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Why Do Psychopaths Lie? — 215 Comments

  1. Dorothy, I recall a few paranormal experiences as a child, and have had numerous clairvoyant and telepathic experiences with animals, as well as met a couple of individuals who were extremely clairvoyant and undeniably authentic. It’s “woo woo” stuff, one could say, but when it’s grounded in real life experience it’s actually just part of normal life. I certainly don’t believe in aliens, though. There’s so much “woo woo” that’s meant to try to unground people, and that’s psychopath-speak. I am learning….

    I’ve been reading from Michio Kushi’s book on macrobiotics, and it seems to me that psychopaths are both extreme yang – materialism/ego and extreme yin – death – as their polarized state, and there’s “nobody home” in the middle, whereas most of us exist or at least do our best to exist, i.e., toward a balanced and harmonious state. Check out the “man in the middle” description by wikipedia, doesn’t it make sense about how a psychopath operates?


    As for whether they are ghosts or earthbound souls, if there is such a thing, from the perspective of “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you,” I figure that applies to death too. If psychopaths don’t have spooks attached to them already, they probably do turn into spooks after they die. I think that’s why some ancient cultures were so particular about how the dead were buried. Many burned their dead and their belongings too so the dead wouldn’t try to stick around. Maybe there’s truth to that, I don’t know.

    I’ve never had any personal experience with earthbound souls, but I know someone who has. She and her husband are very pragmatic and nonsensical. Their rented house was “visited” regularly by the former owner who lost his home and land to another buyer who schemed him out of it. The soul wasn’t obnoxious, they said, and they never saw an apparition of him, they just heard him come in the door every evening and wipe his boots, then walk across the living room and kitchen floor – at the same time every day for something like two years.

    • Ancient Heart,
      the man in the middle article does describe the spath experience. The example of rewarding the minions with porn, is SPOT on. I know at least one minion who was rewarded that way. The minions are simple and the spath can read their simple little minds, so he knows what will lure them into doing their bidding.
      Furthermore, he knows that a porn addict will make a perfect minion. Unlike the empath, the spath has no need or desire to believe that everyone has some good in them. He knows that once he has identified a porn addict, he has a willing participant in whatever shameful behavior he suggests. It’s part and parcel with porn/sex/shame addiction. To believe anything else is to live in denial.

      Thanks for that example, it solidified my perception of this part of the spath’s diabolical manipulations.

      • The man in the middle concept, do you think that it can represent in some metaphoric way the psychopath’s early history and subsequent unconscious drive to control, dominate, humiliate and annihilate each parent, esp. the mother, i.e., an Oedipal drive from Hell?

        Yes, that experience was extremely traumatic, and he tried to force me to participate. I should have written about this in the area you provided for us to tell our stories and will write further about it in that area when I can stomach pulling up the memories.

        • Psychopaths always triangulate people. They like manipulate two other people against each other, so they can watch the drama ensue and then slither away, leaving the hurt and the pain to continue. It might be true that they learned this behavior from manipulating their parents against each other. On the other hand, I know a little boy who imitates his father’s manipulation of the boy’s mother.

          Girard’s theory is that a child will choose one parent to be a model and the other parent is the model’s prized object. The child wants to BECOME the model and this is done by taking the object.

          It’s very similar to Freud’s Oedipal complex, but Girard says that Freud forgot to finish his theory. In other words, a boy doesn’t just want to marry his mother, he wants to BECOME his father.

          I understand how difficult it is to discuss your story. I also can only talk about my trauma, in little pieces. Anything more and it’s too much like reliving it.

          • I would like to get Girard’s books in the near future. I didn’t know he completed the Oedipal theory beyond Freud’s. He definitely hit the bulls-eye.

          • Ancient Heart,

            According to Freud, the child has an innate sexual desire towards the mother, and eventually, discovers that the father is an obstacle to the satisfaction of that desire. Girard, on the other hand, reinterprets the Oedipus Complex in terms of mimetic desire: the child becomes identified with his father and imitates him. But, inasmuch as he imitates his father, the child imitates the sexual desire for his mother. Then, his father becomes his model and rival, and that explains the ambivalent feelings so characteristic of the Oedipus Complex.

            This is a pretty good paper on GT, I’ll add a link to the blog roll.

            Edit: whoops! the link didn’t go through. Here it is:
            It’s also added to the blog roll under Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

            Edit again: geez, I linked to the last section of the URL. OK, I fixed it again, to go to the top now!
            forgive my incompetence… please.

