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He thought I had beautiful eyes…

As if being a first year law student isn’t hard enough, enter a new dating relationship.  Under the best of circumstances, this would be a challenge, but when your gut is screaming at you, it’s even more interesting.

Let’s start with law school.  I was slow to admit it, but yes, that is what I have been doing since last I wrote.  Years ago, after my all consuming experience with psychopathy, I promised myself that I would rise from the ashes, turn the bad into good, and help others recover from abusive relationships with psychopaths or those high in psychopathic features.  It is my turn to pay it forward.

This promise has evolved slowly and its shape has changed over the years, but thus far, I am holding true to my word.  I wanted, and on some level, needed to make meaning from what I had lived and bring what I had learned regarding psychopathy to a place most in need:  our court system.  Thus, my adventure began.  I am taking it day by day, working hard, and hoping for the best.

However, my greatest accomplishment this fall has been turning away from a new, unhealthy relationship.  Before anyone is too impressed by my “strength,” there is no way I can take full credit.  In fact, I am only  marginally responsible.  Why?  He broke it off with me.  I didn’t really have a choice.  However, it is not that he broke it off with me, it is why.  I thank my instincts.  They acted when my head and heart refused.

From the top

I was happy again.  Once again, the sun shone bright.  Its brilliance was muted no more.  My children’s laughter made me truly joyous.  I rectified the trappings of my past and no longer cared what, if anything, became of that situation.  The individual who had made my life a living hell since I was barely an adult, could not touch me anymore.  Why?  Because I understood.  Regardless of residual shenanigans, his bag of tricks evaporated the day I figured him out.

I was ready to focus solely on just my family, school, and my future.  Then it happened.  I met “Mr. Wonderful.”  He was “amazing.”  However, something was wrong.

I had recently resigned myself to life without a relationship, sort of by choice, but I met someone I really liked.  I was not looking for anyone to show interest in me.  I was not looking to be interested.  Then at a high school football game, our paths crossed in the crowded bleachers.  Happenstance and open seats behind me brought us together, when all I wanted was to watch my daughter dance at half time.

We chatted here and there.  It was nothing, really.  My friend came to sit with me and they knew each other through work.  Next home game, repeat performance.  Then, the next day, the text appears. “Scott (we’ll call him Scott) wants your number.  Can I give it to him?”  And the rest, as they say, is history.

He was fine.  He was pleasant.  He did and said all of the things a boy is supposed to.  Perhaps that was part of the problem.

The first thing that made my stomach turn was what he claimed his initial attraction to me was my eyes.  That was familiar, but who could hold THAT over a guy?  It did not sit well with me, but I assumed it had to do with the last time someone used that line, if you know what I mean.  So, I moved on.

Next, we started getting to know each other.  I felt intensely attracted to this man very early on, but reminded myself that feelings so intense are not necessarily normal.  I have done enough research to know that immediate, intense connections do not really exist.  Yet, I moved forward.

He consumed my days and nights.  We talked on the phone as soon as the kids were in bed.  We texted and sent messages throughout the day.  I fell asleep in Crim Law for crying out loud.  My Contracts professor cannot seem to get through a hypothetical without discussing his cat.  New Guy knew my schedule, so one day during Contracts, he texted “Contracts!!!  Cats!!!”  Really…what more could a girl ask for?  Especially a tired, legal, mother girl who was exhausted from her life, in spite of it being so amazingly blessed, and would have LOVED a companion and friend who was more than just a friend.  In spite of my knowledge, I was vulnerable.

I told myself I did not need this distraction, but vowed that I could juggle it all.  We talked for hours.  In that time, he told me everything I longed to hear.  He wanted to be a family.  He could not wait to join our families.  He could not wait to watch football with my son and take him to ball games.  He told me that he hoped things would fall into place as he dreamed of.  He said it first, so he was not mirroring me.  Or did he know what I wanted?  Regardless, I FREAKED OUT.

The problem was that we had only been talking for a few weeks.  It was too fast.  How could he want this so quickly?  I began to think that it had less to do with me and more to do with his desires to create a scenario he had in mind for himself.  Is that true?  Who knows.  Regardless, my red flags were at attention.  It was too soon for the exchanges that were taking place, but I wanted this so badly.  In my mind, I had a picture of what came next and it included “it all.”

A real white picket fence?

This man is a member of the same profession as the wife of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of my state.  Two weeks prior, the justice spoke at my law school.  While in conversation with the chief justice at dinner, “new guy,” raced through my mind.  It seemed every successful lawyer needed a member of his profession at her side.  It made sense.  Under the influence of my new crush, I was off changing the world, while he shared knowledge with the next generation and cared for our collective families.

