It took me a long time to clearly define that what the Bad Man was doing to me was… bad. Plain and simple, it was bad for me. Never mind if he was working through pain, never mind if he had suffered many losses or had an unfortunate childhood. Never mind. He’s a grown man. He was treating me in a way that I can only define as very bad for me no matter what his issues were. Really, it was unacceptable but at the time, I did not have clear boundaries as to what kind of treatment I would accept for myself before I would draw a line in the sand and say, “No more!”
There were lots of excuses he made up and to be honest, there were lots of excuses I made up to try to explain his erratic behavior and his consistent emotional battering of me. Early on, I told myself, “He lost his ministry. He lost his marriage and his five children. He lost his boat. Who am I to judge him? I don’t know what that would be like.” I thought he was a person in a lot of pain. I had a lot of pain too and so I thought that our meeting was designed by God. I am embarrassed to admit that but I really did think this was some kind of divine meeting. We were the same astrological sign (yes, another excuse!) and we had had our hearts broken and had many losses in the years leading up to our divine meeting. So, I was very gentle with him while he emotionally battered and tortured me. I tried to understand where he was coming from. I looked for the “1 percent truth” in the terrible things he was saying about me because I was so open and willing to work on myself. I accepted that maybe I didn’t really see myself as I was, and so his “coaching,” no matter how cruelly it was administered, I took in.
But this is all beside the point. I wanted to explain why I say “Bad Man.” I am not trying to be cutesy here. I started saying “The Bad Man” before I found LoveFraud. I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with him but more than that, I didn’t want to hear his name pass through my lips ever again. His name was once something that stirred me and I said it lovingly, but I didn’t want to hear it anymore. One of my friends started calling him “Captain Whack-a-doo” and “Emotional Black Hole. ” “Captain” won’t fit for most of you but feel free to use the EBH if you like. Hehe.
Bad Man sticks for me because I don’t know for sure what he is. But I do know for sure that he was so bad to me and bad for me. I like this term now because so many of us want to solve the mystery. We want to know the exact diagnosis, but why? What difference will it make? If your Bad Man was like mine, you were being abused. Who wants to be abused for any reason? Not me. I don’t know for sure if Bad Man qualifies as a sociopath but I know for sure he is pathologically disordered and that’s enough for me. I understand this fully now.
Many LoveFraud readers have struggled with this question. There are also the readers who look for loop holes. What I would encourage you all to do is ask yourself this question, “Is this man/woman good for me?” I think we know the answer to that. Over the years, I have dated men that were not a good match for me. I have dated men that were not that good to me because, well, they just weren’t that into me! (Get the book by the way, it’s a great one.)
But only the Bad Man was truly bad for my spirit and my emotional well being. Whatever his problem is, he clearly was not good for me. When I was with him, I was hurting all the time. Or I was stressing, anxious, angry, emotionally battered, sleepless, etc. I argued with him in my head all the time, because I never won any arguments in person. I was exhausted from constantly defending my choice of words, my past, my present, my future, myself. ALL THE TIME! I was just so tired. That doesn’t sound very good, does it?
If you are struggling to find the right answer, I understand how powerful that drive is but what if you let it go by simply admitting this person was not good for me.
I am pretty satisfied with my diagnosis. The Bad Man was bad for me. I am not a psychiatrist. I will never get to administer the PCL-R (though I would love to hear the results). Even if I don’t know the final answer, I do know that he was not good for me and my life is so much better having let him go and moved on. It can be such a long climb out of that emotional black hole. I learned a lot from hitting that bottom but I never want to go there again.
It’s been over three and half years since I left the Bad Man. I feel peaceful knowing that nothing like that will ever happen to me again. Now, I can spot a disaster like him from a mile away. If I see one coming, I could fight him off with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back. Better yet, I would just turn my back and let him walk on by.
Thank you Kathy! I got to thinking about that a few days ago when I was talking to a SWEET little gal age 26 who is divorcing her P soon-to-be-X ( and the crap has started to fly already—) and she mentioned she was trying to get some money out of a guy she had dated in the past that she had “sold” a car to in the last couple of years. She WANTED TO HELP HIM OUT after he got out of jail for drugs so she gave him title to the car and h e could “pay later”—well, of course I don’t even have to tell you how THAT worked out. So here she is, without suport from the P, the PAID FOR HOUSE that they had is on his dad;’s land so she is SOL for that one, working trying to pay rent (can’t afford it) 3 kids etc etc.
