Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Long Should You Stay Angry at a Psychopath?

I'm going to use the words psychopath, sociopath and narcissist interchangeably. These definitions are very fluid anyway, and there's no real agreement on what they mean.

People who fit these descriptions exploit others. But they don't feel badly about it, regardless of whatever trouble or inconvenience it's caused. In fact, some of the more sicker souls may even go out of their way to harm a target, just because they can.

It's quite possible that an individual with such a severe character disorder derives pleasure from hurting others.

If you've ever had an encounter with a psychopath (no, they're not all locked up in jail), chances are, it's been a very painful experience.

This experience, no doubt, has been very devastating. You may have questioned your self worth. You may have lost friends. Psychopaths try to turn others against you, and they often succeed, because they are such skillful liars.

Involvement with a Psychopath

Someone else once described being involved with a psychopath as "being stabbed from the inside out."

Psychopaths are very good at conning people and gaining their trust. So, once you realize you've been had, you may have a hard time trusting again.

Feelings of anger are typical, and normal, in the wake of this type of abuse. You replay all that's happened, and you wonder how someone could be so cold and calculating. This happens because psychopaths cannot empathize with another person's suffering, even if they're the ones inflicting it. Also, they are not "weighed down" by guilt. This lack of remorse allows them to comfortably abuse others, again and again.

Getting Past the Psychopathic Abuse

Eventually, though, your anger must subside. This is necessary, in order for you to begin to recover. Left unchecked, this can turn you into a bitter person. If that happens, the psychopath has won.

So, how long should you stay angry at a psychopath? The short answer is as little time as possible. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of the person you thought you knew. In reality, it was all an illusion, because all you were seeing was a false self, a personality carefully constructed to mirror yours.

Holding on to your anger isn't productive. It only hurts you. The psychopath doesn't care if you're angry or not. In fact, she may be happy you're angry, because it means she's made a big impact on your life.

Remember, disordered people don't think the same way normal, healthy folks do. Most of us don't want people to be upset with us. However, a psychopath either doesn't care, or he or she derives sick pleasure, knowing that the abuse still occupies your thoughts.

How to Forgive

After realizing I've been deceived by someone with strong psychopathic traits (a platonic friend), I did an exercise. Over and over, I imagined what she had done. Then I imagined myself forgiving her. Eventually it worked.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Spiritual Recovery After Narcissistic Abuse

During the time I was a target, I used to read narcissistic abuse forums. These were very helpful, because they served as a reality check. One of the features of female bullying is that you have no one to talk to. Even if it were a good idea to discuss this, it's not possible. First, it's not good to speak badly about another person, even if it's true.

Second, even if you did, no one would believe you. That's because female narcissists are sneaky. They abuse in a way that leaves no evidence. Almost everyone, with the exception of their current target, believes they are living saints. If you did happen to tell someone about their horrible, despicable behavior, most people would assume you're the problem, because you can't get along with this wonderful person.

This is why online forums can be so useful. Everything is anonymous and questions are answered by people who've been there. They'll believe you. (However, you should also be aware that disturbed people also haunt these forums, so be careful.)

But, once you've been abused, you should always be careful going forward. Even if you decide to seek therapy, you need to be aware that your therapist could also have some serious issues. There's a possibility that your therapist may also have a personality disorder, so make sure to keep your eyes open. If you see the telltale signs, make arrangements for an exit plan. If you aren't familiar with the symptoms of malignant narcissism, there's plenty of information available.

Original Pixabay image by 944010

Monday, June 15, 2015

Malignant Narcissistic Behavior

Today I had an interesting conversation with my son. We were discussing last year's rash of domestic abuse cases involving sports stars. He thought it was good this type of behavior now comes with social sanctions. I agreed with him. Also, I mentioned that when I was growing up, these sorts of events were seen as par for the course. The attitude seemed to be, "Well, that's just how he is." The underlying message was you had to accept these criminal acts.

My son was surprised. I told him, "Yes, that's really how it was."

There seems to be a parallel with malignant narcissism. The sorry excuse, "Well, that's just how she is," when describing a female tyrant, is becoming less acceptable. More people are learning about antisocial personality disorder and realizing they don't want anything to do with compulsive liars who sow dissension wherever they go. There's nothing normal about this. This type of rotten conduct is a sickness, and not just a variation of how people operate.

Nowadays, there's so much more information published about the various manifestations of sociopathy, compared to what was available 10 years ago. Back then, it seems that only law enforcement officials, and some mental health professionals, were aware that not all psychopaths are locked up in jail.

Awareness of this evil amongst us is a good thing. The reason malignant narcissists are so destructive is because most people never suspect they're capable of such actions.

Original Pixabay image by Matamoros

Monday, June 1, 2015

Are Women Getting Meaner?

My mother and I recently had an interesting conversation. She has a unique perspective on relational aggression among young mothers, having the experience of raising two families. The first was her own. The second is a pair of grandchildren. Right now, even though she's in her late 70's, she's dealing with competitive Moms who play childish games. (I live far away, so I can't help her with the day-to-day challenges of raising teenagers.)

"Women are so mean today," I said, trying to explain some callous behavior she's witnessed, as one mother at my niece's small, private school invited every other girl to a party, except one (my niece).