    • Ancientheart, the way I inturpreted the quote I posted is that by way of their dark choices, they have exposed their souls to the realm of demons. I have heard that when a person drinks or does drugs, and I would imagine this applies to any behavior from
      ” the dark side”….. That they create a hole in their aura, and it leaves them open. Evil spirits can enter their energy field, etc. kind of interesting that they call alcohol spirits.
      Too woo-woo?

      • Dorothy,
        Shame is the driving force of the spath. Shame really feels horrible but I suppose a shame that is so repressed as that of the spath, must feel like something demonic. I know that my ex-spath thought he was possessed. He would stay up all night listening to the Art Bell show on the radio, whenever the exorcist, Father Malachi Martin was being interviewed. Both my spath sister and brother have told me that they heard and saw demons. I guess that’s what a human being perceives when they are so disconnected from reality.

        • The absence of love seems to be the great disconnector to reality. I can’t fathom how any human being can be in such a state, when our entire universe and reality is created and perpetuated by love. One would have to be possessed and by all intents and purposes insane to be that “out of it!”

          • Ancientheart….is there not also a lot of destruction in the universe as well though? We just don’t judge it as good and bad. Even animals do some weird stuff that could be
            construed as evil. I can’t think of an example off the top of my head but it seems like I’ve seen things in shows that made me go…..hum……

        • Ex spath listened to NPR at concert loudness ALL THE TIME in his car when he was alone. Not for the music though. He liked the yammering. WTF?
          Quite honestly I really do think he may have had Aspergers and that makes me so very sad. He seemed so lonely and I think that was behind his drinking. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to love that man and how much I thought I did love him…….
          I don’t know what to think about that now. I wish this was as black and white as it seems to be for a lot of people but its not for me.
          If I could have anything in the world right now……anything I wanted…..what I would ask for is to know the absolute truth about him and his feelings and his intentions towards me.
          It is mental torture! He didn’t rip me off or do a lot of the things that have happened to you two and a lot of others.

          So I dropped all his things and gifts he had given me and basically anything that had any tie to him what so ever, dropped it all off in Mama Spaths yard today. I know he’s going to be pissed but that is my message to him…..here’s your shit and everything that has to do with you because you are someone that I never knew and I don’t want it. It means nothing to me having come from someone I don’t feel safe with or loved by. YOU haul it to the dump if you want.
          I feels good to have it gone and I hope I didn’t miss anything. If so, it’s getting pitched.
          I guess this longing I have towards him, something that is bad for me, is no different than someone who has quit drinking longing for a drink? Like I said…..I wish I knew the truth and I don’t think I ever did or would get that from him.

      • The “woo woo” could well be true. I had an experience in my early 20’s, just after that dark-night-of-the-soul breakdown. Several months later I started drinking like a fish (I wasn’t out of the woods yet LOL). I snapped myself out of it thankfully, but during the time I was detoxing I remember “seeing” a pile of snakes, and it took several days before those images went away entirely. And they were there when I my eyes were open or closed during these few days of cleaning my act up.

        I think there are vibrational energies in both lighter and darker aspects that are “real” in their own dimension. I like seeing life and Nature just as it is. I think when we get off the track we might experience higher or lower vibrational energies, but that a good fat portion of that stuff is dreamed up by our own minds and beliefs. Our brains are tricky little machines.

        Jeez, I’ve had a really, really weird life LOL!

        • There is just SO much we don’t ” know” ..I creates this odd feeling of excitement in me but at the same time I feel very anxious. Uneasy I guess. I get the same feeling when I star gaze or read about the universe…..it’s fascinating yet incomprehensible at the same time and that feels frustrating to me. Uh oh….I got that same feeling with Spath x, to be honest. Such a strong pull towards danger. He fascinated me and repulsed me and hurt me. Moth to a flame.

          • I know what you mean Dorothy. It’s like the feeling of having something on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite say it. I think it’s the right brain grasping a concept but being unable to articulate it.

          • Yes Skylar…..something just out of reach that you want really badly but just can’t get to it!! Weird!!

    • Ancientheart…..it seems to me, from what I’ve observed and heard, true animal people tend to be more tuned in, intuitive, clairvoyant, etc…they tend to pay attention, be more present, etc.

      That example about the man in the middle made my brain hurt, LOL!