She has a “broken picker” for men, that’s for sure! She is just so SWEET and kind and caring (and such a great mom from all I have seen) but has NO CLUE what hit her. Or what will continue to hit her if she isn’t educated. Fortunately she is coming to me for advice, actually I am NOT giving her advice except some specific financial stuff, like her P closed out the JOINT ACCOUNT by FORGING her name WITH THE TELLER’s Consent and knowledge, and she racked up $600 in OD charges. So I informed her that the BANK is responsible and that she CAN go in there and speak to the president of the bank and MAKE THEM reimburse her for those charges which were caused by THEIR ILLEGAL ACTS—-she didn’t know this information. Now, if she takes my “education” and runs with it, well and good, but it is up to HER NOW that she knows. I will NOT “tell her how to run her life” or to do anything but give her the KNOWLEDGE SHE CAN USE and she can use it if she chooses. That, to me, is the difference between being supportive and helpful and trying to “fix” her situation. She will fix it better if she had the knowledge and I have the knowledge, but SHE has to be motivated to DO it. Since she is receptive and ASKING for information, I will give it to her, like I would here at LF, but each of us has to “rescue” ourselves from our bad decisions and the abuse of the Ps.
It is soooo hard to stand back and let people you love and that are gtood loving sweet people “skin their knees” and “stubb their toes” and “jump off cliffs” but it is the only way to function in a healthy manner.
A dear friend of mine married an x-employee of mine who I have NO DOUBT is a user and abuser and p robably a P, (her previous husband divorced 11 yrs before was a P) and her very best closest friend also sees this guy as a P and bad news and we both “warned her” but she was so needy she married him anyway. I didn’t go to the wedding because I just at that time couldn’t “wish her well” when I knew she was “jumping off the cliff” with another abuser, I’m not sure even now if I could make myself go and “wish them well” and celebrate her marriage, though her best and closest friend did go under duress.
But after she started “dating him seriously” I shut my mouth, taped it shut with DUCT tape, and super glued it shut, then nailed my lips to my teeth to keep from opening my mouth. Can you tell I have a hard HARD time keeping my mouth shut when I feel strongly about something? LOL
Anyway, I am LEARNING how to support and educate but not try to fix others, not to enable them, but be there for emotional support, caring and understanding and validation. Heck, in fact, I think I am becoming a wonderful and great human being in my old age! IT ROCKS, FOLKS!!!! (Pat pat pat) that’s the sound of me patting myself on the back for not falling into the enabling trap again, for not “rescuing” people! (but gosh I still WANT TO!!!) I want to go punch those Ps in the chops, and hittem on the head with my skillet and cradle their victims in my arms! Sigh, but that’s not how it works! LOL
Dear OxDrover –
I always thought I was just being realistic – friends and acquaintances told me I was cynical, paranoid, bitter, etc. – not that they meant it in a bad way or not that I took it in a bad way – they just don’t know what it feels like to be devalued and discarded and I hope they never do. There’s only one person I would wish that on.
Most of the time, I DO spend working on healing myself. It would be easier if I didn’t keep discovering more things he stole from me or things like figuring out he threw grass seed all over my gravel driveway………… When I figured that one out awhile back, I succumbed to my baser instincts – and it was so much fun – there’s a billboard on the old hwy coming into town that hasn’t had anything on it in years. I took freezer paper and made a sign about 8ft by 10ft. This is what I wrote on it –
I know a little Psycho Boy
I call him Peter Pan
Because he never will grow up
He’ll never be a man.
He’s a parasite
He lies and steals
He helped himself to mine
He doesn’t care
But he’ll be mad
Because he got this sign.
Too bad he has this problem
Too bad he is so vain
Too bad when he was stealin my stuff
He didn’t steal my brain!
I found a picture on the computer of Hannibal the Cannibal that, honestly, was the spitting image of him. I also found a picture of Peter Pan (the cartoon) and underneath it said “Stop the Madness!” I took a ladder and spray adhesive and glued my sign to the billboard late one night. It just so happened that it was the next morning he was arrested. That afternoon, I got a call from the deputy that arrested him. He asked me if I knew anything about the sign. I kinda hemhawed around and he said that if I did know anything about it, I should probably take it down. The sheriff (who I’m good friends with) stopped in my store a little later and he was laughing. He said the deputy brought him into town by the sign and he had thrown a fit about it and was threatening to file harassment charges on me. For some reason, I never heard anything else about it – other than alot of laughter from other people who had seen it before a friend of mine went and took it down for me.
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine, too!
If there’s a Cluster B theme song, it’s probably “Let’s Get it Started in Here” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Their pointless sh-hit particularly comes to mind with the lyrics
…Let’s get ill, that’s the deal.
At the gate, we’ll bring the bud top drill. (Just)
Lose your mind this is the time,
Ya’ll test this drill, Just and bang your spine. (Just)
Bob your head like me APL de, up inside your club or in your Bentley.
Get messy, loud and sick.
Ya’ll mount past slow mo in another head trip. (So)
Come then now do not correct it, let’s get ignant let’s get hectic.
Everybody, everybody, let’s get into it.
Get stupid. (Come on)
Get it started (come one), get it started (yeah), get it started.
Let’s get it started (ha), let’s get it started in here.
Let’s get it started (ha), let’s get it started in here.
When a cluster B or his/her mob comes at you with a drama routine, ostensibly about one issue, but actually all about the nut-job’s wacky agendas, the dialog and the supposed topic are irrelevant. It’s all about the illness.
