May 022012

We’ve all had the experience of waking from a dream that’s particularly disturbing.   Nothing made sense, it wasn’t even real, yet we wake up emotionally rattled.  There’s a nagging feeling that our mind is trying to tell us something important because we are so intensely affected, but the meaning eludes us.

That is exactly what it’s like to wake up from the illusions of a psychopath.  As with the dream, it sometimes helps to tell someone about the experience.  We hope that maybe they can explain what it meant or why it happened.  Maybe they had a similar experience or perhaps they understand the significance of the symbols involved.  Sometimes, we feel compelled to tell just about anyone who will listen.

When I first understood that I was involved with an evil being, I went directly to the nearest church to talk to the priest.  Weeping inconsolably I explained that this person had pretended to love me for 25 years but was actually pure evil and intent on killing me.  The priest yawned, “We are all children of God,” he chastised me, “don’t call anyone evil.”   WTF? Moment

I continued detailing the events of the last 25 years, hoping he could shed light on what I was involved in.  If it wasn’t pure evil then what was it?  When I got to the part about not being married, the priest interrupted me.  “Well that was the problem,” he explained, “You went against the laws of God by living in sin.  You see, men want sex and women want love.  You didn’t get a fair trade when you agreed to live with this man.”  Huh? God wanted me to marry pure evil?   “But Father,” I protested, “We didn’t even have sex for the last 15 years and rarely at all for the 10 before that.”  For the first time he gave me his full attention. He looked shocked. “Do you mean you lived as brother and sister for 15 years?”

When a priest can’t believe that someone else could choose to be celibate for 15 years, I think there’s a problem.  Maybe he was the wrong priest.

I went to a different church a few weeks later.  This time, I began the conversation differently, “Father, do you believe that evil exists?” I asked tentatively.

“Absolutely!  Evil is in the world!” he zealously replied.

I began to tell him my story.  After about 10 minutes, he jumps up from his chair and exclaims, “I’m just a poor parish priest!” and runs out of the room.

So much for priests.  I had better luck in a sushi bar.  I was staring at my sushi, lost in thought, trying to make sense of the nightmare I called my life.  What did it mean?  I had the vague impression of a voice over my shoulder but I could only hear a buzz.  Another customer reached out and touched my arm to get my attention. The waiter was asking me a question.  Did I want a beverage?  “No thank you, water is fine.”

The customer introduced himself.  He began to chat about the excellent quality of the sushi he was eating.  We had only spoken for a few minutes, when I spilled my story at him.  I just couldn’t think about anything else.  It was all I could concentrate on.  He listened intently for a while, then he matter-of-factually said, “Oh that’s a malignant narcissist,”  and ate another bite of sushi.

“A what-what?” I asked.  Here, finally an answer perhaps!  This tall athletic stranger spent the next few hours explaining what a narcissist is and how to deal with them.  The advice he gave me, “Be boring. Don’t show any emotion. It makes them go away,” has been the basis for all my understanding of psychopaths.  They want our emotions. In this case it paid off to talk about the nightmare because, by pure chance, I found a person who had experienced this same nightmare and had researched it.

After several more months of research, I had a much better understanding of what I had encountered, but I still wondered whether the Catholic church didn’t have some advice to offer on the subject.  Surely an institution that had been around for 2000 years could offer some insight.  So I made an appointment with still another parish priest.

I began my story, slowly filling out the details. I told him what I’d learned about narcissism.  Having since discovered that there were several more narcissists in my family of origin, I asked his advice.

“I recommend you get counseling,” he advised.  Then he got up and went to get me a business card with a referral to Catholic Community Services. I was feeling perplexed but wasn’t sure why. His suggestion seemed reasonable.  Then I realized why: He had absolutely no expression on his face. There was no shock, dismay or any empathy at all.  It was a blank expression. I felt slimed again.

What I’ve since discovered, is that there are two typical responses when you share your story of a psychopathic encounter.  The first is from those that do believe you.  These people have experienced it too. They KNOW you’re telling the truth and they will listen.

The second response and most common, is disbelief. Of course, they don’t all actually tell you they don’t believe you.  They just look at you like you’re wearing a tin foil hat. Then they back slowly toward the door, careful not to make any sudden moves.  Denial is a protective mechanism people use because they don’t like to have their comfortable lives disrupted by the truth.  It’s so inconvenient.

I’ve learned that defense mechanisms are a huge part of the human experience.  We deny, repress, suppress, project, rationalize and intellectualize all the time.  It seems as if most of our lives are spent trying NOT to see the truth if it causes any bit of anxiety.  So it’s no surprise that people don’t want to hear about evil.  And that, is why evil has so much power, because we let it.  In fact, I would say that the subversion of reality IS the basis of evil.  Dr. Scott Peck called the malignant narcissists, “People of the Lie” because they will not submit to any authority, not even to the authority of reality.

With reality comes responsibility.  I remember how many clues I had, over 25 years, that I was in the presence of evil.  Fear kept me from acknowledging it.  It was too horrible to imagine and so I didn’t.  Now I understand how denial enables evil.  I also know that evil understands this and depends on it.  With denial, we become accomplices to evil and share in the guilt of enabling it.  Because we are normal, that creates shame, but the shame is unbearable and we deny that too. So, like Eve in the garden of Eden, we point at the psychopath and say, “He made me do it. The snake deceived me.”  But that is exactly what he wanted you to do because in doing this, you become like the psychopath: a denier of responsibility.  You’ve chosen to scapegoat and imitated the example set by the psychopath. Denying responsibility keeps us stuck in the quagmire. It gives the power back to the psychopath.

There is a defense mechanism that’s considered healthy, it’s called sublimation.  Sublimation redirects a painful experience into a positive experience.  When we share the story of our nightmarish encounter with a psychopath we help create awareness about the disorder and help others who have suffered a similar crisis.

