Everything in nature has a life cycle ~ animals and plants, the seasons...and I think relationships are no different.
In most healthy relationships we start out with a small seed of hope that is nurtured, and subsequently we grow stronger and blossom. Even under the best of conditions though, variables change and what was once a healthy organism may struggle to thrive. Like some plants, the life cycle may last a few years, or if the conditions are just right it may be perennial. Sometimes we have to make changes or even replant so that it can grow again, but over time it eventually will.
The life cycle of the N relationship is different. The seed we plant may start out healthy, or it may be compromised from the beginning - which makes it more susceptible to variables. We receive an abundance of nourishment in the beginning - so much so that we blossom like crazy and are admired for our beauty. But suddenly the climate gets colder...we're not fed or watered very often...we're left in the sun when we need shade. It takes tremendous effort just to stay alive, and we can't seem to thrive or bloom anymore.
We're left out on the porch all winter, or tossed into the woods. A new plant is brought in, it's new , it's beautiful , it's healthy, its seed has already been sown & the cycle has begun again. And we all know this new plant (The New/Other Woman) won't last.
So let's examine the Personality Disordered.
It is true that not all Narcissists are Psychopaths, but it is true that all Psychopaths are Narcissists.
Narcissism and sociopathy are considered personality disorders ON A SPECTRUM
Let's say there's a one to ten scale.
Malignant Narcissism would be about 4-5
Sociopathy/ Psychopathy would be about 10 (Gareth Rodger is a 10)
And then within Narcissism & Sociopathy there are also degrees of dysfunction and perversion.
"Over the 4+ years we have been running we have lost count of how many different predators there are because every predator sounds almost the SAME. And the damage they cause is virtually the SAME. The biggest statements we get are "I'm not so sure he's a predator/ cyberpath/ sociopath." or "I know he has some good in him." Or even "well he has 7 of the 12 traits but not all of them." (We say: one is ENOUGH!!)" - EOPC
"Cluster B Personality Disorders (Borderline, Narcisistic, and Anti-Social (your socio/ psycho-path) have at the center of the disorder a lack of empathy, conscience and remorse (we will use the Acronym REC for a lack of these traits -- Remorse, Empathy Conscience). To a certain extent, only the degree of a lack of REC distinguishes one disorder from the other. Anti-social is at the high end of spectrum with the most of these traits. But all three disorders have some of this in them because these disorders overlap with each other.
The level of lethality present in Cluster B personality disorders is always present. NO personality disorders are curable and we don't even discuss them as treatable because what is shifted in the personality has nothing to do with the permanent structure. Sometimes they can learn social skills which only makes them a more appealing predator.
More murders occur each year at the hands of a person with a Personality Disorder in Cluster B." - Sandra Brown MA
Devalue & Discard
Creates fear of freedom and dependence upon captors.
Creates feelings of helplessness.
Develops lack of faith in individual capabilities.
For anyone who has ever been enmeshed with another human being suffering a Cluster B Personality Disorder, it occurs to me that the suffering is greatest between the time we are devalued until we are indeed, thankfully, discarded.
For those fortunate enough to not know the meaning of a Cluster B Personality Disorder, it may be better to stop reading now. If you insist, then I will explain the characteristics of these people. A Personality Disordered human being has a pattern of behavior that is other than the norm; that is ingrained, and rigidly part of the individual’s personality. The Personality Disorders in the Cluster B family include the Histrionic, the Borderline, the Narcissist and the Antisocial individual. These are the dramatic and seductive people that we know. These are the people who can make the most rational person believe the most irrational things.
At first, it is paradise. They are exciting and sexy. They are adventurous. They seem to make us feel more attractive, more important and more brilliant than we ever even dared to believe. We have no idea that it is all part of a dance repeated by these people over and over again. We are idealized. We are the most perfect ideal of our own self- image. These people have done the work of the makeup artist. We are seeing ourselves in reflection, but in perfect form. How could we not fall in love?
The idealization phase is heaven. Nothing could be better. It is a little bit heady in experience. We feel off-balance. We feel higher than we have ever flown before, but with a sense of danger. We are losing ourselves. It feels too good to be true. It feels to good to be true because it is.
One day, for no reason that we can identify, something ugly happens. We find ourselves ignored, or deeply insulted, or the object of rage. There seems no reason for this. It hurts like the stab of a knife to the soul. We try to make amends for this unseen thing we did to become less wonderful to our partner. In the back of our minds, I think we know that it is the beginning of something very different.
