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By | August 13, 2009 188 Comments

The “Blame” Card

After all these years, I remain struck and fascinated by how readily, abruptly, selfishly and destructively my more narcissistic clients use blame as an interpersonal weapon.

This isn’t a surprising observation: Don’t like what you’re hearing (because it’s inconvenient)? Blame the messenger. Find an expectation oppressive (because it’s inconvenient)? Blame your partner as a nag, a bitch, or as insatiable.

Find it inconvenient to admit your deviousness or treachery? Blame the victim of your treachery for driving you into a corner and leaving you no choice (in other words, you betrayed me, before I betrayed you!).

For such individuals, blame becomes a reflex. It is often staggering to watch, as it suits their convenience in the moment, how they’ll switch it up and accuse a partner of something that they (not their partner) blatantly perpetrated.

Blame, in many of these cases, is often projected. By projected, I mean that the blamer (the aggressor) takes a feeling—say, guilt—and projects it onto his partner as, say, blame.

For instance, his guilt over an affair is projected as, “You drove me into her arms!” (In other words, I’m not guilty, but you should be!)

Should you challenge his twisted version of the truth, he may escalate his projecting along the lines of, “Don’t go pop psychology on me! There you go again, manipulating me with your pop psychology! You were a lousy wife, you treated me like shit, and so what the hell did you expect?! Shame on you! Take a look in the mirror, honey. You’re a loser!”

By now, a gaslighting effect risks emerging: disoriented by his vitriol and the seeming conviction of his accusations, you may begin to wonder, who’s crazy here? Him, as I once thought, or perhaps me?

Blame, of course, doesn’t always involve projection; sometimes the abuser’s contempt—that is, his devaluation of his target—is so great that, even while he’s consciously, lucidly aware that he violated you, he’ll blame you anyway.

This, of course, takes hubris. But what it most takes, as I just suggested, is a massive level of contempt. Consider the example of the individual who sexually assaults his victim and, fully recognizing the nature of his assault, nevertheless (and shamelessly) blames the victim, calling her a whore, saying she wanted it, she asked for it, she had it coming, what the hell did she expect?

My own view is that the sociopath, in general, has less need than the narcissist to “self-justify” his use of blame. His feeble conscience, which makes few, if any, demands of him, effectively enables and liberates the audacious expression of his contempt and self-centeredness.

I suspect this also explains (at least partly) how, knowing full well he’s been a scoundrel, the sociopath can look you in the eye with unabashed, naked contempt and brazenly endeavor to blame or lie his way out of accountability.

The comfort with which he can do this, the seeming absence of conflict, guilt and ambivalence with which he can blithely commit, and just as blithely deny, such exploitive behaviors, becomes a diagnostic indicator of his sociopathy.

(My use of “he” in this post was merely a convenience, and not meant to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors and disorders discussed. This article is copyrighted © 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)


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super chic

So true… so sad… contempt – great word, pretty much covers it! I was blamed for his anger and contempt “because of the way you asked the question… because it’s too early in the morning.” What a load of cr*p. Thank goodness I don’t have to put up with that anymore now that I have received knowledge from great articles like this one! Thanks!

Brilhancy

shabbychic,

I totally agree. Their contemt is enough to drive any one crazy. I heard all those things from my ex S. Now that he is in hiding and lost everything, even the money I agreed to give to him he blames me for him to spend everything with foolish thigs (and trying to impress lovers as he was living in his MUM’s house, and blame me for not wanting him back). How pathetic they are, after so much abuse and when we no longer want them beside us they run to Mummy… No life of their own because they have been accostumed to depend on us for their survival and use us as the puch bag and a victm of their abuses. Big loosers.

neveragain

What is the key to withstanding such tactics? My husband who was raised in a fairly emotionally healthy environment lets such tactics simply bounce off him. They don’t reach him. Guilt trips, blame, projection….none “work” on him. He doesn’t respond, it takes no energy on his part to ignore such tactics, he simply reacts as he would react if a toddler were screaming, and he puts no thought into it, it is just a natural reaction for him. He just waits for the person to calm down, or he goes away, whatever. It doesn’t stir him up inside, nothing!

