Being in an intimate relationship with a psychpath awakens your reality to a darkness you never knew existed. You always knew that there were serial killers and rapists in the world, but you never knew they could be hidden behind a charming exterior.
You consented to being close to the person they presented themselves to be. But you never consented to being intimate with someone who carries darkness within them.
When you hear people say that you chose to be in a relationship with an abuser, it is confusing and re-traumatizing. They make their point by saying that you had free will and walked into the relationship with open eyes.
They do not understand the mind manipulatiin of a psychopath and how your reality was very different at the beginning of the relationship than it is now.
Not only do you have to come to terms with the cognitive dissonance of the two different realities…the person you thought you were sleeping with….and the person you were actually sleeping with……
You now have to listen to this other proposed reality that you went into the relationship with an abuser with open eyes and free choice.
Only two kinds of people would say this to you….Pathological narcissists….and very closed minded judgemental people who think they are better than you, because of course…it would never have happened to them!
The narcissists that post comments like this on the youtube blogs of survivors are sadistically gaslighting the victims. They are intentionally twisting your reality, which they are fully aware has already been twisted by one of “their kind.”
Victim blaming is most often instigated by pathological narcissists. Other people may believe their lies because they are being manipulated by the narcissist. So the very people saying that no one can have their mind manipulated….are having their own minds manipulated….and their beliefs fed to them by a narcissist.
Being in a partner abuse situation, or living in domestic abuse is a lonely experience. You can lose your sense of self and your confidence in your perceptions.
Reality becomes confused due to gaslighting and emotional abuse of the partner.Your self confidence is crushed and you do not feel like there is any possibility for life outside of the abusive relationship you have become “trauma bonded” to.
You can develope Stockholme Syndrome and feel like you need to defend and cover for the abuser. Living in fear of angering the partner, you become careful of what you say and do.
Isolation is a typical tactic of abusive partners to control their partner and keep them from getting support. You may not even realize that your abuser has intentionally isolated you. You just don’t invite people over anymore, and you feel you have to ask permission to visit anyone.
You are not alone. The methods of abusers are nearly identical and equally terrifying. There is a darkness permeating your soul that you cannot explain.
You need to get support and information about types of abusive personalities and the tactics they use. You can find support that will give you strength and more clarity about what is happening.
Most areas have women’s shelters. They can offer you counseling about getting away and how to do so safely. It may take you time to build up a savings account in your name, but do not stay if you feel you are in danger.
Men have more trouble finding support. Most women’s shelters cannot help you if you are a man living in an abusive relationship. Human services in your area may have resources they can refer you to.
Primary care physicians and local psychiatric services may also be able to guide you toward resources for a place to provide counseling for safe escape.
Living in abuse requires lots of support for you self esteem and mental health. You need help while you are still living there. You will also need help for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after you leave.
image from lawsofmondern man tumblr blog
It is extremely tempting to keep checking on what your ex is up to. They count on this and will intentionally pose for pictures that will bother you, and then post them on their facebook page. They want you to see them havint a great time with the new target.
The narcissists gets fuel (narcissistic supply) from knowing that you are jealous of their new partner. They will intentionally take that partner to places and activities they told you they would not do with you. This is to rub salt into your already painful wounds.
For all you know they dragged the person to those places and they did not really want to go. You know how powerful the narcissist is at manipulating. If course the partner is going to smile for the pictures, because they do not want to look bad on facebook.
You are being mind controlled by the narcissist. They want you to think that this time the relationship is real, and that you missed out because you were not good enough for them. But it is all the same game.
The pathological narcissists works in cycles. They repeat them over and over again. The idealization and devaluing….the triangulation of the new target with the ex lover. They gain lots of narcissistic supply from triangulating you with the new partner,because they are causing jealousy in both of you.
They are mentioning you to the new partner. Your name will likely come up from time to time, just so the new target knows they have to stay in line, if they want to keep the relationship. The narcissist will tell lies about you in any number of ways. They may tell the new partner that you are still interested in them…or that you were better at something that they are.
