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The Idealizing, Devaluing and Discarding of Jesus — 249 Comments

  1. Danceswithrabbits, I sought a therapist that specializes in TRAUMA and “inner child” work. Sometimes, one has to try on several counselors to find the right fit. A “good” counselor doesn’t judge or make an instant assessment. A “good” counselor asks hard questions and a successful client is someone who is willing to speak honestly and do the hard work to recover. Recovery CAN take years if there is resistance, distrust, or a client’s refusal to be honest and open.

    As far as PSTD goes, I have been medically diagnosed with PSTD and, unless I present a clear and present danger to society or myself, that diagnosis CAN NOT, under any circumstances, be legally shared with any other entity as per HIPPA. HIPPA protects patients from just such intrusion, though it can also be a detriment in many cases.

    To obtain a list of licensed counseling therapists that specialize in trauma, contact your local domestic violence and abuse hotline, or visit http://www.thehotline.com for resources in your area.

    If you choose to engage in counseling therapy, be patient with yourself and your recovery. There is no timeline or schedule for milestones and if you were raised in any type of dysfunctional environment, your issues were not developed in six one-hour segments. I have lived a lifetime of dysfunction, and it is going to take me a long, long, long time to sort my issues out. I don’t WANT to face down my demons and uncover the trauma because it is painful. I don’t WANT to beat down my shame-core because it requires me to uncover the trauma. But, I know that I will spiral down into obsessive behaviors and become a hermit cat-lady if I don’t Do Something to help myself.

    Best wishes to you

    • No problem Dorothy, I think there is some confusion in this thread because I didn’t join the military either and dances with rabbits seems to think I did?

      I may have been stupid when I was young but I wasn’t THAT stupid. That’s one of the few boundaries I did have. I was already a scapegoat, no need to add to it. lol.

      • Skylar,,,,,,,I am having a very hard time, not letting go of him, that’s getting better, but of wanting to know what if anything was real. Was it real in the beginning? then it changed? Was it just pretend then i wanted real, then it/ he changed but he wanted to keep the things he wanted from me so he lied and pretended to feel something he didn’t? Is he just a really sick and twisted mess from the get go? Does he THINK that he loved me? but then didn’t when things got too high maintenance?? It all just rolls and rolls around in my head.
        this whole thing has left me feeling very defective and broken. As I’ve said before, he is saying and has said that Im crazy and now Im feeling like I am or going that way!

        • Dorothy,
          You have to keep one thing in mind: Shallow Affect.
          That means, they don’t feel things deeply. While they might “feel love” one moment, they will “feel hate” the next. How can that be? Which is real? Neither. They don’t FEEL like we do.

          Read the MacGuffin article again. That’s what it’s about.

          It’s interesting that you can talk about BPD and NPD and psychopathy using the same descriptions. They LOOK similar. They all use the same idealize, devalue and discard cycles. But the beliefs/rationalization of the disordered are different.

          When you ask, “what was real?” you are asking, “what was really in his mind?” That’s a very difficult thing to assess. If he is BPD, then he may want to believe that he loved you, at first. If he is a sadistic-psychopath then he knows that he doesn’t love you, but likes to see how his actions hurt you. And there is a spectrum of mental activity in between.

          The point is, their actions are all the same. The only difference is how they RATIONALIZE their behavior. Rationalization is another word for justification. It isn’t real. The book, Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), is very good at explaining how human beings do that.

          • Skylar, It’s just all so confused in my head. I want to stop thinking about it but it’s so tangled up in there it just spins and spins! Im doing things to help myself, changing meds, going to a shrink (who i’m now concerned is ??? not sure) but I cant seem to stop the thoughts. Gardening, trying to do positive things but i’m sooooo tired all the time and I just keep one foot in front of the other.
            I wish I just KNEW!!!! I feel in me that is what I need to let this go and be done for some reason. idk…..too frustrating to put into typed words.

  2. Danceswithrabbits, recovering from a sociopathic experience or relationship is like NO OTHER type of grief or recovery, bar none. Typically, target victims experience emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse, on every level and to every degree. Although each individual’s experiences are different, the outcome is the same – victims are left utterly DISMANTLED from their core beliefs down to their own self-perceptions.

    ****Please, note: my use of CAPS is meant to emphasize and NOT to be construed or interpreted as “online yelling,” under any circumstances.****

    When a parent loses a child in a tragic accident, they can point at the open well and say, “See that? Do you see that open well? That’s how my child died.” Friends, family, and neighbors band together to comfort the grieving parent and a natural and NORMAL process of grieving is assisted by the outpouring of support.