He really respects every person’s right to be who they are, I don’t see him trying to ever change anyone. And he is immune to attempts to change him. He HAS made changes in his life, but the motivation came from within him, almost totally.

He is a bit sensitive to what others think of him, BUT only his perception of his behavior. I’m not explaining that too clearly. In other words, he is sensitive about treating people the right way, but his judgement of himself is what matters and guides him, rather than their reaction.

I’ve become very interested in observing mentally healthy people interact with blamers and see when it blaming does NOT work.

Ox Drover

Dear JAH,

I think you bring up a good point, we SHOULD observe how mentally healthy people react or act rather than JUST looking at the NEGATIVE EXAMPLES of the disordered personalities.

CONFIDENTLY Validating our own realities without letting disordered others MANUVER US into accepting their disordered thinking as true is the key, I think, to us learning to act/react in a healthy manner as well.

Since, in many cases, my own I know, of accepting that blame and accepting being gaslighted is a life time pattern, it takes some doing to overcome and to acheive.

Looking back I remember one particular episode of gaslighting my egg donor did to be, even before I knew what “gaslighting” was, but she told me that she HAD TO LIE TO ME because if she had told the truth I would have “thrown a fit.” Actually, I knew for a fact that I would have disapproved of her actions (“loaning” money to the trojan horse psychopath, her caregiver) on ethical grounds alone but I would NOT have thrown a fit about it.

I kept trying to get her to believe me, after all, she could not “read my mind” and accurately “predict” what I would have done, and I felt it terribly UNFAIR that she thought she could and was acting as the “thought police”—the point was though, we got away from talking about HER LIE, and talking about and me DEFENDING MYSELF from her unjust and unfair “mind reading” (gaslighting) so the conversation was NO LONGER about HER LIE, what SHE DID WRONG and it was what SHE “KNEW” I had THOUGHT—of course, me denying that I had thought what it was she accused me of is impossible to defend. LOL At the time though, I remember the abject pain and emotional confusion I felt. She kept pressing on this and I kept up going along with it, trying desperately to prove to her she was wrong! Yea! that would have been as rare as a virgin birth!

The personality disordered are self trained in this tactic and they are quite good at it. If we are not confident in our own ability to analyze the situation, or if we are not aware of what is going on when they start to project the blame on to us for their bad behavior it is easy to fall for this tactic.

I’m getting better at this but still doesn’t always feel “natural” and I have to work at it.

Many times if this tactic doesn’t work, they will switch to the PITY PLOY, of how wounded and pitful they were and try to evoke the natural instincts in us “not to kick someone when they are down.” If blame projection doesn’t work, they have an alternative, but I am getting to where I can spot this too, and check my own urge to “help” them because they are so wounded and need my help to “fix” themselves.

I don’t know if these things will ever be accomplished by me without actively thinking about it, because it is “second nature” to me to “fall lfor” the guilt and the “pity ploy” but I am willing to use my BRAIN and logic to over come some emotional responses which lead into the FOG. (Fear, Obligation and Guilt)

neveragain

Dear Oxy,

Unfortunately, I have to admit that after so many years with my mom, *I* picked up some of those techniques quite unconsciously and used them myself on her! And my husband! But I think there is a difference between me learning bad behaviors through example and having a personality disorder! I was able to stop and correct those behaviors.

Like you, doing the good stuff doesn’t always feel natural, in fact, sometimes I’m shaking inside, but I’m getting better.

Tilly

I used to always fall for the “your to blame for me being a paraplegic” when I was five and then also growing up, mainly because I was there at five years old , in the middle of the night, when my psychopath father broke my psychopath mothers neck. She became a paraplegic. I thought it must be because i didn’t try to help her that I was to blame. Then they added that there was “something wrong with me” to tell everybody that that is what happened. So I added that to my core belief too.
Those core beliefs held me in good stead to be the skapegoat for every partner I ever had, after that, for the next 50 years!
When my murderous psychopath husband (who still roams free/wild)used to tell me he had ” only just pushed you ” and i was in hospital with broken bones and black eyes and broken nose and perforated ear drums, I would think to myself (shortly after getting out of hospital), “yes, he did only push me, there must be something wrong with me”.
The arrogance and contempt that the psychopath solicitor (another one of my partners that i was with many, many years later), was absolutely astounding. I have never seen anything like it in my life.

