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The Meaning of MacGuffin — 145 Comments

  1. Dorothy, at some point, you’ll settle into “acceptance.” Whatever the spath might be, it’s not your responsibility. Just like with the exspath that I just divorced, his sickening preferences and financial frauds are his, alone. Whatever “caused” him to find BDS&M enticing and veiled necrophilia to be arousing will never be known because, in HIS world, there is no conscience, remorse, or sense of guilt.

    “Acceptance” doesn’t necessarily mean that I am embracing the truths or facts. It simply means that I’m acknowledging them as indisputable and non-negotiable. I do not have the ability to negotiate or barter facts that will more comfortable or less painful. The facts are the facts and they aren’t remotely connected with how I might “feel” about something. My feelings are true and valid emotions, but those feelings cannot convince the facts to be anything other than what they are. I don’t “like” the facts – not one tiny bit. But, they stand alone.

    Hang in there, kiddo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Skylar

    Now that I see (and accept) my ex as a “cartoon character” his behavior makes so much more sense to me.

    I was at the hospital recently for tests for a serious issue. He came running – wanting drama, probably. Anyway, he said, “Oh, I can’t let anything happen to you, because you are so important to so many people!”.

    I am important to so many people?

    Who cares how many people I am important to.

    The right thing to say would have been, “I can’t let anything happen to you because you are so important to ME”.

    Word Salad.

    He knew he should say something like that, but his gut didn’t tell him the right words to say, so he mangled it.

    Bugs Bunny, RoadRunner, Spath, Whatever.


    • Athena,
      he was using the 180 rule too. He actually wants to hurt you so he pretends that he wants to protect you.

      That’s exactly what my spath did. In the end, when he was getting ready to kill me, he really overreacted.
      We were walking down the road and a car came by from behind. He pulled me toward him as if saving me from being hit. Then, later, the spath neighbor who was driving the car, said, “You’d get run over if spath didn’t pull you out of the road.”

      Obviously spath neighbor was in on the whole thing because the road is wide enough for 2 cars to easily pass. There would be no reason to think 2 pedestrians couldn’t fit on the road with one car. This is the spath neighbor who quit the water board because he raged at me to try to get me to do illegal things and I raged right back. He had thought he was dealing with a mouse.

    • Yeah. It’s like their scripts get put in a blender and don’t come out right.
      That’s when my mind does the confused dog head tilt. Huh?

  3. Dorothy I would really like to understand more of your story. Can you give me a snapshot? What’s the cheating issue? What is the feminine thing you are referring to?

    My partner has a feminine vibe too – anyway – I am hoping I can learn from your observations and experience.


  4. I want to leave this pdf file link which I found at August Goforth’s blog, one of the authors of the book, “The Risen.” This article for me has been a great source of help. Maybe others will find some helpful insights here too.


    If that link doesn’t connect to the article, here is the URL where you can get the direct link: http://augustgoforth.blogspot.com/2013_03_13_archive.html

    • Ancientheart, this has been bothering me…..There is something kind of Zen like about Spath. He doesn’t think like I do. He’s empty, in the moment. Slow, smooth moving. Accepting, fairly non materialistic. Idk…..it’s weird. I have This curious pull towards him like that, like there is something refreshingly calming about him. Simple.
      I don’t know what to make of it.
      I just read part of one of the articles. I love the sleeping in the back seat of the car analogy.
      Anyhow….it’s too much for me right now but it sounds worthwhile.

    • Thank you Ancient Heart!
      that was excellent. Though it took me a while to the through it, it was very worth while.
      At first it was difficult and seemed to use some esoteric words so I wondered if it was “new-agey stuff”. But once I got past the first couple of pages, it got better and at the end, I could see what he was saying.

      The ego-mind or false-self, is a “symbol” of the authentic self. It is really a representation but it acts as though it is the real thing. So much of what he says, I can relate to from experience. For example, he writes about not asking “why?” ask “what?” and that is one thing that I’ve found empowered me when dealing with spaths.

