Editor’s note: Resource Perspectives features articles written by members of Lovefraud’s Professional Resources Guide.
Sarah Strudwick, based in the UK, is author of Dark Souls—Healing and recovering from toxic relationships.
Dark Soul as a destroyer
By Sarah Strudwick
Psychopaths are known for their lack of fear, but at the same time they often have other associated personality disorders along side, such as malignant narcissism. Deep down they have a sense of self-hatred and loathing, which is why they feel the need to have a constant fix of kind loving, empathic individuals that they can then slowly pull down to their own level. It’s a bit like the analogy I put in my book, Dark Souls, where they take a helpless spider and pull the legs off one by one—just to see what happens. Why do they do it? Because they can.
So why does the Dark Soul or psychopath feel the need to destroy their victims when the relationship is well and truly over?
Many targets complain that well after the relationship ends they are stalked by the psychopath, or they continue to bombard them with emails and spam. Sometimes they will try and befriend you on Facebook, or constantly monitor what you are doing by stalking you. Even when you have moved on with your life, recovering from financial hardship, emotional stress and so on, the psychopathic personality is not happy. With their own deep sense of self-hatred, they will often feel jealous, and may be vindictive by sending you viruses on your PC or other inconveniences. It’s their way of saying, “You think you have moved on, but I will be there in the background constantly monitoring you.”
It’s also their way of bringing you down to their disgustingly low level. On a conscious level, they know exactly what they are doing and want a reaction. They hope you will hate them as much as they hate themselves. Even if you have no evidence with them they want to continue contact, and being extremely narcissistic, it’s all about getting attention, any kind of attention. What better way to get your attention than, for example, to hack your computer or send you vile pictures on your computer? What better way for them to project their vile, angry, unowned thoughts and feelings back onto their victim, so that they do not have to own them?
Psychopaths are notorious for using sneaky underhanded tactics when it comes to playing dirty, whether it is getting the authorities or lawyers on their side, or other members of the family. They will always find a way to turn the tables back onto their victims and say they did nothing, creating crazymaking behaviour. If and when the victim finally has had enough and lashes back, the Dark Soul can then say, “See I told you she/he was crazy – look what she did!”
The worst thing you can do to a Dark Soul is be indifferent to them. Since causing a reaction is their game, this creates a distinct kind of “does not compute” interference with their brain chemistry. It’s almost as if they cannot understand why no one would react to their silly games. If you can, imagine a robot about to explode. This is the reaction that indifference causes to the psychopath.
They may be thinking to themselves, “I hacked into their computer today, why didn’t they do anything?” “I sent them those disgusting pictures via email, but why didn’t they respond or react?”
Because the psychopath is so sneaky, and makes sure to do everything in a way that you know they are doing it but they cannot be caught, it’s a fine line between being indifferent to them and enabling them. They end up feeling so omnipotent, they think they can actually get away with anything.
Those who have malignant narcissism and psychopathy, or sociopathic traits or both, do understand the concepts of the law and how they will only go so far. After all, it would an inconvenience for them to end up in prison.
To some degree, let them be the destroyer, but keep evidence along the way, so long as it’s not causing you physical or emotional harm. However, when things get out of hand, let them know in no uncertain terms what evidence you have on them, because at the end of the day all they are doing is digging themselves an even bigger grave to put themselves in. Having said that, it’s not as if they need one, because they died a long time ago.
When you have finally had enough of their stupid games, make it very clear that you have been careful enough to have collected evidence on them and give them the shovel. Trust that like all good sociopaths, they will get caught eventually from their own stupidity, and will end up digging their own graves.