Tilly

P.S.
The upside of this is that the my psychopath paraplegic mother and my psychopathic violent father are still together 50 years on. And she is the worse of the two! What a charmed life they must have had together! (NOT)

neveragain

Tilly,
I am soooo sorry for all you have been through. Wow! I can imagine a documentary where each of us tells their story one after another. Maybe then people would get what a P is!

I admire your spirit!

Matt

Steve:

My S held me personally accountable for many of the world’s ills, including, but not limited to, global warming, erectile dysfunction, and, worst of all, not paying attention to my surroundings (translation: not paying enough attention to him and his demands).

Apparently he was right with respect to the last, or I would have noticed you in my living room, since you obviously had to be listening in to S’s personal blame game vis-a-vis me.

ErinBrock

Gosh Matt…..I’m glad Global Warming and Erectile Dysfunction are your fault……I have been taking responsibility for these for years…..I was told I HAD TO by the ex S…..
So…..
Thanks for the ‘out’.

Matt

ErinB:

And are you the one responsible for nuclear proliferation, famine, pestilence and plague? While we’re divvying up responsibilities/spheres of influence here? 🙂

Betty

Steve!

Thanks for another great article!

I love what justabouthealed wrote about her husband’s response to manipulative tactics! I learned so much from his healthy response, so I’m with Oxy on this: why don’t we create a discussion of healthy coping stratagems?

We can’t control other people, but we can change how we respond, and the truth is (sad to say) I’ve lived with dysfunctional family dynamics that I never thought to equate the projection/controlling/blaming stuff to a toddler’s temper tantrum, which is spot on. Who knew? That I can cope with!

Sane responses help keep you sane: during my brother’s latest verbal attack, I looked at him and said quietly, “That’s crazy talk: it’s not based in reality. I’ll be happy to discuss this later, but not now.” I got the idea from Patricia Evans’ book “Controlling People.” It worked: he was speechless — his entire “wind up” was interrupted. When we spoke later, he was much more calm and rational. But the main thing — even if he hadn’t responded favorably — was that I had a tool to use that allowed me to respect and stand up for myself!

I know with all the brain power on this site, that there are some pretty powerful observers and problem solvers, and a wealth of experience between us. Which is part of what makes LoveFraud so great. But I also thing that many of us haven’t had, at least not on a regular basis, positive healthy models around to learn from.

When you see/understand these, you naturally begin to gravitate towards them. As I do this, I find that I can monitor my own behavior more effectively: leave the dysfunctional behavior behind and replace it with better choices.

Learning about them here would help greatly, and bring them into my life sooner.

What do you think?

newlife08

.After all these years, I remain struck and fascinated by how readily, abruptly, selfishly and destructively my more narcissistic clients use blame as an interpersonal weapon.

Steve,

The opening line of this article shows how passionate you are about your work and that’s just why we wait patiently here at LF for the next writing that will offer even more insight into our complex emotions and experiences.

After receiving a few rather reprimanding voice mails from my childrens’ father this weekend, this article couldn’t have been more timely.

How well you undetstand the narsissist’s need to blame his partner for everything that he does not want to own himself.

Waking up to this topic actually kept me from responding in anger to all his accusations. As you so eloquently state – he dumped all his feelings on me and blamed me for the decaying relationship between him and our daughter.

I spent years trying to cajole, beg , plead, humor , request him to spend time with our children. I can honestly tell you he NEVER spent a single full weekend with our family at home – he had other interests. And now, that our daughter is pretty fed up with all his behaviors and broken promises involving her directly – well he just can’t accept she is her own person with her own feelings. He blames me for the difficulties between them – that I allow her to have her own feelings and express them.

He also stated that if he thought it would make things easier – for him of course – that he would even apologize to me for not ending our marriage sooner-that it was unfair of him to let things go on as long as he did.

I heard in your latest radio interview (which was outstanding)that a narcissist will apologize typically, only if it benefits him. That is just how I interpret his offer of apology. Not because he betrayed me so horribly and he is sorry – but because it may persuade me to fall back in line and align myself with him.

