Tag Archives: sociopath

Survivors, your help is needed for a PhD study

Today I participated in an online study on survivors of abusive romantic relationships with narcissists and psychopaths. If you’re out of a relationship with a narcissist or psychopath, please consider participating to help this PhD candidate gather as much information as possible. It took me about an hour, but it was really interesting and the time flew by!

She does discourage people who are currently still in the abusive relationship from participating, and I can see why – the first section especially is quite triggering in that we are asked to describe some of the abusive behaviours we were subjected to. I’m over two years out from the relationship and had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but in the end it felt good to have done it. You can also complete the study over several visits if you’d prefer not to do it one sitting.

Check it out – a good overview and a link to the study can be found here:

http://psychopathsandlove.com/doctoral-research-study-victims-of-psychopaths/

Narc Spotting: Got One!

I know this isn’t healthy, but I decided to create a couple of fake accounts, poke around and see what narc is up to online these days. Strangely, I can’t find him anywhere in OK Cupid or POF. (I haven’t looked in years, I had just assumed he’d still be there.) It makes me wonder if he’s burned too many people in those sites and moved elsewhere, or if he’s hidden his profile.

Nevertheless, I came across this gem in the process. One man, two profiles:

narc

Shall we take a peek at what he has to offer?

Itsfuntobealive Smoothfriction
Self-summary: Easy going tall dark hair blue eyes. I Balance intellectual pursuits with humor and silly fun.take things seriously when I have to with 100% focus but when it is play time I also excel. I like to be the joker life of the party. Looking for a long term committed relationship but til I find the one I can enjoy some no strings playful fun. I’m tall, blue eyes, dark hair, easy going but no Pushover. Multi talented, Learner, collage student, electrical apprentice former electronic technician. Too much to write..LOL ask and you will receive. ūüôā
I‚Äôm really good at: Fixing things (almost anything) , humour , finding deals and interesting things, last but not least listening to a woman’s needs and making her feel fully woman. If Ynwim. ūüėČ Lots of things
The first things people usually notice about me: Piercing marble blue eyes, smile with a serious probing gaze to figure out exactly who you are friend or foe? Unanswered
 Unanswered Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food РBooks: 1984 , corporate fascism, confessions of an economic hit man, American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura ( navy seal, governor), the creature from Jekyll island (creation of the federal reserve). Movies: I robot, terminator, Enron, much more
I spend a lot of time thinking about: A.d.i.d.a.s. lol. Really World politics, the environment, corporate and government corruption, information in general cause knowledge is power. Cliche but true. Unanswered
The six things I could never do without: Woman, electricity, water, food, cellphone, toiletpaper Oxygen, Food, Water, Comfort, Sex, Friends
You should message me if: Your real Like what you see. Your an honest fun person
I’m looking for:For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating, casual sex
Education: University Not selected (though note he does say above that he’s a “collage” student)
Last online: February 1 Today ‚Äď 2:10am

But wait, that’s not all! I’d never been on OK Cupid before. I noticed this handy “Personality” tab was filled out for his Itsfuntobealive profile. Check this out:

narc1

OK friends, it’s time for some target practice. Who wants to call out all the narcy (and quite possibly sociopathy or psychopathy) things about this creep? Aaaaaaand… go!

The Power of Words

Words have power, even after their sounds have long dissipated in the air.

Recently, I saw a post on a Facebook group that prompted NPD survivors to share the favourite words and phrases their narcs used. Responses included “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” “That’s just your opinion,” “You can’t change the past,” and the perennial narc favourite “You’re crazy.”

Some were so familiar I could hear them in my ex’s voice, others were new and I was grateful I’d never heard them spoken to me.

This morning, at work, a disgruntled former client posted scathing posts on my organization’s Facebook page that ended with “Lame.” This is a word she used frequently when rules were enforced that she didn’t like. Once when I’d had to sit in on a mediation with her, she had used this word often. Every time she’d said¬†it I had felt irritated, but I’d been¬†so focused on the situation I didn’t give it much thought.