Enter the dates.  For some reason, they were anti-climactic in relation to the phone conversations and texts.   I sensed something wrong, in spite of the magic words. Things felt empty, but I pushed the thoughts away.  I convinced myself that that things were fine, but sought validation.  Ummm….no.  Naturally, a big mistake.  Anyone over 16 should know that.

Beginning of the end 

How did this implode?  My gut spoke for me, when my head and heart were otherwise occupied.  I knew something was wrong.  Ultimately, he ended it with me for “exhausting” him, moving too quickly (something about my Christian values, or apparent lack thereof) and “second guessing” his intentions when I asked questions regarding the words that did not make sense to me.  I was experiencing such serious dissonance between what really was and what was said.

There is more, but not much more.  The bottom line is that I was reacting to what I knew was wrong on the most primitive level and that saved me.  I ended up with a slightly bruised ego and a few hurt feelings.  But I also learned a lot about myself.  Mainly, that I am healed and when such raw emotion comes out, it is NOT me, but rather, an unhealthy situation trying to rear its ugly head.

It was not my finest hour, by any stretch, but that is ok.  It was clear to me that something was very wrong and I knew it.  Yet, I had to dig for that knowledge, since it was not apparent on the surface.  Initially, I thought I was merely a product of my past.  Who could live through such monumental betrayal and subsequent years of exhaustion and come out unscathed?

While I admit that I did not leave the psychopathic experience issue free, it was definitely not just that.  Rather, my reactions were based on our most primitive abilities to recognize when something’s amiss.  While my head and heart were over the moon, my gut was busy adversely reacting to the discrepancies presented.  My gut stepped in and handled what my head and heart could not.

What’s the take-away?   

He motivated me to write again.  Somewhere in between Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, and the plethora of other legal madness, I reconnected with the feelings that drove me to pursue my passion for law.  For a time, I became so busy that I had forgotten.  He also showed me that I can feel again, and strongly, at that.  Something I thought was dead and gone is alive and well.

It is a lesson to all of us that we can be strong, even if we stumble after the fall.  We must let our gut reactions guide us, because they know.  We must take the steps, no matter how small, and embrace our new beginnings, as we remain true to ourselves and true to our causes.

Lastly, in no way, am I indicating that the individual I speak of is a sociopath.  I am not making any assessment or drawing any conclusions regarding that matter.  Similarly, I make no claims regarding why I feel the relationship was not healthy/could not have been healthy.  Rather, for a number of reasons, this was a relationship that was not meant to be, which could have simply been about timing.  Nonetheless, I felt it was worth addressing because it is very likely something many of us commonly experience as we put ourselves out there again. 


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21 Comments on "He thought I had beautiful eyes…"

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one/joy_step_at_a_time

Linda, Thank you for taking the time to write this.

I had no idea why i cam here tonight, but I read your article and now know why.

I have recently been thinking that I am still vulnerable – I have been able to apply much of what i know about spaths and narcs in my work life, but feel still so vulnerable in my personal life.

I recently started an arts group, and on e of the women i am working with freaked me out 2 times in the last month, and here’s why: ‘ I was experiencing such serious dissonance between what really was and what was said.’

This week I was gaslit the moment she opened her manipulative mouth!

Keep going!

best,
one step

Thank you for this honest story. After I was discarded about 8 months ago after a 20 year “so called” marriage I feel very vulnerable at this time. A co worker asked the other day if I was interested in exchanging phone numbers with him and maybe a date. I am not ready to date anyone by far but as soon as he told me why he divorced his wife and small children a “red flag ” went up right in front of me. “My wife got so boring and I wanted to be happy so badly I just had to leave and divorce her”. ” I am 44 years old and I want to be happy in my life and she is just a psycho bitch”. Now what made this man think that I would even think about going out with him? My answer was” really, I heard the same 8 months ago”. Thats all it took. Who do they think they can fool? I am definetely warned, I learned this in my 20 years of being abused. To be honest I am at peace with myself and I am happy with just my son and I and I plan to stay this way. I don’t need any man at this moment for me being happy.

Linda – It’s good to see you! Thank you so much for sharing your experience – and especially the insight you drew from it.

It is true – our instincts will tell us when a person is not good for us – the hard part is to listen to ourselves.