    When a victim of a tornado has their house blown away in the span of 2 minutes, they can point to the sky and say, “See that? Do you see that? THAT is why my house is gone and there’s just a cement slab left.” Volunteers and organizations gather their resources together to help, support, and encourage the victims of Random Acts Of Nature to recovery and grieve the losses of their homes.

    When a victim of domestic violence walks into an emergency room and points at their black eye, split lip, and broken forearm, they can say, “See this? DO you see this? HE/SHE did this to me, and they did it all of the time. I need HELP!” Social workers and shelter personnel flurry around the victim offering support, understanding, resources, and legal help to get him/her away from the abuser.

    When a victim of a sociopath emerges, what can they point at to reflect the carnage that has been visited upon them? “See that? That USED to be my home, but he/she just walked away and the bank took it away from me in a foreclosure.” There is NO pity or compassion for this. “Well, why didn’t you know he/she was not paying the mortgage?” Or, they can say, “See this! THIS is what he/she has been doing using my money!” The response is, “Why didn’t you know that your own spouse was a sexual deviant?” There is no understanding of this kind of carnage, Dances, there just isn’t. And, expecting other people to “get it” that have NEVER experienced the type of violations and betrayals that WE have is simply unreasonable. They don’t understand because they have no frame of personal reference.

    That is precisely why I am a strong advocate of counseling therapy with a professional that “gets it” and specializes in domestic violence/abuse and TRAUMA. I posted a link for you to visit if you were so inclined to seek out a specialist that “gets it.”

    And, being angry at God isn’t a sin, nor does it make you a “bad” person. Having typed that, I want you to consider whether God (or, whomever you call your higher power) perpetrated sins and crimes against you, or whether another human being did. I do not, under any circumstances, believe that my Higher Power would visit a sociopath upon me – I attracted these people because of my OWN core-issues and inability to care enough about ME to pick and choose whom I would allow into my life. God didn’t have anything to do with that, IMHO. I also don’t believe that God created sociopaths – they are simply a part of the Human Condition and always will be. Human beings were “gifted” with the choice of Free Will – do good, do bad, or do nothing, but everything that human beings inflict upon one another and their surrounding environments are a series of CHOICES. They make the choice to target, use, abuse, and discard other human beings for their own purposes and entertainment, or they DON’T target, use, abuse, and discard other human beings, for any reason. These are choices.

    Just my 2 cents and I apologize for the length of my response

    • Truthspeak,YES i know i need help, i am tired of this level of suffering..the complex PTSD is not getting better, and the lack of understanding from other people drives me nuts,

      (BTW that link you put up, the domain is for sale..but thanks,IS THERE SOMETHING BESIDE “TRAUMA THERAPIST” I SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR? sorry not shouting either, i emphasize by caps too)

      This was done to me as a child, my father was the psychopath that literally TERRORIZED me.There were days when i was in so much pain and fear i would just sit and shake..While the physical abuse was bad enough, the daily ridicule, humiliation, tormenting were the worst..I recall the glee he got from it vividly. The way he would smirk when betraying me or sticking the knife in.

      Then when i was in high school and was manifesting the signs of severe PTSD, and extreme dissasociation, mom ACCUSED me of taking drugs and took me to a mental health facility…i couldn’t function and was repeatedly ridiculed for the fact that i couldn’t function, told it was proof that i was defective, and my parents discarded me like yesterday’s trash…all the while my father was lavishing attention on male foster kids..(i think he may be a sexual deviant btw)

      I got enormous amounts of torment dished out to me WHILE MY BRAIN WAS STILL FORMING and society blames me for not being able to take it.

      When i managed to make it into graduate school i ended up getting assaulted and beaten unconscious making the PTSD worse.

      Given the depth of the damage, what are my chances?

      My husbandtells me i should be more cheerful and need to forget the past(my husband is Aspbergers,he is not good at emotional engagement)

      I am looking at the world around me ,in my darkest moments, i believe it is possible that the God of this world might be a crazy evil psychopath, who answers some prayers just to play mind games , and then whips the rug out from under you..please don’t be offended

      One of the things i would like to know..is why people in areas of extreme violence like the mddle east, where the kids are subjected to some pretty harsh treament, do not seem to suffer from these kinds of psychological injuries.

