The psychopath and the sycophant (“psycho fan”)
Whether we realize it or not, we all have at least one narcissist in our lives. In fact, according to authors Jean Twenge, PhD and Keith Campbell, PhD, there is a narcissism epidemic in this country. (The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, Free Press, 2009, Twenge PhD., Campbell, PhD.).
After reading this eye opening book I found myself thinking about this subject in general and agree with the authors that narcissism is sweeping our country and wreaking havoc on the personal, social and professional relationships of the masses. Most of us, however, live in denial. We don’t want to view someone we look up to as a narcissist and we certainly don’t want to acknowledge the hold narcissists have on us and on the world at large. We also live in denial about the part we play in the creation of the narcissist and the perpetuation of…
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I’ve been thinking about my core values in regards to relationships with others.
It gets difficult in a relationship when you have different values. For example some people don’t see the value in being kind.
Our values ultimately make or break our relationships. While breaking up can be very painful short term, in the long term it creates room for the kind of relationship you really want.
In my marriage, regarding beliefs, morals and values, I realized “the two of us were not only not on the same page, but we weren’t even in the same book.”
So what if you father doesn’t value fidelity and is constantly having affairs, or your son doesn’t value compassion and these are your core values? How do those relationships play out?
Here’s a list of some common core values.
What’s most important to you?
Emotionally, physically, spiritually..
Letting go and going ‘no contact’ with my toxic family feels so good on my stress levels. I feel I can finally breathe without them breathing down my back. I’ve changed my phone number and blocked them on my emails.
I finally realize they are the damaged ones and that I am the only mentally healthy person in my family.
I can’t believe what I allowed them to get away with… all in the name of ‘love’ of course…
I now have some healthy plans for my future and have met some healthy people.
Emotional stress is such a slow and painful killer.
Much love to all of you standing up and setting boundaries, or in the process of breaking free from emotionally dysfunctional partners and families
Love & baby steps,
Healthy relationships whether with your partner, friend, mother or sister do not cause you to feel stress!!
Nor anxiety prior to meeting, nor dread or uneasiness..
Healthy relationship feel calming and safe…
… the whole time!!
They are a safe haven to express your authentic self.
They give you life .. not death!
They feed your soul not deplete it..
The basis of how good a relationship is…
is on how safe and calm you feel.
Love & baby steps,
Soul-Mate Or Wound-Mate?
It’s often difficult to distinguish a soul-mate from a
wound-mate because powerful connections excavate
the unresolved emotional material that each of us
holds. The stronger the connection, the stronger the
light shining on those dark places. Some woundmates
truly do contain the seeds of our soulular
expansion. But not all wound-mates are soul-mates.
Sometimes they are toxic connections masquerading
as something more heightened. Sometimes they are
destructive battlegrounds with very little possibility
for expansion. Sometimes they are just trouble with a
capital T. It’s an important distinction. We want to go
where we grow… (~an excerpt from ‘Love it Forward’)
~ Jeff Brown
If someone hurt you deeply to your soul, it’s tempting to want to shut down and shut off – to give in and give up – to get bitter, resentful, depressed – and all before breakfast!
This soul-shutting-down tendency reminds me of those classic zombie horror movies. You know, those unconscious, soulless zombies walking around in darkness, taking bites out of innocent, happy, soulful people? One chomp, then, suddenly, these newly bitten folks find themselves becoming zombie-like themselves. They feel their souls shut down. They crave spending time in darkness. They want to bite others.
Likewise, if you’ve suffered from an emotional zombie bite, it’s temping to want to join the zombie crowd and shut off your soul, seek dark thoughts, and chomp upon another. It’s especially tempting to want to chomp upon the zombie chump who chomped upon you!
Basically, when you’ve been bitten by a zombie, you can find yourself feeling the urge to become zombie-like yourself. But you must resist. You must stay strong. You must keep your soul alive!
First, you must face toward the light – where love, forgiveness, peace, faith, joy, and growth can all be found. All of this light is what keeps your soul alive – and keeps you from becoming an unconscious, soul-dead zombie.