For many years I accepted the blame for this marriage failing and at times I still struggle – and I would have today after his barrage of words on my phone – but I read your article above
and re-read to reinforce his guilt and shame are not mine to take on anymore.

As you say, he is soooo convicted in his views – it just makes your head spin and you question yourself .

I can’t wait till I can just chuckle at him and think to myself “There he goes again.”

Thanks so much again – your writings are like the beacon of the “Old Barney ” lighthouse offering safety to ships in the night.

Matt

newlife08:

Was thinking about you. How go the court proceedings with S?

Isn’t amazing that we actually get to the point where we say “there he goes again”?

newlife08

Hey Matt!!!!!

How was your trip – everyone missed you here. Hope you get time to catch up- I read quite a few folks reaching out for your help.

We are off the court calendar for now – he stalled the forensics again and is still driving up my lawyer fees. His lawyer is nearly unresponsive.

He has also cut support way back and that is choking me out a little – you know, it’s summer and I want to give the kids a nice time. It seems he is not doing as well with the BBQUE as he dreamed and his creditors are supposedly growing impatient. I know I am.

We have been to the shore-cooked on electric hot plates and skillets- like you encouraged me – we found a way.

And it was fun. My sister also gave us comp tickets for Six Flags – kids love it -I could live without it.

So – tell me was it Greece you went to if I remember ?

Tell me how your trip was – and I believe you had company???

super chic

I accepted blame for a lot of stuff, but not when I was told what I wrote in the above post! Those were examples of what a total a**hole he was.

Matt

newlife08:

Not Greece — that is coming up shortly. This was the British Isles and Ireland. No company on this trip, but my friend was a fabulous host — I got to see places I never would have imagined. Ireland was absolutely magical. England, Scotland and Wales were all so different and had their own charms.

Am going off with the new guy this weekend — he’s taking me away this weekend. His treat. This is something I could get used to!

Glad the shore worked out. As for no gas in the cottage, screw ConEd and your soon to be ex. I’m sure cooking with the skillets and electric hot plates and other bits of ingenuity will give your kids good memories and stories to laugh about years from now. I’m with you — I avoid Six Flags Over Anything.

As for S stalling the forensics, there will come the day when the judge will hold his feet to the fire for a very simple reason — the chief judge will be asking your judge why he can’t get this case off his docket.

Tilly

Thankyou Jah,
I am a bit slow, I just realised that Justabout healesd and JAH were the same person! DUH!

ErinBrock

Newlife:
When life gives us lemons……you know the rest…..
COOK ON A HOTPLATE!!!!
Campfires are also fun!
That’s great you are not ‘stopping’ from doing what you would ‘normally’ do with your kids…..
There are so many lessons for you and THEM! They will see what a douchbag dad is….he’s paving a nice way for them to see. Oh, how they love to punish…..unfortunately, you can’t stop that….but you are overcoming it…..
WONDERFUL!!!!
It will work out…..like Matt said…..there will come THAT day!
You need to be the one with stamina….ride the looooonnnngggg wave….use the time for education and building your case of documentation.
BTW…..One thing I learned about the ‘little’ things…..was…..possession is always best….My first attorney said, oh, you will get it all back…..I just didn’t have that sort of faith…..so I went and took my and the kids stuff from my rental he lived in….every last bit of it, whatever I wanted or thought I could sell, depending on the outcome…..down to the life jackets for the kayaks……my son’s community ID etc…
BOY….he smokescreened about everything, and by the time he bitched about the ‘stuff’…….no one wanted to hear it and shut him down……GUESS WHAT…..I have it all now!!!!!
And it’s final! Just one move I was glad I made….
So keep posession of anything you have and can get your hands on.
It’s either YOU or HIM.
Stay strong and keep that fire burning girl!
XXOO

ErinBrock

MATT:
HAVE A BLAST!!!!
Stay well, keep your wits about you and your eyes open

XXOO

slimone

Steve and All,

This is what forced me out of the 10-month relationshit I was ‘in’. The projection and blame. I got to thinking the other day why I stayed in when the projections started happening and I came up with something.

Within the context of a ‘love’ relationship there is always give and take. I applied that to this r-shit.