We know, deep down inside that our partner is idealizing something or someone else. But we believe that it is a flash in the pan. They will surely see that what they have with us is so good, so pure and so real, that whatever is momentarily attractive will pass. We all become enamored with moments outside of our primary relationship. For most people, for people with solid boundaries, it passes like a movie and we return to real life without ever acting upon our fantasies. We assume that our partner will do the same. It lingers longer than we like, but things do get better. Life does not return to its previous perfection, but flickers of our dream return. We decide to be more attractive, more talented and more attentive so that we can insure that it doesn’t happen again.
But we have been devalued. We may be valued again, but never idealized. We do not understand because there is no reason why we should. So begins our loss of our own identity to try to recapture the love. We are living between devalue and discard. This is the common thread that binds the diagnosis to the patient with a Cluster B disorder. These people lack a developed sense of “self” and so they borrow ours. In doing so, they become less enchanted with the image. We are now tainted with the horror they avoid. They see the phantom, distorted image of their own inner world. This, they cannot bear. We have lost our luster in binding to this partner. He or she must find a new specimen. They need fresh humanity that does not bear the mark of their own tortured soul.
We cannot understand at first. We have our psychic wounds, but we can tolerate and even enjoy our own company. Imagine what it must be like to consider one’s own company to be either nothing at all or something vile. It must be terrifying. From this point of view, it is understandable that this human must try to do everything and anything possible not to look in the mirror. They run away. They project the vile parts of themselves onto us. For some time, we accept the burden. We see they are in pain. We love them and so we take it on, hoping to ease the burden and help them feel better.
Time after time, we take on their pain. It is confusing to us that this seems to make them hate us so much more. It makes no sense to a person with an identity of one’s own. They look at us and see themselves. They rage and run; they insult and beg; they find fault and ridicule. We love them. In the confusion, we become traumatized and distraught. We fall into an abyss. We cannot see ourselves any longer. We have reached the ultimate irony. For the Narcissist, the Borderline, the Histrionic, and the Antisocial, to not be able to see one’s self is a great victory. For us, it is the ultimate loss.
When we reach this point, it is hard for us to know that we really do still have the upper hand. We believe that we are powerless and the disordered partner has all of the power. The disordered partner believes this as well. We become an annoyance to them, a reminder of their own true nature. The partner leaves us at the side of the road, presumably to die, and moves on to the fresh target.
As hurtful as any rejection is, our ultimate salvation is this discard. We mourn the loss and re-evaluate our priorities. We begin to acknowledge ourselves again. We have the gift of ourselves. When no one else is around, we are keeping company with a human being with a soul, our own soul. Gradually we take ourselves to work, to the store, to school. We rebuild bridges and construct new roads. We create ways to take our complete self to interact once again with others. We begin to heal.
Healing from the dagger of a Cluster B partner is a slippery journey. As we regain ourselves, we have not yet completely closed our heart to this person whom we loved. We are loving people by our nature. We have experienced the end to romantic love before and with healing from this wound. With the passage of time, we often find that a loving friendship or at least a fond spirit remains between our former romantic partner and ourselves. The disordered partner sees our new energy and thirsts for it once again. From our past experience with non-disordered partners, we welcome the overture.
It is quite surprising and disappointing when the disordered partner uses up our newly-acquired energy for life in short order and leaves again by the side of the road. Again, we must recover on our own. This dance can repeat itself many times. Each time is shorter and, thankfully, less painful. We learn to protect ourselves from the disordered, from the predator that he/she is.
In the end, the final discard belongs to us. We set the limit. We end the dance. They have no limits and are unable to do this. The abyss between devaluation by our partner and the ultimate discard by our choice is bridged when we realize that there is no going back in any way. No friendship, no enmity, there can be nothing at all.
Your face is a mirror of the image the narcissist projects onto, so he represses his REAL SELF and project all his failures, hurt, pain, anger onto you so he can tell you "It's you that has the problem" and not him. His mask of sanity is a fake self, it isn't the real him.... he represses the real him and projects that side of him onto you.
Has your abuser ever accused you of the most vile, cruel lies? Accused you of being crazy? Twisted everything you say into something grotesque? Most of us have experienced that with the NP in our lives. We are left emotionally reeling. The hurt can be nearly unbearable. You were likely experiencing 'projection'. To make things simple, he is accusing you of what he is THINKING, DOING OR PLANNING. It is very hurtful to us when they project their thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and impulses and pathololgize the people they target.