Until today.

Today, after being triggered by a movie last night, and after¬†9 months of No Contact,when I saw her comment ending with “Lame” I felt absolute rage toward her; rage that was disproportionate to what she had done, so I knew I was being triggered.

It’s all coming together.

“Lame”¬†was one of my narc’s favourite ways of shutting me down. Whenever I was happy about something, he would call it (or me) lame. If I made a joke, he just replied “lame.” If I proposed an idea I was excited about, of course it was “lame.” Every ounce of confidence and happiness was drained out of me with a door-slamming, soul-deflating “lame.” Over and over and over again.

And today, after 9 months of healing and growing, that one single word still has this much power over me.

It reminds me to be careful with my words when I am speaking with others, and it also reminds me not to have any tolerance for people who aren’t careful with¬†their words with me.¬†We’re all old enough to know better¬†– those who don’t can go learn it on their own time.

words

Certified Narc-Spotter

Even though I’m done with online dating, there is one small online dating site from which I¬†haven’t bothered¬†deleting my profile. Every once in a while I¬†go back on to read messages that have been¬†sent to me in order to practise my narc-spotting skills. After all, we know online dating sites are their favourite feeding ground so where better to hone our skills?

Today I went on after a long time and read the following message:

“So, how do I get you to say hi? Humor? Wit? Romance? gimme a hint, and I’ll do the rest”

Sure, DurhamChad. I’d be more than happy to train you upfront on how to best lovebomb me and pretend to be the man of my dreams.

But hey, maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. Let’s take a look at his profile to see if maybe he does a little better there:

“Never really know what to say here … Im a single dad with 3 amazing kids, I have joint custody 50/50.
Ask me whatever you wish I’m an open book… I’ll fill out more if I think of something funny n witty to throw in here :)”

Mr. Single Never Married has 3 amazing kids. Um, ok.

But¬†isn’t it great that he’s an open book? It’s just too bad there are no words in his book because apparently in his quest for his future partner he can’t think of anything to say (conveniently leaving all his options open to move in whatever direction his unsuspecting prey should choose).

That’s a pretty familiar profile, wouldn’t you say? I remember my narc writing something similar in his last profile – not knowing what to say, wanting to say something funny, and coming back later to write more. Yeah right.

In the past, I gave guys the benefit of the doubt and a chance to explain their way out of little red flags that caught my eye. Not anymore.

To me, this dude is a perfect example of a narc fishing online. Buddy, you’re busted!

certified narc spotter

That’s Not Giddiness, It’s Fear

This morning I woke up to a message from narc’s female friend, who I haven’t been in contact with since February, asking if I’d¬†like to¬†get together for dinner or drinks.

When I saw her name pop up, my heart started racing, my body starting shaking, and I felt dizzy and panicked. It’s the same feeling I¬†used to have every time I heard from narc after a period of separation.

At the time, I had thought that what I was feeling was excitement. I thought I was giddy and nervous to hear from him because I was so in love with him. And even though I had been in love before and knew what that head over heels, butterflies in the stomach feeling feels like, I convinced myself this was a different more passionate love and that was why I was shaking so hard that it was a struggle to even type a reply.

Now¬†that I’m¬†on the other side of things where I have a much clearer perspective, it’s obvious to me that this whole-body hyperarousal is and was¬†my fight or flight response. ¬†Every subconscious part of me was screaming out that I was in danger, and my body was activating every part of itself trying¬†to pull me away to safety.

This reaction literally only ever happens in situations related to him, and now here it is again when I hear from his friend.

Our bodies are quite amazing, complex systems designed to survive. If we can learn to trust our guts then I believe our intuition can do an impressively reliable job of steering us clear of danger.