Next, the projections were so patently obvious and absurd I could not imagine that they meant what I thought they did. Because, in my way of thinking, NO ONE would actually COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY SUCH STUPID STUFF.

So, as a rational and sane person, I tried everything I could to make them into some sort of talking point. To find the ‘middle ground’ that exists in healthy relating. I would try and read between the lines, thinking surely there must be a communication problem, a bad choice of words, a vulnerability that needed shoring up, and we would ‘get to the bottom’ of it and find the real issue.

HA HA HA! Nope, they really do mean that stupid shit they say!!! That’s what I finally figured out.

For example:

When I cried and told him it hurt me when he talked about and stared at other women, ignoring me in a crowd. Here is the irrational/gaslighting explanation he gave me:

He told me he was going to ‘work really hard not to do that’, and that he would also really appreciate if I could, since love is 50/50, stop watching him all the time. That it is normal for men to look at other women, but it is not normal for their partners to ‘notice’ it the way I was. CRAZY!

So I was hurt because I observed his behavior. It was my fault I was hurt. Not his. I hemmed him in and that made him feel, even more than ‘usual’, that he needed to be able to ‘be himself’. And so the amount of time he spent looking at other women was in direct proportion to my observations.

Oh, that was so obvious. Why didn’t I understand it before his brilliant explanation? I could have saved myself SO much hurt, if I just hadn’t paid any attention to him.

Another example of getting into the mud pit, with the pig, to try and make sense of things. They love the mud pit, we just end up filthy and disgusted!

blueskies

Slimone:) brilliant post:) I think I can apply that scenario of being in the mud pit and disgusted to the most damaging relation-shits(oh how I love that word;) in my life. The time and energy wasted in trying to shore up vulnerabilities in the relation-shit or to ‘get to the bottom of the problem’… what ever you do you are damned. Every moved gets you stuck deeper and deeper untill you are drowning… It REALLY is a stark contrast to the way healthy relationships work, even in troubled times. this has been illustrated to me so clearly lately.xx

Tilly

slimone:
He wasn’t looking at “other women”, he was looking FOR anything that might provide HIM with immediate narcissitic supply and present and future exploitation. Remember, they will f#ck anything that moves.

slimone

Blueskies and Tilly,

Such a waste of breath, huh? What’s the old phrase about blowing smoke up one’s own arse?

Yea, confabulation, blame, and guilt aren’t really used in conflict resolution, in healthy relationships. One’s empathy and reason are no match for the emotional destitution and deception of a predator.

I am getting closer to the place (finally!) where knowing about all this, and knowing I have a MUCH better chance of avoiding another pig-wrestling match, is feeling like a gift.

It has felt like such a burden, and something I haven’t wanted to be true. But so long as it is we are ALL SO fortunate to understand it. So much more equipped than the other folks stumbling deaf and blind with predators on their heels.

Tilly, of course! At the time I only (tried) set up a boundary about ‘looking’. It wasn’t until I learned about p/n that I understood the concept of supply and targeting the next victim. During this particular phase I was still thinking we were dealing with some ordinary type of digression. Though I can admit, now, that I ‘knew’ deep down inside that something was ‘essentially’ wrong with him. I knew. Just couldn’t imagine the specifics.

Now I know. Whoo hoo!

libelle

Dear Slimone, thanks for another excellent post! I could so relate to your comment on him “looking”. “Mine” was testing me right from the beginning (and saying so!!!! HUGE RED FLAG!!!!!) by observing me watching him looking after other women, and he was very glad I did not show any sign of jealousy (My soulmate, I was so secure about him, and of course he declared that I “passed” his test successfully! and of course my father has done this ALL THE TIME too, so it came natural).

When he started to move away from me physically when we went out together and I followed him, then he said EXACTLY the same lines yours did! (must be from one of the later chapters of the manual on “Easy gaslighting for the inclined narcissiopath; how to get rid of a devouted soul and out of relationshit”) LOL.

It took me a very tough hard time to realize that my awkward feelings were pure naked fear, embarrassment, a put down; and completely justified.

slimone

Libelle,

HA HA HA….I LOVE the book title! Yea, they are pretty kookie-cutter aren’t they? Little did we know that passing ‘the test’ would mean many more, that just got harder and more devastating.