      • I think it’s true, Dorothy, and I have a great experience with animals – it’s a mutual win-win of empathy and no people BS. Animals don’t lie and they don’t tolerate lying. It’s the world between humans and animals the way it was meant to be, if people will ever stop being so arrogant and pay attention to how animals are in many ways far superior to us. They’ve been on the Earth a hell of a lot longer too.

        I don’t have good people sense at all sometimes, and other times I can pick up too much and not only does it makes them really squeamish LOL but then I become their proverbial toilet, so I tend to lead a very quiet life with very little socializing. I didn’t realize I was so porous and what was going on until I was in my 30’s.

        With the psychopath #1 incident, I never met her and she only would communicate by email, so (a) I didn’t have any context or reality to draw from other than what she was scripting, (b) I didn’t have a clue anyone could be that sick, that cunning, and that evil, and (c) I didn’t pay attention to some of the uncomfortable feelings I had here and there, which is my own fault.

        If there is a Hell, she will never leave it after she dies. She’ll take herself with her, so Hell already has a spot reserved.

        • Ancientheart……Spath was not an ” animal person “. My animals LOVED him. I think he “liked” them but I don’t think he loved them. He would always look at me weirdly when I had my dog on my lap and was loving on her..he’d say, aren’t the two of you cute……..
          But there was something behind his words, something else going on in Spathland. Jealousy or envy are the first words that come to mind but I’m not sure. Maybe disdain. In the WTF box it goes!?

          • If you’re very bonded with your animals, they may have simply been trying to help you because they knew you wanted him to reciprocate some genuine love. I think that’s very possible. Your dogs could have been saying “Hey Spath! Wake up! Helloooooooo!!! Any heart in there?”
            They tried, Dorothy. I’m sure they really gave it their best, and they tried because they love you.


          • I think that many times, animals notice a “difference” in a person, but unless they are picking up on imminent evil intent, they won’t really know what to think of it.

            I was watching a movie about multiple personality disorder and a man’s dog could always tell when he had reverted to the “child personality”, even though the man showed no outward signs. The “adult personality” did not allow the dog in the living room, but the “child” did, so the dog knew exactly when to enter and when to exit. lol!

            In that case, the dog knew exactly what to think of it.

          • Ancientheart……that made me tear up. Yes, they were trying to show him…..watch us Spath…..this is how. You can do it! He couldn’t. So so so sad that makes me, for me and for him.
            I’m so fortunate to have the love of my critters.

  2. That dog must have a challenging life, having a multiple-personality caretaker.

    I have a book by two female psychologists who utilize horses at their ranch to work with clients, and they described one psychopathic client and how their horses reacted to him; some of their horses simply shunned the psychopath, and other horses reached out and tried to take a chunk out of him.

    I observed psychopath #2 with animals, and they either act mechanically when dealing with him or are unresponsive or shy from him – that infuriates him but he puts on a kind act in front of people to hide the fact that he has zero patience or empathy for them. He favors select animals and horridly mistreats others, the latter always covertly. He’s had bones broken by them due to his own mishandling :).

    • My exspath pretended to love cats. I did notice that he abandoned 2 cats when they were no longer convenient to him, but I couldn’t reconcile that with the apparent love he showed my cats. The cats seemed to love him. All except one.

      OK, so here’s MY “woowoo” for the day: This cat, Jasper, I got the distinct impression that he was the reincarnation of our dog, Coal. He behaved just like Coal had.

      Jasper was terrified of the spath. He would only allow him to hold him when I was close by. But Coal had never been that way. It made no sense to me.

      It was after I left him that I put 2 and 2 together: spath had beat Coal and Jasper remembered his past life. All this made sense when I watched Coal cowering from the spath when the spath was in a near collision in our car. Even though spath showed no anger, Coal felt the brain waves which he recognized proceeded earlier beatings. And Jasper remembered it all.

      • Skylar, I’ve often wondered whether we all recycle/reincarnate, and if so, why. My interest in macrobiotics has mushroomed, and the descriptions by George Ohsawa and Michio Kushi on the order of the universe are based on some very sound principles; I’ve seen no specific discussions so far about reincarnation, but their descriptions of creation and how life works seem to suggest reincarnation can occur. I hope to get Ohsawa’s books in the near future.