Looking for meaning from our experiences and our dreams, is human.  The first step is to share and to listen.  We find common elements then piece them together.  Eventually we get the picture. We can see how we collectively bear responsibility for the evil in this world.  Each of us allowed it to encroach on our boundaries.  Over time, it became a part of our world and we no longer even noticed it.  It seemed normal.

Then we woke up.

Copyright © 2012-2013 Skylar

  43 Responses to “Waking Up From the Nightmare of Denial”

  1. Skylar

    I have written a comment but it says it is awaing moderation. I don’t know what that means.


    • Hi STJ,
      That’s funny I was just thinking about that video last night! We must be on the same wave length.
      The setting on the comments was set to moderate any comments with 2 or more links because the auto-spammers will use lots of links.
      I fixed it so it’s set now to 3 or more links.

  2. Oooo, I like those lyrics. I can’t play the song on mobile but I will definitely check it out tonight.

    STJ, your words are very encouraging and I value everything you and Sky say. That’s why I believe you’re right. I’m not at all up to par on what the younger generations are doing or thinking so I’m so happy and relieved to hear they are getting wise to the truth about these evil predators.

    And I should not worry about the outcome, I should just be glad I’m joining in the good fight. We have to keep going, if not but to save one person let alone millions.

  3. Woundlicker

    When the student is ready–the teacher appears.

    Give her time.

    Good morning from here everyone.


  4. You are right STJ. I could use a lesson in patience.

    Good morning from ATL! Have a blessed day. 🙂

  5. Woundlicker,
    Good Morning to you!
    No worries, I fixed it.
    There might be a way to make the blog so you can edit your own posts. I’m not sure, I’ll have to investigate it. Feel free to email me if you want to say something but aren’t comfortable posting it.

  6. Woundlicker,

    I really like what you wrote: that you are glad you joined the good fight. Me too. ME TOO!

    Have a lovely day, everyone. I am off to the sunshine and the garden (and the gym!). I will check in later…..


  7. Woundlicker,
    for some reason, the post you wrote above (#25 on May 9) about Kate’s song, Running up that Hill, just appeared in my inbox today…weird.

    Anyway, I checked out the song on line,and I really liked it.
    this video is great and the lyrics are spot on about trading places. She must’ve met a spath.

    • I’m showing my age, aren’t I? I’ve never seen this video but it’s far too poetic and graceful to relate to my situation with ex spath. Try to envision “South Park” on ice. Now we’re talkin’.

  8. Yea, sky, it is like waking up from a nightmare…and we realize it is real, but no one else wants to validate our experience. They can’t seem to get their minds around that someone who “looks normal” can be a psychopath, the media has made them out to be serial killers with wild eyed looks,and maybe horns or a tail.

    People do tend to shy away from us because it is very much like we told them we were abducted by space aliens so we must be crazy.

    I so wanted to be validated by SOMEONE and like you I turned to my church, and they took the side of the Trojan Horse Psychopath, a 3 X convicted sex offender and refused to even look at the EVIDENCE I had that he had molested 3 children ages 9, 11, and 14, because HE TOLD them it was really a 17 year old girl he had sex with and she told him she was 18. Did they ever check his story? Not on your life. They dismissed me as a liar. I was just being mean to this poor man who had joined the church and had told them he had been in prison for having sex with this 17 year old girl. Did even one of them talk to the local sheriff who knew the truth? Nope.

    Later, it turned out that the “minister” was arrested for trying to lure a “14 year old girl” (who turned out to be a 40 year old deputy sheriff) and he was arrested himself for trying to have sex with a minor. Hummmmmm? Makes me wonder why he accepted this man’s story doesn’t it?

    Later, the church tried to “keep it quiet” in the community that the minister had been arrested and why. I went to the minister’s court hearing, walked in and slapped him on the back and said “Well, Dickie, what on earth are YOU doing here?” (it was a court in another town) To my way of thinking, every member of that church should have been there. Not whispering and trying to keep the community from finding out.

    The same way that none of those people came forward to say “sorry we didn’t believe you” after the Trojan HOrse was arrested for trying to kill my son C or for having an affair with C’s wife, but they went to visit them in jail to comfort them. LOL So I no longer attend that church or have anything to do with them. It was a small congregation, maybe 50 members, and they all had known me since I was a child. Yet I was the liar, and he was the one they embraced, even after he went to jail for attempted murder, and my DIL for helping him by buying him a gun (illegal to buy a gun for a felon who cannot have a gun)

    I found out that we must validate ourselves. It might be nice to be validated by others, but in the end, our knowledge of what is REAL is all we truly need.

    • Oxy,
      I find it despicable that your entire congregation could side with 2 pedophiles. It just goes to show how much power these creeps have. Their shamelessness is part of their power. Because they don’t act ashamed, people think they are not actually guilty. Then they tried to make YOU look like you were the crazy one because you have an aversion to pedophiles! such a WTF? moment it must’ve been.

      Yes, we do need to validate our own selves, that’s true. Part of that is learning as much as we can about the spath experience, so we can understand what happened.

  9. Truthspeak

    This article seemed like the best one to invite those in recovery from their spath / ppath experiences to participate in an anonymous survey. All respondants remain anonymous and there is no cost involved other than generating a membership to the site, much the same type as membership to has. There’s no subsequent spamming involved as I’ve been involved with this site for nearly a decade.

    The survey has a number of questions and answer options, as well as some opportunities to post an anonymous response to the specific question.

    And, this article discusses the challenge of both acknowledging evil in its purest form, but also the horrifying awakening when we realize that we have literally been touched by evil. Something that needs further exploration and discussion, IMHO.

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