      When the spath attacks happened, sometimes I would sit there asking “why?” but when I stopped asking why and simply acted on WHAT I could see was obvious, I made the right decisions. Spaths count on us being so confused that we want to know why. During that time, we simply don’t believe what we are seeing because we don’t know WHY, it’s happening. Evil, is the answer to why. I know that now, but at the time, I wasn’t ready to accept it and I was never going to understand why. It was enough though, to know WHAT.

      • I got a ton of help from the article, and have to reread it because there was a lot there for me. Yes, the “what” instead of the “why” makes so much sense, it’s like a shortcut ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing you remarked on, Skylar, in your discussion with Athena about how the psychopath acts like he/she is being protective when the opposite is happening or being planned – and I experienced that too: psychopaths can deceive us about the “what” so well, which is likely the reason they are so good at getting in the door in the first place as well as covering themselves up. The “what” they use is mostly done with mirroring.

        Are the psychopaths’ “whats” their MacGuffins?

  5. Athena, I’m just mentally spent. I don’t think I can put it all down..sorry. It’s in bits and pieces all over 180 though! Lo l. The feminine thing is something hard to describe but it’s there. Maybe it’s just that he is a mamas boy and emulates her. I think the two of them have been buddies up his whole life. She demands little to nothing of him. Just allows him to be what he is and live like a shallow teenage boy. That just does not work in an adult relationship with a woman. Its supposed to be a partnership. Not a baby sitting job. He’s her little friend/ man, the king of her castle. It turns my stomach. I watched the same scenario with my Spath bro. But, he did not have this feminine vibe. Spath is very guyish and masculine in a lot of ways but very juvenile and this underlying,,,,,,???LOL? Like an old lady. I’m practically sure he is closet bi. Just a gut feeling.

    I wish I could just walk away and forget. I am literally haunted by this. It’s the horror of deceit and betrayal and knowing I felt so different than he claimed he did……but didn’t. I guess I just don’t understand how someone can be so mean.

    • Dorothy, there’s an old adage: “If wishes were fishes, nobody would ever go hungry.” What we “wish” for (to walk away and forget, to understand ppathy, to rewrite the Rules, etc.) are sentiments based upon a system of personal beliefs – i.e.: if I love and encourage someone enough, that will be REWARDED with the same intensity and meaning. When someone that I care about demonstrates deliberately harmful behaviors that cause me damage, this doesn’t FIT into my system of beliefs, and I must therefore force the behaviors to fit (by enabling, excusing, forgiving, explaining, etc.) because the TRUTHS about those behaviors cause me to feel uncomfortable on every level. That’s the core of cog/diss for me.

      There will come a time when it ceases being about what the spath is or what the spath did and evolve into a wonderous and unpleasant examination of ourselves and our own systems of beliefs, boundaries, and vulnerabilities.

      Whatever the exspath that I divorced is, it is certainly NOT human. The exspath is clearly disordered, toxic, and manipulative. Sometimes, I still entertain the “why’s and wherefores,” but he’s out FOREVER and I’m left with a “self” that is in dire need of strong recovery. I will never, again, see that man or hear his poisonous voice for the rest of my life. Yeah, some things are intriguing for the sake of knowledge, but attending to HIM and what contributed to his sexual deviances and ability to set up a long-con to take money from another human being with impunity is a complete distraction for my personal recovery.

      What we all “felt” to be true was simply a carefully constructed House Of Mirrors. THEY presented what they gleaned from our own strengths and vulnerabilities. If I “needed” support and encouragement, it was there, IN THEORY. My needs – all of them – were met ONLY in theory. My strengths were minimalized and my vulnerabilities were exploited with SURGICAL precision……….because, I was quite literally “needy.” I couldn’t provide my own validation, so I expected this to be provided BY someone that I loved……see the first paragraph of this response and visualize this equation: needy + devaluation + false hope – self-esteem – boundaries = PERFECT target.

      So, I couldn’t care less why or how the exspath could have perpetrated the crimes and sins that he did. The fact is that he DID commit crimes and sins, and no amount of information is going to change what he was able to do to me. Today, it’s all about me and all about my recovery. It’s all about my boundaries, strengths, and vulnerabilities. And, as crazy as it may sound, I am grateful that I am in recovery, finally and, at long last.