Zombie-like behavior cannot survive in the light. Zombie-like behavior thrives in darkness, with a shut-down soul and well-fed ego – an ego which survives on being right about having the right to be bitter, resentful, and depressed…all before breakfast!
One the biggest sources of light to keep your soul alive is Self-love. And one of the biggest sources of self-love?
Forgiveness can start with forgiving yourself for being bitten by a soulless zombie. After all, chances are, the zombie who chomped upon you didn’t look like a zombie. Just like in the movies, these soulless zombies often pass themselves off as normal soulful people.
Next, you have to forgive the zombie who bit you. Remember, forgiving your zombie will release their poison from your system. Forgiving your zombie will help to make sure you save your soul from shutting down. Forgiving your zombie will make sure you don’t start craving constant dark thoughts. Forgiveness releases the zombie-bite poison from your system.
Remind yourself that your zombie probably became a zombie because a zombie bit them. And the zombie who bit them, was bitten by a zombie. And the zombie who bit them, was bitten by a zombie.
Feel compassion for these zombies—knowing that they, sadly, must walk the earth living with a shut-down soul—never experiencing their own soul, dancing and shining with the light of love, forgiveness, peace, faith, joy, and growth.
If you’ve recently been bitten by a zombie, take a moment to vow to yourself that you will do what you can to save this planet from being overtaken by zombies, by making sure you, at least, won’t become a zombie yourself!
All-consuming devastation. Absolute shock and disbelief. Feelings of total emptiness, thoughts of suicide and extreme difficulty performing trivial tasks. Your hormones are going cold-turkey from a chemical addiction. You will feel ugly and drained — your body will physically deteriorate (before/after pictures of D&D victims are horrifying). Your sex drive will oscillate between desire for him and the misery of thinking about what you no longer have. Psychologically, you are extremely raw and vulnerable from the D&D, but at this point you aren’t even aware what a D&D is — you are just a victim of it, and therefore feel it instead of understand it (like you do now). You genuinely believe you deserve this. That you are worthless. You are nobody without him. You are jealous, crazy, needy, clingy, everything is your fault.
Typically begins when the psychopath starts waving his “happy” life in your face. You see him running off with OW, or telling the world how flawless his life is (commonly done through social media). You aren’t even angry about the OW, because you likely have no idea how long the infidelity was going on. You just feel the need to prove that you are fine and dandy like the psychopath, because then maybe he’ll want you back. You change jobs, friends, lash out at everyone and everything except the psychopath. You go out drinking, partying, having mindless sex, in huge efforts to convince yourself and him that you are fine. You will become very impulsive, blowing money and harboring delusional thoughts of returning to your idealizer. You may try to replicate the exact dynamic you had with the psychopath with another man, only to get very frustrated that your sex life isn’t as good or that he doesn’t love-bomb you with attention.
Education & Self-doubt
Somehow, you come across psychopathy (or narcissism, sociopathy, etc). Whether it be through an internet search or a therapist, you know deep down that something within you is deeply broken. Even though you want to prove you’re happy, you also want to figure out what the hell just happened. When you read all of the red flags of psychopathy, you will experience extreme self-doubt. You will continue to blame yourself and wonder if you’re just labeling him a psychopath because you can’t handle the “truth” (his truth) of how you ruined the relationship. You oscillate back and forth between your idealizer and devaluer. How could someone who claimed to be so amazed by you also hate your guts? How could he go from obsession to contempt in the blink of an eye? It isn’t possible. There’s no way you dated a psychopath. He loved you. Right?
Understanding the Psychopath
This stage doesn’t exist in any way with the normal stages, but it’s one of the most important in your recovery process. Education can only take you so far. You need to feel what they feel. Most victims live by compassion and love, so it is nearly impossible to empathize with a psychopath. In fact, this is why they’re able to get away with so much. Because normal human beings automatically project their conscience onto everyone else. But sooner or later, you will be so consumed by psychopathy that you finally understand how their minds work. You can actually put all of his behavior into the perspective of a psychopath and suddenly everything clicks. It all makes sense, when it never did before. From the mirroring to the love-bombing to the delayed criticism to the eventual D&D. You feel disgusted. You realize you were never loved; just another target a never-ending cycle. You realize you’ve never behaved like this in any other relationship. You can look back at all of the things that made you feel paranoid, and see that they were all calculated and intentional. You come to the horrifying realization that the person you trusted was actively working against you.
