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Attraction by the Pearl of Purity — 308 Comments

  1. Dorothy, you mentioned above somewhere that you were unsure when it was time to throw in the proverbial towel, and I “get that.” I was raised to ignore the obvious (mom is passed out) and pretend that the obvious didn’t exist. That’s part of the effect of dysfunction that takes away our options, as children.

    Today, I have to reflect on the situation to determine when the towel needs to be thrown into the ring:
    * where does my “control” lie in this situation?
    * is the situation caused my me, or someone else?
    * what are my “feelings” based upon? Fear? Abandonment? Sadness?
    * what am I gaining, personally, in this situation?
    * what am I losing, personally, in this situation?

    Once I determine the answers, I have to come to a conclusion that is based upon facts, and not feelings. How I FEEL about something is typically far and away from what the FACTS really are. I may not “like” the facts. The facts may even be painful or hurt my feelings. But, I cannot dispute them, negotiate more pleasant facts, or bargain them into something that I want. The facts just “are.”

    I’ve run hot on emotions (feelings) my entire life – most (if not, ALL) of my decisions and choices were based upon feelings, instead of facts. I’ve gone the complete polar opposite that I don’t allow second chances, benefit of the doubt, and self-slamming as a “bad person” for calling a spade a spade. I used to try and try and try to make everything OKAY, even when doing so was an exercise in futility. Honest-to-gawd, I spent MORE time attempting to smooth things out than I did tending to my own daily needs – I swear that this is 100% true! Today, I walk away from any situation or person that threatens my recovery or my “feelings” about myself.

    The only reason that I still have an association with Flo (toxic employer) is that I need her money as income. That’s it, and that’s all. But, I step back and ponder before I react, anymore. It’s no easy task, I’ll freely admit. All I can say is that I would rather be where I am, right now, than where I was 2 years ago.

    STRICT ASIDE: It’s the one-year anniversary of the decision to leave my State and live in this structure. A year ago, today, I piled all of my belongings and pets into various vehicles and left everything that I was familiar with to go back to a place that held terrible memories and isolation. The winter was difficult – no hot water, heat, or ability to “cook” and I thank gawd that it was a mild winter.

    But, Bob and I made it through that first winter. We were deprived, starving, and desperate, but we managed to make it through that challenge. Today, Bob and I each know that we can survive just about anything, now.

    For all of these accomplishments, I’m still a mess. I suffer from PSTD and agoraphobia – I’m on the cusp of being diagnosed agoraphobic, and I do NOT want to go there.

    Like OxD says, recovery is a journey, and not a destination. I’ll be working on ME for the rest of my life. For this, I’m grateful – had I still been living in a world of illusion, I would still have those blinders on and the rose-colored glasses. I see what things are AS they are, at long, long last.

    Weird, huh?

    • Congrats, Truthy, on the anniversary of your escape from the world of delusion.

      It is weird, to look back and see how blind we were. So blind, that we misunderstood everything we were seeing around us. Even watching movies and TV is a completely different experience now.

      This goes to show the extent that lies can cause damage. The lies we believe early on in life, cause us to misinterpret things later. Because I didn’t believe people could be so malicious and duplicitous, I couldn’t see it.

      Maybe it’s true that people can’t see what they don’t already believe in.

  2. I love this article.
    I decided to get my Reiki I certificate in Feb. The church I was attending was Spiritual in teaching, along with the Law of Attraction. After I had read some of the LoA books and was practicing with my Reiki classmates weekly, I kept asking how to relate to the idea that we attract negative things and it is our own fault. Even the Reiki Master seemed somewhat reserved in his opinion, but agreed we attract what we want to come our way. I continued to read and got very frustrated, leading to the last time I chose to practice with my group.
    I learned a few things, people that do not understand a severe trauma especially a psychological type cannot understand how to communicate about one, or be a support for anyone who has. I realized that I was not responsible for many things that happened in my life, especially as a child, as I was too young to understand how to attract a child molester. I was too young to understand at three years old that my older sister would always set me up for trouble or failure, as she herself was growing to be a title holding spath. (Diagnosed partially with other personality disorders)
    I grew up hating Tom & Jerry cartoons because they were so mean, I hated the three stooges, because it really does hurt when people poke their fingers in your eyes, and sadly I learned so early what mean people can do… Yet I just spent 27 years with the meanest person I have ever known. I so need a good diagnostic psychologist, geez!
    There is no logic in the idea we attract such negative, whether we are wearing a low cut dress, or dressing like a sweet girl next door. The Law of Attraction is a myth, and other than a mindset of positive projection and all those good dreams we have had we made into our reality by ourself and working for it.
    This is a journey, to find the answers that give us the hope to move on and make better choices. On this part of my journey I chose carefully by doing some research what books I want to read and learn from. We can be quick to jump at a specific book title or author, but it may not give us what we are looking for or can be detrimental to our stability.
    I am angry at myself for grabbing at answers before I took the time to research what I was getting into. It truly caused me a two month couch potato fest & wasted time as it confused me with the direction it presented. So I am grateful for this article, because I thought it was only me that disagreed with that theory and it is truly a myth. Then again I can realize that I did what I needed to do at the time, trying to understand my accountability in this crazy drama, and finding my own realization that there was nothing I could have done to change anything and I was In a relationship with a spath, and it may take years to settle that simple idea in my head. Because life has not been simple, it doesn’t weigh out logically in my head. But I move forward one day at a time. Thank you all