      Hugs to you, today, Dorothy. And, hugs all around to each of us who is in recovery – we’re all going to be okay, in due time.

  6. At one point, Skylar, before I got it through my thick skull that my spath was a spath, I longed for him to spend time with me. I begged him. I couldn’t understand why he would “say” he loved me, and then run away and hide. I was so in love with him, and watched the click tick every day,sadder by the hour that he wasn’t spending his precious time with me.

    Then he explained his thinking. You work, you eat, you sleep, you get old, and one day, you die.

    That’s it.

    No mention of love or relationships.

    Because in his mind, they don’t exist.

    Can you imagine? What’s the point of a life like that?


    • Athena,
      I can’t remember if I sent you this before.

      the song and video reminds me of my life with the spath because life is nothing more than a carnival ride for a spath. It makes me cry to contemplate their shallow existence.

      I could feel at the time
      There was no way of knowing
      Fallen leaves in the night
      Who can say where they’re blowing
      As free as the wind
      Hopefully learning
      Why the sea on the tide
      Has no way of turning

      More than this you know there’s nothing
      More than this tell me one thing
      More than this ooh there is nothing

      It was fun for a while
      There was no way of knowing
      Like a dream in the night
      Who can say where we’re going
      No care in the world
      Maybe I’m learning
      Why the sea on the tide
      Has no way of turning

      More than this you know there’s nothing
      More than this tell me one thing
      More than this no, there’s nothing

      More than this nothing
      More than this
      More than this nothing

      • Skylar, I LOVE that song. I remember it by Roxy Music on the Avalon album. I never contemplated the words, like most songs back in the day…..I just felt the music.

  7. I used to tell spath, “Don’t worry about me, I’m just a figment of your imagination. I don’t really exist.”
    He didn’t really respond much, just went on his merry way.

    • Sky!!! ROTFLMAO!!!! That’s almost what I said to the exspath a week before he left, verbatim!!! I think what I said to him was, “Do you even LISTEN when I speak?” He just stared back at me with his “lights-are-on-but-nobody’s-home” shark eyes and responded, “Yeah, I hear you.” What he “heard” was simply static and he changed the channel in his warped head to another station. LOLOLOLOL!!!!

      Because they do not (and, NEVER will) “feel,” there IS no “response” forthcoming. Only a change of channels.

  8. Skylar…….Im trying again on this article! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I just got the “two dimensional” thing!

    “We learn meaning with our whole bodies. If this new thing affects our emotions, it takes on a deeper, more three-dimensional meaning.”

    And, as you wrote earlier…..the shallow affect? He had that BIG TIME. It always felt, most always anyhow, like a soap opera or just…..not there. I will say this, his touch/ hugging/ holding did feel real. Of course I don’t trust anything I felt at this point.

    • Dorothy,
      The statue in the first picture is from the story of Helen Keller, when she went from being a raging deaf, dumb and blind girl to her first AHA! moment. In the story, she is finally understanding her first word “water” as it is signed to her in her hand, while she feels the water in her other hand. At that point, she understood the meaning of the sign for water. After she made that connection, she went from being unable to learn ANYTHING because she had no way to see or hear words, to being a voracious learner through the one avenue she had left: her sense of touch.

      Human beings are wired to assign meaning to everything we experience. That’s how we learn. And that’s why spaths can’t learn. They can’t feel the meaning of anything. Maybe that’s why they rage too. My understanding is that Helen Keller would also rage before she learned to communicate with sign language. I imagine it’s very frustrating to be unable to discern any meaning from your life.

      • When I rage( true confession….I have raged in my life time…..huge guilt) , it’s because I can’t express what I’m trying to express or because the person i’m trying to express it to can’t or won’t receive it. I raged with Spathx several times in utter emotional desperation. I compare it to a dog that fear bites or a bird that panics and flies into a window. It’s more of a plea though. Please STOP! Please don’t be this way. Please love me and stop diminishing me. Stop treating me like I don’t matter!! I get very frustrated expressing myself in words. Talking that is so I can somewhat relate……….I think?

        • Dorthy, it is not uncommon for the victim to rage at the abuser, it happens when we reach our frustration level, HOWEVER, that said (and yes I am also guilty) WE lose control, and so we must learn to KEEP CONTROL OVER OURSELVES and our behavior and not allow anyone to push us to this point.