Projection is not an easy concept to learn. We need to twist our way of thinking. An important part of realizing projection is to remember Psychopaths have the emotional maturity of a 5-year old!! They are like the little boy caught breaking a toy who says "Jimmy made me do it". "Look what you made me do!" Now the Psychopath 'projects' on us as they accuse us... "You're the one whose cheating, destroying the marriage, lying etc.
Those terribly cruel words hurt us so very much. We are devastated trying to understand where they came up with the idea. What could we have done that they reacted so vehemently about? We are stunned by their words. They hurt us to the core.
So, you ask yourself "Is he doing this just to be intentionally and horribly cruel? He must know it's ridiculous. Maybe he's using it as a way to end the relationship, but what a terrible way to do it". That is your rational and very logical reasoning trying to make sense of what's happening. The truth can be even uglier. He is indeed saying what he is doing, thinking or planning. Coming to this realization can give you a glimpse into the hell of their mind. It is a defence mechanism of their disordered psyche. Professionals are trained to recognize it. Doctors use it as a barometer in diagnosing a psychiatric problem vs. a physiological one. Even the most trained and hardened psychotherapy professionals who often get the brunt of this have a hard time dealing with it. Our own normal egos get damaged.
Expect endless blame and criticism often for trivial nitpicking things. Expect them to 'split' you into a good or bad person instantanously as their defence mechanisms kick in to protect their psyche. The personality disordered will always be able to find a scapegoat.
Bullies project their inadequacies, shortcomings, behaviours etc. on to other people to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it (learning about oneself can be painful), and to distract and divert attention away from themselves and their inadequacies. Projection is achieved through blame, criticism and allegation; once you realise this, every criticism, allegation etc that the bully makes about their target is actually an admission or revelation about themselves. This knowledge can be used to perceive the bully's own misdemeanours; for instance, when the allegations are of financial or sexual impropriety, it is likely that the bully has committed these acts; when the bully makes an allegation of abuse (such allegations tend to be vague and non-specific), it is likely to be the bully who has committed the abuse. When the bully makes allegations of, say, "cowardice" or "negative attitude" it is the bully who is a coward or has a negative attitude.
"Narcissistic personality disorder is aptly characterized as a "disorder of the self." That's because the narcissist can't stand his or her self. But instead of reforming the true self, narcissists cheat. They just project a false image of their self.
And the first person they tell this lie to is themselves. It's just a stupid mental game (of self-delusion) that anyone could play. They believe the false image in the mirror; they IDENTIFY with it.
The mental problem this twisted thinking creates is twofold:
A. When you deny your true self's very existence, it doesn't matter how depraved you let it become. That doesn't count = you are totally amoral. No conscience.
B. Since your false image is just a phantom, there is no limit to how grandiose you can make it with nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Result of both Aand B? You'll (The Narcissist) stoop to anything to make others look bad in order to make your false self look grandiose by comparison. And what about the guilt and shame you incur in the process? You must project it off onto a scapegoat, preferably the very victim. Now your perversity is perfect.
And then there's even more guilt and shame to smear off on someone else. Source
Projection Exercise For Readers
In the exercise, The reader is asked to make a list of all the 'labels' the abuser used on you-- all the names you were called or the negative adjectives that were used to describe you (ie crazy, rude, mean). write each of these labels on a sticky label and to put them all on a larger piece of paper. (This is only part one of the exercise). Anyway, once I had stuck all the labels on the poster board, basically what was staring me back in the face was a nearly complete description of the Narcissist!
Here is a quick little quiz to take. They are actual words spoken by our Psychopaths/Narcissists. Which is projection and which is a lie?
1. "You can't count on those people to tell the truth".
2. "I just don't know who you are anymore"
3. "I cheated on you because I was depressed and I was punishing myself."
4. "Never trust anyone!"
5. "I don't want to know anything about your life."
6. “You don't care about the kids, they're a burden to you. All you care about is your work and being with your friends."
7. "You're a lousy housekeeper."
Answer: The only 'lie' is #3. All others are projection.
An abuser will mirror every good quality you possess. He will adopt your likes and dislikes, choices, admire you, and mimic your characteristics. It is often referred to as "mirroring" us. The following excerpt explains. "The analyst is often not only not used as a source but as a toilet to receive the patient’s undesirable feelings or parts of the self. On the other hand, they often assimilate other people’s values or ideas and declare them to be their own."
Trance States & Dissociation, NLP & Mind Control
Women feel 'under his spell,' 'spell bound,' ' mesmerized,' 'hypnotized,' 'spaced out,' 'not in control of their own thoughts....' All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind-control have been happening with the pathological. And why wouldn't it be happening? These are power-hungry people who live to exert their dominance over others.