Hi Linda. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. My guess is lots of us will relate to this. I certainly do. Right now I’m so incredibly damaged by the so far 6 years of interaction and consequential destruction that psychopathic individuals bring that thinking about actually having a relationship seems like something unattainable for me. And of course there’s the conundrum. The natural desire to interact and share your life is what I long for. If my life seemed empty and I had trepidation to enter or foster relationships before, imagine post psycho relationships. I should be escaping soon btw. Don’t really want to elaborate but working toward it. So for now I’m trying to stay connected with friends, with family, and to enjoy the simple pleasures and beauty of day to day interactions with people who’ve gained a measure of my trust. It’s not that I’m paranoid or unfriendly towards others. Just the opposite. The influence of my primary spath + her paramours x the many hundreds of others who these decievers have bonded with = a dangerous and toxic environment for me. Kind of sounds paranoid, I know. The truth is in spite of all this, in spite of the pain of almost all of my friends shifting their loyalty to her & or her paramours, I still love people. I try to keep perspective, to appreciate that the small moments and authentic interactions with others are enough for now. It had better be because that’s what I have. So I recognize that this is what I’m able to have for now. How many of us are living our lives on the crumbs that are left over from these wrecking balls of entitlement who bash through life taking what they want and basking in the warm glow of adulation from others while doing so ? Too many. But here we are, and we’re stronger as we share our experiences and what we’ve learned. If I was damaged psycho bait before, I have got to be super concentrated psycho chum now. So for now I’m staying out of the water. It’s still nice up here on the beach. Maybe the pool… ?

4light2shine,
Just take it slow…toes first,feet,knees,aaah!

Good one Blossom ! (:

4light…keep the faith! Hang on to what you know is good and right and loving. You know what your own sense of self and integrity are. Stay true to yourself and your recovery is soon to follow.

You were misled by a liar. We all were. The paranoia you feel is not unfounded! It is a worthy thing, even if it prevents you from fully trusting even the most trustable people, but that’s ok for now. You must feel you are solid and able to protect yourself!

For the moment, you may feel alone, but you need not feel lonely. You may long for love and the warm embrace of someone who is real and true, and the only way to eventually GET that, is to be on your own for the next while.

You will be ok on your own. You will regain your strength. You may fear everyone for some time, but this is for your protection as your exposure to hurtful one has made your vulnerability so very real and raw.

Take this time to rebuild, restore and reestablish your power. You were seen as a kind and giving person by someone who took advantage of your kindness. They may have hurt you, but they did not make you an unkind person. You are still kind hearted and loving and now, you must be kind and loving to yourself. You are forgiving, so forgive yourself.

Your kindness is not a fault! It is a beautiful trait of the advanced human consciousness! You are an advanced human who was targeted by a knuckle-dragging throwback. Now you know how horrible they can be, you can protect your kinder human natures.

“The pool” is good. No sharks or sea snakes will attack you without warning there, so swim freely and be the most wonderful human you can be! “The pool” can tend to have a better class of people hanging around it, too, which is exactly what you need.

I also came away from the most horrible tragedy of my life, that horrible nightmare experience with the psychopath and I had fear! Trepidation! I didn’t want to talk to any men except as necessary, and then, I would cut it short before I relapsed into PTSD!

As I was promising my undying love to my cat one morning, a passerby came into my view. I didn’t want to speak to him; I feared him. He was a man and a potential threat at that.

But I spoke to him because he appeared that he might run into some danger in his activity, so I offered to be his local guide, not as a come-on but only to hope that the next day I wouldn’t hear of his demise due to unfamiliarity with the area.

I called out to offer assistance. He came closer. I had fear but again offered assistance. He invited me to join him. I had fear, I imagined he might be as bad as the social predator that had helped me reaffirm my desire to be a hermit and devoted solely to my cat.

He seemed a bit gruff. Not very friendly. Not very interested in me. We chatted and found some common ground. Still, he seemed standoffish. I found out later that his cool behavior was due to him also having been targeted by a social predator! Wow!

We’ve been going out for several months, falling in love and deeply devoted to each other now. My cat is justifiably upset up to a point but sleeps at my feet and is happily fed and cared for as my trusted inter-species friend.

My now-fiancée, who had also thought he would never find true love again, relies on my broad and deep knowledge of the socially predatory to help him understand certain behaviors of some who’ve claimed to be his “friends”, but who are more like social predators and emotional manipulators.

I love my fiancée and can’t tolerate him being stressed out and hurt by these false friends. I tell him straight up what’s being done to him by these people and it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but he knows it’s the truth. The light of truth has been cast on these hurtful ones and they don’t like it, but that’s because they’ve been revealed for what they are.