They’re inviting you to enjoy a role in their happy little sitcom. You should feel privileged! They’re having fun. Remember, you can’t have dys-fun-ctional without f-u-n! Any how, it’s up to you whether you feel like accepting the invitation. Recognize it for what it is, and you can decide if it’s your cup of tea.
The last couple of times the S or one of his dupes started yapping at me, I swear I could hear the Black Eyed Peas singing backup. I was so monumentally tired of playing the part the S had assigned me.
I love the Black Eyed Peas, and I think their little ditty is kinda cute. It’s a postmodern adult version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands”. It’s not their fault that I hear those lyrics and reflect back on the tiresome jabber of a Sociopath intent on creating chaos for pure entertainment value.
It isn’t unfortunately, ONLY the psychopaths that create chaos, but anyone who engages in the TRIANGLE OF PAIN as a way of life, assigning ever changing places on the stage of victim-persecutor-rescuer! It keeps the DRAMA in their lives, keeps them always in a tizzy and makes life interesting for them.
I am finding more and more as I stay on the road to healing that there are other dys-FUN-ctional people that I don’t want to even be around casually, not even to listen to their diatribes over how they have been “victimized” by the latest “persecutor” that they “rescued” from some trauma, and now the person has no gratitude for what a self sacrificing martyr they have been.
I have empathy (here) at LF because I know that the “victims” here, though participating in t heir own victimhood by ALLOWING it (even repeatedly) ARE seeking healing, but as long as someone is ENOYING their misery, I am finding that I no longer have a great deal of time to listen.
The doc that I worked with for about 10 years had a saying about some of the patients “THEY ENJOY POOR HEALTH.” It so applies to so many people as well about their chaotic lives, they ENJOY the chaos, I did too, until the PAIN BECAME UNBEARABLE and I finally decided to STOP “enjoying” the chaos and pain.
It was only by looking at what I WAS DOING that was dysfunctional, that I could get away from those that wanted to keep me in the “roles” they had assigned to me. The Ps, obviously, enjoy these roles and use their “insults” to their psyches to validate their smears, their “retrobution” against the person who “hurt them” by refusing to play their games.
The every-day enabler plays these games on a minor scale, by picking up other people’s messes, but the INTENSITY of the “games” gets pretty hard core when one party is a psychopath and ENJOYS making the mess, then pretending to be the victim themselves. To say nothing of the Ps ability to rationalize REVENGE.
I have found that the further away from even the “every-day” enablers I can get the better off I am. The further away from the people who will not respect reasonable boundaries I get, the better off I am. Weeding out the people who are into “hard core” enabling as a life style may make my life less “dramatic” but gosh it sure makes up for the “loss” with lots of PEACE, JOY AND LOW STRESS! LOL
Oxy said: “A consistent pattern of driving drunk? Why would I want you in my life? A consistent pattern of not holding a job? Not being financially responsible? Four divorces? Arrests? Not paying child support? Theft? Lying? Vulgarity and violence? WHY would I want that person as a “friend?” Or God forbit as a lover?”
Well, Oxy, I see you’ve met my EX and completed his resume for him!!! lol (except he has been divorced three times instead of four–but he’s also cohabitated a year or more with FOUR other women, then there are a few women who only lasted cohabitating with him a few months here or there………
Like Kathleen Hawk, I need to print this off and post it about. Although I didn’t know all this stuff about him at first, once I started finding it out, you’d think I would have run for the hills, even if I had been pregnant wtih triplets!!! It’s embarrassing to admit I stuck around for so long, and he didn’t even have a gun to my head……..
Elizabeth, the song “Down with the Sickness” by Disturbed is what pops into my mind when I think of the Ss.
its been awhile. just want to say hi to everyone at lovefraud. hope all is well. i never would have made it without this website. its such a support system.
“I have found that the further away from even the “every-day” enablers I can get the better off I am. The further away from the people who will not respect reasonable boundaries I get, the better off I am. Weeding out the people who are into “hard core” enabling as a life style may make my life less “dramatic” but gosh it sure makes up for the “loss” with lots of PEACE, JOY AND LOW STRESS! ”
You are so right. I’ve found much more peace than I would have dreamed possible 5 months ago. I’m getting more done too.
I’ve spent more time with old friends, and been very cautious with new acquaintances. I ask my husband’s advice when I think I might be drifting into hot water. I’m learning I don’t have to give advice or get involved to be a good friend. I can give people respite from their troubles, and that’s valuable to them.
One of my friends has had it hard lately. (Her adult child came home with great drama. Then here husband’s adult child came home with more. They’re broke, they’re tired and they’re fed up!) Any how, she and I spent the day goofing off at the local thrift stores Saturday. I enjoyed that, and it meant more to her than my getting involved or encouraging her to bitch all day.
I’m losing the old patterns as fast as I can. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
You are a wise friend, I am glad your friend had you to have a good time with Saturday! Sometimes people in pain just need a day to NOT think about it. Sometimes that is more valuable than anything we can do for these people that we care for. A grief counselor that I know who is absolutely wonderful (I went to one of her seminars one weekend) calls this “presence-ing” and sometimes that is all someone needs for comfort.