"Don't you remember?," she responded. "When you were growing up, Mrs. X. (across the street) had a party and invited everyone else in the neighborhood but me. She even invited Mrs. W, whom she didn't even know. But she invited her because I knew her."

Actually, I didn't remember this incident. But I do remember Mrs. X. getting under my mother's skin. Now I have a better understanding why.

However, my mother doesn't think female behavior has deteriorated in recent decades. She remembers this neighborhood incident vividly, as it was hurtful, because it was typically female bully move, in which a competitive woman tries to marginalize a rival.

But I disagree with my Mom. I think this type of bad behavior is off the charts and only getting worse. In raising her grandchildren, she's run into a string of other women with very odd behavior. It's been more difficult for her to find nice people, although she has found a few.

This wasn't the case when I was growing up. Mrs. X was the exception, not the rule. My mother made some wonderful friends in her younger years, and most of them are still around today. The reason some aren't is because they've passed on.

So, yes, I definitely think women in general are meaner than they were a generation or two ago, even if my mother doesn't agree with me.

Pixabay image top by JordiMorella

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Narcissistic Abuse Toughens You Up

Narcissistic abuse isn't all bad. It's only terrible when you're going through it, and you haven't yet emotionally distanced yourself from the narc and her enablers. (This blog is centered on women who bully other women.) But, once you realize that these people are either extremely disturbed or possessing very weak character, you realize that life is much better off without them, and you move on. But you're never the same again. This is a good thing.

Moving forward, you understand that some people are inherently deceptive. They are so miserable that they can't stand to see someone else who's happy, so they try to take that quality away from you. They succeed for awhile, but not for long. They win the battle, but lose the war.

You emerge stronger than before. They didn't break you. Instead, they made you into a much more resilient person. The next time a narc comes too close, you sense this disorder on the earlier side, before she can inflict too much damage, and begin to control your other relationships.

Surviving this type of ordeal, and knowing that it didn't kill you, gives you the confidence to stare down whatever comes your way. Morally disordered people can sense this. Usually they stay away. Or, if they don't, they quickly back off. This leaves a lot more room in your life for more genuine friends.

Original Pixabay image by Nemo

Friday, May 15, 2015

10 Things I've Learned About Narcissistic Abuse and Recovery

Looking back on a time of extreme chaos and confusion in my life, the result of having a malignant narcissist as a "friend," I am so happy to be free of this sinister dynamic.

At one point, I had no idea that some adults are capable of acting in such a diabolical manner. Nor was I aware of the prevalence of this type of character disorder. A combination of my own naiviety, as well a couple of other factors, made me an easy target. Although this experience was painful, it was probably necessary, because it taught me some valuable lessons.

Here are 10 things I didn't know about narcs that I know now.
  • Men have not cornered the market on antisocial behavior. Women can be just as dangerous, if not a lot more treacherous. While females don't usually resort to physical violence, they certainly have an arsenal of techniques that can cause mass destruction. They destroy on emotional rather than a physical level.
  • Female bullies employ what some psychologists call "relational aggression" or "social aggression." This is designed to turn people against you.
  • Narcissistic abuse, especially what we see among adults, generally cannot exist unless a group of weak-willed people allow it to happen.
  • These enablers are just as guilt as the narc, because without them the narc is virtually powerless.
  • People you thought you could depend on let you down when a narcissist goes on the attack. They are ruled by self interest, rather than by doing the right thing. This means they lack integrity.
  • The incidence of malignant narcissism seems to be at all-time high. One psychologist named Dr. Martha Stout, PhD., believes that 1 in 25 people could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
  • Malignant narcissists operate much like sociopaths. They have no regard for the rules of society, or the rights of others. They are "unencumbered" by feelings of guilt or shame.
  • The most dangerous individuals are those that appear perfectly normal, and even saintly.  Some psychologists call these types "covert narcissists."
  • You can run into malicious people everywhere, even at church. In fact, coverts love to assume positions of power in religious settings. (But please don't let this discourage you from going to church.)
  • Oftentimes, the first sign that a narcissist has entered your life is a sense of uneasiness and confusion. During this time, your enemy-in-disguise is probably still pretending to be your friend. Meanwhile, she's busy turning other people in your life against you.
  • Getting away from the narcissist is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Original Pixabay top image by Kapa65

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Manipulating a Conflict

My husband recently told me about a town that was in so much conflict that an outside mediator is being called in to help its municipal officials get along. However, unless the independent investigators are well-versed in malignant narcissism, they're going to have a difficult time getting to the root of the problem.

That's because all it takes is one morally disordered person to bring an organization, or, in this case, a community, to its knees. One chief instigator will work the crowd, playing upon everyone's weaknesses. Because narcs have laser-like ability to zero in on our needs, wants and desires, and then pretend to meet to them, they get other people to march in lock-step with their plans.

It's going to be very hard for someone from the outside to come in and settle things, unless they're willing to spend a lot of time in that particular community. The narc or narcs causing the trouble will be well aware they're being watched, so they'll be on their best behavior. Narcopaths are able to fool even trained professionals.

I'm only speculating, but if I had to guess what's going on in that town, I'd bet it was a very malicious instigator, staying in the background, manipulating everyone else into battle. Good luck finding the right person.

Original Pixabay image by geralt