    • Mslily, the “Law of Attraction” has some minor merit to me, personally (and, I mean for ME, personally), but people interpret this to be something that we do on a conscious and subconscious level, and I just don’t agree that I WANTED spaths in my life. I don’t believe that throwing out positive attitudes BRINGS positive people into my life when my background and history has no understanding of what “positive” really means. “Positive” doesn’t mean what I believed that it did – it means having self-esteem enough to say, “This isn’t good for me, so I’m out.” Most people raised in dysfunction simply do not have this vital core-belief, so the general task is to make everyone LIKE us so that we won’t be abandoned, abused, dismissed, invalidated, etc.

      LoA is a good concept, but ONLY for those people who are comfortable in their own skin, have strict boundaries for themselves and others, and who have resolved their personal issues. Even those people can attract a spath because they are the “ultimate challenge” to another species of human being that has an interest in only creating harm for their own purposes.

      But, what I DO see as being 100% valid is that what we were taught to be “normal” is what we were taught to EXPECT as “normal” from others, especially if we were raised in an environment of dysfunction. And, “dysfunction” does not necessarily relate to addictions, etc. – it can be the result of personality disorders that have nothing to do with substance abuse, gambling, or porn addictions.

      Where the LoA applies to me, it’s a direct reflection of what I was taught to believe. Mom’s drunk and passed out, but we don’t speak “truthfully” about mom being drunk and passed out – we say that mom’s “sick, today.” I was told NOT to go to neighbors’ homes, at night, but what was I supposed to do when I was locked out of my house at 10pm on a December night wearing nothing but a nightgown? Had I NOT gone to someone’s house, I surely would have died of exposure because the non-alcoholic stayed away from home until midnight or 1am.

      It’s not always a deliberate or malicious thing, but the damages are the same. And, having no understanding of what “normal” might even MEAN, well, there it is.

      I agree that people cannot identify or relate to trauma of any kind unless they’ve experienced their own. But, for those who have experienced sociopathic entanglements, they are often blamed for having been victimized – much the same way that rape victims are blamed.

      There is a book that discusses the “emotional rape” titled, “The Emotional Rape Syndrome” that pretty much boils it down to dry facts. A person who is exploited by a sociopath was exploited by another human being WITHOUT knowledge or consent. Another book that served me better than ANY LoA approach was “Healing The Shame That Binds You,” by Bradshaw. The latter finally explained just about everything to me, up to the point that I read it.

  3. Mslily,
    It’s sad when children are born into a family of spaths. They aren’t born with the tools to protect themselves so they have to figure out how to survive. Denial, cognitive dissonance, dissociation and trauma bonding are all examples of survival mechanisms that we develop to survive an abusive environment. Unfortunately, these are dysfunctional behaviors meant to survive a dysfunctional family when we were powerless. The one thing that doesn’t happen, is that we don’t magically figure out the truth about abuse. We don’t understand that it’s covert and hidden.

    Then we grow up and we continue to use these dysfunctional skill sets because that’s what we’ve always done. Furthermore, we accept people into our lives whose behavior matches the skill sets we have.

    It’s not that we attract these people, it’s that we accept them when they approach us because they seem familiar. They are extremely covert and manipulative, so we don’t see their abusive nature until it’s too late. Yet there is pattern in these abusers’ behaviors and we can learn how to recognize it. It takes some practice, to be sure, because we are needing to break our own old patterns of behavior.