This is all part of garnering fuel (narcissistic supply). You are playing into their hands, just the way they planned, by checking on their facebook page and other social media. In order to heal, you have to go No Contact for real.
Checking their pictures and activities is still a passive form of contact. You need to heal and regain your identity. Unfriend them and let them stew about that. It is the best way to get back at them.
This is a great interview with Thomas Sheridan about psychopaths in society. He taks about how psychopaths target empaths, because compassionate, empathic people will feel sorry for them, when they tell you that initial sob story. They will tell you a story that they either make up, or exaggerate about how abused they have been , or some trauma in their life.
Then they will judge your reaction. They know how an empath will react to a story like that, and they evaluate their prey in this way.
They suck the energy and life force of empaths, in addition to manipulating you in order to get things from you.
He also discusses how psychopaths are parasites. They need to attach to enablers, codependents, and empaths, in order to feed off of your energy. They are sadistic and get pleasure from creating chaos and trauma in your life.
He also talks about the red flags to identify a psychopath. He talks about word salad and other language techniques. The are charming and mirror the qualities you want and the your core values. They want to jump into a relationship with a partner very fast, so that there is no time for the victim to recognize who they are.
He explains the way they use different masks, and they do not take any responsibility for things they did when they were using another mask. They never admit guilt for anything they do.
When you are a teenager, or a preteen, you are learning about yourself and also learning about what kinds of people you like to be around. You are hopefully living a happy, healthy life, but I realize that many of you are not living a home life that is mentally healthy.
Some of you have supportive parents and others of you have abusive parents. Whether they abuse is physical, sexual or mental / emotional , any kind of abuse will affect your judgement about selecting friends and boyfriends / girlfriends.
You have to know who you are. You are on a path of self discovery. As you learn about yourself, you also need to believe in yourself.
You are still developing your self esteem and your value system. You are still developing your personality and how you present yourself to the world. You are learning how to interact, how to attract others and what to do with them, once you attract them.
Here are some important things for you to remember, when you are dating.
1. You matter ! Your feelings and your thoughts matter.
2. Trust your feelings and your intuition. If you feel like something is wrong with w certain person, or a certain relationship, then listen to that intuition. It is there as an alert system for you.
3. Do not let others choose for you. People think they know who you are and who would be a good match for you, but they do not. You know what you want and need. NO one else can pick someone for you.
4. Do not choose someone, in accordance with what the social group wants you to do. Not only will individual people want to “set you up” , but the social group itself may have rules about who you can and cannot date. Be careful to think for yourself and not to let others think for you.
5. If you do not like being with someone, you never will. Do not try to force yourself to like a guy that you do not like, just so that you can have a boyfriend / or girlfriend. You are better on your own than with someone who you just do not like. Do not think that you can Make yourself like them, by hanging out with them.
6. Relationships Should be Balanced. There should be give and take in relationships. It should not be one-sided, where one person gets their way all the time. One person should not be dominating over the other person.
7. No Abuse! The No Abuse Rule Cannot be Broken. No one can abuse you for any reason that makes it okay. Abuse includes being physically rough with you. This includes talking you into sex that you do not feel comfortable with.
Abuse is also any emotional or mental torment. If anyone is manipulative with you, by making you feel bad (guilty, shame, sad, scared) then that is abuse.
Abuse can be mental abuse, which could be trying to make you into someone you are not. Making you feel stupid, making you feel embarrassed in front of other people. Being nicer to your friends than to you. There are many mentally and emotionally abuse behaviors and you can read about them in some of my other posts.
8. Your Parents Can Not Choose for you. Your parents may thing they know someone who would be a good match for you. Most guys will act a certain way in front of your parents, that does not allow your parents to see everything about them. There is not enough information that your parents can get from any girl or boy that you like, in order to know how they will treat you.
PLEASE NOTE – If you have good parents that are not abusive, they will be looking out for you. I did say that they cannot choose someone for you, however they can WARN YOU if someone seems to be abusive or a very bad match for you. When you have feelings for someone, it is easy to miss red flags, but your parents may pick up on them.
9. Communication is Very Important. You should be able to communicate with the person you are dating, You should be able to talk about your thoughts, opinions and your feelings.