      Anyway, i know this is disjointed,I just went no contact wiith my entire family a year ago and it has been a bumpy ride.
      Thanks for talking to me, knowing i am not alone helps.
      Hugs Dances

      • Hi Danceswithrabbits,

        Do not suppose that people in extremely violent areas in the world (such as Congo, Syria, Palestine, etc) do not suffer from psychological injuries. They do. It’s very well known that child soldiers, genocide, civil war creates a violent society even long after peace treaties were signed. Especially children and teens (boys) having grown up in an environment of civil war are scarred for life: it’s a cesspool of psychopathy. Guatemala’s civil war officially ended in the 90s. But it’s a highly violent society still. Instead of killing each other for a political ideology, they now kill each other for 20$ or lynch each other for having stolen 20$.

        We currently have the problem in Belgium that some radicals (organisations) here recruit teens and adolescents who voluntarily go to Syria to fight. These youngsters do it for ideological reasons, because they feel something should be done against Syrian government slaughtering civilians, but basically end up being mercenaries. Even in the middle ages mercenaries were regarded as the lowest of the lowest, because they end up lacking any home, any empathy, any morals. Just last a week a video on youtube of a beheading contained speech of young men in Flemish. The response here, and I share that instinctive thought, is: we don’t want such men back in here. I simply cannot conceive these men ever integrating into our society again after sawing somebody’s head off, especially when they already had integration issues.

        No peace treaty can prevent the impact of disintegration of social bonds and social functioning after such an extensive, long lasting period of violence.

        In Congo rebels and army (who’re supposed to protect civilians) rape women. It’s the second most deadly conflict since Hitler’s camps. Several million people killed in a decade, hundred thousands of rape (and torture). Child soldiers, women rejected by society and their husbands for having been gang raped (and mutilated). And where did it start? Interamwhe from Ruanda who butchered the Tutsis in 1994 fled across the border and has held havoc in the Congolese border region ever since. Were all these rapists and killers born psychopaths? Nope, but they’ve been brutally slimed into ones.

        Alas, they are lost generations.

        I do not believe in a god, for many reasons. I find peace in that non-belief, because Nature is kindof my god. Nature has no mind, no will… it just is. Nature ain’t fair, nor provides justice, though feelings of justice and fairness seem to be an evolutionary product since we are not the sole species who revolt against injustice. It makes no sense for me to blame nature for the existence of psychopaths. So, I don’t blame nature, nor am angry with nature. I know that many people might believe it breeds a nihilistic view. For myself, it only makes individual responsibility in a conscious species even more acute. If a god as described in the OT and even the NT would truly exist, I would indeed loathe him for the state of society and what humans do to each other and other species. It makes no sense to me that a conscious and empathic supreme entity with the power to intervene would just let things happen as they happen. Since there is no intervention, it therefore seems more likely to me such an entity does not exist. But that’s just my opinion.

        • I believe humans are terrified of the freedom – and the responsibility – they’ve always been given, so they’ve crafted lots of uh, interesting, belief systems.

        • Hi Darwinsmom,

          I appreciate your point of view and understand your country is being inundated by radical elements .

          My problem is that I actually know that some of the political terrorism and unrest in Congo is due to US CIA interference, in addition to that in Guatemala.
          In Fact both of those countries had democratically elected heads of state that were assassinated by CIA (Lumumba and Arbenz)..they then armed and gave money to dictators..you probably already are aware of this.

          And may be aware that the US military in fact trains death squads at what was formerly known as the School of the Americas to send into Guatemala (and other South American countries.

          I believe the disintegration of social bonds had been ongoing since the Europeans forcibly colonized Africa, and after their withdrawal left the countries open to the depredations of CIA (or other countries intelligence agencies) which backed regimes to exploit local populaces and resources for corporate profit.
          In South America the US simply assassinate democratically elected heads of state, or have them overthrown by arming terrorists blocks within the countries..
          I am overgeneralizing here because I am sketching how self interested predation of less developed countries by the more advanced can breed psychopathy.

          FOR ME it is easy to slip into nihilism especially when you are told that (no offense to Christians)the Universe, Spirit or big daddy is teaching you a lesson by killing your child (or whatever)or by the New Age, that you CHOSE to have it happen to learn something..I find that position to leave me with a feeling of powerlessness that exacerbates paralysis..

          We each might have our own divine spark that intervenes on occasions, its a possibility

          I have thought about this somewhat..and it does seem that the increase for the capacity to evil or good and the discernment (or judgement) of acts as such are due to our increased brain capacity

          Either way thanks for your thoughts..

          • Dances, You wrote…………

            “FOR ME it is easy to slip into nihilism especially when you are told that (no offense to Christians)the Universe, Spirit or big daddy is teaching you a lesson by killing your child (or whatever)or by the New Age, that you CHOSE to have it happen to learn something..I find that position to leave me with a feeling of powerlessness that exacerbates paralysis..”

