By Jade Joddle
The 7 red flags of a psycho as represented in the animation above are based on observations of family life as I was growing up in an unstable home. My mother had an extremely turbulent dating life, and attracted men with obsessive and stalkerish tendencies as a repeating pattern. For me as a child, home was most definitely not safe.
The ‘psycho’ you see represented in the video is a borderline male who has deep emotional wounds in relation to abandonment. He lives in a permanent state of emotional conflict because more than anything he wants to be in a loving relationship, but yet the very act of getting close to someone triggers in him an irrational fear of abandonment over which he has no control. When he is in a relationship, or even casually dating, he lives in constant fear that the relationship could end at any given moment. This fear of the relationship ending is what makes him jealous and possessive in the extreme.
The fact that the borderline male as depicted in the animation is so possessive and insecure about the status of his relationship results in a lot of explosive dating or relationship drama. My mother would often push back against the controlling tendencies of her partners, for example by ignoring their phone calls or not answering the door to them. Her rejection of them would then trigger their abandonment wounds, sending them into a dangerous kind of psychosis.
The psychosis generally involves violent or irrational acts combined with stalking. During these outbreaks of psychosis my mother would have to call the police for protection. There were times when we even had panic alarm buttons installed in our home. Usually, then, after a couple of days she would forgive her boyfriends and after a week or so the cycle would repeat again.
To outsiders, my mother’s borderline boyfriends typically made a good impression. They were the kind of guys that everyone liked. While on some level the men she dated had good qualities to their nature, they also had a dangerous switch that few people got to see in action. From my position within the four walls of the family home, I saw violent acts as well as creepy behaviour, which as a child I had no way of understanding.
Creepy watching and/or stalking is the primary trait I associate with the kind of borderline male my mother dated (or in fact still dates). I remember one time we discovered that her partner had been hiding in the loft silently for over 24 hours without eating anything or going to the toilet so that he could listen to conversations taking place in the house below. Even to this day my mother has an ex partner who does laps walking around her house from front to back multiple times per day, creepily whistling as he walks so that she knows he is there. Most people would unlikely accept this kind of stalking, but it seems my mother is resigned to it after a lifetime of stalker after stalker.
While I have sympathy for my mother living under the oppression of her psycho boyfriends, now as an adult I have a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic in her dysfunctional relationships. I no longer regard her as a victim who needs protection from the men in her life and instead feel that on some level she gets a kick from her never-ending relationship dramas.
My advice to anyone who recognises the 7 signs of dating a psycho in their own relationship dynamics is to wake up to the oppression under which you are living: It’s your life and you have a choice over whether you choose to live your life in fear or not.
Jade Joddle is the content maker at Do Personality Test. See her videos at http://dopersonalitytest.com/personality-tests/