If they shut you down, and do not care about your feelings, then you should move on and let them go.
If they always have to be right and do not want your opinions or thoughts about things, they are a potential abuser and you need to get out.
10. It is okay to be on your own. It is okay to not have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You do not have to be with someone all the time, or at all. If you have recently come out of a break up, then it is good to wait a while before jumping into a new relationship. Your emotions need to heal before you will have a good perspective to make good choices.
It is ok to be on your own. You do not need to be with someone, in order to be cool. You do not need someone in order to be happy. In fact some people will make you miserable.
It is ok to be on your own, just because you want to. You have a lot of things to do, with school, family and activities. Relationships take time and you may not have the time right now.
It is okay to be on your own. It is okay if no one has asked you out. There are always some girls who seem to get asked out all the time. You might be the one that no one seems interested in.
This is probably because you are a real person. You are not all fluff and puff. You have depth and intelligence. There will be someone that will really respect and love you for that. But the “click” people and the “popular” crowds do not like independent thinkers.
Be yourself. Do Not Change to fit in. DO not change to get a guy. be yourself and the right guy will come along. You would not be happy with these superficial people anyway. You would be frustrated and bored.
You need someone with some depth and intelligence. You will have to wait patiently until that special person comes along, because there are not as many independent thinkers as there are “crowd pleasers”
Guess what? This guy is also wondering where you are ! He is somewhere with people that he does not fit in with. He is the one not getting asked out, because he does not fit in with the group. They are waiting to meet you.
You can submit your personal stories about your experience with abuse, or poetry. Articles that are designed to enlighten other victims and survivors are also being accepted.
All submissions will be held for my moderation. I will get to them on a first come first serve basis, as soon as I can.
You are also welcome to submit posts to the Lovely Wounded Lady blog. Or you can always give a link to your posts, in the comments section below here.
PTSD is a term most people have heard, but often they do not really know what it means.
If you tell someone you have PTSD, it may be hard for them to know what you mean by that, unless they have it themselves or maybe they have a close friend or family member with it.
People with PTSD have trouble with relationships, but not for the reasons people think.
Once you have been traumatized, and then re-traumatized by triggering situations, you feel generally unsafe and there is a natural tendency to want to retreat…back up your steps and run for cover.
People with PTSD can be re-traumatized by people who do not understand, and by people who are more concerned with their own agenda than really understanding.
When someone with PTSD has certain triggers, and explains those triggers to someone, it is important that they are validated and respected. If someone wants to care about a loved one with PTSD, they need to really listen to that person, when they talk about what triggers them.
*A person that intentionally uses your triggers against you is dangerous to your mental well being.
But then there are people who just don’t want to listen to or respect your boundaries. Your perceptions are not of an significance to them.
Everyone has personal boundaries, but people with post traumatic stress disorder can suffer severe re-traumatization when a loved one does not honor their trigger boundaries.
Some triggers cannot be avoided, such as loud noises that may occur independently from either person. However, talking someone into going to a loud dance club, or guilting them into going to fireworks, when it has been made clear that loud noises are triggers, is abusive.
People who have PTSD from the military, and people who have PTSD from domestic abuse have different causes for their symptoms, but some things are the same.
The fight-or-flight mode is activated by the amygdala. If the brain perceives a threat, even if that threat is not real, the amygdala will send chemicals into the body like adrenaline and cortisol.
The feeling in the body of a “perceived threat” and a real threat is exactly the same. The same physiological responses occur, including blood pressure elevation, and feeling of extreme fear and the feeling that you have to act right away.
Someone who had their jaw fractured by an abusive boyfriend, who suddenly stormed towards them in a fit of anger, may be triggered by someone coming quickly into their personal space, especially if that person is angry.
Once you have asked someone not to do certain things which trigger you, it is a terrible feeling when they still continue to do them. It feels very violating, and only serves to break the trust bond.
Relationships need to be based in trust. Intimate relationships, as well as friendships and family relationships have to feel safe. If one person does not feel safe, then there is a lack of understanding and a lack of trust.