    You hit on a very important point: accountability. That’s one of the patterns. The abuser tries to make the victim accountable for the abuser’s behavior. And our old pattern, is to accept more responsibility than is ours to bear. This is the lie that the abuser wants us to swallow, that it’s all our fault.

    I’m glad you’ve joined us on the road back to reality.

    • Skylar,
      Yes, you point out exactly what therapists skirt around during sessions without the fear of losing a client. This is what I want to know and understand without the fluff. It makes sense to me now where I didn’t see the whole picture before. I believe there are reasons and seasons for everything, this is a good time to be right here.

  4. You know, I go back and read this article from time to time, and it always amazes me what a great article it is. The people I know who got suckered into believing that “law of attraction” and convinced themselves it was “real” and that they could WISH this or that and it would happen. Of course they never noticed when it didn’t.

    I knew a woman once who kept going to a fortune teller and the fortune teller was always wrong, but she still kept going. She still believed that this woman she was paying for “advice” had some special knowledge of the future. This woman was otherwise an educated woman. What the heck? Of course most fortune tellers, card readers, etc. are doing “cold readings” by watching your body language and speaking in vague terms. This “cold reading” can be taught and you can make yourself look like a prophet doing it. LOL In fact, many of the televangilists that I see on TV who solicit money for the “sick children in Africa” from little old ladies with blue hair, themselves live in 25 million dollar estates and live like kings. What hypocrites !!!!

    • OxD, yes. I know several people who have gone back to charlatans because they NEEDED something so badly that they were willing to entertain ANYTHING to get what they needed. Instead of relying upon themselves to provide affirmation or validation, they chose to trust other people to provide those things FOR them. Whether they had core issues, themselves, or not goes to show that people NEED, and most of those needs can be found within themselves.

      I was just mentioning the concept of the “Pearl of Purity” with my counselor, yesterday. She nodded and smiled and said, “Yes. But, cleaning that pearl takes time and care, doesn’t it?”

  5. The Law of Attraction is Like attracts Like. It is not manifesting wishful thinking. It is a tool that allows us to see our inner self reflected in the outer world. The world is our mirror. If I want to check-in see how I am doing emotionally, I look at a tree and see what it mirrors back to me. If it is beautiful then I know that I’m in a good state of being. Sometimes, I’ll look at the tree and it’s flat, so I’ll stare at it until it’s beautiful. Love or fear: it’s a choice 🙂

  6. Gracie, you are confusing two concepts: one concept about how the way you perceive the world, and how the world perceives you and is attracted to you. Your words assume/implu that I as author must have regarded the world as dark and evil and bad in order to attract a psychopath. I ask you to truly reflect how insulting, prejudiced and totally without empathy your quick defense on the mythical laws of attraction is. Consider the millions who were killed, gassed, macheted, raped, violated, maimed, abused… If only they had learned to look at a tree and see its beauty?

    No matter how shiny and sparkly and beautiful I think life around me is, it will not make psychopaths and narcissists vanish. More, the happier I truly feel inside and show this, chances are high that an envious stranger will try to rain on my parade. The clue is to realize it ain’t our fault and not to let it ruin our day. That is a more empowering insight than ‘I only attract good if I regard the world as good’.

    You say I misrepresent and misunderstand the laws of attraction, but I did several google searches before I wrote the article on how the laws of attraction are explained to others. And many a woman I saw being told she must have had some bad ideas and thoughts of life and herself for someone being a jerk to her on some odd day. Whole articles were written to explain this mysterious mechanism where people apparently turn into ugly people to others because of the other’s fault. And it makes me angry! The ‘laws of attraction’ are used to blame victims. And that is why I wrote this article.

    As for fear and love…Fear is one of the instinctual emotions we’ve been giving to remain safe: to run from a fire, to get away from a snake, to be wary off predators. Unfortunately, there are human predators. Our body and our intuition does recognize them, but too often we are taught to ignore this instinctive fear. And that’s when we get a in a whole load of trouble. I am a fearless woman, Gracie, and I have loved in the truest sense before I met the psychopath and I love still in the truest sense after the psychopath. But I have also learned to value ‘fear’ as a very accurate warning system. Like most other victims of psychopaths, I was fearless in love when I paid for his plane ticket to come and live with me in Belgium from the other side of the world, knowing he’d have to live at least initially on my single pay, and only knowing him 1.5 month myself in his country. I can assure you though, that at the time I was 100% sure I chose love, but I happened to choose a predator. So, your comment about ‘loving’ instead of ‘fearing’ is at best ignorant.