So, take heart, Dear One. It always seems darkest before the dawn, but the sun will rise and you will awaken into a new day of delightful love and sunshine! Stay positive; you will recover!

You are getting stronger! Blessings for your better living now! Love is good and you want love! And, truth is, you are love! So, be love! And, protect your self and your love!

Hinahina, thanks so much for taking the time to reach out in such a kind and supportive way. There are a few like yourself who have taken the advanced courses and really have had the time to wrap your head around the entirety of this horror that was put upon us. You seem to be doing very well on your journey. I applaud your efforts to hold the bar high not only in what you expect from others but also from yourself. Your intention resonates with me in a powerful way. I’m no Saint by any means. I battle the outward forces, and I battle my inner forces that conflict with my intentions. Guarding my heart, not in the context of romantic relationships but rather in my motivations, my goals, my beliefs ect. is important to me. I don’t want to allow myself to begin to self-justify a step or a course that conflicts with my values. When I step over the line it’s important to me that I own it, that I don’t delude myself. Have my values, are my values changing ? Absolutely. I have experienced a paradigm shift. I have been given a new set of eyes. It is my hope, my intention that I will emerge on the other side as a person of integrity. Thank you for validating my reality, my unchosen horrific experience. Please continue to visit here and share with us. Your voice is appreciated here.

hinahina,
Thank you for posting such a beautiful story! When you mentioned promising your undying love to your cat,I had to laugh…not at you…but with delight and understanding!How our pets do help us to relax;learn to laugh and love again!!! I have a chihuahua and she is my sweetheart! 🙂

Linda,

I am so happy you shared this. I had a very similar experience, after I WOKE UP to the reality of psychopaths, and toxic abusers, and started dating again (after about 4 years on my own).

I spent about 2-3 months getting to know someone, and the whole time my gut was screaming, and I, too, ‘acted out’ a couple of times, before I listened to my own instincts telling me this wasn’t the right thing to do.

It is so important to listen to this part of ourselves, because it CANNOT be fooled, or forced to comply, if someone or something isn’t right for us. Our minds and our feelings can be manipulated. But, it seems like anyway, our GUT holds true.

It is just so bloody hard to allow ourselves to honor it. I was always taught I had to KNOW something, with my head, and be able to explain it in detail, before I could make a decision.

Well, that is just hogwash! We don’t have to know the words for every darn thing. And people who manipulate are really good at using words, stories, mirroring, sizing us up in general. Words can be our downfall. Stories serve to misdirect our attention.

I also came out relatively unscathed when I finally spoke up and said no. I found out I wasn’t a bad person for having my own truth, boundaries, and guts to speak up for them. The sky didn’t fall. I didn’t die of loneliness. Fact is I felt GOOD. I felt less lonely….

I had my OWN trusted company!

Good on you! And good luck in your studies.

Slim

Linda,
Thanks for posting your story.I’m not looking for a relationship…even if I were single.After being abused for nearly 3 decades it feels good to have a quiet home and live a dignified life.
I agree that listening to your instincts is important!

When our brain reminds us of how many times we should have listened to our guts in the past we have to pay attention. Our heads heal our hearts and our guts keep us moving forward and on the safe and protected path.

Linda,

You hit the nail on the head, when you spoke about not just listening to the words. Maybe because my words are always in alignment with my feelings and intentions, I had a strong tendency to believe what my ex SAID–and often thought it was unintentional on his part when his actions didn’t match his words. I would sometimes call him out on it, with little effect, I now realize. When I read your post today I realized something that made my blood run cold: he would give me beautiful cards for my birthday, Valentine’s day, etc., very loving and expressive of what I WANTED our relationship to be. Since he generally was not very demonstrative in his affection (surprise!), I was always touched when I got a card revealing his “true” feelings. I just realized today that those cards were COMPLETE manipulations. He knew what I wanted to hear, and just found something to fill the bill–and keep me strung along.

Wow. I was married for 28 years. The last two I was divorcing him, and I did opt out of the marriage emotionally 10 years before that. I knew SOMETHING was up. But it is clearer than ever to me now that from DAY ONE the marriage was a complete sham.

There should be some type of legal retribution for this type of deception.

All, there’s a great book I strongly recommend to anyone interested in the topic of listening to one’s instincts – The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

This book has been recommended to me a few times. I will check it out of the library.

This book also gets my vote! How many times have I regretted listening not listening to my gut. This book will validate your feelings, intuition means protection.