          When you feel that rage coming on, turn and WALK AWAY, it is the adult and responsible thing to do. When we allow them to push us to this point we have given them ultimate control over us. NO one can “make” you do anything, we ALLOW ourselves to reach that point and react like an injured dog or frightened horse, so we must take a lesson from the lowly donkey, they may be scared but do not run off in a panic like a horse, running through fences in a blind panic. they run a little ways, then stop and assess the situation and see which direction they need to run, if they need to run, or if they need to turn and defend themselves. They have the reputation about being stubborn because they will NOT proceed until they KNOW it is safe to do so.

          So become an ASS, Assertive survivor of a sociiopath.

          • Oxy, Good one! I AM an a** for ever involving myself with Spath.
            Anyhow…..I was starting to develop the ability to walk away. I did it on several occasions and I felt good about it. There were other times I forgot the option or was in a position that I couldn’t walk away. Anyhow, I have learned a great deal from this in that way. I like the donkey analogy. That is a very helpful reminder. A mental image for future reference.
            I see pretty clearly, my past relationships, my rages…all envolve highly disordered people. So, there is the lesson. stay away from highly disordered people and Spaths.
            The times I really lost it with Spathx was when he was twisting my mind, turning things back on me, etc, etc, etc,,,overload, mental system, emotional system overload…..beep beep beep,,,,failure, failure……meltdown! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
            He knew just how to get me there too. Then he could walk out, and stick the emotional knife right into my inner child abandonment issues. Clucker

      • Skylar, OK, I read the article through again. I get it but I don’t GET it! Im having a hard time connecting it with my experience. It’s a great article….it’s just that I can’t figure out what the MacGuffin was! His “love”? him abandoning me which he did continuously during the relationshit? I know that played a huge part for me….walking a thin line, not wanting to be abandoned. He played that from the begining. I handed him that card very early on and he played it through out. tisk tisk.
        What an a hole.

        • Dorothy,
          you’ve described how you felt safe in his arms. That’s a MacGuffin.
          You’ve described how you thought you were building a relationship and how he said he loved you. That’s a MacGuffin. The MacGuffin is the transparent carrot on a stick. You think you’ll get a carrot if you move forward, but the carrot keeps moving further away. To make things worse, there WAS no carrot. It was just a STORY about a carrot.

          That’s because there was no REAL him. There was only a cartoon character who pretended to be human. The MacGuffin was him pretending to be a real person capable of love, when he always knew that he is neither.

          • Skylar……YES! I KNOW he knew how invested in the relationshit I was….how much I was trying to better myself and my actions in the relationship and he almost looked for my slip ups so he could come down on me. It’s like my screwups were a hangnail and his were an amputated limb but mine were treated like a beheading.
            Its heartbreaking and it’s humiliating to think back and picture myself running and jumping like a little circus dog trying to save the relationshit. SO many tells and signs I can see now. I still have a hard time putting it all together with him, the him I thought was him……the MacGuffin him. Damn the bastard. I hope his karma catches up with him soon.
            I told him one time, “What goes around comes around”. He said,,,,,,”that’s what they say”. I think,,,,,he’s under the impression that he has gotten away with it so far, so he thinks. Alone, in his mother’s basement…..may not be perceived as any kind of “punishment” to him. It would be to me, certainly not what i would want for my life.

            Thank you Skylar, yes,,,,,he played me like a violin. I couldn’t imagine someone doing that,,,,,,couldn’t imagine saying the things he said, FOR AS LONG AS HE SAID IT, and promising the things he promised without meaning any of it.
            Im sure that his ultimate goal was to not only drop me on my emotional head in a much worse way than he already had but to slam my head into the pavement in some kind of way that I may never have recovered from. This is plenty bad enough….Horrible to think that all I wanted to do was love him, spend the rest of my life together and me loved and cared for in return. Horrible.

  9. So VERY weird Skylar……Spathx’s favorite movie? The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, etc….. When I saw that picture of the little guy….can’t remember his name….Gullum? I couldn’t believe it.

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