So, if you are still involved with your narc and you get¬†this same physical response, or if you’re dating and your body is responding with shakes and anxiety¬†instead of butterflies and heart expansion, please recognize that this is a sign to you that you are not safe. Heed the warning!¬†Fight the urge to romanticize it or rationalize it, and walk away.

After all, your gut has only one agenda and that is to protect you. It has no ulterior motives, ever, and it deserves your trust more than any other human being ever will.

it's not love if you're afraid

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Read more about trauma and the fight or flight response:

The Little Things

Looking back, it’s the little things narc¬†did that still amaze me, the subtle ways he undermined me, destabilized me and tried to make me look crazy or controlling to others. At the time, I could feel in my gut that it was unacceptable¬†and un-partnerlike behaviour, but it wasn’t until this healing and recovery period that I finally came to understand just how calculated and purposeful his behaviour¬†was.

One night that keeps coming to mind was in the last month we were together. We had started talking about a trip to France for his friend’s wedding. Because the wedding was going to be not too far from the France-Spain border, he suggested we go to Spain first. I was ecstatic. Spain is on my bucket list, as is the La Tomatina festival which we would have been right on schedule for. While I had been hesitating to go on this trip with him, Spain sold me on the idea and I started to let myself become excited.

That week, on a Friday night as we were driving to a karaoke bar to meet up with a group of his friends, he suddenly started a fight saying that I was taking over the trip, and that I should be excited about his friend’s wedding instead of being excited about¬†Spain. I was confused and defended myself that Spain was his idea, and I don’t even know this friend of his so how could I possibly be excited about her wedding,¬†but of course he just became more insistent and angry. I told him it was like somebody offering someone a box of chocolates, and then getting mad at them for taking the chocolate. It made no sense.

By the time we arrived at the bar (a 15 minute drive), we were barely speaking. This set the stage for an evening of escalating little things to put me back in my place.

In his first attempt, he tried to make me look like I thought I was better than his friends. One of his friends had been telling¬†the group about a weird phenomenon that had happened here in the cold winter. I had heard of it too, and nodded along. He looked at me and asked¬†‘Is she right?’ and asked me to explain it the way I understood it. So I said yes she was right, and explained the same thing using different words. He said, ‘that’s what she just said, why would you just repeat what she said?’ and then looked at all his friends as if I was ridiculous. I was dumbfounded. I responded, ‘Because you specifically asked me to explain it to you because apparently you didn’t understand it when she said it.’ I gave him a weird look, turned away and struck up a conversation with one of his friends instead.

A little while later, while he and his female friend were looking at their cell phones together, and everyone else was engaged in conversations with each other, I pulled out my cell phone and responded to a text. He immediately gave me a vicious look and mouthed “Stop that. Put it away.” I was confused and looked back at my phone. He kicked me under the table and angrily mouthed at me again to put my phone away. It made no sense to me. Why could everyone else be doing their own thing, but I was expected to just sit there and do nothing? I stayed on my phone for a little while longer just to make a point and then put it away. He was livid.

A few minutes later, we all got up to move¬†to a different table. He and I arrived at the table first, and as I reached for the chair beside him he physically blocked me and said he didn’t want me sitting beside him. I asked why not, but he couldn’t give a reason so I sat beside him anyway, determined to win him over with my love that night (smh). Of course he proceeded to flirt with the girl who sat across from him while ignoring me, and then denied that he was flirting with her.

When he finally did decide to acknowledge me, it was by pretending he was going to hit me (he was not typically physically violent towards me, this was meant to appear as more of a play fighting thing… I think). As his hand came towards me, I grabbed his wrist and pushed it towards him instead, so he actually ended up punching¬†himself in the face (lol!). Of course he didn’t think that was funny. He lashed out and scratched my face, drawing blood. Then he got mad at me, saying that I had punched him in the face. I just held onto the side of my face and tried not to cry. I couldn’t help thinking we were starting to become that obnoxious couple at the table.