            I kind of feel the same (ish) way about terms such as “reparenting” yourself, Healing your inner child, etc. People say it and say it’s something I need to do in order to be whole, heal, grow, etc but I don’t have a clue what it really means or how to do it. I feel like I’m barely functional right now and maybe slipping into (or have already slipped into) semi non/ dysfunctional. Im fairly concerned that Im going to be known as that crazy lady who lives alone back….there! This little area where I live seems to draw this weird energy and I don’t want to be the next one over the cliff. sorry…getting negative here……
            But I could relate to your comment.

          • Dorothy,
            I knw the feeling, i get totally non-functioning at times when a life or death issue like the one i just faced comes up..and it is HELL.
            Your nervous system is like a wire stretcheed too tight…and you just are in torment sometimes..
            Can relate about the whole reparenting yourself issue, although i do get into some “airy fairy” spirit stuff simply because i have direct experience, but do not push it on anyone.

            This MAY help..i just figured something out over the course of the last couple of days…i think Somatc Experiencing therapy is the way to go and i will delineate why..
            My abuse happened as a child it was always there but escalated between 10 and 19…looking back i am realizing that from the time i got into distance running at 14 until the time i left, i was better able to cope with the ongoing abuse and defuse what was happening to me. In fact when i left ,is when i started manifesting pretty serious problems. As i look back over my life, i realize that the times i exercised the most are times when i had the least symptoms.
            (ALSO, i think that visualization is extremely useful because the visual cortex is one of the oldest parts of the brain linking to the r-complex which is the bit governing the nervous system.)

            I do alot of meditation using Monroe disks which entrain your brainwaves via sound..and i think this may be exacerbating my symptoms because it is a disemodied type of meditation, and most abuse or trauma victims are disassociative to a large degree. The Zen meditation OTOH is EXTREMELY helpful.
            There are a bunch of researchers like Peter Levine who seem to indicate that it is crucial to address the MIND BODY connection.He describes the PTSD cycle pretty lucidly in his books Unspoken Voice and Taming the Tiger.
            He has several books . I am going to get his book on Healing trauma that comes with a CD
            The other book i got and am working through is Mind-Body workbook by Stanley Block..yeah again “touchy feely”in the sense that you are trying to RECONNECT with your body.
            Reggie Ray is also a Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayayna (tantra) master who says that the uncontrollabley discursive mind is actually a product of trauma and can be resolved through body presence meditation. You don’t have to buy Buddhism to accept the benefits being offered
            I have found a few of his meditation CDs helpful (and if you go to his website Dharma Ocean you can try a number for free especially the 10 points practice and earthing)
            At any rate i wish i had taken this more seriously earlier in my life..there are also Somatic Experiencing therapists and i think it might be a good idea for me find one of those as well.
            Hope that gives you another angle on therapy.

          • Dances, Thanks for the input. I’ll check out the website! Have you ever tried EMDR? Or read anything about it? Oppinions?
            I do think exercise is important….keeping the body moving, energy moving, etc. The worst stage of this for me, although there have been several bad stages, was the begining of the year during the “dark months”. very little daylight then and not good weather where I live. I think being outside now and in the sun and active as I can muster the energy for in the garden and with nature and plants and birds and moss and moths and …………NATURE, has been a positive.
            Is your story posted somewhere? People here seem to know you but I don’t think I’ve read any posts of yours before.

  3. Dorothy, Sky’s response is spot-on, 100%. Re-read the MacGuffin article as many times as it takes.

    This may come off as harsh, but so be it: it doesn’t matter whether the person who harmed you is Bipolar, Borderline, NPD, sociopath, psychopath, ADD/ADHD, or Blue Water Avoidance. At first, seeking a label is a “normal” pursuit, but it quickly becomes an obsession. Labeling might appear to provide explanations and understanding of specific disorders, but it’s an illusion – empathetic people who are possession of a conscience and sense of remorse will NEVER, ever, ever, ever (amen) be able to “understand” why someone targeted them, abused them, dismantled them, and discarded them. We may understand the MOTIVES, but we will never understand WHY they even had such motives, in the first place because we do not live in their Universe.