Without both parties feeling safe, the relationship will break down. People with PTSD can find it difficult to trust again, after others have invalidated them about their symptoms.
Sometimes someone will disbelieve you, minimize your trauma, or accuse you of trying to manipulate them with your explanations about your trauma and your triggers. This is very painful and re-traumatizing.
People who have PTSD or C-PTSD from abuse were invalidated as part of the abuse process. Their emotions were minimized, disregarded and made fun of.
To have someone close to you minimize your PTSD, or disbelieve you is re-traumatizing. It gives the victim into an emotional flashbacks or actual sensory flashbacks.
You can only tolerate being traumatized and re-traumatized so many times.
Soldiers that come back from war only to be disrespected by civilians, or invalidated and ignored by the Veterans Administration, are being re-traumatized.
It is a way of invalidating a person’s reality. This has negative effects on the person’s mental and emotional state.
People with PTSD can be perfectly good and caring partners and friends. They just need validation, respect and understanding.
But after repeated re-traumatization, a person feels isolated and too vulnerable to take a chance on trusting another person again. This leads to self isolation, depression, and often suicidal thoughts.
Evolutionary psychology tells us that our subconscious brain feels threatened by the potential that we would be completely isolated, shunned or thrown out of the social circle.
A Little Evolutionary Psychology
In the past, humans lived in social survival groups called tribes. Being accepted and included by the tribe was critical for survival. Being shunned would have meant death !
Our primal brain (called the reptilian brain) perceives rejection by the tribe to be potentially life threatening. When we are feeling a similar kind of threat, it triggers the fight or flight response in our limbic system of the brain. The amygdala becomes active and send all kinds of alerts and chemicals into the body.
Technically, we could survive living alone and isolated these days, but we were not meant to live in isolation… especially isolation due to “mobbing” or “scapegoating” by the tribe.
This is one of the reasons that scapegoated family members, suffer such severe mental and emotional trauma.
People with PTSD need to feel that they will still be accepted by the Tribe (family, community…whatever applies to the situation…).
They need to know that their personal reality will be validated, even though it may be very different from that of other people. The experiences someone with PTSD has endured may seem strange to people that have not ever had that kind of trauma in their reality.
Isolation can cause death by suicide or “failure to thrive.”
Self isolation will almost always cause severe depression. But being re-traumatized is just as bad, and the brain will try to lead people away from that pain.
Our primal brains are designed to take us away from danger, or perceived danger….and towards pleasure. But the “away from danger” is the priority.
Re-exeriencing the feelings of danger, fight or flight chemicals and physiological responses, is not something that anyone could tolerate on a regular basis.
We were not built to feel in danger all the time. Being in a state of hyper-arousal all the time depleats the immune system and causes mental disorders.
People with PTSD need understanding and validation.
They need their loved ones to be sensitive to their triggers, and to pay attention to what the person asks and needs.
Otherwise. the relationships cannot continue in a way that is safe for the PTSD sufferer. The person with PTSD will shut down and crawl inside of themselves. No healthy relationship can be sustained without safety for both people.
It takes practice and patience to learn to hear your own intuition and inner voice, after you have been conditioned over time to ignore your own true perceptions.
You have a wisdom inside of you that is compassionate and intelligent. You can choose to perceive yourself and the world around you in a whole new way !
The narcissist tried to silence your voice, minimize it, confuse it and discredit it. But you still have an inner voice inside of you…. that can lead you in ways that will support your mental and emotional health.
Feel your senses and what they are telling you.
Every sensation is part of your guidance system. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
You can Learn How to Over-ride the Untrue Perceptions
Learn to trust your intuition and to hear your own guiding voice. There are other voices in your head, but you can learn to tell which one is your own. Programming put into your brain during childhood emotional and mental abuse will cause the negative “tapes” that play inside your head.
Negative tapes playing in your head, are just left over voices with false information from other people.
Things you hear yourself thinking that are negative about yourself, are like computer viruses that were put into your brain, without your consent!
When you are very young, you depend on your parents and caretaker to interpret the world for you. You turn to them to explain the meaning of things that happen.