I passed the test early on too. I even ‘agreed’ to consider ‘open relationshits’. Of course that came down to him (then) saying he may want monogamy, and me waiting for his decision. And me agreeing to considering the open crap only helped him with his image management. That way I could wait, and be loyal to him, while he played ‘Mr. Undecided and Torn’. It was a strange pity play.

He told me he never considered monogamy before me…because he never felt ‘safe enough’. Oh man did I fall for this chit.

It was a crude but brilliant manipulation that served his desire for additional sources of current or future use, AND kept me monogamous and giving him my undivided attention.

My fear of abandonment, and my healthy (but misappropriated) empathy and sense of compromise did not serve me well.

sstiles54

I remember once, while in a store, that some guy supposedly was “looking” at my behind, as I walked into the restroom. Since I obviously didn’t have eyes in the back of my head, I had no idea, but boy o boy did I get the what-for when I came out of the restroom. S said he told this person he was going to clock him one for staring at me, etc., etc. He tried his darnedest to lay the guilt trip on me, like I could control other people. Yet he was free to ogle other women, & have his affairs. He & his last one even went around town telling people they were boyfriend & girlfriend the last 6 months we were married. All this while I was working 60 hour weeks since he couldn’t hold a job. To this day, after being divorced for 3 years now, I am just so humiliated. I live in the town I grew up in, & for what ever reason, he has never left the area, I have a hard time going into a store here, because I feel like such an idiot.

Tilly

slimone:
“pig-wrestling match” I am using this one today lol! and i think I will add the word “wild” before it. Yep, that somes up my sex life with the ex p.

newlife08

ERINB –

Thanks so much for the encouragement. We did have quite a NICE TIME and I was so happy to share the house with my GF and her two kids – she too is on a tight budget and could not afford to take her girls anywhere.

But we made it to the beach at LBI – lucked out there no one asked for beach badges – we went to Cape May and on Sunday we went to Smithville for more shopping. The girls had never been there – my kids had but they were good about going again – and it really made them happy.

I did pretty well with it all as this is our second summer without NHusband – but I did feel alot of depression once I got home. Perhaps tired of trying to keep it all together on my own . I will admit that I love to go places but the FAMILY scene gets to me now. So many seemingly happy couples and families – and yes I know I DO NOT know what goes on in their lives – but it truly hurts that after ALL I put into keeping my family together – I have made such a mess of my life.

Next week we are off to Hershey, PA for the Chocolate factory -compliments of my job – and the kids are looking forward to that.

This weekend my son is going for 3 days with his father – not sure if my daughter plans to go yet – and I am already missing him. I hate the fact that he never bothered much with the kids before and now he will try to be UBER-DAD.

And I hate splitting my weekends like this – he never ONCE spent a whole weekend home with us. Well, even now my son-10 just pretty much follows him around- my d15 can’t be so bothered.

I really hope I get used to all this someday – some women seem to cherish their time without the kids – but not me.
They’ve been with me all the time since they were born – unless I was at work.

Tilly

Oxy:
I was just thinking that when i was, from about five years old, my way of coping with the abuse from all of my family, (all during the day and night) was to imagine them being hurt really badly in some way. I used to jump on every crack in the path on the way home from school (aged about 8), and i would say allowed with great joy, “jump on a crack break yu mothers back”. I would make sure not to miss one crack. She was already a paraplegic. So it was like revenge. That was my revenge…i.e. Imagining it in my head. I did the same type of thing in regards to my father and brothers violent abuse. Especially when they broke my arms, then I would imagine dreadful things to cope.
Maybe that revenge strategy isn’t working for me anymore.