    ****Please note: my use of CAPS is meant to emphasize and not to be construed or interpreted as “online yelling,” under any circumstances****

    So, you are ruminating over “what was real?” For your intents and purposes, NOTHING was ever “real” in HIS world. What YOU felt was “real,” but it was based on a carefully crafted ILLUSION that he developed using your own strengths and vulnerabilities. As Sky deftly pointed out, any “love” that he may have felt wasn’t anything that could remotely be defined in Merriam-Webster under, “love.” The ONLY thing that human predators “feel” are ENVY and HATRED, and they develop their illusions of love, passion, concern, and the rest with such ability because they read us like an Owner’s Manual – they FEED our neediness, our innermost desires, our frailties and vulnerabilities, and deliberately develop what they have determined that WE NEED to see. What was real? NOTHING on his end – it was ALL fake, illusion, betrayal, deception.

    There will come a time in the not-too-distant-future when your focus will slowly ease away from him, labels, and what HE did to you, and into a realm of self-discoveries and personal epiphanies. It will no longer matter WHAT he could be assessed with because the healing and recovery will be ALL ABOUT YOU. That, dear Dorothy, is when it all begins to come together in tiny, large, and enormous “Ah….HAH!” moments.

    For me, it’s become a situation of “Mind Over Matter.” I no longer MIND because HE doesn’t MATTER. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Truthy, Thank you. I don’t know why I can’t get this through my head. I keep thinking I may have been wrong but I think it’s because i can’t keep everything in the front of my brain at one time. So…..I slip into one train of thought and drop the other. Im not sure if that makes sense. I really do need to make some lists of all the crappyness and bad things and reasons why I’m in the pickle I’m in. Post it somewhere to look at when i slip out of that mode and remember.
      I’ll try to thank you for your post more later. I HAVE to clear my head!!! OMG!!

    • Truthy……I don’t take offense to anything you say……Im just at a loss in general. I feel like Im underneath a mountain of dog crap the size of Mt. Everest. It’s NOTHING like what you and others have been through but trust me, it has done it’s damage and hit me in the most vulnerable spot possible. It’s relative to me personally I guess and hard to explain. Without hating him/it, because I honestly dont think I FEEL hate……it’s something else, more of a forlorn betrayal and severe shock/ denial/ disbelief……idk….stunned, like I’ve just had the entire world around me rearranged during the last two+ years without my knowledge, or while i was asleep. Now I crawl out of bed, open the curtains and have no clue where I am or how to function. Like a blind person trying to navigate a room that the furniture has been rearranged while they were at the store. Mind bending. I feel so vulnerable and unsafe and just spent.

      • I think I understand a little of what you are going through. I felt that way at one time. It will pass. You will get through it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hell when you’re going through it, though.
        I just tried to get through one day at a time, one minute at a time. I would wake up and not know what to do.

  4. Happy Easter everyone!
    Bumping this article since it is an appropriate reading for the Lent and Easter season. It’s a reminder of the changes and growth we experience after the spath attack.

  5. You know the idealizing and then the devaluation and discarding…..I never thought about it in terms of my mother’s behavior after my stepfather died….she started giving me “approval” for the first time every, and actually I ate it up because I had always striven for her approval but never got it….I knew though that she was priming me to take over her “family role” of the ENABLER, so I was cautious of her “approval” and she k ept offering me money and asking if I needed money, I kept saying no, and then she realized that I would not take money from her if I was starving because I did not want to be in her DEBT. I think the day she asked me if I WOULD take money from her and I said NO, she realized she could not buy me, but she COULD buy my DIL and my oldest son, so she started devaluing me, and then when she THOUGHT they were on her hook she discarded me, I was no longer supply to her…but then of course they all betrayed her….and my DIL tried to kill my oldest son, her husband, but she and her BF went to jail and didn’t succeed. My mother sent me an e mail (she didn’t know I had fled the farm and was living in an RV on a lake in hiding) the e mail had for subject line TREACHERY!!!! because they had taken her money and BETRAYED her. LOL How dare they take her money and then betray her? LOL

    After their arrest and court appearance I wanted to sit down and talk about the D&D and she didn’t want to discuss it but said “Let’s just pretend none of this happened and start over” I can laugh now, but at the time that was devastating because I realized she not only really was not sorry for what she had done to me, but she didn’t even realize that I should or could stay upset about it, after all she had said “IF I DID ANYTHING TO HURT YOU I’M SORRY” LOL IF she did anything.

    For a long time I was bitter about it, but as time has passed and no contact I’ve come to acceptance of what she is….she’s not a full blown psychopath but she is a MALIGNANT ENABLER and she is not going to change. I realize now that her disapproval of me from the time I was born was because I was the first grandchild and the apple of her parents’ eyes, and she felt like the “middle kid” of the three of us, her older brother, a psychopath, but the SON of the family no matter what he did, and here I came along the “baby” of the three offspring and her parents had the money and leisure to spend time with me and she felt jealous of me because of that. Looking at this whole drama like the script of a play, I can see where we played our assigned roles, felt our assigned feelings….until I refused to accept the role of successor to her of the MALIGNANT ENABLER of our family “bad boy” my son Patrick.