Children need to know they have innate value, that is detached from mistakes they make or things they do. You have innate value. The things you do or do not do, do not change your true worth as a person.
Once you know that you have worth, then you will be able to do and try things you could never have imagined you could do !
Self soothing is an important skill that people who grew up in emotionally abusive households, never were taught. You were not taught to sooth yourself, but rather you were taught to berate yourself and shame yourself.
Children and teenagers need guidance to learn how to sooth themselves, when something bad happens. If you have C-PTSD from mental abuse as a child, then your feelings about bad things that happened to you were minimized, criticized and called selfish.
Learning what selfish is Not
You need to learn that it is not selfish to set boundaries, and to protect your emotional and mental health. You have every right to take care of your own brain and your own heart.
If you grew up in an abusive environment, then you were told it was selfish when you tried to express your feelings about the things that were happening around you. The controlling parent wanted everything to revolve around them. They never considered your feelings about decisions they made, or their behaviors.
You probably developed “emotophobia” from being shut down every time you expressed your feelings about ad things that happened. Even expressing good feelings like joy, and self esteem were crushed down, and called selfish.
The Shaming Voice
Shaming is one of the worst of the “viruses” that was programmed into you. No one self shames naturally. Babies do not come into the world feeling shame.
Parents that are manipulative, narcissistic, and mentally abusive, shame you for things that you should not have had to feel bad about. Now as an adult, you still hear those voices in your head anytime you make a mistake, or even do anything that elicits a negative reaction from other people.
What Thoughts are Your Own?
Thoughts that you are a bad person, that you are inadequate, and that you will fail when you try to do something….these were programmed into you over years of negative reactions to you by your caretakers and people you trusted to love you.
Other people may have added to your negative perceptions about yourself. Teachers, bullies that were your peers, abusive babysitters and other people that you were exposed to as a child, may have added their own toxic spice to your view of yourself.
When you feel passionate about doing something that you feel called to do…
When you feel confident about something you want to give to the world…
When you know just for a second that you have something special to offer to the world, because only you have the unique gifts that you were born with….
When you feel called to help someone else, or other people in some way, by using your own ideas, knowledge, love, and other gifts…
These things are your own voice and you can tell because these thoughts support you.
When that thought comes in that tells you that …
you are not good enough
you are inadequate
there is something wrong with you
you do not deserve to be happy
you have nothing special to offer
you will just screw it up so why bother trying…
These are the NOT your own thoughts and you can tell because they do not support you.
You have my permission….to give yourself permission to….. Let Go of All Thoughts and Behaviors that No Longer Support You.
Just because someone told you that these negative perceptions about yourself were true, does not make them true!
Living in an abusive, chaotic traumatic childhood left emotional wounds on your heart. These wounds are carried around by you.
They are fed by the negative thoughts that someone once told you were true. Thoughts that you are not good enough. Thoughts that the world around you cannot be trusted and that you should shut yourself down and never try to bloom into the beautiful flower that you really are.
Abusive Partners Re-open Old Emotional Wounds
Old emotional wounds were reinforced by any abusive partners you ended up with as an adult.
Abusive partners are highly skilled at identifying and re-opening old emotional wounds. Narcissist and psychopaths target people who are carrying emotional wounds from childhood. They can identify you from other people.
Abusers know how to gain your trust , so that you will reveal all of your weaknesses and wounds to them. Then they will turn the table and throw salt in your wounds, in order to control you.
Your reptilian (primal) brain always tries to keep you away from danger. The abuser know how to activate that fight or flight mode in your brain, and make you feel in danger.
The reopening of emotional wounds is so painful, that it is one of the favorite tools of the narcissist to use against you.
They will make it clear to you that they will injure you in the worst possible ways, if you do not comply with them. They will use your old wounds against you, by threatening to, and by throwing salt into them.
You will want to avoid this pain by any means possible, and then you will comply with them in order not to have to be re-traumatized by someone recreating your past trauma for you.
You Can Self Generate Feelings of Self Worth
Once you realize that the negative programs in your brain, are not true, then you can begin to re-write these programs in ways that best support you. You never learned to self generate feelings of self worth, but you can learn now.