Linda,

I found it interesting to hear that he, rather than you, ended your relationship. I think it’s more likely, if you look back, that you’ll see your unwillingness to blindly succumb to his spell was the real cause. Since you couldn’t be quickly conquered, he found a reason to make it your fault, and walk away.

4Light,
Your paradigm shift may very well be what attracts you to a different, and healthier sort of relationship. The things that once made you feel attraction, are apt to make you feel uncomfortable, and you’ll find greater attraction in kindness and humanity than in other, more superficial characteristics. So hang onto those insights. They can keep you from getting swept off your feet by another love bomber.

While you’re discussing books, I’ve just released mine, which explains rape by fraud and emotional rape. It’s called Carnal Abuse by Deceit, How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape, and it’s available on Amazon.

JmS

Thanks for mentioning this idea of paradigm shift. I think that most spaths are looking for easy victims, although they do seem to occasionally like a challenge, and if they aren’t getting what they want quickly, they tend to move on.

I’ve noticed as I’ve become more grounded, others around me tend to be more grounded. I’m not sure where I read it, but one of the characteristics of a mature psyche is feeling in charge of one’s life, I.e. Taking responsibility for what happens in one’s life.

Something that you’ll notice with spaths is all their problems come from someone else. Having grown up in a family where anti-social behavior was rewarded, I’ve been lucky enough to have realized at a young age to follow my conscience and not my parents/ older sister’s example, although even so, I’ve struggled with my expectations of other people’s behavior and patterns that were ingrained in me on a daily basis for 18 impressionable years and 25 adult years. The longer I’m away from it, the crazier it seems to me, and the less likely I put up with it. I guess I can thank them for that!

Jm, thanks for your input. I’ve actually had a couple conversations with friends recently about how simply standing up for things I know to be right or imposing a few healthy boundaries has already changed the dynamic of how I interact with certain personalities. It appears that some people are not that keen on me having ideas, insights, or opinions that differ with theirs. As long as I was the deferent little buddy sidekick everyone was happy. To be perfectly fair I know part of it is just how frightening I seem to those who have not educated themselves as we have. Most people, even decent ones can easily be deceived into blaming the victim(DARVO) whether they play an active role or simply buy the wares of the evil merchant and their posse.
Congrats on the new book. I hope that your work bears much fruit. The more people understand these concepts the better the chances are that those perpetrating such frauds will be held to accountability and consequences. I intend to make this concept clearly known when I divorce my toxic pseudo-wife. I have no illusions of legal impact since I’m 5 yrs into the sham. Ethically and morally these concepts are solid. Whenever the context allows I intend to make it clear that I was fundamentally defrauded. I’m referring largely to the expected fallout within my religios community. Imagine Jezebel playing Mother Theresa. If they love her so much they can have her.

Satya,

Disordered parents use their children as pawns. No one is spared. Their concept of love is “what’s in it for me, where’s my payoff,” not of commitment to care for and nurture them.

Since they lack empathy, what they do for their children is driven by appearance, not conscience. If they don’t want Children’s Services beating down their door, they need to feed and clothe their kids appropriately. They sense that their children are a reflection of them and interact in ways that increase their self image.

Often a disordered parent will turn one child into a “golden child,” to give them homage, and the others become scapegoats.

It’s wonderful that you developed conscience in a disordered family. Affective empathy, which is the basic ingredient of conscience can often not develop within this type of background. I’ve dealt with this issue in my book, and you can also read about it in Dr. Leedom’s book.

JmS

Thnx, JmS.

The sad part is that my parents are not full blown spaths, my sister is. They were only seduced by her “charm” and easily manipulated by her. They have weaknesses and tendencies that way but they are not completely disordered. Also, particularly gullible I would say. I can’t take credit for having empathy anymore than I can blame her for not- she was born that way and I was born the way I was. Yes, I was the scapegoat in the family, and she was their golden child, but some of that had to do with the incredibly elaborate lies she made up about me. She is narcissistic in that her motivation is she wants to be liked but completely spath in that she has no morals or conscience about what she does to the “competition”.

The really sad part is that she basically threw my parents away when she no longer derived power from them i.e. they got old. I’ve been in no contact with her for 10 years now. I have been lucky enough to have untangled the web of lies (and violence) my sister created about me but I’m still blown away by how easily she controlled my parents. The last straw for me was when her son started acting up, using my sister’s lies about me as his role model. I couldn’t stand to see another generation manipulated by her!There wasn’t much I could do except give her an ultimatum and leave. Just say yes to sanity!

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