I waited a minute or two, then went¬†to the bathroom to clean up the scratch and try to collect my thoughts. When I came back, he was laughing with a pretty girl who had been siting on the other side of me, and then went up on stage to sing a song with her. Oh, how they laughed together. I couldn’t help feeling he was so full of hate for me and purposely trying to hurt me. He had never once asked me to go up with him,¬†but he sure looked pleased as punch to be going up with her.

That was it. I was done. I silently endured the last 30 minutes, drove him home, walked into his house to grab my overnight bag, and walked out. Of course, he was mad about that because I was “abandoning” him, just like his mother. (blah blah blah)

We ended up still staying together for a few weeks after that before I finally ended it, once and for all. I’m pretty sure he only let me end it because his next one was finally ripe for the picking. A week after we broke up, she left her husband. Poor stupid girl.

When I think back on all the craziness over the years, this is one of the nights I keep coming back to. I was so worn down by this point that, despite all the little things he did that were actually huge red flags, I only had the strength to stay away for a couple of days before I slid right back in. It’s amazing how all our perceptions become so distorted over time when we’re subjected to constant abuse.

I’ve learned that so much of our process of¬†healing and recovery is about self forgiveness. Yes, I wish I had cut him out of my life sooner, but at least I did it eventually. Thank goodness I did! In two days, it will be 8 months of freedom from all those little things he did, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not deeply grateful and happy¬†to be free.

I know now that the little things with him were actually big things, really big things, and the little things in my life now – going to bed without a knot in my stomach, feeling proud of myself, dancing in my living room, kayaking alone on a quiet lake – those are the real treasures of life.

 

its-the-little-things-3

His Confession

This morning, I was reminded of a conversation with my narc in Fall 2010 during which he explicitly told me about his inability to love, his manipulation, and his lack of remorse. It was his confession.

It came about after he accidentally pocket dialed my work and left me a long voicemail of a conversation between him and his apparent girlfriend planning a trip to Cuba. Since I was cutting him off anyway and had told him to “F* off and die”, I guess he figured he had nothing left to lose and he could bare his soul.

I typed out and saved the entire conversation because I wanted to make sure I’d never forget what a horrible person he was. You’d think it¬†would have been enough to get me to stay away forever,¬†but the following April I resumed contact… I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept that real evil existed in the world yet, and I wasn’t ready to do all the work on myself that I needed to do.

Reading this confession now, it’s kind of amazing to me how clearly he was able to articulate what he was doing. For anyone who ever wonders if narcissists are consciously scheming and manipulating – they are. Do they know they can’t love you, even though they say the words ‘i love you’? Yes, they know. Do they care? No, it’s all about them, all the time.

In the conversation below, he’s J, I’m L, his ex-wife is K, and his girlfriend is C. I’ve highlighted the most obvious “I’m a narc” statements.

November 30, 2010
J (6:03) – L. Can’t we just have a conversation for closure?

L (6:05) – No. I don’t believe anything you say anymore.

J (6:08) – What if I promised to be honest with you? Don’t I owe you that. I’m not trying to weasel my way out of stuff. I just feel gross inside. I can’t imagine you feel good about stuff. Please L?

L (6:10) – You are gross inside. You’ve owed me honesty since day 1. Too late.

J (6:12) – You’re right. I would still want to talk to you. I’m not expecting you to like me after. In fact you probably would hate me more after. But I don’t know. You play piano great and I was so flattered that you liked me that’s the truth.

J (6:15) – Well it would be a load off to get everything off my chest.
J (6:33) – I wish you didn’t say you wish I would die though.

L (6:43) – I mean it. Now leave me alone and go ruin someone else’s life. It’s what you do best. K was right.

J (6:44) – You actually wish I was dead?
J (6:47) – You lie then too. You made it sound like you were sooooo worried about me and my drinking. And then you hear me talking to a girl about planning a trip to cuba and you wish I was dead? You were never genuine either then.
J (6:52) – I didn’t ruin your life though.