        In 2006-2007 I met a woman via phone and Internet who lived in Illinois and was participating in a pilot program arranged by a group of telepaths who were seeking people whose animals they could communicate with to explore and work on their abilities. This woman communicated with my horses with only a photo of them which showed their faces clearly. I told her nothing about each horse. It was a fantastic experience which of course has been poo-pooed by human arrogance.

        Animals are as unique and as diverse in their evolutionary and transformative experience as humans. I know that is an absolute truth. One horse in particular I was told by the Illinois telepath has been with me in other cycles; that horse was one of several stolen by psychopath #1 and #2 and is still alive and held as a “trophy,” in horrific concentration camp type conditions. Many of my other horses were killed there. The nonprofit turned out to be a government front for political money laundering and I have been trying to expose it as well as the animal cruelty, and of course the horses are pawns used to try to shut me up. It’s a hornet’s nest of sadistic psychopaths, with a lot of power and money.

        I’ve had an indescribable bond with the one horse mentioned so it’s quite possible that we’ve shared more than this particular journey. I don’t doubt that the bonds of love between species remain eternal and change forms and transform to merge again – and do so for an infinity, and that Jasper is Coal in another form.

        I could go on eternally about the beautiful world of animals – of the nonhuman variety.

        I think psychopaths are the epitome of human ignorance and arrogance at its most extreme, trying to block, subvert, and control and destroy the natural order of the universe at every opportunity. One natural purpose of our evolution into humans, according to macrobiotics, is to merge with other life which preceded ours and dissolve back into Tao/God. We can’t do otherwise. Psychopaths are literally swimming against the fricking current. The name of your website says it all, Skylar.

  3. Dorothy, I agree animals can do some pretty bizarre and cruel things – mainly carnivorous wild animals. When I was reading Daniel Andreev’s treatise, Rose Of The World, his theory is that the cruelty of animals was a product of interference and evil which went back to very ancient times. I really don’t know what to think. Maybe some of that behavior has to do with an aspect of natural evolution and transformation we don’t understand yet, and maybe that destructive aspect of the animal realm will evolve further. Unless we wipe them out too, which wouldn’t surprise me.

    We aren’t biologically designed to eat meat, and I believe that’s one main cause of psychopathy as well as disease and destruction of our civilization.

    Skylar, thank you for that link to the Girard material – that’s going to be a good read! I’ll delve into that starting tonight.

    What I’ve appreciated about the macrobiotics material I’ve been enjoying is that both authors, Ohsawa and Kushi, point out the many parallels within their philosophy and those of Christianity as well as other spiritual philosophies.

  4. Hi SoulSister,
    30 years. wow. my condolences and also congratulations on your escape! How long since you’ve been free?

    Yes, we all have the same experiences, just different details. It’s like the same story but the names and places have been changed. As crazy as my story seemed to me, imagine my surprise to learn that it was the story of human nature and it had been written a million times.

    Still, if you want to share your story, you can post it at the tab at the top, under “Community” and “Share Your Story”. All of us here can validate your experience.

    I’ve heard that about Disney being a mind control organization and I’ve seen some shocking YouTube videos about that. I just don’t know what to think on that topic yet. Information is so easily manipulated and I haven’t really looked further into that. Maybe I’ll check out Cathy.

  5. Welcome, Soulsister. There are many Soulmisters out there, as well – human predators can be men, women, AND children.

    Survival happens. Recovery is what we make out of our escapes! 🙂

  6. Pingback:We’re Getting Married!?!? | Dog Dharma's Blog

  7. How are these psychopaths and their methods coming to light? I divorced one (abusive narcissist) who was abusing the kids and me and has all the psychopath traits, habits and behaviors. No one in court nor the GAL seem to recognize him as a liar, a cheat, just this good old guy who may have “not been the greatest parent” threatening his son with being put on drugs for son’s bad behavior and now has done just that with the GAL blessing. Seems like both the GAL and dad are the same thing. GAL told my lawyer and therapist the abuse did not matter. I learned after the divorce was started just exactly what had happened with the N in his childhood – the same thing he is trying to do to his son now – 10 yrs of intensive meds, behavioral therapy, psychiatrist and then the option of juvenile hall or military school. The only thing I knew of until 7 months into the divorce was the military school. So how is thiss “knowledge of psychopaths and their machinations becom[ing] more common, the lies that once hid these abusers, now reveal them” ??? I would love to know to remove my children from this evil environment.

