we can do is learn to protect ourselves. They are predators no matter what, that much is fact. xxx

  18. Laurel Wilson

    Like most of you I found the information I needed after the fact. I don’t know that it would have kept me from traveling the path I chose but had anyone talked with me about spath behavior patterns I would have pursued an information search much earlier on in the relationship. I did have some very profound reactions to this man after a few months of dating that I now know were warnings in my spirit. The emotion that surfaced in me was rage. And it came from somewhere deep inside. The spath began to railroad me in conversations when A plus B wasn’t adding up to C and I started questioning him. I was also on the verge of finding out his secrets and affairs so he was trying to shut me up. When I began reading about the behavior patterns it was like a light went on and had I known or had information about this type of thing, if anyone had talked about this to me I would certainly have sought them out for help or understanding instead of struggling through the mental gymnastics of trying to understand something that will never make sense. Information is definitely the key when your mixed up with a predator. But I know not everyone would do the same. After reading some of your stories I realize it depends on the person you are tying to warn.

  19. Justine

    I love the idea of you speaking publicly about this Adelyn. Let’s take this up a notch! You on the cover of Time magazine, now that would get attention! Several of you ‘experts’ on the topic could collaberate and make this a household topic, instead of shrouded in secrecy and mystery.

    I’m not sure about the adaptation vs. disorder. I do believe it’s genetic, and if you look closely it seems like their are traits of disorder, but who knows for sure. Whatever it is, it’s deeply disturbing and harmful,

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Obviously I’m not thinking big enough! You all have bigger plans for me than I do for myself! Thank you for the votes of confidence. I appreciate them.

      Could you imagine if it was a household topic? They would be outed, one by one. They’d be rooted out of government, business, banking, the courts, the military and police, religion, operating rooms, relationships… or am I dreaming?

  20. Albert Pacer

    Hi Adelyn,
    Your closing question to Justine “or am I just dreaming?” took me back to a song recorded by Elvis Presley for the finale of his 1968 Comeback Special. As I just found out, Elvis was upset by the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, so the song was commissioned for him and, according to Wikipedia, it includes quotes from King. The song is very inspirational with Elvis singing “If I can dream of a warmer sun where hope keeps shining on everyone….” So I think there is only dreaming without the qualifier. Nothing really good comes without it and you are in good company. They would approve of what you do!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Hi Al,

      Well this puts daydreaming in a new light. Thank you. And to think, I always got in trouble for it in school!

      ;-) Adelyn

  21. Bob

    With regard to this article, if psychopathy is an adaptation, couldn’t the converse be an adaptation as well? Could it be that there are some people who are especially susceptible genetically to being duped by prospective partners; that some people make it easier for psychopaths to thrive and procreate?
    When I think of how I have been innately attracted to people who are very different from me physically (and by that I mean I am attracted to a particular race that is not my own), and long patches of being unpartnered, maybe this is nature telling me I am an evolutionary dead end; that I am not adapted to protect myself and my family. I’m not meant to carry on my line.
    I have gone through terrible things to be with certain women. I have been involuntarily celibate for chunks of decades. I’m an attractive, well-educated, articulate, kind, vital person, yet I have gone through hell dealing with the opposite sex. I don’t know anyone who has had the trouble with women that I have had.
    I think I’m on to something, and it’s very discouraging.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      That’s a scary thought, Bob. But I think if psychopaths, who are only 1-2% of the population, could only effect those who had adapted to be susceptible, who would also be a minority, they would have died out long ago. It seems to me that their adaptation could only persist through the availability of a large number of potential victims. I can certainly understand that your history would be very discouraging to you, and I’m sorry this has happened. Your explanation, though, leaves you powerless to change the pattern. I believe you can find the answers — you just haven’t been able to do so yet. I know there are many sincere women who would appreciate a man like you describe yourself to be, so please don’t give up!

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