Tilly

Maybe thats why I can’t get past the revenge feelings, because for all those years, it kept me alive. Maybe not. I am just trying to get past this block. Its driving me insane. I know if I did anything to my ex p the only one I hurt is my son. ( It would be worth going to prison for at this stage for me), and that is all that stops me.

lostingrief

sstiles: i know exactly how you feel. my spathfool is in the neighborhood as well. everyone knows what he did, and he walks around with his new gf (half my age) and their new, baby. Startin’ ALL over again! And here I am 50 lbs heavier for the hell of the last year, and worn out, looking every bit my age.
you do not HAVE to feel like an idiot. you didn’t do anything wrong! When I walk outside now, I hold my head up, even though i pray i don’t run into anyone who knows him/us. i just think it’s all part of the healing process. when we begin to really accept that they are the ones who must own the idiocy — yea, we let them do it — but we were also blindsided, just like every one else is blindsided by these pods.
so … let it be. Let yourself be free. You (i, all of us) have suffered enough behind them. When we give them our shame, it means we are still giving them …
stop the madness!
TOWANDA!!!

neveragain

lostingrief: I imagine your neighbors think HE looks the fool. I sure do when I see older men with younger women. Insecurity written all over the men.

lostingrief

yea, but he looks really young. either way, he IS the fool! and yup, insecure as can be.

starlight

Thank you Steve for your post. It has been 3.5 years since my S/P/N has been out of my life. But I still feel haunted by the blame. I feel sometimes like his sickness is still on me and I can’t wash it off. Thank you for discussing the dynamics of the blame game. I needed to look at it from the outside.

neveragain

Starlight…It has been more than 2 years since I saw the S/P/N. I took all the blame and shame from him at age 16, I wish someone had clued me in then, because I did it again 40 years later. It was very difficult to change the image I had had of him all those years and to realize he is personality disordered and a sex addict and alcoholic….very far, far from the image I had in my head. I understand how it all happened. It took a lot of work and a lot of reading of the Betrayal Bond and LF, etc.

Lately what helps me most, the metaphor, is to think of the false image as the person I loved, and picture that some disease has eaten away the part of his brain that held the capacity for love, the capacity to feel emotions for real, the capacity for empathy, and humility, and self-awareness…..and realize that the man who is now left is sadly, so sadly, not the man I once “knew”, and the man left is a monster who will hurt me if ever I go near.

And that ain’t far from the truth!

PInow

Justabout, That created an image of disability and disability makes us want to sympathize. When my counselor asked me to imagine him so that she could help me “bind” him, I asked:”Which one?” There were so many faces, yet, now they are all a fog. Monsters they are…
I think of my Monster’s mother sometimes. The saying “turning in her grave” comes to mind. How many souls and lives he ruined, and yet – still out there, telling any willing listener what a hard life he’s had. I despise him. Not disabled, but callous, awful creatures we cannot hurt. Hurt means care. they care not. They win, because they read us like maps. they blame the outside world because it is so hollow and empty inside… Wow, I just vented 1/50th of my anger. That felt great.

neveragain

Shoot…part of my problem is I probably DO sympathize, though there was a time I’d just soon kill him as look at him. I actually wondered if it would be worth the prison time. LOL! That was then, but now I guess I have truly accepted reality and the anger is just …not gone, but not so easily triggered. How about a rabies ate away part of his brain? That makes him toxic, dangerous, beyond repair.

What does “bind” him mean? Maybe that would help me.

PInow

LOL, Rabies works, LOL
I hope I can get to that stage too. Part of my rage and disgust (anger does not seem to really describe it) is that he transgressed on my family, my children and our dreams….

OK, she had used the imaginary binding, taping his mouth shut, binding him in a spiral and sending him off. First, she had to put “all the faces of evil” into one though and now I can imagine him being pathetic and bound and unable to speak the lies. sometimes it actually works (it just did).

I also asked her to help me remember what my subconscious mind knew and conscious mind refused to know. She hypnotized me for the memories to come back and days and weeks later I was able to relive my own shame as I saw myself put my love for him and my trust of him before my own kids. Mind is a powerful thing…

Just read an excellent post by Dr. Leedome (read October 2008) about their failure to develop.

PInow

It’s called “Overcoming barriers to moving on with adult development”. I think better than rabies, that works for me, LOL. They are underdeveloped, maybe, even Anti-developed and pathetic (what is it with me venting tonight?) I probably miss one of his faces….

neveragain

That is funny, because on my own, the image that helped me lately too was picturing him suspended all wrapped up completely in silver chains. So I guess my brain knew I needed to bind him! I didn’t know you meant really bind him, mentally! Good for me!

I will go read that post, that sounds good. Him in a diaper.