    • Michelec3,
      At the very least, YOU are aware of his abusive manipulations. And you have the vocabulary. I know it feels like you are swimming against the tide because the tide is turning soooo slowly. At least it’s turning. The problem is that there are so many people with the disease and, like Oxy said, it’s definitely based in genetics. Without intensive therapy, many people cannot overcome it and worse yet, instead of getting help most children end up with spathy parents.

      Furthermore, you are dealing with some of the spathiest people in our society when you deal with the court system. These are people who are attracted to power therefore are more likely to abuse power.

      I know you want to protect your children from all the evils in the world. While they are young, that is your responsibility. But they will have to go out and face the world one day and you want them to survive and to thrive in adversity because that’s what it means to really live. It’s your responsibility to inoculate them against diseases by exposing them to specific viruses in tiny, tiny amounts. You do this with the help of expert immunologists. In the same way, we must inoculate our children against the illness of evil by allowing them to see reality while shielding them from too much exposure. You do this with the help of the best therapists you can find. You also must continue to ground yourself in reality, soothe your own emotions and get help when you need it. Children are mimetic. They will do what they see you do. The example you set will have a greater impact than you can imagine. That’s why your ex-spath is trying to knock you off balance, so that you can’t be that example for your kids.

      As far as exposing the spath, I believe the best way is by recording everything he says and does. Make sure that there are security cameras, voice answering machines, and email documenting his behavior. Spaths lie and the only way to prove it, is to have evidence.

      I’m sorry for what you are going through. I hope it helps to know that you aren’t alone, there are many of us who pray and who work every day to combat this evil.

      • Thank you for your reply. I do pray every day for people who are in this and combating this. For all the public stories I heard about where the conflict and chaos was so extreme I thought was rare and not likely to happen to me. I now know it is not. It is so prevalent and yet so under the radar and hidden from view that it is amazing. Just like the outrage for abused children that turn up dead because everyone knew and noone did anything, everyone has been told, I have been accused of being brutally honest and the court still does nothing. So yes, I document as much as I can and get help myself and make their world when they are with me as safe as possible. And we go from there.

        • Michelec3, I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing this, and it is not uncommon to “learn” more about a spath AFTER the relationship dissolves.

          I was married to a violent abuser for 15 years, and then married a non-violent psychopath and lived in the world of gaslighting and discard for another 14 1/2 years. So……I’ve spent approximately 30 years married to psychopaths.

          From my experience in both situations, turning an emotionally wretched series of events like divorce/custody matters into events that are 100% business requires a lot of personal work and effort. I’ve interpreted your posts to mean that you are attempting to protect your children against their father’s manipulations, and I will be open and honest with you in that most Courts insist upon BOTH parents having access to their biological offspring, regardless of what type of human being they might be, bar none. What I learned in my desperate and dreadful experiences was that nobody “wins” in these situations, except the representing attorneys. The children are always placed in the middle, and the only way to avoid that temptation is to take ALL of the “emotion” out of the equation.

          I’m not suggesting that we become “like them,” on any level. But, for whatever reason, the psychopath discovered certain vulnerabilities and exploited them for their own designs. In my case, it was a deep, deep shame-core belief system, among other things. So, I lost both of my children in the first divorce/custody battle, and I was a true and solid mess. This second divorce was a whole different matter, and I engaged in trauma counseling with a licensed and mature professional, immediately. This was an option that I believe, to this day, was 100% necessary due to the enormity of both divorce matters, and all of my other issues, combined. I was unable to recover and subsequently heal, on my own. I needed guidance.

          The best way to find a counseling therapist that deals in trauma, PTSD, abuse, and the effects of an abusive psychopathic partner is to contact the National or local domestic violence hotline. They will provide a list of trauma specialists who are experienced in these matters. It takes time, it often requires personal expense, and it takes commitment. It is absolutely worth every requirement and sacrifice, IMHO. It has been almost 4 years since the exspath left, and I’ve never felt more alive in my lifetime – well, since I married the FIRST exspath. I am OKAY, and I’ve processed a lot of experiences, and I’m still moving forward on my Healing Path.

          It’s just something to consider – the abuse specialists really do “get it” about the liars and the Court systems. Sometimes, it’s just a relief to feel validated……….

          Brightest blessings to you

          • Hi Truthspeak, I am sorry for your experiences.