    I think, at least for me, figuring out what the PLOT is has allowed me to step back and decide if I want to play the assigned part in this drama, or not. I am no longer swept along by the on going play. There are options, to play or not, to write your own play and refuse to take on the roles that others would have you play.

    It is very liberating…and that helped me to overcome the bitterness I felt, and that bitterness was eating me like a cancer.

  6. Tonight I was reminded of a song that went right through my heart like never before when it first truly started to dawn on me what had actually happened in my life, what the ex was, what he had attempted to do and had done to my life and what for. It’s not just a broken heart, or the betrayal by one person, but the realisation that all the beliefs you had about life, people, society were illusions: Joni Mitchel’s “Both Sides Now” (the alternate version when she’s older). I listened to it over and over one evening, and cried my heart out.

    I’ve long healed from that shock. I’ve incorporated the new knowledge, believe in the necessity to protect myself and I don’t have any issue trusting people who have shown to be responsible and conscious and empathic, even if they hurt my feelings on some difference. But hearing this song I was reminded of that initial pain and shock and desillusion, and I know others will recognize it too. But it will get better. You will heal.


    • Beautiful song, Jill. I’d never read the lyrics before.
      This part resonates with me:
      I’ve looked at love from both sides now
      From give and take and still somehow
      It’s love’s illusions I recall
      I really don’t know love at all

      The highs and lows of the spath roller coaster were interpreted as love, for me. I didn’t know it was an illusion of love.

      Like Joni says, it’s still those love’s illusions that seem “real” to me because that’s what I grew up with and experienced for so long. Now, though, I know better and I use my ability to discern the cluster b’s to judge true love.

      Recently I was dining with an old friend, whom I hadn’t seen in several years. Inadvertently, he showed his envy –of my food!! His mask had slipped on several other subjects but this one was a complete drop. Apparently he didn’t realize that when someone envies my food and tries to take it off my plate, that’s a huge red flag for me because, 1) it’s ridiculous and 2) my exspath used to do that when we first met.

      Because of love’s illusions, I still care very much for this person, but my ability to discern makes it very clear that this person will never change and will sadly, always be, literally, evil.

      • Sky, not everyone who wants to share your food (off your plate) is evil, it is the “HOW” they do it…do they ASK permission? Or do they just reach and grab? In my family of friends, and they are FAMILY, we often share foods off our plates withe each other…with an “Oh, let me taste that it seems so good” I’ve done this and I’ve had it done to me. At our history group events it is a VERY common thing as there are SO many different dishes cooked by so many different people that there is no way you could eat them all…I do not take offense to this at all.

        However, in a “dining” situation, I would expect that someone who wanted a bite of my food to see what it tasted like would ASK nicely, not just reach and grab. And, as well it would depend on OTHER THINGS in the relationship. How close a friend they were and how they behaved in other ways.

        Boundaries are spoken and unspoken and are different from person to person. When someone is very close to you you allow them more leaway than you would a total stranger. If a total stranger reached out and grabbed something off my plate, that is one thing, but a close friend who wanted to taste it would be welcome.

        Your ex had MANY OTHER ISSUES as well as envying your foods. LOL

      • Oxy,
        In my post, I’ve changed some of the details to maintain the anonymity of the person – they might read the 180 blog.

        It wasn’t a simple dining situation. I’ll give a few more details but even if I were to explain the entire episode in detail, most people would be left scratching their heads, believing that they had missed some important part which would clarify what actually happened. That’s because, as with all stories related to spaths, the truth doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense to me and I was there to witness it.

        So here are some more details:
        We weren’t dining out, we bought groceries together. Because of my current dietary restrictions, there were very few things I could eat. I thought that would be okay because I would simply eat MORE of the few things that I COULD eat. After all, we had bought so much food that the other person couldn’t possibly consume all of the food that they purchased for themselves. But when it came time to serve the portions, I was not allowed to eat more than half of those foods that I COULD eat. The other half was reserved for him. I was called selfish for wanting to eat HIS half of those items. Since we didn’t purchase very much of the items I am ABLE to eat, I was still hungry after eating. The other person had SO much food that they had to take home most of it and ate leftovers for days. LOL!