Once you understand the psychopath, you’re absolutely disgusted. Your self-doubt is being replaced by anger. You know the truth. You see how you were used, manipulated, and brainwashed. You’re beyond angry. You want to murder him. You want to contact everyone in his life and tell them what he did. You want to write him a letter and tell him to burn in hell (don’t, by the way. NCEA). You obsessively talk about it with your friends and family, you need to get your story out there. You’ve been shut up and minimized for so long, your voice is finally free. You begin to feel all of the things you weren’t allowed to feel in the relationship. Whenever you accused him of cheating or lying, he would turn it around and blame it on you so you felt bad instead of mad. This cognitive dissonance has caused a huge displacement of anger. You feel delayed emotions of jealousy as you realize how long the cheating was going on, as you realize he was telling her you were abusive in order to gain her sympathy. The smear campaign makes you feel the need to prove yourself. This delayed rage is totally expected after a psychopathic relationship. It can take months, even years to feel. Please, if possible, do not act on it. You will only prove the psychopath’s point. The greatest thing you can do is remain calm and composed. It will drive him insane. He wants you to feel rage so he can show everyone how crazy you are and how much you still love him.
You will go back and forth between depression and rage for a very long time. You will have good days and bad. One day, you will think you can move on — the next, you wake up angry and screaming. You don’t want to be mad. You don’t deserve to be mad. All you did was fall in love. You isolate yourself, you surround yourself with people who understand you on discussion forums. You have obsessive, racing thoughts. The tiniest things set you off. Your boundaries are returning (or perhaps being formed for the very first time) and you can’t believe you let yourself sink so low. You realize how much you lost. Not just friends, money, life experience, etc, but also your innocence. Your kind understanding of the world has been shattered. Instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt, you suddenly have trouble trusting. You will experience constant feeling of dread and tightness in your heart.
You start asking questions. Why did this happen? What are my vulnerabilities? Of course these vulnerabilities aren’t your fault, but it is important to understand how you were able to be exploited. You’re spending time with others who have gone through something similar, so you have hope and little bursts of joy. You have validation beyond belief, often triggering you back to rage & depression, but these feelings are healthy. You are finally feeling what you were supposed to feel during the entire relationship. Everything falls into place and you can calmly & coherently describe what you went through and what happened. Instead of feeling the D&D, you can talk about it like a scientific term. You’ve made new friends, and you’re starting to realize that you’ve almost made it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s taking a while to get there.
You begin to discover your strengths. Many of these were strengths you always possessed but never valued. You realize your compassion, empathy, and love are not weaknesses. They are the most incredible gifts in the world, when applied to the right people. Your self-respect comes from within, not other people validating your insecurities. You start to understand who you are and who you’re truly meant to be. It took the psychopath’s nastiness to make you see exactly who you never want to be. You laugh at his old notions that “you were the same person”, because you realize you are exactly the opposite. You begin to explore your creative side, and you stop caring what others think of you. Old friendships may change as you change and become more confident. Embrace the new you, and open your heart to love again. You are free now. You should be so, incredibly proud of yourself. You made it, and your life path has forever changed for the better
Another great post by Annie at gentlekindness
I have noticed that a lot of people with mental illness are sensitive, compassionate people. Many of us were mentally abused as children by our parents or as adults in domestic abuse situations.
Many of us experienced both dysfunctional families as children as well as domestic abuse as adults. Due to having been forced to tolerate abuse as a child, we ended up in similar relationships as adults. We have no frame of reference to make proper choices. It must be learned the hard way.
The chances are that we were born with sensitive personalities. We are sensitive to how others feel more than other people are. We get our feelings hurt easily and we notice when others are displeased with us quickly. In addition, we have had our self esteem damaged from mental abuse.
It is difficult for us to attain and maintain healthy relationships. We end up with…
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