            I went through the local domestic hotline/abuse center. They have been of very little help, their therapists are interns in training. They dont even have a list of lawyers who take abuse cases. Thank you and God Bless.

          • Michelec3, if the hotline was of no help, try contacting the local mental / behavioral health hotline. And, the wording is very specific when seeking these professionals. A “specialist in PTSD, domestic abuse, and trauma.”

            That’s shameful that the DV&A hotline is so useless. Seriously, if they don’t have a network of professionals, then they need to shut down for a while and reorganize.

          • Michelec3,
            I’ve never been able to find a therapist either. I went to Catholic Services and they set me up with an abusive intern. When I missed an appointment he called me up and scolded me. Now I’m looking for a therapist for a friend and she has great insurance but still can’t find someone who is a good fit (she has many, many issues on top of the abuse).

            For me, this blog, the people on it and books, have been my therapy. I’m not sure that there is a single human being out there who could provide more. It is my understanding that therapists provide an ear, someone who validates you, but unless you’ve experienced this yourself, it is very unlikely that anyone CAN validate an abuse survivor. They can’t know and understand unless they’ve experienced it. Some people who HAVE experienced it, still don’t understand because they don’t realize that they have been abused.

            As Fly83 pointed out, sometimes, in an effort to find a therapist, you find another abuser. I think it behooves us to inform ourselves first so that this can’t happen.

          • Because of all the BS the spath is doing and I am catching him, son may be taken out of dad’s possession possibly this week or next and into state hands over what has been happening. Possibly daughter might be also. Suddenly I am calm, relieved, like son would be safer anywhere else than with N. Daughter I don’t know about. I am trying to do the “The children are safe and everything unfolds perfectly for their greatest good”. Why do I suddenly feel so calm?

          • Sky, I was lucky enough to find 2 counselors that “got it,” in the past 4 years. The difference between my experiences with THESE counselors and the ones that I had previously engaged with was that I was finally ready to do it. When I type that, I mean that I was “ready” to accept things that I didn’t necessarily “want” to. I had to accept my own behaviors and my own choices as part-and-parcel of having been such an easy, EASY target for all of these nefarious people. I was also ready to unload everything – to talk about MY LIFE and my choices, actions, and decisions in an honest and open manner, no matter if what I was discussing was legal, illegal, moral, immoral, ethical, unethical, righteous, or un-righteous. And, the caveat to that willingness is this: we aren’t obligated to confess our mistakes or poor choices or deliberate actions TO anyone, including our counselor, unless it will be paramount in our processes of recovery and healing. Unless we “want to,” things aren’t always discussed that are better left in the dark locked closet.

            My true belief about the success of counseling is based upon the willingness of the client to engage. And, I agree that most people do not “get it” unless they’ve had their own experiences with psychopaths, which is why I always, ALWAYS recommend that the search be based upon maturity and personal experiences OF the counselor. The first session should be a mutual interview – determining whether or not the counselor is going to guide with experience, and whether the counselor feels that their time and effort is going to be fruitful with this client. There have actually been licensed therapists who have told potential clients, “I’m sorry – I can’t help you,” and BRAVO for them! They’re not trying to shame the potential clients by saying that. What they are saying is that they do not have the frame of reference or experience to assist another human being.

            The important thing that we must always keep in mind is that counselors are human beings. Period. They do not carry magic wands, they do not always have “all of the answers,” and some of them are, indeed, carrying their own emotional baggage into sessions, or are complete psychopaths, themselves. Good, solid counselors are far more than just an “ear.” They hear the language that their clients use, they observe the body language and reactions to specific subjects, they interpret the “avoidance” of certain subjects, and they must determine how to best float out a life ring for each, individual client.

            An example of a “bad” therapist is someone who keeps looking at their clocks or watches. They will simply sit and let their client run on and on for 50 minutes, and ask no VERY uncomfortable questions. Sometimes, the questions or subjects are going to be uncomfortable and probing – that’s the only way (quite literally) that “good” counselor is going to tease out some of the underlying issues. And, a “good” counselor isn’t going to let a client run on and on – they’ll put a halt to what the CLIENT WANTS, and delve into what the CLIENT NEEDS, and that is often perceived as “unfeeling” or lacking in compassion. What is difficult for any long-term abuse / trauma survivor to accept is that NOT ALL ______ are bad. Not all men are just like the two men that I chose to marry. Not all dentists are like the one that hurt and shamed me when I was a child. Not all doctors are thoughtless. Not all people are nefarious. In the world of trauma, there is an “all-or-nothing” perception that is simply the result of trauma – that’s all. It’s not a defect but a crossed wire that I did not have the ability to access, alone, without help or guidance from someone who has a better understanding of these things that I do.