PInow

Good night, Justabout. Thank you for chatting with me tonight. It’s pleasure as always.
Off to read one of 100s books about the Ps and the bonds. Yet, a friend gave me a book called 4manplan. I think it’s about how to learn to date again. Ohhhhh, it’s been way too long for me, and I never enjoyed it. It’s like Chris Rock said: “you don’t meet a person on a date. you meet their representative”. I hope he was not inferring to the psychopaths, lol
good night

PInow

Incidentally, I seem to have started attracting loaners and hermits. Maybe, they sense that I am emotionally unavailable, so they too look for safety. Humans are really interesting. Psychopaths seem to be all the same…

neveragain

Very good post, and one I had read. Thank you!

Yup…all the same….

neveragain

I meant had NOT read!

sstiles54

LIG,
Thank you so much for responding to my post. I know my self esteem took a real bashing from s. I sometimes have to sing(in my head) that old 70’s song “Hold Your Head Up” to go anywhere outside my house. I can go to work every day, & feel ok there, & church is safe, every where else makes me feel like Carrie (from the movie), when her mother is telling her that everyone is laughing at her. I have litterly heard that in my head. It sucks to be afraid to live.

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

When we are kiddos we develop strategies to help us cope, and they do help us as kids, the problem is that as ADULTS those things don’t help us and we have to find NRWER ways to cope.

Developing those new strategies is difficult because we are so USED TO the old habits I think. I know that I am doing much better and not feeling guilty, obligated or fearful (FOG) now when I stand up for myself. I am getting so much better about not falling for the blame game or the pity ploy from others. I am also learning to not be so “open” and to actually do a bit of “situational manipulation” myself. Some folks here call that “your inner sociopath” but manipulation is NOT always bad.

We “manipulate” a kid into getting dressed without a fight, he says “I don’t want to get dressed,” and we say “Do you want to put on your left sock first or your right sock.” We give him a choice of how to get dressed, but NOT a choice about getting dressed.

I am in the middle of manipulating my egg donor into stopping her giving money to my P-son which endangers me. I am doing this strickly as a manipulation without any hope of her having real repentence or real trustworthyness, yet, if I am successful, I will have to pretend and have some contact with her. It is manipulation on my part, pure and simple. I do NOT feel guilty about being manipulative in this instance with her. she has already proven to me that she is NOT trustworthy, and I have emotionally disconnected (for the most part) from her and am out of her FOG, no longer fear her, no longer feel obligated to her and no longer feel guiltyy about doing what I have to do to assure my own and my son’s safety. I can see clearly that she is a toxic person. I would much rather stay NC but if havintg contact with her and manipulating her will keep myself and my sons safe, I will go for it.

Just like at certain times and certain places a Jewish person might have to pretend to be a Christian, or a Christian might have to pretend to be Moslem in order to survive, I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep her “harmless.” I don’t think that makes me a sociopath or a bad person.

Tilly

Oxy:
No it doesn’t make you a bad person.
I got an email this morning from another one of my “friends”. When I opened it it was from the psuchopath that threatened to kill me recently. I am still not sure why he wants to, all I did was go no contact. Anyway, I sent the “friend” an email telling him he is not to contact me anymore or I will go to the police. etc. Then the “friend” blocked me (Iwas going to put a P.S on it). Then I told my son and he yelled at me for responding back, even if it is to threaten them with police. He said “what don’t you get about no contact?”
I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT!
But I argued with him because I was furious and triggered ( I wasn’t expecting it).
Not many friends left now Oxy. They are all cyber friends! I can’t feel the hugging them or have a cuppa with them. They are all my invisible friends. It is truly weird.

geminigirl

Dearest Tilly,
we may be invisible, but were STILL HERE! A cyber hug may not be enough, but its better than nothing! we still love you, even tho we havent met. We see each others souls, and not many people in so called REAL life get to do this.Im the same, I dont have many so called real friends left, and as for my emotionally disfunctional family,Im better off without them!!
Many of the things we dont see are still there, God, the angels, electricity, the wind, etc.One day all this will make sense, hopefully! Stay strong, girl, we are all in this together!{{{Hugs}}} gem.XXPS I love you too.

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