This is not hocus pocus stuff. Trance states, dissociation and hypnosis are all normal parts of the way our body and minds respond to certain conditions. The only argument is if these pathologicals KNOW they are doing it to others! My answer would be yes: they are masters at noticing what works on other people. So to that degree, they tweak what works.
Trance, mind control and hypnotic suggestion also are based on one's own level of 'suggestibility'. This is related to how responsive you are to the suggestions and opinions of others. The more responsive you are, the more suggestible and more easily you are mind controlled or hypnotizible.
A women's suggestibility is often influenced by her own biology. Women who are highly cooperative and value how others perceive them are likely to be more suggestible.
Also, women's fatiguability highly influences her suggestibility.
Almost all women report high levels of emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and spiritual fatigue with pathological relationships. They take a toll on her -- wearing her down until her emotional reserves that would normally not give in, are repressed.
At that time when her fatigue level is high, her suggestibility is also high. Tired and spaced out, it's easy to get controlled by him.
Messages that are told to her during tired and spaced out times are recorded deeply and yet often subconsciously. "Can't get him out of your head?" is very real.
Mind control then produces dissociation which is a form of trance states. It's when your mind becomes overloaded and you need to 'step outside of yourself' to relieve the stress. Dissociation and trance happens during abuse in childhood as well or adult rape. Prolonged mind control in adults will even produce trance states where adults begin to feel like they are being controlled. And they are...
The women who participated in our research survey on 'women who love psychopaths' showed us just how suspectible you group of women really are to sugggestibility, fatiguibilty, and the resulting mind control. Almost all of the women experienced some form of trance, hypnosis, mind control of 'spell bound' symptoms.
Women must understand that 'staying in the relationship to figure it out' or 'see what happens' or 'wait til he works on himself and gets better' is absolutely risky for you. Your ability to be controlled covertly by him is significantly higher than other females. Source
Human Behaviour The Psychopath
Two weeks ago we started talking about this natural ability that pathologicals have when it comes to reading human behavior
People often want to know why people with personality disorders (pathology) often have the worst and most inappropriate behavior indicating they are clueless about others feelings AND YET they are often enabled with the uncanny ability to so know human behavior they con even the most knowledgable of people.
Children who grow to be pathological are little psychologists by the time they are teens. They have so watched other people, that they understand (on a manipulative level) what makes people hurt and how to get out of consequences for having hurt others. These little child-prodigies who have studied human behavior since they were 5 or 6 years old are emotional savants. On one hand, they do NOT have the full spectrum of emotions and so are sort of emotionally retarded towards the experience of others.
On the other hand, they are so bright and have so honed in on studying others, they have learned how to develop a mask for any occasion. Source
All sociopaths wear a mask. The mask of kindness. The mask of generosity. The mask of romance. The mask of attraction. The mask of intimacy. The mask of seduction. And so on.
This is what reels us in. The pretense. The acting. The mask. The mask of perfection. And we, in our infinite loving goodness, reflect that mask back to them. The perfect mirrored reflection of beauty and adoration.
They have such a knack for paying attention to others reactions so they too can learn, that they learn to mimic other people's facial gestures and behaviors and parrot the language and lingo of what others say.
This is why they are a mirror - image of you in a relationship. They watch and listen and mimic and parrot back all you do and say. This is why they feel like a soul mate -- because you are essentially looking at a mask of yourself.
These skills are then polished over years of use -- using them on his mother, sister, Sunday school teacher, girls at school, bosses... anywhere he can tweak the manipulation and look normal enough to fit in.
What began as a simple adaptation in a child--learning to understand how normal people relate and behave -- turns into manipulation later. At some point, the child/teen must come to the conclusion that they DON'T have these feelings, limits, boundaries, and experiences. What the hell... just gotta go with it is the normal reaction from them.
If you want to bloom, grow and mature , stay away from anyone exhibiting one or more traits of the personality disordered!
"Sometimes I think that the worst torture one could devise for these Narcissistic freaks would be to lock them in a room all alone for about three days. After about an hour, they would probably have their socks on their hands like puppets, just to have someone to lie to"
"I have all the characteristics of a human being: flesh, blood, skin , hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip"
Gareth Edward(s) Rodger
Masks Of Sanity is an online blog offering advice, support and education for those who have fallen victim to the Psychopath/Narcissist. (NPD)
We explain why Narcissists behave the way they do, how they operate and how you can protect yourself from the Narcissist in society, in the home and online!
You can find my own personal experience with a psychopath in the links on the right. I have a very personal understanding of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I am proof that there is hope after abuse!