            Yes, informing ourselves is very important. However, if one is standing in front of an American Chestnut tree with their face only 4 inches from the main trunk, it is quite impossible for that person to determine whether that American Chestnut is suffering the “Chestnut Blight,” or not. So………in terms of what “good” therapists can assist in is strictly based upon what the client is (or, isn’t) willing to do to facilitate their own healing.

            I used to bail on dentist appointments – halfway to the offices, I would turn right around and go back home or back to work because I was afraid. Plain and simple – my fear of this profession determined my actions. Now, I try to make every appointment that I schedule, though that is NOT to say that I haven’t indulged in “Avoidance Issues,” still. This is something that I am “working on,” and I will probably always be working on for the rest of my life. It’s a personal issue. But, I also know that the people who provide my dental care are very compassionate with me, personally, and they are competent in their knowledge, treatments, and skills, so I don’t want to waste their time by bailing out of an appointment without calling first so they can open up that slot that was set aside for me, personally, to someone else who might be in dire need of care.

          • Truthy,
            When I tell ANYONE, of my experience with the spath, they just have no choice but to doubt it. The truth is too frightening. This spath is so much like the devil and he appears to be a harmless blue collar, uneducated dude in jeans and a tee-shirt. The only people who believe the truth are those who have met someone like him. Even his minions have no idea about the extent of his evil. One minion, I heard through the grapevine, stated, “Spath has gone to the dark side!” That minion is one of his “best friends”, but even he doesn’t know him, because if he did, he would have known that Spath didn’t GO to the dark side, he IS the dark side. I wasn’t there but I would guess that Spath let his mask slip more than usual for his little friend to peek in.

            His other “best friend” finally figured it out because I spent a couple of years trading stories with him. The first couple of years, he didn’t really get it. He heard all the evil, he knew about the murders, but he hadn’t FELT it yet. When he realized that Spath was planning on betraying HIM, he finally felt some fear.

            That’s why a therapist who hasn’t experienced true evil will never understand it. Even the minions are at a loss to understand the true meaning of evil until they experience it themselves. In their selfishness, they just assume that the victim is a toy for them and the spath to play with. Evil isn’t REALLY evil, until it happens to them. You may think that I am making this up, but it is my experience with the minions that has enlightened me. One minion told me that it’s “okay to be evil”…until it happened to her. Then it wasn’t so okay at all!

          • Michelec3, it is my fervent hope that the “calm” is nothing more than it appears to be: calm. It’s not a portent or harbinger, and it is a very, very typical response for those who have been exposed to long-term trauma and abuse to have these cycles of calm into panic into fear into depression into hope into calm into panic into fear into depression into hope, and so forth. It is the Vortex Of Dysfunction, and it keeps individuals way off balance.

            What I discovered about myself is that the “calm” preceding any event was a sort of “RE-action” to an expected or predicted outcome. Sometimes, the outcomes were favorable, and most often they were disappointing – what I had envisioned to occur either did not occur in the manner that I had expected, or the spath enjoyed far more leeway than he deserved, or that the expectations never came to fruition, at all. There is a recognized pattern of behaviors that occur within that Vortex Of Dysfunction, and it not only keeps people off-balance, but it actually FEEDS what is termed as “Catastrophic Thinking.” This is a very, very predictable reaction to life, in general, and the ups-and-downs that occur in life to a survivor of trauma and / or abuse.

            To deal with this, remaining in “The Now” helps to keep me from going down the vortex and attempting to predict outcomes, intervene to ensure that the outcomes occur as I envision them, and to function and ***interact*** in the present, rather than flying by the seat of my pants as a result of the past and attempts to predict the future.

  8. Sky, people believe what they believe. Many people cannot fathom what these psychopaths do – I can’t count the number of times that former friends actually asked me, “Well, WHY didn’t you know what he was doing? You were MARRIED to him!!” The fact is that victim-blaming is far easier for the uninitiated to engage in than accepting that they know a psychopath and that the psychopath in question isn’t in prison.