    • Jill, indeed, true primal “fear” is instinct to warn us of impending danger. Being raised in the dsyfunction of alcoholism, I was taught to ignore my instincts (mom drinking meant danger or neglect) because I was expected to keep the secret of alcoholism and pretend that everything was fine.

      My take on the “Law Of Attraction” goes far deeper than “good intentions attracting those of good intent.” In my experiences, it has not proven true. And “loving” begets love is also untrue. There are human predators, out there, that have no conscience, no remorse, and no empathy – those people don’t have to be romantic partners. They can be coworkers, supervisors, clergy/spiritual advisors, counseling therapists, and our own family members. “Loving” human predators will not alter their agendas, whatever they may be. But, being AWARE that they exist and that their existence is non-negotiable is primary in my own self-protection.

      “Love” isn’t an instinct – it is a sentiment, or (more to the point) a FEELING. There is nothing wrong with FEELINGS, but love doesn’t always beget love, in return. Where the human predator is concerned, “love” does not exist in their Universe. Rage, envy, and malicious glee are the only “feelings” that they experience.

      I pay attention to my “fear,” anymore. When my gut tells me that something about someone either doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t ring true, I pay attention and watch, observe, and listen rather than give one scintilla of myself (my Self) to anyone. Man, woman, or child – nobody is excluded from this new-found practice, because it has saved my azz on a number of occasions from new predators.

      I have also come to accept that the “Law Of Attraction” pertains to me, personally, in attracting predators because of my flawed beliefs and deep shame-core that was developed during my childhood. I didn’t understand why I kept finding myself surrounded by toxic people, and it was only through my experiences with the second exspath that I learned about ME and what caused me to appear to be such an attractive target for predators.

      I don’t apologize for my boundaries, anymore.

    • There are two type of fears: ego-social fears and more fundamental survival, instinctive fears. The first are worries and fears that are more of an intellectual level: fear of rejection, of making a fool of ourselves, of making a mistake, of doing something that goes against social code and thus embarrassing. You don’t feel them as much as you think them. All the sliming and shame-core relies on those intellectual fears.

      When people speak of fear of love they mean the ego-social fear of commitment, of ending up broken hearted.

      But that is not the fear of a survivor imo. Some survivors have had different relationships with different toxic men, and therefore have a foundation to fear they have a ‘broken picker’. And it’s not so much the fear of being broken hearted as the fear of being abused and used all over again.

      As you correctly point out, Truthy, feeling love itself is not the best way to measure who you can trust. We’ve loved people we should have ran away from at first sight, whom we never should have trusted at all, people who were and are dangerous on every level.

      There are some people I love deeply. I am in love for several months now, including when I wrote the above article. These are all people I can trust. But it’s not my love that I used to measure how much I could trust them, or to confirm that I could trust them. They all were re-evaluated, despite my loving feelings for them. I ignored the sentiment and assessed them by their actions to myself and others, by their consistency, their values, etc… For some the re-evaluation only needed 5 mins, for others it took several steps of trial. But I can assure you that the one I’m in love with respects my boundaries without me ever needing to remind him of it. And that’s because he’s a sensitive, human being who loathes to hurt or harm others. And because I can actually trust these people for real, I can also be vulnerable around them. That vulnerability is not used, abused or manipulated by these people. It’s a whole new, and incredibly rare adventure. Once I started this vulnerability adventure after surviving the psychopath, it has only impressed me even more with the conviction that only a few will ever be worthy of knowing me in such a way, because only a few will appreciate ‘me’ or even understand ‘me’ fully.

      Yes, don’t ever apologize for having boundaries, nor which ones. You are the best person to judge for yourself what constitutes your happiness, but also your safety. Sure, some people may think we ‘miss out’ on opportunities by having strict boundaries and trust only those who respect them irregardless of our sentiments. But they are not opportunities when we force ourselves into a panic zone.

      We have 3 zones: comfort zone, explorative zone and panic zone. Experience and personality define our comfort and explorative zone. Once we get into what we experience as the total unknown and feel we have nothing to fall back on for security to even explore we will freeze and panic. You can try and coax people into their exploration zone, but the sole good reaction to someone who panics is to bring them immediately to their comfort zone. The comfort zone is the sole thing that will keep them from panicking.