        The only reason I mention this story is because it did remind me of my ex-spath and I really do think that this kind of behavior, with regard to food in particular, is a red flag which our readers should be aware of. I know it seems like maybe I’m leaving something out because the story doesn’t seem to make sense, but that’s just the way this person is. They are obsessive about getting their fair share of anything and everything, but they don’t notice or have a problem with getting MORE than something else while others go without. In fact, you should have seen him going into a convoluted mathematical explanation for WHY the food was divided up evenly, according to their measurements. It was comically tragic.

        There are many types of red flags and sometimes we can rationalize or explain away the behavior. And then there are times when any attempt to explain the red flags just leaves your head spinning. These are the biggest red flags of all, IMO, even if it’s just over who gets to eat what.

        • I GET IT now….and yea, it doesn’t make sense for NORMAL FOLKS but it DOES if you are dealing with a psychopath…they are alllllll about “their fair share” (which is, of course, more than half) ANY thing to them is a “contest”

          I am just guessing, but you know I think, that because they are GREEDY they assume everyone else is too. Because they are vengeful they assume everyone else is. Sort of like before we realize what a P is, we think that everyone thinks the way we do.

          You know, I look at the Middle East right now with the ISIS capturing and beheading others, other muslims and christians (if they can’t get ransom) and they feel so justified in doing these horrible things, encouraging their toddlers to kick the heads they have cut off…and people in the US don’t seem to get it that these people, their entire culture is psychopathic (compared to general western thinking) and that it is OK to kill someone who doesn’t believe you the exact same god you do in the exact same way.

          In the past even “western” culture was the same way, look at the various inquisitions of the Catholic church which burned and tortured many people including Joan of Arc.

          We can’t assume that “everyone” has good intentions or believes in the same morality that we do. Some cultures are “psychopathic” and psychopaths in those cultures rise to the cruel top of the heap because they are ruthless and actually ENJOY the power and gore. There is no way to “reach” or “teach” these people because their yard stick to measure behavior is totally 180 degrees off of the majority of westerners.

          And of course we have “nut jobs” here in the US who are the same way. Look at that Warren Jeffs of the mormon off shoot and he had like 70 “wives” who were children. He is a cult leader who has poisoned the minds of his followers who willingly give him their children as “wives” and feel like it is an honor. So the “bad cultures” are not only in the Middle east but some smaller groups here and in Europe and in Asia. Psychopaths rise to the top in these cultures of viiolence and control.

          • Sky & OxD, it’s actually uncanny that FOOD was mentioned, here, because I experienced something very similar with the second exspath. In brief, it went like this: we were on a day-trip, and I was pretty much paying my own way. We stopped to get fast-food from a drive-through in the middle of NOWHERE. I drove into a parking space, and went inside to use the restroom. I came out, got in the car, and drove off. I was well on the road when I reached into the bag for my food to discover that he had eaten ALL of my fries AND his own while I was in the restroom.

            Now, this might seem like a harmless and childish thing, but what it was at its core was a clear indication of his sense of entitlement. He didn’t offer to buy me another order to replace the one that he’d eaten, and I didn’t have the money to splurge on something else. The rest of our relationship was like that: HE TOOK, and I just sat and got annoyed.

            Today, I’m looking at behaviors with a completely different view. If there is blatant greed, then I’m out. My friend Gretchen began to exhibit GREED by asking me inappropriate questions about my income, and insisting that I move into HER domicile to help HER keep it by paying HER mortgage.

            It takes a little time for me to sort through the B.S., but I’m able to walk away without batting an eyelash, once I do. Sure, I’ll be sad that a friendship or association didn’t pan out, but I’ll be SUPER proud of myself for having called a spade what it was and getting away from something that was potentially dangerous.

            Watching, waiting, and observing ……… it’s a new thing for me, and I’m getting accustomed to doing it.

          • Truthy,
            while we watch and wait, what is helpful is observing ourselves and our own reactions to others.

            It’s when we rationalize abusive behavior that we become vulnerable to being taken advantage of. Actually, I think that it doesn’t matter how we react as long as we don’t rationalize and lie to ourselves, because that’s what sets us up for betrayal.

            In the end, what hurts the most is the realization that we betrayed ourselves when we allowed the abuser to take advantage of us.

            Some abusers are more dangerous than others. For example, we might be able to interact with one abuser, as long as we don’t let them get away with ANY type of greedy, selfish behavior. And then there are those like my ex-spath… with these types, you can’t win because they have no limits. Whenever I might win an argument or get my way, he would simply add more poison to my food. He may let me win overtly but he ultimately would win covertly.

  7. Jill, your comment about trusting people who have been reliable and empathetic even if they “hurt your feelings” from time to time…that thought is I think one of the most important things we need to strive for.