L (6:52) – Fuck off. We both know this isn’t about Cuba. It’s about a history of lying and manipulating to suit yourself. Get the fuck out of my life.

J (6:56) – That’s not true. I didn’t want anything from you. If this isn’t about Cuba then why are you basing everything on the conversation that you heard. Did I say I was some angel? Fuck. Can’t we just discuss this?
(J – unanswered phone call)
J (7:05) – Sorry I keep bothering you but I hate this.

L (7:08) – Please leave me alone. I don’t want to be friends with you.

J (7:10) – Ok I’m sorry. I am. I wasn’t trying to make you be my friend I was just trying to talk with you. Just to let you know what was going on. I’m sorry I am.
J (7:16) – I’ll leave you alone after but are you sure you wouldn’t have a conversation with me before?

L (7:19) – I’m tired of being hurt by you. I don’t want to hear anything from you anymore.

J (7:21) – Well what we would have talked about wouldn’t have hurt you I’m sure. It might have explained a lot thought.

L (7:25) – I don’t know if you have any idea what hurts me. A decent person would just say what he’s thinking instead of manipulating for a convo

J (7:28) – Firstly. I’m not a decent person. Well I think I am but have been acting indecently. And I feel like if I ever told anyone the truth inside me that everyone would hate me. My whole life is a lie. It’s a lonely feeling. Sorry I’m not trying for sympathy. I just need to talk to you. Can you do me that one last favour maybe?

L (7:28) – No
L (7:29) – It’s bullshit that now after 8 months you want to be honest, when it suits you. Fuck that. I deserved honesty every fucking day.

J (7:30) – Do you want to know? Or are you thinking I’m just going to lie again?
J (7:38) – Can I say one thing to you now that is the absolute truth?

L (7:40) – What

J (7:42) – Because I know you hate me now I feel like I can unload all this charade I have been living. I have to lie to everyone else because they think I’m a nice person and I don’t want to ruin that.

J (7:44) – I guess I’m saying I felt like I had to lie cuz I knew what I was doing was despicable
J (7:47) – You have no idea what I’ve done L

L (7:49) – Tell me

J (7:51) – I want to. But it’s a lot. Too much to type. That’s why i wanted to call.

L (7:52) – Have you done anything that will endanger me? eg AIDS

J (7:53) – No I haven’t.
J (7:56) – I haven’t “slept around”. That’s not what I’m talkin about at all.

L (8:02) – I don’t want to talk on the phone with you. If you want to get this off your chest, you can txt or email or let’s just say goodbye for good

J (8:05) – Ok well i really don’t want to text it. But just let me say that I do think you are a great person. I was and am too emotionally fucked up to appreciate and cherish it. I am in a state of such despair that I will use anything and anyone if I think it will help me get through another week.

L (8:08) – You need to get help. I knew you were using me that way. If you had been straight with me I would’ve stuck by you as a friend for years. I feel sorry for you. You were broken as a child. But i hate how you treated me and other girls. It’s not ok no matter how bad you feel. And I’m afraid of what [your son]¬†is going to do to (little?) girls because I don’t believe anyone is going to get him the help he needs.

J (8:12) – And you were right L. I toyed with you. I wanted you to love me. I made you think there was a chance so you would keep loving me. It made me feel like I had value. I mean I didn’t like that I was using you but I was more concerned with my self preservation. I liked that you loved me. I like that someone who played piano and everything loved me. I knew I could never love you or infact anyone back but I craved that love anyways.