    As for therapists, like I typed: mature, licensed, and certified specialists. Therapists don’t wake up one day and say to themselves, “I think I’ll specialize in trauma, now.” It’s a calling for a small few. This is not to say that we are forever “safe” from psychopaths even in professional capacities. How many physicians, surgeons, attorneys, lawmakers, and CEO’s are full-blown psychopaths? BUT, the initial session should give enough information to both the client and the therapist as to whether or not work can even begin.

    For me, personally, I am grateful for having had the experiences that I did which were all a catalyst for me to engage in strong counseling therapy to REWIRE my reactions to triggers, to reconstruct reasonable beliefs, to embrace my inner child, and to actually begin healing rather than just recovering. I never, ever, EVER want to be the person that I was in 2011. No, I really don’t. That person lived in a Universe of fear, terror, darkness, suspicion, and paranoia. Everything that I did was based upon fear and shame. And, I finally waded through that cesspool and emerged on the other side – still me and still whom I always was, but wiser, stronger, and self-confident where none of those things actually existed prior. I still interact with my former therapist – she has since retired and she remains a part of my network of safety, and it’s a very good thing for me.

  9. Sky, I’ve been contemplating this whole experience of disbelief and this is what people do, I think. I’ve heard some crazy stories from other people during my lifetime, too, and some of them were almost as insane as my experiences were. I always wondered whether what the people were telling me was true, or not, but some of them were so distraught that I believed them to a certain extent.

    When I had my own experiences to “share,” a few people believed me, but the majority of them did not. Some people actually responded with verbal dismissal by saying, “Do you think you might be blowing this all out of proportion?” At that time, I was so frazzled that I gave their words personal weight! I actually QUESTIONED my own perceptions in reaction to the dismissals!

    So, this second time around with the second exspath, I learned from the reactions and responses of other people to just keep my mouth shut, even if the exspath’s behaviors might impact THEM. They had to find out on their own, just as I did. For me, the need or compulsion to educate other people about psychopaths and the exspath, in particular, was managed, but NOT without numerous errors in judgment and consequences, as a result.

    • Truthy,
      It seems to me that abuse changes something in us so that we appear different and it makes us less believable. I’m really not sure. I haven’t figured that out yet.

      When I was 13, I had a best friend who told me that her father was molesting her. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t tell her that, either. I just ignored the statement and wondered why she would lie like that. Now, with experience, I know that it was true. There were so many red flags that her father was abusive to say the least. And there were other red flags about the way this affected my friend. She found herself drawn to older men, (or they were drawn to her) and they would spend hours telling her their intimate problems. Strange, isn’t it?

      Mostly, I can tell when someone has been abused, but they do seem “off” somehow.

      I know one woman that was emotionally abused, who doesn’t really understand that she was abused or even remember most of the abuse. Furthermore, she doesn’t think people will believe her about the abuse. The only reason I know the facts about her abuse is because the spath was stupid enough to actually leave a paper trail, in the form of abusive emails, documents he tried to get her to sign, and bills that he racked up. The paper trail makes him look like a monster and he never considered that they would see the light of day, but she is a hoarder so….everyone is going to see them in court.

      This is why it’s so important for abuse victims to document EVERYTHING. Emails, videos, bills, medical documents, etc…

      Dates and times are important too, if they can correlate when something occurred with other behavior.

      • Sky, documentation is helpful for many reasons, but the main one is that it validates what the victim perceives to be happening. “Was it REALLY that bad?” was a question that I asked myself at the ends of both marriages, and the answer was always, “Oh, yes, it certainly was.”

        Abuse also is misunderstood at its core because people generally assume that physical abuse is the defining fact. The emotional abuse is far more insidious because it leaves NO scars or marks that can identify that it has ever taken place.

        It’s not unusual that you didn’t believe the childhood friend – why WOULD you? You were a child and children do not have a mature “Frame Of Reference.” Sure, I knew that some things were “bad” or “wrong” when I was a child, but I didn’t know enough to define what they really were.

        In retrospect, even if I documented everything that both exspaths did and said, nobody would have believed me, still. It’s so strange how people can believe that dictators murder millions of their own people, but they can’t imagine that a family member of someone that they know is capable of harming someone else. We have these predetermined definitions of who and what certain types of people are.

        Today, I can spot a victim of abuse (particularly a child) in an instant. Doesn’t mean that I can “do something” about it, but it does mean that I can be wary, be aware, and wait for an opportunity to call the police or report the abuse to the proper authorities.

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