      As we grew up we were taught and formed a certain image on social interaction. We create behavioural laws in our mind that must be governing us and other humans. Hence, empathic people assume that everybody else must ultimately be as empathic as they are. Hence, toxics assume that everybody else ultimately must be envious and selfish deep down. When we make our discovery about psychopathy all those rules stand on their head and it’s as if we wake up in a total new world. Our prior comfort zone cease to exist in this new world. There is only a little exploration zone left and a wide panic ocean. First, we have to explore that social exploration zone in small circles for long enough until it becomes a comfort zone again. Only then we can widen the exploration zone, gradually. But nobody can tell you how fast you can do that, or how far you need to go. Only you can. Only you can feel how far the comfort zone reaches, how wide you can and dare to explore without panicking.

      Unfortunately most people cannot comprehend how drastically our understanding of society has altered and how it erases the comfort zone, shrinks the exploration zone and only leaves us with a panic zone. Heck, we don’t comprehend fully what happened to our world view at first for months ourselves. Each time someone else’s behaviour that reminded me of the psychopath triggered me because of the PTSD, I ended up in the panic zone. I barely had a panic zone at all before that. And each time I was surprised that such a mundane (intrusive) event could make me panic out of the blue. I only started to improve and take my first healing steps when I understood I was panicking, why I was panicking and that it was completely normal under the circumstances that I did. I learned to be kind to myself then. I’d avoid certain triggers once I knew them for a while until I had built a comfort zone and exploration zone on the subject. I have a healthy comfort and exploration zone again. I even explore certain sides of live I never dared to explore before. I haven’t been triggered for over certainly 1.5 year now, although I have been targeted a few times in that time.

      It’s mental rehabilitation, but it is as tough as learning to walk again as an adult.

  7. Jilly, girl! GOOD TO SEE YOU!!! As always a very profound and thoughtful post…and it about sums up the entire experience of healing from the psychopath in one article.

    Also very glad that you have found a wonderful person as a love interest….someone who respects you and your boundaries that you can TRUST and that sees you for what and who you ARE. I am SOOOOOOO happy for you.
    ]
    Don’t stay gone so long, we sure miss you and y our words of wisdom. Love Oxy

  8. Hey Oxy!!! I saw the movie with your interview in it a few weeks ago. The one about the 10 best movie examples. Loved it!

    Yes, Oxy, I think the comfort versus panic zone explanation explains the experience in a very recognizable way for survivors, but also in a way that other people can start to comprehend the profound impact of trauma and why the survivor needs reassurance and comfort for as long as they need, and that one dimensional expressions about ‘fear’ are somewhat nonsensical. It helps to picture the dimensional and changeable nature of it all. I should preserve it for a topic on a future article 😉

    Ah, the love journey… It is a journey. I know this love interest for a very long time. Neither the man nor him being a love interest is novel. But I have gained a deep understanding about that love and I am still learning every day about love and about him. And I know that with him I’ll keep learning and discover more and deeper layers for the rest of our lives. It’s an adventure. Not in the dramatic sense, but more in the discovery sense. We are friends for the moment (albeit romantic friends), because we cannot be more physically, since there is an immense physical distance separating us. It would not be right to entice each other sensually when there is no immediate short term solution to the distance, and it would not be right to make promises since we cannot guarantee we can keep them (for financial reasons). But I am immensely grateful for having him in my life and for so long and for the journey of the past with him as well as present and future. I realize the understanding, the beauty, the adventure and the (self)discovery we have with each other is rare, rarer even than once in a lifetime. I know plenty of people in my environment who will never experience relating in this way with their partner. But they don’t always need to either. But it suits us both. It’s scary and a challenge sometimes to be so real and honest with another human being all the time, because it demands being real and honest with yourself all the time too. And yet, it’s better than the ‘safety’ of wasting your time with liars. I can’t settle for less anymore.

    I know you know what I’m writing about. When you talk about your husband who died in the plane crash, I know you shared something similar. When I look at my parents I know they are profoundly real and honestly naked to each other too, even though they are of a different nature.

    It’s nice to be back. I just needed the pause, for myself. Sometimes you just need to let the subconscious work, by giving it peace and time and rest, and yet without focusing on it, without digging into it, or assembling it. It just needs to simmer. That’s what happened the past half year. But it’s a new year, and it’s time for actions, decisions, and commitments.

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