    There will always be toxic people we meet in our lives, jobs, clubs, neighborhoods, etc. but that should not make us untrusting of ALL people. We need to be able to be INTIMATE with those that are trustworthy and reliable and to recognize those people who are NOT trustworthy or reliable. We need to see how people BEHAVE with us and with others over a period of time.

    That doesn’t mean we won’t be betrayed again, we may be, we may trust someone who SEEMED relibable and empathetic but was masking their real selves, but that is the risk we take in having ANY intimate relationships with people.

    But, having learned (in my case FINALLY LEARNED) that when people SHOW us they are not empathetic or reliable we can disengage from those people emotionally or physically and still function and live a good life.

    Part of a good life is having intimate relationships, loving relationships, with people who truly care about us and we them. Living a life as an emotional hermit isn’t good for us any more than “solitary confinement” makes one happier. Our make up as humans requires interactions with others in order to live well.

    Thank you Jill for being part of my healing and learning. I truly appreciate your wisdom.

  8. Truthy, you and Sky have hit upon a real “tell” in people’s behaviors, GREED. In looking back over my experiences with some psychopaths I have known, every one of them was GREEDY and if you had it, they wanted it and felt entitled to take it.

    That couple who were “friends” of long standing did not manage their money well and ended up losing their house and living in an RV, though I KNEW she had stolen from me when they had no other place to park, I let them park here on the farm…well before long it was like they were ALLOWING ME to live here. Any boundary I set they violated. It was a constant annoyance and then I caught her stealing again…stealing FOOD yet. She could have had it if she had ASKED but she sneaked into my freezer in the middle of the night and was leaving with a basket full of meat. I let her take it and she then was taking canned goods out of my pantry as well…so I asked them to leave “it just isn’t working out”—was all I said, and they didn’t ask “why” because they KNEW. LOL

    When I caught her stealing I cried because Ii was afraid I had embarrassed her LOL But I started learning about boundaries and realized I didn’t have any to speak of. Now I do, so I guess it was worth it for the lesson learned.

    The reason they were so ‘down on their luck” was neither one was “big on” working and they mismanaged their money to boot, what money they did have, but they felt ENTITLED to whatever I had. Somehow they felt I OWED them a place to live and should allow them to hoard their stuff, fill up every available place to put anything and smile while they did it. Nope, I am done with users and abusers. Sure they weren’t trying to kill me, but they were using me and abusing my good nature. The woman was a kleptomaniac and the man was also a hoarder. When they moved off my place they left a big shed fully of JUNK and they didn’t come back to get it so eventually my son and I went through it and found that they had stolen all kinds of stuff, including a box of his high school photographs. DUH?

    • Joyce,
      Rene Girard calls that kind of behavior “mimetic”. Envious people are greedy but they also will take thing that serve no purpose, like your son’s photographs. Maybe they just didn’t want him to have them. On the other hand, my exspath took photos of me with him when he left. I know it was part of his exit plan because he had moved them a few weeks before. He had stashed them with his important papers and other items he would use for his new mask.

      Psychopaths usually will take “trophies” from their last victims. Some will display the trophies, or just keep them. Others will use them in their next con. We can speculate about the different reasons why spaths take trophies but I think that if you consider that human hunters have been keeping trophies since the days of our caveman ancestors, it gives us a clue: they think they can keep a part of their victim’s essence by keeping a part of the victim.

      The mimetic behavior is an infantile behavior. Infants want what others have. They copy others because they have no essential identity yet. A spath wants his victims identity because he wants to fill the void in his own.

      It doesn’t really make sense but then trophies never make sense.

    • Joyce & Sky, I guess I’ll never be able to truly “understand” what goes on in the minds of psychopaths and sociopaths, and I’m at the point where that’s just fine by me. I know that they live in a completely different (and, cold) Universe, and I cannot even imagine what their Universe is like, even when I try.

      And, there are those people who aren’t psychopaths, but they’re messed up, like my friend Gretchen. She’s a professional victim, plain and simple, and that’s just as toxic to me as interacting with a psychopath. I guess, for me….it’s been an entire Life Lesson of whom I am, and I agree that observation of my own actions, choices, and behaviors is probably more important than observing the psychopaths. I literally learned a GREAT deal about myself and my own behaviors while I was observing Gretchen – I could correlate my own behaviors with hers, and it gave me strong pause for thought to examine myself and do some serious rewiring.

      As a strict aside, I want to wish everyone a very peaceful and bright Holiday Season – full of hope, courage, recovery, healing, strength, health, and well-being.

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