J (8:15) – And the sex thing – this is uncomfortable but i think you know that I didn’t use you for sex but i probably shouldn’t have gone there with you but i wanted to keep you “into” me so I knew that would do it. Fuck L. It is so lonely when you lie. Ppl see that I’m upset and I have to constantly make shit up. Fyi, [my son]¬†doesn’t have computer access anymore.
J (8:17) – There is tons of shit I could say.
J (8:18) – Maybe “god” or whatever made me call you that day to blow the lid off the thing.
J (8:20) – Btw. The reason I left that night was because I couldn’t breath. I can’t be around anyone for too long. I can’t keep up my bullshit for that long. It’s fucked. I can’t even explain it.

L (8:20) – I was already on the edge over the weekend. I knew what you were doing with me. I needed you to admit it. That call was a gift for me.

J (8:22) – I felt you slipping away and I hated it. That’s why I tried to get sexy talk going with you that day. And you weren’t having it. I felt like my facade was wearing off.

L (8:26) – Your facade was thin for months. I kept thinking if I showed you I wasn’t going anywhere you’d eventually come clean and I could be a good friend for you. Which it seemed like you could really use.

J (8:29) – I don’t even come clean for myself

L (8:29) – Btw I don’t know that banning computer access is enough from what you told me. I’m genuinely scared of what he’s going to become.

J (8:30) – I am rarely honest with myself let alone other people

L (8:30) – My two cents. You need to quit drinking, get on anti-depressants and get therapy to deal with the shit you went through as a child. And you need to stop dating. It’s so unfair to girls. So unfair to hurt them the way you do, cause that much pain to ppl who don’t deserve it

J (8:32) – The only reason I can look at myself in the mirror is because I know that what I did was me trying to survive. I was legitimately suicidal and the only thing that would distract me for a while was some plenty of fish date or something. I felt guilty at first but after a while I didn’t care anymore.

L (8:34) – Bullshit. There are other ways to get help when you’re suicidal. It’s never ok to treat people that way.

J (8:34) – I know. I don’t have the strength or motivation to do that right thing. I wish I was different.

L (8:35) – I wish I could warn girls about you. It’s not right. At least just use girls from intimate encounters for god sake. Making girls fall for you is just cruel. Horrible and cruel.

J (8:36) – I don’t even want intimate encounters

L (8:37) – I know you don’t but it’s not fair to the others. My friend was a suicidal alcoholic. He has 1 person who cared, took him to rehab and his life turned around. You have options.

J (8:38) – Well I’m not dating now. I am going to try and have a relationship with C.

L (8:39) – I figured. When did you decide that?

J (8:40) – Probably when I realized I had no choice. When I couldn’t pay my bills. When I freaked out and she didn’t seem to care.

L (8:41) – Well if it keeps you away from all the other girls in the world then that’s good news for everyone

J (8:42) – It’s still a lie though

L (8:42) – Well that’s for her to figure out I guess. I hate you for what you did to me over the last 8 months. I’m glad it’s finally over.

J (8:45) – It’s fucked up but I feel like I am more at ease with the role of being hated. It’s like I don’t know.
J (8:47) – L. If you’d have lived near me I probably would have moved in with you or something crazy like that. Maybe it was a convenience thing. I don’t know. It wasn’t all lies. I enjoyed our time together and our discussions and stuff

L (8:51) – Was your relationship with K based on lies too? Or did this start after her

J (8:53) – I loved K more than anything in the world and I still do. Nobody matters to me except her. – and I hate that.

L (8:53) – But you treated her like crap too

J (8:54) – Yes. Well the drinking and stuff didn’t help. And I was controlling. I didn’t realize what I was doing to her til it was too late.
J (8:55) – But I don’t want to be alone. I’m terrified of that. And of being abandoned.

L (8:56) – Everything you do, all the choices you’re making, are setting you up for a lifetime of that. I knew quickly you had abandonment fears. You need help.
L (8:58) – Thank you for finally coming clean. I know you did it for you, but I needed it. I’m going to go now. Good luck with your life.

J (8:59) – I know you hate me. But just so you know I wasn’t taking pleasure in hurting you. I wasn’t trying to hurt you – the dickish thing about me was I just didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings when I acted.